Thanks for all your feedback on the last post. Most of you want to know what happens next and I am toying with ideas on developing the plot. Generally though, these are stand alone pieces to keep the creativity flowing and get your opinions on things. Some of you felt the last piece tailed off towards the end because nothing was happening. I’ve kept that in mind with this piece whilst continuing to explore a snap shot in a character’s life.
This week’s prompt was spontaneously derived from a conversation with a my friend who is also a fellow writer. I’ve focussed more on the setting and mood then speech this time.
He led me down an alley and I’m not sure why but my heart sank. It was an odd place, both dark and narrow. A few dim lights over the back end of restaurants that were so perfectly inviting from their front faces. This is not why I had left work early. Is this all he wanted though? To make out beside some bins up against the rear end of a restaurant? But I was here now, and I supposed I should just get on with it really. Five years ago I would’ve gone for it, no questions asked. But really, I couldn’t do that anymore. This is how it all happened last time.
I wasn’t meant to be feeling like this on a date. It had been going so well. Actually it hadn’t. He had been a bit arrogant and I hadn’t been too impressed by that. However, he was handsome and oozed confidence as do all city workers. Tall, well-built, (hunky arms!) and slick hair. In his effort to be a perfect picture his white shirt would have been crisp earlier. After a hard day at work though, it was crumpled with hastily rolled sleeves, that gave the impression of a man who wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty.
He turned to look back at me and smiled eagerly. I had fallen behind engrossed in my hesitation.
I felt obliged to take his outstretched hand. May be he sensed my reluctance. I smiled at the cobblestone floor and as I did, he put his arm around my shoulders. I was in shackles. The bare brick walls seemed to be closing in and the bins littered around were increasingly suspect. Why was I in this alley with a man I hardly knew? Suddenly I wanted to run. Just keep smiling and walk forward fast. I aimed for that one light at the end of the alley on the street running perpendicular.
He stopped. “Are you ok?” I noted the little alcove in the wall to my left. Shit.
I looked up at him, that meagre smile etched on to my face, pleading he wouldn’t do this to me. I instinctively backed up against the wall.
“You seem cold?”
” I…I erm…” I felt the cold bricks against my legs. I wore shorts because we could; it’s always more acceptable for us to be casual at work. But now the shorts were really not helping matters. He’d caressed my leg a few times over dinner; I had just passed it off at the time. He had taken both of my hands in his own sweaty palms without my realizing. What was I to do? He was probably fine and I could just go along with this smelly alley kiss.
He interrupted my panic:
“You’re very beautiful. I’m not sure you feel the same way about me though?”
“I’m sorry?” I blurted.
He was taken by total surprise. His face was the picture of the shock I felt.
“I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be forward; I just wanted to know where this was going. I like you and I think you’re great. But you’re sort of, hot and cold and I can’t make sense of it. I just need you to say how it is, so I know?”
I felt myself breathe the first breath I’d probably taken since stepping into this God forsaken alley. For the first time I was able to take in his scent, something familiar, creed perhaps. I tried to rationalize. I had expected to knee him in the nuts and dart off. Now I was stood here in disbelief, at a loss for words. I wanted to knee him in the nuts for that alone. But he wasn’t the menace he had been minutes before.
“I’m sorry I hadn’t been expecting this.”
“What were you hoping for? A backstreet shag?” He winked.
It felt good to laugh. But I wasn’t about to confess that. It didn’t need a response. His eyes locked mine and I wondered if he would now lean in to kiss me. Maybe I even wanted him to. He knew it too I think, but instead:
“I’m hot, I reckon we should have ice cream?” He grinned.
“Good choice! And in answer to your question, I think we should carry on with these dates, I need to get to know you some more.”
Thank you for reading. Eager to read your thoughts on this piece too. You can view my friend’s piece with the same prompt here
3 thoughts on ““He led me down an alley””
Love the setting and really strong characters. Could really imagine where they were and feel the emotions. I got a bit lost when the mood suddenly changed and thought maybe there was an ice cream parlour in the alley for a minute. I guess the “victim” realised they were just imaging things but I think it needs a bit more clarity to make sure. I am very tired though so I might just be being slow!
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Yes I agree, it does happen very suddenly; in a longer piece I would have more room to unpack what was going on. Glad you liked setting and characters. On this occasion I developed the setting and characters separately rather then doing both in parallel. I think this works better.