May 15, 2013


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: Abduction = Love; a stranger kidnaps a total stranger and never lets them go.

They’d been locked in the basement for longer than either of them could remember. The windows – Natasha Reno-Pardo assumed that the boarded up, black painted rectangles near the ceiling of the basement were once windows – were impossible to open.

The permanent stairs had been removed and replaced by a heavy, steel drop-down stairs. Rudyard Bernal, her fellow captor had worked at getting those to drop from the ceiling for a whole week. He’d tried to pry them from the ceiling seven times after they woke up. The eighth time, he’d gotten a shock so bad his hands were burned. Not enough to blister the skin, but very painful.

Light came from two fluorescents set behind thick plastic. They never went out. Food and water came in bags dropped from a hole in the ceiling whenever they were both asleep.

They were trapped.

In the dim silence, not long after both of them were awake, Rudyard said, “I think we’ve been here a month.” Then he burst out crying. Natasha looked up at the ceiling and into the corners. They knew they were being watched all the time. Once, when they’d tried to sleep together on the same pile of blankets as far from the bathroom hole as they could get, Rudyard had gotten very excited. Natasha was willing. Snakes had suddenly dropped down from the ceiling hole and the lights had gotten super bright.

They’d spent an hour sweeping the things into the hole. They’d spent most of the time fighting the rattlesnake. Neither one of them had been bitten, but they threw the blanket covered in snake guts in another corner after stomping it to death.

This day was different. Natasha stepped over the immense red door in the center of the basement floor and sat down next to Rudyard. At first he flinched and looked up at the feeding hole and muttered, “No. What are they gonna throw at us next?”

Natasha said, “We’re not doing anything.”

He leaned against her, cried a while longer and finally rested against her.

As if to curse their closeness a grinding sound came from the drag-down stairs. Real light leaked from a narrow crack that gradually widened, letting in more and more real light. When the stairs were half uncovered, they began to come down from the ceiling, making a sound like a descending castle drawbridge.

It thudded to the floor.

A shiny, black leather boot with a neatly cuffed pant leg dropped down on the top step…

Names: ♀ Russia, Mexico ; English, Mexico

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