Also for a creative writing class!
So, what did you guys think of the first short story I wrote?
Hopefully, you liked it, and you’re ready for another one!
So, here’s just another lil’ something I wrote based on this prompt…
Make a small location where a group of tight-knit people are gathered and bring in a stranger. Give one either the stranger or group a hidden agenda. Without revealing the agenda, tell the story through interpretation and suspense.
That was my own words, too, just FYI.
Now, here’s what I decided to write!
Alice tapped her long, violet fingernails on the side of her crossed arm.
“How many is your Rebecca in the running for, again?” she asked.
She stood with another tall woman in a thin black gown.
“Oh, just five,” the other, Dolores, answered. “Maybe six, though, I don’t know.”
“Oh, yes,” Alice cackled out. “You know how they like to change the last-minute things on us.”
Dolores managed a laugh back and playfully tapped Alice on the elbow.
“Well, I want to go see how Miranda’s boy is doing,” Alice said, after a moment, and then turned to walk across the lobby. She passed a number of other chattering women, and then stopped by the side of one in a revealing red dress.
“Wow, Miranda,” she began, stepping around the side of the woman to catch her attention. “You look… nice…”
“Oh, thank you,” Miranda whipped the skirt of her red dress toward Alice. “I’ve been on that new oil and gluten diet, and I think it’s doing me well!”
Alice smiled and nodded, still looking her figure over.
“Well,” she sighed. “How’s your boy, um…” She paused. “How is he?”
“Matthew?” Miranda questioned. “He’s doing very well, just got into Stanford!”
“Did he, now?” Alice raised a brow.
“And he’s also up for one of the full-ride scholarships tonight,” she added, cheerfully. “Is Kaitlyn up for any?”
Alice’s eyes trailed onto a woman in a pink jumpsuit who had just stepped in from outside.
“Yes, a few,” she replied, and then glanced back at Miranda. “You know, I think I’ll go see if they’re ready for us yet.”
She smiled with her wine-colored lips, and then took off across the mildly crowded room. She stepped toward the woman in the jumpsuit but found herself stopped by someone else before she could make it to her.
A dark-skinned man in a black suit stepped in her way.
“Mrs. Summers,” he repeated, clasping his hands in front of his waist. “I’m sorry to bother you, but I need to confirm that your daughter will be attending the ceremony tonight.”
Alice gave him a squinted look.
“Yes, of course she is,” she nearly snapped.
The man nodded.
“Yes, well,” he said. “She hasn’t shown up yet, and we’re about to start.”
Alice pursed her lips for a second.
“Well, she’s not always the most punctual,” she stated. “But she should show up in just a few minutes.”
The man pushed her a smile, nodded, and then left.
Alice looked again for the woman in the jumpsuit, but she was nowhere in sight. After that, she pulled out her cell phone and began to text a message, ‘where r u?’, to the contact ‘Baby Kait’. As soon as she finished, another man in a suit and bowtie opened the large double door on the left.
“You may be seated, now,” he smiled at the group of women standing closest to him.
Following that, all of the women in the lobby area, about twenty to thirty of them, made their way to the entrance of the small auditorium.
Alice walked through as well and found herself a seat close to the back—a padded chair beside one other who was alone.
“Mind if I sit back here with you, Carmella?” she asked.
Carmella shot her head up from her lap.
“Oh, Alice, of course,” she whispered.
Alice nodded and smiled at her as she sat. She then began to scan the room, once again, for the one woman in the pink jumpsuit.
As she looked, a few teenaged boys and girls filed onto the tiny stage ahead, where two rows of folding chairs were placed.
“I do hope the committee did well in their selections this year,” Carmella interrupted Alice’s searching.
The two looked at each other while one last pair of women sat in front of them.
“Me, too,” Alice replied.
Carmella took a moment to smile back down at the skirt in her lap.
“This is my second time, you know,” she said, glancing back up.
Alice’s eyes widened a tad.
“Oh, I didn’t know you had two,” she commented.
“I have three,” Carmella clarified, pointing to the stage. “This one’s not even my youngest.”
Alice relaxed her eyes.
“Well, that can be… a lot of work… and money, can’t it?”
Carmella shrugged with a sly look.
“It is…” she stated. “But it’s worth it, I think.”
Just then, a raspy voice echoed throughout the room.
Alice looked ahead to see the same man who had confronted her previously speaking into a wireless microphone in front of the full seats of young adults—though one on the very end of the back row was vacant.
“Thank you all for putting this lovely event together,” he said, and then turned to the teenagers behind him. “What would we do without our mothers? Go on, give them a round of applause!”
Alice’s eyes wandered around once more while the room erupted with clapping.
“I believe we have everyone here and ready…” he went on.
Alice glared back at him while he brushed one hand over the audience area.
“So, should we just get started?”
Applause roared through the room, again.
Alice rose from her seat.
“I’ll be right back,” she whispered to Carmella, and then turned to step through the closed doors nearby.
She entered the auditorium lobby once more and reached for the phone in her crystal-covered purse.
“Damn it, Kaitlyn,” she grumbled as she threw the device up to one ear.
She paused to hear a few rings through it, and then turned to see the woman in the pink jumpsuit dragging on a cigarette.
“Hey,” she spat out, lowering the phone. “What are you doing? You can’t smoke in here!”
The woman stepped into her direction and tossed her tobacco into a waist-high waste bucket.
“Sorry, I think I forgot,” she said, her voice much deeper and crackly than Alice had expected.
Alice brought the phone back to her head, and then heard an automated voicemail message.
“Are you new here, or something?” she questioned, turning the phone screen off.
The woman approached her, stopped, raised her hands to her hips, and gave her one look-over.
“Which one in there is yours?” she asked with a nod to the left.
Alice returned the peering look to her.
“Or is yours the one that’s missing?” the woman added, cocking her head to the other side.
Alice smirked at her.
“Oh, she’s in there,” she said.
The woman gave her one more look, and then turned to enter the auditorium.
Alice rolled her eyes as she shoved her phone back into place. After that, she looked over at the dark windows across the room, then paced over to the auditorium door herself, her white pumps clicking against the floor the whole way.
When she opened the door, everyone on the other side seemed to be already anticipating her return.
She froze and looked quickly at each woman turned into her direction as the entrance closed behind her back. Then, she switched her gaze to the stage ahead, where the man with the microphone also stood, silent, staring at her.
She held a hand up to him, broke a smile, and then turned for an empty seat on her right.
Before she could sit, however, one woman spoke to her, breaking the quietness.
She stopped, again, and craned her neck to see Miranda stepping up to her side.
“Will Kaitlyn be joining us tonight?” she asked.
Alice cleared her throat to respond.
“Yes, she will,” she said. “She’s just… a little late.”
“She’s… always late, isn’t she?” Miranda went on.
Alice searched her suddenly somber expression for a long second.
“No,” she eventually answered.
Another woman touched her shoulder from behind, making her jump under her skin.
“But… she is,” this one said.
Alice turned around to find Carmella now the one speaking, and Alice shook her head.
“No, she isn’t,” she growled.
Abruptly, one of the metal chairs on the stage scraped against the hardwood floor.
Alice jolted a glance toward it.
“When was the last time you saw her in this seat?” Dolores yelled, slamming the empty chair down.
Alice widened her eyes at the stage and let the room fall back to a glaring silence.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” she finally mumbled, pushing past Miranda to get back to the door.
However, Miranda grabbed her arm and stopped her.
“It’s been four years, Alice,” she stated.
“Don’t touch me!” Alice shouted, brushing her hand off.
“Four years!” Miranda shouted back.
Alice ran into the door, then through to the lobby.
“We want you to see!” another woman screamed from behind.
Alice took in heavy breaths as she jogged to the front door.
She halted when she came face-to-face with the one in the hot pink jumpsuit.
“What, did you do all that?” she yelled at her. “Why—who the hell are you?”
The woman threw her hands up in front of her chest and took a step backward.
“Lady, I don’t know you, either,” she said. “But… maybe you should give your daughter another call.”
She shook her head, and then exited the room with a breeze of cool night air left behind her.
Alice rubbed her temples, but, while she did so, her eyes wandered along the wall across the way. She caught a glimpse of small, odd glass plaque, and then slinked her heels over to it.
She read the small print engraved on it very carefully, and it said: In memoriam, Kaitlyn Summers, 2015.
Thank you so much for reading and be sure to let me know what you thought/think!