Weekly Writing Prompt - Jan 2nd
Writing Prompt - Jan 2nd
What’s a writer to do when offered a challenge? Why, take it of course!
A fellow author has decided to offer up weekly writing prompts. Something to challenge others and encourage them to write something. Either from a list of ‘extras’ on the website, or one that’s been assigned (if you chose to participate). Unfortunately, my brain is forgetful thanks to a houseful of children - of both the furred and non-furred type. So, this past week I picked an extra.
Here is that extra:
2. Describe an undercover police officer disguised as a homeless man through the eyes of someone who is able to recognize him as a cop. ((I had to go with this one due to having an officer in the family and because I know several who are awesome people… it seemed rather fitting.))
Now, on to the writing!!
Heavy clouds threatened to unleash a downpour at any moment, preventing the moon from shining upon the bay of New Campania. Selia Lascari didn’t care. Having spent most of her childhood on a distant island, far removed from these shores, being soaked to her skin didn’t bother her. On Temeria, it was a way of life. Though, she had to admit, the rain here on the East Coast of the United States did tend to be far colder than the rain on her island homeland.
An island homeland she’d been banished from for one little mistake.
Okay, maybe not so little in the eyes of the rulers of Temeria, but she still didn’t believe speaking with the spirits of the dead was worth of death or banishment.
Shaking her head, she shoved the thoughts away as she navigated the darkened alleys and narrow side streets of her new-found home. Those were dangerous thoughts. Ones that never ceased to cause her heartache and homesickness.
The clang of metal and shuffling stopped Selia in her tracks. Though she’d only been in the city a year, she wasn’t a stranger to danger. Her adopted father allowed her freedom to explore, but only because she was adept at protecting herself. Or hiding, when needed.
In a world where magic wasn’t believed to be real, she had a distinct advantage.
Melting into the shadows, Selia crept forward until she could see the figure moving around near a group of trash cans near a dumpster.
She paused, watching the shadowy figure until he moved further into the dim light of the streetlights.
His shoulder-length hair fell flat against his shoulders and back. His tattered clothes were at least a size too big and hung around his bulky frame. Selia noticed he wore fingerless gloves as he removed the lid to a trash can and began shoving things around.
There was something different about this homeless man. Selia couldn’t pinpoint it just yet, so she settled against the building at the end of the alley and watched.
The man kept lifting his head and looking to his left. She followed his gaze to a group of thugs further down the road before looking back at the vagrant.
He shuffled to the side and she smiled slightly in the shadows.
This vagrant moved with too much self-assurance. He held the lid of the trash can as though he were prepared to fling it as a weapon. His every movement calculated as he shuffled around until he faced the thugs.
Selia had spent the last sixteen years learning how to be a warrior. She knew how a warrior moved. Their bodies tense, their legs always slightly bent even when they stood at ease. Their bodies ever ready for an attack.
Instead of having his head down and closed in upon himself, this man kept looking towards the group of thugs, even as he moved trash around the can. Some of it was tossed onto the ground, but nothing that was of any significance. He was too alert. Too intent.
One of the thugs looked his way, and he hunched down, turning away as though afraid they would attack. The thug said something and the group laughed. Another picked up a broken bottle and threw it towards the vagrant.
He moved away, closer to the wall, allowing the glass bottle to shatter near him. His body tensed, and he ducked his head, but she caught disgust flash across his face as he turned away from the thugs, not fear.
The thugs laughed again, and began moving towards him. He dropped the lid of the trash can and began hurrying away. His body hunched, he dragged one leg behind him as he tried to run.
Selia snorted. There hadn’t been anything wrong with that leg a moment before while he’d been standing. Pushing against the wall, she watched in amusement as he kept his head down and hurried towards the alley she was standing in.
He stopped in this tracks as he realized someone else was in the alley, but didn’t pause for more than a few seconds.
“You need to get out of here,” he hissed at her. “You don’t wanna be found by them.”
His teeth were yellow and his skin was filthy where there wasn't any facial hair.
Very unkempt and also filthy facial hair, at that, she thought.
No vagabond in this city would worry about a pretty girl wearing black jeans, matching black coat, and boots. They’d be too worried about saving their hides.
Glancing back towards the thugs, Selia shrugged. The thugs had stopped and turned back the way they came. All laughing as though it had been some game.
“You aren’t a homeless person,” she stated, turning back. “Undercover cop? Or something else?” The man stiffened and Selia offered a smile. “It’s rather obvious if you know what to look for, especially since you’re talking to me. You aren’t shuffling around nervously. You were more interested in watching the thugs than searching the trash can. Your leg is perfectly fine, yet you were dragging it behind you while trying to run. And I suspect you’re armed, since you remind me a lot of people my adopted father knows.”
“Your adopted father?” he asked, watching her guardedly.
The man’s eyes widened, then narrowed at her. “Why are you talking to me? Better yet, why aren’t you home with Mr. Lascari?”
“I snuck out to meet my boyfriend,” she said, thinking quick on her feet.
Her classmates often said they snuck out to meet their boyfriends, so it made sense. The man relaxed slightly, so it must have been a normal excuse.
“Miss, you shouldn’t be out this late, especially around here.” His entire demeanor shifted as he stood straighter, even if he did avoid her question. “It isn’t safe.”
Selia raised her brows and he frowned at her. A hand slid into an inside pocket of his jacket. He pulled out what appeared to be a wallet and flipped it open. The polished badge shone even in the dim light. With a flick of his wrist, he snapped it shut and tucked it back into the jacket after a few moments.
Seconds later, he pulled out a phone and sent a text to someone.
“A cab will be here in a few minutes. Go home, Miss Lascari. I don’t want to know why you were around here. Just don’t let me find you here again.”
“Yes, sir,” Selia replied politely. “Have a good night.”
“You, too, miss,” he replied.
They stood in silence until a pair of headlights appeared. The undercover officer nodded to her before shuffling into the darkness of the alley. Selia sighed. Exploring the city was over for the night. But there would be other opportunities.
She couldn’t wait to tell Soren about what she’d seen.