Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I needed a break from death, so I came up with this scene from the empath idea I was playing around with. (If you look back a couple posts you can see my whole thought process for coming up with this idea.)

I don't have a character name, I don't have an opening paragraph, just this little excerpt that I thought was funny enough to keep my mind away from death for a moment. Then it's back to playing grim reaper...

* * * * *

Slowly and quietly, I walked up the steps from the basement to the kitchen. It was nearly eleven o'clock at night, and with any luck none of my neighbors would be feeling... well, anything, really.

The florescent lights in the kitchen were dim compared to the bright lights of my room-slash-office. I may live in a basement, but that didn't mean I loathed the light and the sun. Quite the opposite. It's just hard to keep my mind straight and my emotions in check when there are too many people around.

I started rummaging through the fridge, searching for the perfect pre-midnight snack. But the refrigerator was almost barren; my roommate hadn't gone shopping for a week or so. Eventually, I found a container of lasagna hidden behind a case of diet energy drinks. Score.

I popped off the lid and flipped the container upside down onto a plate. I was walking to the microwave when I stumbled to a stop, my breath caught in the back of my throat. I looked out the window and saw the neighbors there, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson, enjoying a late dinner together.

Oh. God. No.

Immediately I felt the wave of emotion crash over me. Suspicion, anger, jealousy- and on the opposite side of the spectrum guilt, nervousness... and excitement.

As if Mrs. Johnson knew I was there, she lifted her head and turned toward my house. With a barely audible squeal I ducked behind the window and felt my face flush. But this wasn't my shame I was feeling.

Looks like Mr. Johnson actually felt a shred of guilt over what he was doing behind his wife's back. In the bed they shared. With their daughter's teenage babysitter. And now Mrs. Johnson's wrath over the suspicion of her husband's infidelity was echoing through my body. My knuckles were turning white as I gripped the edge of the plate and tried to think calming thoughts.

I managed to breathe, and fight away the rage that was not my own. Fortunately, the guilt was fleeting as well. Mr. Johnson was already planning an afternoon tryst for the very next day. I could feel his anticipation as he imagined sneaking away from the office on his lunch break, the excitement of driving home and throwing open the door, the desire when he thought about ripping off the mistress' shirt and...

I dropped the plate. It shattered and the cold heap of lasagna splattered across the white linoleum. I turned away, ignoring the mess I had made. I couldn't sprint back to my basement fast enough.

I didn't breathe until my feet touched the cool, cement floor. I took in several deep breaths, concentrating on my thoughts and my emotions. All I felt was relief, which was my own, and loneliness, which was also my own. The relief would pass, but the loneliness was inescapable.

I looked around the basement, surveying the area that I spent at least twenty-three hours in for any given twenty-four hour day.

I was always lonely.

* * * * *

Ta da! I wonder if I can count this toward my 1,000 words/day. Maybe. We'll see how well the ideas flow when I open up Untouched and try to get to work.

P.S. This was typed in Blogger, so please forgive any glaring typos. Comments welcome- do you think this story concept is worth pursuing?


  1. The scene looks quite interesting. Something I'd enjoy reading.

  2. Yes, I read it quickly and thought several things.
    Why is she in the basement 23 hours out of 24?
    Is it a jail cell?
    Why is she interested in the older guy?
    Is she imagining this or is she the mistress?
    Who is she? I imagined a young woman with psychological problems.
    My first thoughts.
    Loved your descriptive, engaging writing.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys! Maybe I'll have to sketch out the whole story for this concept after all.

    @Gutsy- Yes, after re-reading this I realized it was a little vague about what exactly is happening to the MC.

    Basically she is an empath- she has a supernatural ability that causes her to feel everyone's emotions.

    She hides in the basement because something about being underground mutes the emotions of others so she is not subjected to them.

    She's not really interested in the neighbor, she is just feeling his wife's jealousy and suspicion, and feeling his guilt and lust, and she cannot control these emotions that are not her own.

    She definitely views her ability as a curse, rather than a gift.