From WritersDigest.com, in the Weekly Writing Prompts section:

Lipstick Message

You get a message, it is obviously for you, but it is scrawled in lipstick on a mirror in a public restroom. It’s unexpected, but now you know exactly where the killer is hiding. It’s time to find him and, hopefully, your friend (and hopefully your friend is still alive). Write this scene.

“BODIES: The Exhibition, at the Convention Ctr. Come alone.”

The message stared back at me from the grimy mirror in the public restroom.

Fuck.  BODIES?  The human body exhibition???  The recently famous exhibition had been in Seattle for a month now and everyone had been raving about it.  The thought of real human bodies frozen in various poses didn’t really grab my attention.  I didn’t get why people were excited to see such a spectacle.  In fact, the thing kind of freaked me out, and by “kind of”, I mean A LOT.

And now, I was being forced to go there, at 1:00 AM and find this demented killer, along with my friend he kidnapped…killed…dismembered…god, who knows what?

I focused, trying to keep my heart beat steady and my mind clear.  But it felt like trying to fight the tides; this overwhelming sense of panic and rabid imagination constantly threatened to overtake all my senses and send me into a nervous breakdown.  I just go home.  I wished this had never happened.  I knew i was wasting time complaining about the way things worked out, that I should be sprinting to the Convention Center to rescue my friend (or his body).  But, I was frozen.  I couldn’t call the police.  I couldn’t tell anyone.

“Well”, a voice piped up in my head, “he just said to come alone; he never said anything about not telling anyone.”  Ugghhh, but that could mean he didn’t want me to tell anyone. What should I do??  I’m not hero!  I know I play them all time in video games, but this is different.  There’s no retry, no starting over from a save point.

I forced myself to take a deep breath, deep into my lungs.  It jolted me to life a bit.  I exhaled forcefully.  Turning on the spot, I began walking briskly towards the Convention Center.  About five blocks from the public restroom, the Convention Center loomed in the darkness of night.  Picking up my pace, my mind raced through my options – weapon; defense; support; back up plan; Ray; was he still alive?; Andrew; that bastard; why was he doing this???  How did I caught up in this shit???

I shook my head in an attempt to clear these “Why oh me?” thoughts and focus on the present.  As I approached the entrance to the Convention Center, my body instinctively swung my satchel around my body, to where I zipped open the two largest compartments.  What could I use?  Gum.  Band-aides.  Journal.  Pens.  Keys.  Damn it!  I needed some sort of weapon.

I grabbed the sturdiest pen and griped in firmly in my right hand.  If Jason Bourne could use a pen to mame someone, I could do the same.

I pushed open the entrance door and ran up the stairs to the main exhibition room.  As I neared the top of the stairs, a sea of naked human bodies greeted me.  Damn.  Scary.

My body froze as I listened for any sound of movement.  Nothing.

I stood there, frozen.  Another deep breath.  I forced myself to take a step forward.  Then another.  Lidless eyes peered at different angles.  Their muscles almost seemed to glisten in the faint light from the above lights.  Walking.  I kept walking down the center aisle.  The giant room seemed to be set up in a grid of 30 separate blocks or stands.  I moved down the center aisle and looked around as I walked.  The key in my right hand was hot from my body heat by now.  My eyes fell upon a lone exhibit body lying face down on the floor about ten feet in front of me.

Could this be a trick?  As I walked up to the shoulders of the body, I kicked it over and observed the eyes staring upwards.  So creepy… The lights suddenly went out.  Panicked, I thought about putting some sort of barrier behind me.  I ran to the right, holding my hands out as I ran blindly.  Feeling the wall, I quickly put my back to it and tried to adjust my eyes to the darkness.

I heard footsteps right around the area where I was standing with the lone body.  The footsteps started getting louder as they came towards me.  A flashlight beam appeared five feet in front of me, focused on the floor.  Knowing that psycho would soon be pointing the flashlight up towards me in a second, I silently dashed to my left and crouched behind an exhibit.  The beam of light grew larger as the killer walked towards where I was just standing, until he was right in front of me, staring at the wall.  Changing my grip on the key, I got into position to lunge at him.  I lunged at him, just as he turned to face the opposite direction.

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