My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts
Day 111: I need your help deciding
Every writer knows it’s of the utmost importance to capture the reader’s attention from the first paragraph. I have an idea for a new story, but I can’t come up with a good start.
Which of these three do you like best? Or do neither of them appeal to you? Please take a moment and give me your response. It can be as limited as 1, 2 or 3 or something more in detail.
Holly Edwards watched the smile die on her husband’s face and drain of all color when he opened the door to their condo and switched on the light.
“Jason, what is it?” she asked in alarm. “What’s wrong? Did someone break in?”
Not waiting for an answer, she pushed passed him and froze on the spot, her mouth opening, her breath caught in her throat. All the doors of the kitchen cabinets were open and the content lay in smithereens on the countertop and floor. “What the hell … who would do something like this?
The building looked like an ordinary building, sixteen floors of concrete with spacious balconies where some residents kept red geraniums or some other type of flowers. The condo where Holly and Jason moved in was like any other condo, an L-shaped living room, a kitchen with white cabinets and stainless-steel appliances, an equally modern bathroom, two bedrooms, a walking closet and a small space meant for a washer and dryer.
They must have visited over twenty condos before they come across this one and none of them were right. Some were too small, others too expensive, others still were in a location that would require a long commute to work. When they came across 301 Prudential Drive, they loved it on sight. It was bigger than any condo they’d seen, the location was perfect and judging by the brand-new kitchen and bathroom, gleaming hardwood floor and spotless soft grey walls it was clear that the place was recently renovated. When the real estate agent mentioned the price, they jumped at it.
In hindsight, they should have asked the agent how long the unit had been on the market and the low price should have set off alarm bells. But they were first time home buyers, they didn’t care about how long condo had been for sale and the price was a steal.
It didn’t take long though for them to notice that this was no ordinary building. During the day everything was fine, there was nothing unusual about the place, but at night, that was a different story. The first time Holly took out the trash to the garbage chute, the corridor felt all wrong, like something sinister and she had a distinct feeling that someone was watching her. Not to mention the corridors in the basement where the swimming pool was, the party room, where every unit had an assigned locker, and which gave access to the underground parking. You couldn’t pay her to do down there alone, day or night.
As for their condo, strange things were happening there too.
“You’re not going to believe what happened to me today,” I said when Jason, my husband, came home from work. “Go and change, I’ll make coffee and then sit down because this is going to knock you sideways.”
When Jason came back into the living room, having swapped his suit and tie for jeans and a T-shirt, he flopped on the couch and looked at me expectantly.
“Remember the story I told you a few days ago about the Indian woman in a blue sari I saw in the front garden of this building?”
“Of course,” Jason said. “The woman was standing in the garden with a small dog by her feet. When you got outside the woman was gone, you looked for her but she was nowhere to be seen. I suggested that she might have lived on the ground floor and climbed over her balcony, but you said that dressed in a sari that was unlikely.”
“Right. So today I went to the management office to pay our maintenance fees and that where I heard it … the woman and her dog are dead. They were on their way to the vet and there was an accident.”
“So, what are you saying?” Jason frowned, the beginning of a smile tugging at his lips. “That you saw a ghost? Two ghosts if you count the dog.”
“What other explanation is there?”
“It could have been any woman. There’s more than one Indian woman living in this building.”
I was slowly but surely losing my patience. “I asked the woman of the management office, Jason. I asked her what kind of dog the woman had and she said a Maltese poodle. The dog I saw by the woman’s feet was a Maltese poodle.”
Jason scratched his head, curved his index finger over his chin and looked at me. “That is indeed strange.”
“There’s more,” I said. “Let me get the coffee and I’ll tell you.”
“Another mystery story?”
“There are ghosts in this building,” I said ignoring his quip. “Not just one ghost, but three. Some ten years ago a man living on the 7th floor was found dead in his unit, stabbed. A few years later a boy drowned in the swimming pool, and around the same time a man jumped to his death from his 15th-floor balcony.”
“That’s terrible,” Jason said, “How do you know all this?”
“Our neighbor from across told me.”
“You met our neighbor?”
“Yes, he seems like a nice man.”
“And what do these three dead people have to do with ghosts in this building?”
“Apparently they never left.