Writing Prompt: HOURGLASS
Provided By: Pencilgirl, a fellow A-Z participant whose posts I’ve been following. Visit her! Also, I need prompts between R and Z!
It was once not unusual for Dina to wait for Raoul in his study. When they were still children, and the study belonged to Raoul’s father, Uncle Robert, Dina holed up and waited for Raoul to come home from school, watching the hourglass and matching the trickle of sand to the minutes and seconds on the clock.
The companion of her childhood vigils was too physical a reminder of time trickling away for her, Raoul, and everyone else. It had already run out for Robert Umbridge, who lay stiff and blood-spattered upon the dining-table at her place.
She had to stop thinking about it, because when the butler carried word to Raoul she was here, in tears, he would hurry back from the stable. She would have to tell him all about it.
Her hands played with brass knobs on the table drawers. They felt cold and heavy in her hands, like her heart. As she sat watching the trickle of the sand in the hourglass. It seemed to glow blue, then flicker. She blinked to clear her eyes.
Without warning, one of the drawers slid out. Amongst the papers with the Umbridge family crest, her eyes fell on her name. Raoul’s strong hand on a plain brown envelope: Dina Middleton.
Without pause, she tore the envelope and read:
If you have this in your hand, Father is dead, I’m on the run, and They’re coming for you. I’m sorry I couldn’t do better than this Dina, but I knew you would come to the study. I wish I could tell you more, but right now, do not go back home. RUN. No, wait, take the hourglass. It will protect you.
Before she knew it, Dina had grabbed the letter and the hourglass, wrapped them in her scarf, and jumped out of the window. In the darkness of the evening the hourglass glowed blue through her scarf, but she paid it no mind.
Turning, she caught a glimpse of the butler at the study door, and behind him, figures in black, gleaming swords in hand.
She ran into the woods behind the house of Umbridge, unaware that Raoul stalked her, sword at the ready.
The A to Z challenge led to a book: A to Z Stories of Life and Death. Twenty-six A to Z stories, based on the twenty-six letters of the alphabet, question our moral compass: How do you judge a teacher toying with the sexuality of her teenaged student? A boy who decides to murder his mother? What thoughts rage inside a pedophile serial killer before he shoots himself? They challenge the concepts of beauty, truth, and morality, by revealing the face of the other side.
The stories focus on a crucial juncture when a character’s life changes, for the better or worse, because of a choice or decision. Some of the characters in the stories confront death, others talk about life with its quirks and whimsies. Each voice, ranging in age from a six-year-old to a centenarian, has its own riveting story to tell. Together, this collection of stories at over 12000 words attempts to prove that when it comes to stories, depth can sometimes replace length and breadth.
I’m tweeting A to Z posts at #atozchallenge. And there’s also the Twitter A toZ Challenge Daily.
Thanks and shout-outs to organisers Arlee Bird (Tossing It Out) , Jeffrey Beesler’s (World of the Scribe), Alex J. Cavanaugh (Alex J. Cavanaugh) , Jen Daiker ( Unedited), Candace Ganger (The Misadventures in Candyland) , Karen J Gowen (Coming Down the Mountain) , Talli Roland , Stephen Tremp (Breakthrough Blogs )