Author: ktplex PM
After a short intermission, @ktplex is back for another Short Story Writing Class! The prompt: Write about a room with no one in it. Make it seem as if something dramatic had just happened. Summary: Everything is white and smells of Clorox.Rated: Fiction T - English - Tragedy - Words: 710 - Published: 09-06-12 - Status: Complete - id: 3056192
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As soon as the door is open, the light floods out. Sterile white light, casting an eerie glow into the darkened hallway behind you. Inside, the fluorescent bulbs illuminate the apartment. It, like the light, is blinding, harsh white everywhere. No call of "who's there" comes, no dog runs to the door to greet, only silence. The harsh smell of cleaning chemicals assaults your nostrils, making you cringe. It burns, filling your lungs with its acrid fumes.
From the doorway, only the side of a bookcase is visible, then the back wall of the apartment. A lone key ring hangs from the hook by the door with three keys. One gold, much like the lock on the door you just came in from; one silver with a black head, the distinct Volvo logo stamped into the plastic; and one lone silver key on a separate ring. The tag says "office" in cramped, block handwriting.
Continuing on, you arrive in a small kitchenette, and again the meticulousness hits you. No dirty dishes lay in the scrubbed white sink, no groceries lie on the white island countertop, no indication of anyone living in this bleak apartment at all. After setting the items in your hands on the counter, you walk over to the white refrigerator and open it. Inside there is a jug of milk, still in date, and a half empty carton of eggs. After closing the door of the barren appliance, you continue your observation of the kitchen. A white gas stove with black eyes stares at you, and a lone chrome tea kettle is perched atop the back right eye. Continuing to the left, you run into a small cupboard with a loaf of bread and two tins of tomato soup inside.
Continuing on into the apartment, you see that it is sparsely furnished, the massive white bookcase that was visible from inside the door is almost empty, save for a few books. You cross the room to them, and on closer inspection, they are all on biology, chemistry, and anatomy. A battered copy of Jane Eyre sits on the sturdy white coffee table. A well worn couch covered in a white sheet stands behind it. You take a moment to survey the room again. To your left, the door you came through stands ajar. Panning to the left your eyes pass the kitchen, past two more doors, to the blank wall on your right. Curious, you walk to the first door. Upon entering, the harsh smell of chemicals becomes even stronger. A bathroom.
Once again, there is white. A porcelain toilet, a claw-footed tub, and white vanity with a ceramic sink on top take up most of the space within the small bathroom, while fluffy white towels hang from the rack and lie beside the vanity. Curiosity sated, you exit the room and try the next door.
The first thing you notice when you enter the room is the bed, sheathed in white linens, with a single black throw pillow added. Your eyes are then drawn to the big bay window on the other side of the room. Sheer white curtains flutter in the breeze coming from the open window. Outside you see the neighboring buildings, the sun shining brightly off of the glass panes. The breeze touches your face, drawing you to the window. As you circle the bed, your fingers brush the comforter, and you revel in the downy softness. You approach the window, gazing at the beautiful skyline. By chance, you glance down. What you feel next, you are unsure if it is from vertigo or the gruesome sight below you. There, six stories below, is a mass, a body clothed in white, spread eagle, left arm and neck twisted at an unnatural angle, right leg tucked under as if to break the fall.
You back away from the window as far as you can.
Your knees hit the bed and you start running.
Past the closet with the hanger still latched over the door.
Past the bathroom with the door still pulled tight.
Past the couch with the book still open to the last read page.
Past the counter with the white rose still sitting there, where you left it.