Home » Creative writing » Entanglement – Part Four

Entanglement – Part Four

 

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Photo by exoskeletoncabaret via Flickr

Part One,  Part Two,  Part Three

Miller’s eyes followed where Aliss was staring, searching across the street for something out of the ordinary. “What did you see? Did something happen?”

A reflexive, “No,” crossed her lips.

“Aliss, don’t do that. Tell me why you jumped.” While she wasn’t answering, his eyes lit on the man she’d seen. Miller scrutinized the unfamiliar face, squinting at the dark figure blended into the shadows as if staring out from a window hanging in midair. “Is it him?”

She waited another moment, testing her breathing and letting go of  Miller’s waist. “Yes.”

Miller looked at Aliss for a few seconds before turning back to the man and keeping him in his sight. “Do you know him?”

“No.”

“Have you seen him before?”

“Yes.”

“Who is he?”

“I don’t know.”

Miller’s voice was agitated. “Has he been bothering you?”

“He tried to talk to me a couple of times,” she said, hands on the concrete stair, palms already pushing her up a fraction of an inch.

“And you don’t want him to?”

“No.”

“I’ll go talk to him.”

Aliss grabbed at Miller, holding him by his clothes next to her on the stair. “Don’t do that. Don’t get yourself hurt. He’ll go away.”

“Then why are you so scared?”

“I’m not.”

“Why are you so … taken aback?”

“I hoped he wouldn’t be there.”

“But he is and you’re bothered.”

“Yes, but he goes away after a while, or he lets me pass if I’m walking.”

Miller’s voice approached a shout. “He lets you pass?” He put a hand on her thigh and squeezed as he kept watching the man who was watching them. Aliss felt somehow better under the firmness of his touch, loosening her grip on him as they sat in silence. Miller’s breath came faster. He made sharp sounds with his teeth. She thought he was trying to put together another sentence but hoped she could think of something to calm him down before he did.

A car came up the street from the right, its headlights illuminating the bald man in the dark clothes that blended into the night — she thought she saw a change in his face, an angry look around his mouth as if he’d seen something he didn’t like.

“That tears it. I’m gonna talk to this asshole,” Miller said, shooting up and getting down two steps before Aliss could muster a sound.

She grabbed his pants leg as she rose up, nearly falling before she let go. “Stop it, Miller! Do you want to get hurt?”

“I don’t plan on it,” he said.

She lowered her voice as if the man could hear them. “What if he has a gun or something?”

Miller paused for a beat. “You have your phone?”

“Yes.”

“Get it in your hand and go inside.”

“No,” Aliss said, getting her phone out of the satchel.

“Get inside. I’m going across the street after the door locks behind you.”

“No.”

“Aliss, for once, do something my way. Not because I said it, but because you know it’ll keep you safe.”

“I want you to be safe …”

“Have you noticed I’m six-foot two?” His eyes were still on the stranger though his face was cocked toward Aliss. “And not skinny? Have you noticed my body? Other women have.”

“What …?”

“Please, go inside, Aliss. Call the cops if I get hurt.”

Aliss withdrew into the vestibule and watched through the glass in the door as Miller went down the stairs and crossed the street. Clutching her phone, she moved farthest right, holding both hands up to block reflected glare, pressing her face close to see as far as she could. “Don’t get hurt, Miller,” she whispered. “You have to come back.”

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12 thoughts on “Entanglement – Part Four

  1. Yes, I agree with @jesterqueen — wonderful tension. And, in the midst of the drama we also hear Miller’s frustration with Aliss:

    “Have you noticed I’m six-foot two?” His eyes were still on the stranger though his face was cocked toward Aliss. “And not skinny? Have you noticed my body? Other women have.”

    Nice.

  2. I sure love this, Re, and love the mystery of it. I waded through David Copperfield a year or two ago, and read in the prologue or afterword about people waiting at the boat docks in the U. S. for the next installments of Dicken’s stories or books. They’d even yell up at the people on the boats “How did (such and such in the story) turn out? Which is a long way of saying that I’m looking forward to the next installment, whenever the boat docks.

    • Oh, what a sweet thing to say, TTD. Thank you for giving this a try. I’m glad it’s working for you the way I wanted it to, and that you like it. Your comment makes me want to work harder to do a good job. Thanks!

  3. “Have you noticed I’m six-foot two?” His eyes were still on the stranger though his face was cocked toward Aliss. “And not skinny? Have you noticed my body? Other women have.”

    Your talent for dialogue is definitely what brings this alive.

    The characters tell the story whilst you encourage our imaginations ti pick up on the small descriptions of the scene you narrate; blending the two into a full-bodied set – with light and shadows; sounds and smells.

    Bravo!

    • Thanks so much for the feedback, Mark. I really appreciate it.

      I have to figure out how to give my descriptive passages more zing. (Characters can’t always be talking to each other, after all. 🙂 ) I’ve definitely got work to do. Thanks again!

  4. So funny– he’s trying to be all manly and valiant and protective and she is oblivious. Earlier, where the chapter ended on orange juice, he creeped me out, but his wounded manliness makes me like him again.

  5. Oh my gosh, LadySparks! My left pointer and tall man fingers immediately came up to cover my lips at the ensuing encounter between Miller and the dark figure. I’m hanging on the edge, wanting to know how it’s going to go down. I get the feeling that it’s not going to be a good look, and I’m nervous for Miller, and Aliss who is probably in there, behind that glass, praying through her teeth! I’m really nervous for Aliss because I get the feeling that Miller isn’t all there (something is amiss with him), but clearly, there might be some danger up ahead, and he just might be the only one to thwart it. Yikes!

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