Tuesday, October 11, 2011

PROMPTuesday

I've return to the wonderful and creative writing exercise presented by San Diego Momma - PrompTuesdays. These have spurred my creativity, and have been a lot of fun at the same time.
Each Tuesday, she posts a writing prompt. Participants play by the following rules:
  • You must write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kicks in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
  • Keep to 150 words or less (I always run over a bit!)
  • Post on your blog or in her comments so everyone can read it.
  • Have fun!
 So for this week’s PROMPT, tell me a ghost story. Something haunted that’s happened to you or a friend of a friend of a friend. Or? Make something up if it’s more your style.


As the last of the exhibitors closed up their displays, Ed walked the Arena's perimeter, locking doors one by one; the catering loading dock, the backstage door; the compactor bays, the roll-up door where the chair racks were stored. The lobby doors' crash-bars were dogged back up and latched; the fire exits checked, and the only door remaining was the double door to the parking lot.

The Municipal Arena was too shabby and small for most exhibit shows these days, and the City was planning a new convention center to replace the 1930s hall. The Antique Show had been coming for 30 years, even though business was down.

In the back office Ruby, the show manager counted the gate receipts. "I'm just waiting for Izzy to close up, and we'll walk together." She packed the cash into a nylon duffle - there couldn't have been more than $2,500 - not much for a Saturday just before the holiday season. But folks these days didn't do their Christmas shopping at Antique Shows. They didn't do much shopping for antiques at all.

Out on the show floor an old man tidied a stack of leatherbound books. "How'd you do, Izzy?"

"Slow." If business was slow for antiques, it was worse for antique books. "Made one good sale, though. Just before closing."

Ed killed the overheads and plugged in the ghost light - a lightbulb on a stand, placed in the main aisle for overnight safety. If that weren't enough reminder for them, he jingled his keys.

"Let's go, we can’t keep Ed waiting," said Ruby. "So what'd they buy?"

"Funny thing. Just a novel. I priced it high, didn't think I'd get it. But she didn't even ask, just paid."

As the two of them reached the door to the parking lot, the old man thought a minute. "I'm not the only one who did good. Lady was wearing a vintage '40s coat, looked like new. Musta been rich, or a kook."

Ed locked the doors behind them. Going back through the hall, he saw movement  in the dark lobby. But maybe it was a reflection from a passing car.

The time-clock was in the hallway by the locker room. Ed changed out of his coverall to a fresh tee-shirt, and took one last glance out at the darkened hall floor.

An arm chair, back turned to where Ed stood, was pulled up to the ghost light. Faintly, yet crisply, he heard a page turn once. And again.

5 comments:

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Nice nod to your career as a backstage technician!

cactus petunia said...

Nice! That gave me a chill!

Deborah said...

Love the story! And I'm thinking maybe I should check out these writing prompts. I am so stuck inside my head here lately, can't seem to pry the words out. Maybe this will help!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Nightmares!
~

San Diego Momma said...

Heeee heeeeee! This is all so wonderfully DELICIOUS! I loved it. More stories like this, please.