Today’s prompt involved using a list of words. What is wonderfully delightful about this challenge is that it isn’t a new one for me. Our NaNoWriMo region gets together for a ‘Writing on the Road’ and the List Game is part of the midmonth event every year. Our MLs create a monthly theme to motivate the group and the List Game centers on that theme in a number of ways.
All right, still have a few others to transcribe, but decided to at least get this one posted:
Gerald Grant had the distinct advantage of knowing how to pressure or bolster the weak, whether they volunteered a call for help or not. The scales currently tipped too heavily on the first side, so perhaps today would add a bit of weight to the latter.
From behind the sheer curtain, he watched his nephew take a slow turn toward the house, coming back from school. The classmate with him pointed at his leg repeatedly, then made a series of gestured, including ‘phone.’ The teen stole a glance at the time, then shook his head, eyes cast downward. The girl threw her hands in the air, waved goodbye; his nephew continued towards home, a noticeable limp in his stride. Jerry listed half a dozen reasons for what he needed to do next. Well, after this talk, of course.
There were too many barriers to crash, missing bridges to cross and flooding fires to brave through. To confirm imagined nightmares were a certain reality, or that dreams of hope had already burned in hell… It would be the last pain point he’d have to bring to the forefront first.
As the key turned in the lock, Jerry stood to where the door would hide him until it was too late; a practice he had down to perfection.
“Hello, Ashley,” Jerry said, locking the door, then clearing the teen’s hands of everything. “How’ve you been?”
Ashley’s eyes widened. “Uncle Gerald,” he asked, trembling as he backed towards the fireplace.
Up close, Jerry could see so much of Aunt Sharon in his face – blue eyes that should be looking up to the skies, not dancing with fear. Thin face that had a hint of yellow below one cheekbone contrasting the deep purple just above the other, a sliver of a cut on the lower lip, and dark circles under the eyes (concealed with remaining flakes of makeup).
He held up his hands, forcing Ashley to sit down in the armchair that afforded Jerry a clear view of the driveway.
“Look, I know you made that confession under duress. I suspected that it was only a matter of time before your folks would find out. I’m sorry.” Jerry gestured to Ashley’s face. “Want to tell me what happened?”
“Gym class,” the lanky boy whispered.
Jerry gave a quick, painful laugh. “Not always a reliable alibi to shimmy from the truth. Ten minutes until they get here. Want to try again?”
Softly, cautiously, Ashley gave the briefest of explanations and Jerry listened.