Once again linking up with the lovely Miss Megan for today’s 1000 word, picture prompt. I love this photo! 🙂 Hope you enjoy this little snip-it. It seems to be connected with last nights prompt.
Word Count is: 1145!
Source is unsplash.com
The wall of sticky air hit her like a wave of un-breathable air. Welcome to Baton Rouge, land of the swaps, gators, Cajuns and hurricanes. Also, land of the not breathing, apparently. Nervously, with shorts breathes she adjusted her should bag. looked around the bus depot like a frightened lost child, wondering how long she’d have to wait for the car service to pick her up. They said it wouldn’t be long, she hoped it wouldn’t be long. She was smoothing the top of her purse for the 145th time, when a sleek, tan BMW rolled up. A tall man stepped out of the car, straitening his suit jacket he looked around the depot. With a slight look of disdain in his eyes, they landed on her. Quietly, and rudely, staring at her. Her knees, which had already been shaking, started to knock together in fear, her heart pounding so loudly, she wondered if he could hear.
I can’t believe she’d be coming in, here. This place is a dump. I wonder what she’ll look like…oh. That must be her. She looks…scared. Well I guess I should help her…
OH no, he’s walking to me, what do I do?! I can’t talk to a man like him?! Mentally stammering and stuttering, her jaw locked and her mind almost went blank in panic. Counting to ten and slowing taking deep breaths managed to unlock her jaw by the time he was standing in front of her. But not long enough for coherent speech.
“Are you Miss Stanley?” Polite, cultured tones vibrated through her, making her brain halt even more.
When she remained speechless, he cocked his head and asked again, “Ma’am, are you Miss Stanley?”
Slowly nodding like a rusty robot, her voice squeaked out what sounded like an affirmative answer. That was all it took for him to nod and say,
“Is this all you have with you?”
Once again, speechless but able to make the slighted gestures, she inclined her head a little. He scowled a fraction of a second, long enough for her quick eyes to see, and then gestured for her to follow him. Talking stilted steps after him, she made herself take more deep breathes. By the time they go to the car, she hoped she could at least say, thank you.
She’s an odd duck. I have no idea how she’ll make it here, but this might be interesting to watch. The Wicked Witch will eat her alive. Shaking his head at his own private terms for the Mrs. he stopped at the door and opened it for her. Turning he almost bumped into her. Quickly grabbing her elbow so she wouldn’t fall, he reflexively said,
“My apologies, ma’am. I do hope you’re alright.”
Stammering and sputtering as usual, though able to finally get out the only two words she could think of,
Knowing the response wasn’t right, she turned scarlett red and bowed her head to shield her deep embarrassment, quickly but clumsy got into the BMW.
Closing the door silently after her, he paused. In a moment of deep thought, he rationalized talking this women out of coming to work with the Kestanzias. His sympathy already her’s for the fear and terror of being in a new place shown in her eyes like a neon sign. Shaking himself, he muttered,
“Ah, well, it is her load to bear. I will not see her often as it is.”
Walking around the tan car with it’s darkened windows, he slid into the drivers seat and turned the engine over. The silent purr of the engine made his heart soar as usual. The simple joy of driving well kept and sleek vehicles was his private hobby. Flicking a glance in the rear view a moment, he turned his head and said,
“There’s water in the console beside you, ma’am. Please, make yourself at home. We’ll arrive at the Kestanzias estate in 30 minutes.”
Without waiting for a response, as he somehow knew expecting one from her would send her into a terror, he merged the car onto the street, leaving the depot behind.
Grateful for the drivers distance from her position in the backseat, she opened the console, and choosing a bottle of chilled water, opened it, drinking it down like a dying woman in a desert. Trying once more to steady herself and catch her minds fearful flitting about. Thinking about how she got here in the first place. She, who couldn’t leave her home, and the mere memory of it sent chills down her spine.
The fear that held her in those same four walls, and trapped her body in one place. For too long she’d let the fear of that night hold her back from her dreams. One day, she got up the nerve to go to the mail box just outside her door. Now 3 years later, she’s in a car, in Baton Rouge, headed to a dream job. A job that landed in her lap and taunted her with it’s pull, giving her almost everything her heart had dreamed for her.
Suddenly the flashes of light, bouncing off of old bottles and jars caught her eye, soaring past her view from the moving vehicle, she scooted closer to the window, and looked out ahead. A slight smile changed her face from one of fear, to a child in awe. The shacks, and fencing broken down and the bottles dotting the fence-line, she wondered what had happened to those who’d lived in those homes. If they still did, where they’d gone. What they’d dreamed. Why those bottles sat there like that.
A low calming voice from the front seat, made her jump, nearly hitting her nose against the cool glass of the door.
“Those homes are now shanties, rarely used except for squatters. It’s a shame, this used to be a fun neighborhood, until the storms hit us hard. Now they sit empty, and useless.”
She hadn’t glanced at him, but he knew she’d heard by the stiff way she held her body. Eyes back on the road, he once again thought she wasn’t the right fit for the Kestanzias. But who was he to mention such things, especially when they might cause her to have a stroke, or other such thing. Flighty as a bird, and scared out of her mind, this one.
Hearing every word, she was thankful for the information, but knew she couldn’t dare ask the one most pressing on her mind: Why those bottles, why those glasses, sitting there like old sentinels on watch in a long forgotten tomb of brokenness?