"Risk" a 31 sentence story

A couple of weeks ago I tried the 31 sentence contest and I loved it so much I decided to contribute to the prize pool. Therefore, this is not an entry to the contest (I am excluding myself from any prizes) although I hope I have followed all the rules and you enjoy reading it.

If you want to enter @tristancarax’s fun contest you better hurry as today is the last day, but there will be another one announced shortly!

Here is the link to his contest. https://peakd.com/creativecoin/@tristancarax/the-31-sentence-contest-round-19

The rules are that you have to write a story based on the picture prompt using the exact number of words prescribed in each sentence. This week the sequence is

20, 24, 6, 27, 28, 4, 11, 30, 16, 21, 31, 19, 12, 13, 17, 26, 15, 29, 10, 7, 22, 25, 2, 18, 3, 8, 9, 23, 1, 5, 14

(so the first sentence should contain 20 words, the second 24, etc, etc)

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The watery moon cast enough silver light to avoid slipping in the piles of dog shit that littered the pavement. Occasionally, he would lift his eyes from the ground, flitting to the bushes that lined the path down the steps to the seafront promenade. If seen he’d be done for.

It was a risk coming out like this - after curfew and without a permission slip - and if he was caught again he would likely be locked up.

Something rustled in the bushes and he stopped suddenly, his breath held, his heart thumping so hard in his chest it could be heard above the pounding waves. A cat ran past. He took a deep breath of salty ocean air and waited. There was silence - aside from the beating of his heart, his shallow breathing and the crash of the waves against the rock - and nothing else moved in the moonlit night.

He continued along the path, moving more rapidly, now, almost running down towards the empty parade. Not so long ago the promenade would have been crowded - even at this hour - bustling with people talking, laughing, eating, drinking. He remembered staying up all night sharing a cheap bottle of cider and a ten pack of cigarettes, munching pies, fresh from the bakery, watching the morning light caress the sea. He remembered holding her, the peculiar odour of her hair - apple-scented shampoo, cigarettes and sea salt - filling his nostrils.

It seemed like a lifetime ago, yet it was only last year.

He couldn’t see her and for a moment he thought she wouldn’t come. Perhaps, she had been caught by one of the Guardians trying to sneak out of the house. Staring into the gloom of the shuttered shops, as he passed, he hoped to see her familiar silhouette break free of the shadows, arms open wide.

It was by the Seaview Bakery that he caught her scent, carried by the wind. He heard her laugh and, again, his heart began to beat faster - this time from excitement and anticipation rather than fear - and he almost stumbled when he saw her.

“I’ve missed you,” he said, his mouth against her ear.

“I thought you weren’t coming,” she breathed.

His mouth found hers and they kissed, their bodies pressed tightly together and for one moment he felt they were one being.

His eyes firmly shut, he couldn’t be sure how long they were entwined like that - it may have been hours or, perhaps, a few seconds.

“What’s that?”

It was she who broke away first pushing him lightly away, and he saw alarm in her eyes.

“What is what?”

But then he heard the sound of boots. He pulled her close as light stung his eyes. Then they came, the Guardians with their huge guns, shouting, through their thick rubber masks, to “get the fuck down on the ground!”


They dropped to their knees. He clung to her as long as he could before he was dragged away.

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You have garnered support from the @bananafish community. We appreciate your fine work and hope that you will continue to produce awesome content for us to feast our minds on.

Wow!! You've mastered the word count and sentence number thing and then some!
I love the opening lines, the cat, the meeting - and HATE the ending - which reminds me of a ludicrous news item that just sets my teeth on edge. In New York, dozens of people have faced action for illegally congregating.

In one recent case reported by the Intercept, a woman said she was in a parking lot with her boyfriend when she was arrested and then held in a cell with two dozen other women for 36 hours. The arresting officers, more than 1,000 of whose co-workers have tested positive for COVID-19, reportedly were not wearing masks.

Your story takes that to a chilling new level - and I no longer find comfort in the belief it's "just" fiction. -_-

That's a skillful piece of story telling!
How do you go about the process - do you plan it or does it flow?

It started out so sweet and then ended with a tragedy. I'm crying.

This piece reminded me a lot of "V for Vendetta."