Welcome to this week's Write It Wednesday! My submission is: below, and the link-up follows. You have until Saturday 11/3 to submit your entries. I can't wait to read your writings!
This week, my inspiration came as a larger idea. So I broke down and wrote three excerpts from the story. Perhaps I will continue to piece together the whole thing!
Laughter filled the air as the party sat around a table. Half-drunken spirits perched amidst the playing cards as smoke hazily fogged the spaces in between. The room was lined with dark wood paneling and dimly lit by only one hanging lamp over the table. The men were dressed in suits, the women in varying colors of cocktail dress. Bryant Joseph, a successful CEO of a trading company, sat back in his chair, observing the crowd. His bald head reflected the overhead lighting, showcasing a round face with dark angular eyebrows. He had a mischievous grin, making him surprisingly attractive. Rubbing his chin thoughtfully with his hand, Bryant’s focus landed on Vivian Livingston.
“Miss Livingston?” Bryant asked assertively through the crowd.
Vivian looked up, a porcelain face under a mop of red curls pinned playfully atop her head. Her red-dressed lips formed a surprised “o” as her lash-framed blue eyes turned to Bryant.
“Yes, Mr. Joseph?” Her reply was flirtatious, despite the fact that she was sitting precariously upon the lap of Reed Blakesly.
‘Well, Miss Livingston, I’d like to ask you a question.” The corner of Bryant’s lip turned up as though he’d just shared a wise quip.
“Ask away, Mr. Joseph,” Vivian turned to address the rest of the table. “Mr. Bryant Joseph has a burning question. I’m sure we’d all love to hear.”
Bryant smirked. “Ok, Miss Livingston. I’d like to know: What would you do with your life if you could live forever?”
His question was met with a giggle. “What wouldn’t I do would be a better question. I’d travel the world, eat frosted treats from the bakery every day, and I’d spend all my money on ridiculous things, of course.” The crowd laughed along with her.
“But, Mr. Joseph,” she went on, “as nice as that thought is, it’s frivolous to discuss. Because there is a cycle to life. We are born, we live. And some day we have to leave this world. It’s just how things work. So why talk about things that will never be? We all have to die someday, isn’t that right?”
“Well,” Bryant started, the smirk widening on his face, “What if you didn’t have to?”
Vivian closed the brown trench coat tighter as she quickly left the building, throwing herself into the cold winter air. The sky was grey, heavy with clouds that she could just make out thanks to the street lights glowing through the night. Her hand rested on a hard cylinder beneath her coat. Vivian held on tightly to what would be her literal lifeblood as her heels clickity-clacked, block after block.
42nd Street, 41st Street, 40th Street. Vivian made her way south toward the river. Every once in awhile she glanced back, knowing any moment they would realize what was missing. Then they would alert the Guard. The Guard would know to look for her. She knew her time was limited.
The wind whipped through the city streets, flooding her with an invisible sense of urgency. With each step she drew closer to her destination, yet it seemed so far away. Cars passed, unknowing the weight of past events and events that were about to transpire. Everything would change. Life, as it was known, would no longer be the same. Or, rather, go back to how it used to be.
Vivians red curls fell into her face, and she used her free hand to impatiently sweep them away. Her face as porcelain as it has always been and her slender hands, unmarred. The glint of her engagement ring momentarily distracted her.
If there was any doubt in her mind, any waivering, the mere thought of William brought Vivian back to her senses. She knew in her heart that her motives were part selfish; she was doing this to save herself. But everything in Vivian’s being was set on saving William. This was not truly for her, but for him. For them.
And the rest of the world.
With new resolve, she quickened her pace, and found the Narrows Bridge up ahead. Lying on the outskirts of the city, the area leading up to the bridge was desolate. It was Saturday evening, and everyone was enjoying dinner at fancy restaurants and shows at upscale theatres. In the suburbs, mothers and fathers were settling children into warm beds.
Yes, Vivian thought. I am doing this for us all. This is no way to live. We were meant for better things than this.
Step by step, Vivian made her way to the bridge’s pedestrian walkway. The Narrow’s Bridge connected two parts of the expansive city, and the walkway was a scenic path over the Vansant River.
The scene was picturesque. Both sides of the city were gleaming with lights, and there was the constant bustling of cars and people along the interwoven streets. At the center of the bridge, Vivian could look out over the river. It seemed to stretch for infinity.
Infinity, Vivian scorned. Forever.
Slowly, she untied the belt of her coat, and carefully unearthed the cylinder she had promised to protect. Shaking it ever so slightly, she could hear the rattle of the tiny granules, hit the sides of the container. Like sand in an hourglass, ticking away every hour until there is nothing left. Tiny granules of life, stolen for profit, unconcerned for the future repercussions.
Because if you could live forever you had it all, right?
Shaking her head in defiance of the thought, Vivian untwisted the metal lid. I will make this right, she promised. This is the better way. They can’t enslave us anymore. Somewhere in the distance, the faint sound of an alarm pricked her ears. It was time. Pushing her hand out away from the safety of the bridge and over the water, Vivian looked left and right, sensing the Guard would be moments from locating her. With heart palpitating, she slowly turned her wrist, and watched the white sand-like grains tumble toward the edge of the cylinder. With force, she turned the container completely, emptying it of it’s contents.
The granules created a cloud as they fell gracefully toward the water. It could have been snow with the way the wind stole them to dance. Vivian watched until the cloud dissolved into nothingness.
She knew her job was complete.
They watched as the sun dipped low over the purple mountains. From the wooden front porch, they watched the sunset each night, a mark of time passing. He reached out for her hand, a familiar movement that he did almost without thinking. Her skin was soft, forming paper-thin ridges along her long slender fingers. Reaching up with his other hand, he touched her cheek. Her cheeks were now full, no longer taut but still rosy. The curls that fell upon her forehead were silver, but suggested that at one time not long ago they were the color of rust. He knew her eyes, blue as ever, saw the lines of an old man when they looked upon him. But William would not trade the finality of his life for anything.
Freedom was priceless.
Lines formed at the corners of her face as she smiled at him. Vivian would be known as heroine to generations to come. Generations that would now have a true history, and would never know a life with no end.
She patted his hand, “I love you.”
Without hesitation, he responded, “Always.”
If you missed the last few Write It Wednesdays, you can read the past submissions here.