out of nowhere (a complete scene in less than 500 words)Posted: June 23, 2009
A knock on the door.
Marshall stumbles toward it, shaking off the rust of a night spent asleep, and nearly tripping over scattered sneakers. He reaches for the door, the cold metal of it providing a sufficient jolt to open his eyes halfway. A turn and a creak reveals the image of a woman who he has never seen alone, donning a bright blue shirt and tattered gray jeans. Marshall holds the door open, his eyes confused. “Hi.” She speaks.
“Steph?” Marshall rests his arm on the worn wooden doorframe, lazily staring out onto her visage and the bright light of the sun surrounding her, the wind ever so gently tousling dirty blonde locks of hair in an eastward direction. He checks the appearance of the day, it seems to be sometime before midday. The heat from the outside permeates inwards, overtaking the artificially cooled atmosphere within the confines of a smallish home. The light aroma of nicotine suggests that he has been smoking, the even lighter sound of music suggests that Marshall is currently the sole being within the home. Stephanie clears her throat before speaking, her eyes gazing intently at his.
“I know you know me as Steph.” She pauses, “That one girl who’s always around but never really made an effort to get to know you. Tim’s old friend who he shoehorned into various situations.” Marshall reluctantly, nonverbally, agrees. “But, I’m here as Stephanie, an actual person, not some friend by extension, not that one girl who’s there just because.” She continues, “You know?” The implied message was obvious to both of them, as if it had been long since buried under formalities and the awkward distance between those unwilling to face the truth.
“Are you sure you want to do this?” Marshall asks, a final time. She takes a step forward, her body now less than a foot away from his.
The door closes, leaving only a lonely doorstep and a markedly more interesting afternoon.