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Hand Full of Pennies


The prompt today sparked a firestorm of thought for me. I have a full blown plot/situation now revolving around Kerry and her sister, Liz. I don't know when I'll get to finish it, but I've made notes and will be sure to let you know when it's through. Who knows, if I can get to it and it's not too massive, I might include it in my upcoming book of short stories.

The prompt was a partial opening sentence: "One smell, and Kerry knew that today was the first day of a new...". The objective was to take this line and run with it. Well, what I have below is only a small portion of something much larger.

Anyway, here is, what I'll probably use as the prologue for that larger project:

Hand Full of Pennies

One smell, and Kerry knew that today was the first day of a new disaster.

It really didn’t start that way though—no, the day started perfect. A stream of happy morning sunlight peeked through the curtains, waking her from the best sleep she’d had in quite a while. It’s a Saturday, and her alarm is off, so she’d been looking forward to sleeping in at least till nine—maybe even ten. But the sunlight filtering into the dark room, woke her and disappointed her only slightly as she rose to a world of silence.

The house felt normal at first. The coffee pot, set on automatic, should already be dripping that dark liquid and she could already taste its bitter goodness.

Stepping into the shower, she turned the hot water up until it was just this side of unbearable. Afterward, wiping a slash of mist from the mirror, she studied the face looking back at her. Long, stringy brown hair framed her cheeks, reminding her of that creepy girl that crawled from the well in that stupid horror movie her sister, Liz, drug her to all those years ago. Without makeup, the skin was almost translucent—ghost-like, and she took a few moments to marvel at the slight bluish tent of veins roped together beneath the surface.

For a deaf-mute, someone that relied more heavily on sight and smell, she was surprised to feel that she didn’t know the face looking back at her from the silvery mirror’s surface. She was a stranger to herself and always had been. It was nothing new to her.

Refusing to dwell on this face, she wrapped herself in a robe and proceeded to the kitchen, only to stop in the living room in petrified horror. The smell stopped her—not the smell of coffee, but something more rich, heavy, coppery—it brought back memories of her and her sister counting handfuls of pennies, placing them in piles of fifty so they could wrap them and take them to the store with Momma later in the week. What Kerry thought was just dampness from her wet feet soaking into the carpet turned out to be something else entirely—she was standing in a pool of blood.

- CJT

September 12, 2018


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