January 9, 2014

January 9th, 2014 StoryStarter prompt: Darkened streets can tempt young men's hearts like the arms of a wanton seductress...

Oswald kept his head down. Don't make eye contact, he repeated to himself. 

Oswald's family had been living in Springdale for three weeks and he never was quite able to relax. The all-but-abandoned factory town had become home to some of the poorest and roughest people in Fillmore County. When his father had been unable to work after his accident, his mother took a job at Springdale Hospital. The wages were damn good because nobody wanted anything to do with the slum-like area, and the hospital had to pay the nurses and doctors more money just to get them to come to work there.

Oswald worked at the hospital, too. He worked as a janitor on the overnight shift. He went in most nights at six and went home the next morning at six. The job itself wasn't bad. The money was decent, and he was able to help contribute to the household expenses. It wasn't exactly how he'd planned to live after high school, but it's how things turned out. 

At nineteen, Oswald's dream of going to college had gone up in smoke the same way his father's car did the night of the crash. Oswald tried not to be bitter, he knew it wasn't his dad's fault. He'd merely been in the wrong place at the wrong time when he was run off the road by a drunk driver.

Oswald should have taken the long way home, through a slightly better, more populated neighborhood. He normally avoided the shorter route, which took him through an area full of junkies, prostitutes, and thugs ready to pounce at any given moment. Oswald was dog-tired this morning, so he braved the boarded-up neighborhood, aptly called Chance's Row. 

He tried not to notice when she fell into step beside him. He kept walking, head down, one foot in front of the other as he went. Suddenly she moved in front of him, blocking his path. He stopped and his eyes drifted up from her feet, skimming over black-clad body, finally landing on her face.

"Darkened streets can tempt young men's hearts like the arms of a wanton seductress," she said huskily with a voice as dark as the aura around her.

 "I'm just passing through. I'm on my way home. I don't have any money on me," Oswald told the woman.

She laughed and told him, "Don't worry, kid it's not your money I want."

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Lori L. Clark

Lori L. Clark currently resides in Hazelwood, MO with three rescue dogs. When Lori isn't listening to the voices in her head, waiting for the next creative inspiration to strike, she also loves to read, run, paint pet portraits and save dogs. Email Lori at

1 comment:

  1. I love these piece. I left a comment on google +


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