Hello readers! I did a lot better with Wordbound this week. I have actual writing to share, yay! The prompt this week was to put a character in an abandoned building or space.
I was originally going to have this scene take place in the dorms, but I like what I wrote instead so much better. The scene got really long and started to turn into its own chapter, so I’m just posting part of it. You’ll have to guess what happens next!
This is a scene that takes place earlier on in the story than some of the stuff I’ve posted recently. For anyone who would like, I could really use some feedback on whether Andrew and Amelia are at all likable. I of course want my readers to like my narrator, because otherwise reading this story wouldn’t be any fun. But I also need Andrew to be likable enough, at least at first, so that it makes sense why Amelia wants to be with him. Any thoughts? Constructive criticism is welcome and appreciated!
After our spontaneous trip to the record store, I became somewhat obsessed with the possibility of hanging out with him again. Every day after classes, I would settle into the sofa in the lounge with my laptop or a book and kill time until he showed up. Most days, he never did. Some days he stopped in to say hi or complain about his class. One time, he was eating pretzels and offered me some. I would get to see him other times in other places – eating dinner with other people from our hall, studying in a group, going to the autumn dance recital – but we’re never alone and it’s not the same, not like it was in the record store.
Finally, after weeks of perseverance, my efforts paid off. It was a Friday and I was giving up for the afternoon. Normally, if he were going to show up, he would have by now. I packed up my stuff and headed back down the hall towards my room.
“Hey, Amelia! Aren’t you coming?” It’s him. I had to make a conscious effort not to turn around too fast and give myself away.
“Coming where?” I asked in the most even toned voice I could muster with my heart beating a million miles a minute.
“A whole bunch of us our going on an adventure,” Andrew replied. “So are you coming or what?”
“Um, I guess…”
“Oh, come on, we’ll have fun!” There is one part of that sentence that jumped out at me. We. I’ve wanted so badly to be a we with him.
“Yeah, okay, just let me drop my stuff off and get a jacket.”
I strode the rest of the way back to my room, dumped my books on the bed, shoved my wallet and phone into my pockets, threw on my windbreaker, and turned around to bolt back to where I left Andrew, only to find him leaning in the doorway with a sly grin on his face. His eyes had found the drawings on Cassie’s desk.
“They’re Cassie’s,” I was nearly paralyzed with embarrassment.
“Of you.” Thank you Captain Obvious.
“Just my face, the rest is the model from her art class. She said she didn’t want to draw the model’s face though, mine was more interesting.” I watched him give me an appraising look while I explained.
“I bet all of you is more interesting…” Our eyes met, and then after a few long seconds, “Shall we?” He stepped aside and held open the door. I used the short walk down the hall towards the rest of the group to remind myself how to breathe.
It was a drizzly afternoon. We all trudged along with our hoods up. I still didn’t know where we were going, but found that I was so distracted in my own daydreams that I couldn’t be bothered to ask. We walked for maybe a mile outside of town until I realized where we must be headed.
“Wait, are we going to the high school?” I asked to no one in particular. Kevin fell into step with me in response.
“Yeah, sort of. You know how the high school used to be part of the old college? Like, before the 1900s when we moved to the new campus, some of the buildings that make up the high school now used to be the college library and stuff. They kept those buildings and kind of added on parts to connect them together, but the rest of the buildings were torn down.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard about that.” I did know that the old campus was where the high school is now, but I had no idea that parts of the high school were the original buildings. No wonder the thing looked like a mosaic of architectural styles.
“Well, back in like 1870 or something, there were so many blizzards that students stopped being able to go to classes, so they built tunnels underground that connected all the buildings,” Kevin explained
“And the tunnels are still there?” I was now pretty sure of where we were headed.
“Yep! Mostly people forgot about them, but some senior guy in Lauren’s Shakespeare class told her how to get in.”
It was Lauren’s turn to chime in now. “He was totally just trying to impress me. I think he wanted to show me so he could get me somewhere private and dark to make out with me.”
“Joke’s on him,” Lizzie said, slipping her arm through Lauren’s, “He shouldn’t have told you where the entrance was if he wanted to take you there himself.”
“Well, that, and I never would have fallen for it anyway on account of I have a girlfriend,” Lauren said matter-of-factly. Lizzie practically beamed and planted a quick kiss on Lauren’s cheek. I felt a little twinge of envy go through me. I want that, I thought.
The school had let out hours ago, and the sun was just starting to set. We went around to the back of the school and found a set of stairs leading down to a basement door that was unlocked. We went through and found ourselves in the bottom of a stairwell. We kept quiet in case there were any teachers still roaming the halls. Lauren pointed to the wall on the left at a closet door. Kevin got out his lockpicks and got to work. It was less than a minute later when I realized that the door wasn’t a closet at all. It was another set of stairs, these ones much older, and heading down. We filed in and shut the door behind us, then crept down the stairs. Once we were sure that we were out of earshot of anyone in the building upstairs, we allowed ourselves to react to our success. Catherine jumped up and down laughing, Lauren and Lizzie kissed, Kevin bragged about his lock picking skills, Jake and Olivia did a little happy dance and I couldn’t help but join in. When we had calmed down, it was time to decide which way to go. We felt around in the dark for our phones and turned on the flashlight settings. The ever-prepared Olivia had a flashlight keychain that emitted a surprisingly strong beam of light. Once illuminated, we could see that we were standing at an intersection of sorts.