Sleeves Up

Avatar Author: 32 ^2 Old Profile 32 Squared Read Bio

We sit on a fire escape, as if an opera box, on ladder-back chairs with green leather seats. She’s at my left, a woman I don’t know, her left leg crosses over her right, her left ankle rests on my shins, exposed by the slit of my untamed hotel robe. Her right arm drapes across my chair’s back, her left hand lays on my left shoulder, like a Fall leaf.

Her lips lean in close to my left lobe, her whisper tickles the hairs lining my canal. “Do you see what I see? His sleeves are rolled up. No, that can’t be good.”

Across the alley, my hotel room’s window plays on. It’s fabric is drawn aside, exposing my sleeping wife’s silky back, as she dreams of diving sparrows. Our room waiter stands at the bed’s foot, surrounded by an early light as it spills over his brow. In his naked hands, he holds up my robe’s belt, pulling it tight, testing it’s strength.

The handsome figure turns his head, meeting my captor’s gaze, waiting for a nod. She whispers again: “Your hotel serves a wonderful continental breakfast…"

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Oh no! This story doesn't have a prequel. Want to fill in the blanks and write one?

Comments (10 so far!)

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  1. Avatar

    Threw me for a couple loops, I didn’t know what I was reading. Actually, still not sure – could be thriller, could be a kinky sexcapade, etc. But the description is spectacular.

  2. Avatar In Night's Arms

    I admit I’m a little lost as well. Seems intentional, like you’re setting up a sequel that could go so many directions. If that’s the case, quite well done.

  3. Avatar 32 ^2

    Thanks Mark & INA!

    I spent time setting the scene on the fire escape. I toyed with only mentioning one persons physical position, forcing you to calculate how my protagonist is sitting, like describing only one puzzle piece. Maybe I went overboard on that issue. But, I played the scene with my partner, he played the woman and followed the “steps” in my piece, it worked perfectly and he loved the story. He said it the kind you have to read a line, then close your eyes to imagine what you’ve just read, which is a good critique in of itself.

  4. Avatar 32 ^2

    Made some changes, threw an opera theme in the mix.

  5. Avatar Robert Quick

    Ah, so this is where that challenge went. Well it seems to have found a good home here. The present tense is obviously intentional but it makes me uncomfortable. Maybe that’s more me than you. Maybe that’s what good writing is supposed to do.

  6. Avatar Robert Quick

    Oops. I forgot. Excellent descriptions and there are just so many openings and hooks for future installments. Who is cheating on who? Has there been a murder? Why is there a captor? Well done.

  7. Avatar 32 ^2

    @ Robert: YES! Why, Why? WHY?!!

  8. Ahfl_icon THX 0477

    Dark and intriguing. I can see why Elsha threw on a sequel. Great scene and idea. It’s a bit like ‘Rear Window’ in that voyeuristic sense.

  9. Avatar Abby (LoA)

    I knew from the first line that this would be good. Nice use of first person and present tense, always an interesting combination (and my favourite.) It’s very clever! And almost dream like. Such a great opening! Ooh I’m all excited!

  10. Avatar zxvasdf

    You didn’t go overboard. Great Job. I’m afraid to sequel!