This week’s Red Writing Hood writing prompt was to write only a 400 word post using the following picture for inspiration. Usually I focus on non-fiction writing, but this week I thought I would try something different and write fiction. It took me forever to figure out where I wanted to start, so of course, I missed the opportunity to link up with everyone else. But here it is anyway:
Sweat and suntan lotion trickled down Nina’s face, stinging her eyes. She blinked back tears, trying to take inventory of the crooked stacks of boxes and blanketed furniture. The storage unit was small and hot. She couldn’t afford the air-conditioned units. She probably couldn’t even afford this sauna, but she wasn’t willing to give up everything, just yet. The Texas heat hung low in the air, making it hard to breathe easily, each breath labored and shallow. Nina slumped to the concrete floor, absorbing the cool contrast, hiding behind memories and disappointments.
“Where the hell is my ride?” she thought, glancing at her watch, sipping her oversized sweet tea.
The ice had melted hours ago, leaving a much watered down version of the original libation. Nina’s stomach rumbled angrily, reminding her that a .99 cent taco was not enough sustenance to last a whole day. She dug deep into her wrinkled shorts’ pocket, counting the last few dollars before pay-day. Her hands were swollen and sore, a white line tattooing her left ring finger stood out against the brown sugar of her skin. Forty bucks, which was all she had for the next week, would have to cover gas, groceries and diapers.
She set the tea down, stretched her legs out in front of her and tightened her long dark mahogany pony-tail, increasing the tension in her temples. These last five years had been exhausting. Nina closed her eyes, rested her head against the hard metal garage door frame, and listened to the buzz of traffic zipping down the highway. Just on the other side of the highway loomed a tall glass office building where she met her attorney the week before. His harsh words still echoed in her mind.
“All you can do is wait for something worse to happen. Document everything.”
Popping gravel and the sharp squeal of brakes broke the stillness. Nina sat up, saw a car door swing open; muscular calves jumped out of the car.
“What took you so long?” Nina snapped.
“I did a little investigating,” smiled Ronnie, holding up a zip-lock bag full of undeveloped film.
Nina stared blankly at Ronnie’s confiscations.
“Whatever he is hiding,” Ronnie said. “We’ll find it. I took the film from a shoebox in his closet and this,” Ronnie continued, waving a green motherboard in the air, “this I took out of his computer.”