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As of 28 February 2016, due to decline in my health and chronic illness

Sunday, January 6, 2013

January 6 2013 Short Story Challenge

January 6, 2013 Writing Prompt:

"So are you going to kiss me or should I just call a cab?"

“Stay Off These Mean Streets At Night”

“So: are you going to kiss me—or should I just a cab?”

Jolted, I caught my heel in the floorboard just as I was stepping out of the cab. Before I turned to pay the driver, I straightened up and turned to my left. Down at the corner of the apartment block, I saw a couple standing toe to toe, the woman several inches shorter, smiling up at the man. Oddly, it was he who had spoken, but with jocularity, not with heat. I hesitated for a moment, figuring he could take this cab if he needed it; but when nothing more was said, and the cabbie began grumbling under his breath, I turned around and paid the fare, mumbling “sorry.”

Another glance at the couple, and I recognized my upstairs neighbor, Glenna. Our block was a continuous building, one built in 1903 for a high society industrialist and his family, and it extended from corner to corner and more than halfway back to the parallel avenue. I only knew Glenna because she lived on the fourth floor in the center section; my apartment was second floor same section, and I’d encounter her in the lobby or in the basement laundry or rec room. She did seem to spend a lot of time in the rec room; I’d often notice her playing pool, by herself. That always surprised me—Glenna was a bright blonde, with curls, and a kind of 1920’s Gloria Swanson aura going on, so I’d’ve expected a cloud of suitors surrounding her; but not so.

As I stepped across the sidewalk, walking in half-step because of the busted heel, I stumbled on a pavement chip and the man’s eyes slid toward me, and then beyond me.

“Oh, there goes a cab, guess I could have hailed it. Miss, are you okay?”

He had finally noticed me, probably because I was almost at a 45 degree angle to the sidewalk, but fortunately I was close enough to the railing at the steps to catch myself upright.

“Thanks, I’m fine!”

As I looked toward him to proffer a wave of “see, I’m okay, just clumsy,” I noticed that he still watched me with some concern, but that Glenna continued to ignore me (not a real surprise) and that her smile had widened extensively. She normally had a small, heart-shaped face; as I said, a 20’s style—maybe more Jean Harlow in appearance, but definitely more Gloria Swanson, or even Greta Garbo-I-vish-to-be-alone aura. None of those were the case at the moment. I had taken my first step up when I heard him shout, then scream, and my head spun around, to see Glenna sporting—fangs, and the date (or so I assumed he must have been) spouting red gushers from his throat. Just then, she turned to look at me, and God preserve me, I raced up those steps, pushed open the outer door which thankfully was unlocked (Glenna and that poor man must have just left her apartment), locked it behind me and raced up the staircase. I was so not waiting to be trapped in the elevator, with a vamp—vamp—vampire out on the street behind me, a vampire who lived in my apartment block, who shared the same laundry room, a Jean Harlow-by-day become Bela-Lugosi-by-night…

[to be continued]


  1. Looking forward to seeing if Glenna shows up outside her window....

    I like it! Hope you continue this story.

  2. Leanna, you just gave me chills! Reminds me of a Roy Thinnes movie I saw-must have been way back in the 1960's--of this Dead guy who would appear outside upper-story windows.. Oooohhh, I'm scared of my own story now LOL-
    yes, I'll continue this one, also going to do some more work today on "Final Snowfall," which was the Jan. 4 entry.:)
    thanks again!

  3. Hiya

    I really like the twist on this one. :)

    Great piece.


  4. This is great! I was able to picture everything in my mind's eye. You did great describing things.