Nashville, TN, USA

©2017 by Jen Holloway.

Supernatural Fiction/Sci-Fi

Creative Writing Sample

The air was beginning to carry a chill. Elisabeth’s walk to the diner was almost silent in the gathering dusk. Her rubber-soled shoes made no sound save the occasional crumple of a leaf beneath her feet. The walk from her flat to the diner was twelve blocks through an industrial area that many women would not walk through alone. Elisabeth, however, was not like other women. The earbuds she wore blared Beethoven’s 7th symphony, 2nd movement on this particular day, although, on any given day, it might have been jazz, swing or Motown. The sun still peaked between the buildings here and there and cast an amber hue across the brickwork. With the hood pulled close around her face, and her signature big-framed sunglasses, Elisabeth’s fair skin was safe from Helios’ wrath.
The diner was beginning to fill as she donned her apron and stepped behind the counter. The afternoon shift would be on for another couple of hours as the dinner rush subsided. As the day shift workers made their way home and the night shift finished their breakfast on the way to work, the diner emptied until only the cops and the night owls found their way to it. Elisabeth liked to people watch, and write, and this made nighttime her favorite time at the diner. Anri was the overnight cook. He spoke very little English beyond the menu and kept himself busy most of the time. Like Elisabeth, he always brought his laptop to work, but his side hustle of choice was selling refurbished electronics on auction sites. Still, they had become friends over the past couple of years and sometimes hung out after work. He had helped her move a secondhand chair into her flat in the spring. A guy who will come move furniture for you is a friend worth having, indeed.
The shift went by uneventfully on this particular night. A college student poured over biology books in the corner booth, and Elisabeth poured him cup after cup of java. The beat cops on the overnight came by for their usual. A girl in the middle booth on the 46th Street side read a paperback while she downed a BLT. The only incident of note was a particularly pushy patron who had clearly belted back a few before stumbling in. Elisabeth attracted plenty of attention with her fair skin, dark auburn hair, and pale blue eyes. This guy, though, was more persistent than most. Even Anri took notice. After the fourth attempt at flirting with Elisabeth, Anri called out, “Ty v poryadke?”
“Khorosho, spasibo,” Elisabeth replied, indicating she didn’t need help. She spoke enough Russian for it to be a second shared language between them.
The patron left, and they finished their shift at the diner at four as the breakfast crew arrived. Anri offered to drive Elisabeth home, but she preferred to walk. The walk back to her flat from the diner was always quiet. Occasionally a car would pass, usually cops on patrol, and on the rare occasion, she would pass another pedestrian. She was about three blocks from the diner, and Anri had already turned the corner out of the neighborhood when a figure stepped out from a doorway just ahead of her. It was the guy from the diner. He smiled, hands shoved deep into his jacket pockets.
“Hi, remember me, gorgeous?” He leaned toward her, and she could still smell the bourbon his breath. She hoped it was merely lingering from earlier and that he hadn’t downed more since he’d left the diner earlier. At least if he were further from his last drink, he was less likely to do anything stupid.
“Oh, hi. Sorry, can’t stay and chat, if I don’t get home straight away, my husband will be out looking for me. Have a great night or morning…whatever!” She started to push past him, and he blocked her path.
“Whoa, whoa! You shouldn’t be out here by yourself, huh? What kind of guy would let his woman walk home alone?” His demeanor was still playful, as he skipped backward ahead of her with his hands still shoved deep into his pockets. “Come on Lizzie,” as he said it, she realized he must’ve read her nametag at the diner, “There isn’t really a husband is there? Come on! Give a guy a break! I really like you! You’re the most beautiful girl I ever saw! I’m Billy!” He shoved his hand toward her, trying to get her to take it.
“Okay, you got me. You know, can’t be too careful these days! But listen, I am really beat, and I just want to get home.” She again tried to push past, but this time he grabbed her shoulders and held her fast. He pushed her against a wall next to a recessed stoop.
“Sorry,” he realized how hard he had shoved her back against the wall, “look, sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just want, you know, to talk to you. Won’t you just talk to me? What, you think you’re too good to talk to me?” His face flashed between pleading and anger. Elisabeth knew she was cornered.
“Okay, we can talk,” she smiled in agreement, “we can talk, sure. Let’s get out of this wind, though, yeah?” She nodded in the direction of the recessed stoop. It was on an industrial block, not someone’s apartment building, so there was little chance of anyone happening by. Billy stepped aside into the foyer, his hands still fastened to Elisabeth’s shoulders. A few moments later, Elisabeth emerged from the foyer and looked hastily around before hurrying on her way down the street. In the foyer, behind her, Billy lay crumpled in the corner. He would awaken hours later with a terrible headache, not knowing how he had gotten there. “Asshole! I didn’t want to do that,” she muttered, shaking her head as she walked up the block before turning onto her street.

 

Supernatural Fiction/Sci-Fi

Creative Writing Sample

The air was beginning to carry a chill. Elisabeth’s walk to the diner was almost silent in the gathering dusk. Her rubber-soled shoes made no sound save the occasional crumple of a leaf beneath her feet. The walk from her flat to the diner was twelve blocks through an industrial area that many women would not walk through alone. Elisabeth, however, was not like other women. The earbuds she wore blared Beethoven’s 7th symphony, 2nd movement on this particular day, although, on any given day, it might have been jazz, swing or Motown. The sun still peaked between the buildings here and there and cast an amber hue across the brickwork. With the hood pulled close around her face, and her signature big-framed sunglasses, Elisabeth’s fair skin was safe from Helios’ wrath.
The diner was beginning to fill as she donned her apron and stepped behind the counter. The afternoon shift would be on for another couple of hours as the dinner rush subsided. As the day shift workers made their way home and the night shift finished their breakfast on the way to work, the diner emptied until only the cops and the night owls found their way to it. Elisabeth liked to people watch, and write, and this made nighttime her favorite time at the diner. Anri was the overnight cook. He spoke very little English beyond the menu and kept himself busy most of the time. Like Elisabeth, he always brought his laptop to work, but his side hustle of choice was selling refurbished electronics on auction sites. Still, they had become friends over the past couple of years and sometimes hung out after work. He had helped her move a secondhand chair into her flat in the spring. A guy who will come move furniture for you is a friend worth having, indeed.
The shift went by uneventfully on this particular night. A college student poured over biology books in the corner booth, and Elisabeth poured him cup after cup of java. The beat cops on the overnight came by for their usual. A girl in the middle booth on the 46th Street side read a paperback while she downed a BLT. The only incident of note was a particularly pushy patron who had clearly belted back a few before stumbling in. Elisabeth attracted plenty of attention with her fair skin, dark auburn hair, and pale blue eyes. This guy, though, was more persistent than most. Even Anri took notice. After the fourth attempt at flirting with Elisabeth, Anri called out, “Ty v poryadke?”
“Khorosho, spasibo,” Elisabeth replied, indicating she didn’t need help. She spoke enough Russian for it to be a second shared language between them.
The patron left, and they finished their shift at the diner at four as the breakfast crew arrived. Anri offered to drive Elisabeth home, but she preferred to walk. The walk back to her flat from the diner was always quiet. Occasionally a car would pass, usually cops on patrol, and on the rare occasion, she would pass another pedestrian. She was about three blocks from the diner, and Anri had already turned the corner out of the neighborhood when a figure stepped out from a doorway just ahead of her. It was the guy from the diner. He smiled, hands shoved deep into his jacket pockets.
“Hi, remember me, gorgeous?” He leaned toward her, and she could still smell the bourbon his breath. She hoped it was merely lingering from earlier and that he hadn’t downed more since he’d left the diner earlier. At least if he were further from his last drink, he was less likely to do anything stupid.
“Oh, hi. Sorry, can’t stay and chat, if I don’t get home straight away, my husband will be out looking for me. Have a great night or morning…whatever!” She started to push past him, and he blocked her path.
“Whoa, whoa! You shouldn’t be out here by yourself, huh? What kind of guy would let his woman walk home alone?” His demeanor was still playful, as he skipped backward ahead of her with his hands still shoved deep into his pockets. “Come on Lizzie,” as he said it, she realized he must’ve read her nametag at the diner, “There isn’t really a husband is there? Come on! Give a guy a break! I really like you! You’re the most beautiful girl I ever saw! I’m Billy!” He shoved his hand toward her, trying to get her to take it.
“Okay, you got me. You know, can’t be too careful these days! But listen, I am really beat, and I just want to get home.” She again tried to push past, but this time he grabbed her shoulders and held her fast. He pushed her against a wall next to a recessed stoop.
“Sorry,” he realized how hard he had shoved her back against the wall, “look, sorry, I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just want, you know, to talk to you. Won’t you just talk to me? What, you think you’re too good to talk to me?” His face flashed between pleading and anger. Elisabeth knew she was cornered.
“Okay, we can talk,” she smiled in agreement, “we can talk, sure. Let’s get out of this wind, though, yeah?” She nodded in the direction of the recessed stoop. It was on an industrial block, not someone’s apartment building, so there was little chance of anyone happening by. Billy stepped aside into the foyer, his hands still fastened to Elisabeth’s shoulders. A few moments later, Elisabeth emerged from the foyer and looked hastily around before hurrying on her way down the street. In the foyer, behind her, Billy lay crumpled in the corner. He would awaken hours later with a terrible headache, not knowing how he had gotten there. “Asshole! I didn’t want to do that,” she muttered, shaking her head as she walked up the block before turning onto her street.