I should be editing but had an idea for Sacha Black’s writing prompt (yep, I blame Sacha). This week it’s a story about something that isn’t as it seems, preconceived ideas and prejudice, in less than 200 words.
The bus is late. Warily, I watch the lad in the hoodie leaning in a doorway at the other side of the road. He takes a drag of his cigarette then spits on the ground. A little old lady with a stick and a big dog has to push past him to get out of her front door. She struggles with stick, key and dog to lock up.
The lad in the hoodie tosses away his cigarette. His voice raps out sharp words. The old lady quavers something and yanks on the dog’s lead. The dog reacts slowly. It’s fat. She yanks again. The dog limps, dragging a lame leg. She shouts, shrill and imperious. The stick whips up and down, and the dog screams.
The lad leaps after her and grabs the stick. The old lady shrieks abuse and people start to drift over. The lad throws the stick into the road and storms over to my bus stop.
He is young, fragile, eyes full of hurt. He stuffs his trembling hands into his pockets and watches as the old woman, still vociferating, moves off down the street. The dog turns, his eyes, like the boy’s full of misery.