Prompt: A picture was of a dark cobbled alleyway, with a single streetlamp eliminating it.
Something had begun to settle on his shoulders, slowly creeping its way through his entire body, like a tidal wave gradually drawing back into the sea. Something dark and sinister was lurking. He could feel it in the air. The atmosphere was rapidly changing. Noises became more magnified, the slightest of sounds making him jump. Without warning a cloud of blackness had descended on an otherwise perfect day. As he walked down the path all his senses became heightened, he started to pick at his birth mark on his right elbow. He was alone and there was nothing he could do about it.
Joe hated finding himself in isolated situations that he wasn’t in control of, because it simply meant that he had no other choice but to show his vulnerability. Thoughts that he had tucked away in the back of his mind began to slither their way to the fore front. It felt as if he was suspended in time. He came to a stop and swiftly took a snapshot of his surroundings. When he turned his head to the left his silhouette stood over him in a menacing stance, making him shrink into himself. When he turned to his right, his eyes rested upon the bumpy base of a tree and traveled all the way up where the leaves danced in the breeze. Joe had no one with him and the cobbled walkway seemed to be endless. The only company he had was his thoughts and the omnipresent sense of foreboding. There was barely any light to illuminate his steps expect one streetlight that shone in the distance like an unattainable spotlight.
He couldn’t figure out why today was unlike previous days he had; Joe regretted the fact that he decided to decline the offer to get a lift home. He usually never turned offers down; he relished people being in his company – just so they could see how awesome he was but for some reason, as he left the vast world that was Manchester University and walked through the gates into the hustle and bustle of the City, there was something that compelled up him to say no.
As he continued to walk along the cobbled path, Jonathan found himself pondering life and how far he had come. There were so many things to be grateful for; he loved his job, he loved performing and even though he wasn’t on Broadway yet, he had the steely determination to know that he would get there one day. He was acutely aware that when some people looked at him they quickly came to the conclusion that he was shallow and self-centered, not realising that it could not be further away from the truth. From an early age Joe learnt how to conceal true emotions and block out the negative things that happened to him by being the flamboyant character person witness whenever they come into contact with him. The mistreatment he endured could have had a destructive effect on him but he never let it show and the armor he donned expressed what people saw outwardly.
He hadn’t even realised he how far down the path he had gotten. The journey seemed to take forever. Because he was so lost in thought he hadn’t took in how far he’d come.
He didn’t see it coming. As he was coming toward the lamppost that bore down on him, two hooded figures emerged and grabbed him by the arms, in a blink of an eye blocked off his proverbial vision. They dragged him back down into the alley. The two assailants started to taunt him aggressively, “You’re gunna get what comin’ to ya, I can promise you that!” one said. “Today is gunna be a day you will never forget!” the second one added, as they continued.
By this point Joe had no idea what was happening or why. He was too petrified to speak. To petrified to fight back. He silently prayed that he would get through this ordeal just so he could prove that you could never keep him down never matter the circumstance. He started to shiver, unaware of the cold till now. Suddenly he screamed,
“PLEASE! LET ME GO! I’ll give you anything you want.” Despite his pleads he got no response. He couldn’t even make out their faces all he was judging was the sound of their voices and their feet as they trampled on him. The first man, Joe assumed, was from the east end of London because he affected a strong cockney accent, in fact he sounded just like his friend Simon. ‘No, it couldn’t be.’ he thought. He was allowing his mind to run away with him. He quickly dismissed the notion. The second man seemed to be lighter on his feet from the quite tap, tap, tap of his shoes hitting the pavement. Joe couldn’t allow the fear that enveloped him to be all consuming. He wouldn’t allow it to win.
When looking at the image I immediately thought- dark and sinister. It reminded me of a scene in Lee Child’s Book Bad Luck and Trouble where his main character had been described as walking down a path when he ran into trouble. The image that I saw was what imagine the alley would look like – so the draft I wrote I wanted to have the same characteristics.
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