Today’s prompt focuses on character needs. Below is the start of a story that I will likely revisit it later. Like it if you would like to know what happens next.
The winter had been too long and too hard. The sun promised daily a bit of warmth to unfreeze her bones, but those promises remained unfulfilled. She could not fucking take this anymore. Why did she ever think she could make a life where it snowed after a childhood of sunshine and sweat? She did not want to move back home, but she could not take another winter. Not like this.
The wind cut threw her coat. She pulled it closer around her neck and tucked her scarf in. Neither of which did anything to stop the Fifth Avenue wind tunnel from chilling freezing her further. She grunted her anger and ran across the street, flipping a mittened bird at the car that laid on its horn and barely missed hitting her. Assholes in a heated car need to stay out of her way.
She could ask for time off and go somewhere, but her travel fund had been decimated from last summer’s gay wedding season. Did no one want to get married in the City? She could throw it on a credit card and worry about it later. As she started to reject that idea, her foot slipped and she crashed her ass in to the pavement.
“WHO DIDN’T FUCKING SALT THE SIDEWALK?” A doorman from two doors down was already next to her, helping her up. She grudgingly accepted, not wanting to slip again. “Thank you. I’m fine.” She waved him off. If it were summer, she would be nicer. Three more blocks and she reached her building, She peeled away her winter skin, put on her pumps, and nodded to the security desk people before heading up to her office, limping slightly from the fall. Winter can kiss her ass.
She had a new article to edit waiting for her. One of their contributors wrote a short piece on sun god sculpture. Great, another reminder that the sun was not doing its job outside.
She knew about Ra and, of course, Apollo and chariots across the sky. The article did not do anything interesting. She finished her edits in near record time. Muttering, “too bad we can’t get them to take care of this fucking winter,” she hit send to email the author for approval of her changes.
As she snuggled into her comforter, warming it with her body, her mind slipped over the day’s events into fantasies of beaches and then slid unconscious where a visitor waited. The energy was power and light, and even in dream, she could not look directly at them. Neither male nor female and composed of various interpretations of the sun, as if the ancients had each found a piece of the truth and embellished the rest. No single culture was given the whole god.
Winter will leave when it’s cold heart is sacrificed to me.
The visitor was gone, but the dream wound its way around the words, shrinking and ballooning them through the night. Her mind explained their meaning in thousands of scenes as she slept. She woke to the cold sun with sacrifice on her lips.
The Russian answered the door to his rotting home in his black fur coat. Bald patches had worn into the elbows and along his ass. He saved so much money in winter with this coat. The heat of the summer was unbearable, but the New York winter was easy.
At the door, a young woman looked at him with delicate but wild eyes. “Do you not put the heat on?”
“No.” He answered unsure of why she would need to ask. She reached out, flicked something in her hand, and a flame shot up and touched his coat. The fire spread up to his face, lighting his beard, and he staggered back. His brain caught up to the events, and he dropped to roll out the fire and try to get the coat off.
The woman watched and touched the lighter to the frayed rug that ran from the entryway to the carpet where the Russian started to scream. She tossed the lighter in a perfect arc to land on the floor beneath his ashtray, closed the door and went home.
“… and today’s weather is unseasonably warm. We are looking at highs in the 80s with partly cloudy skies all day. But don’t put away your winter coats just yet, because this weather will likely not last long.”
NPR was the best way to wake up, she thought. She rolled over to hit snooze and realized she was sweating under the comforter. The announcer’s words registered. Eighty degrees were her favorite degrees. She jumped out of bed and ran to take a quick shower. Her hair had a hint of smoke clinging to it, and she scrubbed it out with her rosemary scented conditioner.
After the cool shower, she dug into the back of her closet for her breezy skirts and her sandals. She giggled into the mirror as she spun around, feeling how free her limbs were. Outside the breeze brushed against her skin. People were smiling. Women were laughing, “I thought I had a few more months of no shaving!” The subway was hot, but the subway was never going to cooperate.
She practically skipped into work. No one asked why she was in such a good mood, because everyone felt suddenly free. They would never guess that her joy was coupled with pride. She did this.