A Story by Michael Coleman

This is my first piece of creative writing since high school (it's been about 7 years!). Writing had always been a fond hobby of mine when I was young and I recently decided to pick it up again.


“Ladies and gentleman, the Captain has indicated that we have begun our initial decent into the greater Houston area.  In preparation for landing, please assist your cabin crew by placing seat backs and tray tables into their upright and locked positions…”

The landing speech had become her lullaby. Flying was the one aspect of her work life that she readily embraced. The changing scenery of cities and hotels required more time to accept.

She wedged her index finger beneath the window shade and nudged it up halfway - allowing just enough clearance for the drooping amarillo light to tease her eyes awake.

“Welcome to George Bush Intercontinental Airport. The current temperature is 92 degrees. For connecting gate information, please…”

Phone already in hand and airplane mode toggled off, she waited in teenage-like anticipation for delayed message notifications to populate. None did. She instead studied the home screen picture of her two best friends splashing in the quad fountain still cloaked in their black, frumpy gowns; a construction worker is seen gawking in the distance.

“Give it some time,” she reminded herself. “You just moved here. You’ll meet people.”

Her suitcase was one of the first to appear through the baggage claim entrance, its orange “Priority” tag conveniently suspended over the edge of the conveyor belt.

“Need some help with that, miss?”

“Ehm…I think I’ve got it, but thank you” she spouted, surprised by the offer. “Just a bag full of pills.”


She finally glanced up toward a voice belonging to a middle-aged man of medium stature. With heels she’d be taller. His flaxen hair swirled oddly around the crown of his head as though he had been wearing a hat not long before.

“Pharmaceutical rep.” She smiled benignly and walked toward the terminal exit.

His check muscles contoured upward, almost indistinguishably, but enough so that his eyes contracted ever so slightly in focus. Locked in. But she didn’t notice.

The automatic exit doors whisked opened and an unforgivable wave of Texas heat plastered her skin. She wiped her forehead with the back of her right hand as droplets of sweat began to form. The contrasting coolness of her mother’s torc bracelet provided temporary relief as it grazed across her skin.

The taxi queue was short.

“3454 Monroe, please.” The address still sounded unfamiliar to her, even after five months.

She heaved the suitcase behind her as she climbed the staircase to her second floor apartment. Too cumbersome for her control, it rammed into her ankle after each step, beginning to chafe the skin. The open-aired hallway was void and musky and the suitcase wheels hummed and clicked as they moved along the concrete floor.

Her apartment remained just as she had left it earlier in the week: empty. It wasn’t until she moved in that she realized how few belongings she had now that she lived alone. At least the assortment of picture frames scattered throughout helped remedy the prickling chill of vacancy that enveloped her. Or so she told herself.

The A/C was turned off - something she did every week before leaving for the airport. She flipped it back on and chuckled pathetically as she did so. Her eyes grew heavy. She lingered to the bedroom and prostrated herself upon the mattress comforter, still dressed. The pillow sheet dampened from her perspiration and she sank tepidly into a deep sleep. 

A noise rustled her awake but she was too disoriented to process it.

Again, louder.

The courtyard? The apartment above?

It was her front door. She could hear clearly now the rattle of her door handle jostling up and down, trying to be opened. She jolted upright and clenched the comforter with both hands, her arms outstretched and uncompromising.  Her body shivered.

Another noise. Something had fallen to the ground just outside the door. Something light, almost hallow, but with enough weight to generate a haunting, fleeting thud.

“Evening, miss.”

© 2013 Michael Coleman

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This is an excellent beginning! I like your style of writing and you introduced the right balance of background information and beginning plot points, keeping everything interesting. I would love to read what happens next!

Posted 6 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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1 Review
Added on July 17, 2013
Last Updated on July 18, 2013
Tags: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller


Michael Coleman
Michael Coleman

Chicago, IL