The shadows lengthen, creating eerie shapes that stretch and stretch and finally melt together as the sun vanishes behind the buildings. I lift my shoulders against the chill breeze as I step off the main road and into the alley; the shortcut will get me home sooner. I think of Ma’s cooking and my stomach answers with an uncomfortable twist.
Something falls behind me and I glance over my shoulder. Is that the figure of a person? I stop and turn fully. There is no one there. After a moment I continue on my way, my legs carrying me faster this time.
But I’m certain now that there’s a second pair of footsteps, an answering echo to my own hurried gait. When I stop they stop. I feel the heavy weight of watching eyes on me. This time I don’t bother to look behind; I just run.
My feet pound the cobbled pavement and breath fills my lungs in gasps. I round a corner and grab hold of the side of a dumpster, pulling myself behind it. My boots slip on some sticky substance and I hit the ground, but I’m behind the dumpster now, out of sight.
The stink of rotting rubbish fills my nose and mouth, but I ignore it. I peer into the near darkness, my heart hammering against my ribcage, my eyes roving with saccadic movements.
And then I hear it: the quiet crunch of footsteps. He moves without hesitation around the side of the dumpster, blocking out the dim light as he looms above me. His image shimmers before my eyes as tears swell, balance, and then tumble down my cheeks. I taste salt on my lips.
“Please,” I whisper.
He stretches a hand towards me.
In this 293 words excerpt you're supposed to be able to figure out (without me telling you) that:
- it's dusk
- I'm scared and hungry
- I think someone is following me
I also had to use the random words shimmer, saccadic, substance and salt and try to incorporate all five senses. Oh yeah, and there are 27 S words in there (which doesn't come close to Rach Harrie's 41, but hey, I tried!).
You can check out the other Show, not Tell entries here.