Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction
Panic!Thump, thump, thump!
Charlie’s heart beat a rhythmic pounding in his ears. His face felt cold as the blood rushed away. In his ears, a tingling caused the noise around him to be muffled. Mira was screaming with happiness, but all he could feel was a numbness coursing its way through his body.
Thump, thump, thump!
The sound in his chest seemed to grow louder with each beat and kept perfect time with the miniature grandfather clock in the hallway. A bead of sweat began to make its way down Charlie’s cheek. The fingers in his left hand began to ache and he realized he had been gripping the silver fork tightly. So tightly, in fact, that he found he had begun to bend it.
Thump, thump, thump!
They could not have possibly said what he thought they said. As the panic began to rise within him, threatening to drown him like a flood, Charlie found himself looking into the worried face of TJ. He saw TJ’s mouth move and knew, somewhere in the back of his mind, that TJ was saying Charlie’s name.
"Charlie? Charlie? Charlie?"
Each mention of his name spoken in time with the pounding of the blood in his ears. Charlie began to shake his head. The water now flowing down his cheek was no longer sweat but tears flowing from his eyes.
"No, no! NO!"
Charlie flew from the chair, sending it flying backward into the diamond-patterned wallpaper. Had he bothered to look back, he would have been ashamed to discover that there was now a golf-ball sized hole in one of the diamonds.
Slam, slam, slam!
Each footfall brought him closer to the door. Charlie burst into the warm night air. The sun had fallen just enough that the streetlights were coming on ("Charlie, make sure you come in when the streetlights come on!" he remembered his mother saying).
Charlie crashed through the little gate, turned left and ran down the street. His eyes blurred from the tears streaming freely down. His feet were on autopilot and took him where they saw fit to go.
He and Mira had been with TJ and Melanie for a few months now and all had been good. Why would they decide to ruin things now? Charlie's chest heaved with the exertion of running so hard. The pounding in his chest now more from exhaustion than the panic that had started it.
He found a bench and decided to sit, crying and wondering why he couldn't just have had his parents.
A few minutes later, feeling as though there was nothing left in him to cry about, Charlie began to look around. Realization began to dawn on him as he found that he was once again sitting in the parking lot of The Better Baguette, the little restaurant where he had first met Mr. Mittens, the little kitten that had adopted Mira. And, where he first met TJ.
"Charlie?" A quivering voice spoke his name.
Charlie looked up into TJ's worried face. He could see the look of panic and fear and, even more, the tears in his eyes.
"I'm sorry, Charlie. We thought you and Mira would be happy. We, we just wanted to have you in our lives forever. That's, that's why we wanted to adopt you."
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