Prompts (junk, captivity, edible, sombre, full moon) courtesy of Cake.shortandsweet‘s Wednesday Write-in.
The full moon swayed, half hidden behind streams of ropy grey clouds, like a fat, spoiled tiger in captivity. The power went out and the room was sombre.
“Awful,” Coyote said, finger furiously tapping the backspace key.
He slept in the far corner of the pizzeria while a few tables away, a group of teenagers with faces pocked and cratered that when they looked up and the buzzing fluorescent light overhead reflect down as they snapped their heads back braying laughter, you’d think it was a trio of Strawberry Moons.
Coyote drummed his fingers against the desk and tried to write something that wasn’t junk.
Cynthia slid the box of edible panties laced with laxatives into her purse and smiled. Dan would be in for a surprise tonight. It would serve him right for sleeping with her cousin.
He minimized the window and checked his email. No new messages. He checked the local news site, barely glancing at the headlines. He stood up from the computer and paced around the room. His office job was sucking all the life from him. He finally had a quiet moment at home and couldn’t write anything.
Coyote thought about quitting. About selling most of his things and subletting his apartment and running out to a cabin in the woods. He imagined sitting at a typewriter, the clacking of the keys melding with the songs of the birds and buzz of mosquitoes. He sat back down.
The man in the black suit sat straight up in the chair. His sombre expression made it seem like he just tossed the first shovelful of dirt on his son’s casket. The plump woman across from him busied herself with serving tea.
“Fuck it,” he said.
Coyote shut the program down. He set the kettle on the stove and went out to smoke on the balcony while he waited for the water to boil. He’d take a break. Have a coffee. Watch TV. Maybe go for a walk. Clear his head.
And then he’d come back and wouldn’t move until he’d somehow beaten out a story.