Here you are, my lovelies! My own response to last week’s prompt. Enjoy! And as always, I’ve included all 13 of the prior responses in the link at the bottom.
Describe the room of one of the following: a high school student about to drop out; a cashier who has just won the lottery; a faded movie star who still thinks she’s famous; or a paranoid person who believes she has been followed and is about to be abducted. Be as detailed as possible.
Lieutenant Hal Everett wondered how he got stuck answering this particular 911 call, and he tried to eradicate any sign of his ire as he was greeted at the door of the small, suburban home by a frantic young man. Hal knew right away this would be a shit show; the guy (Eliott Granby, he reminded himself, after a quick mental review of the call details) looked as though he hadn’t bathed in days, and his eyes were wild, alight with a desperate energy that Hal didn’t particularly like.
He followed Eliott through a cramped, dim living room to a cramped, dim hallway, at the end of which was the man’s bedroom; this was apparently their destination.
“It’s the safest spot,” was Eliott’s cryptic reply, when asked what necessitated this location. “Today was a close call—they think they’re fooling me, sending that woman along behind me on the sidewalk with a baby stroller. I mean, really—what do they take me for? If I hadn’t shaken her off at the corner, I’m sure I wouldn’t be standing here in front of you right now.”
When they reached the doorway, Hal hesitated, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness before following Eliott into the room. Objects began taking shape, and as he was able to identify them, he became more and more convinced that the guy was a candidate for immediate psychological evaluation.
The room was practically devoid of all furniture; a single mattress was pushed into the corner on the floor, a rumpled sleeping bag as its only bedding. There were a few piles of clothes pushed into another corner, and a stuffed duffel bag sat in front of the piles, like a soldier awaiting instructions. The windows were completely covered with blackout drapes, and below one of them was an odd assemblage of items: binoculars, a half-empty box of granola bars, two overripe bananas (and a peel), an empty plastic water jug. The only light in the room came from a tiny lamp—and even that was barely enough to illuminate a three-foot circumference around it.
The lamp sat on the only real piece of furniture in the room: a small writing desk. Tacked to the wall behind the desk were dozens of blurry pictures of people, each taken from what appeared to be the front bay window of the home in which he now stood. There were multiple photos of each individual, all of them portraying people going about their lives: normal, everyday activities like mowing their lawns, walking their dogs, sitting on their porches. Under every shot was an index card with a date and address—the latter of which was always the street upon which Eliott himself lived. His neighbors, Hal thought, a growing feeling of disquiet blossoming in his gut.
“As you can see,” Eliott began, his voice shrill with indignation, “the situation has gotten completely out of control. It’s a wonder they haven’t gotten me yet.”
Hal realized now what fueled the manic light he had first noticed in Eliott’s eyes: obsessive delusion.