Rochester’s gamble looked like it was going to pay off; the girl was walking toward the alley where she would, with any luck, meet her doom. He peered at the screen intently, waiting on the edge of his seat, without the slightest tinge of remorse to mar his heartless soul.
The girl stopped, and so did Rochester’s heart. She cocked her head to the side, as though listening to someone who wasn’t there. He ground his teeth in frustration as he watched her kneel to pluck a daisy from a crack in the sidewalk. That’s just so like her, he thought. Never keeping on task when there’s a bit of fuzz to distract her.
Rochester breath whistled in and out between the heavy hairs lining his nostrils as he played the waiting game. Will she or won’t she? Come on already!
He lashed out, kicking a filing cabinet into the wall as she stood back up and turned around. Rochester’s sweaty hamfists pummeled the desk, and the slip of a girl went on about her day, thoughts of butterflies and flowers babbling through her brain, never knowing how close she had come to dismemberment.
Daisy was a diamond in the rough. She had her own style, no one could deny that. When she got out of bed in the mornings, she would go straight to her bathroom to stare at the picture taped in the corner of the mirror. She followed this up with a loud, ferocious roar that would certainly have startled the neighbors, had she had any.
She tended to follow the roar with a few chirping barks, in honor of the Beware of Dog sign in the picture.
Any GenX-er meeting Daisy would immediately think of Tyler Durden. She was that kind of person: no stable job, no stable home, no stable future. She may have spent some time in jail, but it would have to have been for something less commonplace, like protesting animal cruelty by vandalizing a leather shop’s front door.
Daisy had taken her name quite to heart, and enjoyed using her favorite Doug Larson quotation in conversation, on the rare occasion that she actually had conversation: “If the English language made any sense, lackadaisical would have something to do with a shortage of flowers.” Unfortunately, Daisy had no idea where she had learned this quotation, and would quickly change the subject when asked.
When Daisy had an empty slot on her calendar (and they were all empty slots; Daisy abhorred slavery, including being a slave to a schedule), she would often dress for exploring the urban sprawl she had inhabited for the past four months. Ripped jeans and a tattered band tee shirt were her uniform on these days. If you were able to corner her and force her to supply an answer about what exactly she was doing, she would tell you that she was working on an art project.
Somehow, these art projects worked out amazingly well for Daisy. No one but her agent knew that she was edging closer to two million in the bank, all for slapping some junk together and finding the right art dealer to sell it to what Daisy called “some rich toady.”
Daisy refused to put herself in the same league as her customers, who she never once met, citing “creative differences,” even though they were now in the same tax bracket. She used her scorn to fuel her creativity.
Today she had broken into a warehouse, where she was shrewdly eyeballing some scrap metal. A jingling noise outside the broken windows distracted her, and she crept to the door to cautiously peek around the corner. It was a small girl on a bicycle, merrily ringing her bell as she pedaled among the tetanus waiting to claim her.
Daisy shouted the beginning of a warning before catching herself–the girl was gone in the blink of an eye, although an afterimage of her sunburned face and cheilitis-afflicted lips was etched into Daisy’s mind’s eye. Were it not for the bicycle sitting there, Daisy would have chalked the whole thing up to hallucination.
But the bicycle was there.
All thoughts of scrap metal wiped from her brain, Daisy collected the bicycle after a cursory look around for witnesses. She walked the thing home, periodically scratching a fingernail against the rubbery ridges on the handlebars.
She opened her (unlocked) front door and threw the bicycle angrily to the floor. A fit of rage had taken her when she was nearly home, and she blamed the feeling on the innocent bicycle. She kicked the back tire, scuffing her off brand Doc Martens, and screamed wordlessly until she ran out of air. Her nonexistent neighbors were grateful to be nonexistent.
Daisy ran up the stairs to the bedroom she most often slept in and fell on the bed, fully clothed. she lapsed into unconsciousness almost immediately and did not wake until the following morning.
As per ritual, when she woke, she went to the bathroom for her customary morning roar, but the lion photograph was missing. She looked down to see if by chance it had fallen to the floor, but it had not. She glanced left, then turned her whole body as a glint of something shiny caught her eye.
It was the bicycle in the bathtub. Daisy’s jaw dropped, and a small part of her mind registered the fact that this was no longer just a figure of speech, as she had always believed.
The bicycle that she had left downstairs was now upstairs, in the bathtub.
Daisy wondered if she had somehow carted the thing upstairs while sleeping, then quickly dismissed the notion with an imperceptible shake of her head. There was no way her small frame could have gotten even a child’s bicycle up her tightly wound staircase unscathed. Not to mention Daisy’s knack for clumsiness. No, there had to be some other explanation.
Daisy whirled around at the sound a foot scuffing the floor in the hallway. She saw a flash of chapped lips and sunburned skin, and everything went black.
Y’all, check this out: a smorgasbord prompt especially for me! I’m tickled pink.