Julie provided the prompt for today. We're writing number 4. So, here's a death scene for my protagonist, dying by her worst fear.
I huddled next to the tree. Some of the people walking by noticed me. Some looked directly at me, paused in their walking, and then kept going. But most didn't notice me.
I slid down the tree trunk to the ground and wrapped my arms around my legs, huddling for warmth and protection.
No one had even spoken to me. Even when I had said something to them. It was as though they hadn't heard me.
A tall, brown man headed up the path, carrying a load. Daniel! I jumped up and ran to him.
"Let me help you."
"No, I don't need your help."
"Please, Daniel. Let me help."
"Margaret, I don't need your help. I don't want your help. I'm fine."
"Have a good day, Margaret." He walked away without even looking back.
Louisa's smile came into view next and I ran to her. "Louisa! What are you doing? Can I help?"
"Margaret. Um . . ." She looked around, then down at the ground. "I'm actually just trying to catch up to Daniel. Sorry, but I think I can go faster without you? I'm sorry. See you later." She hurried away and was lost in the crowd.
Someone bumped my shoulder and sent me sprawling onto the ground. People moved around me, but no one offered to help me up. No one even touched me.
I struggled to rise, then wandered back to the tree. The tree was safe. The tree made me almost invisible.
Complete invisibility would be best. I should walk around the tree, walk off into the forest, and never come back. But I couldn't leave. I couldn't leave the people I loved.
Mother and Father came next. I hesitated, but only for a second. Mother was helping Father walk; he was leaning heavily on her arm for support. I raced to his other side. "Oh, Father, what has happened? Here, let me help you."
"No, child. I am fine. Thank you."
"But I want to help."
"Margaret, I don't need your help. Your mother and I are just fine."
"Yes, dear," my mother said, "run along. We'll be just fine."
"Can I help. Please? Please let me help."
"Goodbye, Margaret," my father said. The sternness in his voice robbed me of any more protestations. I stood in the middle of the road and watched them walk away.
My legs buckled and I fell. I couldn't move.
A giggle, familiar and warm, sounded directly behind me.
"Margaret, what are you doing in the middle of the road?" I looked over my shoulder. Ah, Alice. Just seeing her bright face gave me the strength to stand and smile.
"Alice! What are you doing?"
"Mary and I are going to buy some ribbons."
"Oh, that sounds delightful. May I come? I could help you select something wonderful."
Her smile disappeared. "No. I don't want you to come. I want it to be just me and Mary."
Ice settled in my chest. The tears came quickly. I blinked at them and smiled. "Of course. I understand."
Alice nodded. "Goodbye." She skipped off.
I understood. I understood perfectly.
I let the tears fall. There was no use hiding them anymore. There was no one to be strong for anymore.
I made my way back to the tree and sat. It didn't matter that the ground was dirty and cold. It didn't matter that I had no coat or shawl. It didn't matter that the air was growing colder by the minute and that it might snow.
I laid my head down on the leaves and pulled my legs up to my chest. Then I closed my eyes and waited for the night to come, knowing it didn't matter if I woke up in the morning or not.
I'm not particularly fond of this, but let's be honest--it is supposed to be a ten minute writing prompt. And it took me a lot more then ten minutes. I think something like this would have to take a few days to work through. At least for this protagonist.