Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Sweater

This was the writing prompt for today, January 5, 2015, and I missed it because I was working to get half of my ms ready to submit to my critique group. However, now that I've submitted my stuff and read through all of their stuff, here it is: Write a scene that starts with the line, "I didn't mean to steal his sweater. Only the arms."

I didn't mean to steal his sweater. Only the arms. I'm very good at taking the arms off sweaters--I always leave behind very nice sweater vests. Most of the sweaters look better that way, anyway, and I was careful, so no one would ever know they had arms to begin with, unless the owner told them, or the person who had bought it noticed. I wondered how many times someone who had bought the sweater noticed it didn't have arms when they wore it. One of these days I should stick around to watch it happen; it would be worth the delay.
  But this guy caught me, came after me so quickly I had no choice but to take the whole thing. It was heavier than normal, and really large, like it belonged to someone of Andre the Giant's size (may his soul rest in peace). I tried to stuff the hulking tan knit into my pack as I ran, but it wouldn't fit. And all the while this large guy with light hair and really big shoulders is running after me, yelling at me, calling me a thief (which I really wasn't. It wasn't thievery when you left most of the product behind).
  I slid into an alley, running thought the puddle I had skirted earlier. Sliding behind some boxes and a garbage can, I allowed myself five deep, gasping breaths before I shut my mouth and made myself breathe slowly through my nose. Someone crashed through the alley, running past my spot. I waited, counting to one-hundred-and-twenty-three, like I always did; if pursuers didn't return during that period, they weren't coming. And it was my lucky number, which is why I chose it. I listened, but all I heard were the normal alleyway sounds of muffled cars and hushed chatter as life carried on along the main street nearby. The dumpster reeked more than normal, making me wonder what the red-lighted restaurant had served its customers last night.
  Scooting from between the boxes and dumpster, I pulled out of my backpack the parts of my trophy I had managed to stuff into it, then slung my pack across my back. I held up the sweater.
  And almost dropped it. It wasn't just a normal sweater, with arms and a body and a spot for the head. No wonder the guy had been so desperate to get it back--it must of cost him a fortune. I wondered if he ever wore it in public.
  Because it had to be itchy in all the wrong places; what I held in my hands was a full on, top to bottom, body sweater, complete with legs, a hood--everything. And in quite a nice design, too. I didn't have sweater legs in my collection.
  I grabbed my backpack and reached inside for the envelope, ripping out the letter I'd already read, although, to be honest, I hadn't read past the address. I never did. But now I noticed a photo in the envelope as well. It was the body sweater, with a body inside. Hm. They had warned me to bring a bigger pack.
  "Gotcha!" A hand gripped my arm and yanked the sweater from arms, revealing the large man who had been chasing me. I realized I should have counted to two-hundred-and-sixty-four. It was my other favorite number.
Oh, yeah. And the photo was taken in the bathroom!

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