Monday, August 2, 2010


Karen stood at the bottom of the staircase, filled with dread. Why was she so afraid to climb the steps, what was she afraid of finding once she reached the top?

Karen sat in her car staring at the apartment building, wondering if she lived here, not sure where she had been and how long she'd been gone.  All she could remember was when she woke up this morning behind the steering wheel of a car, parked in Food Giant's parking lot located on Center Point Highway.  She saw a purse lying on the passenger seat, reaching for it, she had looked inside and found a billfold.  There she found a drivers license issued in the name of Karen McIntosh, with her picture. So she was assuming she was Karen McIntosh.  The address on the license was apartment 215, Heather Pointe Road. As she sat there looking at the building, she wondered where they had gotten the name from.  Her head ached, her face was bloody and it looked as though she could use a few stitches to repair her chin.  But first, she needed to know who she was and what had happened.

She had been sitting in the parking space for five minutes, building up her courage to get out and climb up the stairs to apartment 215.  She still marveled that once she saw the address, she knew the way without asking directions. How could that be?  Maybe that was a good sign, that and her waking up.  How could she have forgotten everything before this morning?

Karen was startled by a tap on her window, turning she saw a blond headed woman, looking intently at her, "Karen, you alright?", she asked.

Karen pushed the button to lower the window, "No, I'm not, do you know me?

The woman looked at her, "Yes, what's happened, I've been concerned because when I came out this morning, your apartment door stood wide open.  I knocked and called, I even went inside to see if you were okay, but I didn't find you. Nothing seemed to be disturbed so I closed the door and went on into work. I thought maybe you just hadn't fully closed the door."

She ducked and looked more intently at her, "Good heavens, Karen, what happened to your face? You need to go to the hospital!"

Karen shook her head, "Not yet.  Who are you and how do you know me."

Straightening up, "I'm Francine, your next door neighbor.  We've been neighbors since you moved in six years ago. Come on, I'll help you inside and we'll try to figure this out."

Karen turned off the motor and got out of the car.  She slowly walked toward the stairs, pausing at the bottom step, she waited until Francine had climbed to the top before she followed.  It was still daylight so the hallway at the top didn't seem as threatening as when she was sitting alone in the car.

Meeting Francine at the top, they both turned right to head down the hallway to their apartments. Hers came first, as she paused in front of the door,  Karen realized that whatever happened somewhere besides her apartment.  She unlocked the door and they both went inside.

Francine lead her to the kitchen table, "You sit down before you pass out. I'm going to get a wash cloth and water to wash off your face.  Then I'll be able to determine the damage."

Karen asked, "Would you bring me some Ibuprofen for my headache and the soreness." She sat there waiting.

In a few minutes Francine reappeared with her hands full of towels, washcloths and a first aid kit. Placing everything on the table, she reached into one of the cabinets for a bowl, which she filled with warm water. Taking the wet wash cloth, she began trying to wash off the blood.

"What happened to you Karen?"

"I don't know." Karen then told her about waking up in her car, finding her purse on the car seat and driving here, "That's all I remember."

Francine turned her face so she could place antiseptic on the cuts, "Well it happened after five p.m. yesterday.  That's the time we arrived home and walked in together. You said something about having to go back later to your car for work you had brought home to do."

"Do you know where I work and what I do? Ouch," she yelped as Francine placed a butterfly bandaid across the cut on her forehead.

"Yes, you are an accountant working for Peters, Landry and Stone, an accounting firm here in Birmingham. Actually, one of your clients is involved in a messy trial, I think that was what you were going to work last night."

******to be continued*******


    Tuesday Morning Writings is a project sponsored by Gaelikaa and Judy Harper.  The words are copyright of Judy Harper. Gaelikaa's story can be found here . 

1 comment:

gaelikaa said...

Judy, this is the beginning of a serial I see. What a great opening. A very intriguing hook there. I will be interested to await the next episode.

I was happy to see that there is a bit more dialogue here. That helps to carry the story forward better and engages the reader.

Very well written.