Writing Challenge #3: Glare

Note: It started off with an actual story with a conflict, but as I was writing it, I didn’t know how to resolve it. I had to scrap the whole thing then focus on a skill that I want to learn or develop. Writing descriptions has always been a challenge for me so that was the direction I took for this writing challenge. It doesn’t have a conflict or a resolution. It’s just a simple narration.

I had the regular new year celebration in mind while I was writing this. But because it took me 3 weeks to finish this, posting this writing challenge made it to Chinese New Year.  So, here we are. Happy Chinese New Year!

Think of a random word and Google images for it. Write a story about the 7th image.

Random word from the word generator: Glare

7th Picture from Google Images:
Image url | Image Source

It was two in the morning and Corinne was seated on the passenger side on the way home. Just two hours ago, fireworks illuminated the stary sky as the city welcomed the new year. She and a party of 20 were lined up at the balcony of a house that stood on a small hill and had a perfect 360 view of the city. Wherever they looked, there were fireworks, like water sprouting from a whale’s blowhole.

And now, it was the opposite of festive. People had wrapped up the celebrations and were now wrapped in the comforts of their own beds. Only a few were left awake as cars quietly made their way from party venues to their homes. Corrine was one of them, along with David who was on the driver’s seat.

David had offered Corinne a ride back, since he only lived a few blocks away from her house. They travelled in silence as David drove down the street and through the city. Their social and mingling meter was drained at hanging at 1% so the quiet drive did a favor for both of them.

Corinne kept her eyes on the road, but she felt the exhaustion creeping in. She was trying her best to keep her eyes open because she didn’t want to be rude to David by falling asleep on him.

From the peripheral, she noticed David’s fingers drumming on the steering wheel as it matched the beat of the music playing softly in the background. The car’s engine hummed in a constant tone, like a calming mantra that was being recited.

Outside, the night chill brought in the fog. Corinne realized that in the many years that she has lived in the city, it was her first time seeing her surroundings at that time of the night. Lamp posts were lined up along the road, painting a warm yellow glow against the silvery backdrop of the fog and the moonlight. Most of the stores were closed, save for the convenience stores which were open 24/7, holiday or none. Their white flourescent lights added illumination at every empty intersection and served as navigation stars for the travellers.

A car turned from the corner and drove past them. Its lights were so bright that they reflected on the car mirrors. Corinne squinted at the sudden glare. “Woah, dim the lights, man,” huffed David as he kept the steering wheel steady.

“The driver was probably scared a zombie would jump out of nowhere,” Corinne joked. Might as well keep it light, if David was getting cranky and tired from the late night drive.

To her relief, he chuckled. “He’s right. At this point, we’re all zombies from staying up too late and partying too much.”

They drove into their village, signaling that home was within reach. It had the same deserted but peaceful atmosphere as their drive downtown. Lawns had evidence of family parties — trash bags were lined up, garden tables and chairs were folded and left to be stowed the next morning, party decorations hung limp on doorways and walls.

David’s car slowed down to a stop, right in front of Corinne’s house. “Here we are. Home sweet home.”

Corinne patted David’s hand. “Thanks for the ride.”

“Anytime, neighbor.”

“Would you still want to go in?” Corinne asked as she got out of the car. She closed the door and leaned in the window.

David waved a hand. “Nah. Maybe next time, when we’re both fully awake.”

“Alright. Drop by anytime. You know how much my mom loves to feed you.” Corinne took a step back on the curb, waved goodbye, and watched David drive away.

Her surroundings were quiet once again and Corinne savored that sweet moment before she went inside the house to rest. She knew that once she wakes up, the world will be alive once again with a renewed spirit that comes with the new year.


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