I gather from the intro that I can post something unrelated to current prompts as long as I place it behind a LJ Cut? It's the second piece of fiction I ever wrote - I'm desperate to get started writing, but don't know where to begin. This is a character that popped into my head, I'd like you to meet her.
Flame me by all means if I've done the wrong thing by posting this here: Otherwise, please feel free to comment. That's the point.
The top of the stairwell smelled awful, and she picked her steps carefully around the rank puddles left by people who, for whatever reason, felt that pissing in these public areas was cool. The avoidance of such foulness was inbuilt. She made a long stride across one particularly large puddle; despite the fact that she’d come this way to die, she still didn’t want that stuff on her shoes. It occurred to her absently that she wouldn’t have to navigate these waters on her way down; she’d be taking the express route to the bottom, the fastest way possible.
She rounded the last flight of stairs, peering into the darkness. This was a service stairway, allowing engineers to get into the works of the elevators which broke down constantly. Fifteen stories of families, trying to get babies and toddlers up and down 800 steps every time they needed to go somewhere. Pathetic, but then it was to be expected. You get pregnant, and then live your life in a little personal hell. You asked for it, you dirty slags.
The steel reinforced door to the lift shaft and roof was open, locks forced with a crowbar as usual. Some of the boys liked to come up here where no-one would bother them, where they could have a couple of reefers or inhale some butane gas without being bothered by people. They should be careful, she thought. They might easily fall off this roof, and it’s a hell of a way down. A long way down with concrete at the bottom, too.
She might not have been the brightest of all the cookies in the jar, but she knew that it wouldn’t matter if it was grass, mud or mattresses down there instead of concrete, a fall from 15 stories would just as surely kill her no matter what surface met her falling body. She started to cry, wracking heaving sobs, as the violence of the concrete collision suggested itself to her. There wouldn’t be much left of her body, she imagined, and her head would explode like a ripe watermelon on impact. She tried to conjure up the pain that she’d feel. Surely there would be an immense pain, short lived but massive.
She remembered talking in the park, about those people who jumped. Some of the guys had speculated that a person would die of heart failure before they hit the ground - like you’d die of shock or something on the way down. A nice thought, but she doubted that. She might not have been the sharpest tool in the box, but she knew that it wasn’t the fall that killed. It was the ground hitting you.
The door opened outward to the roof, and the wind pulled it rudely from her grasp, slamming it back against the wall. She looked around guiltily - someone could stop her here. She would be in big trouble. Sweet sixteen might be old enough to get fucked around here, but it sure as hell wasn't old enough to go wandering around on a council tower block roof if you felt like it. Once she made it to the side, it wouldn’t matter.
The gravel beneath her feet crunched as she shuffled towards the edge. There was a raised lip, about a foot higher than the roof - as if that would save someone inadvertently stumbling over the side. She was aware that standing on that lip she would be visible for miles around, and someone would be sure to raise the alarm, so she stood back from the edge, closing her eyes and tilting her face into the wind as she took a moment to collect herself. Little tiny pebbles of hard rain stung her face as a squall blew. It blew her hair out behind her head and inflated her cheap jacket, making her torso appear three times its size.
The frigid wind seemed to pass straight through her clothes without hindrance, brushing every part of her body. A euphoric rush swept through her and covered her arms with gooseflesh... her nipples went tight and she staggered back a couple of steps, the wind carrying her towards the opposite parapet.
She planted her feet firmly, and opened her mouth, turning her head to offer her side profile to the insistent wind. Feeling it enter her mouth, she made an ‘o’ of her lips, immediately making the stream of blustery air resonate and howl, seemingly within her head. The horizontal rain continued to pinprick her cheek, her neck, and sting her ear, as an accompaniment to the howling reached up from ground level - a sudden clattering of empty beer cans, blown across the lonely concrete concourse below. It was a noise she’d heard a million times since moving into the tower block six years previously, a noise she’d heard but never really listened to.
She opened her eyes and regarded the grey sky - the low scudding clouds hurrying past her elevated position on the roof. Her eyes swept the urban landscape below; it was the middle of a Sunday afternoon and not a soul to be seen. She pondered briefly the act she had been about to commit - an urge that, for the moment at least, had passed - and wondered how long she might have lain there without being discovered. Her hand went to her stomach.
A nasty thing to find, she thought, the body of a jumper - but not at all unusual around here, they'd have got over it. But it wasn't just about her anymore. She couldn't make this decision on her own, another life relied on her, relied on her very life. She might not have been the 'A' student of her class, but she knew that the life growing inside her needed her blood, her oxygen. Maybe it would even need her love. The wind whipped her sodden blonde hair against her face, and she pushed it back, shivering now, frowning at the intrusion of that inhuman touch which she’d recently welcomed.