In celebration of my sloth, I have decided to post a short story I wrote for a creative writing class last year. The assignment was to pick a place and time then set a story there. Basically, I’m guilt-posting in order to make myself feel terrible about not writing. Hooray for guilt!
Ines sat quietly in the Mossehaus lobby, trying hard not to squirm or swing her legs. She knew that Papa’s meetings with Herr Mosse were very important and that she must behave if she wanted to continue to ride with Papa during his day trips to the city.
Normally, Ines enjoyed waiting in the big marble lobby. She liked watching the people rush in from the cold sidewalk through the revolving doors and into the warmth of the lobby. Her favorite were the grown up ladies with their pretty curls, red glossy lips, and clicking heels. They were always in a hurry and rushed past leaving behind scents that reminded Ines of department store counters. She liked to think that one day she could rush by others and haunt them with her perfume.
Today though, it was impossible to pretend she was a grown up lady because she had forgotten to potty before leaving the house. Papa did not like to stop on the way to work, so she hadn’t told him. She twisted her legs and gripped the sides of her new dress with her sweaty palms. She looked longingly across the lobby at a golden door that she knew led to a public toilet and recalled her father’s stern instructions, “Do not get out of this chair for any reason. You understand?” She had nodded even though she was already feeling the first inklings of pressure in her tummy. Pretty ladies never look like they need to potty, and she had wanted to be like a grown up.
Ines remembered the last time she had an accident: Papa had struck her, and mama had to clean all of the bed sheets in the middle of the night. There was still a stain on the mattress beneath the clean white sheets. Whenever she remembered, she would try to roll over to the other side of the bed to avoid it.
She thought of what Papa would say if she stained the upholstered lobby chair. Would Herr Mosse strike her? The thought terrified Ines, and she began to cry just as the warm liquid spread beneath her tiny body and down the chair leg onto the floor.