Here’s a short story I wrote yesterday. I thought up the idea after visiting a site which provides first lines, allowing you to imagine what follows. I think this is a good way to inject some initial ideas, and here’s what I came up with (feel free to tell me what you think in the comments):
She didn’t look anything like what he expected. Certainly a little curvier, but who was he to judge? He was still astonished anyone would be interested in him, especially since the incident. He refused to accept losing a leg could have been an accident on any accounts. They just hadn’t cared. They hadn’t looked. And now here he was, having to deal with a disability on top of all of his other unfortunate quirks.
He’d been getting ready all day. It was his first date, and most likely his last, as far as he could predict. He just couldn’t understand what someone like her could see in someone like him. He had hair in all the wrong places. His skin tone had never been right; always a little on the grey side of dark instead of tan, unlike his friends. His parents had tried to convince him that standing out was a good thing, growing up, but he had never fallen for it. In a world like this one, the best chance you had was to blend in. And now he couldn’t even walk in a straight line, instead always looking as though he was suffering a dizzy spell, trying to convince his mind to stay focussed on getting to where he needed to be. Of course, any sort of crossing impaled a nervous disposition in him, which only added to the unbalanced nature of his ways.
He checked the position of the sun in the sky. Barely visible across the rooftops now. Twilight was only a few moments away, and the flies would soon be gathering in furies, ready to secure any last patch of warm air as their own.
As the last hint of orange ducked behind the furthest building he could see, he knew he couldn’t delay any longer. Short of a leg, he had begun to allow himself double the time needed to get anywhere, and tonight he was in a particular hurry. If he arrived first he could position himself in the way he came across most attractive. He almost laughed at that though. Least unattractive, would be a better way of putting it.
But as he approached the place they had agreed to meet he realised luck was not playing his friend. There she was, crouching nervously under the rose bush; a petal of the softest peach illuminating her bronze tones. He almost didn’t continue further. She was beautiful; way out of his league, but she had seen him, and now a radiant smiled replaced the anxious expression on her face as she waved him over.
He shuffled into the crowded spot opposite her. The damp air from the earlier rainfall meant there were more than usual attempting to locate a dry spot, and a nudge from the couple behind him forced him beside her. Their legs smacked into each other and before he had even begun a proper hello he found himself apologising profusely.
Laughing, she stopped him. It’s fine, she told him. Have a drink. Relax. And he did. The evening passed like the pleasant breeze it accompanied and conversation buzzed.
Dizzy on euphoria, he hadn’t noticed at first that the gap between them had closed, and her leg closest to him was now overlapping his. He could feel her small hairs standing on end, and noticed her legs were thinner than her round body would have led him to think. Upon realising his exciting predicament, he took a deep breath and embraced the confidence that was now floating around him.
Without thinking he leant forward in a dramatic burst, knocking the carefully collected pools of water in the leaves above them so droplets were landing all around them. The shock of one landing between his eyes knocked him back and he retreated, swiftly followed by her face leaning in to find his. It was what she had wanted and now she was coming to him to find it. They were kissing heavily and with such urgency they failed to notice the new rain fall. The other couples began to leave, leaving only the two of them, devouring each other under the stars.
Eventually one of them broke away, neither could tell who, but they both needed the air. He suggested they went back to his. He knew his place wouldn’t impress her. It smelled damp and there was mould in most of the corners, but he hadn’t expected he would get this far, and felt the gamble worth while. Without hesitation she agreed, and as the final stars came out they stood, getting a good look at each other for the first time.
He felt his mind rush back to earth, like a motorcycle between traffic, urging to get through. His mind drifted downwards with her eyes as she gasped. What happened? She asked. An accident he replied. He didn’t want to dwell on it now, not in the mood he could feel slipping further away with every second she continued staring.
One of her hairs had caught the edge of a cobweb as she had stood up, and without thinking she reached out for the wiggling fly attached and crammed it into her mouth, where his had been moments before.
Astonished, he was now the one staring at her. Sorry, she apologised. It’s a habit. I got trapped once and nearly starved. I eat everything I see now. Well, that explains the curves, he thought. He hadn’t cared what species she was before arriving tonight, but now curiosity perched on his lips.
“What are you, exactly?”
“Tegenaria duellica. Australian house spider.” She replied.