I selected the Boone, NC photo of a wind chime for my image prompt this week. Below is the result of a 20-minute sprint and quick editing pass for grammar and spelling.
The wind chimes still made their soft tinkling noises as the wind blew through the little grass alleyway behind the apartment. Snow was piled on top of the thing, but it didn’t affect the sound of the copper pipes that hung down. It had been here when she moved in, probably forgotten by some past renter of the tiny little place with the barely functioning base-board heaters.
Angel turned away from the window, pulling the towel she used as a curtain back into place. She needed all the insulation she could get. She spent most of the winter curled up under fleece blankets or sipping hot chocolate. She’d taken to making a single cookie just as an excuse to use her oven, which was a far more effective heater than anything else in the apartment.
It was starting to get dark, which made her worry. Her little brother, Brian was supposed to have arrived an hour ago. She’d been looking forward to a weekend with him for months.
When there was a knock on her door, she hurried over, expecting it to be Brian smiling back at her with the same green eyes they’d both gotten from their mother.
Angel opened the door to find a man she didn’t know, bundled up in a parka, hat, and scarf. At least he guy was pulling the scarf down so she could see his face, which sported a full beard in a brown that matched his eyebrows.
“Can I help you?” Angel asked.
“I’m hoping so,” the guy said with a little smile she could barely make out around the facial hair. “We found directions to your place in the passenger seat of a car that slid off the road onto our property,”
“The driver?” she asked urgently.
“My dad took him to the emergency room,” the guys replied.
“Is he okay?” Angel could feel her stomach tightening up with panic.
“Calm down,” the guy said, reaching out to rest a hand on her shoulder. “It’s nothing life threatening, he just got knocked out when the car slid and we think he hit his head on the window.”
Angel took a deep breath.
“I’m guessing you were expecting somebody with how you’re reacting,” the guy went on.
“My little brother,” she answered.
“Do you want me to give you a ride to the hospital?” he asked. “I know I wouldn’t be in any state to drive if it was my little brother.”
Angel hesitated. She didn’t know this guy. But her tiny little compact wasn’t worth a damn on the roads after they’d gotten this much snow. The plows hadn’t made it to her tiny little road yet.
“Please,” she said. “Come on in while I grab what I need.”
“Thanks,” he said, following her into the tiny linoleum section that marked off the kitchen from the dining/living room and closing the door behind him.
Angel glanced back before going into her bedroom to find the guy standing right by the door, his eyes moving over the postcards she had plastered all over the walls. She pushed the door closed behind her and quickly changed into a pair of jeans and regular socks.
She came back out and grabbed her backpack, pulling a box of granola bars off her reclaimed shelves and stuffing it in before adding her laptop and zipping it all up. She pulled her boots on and grabbed her coat from where it hung beside the door.
“Ready when you are,” she said as she pulled on her coat and pulled her keys from the pocket.
She picked up her backpack as he opened the door.
“I’m Jeff, by the way,” the guys said as he stepped outside.
“Angel,” she replied. “Thank you for helping my brother.”
“No problem,” Jeff said, leading her to the street where he’d left his pickup illegally parked in front of the next building.
He had to reach across the seat to unlock the passenger door before she could haul herself and her backpack up into the thing. There were disadvantages to only being five feet tall.
Jeff turned the truck on right away, but waited for her to be settled with her bag at her feet and her seatbelt fastened before he pulled a three-point turn to get back down her narrow little road.
Angel was just glad the hospital was close. She needed to know that Brian was okay.