Monday, December 30, 2013

Prompt: On New Year’s Eve | a fifteen-year old college student | steals a baby

Stefan sat on the library steps, watching the hurried pace of the few faculty and students still hanging around campus over the winter break. He huffed into his folded hands to warm them, however briefly, and tried to find another scenario – and scenario – that didn’t involve getting himself kicked out, arrested, or killed.

If only he hadn’t chosen that independent study. If only he hadn’t found those old texts in the empty reference room at the Art Museum Library. Hadn’t translated the Greek and started to realize they were misfiled. Completely. Dangerously.

If only he’d gone home for Christmas like Mom and Dad wanted – but he hadn’t wanted to burden them with a plane ticket they couldn’t afford. Even with his full scholarship – the youngest student at Harvard in over fifty years – they were stretched beyond their means. If he’d gone home, he wouldn’t have gotten in the middle of this nightmare.

His phone buzzed. It was time. He headed toward the hospital. He’d been volunteering, so no one would think twice about seeing him. For now. Everyone was thinking about their New Year’s Eve plans, anyway. He wished he were going to a party, maybe timing it right so he’d be dancing with one of the pretty freshman at midnight. Yeah, right.

He timed a different kind of dance to walk through each set of doors behind someone so he didn’t have to use his security pass. He wasn’t officially here. When he got to the maternity ward, he walked down to the long row of windows and looked at the babies tucked into their bassinets. They looked so innocent and helpless.

Phone buzzed again. He wanted to throw it against the concrete wall. He wanted to scream. Beg someone else to do this. He was just a kid – even though he’d spent the last five years trying to convince everyone around him he was more grown up than he was.

How could they put this all on him? What if he got the wrong baby? How was he going to get it out of the hospital? This was crazy! He wanted to turn around and run out. His phone rang. He didn’t want to answer, but he slid his finger across the screen and held it up to his ear without speaking.


He didn’t say anything. There was nothing to say.

“You know what’s at stake.” She didn’t sound angry, or obnoxiously cheerful like most adults when they tried to encourage him. She sounded serious, and urgent. “You can do this, Stefan. You have to.”

He clicked “end” and took a deep breath. He could do this.

A nurse he recognized was coming down the hall. He smiled and gave her a little salute. She laughed. “No hot date tonight, kiddo? You can come hang out with us. This is a happening party, I tell you.” She chuckled as he followed her into the warm room.

To be continued, perhaps

Dogs in house

Holiday music sampler

Time writing
~30 minutes, including research

December word count

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