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Her sturdy feet felt for the polished floor and gracefully pushed herself from bed at exactly 6:45 am. Her eyes quickly focused and her grogginess was shaken by a jolting rush of cold water from the bowl beside her bed. Walking through the empty house, she adjusted pictures that were fractions of inches from their appropriate positions and tamed scarcely unruly chairs.
The dawn approached with pink dancers painting the sky and warriors of blue fighting from the dusk. She watched in wonder from her apartment, sitting on an antique chair she had inherited from her grandmother when she was young. It stood meekly against the wall of scenery that sprawled before her. Her sharp exhales and the scratch of her pencil were all that could be heard.
No longer entranced by a broken sea of blue, she rose from her position in return for the small home gym she confides to. With the steady whir of the machines she recited poetry to the drab walls with sour expressions. From the works of Browning, Shakespeare and Poe, as well as her own, she recited and asked for suggestions or comments. They didn’t offer any. Perhaps the mirror would offer more suggestions this morning; she contemplated and took off for the bathroom in search of some truth.
The mirror was clouded with discontent that morning. She hated her burly features and the way her squinty eyes looked. So she stared and coaxed them to change. Like the walls, they never do. She can’t see the beauty others see, her warrior like features standing prominently against a canvas of porcelain. Her strong, dark brows and pouty red lips made her look like someone from a dream and yet she stared. Coaxing change or transformation that was never rewarded, she sighed.
Riddled with disappointment, she neatly put herself together in a pretty little package, with a neat bun on top and left the warmth of her apartment behind. In the hallway neighbours made mindless chatter as they begin their day and she inputs relevant information where it fits, never revealing anything in depth, just small talk-normal. She took the same elevator at the same time and talked to Mr. Walker on the way down as per usual.
She liked Mr. Walker. She didn’t particularly enjoy his company or wish for more of it, she just thought to others he must be perceived as nice. He was well kempt and tidy, with polished white teeth and combed hair. His chatter was harmless and never intruding: the weather, current events (but never her opinion), his dogs-Jasper and Macy, etc. He was a manager at a swanky restaurant in town; well-paid, busy.
The third floor gave her freedom from his all-too-kind eyes and he left as he always did. The air stung her face when she got outside. She didn’t mind the cold though. Her earlobes ached and her nose ran by the time she got to her car at the far side of the lot, but she fixed that up once inside and she was perfect again-always perfect.
Work was tedious but that was to be expected, not much excitement came from her work. She worked in an eight by eight cubicle with no pictures or quirky posters because she wasn’t into that kind of thing. She checked her email but there was never anything knew, she never got any of the viral clips others sent around. She read on her lunch break and ate her salad. Occasionally she would make more small talk with her co-workers but they were often bored with her and talked to her out of courtesy.
She left the same way she had come, went down the same roads, went up the same elevator at the same time and entered her apartment with satisfaction, the walls warming her with their gentle embrace. So glad to be home, she sat on the smooth floor and thought about whatever popped into her mind. I don’t understand the women I work with. Why don’t they invite me out? Mark never called me back. I should call my mom, later. My sister ignores me incessantly. I should get a pet. Hmm, perhaps not, I don’t like change. She thought until her mind was dried of thoughts and she could think no more.
Dinner was served at 7:00 pm at the dining room table. Proper cutlery had been placed and a gourmet meal was made from the book she had ordered last week. She ate and listened to classical music from Vivaldi, the music flowing and making ecstasy with the flavours.
After dinner her fun would begin. She had planned this excursion for months, just perfectly calculated weather and time, place. She finished up and cleaned, tidying the kitchen. Her flaming hair was herded into a silky ribbon and tied tightly back. She grabbed the body sized bag from the corner and its contents were heavy, but not so much as to strain her. She threw the strap over her shoulder and zipped her windbreaker to her chin.
She laid sturdily in position, the loose fabric of her windbreaker flapping wildly. Her chocolate eyebrows perfectly chiselled into an arch and her rose lips tightly pursed. Her eyes adjusted to the dimness of the lights at the sun dove into the expanse of black and greeted with the moon. Below her a world unfolded, people coming and going about their daily lives.
She pondered what their lives must be like. She bet the nipped and tucked woman leaving the gym with a yoga mat under arm, lived a life of luxury and joy. The children, running to catch up the old Indian woman walking ahead, laughed heartily and squealed together in pleasure. The young couple strolled hand in hand, chatting. She imagined their conversations were real and neither open-ended or mindless.
She let the wind toss her around like loose greens for a moment and then she grounded herself, pulling the bow firmly against her shoulder. She felt its hardness and the smoothness of the wood. Letting the fresh smell fill her nose, she smiled jovially.
Her eyes, squinting like a predators, spotted a potential target, a woman in her late 30s with hair bouncing in waves and a face tanned and worn from the sun. She raised the bow and lined up her shot, closing her eyes for a moment to concentrate on such technical things, as velocity, wind and trajectory. Her heart felt weighted with the emotions of the day and so she prepared herself.
Feeling all the tense emotions inside her pull the string back and letting them wash away with that reassuring THWACK! was the comfort she had been seeking. The arrow spun and the fluorescent tape she tied to the end, flashed madly in the shadows of night. Struggling to her feet, she strapped the bag over her shoulder once more and giggled, giddy with joy. She played Vivaldi in her head and danced down the stairwell. Her work had been done.
At home that night she heard on the news about the women-something Walker?-who had been shot with an arrow. They thought it was personal. It was never personal. She watched the news program alone in her room and sat on overstuffed pillows on the floor. Members of her community were later shown crying and reacting to the “horrendous act”. She laughed.
She woke up the next morning at 6:45 am, eyes adjusted quickly and she was further awakened by a jolt of cold water. She watched the sunrise and worked out. She rode the elevator alone- Mr. Walker was nowhere to be found- and sat through the mind-numbing chatter of her co-workers. She ate dinner alone like countless nights before and watched the sunset from the rooftop of an office building just out of town.

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This article has 16 comments. Post your own!

CheshireKat_95 said...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 6:56 pm:

Interesting! I liked the ending. For some reason, it seemed to me like she could be the modern Mrs. Lovett. ;) Haha.

Be careful with your tenses. Once or twice, you switched from past to present tense. Also, the bow? Where did it come from? You went from a bag to a bow. If she pulls the bow from the bag, then you should make sure we know that.

Descriptions were good. The detail of the daily routine helped give the entire piece that edge of weirdness that it needed.

Overal... (more »)

Megan.J.B replied...
Jul. 24, 2011 at 12:29 am :
Those tenses! Haha, I'm terrible with tenses but then again I'm not really feeling this story at all to be honest. I don't actually like this story of mine, but why not keep it up anyway right? :)
CheshireKat_95 replied...
Aug. 7, 2011 at 12:54 am :

Hmm... If you don't like it... then revise it!! Ah, revision. Love it. It's my favorite part about writing. But anyway, if you really don't like it, then I'd say pick out the parts you do like, keep them in, and rewrite the rest. That's what I do.

And yes, I, too, hate those pesky tenses! ;)

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Delictious said...
Jul. 16, 2011 at 1:20 pm:
I thought that the ending wasn't surprising.. She was very odd, I knew she was up to no good somehow(: But hey, I write with twist endings so maybe I've just trained my mind to it. I thought the beginning was a bit confusing, and the whole piece had a weird pace to it. But I did enjoy it. The writing style really did match how the girl acted, it was very precise and odd, like how I would imagine she would tell it herself. Good job~
Megan.J.B replied...
Jul. 18, 2011 at 9:29 am :
Thank you! :) I wanted the ending to be a shock, but I think I also left enough hints throughout the piece that an experienced reader/writer would have an idea of the ending.
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CarrieAnn13 said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 9:32 pm:
Great ending!  It was pretty unexpected (but not really for experienced readers, looking at the section this is in).  It's sort of cliched, but well-written enough that readers will ignore that.  Good job!
Megan.J.B replied...
Jul. 12, 2011 at 10:49 am :
Thank you very much. I know I'm a bit cliched, haha. :)
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DoubleN said...
Jul. 11, 2011 at 8:30 pm:
the ending caught me off guard, but that was fantastic! great  job :)
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IncorrectlyWired said...
May 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm:
That was a surprising ending. She did seem like a sociopath from the start, but it was a bit of a shock to know what she really was. It felt a bit crowded with spacing, but other then that it was good.
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Garnet77 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 7, 2011 at 9:58 pm:
You’ve got some really great descriptions here. I absolutely loved it. :)
Megan.J.B replied...
May 8, 2011 at 12:16 pm :
Thank you so much! :D
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alex198 said...
May 7, 2011 at 9:24 am:
I really enjoyed this. You have great descriptive writing and that allowed me to really get into the story. It was an interesting and well written piece and I thought it was great :)
Megan.J.B replied...
May 7, 2011 at 11:51 am :
Thank you so much, it means a lot to me that you enjoyed it. :)
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PaRaNoRmAl627 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm:

Hmm. I'm a little confused about the ending. I get that Mr. Walker had something to do with a murder, but I'm not sure if he was killed or if he was the killer. Either way, it would be a really great twist. There was one point where you used the wrong kind of "new," but that could have just been a typo.

On the other hand, I thought your descriptions were really great, just because some of your word choices made the reader really think about what you were writing rather than just c... (more »)

Megan.J.B replied...
May 6, 2011 at 2:08 pm :
Thank you very much and I would just like to make it clear that it was Mr.Walker's wife who she shot. As it said she killed a woman and later on the news she listened to them say who it was that got shot a something Walker and then the next day Mr.Walker was not in the elevator. :) Perhaps I could have cleared that up more.
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PJD17 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 9:39 pm:

Outstanding job  great writing keep it up  could you please check out and comment on my story Numb.  i would really appreciate the feedback


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