Sorry I'm late to the party. Here is my entry for Sandra Drake's Never-Ending Scene Blogfest.
It's fine if the judges decide I'm too late for the contest. I mainly entered to share my WIP and read others' stuff.
This is from the middle of the work, so the average reader would know way more than you will going in...but I'm going to resist explaining and see if the scene can stand on its own.
I needed to see where the stone got the warmest. At the next stop light it did. Only I didn’t realize it until the bus moved again and the stone got cooler.
I fairly leaped for the stop button. We went another one, two, three blocks to the next stop. Not a bad walk. It could have been worse, I told myself. Only, as I tripped on the last step on the way off the bus, I thought even three blocks would challenge these wobbly legs.
For the moment, nerves and excitement about meeting another Dalarian here on Earth had replaced worry for Aidene.
The stone got warmer as I crossed the street at the light then cooler again after the first house. A corner house on a bus line. Must be a mentor, looking to be found.
Only, when the heavy front door swung open an old lady, shaped like a question mark, peered out. A mentor? We’d started coming here over a hundred years ago, so it was possible.
Her crumpled state reminded me of the tail end of this mission I’d signed up for. Not only a shortened life—barring freak accidents, all Dalarians made it to one hundred and more—but an uncomfortable end without our advanced medical technology.
“Can I help you?” the woman asked. Still plenty of life in her eyes.
“I’m not sure,” I answered then waited for the code phrase.
Instead, the lady’s eyes went weary, and she peered into the dark behind me.
“I’m sorry. I must have the wrong house.” I felt the rock. Hotter than I’d ever felt it. This couldn’t be the wrong house.
She swung the door shut.
“Does anyone else live here?” I asked.
The deadbolt slammed home.
“Please,” I yelled.
“Upstairs,” she yelled back.
Upstairs? In her house? What could that mean? Then I remembered Dale’s family rented the downstairs of his home while someone else lived upstairs.
Sure enough, on the left side I could just make out some white stairs. I felt my way up, hoping for a motion light. But that wouldn’t do for those of us trying to hide out.
Almost to the top, I remembered my rock could be used as a flashlight. Or for night-vision if held to my eye. A noise amplifier if held to my ear. And lots of other things even Dale might consider it worth getting excited about if he knew, but I figured I’d never need any of it. I’d come here to be open and helpful, not skulk around.
And yet, here I skulked.
I felt around for a doorbell. Finding none, I opened the screen and knocked on the narrow door.
“Coming,” someone yelled from inside, and I heard something else. Electronic firing, like from those video games at the community center.
I felt the rock again. Near scalding. But I must have the wrong house. I turned to go, making it to the first step before the door swung open and faint blue light spilled out and hit me.
“Wait,” a male voice said. A young voice. Not a mentor voice.