Hello, All! I’m going to give Teresa’s challenge a go-around as well as adding the Word of The Day Challenge. My Entry is below the photo prompt.
Welcome to the Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt (HWDP). This prompt is going to be both familiar and different at the same time. To participate, simply read this post and follow where the muse takes you. You may select any, all, or none of the prompts…it’s all up to you. Link back to this post, or leave a link in the comments so that others can find you.
Prompt A (setting challenge): A Museum
Prompt B (Story Starter): “The lights dimmed slowly.”
Prompt C (photo):
It was a rainy afternoon and the original plans of having an outdoor picnic were diminished. Jackie and her friends, Jodi, and Lorraine decided that they were not going to be stuck inside all day just allowing the day to be wasted, so they decided to go into the city and visit a museum in New York City.
When they arrived at Penn Station, Lorraine asked, “Anyone else hungry? I didn’t have breakfast, and I’m fading away to nothing guys.” Both Jackie and Jodi chuckled and agreed at once. Jackie, “O-M-G! substances are required, sign me up.” Jodi chimed in, “Hell, yes! where to ladies?” Lorraine and Jackie simultaneously yelp out, “Chinese food!” Jodi agreed and off they went to catch a taxi.
The gals pulled up in front of “Chow Moon” and ran as quickly as they could to avoid getting drenched by the downpour. They were seated in a cozy corner and handed menus. A couple of minutes went by as they each searched for what they wanted but then decided that it would be better to just order some appetizers and share them.
The perky waiter came back with glasses of water, set them down, and proceeded to take their orders. Lorraine took full reign in giving the order, as the women already said what they all wanted. “Ladies, welcome to Chow Moon, what it be for you today?” Lorraine pointed at the menu as she was placing the order, “We will have two orders of sesame noodle, with extra sauce, next two orders of shrimp toast, and two orders of, Hmm, Ah, make it three orders of boneless barbeque pork. That should do it. Thanks.” as she nodded and handed the waiter the menu’s back.
The weather was acting up pretty bad outside the restaurant, and they all noticed the lights dimming slowly with each clap of thunder. “I don’t know guys, I don’t think the museum is in the cards today, it’s really nasty out there,” Jodi said matter of factly. “Maybe, we should just finish our lunch and plan on this for another day, huh?”
Words just hung there before anyone could reply and that’s when an enormous clap of thunder rolled, and the lights went completely out. Jodi sighed in disappointment, “Ah, yeah. I guess we weren’t meant to have any real outing today, guys. Screw it, let’s just go.”
Lorraine collected the money from each of the girls, hoping they had the exact amount, plus the tip, in order to pay the bill since the electricity was out. Just as the ladies went to pay, the owner of “Chow Moon” asked them, “You to see museum today?” Jackie replied with a tone of agitation, “Not now were not. Chances are, the whole area is without power.” The owner shook his head and replied, “Well, you like to go into “Chow Moon” basement? We have fine antiques from de orient there. We have no room up here to display, You like to see?”
Jodi looked at Lorraine, then glanced at Jackie, the three of them stood there looking a bit quizzical at one another as if thinking, ‘Is this such a good idea?’ The owner could see the girls were a bit concerned, so he interjected quickly, “It’s safe, no charge, it’s nice, beautiful items, you like, okay?”
Lorraine finally made up her mind, as well as answering for the other girls. “No, Sir, but thank you. Besides, how would we be able to see anything without any lights down there?” The owner chimed in quickly, “We have plenty of lanterns, you should go. Very nice things.” Then he proceeded to open the door behind him and pointed downwards. “You see for yourself, lovely antiques from my country, hmm?”
Again, the girls looked at one another and shook their heads indicating, ‘No.’ Jackie finally blurted, “No Thank You! Maybe, next time we’re in the city.” She turned to her friends, “Come on ladies, shall we?” They each said their thanks once again and exited the restaurant.
They hailed a taxi and headed back to Penn Station, Jodi was rather nervous as she asked the other girls, “Why do you think the owner was so persistent in getting us to go down into an old basement? For crying out loud, what possible treasures could be down there?” They all shook their heads and pulled away.
Back at “Chow Moon”, the owner lit his lantern and slowly crept down the dark stairwell. “Father?” he stammered, “Father? I tried. They wouldn’t listen. They have left, Father.”
The owner lit another lantern, and beyond the old discarded paint cans, and garbage to be taken out, there in the doorway stood a silhouette figure, nodding his head in displeasure. He soon moved closer, with disdain in his voice, “Son, you failed again!” He moved closer, now in full view. “You failed me again. Those young girls were perfect! You should have been more convincing. We lose everything because of you. Those girls would have been perfect to sell off underground.” Father just shook his head, as his son stood there ashamed. “Father was right. They would have been able to save the restaurant if only they could have sold off the girls.’