Bang Bang Bangladesh

CheneyThe Hannah Sketches, Writing Challenges30 Comments

thumbtacksWho could that be at this hour? Evan thought to himself.

He was upstairs in Hannah’s office. He felt miles away from whoever was outside his door, light years away. His hand remained hovering in the air, the plastic edges of the red thumbtack pressing into his skin, his grip on the tack so strong he wouldn’t have been surprised if blood began to drip through this fingers.

Someone was knocking at the door.

It was time, Irina had told him, to clean out Hannah’s office. She had been gone a year and there were things that needed to be decided and settled. Hannah had left a legacy in her countless notebooks, not to mention the computer files that Evan did not even want to access – he would pass the computer along to Irina and she could dig through Hannah’s legacy of words, but right now Evan was more concerned about what he found pinned to the cork board.

He thought he would just go in the office and start cleaning it out before Irina came on the weekend to take her things, Hannah’s legacy. He’d cleaned up the trash in the office, the countless balled up wads of paper that Hannah had scrawled on or printed and then discarded. He’d peeled every page apart, read all of her trashed words and found nothing that had surprised him. He’d spent hours on the floor, surrounded by these balls of paper, picking them up and spreading them out, searching for Hannah but he couldn’t find her in any of them.

Where did she go?

Evan had stood up to stretch legs and glanced at her cork board, a mess of pinned  outlines and schedules, post cards collected from friends and pictures of the two of them from their happier, more photogenic days. And the menu for China Express, their favorite take out restaurant. Evan reached out, so innocently, plucking the red pin from the board and letting the menu fall into his outstretched hand. He wasn’t prepared to find anything beneath the menu, but there, stuck to the board by a pin he hadn’t seen, was a plane ticket.

One way, to Bangladesh. Hannah Mulraney was printed on the ticket, above the date: January  5, 2010. The ticket was to be used twenty days after Hannah had disappeared.

Bangladesh?

He had forgotten about the person at the door. Evan thought that the pounding was coming from within him. His heart, always his stubborn heart, banging against his ribs. His breath was coming in shallow gasps. If a person were to walk by and look in on him, they might think he was trying to hold back a sneeze.

BANG BANG BANG

There was someone at the door.

Evan whirled toward the door, stumbled. He nearly tripped over the desk chair but he leaned into the wall, his hand forming a fist around the thumbtack he’d forgotten he was holding. He staggered to the office door, down the hall, down the stairs, blood dripping from his fist.

BANG BANG BANG

Pictures of Hannah on the walls of the stairway, the frames clattering on the plaster walls, dust rising from their edges. Hannah everywhere in that house, everywhere Evan looked, there she was: in the braided rug in the foyer, between the pages of the books on the coffee table, in the curtains, dancing in the wind, twirling.

BANG BANG BANG

Toward the door now, over that blue braided rug, rough on his bare feet. He’d always hated this rug, why did he keep it, why did he hold on even to the parts of her he hated?

BANG BANG BANG

A plane ticket, hidden. She was planning on leaving him, that was it. She had bought a one way plane ticket to Bangladesh, where the hell is Bangladesh? Somewhere far away, an Otherworld. She was planning this all along, to fly away

(One way, baby!)

And never come back.

BANG BANG BANG

Evan opened the door.


This was written for The Speakeasy at Yeah Write. The challenge was to use the first line, Who could that be at this hour? and also to somehow incorporate the picture of the thumbtacks.

This was really fun to write.

 

30 Comments on “Bang Bang Bangladesh”

  1. This is my first time with the Speakeasy – I made the comment elsewhere about how interesting it is to see where our imaginations take us – even though we start from the same point. So then I read your story with interest because both our corkboards held flights/itineraries for people gone missing…! That was pretty cool.

    Nice work by the way 🙂

    1. Freaky deaky! It is very weird when that happens, that two writers take sort of the same path, it’s happened to me before, too. Great minds, you know? I just went and read your story Nadine and it was amazeballs!

      1. ah, shucks, thanks for that! I am having lots of warm fuzzies about the great feedback, the general sense of encouragement among the other writers. Nice. 🙂

  2. This is my first time with the Speakeasy – I made the comment elsewhere about how interesting it is to see where our imaginations take us – even though we start from the same point. So then I read your story with interest because both our corkboards held flights/itineraries for people gone missing…! That was pretty cool.
    Nice work by the way 🙂

    1. Freaky deaky! It is very weird when that happens, that two writers take sort of the same path, it’s happened to me before, too. Great minds, you know? I just went and read your story Nadine and it was amazeballs!

      1. ah, shucks, thanks for that! I am having lots of warm fuzzies about the great feedback, the general sense of encouragement among the other writers. Nice. 🙂

  3. That was well done. It read like it was fun to write. But who is at the door!? Chinese delivery? Hannah? Irina? The cops? Kidnappers? Some random person with a flat tire? Oh! I love it.

  4. That was well done. It read like it was fun to write. But who is at the door!? Chinese delivery? Hannah? Irina? The cops? Kidnappers? Some random person with a flat tire? Oh! I love it.

  5. Just wanted to say thank you for all the comments here – and to all of those who are wondering..

    I HAVE NO CLUE WHO IS AT THE DOOR!

  6. Just wanted to say thank you for all the comments here – and to all of those who are wondering..
    I HAVE NO CLUE WHO IS AT THE DOOR!

  7. I love your title, the mystery, the fact of Hannah’s disappearance – or death? – though he says she was planning on leaving him, so what did happen to her? And so you leave us wanting.. nice writing!

  8. I love your title, the mystery, the fact of Hannah’s disappearance – or death? – though he says she was planning on leaving him, so what did happen to her? And so you leave us wanting.. nice writing!

  9. I thnk my favorite part was your description of him looking like he was holding back a sneeze — I’ve seen that a few times and it is a really accurate way of describing it. I love the way the Bang bang bang interrupts, too.

  10. I thnk my favorite part was your description of him looking like he was holding back a sneeze — I’ve seen that a few times and it is a really accurate way of describing it. I love the way the Bang bang bang interrupts, too.

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