15 min writing prompt exercise about a squeegee
The electric motor whined. The little platform jerked, rose passed the parapet and came to rest at the next window.
Freddie rinsed his squeegee in the bucket. The water was soapy but what warmth there had been had long ago dissipated. He dried his frozen fingers on a scrap of rag. He worked focussing on the glass and trying not to notice the reflection of the street far below. An onlooker, had there been any at three-hundred feet, would probably have taken his slowness for conscientiousness.
It must be some sort of judgement, he thought bitterly, the Dole office making me take this job.
All except one of the windows on this floor was blacked-out by plastic. Odd. Then he saw why. He saw it through the one clear pane. Just sitting there on a desk, in an empty office. And it was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen.
He didn't have to think about it long. This was a one in a million chance and Fingers Molloy knew a thing it two about chances. This could make all the difference. Maybe even Elaine would come back.
He put down the squeegee and tugged experimentally on the window. Locked. But nothing that couldn't be fixed with a screwdriver. He pulled one out of the toolbox by the motor housing slipped it between the frame and the casement and pushed.
It slipped and he winced.
He cursed and licked the blood off his fingers. Stronger than it looked.
He tried again. What I need, he thought, is some weight on this.
He reinserted the tool, glanced at the drop, wished he hadn't, and gingerly half-climbed onto the window ledge. He put his weight on the screwdriver.
Again it slipped out of his fingers.
This time it clattered onto the ledge and rolled towards the void. He lunged for it, missed, and slipped. His fingernails scrabbled on the concrete. At edge he caught himself and clung by his fingers, legs dangling in space. Suddenly the traffic noise sounded terribly loud.
After a moment of frozen panic his mind cleared.
He'd been in bad scrapes before and in a life full of nefarious activity this wasn't a big problem. He hadn't the strength to pull himself up but if he could just get back onto the platform...
He glanced round and saw it descending with the screwdriver protruding from the lever mechanism. Freddie clung on. His fingers were becoming numb. How long could he last? Five minutes?
Suddenly, he heard footsteps in the room and felt a flood of hope. It would take some explanation but Freddie had a good imagination.
Hey! Yes, they had heard. They were coming nearer. The blackened window right in front of him creaked open.
It scraped away his fingers.
Ahhh... he fell.