Story A Day September Challenge

Story A Day Challenge – Day 8 – The Contract

I had a much easier time with today’s prompt! Fair warning, this story contains a bit of adult content. Enjoy!


The Contract

Robert lay on side with his hands and feet tied together behind him. A blind fold covered his eyes but he could sense she was in the room. “I won’t do it again, just let me go.” When he agreed to let her tie him up he thought the end result would be a lot more fun.

“I’ve heard that line before.” The woman, Robert’s wife, sniffed her disapproval.

“Is it really that big of a deal?” He grunted as what he thought might be a vase hit him in the shoulder.

“Bastard.”

A change in tactics was required, he realized. He’d already begged for ten minutes and playing it down only ticked her off more. “I’m sorry babe. You’re right I’m wrong. I’ll try my hardest to get it right from now on.”

“I want a contract. You do what I want or you can sleep alone.”

A contract? Was she out of her mind? But she held the keys to his sex life. “Okay, whatever you want. Will you please untie me?”

“I’ll untie one hand so you can sign.”

“You already have the paperwork?” It was ridiculous but he wasn’t getting out of his predicament without doing what she wanted.

She took the blindfold off and held the paper in front of his face. It was short, to the point and completely unnecessary. He signed anyway. Once he she freed him his wife left to go shopping, as if she hadn’t just ruined his day!

He would never understand why the toilet paper had to go over instead of under!


The Prompt

Write a short story of conflict between two people, protagonist and antagonist.


This story is partly inspired by my brother and sister-in-law. All I can say is I hope they find a better way to resolve their differences than the couple here! I do not condone the use of vases for violence.

Rough draft 263 words

Story A Day Challenge – Day 7 – Practice Makes Perfect

I’m sure you’ll all be surprised to hear this, but I struggled with today’s prompt. A lot. I thought it was hard every day last week but those days were easy compared to this one. I don’t normally do this but I’m going to show the prompt first.

Write a Mystery or suspense story with this plot line:

“A killer is on the loose, having broken into the home of a wealthy woman and left her for dead. He absconded with a few items, then left the initials, ‘M.A.’”

To mix things up a bit, create a sleuth who is not such a good guy/gal, and a villain who has some amiable traits.  Maybe your detective is a womanizer or is mean to her Mother, and your criminal stoops down to pet puppies.

First of all, I like writing suspense but mystery isn’t really for me. Second, the prompt is to detailed. What if I wanted the home to belong to a poor guy or the killer have the initials A.H. Saying the woman is left for dead implies she’s not, but that would be the big bad isn’t really a killer. It asks that the detective type be a jerk and the bad guy to be not so bad, ugh. It’s too many demands. That is someone else’s story. As I tried to come up with something I kept picturing my poor muse closed up in a too-small cage with bars she couldn’t see through. (I should have written that story!)

Every idea that came out of me was exactly what the prompt said. So I’m throwing it out and doing my own thing.


Practice Makes Perfect

“You may call me First,” the tall distinguished man informed Mills.

“Will you ever tell me your real name?” he asked.

“No.”

“Can I be called second?” He nervously twisted his hat in his hands

“No. If you must have a number it will be zero.”

“Because I’m a loser?” Mills hung his balding head.

“On the contrary, it’s because you’re necessary.”

Mills cocked his head. “I don’t get it.”

“I know, but it is unimportant now.”

Confused as ever Mills nodded and followed his new boss deeper into the old factory. The other man paused before a large sliding metal door and turned to face him.

“I believe you will enjoy your new home. I have left you plenty of girls to practice on. I’ll leave you to it.” He walked back down the hallway.

Mills noted the distaste on the First’s face but anticipation over took any negative reaction he might have had. Grabbing the handle he slid the door open. He gasped as he entered the room. It was an enormous storage area but the size wasn’t what caught his attention. There were mannequins everywhere. They were placed in rows four deep along the side walls. The raised galleries above were also filled. Mr. First was right, there were more than enough girls to hone his skills on. The middle of the room was filled with furniture – sofas, chairs, tables, etc.

He made his way past the living area when he noticed a series of old offices covering the back wall. Opening the first door he found a fully furnished bedroom. Another office had been converted to a bathroom. The third and final room held a full-sized bed with metal head and foot boards. On a dresser to the side lay each of the items he’d requested and some he hadn’t thought of. Handcuffs, silk scarves, duct tape, rope – on and on it went. A box of cigars sat on the nightstand. Perfect. He was going to love this job.


It’s more of a scene than a story but it’s what I came up with. It started with a bad odor. I imagined I could smell burning plastic. Then I pictured Mills burning a mannequin with a cigar, for practice. As for the prompt, well Mills starts with an M and he is potentially a killer, and First…well we’ll see what he is. Close enough for me! Creepy spoke to me more than mystery. I know the title is terrible but I couldn’t think of anything else.

Rough draft 335 words

Story A Day Challenge – Day 6 – The Janitor

For today’s prompt, found here, I went for something a little outside my wheelhouse. As always I agonized over it, but I am pleased with the end result.


The Janitor

Murphy swept the halls. As he worked outside Mrs. Stone’s room he tried not to look in. As every day before, he failed. He only glimpsed her for a moment but she was the same as always, propped up in her bed staring out the window. Her blonde hair perfectly styled. Someday he would find out who brushed it for her.

He forgot her as he neared Mr. Beldin’s room. He pasted on a smile and swept faster. He waved at the other man who was already waving vigorously and moved on quickly when the clapping began. Mr. Beldin made him very uncomfortable.

He slowed again when he was almost to the room of the boy he called Sid. Murphy didn’t know Sid’s real name. No one came to visit him and there were rarely any staff members in the room. The kid was always strapped down and screamed if he heard Murphy come close.

Sweeping as quietly as he could he stepped carefully. Finally he finished the area and picked up the pace again. He was almost done and if he were fast enough he might avoid Miss Victoria. That woman just wouldn’t take no for an answer! He peeked cautiously in her room and found her playing solitaire and frowning. Feeling guilty he asked if she needed a partner. She informed him she didn’t have time for his foolishness today, never taking her eyes off the cards.

A little offended and greatly relieved, Murphy finished sweeping and left the building. He walked across to grounds to his shack and firmly closed the door behind him. He could hear the men hiding in the hedges talking but he didn’t care what they had to say.

“I can’t believe it! A real ghost,” exclaimed one.

“I told you. I wonder why he keeps sweeping a burned down asylum? Keep the camera rolling,” replied the other.

A few moments later Murphy came out of the shack, crossed the grounds and went into the building.

Murphy swept the halls. As he worked outside Mrs. Stone’s room he tried not to look in.


The Prompt

Write a story set in an abandoned location.


Like I mentioned, it’s a little different than what I normally write, which is probably why I fretted so much over it. I always complain about prompts that are too detailed. Today I was worried that it was too vague. I guess there is no pleasing me! Actually I enjoyed this one and have a few other ideas for abandoned locations. This challenge has really got my mind spinning, in the best of ways!


Rough draft 346 words

Story A Day Challenge – Day 5 – The Assignment

For today’s prompt, which can be found here, I decided to once again not go too literal, but more literal than yesterday. My mind is on my middle grade fairy story lately so I reworked a scene from it. Tommie the fairy’s assignment is to cheer up a depressed troll (with Levi’s help). When trolls get upset, things often get destroyed. Hope you enjoy. Nox is my favorite character of all time.


The Assignment

Tommie and Levi followed the trail of blackened and destroyed trees looking for the fairy’s assignment. They heard her before they saw her. The troll made the most horrid sound. It was a loud, piercing screech. Tommie felt like her ears were going to burst as she got nearer. She stopped and translocated ear plugs for them both.

“Stay hidden until I get her to stop.” Levi crouched down behind a bush as Tommie walked up behind the troll. She sent a spurt of magic into the most recently burned tree and repaired it. “Hey, troll, why are you harming the forest?”

The troll spun around, startled. “Who are you?”

Tommie gasped. The troll was beautiful. Since trolls were always ugly, she was shocked. “Wow, you’re really pretty,” she blurted. “I’ve never seen a pretty troll before.”

The troll’s face went from surprised to sad and she started screeching again.

“Stop that!” Tommie yelled. “Your cry is absolutely awful, you’re going to pop my eardrums.”

The troll stopped crying and sniffled. “Do you really think so?”

“Yes it’s the worst I’ve ever heard.”

The other girl smiled. “Thank you.”

Tommie signaled for Levi to come out.

The troll watched him approach with narrowed eyes. “Do you think I’m pretty boy?”

Levi nodded. “But your breath is truly horrid. Please don’t face me when you talk.”

The troll blushed with evident pleasure.

“So why you’re destroying trees and scaring the wildlife away?” Tommie asked.

“Wait, I scared the animals?” At Tommie’s nod the troll pumped her fist in the air. “I didn’t mean to scare them but it helps that I did. I don’t really want to hurt the forest but I’m so sad.”

“Why?”

“It’s how you reacted when you saw me. The only thing you noticed was my beauty. You weren’t even scared.”

“Why is that be a problem?”

“Because I’m a troll. Trolls aren’t pretty, we are scary, mean, and evil tempered. Everything and everyone flees from us. Except, not from me. I don’t scare most people. The others of my kind think I’m hideous and I’m tired of not being a good troll.”

“Not a good troll? Nonsense. I’ve never heard a troll with a worse cry!” Tommie exclaimed.

Levi shook his head. “And if someone is trapped by your beauty, then they can’t escape your breath. You’re the perfect troll. You’re like a stealth troll, a ninja.”

The troll’s mouth dropped open. “I’ve never thought of it like that before. One time I tried to scare some water nymphs. No one ever told me they can’t resist beauty. I couldn’t get them to leave me alone until I ran away from the river. It never occurred to me to lure them over to scare them. I’ll have to think more about this.” She grabbed Levi’s hand and shook it. “I’m Nox.”

Tommie and Levi introduced themselves.

“Why are you here anyway?”

As Tommie explained her assignment she went back to fixing the trees. She knew it could get her in trouble but she couldn’t bear to see them in such a sorry state. When she finished the job she sat down next to the troll. Levi was describing how he and Tommie had met.

“I asked the council to let me be a fairy godmother but they turned me down. I got them to agree to let me help Tommie though,” the boy explained.

“Why won’t they let you be a fairy godmother? What right to they have to tell you what you can and can’t do?” The troll’s expression was indignant. “I’ve decided we’re all friends now. There is someone you need to meet who can help us figure this out.” She stood and walked away.

Levi turned to Tommie. “Um?”

“Just follow her, she’s claimed us as friends and you never want to tell a troll no. Let’s go.”

Tommie was very curious. If Nox could help Levi become a godmother it was worth trying.


The Prompt

Your character is alone in the woods and finds blighted trees, drooping plants…rot and slime everywhere. It once was beautiful but overnight is turning into a swamp–its not natural. Your character must get to the bottom of this and stop it before something they love very much is threatened also.


It’s funny but every day I read the prompt and think I’ll never come up with anything. Then after a few minutes of overthinking I calm down and ideas pop in my head. I’ve even managed to write two extra flash fiction pieces in the last few days. If you are a writer and not already doing this challenge I strongly advise you to give it a try. It’s worth it!

Below is a colored pencil sketch my daughter did of Nox.


Rough draft 662 words.

Nox

Story A Day Challenge – Day 4 – Betrayed

The prompt for day four was good but I had trouble coming up with an idea. Finally this story popped in my head. If you want to join the challenge click here.


Betrayal

Bailey woke up feeling groggy and disoriented. What happened, where was he? He tried to scrutinize his surroundings but something semi-blocked his view. Finally his eyes focused. Bars! Oh no, what did he do last night?

He remembered his family treating him to his favorite meal and a lot of celebrating. The rest was a blur. Had someone put something in his drink? Had he made a fool of himself in public? He must have since he was now locked up.

As he became more alert he realized something felt off. There was a strange ache in his nether region. He turned his head to look but was stopped by something large and plastic. Panic surged. They didn’t! They couldn’t!

He turned the other way then looked up – more plastic. Cone of shame! No wonder his family made last night so special. They knew they were going to take the best part away from him forever. Were they really so angry about a few litters around the neighborhood? It couldn’t be more than four or five!

Bailey tried to put his head on his paws and whimpered when the cone got in his way.


The Prompt

A person wakes up, not quite remembering what happened the night before, and is surprised and upset by what they see outside the window.


I decided to veer a little to the left with this one. Poor Bailey!

Rough draft 195 words

Story A Day Challenge – Day 3 – The Cube

Day 3 of the Story A Day Challenge. Click here if you want to join in.This is more along the lines of a snippet than a true short story, or maybe I should call it a side quest. The characters come from my middle grade fantasy story about some magical kids who wanted to be fairy godmothers but weren’t allowed: Tomorrow (called Tommie) – a young fairy who is terrible at magic and Levi – a boy who can do magic but is not a fairy (along with the friends they make along the way).


The Cube

The wizard’s son Levi stood with his friend Tommie the fairy in front of the open mailbox. Inside sat a small blue box. Levi knew he shouldn’t touch it, but something whispered into his mind telling him to grab it and hide it. He kept his hands held behind his back.

Tommie reached towards the little box and it turned black. A quiet voice in the boy’s head told him the box didn’t want the girl to touch it.

“I don’t think it likes you,” he said.

“I think you’re right,” she replied.

“What do we do?”

“Do you have a glove?”

Levi nodded, went to his shed and returned with the requested item.

Tommie put it on and picked up the cube. It didn’t change. “I can sense a strange intelligence. Look closer, but don’t touch.” The boy leaned in. “See the grooves? There are more of them than it seems. It almost looks like a maze of some kind.”

“It’s a labyrinth actually,” a voiced sounded from behind them, startling them. Standing on the path was a young minotaur. He had the body of a regular boy but his head was that of a bull. He had glowing red eyes and was taller than both Levi and Tommie.

“Who are you and how did you sneak up on us?” asked Levi nervously. He knew the reputation of minotaurs.

“Sorry I didn’t mean to scare you. My name is Raythe.”

“A labyrinth you say? How do you know? Do you recognize the box?” Curiosity overcame the voice telling him not to trust the other boy.

“Yes, it’s my labyrinth. I sent it here. Well, not specifically here. I cast a spell to send it where I needed to go to make my wish come true. It came here. I can sense it wherever it is so I simply followed.”

“Your wish?” Tommie asked. “We’re trying to become fairy godparents! Maybe that’s why your maze came here. Can you share your wish with us? I bet we can help.”

“I wish to be good, or more accurately, I wish to not be evil.” At that statement the cube flared with magic and vanished.

The minotaur dropped to his knees and bowed his head. Levi felt an overwhelming sadness coming from him. “What just happened?”

“I can’t sense it anymore. My labyrinth abandoned me.” Raythe sobbed.


The Prompt

Your character is lost in a maze with the instructions to find a very important document or treasure hidden in its center.


Yesterday I felt I was too literal with the prompt so today I decided to twist it, turn it inside out and run with it. Now I need to send poor Raythe and his new friends on a quest to find his lost labyrinth. Minotaurs in my fairy world are an actual race who are born evil (not made by a god) and I think it will be interesting to see what happens to this kid as he tries to fight his fate and overcome his heritage.


Rough draft 395 words.

Story A Day Challenge – Day 2 – Flea

Today’s prompt was really hard for me. It was just a little too detailed. Because of this I felt restricted. My mind was a blank and my muse was having none of it. I wrote a story but it seems like it’s someone else’s story. It’s a very literal interpretation of the prompt. I’m still trying to come up with something else but I seem to have shut down on this one.


Flea

Greg reached for his wallet and froze. It was gone! Someone actually stole from him. Even more shocking, he hadn’t noticed. Glancing around, he spied one boy acting a little too casual. He walked quickly in the kid’s direction. The boy noticed his attention and took off running.

“Little bastard!” Greg shouted as he gave chase. Down the sidewalk, through alleys, and across busy streets they ran. The kid was fast and while Greg could keep up, the zigging and zagging was hard on him. He was too old for this shit. After ten minutes, determination was the only thing keeping him moving.

Eventually the boy hopped an alley fence the older man couldn’t. Greg sat down hard on a crate. Disappointment coursed through him. He really wanted to catch the kid. Such a shame. Wallowing in frustration he jumped when something hit him hard in the side of the head and landed a few feet from him. The wallet. His head jerked up and he saw the young thief standing nearby.

“Three dollars! You followed me all this way for three frickin dollars? And what’s a rich guy doing with such a cheap crappy wallet?”

As the boy stomped away Greg chuckled bringing the thief to a stop. “Of course it’s a crappy wallet. It was in my pocket where anyone could steal it.” He kept smiling at the surprise on the kid’s face. “What’s your name?”

“They call me Flea.”

“Well Flea, you’re biggest mistake was not knowing rich men keep their wallets near their chest. Come on I’ll buy you lunch and we’ll talk about what else you’re doing wrong.” Greg walked past the boy without looking back. He knew the kid was wary but interested, he would follow. Finally after all these years, a worthy apprentice!


The Prompt

Your character’s an extremely talented pickpocket. He learned the skill when he was young and poor. Now he has a good job, a healthy bank account, and a respectable lifestyle, but he thinks it’s a shame to let such remarkable talent go to waste.


Rough Draft 300 words

Sidenote: Sorry for two posts today, but be warned there might be a third if I come up with an idea I like today! This is also  for my Write Anything Wednesday.

Story A Day Challenge – Day 1 – Faulty Memory

The last few months have put a serious damper on my writing. I had a good schedule going for a while but it’s difficult to get back to it. I’ve been able to do more blog posts but I want to write more fiction, specifically flash fiction. Don’t get me wrong, I want to work on my bigger projects, but for now I’m treating shorter works as warm ups for the main event.

To help me exercise my neglected muse, I’m taking the StoryADay September 2015 challenge. Click here for details if you’re interested in taking the challenge too. Each day I’m going to get an email with a prompt, along with story suggestions.

I don’t know if I can actually write a story every day for 30 days but I’m going to try. I can be overly picky about prompts so I expect to have days where it doesn’t work for me. Actually that’s a terrible attitude. I will attempt to use the prompts as best I can! I can’t promise stellar stories and whichever I choose to post will probably be in dire need of editing but I’ll get them written!

I wrote one today and already I’m itching to fix it. I’m not going to, not yet. If I start editing I’ll pull myself out of creative mode and that is not acceptable. Besides I plan to do Nanowrimo so I might as well get used to the editor hat being hidden in the back of the closet.

That said, below is the story for day one. If you have suggestions they are always welcome. I won’t be terribly surprised if the mistakes I’ve already noticed are pointed out to me, but there are bound to be things I haven’t seen yet so thanks in advance for any comments.


The Prompt

Today, write a story that features people disappearing.


Faulty Memory

The clenched fists were enough to show Wizard Kevin the man calling himself Donovan was getting angry. Added to the narrowed eyes and bulging forehead, there was no mistaking it.

“I can see you’re a little upset with me. Please calm down and explain it to me.”

Donovan took a deep breath. “It started right after I left you. I went to the general store and old man Mitchell had no idea who I was! All those years of slaving away for him and he acted like he’d never seen me before. As I tried to explain who I was he vanished!

Then Emma Brown passed me on the roadway and smiled at me! She didn’t see the man she destroyed, only a new heart to break. As soon as she was a step beyond me she too disappeared.

The butcher wouldn’t take the coins I owed him, swearing I’d never been his customer. You know I pay my debts! He too was gone after a moment.

Then to top it all off, the mayor did remember me, was still angry and still expected me to fix the wall of the council house. He faded away as soon as he got me mad. This spell of yours is wrong! I was supposed to forget the people who made me angry, not the other way around and they weren’t supposed to stop existing. You’re the worst wizard there is. How could you have gotten such a simple spell so completely wrong? I want you to fix this right now?”

The wizard glanced at the villager standing before him. The man was clearly angry but Kevin couldn’t for the life of him understand why.

“Well wizard?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, have we met?” the wizard replied, before he vanished.


Rough draft 300 words