Writing Prompt

Flash Fiction – Never Again

Jen’s finger hovered over the trigger while she nervously waited. Her breath came in hard bursts, so loud she thought it would give away her location too soon. Eventually, Nathan would find her hiding spot anyway, he always did. This time would be different, she told herself.

If he found her before she was ready, she would be forced to do whatever he wanted, usually something sexual. All the other times she never had a chance. Even now, she wouldn’t stay hidden for long. Still, it would be different now, because she was prepared.

The first time, she’d tried running, but he caught her within minutes. Hiding seemed the better option, but he still found her quickly. So today she would try something new.

She barricaded herself in what she liked to think of as a nest. It wasn’t the first time she’d tried this tactic, but it would be the best. To get to her, Nathan would have to enter through the only opening she left him. When he did, revenge would be hers.

A sound startled her out of her thoughts, the tiniest of scrapes. From long experience, she knew he was testing her defenses. She hoped he would assume she was burrowed in tight. Instead, she stood in plain view, slightly to the side of the doorway, gun raised.

He burst in and reached for a box to start digging her out. She pressed her trigger three times, hitting him in the chest. The ‘oof’ sound he made with each hit was satisfying. She knew exactly how much it hurt being struck with a paintball. When he fell to the ground, she laughed.

She stood over him as he gingerly rubbed his chest, spreading paint everywhere. He grinned. Of course, the idiot would be proud she finally beat him. She’d have to do something about that.

“Since I got three shots on you, you have to do anything I want that many times,” she stated.

“Yep, that’s the rules,” he answered with a smirk. “What will it be?”

“Laundry, dishes, and dusting.” Your least favorite things to do, she thought.

Nathan’s smile disappeared. “What? Of all the things you could make me do, you choose cleaning?”

“Yes. That was fun. We should do this more often.” It was her turn to smile. Jen had a feeling they would never play paintball again.

 

Rough Draft 395


This story was inspired by a one word writing prompt: trigger. I wrote the draft months ago but didn’t type it up until last week. I never planned to show anyone because I worried it would be a ‘trigger’ for some people. Violence against women is a serious problem, and I certainly didn’t want to make light of it.

So I put it away and felt guilty for a while. Then I remembered something. I’m a writer. I write stories, whether they are provocative, serious, light, funny, weird, scary, ridiculous, or something else. Or all of the above. It’s my job to write and stifling myself is not something I’m willing to do.

I’ve had a severe case of writer’s funk/block for quite some time. Telling myself I can’t write a story because of how others might react isn’t going to help. So I can’t restrict my muse this way.

If I have offended anyone, then I am sorry, but I have to do what I do.

Advertisements

Write Anything Wednesday #98

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but you’ll write more after you get used to it and your muse will shine.

Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Write a piece about running in place.
  • John couldn’t believe this was the afterlife…
  • She forgot the most important day of the year.

Happy writing!

Write Anything Wednesday #97

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Write a story about a friend thief  (This is the one I’m going to do).
  • Kara feels left out, which is normal. What she does about it, however, is NOT normal…
  • He saw the boy on the corner every day playing with a cat. Why was it always a different cat?

Happy writing!

Flash Fiction – A Man’s World (and a quick update)

This is from a writing prompt posted in my writing group. It was the amazing picture of a man kneeling down on one knee with several arrows sprouting from his back. It took me quite some time to come up with an idea but when I finally did, I wrote this in a 25 minute timed exercise.


A Man’s World

Conneth dropped to one knee as Elyse approached to survey her victorious champions. Exhausted with blood loss he was glad of a reason to rest. The arrows still lodged in his back might kill him but not kneeling before the crown Princess would definitely cost him his head. He hadn’t fought and killed scores of men for her just to end up one of her victims.

As she passed by, he chanced a quick glance. The royal brat wrinkled her nose up at the sight of the injured but devoted men prostrated before her. He returned his gaze to the ground. Rumor had it she threw men she didn’t have killed in the fabled dungeons of Sarvon for not showing the proper deference.

Not for the first time Conneth wished men could rule. Elyse’s older brother Landor would be a great ruler. He understood the plight of men in this kingdom, but it would never happen. If Elyse didn’t survive to become queen her closest female cousin would ascend the throne, even if the girl hadn’t reached her majority.

Someday, probably not in Conneth’s lifetime, men would not be thought of as lesser creatures. They would not be bred merely to cater to a lady’s whim or to fight wars started by women. What he wouldn’t give to be able to choose his own wife and make his own decisions.

Being paraded at the multitude of Men’s Balls for some random female to bargain with his mother for his hand was degrading. It didn’t help that he was reaching an age where he was almost too old to be marriageable. It was unfair that he would be forced to either marry a stranger who would rule his life or risk being labels a bachelor. His stomach tightened painfully at the thought.

His head jerked up at unexpected movement in front of him. Elyse stood looking down at him. There was a light in her eyes he didn’t like. She stared at him for several minutes as he defiantly glared back. The blood running down his back distracted him but if he was going to die, he was going to go out in his own way.

“This one,” Elyse said to the man beside her, her personal slave mage. “Heal him, send him to my tent. Oh and find his mother.” She turned and walked away.

Confused he stared at the mage as the man bent over him and began the healing.  “What is going on Victor?”

“You poor bastard. You’ve been chosen as the Princess Elyse’s next consort. I probably should have let you die. Maybe you’ll survive longer than the last three. I gave you a little extra stamina, you’re going to need it. Her um…appetites are voracious.” The sympathy on the man’s face was almost painful.

“Sex?” he asked but he knew the answer. Wasn’t that what women really wanted men for? For the first time in his life Conneth passed out from fear.

*rough draft: 496 words


I am choosing not to edit this due to Nanowrimo starting tomorrow. My inner editor is safely tucked away and I hope not to see it until December. I’m going to the kick off event tonight and will start writing my novel at midnight. I’m wimpy so I won’t stay very late but I like the way it starts off Nano. On Tuesday I’ll write for as many hours as I can handle (which of course my stupid back will decide).

I have a procedure scheduled for Thursday, an injection, which will mess up my writing stride but might enable me to get through November and finish Nano.

There is no way to know how often I’ll be posting here during next month. My regular Wednesday posts hopefully and the Saturday post for sure will show up. Updates will be sporadic.

You might see some excerpts but no more short stories as I’ll be concentrating on one project (hopefully).

 

Flash Fiction – The Cage

Niall the Handsome spied her through the boards covering the window, though it took a moment for him to notice. In the middle of an otherwise empty room stood a large metal cage on a marble column. It was much too large for a bird but movement inside it caught his eye.

The first thing he observed was some fluffy, womanly cloth, as white as the cage. Was it a nest? As he stared, trying to figure out what he was seeing, the creature inside pressed up against the bars and stared at him. He fell back in shock. A woman? Who could be so evil as to put a human being inside such a prison?

Gold fever may have brought him to this distant castle but life was more precious and he must save her. Besides, Niall was a knight and she was beautiful. Had not she looked at him longingly? The gallant knight always saved the damsel in distress. Duty first, then riches.

He circled the ancient building, searching for an entrance. The back door was unlocked. He entered cautiously. When he encountered no guards or magic traps he boldly rushed to the grand hall he’d seen the girl in.

She stood when she saw him. He was surprised there was enough room but she was small. Good, he thought, her added weight wouldn’t strain his horse when they rode off into the sunset. Plus, he would be able to carry much of the purported gold.

The girl seemed nervous so he checked the room for magic traps as he made his way to her. After what felt like ages he reached her. There was only a metal pin for a lock so opening the door was easy. She must be simple, which suited him perfectly. Smart and beautiful damsels were not the type of lady Niall preferred.  He smiled with the knowledge this would be the best day he’d ever had.

He pulled the door and reached a hand out to her. Her eyebrows knit in fear and she backed away from him. Sympathy welled in him. The poor thing probably thought he was going to hurt her. He smiled reassuringly and leaned further into the cage.

Suddenly she smiled and he felt himself pulled all the way inside with her. The door slammed shut and the pin magically appeared back in its place.

“What is going on?”

She put a finger to her lips and pointed over his shoulder.

“She doesn’t speak but I can hear her thoughts,” a cold voice sounded.

“Free me at once,” the knight tried to demand but his voice quavered when he saw who spoke – the great wizard Zehagan.

“I cannot. She has wanted a pet for so long and it took weeks of work on my part to get you here. She wanted someone stupid enough to believe the rumors of riches but handsome enough to spend the next five years with.”

“What happens in five years?”

The wizard pointed to a pile of well-gnawed bones in a corner. “I’m surprised you didn’t see them when you broke into my home, Niall the Handsome.” Then he laughed and turned to the girl. “Yes my sweet, stupid and handsome. I’ll let you two get to know each other, I have work to do.”

Niall screamed and shook the bars as Zehagan departed. He kept screaming as the girl, who was much stronger than she looked, held him tightly.

 


This came from a picture prompt found by the leader of my writing group. It was a black and white photo of a woman in a cage. I don’t know what color her dress was but I chose to see it as white. She was sitting on seat surrounded by tulle.

While talking about it with my friend I suddenly, and inexplicably thought of my dogs. They sleep in a five foot pen with no top. At bed time one of them, Link, comes into my bedroom and starts the stare down. If you speak to him he runs to the living room. One of us opens the door and he goes right in. He knows when he is ready and his internal clock is spot on.

If the door is not closed within a few minutes he repeats the process. He will keep this up until someone closed and latches that gate. If a dog can wear a relieved expression, this one does. Neither he or his brother can sleep with that door open. They don’t care that it’s open on top, as long a foot and a half of tiny metal rods is closed in front of them.

Thus my story seed was planted. I thought about the girl in the cage being rescued by a brave, handsome knight (for the cheesy factor) but she doesn’t want to be saved. She was perfectly content in her cage. Then I decided her cage protected her from something that could/would eat the knight but I’ve actually done something similar so I dismissed the idea. When I realized she didn’t need protection, but maybe a snack at some point, more words filled in the blanks and I ended with this story.

I know it needs editing. In fact, I planned to polish it up and pare it down to 500 words as soon as I got home from writing group. I even opened the file. Then life. So many distractions occurred (although it only took the first one) I simply forgot to do it. Still, I wanted to post it tonight so this is probably the roughest rough draft I’ve posted in a very long time.


WR

Write Anything Wednesday #88

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Write a piece about someone, real or imagined, escaping an abusive partner.
  • Witches, ghouls, ghosts, and vampires hate Halloween. Sprites on the other hand love it…
  • The zeppelin was black. Why?

Happy writing!

Write Anything Wednesday #87

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • It’s your character’s first date. They are going bowling. The only problem is he despises bowling. What happens?
  • You’ve inherited your Great Aunt Ruth’s cherished dog, but he hates you…
  • The ability to make paper photographs has been lost in the distant future.

Happy writing!

Write Anything Wednesday #77

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Write about your character’s experience visiting a new town/village/city/world.
  • You’ve found a messenger bag full of money. What do you do?
  • Come up with a list of blog posts you’d like to write. If you have time, write them!

Happy writing!

Write Anything Wednesday #76

You know the drill, write something. Why? It’s a great day to write and I say why not? Write absolutely anything. Try your hand at flash fiction or write a poem. Make an outline or character sketch. Write a chapter, or as many chapters as you can. Nothing to write about? Try making a list of ideas or free-write. Make Wednesday your weekly no-matter-what writing day. If this isn’t a good day then pick another. The important thing is to simply write.

If you feel stumped grab a timer and do ten minute sprints. The first time you do this might not garner great results but the more you do the more you get used to it and your muse will shine.

If you would like a prompt:

  • Come up with one new character, one new location and one new important prop.
  • Write a piece about saving. Saving money, a life, time, etc.
  • What is most important to you (or your character)?

Happy writing!