Against The Dying of the Light {Short Story}

Against The Dying of the Light

 

Wordcount: 868
Prompt: You receive a weird text message from an unknown number when you’re walking home one night. It says, “You now have the chance to go back in time and change one memory. You have five minutes to decide.” What happens next?

~

Against The Dying of the Light

~

She had never thought her beloved Land Rover would break down, but lo behold it had happened. Alice slammed the car door and stomped down the road – no one could pick her up, and it was still two miles home.

Envisioning the steadily-cooling macaroni cheese on the table only made her hungrier, and she sighed, plugging her headphones into her phone. One ear bud dangled uselessly, and she tucked it into her jacket.

She debated about jogging home, but voted for hitch-hiking instead. Thumb sticking into the road, she continued to trudge, her Land Rover casting a long shadow and mixing with hers.

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Right vs. Might {Short Story}

Right vs. Might

Wordcount: 1385
Prompt: You receive a letter in the mail. It reads: “Congratulations! You’ve just won…” Finish the sentence and tell the story of what happens next.

~

Right vs. Might

~

Whistling through my teeth, I jumped over the garden wall. Father hated me doing it – said it ruined the roses on the other side – but I missed the damned flowers this time, so he couldn’t have a go at me for that.

As I reached for the front door, I paused, my hand resting on the door handle. I leant forward, and pushed my ear up against the tinted glass, hearing what I thought I would – silence.

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How Did I Die? {Short Story}

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How Did I Die

Wordcount: 790
Prompt: just as you’re leaving a restaurant with your mates, a boy your age taps you on the shoulder and says, “Come with me. It’s time.” What happens?

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How Did I Die? 

~

I fumble about in my pocket for some change to tip the waiter. He’s being eyeing me up all evening, and I am _so_ going to bag him before my friend, Meg.

“Thanks for everything,” I murmur when he comes around to collect our bill. He smiles at me, and I wink.

But, then he goes away. Meg laughs at my disgruntled expression. “Shut up,” I say, punching her lightly on the arm. She just shakes her head and follows Josh, another of our friends, out of the booth.

As we pass the other tables, a few glance our way – teenagers, especially slightly tipsy ones, are to be avoided at all costs. I’m the designated driver for the evening, though – Coke’s been my friend for the night.

Just as I’m about to leave, a boy, about 18, taps my shoulder. “Come with me,” he says, a hint of urgency in his voice. He glances behind him and lowers his voice. “It’s time.”

I laugh. “I think you’ve got the wrong person, matey. Time for what?” I check my watch. “The time’s 10:30 if you really wanted to know.” I turn to walk away, but he grabs my sleeve. “What?” I ask. Outside, Meg is waving at me. “Look, I really have to go…” I take a few more steps away, but he follows.

Annoyed, I take him by the shoulders and turn him to the door, giving him a slight push. “Please,” I say, “leave me alone before I call the police.” He laughs ludicrously. “What?” I ask through gritted teeth.

“I wouldn’t turn me away, if I were you.” I raise an eyebrow, but he walks away.

“Wait,” I sigh, as he’s only gone a few paces. He turns and smiles.

“Yes?”

“What do you want from me?”

“I think the question is what do you want from me?” I let a stream of air out from between my teeth. This kid is irritating, and I’ve only know of his existence for about 30 seconds.

“Fine then, what do I want from you?”

Winking, he just turns and walks back inside the restaurant. “Liliana,” Meg says at my shoulder. “Are we going, or what?”

“Or what,” I say. She glances at me. “I just need the loo, alright? I’ll be out in a moment.” She rolls her eyes but strops back to the car.

Throngs of people who have all decided that now is the exact time they want to leave crowd the restaurant, and I force my way through them. The boy stands, leaning against the wall at the back.

“So?” I ask.

“So?” he repeats, confused. I stare, and he seems to remember who I was. “Oh, it’s you.” I throw my hands in the air.

“10 points to Sherlock Holmes here.” He just raises his eyebrows. I plough on. “Anyway, what time is it?”

He glances at his watch. “Ten thirty.”

I remind myself to only strangle this boy once I have found out what he wants me for.

“You said… ‘it’s time’. What does that mean?”

“Oh,” he says, “it’s time for you to tell me who you are.” He toys with a wooden bead on a leather thong around his neck. His tongue trails over a scar on his lip.

“Who I am?”

“Yes.” Steely eyes remain fixed on me. “Who are you?”

Maybe following him in here was a bad idea.

“Tell me.” He grasps my upper arm in a tight grip as if he knew I was thinking of running.

Scrap ‘bad’, replace it with ‘terrible’, and you’ve just about got the atmosphere.

“My name is Liliana, I’ve just finished college and I was coming out for a meal with friends to celebrate.” Surely that should cover what he wants to know?

Apparently not, as he leans forward, his fringe tickling my cheekbone. “You… smell different,” he says.

“Well, I’m wearing a new perfume.”

He glares. “That’s not what I mean.”

I stare defiantly. “What do you mean?”

“Humans. You don’t smell like one.” I scoff. This guy is clearly crazy, and I’m debating about calling out for help when he says, “You smell like… like something dead.”

My heart almost stops.

Almost.

“Dead?” Now I know he’s really quite insane. “I think I’m pretty alive, thank you very much.”

“No,” he comments casually. His grip relaxes a little. “You’re dead.”

“Oh yeah?” I ask. “So how did I die?” He’s really driving me a little mad – thankfully, I can see Meg push her way through.

Then, this boy pushes me against the wall, and his teeth are long and pointed and his eyes are a bright yellow. “Would you like to find out?” he asks.

I scream.

~

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Lithcara {Short Story}

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Lithcara

Wordcount: 1758

Prompt: on their 16th birthday, your character’s parents tell them that they’re actually an alien. How do they react? 

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Lithcara

~

“Andrea?” Mum knocks on the door. I groan and lift my head up, licking my chops. Mum grins. “Guess who’s birthday it is?” It dawns on me and I throw back the covers.

“Mine!”

Laughing, I hug her and she pats my head, like she’s done every morning for the past 16 years. “Come down stairs,” Mum says, “your father and I have a surprise for you.” I nod and take a swig of water from the cup on my bedside table. I’ve always been abnormally thirsty.

I throw on some jeans and a discarded shirt and sit on the banister, sliding down to the bottom. Our house is fairly large, but we have to have it like that, what with Dad’s CIA job. He often has lots of guests around; ones I’m not allowed to talk to.

“Birthday girl,” Dad smiles, kissing my head, his brown eyes warm. I hug him around his waist, but he seems different today; his posture is stiff.

I pull back. Something’s wrong. “What is it?” I ask. Dad opens his mouth, but closes it again and indicates to the kitchen table. I glance, and see a small box with an envelope.

“Is this it?” I giggle. “You’re not sure about the present you got for me?” Dad smiles again, but this time it’s missing something: the warmth, the love.

Slowly, I open the box. In it lies a set of keys. I gasp. “Is this…for a car?”

Dad stares at me. Mum leans on the counter. I have a feeling I’m not going to like what they tell me.

“Andrea,” Dad says, “we know this is going to sound crazy…but you’re not human.” I laugh ludicrously.

“You’re right,” I say, “it does sound crazy!” I shake my head. “Nice try, Dad, but this prank isn’t as good as your others.”

“No, Andrea,” Mum says, drawing my attention away from the keys I’m fondling. “We’re serious. You’re an alien.”

I raise my eyebrows. “Have the CIA done something with your brains? I’m human! What could make me alien?” I chuckle again; this is such a ridiculous prank. Mum and Dad exchange glances.

Leaning over, Dad picks up the envelope. It smells strange, but familiar. Like picking up a book you’ve never seen before and sniffing the pages; different, but smell the same as other books. “Open it,” he says.

Sliding a finger under the sticky tape, I peel it open. I pull out a letter. Symbols cover the paper; it looks like it’s Hebrew, or something. Maybe even Wingdings on Word.

“Really?” I ask. “Come on, this is a bit far.”

Dad’s seriousness scares me when he says, “It’s not a joke, Andrea.” I swallow nervously. “Read it,” he says, and interrupts when I try to say ‘I can’t’. “You’ll understand it. I promise.”

I huff, but stare down at the paper. It just looks like texts I have to read at school; muddled up words that argue with my dyslexia. But after a second or two, they clear and rearrange themselves, and for the first time in my life I can read without trouble.

Vearia,
I’m sorry we have to do this. Lithcara is not safe for you at the moment. Lithcarians and humans don’t mix here.
Hopefully, when you’re older you will understand why I had to leave you on Earth. Your adoptive parents will take care of you. I believe they know something or other about ‘aliens’, as they call us.
It breaks my heart to know I will not see you grow up. But in the future, maybe we can meet again and regain those lost years.
Your mother,
Viald

It seems fake. It must be fake. Dad’s obviously just planned a huge trick for my 16th, and it’s backfired because I guessed it.

“Come on,” I say, placing the prank back onto the table, “can we go and see the car now?” Mum is about to object, but Dad stops her.

“Of course,” he says, “just take the letter with you.” I roll my eyes but do as he says, tucking it into my jean pocket.

Outside, Dad leads me to the garage. Red cloth is draped over the object in the middle; it’s flat and long. I pray it’s a sports car, I’ve always wanted one of those.

“Your birthday present,” Dad says. I race forward and pull off the cloth. What’s underneath it, however, was not what I expected.

“What… What?” I say. Dad just looks at me, and in the pits of my stomach, no matter how little I want to believe it, I know that the letter speaks the truth.

I am an alien.

I jangle the keys in my pocket, which feel cold and unfriendly. A space ship – well, that’s the only way to describe it – sits in the dingy garage. It’s black and two guns protrude from either side. A third sits comfortably on top. Low, only coming up to my waist, like an F1 car, the screen is red, and I see a joystick and buttons with symbols I faintly recognise.

My hands go to my head and dizziness engulfs me. Dad catches me before I fall, and holds me as I shake on the ground.

The familiar, unwanted feeling in my stomach grows. Almost nervousness. I need the toilet.

“This is… real?” I ask, so quietly I can barely hear my own voice.

“Yes, sweetie,” Mum says sadly. She strokes my hair. Dad rubs my arm. My mouth hangs open. I think I would look comical if the situation wasn’t…well, wasn’t as it is.

“What am I meant to do?”

“Your mum,” Mum says, “your real mum I mean, wants you to go home. Do you remember the meteor in the sky a few weeks ago?” I nod. Of course I do. Scientists swarmed our house and Dad was constantly away. “That was a message. From Lithcara. It’s safe to go home now.”

“What about my father?” I croak. Dad’s grip tightens.

“I’m sorry, Andrea,” he murmurs, “but your father is dead. He was human. The Lithcarians didn’t like outsiders.” A cold feeling sweeps over my shoulders, like a ghost has blown on my neck.

Mum and Dad hold me whilst I try to take in what I’ve learnt. I want to ask, What makes me so different from you? But I’m afraid of the answer.

“She wants me to go home.” I can’t even bare to say ‘Mum’ in relation to this stranger.

“Yes,” Dad says simply. “Viald wants you to meet your brother.” My thigh muscle jumps. A brother? I’ve always wanted a sibling, but Mum can’t have-

Oh.

Mum can’t have children.

“That’s why she chose you,” I wonder aloud, “you can’t have children.” A tear rolls down Mum’s face, but she nods.

“And you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me, darling.” Shakily, I let out a breath, lean against Dad.

I don’t want to go to this place. Lithcara. I don’t even know what it is. A planet? An asteroid? The dark side of the moon’s secret community? I want to stay here, on Earth, with parents who care and don’t kill a person just because they’re different to them. What kind of people kill an innocent human, anyway? Humans are great.

Oh, God. I’m thinking like an alien.

“You have to go,” Mum says in a low voice. She’s trying to compose herself. “Your mother needs to see you. You need to be with your own people.”

Angrily, I retort, “But I’m happy here! With you, and Dad.” Mum shakes her head as I’m speaking.

“You’ll start to change soon. You have to go… Vearia.” As she uses a name I don’t know in association with me, I take in a shattered breath.

“My name,” I hiss, “is Andrea.” I want to ask what this ‘change’ is, too, but it sounds far too ominous and I’m far too scared. At least now I know what makes me different from homo-sapiens. They don’t go through a ‘change’ – apart from puberty.

And then, as I think back, hints were there. I never got a period. Plaque never built up on my teeth. I slept for only an hour or two, and that was enough to last me for the next 20. My broken arm, from falling off a bike when I was 7, healed much faster than my best friend Heidi’s leg.

Oh, God. Heidi.

What would she think about all of this? She would probably just laugh, and continue talking about her imaginary boyfriend.

And what about my actual, real-life boyfriend, Jack? Panic rose in my chest, and my breath came much quicker. Dad rubbed my arm a little more briskly.

This can’t be true. It just can’t. I run through reasons why it’s so improbable until I make myself laugh and when I reach up to cover my mouth because Mum doesn’t like the spittle I make sometimes I feel the tears running down my face and then suddenly I’m sobbing because I can’t believe, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe it, for so many reasons.

And Dad is holding me and Mum is crying too and telling me everything will be ok, it’ll all fall into place, although I know that’s not true because according to her I’m changing and I still don’t know what that means but it doesn’t sound good and it doesn’t sound like I can stay on Earth and it’s all gone horribly wrong.

I sob for ages and ages until I get my first ever headache and my eyes are sore and raw even though I can feel them getting better as soon as I blink. Mum whispers to Dad that it’s starting, the changing is starting, and I squirm back into my Dad’s warm, familiar hold because Daddy can save me from everything, like the Doberman when I was 6 and the broken heart of my first romance.

“Please,” I whisper, “please stop it.” Mum shakes her head and I feel more scared than ever because Mummy is never lost for words, she always knows how to make me feel better and she protects me from the bad thoughts and the nightmares that I get and she makes me blueberry muffins when I’m sad.

I know there’s going to be no blueberry muffins this time.

~

Cliffhanger ending! Should I continue? 🙂

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Bubblegum {Short Story}

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Bubblegum

Wordcount: 996
Prompt: your character is working at an ice-cream parlour when their crush walks in. What happens?

~

Bubblegum

~

‘Sup, newbie?” Cal smiled nervously at the boy in front of him. Grey eyes sparkled mischievously.

Um, hi,” he replied.

I’m Scott,” the boy said, sticking his hand out. Chocolate sauce dripped from his fingers. “Oh, sorry.” Scott wiped his hand on a cloth.

Um, it’s ok.”

You say ‘um’ a lot, don’t you?” Scott asked.

Leave off him, Scott,” Penny, the ice-cream parlour owner, said. “Be nice.” She pushed Cal forward. “Scott’ll look after you…won’t you, Scott?” Scott smiled angelically and Cal immediately felt like he was in big trouble. “Well, I’ll leave you boys to it, then. Show him the ropes, alright?” Penny walked away; Cal wanted to scream after her, “Please don’t leave me!”

Scott threw an apron in his face. “Put that on,” he ordered. “I’ll show you what to do.”

~

Some time later, Cal was exhausted and wishing he could have a break. It seemed like every single person in the little village had decided that today would be the day they wanted ice-cream. To make matters worse, Scott was quick, clean and efficient; Cal dropped spoons and mixed up banana and vanilla. Which is practically impossible, anyway.

Eventually, the crowd ceased. Scott leaned against the counter and stared expectantly. “What?” Cal asked. Scott was always full of questions, as Cal had discovered, and he was wary at what his next one would be.

So, do you have a girlfriend?”

No,” Cal replied sourly.

Boyfriend?” Cal’s heart skipped. No one even assumed Cal liked guys, let alone knew.

Cal spluttered, “No! No, I don’t have a boyfriend. I’m single.” Scott raised his eyebrows and chewed on a toffee stick.

Sounds like you want one,” he commented, “protesting too much.” Cal glared. Scott ignored him and continued, “Anyone caught your eye?”

Look, can you just drop it?” Scott held up his hands in defence.

The tinkling sound of the bell interrupted his reply. “Yours,” Scott said, “I need a pee.” Cal rolled his eyes, turned to face his new customer and heard his heartbeat in his ears, pulse throbbing in his neck. “On second thoughts,” Scott muttered in Cal’s ear as he glanced at the new boy, “I might stay…”

Cal took a deep breath and plastered on a smile. In front of him stood his crush, Luke. Muscles, floppy hair, brown eyes, white (if a little wonky) teeth.

Fancying a guy who sat next to him in maths but barely acknowledged his existence had become the norm for Cal. He began to live with it; live with the fact he wouldn’t ever be with this guy.

Oh, hey Cal,” Luke smiled, “I didn’t know you worked here.” Cal felt his voice catch in his throat.

Scott, as if sensing his discomfort, intervened smoothly. “He didn’t until this morning.” Luke raised his eyebrows and smiled. “I’m Scott. What do you fancy?” He indicated the array of colours beneath the glass.

Deliberating, Liam popped his hip. “What would you recommend?” he toyed. Annoyance flooded Cal’s veins; Liam was flirting with Scott?! Whatever happened to being straight? he thought.

Bubblegum,” Cal interrupted, before Scott could open his mouth. Scott raised his eyebrows and smiled brotherly at him. Liam nodded.

Alright, I’ll have that please.”

Coming right up!” Inwardly groaning (it had to be that cheesy?!), Cal scooped out two lumps of bubblegum and plopped them in the cone. Scott chatted to Liam at the till, but Cal chose to ignore them; Liam flipping his hair at someone who wasn’t him wasn’t his idea of fun.

Sulkily, he rested the cone in the holder. “£1.50, please.” Liam handed over the cash without a word, still smiling at Scott.

So,” Liam said, resting his elbow on the table and taking a lick of the cone, “can I ask for your number?” Cal’s chest thumped – but no, Liam was talking to Scott. What does he have that I don’t? Cal asked himself, annoyed at the tears pricking his eyes.

Eyebrows raised, Scott laughed and threw a teatowel over his shoulder. “Sorry, I’m taken.” He winked at Liam, and clapped Cal on the back. “I’m sure this guy wouldn’t mind it, though.”

Cal made a promise to strangle Scott later.

Awkwardly, he laughed. Liam glanced at him, asked for a piece of paper. Scott almost threw it his way, the pen nearly taking out his eye. Liam scribbled down his number and passed it to Cal. “Um, thanks,” Cal said to Liam’s already retreating back.

You,” Cal hissed, rounding on Scott.

What?” Scott asked through a mouthful of fudge stick.

You forced him into that!”

Did not!”

Did.”

Didn’t.” Cal glared and Scott mocked him by staring back. Scott swallowed. “Well, you never would’ve got his number without me.”

Cal glanced down at the scrap. “How do I even know it’s his?” he mused.

It is,” Scott replied confidentially, even though Cal hadn’t wanted an answer.

How do you know? And why didn’t you tell me you had a boyfriend anyway?!” Scott shrugged.

I just think it is.” He wiped the tabletop. “And I just thought it’d be a bit of fun. So, you’re gonna text him?”

Naa. He’s not really interested.”

He is.”

Isn’t…he only gave it because you goaded him.”

‘Goaded’, who even says that? Goaded…”

Cal punched his arm. “Pay attention!” Scott rubbed the spot where Cal made his mark.

Just call him. He wouldn’t have given it to you if he didn’t want you to have it.”

Sighing, Cal went to the other side of the counter to start clearing the tables. “Maybe I will, maybe I won’t.”

Well, if you don’t, I will!” Cal’s head shot up protectively, and his eyes shot daggers.

You’re taken!”

Darling,” Scott smiled, sashaying his hips, “the thing is, I’m always wanted.” He winked. 

~

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Better With Two {Short Story}

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Better With Two

Wordcount: 1097
Prompt: your character wakes up and discovers they’re invisible! What happens?

~

Better With Two

~

Slamming awoke her. Shouting echoed down the street. Stones thrown at the window. “What…” Janie groaned, tugging at her hair.

Tossing the duvet aside, she sat up, licking her lips to get rid of the sleep drool. She peered out of the window, but no one was underneath. She opened the window and yelled, “You’re meant to knock on the door, morons!”

The closet opened with a loud creak and Janie stared at the array of black suits. “What shall I wear today…” she mused aloud. She adored her job and her colleagues, but the dress code didn’t allow for much variety. Boring but easy.

As she got changed, she glanced at herself in the mirror. Not seeing anything, she shrugged and decided it was a trick of the light, hurrying down the stairs for breakfast, tugging a brush through her blonde bob.

Burnt toast and sloppy scrambled eggs. Appetising… Still, Janie had nothing else and swallowed the vile fodder, trying to keep bile from rising in her throat.

She drove to work, managing to miss the so-called traffic jams that the radio kept banging on about. Sure, she had to drive on the pavement once or twice, and got a few strange looks, but nothing out of the ordinary.

When she arrived, the car park was empty of human life, and she hurried in. The doors opened automatically, but the receptionist’s head shot up and he stared wondrously at the entrance. Her mouth full of keys, Janie could only wave, but the receptionist didn’t wave back. Odd, she thought, but decided she was too late to question it.

“Sorry I’m-” she started, bursting into the shared office, shutting her mouth when she realised she wouldn’t be heard. Alice was the only occupant; her feet rested on the table top, her head bobbed to music whilst she typed. The slamming of the door shocked her from her trance and she stood, her hand automatically reaching for the gun at her waist.

“Hello?” she asked cautiously, earbuds abandoned on the chair. Gun drawn from holster, she held it in front of her; staring at Janie but not seeing her.

“Hi,” Janie replied quietly, the gun pointing to her head and making her heart leap into her mouth. Cinematically, she thought, This is the end, to herself, before deciding not to be so melodramatic.

Alice jumped. Her arm fell, the gun pointing to the floor. Janie breathed a sigh of relief.

Alice’s head tilted to the side, and she said, “Janie? Where are you? I can’t see you.”

“What?” Janie laughed ludicrously. Maybe this was another prank she had fallen a victim to – well, it wouldn’t be the first time. She sat at the desk, and Alice stared at the chair moving.

She held up her hands. “Janie, don’t panic, but I think you might be invisible.”

Quite the opposite of panicking, Janie laughed again. “Invisible? I think you’re losing your mind.” Alice reached over under her desk and pulled out a small mirror, passing it to her, her eyes fixated on the chair.

Opening the mirror with a loud click, Janie rolled her eyes before glancing at her reflection. Only… there wasn’t one.

“What’s wrong with me?” she burst out, leaning forward, her heart fluttering. Invisible? “That’s…that’s not possible.” Alice shrugged and sat down, rubbing her eyes with her fingers.

“Naa, you’re right, it’s not. Maybe I really am going bananas. You’re real, right?” Janie leant over and pinched her; Alice flinched and glared in Janie’s general direction. “Thank you for establishing that fact,” she grumbled.

The girls sat back for a moment, both marvelling at their discovery; one in panic and one in curiosity.

The mirror began to glow. Alice glanced over. “Ok. I’m dreaming. Probably.”

Four words appeared on the looking-glass: Only for one day. “Well, that’s boring,” Alice commented. “In that case, we better have some fun!”

Janie tried really hard not to see the mischievous twinkling in Alice’s eye, but failed miserably.

~

The day passed in a flurry: stealing food from the canteen, winding up Scott by moving his things, pinching random people as they walked by in the corridor. Janie felt a bit mean at times, but Alice’s shrill laugh and cockyness made up for the discomfort.

“This is brilliant,” she whispered from the umpteenth time as she chewed on a croissant, “absolutely brilliant.”

“For you maybe,” Janie hissed back, “but I’m the one who’s gonna get into trouble.”

“Naa,” Alice replied, “I’ll cover you.”

Grabbing ahold of Janie’s arm, Alice suddenly dragged her into a doorway. “Look.” She indicated up the hall, and Janie saw their least favourite person: Agent West. “Go on…” Alice egged, “Please annoy him.”

Janie sighed, ready to stand up for herself. Unfortunately, Alice Frost brought out the worst in her.

She stuck her leg out and West tripped. Hands poked his body, crumbs sprinkled in his hair. Janie glanced back to see her partner-in-crime had scampered up the halls and away, cackling as she went. “Oh for-” she muttered, running away from the scene.

“Oi!” West yelled behind her, but Janie ignored him, her training keeping her footsteps quiet.

“Alice!” Janie scolded after she had found her, collapsed and unable to breath in a corner. “I can’t believe you just left me!”

“I’m- so- sorry!” Alice wheezed in between bouts of laughter. “It was just so funny!” She collected herself. “Besides, he couldn’t see you anyway.”

“Thank god.” Janie slid down the wall and sat next to her best friend. “Now what?” Alice glanced at her watch.

“Actually… I have to go. I’m taking Cal to his school. Parent’s evening.” She made a disgusted face and snorted. “I’m not even his parent!”

“Rather you than me,” Janie said, yawning. “I might just go home and sleep.” Alice poked out her tongue.

“Well, I’ll see you tomorrow, then.” She stood, and turned to Scott who was hurrying down the hall.

“Ali!” he cried. “Have you seen Janie?”

Heart thudding, Janie was relieved when Alice lied quickly. Who knew what trouble she would get into with Scott around. “No, she’s ill. She texted me earlier.”

“Oh, ok…” Scott deflated.

“I wouldn’t go around,” Alice replied, reading his next question, “she’ll be sleeping.” Scott shrugged and strolled off, making some remark about skipping work. Alice winked and waved to Janie, who was left on the floor wondering how on earth she could get through a door without anyone noticing.

~

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Asking Will Get You Killed {Short Story}

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Asking Will Get You Killed

Wordcount: 190
Prompt: each sentence has to start with the word the last one ended with…if that made sense.

~

Asking Will Get You Killed

~

A piece of broken glass illuminates her bright, blue eyes. Eyes that had seen horrors, but were now recovering, eyes that glowed now that she could see. See what? I asked myself. Myself, who had had a hand in creating these monstrosities that were roaming the lands around us. Us, who were just mere specks of dust on this lonely, old planet.

Planets that orbited us had no idea how lucky they were; to be safe, free from this disaster that had begun the night before last. Last time this had nearly occurred, it had been stopped, just in time. Time that was useless now, flowing by, like the water of all the streams in the world which never stopped, despite the disasters that surround them. Them, like the ones who were six-feet under now, the ones who didn’t know what was happening to their beautiful home.

Home. Home; the word was alien to my ears. Ears that had been unable to block out the wretched screams of the dying. Dying for what, you ask? Asking is the wrong thing to do, however, nowadays. Nowadays, asking will get you killed.

~

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HANNAH BROWN – acrostic poem

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HANNAH BROWN - acrostic poem

Wordcount: 90
If you can’t guess the prompt for this one…well… I’m not saying anything.

~

HANNAH BROWN

H is for happy, laughing aloud

A is for actions, fighting the crowd

N is for natural, no masks anywhere

N is for nervous, of the foes I bear

A is for angels, the ones up above

H is for home, the place I love

B is for brown, my hair colour too

R is for random; such a hullabaloo!

O is for opposite to what they say

W is for wondering the days away

N is for nicely finding my place; eventually, I hope, whilst the clouds I chase.

~

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The Man I Love {Short Story}

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The Man I Love

Wordcount: 474
Prompt: using the 7th sentence on the 7th page of the 7th book on your bookshelf, write a story with 7 paragraphs.
My book was The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.

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The Man I Love

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There were lovely patches of greensward all about, with stately trees baring rich and luscious fruit. A grand country house stood in front of me, hidden behind a line of potted bushes. I took a few steps forward, and rested my hand on one of the thin, pale trunks that was nearby. This was to be my home from when I wed my betrothed, Samuel, tomorrow morning.

I could hardly complain about my new place of living. It was magnificent, and I could ride every day, even bringing my horse, Sapphire’s Sky, with me. The library was glorious, filled with thousands of books, most of which I had not read. Samuel had different likings to mine. The grounds were beautiful, containing hundreds of flowers, including different colours of tulips: my favourite. Fountains lay in the main courtyard, and there was a lake in which fish swam and ducks floated on the surface. Yes, I was looking forward to living in this grand place.

However, it was a long way from my home town. Nearly two hundred miles, in fact. Although my father had originally introduced me to Samuel at a ball, it was my own choice to marry him; but it didn’t change the fact that I would be moving away the place I had grown up in, leaving my sick mother behind. She had cried dearly when I had told her I was to be wed, despite the fact I had promised I would return to visit.

I ran my hands down the knotted trunk. An earwig crawled out of one of the holes, and I took my hand away. It did not repel me, but I did not wish for it to be clambering all over me, either. Instead, I reached up and plucked a ripe apple from the tree, biting into it and letting the juices flow past my lips and to my chin.

“Would you like a handkerchief?” Behind me, Samuel’s deep voice made me jump. I laughed and nodded, my mouth too full to speak. His eyes crinkled at the sides as he watched me lean forward, keen for no juices to spill onto my dress. It would stain it dreadfully. “Here.” He leant forward and mopped up my chin. I smiled at him; his brown eyes were warm and friendly.

“Thank you,” I said, taking another bite from the fruit. Samuel tutted and cleaned my chin again, taking the apple out of my hand. He bit into it himself.

“I trust you are happy here?” he asked, once he had swallowed his mouthful. I nodded in reply, and threaded my arm through his as we walked up the steps to the house. I may miss my mother terribly, but I was with the man I loved, and that was the happiest thing I could imagine.

~

As always, feedback is appreciated!
Thanks for reading! 😀 

The Ones Up Above {Short Story}

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The Ones Up Above

Wordcount: 1236

Prompt: using some lyrics from ‘Counting Stars’ by OneRepublic, write a story.
Sorry, I don’t know if I’m happy with this one or not…but here. :L

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Their heads lay on the ground, their hands entwined, calloused fingers against smooth ones. Even her orange hair was dimmed by the darkness, but her eyes twinkled in the starlight.

“Did you know,” she said, “it takes about 8.3 minutes for the light of the nearest star to reach us?”

He turned his head and chuckled, used now to her random facts and sayings. “No,” he humoured her, “I didn’t.”

“Liar,” she muttered. “But,” she continued, just as he had opened his mouth to speak, “that’s the Sun. The next nearest star takes about 4.3 years to reach us. We’re basically just looking into the past right now.”

Cal lay in silence, his last thought forgotten, thinking about what Alice had just said. Over the past few weeks he’d been living with her, he felt like he’d known her his entire life. And, although she was being his mother figure after what had happened, she felt more like a friend. Remembering the first time her lips had touched his cheek in love, he felt a smile appear on his face. Cal was pretty sure he fancied guys, but something about Alice made his stomach flip.

He heard her yawn. “Tired?”

“No, I yawn for fun,” came her sarky reply as she wiped her eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Cal muttered hoarsely, knowing it was his fault. Nightmares woke him night after night; his screams echoing around the house. The only comfort came from Alice waking him and holding him as he sobbed in her arms.

She squeezed his hand. “For starters, I’ve been way more tired than this before now. Secondly, your nightmares stop my own.” He felt her turn her head to him, and twisted to stare into her emerald-coloured eyes.

“You have nightmares?” His voice croaked, giving away his tone of surprise. She had never seemed to have suffered from lack of sleep before.

She rolled her eyes and huffed. “Cally, of course I have nightmares. After you’ve seen what I’ve seen, well…” She shrugged; as best as she could do when she was lying down, anyway.

“What have you seen?” Alice stared at him for a few seconds, before turning back to the sky.

“When I was seven, my grandmother died. Alzheimer’s.” Her voice betrayed no emotion, but Cal thought that she was probably feeling some. Like her, his own grandmother had passed thanks to the disease, too.

Pointing to the sky, she traced a constellation – the Big Dipper. “I was upset. Naturally, I guess. Anyway, mum told me that the stars were the dead shining their light onto us – a shooting star was a blessing.” Her hand dropped; Cal heard it thump heavily on the grass. “I believed her, at the time.”

“What do you believe now?”

She sighed. “I don’t know, Cally.” Her thumb drew circles on his hand. They fell into a mutual silence, and Cal was scared to speak; it was if Alice was calculating her next words carefully.

“When I was 13,” she said, her voice thick like she was trying not to cry, “my friend Leah sacrificed herself for me. That same night, I saw a shooting star. Oscar told me it was Leah – I was too sick to say anything. To do anything, really.” She laughed darkly. Cal felt her wipe her cheek.

The silence settled again. Cal couldn’t imagine how it must feel, to have a friend do that for you. He realised how cold it was, and Alice pulled him towards her.

“Could you imagine what it would be like to kill someone? Pull a trigger and take their life?” Her voice made him jump, and the bluntness of it, as if killing was a normality, scared him.

When he replied, his voice was barely audible to his own ears, but she heard it: “No.”

“I can.” She slid her arm underneath his head, and he rested on her chest. His hand on her stomach felt it rising and falling; he could see his breath when he exhaled. “The first time I took a life, I was 9. It was an assassin, in Italy.”

She was beginning to scare him. Alice seemed to feel nothing on her conscience about killing a man. Whereas, if it were Cal, he thought he would still be feeling a heavy guilt, even six years later.

“It was the wrong thing to do. We could have just arrested them, sentenced them to life in jail. The death we gave them was too fast for what they had done – what they were going to do. They’d been hired to kill this guy’s wife and kid. Don’t worry,” she reassured him, although he didn’t want to be reassured. “We got that guy, too.

“But you know, Cal, it felt like it was the completely right thing to do. How can the wrong thing be so right? And then, now, we sit in an office and send out commands, to people fighting in other wars around the world, we practically sentence them to death!” Her voice rose an octave, and he prayed that she wouldn’t be crying, even though he understood how unfair it was.

Her hand found his hair, her fingers tangling in his curls. “People tell me that that’s the right thing to do. I’m the ‘soldier of the century’, but I have to keep myself alive, send other people to die for me. How can the supposed right thing feel so wrong?”

Speechless, Cal just lay on her chest. He wondered how she kept going, day in, day out, laughing, joking, comforting him at night – when she was living in her own personal hell.

“I want to fight, Cal.” Her voice sounded so longing, so broken that Cal wanted to cry. He knew that what she really meant was ‘I don’t want people to die for me – I want to die for me’. She coughed, and continued: “Oscar thinks I’m mad. Scott would rather go in for me. But here, I just train and train and train – I don’t get to go into the field, they’re so scared of me getting killed, and they don’t seem to understand that going out to fight is what I want to do. It makes me feel alive, you know – about to be getting killed.” She laughed. “Oh, the irony.”

After a few moments, he heard her sigh. “Imagine if none of this had happened. If I wasn’t who I was. We’d just be normal kids in school, not having to do any of this stuff.”

Their hands tangled, waving in the air. “’Normal kids’,” he scoffed. “Screw normal, I have you.”

Alice fell silent – only for a moment. “I can’t tell whether I should feel offended or not.”

Cal sat up, twisting so he leant over her with his elbow resting on one side of her head, his weight on her chest. He stroked her hair back from her forehead. Her eyes seemed sad, like they had a wasted hope behind them. “Of course you shouldn’t feel offended,” he whispered, “you’re perfect. I would have no one else to stand by me.”

Chuckling, she mussed up his hair. “You’re so adorable, Cally.”

He stared at her blankly, and said, dryly, “Thanks.”

“Pleasure,” she grinned, pulling him down for a cuddle.

~

As always, feedback is appreciated! Thanks for reading