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?

~

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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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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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

~

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.

~

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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

~

 

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.

~

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Leah {Short Story}

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Leah

Wordcount: 1055

Prompt: clichés. Pick a cliché phrase and write a story around it.
The cliché I chose was ‘every cloud has a silver lining’.
TW: Friend’s death.

~

Gunshots, blood, running, running, endless running. The 13 year old girl’s heart felt like a drum, banging out a beat that would kill her.

An arm around her back; a word in her ear: “Go.” Cooped up for weeks, her legs struggled to hold her, bones covered with a thin layer of grey skin.

“You can do it, Alice.” His voice was familiar, but seemed far away, unreachable.

They were out of the room. She breathed. Air. Clean, fresh, blisteringly hot air. Her lungs inflated; her ribs hurt. But, still, she kept running.

The sunlight, barely awake, dying on the horizon, burnt her eyes. Her her throat was on fire.

Gunshots. Endless gunshots.

The banging, echoing behind her, hurt her ears. She cupped her hands over them, but they were roughly pulled away by coarse fingertips. “You have to be able to hear.” His voice, a whisper, his lips barely moving, seemed like shouting to her.

“I- I can’t-”

“You can.”

She collapsed.

“Alice!”

Hands grabbed her shoulders and she was hoisted into the air. “Be careful!” a voice called out. A shoulder in her stomach; she couldn’t breathe.

“Down,” she coughed. “Let me down.”

Gently, she was placed on the floor, but they were running again. Sprinting, now, for the end. The gate. Cars, that would take them away from this dreadful place. The place where she had been tortured, made to feel like she wasn’t worth anything, let alone the right to life.

And then she saw her.

“Leah!”

Leah’s face lit up at the sight of her friend; her hand pulled a gun from the holster when she realised they had followers.

Gunshots. Bullets, whistling past her ear.

Machine fire, cutting down people trying to rescue her.

People were dying; because of her. It was her fault.

Bad people had died at her hands. She had held up a gun, pulled the trigger, ended a life, destroyed families, without a second thought. But they had deserved it. Hadn’t they?

This time, however, it was her comrades that were dying. Names, faces, lives, ones who she knew well.

Then, there was Leah.

“Go right!”

“We can’t.”

“You have to!”

Alice’s best friend grabbed her upper-arm, pulling her away from the cars, away from her safe-haven. “Leah, what are you doing?”

The girl glared, and time slowed down. “She won’t survive going that way.” The enemy had looped around, finding another way in to kill her. “Come on!”

Shouting, screaming, crying.

Running, sprinting, surviving.

Gunshots.

Alice ran.

“Keep going!”

“Take her, take her, Oscar.”

“Where are you going?”

A gun, loaded. Ready to kill.

“I’m a distraction.”

And she was gone.

Alice watched her run. She shot. She killed. Men fell at her feet. Her plan worked – they went after the bigger threat, assuming there were others taking on Alice’s protectors.

There weren’t others taking on Alice’s protectors, for Leah had captured them all.

Blood poured over the sand. Dying screams echoed over the still air.

And as Alice watched, whilst she was told to keep running, running, running, Leah fell.

“NO!” Hands grasping at her t-shirt, keeping her from changing course. A heart-wrenching scream. Surely, enough to wake the dead?

Not this time.

~

One year. A year, since she died… for me. The girl, her short red hair barely reaching her eyes, carried the bouquet.

Alone. She didn’t need to run. She walked, slowly, carefully, choosing her steps.

The grave was well-kept, she saw to that. Shadows concealed her movements from Leah’s family as they gathered around the plot. They laid flowers. They cried. Then, they sighed, thankful that, at least, she didn’t die in pain. It had been quick.

They turned, and were gone.

Alice crept forward.

She laid the flowers; traced Leah’s name; sat; cried; wished, with all her heart, that they could change places. That she could be the one six feet under, not her best friend who had had so much to live for.

“Why?” Saliva stuck her lips together, her nose ran and she wiped it on her sleeve. She tasted salt, then a metallic tang. “Why you, Leah? Why not me?”

“She was always willing to die for you.” The voice behind her made her jump, and Alice turned to see a woman in a black dress, an orange flower – Leah’s favourite colour – pinned to her lapel.

Kneeling beside her, she continued: “We always asked why. She said she knew your potential. You could be something great.” More tears fell down Alice’s cheeks. “I think Leah knew she was going to die.”

“Oh?” Her voice cracked, and she coughed. A box was held out to her. Tiny, it fit into the palm of her hand; plain every where else, it was a dark brown; the only decoration was a triskelion embedded on the top.

“This was delivered yesterday morning, a letter said we were to give it to you. Leah must’ve given it to the post office, told them to deliver it a year after her death.”

Surprised, Alice took the box without a word, and the woman stood, her speech clearly over. She turned to walk away, but had only gone a few steps before she turned back and regarded the young, weeping girl, still mourning for her best friend a year later. Her hair was greasy, her thighs too thin, bags under her eyes and chapped lips.

“We don’t blame you,” she said. “Leah was prepared to do it, and I’m proud that it was for such a good cause. You’re going to be great, Alice, just you wait.”

The girl couldn’t speak, but nodded her gratitude. Smiling, Leah’s mother walked away.

Alice opened the box. Inside, there was a small necklace, in the shape of a cloud. Gently, she picked it up. The clasp at the side begged for it to be opened, and she did. A picture, framed by the smooth curves of the clouds, peered up. Two smiling girls, happy in each other’s arms. Fingers shaking, Alice traced the face of her best friend.

Her tears changed to ones of bitter-sweet happiness. Wherever Leah was now, she knew that she was at rest, knew that she was looking down on her. And she knew that, eventually, she would see her again.

~

Feedback appreciated! 😀

A Scene of The Gang {Short Story}

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A Scene of The Gang

Prompt: “Eavesdrop” – this challenge was to listen in on a conversation, and use it as a prompt! 
Wordcount: 543

Sorry, this is really bad, but I promise I write something every week, so I do! I found this challenge really hard!

~

“Right, either it fixed itself, or I can’t read. Let’s vote.”

“I vote you can’t read.” A girl, sparkling green eyes, grinned from across the room, the army cap crooked on her head.

“Well. That’s rude.” The grey-eyed boy glared.

“To be fair, Scott, you couldn’t even sneeze Pepsi Max properly.”

Scott glared at the girl, thinking he would get eye-strain by the end of the day. “Look, Little Miss Cocky, I had the split second decision of swallowing and hoping I wouldn’t choke, keeping it in my mouth and sneeze through my nose, or opening my mouth. Horrific decision, either way.”

“Lovely,” Alice said, wrinkling her nose. “Still, you didn’t even get it 5 foot.”

Oscar, a blond-haired, gangly teenager, broke in. “Yeah, even when I was a baby I got it further than that.” Alice snorted.

“Guys. Quiet. I’m working.” Janie, a slim, studious girl, scowled from across the room, barely looking up as she furiously typed.

Oscar, mockingly, said, “Oh, she’s working. When are you ever not working, Jan?”

“When have you ever called me Jan, Os?”

“Oi!” Alice interjected. “That’s my nickname for him!”

Janie poked her tongue out. “Sorry, Ali.” Alice opened her mouth for a second before closing it.

“Actually, a lot of people call me that.” She waved an authoritative hand. “Continue, peasant.”

“Rude!” Scott shouted to no one in particular, a wide grin over his face.

Alice grinned. “I am.”

A head poked around the door, and a pair of piercing, brown eyes stared into the room, making the teenagers, even the most powerful woman in the world, squirm uncomfortably in their chairs. “I hope you lot are working.”

The others turned to Alice, who smiled sweetly, and swung in her chair. “As always, Brookes.”

“Hmm.” Still, Brookes disappeared. From the side of the room, Alice felt a pair of curious eyes settle on her.

“Yes?” she asked Cal, a new boy who Alice had brought in, who was staring curiously at her.

“I, er…”Cal started, but was interrupted by Oscar kissing Alice’s head; Cal watched him pick up the entire tray of empty coffee mugs near the door to go to the vending machine outside. Alice knew Cal had been watching them muck about together, and thought he would ask- “Are you two related, or together or something?”

Knew it, she grinned. She still had a childish glee whenever she guessed something before someone said it. “Related? Psh.” She straightened the cap on her head. “To be honest, Cal, if we were related, I think I would have killed him by now.”

“He would’ve killed you first,” Scott muttered darkly.

“Yeah, right, like he could kill me.”

“Yeah. Right.”

“Unless you counted dying of laughter at his stupid escapades.”

“I can hear you!” Oscar yelled from the coffee machine outside.

“I know!” Alice shouted back. Cal giggled.

“You guys are nuts.”

“Don’t you forget it,” Scott, his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth in concentration, muttered.

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure you’re going to be one of us, soon, Cally.” Alice winked at him, passing him a yellow rubber duck.

~

Feedback is appreciated! 🙂

The Differences Between…

…A Short Story, a Novelette, a Novella and a Novel

Well, there are a lot of different things you can write – maybe I’ll do different poems or something soon – but I thought that, today, I’d start with the basics.

Short Stories

  • Shorter than a novel, a novella and a novelette (duh)
  • Usually narrative prose
  • Has a beginning, a middle and an end
  • Generally about 3500 – 7499 words, although there is no set length
  • Under 1000 – 2000 words, in my opinion, is called ‘short short stories’ or ‘flash fiction’ – but others say just below 1000 words
  • Tend to only have 1 climax, but maybe 1 subplot
  • Doesn’t have too many characters

Novelettes 

  • Shorter than a novel and longer than a short story
  • A long short story, basically
  • Generally about 7500 – 17499 is considered a novelette
  • Has 1 climax, and then subplots

Novella 

  • Shorter than a novel, but longer than a novelette
  • Generally about 17500 – 39999 words
  • The rules are pretty relaxed with characters and plots and whatever

Novel

  • Longest work of fiction
  • Mainly fictional prose
  • Generally more than 40000 words, but can go up to a billion words, I guess

I hope that that helps with definitions, and I’m sorry that this was so late! 🙂

Sources:
Wikipedia