Tuesday, August 23, 2011

From a Writing Prompt

The small boys came early to the hanging. Their ma said they shouldn’t be there, they was too young but that wasn’t going to stop them.

“I think that’s going to be the way I die,” Billy said as he stared at the noose.

“Whys that?” Johnny asked.

“I jess has a feeling about it when I looks up there.”

“Your ma taught you right. Yous wouldn’t steal or kill.”

“Maybe you’re right,” Billy said.

The prisoner, who was accused of raping a young woman, was brought to the platform. Even as they put the noose around his neck he swore his innocence. At high noon he was dead.

* * * * *

Billy looked down from the hangman’s box and saw two small boys, neither of them older than he’d been at his first hanging. Like the man that day, he was pleading his innocence as they put the noose around his neck.

He saw Johnny on the outskirts of the crowd. Billy yelled, “I didn’t do it Johnny. You know I couldn’t a done it.”

Johnny shook his head then turned and walked away. Billy died inside as he felt the noose tighten then the floor dropped.

Writing Prompts: Why Some Are Better Than Others

I've been a member of a micro/flash fiction writing group on Yahoo! for probably close to a year now. The moderator offers up one word writing prompts that can be written in any genre, style, etc. up to 1,000 words (sometimes slightly longer works are allowed) but the prompt word has to be included. It is very open ended and can lead to some interesting takes. Some or all reply with their offerings then whomever feels like it, offers a critique of the stories. Literary writing is not welcomed.

On Google+, I've found a fellow writer offering up writing prompts. In the ones I've worked on there has been a premise to what you're supposed to be writing, with a word count limit. The prompts are fairly detailed, but yet open-ended at the same time. 

Today's, which I'll be posting in a few, was the first line of a Ken Follet book. The people who have posted each had a different take on the line. There is no critique per se, but the others let you know their reactions to the stories. Literary writing is welcomed.

Between the two, I have found myself being much more driven to write using the more detailed prompts. There are more rules and requirements but it really focuses my thoughts as I'm writing. I am going to be leaving the first group as I want to write more literary style stuff. I have learned much from them but it is time to spread my wings and see where else I can learn more.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Mother’s Love

The lights flickered as John and Cindy started to argue. The louder they got, the more the lights flickered. Suddenly they went out.

“You’ve upset the baby!” Cindy accused then ran up the stairs to the nursery.

She rocked the cradle as she sang a lullaby. The lights flickered back on then came on again. Cindy looked down at the cradle and placed a blanket on the mattress. “Good night Annie. I love you,” she whispered then carefully walked out of the room.

As she headed down the stairs she heard the garage door opening and heard John’s car pulling out of the driveway. On the kitchen table there was a note. “Dear Cindy, I can’t take it anymore. I’ll be at my mom’s house. I’ll see you at Annie’s funeral. John”

Cindy rested her head in her hands as she started to cry. She wasn’t surprised he fled. Caring for a ghostly child who would never age was not something everyone could handle. The lights flickered again.

She dried her tears then threw the note in the trash and went back up to the nursery. She pulled the rocking chair next to the cradle and started to rock it again.

“Don’t worry Annie, Mommy’s here. I’ll always be here.”

Promises Kept

Brian sat down to watch the movie of the week with the rest of his comrades. After a long week of fighting cannibals, he needed to relax.

The intro for the movie started—a Columbia Pictures production. Brian started to get an uneasy feeling as the music started. He had a flashback to 2010, just before the cannibals started their war against the rest of humanity.

He was sitting in a movie theater with his girlfriend. She had insisted they go see the new Kevin O’Donnell movie—SALT. He hated everything about the movie. As they were leaving, he swore he’d rather be eaten with a spork than watch it again.

Brian’s thoughts returned to the present as the movie started and Angelina Jolie’s character flashed across the screen. It was SALT. “Can we watch anything else?” he begged.

“There is nothing else,” John replied. “Just suck it up and deal.”

“I can’t sit through that again,” Brian said as he jumped up. He grabbed a spork from the table and slipped out of the safe house. He’d barely gotten to the edge of the woods when he was spotted by a group of cannibals.

They rushed at him and knocked him down. “Use this,” Brian urged as he held up the spork. The one next to his head took it and used it to rip his eye out. Brian screamed. He passed out as the cannibal reached into the empty socket with the spork to pull out some brains.

His comrades found what was left of him the next day. They buried him in a shallow grave. On the marker John wrote: RIP Brian. SALT free since 8/20/2035.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Buyer's Remorse

I feel so unsure. When I’d bought the antique mirror, I was sure about it. But now that it’s in my bedroom, I’m having second thoughts.

I look into the aged mirror. I see a reflection of who I was during a dark time in my life. I’d taken the evil path, forsaking all who had loved me. Behind me I see her—my one true love.

“Come to me,” she whispers.

“I’ve too much living to do.”

She exposes her body and soul, beckoning to me. I resist, at first, then slowly step closer, wanting to feel her body against mine once more. I need to feel her forgiveness.

Cautiously, I step into the mirror, reaching for her as she dissipates into the darkness. I feel the heat from the molten lava surrounding me and the echoing moans of despair.

“Soul collection time,” says the Devil. “Welcome to Hell.”

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Marriage Saver

“Jim, try this,” Bob said as he handed his friend a mushroom he’d bought online at CannibalMarketplace.com.

Jim took a bite and looked surprised. “It tastes just like human!”

“They grow them in special green houses. Dead people are put in these special spore suits made in Japan and instead of decomposing in a box they grow these mushrooms.”

“Now maybe Mary will stop chewing my ass for not eating enough vegetables,” Jim said as he gingerly patted her favorite place to nibble on his ass.

“Take a few home,” Bob said. He handed Jim a handful of the mushrooms and a business card.

“You may have just saved my marriage.”

“That’s what friends are for!” Bob said. “Now let’s eat before this heart gets cold.”