“Done!” Haley shouted as she hit the Enter key. She collapsed against the back of her chair and removed her headphones.
“Are you serious?” Orson stuck his head in the booth. “We’re finished?”
“Yes, sir, we are outta here, Styled Hunter VII is in the can!” She grinned.
“Mallory DeMarco hunted and trapped The Hatchet Man once and for all, and never faltered on her Dolce and Gabbana strappy sandals. He’ll never attack the fashion industry’s hemlines ever again.”
“So, what’s next for you?” Orson popped open a beer.
“I think Mallory is taking on ‘The Hair Cutter.'”
“What, he scalps people?” He asked.
“Nope. He sneaks into their homes, drugs them, and gives them horrible haircuts.”
“You know, sometimes I think we’ve taken the ratio of horror to fashion too far to one side.”
“Yeah, I miss the good old days when serial killers actually killed their victims.
(Tee hee. There is something fun to me about serial killers who do things like shorten hemlines or give terrible haircuts. The challenging part of today’s story was figuring out the names of the movies and villains. I wanted them to have potential for true horror but be obvious in their fashion consciousness. I hope you enjoyed it.)
You jerk awake. Into darkness. The spasm explodes in you, and you retch onto the sticky floor.
“What the hell is going on?” You whisper it to yourself because you are alone.
The black is relieved by one square of gray light. You crawl on bleeding hands and knees to the tiny monitor on the far wall.
“Jeremiah Smith,” you read your name on the screen. “Certified: Unpatriotic.”
(Yikes! Is this what comes out of me when I sleep too little and spend too much time looking at political writing before I go to sleep?
And somehow the second person present has a voyeuristic patina to it, don’t you think?
Today’s prompt word could have gone numerous places. It grabbed my hand and took me to a scary 1984-esque land. I don’t know anything about Jeremiah, but I hazard a guess to say he is not a scary man. Rather, his society sounds horrific from just these few words. It could be the beginning of a second person present dystopic novella. I might just have to write it. Someday.)
“Hey, Mom,” Jeremy cries. “Look at me!” He grabs the iron fireplace poker and ties it into a neat knot.
“Honey,” Doris Jameson sighs and picks up the twisted mass. “Now what am I going to do with it? I can’t use it for the fireplace anymore.”
Jeremy screws up his face in concentration.
“I know! You can use it as a trivet.”
“Jeremy,” she walks to the cupboard and opens it. It reveals twelve other mangled metal shapes. “I know your powers are getting stronger, but just how many trivets do you think I need?”
(I decided to play again with present tense. This doesn’t feel quite as compelling to me, but then the story itself is a bit more whimsical. How would a mother deal with a Super son who is growing into his powers but doesn’t have the reasoning capability to figure out not to behave like a typical five-year-old? If kids are always going to be kids, how do you deal with their lack of mature thought processes? I guess you end up with a lot of trivets. 🙂 )
“If we head over land for six more miles, we ought to be within sight of the Eagle Head rock formation directly to the west,” Tyrell studied the map.
“Are you sure?” Devane squinted his eyes at the left edge. “Looks to me like six miles would put us directly off the land and into the bottom of Devil’s Canyon. And that’s a mighty long trek to get nowhere except maybe dead.”
Tyrell folded the map and stashed it away. He turned cold eyes on his partner.
“I said six miles, and I meant six miles. At which point, ‘When you have walked to southwest due, Then the Eagle Head shall point you true,'” he quoted the ancient words. “The beak will point us directly to the treasure,” he hauled Devane onto his tiptoes. “You got that?”
“Yeah, yeah,” Devane stammered. Tyrell dropped him to the ground and walked toward their packs. He hefted one and struck out southwest.
Devane watched him leave.
“But what if you’re wrong,” Devane whispered to no one “What if the instructions say to go Southest not Southwest. I mean it could happen. After all, the map is a photocopy.”
(I ended up with three prompt words today. And I like it. Figuring out how to structure and create a story that uses multiple prompt words can make for some exciting mental gymnastics.)
Laura stepped back from the mirror and appraised her right eye. An artful cat’s eye made her appear polished yet with a hint of mystery. With a curt nod, she applied the the same to her left eye.
James entered their shared hotel suite and stopped short.
“Do we have a mission tonight I didn’t know about?”
“No, why?” Laura gazed at his reflection through the mirror as she finished applying her makeup.
“Because you look hot, and you only do that when we’re on the job.”
“Thanks, a lot. So, what? The rest of the time I’m ugly?”
“Not ugly, exactly, but certainly not this.” He waved a hand in her direction.
“It’s not an alias,” she replied. “I’m not going incognito. I’ve got a date.”
“We don’t date. You can’t date.” James asserted.
“I can if I want to, and anyway, what do you care?”
“Good!” She grabbed her purse and left the suite.
He sank to the bed and gazed at the closed door.
“What do I care if she has a date? I don’t care,” he assured himself. “Do I?”
(This one took a bit longer than a minute to write. It feels like it’s a scene from a movie or something, doesn’t it? I feel like there’s an entire backstory to this relationship and the work the characters do that we don’t know about it. Are they spies? Are they running a con? Who are they that they would need aliases?
This one was dialogue-driven for sure. What do you think? Does the dialogue feel real? Could people speak like this and sound real? Or at least real for fiction? I’d love to know your thoughts.)