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Prompt Club - Round 1

This forum is for members to share their original prose, poetry, and even fan fiction. Please be aware that The RP Collective takes plagiarism very seriously and will uphold the relevant laws.

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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Sammy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:19 pm

The more I think about it, the more carried away I get. I keep picturing a child-board with a thread per set and a sticky with the main leader board but I think that might be overkill with only five of us contributing regularly. Hehe.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Forge » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:25 pm

No reason you couldn't though. It'd keep everything nice and tidy for later browsing.

Edit: more importantly, it'd save a massive rearrange at a later date.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Sammy » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:29 pm

Still seems massively excessive for how few of us are involved.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Forge » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:34 pm

It does for the current numbers. I dunno. Suppose it's as broad as long.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Nicodemus » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:59 pm

Okay, finally broke out of the writer's block. This is one I might actually work at to polish up before moving it over to my originals thread. So if any of you decide to slog through it before then, I'll henceforth refer to you as Awesome [insert username here] in return for some feedback.

Prompt 4: Oak's Crossing
It was the kind of place words like cordial and welcoming were invented for. The sun still hung lazily over the ridge, peering in between the stone houses to warm the brisk mountain air, when I rode into Oak's Crossing. Many residents were up and about, most working the soil in their multi-tiered gardens that were dug into the sloping town.

A youth was the first to notice my presence, tearing away from her parents and scurrying over to the fence around the vegetable plot and peering over the wooden gate to watch me pass with an elated excitement. Though I stooped weary in my saddle, I smiled back to her before riding on. The beaten gravel road brought me further down the hill, where more faces began to take note, eyes following me with similar enthusiasm. Soon the wooden gates were opened, and a small gathering came from all sides and walked beside my horse, issuing warm greetings and inquiries of my being there. I offered a smile or a nod to most, or told them it was nice to meet them if I could manage it before another spoke.

"You look simply spent," a middle-aged woman observed, offering a concerned smile from under her large bonnet. "Do you need a place to rest?"

I nodded to her with heavy eyes. My business was pressing, but I had ridden all night and feared I would fall from my mount, alone on the treacherous trail, if I traveled any farther. The woman addressed the others with a stern clap, then light-heartedly shooed them. The crowd parted, allowing the at least the breadth of my horse, but kept their place in the road and watched intently as the woman beckoned me with a wave of her hand and I followed her down decline of the road until we reached the small town square at the bottom of the ridge. The woman led me to a weathered but inviting house nestled into the hillside, adorned with rich green vines that ran their tendrils about the masonry and up the cedar shakes of the roof. The garden was lush, but kempt, attracting doves that leisurely perched on the fence railing.

"A very friendly place, this..." I said as I swung my leg heavily over and stepped out of the stirrup.

"Oak's Crossing," she said, taking the reins and hitching my horse to the fence. "You'll have to excuse us; we don't see many visitors." She used her apron to wipe the black earth from one of her hands before extending it. "I'm Rhoswen."

"Edmund Cassius," I said offering my hand, which she took in a suprisingly firm grip, pulling me off balance as she shook it. I retrieved my hand and inspected it briefly before turning to the house and yawning, despite myself. "Forgive me. Is this an inn?"

"Better." Rhoswen waved her hand toward the house. "You go see Ms. Gisela, she'll make you feel at home." With that, she turned and began to walk up the road. Without looking back, she said more to herself than me, "Soon enough, your troubles will be forgotten."



I poked my head in the door after a knock brought no response. "Hello." With no answer still, I entered the house, closing the iron-banded door behind me. The place was as quaint as anything in the town, the furniture stained warm and dark and the table set with candlesticks and a floural centerpiece. I called again, but only the crackle of the fireplace answered. I ventured up the open staircase and upon reaching the landing, I rapped on the door.

"Come in," the door said back to me in a muffled but soft voice. "This is your room."

I thumbed the handle to unlatch it and the hinge-bound door swung slowly open of its own accord. I found the room charming. The exposed rafters framed the gable window, which let in the morning light to paint the sealed floor boards in honey hues. The door finished its swing and I espied her, stooped and straightening the quilting at the foot of the bed.

"I am Gisela," she said lifting her head with a smile that rivaled the glow of the room. She appeared near my age, in her early thirties. Her hair hung freely, vibrant from the sun playing through it, and danced on her shoulders.

"I-em..." I became somewhat aware that I was speaking and collected my thoughts. "I'm sorry, you were expecting me?"

Gisela made no effort to rein her burst of laughter. "Not you. Someone." Satisfied with the bedding, she straightened and walked toward the door. "Most visitors are in need of a room, as I suspect you are." She circumvented me in the doorway and started down the stairs before saying over her shoulder, "Get what rest you need, and I'll water your horse. Supper's at eight."

I stood in silence for a moment, hanging on her words that softly drifted up to me, before regaining my senses once more. "Edmund. My name is..." I offered as she crossed the main room and disappeared through the kitchen doorway. "Edmund Cassius."



The sun was still up when I woke, but the beams coming through the window had taken on the orange and pink hues of evening. I rose from bed, rubbing my eyes and taking comfort in how thoroughly rejuvenated I felt, and emerged from the room. The smell of sweetly cured meat and breads beckoned as I descended the stairs and walked toward the kitchen.

Gisela met me in the doorway, unstartled, with a set of flatware in her hands. "Oh, good. I was afraid I would have to stir you." She handed me the wooden plates and silverware and nodded her encouragement. "Here, set the table."

"I really have spent too much time here. I have urgent..." I faded off, somehow failing to recall what my urgency was, and accepted the plates. Even as I spoke, I realized I wasn't willing to depart or dissappoint her. Even more pressing, the aromas wafting through the doorway had made me terribly aware of my empty stomache.

"That will still be there tomorrow," Gisela offhandedly waved my protest away and returned to the kitchen, her modest dress slightly catching air as she turned and playing on her figure. She called back through the doorway. "Whom did you meet when you arrived in town?"

I chuckled briefly. "Everyone, it seemed, to one degree or another." I stepped to the table and began arranging the flatware. "Rhoswen escorted me here."

"Ah, sweet Rhoswen," Gisela mused as she reappeared from the kitchen, carefully carrying a platter of rabbit haunches, glazed and seared and steaming, dressed with vegetables. I swallowed back the watering in my mouth as Gisela placed it on the table and continued, "She's been here since she was a girl."

"Who?" I asked absent-mindedly, staring at the rabbit as I lay the last fork in place. "Ah, Rhoswen. Of course. Very friendly, the lot of them." I paused, remembering the eagerness of the townpeople. "How long has it been since you had a visitor...since someone's visited Oak's Crossing, I mean?"

Gisela's brow raised as she drew her lips to softly whistle. "It's been years, I suppose. No one takes the mountain trail anymore; dangerous, you know. I think Mr. Quentin was the last soul to find us." She pointed as she said the name, toward the road leading up the hill. She gestured to the chair across from her as she took her own. "Have a seat. I started supper a bit early, in case you woke."

"Yes, thank you," I said, looking in the direction of the town and considering what she'd said. "He's still here? Mr. Quentin?"

"Oh!" Gisela said before answering, standing and heading back to the kitchen. "Where is my mind?" After a moment, she returned with a bowl of bread and placed it by the platter. "So, where are you visiting us from?" She returned to the kitchen once again and I called through the doorway.

"I grew up outside of Grove Lynn." My volume fleeted as she re-entered with a pair of cups and set them beside our plates.

"In that case, I hope the wine suits you, though it may not be comparable to that of the vineyards you're accustomed to." She sat down and served a portion to each plate, apparently forgetting my inquiry.

"I'm sure it's fine," I said taking my cup. "Mr. Quentin decided to stay?"

She jabbed her fork into the rabbit leg, her demeanor changing abruptly and for a moment, she was clearly agitated. But the outburst was fleeting, and before I could gather my jarred thoughts, her features smoothed into the smile I knew her to keep. "A fine a place as any to grow roots, wouldn't you say?"

I smiled, genuinely, in response and tasted my wine. I had already forgiven her for the strange reaction and decided to enjoy the meal and her company.



Days drifted, nights passed, all blurred together but in vivid memories of time spent with her. I only left the house on occasion, to water and feed Gambit or to split and fetch firewood, greeting the townpeople who always seemed to be lingering in the square. There seemed to be no reason to go anywhere. I knew I had matters pressing somewhere in the world, but as Gisela said often, they would be there tomorrow, though I had increasing difficulty in expressing exactly what they were. I would have spells when I felt I needed to remember, to continue on, but then she would speak and I would bask in those soft tones that dissolved everything else. I would let it go, and the world would be ours again; the supper table and fireplace, the house, Oak's Crossing. There was nothing beyond those things, no one to be concerned with.

I estimated it to have been a week since I had arrived in town, and decided to give Gambit more of a stretch than leading her around the yard. I unhitched her and mounted, and she seemed eager to be on her way. We crossed the town square and I started her up the road. It was morning, so of course the townsfolk were tending the vines within their fences. I had learned many of the faces, and they waved back in glee when I called them by name.

We had made it to the top of the ridge when I heard my name from Lulie, the youth that had first spotted me riding into town. She bounded right up to Gambit to wave at me and stroke the horse's neck as she came to a halt, and I noticed in her merryment just how lovely the child was. It...reminded me of something. As I studied her face, it melded with another somewhere in the back of my mind and I remembered. Someone I cared for was in trouble. Someone was sick. I had been on my way...

I looked past the crest of the hill, down the road and away from town, and tried to remember my journey and my destination. No longer concerned with Lulie, I nudged the horse onward down the road. Perhaps if I could--

"Edmund," the soft voice called from just behind me, and I reined the horse around to see her in the middle of the road. "Have you gotten turned around?" Gisela asked with a playful smile, and I was lost in it, not startled at all by seeing her there. "I didn't think the town was big enough to do so."

"No," I laughed at myself. "I was just..." I turned around to look down the road, trying hard to find the thought that had slipped away, then back to Gisela. "I was just getting her out, before she stiffens on me," I said patting Gambit's neck, then stepped the horse forward to Gisela and offering my hand. "Here, I'll give you a ride back--"

"No!" Gisela recoiled, as did Gambit, the horse scared beyond its wits as it reared and nearly threw me from her saddle. I gripped the horn and held my place as Gambit spun and bolted up the road. I cried out to the horse, pulled back mercilessly on the reins, but she was crazed into a panicked flight from something. I held on, helpless, and looked back over my shoulder to see the last houses of Oak's Crossing and the townspeople gathering in the street watch in confusion and fear.

Gambit galloped on, determined, until she was apparently satisfied she was far enough away from her imagined pursuer and began to tire. I kept my palm on her neck and coaxed her to a trot, trying to keep my voice soothing despite my racing heart.

As we stood in place and caught our breath, I looked around the wooded ridges I had traveled days ago and began to remember. I had been riding home. Home, in Grove Lynn, to see my child sister. The anonymous dove-bound note had informed me of her grave illness and, without having time to spare, I had set out on the treacherous but quicker mountain path.

I was still lost in thought, but my hand tugged the reins to turn Gambit about and I nudged her to start up the road, back toward home and the trail to Oak's Crossing. We walked slow; I felt as though I had been drained since our sprint out of town, like something was missing inside me. At first I didn't notice the clouds that moved in and, for the first time since our stay in town, greyed the sky above the mountain. I wondered, in truth, how long it had been. I had felt no urge to track the days that passed within the house. The first drops were unpleasant as their chill pricked my neck, but soon the rain set in and I accepted the cold. I rode on, trying to reconnect myself with my memories from before Oak's Crossing, trying to relate to them so they didn't feel like the recollections of another soul long forgotten.

She was waiting for me. I pulled the horse to a halt as we reached where the road branched, one trail leading me on and the other to Oak's Crossing. Gisela stood there in the town's road, drenched, yet radiant. Her skin held its vibrant complexion despite the rain and the dress clung to her below her shawl. She offered me a new smile, as warm as the others, but one of understanding and yearning.

"Do you know where that road will lead you?"

I returned her smile briefly, though I couldn't justify doing so. "You kept them all. All those souls, bound to you. Why?"

"They are happy."

I stared at the ground and fumbled through what memories I could muster. "You sent the note. My sister is well?"

She nodded, a hint of an apology in her unwavering smile.

"Why me?"

"Were you not content?" She took one step forward, wanting to come to me, but her image flickered and faded, her tangibleness giving way to the rain, and she quickly moved back, her brow furling momentarily in frustration. Her smile returned, this one reminiscent, one of familiarity. "I knew you before you came to me." She looked up the road that would lead me away. "I knew this was the only place you could be happy."

I followed her gaze, studying the washed out gravel that would lead me home, to the life that felt so distant.

We looked back to each other, our eyes meeting and exchanging what we had not yet said. Then she turned to go, and I reined the horse and started behind her down the path to Oak's Crossing.
As for the prompt sets, there's no reason you couldn't keep it simple for now and just worry about a Prompts: Round 2 thread incase some of us (Marie) get caught up and move on. You can always link the sets when you make your mother thread to keep them organized. Though, I may be a little fuzzy on what exactly it is you're planning.

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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Forge » Thu Sep 28, 2017 6:53 am

And here's my entry for Prompt 10 - Elastic Heart. I'm not sure how well I've hit that theme of dealing with heartbreak and all, nor whether the piece itself is any damn good, but I can't keep working on it without making myself miserable xD So here we go;

Adam sits at the counter the way he has a thousand times before; the same stool, the same coffee cup, the same off-brand cereal he's been a devoted adherent to since college. He is a creature of habit, regular in almost everything that he does. Zoey is not; she is a hurricane in human form, and he loves her for it. Adam watches her as she moves around the kitchen, hair half-tied-back, cheek smeared with flour, humming as she works. There's music in her, this wild and beautiful woman. Everything she does is underscored by this silent soundtrack; the way she moves, the way she speaks, the way snatches of song slip from her unbidden during day-to-day activities. Adam thinks that if he had a song, it would be a simple, repetitive drum beat; one that he knows would match every chorus and verse of her internal symphony.

They are nineteen, and Adam is standing dumbfounded in front of his course-mates while this wicked-grinned girl waits for him to speak. His arguments are always well put together, but she speaks with passion and drive, and for once he's completely unprepared. It's the first time he's ever been left speechless, but it won't be the last. Later, as she writes her number on his hand, she'll admit that she doesn't even feel particularly strongly about the subject at all - she just wanted to see how he'd react. When she leaves that day, she takes a little piece of him with her.

"What are you looking at?" She asks, the way she has every time she's caught him looking since that very first glance across two cups of shitty university coffee. Adam's pretty sure he loved her then, before he even knew what it was he was feeling.
"You," he answers, the way he has a thousand times. She retorts by sticking her tongue out, and Adam loses his heart all over again. She turns back to her creation, upends it into a tray. Zoey's baking a goddamn cake; not because there's a special occasion, but for the sheer joy of it. "Life is short, and chaotic, and pretty scary," she'd told student-Adam once, dressed in one of his t-shirts and smiling at him over the rim of the very best coffee mug he owns. Her toes against his under the table; the ghost of a memory that still makes his heart race. "Why should we only have the things that make us happy on birthdays, or anniversaries, or holidays?"

They are twenty-two, and living together in a little apartment just off of Central. It isn't much, but it's theirs. Zoe has decorated the bedroom with Christmas lights, and tells him that they're stand-in stars until they can afford the real thing. In six months time he will surprise her with a camping trip; just the two of them and the night sky. In the mean time he contents himself with the feeling of her hand in his and the sight of her smile in the flickering half-light.

Zoey's creation is in the oven now, and she stands over it like a proud parent, grinning from ear to ear. In the same instant she rounds on him, chin propped on the back of one floury hand as she inserts herself into his space.
"We need cream," she announces, "If we're going to finish this properly. I'm going to the store. Never half-ass a cake, Adam." She kisses him, rubs her hands on his shirt to leave ghostly prints that he'll feel long after they're washed away. Adam would do anything for that moment to last forever; the smells and sounds of a lazy Sunday and the feeling of her so close to him. Please, oh please. But that's not how it works, and too soon, always too soon, she pulls away. Despite himself he still reaches for her.

They are twenty-five, and standing in the park on a winter's day watching a group of carolers rehearse. Adam doesn't think they're very good, but Zoey contends that it's the fact that they aren't perfect that makes them beautiful. As they walk back through the frost-gilded trees he asks her to marry him. When he apologises for not having a ring, for not making some sweeping gesture, she tells him to shut up. Then she kisses him. In years to come, Adam will still remember that kiss and find himself breathless.

"I'll come with you," he offers, always offers, and always receives the same indulgent smile, the same playful eye-roll.
"I'm a big girl. I think I can go to the store on my own." Zoey smiles and backs away from him, a subtle catch me that makes him ache in his center. "Besides, you need to guard my cake. Make sure it doesn't burn."
"Don't go," he whispers, knowing she doesn't hear him, never hears him.
"If you're really good, I might even let you taste test it for me." She sweeps into her jacket like a dancer, a fluid movement that carries her closer to the door and further from him. He stands, follows her, inexorably caught in her wake. Her fingers are on the door handle and she blows him a kiss, a playful mocking that makes his throat tighten. "That's assuming the store doesn't decide to keep me. I'm quite a catch. They might want me to stay fore--"
"Freeze," he chokes, and so she does, along with everything else. Dust motes hang motionless, suspended in sunlight that plays across her skin and the errant strands of hair that have escaped her makeshift bun to stretch gossamer and still in the air. She lingers there on the threshold, suspended in the doorway before she can leave the house and move beyond the bounds of the simulation. There is no record after this; no memory of the walk to the car, no way for him to witness her during the collision that will send their little Volkswagen spinning into the crash barrier. No way for him to be with her during those last moments where the fire in her fluttered and died.

They are twenty-nine, tangled and breathless in the pale morning light, content to lie there until restlessness gets the better of them. Months from now, Adam will wish that he had said more; had told her that he loved her one more time; that he cannot - will not - ever be complete without her. He will wish that he had memorised every curve of her body against his; the way that her hair looks as dawn creeps through the windows; the sound of her breathing;
the feeling of her fingers tangled in his. In the moment, he simply kisses her. It is enough.


Adam is weeping now, face in his hands, the synaptic recall cradle on his brow smooth beneath his fingertips. The electrodes hum, holding the memory in place, primed to stimulate recollection on command. 'Perfect recollection at your fingertips', the machine promises, and it does not disappoint. Zoey would have hated it. "You can't move forward if you're living in the past," she'd have said. She'd have been right, too, except Adam can't bring himself to live wholly in a present that doesn't involve her. He returns to his stool, sits and stares at the same coffee cup, the same cereal, the same memory he's relived over and over and over.
"Restart," he croaks, the way he has a thousand times before. "Begin playback."
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Sammy » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:01 am

Geez, Forge, that totally ruined me. :cry:

Sadness aside, the fact you managed to make my heart ache for him in such a short space of time is bloody impressive.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Lumeus » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:45 am

Forge, that is Black Mirror quality story telling. Well done.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Forge » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:42 am

You guys are being way too nice to me. Like, I'm gonna take it, because never turn down praise, but seriously.
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Re: Prompt Club

Post by Nicodemus » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:40 am

I feel Forge should get multiple points on the leaderboard for that one. Really, what are we supposed to follow that with?

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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by Sammy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 12:24 am

Leaderboard updated and, thanks to Nick's suggestion, Prompt Club Round 2 is now live! It's going to kick off with a growing Halloween theme so if you are feeling festive, that's the place to be!
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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by TheWrongGuy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:49 pm

I'm a latecomer, I know. But mind if I do all of round 1 and catch up to round 2?
Should be able to manage it in a week or so. It would be a good way to challenge myself and get my wordcount per day up. That would be about 10000 words in only 168 hours. I'm here, stuck with a bum leg. No one would have to read them all and if I fail the deadline I won't post them. I just want to get back to typing words again.

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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by Nicodemus » Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:56 pm

TheWrongGuy wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:49 pm
I'm a latecomer, I know. But mind if I do all of round 1 and catch up to round 2?
No rush, and I'm not just saying that so you won't tear through them and make me look bad. We're all just doing this at our leisure. It's more of a useful exercise than an assignment. Though, I am curious to see if you can do it.

I hope your leg gets over whatever bummed it.

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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by TheWrongGuy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 1:00 pm

nickraborn wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:56 pm
TheWrongGuy wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 12:49 pm
I'm a latecomer, I know. But mind if I do all of round 1 and catch up to round 2?
No rush, and I'm not just saying that so you won't tear through them and make me look bad. We're all just doing this at our leisure. It's more of a useful exercise than an assignment. Though, I am curious to see if you can do it.
Oh, no worries. I won't sacrifice participation in Unmortal or even stress over it. I'll just use it to fill in blank time during my next week. I've been stuck at home for a long time and I guess I'm getting restless. But if I can't do it, no great loss, but if I can, figured it'd be a cool challenge.

I'll start at Monday at 12:00 AM US Central, if that's alright.
And no, headstarts. I won't think or type til then. Though, I suppose you'll have to take my word on that one... Hmm... Well, I'll be too busy working on a short story I've already started in my journal to cheat on that, but I'll just have to be on the honor system.

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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by Sammy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 pm

I don't think anyone here is likely to concerned about whether or not you're 'cheating' haha. Some of us have been at this for years. The timing is completely at the discretion of the individual.
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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by Lumeus » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:41 am

Huh, my last entry was almost exactly a year ago. Guess its about time to post a new one.
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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by Sammy » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:43 am

Lumeus wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:41 am
Huh, my last entry was almost exactly a year ago. Guess its about time to post a new one.
Uh-oh. Another potential contender.
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Round One, Fight!

Post by TheWrongGuy » Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:23 pm

This post will be edited with updates as I answer the first round of prompts. I only have three at the moment, but believe me... I have not yet begun to fight.

My answer to PROMPT 1:
"Breeze"
Is a short I like to call:
"But Was Once A Storm"
Gemeiner Lothar Lohmann cradled a Raleigh cigarette to a flame under his helmet. There was a pause and then a satisfied puff. The soft packet had been pulled from the hip-pocket of a dead Albanian. The only Albanian to have stood in front of the 2nd Panzer division of the Wehrmacht army, which was over his shoulder and rolling down the brick-paved streets of Tirana in waning daylight.

They had said Generaloberst Heinz Guderian, grand old Schneller Heinz had stormed into Poland, living up to the name Blitz Krieg. Lothar hadn't been there. He had been an MP at the Festungdivision in Crete, doing nothing much at the time. Feldgendarmerie the Fuhrer had called them. Feldgendarmerie. Lothar leaned forward and spat onto the cobbled street. Another mendacious attempt by the Fuhrer to pull-together the story of Germany.

"Lohmann!" Came the voice behind him. Lothar spun about on his heel and saw the tired face of Unteroffizier Mueller, still with the livid sickle-scar on his cheek.

"Jawohl!"

"Leg deine Zigarette weg. Mach es jetzt!"

Lothar cussed under his breath, threw the cigarette down and stepped on it with his boot. While crushing the cigarette, he stared as a Panzer III made horrible crunching sounds as it tore the beautiful cobbled streets to shreds.

There was no one in sight. No opposing force except the one dead Albanian, nameless. Or if there had been a name, it had been in the wallet. Someone else had taken that. Much like Albania, itself. The only reason to be there was the sizable withdrawal(The Fuhrer considered it a loan) to be made at the Albanian National Bank.

Lothar felt a little proud of knowing this. It was the only spec of military intelligence he had learned in the last five years. They told it to him and every soldier so that they wouldn't revolt. Going without pay causes revolts and even Albanian money was money.

The surrounding soldiers snapped to attention. The reaction had been slow. They were all so very tired. It became evident why Mueller had wanted him to extinguish the cigarette.

Lothar's fellows thought that this Albanian invasion had been a "breeze." In front of him was the last Panzer with Schneller Heinz, peeking out of the top. The Generaloberst was leaning over the side of the opening of the tank, dozing. A pair of dirty-black binoculars dangling from one of his gloved hands. It may have been a breeze, Lothar thought, but it was once a storm.
My answer to PROMPT 2:
La Rochelle by RadoJavor
Is a short I like to call:
"The Warspite"
The Warspite wasn't a ship-of-the-line, not even a warship at all. The name seemed fine at sea, but forced and foolish when put to harbor with grand dreadnoughts and massive warships. Put-in as it was now, it seemed a flea to the nearest Blackwall Frigate. Still it compared better to the Frigate than the Rose-Marie, which not only dwarfed every other ship, but the harbor as well. Little gangway was left for the Warspite to exit the harbor, whereas the larger vessels would have to await the Rose-Marie to weigh anchor.

Captain Eric Faceman signalled the bosun, who blew his whistle. Faceman caught a breath of harbor air and bellowed: "All Hands!" It was scarcely audible against the noise of surrounding ships, harbor sounds and the licking of waves and wakes.

The crew drew together in an ordered square on-deck, so geometrical and military that Faceman suppressed a wry chuckle. 'They're not to be outdone,' he thought. He licked a scarred finger and put it to the air. Pleased, he faced his crew.

"We're to set asea, Harbourmaster or no. At my command, loose the rigging and weigh anchor." Faceman rubbed his beard which was black and four-months long. He took his hat off. "There will be no prayers, shanties or idle chat till we're quit of the harbour. Helmsman." Faceman turned, looking at the dutchman at the wheel, Pieter Velde. The man had a long livid whip scar across his eyebrow and a missing eye. "As we said, we're making for home."

Velde's sallow face nodded solemnly. There was a hearty roar of approval, to which Faceman grinned and held his hands up. "Quiet the hell down, damn you!" Faceman shouted. "Whereupon all men will receive their contracted shares with bonuses. Weigh anchor!"

The effect was all Faceman could've hoped. The work was quick and spirited. What should have taken near twenty minutes was done in double-quick time. Velde was doing his trick at the wheel. Faceman, satisfied, leaned back at the railing and felt the world shift under him. A few gulls dodged the Warspite's now unfurled sails, cussing it and it's captain loudly.

Faceman saw something moored in the harbor that troubled him. As they passed the Blackwall Frigate, a presentiment began to form in Captain Faceman's head. By the time they had shuttled by the Rose-Marie, it had become a nagging-worry. He looked at the passing crew for his XO, O'James, but the man was at the starboard bow and Faceman felt hesitant to bother him. Instead, he decided to study the other vessels, great and small. He did so with a raised eyebrow. This did not go on long.

"O'James!" Faceman bellowed. The call was taken up, until Michael O'James turned his head towards his captain. Whatever it was he saw in his captain's face from across the ship, caused him a bloodless slack expression. You may believe this most excellent gentleman wasted no time.

Faceman tried to reorder his face to hold something brave, but in truth he felt sick in his heart. O'James' grin of five or ten minutes ago was vanished.

"Cap'n." He said, cautiously.

Faceman, without a word, pointed to the Warspite's larger peers. O'James turned and saw a sight for which he had no words til his dying day. From their pier, a ship which had afforded no notice, a great West Indiaman, preparing to load cargo. They were about to load it with whips. O'James felt his finer feelings rising and his face growing hot like a stoked furnace.

Faceman leaned backwards and watched his XO. It was a sight not unusual in Albionne and one they had borne with no small ember of rage. The captain had only drawn the poor man's attention to it reluctantly. Every single member of the Warspite had a single shared history, a secret vow they all remembered without ever having voiced or arranged a word of it.

"Usury slaves." Faceman croaked, breaking the silent vow with a thunderstrike. Those in earshot stopped their duties and regarded the captain and the focus of his hateful glare.

"Being taken to labor camps in the southwest." O'James murmered, suddenly looking down at the rope scars on his wrist.

Word was spreading across the deck and a long silent pause loomed. Faceman remember the former Captain of the Warspite had always noted awkward silences by saying "an Angel is passing."

The only work now being done had been the rolling of Great Barabbas, their one and only grand cannon. It was a 32 pounder with a brass plate inscribed with Latin words: "Nonsolis Radios Sediouis Fulmina Mitto." The men doing it were all liberated slaves that Faceman had freed, himself, from the Oubliette of Effre Sans ten years before. The largest of them locked eyes with Faceman and then with O'James.

Faceman pointed a finger at the Rose-Marie and then at the Black Frigate. He held the attention of every man on deck. They looked at the massive war ships and then back at their captain, nodding, steel-eyed. Faceman looked down and took in another deep breath of harbor air. Looked up with a grin and nodded.

The battle at Albionne was one of the most mysterious in naval history as an unknown clipper ship, which had registered as The Warspite opened fire on the RMS Godsent, a West Indiaman. After two shots, the Godsent was sank. Every other boat was scrambed to form a broadside skirmish line against the Warspite, but due to the closeness of the harbor and the speed of the clipper, none intercepted in time. The Rose-Marie gave chase, but unfortunately was becalmed when the canny clipper led the massive boat into a high-cliffed coastline, blocking the wind. No one knows the motive or fate of the Warspite. Some say the clipper was scuttled and the crew disbanded.

My answer to PROMPT 3:
Tavern
Is a short I like to call:
"Salt Death"

John Acomb Devanish pushed his leather stetson back off his head, letting the straps catch around his neck. From White Sands, New Mexico to Salt Heaven, Texas was a twenty-mile ride in desert heat. John spent it staring at creasote bushes, buzzards and desert willows. He was sore and burnt. His horse was tired. The night wasn't cold yet.

Salt Heaven, Texas had a hotel and tavern. Salt Heaven, Texas had a church. Salt Heaven, Texas had nearn't another damn thing else in the whole town. But Salt Heaven, Texas was where he was. He came to the tavern doors and pushed them aside. He came to drink the water and maybe to eat.

The wood floor was only a timber or two from being classified as a dirt floor. John stepped over the broken planks and found a steady bar stool. He winced as he sat. There wasn't a soul. No player piano. No poker game, media-res. No in-situ whores or bronco busters. Not one damn bottle behind the counter.

The person who peeked into the room and caught sight of John Acomb was Chinese. She was a sight indeed. She was even-eyed with John, who was, himself, a rounded-up six foot. She wore a button-up shirt and slacks with a dish towel tucked in the belt. She had long hair and smoking cigar in her fingers.

"Howdy." She said. The voice was accentless. "Long night?" She asked, turning to a pot-filled stove.

"You have water?"

"Yes. We have water."

"Water and food."

John Accomb put ten dollar bills on the bar. She turned to speak and saw the folded money. It was wrinkled and rough with faded print, but it was real. Her hands were quick and once the money was off the counter, it had disappeared.

"Cornbeef hash. Gone-all-day stew. Eggs. Bacon. Coffee..."

John listened as she rattled off food. The cheap version of a menu.

"Just water and..." John leaned forward and gave his first evidence of personality with a slight grin. "Cornbeef hash, please, miss."

She nodded and pointed to a busted couch and table. It wasn't just a couch. It was a horse-hair fainting sofa with all but three mahogany feet out of the usual four. It was the kind of couch an aristocratic pissant would sit his powdered fanny on after a hard day of eating fancy vittles and sexual deviancy.

It rocked slightly upon sitting down, but it was the first time he had felt relaxed in nearly forty-eight hours. There is a special sort of hurt that many can't picture. When every part of a person aches, they've been strained to the last fibers that tie them to God's world and for the first time in two days, they sit down. Some call it a hurt, but to John Acomb Devanish it felt like a Salt Heaven, if he ever knew what that felt like.

It wasn't much longer that a generous bowl of hash and a pitcher of water, complete with glass were put onto the old wooden table. John winced and leaned forward, fighting gravity. The hash smelled wonderful but his hand went straight for the pitcher and glass. He had drained the glass twice, finally noticing the woman was staring at him expectantly. Embarrassed, he wiped his mouth.

"What's your name, miss?"

There was a rattled look in her eyes and she backed up, glancing over at the bar.

"I'm not for sale."

John nodded sadly. It was a sure guess most passer-throughs hadn't been proper boy scouts. He had supposed the ten dollars had seemed suspicious, but he was only guilty of charity and laziness. "The best things in life never are." He said, taking a spoonful of hash and looking back up. "Well, miss 'I'm not for sale.' thank you. This tastes perfect. Where'n about are all the other folks?" He asked, looking around.

Deciding that the man hadn't intended anything with his ten dollars, she reached down and refilled his glass a third time.

"Name's Sally Liu an' everyone is home, all seventeen of them." Her flawless accentless voice slipped on the last word. It was too bad it wasn't more slippery, it sounded fine to John.

"Any special reason as to wh-"

His voice was downed out by a gunshot. A gunflash snapped from behind the shaded front window and a horse screamed. Sally Liu's face snapped over to the bar. Her attention was brought back to John at the sound of the hammer clicking on twin revolvers.

"That's why you wear them on your hip, Sally." He said, glarring at the tavern doors. A ten-foot tall huddled figure pushed through them, grabbed a bar stool and settled atop it. The beast had a black leather hat on it's bleached horse-skull head. It threw open it's black coat revealing it to be a thing of bones and dried skin.

Sally was glaring at it and edging to a back room. For what it was worth, John had both pistols trained on it.

"You've got a good story, friend." John said, voice still fresh with water. "It starts with why you thought shooting my horse was a stroke of genius. But I bet it doesn't have a happy ending."

There was a raspy chuckle as it picked a piece of paper from it's coat and gingerly placed it over the top of his cornbeef hash. It held up one hoof and one hand, innocently. John could see the smoking pistol at it's hip. He chanced a quick glance at the paper. It was a photo. The creature still wasn't moving. Another glance and he saw an old man with a spruce goatee holding the reigns of a mustang with a white star on it's head.

The creature held up a single long finger and made a spining motion.

John sat a revolver down and snapped up the photo, holding it up next to the beast. Flipping it, he saw what his first-grade teacher would term "chicken scratch" that spelled out. "Killed me and mine."

The tavern doors burst open and a puckered corpse, dressed identically to the man on the photo. The corpse was missing a hand, which was likely a donation so his compatriot could wield a pistol. The newcomer did still have his foppish goatee, though.

"Seems to me I just helped you both lose a little weight, s'all." John said, snapping the other revolver up and honing it on the newcomer. "You both trampled that woman in mid town. Called her a squaw in front of women and children. Shot her baby boy with that cute hogleg. If you both think you're here to mete justice then you're above your bend and out of your tree."

The newcomer laughed a sound that would've killed one of God's own angels. The newcomer, still posessed with lips and part of a tongue. The thing pointed at him and made a beckoning motion. "You're coming with me, Gerald Acomb Devanish." It said in a smirking drawl.

"That's my brother." John said, eyes wide.

Two blasts sent the newcomer stumbling backwards. Two more clicks, two more gun blasts and the old fool was on his back. The beast made for it's own big hip iron but a shotgun blast shattered it into pieces and rags. Another shotgun blast separated the newcomer into halves as it was trying to crawl it's way up the bar.

Behind a swirling cloud of gunsmoke was Sally Liu holding a shotgun to her side. The sound hadn't settled, his ears were still ringing, but John could've sword he heard Sally say "You can't wear a shotgun on your hip."

They buried the pieces of the Beast and Newcomer in a salt flat in the chuchyard. The whole damn cemetery of Salt Heaven, Texas...the whole thing was a salt flat.

I also apologize for any spelling or grammar errors, that's the problem of firing these off as fast as possible.
-TWG
Last edited by TheWrongGuy on Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by Sammy » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:16 am

TheWrongGuy wrote:
Can you post each 'batch' as a separate post please? Just makes my life easier. :smile:
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Re: Prompt Club - Round 1

Post by TheWrongGuy » Sat Oct 14, 2017 8:07 am

Here's the next batch.

My answer to PROMT 4:
Oak's Crossing by JonasDeRo
Is a short story I like to call:
"Who Am I?"
Marius Dragan cored out an eggplant half and stuffed it with forcemeat mixed with coriander. He laid a bayleaf on the eggplant half and went to work on it's twin. The oven was wafting the smells of old recipes that had left their stains on the inside.

"Monica? Anna?"

There wasn't any movement through the house, just the smell of baking food and the hint of impending rain from outside.
Marius stepped away from the oven and took a furtive look down the hall for any sign of his wife or daughter, before taking a fiasco of slivovitz that had been secreted in an urn and pouring a small cupful. There was a sound of the front door opening, so he threw the cup back, drinking it faster than he meant and crossed himself. He replaced the bottle just before...

"Tată?"

"In here, Monica." Marius said, holding his hand up to smell his own breath.

Monica Dragan entered the kitchen. She had make-up on, a bit too much eye-shadow and beads in her hair.

"Smells good." She said, leaning over and putting a teenage claw of press-ons around her dad in a hug.

"How was school?" He asked, putting a new tray of mamaliga into the oven.

Monica spun and walked out of the kitchen to go upstairs to her room. "It was awful." She yelled back, cheerfully.

Upstairs, Monica leapt onto her beg and held her phone behind her hands. In a nervous flutter, she realized the window behind her was still wide. She shuttered it, nearly knocking off a potted plant.

The phone beeped as the letters "Gata?" appeared next to the name Ioseph. She bit her lip and supressed a giggle, waiting.

A poorly lit dick pic popped up on her phone and Monica had to actually bite her knuckle to keep from breaking up with laughter. She typed

"Diavolul!" onto the phone with a single thumb.

She waited, but a message from Anna Dragan popped up, asking if she was home yet. Rolling her eyes, she again replied with one thumb and started tossing her school papers from her bookbag around and opening the text books to random pages.

Another text popped on her phone which read: "este mama ta acolo?"

One-handed again, she replied. "Ea va fi."

"Futu-ți Cristoșii mă-tii!"

To which Monica repeated the insult back in infantile fashion.

Anna Dragan was driving her black Giulia, wipers on intermittent to clear the pitter-patter of rain that would later be snow on the mountains behind her. She was about two miles from her villa, but the gas light had been on a full fifteen minutes. The one sacrifice of living in such a beautiful location...just one fucking gas station. And she had just passed it without thinking.

"Fute!" She yelled, hitting the wheel as the engine shuddered to a stop in the middle of the intersection. She got out of her car, trying to step over a huge puddle only to fall, business suit and all, into the middle of it. The string of words she yelled caused a mother across the street to clap her hands over her eight-year-old's ears. Catching sight of this, Anna belted out: "Oh, go to hell!" at the woman.

The house that these three lived and that I visited was an old-world paradise set in a fictional village of jealous dreamers who realized a plateau of hyperreal idyll. But it was a lie. After all, I was invited even into this peerless sanctuary.

I entered and was received with a nod from Anna, suit wet and muddy, Marius, red-nosed and drunk and Monica, evasive and apathetic. In my honor, no grace was said. I ate my portion and left it a broken home. The marriage was anulled. The daughter was embittered. And the idyll was safely dispelled. Who am I?
My answer to PROMPT 5:
Curiosity killed the Cat
Is a short story I like to call:
"Rum Luck"
"Because I want to." Tamara said, lugging a large tupperware box. Alvin Shakerag looked at her doubtfully.

"My mom wouldn't want me to." He said, slowly, chewing the words and looking at the box.

"Fine. You can go." Tamara said, indifferent. She placed the box on the short picnic table between them. It rattled and shifted. Alvin did not like this.

It was dark. It was about one hour past the average time Alvin was home, eating dinner. It was October and cold. He would've thought Tamara, being only in a small blouse and cargo shorts would want to be home instead of a park. But here they both were.

Tamara peeled the lid off the tupperware box and extracted a thick glass bottle, unopened. Alvin watched horrified and motionless. He was unwilling to leave her but unenthused to stay.

The cap on the bottle was twisted and the snap of a tearing sealed screw-top won out even over the deafening crickets.

She tilted the bottle back and took an almighty swig. Choked it down and sat the bottle back upon the table. Next she withdrew a rubberband-bound deck of Magic the Gathering cards. Each card was a generic land card that the both had scraped together to make the massive deck. She stepped back from the picnic table and spread the cards on the ground in a perfect circle. The circle was more than perfect it was a practiced geometrical certainty. She had spent so long in mastering this one skill that the rest of the ritual was absurdly simple.

She pulled from the tupperware box a tall, feathered black top-hat and crowned herself with it. She pulled an unopened packet of Black 'n Mild cigars and placed them carefully next to the bottle of rum. She donned a pair of cheap black sunglasses, also taken from the prepared kit. What happened next would have shaken the entire river-community of Dènye Solèy, Louisianna. The next fifteen minutes, Alvin watched as she danced in and out of the circle of cards, drumming on the tops of her legs and singing in a bizarre language. Alvin knew a little Creole French and he knew English but the only words he recognized were Pere Malfait(Evil Father) and the name Baron Samedi.

Baron Samedi was a name that all children and even some grown-ups of Dènye Solèy knew. It wasn't a name that inspired fear so much as disgust.

The display had gone on five minutes past the previous fifteen before Alvin finally decided the whole thing had not only been a waste of time, but a fantastic excuse to become grounded. He got up to leave and was about to break his friend's chanting when a sudden feeling overcame him. It was a presentiment that if he should leave and something should happen he would have missed it...forever. Besides, it being about thiry minutes to midnight, the damage by and large was done.

This last bastion of curiosity crumbled when even Tamara had stopped her speaking-in-tongues, stepped out of the circle and sat, sobbing on the picnic table. She was exhausted. Alvin, stepping over the cards, laid a hand on his friend's shoulder and was about to suggest they both go home.

It was a loud rattling scraping sound that cut him off. Startled, the two looked up to see a black silhouette dragging something down the nearest park path. The figure was tall, lank and walking towards them. As the figure left the path, the scraping sound turned into a soft dragging noise. There was deep rich chuckling as the figure got closer. And after finally stepping into the cone of light provided by the nearest streetlight, they saw him. Dressed toe-to-head in raven black finery and topped with a battered stove-pipe hat, was what could've only been the Baron himself. His face was covered in white grease paint to resemble a skull and the thing he drug behind him was a plain cemetery shovel.

Not saying a word, he bowed, sat and reached for the bottle of rum. In upending the bottle he drained nearly half in a single pull. He grabbed the packet of cigars, defrocked the plastic wrapping, selected one and put it to his lips. A flame sprung from his extended finger and after one puff, he sighed.

"Now what in de hell are children doin out 'ere?"

Alvin shot an accusing glare at Tamara. Tamara, momentarily flustered, tried to articulate a sentence.

"I-I, my brother."

The Baron cast a whithering reproachful look at her from the corner of his eye.

"I know about your brother, little girl. Why you want to bother the poor Baron? Why you out fuckin with trading cards, drinking rum and scarin the shit out of your pale boyfriend in the middle of the night?"

"I'm not her boyfriend." Alvin muttered softly. The Baron regarded him disgustedly.

"Shut up, boy." He said, shortly before turning back to Tamara. "If this is a Blair Witch voodoo bravery test, girl, I'm gonna be pissed as hell. Old man Legba already gonna be pissed as hell." He took another powerful toke of the cheap cigar and blew the smoke up and away from the children.

"I want you to raise my brother!" Tamara cried.

The Baron groaned, throwing his hands up.

"That is NOT how it works around here." He yelled. "You don't-"

But the girl's sobbing cut him off. He looked imploringly at Alvin who was still studying him, thunderstruck. Finally the Baron threw an arm around the crying girl and pulled her to him in a hug. "I know. I'm sorry, child. I'm sorry." He kissed the top of her head and pulled her back to look in here eyes. "Listen here. You listen, yeah? It's not something that you want. Trust me. You don't want it. I don't want it. Your brother, he don't want it. Your dumbass white friend sure as hell don't want it." But Tamara was deaf to this and continued to sob, occasionally crying "please."

"Alright! Now you listen to the Baron. I'll..." He trailed off, looking around until he saw the tupperware box. Sitting up, he peered in and saw the necklace of her brother, lovingly tucked in a tissue box. He saw the stacks of Magic the Gathering cards. Finally, he grabbed her by the shoulders and gave her a gentle shake. "We play some Magic. You win, the Baron will bring back your brother?"

There was a snort and a sniffle before Tamara looked up into the Baron's skeleton face.

"You swear?"

Baron Samedi held his hand over his heart and nodded. Alvin squirmed uncomfortably in his seat, but this went unnoticed.

"You have a deck?" Tamara asked, suddenly business-like. Baron Samedi cut her a peeved look and produced a deck of cards in his left hand.

"You think I would let you give me a loaner?"

The two cleared the table and shooed Alvin out of the field of battle. There was a wordless shuffling ritual. Each player took their hand of seven cards from the tops of their deck. There was some small debate on which player took the first turn. This ended with the Baron reminding her that he was the Voodoo Loa of the underworld.

The Baron played a swamp. He tapped said swamp and summoned a zombie card 1-drop. Tamara stared at the zombie card and tried not to look pleased.

On her turn, Tamara played a plains. Tapped the plains and played "Student of Warfare."

And so it went. Not skill, apart from deckbuilding was evident until nearly the fourth round of turns. During this, Tamara, shrugging off two hits, exiled the Baron's Zombie Master card. This caused the Baron to cuss, stand and perch on the picnic table bench like a bird.

Alvin had almost warned the Baron minutes before the game had started that the whole idea had been flawed. Even supposing that the Baron had known that Tamara was the absolute terror of the local Friday-night Magic, he still wouldn't have known that this battle had already been planned weeks in advance with the assumption that if he had played, the Baron would probably run a Black Zombie deck.

The rest of the game was pretense. The Baron had devolved into screaming obscenities at the children, drinking and smoking heavily as he was systematically destroyed. Alvin had never seen anything like it. It wasn't even a challenging game for Tamara and by the ninth turn, the game was finished.

Not saying a word, the Baron smiled grimly and rose from the table. He picked the necklace out of the tupperware box. His cards vanished from the picnic table in tiny puffs of smoke that smelt like cigar fumes. He picked up his shovel and walked off the way he had come. Tamara waited, expectantly. It was only after seeing a slow menacing shadow lumbering towards the picnic table that it was finally brought home to Alvin. He should have just gone home.
My answer to PROMPT 6:
Welcome to Hell
Is a short story I like to call
"Samsara"
It was Sunday at Salt Heaven, Texas. Jay Vetters pushed the swinging church door wide and ducked in, only for it to slam home behind him with a click. With raised eyebrow, he turned. The door had snapped shut, bolted itself, locked and barred. He turned back to see the high-ceilings and drab gray floor and walls. The church had been there longer than a hundred years and had service every sunday. He had lived in Salt Texas his entire life and had never been. It was as good a time to pray as any other. He felt sick.

Even from the vestibule Jay could hear the twang of a well-tuned banjo and the buzz of a harmonica. The cracked and weathered door that led to the sanctuary, was cracked. Red light poured through and cast it's shadow across the floor like a stripe of blood.

His wife was at the hospital nearly thirty miles away, in New Mexico. She had gone into labour on the drive over. One cell-phone call and the nearest ambulance was in-bound. Nothing for Jay to do. She didn't want him there anyway. Not at all. Time to pray.

Jay felt his hand touch the splintered rough door and shove it open. The smell of applewood smoke choked his throat and burned his eyes. It seemed to come from nowhere in particular.

The nave, aisle and chancel were filled with standing figures, reverently indifferent to the newcomer. The music seemed to be a cheerless western hymn sung by a band who occupied the spot commonly reserved for a chaplain. They were backlit by the massive stained-glass window that streamed crimson-filtered daylight.

Jay knew his wife was in nerve-splitting pain. He wasn't sure why. It was a frightening sensation that he could feel it, even if he was miles away. He could hear her screaming with along the band. Screaming with the deadpan vocalist, who was ashen-faced and expressionless.

Before the altar, at the foot of the band, was an oblong box with it's lid thrown open. Jay couldn't decide if it was lined with red velvet or not. Everything seemed red.

He felt something wet trickle from atop his head and running from his ears. At first it felt like sweat, but as he made his way through the crowd he had convinced himself it was not. He suddenly felt tired and hot. The breath and closeness of the crowd had made the church feel like a sweltering jungle and there was no air-conditioner.

Suddenly tired, but determined to pray, if at least one last time, Jay made his way to the altar and knelt. Unacknowledged by congregation or band, he found his knees and clasped his hands as the band played on, deafening him with their beating drums and blues harp. The wordless prayer Jay said to his father-creator seemed to be less an entreaty, less an apology and more a limp admission.

What Jay did next seemed a whim. There was no impelling logic or reasoning to stepping into the coffin and sitting down on the cushioned velvet. It's what he did. He glanced out amongst the parishioners. They were all swaying in a dreary hypnosis. Some were missing pieces of their heads and faces. Their clothes were muddy. Some had no eyes. Some were missing ears. They seemed less affected by the band's music and more were frozen zombies.

Jay was feeling very tired now. The sound of the band was failing, the words were long since gone. He lowered back into a restfull pose, hands interlocked at his abdomen. The red was failing now. He could still hear his wife screaming, though all other sounds were dying. He could still feel the pain, though all other sensations were dimming.

All things came to a sudden stop, a striking cessation of all events, perceived and real. But only for seconds, before pain resumed. Slowly light crept in, blinding light. It was a light so stultify that it added to the pain. He felt himself hoisted into the air. Was it possible that all things he had once mocked were real?

The light was trying so hard to dim to manageable levels. He felt wet. At first he thought it was sweat, but as the light dimmed and he could see, he convinced himself it was not. The red light was gone. Gone was the band and the rotting congregation and the high-ceiling chappel. He saw only one person surrounded by indistinct light. It was a woman with a white mask and blue scrubs. He heard a voice.
"Welcome to Hell, New Mexico, Jay Jr.
Last edited by TheWrongGuy on Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:17 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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"My Mask doesn't hide my face! ...My Mask is my face that hides the fact that I have none."
"...untenanted by any tangible form..."

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