Prompt Challenge: 080316 Secret Pets

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I realize that I missed posting a story last week. I’m sorry! I was on vacation and the internet at the hotel I was staying at sucked. So, I posted nothing last week. Actually, I didn’t read or write much last week. It was weird. It was a nice vacation though.

Anyways, let’s get into the story!

Prompt

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Secret Pets
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I live across the street from a lady. Just 2 weeks ago I noticed her walking to her back yard with a tray of food. She doesn’t have any pets, as the neighborhood I live in doesn’t allow pets.

I am not a social person and I don’t get into other’s business, but I am curious. I had made a decision to introduce myself to my neighbor and I planned on finding out what she was doing with the food she takes to her back yard. Maybe she is hiding a secret pet that she hoped no one would notice. Well, I noticed and I am going to find out.

I walked to the old lady’s house right at sunset. Just about an hour before her usual routine and I knock on her door. I noticed the name on the mailbox was ‘Foster.’

“Hello, Mrs. Foster.” I say as the lady opens the door.

“Hello, Lizzie.” I smile, but wonder how the old lady knows my name. Maybe she has been reading my mail, or maybe she has been watching me like I have been watching her. “What can I do for you?”

“Well, I noticed every night you take food to your back yard.” I say, getting straight to the point. I did mention that I am not a social person right?

“Yes, that is correct.” The old lady says with a smile. She steps back and motions for me to come into the house. I walked in and she shut the door behind me. My flight reflexes were lighting up at this point, but I thought ‘it’s an old lady, what could she do?’ I wish I had listened to myself.

“I am just finishing up the tray for tonight, would you like to help?” I shrugged off my unease and followed Mrs. Foster to her kitchen.

“What do you do with the food?” I ask as she starts cutting up the apples.

“I feed it to my pet.” I knew it! I almost jumped for joy, but I held back.

“Your pet has great taste in food.” I say, looking at the tray of meats, cheese and fruit. “What kind of pet do you have?”

“Why don’t you come with me and see. You will love him.” I am a sucker for animals so I didn’t resist. Why didn’t I resist? Why didn’t I listen to my instincts? Why did I have to be the curious cat?

“Sure thing, Mrs. Foster. I would love to meet your pet.” I grab the tray off the counter. “You do know that we are not allowed to have pets, right?” I ask as I follow Mrs. Foster out the front door and around the house.

“Yes.” She says. “The contract said no dogs, cats, or anything with fur or feathers.” She laughed. “I found a way around the contract, so should I be caught with my pets, I wouldn’t be in trouble with the landlord.”

We made our way to a door at the back of the house. Mrs. Foster fished out a key from her pocket, it was one of those old style skeleton keys. It was old and rusty. I almost ran then. I almost made up and excuse to suddenly need to go home, but again I told myself ‘little old lady.’ I can be such an idiot sometimes.

I followed Mrs. Foster into the door. She let me walk past her and she shut and locked the door back. Great, now I was stuck in this damp dim room. It smelled horrible, like urine and something else, but I wasn’t sure of the smell. I had smelled it before, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Not to worry though, only a few moments later I figured it out.

Mrs. Foster…the little old lady, opened a cage door and told me to set the food on the table in the corner. I did as I was told, but as I sat the food down I heard the cage door slam shut. I turned to face the old woman and watched as she smiled at me.

“New pet.” She said, clapping her hands. Yep, the little old lady had tricked me into a cage. Little old lady…Then I caught the smell again and found it’s source. In a cage beside me I saw a stain on the floor. Bright red and metallic smelling. Blood. Oh yeah, there was blood on the floor. And near that blood lay a body, I am sure it was breathing. The guy looked up at me, his bright blue eyes pained. One hand had been cut off. His limbs were thin as was his body, but not a starved thin. Mrs. Foster took good care of her pets. I shook my head.

“You live across the street?” The guy asked me. I nodded and he nodded back. “Curiosity may not have killed this cat, yet, but it sure did get me in trouble. He sat up and leaned against the cage. You will be safe for a little bit, until Mr. Foster dies any way. She will keep you nice and clean until she gets bored with the boys.”

“Have you tried to escape?” I asked. Surely a man as my cage neighbor could take the old lady.

“Sure, that’s how I lost the hand.” He showed me the stump of his arm. “She doesn’t play around. We may never escape.”

I just had to know where the woman took the food. I had to be nosey, I had to be social. I should have just stayed in my room watching YouTube videos.

But I was sure of one thing. I wasn’t going to sit around like Mrs. Foster’s husband or the man beside me, whose name I later found out was Matt. I was going to break free and let the landlord know that the old lady across the street had pets.

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Prompt Challenge: 070316 The Hunter

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I almost didn’t get this finished in time. I was too busy watching a new show on Netflix called Stranger Things. Don’t worry, I have a review of that coming!

But I got this little story ready to go for you all.

I hope you enjoy it. It’s not my favorite, but I like it.

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Hunger had set in a day ago. Actually, if she really thought about, Elle hadn’t eaten in over a week. Water? She had plenty of that, some weeks it’s the only thing that keeps her going. She only got food when she brought in survivors. She traded them in for food and other supplies. When she brought in males she got more to survive with, which meant she could go longer before having to track down and turn in another person. She knew what she did was wrong, but she didn’t know how else to survive. It was all she had ever known.

There were some hunters that would turn over whole families for profit. Those hunters lived like kings and were worshiped like kings as well. Elle didn’t want to be like them. She only did it to stay alive and she only took in enough to keep her going.

How had the world become what it had? How did Elle become lucky enough to be a hunter instead of the hunted? She didn’t know all of the answers. She has just always been a hunter. The fact that she couldn’t remember anything from her younger life may have hidden the secrets, but she was too afraid of the answers to try and unlock those lost memories.

All Elle was focused on now was finding someone to trade for food. She had standards. The people she traded in didn’t have families and most of them were savages that tried to take advantage of a young woman on her own. She wasn’t defenseless either. But the choices are getting slim and she may have to settle for the first person she could find, no matter who they were.

Unfortunately, the hunt would have to wait a day because the sun was setting and night time was even more dangerous than the day. She climbed into a tree, finding a spot that would support and hide her. She fell asleep, but not deep enough to actually rest. She would get just deep enough to dream, and the dreams were never pretty. Her dreams were filled with all the men and women that she had traded for food. The haunted her the way she had hunted them. They would scream, cry, and attack her. She never woke without a jolt and holding back screams of her own.

The night was long and restless, but it was also helpful. From her spot in the tree she saw the man stumbling through the trees. She made her way down the tree, experience keeping her silent as she stalked behind the man. He fell twice and his breathing was heavy. The human side of her wanted to help him, but the survivor side of her knew this could be one of her only chances for weeks.

The third time the man fell, Elle attacked him. She brought a fist to the back of his head and he dropped, losing conciseness. She went back to the tree to grab her bag to get out the rope she had used several times to tie up catch.

“Elle.” The man said from behind her. She whipped around, comig face to face with the man she thought she had knocked out. “Elle.” The man said again. “Hello…Elle!” He shouted. He grabbed her arms and shook her. “It’s time to wake up.” The man shouted in her face.

Elle’s vision blurred, but the man’s face was clear. She could feel the tree at her back and the man shook her again. “Elle, you have to wake up. Before you get us in trouble.” Her vision started to clear, but her surroundings were different. She looked up into the blue sky. The ground at her back, not a tree. The man in front of her smiled. “Dreaming of being free again?” He asked as the fog cleared as her memories forced their way into her mind. The day she was captured, and the food she was traded for. Her dry throat and always empty stomach. Her hands felt rough as she scraped them down her face.

“A dream.” She said as she stood from her bed. She brushed dirt off of her, not that it helped much as she was covered in years of dirt. The only shower provided for the people in the camps was the rain that sometimes fell on them. It was rare and she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen the rain. She would have cried, but the lack of water made it impossible.

“We have to get to work before the boss comes around.” The man said. Though he wasn’t just a man. He was her brother, brought in the same time she had been. How many years had it been? Twenty maybe. It didn’t matter really, because she was never getting out. No one ever made it out of the camps and new people were traded in every day. If only she had been so lucky to be a hunter.

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I hope you enjoyed it. Leave your thoughts in the comments. 🙂

Prompt Challenge: 070116 Finding Truth

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! Are you excited for a new prompt? I know I was.

Just quickly, I wanted to share with you the process of picking a new prompt every month. I still live at home with my parents and my brother. So when it’s time to pick a new prompt, I take my prompt jar to everyone in the family to draw out a prompt. I obviously pick one myself. I then read the 4 prompts and either pick my favorite, or get my mom to help me decide which one to do. This month was a little harder to choose because the ones that were drawn were all so fun! But I narrowed it down to this one…

Prompt

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Jessa moved silently through the dense forest, listening for the heavy footsteps of the man she had been following for the past week. She had learned over the years that it’s best to take your time when tracking a male. Even after all of Jessa’s training, some of the males were stronger than her. She couldn’t be reckless and she had to catch them off guard.

Jessa watched from above the man as she sat on a limb in the tree. He had scouted out his surroundings, knowing the dangers of the new world. No one person was safe, unless you were a hunter. And only women were truly accepted as hunters now. Jessa had never asked what happened to the humans she had presented to Vic, just that she got more when it was a male. So she spent most of her time tracking down the men.

Vic was the head honcho, big man on campus, the boss lady. Vic was as muscular as any man that Jessa had ever captured. She wore her hair slicked back in a tight bun and always dressed in a suit. Jessa was sure the boss lady slept in her suit, if she slept at all. Vic was vicious and demanding. If Jessa was gone for too long, one of Vic’s dogs came for her. And Jessa was feeling her time running out.

She sat in the tree and watched as the man lit a fire, long enough to cook some meat and warm up for the long cold night. The man had no idea he was being watched and Jessa knew it was time to strike. She didn’t like what she did. She didn’t like taking people from the little freedom they had, just to turn them into Vic. She may not know what happened to them, but judging by Vic’s attitude, she imagined it wasn’t all that great for them.

Jessa waited until the man seemed to fall asleep. He was peaceful in his sleep, forgetting the terrible condition of the world. Not many people alive remembered the old world other than the stories that had been tossed around. A world where people lived in homes and worked from sun up to sun down and were able to go home to a warm bed. A world where people sat at tables to eat every night. A world where you could bathe under warm water whenever you wanted.

It was all just stories now. This world was dirty. You were lucky to have a proper bath with clean water and soap once a month, sometimes longer than that. Meals were eaten quickly while crouching around a fire. Your home was a bundle of sticks you had thrown together to look like just a random pile of forest left overs.

Jessa sighed as she crawled down from the tree and made her way to the man. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a spray bottle. The liquid inside was a mixture Jessa had created to keep any human calm and mostly asleep while she tied them up. It was a simple mix of jasmine, lavender, and black skullcap. She misted the spray in the man’s face and waited for his lips to turn blue. They were not the same blue as someone who couldn’t breathe or suffering from the cold. They were more of a sky blue and the effect only lasted 10 seconds.

She tied the man up, making sure the knots could not be undone.

“Don’t do this.” The man said, shocking Jessa. She paused for a moment, but grunted at him, refusing to speak to him. It was never good to speak to the person whose life you had just condemned. “You can still untie me.”

“Quiet.” She said as she sat him against the tree and began to prepare a stretcher to drag the man back to Vic.

“I have escaped Vic once; I know what she does to them in there.” He said, grabbing Jessa’s attention. She turned to him, listening, but not saying anything. “For the men, she castrates them.” He winced. Jessa continued making her stretcher, and the man continued speaking. “The women get off a little easier. They are impregnated by Vic’s chosen men. Then she puts them all, male and female, in the mines, finding as much gold as they can. There is rumor that she has other places, other camps, where they are forced to mine for other jewels and anything valuable. She says once the world is reestablished, she will be the queen of it all.”

“That is what happened in the first place.” Jessa spat. “One ruler destroyed the whole world. Too much power was given to one man.”  She looked at the man, her head cocked to the side. “Why would she be so stupid as to do that again?”

“Because she feels as a woman she will do a better job.” He told her. “But look what she has already done. She has turned human on human worse than what it was before. She kills the slaves once they are too weak to continue, and they weaken quickly. She does not feed them properly or give them enough water.”

“What do I care?” Jessa asked as she finished her project. She tested the knots to make sure the stretcher would not fall apart.

“Because you will be in there one day. Have you ever wondered why there are so few hunters? How many have you crossed in the past year?”

“It takes a strong person to be a hunter.” Jessa said with her hands on her hips. The man raised his hands, free of the knots.

“I was strong. I was a hunter and I brought in more men and woman than any other hunter.” He stood up, not threatening Jessa, but showing her she had failed. “Vic turned on me when I found out what she was doing. She is allowing women to be raped, and she is mutilating men.”

“Lies.” Jessa said to him.

“Why do you think she sends out her dogs to find you when you have been gone too long? She is checking to make sure you are not plotting against her. She is running the show already, but the longer she has to take control of it all, the worse it will be for the rest of us.”

“You are just trying to get free.”

“I am already free.” The man said, a frown on his face. “I can show you.” He said, taking a step towards Jessa. She didn’t move. She would not show weakness. “I can show you everything, prove it all. I can get back in the way I got out. We can save them all. Even the ones you have turned in yourself.”

“They would kill me.” Jessa said, a sick feeling in her stomach. Now that the man stood closer she could see the sorrow in his eyes, the pain and grief, the results of a hard life. She even saw guilt in his eyes. She knew he was telling the truth, she could feel it radiating from his very soul. “It takes more than two to rescue the world.” She said, shaking her head.

“There are more than just you and me.”

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I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you think. Come back next Wednesday for a new story!

Book Review: The Wrath & the Dawn

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee AhdiehRating5 Nerd Girl RatingPlus Mustache

Author: Renee Ahdieh
Release Date: May 12th 2015
Series: The Wrath and the Dawn
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Retelling
Pages: 388
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Buy it : Amazon
Read the Blurb at Goodreads

First Line:

It would not be a welcome dawn.

 

Cover:

This cover is so gorgeous. I would have bought this book on the cover alone. The blurb just made that much more desirable.

Review:

 Shahrzad is 16 years old, and she is out for revenge. The King, Khalid, has been marrying young girls of his kingdom and bringing them to their end before dawn. His recent victim was Shahrzad’s best friend. Now, she has volunteered to be the kings next bride and she doesn’t plan to come to the same fate as his last victims, in fact, she plans to make him see his own end before the dawn.

But things sometimes change. Shahrzad tells the king a story and keeps herself alive to see the dawn again, but fails to end Khalid’s life. Even more amazing, she makes it through the next night and the next by continuing the story, before Khalid himself guarantees her safety, but now she has a new mystery. She plans to find out why Khalid has killed so many of his wives, and she is determined to do it without falling in love with the murderous king, except, it might be too late.

Despite her best efforts Shahrzad has fallen in love with the young king who has killed so many before her and she sees that he is not the evil monster she thought him to be. There is something more to the story, and she plans to see this story to an end of any sort.

This story had me on edge. With every turn of the page I was afraid that Shahrzad would meet her end, that Khalid’s secrets would be his burden and only his. Of course, we know there is another book after this one, so obviously something happens to keep Shahrzad alive.

This story is a world of twist and turns, dark secrets and whispered rumors. Just when you think you know what is going on, you are taken down a different path and become completely lost in the story again. Just when you figure something out, you find out it maybe wasn’t exactly how things were going down.

There seems to be so many secrets and the one I became most afraid of in the story was the fact that Shahrzad had come, not to win the heart of Khalid as he thinks, but to kill him. The chemistry between the two was not instant. They didn’t not fall in love with each other at first sight. It was a slow process and neither one of them really knew what was happening until it was too late. But that is only part of the story in this book. That is only the thin top layer. There is so much more going on and love could be the one thing that saves the day, or destroys the world. 

I usually don’t give a favorite quote or passage, but this passage hit me right in the heart and tore it to pieces and made me melt into a puddle of dreamy eyes and butterflies.

Favorite passage:

“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.

“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”

 

DESTROY ME! Favorite quote of any book ever! Okay, you have to add the context to it to get it, but I can not tell you how many times I re-read this bit of the book. It was something unexpected and amazing. I have never had a dialogue hit me so hard before. In that moment there is a power given to Shahrzad and I don’t think she even knows what power she holds in her hands with those words.

 

I would read this book again and again. Maybe I am a sucker for romance, but the story behind the love story is just as powerful. I don’t think there was a single thing I didn’t like about this book.

Prompt Challenge: 060416 The Path

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! This is the last week with this prompt challenge. I am ready for a new one, but this one has been fun. Though, when do I dislike a good prompt challenge?

I wanted to challenge myself a little further today, so I challenged myself to write this weeks prompt story in 500 words or less. It ended with 499 words. YES! Nailed it!

Since it’s short I hope you enjoy it just as much as any other of my short stories.

Prompt Quote

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There was a path in the woods. Worn, yet overgrown. Like it had once been overly used, but was forgotten soon after. It made me sad at first, to see something so loved, left behind and collecting dust. So, I decided to follow the path and find out where it went.

It wasn’t a long path, in fact, it was only a few steps, but when I looked behind me the path I had traveled look much longer. I couldn’t hide the smile on my face. I had found something magical and I suddenly didn’t care where it led me, because I had found magic.

As I came into an opening, there was a little man standing there smiling at me. He was almost jumping with joy when he saw me, and I couldn’t help but to laugh at him.

“Hello!” He shouted to me as I made my way to him.

“Hi.” I said back, not sure what was going on.

“It’s so great that you have made it here. This place has been long overdue for a new keeper.” The little man grabbed my hand and pulled me towards a group of trees. “Your home has been cleaned and ready for you. You can bring anything in that you like. You can leave when you want, but you can’t be gone too long.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, trying to free my hand from him.

“The Enchanted Hallow.” He stopped and turned to face me. “Or some call it the Mythical Mountains. Enchanted Forest. The Common Caves.” I shook his head. “I hate when they call in the Common Caves. They use that to throw off the non-believers. But the true believers find themselves in places like this, when it is their turn to care for magic.” He beamed up at me.  “The path chose you. You love for magic and fantasy has lead you here.”

“Okay…” I said. I wasn’t going to fight it. I had been searching for something like this all my life.  A place that needed me. A place that was proof of what I had always believed it. I knew magic was real.

“It’s not just magic that is real.” The man said as if he had read my mind. “When you think of magic you think of good things. Unicorns, fairies, and all things good in the world. But there is a balance. Where there is good, there is also evil. And it is your job to keep the evil at bay. Or the world of magic could take a dark turn.”

“Okay.” I said again, raising my chin and setting my shoulders straight. It wasn’t going to take much to convince me. “Where do I live?”

He pointed me toward the opening of the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly lager once you’re inside.”

“Magic.” I said as I entered my new home and accepted my fate as one of the worlds protectors of good magic.

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Leave your thoughts about the story in the comments. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Prompt Challenge: 060216

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends. This short story was inspired by the tragedies that took place this week. First Christina Grimmie. I have been following her since her early YouTube days. I fell in love with her voice and her beautiful personality. Her death hit me hard, even though I didn’t know her on a personal level. And then the Orlando shooting. I can’t believe the hate that is littering our world. But some beautiful things have come out of this as well. Fans have gathered to raise money to help Christina’s family. And the US has come together to help those families of the Orlando victims. Out of this tragedy I hope that you all realize that our main focus in this life is to just love and respect one another, no matter race, religion, or sexual orientation. Their may be lifestyles that I do not understand, but at the end of the day, we are all one species and to survive, we must help one another.

With that being said, I started thinking about all that Christina missed out on in life. Which lead me to think of what the people of the Orlando tragedy missed out on. And well…this came from it. I am not even going to lie, after I wrote this, the black hole in my chest wasn’t quite as big. Writing is my passion, my escape, my stress reliever. And maybe one day I will look back on this and remember how deeply affected I was by this week.

Feel free to share your thoughts of the tragedy or the story in the comments. ❤

Prompt Quote

BorderHeaven for the Young
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He pointed me toward the opening in the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once you’re inside.”

I wonder to myself how I got here. Last I remember I was happy at a table, meeting my fans and signing whatever they threw in front of me. I remember a little pain, shock, and sadness. In the blink of an eye I woke up here, standing in front of a tree with a neon light flashing above the door. It was my name, flashing brightly. I smiled, knowing that this is what I wanted. My name was in bright lights, I was the staring attraction in this odd looking tree.

The man that spoke to me was tall and he stood so straight, a large smile on his face. His suit was flashy and classy. It was a tuxedo, black, but covered in sequins, making him sparkle as much as the neon sign. He nodded at me and opened the door to the tree. I gasped when the lights almost blinded me. The cool air and the music drew me in. “Your changing room is in the back, your wardrobe is ready for you. The makeup artist and the hair dresser will be in soon.” He began to walk towards the back of the club. Yes, it was a club with a large dance floor. A booth lined the walls all around the club. The second floor was more like a balcony with tables and chairs. A bar was against one wall and the bar tender was cleaning glasses. He looked up hearing us. He sat his glass down and waved at me, a smile spread across his face.

The man in the suit led me to the back and through another door that opened into a hallway. There were several doors, but my focus went to the one door at the end of the hall. On the door was a star and under it was my name. I could feel my own face stretch as I smiled. I didn’t need the man in the suit anymore. I walked into my room and squealed. The back wall was lined with clothes and shoes. A shelf above the clothes held wigs, not that I needed the wigs, but they looked fun. On another wall was a long couch and a table sitting in front of it. I plopped on the couch and sighed. It was the fluffiest, most comfortable couch I had ever sat in. Along another wall was a table with a mirror. On the table sat makeup beyond my wildest dreams and makeup brushes. The drawers of the table were clear and I could see more makeup there as well as jewelry and hair pins. It was everything a star could ever need.

“Call if you should need anything before the hair dresser and makeup artist come in.” The man said, walking away.

“Wait!” I shouted. “What is your name?”

“You can call me Steve. I am the club owner, but you are the star. Without you there is nothing for anyone to come to.”  He smiled.

“Where am I?” I ask, afraid of his answer.

“You know where you are.” He said.  “It is a tragic story, how you got here. But there is something beautiful that comes out of this tragedy.” He turned to take in the room. “Tonight, your headline show begins.”

“Thank you, Steve.” I whisper. He leaves, closing the door behind him. I am given a moment to myself to mourn what I have lost, to shed a tear for those I left behind. When a knock comes at the door I have cleared my head and cleaned my face. I knew that those I left behind would find me again one day and they would find me in this place, doing what I love the most. I decided at that moment, that I would be happy. I would be happy for the people I loved the most. I would make my shows great so when they find themselves here they will see that my talent was not lost, just re-homed.

I opened the door to find the hair dresser and the makeup artist, ready to doll me up, to prepare me for my show. I took a deep breath and let them in.

That night, I gave the best performance I had ever given. I started at the piano, where so many remember me. My voice bounced off the walls and filled the room as the packed club danced away, enjoying the music and the show that I gave them.

The second night, the club was even more packed. I didn’t think that was possible, but it was. All these people were new and they had come ready to dance. There was an air of sadness when they first arrived and I knew, they had just found themselves in this place. Like me, they had left loved ones behind, but they were brought her to do what they had loved. They were dancing the night away. They were dancing the pain and sadness away; coming to the conclusion I had the night before. Soon, those they had left behind would find them again.

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I hope you enjoyed the story.

Prompt Challenge: 060116 Not Wonderland

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I can’t believe it is already Wednesday. This week is flying by. Lucky for you, Wednesday means a new short story. And this week it’s a new short story for a new prompt. So let’s get to it!

Prompt Quote

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Not Wonderland
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I shouldn’t be here, wherever here is. I should be at home in my bed, dreading getting up and going to work. Right now is about the time I should be hitting my snooze button for the last time. Instead I am in this place…this fantastical place that I should be happy to be in. I didn’t fall down a rabbit hole, walk through a closet, or take a train. I just woke up to a fairy dancing on my chest.

Yes! A freaking fairy! Dancing on my chest!

When I woke up, she giggled and darted away. Of course she came back, chattering away at something following her. Once the thing following the fairy held up a lantern I almost screamed when the light hit his face. At least I thought it was a him. In my mind it was a male anyways. It wasn’t until it spoke that I was sure it was a male. His voice was deep and scratchy with a little squeak when he exhaled. His skin was made of plastic and his eyes jiggled with every movement. I wasn’t even sure if he saw me or could focus. His creepy googly eyes just bounced all over the place. His painted on mouth opened and spread in a grin and one tooth peeked from the bottom of his mouth. “Well, hello.” He said as he walked closer to me. I backed away and he frowned. I instantly felt bad for being so rude.

“Where am I?” I asked, my breath escaping quickly. I gasped, trying to fill my lungs with air, but I couldn’t seem to get enough. The air felt thicker, damper, something other than what I was used to.

“Stay calm, Meg, everything will be explained.” I jerked when I heard my name. It wasn’t fear that set in, it was wonder.  Was this a dream? It had to be a dream, how else would this creepy walking and talking doll know my name. I stared at him and paused, what fear was left drained as the blood drained from my face. I knew this creepy googly eyed doll.

“Ollie?” I found him in an attic one day. I had been exploring my new home, thinking how sad and lonely I was. I had crawled through the cobwebs and dust, coughing as the dust stirred up and tickled my nose. I was taken by a sneezing fit, and when it was over I found myself in the corner of the musty attic. There in the corner sat Ollie. He was an old, beat up doll with googly eyes and a painted on smile. He wore a checkered blue shirt and a pair of jeans. He was all alone in the attic and he instantly became my best friend. Of course, then he was just a doll that didn’t talk.

“You remember me.” Ollie smiled at me. I reached for him and took him in my arms, hugging him tightly. He laughed, which reminded me that I should still be curious as to why my childhood doll was suddenly talking to me.

“What is this place? Why am I here? Where did you go?” I couldn’t stop my questions as I sat him down.

“Follow me.” He said. I stood and dusted off my pants, following my old friend, a doll who could talk. The fairy still chattered in his ear, but I couldn’t understand a word she was saying. Ollie peaked back at me. “This is your home now.” He said.

“Ollie, I can’t stay here. I have to get back home, go to work, pay my bills. I am an adult now.” I said. Not that I really wanted to go back, but it was the most logical thing for a 25 year old to say. Responsibility is what being an adult was all about, right?

“Your purpose has been served.” Ollie said, not looking at me. He continued down the path and I could only stare at his shiny, plastic, bald head. I was distracted by his strange walk. I had never seen a stuffed doll walk, but here he was, walking away, holding a lantern.

“My purpose?” I asked. What could he possibly mean?

“We were afraid this would happen. It happens to some of us. We forget that we are only a piece of time. There in the moment when the child needs us most. You have been on one of the longest jobs any of us have ever seen. It may take a few days for you to remember who you are.”

“What are you talking about?” We stopped in front of a large tree that was wider than any tree I had ever seen. I looked up and gazed at the opening that a set of stairs lead to. I looked back at Ollie, confused.

He pointed me toward the opening in the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once you’re inside.”

“What is this place?”

“Your new home, Meg.” He smiled and started walking up the stairs. “Don’t worry, it will come back as soon as you come in. I followed, mostly out of curiosity and partly because there was nothing else around but forest and I was slightly creeped out at the thought of being left out side alone. Ollie opened the door and walked in, lighting up the room. I gasped as I followed, recognizing the attic where I first meet Ollie. I shook my head and stopped in the doorway.

“This can’t be real.” I said, trying to find air again. I kept shaking my head and pinching my arm. I had to wake up from this nightmare.

“You were never real Meg. You are a doll. A beautiful doll that girls love and connect with. When they need you. When they are done with you, you come back here, you come back home to the attic.” Ollie says, trying to sooth me.

It started to come back in flashes. I had never gone to work. That was Coral, the girl who found me one day. She had kept me, needed me longer than most. It was her clock that went off. It was her that hit the snooze button too many times. I just sat on her shelf and watched it all, providing comfort when she needed it. It had been months since the last time she even looked at me. I guess Coral finally grew up.

I smile, happy for her, but sad that I am no longer with her. I wipe a tear from my cheek and walk into the attic. Ollie is sitting at a table of plastic tea cups, pouring steaming cups of air and serving plastic crumpets. What else would a doll do on her off time other than have a tea party with all the other dolls on break?

Border

Let me know what you think. But here is a question for you. Would you have a tea party with your dolls from your childhood if they showed up talking? I liked my childhood dolls, I would totally have a little chat and tea with them.

Prompt Challenge: 040316 The Unlucky Ones

Prompt Challenge

Hello friends! This one…I like this weeks short story. Really, I do. I am putting it in my file of stories that could be more. Woot! But let’s get on with this. It’s also not very long. So, yay for quick read!

April Prompt

The Unlucky Ones

The lucky ones are the ones that the government only checks in on about once a month. We don’t talk about the unlucky ones, but not for reasons you may think. The unlucky ones are not the ones that are under constant surveillance from the government, they are the ones that have crept under the government’s watch. No one knows their names, where they are, who they are, or what they plan to do next.

The unlucky ones are the ones that slip through the shadows and if they are ever spotted, they are shot on sight. The government does not have time for these people and the ideas they may get. There is a whole community of the unlucky ones, and I am one of them.

My name is Hera. But don’t let the name fool you. There is nothing special about me. I was born into a world where I am forced to hide. It started with my parents and their need to get out from under the government. After both of my parents died I found out that it was my fault that they had to go into the underground, to live among the unlucky ones. The year I was born, the government was killing every fourth girl that was born. It was something about population control and balancing out the ratio of boys and girls. The government is all about controlling the population and making sure there is an even ratio of boys and girls. The better to pair you with someone when you are old enough to marry.

My parents were in an arranged marriage and that didn’t bother them. They didn’t even blink an eye about the babies that were being put to rest because they were the wrong gender. Until it came to being their child that would be laid to rest, their child that would be killed just because I was a girl. It was then that their eyes were opened, and they ran.

The government tracked them down one day and killed them. I was 16 at the time and hid in the rafters of the warehouse we had been living in. We had been there too long and I told them so. They also killed my boyfriend and his family that same night. I have been on the run since. I have become the governments most wanted unlucky one. I have exceeded their expectations. I think now they want to recruit me, but I will never join the monsters that have killed my parents and friends. I will never stand behind the monsters that take children from their homes to control the population.

I have learned their secrets. It has taken me five years to get to where I am today, standing right outside the governments headquarters. They are a stupid bunch. It was only last year that I found out they had one home base. One government headquarters where all their information and important people have been kept. How dumb can you be? They think they are safer in numbers, but they have only given the unlucky ones an advantage. I only have one place to take down to start a new world where we are all free. The unlucky ones will bring light to those that are still lost in the darkness of the governments lies.

I have not come to plea with the government. I have come to destroy them. And behind me are all the unlucky ones, ready to fight, ready to die to free the ones who think they are the lucky ones. In this world the only lucky ones are those who sit in these buildings that tower over the chaos and decay of a sad world. I didn’t become the unlucky one’s savior, I became their wake up call. I became the voice they needed to push them to stop hiding in the shadows and finally take back what is ours. For my parents, my friends, and those yet to come, I am the harbinger of change, of death, of freedom.

4 Nerd Girl Rating

Tell me what you thought. Did you like it? Hate it? What would you rate it? I would love to hear from you.

NanoWriMo Update

Week 2

Love this quote so much! Seriously, the reason I started writing stories was because I wanted to be someone I wasn’t. It helped me escape. And now I find that when I don’t write I am in such a grumpy mood. I haven’t been writing much before NanoWriMo…or much this year at all. It’s really sad really. But since I have been writing this month I have seen a drastic change in my attitude and its awesome!

Anyways, I know what you are really here for. You want to know where I am with my goals. Well…here you have it!

Day 1: 0
Day 2: 816
Day 3: 1598
Day 4: 1937
Day 5: 4469
Day 6: 3002
Day 7: 3840
Day 8: 2482
Day 9: 0
Day 10: 4044
Day 11: 2744

Total to Date: 24932

I have learned a few things already. One being that I am happier when I write. The second being that once you have written that first draft it is so much easier to rewrite the entire novel again. Even if you had 72,000 words in the first draft.

I have been putting off re-writing this novel because it was just so much. But I have a 72,000 word outline that I am using to write this novel. The first time around was fleshing out everything. Now, I can throw in things that will hint at things to come because I know exactly what is to come.

This has been a great experience. Last year I made it to the 50,000 word goal, but I never finished the story I was working on. I don’t even remember what it was that I was working on. This time I have a story that has been in my head for years, I have a rough draft, and I am using this month to make it better and get back into writing.

I have let one of my dreams slip through my fingers. I will not let my dream to write slip through my fingers too. I needed this boost to get me out of my slump and back on my feet.

How are you doing with the NanoWriMo?

Writing Prompt 9-2: Disappearance

November prompt

Hello folks. Miss me? I know I have been a little absent lately. I am doing some thinking about my blog. I want to make some changes, maybe possibly move to a new blog space. I’m not sure yet. I may just need to make a set schedule I can keep up with here. Things would be better if work wasn’t so crazy.

Any ways, let’s get to what you really came here for today. The writing prompt!

November Prompt Quote

5 Nerd Girl Rating

9-2 Disappearance

Some days it’s harder to get out of bed than others. Some days all I can do is lay there and think about all that I have lost. People keep telling me that there is so much more to find then what I have lost. But when you have lost your entire family, what point is there to life?

Some days I listen to my phone ring and ring all day. I don’t want to answer it, I am tired of people trying to make me feel better. I don’t want to feel better. I want to process this sadness. This dark hole has taken over everything that I am. I don’t even want to remember the good times I had with my family because it only makes things worse. I am alone in the world now, because they all left me. Maybe things would have been better if I knew what happened to them, but they just disappeared. One day they were here and life was great. The next day, they were gone and all I had were questions.

The police found blood and lots of it. My parents home had been trashed. Where was I when it all happened? I was at work. I was always at work, because that is what I did. I wanted so bad to get out of my parents house. I wanted my own place, my own space. I didn’t hate my family, not even in the slightest. I loved them very much, but I still wanted my own place. I felt like I was never going to grow up if I stayed under their roof, like if I didn’t leave home I would never accomplish my dreams. So I worked hard at a crappy job, instead of working hard to get a better job. I wish I had been smarter. I wish I had enjoyed my family more. Even when I was home I was locked away in my room, reading my books, or talking to my friends online.

Now, they are all gone and now I realize how much I loved them. They were my best friends. They were the only people in the world that understood me, but it doesn’t matter anymore. I am lost, broken, useless. Before long I will lose my apartment. I finally got my own place, just to lose it because I can’t make myself go to work. I’m sure one of the phone calls I received today was my boss firing me. I can’t remember when I was at work last…I have no idea how much time has passed. My friends online think that I have died. Only a few know that I am still alive and they all know that it is only a matter of time before I disappear too. None of them care enough to come save me.

All I have left are a few family videos that I saved and some pictures. I couldn’t hold on to much more than that. Sometimes I watch the old videos. I know them all by heart now. Days like today, I play them on repeat. It’s almost like they are here with me again. I watch myself in the recording, blowing out the candles of my last birthday cake. But then I notice something different. My mother, who was recording the video, steps in front of the camera, blocking me blowing out the candles. My mom was always a picture of perfection. Her hair was perfect and her clothes always clean and neat. But in this video, she was not clean and perfect. Her hair stuck out in places, her skin was dirty, and her clothes were torn.

I shook my head trying to clear my mind. I was just seeing things. She stares into the camera and a tear strolls down her face. I move to sit in front of the television and put my hand to the screen. My mother’s hand comes up and sits where my hand is. I jerk back, holding back a scream.

“Naomi,” My mother says from the television. “I am so glad to see you safe.”

“Mom?” I move closer to the television. “Is that you?”

“Yes, sweetie.” She says smiling. “You can hear me.” She laughed. It was the laugh of reliefe and joy all at the same time.

“Where are you?” I ask. “You all left me behind. You just disappeared.” I cried to the television.

“We were taken.” She said. She looked off to the side and her eyes grew wide. “Naomi, we need you to save us. Only you can. There is only one person that can help you. He has been calling you, trying to tell you what happened to us.” My mother talks faster. “Pick up your phone Naomi!” She shouts before the video cuts out, my mother’s replaced with static.

“Mom!” I shouted at the television. I grabbed the remote to rewind the tape, but before I could rewind the tape my phone rang. I jumped and stared at the phone sitting on the table. I rang again. I picked it up and answered. “Hello?”

“Thank God!” A voice said on the other side of the line.

“Eli?” I ask.

“Yes. Naomi, you should really pick up your phone when friends call.” Eli said. He was an online friend, one of the two online friends that actually had my real phone number.

“What do you want?” I asked, frantic.

“Your family isn’t dead.” He said. I gasped and stared at the static on the television. “Naomi, you can save them.” He said.

“How?” I asked. I don’t know where my family is, who took them, or what kind of fire I am about to walk into, but I will get my family back. No one takes away my life line and expects to get away with it.

Plus Mustache

Let me know what you think.

P.S. Tomorrow I will have an update on my NanoWriMo journey!