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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Suspense Technique #7: The Best for Last

You ever hear an author or a teacher respond to the question: How do I come up with an idea for a story? So often, the answer--even from well-known authors and experienced teachers--is "Write what you know." Now that's all good, in theory, because it reduces the amount of research needed to pull off the story. If you play competitive beach volleyball, write about that. If you run a home business, write about that. Great. This suggestion may work well if you're writing nonfiction, but what about for fiction? Uh…well, not so much. Think about it. Most of what we know--the routines of life--are not the makings for a bestseller.

If you happen to work for a top secret branch of the government, sure, go for it. But most of us don't have that kind of background. Not to worry. Read on.

The final suspense technique in my arsenal I call "The What If Twist." No, it's not a dance that I perform around the computer before I write. Nor is it a specific bodily contortion that, once activated, allows more power to flow to the creative centers of my brain. It is actually a technique that I borrowed from Stephen King. Now, don't misunderstand me. I don't shoot pool with Steve on Wednesday nights. Never met him actually. But I've read lots of his work, and read still more of his writing instruction. If Stephen King has something to say about writing, it might not be a bad thing to listen.

Suspense Technique #7:
The What If Twist


King explained that he always gets asked where he comes up with his off the wall, macabre story ideas. He went on to explain about "What if." What if works like this: Take any normal everyday activity: Taking out the trash, washing the dishes, raking leaves, bedtime stories with the kids, etc. As I said above, these activities would rarely produce a bestseller. But apply the magic two words: What if? And something cool will happen. Just begin the normal, routine activity with "What if" and then come up with the wackiest, weirdest twist you can think of. Be a mad scientist and experiment. Write everything down--even if it sounds unbearably stupid.

Example: Take the routine chore of raking the leaves

Apply What if: What if while raking the leaves...

Twist it: What if while you were raking the leaves…you uncover a trapdoor that hadn't been there the day before?

What if while you were raking the leaves…you discover a map?

What if while you were raking the leaves…a tiny dragon escapes from a hole in the ground you just uncovered?

What if while you were raking the leaves…you find a skeletal arm?

What if while you were taking out the trash…a dark figure ran into your house?

What if while you were washing the dishes…a tentacle reached out of the drain and grabbed your arm?

What if while you were sharpening your sword…it began to sing?

Get the idea? This what if twist draws the reader into the story in much the same way that an accident scene on a highway draws you to look even though you don't really want to see. Readers will flip through the pages like crazy, hoping to find out, just what's going on.

Now, it's your turn. Write an opening line, paragraph or two that
will really hook us using The What If Twist and Post it here.

Once I have twenty or thirty of them, I'll have my veteran Quality Fiction Team {IE: my lovely wife and me} select a winner who will receive a signed copy of Isle of Swords OR
The Door Within Paperback with "Lost Chapters!"

Only two entries per person, so get crafting and submit them when they are ready!

67 comments:

everlastingscribe said...

Ohho, you really did leave the best for last. And while I would normally be hearbroken to see the last one posted here, meaning that the fun is nearly over, I'm now three behind, so my broken heart is delayed. Kinda like being routed into a holding patteren over Gatewick airport. *Shudder* This one will be fun too!

everlastingscribe said...

Oh and heads up everyone, the Lost Scrolls editions rolled into the store where I work this morning!

everlastingscribe said...

They are awesome! :-D Trade paper back (larger than mass markets that are the little 'cube' books you see at the airport newscenters), lovely blue text inside, watermarked pages just like the hard cover *AND* they have those lovely lost chapters! Which *I* have now read.

Go bug the fluff out of your local bookstore clerks and owners to get them in, they are far too cool not to have sitting on the shelves!

Eve said...

What if:
While taking a bath, all relaxed with eyes closed, you feel that you're not alone.

Your eyes fly open to see slimy bodies of slugs filling the bath tub. You try to move, but you cannot. They cover you with their oozing slime and your arms are stuck together, as are your legs.

You flail around and kick the plug out of the tub. As the water drains out, you realize your mistake. The slime has made you too slippery. You emit a small shriek as you get sucked down the drain into the unknown.

Eve said...

Oh-By the way, I'm on the CSFF Blog-and my name is missing from yer list-Eve Nielsen at www.questwriter.blogspot.com

Thanks :)

Eve said...

Blog "Tour" that is...

Brett said...

What if:
If was midnight and you couldn't sleep. Life is so boring and drab. You toss and turn...until you get up..you just can't lie there anymore!
You throw the covers off and push open your bedroom window. It's raining outside. You don't care; you can get dry afterwards. You slip down into the cool, wet grass and reach out your hand into the falling drops.
Suddenly, the raindrops freeze. They are suspended in mid-air. Smiling, you gently push aside the tain curtain and laugh as the tuny beads brush against your cheek. You finger the rain in your hand and twirl them about, splashing them against rays of sunlight and creating miniature rainbows. They sparkle and glitter as they reflect back into your eyes.

Brett said...

*rain-curtain*, not tain-curtain :)

everlastingscribe said...

Eve, that's just awesome! Kinda "Slither" meets Alice in Wonderland! You've got me hooked!

everlastingscribe said...

Brett, that is wicked-cool! I love the images you've worked throughout like "...brush aside the rain curtain" and "...sparkle and glitter as they reflect back into your eye". The stopping or suspending of time/physics is also a facinating idea. Makes me want to know if the character did that or if they stumbled out into something else that is going on at the dark hour. Kinda reminds me of "The Midnighters" by Scott Westerfield. Really well done!

Eve said...

Thanks for the link, Wayne.

Eve said...

Wayne,
I took the liberty of doing all of the suspense techniques-today. I know I'm a bit late, but I wanted to learn them too.

If you have time, I'd love to get your input.

amy said...

What if…

I was walking down the well-trodden path from my dad’s book store to home, only a half mile away. The bright summer sun beat down on the top of my head and I longingly thought of the vanilla ice cream sitting at home in the freezer.

As I rounded the corner of my street, a glimmer of something shiny lying in the gutter caught my eye. Thinking it was a coin, I reached down to pick it up. It was actually a heavy silver key that looked hundreds of years old. Turning it over in my hand, I saw a strange inscription deeply engraved into the metal. The entire key turned frosty cold in my hand, and I looked around to see if anyone else had seen me pick it up. Quickly stuffing it into my pocket, I turned toward home.

The sky suddenly turned dark, yet there was not a single cloud in the sky. It felt like God had flicked the off-switch for the sun. I looked toward my house and somehow knew if I could just reach the door, I’d be safe. I broke into a run, but as soon as I began to gain some ground, my house looked further away than it had a moment ago. The harder I ran, the further away my house went. The darkness closed in around me until I could no longer see my house. A cold chilled my body to the core; I could hardly breath. The heavy blackness swallowed me until I knew no more.

Brett said...

Thank you Scribe!

WayneThomasBatson said...

Hey, Eve

Not late at all, really. I won't be judging winners for a while yet. I still don't have my comp copies of Isle of Swords OR The Door Within Lost Chapters Editions.

Eve Nielsen said...

Oh, ok. I was aiming for the knowledge but a chance at winning is all right too :)

Everlasting-thanks! Feeling better today?

Brett-great imagery-really!

WayneThomasBatson said...

Lady Eve, what little wisdom we have to impart, such we will do.

Brett said...

And thank YOU Lady Eve! lol. Great job yourself! I'll never take a bath again.... *shudder* :)

Eve said...

Brett, lol-just bathe with your eyes open!

Thank you, Sir Wayne (Lady Eve...I like that..has a nice ring to it....)

Eve said...

Amy, >>The harder I ran, the further away my house went.<<

I love the panic this creates in my mind!

amy said...

Thanks Eve!

Nice entries to you as well. I read most of them since you mentioned that you entered all the previous contests. You definitely have a knack for creating imagery that really puts you in the scene.

Keep up the great work.

Eve said...

Thanks Amy!

Aravis said...

I know I didn't choose a normal daily activity, but oh well.

In 2025, the largest terrorist attack the world could ever imagine was executed. I know this, because I saw it. I was there. I was the one who pushed the button, and wiped out multiple cities.

But can anyone in their right mind, with their eyes lifted toward God, ever commit such a deed against their own country? I wouldn't think so, but as my story went, it's complicated.

What if, I was able to do it over again, and that I alone was capable of preventing the largest terrorist attack the world has ever known? What would the repercussions be? Would it truly be for the better, or would I in fact save millions?
That is where the real story begins.

(For clarification, the character either has a vision or dream about pressing the button, and from the clues from the vision/dream is able to change things)

amy said...

Aravis,

I like the idea of: what if you could take it all back, would you do it differently? I think we've all asked ourselves that question and it's a great idea to put into a story because even though we never get to do it, our characters can. That's the fun part.

Good job!

tbon100k said...

Really like the idea of rain stopping in mid air and being able to interact with it like that. great image to muse over.

Brett said...

Thanks! That's always been a special piece for me.

Aravis1212 said...

What if:
You woke up and remembered you had a strange dream, but none of the details. And then, you walk down the stairs to see your picture missing from the family portrait. You're confused and stare at it for a minute, when your mom sees you and goes into hysterics that a stranger's in the house.

nick said...

Aravis, I like that everyone-forgot-you-existed thing. It makes me crazy reading it. Great work!

Brett said...

Aravis, nicely done! That's real cool!

tbon100k said...

here we go...
" The one thing i really hate is lunch. More specifically lunch time cause i only have 1 hour to do it in, i work 27 minutes away from the nearest... anything for that matter and the closest place to hit for what they are calling food is one of my least favorite "fast food" places. I won't mention the name but it's initials are Mc D. I get there with 6 minutes to run in, get my order and get back in traffic to do my impression of Al Unser Jr. just to get back to work on time, of course eating on the way back while driving. I run in expecting a long line but to my suprise there is no line. There was actually a well groomed and nice looking young lady standing at the counter (no purple hair dye or black eyeshadow or facial piercings) and smiling at me as i walked dazedly up to the counter. She actually said," Good afternoon SIR, how may i help you?" smiling the whole time! i thought i might have taken a wrong turn but with time pressing in I snapped out of my daze and ordered my usual # something which had a picture on the menu so i could order without the added burden of also being literate. She smiled and gave me my total which i paid, still wary but much more pleased with the experience than usual. But then, thinking everything till now might just be a fluke or just a pleasant upgrade to the usual fare at this establishment, i did my usual check into the bag for napkins and straw and IT WAS ALL THERE!! i couldn't help but my curiosity spurred me on so i reached into the bag, tore the wrapper off the sandwich and fear grabbed me immediatly! My usual smashed down, under decorated, limp and tastless burger was not what i was facing. Instead the burger i recieved not only looked EXACTLY like the picture it was HOT! There were ACTUAL burger juices running off the burger and all the tomatos were red, the lettuce was crisp... I wasn't sure what to do, should i run or hide? I couldn't help myself, something took over and, try as i might, i couldn't prevent myself from taking a bite... it was wonderful! But when i looked in the bag and there was a FULL box of hot, salted and crispy french fries i knew that i couldn't possibly be in the right place. I turned to look at the girl standing at the counter and there she was, smiling.
I don't know exactly how long i was out or just when the truck in the lane next to me lost control and ran my car into the median. I remember waking up in a bed with a tube in my arm and the sound of a heart meter beeping methodically in the backround. Just then a very nice looking young nurse walked in smiling carrying a tray with what i assume was lunch. she said good after noon and set the tray down in front of me and then quietly left. I remember being very sore and stiff but pretty hungry. As i lifted the cover off the plate on the tray there was the biggest juiciest burger i had ever seen...

tbon100k said...

sorry so long

kel said...

What if…

You were mowing your two-acre backyard when deep, muddy footprints materialized in the unmown grass in front of you?

Stopping the mower, you quickly look behind you, but there are no visible footprints. Turning back toward your house, you freeze in the mower seat because you realize that the footprints stop approximately fifty feet from the back porch. The prints don’t retreat or go off in a different direction, they just stop. Almost as if the creature who made them stood in the grass for a while, then simply vanished.

Later that evening as you stand looking out the upstairs windows brushing your teeth, thoughts race through your mind as a mild panic begins to take hold. You realize that the mysterious footprints are still visible in the newly-mown grass!

What if...those footprints go all the way back to a fallen oak tree on the southern-most edge of your property?

What if...the creature who left the prints had materialized on the oak and then trotted up to your house?

What if...the creature was sent to seek YOU out, to be YOUR protector?

Merrie Destefano said...

Not sure if I've missed the deadline or not, but here goes. What if . . .

“Give me the little one, back there in the corner, mate. C’mon now, haven’t got all day now, have I?” Lonnie shivered in the open-air market, glanced up at the heavy clouds. Gray sky, gray buildings, gray dirt. He was sick of this miserable off-world colony and couldn’t wait to get back home. Couldn’t wait to get this last letter off to his royal highness, that bloodsucking parasite of the universe who just happened to be his brother-in-law. He took another sip of brandy, felt warmth shooting down to his gut, felt a brief return of his ever-failing courage. What was taking that steward so long? “Bleedin’ ship’s leavin’ in less than two hours,” he yelled through the bars, “and that’ll barely give me time to get the message put on all correct and proper.” She was little, probably no more than five years old, but she’d be cheap and there was something to be said for saving money when you had a job like this. He’d have to buy her a tunic to cover the words, so no one could read them before his royal pain-in-the-behind; but before that he’d have to watch while the scribe wrote the message on her skin, metal needle scratching blue lines in baby soft flesh, had to make sure that the idiot didn’t misspell anything. Couldn’t have another mistake. Not like last time. He leaned forward. Poked his head through the bars, his breath turning to frost, “Crimeny, what’s takin’ ya so long in there? I just need to get a letter in the next post. What is so difficult in all of that?”

Merrie Destefano said...

Hello, again. Not sure if anyone understood my above "what if," so here's the explanation: What if we didn't write letters on paper? What if we tattoed them on people instead?
:)

j.c. said...

Here's a last-minute try. Sorry I haven't been on in a while, been busy.
----------------------
What if… you were creeping through the underbrush, your air-soft gun at the ready, and you know that if you shoot the last defender before the flag you could be the game-winner for your team. You hear him shuffling nervously, he knows that he has to protect the flag at all costs. Slowly, making no noise whatsoever, you stand up, aim, and… stare. You just stare. You stare at the true cause of the noise. There before you stands a 20-foot creature resembling a mix between a bear and an elephant with six tusks. And it simply stares back.

j.c. said...

Another entry! Josh
----------------------
What if… you had to turn in a paper that day and it’s only half done. You work like crazy in the last fifteen minutes before you leave, print it out, grab it, and go. As writing class approaches, you fidget in your seat, knowing that the quality of your work is poor because you didn’t get a chance to proof-read it. Writing class comes, and you’re told to turn in your papers. You pick yours up, take a glance at it, and stop dead in your tracks. There on your paper reads, “HELP!” On the next page it reads, “I AM STUCK IN THIS COMPUTER!” All the rest of the pages are blank. You have to tell your teacher that you didn’t do the assignment, but you hardly notice. You are only interested in finding out the meaning of the writing on the paper.

j.c. said...

alright, commentary. good idea with the fast food place, tbon. It's often quite true. kel- I like the way you leave the reader wondering what the creature is. Also, I like how you give alternate endings. Merrie- very creative idea! And good job telling the reader background information without getting boring! Very interesting! Keep un the good work, y'all

everlastingscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
everlastingscribe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
everlastingscribe said...

I jumped as my pocket began to play the theme from my favorite movie, and my keys hit the sidewalk. I groaned, shifted my purse to my other arm and pulled the cell phone out as I crouched down and fumbled after my key ring. Great, the little display window on the phone said the number was unknown. Of course the little window also said that it was March 1, 2010. That’s what I got for buying one of those cheap “pay as you go” models; a little unit that let anyone call me as well as one that was convinced that today was three years into the future. It always reverted to some other year no matter how many times I set it for the correct one.

Whoever was calling was persistent, the theme stopped and then started again. Answering meant I would spend a dollar for activation that day and then ten cents for every minute the call lasted. Maybe they would give up if it rang through a second time. Straightening I clawed up my car door key and got ready to put the phone back in my pocket, but the theme played through for a third time, the ‘number unknown’ flashing on the little screen and the signal bars dropping to half strength. I sighed and flipped it open.

“This is Sam” I murmured, trying not to grit as static cut in and out and some garbled voice asked something I couldn’t make out at all. “Hey, look if you’re going through a tunnel or over a bridge call me back.” I said, covering my other ear. “I can’t understand you.” I yelped as a high pitched whine cut in and I jerked the phone away from my ear and looked at it again. The signal bars on the small screen jumped as high as I’d ever seen them and I heard” Sam? Sam?” Dylan’s voice came in crystal clear.

“Hi Dylan” I managed, settling the phone gingerly against my head and walking along the strip mall sidewalk towards the parking lot.

“Sam don’t call me that. “ Dylan said automatically and then “Listen to me, you have to listen to me.” I rolled my eyes and sighed. “Sam it’s a matter of life and death” You didn’t need to guess who got the gift of drama in my family.

“Lanny, I am listening to you.” I stepped down off the curb, watching for cars in the late afternoon light, and then threaded my way over the cross walk to where I parked my car.

“Sam, Sam listen to me. Don’t go home. Don’t go home. Go anywhere else but home Sam. It’s important, it’s a matter of life and death”

“Yeah Lanny you mentioned that before. Look this thing is costing me ten cents a minute, you think you could bottom line it for me? Why can’t I go home?”

“Because there’s a thief inside right now and if you go home you are going to”

I choked and pressed the phone to my ear tighter, my hand frozen at the door lock of the car.

“Lanny you get out of the house right now, I don’t care what the judge said about your probation and that ankle thing, you get out of the house right now if there’s someone else in it”

“I’m not at home. . .or well I’m not at the house”

“Then how do you know that there’s someone there?” I said, managing to unlock the door and slip into the drivers seat.

“Same way that I know if you turn on the radio in five minutes you’ll hear the winning lotto numbers are 87465. Same way I know that there will be a tornado that touches down south of town tonight and that three farms will lose livestock because of it. And that the school will be hit too and the janitor will be one of the casualties.”

“Lanny this is sick, even for you this is sick” I hissed “Where are you calling from?” There was a long pause and a sigh.

“If I told you, you wouldn’t believe me,” he muttered. I nodded. He was right; I had learned not to believe him.

“Where are you, Dylan?”

”Don’t call me that, Sam” I heard the irritation in his voice. “Fine, I’m calling from my home, but I’m calling from three years into the future.”

I laughed. “Like that movie? The one with the mixed up radio waves?”

“Told you, you wouldn’t believe me.”

“You right, I don’t. Bye Dylan, I’ll see you soon. You want Chinese for dinner tonight?”

“Don’t call me that! And don’t go home Sam! Please!” His voice shook. “Look do me a favor Sam. Sit there in your car and listen to the radio for a few minutes, get the lotto numbers, the pick five is what I gave you. Bonus number is 8. Then call me back. You should be able to select the ‘last incoming call’ and it’ll dial here.” He hung up.

I sat looking at the phone for a long minute, then slid the key in the ignition and started the car. The radio piped on “And those are the numbers for pick five. Again, the numbers are 8, 7, 4, 6, 5 with the bonus number also being 8. Remember, there is a severe storm warning for all of Arma Kansas until nine o’clock, and with that comes the possibility of funnel clouds so listen for the sirens and also keep your radio dial tuned here” I snapped the dial hard to the left, silencing Ms. Perky.

It had to be a trick. It had to be. Dylan was violating probation somehow and was manipulating me into being his alibi. He probably doctored the phone the last time I was over to visit. It would be like him. The lotto numbers had to be .fixed. He had friends who were multi talented cons, they could arrange it somehow.

I fished out the phone, flipped it open, and then frowned. The screen read March 1st, 2007. Great, it decided to remember what year it really was. I hunted through three menus to find the recent calls and selected the ‘caller unknown.” It began to dial out. There was another yowl from it and the bars jumped to full power. I cringed and then I rolled my eyes again. I had to get a new phone; this was getting to be ridiculous. As I raised it to settle against my ear I caught the date and time on the tiny screen. It read ‘Calling March 1st, 2010’.

My stomach clenched oddly. What if Lanny was on the level for once? I settled the phone against my ear, waiting for him to pick up. My pulse picked up it’s pace as I tried to remember if 2010 had popped up before now.

“So now do you believe me?” Dylan asked as it clicked over.

What if. . .you received a cell phone call from the future?

everlastingscribe said...

Merrie Destefano, that's really cool! Great 'what if' and great character building too.

Anonymous said...

This Gwenne, the blogger thing doesn't accept my password so I'll go anonymous for now. Here's my entry:

What If:

One man decided to stand for freedom.

What if

The Man decided to help the poor

What if

The Man was a disguised King.

What if

The Man is on a misson to save the world

What If

The Man despised by His people

What if

In His mission He dies

What If

3 days after His death He comes back to life

What If

When He finished His mission, He rose into the sky

What If

He is ruling over us now.

What if

He's going to come back and take us to His kingdom.

What if

This Man is Jesus Christ.

Gwenne said...

My second entry, Gwenne, writes yet again

I sit on the grass staring at the dark night sky, my mind wonders, racing back and forth with ideas and thoughts. I stare at an object, what was it it flew out of my sight, my mind continues to wander, "What if it was a dragon? A fire breathing creature. What if it was a elf? What if it was an alien? I smile to myself, my mind is not thinking straight, "I must be tired." I say to myself. The next day I see the news, A dragon was seen passing my neighborhood. Eyes wide I think to myslef, "my mind wasn't playing tricks, I did see a dragon!

This is partly true, my mind LOVES playing tricks on me, and wondering off is one of my mind favorite activities.

Gwenne said...

My second entry, Gwenne, writes yet again

I sit on the grass staring at the dark night sky, my mind wonders, racing back and forth with ideas and thoughts. I stare at an object, what was it it flew out of my sight, my mind continues to wander, "What if it was a dragon? A fire breathing creature. What if it was a elf? What if it was an alien? I smile to myself, my mind is not thinking straight, "I must be tired." I say to myself. The next day I see the news, A dragon was seen passing my neighborhood. Eyes wide I think to myslef, "my mind wasn't playing tricks, I did see a dragon!

This is partly true, my mind LOVES playing tricks on me, and wondering off is one of my mind favorite activities.

Kitty said...

YEY Here I am again!! I hope you like this:


What if:

While writing one of your stories you turn to find one of your characters looking over your shoulder. He frowns and groans wishing you hadn’t put him into this situation. As you sit there in wonder he grabs your paper and tries to erase his misfortunes. You immediately yell at your character telling him it was for his best that you did it. He crosses his arms angrily while making faces at you. You try to reason with him, but he resists. Growing annoyed with your character, you tell him to leave. He gasps… “LEAVE! I can not!”
“Why not?” You ask him.
Your character stops to think. Then with a sparkle in his eye he answers, “Because without me you are nothing… like a warrior with no sword… like a dragon with no scales… like a war with no men-“
“Ok, ok, I get it…”
Bewilder you go back to writing your story, hoping that no more of your characters come to visit you.

Gwenne said...

KITTY I LOVE YOUR ENTRY!!!! AND ALL OF THE OTHER ENTRIES!! THEY'RE AWESOME!!!

PatShand said...

WHAT IF.... Vampires took over the United States of America


Doctor Who isn’t only an excellent program, it also just exists in so many incarnations that, if you wanted to do so, you could pretty much find a station playing an episode at any given time in the day, bright or night. Gotta love England.

But, already having had my Doctor fix today, I sat down and spread the newspaper out before me, not without the usual anxiety. See, every time I see another outrageous article about what President William Pierce is doing back in the United States, I feel a pain deep in my chest that is worse than any of the physical torture I had to endure last year. I know that what’s going on, whatever really is going on, is partially because of me.

This time, I didn’t find anything important until after trudging through articles about the promiscuous Prince that I’d more likely expect to find in the National Enquirer than a respectable newspaper; come to think of it, I did sort of miss the trashy American magazines from back home. There really is nothing like opening one of those and reading a tasteful peace about the marriage between the dog-boy and the Loch Ness Monster presided over by, of course, Elvis Presley.

After turning past the piece on the Prince, I found a shockingly small headline: TRISTAN FRENCH FOUND DEAD IN HIS MANHATTEN HOME. I grabbed the paper as roughly as a bully taking a nerd by the shoulders, and read the article with a sick feeling in the back of my throat as if I would lose my lunch all over the black-and-white at any moment.

Tristan French had been a Senator who was publicly opposing the rash and shocking actions of President Pierce. How had he died? Lo and behold: “(Death from) blood loss, severe neck trauma(…).” However, as horrible as that murder was, the thing that troubled me the most was the placement of the article. It was dwarfed by a report on the dangers of tap water, and wasn’t much bigger or eye-catching than the advertisement for the grand opening of a new Starbucks in (ENGLISH TOWN). French was getting ready to run for President of the United States in ’08. It should’ve made at least a sidebar on the front page, not a dime-sized article on page A27.

This was an English paper. I knew that the vampires were slowly taking control of America with the odd new legislation and the heightened censorship of media, but I hoped that this disgrace of a report wasn’t an omen of things to come in my new home country.

It seemed ludicrous that the American public, suspicious as they certainly were, hadn’t figured it out yet. It had been over a year since the mass murder of all those political leaders at the World Conference, and anyone who thought it was a coincidence that all the new politicians who filled in for them seemed to have a strange, revolutionary agenda were fools of a Took, in my book. In my opinion, it won’t be so long before President Pierce and his “advisor” King Cain come out of the closet as vampires and make vampirism not only legal, but encouraged.

My depressing reading session was interrupted a familiar, if tinny, rendition of the triumphant Jurassic Park theme coming from my cell, which was vibrating the pocket of my jeans. The usual tightening sensation that grasps at my chest like a the hands of a rabid fangirl gripping the new Harry Potter book at a release party came rushing at me, relaxing only when I saw the name flashing in time to the music on the screen of the phone. Mike/green flash. Mike/green flash. Mike/green flash.

I answered the phone, trying to sound as if I hadn’t just been brooding over my past wrong-doings while simultaneously lamenting the death of the Senator. “Hello Mike!”

“Hey Kirk. Weren’t we supposed to me at the gym?”

I looked at the clock. Alas. It was four-thirty, and I’d had plans to meet with my neighbor at the gym—working on my arms, in case I come face to face with one of them damn vampires—at four. Doctor Who had ran for a solid two hours as opposed to the normal hour, totally throwing my schedule off the merry go round. Here I was thinking it was three thirty.
“Lost track of time,” I said apologetically. Had a lot of practice with that, I mean I was the King of the Hotel World until my unfortunate… thing. “You still there? You still wanna do this thing, right?”

Mike sighed deeply over the phone. I’d only known the guy for about a month, but I could picture what he was doing at that very moment as if I was standing right next to him. He tucked his lips tightly into his mouth as he always does when exasperated, rolled his eyes, and probably fixed his glasses (as if the mere action of eye-rolling would knock them askew). Finally, after this little annoyance-ritual, he said with airy irritation, “Yeah, sure, I’ll be here.”

“See ya soon, buddy.”

“Fifteen minutes?” he asked.

“Twelve,” I promised.

“Be there, Kirk.” And he hung up.
Kirk. Kirk. A great name, one of the best. I’m more than honored to borrow the name of the Great Captain (and I don’t mean Crunch), though its an odd, indescribably feeling to be called something that you’re not. It’s sort of like borrowing someone else’s clothes; you’re not naked, which is good unless you’re a nudist, but you never really feel at home.

That’s how I feel about being called Kirk. It’s just something I had to do though. Being a fugitive and all, I can’t exactly run around introducing myself as Gary Gerald Genesin unless I want both the United States government and the vampires on my ass.

But, come to think of it… Those two entities now were, essentially, one and the same. Legion, something I could never fight.

On that upsetting thought, I picked up my gym bag, readjusted my suave black wig, and left the room, the paper, and thoughts of vampires and death behind. Well, as far behind as they’ll let me leave them.

They always seem to follow my thoughts, like little gnats trying to get a bite of sweet skin, buzzing horrible things in your ear. If only I could swat them away.

Luke Lyons said...

What if you woke up one day and walked into your kitchen and opened the door to the refrigerator and found everything rotten? You walked outside and every step you take kills the surrounding grass. Bugs fall dead and birds begin falling from the sky. You begin to wonder what madness has brought this. You get in you car and begin to drive franticly as you watch all life wither as you pass. You pull over, get out and stumble back before catching yourself from falling. You are to scared to move. What evil has brought this upon you? You stand, watching the remaining life in the grass around you fade. Truly this is nothing but a nightmare…

maskedknight said...

I'm guessing most of you don't take ballet, but that you know what a leap is!:)
_____________________

What if you were dancing. While you were leaping, you stopped short. You could walk, but you stayed a few feet of the ground. You tried to get down, and you couldn’t. Suddenly, you shot up, slammed into the ceiling, then went down just enough to stand under it. You could tell it was going to happen again, so you made your way outside so you wouldn’t hit anything again. You kept shooting up, and up and up…

maskedknight said...

What if you went get the mail. You walked to the mailbox and found that the mail man was just putting your mail in. Your mail box had been knocked down, so for now you just had a cardboard box. You found that you had a lot of mail, and dropped a letter as you took the stack of bills and the like out of your box. The letter did not have an envelope, it was simply folded with the address written on the back. When it fell, it came open so that you could read it, and a small, oddly shaped package fell out. You read;
I must write this in hurry. Who ever this gets to, you are now in great danger. There is an egg in the package. Keep it in a warm place. It will hatch and you will have the first Dragness. It is a cross between a Dragon and a Loch Ness Monster. There are those who would use it for purposes I will not describe here. You shall meet me soon, but farewell until then.

Anonymous said...

Here goes!

A cool fall breeze whistled in Jesse's ears and through his hair. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly. Chilly fall weather always appealed to him, even if chores were involved. Shouldering a rake he walked over to a small pile of leaves that sat under a large oak tree in front of his house. The breeze disturbed the little pile and the leaves in the branches of the oak, sending dozens in all directions. Crunching along, Jesse stopped near the now even smaller stack of foliage and began to rake. Forward, back, forward, back, the rake went, creating a little path of grass in the sea of leaves all over the yard. Moving a little closer to the pile with every sweep, Jesse thought about the next morning, when he would, most definitely, awaken to the site of a fresh batch of leaves covering his would-be neat yard. “Mom will make me rake it all over...” Whoosh! something whizzed past his ear and thwok! stuck into the thick bark of the oak tree. Jesse looked up just in time to see a figure duck around the side of his house headed in the direction of the woods that made up his backyard. Startled, he dropped the rake, lost his balance and fell plop into the freshly raked pile. Jesse quickly scrambled to his feet and shook the leaves out of his hair and off his clothes. He turned and looked at the tree trunk. Stuck into the bark was an arrow made of wood and painted gold. The feathers on it were white with veins of gold running through them. Tied to the end with a small leather string was a piece of parchment. Warily, Jesse untied the string and let the parchment fall into his hand.
It felt like some sort of animal skin as he unrolled it. A phrase was branded into it that read;

Into the Woods

Into the woods? Jesse thought. What in the world...
Another whoosh and thwok, this time almost ripping threw his jacket. It was so close he felt the air as it went by through his clothes. A second arrow was stuck into the tree, identical to the last, parchment and all. Quickly he took the other message and unrolling it read;

Come~Hurry

What? Jesse thought. “What’s going on?” he said aloud to himself. Then he remembered the figure. Could it be the guys from school playing a prank? They were always up to something. “I bet that’s it. They want to pick on me for ‘sticking my nose into fantasy books’ all the time.”
“Ok guys, come out. Real funny.” Nothing. The breeze continued to blow around him. “Jokes over guys.” Jesse called again. Nothing. The sky clouded over suddenly and the wind changed directions, tingling as it blew past.
“Guys?” Jesse yelled over the now howling wind. Ok, this is really weird, he thought to himself. He stood there in the wind for a second, looking hesitantly around for his friends. The sky darkened considerably and left everything in an eerie shadow. Jesse decided to beat a hasty retreat to the house, but before he had taken two steps, something grabbed him from behind. One hand quickly stifled his cry and another grabbed his arm with a grip like iron.
“Since you stood here dawdling you gave me no choice!” said the thing from behind. Its voice was very deep and firm. Jesse kicked and squirmed, trying to wrench free, but it was no use. He was overpowered by his captor and quickly dragged through the front yard, around the side of the house, and into the woods beyond.

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

Oops! ***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins***
wrote the above. Hit the wrong button.

Kayla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kayla said...

“Then the princess got on the horse and they rode back to his kingdom. Then the two of them lived happily ever after and they never came in contact with another fire breathing dragon as long as they lived.”

The young girl looked up at her father with pure ecstasy written all over her face. “Truly, papa? They both lived happily ever after?”

“Truly, Libby.” Sirus said, his voice soft. Libby leaned against her father, thinking through every thrilling detail of the story. The logs in the hearth popped as the night drew on. All of a sudden, Libby looked up at her father with a concerned look on her face.

“Papa, are the stories real?”

“What stories, Libby?”

“All the stories you tell me; are they real?”

“My dear, sweet, Libby, these fairytales are whatever you make them to be. They can be as real as the sunrise or as fake as you want to believe. It is up for you to decide.” he paused for a moment and then began again with more seriousness in his voice. “In this life, my daughter, you are allowed to make your own fairytales if you wish; but if you do, make them well for once the story has began, you will not be able to change it.”

“Don't worry, papa. I'll make a good one.”


From where she stood on the balcony looking over the crowded town, Libby grimaced. Strands of her auburn hair fell down from out of her bun. She quickly pulled them back behind her ear as she began to sweep again. She had attempted to make her own fairytale, but where had it gotten her? Nowhere, it seemed. Now she was worse off than she had been before she left the comforts of her mountain village.

Sirap- the word had enchanted her when she was younger. A place for adventures, money and maybe even true love, like in the fairytales. Upon arriving though, Libby had found that the only honest work she could find was as a housekeeper. The job paid horribly and kept her working from dawn until dusk. The only consolation she had was that some of the princesses in the stories had been in similar situations before.

As Libby looked out longingly past the buildings to the small lumps on the horison that made up what she knew to be hundreds of miles of mountains, she wished her experiences could have turned out more like a fairytale.

Closing her eyes, she thought back to the story of the princess who had been trapped in a tower waiting for her prince to come and rescue her. Right about now, she could imagine the whole scene- a smooth tall stone tower, surrounded by high trees with bright green leaves. On the top of the tower was a balcony where the princess would sit and look for her prince to come.

Laughing inwardly, she scolded herself for being so foolish in her thoughts and wasting so much time. She had work to do. She opened her eyes gasped. Sirap was gone and she was the princess in the tower.

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

Kitty, I love the character one! That's so creative! And everlasting scribe, I love it! It's so intriguing!!

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

This is my sister's story. Her blog is giving her fits so I'm letting her use mine. If you need to know her user name is Aelic.

"Ok. This is the right street I think." Jesse scannned down the line of houses on the block. "Third house on the right side. Aha! That must be it." He walked up and rang the door bell. He heard some noises from the inside, a sort of calmbering about. The door flew open and the host of the party pulled him in and slammed the door quickly behind them. "Hey dude! Welcome. Let me introduce you to my pals." He clapped his hands yelling, "Hey attention! I got somethin' to say!" All eyes turned to Jesse and his "friend" which made him very uncomfortable. "Hey, Ean? I'm not a big fan of alot of attention. Do you think..." "OK, all! This is Jerry!" Interrupted Ean who obviously didn't care a thing about Jesse's hate of drawing attention to himself. "Um...it's Jesse." "Yeah, whatever. Want a drink, JESSE?" He took great pains to pronounce the name correctly. "Oh! Sure! Do you have Pepsi?" Then, out of the blue, all the "guys" started laughing and pointing in his dirrection. "HU? What's going on? What's so funny???" Well, you see Joey..." "Jesse." "Whatever! My point is: I was offering you a DRINK." He held up a can of alchohol and looked at Jesse with excpectation. Jesse stepped backward, as if the moment he got too close it would explode. "Wait. I thought this was a Christmas party or something! Not a PARTY party." "What? Are you chicken?" "NO!" Jesse stomped his foot, feeling more bold. "But I'm not stupid either. That's not good for your body, and we are under-aged." "Oh, what are you? A health
teacher or something? Come on, just do it!" Ean pressed him hareder and harder. "All the tough guys are doing it. It's popular." Well, popular is good, he considered in his thoughts. "I don't know..." He realxed a bit, letting most of the doubt drain, and fill back up with peere pressure.
I mean, it won't hurt to try." Ean convinced. "But...it's not...right." He said thinking over the temptation in-between words. "Yeah, so. It's cool." Jesse sighed and snatched the can from Ean. "OK."
"OK, see you at midnight then? We are going to get into that gang." A low raspy voice said from the speaker on the phone. "Yeah, sure." Amy whispered back, glacing around just in case somebody had heard them. She flipped her cell-phone shut and slipped it into one of her many pockets on her jeans. She walked home and before she entered the door she put on the best annoyed look she could muster. "Where have you been???" Her mother asked, a hand on her hip and a foot tapping. "My stupid math teacher kept me late." "Uha." Her mother walked over to Amy and said, "That has been your excuse for three weeks now." "What? You don't believe me?" She said trying look very sincere. "NO! Teachers do keep student sometimes but NOT until 11:00 PM!" 'Oh, man!' She thought to herself. "Well he's just..." "No Amy1 I want to know where you have been. I do NOT want you doing things you shouldn't and I know you are." "I'm fine MOm!" She began to walk up the stairs to her room. "AMY!" She rolled her eyes since her mom wasn't in seeing- range and said, "MOM! I'm fine." Amy ran up to her room and slammed the door. She flipped open the phone again and clicked re-dile. "Hello?" Answered the same voice from before. "Angella? We're going to need to do it a little earlier."
Amy came up to the store's back door where Angella was and found her sitting there jumbling with the lock. "Hey Ang. You in?" The girl turned around. "Yeah, I'm in. The lock just gave way when you got here." "Cool. Let's go." They had been in the store earlier that day to map-out where all the cameras were, so they knew there would be one right inside the door. Angella slipped the beanie cap which she had brought over the camera lens and they went in. "There's another over here. I'll cover it while you get something to prove we did it." "Ok. But what do I get?" "Find something. If you cause us to not be ale to join that gang.." She never finished becasue Amy shushed her with, "Ok, Hush I'll find someting!" Then she saw it. There on the desk was a ring. Not any cheep 25 cent ring either, but a diamond engagemnt ring. "Woah!" She hovered her hand over it, but thought about it for a moment. It was wrong, she knew. But it DID get her what she wanted. She grabbed it and shoved it in her pocket. But jsut before they exited the room, a flash of fire fell down from the sky. Amy and Angella colapsed and fell to there faces in awe and guilt.
Wide- eyed children surrounded Kelli and her husband Phil, as they told the story of Jesus being born as a baby and growing up to dei on the cross for them. "Did He really do that for us?" A youg Mexican boy stood and announced. "Yes. And all you have to do is ask and He will let you live in His kingdome forever." Kelli tappped a finger on his nose and he giggled. "Kelli? I want to live with Him, I do!" All of the children huddled at there feet all said somewhat in unison, "Ci! Us too!" Then, Kelli leaned forward and said, "I want you to live there too. And do you know why?" All of them shook their heads "no," Except for the first boy who shouted, "NO! TELL US!" "Ok. Because when I get there, not only will I see Jesus and you all too!" They all cheered and applauded and then Phil stood and said, "Now, come over here with me and all that want to pray that prayer of salvation I will help." all of the children filed over and began repeating after Phil in their own laguage. It was a beautifle thing to see. Kelli watched as tears rolled down her cheeks. She was a part of saving these kids and she was so happy that she helped kindle whatever fire they may create. Then all of the sudden, an amazing, vibrant light shot from the sky, and ALL is them were gone. Vanished.
Jesse, and Amy stood where they were...terrified. What had happened? They knew....
What if Jesus came back today? Are you prepared?

***Flinn-fan-of-the-Twins*** said...

~What If~

I was lying in bed. It was pitch dark, and as usual I was still awake. Thinking. Night time is one of the best times to think. It's quiet, no distractions; just you and your imagination. So that is where we find me. Thinking. A light flashed out my window. Nothing unusual, Dad was often late from the office. But something stirred in my mind as I saw it; a sound. A great rush of wind. As I watched the light, dimmed through my curtains, the sound left my mind and now I could hear it. Louder and louder it grew. The light was gaining strength also, but it was fickle. It was there, bright as a spotlight for a moment, then gone the next. Then back again. Both the light and the sound were on a steady course towards my window. Curious by nature, and with an overactive imagination, I got up and pushed back the curtain. What I saw made my blood freeze. My heart began to pound like it would explode and I would have screamed if my throat wasn't instantly so dry.
"It can't be," I whispered. I closed the curtains and shook my head, like somehow that might dissolve the vision I had just witnessed. I opened the curtains with eyes shut tight. One eye slowly opened. Then the other. No good. It was still there.
"What do I do? What do I..." A low rumbling was heard, followed by a deafening roar. It was getting closer. The sound of rushing wind grew louder. I knew I had to do something, but I couldn't decide what. If I ran to get my mom, she would never believe what I had to say. And by then it would be too late. Another wave of light came at my window like a freight train. I began to tremble and my lip quivered. The thing flying steadily towards my window was a dragon, huge and terrible. Black scales and keen, terrible eyes could be seen even in the darkness outside. Flames burst forth from his mouth. Tendrils of a smokey fog poured from its jaws. I knew at once what I was seeing.
"The Wyrm Lord," I whispered.
I needed to act and fast. It would be upon me and crash into my window in seconds. I tried to move, but my legs felt like lead and my eyes were out of focus. A scream escaped me, but went unheard as the dreadful creature from my darkest nightmares gave one final echoing roar. With a sudden burst of speed, it zoomed towards the window and my helpless form. I heard the crash of glass and....

"AAAAHHHH!!!"

My eyes snapped open. I could feel the cold sweat trickle down my neck and my breaths came in gasps. Quickly I felt the area around me. It was...my bed. Then reality set in.
"It was just a dream," I said. The very faintest hint of a smile began to spread across my face. "It was just a dream," I repeated, giggling nervously. "It was..." The giggling turned into laughing. I laughed aloud, the way you do when you are overly tired and suddenly very relieved all at the same time. It was a bouncing, silly laugh that I couldn't control. Mom burst into my room with a flashlight, concern written all over her face. Her hair was askew and she had one slipper on.
"Are you alright?" she asked. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing's wrong!" I said, surpressing the giggles. "I just learned something."
"What?" she asked, now very puzzled.
"Never to read before I go to bed!"

Melissa Rose said...

Kyle was almost ready to leave the locker room. Near the door his eternally impatient friend, Sean, shifted around trying to hurry him up. Kyle finished tying his shoe but then, as he tried to straighten up again, something strange happened.

The shoelaces that he had neatly knotted began to unravel, lengthen, and snake around his ankle. The thin cords swiftly coiled and twisted up his leg until Kyle fell backwards with a yelp, hitting his head on an open locker door behind him.

Sean had already turned to open the door and leave when he saw his friend was in trouble. Confused, he hesitated, and then took a step back into the room. But he was too late.

OnTheStraightAndNarrow said...

Jordan walked slowly out the front door. Taking out the trash was not his favorite thing to do. As he took the lid off the trash can he was bombarded by the usual overpowering smell. As he picked up the trash lid, a small dust devil formed over the trash can. When he put the lid on, the dust devil disappeared. Then he noticed the lid begin to curve in toward the bottom of the can. Suddenly it was sucked into the can. Jordan looked in, but saw only blackness. The dust devil appeared again. It began to pick up intensity. Soon Jordan could not resist the pull. As he was sucked into the can, one thought crossed his mind. "What's happening?!" Then he disappeared into the blackness.

OnTheStraightAndNarrow said...

Sean, Jacob, and I finished setting up the tent. We were excited, after all it's not every day three boy's get to go camping by themselves. Even if it was just in Sean's back yard. As we crawled into our sleeping bags, we heard a rumbling noise. Suddenly the ground began shaking. Louder, Harder. The ground swayed under us. Then, suddenly, it stopped. We crawled out of the tent. What we saw next terrified us, There was a huge crack in the ground right next to the tent. We looked around. Sean's house and some of the houses around us had risen up to make a plateau. As we looked around, we noticed other plateaus everywhere. The entire area for miles had been raised and lowered. It was going to be a hard climb up to Sean's house.

Ardian said...

What if...

I was climbing in the tree, like I so often liked to do. Climbing to the highest point I could go to, I looked out over the roof of the house to the mountains. I loved the view from that spot in the tree.

Slowly, I climbed down the tree, watching my footing carefully. I had gotten pretty good from a few years of climbing up and down the tree.

As I set my feet down on the branch closest to the ground, I noticed that the branches seemed to be laden... by something. They hung down to me, so close that I could reach out to them and touch them. Of course, I didn't; I was too busy trying to get out of the tree.

Getting ready to cling on to the next branch and swing downwards was my next move. I watched the branches, and as I got closer to the ground, the branches continued to bend down to me. I reached out, caught the branch, and started to swing back and forth. As I swung back in the direction of the tree, the branches suddenly moved as quick as lightning, and they caught me by the arm. I screamed and let go of the branch I was clinging to. Then they grabbed my other arm, and then wrapped around my torso. Then, I was carried up to the top of the tree, and the branches wrapped around my head and my legs, and suddenly, pain course through my body and I knew no more.

melissa rose said...

“You stink.”

“Yes, I know, but there’s nowhere to wash out here in the wilderness anyway.”

Ninamin stopped. Since when had she been talking to anyone? She was all alone and this was definitely not a well-traveled path. She looked around her but only saw the regular forms of picmis trees and ferns. No, not alone. There was a frog sitting in one of the ferns beside her.

“You’re quite an ugly shade of brown too.”

Okay, not the best mannered companion to talk with. Why hadn’t she noticed a talking frog? That’s not as ubiquitous as the singing birds that flitted between the trees and she had noticed them. Ninamin sighed. She supposed it must have been because she had spent so much time talking to herself along the way that a new voice was actually welcome.

“Well, I suppose that can’t really be helped, huh?” said the frog.

“Who are you?”

“I’m not telling you that.”

“Why not?”

“I’m not telling you that either.”

This frog was beginning to be the most frustrating thing she had ever conversed with. Her temper rising she retorted,

“If that’s all you can say then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised if a mere frog doesn’t have a very good grasp of the English language.”

The frog was indignant. Ninamin struggled to keep a straight face and failed. The way he tried to sit up straighter, puff out his chest, and wave madly with his long green toes was hilarious to see.

“My English is perfect! You have no right to critique it! Especially with the way you’ve been nonsensically babbling to yourself for the past hour!”

Ninamin’s grin faded. So he had been watching her for an hour and she hadn’t noticed. What bad habits she must have picked up when she was sure no one was around! She realized now that she had not taken her usual precautions to make sure she was undiscovered. How much did this frog know about her? She couldn’t remember all she had been saying as she travelled almost without thinking. Maybe it was worth strangling him. That was a precaution her old self would have taken without hesitation.

Ardian said...

Okay, last entry.

The man carrying the long, beautiful sword was weary and tired. He looked to the forest that was about two miles in front of him. He needed rest, but he was a strong man, so, determined to get to the forest before nightfall, he carried on, occasionally stumbling on some of the tall bushes that stuck up out of the wilderness ground.
***
A while later, the man stopped as he heard a noise. It was a whirring noise, as of a great wind rising. The man, who had sheathed his sword a moment before, drew the long blade out slowly.

He turned suddenly as he heard the noise again. Nothing was there. Turning back around, he started to head into the cover of the forest. It was getting dark out, and he was in great need of sleep.

He ran, then stopped and sat down beneath a tree. The wind-like noise was there again. He started to shift his eyes back and forth nervously, then he heard a sound as of a great rock falling on the ground. The man yelled as trees all about him fell.

The whirring sound was louder, closer, and it was plain that whatever it was had to be very near. The man looked up at the sky as he ran, and saw the long body of a Dragon. He ran faster, in the opposite direction of the Dragon. Then, there was a sound of a great gust of wind, and the Dragon turned, and its fires came shooting out of its mouth, in the direction of the man!

Sword Warrior said...

I don't know if I'm posting a little bit late, but here's my What If... entry. What if... you recieved a top secret e-mail not meant for you?


The familiar start-up music played as Joshua clicked on his computer. As the system loaded, he rubbed his eyes and turned his head to look at his alarm clock. 6:00 AM was the time that the small, black digital clock read. He yawned and then turned back to his computer screen. The computer had finished loading. Placing his hand on the mouse, he moved the cursor to the Internet Explorer icon. He double-clicked and then waited a second for his home-page to load. Then, moving his hands to the key-board, he typed in the site of the e-mail service he used. He was immedietely logged in, as his password and username were saved. Quickly he scanned his inbox, and then clicked on the only new e-mail. It was a message from his boss, reminding him of a project that was due soon. Joshua sighed in anger and then navigated with a click back to the inbox. His eyes flicked down the screen an inch and he noticed that his spam box held one message. He clicked to it and was just about to delete the message, when he noticed the subject: Work Project . Hmm, must've sent me another message about the project. Wonder how it ended up in the spam box though... Joshua thought to himself.

Opening the message, Joshua started to read, and what he read startled him:

Robert, this is Sector three commander. You have exactly three days to complete the project... but from what I have heard, you have barely even produced one prototype! I am growing impatient, and so is our master! You had better start working faster or you will be terminated! I have attached the blueprints for the project, so follow it down to the smallest detail! If this turns out right, we may gain more power than you can possibly imagine... maybe even take the world! That is all for the time being. Please keep me updated on the progress of the weapon.

By the time he finished the message, Joshua's eyes were wide open in disbelief. "Perhaps it's a prank..." he said to himself.

"Well, if I want to figure out what's going on, I'd better open the attachment."

Feeling kind of nervous, Joshua was just about to open the attachment, when the glass of his bedroom window shattered. In a split second, Joshua was lying on the floor, his head bleeding, having been grazed by a bullet.

A man dressed in black and carrying a sniper rifle jumped through the window. Landing next to Joshua, he glared and said, "No, you're not opening that... you're coming with me..."

Ardian said...

Nice one, Sword Warrior.

Sword Warrior said...

Thanks Ardian :) Yours was good 2!

Ok, here's my 2nd entry: What if... while shooting some hoops at a street court, you accidentally activated something dangerous?

-----

Devin handled the ball like a skilled player as he dribbled right around his defending friend. He stopped at the three point line, and shot the ball towards the hoop. In a second, he realized his shot was too powerful. The basketball went flying over the backboard and into the large grass field behind the court.

Brian, his husky 15 year old friend, grinned. "Ha! I knew you wouldn't make that shot!"

Devin, a tall and thick 16 year old, rolled his eyes. "Yeah right! You miss that shot more than I do!... now go get the ball so we can keep playing."

Brian shook his head. "Nope, you threw it into the field, so you go get it for me."

Devin sighed. "Fine, but next time you're getting it!"

Breaking into a run, Devin headed into the grassy field to retrieve the ball. Reaching the basketball, he picked it up and was just about to head back, when a flash of light caught his eyes. Dropping the ball, Devin looked curiously at the ground. A metal plate lay among the uncut grass. Thinking it was nothing, Devin prepared to go back, but a tiny whir caught his attention. Looking at the plate, he saw the surface change, and then a small, red button appeared on it. What's that?... Devin thought.

Devin was torn from his thoughts as Brian shouted, "Why are you taking so long? C'mon!"

Devin yelled back, "Uh, just give me a second. I'll be right there!"

Devin picked up the metal plate, looking at it curiously. Then, a metallic voice said, "To commence sequence, press button now."

Devin was startled by the voice. Then, obeying it, he depressed the button. In a trance, he waited to see what would happen next. Nothing. Brian appeared at his side, breaking him out of his trance. "I said c'mon! What are you doing anyways?"

Devin held up the plate. "It's this... it had a button on it, but now it's gone, and so is the voice."

Brian looked at him like he had gone insane. "Devin, you ok?... come on, let's go!"

"Uh, yeah," Devin mumbled. Just as he picked up the basketball and dropped the plate, the metallic voice came through again. "Sequence commencing. Stand by."

A rumbling started to emanate through the ground. The friends could only watch as about twenty feet away, the ground began to split into a small hole. Suddenly, a glowing blue beam of light burst from the ground and shot into the sky, seeming to connect the two. Before they could say anything, more beams burst into being all around. They watched as a car was incinerated by a beam.

Brian looked at Devin in shock. "What did you do?!" he yelled.

Devin stood motionless. "I... I don't know..." he stammered.

After a few minutes, the beams retracted, leaving only the holes as a sign they had been there. Then, the metallic voice said, "Ship powered. Stand by for command fleet."

Everything was silent for a moment, and then a black form appeared in the sky. First a small dot, but growing in size as it approached earth at a fast pace. Devin could only wonder what he had caused as the shape approached the very spot he and Brian were standing.

N. C. Greene said...

I hate to say this. It's embarrassing, really, but all my problems started when I flushed my toilet.
It was midnight, I think, or close to it. I woke up to my dark, empty apartment and felt the call of nature. Groggily, I shrugged off the sheets and rolled off my mattress. I slid each foot in front of the other, carefully. No sense stepping on something in this darkness.
Moonlight shone through my window, lighting my path temporarily, but a black cloud covered it, and I was back to guessing. Why couldn't I keep it clean? It was- ouch! Not as careful as i should have been.
Finally, I made it to the door and threw it open. I flicked at the light switch, and my mind reeled at the explosion of brightness. Ugh.
I limped over to the toilet and proceeded to relieve myself. My mind drifted back to that strange dream. What was it? Something about three kings, and dukedoms. Weird.
Then I was done. I flushed and limped back. Washing hands could wait; all I was going to do was sleep. So I thought. Maybe I should have. I don't know what it would have helped though, because I was already at the door, when it started to gurgle.
I turned back around. Bubbles were rising to the top of my toilet bowl. Through my sleep-filled eyes, it was nothing. Then it stopped. I was getting tired of turning back and forth, so I headed into the darkness of my bedroom, flipping the light switch down as I did.
Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something move, but I convinced myself that it was nothing. Slowly I made my way back to my bed, but for some reason I lingered at my window a few seconds. The moon was still shrouded in clouds, but the stars twinkled where they could.
Then it hit me, like a baseball bat to my skull. I staggered forehead, pain controlling my every thought and action. Something leaped on top of me, something strong and wet. I wanted to fight it, wanted to scream, but the pain was too intense.
The clouds vanished, revealing the moon again, but it was not one but three moons, each a different color. They blended together before my blurry eyes, shining a mysterious blue light. Then the darkness drowned it out, and I was no more.