Here are the selected writing prompts for April 2019! Everyone picked 8, put them in any order they desired and wrote a 5,000 words or less short story, poem, play, limerick, or song. Here’s your chance to discover how different your writer’s voice is. No two stories are alike!
These are not my pants.
There's a strange woman at the window.
Air, precious air.
Hero finds a bloody knife in significant other's home.
Hero's significant other is missing.
He pulled the sword free, then dropped it as it screamed in pain.
The door opens on the last person you want to see.
My accordion isn't possessed. It always sounds like that.
Main character receives news that he/she did not anticipate
character wakes bound, gagged & with enemy looking at them holding a knife/dagger.
Rose McAlister relaxed on her couch and tried to calm her breathing. She was of average height, with long black hair and blue eyes. She looked over at her therapist again and smiled. "You're sure these dream sessions are helping me, doctor?" she asked, unsure of what this was really going to do.
"Yes, Mrs. McAlister, just lay back and let me put you under. I assure you that they will get to the root cause of your delusion that you are possessed; it's the reason I like to do these sessions in your own home," the therapist said.
Rose sighed and lay back, trying to control her breathing. Her therapist, Janice Black, was highly recommended and was supposed to be the best in her field. The woman had long blond hair and deep hazel eyes, which seemed to bore into her soul. Within moments she was drifting into a dreamlike state, hearing the woman's voice as if from a great distance.
Now tell me what you see Rose.
"I'm in my house, but I'm dressed funny; these are not my pants," she said as she looked down at the oddly-colored pants she was wearing. They were a light brown and seemed to be skin tight on her.
Focus Rose, look around. What else is there?
"There is a strange woman at the window," Rose said, walking closer. "She seems to be pointing to something outside."
Is this the spirit you think is possessing you? Can you see what she is pointing to? Are you able to get outside, or are you stuck in the house?
Rose closed her eyes, and in the next heartbeat she was outside, staring at a man. "I'm outside. She is pointing at a man," she explained, as she walked closer. "He is pulling at a sword, stuck in a tree." Rose watched, as the man pulled the sword free, then dropped it as it screamed in pain. "Oh my God, he got it out; the sword is screaming, like it is in pain from being pulled free!"
Calm down Rose, it's all in your mind. Nothing in there can hurt you. Focus, what else is there?
"I can hear someone playing my accordion," Rose said, as she closed her eyes and willed herself back in the house. She was getting the hang of this.
Can you see who is playing it? What does it sound like?
"It's my husband. He is playing a warped version of the wedding march, all out of tune."
Is the instrument different? Why is it warped? Is it possessed?
"My accordion isn't possessed. It always sounds like that," she said, smiling at the sight of her husband. Before she could think of anything else, pain shot through her arms, from the wrist to the elbow. "My arms!" she called out, seeing nothing around her that could be causing the pain. “They feel like I've been sliced."
Calm down Rose, find a chair and sit down. Try to close your eyes, and relax...it will be over soon.
Rose felt a panic rise in her as she started to weaken. Wake up...wake up! she thought to herself, as the darkness started to creep in, absorbing first the walls, then furniture of her house. Rose got up, trying to ignore the pain in her arms, and ran for the back door. Her arms felt so light, almost numb. She closed her eyes and tried to will herself out of the dream, but
nothing happened. Her last thought before the enveloping darkness reached her was for Harrison. She wouldn't see her beloved husband again, and that was the worst feeling of all.
Don't worry Rose; I won't let her hurt you, a voice said, as if all around her. Then she was engulfed in the blackness of her mind.
He sat behind his desk, stacks of papers on either side, working furiously. Harrison McAlister was just a regular guy, working a boring job, stressed out to the point of breaking. He had black hair, cropped close to the collar of his cheap suit, and silver-rimmed glasses. He stamped another set of papers, moving them from one stack to the other, and sighed. He was trying to concentrate, but something was off today; a feeling he couldn't put a finger on, or a name to. The phone trilled, breaking his routine, snapping him out of his funk. "Harrison speaking," he said, trying not to sound annoyed.
"Mr. McAlister? This is Detective Harn, Florence PD," the gruff voice said over the phone.
"The Police? What can I do for you?" he said, trying to think of what the Colorado police could want with him.
“We would like to ask you a couple questions about your wife's therapist."
"Janice Black? Is there a problem?” he asked, the feeling in his stomach getting worse. He had suggested that his wife go to her after she started saying that she was possessed. Not that he didn't trust his wife, but...possession? When he started his day, this was something that he couldn't have anticipated. Great, he thought, more stress.
"We just want to talk, Mr. McAlister. Can you, and maybe your wife, come down to the station around two?" Harn asked, sounding frustrated.
"Yes sir, my wife has a session until noon, and I can try to leave soon. We might be able to stop by, together, around one," he said, looking at the clock. Twelve fifteen.
"See you then Mr. McAlister." The phone clicked as the man hung up.
Harrison sighed, laying his head down on the desk. I just wanted my life to be easy, he thought. He got up and went to his boss's office, knocking lightly on the door and waiting for the voice he dreaded hearing.
"Come in Harrison," she called, her husky tone seeming pleasant for once.
Harrison opened the door to Rebecca's office, marveling at how she always knew it was him, and sat down. He was nervous every time he had to talk to her. "Miss Jones, may I leave a little early today?" he asked, trying not to make direct eye contact. If he didn't look her in the eye, then he might not get yelled at.
"What's the emergency, Harrison?" Rebecca asked, leaning forward on her desk. She had short red hair and freckles, along with a smile that would stop a charging train. She might be pretty, but she was always so angry that it just didn't matter.
Her voice sent shivers down his spine. To say he was intimidated by her was a severe understatement. "The police want me and my wife to come in, to ask us a few questions. Something about her therapist."
"Well that's fine. You can always finish tomorrow," she said, folding her arms on the desk. "You know Harrison, you may be the smartest guy I have ever met, but you still can't talk to others without looking at your feet. Someday you will need to grow a spine, and I just hope you live through it."
"Thank you Rebecca, I'll finish my work tomorrow," he said, ignoring her last statement. He closed the door behind him, grabbed his things and walked to the elevator. He pushed the button and the door opened. A smiling man was staring right at him. Marcus Owens was the last person he wanted to see right now. Owens was tall, built, and extremely arrogant; never mind talkative.
"Harry! Where you going?" Marcus asked, jabbing his finger into Harrison's sternum. "Does Rebecca know you're skipping out?"
Harrison wasn't in the mood. He slapped Marcus's arm aside and slipped by him into the elevator. "Yes, she does," Harrison said, pushing the big man back out so the doors could close. He hit the G and headed down to the parking garage, the feeling of dread increasing. A short drive later he pulled into his driveway and his life changed forever.
Alive for Now
Rose awoke, bound and gagged, as Janice looked down at her. The woman was holding a knife and humming softly. Rose tried to ask what was going on, forgetting that she was gagged, and then struggled in a panic. She could see that they were in her basement, the washer and dryer standing out among the dark atmosphere of the rafters and cement walls.
"Easy there Rose, you will only hurt yourself," Janice said, standing up and straightening her clothes. "You are a mystery to me, dear Rose. You should be dead, yet when I checked you, you still had a pulse. Even with both arms opened up, lying in a pool of blood, you clung to life. Impossible, I assure you. So, what is keeping you alive?" her therapist asked, clearly irritated.
Rose looked down at her arms; a weak cry escaped her throat as she saw the deep cuts. Janice didn't even bother to bandage her up. Her arms were open, like some bizarre science project, from wrist to elbow; the skin was severed neatly. She could feel herself wanting to throw up; the gag somewhat suppressed it.
Relax Rose, we will get through this. Harrison will be here soon. The odd voice said, this time more in her head.
"Ah!" Janice said, turning to the stairs behind her. "Sounds like your husband is home. I'll just go see if he needs anything, then I'll be right back," Janice said, malice gleaming in her eyes.
Harrison opened the front door to his house with trepidation. Not only was Rose's car still here, but Janice's car was as well. He probably wouldn't have thought twice about that, if detective Harn hadn't asked about her therapist. Now, the sight of both cars, well past her scheduled time just seemed wrong. He pushed open the door slowly, looking for signs of intruders as he scanned the room. Nothing was upturned or knocked over. No struggle, that's a good thing, he thought to himself, as he went from the foyer towards the living room. He crept in, seeing no sign of either his wife or Janice. He went through the rest of the house, room by room, and found only a bloody knife.All right, that's not good, he thought, not picking it up; he knew that the police would want to get the prints off of it.
His wife was missing, her therapist's car was still here, the police wanted to question them about said therapist, and there was a bloody knife. Think Harrison, think. Where would you take a victim if you were a psycho? he thought, his right hand held up, shaking as he walked. It was a sign that he was lost in thought, despite the horrible feeling of loss that was creeping up his spine. The basement!
Janice opened the basement door without a sound, her footfalls light as she crept into the kitchen. She could hear him coming this way and cursed the fact that she had dropped her favorite knife. She had grabbed another from the kitchen when she had brought Rose downstairs, needing to stash the body since it apparently would not die. I will take care of that once the husband is dead, pretty sure if the head is gone, she will die, she thought, as his footsteps came ever closer. She ducked behind the refrigerator as the kitchen door opened from the dining room, slinking down into the shadows as he passed her. She swiped out, aiming for his Achilles heel to cripple him, but missed, slicing high on his calf instead. She cursed as he spun towards her, screaming in shock as much from pain, and kicked out. He caught her square in the chest, slamming her back against the wall and momentarily knocking the wind out of her.
Janice watched him flee down the basement stairs as she struggled for breath, gasping uselessly for six long seconds; then she dragged in a large gulp of breath. "Air, precious air,"
she said, aloud, as she crawled to her feet. She stumbled to the stairs, finding the door barred, and pounded on it, her anger twisting her face. "I will kill you both!" she cried, looking around for something to bash the door in.
Harrison limped down the stairs, knowing that the door would hold for a little bit at least. "Rose!" he called, desperate to find his wife alive. She had to be alive, please God she had to. He heard a mumble then, an answering cry muffled in the dark. He hobbled as fast as he could, tripping on the last step of the staircase, and fell in front of her. He crawled back in horror at the sight of her arms; the mangled mess of blood and veins opened up to the world. "Oh Rose! Hang on honey, we'll get you to a hospital," he said, unsure on how he was going to do that with a killer waiting for them upstairs. He could hear her bashing the door with something heavy and looked around for something to fight with while taking off the gag on his wife.
"Harrison, oh thank God, but you're hurt," Rose cried.
"It's nothing. We have to get you out of here; oh God look at what she did to you!" He couldn't believe what was happening. He touched his wife's face then, a tender touch meant to convey love and trust, yet her eyes rolled backwards and her body went rigid.
"Harrison, untie Rose and get her to her feet. I can take care of the rest, but you have to trust me...trust your wife," the voice, that was certainly not his wife said, staring at him.
"I am Katrin. I possessed your wife in order to get my revenge on the one that killed me. I was Janice's first kill and I have been chasing her for a long time. Rose is the first one that has had the will not to break under my influence," Katrin said, using Rose's body.
He just stared dumbly at his wife....at Katrin. "She was telling the truth." It was a statement, not a question. "I didn't know, couldn't have known..."
Katrin/Rose smiled as Harrison cut the bonds and helped her up to her feet, just as the loud crash signaled the door giving way.
"There isn't a way out of the basement, I sealed the bulkhead from the outside before you arrived. Give up now and I will kill you quickly," Janice said, stalking down the stairs, brandishing the kitchen knife. She dropped a dented fire extinguisher, the canister bouncing fitfully down the stairs ahead of her.
Harrison stepped aside as Katrin/Rose waved him back, the devastated arms making his wife look like a ghoul from some horror movie. Janice was staring at his wife now, and stopped on the last stair, as if sensing something was different.
"Hello Janice, I've been looking for you for a long time," Katrin said, shambling a little closer to Janice with Rose's body. "Do you remember me? Your first kill?"
"Katrin? It can't be..."
Rose's eyes went back to normal as she staggered towards the stairs. "She's all yours now, bitch," Rose said, gasping for breath.
Janice wailed, fighting something invisible, her knife slashing the air wildly. "No, get back. You can't...NO!" she screamed, falling off the last step and landing on her knife, the blade sinking all the way into her heart.
Harrison rushed to his wife, grabbing her and cradling her in his arms. He was crying now, worried that he wouldn't be able to save her. "Hold on Rose, I'll call the ambulance..." he started to say as his eyes were drawn down to her ruined arms. They were slowly closing on their own, healing bit by bit. "How?"
"I think it was Katrin, her way of saying thank you," Rose said, wrapping those same arms around her husband. "I never knew her name until today, never knew who or what it was."
"I'm sorry I didn't believe you, love."
"How could you?"
"Well, I will from now on. No matter what you say, I will always believe you," Harrison said, as he carried her up the stairs.
Detective Harn shook his head at the two sitting across from him. "So what you're saying is that this other woman, this Katrin, possessed you and kept you alive?" he asked, knowing that they would say yes. It was the fourth time he had asked, trying to get them to change their story; even in the slightest bit.
"Yes, and I know how crazy it sounds," Rose said, smiling at him. She had one of those apple pie smiles that he adored secretly.
"And yes, Detective, we realize that the lack of scars on my wife's arms don't help our story at all," Harrison said, backing up his wife.
"Well, I can't put that in a report, but at least forensics backs up the 'falling on the blade' part," he said, sitting back in his chair. He was getting a headache just thinking about what he was going to say to his superiors. "Oh, and since the knife was yours, your prints were inadmissible."
"Then we're all set here?" Harrison asked, rising to his feet and holding his arm out to his wife.
"Yes. I'll let you know if any cold cases with the name Katrin pop up. That will make for an interesting talk with the detectives over there for sure," he said, standing and shaking their hands, watching them leave. He wouldn't tell them that he already had the file for Katrin Harn on his desk, or, that it was the reason he wanted to ask them about Janice in the first place. "Rest in peace, mother," Detective Harn said, as he stamped the file and placed it in the solved bin with a sad smile.
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