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.
Frank and Ted
By Garon Whited
Frank woke up to the wails of the damned and the screaming of tormented souls. He struggled up through blankets, swimming through the blackness of sleep, seeking air, precious air. Gasping, he rolled bodily from the mattress to the floor and fought his way free. All the while, the screaming noise stabbed his ears, penetrated his brain, and turned his hangover into an adventure filled with laughing demons.
Frank sat up, finally, and pressed the heels of his hands against his eyes. Bright flashes arced through his vision. After a moment of sincere groaning and some insincere promises to change, he searched for clothes. Socks, yes. Underwear, yes, in various states of cleanliness. A shirt or six, all black, all alike. But the pants? Frank had them halfway on before realizing, These are not my pants. They were several sizes too small and oddly cut. The legs were far too skinny and short—
Wait a minute. These are women’s pants. Why do I have a woman’s pants in my bedroom? More importantly, what woman?
And what is that damned wailing?
Frank searched again, discovered jeans that fit, and shortly thereafter emerged from the darkness of his bedroom.
The living room was a scene of alcohol-fueled debauchery—or the aftermath. Overflowing ashtrays, litter, empty bottles, scattered dishes, and Ted. Ted was wide awake and smiling as Frank staggered against the corner. The hellish noise stopped as Ted raised a hand in greeting.
“Morning! Well, morning-ish. I thought you were going to sleep all day.”
“Why,” Frank asked, rasping a bit, “do you have a harpy-infested accordion screeching in my living room?”
“It doesn’t have a harpy in it.”
“Possessed by the spirits of the justly damned?”
“My accordion isn’t possessed!” Ted insisted, defensively. “It always sounds like that!”
“Even when I purify it by fire?”
Ted hurriedly put the accordion in its case.
“You’re cranky today.”
“Last week, you ate all my cereal and came back from the dead. Today I have a hangover and you’re playing the—according to you—not-possessed accordion in my living room.”
“I was only waiting for you to wake up.”
Frank shuffled to the kitchen and checked for cereal. Gone. Again. Along with the milk. A bowl with the remnants of both sat on top of the pile of dishes in the sink.
“Remind me why we’re friends, again?”
“Because we’ve been through so much together. And we party!”
“So I see.”
Frank opened cupboards and searched some more. Bread? Toast. Butter? Yes. Three-day-old fried chicken? Frozen waffles. Jelly? Raspberry.
Why do I even have this? I hate raspberry jelly.
“Where’s my peanut butter?”
“In the pantry.”
Frank opened the pantry and found a desiccated corpse nailed to the back wall. An ornate hilt protruded from the chest. He moved one of the arms out of the way and recovered the peanut butter.
Frank sighed and turned to the corpse.
“Aren’t you going to get me out of here?”
“You’re not going to like it.”
“I don’t want to be bound to a pantry forever, either!”
Frank pulled the sword free, then dropped it as it screamed in pain. A crackle of energy rippled along the blade as it emerged from the corpse. The soul of the dead man, imprisoned in the blade, came loose and disappeared into whatever afterlife wanted it.
“You shouldn’t leave the sword lying there.”
“First off, I haven’t had my breakfast. I don’t do dead people until after breakfast. Second, it’s an Inquisition Blade, not really a sword, and it’s mine. I’ll leave it in the television if it suits me. And, third, I still have a hangover. You are not helping.”
“I’ll shut up,” Ted assured him. Frank set about making a rudimentary breakfast, heavy on the medication. Ted said nothing until Frank swept an area clear on the kitchen table and sat down with the food.
“One more thing, though. There’s a strange woman at the window. Any idea what she wants?”
“Probably her pants,” Frank grumbled around a mouthful of buttered toast. He closed his eyes and tried to focus on eating. It helped the pills go down.
Ted opened the door. Frank opened his eyes and turned to look. Framed in it was Mrs. Penlod, the last person he wanted to see. She towered at nearly six and a half feet, all of it slender and smooth and perfect, even to the large eyes, the pointed ears, and the elegant hair.
“Good afternoon, Mrs. Penlod,” Ted offered. “Won’t you come in?”
“I think not,” she sniffed. “I only came to deliver a message. I would have called, but your phone is out of order. As is your doorbell, I might add.” She sneered around the room. “Among other things.”
Frank ignored this and continued to eat.
“Well, Mrs. Penlod,” Ted continued, “I’m glad you could stop by. What’s the message?”
“My daughter, Lilly, will not be seeing that man,” she pointed at Frank, to leave no doubt as to which human she meant, “ever again. Not after what he did last night!”
“What was that, Mrs. Penlod?”
“He knows!” She turned on a heel and huffed away like an indignant cloud. Ted shut the door.
“Yeah. Gotta say, did not see this news coming.”
“Me, either. You were here all night, and I didn’t see Lilly. Think she heard you were fooling around?”
“You said something about a lady looking for her pants.”
“Found ’em in the bedroom.”
“Reasonable. What’re we going to do?” Ted asked.
“Well, you’re supposed to be dead, so it’s tricky for you to show your face.”
“I’ve got a new identity!” Ted insisted.
“Does that mean Von Leidermann doesn’t want to peel the skin off you?”
“Uh…” Ted trailed off, embarrassed. “Yeah, well, he kind of does.”
“Thought so. He’s got one hell of a long memory. Now, shut up and stay shut up until I get out of the shower.”
Frank leaned down, made a long arm, and fetched the Inquisition Blade from the floor. He slapped the flat of it down on the kitchen table, breaking a plate and rattling everything else.
Ted shut up and waited.
After a scratch breakfast, plenty of medication, hot and cold running showers, a bit of screaming, and a change of clothes, Frank felt much more human. He emerged from the bathroom with slightly more optimism than before.
“Can I talk, now?” Ted asked. Frank’s lips thinned but he nodded. “What’s on for today?”
“I was thinking I’d burn the place down and start over, but I decided on recruiting you to clean it.”
“Aww. I hate cleaning. Besides, the place just looks lived-in.”
“It look died from a drug overdose in,” Frank corrected.
“It has character.”
“Fix that. I’m going over to Lilly’s to see what the deal is.”
“Can I come?”
“Don’t. Just don’t. My hangover is at least one-third your fault and the disaster area in my living room is nine-tenths. Put it in order.”
Frank made a growling sound, deep in his chest. Ted shut up and started gathering up trash.
Outside, Frank fished out his keys. At least his car was still where he left it. He drove to Lilly’s house, heading into the much more upscale neighborhood of Kortirion Heights. The man on guard duty at the gate recognized him and let him into the community with a wave.
Frank parked on the circle drive and got out. The white horse, lightly cropping at the grass, ignored him as per their agreement. Frank returned the favor and headed up to the front door. He pushed it inward and called out. No one answered. He called out again as he moved through the house, boots soundless on the thick carpet. Living room, parlor, game room, television room, dining room, kitchen, back porch… Upstairs, he called again, heading for Lilly’s bedroom.
The door stood open, revealing a bloody knife stuck in the frame. From the angle, it looked as though someone threw it there. Knowing Lilly, she threw it as someone ducked aside. If the frame hadn’t been there, it would be in someone’s head.
Frank, recognizing the potential danger to his own head, stood aside and pushed the door all the way open with one hand. Nothing came out.
“Lilly? It’s me! It’s Frank!”
No answer. Frank bobbed his head around the frame, only for an instant.
The room was a shambles. Everything was in disarray, thrown about, slashed, or bloody. Frank took a longer look before entering. No one was there, not even under the canopied bed or in the attached bathroom.
Lilly was gone.
Frank pondered for a moment. If Mrs. Penlod thought Frank did something, then she would doubtless make trouble. Calling the police would get her involved instantly. They would have to be notified, nevertheless. On the other hand, there might be a narrow window of time…
Frank picked up the house phone and dialed. A moment later, there was a click.
“Gideon Frost, private investigator.”
“Gideon? It’s Frank.”
“Hey, Frank! Long time to see.”
“I know. Sorry. Been something of a lone wolf for a while.”
“I understand. I don’t have anything at the moment that needs your talents—”
“I didn’t call about a job, Gideon. Not about getting one. I think I have one needing your talents.”
“Oh do you, now? Tell me more.”
“You know the lady I’m dating?”
“Lilly? Six-three, thin, pointed ears, amber-colored eyes?”
“That’s her. She’s missing. I’m in her place and there’s signs of a struggle.”
“I’ll be right there.”
“The only box I don’t think outside is blue and bigger on the inside.”
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