Writing Prompts Week 4: Tale Of Three Siblings

Taylor was the oldest, always running ahead and the first to trip and skin his knees because he never watched his feet. He was gangly but not quite yet tall. His sandy hair stuck out in every direction no matter how hard his mother tried to comb it into submission.

Gavin was the middle child. His growth spurt hadn’t started yet, and his cheeks still held onto their youthful chub. He preferred to walk slower than his brother, hanging back to make sure Elizabeth didn’t get left behind.

Elizabeth was the youngest by a few years, still dressed by her mother in lacy ribbons and little black shoes that snapped on and made clicking noises when she ran across the floor. Her hair came down in a mess of curls, which she often complained would get in the way.

They saw themselves as adventures, exploring every nook and cranny; first in the big old house they lived in, then in the back yard, and then in the surrounding neighbourhood. Gavin had dozens of maps drawn out in his room of the various areas they’d been.

The only place left uncharted was the woods on the edge of town.

It was an old forest, untended for years and full of large gnarled trees. Their parents had always warned the children against wandering within its bounds, lest they be spirited away by fairies or darker beings. That wasn’t going to deter Taylor, however, and naturally his younger siblings would follow after him.

Elizabeth chased after her eldest brother, dressed in pink overalls and hair tied up in poofy pigtails. She was determined to not be left behind, no matter how many big roots tried to get in her way. Every so often, she’d pause to pick up a pretty stone or a fallen leaf and shove them into her pockets.

Gavin meandered at the back of their little group, eyeing the trees and mentally counting his steps. He didn’t like how the shade felt.

They wandered on for perhaps an hour, perhaps more. There were trees and scattered patches of flowers, large stones rising out of the ground and packed dirt beneath the covering of leaves. Shafts of sunlight would filter in the few gaps in the canopy, making the air look like it sparkled, especially where the light would fall upon the flowers.

Taylor stopped at one of the larger oak trees and put a hand on the bark. It was very old and some of the branches drooped so low that one could pull themselves up to sit on them. Taylor did such, kicking his feet in the air as he surveyed their surroundings. Gavin watched mildly as his brother began to climb the rest of the tree, up and up and up, all the way to the top.

“There’s just so much green!” Taylor called down. “It feels like I’m floating!”

Gavin made a face and turned to sit against the tree’s trunk. He still felt uneasy, though he couldn’t quite figure why.

And then it hit him.

“Liz? Lizzie?” He jumped to his feet, looked around in every direction, even ran around the tree a few times. There was no sign of their little sister. He cupped his hands to his mouth. “Elizabeth!”

No response.

Taylor came swinging down from the tree. “What’s wrong, Gavin?”

“Lizzie’s gone! We need to find her!”

And so the boys ran around, calling out for their youngest sibling. It felt like hours were slipping by as they searched, paying little mind to where they were going. Gavin was the first to realize they were lost. Taylor fell to a crouch and began muttering.

“Please let her be safe. Please let us find her. Please let us get out.” Over and over he repeated those words while Gavin tried to get some bearing on where they were.

“What wrong?” A tiny voice asked behind the boys.

Both heads whipped around to see Elizabeth standing there, smile on her little brown face and dirt caking her overalls, completely unharmed.

“You idiot!” Taylor shouted, throwing his arms around the little girl. “Where were you?”

“I follow fairy parkles. See? Pretty flowers!” Elizabeth held up a tiny bouquet of bluebells and flashed her brothers a toothy grin.

“You shouldn’t wander off like that, Lizzie,” Gavin chided. “We thought we weren’t going to find you again. And now we’re lost.”

“Not lost.” Elizabeth pointed in a direction. “Miss Grover house that way.”

“You already got out?” Gavin asked, shocked. Elizabeth just nodded and began leading the way.

Sure enough, they soon emerged from the forest onto the road right in front of Miss Grover’s house, one block away from their own home.

They didn’t tell their parents where they’d been or what had happened. Later that night, Gavin could have sworn he heard his sister talking to someone in the room next to his. A strange light seemed to hover by his window, then disappeared.

Writing Prompts Week 3: A Retelling of a Fairytale

Little red riding hood, skipping through the forest to bring her sick grandmother a basket of goodies, was attacked by the big bad wolf. That’s how the story was told. That’s not what really happened, though.

Johanna, or ‘Red’ as her friends tended to call her, was a hunter by trade. Taught by her mother, who was taught by her father, and so on up the family tree, she saw herself as one of her home village’s main providers. Of course it would fall to her to defend the village when the woodsman came back with reports of a terrible great wolf plaguing the forest just south of the sheep pasture.

Her red hood was the auburn hair on her head, and her basket of goodies was her pack full of hunting supplies and food.

With her shotgun in hand, Johanna set out along the path the woodsman had taken. Her keen eyes surveyed her surroundings critically. Every detail could be a clue. A broken branch could mark the creature’s passage, and a rustle in the underbrush could potentially be the wolf waiting to strike.

Darkness approached and there were still no signs of a wolf. Johanna had wandered far off the path by this time to check all the places she deemed likely for a wolf to pass, based on the wandering patterns of local deer. All she found for her trouble was a dilapidated little house in a tiny clearing.

She’d brought no torches with her, and traversing the forest in the dark was always something her parents had warned her against. The forest was full of little gullies and steep ridges that one could easily break a leg falling down. There were more sinister things rumoured to lurk at night.

With little other option, Johanna entered the old house and set up for the night.

It wasn’t morning when she awoke. It might have been midnight. A howling ripped through the weathered boards of the little building, seeming to make the very floor quake. Johanna pulled her shotgun close, eyeing her surroundings. Outside the dirty window, she caught sight of it.

In the clearing, standing taller than any man she’d seen, was a great hulking beast. It had the head and tail of a wolf, but its arms were muscled and bore fingers like a human. She’d heard tales of such a monster in whispers from the traders to the shopkeepers. Werewolf, they’d say. A danger to more than just the sheep if it reached the village.

Johanna moved to be in a better position to shoot the creature, but it spotted her first and tore across the clearing to leap through the window. The glass shattered, scattering everywhere and drawing blood from multiple places on Johanna’s body. One shard cut across her face, blinding her in one eye.

The wolf creature turned to face Johanna and she spat blood at it, readying her shotgun. The creature lunged. Johanna fired. The woodsman lay dead on the floor.

Dawn came and Johanna returned to the village. No one could understand why the woodsman never came home.

Writing Prompts Week 2: Rising to the Challenge

Trixie Hatter and Nix Nightingale had a… complicated relationship. While they certainly adored each other, they each had their little habits that made anyone on the outside believe they were mortal enemies. Nix, while being a gentleman and motherly sort of person, also rather liked to mess with people from time to time, namely Trixie. Miss Hatter, on the other hand, was about as stubborn as a mule and rather liked to prove herself right whenever she could, or demand a fight when she couldn’t.

They were sitting around at Nix’s house, watching television with his adopted daughter, Sierra, while she busied herself making yet another piece of art to decorate her bedroom wall. The floor was all but covered in newspapers to catch errant paint drops.

The little redheaded child looked up from her canvas at Nix. “Mamma, when’s Gammy ‘Nirva coming over again?”

“Gammy ‘Nirva”, or Minerva, was Nix’s pseudo-adoptive mother. She was well-loved by those in the household, and liked to come over for visits to babysit Sierra and generally go on a baking spree for them.

“Hmm,” Nix pondered. “She hasn’t called asking about my schedule yet, so I’m not sure. Why do you ask, Missy?”

“I want bread.”

“I could make bread,” Trixie offered before Nix could say anything.

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Writing Prompts Week 1: A New Beginning

One last thing in the box. The last of his things. It had taken over a week to find them all, and now they were all here in the same place, staring back like a lost puppy. But where to put them?

There was always the basement, in some dark corner where it would get covered in cobwebs and forgotten, buried under other old things that were no longer needed but too difficult to give up, perhaps even soaked and ruined in the aftermath of the next plumbing repair job that’d need doing. That’s too close, though.

There was also the option of driving them back to his house. A quick trip in the middle of the night to drop it on the front porch and run before anyone could see or question. It was hard to go there, though. It had been hard ever since….

Mother’s attic was always a good place to hide things. She hadn’t gone up there in years. Not since her knee had surgery and she couldn’t even manage the stairs on her own, let alone the ladder to the attic. The home elevator would only go on the stairs. Mice would get to it there, burrowing their little homes made of fabric scraps and old torn newspapers. Given a few years, the things inside might not even be recognizable. The attic was a forgotten place.

The dump might be the most sensible place. Piles upon piles of trash and detritus, things no one had any use for. Everything inside would be left to the mercy of the crows and maggots and the wayfarers who explored the mountains of forgotten treasures. There was a fee to leave things there, however, and surely the man at the booth would give a look of disdain to see that nothing inside was sorted or recycled. The judgemental look.

Charity was always a good option. Provide clothes and nice things for those less fortunate. They wouldn’t take anything personal, though. And how would it feel to see a complete stranger walk past in the smoky flannel shirt he always wore to bed, or wearing the locket he’d once given? The pawn shop would provide the same problem, except the items would have to be appraised and haggled over as well. No, they needed to be forgotten. Probably not worth much anyway.

A long drive out to the middle of nowhere, the top of a mountain where teenagers came to drink and hold bonfires. This was a good place. Just set it down in the middle of the pit. The lighter fluid that had come with the barbeque had never seen much use until now. Toss a match and back away to watch the show.

All of it is gone now. He is gone now. It’s time for a fresh start. A new beginning.

Happy 2017 Everybody!!

So, yeah, it’s a new year. And I still haven’t fixed my problem with posting consistently. Sorry about that! To hopefully alleviate that problem, I’ve come across a little list that gives story prompts for each week of the year. My goal is to have each week’s story done by the Saturday, what I consider to be the end of the week.

I’ve never been a big fan of doing New Years resolutions, mostly because I have the memory of a goldfish and forget what I even resolved within the week. That being said, I do have a few I’d like to make, for the sake of self-improvement.

  1. Publish the Novel: It’s been “done” for a few months now, but Silver and I are going through soon for another run of editing and general improving of everything. Some additions will be made, some reductions, but all in all I hope that the story will be better for it. We do have a plan for where to publish now. We’ve decided that going with Amazon would be the easiest, since we literally live in two separate countries and we’ll still be able to make minor edits if needed. Another perk is that, while the format is primarily ebooks, we can also have some hard copies published too, which is nice for me who vastly prefers the printed page over any other medium.
  2. Complete the Weekly Prompt list: Not much explaining needed. It might help fix some writers’ block if I actually have some prompts to get me going sometimes.
  3. Complete Pokemon Moon and Fill the Pokedex: Yes, I jumped on the hype train. This is my first actual Pokemon game, and aside from a few minor things, I’m really enjoying it so far. I tend to be either a completionist or a “drop it after so long” sort of person with games, depending on how interesting/difficult they are. This one is one I’d like to complete, and filling the pokedex sounds like a fun side achievement I should try undertaking.
  4. Actually get my chores done in a timely manner: I tend to put off doing my chores. A lot. I need to stop that.

In other news, it snowed!

Winter Cherry TreeIt’s been doing so on and off for the past month, with weird clear weeks where the snow melts. We didn’t get a white Christmas, but at least we got a white New years.

I always get unreasonably happy when there’s fresh powder on the ground. I start laughing and jumping around like a little kid. Until my terrible stamina catches up with me and I’m panting like I just did the Grouse Grind again.

Expect a story this coming Saturday.

~TTFN