Day 83 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a team.
Erin: Our work team was a well-oiled machine. We had the jokester who kept things funny. The serious one made sure we didn’t have too much fun. There was the one who made sure we all go things done. The nice one calmed us all if people got too demanding. There were the creatives and the realistics. There were the productives and the perfectionists. We had good times and bad. However we continued to initiate growth and innovation.
Shannon: “You going to get this. One of you is going to make contact with this damn ball if kills me,” I yelled from the pitchers mound as Sandy tried to walk away from the plate.
“It’s pointless. We can’t learn this before the season starts. We were trained to use our bodies for movement, not to chase around balls, and throw them, and catch them, and hit them with tiny metal sticks,” Sandy threw the bat down in frustration.
“I’m with her,” Jessica added. “This is dangerous. They’re called softballs but they’re not soft. They really hurt. I’m covered in bruises and I feel really attacked every time we practice. I thought this was going to be fun.”
“You promised that if I helped your dance team, you’d all save the softball team. Don’t worry about getting hurt. I’ve gotten you all masks, even for fielding. Also if you actually tried, and stop being so afraid of the ball maybe you wouldn’t get hit so many times. You’re your own first defense,” I argued back.
“Agh,” they all moaned dramatically.
I rolled my eyes. “Come on Lucy. You’re up.” Being a coach was harder than I thought, I really should have given my dad more credit when I was younger. Once she was in position I decided to take a different approach. “How about this time you just do whatever feels natural to you. Don’t think about any of the advice I told you before. You can do this.”
I pitched the ball and I saw her make contact, but then I also saw her bat go flying to third base.”
“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry,” she put up both hands to cover her mouth and nose. I had flashbacks to t-ball all over again.
“You’re going to tell me that’s not dangerous.” Jessica pointed to where the bat ended up and the rest of the team started cracking up.
Decide what type of team will get your story where it needs to go.
Hi there, I’m Ali! You’re probably wondering what kind of fascinatingly wondrous story you’ve stumbled upon; unfortunately, I must admit, before you begin, that this is quite a horrible one. But, you know, some of the very best stories are full of darkness so thick you can’t see the page and despair that forces you to imagine life without happiness. Perhaps we, as a species, are simply drawn to tales without mercy and full of gore. But, it’s also possible that some of us are just horrible people who deserve lives identical to the characters we put through hell.
At any rate, I’d like to tell you about the beginning of the end of the world; a story that is sure to send shivers up your spine and make your blood run cold. But before we get to the good stuff, I’ll start at the very beginning. It all started ten long years ago…
All around me, the house shook; chandeliers swayed dangerously from the ceiling of my room and a lamp fell from the dresser, smashing into a million pieces. I lay in my four-poster bed, down covers pulled up over my head protectively as the loud, guttural thuds continued to resound, and attempted to sleep. After a few heart-pounding minutes of boom, boom, boom coming from outside the house, I lowered the covers to glare out the window. Lights flashed in brilliant rainbowed colours across the gauzy drapes, reminding me of a concert I’d attended a few weeks ago.
Giving up on ever getting to sleep with the racket going on outside, I scrunched into the fluffy bedding to gather as much comfort as I could, and crept out of bed. The floor prickled with ice as I felt around for my fleece slippers. When I realized they weren’t right beside the bed I leaned over and flicked the light switch; throwing the immense bedroom into daylight. Gazing at me from across the room, sitting happily just under the hot pink chaise, were my fuzzy slippers. Between my cold bare feet and the couch were the shattered remains of an antique lamp and a few pieces of expensive jewelry that usually hung from its shade.
Carefully picking my way across the dangerous floor, I slipped my designer sneakers on instead, allowing the slippers to sleep a while longer. With the flexible footwear securely on my feet, I glanced at my disheveled appearance in the mirror and stifled a shriek; long auburn hair in mats around my head, nightclothes wrinkled to the nines and a pimple the size of Everest sitting on my nose. Deciding that if I was going to stop the cacophony outside, I would have to look presentable, I quickly changed into some denim and a heavy wool sweater, and ran a comb painfully through my hair. I didn’t have the energy to deal with the disgusting pustule.
Twenty minutes later, I was creeping out my bedroom door to assess the situation. Milling about on the landing, and winding down the stairs to the first floor, was a raucous party atmosphere of inebriated people. When I saw the mess, I slammed the door and turned the lock, leaning back on the smooth wood panelling; they always threw these things the night before a test. But I couldn’t go through the house or someone would have me kicked out for being a minor. You know what’s worse than your parents throwing epic house parties? Being banned from your house by the bouncer because you’re too young to attend your parents’ house parties is so much worse.
As the bass continued to shake the house, I crossed the room and threw open the balcony doors to gaze at the writhing crowd below. Though a chilly wind blew through the window, ruffling the curtains, everyone on the lawn was wearing as little clothing as was social acceptable. Sighing, I glanced around for something to use as a ladder, but found nothing of use.
That was when I made the insanely stupid descent down the rotting vines that threatened to strangle our massive house. Getting down was going better than I expected until the vine crumbled beneath my fingers and the ground was suddenly rising to meet me at a terrifying rate. When one of the guests, a man wearing nothing but swim shorts, caught me, I shrank from his strong arms and raced off to find my folks. Through throngs of scantily-dressed young people, I jogged, all the while rehearsing what I was going to say when I found them; but when I was finally before their podium, all hell broke loose.
Someone somewhere let out a blood-curdling shriek that rippled through the crowd like a wave and everyone was sent into a panic. All around me, people were shoving their way through, shouting for friends, and being generally horrified. Luckily, my mother’s claws were around my arm and pulling me to the safety of the stage as the swell of party-goers surged past us. When they were sufficiently back from whatever was the cause of the confusion, amid electronic malfunctions and sparking speakers, I leaned forward above the crowd to see what was happening.
Unable to catch a glimpse, I steeled away from my folks and wove my way to the front of the pack, elbowing people out of my way. Before me was a woman foaming at the mouth and growling like an animal digging into a woman’s mangled body. Her face was frozen in an inaudible scream with her eyes staring glassily up at us. Around me, people shied away from the horrifying woman who ripped hungrily into the meaty flesh of her kill, eyes twitching about suspiciously.
Everything happened so suddenly; one minute I was staring in awe at the grey-skinned woman feasting in front of my eyes, but the next she was on top of my neighbour and the entire world was in flames.
Wow, to hear Ali speak, the end came with a big bang. It wasn’t so for the rest of us, well, not me anyway. Oh, I’m G. Yeah, that’s my name, don’t wear it out. And, I promise you I won’t drone on and on about how the apocalypse came around for me…
I was hanging out with my brothers and we went to the movies on a Saturday or whatever. Anyway, we were sitting in the theatre halfway through some super hero movie with that guy with great hair and the suit. You know the one. But the lights suddenly died; we’d heard of that sorta thing happening pretty mysteriously in other places, but hadn’t had to deal with it. So, we’re sitting there with the lights off and this dude just rips into the darkened room and starts eating this guy’s head. I mean, we were freaked; this other dude had a camera phone out for light and, awe man, was it gross.
So, we get home and our dad decided we had to leave. He’s dead now, but my brother Zak’s still with us. We’re both great with guns so we’re definitely really important to the team. Really, I don’t know what Ali is even here for, other than to be bait sometimes. No one knows how, but she’s made it through eighteen separate attacks in the last ten years. That’s the kinda thing that makes me shiver with her around; I don’t know what she did to those monsters or how she got away.
Well, that’s what I do for the team; weapons specialist and mechanic since I know a little bit about trucks and engines. I mean, I can usually figure out how to fix ‘em.
Hey, I’m Marshal. You might have heard of me; I robbed three banks and didn’t get caught a few years back. If, for whatever reason you don’t know me, I am really great at breaking into places. So, the team definitely needs me to get us into government buildings and cars. I mean, there’s no gas stations anymore and there’s only so much available, so we usually just steal some dead guy’s ride. They don’t mind. Except when they do…
I was planting my earnings in this hollow tree (you don’t know it) when this rabid dude ran across the field (again, you don’t know it) at me and so I, being a nimble young lad, clamoured up the tree. Must’ve been there for a day and a half ‘cause I left my phone in the car and the car was miles away; also left my gun in there. But this dude was too stupid to climb or realize I wasn’t comin’ down. Took a while, but I eventually managed to get down and ran into Zak and his brother. They were just shooting my attacker in the head; so that was great. And they said they needed a lock-picker so I, of course, obliged.
That’s basically how I got brought into this team; it was an accident.
Hello, I’m Sally. I’ll cut to the chase. I don’t mince words and I don’t sugar coat anything. We’re all in a lotta trouble. But we’re surviving. I was in the army when it happened, so though I can’t tell you specifics, I have information this team needed.
It’s back to me, Ali, we’ve been at this for ten years; running from the apocalypse. But, this week we found a bank of computers complete with generators that still had fuel so we’re going to begin keeping a journal of how it’s going with us. They don’t want to, but I want future generations to see these stories and remember a time when we were on the run from the zombies. No matter what happens to us or the world, I want them to know our stories.
Created to Write:
The five costumed teens walk down the stairs to the basement. Rick walks out of the room with the computer, headset around his neck. Nikki looks at Jacey, who’s peeling her mask off in disappointment. “…You know, Jacey, if you didn’t shift during the entire fight, you wouldn’t crash so soon,” Nikki says gently.
Jacey turns to her, glaring, “I’m doing my best.”
Nikki puts her hands up, walking to one of the couches. She mumbles, “Everyone can use some improvement.”
“Yeah?” Jacey asks, “well, it would have been helpful if you actually created things we needed!”
“I’m still practicing with my gloves!” Nikki yells back.
“Ladies, calm down,” Finn says, sitting down, “it’s a bump in the road. We’ll take him down.”
“If you can keep from using up all your ink,” Rick says, leaning against the door frame, “you left yourself defenseless.”
“I needed all of it, he’s tough.”
“You know what’s tough?” August asks, taking his gloves off. “Leading you is tough. No one listens to me. When I say something, it’s not a suggestion to take lightly.”
Josh steps up, “Let up, okay. We’re still figuring out our strengths and weaknesses.”
“Then why are we even going out there?” August asks, motioning to the door up the stairs. He groans, dragging a hand down his face, “We were more effective when it was just you and me.”
“Hurtful,” Finn mutters.
Jacey and Rick, on the other hand, are livid. “You wouldn’t be anywhere without my dad’s tech,” Rick points out.
“And with it, we’re stuck with Jacey, who doesn’t know the difference between a giraffe and a gorilla,” August says smugly. Jacey changes into a cobra, spreading the sides of her head and hissing at him.
“Jacey,” Josh pinches the bridge of his nose, “please calm down. You already spent so much energy earlier.”
Jacey changes back, on one knee where the cobra used to be, “Stay out of this!”
Rick goes to defend Josh, which earns him an earful from his cousin for not taking her side. Nikki joins in to say Rick should have designed her gloves better, and their argument gets heated as Jacey turns back to the Evert brothers.
Finn watches this, then picks up a pen laying around and draws on a paper next to him. He animates it and presses the button, flooding the room with a loud blaring noise.
Everyone stops yelling, covering their ears. Jacey whimpers a little. Finn drops the noise maker, “Much better.”
“Why did you do that!” Rick says. He motions Jacey to him to check her ears.
“Now everyone can actually hear each other,” Finn shrugs.
Nikki scratches inside one of her ears, “I don’t know about that…”
August sighs, turning to the stairs, “This was a bad idea.”
“We just need to act like a team,” Josh says, “not like five separate kids.”
August stops moving and speaks over his shoulder, “You shouldn’t be talking. You’re the weak link without powers or tech, Josh. Pure martial arts won’t get us through this.”
August doesn’t look at his brother’s response, but Rick comes to Josh’s defense, “Who died and made you leader?”
August’s chest aches from the comment, leaving the basement so the team won’t know how much that hurt.
The villain tugs at the bonds, growling, “Who are you?”
“Am I the only one that thinks it’s weird he’s asking that? He’s seen us before,” Starry Knight asks.
Proton-ess thinks to herself, “…We need a team name.”
“We’re sticking to the shadows, trying to not be seen or known,” Night Ghost says, “so… we don’t.”
Animalia thinks to herself, perching like a cat on the lowest rungs of a fire escape. “Ferocious Five? No… Jade and the Supers? Nah…” she mumbles to herself.
“Why would Jade’s name be in the title?” Starry Knight asks.
“And it’s Emerald Tiger,” Jade mutters, before checking down the alleyway, “cops are almost here.”
Animalia ignores him to answer Starry, “Because he doesn’t have powers or tech.”
“But Ghost is the leader,” Proton-ess points out.
“I know… but… Does Command have any suggestions?” She asks Ghost, who softly groans at the conversation.
Starry thinks for a moment, “Wait, what did he say before?” He points to the villain, who is glaring.
Jade thinks back, “Small time heroes in a big time city is such a novel idea.”
Proton-ess perks up, “That’s it! Let’s call ourselves the… Novel?”
Everyone else makes a noise similar to, ‘mehh…?’
“What about, the Novelty?”
Proton-ess nods, “Yeah, that’s better.”
“I like it!” Animalia chirps.
“Command?” Jade asks.
“Sounds catchy,” Command says through his headset.
Night Ghost smiles, albeit a little grimly, “I guess it’s official. We’re the Novelty. Now let’s get going before the name becomes shortlived.” The team all climb or fly out of the alley to the rooftops as the police cars pull up to the entrance of the alleyway.
Part of the second scene didn’t copy.
Right after the ‘***’ should say this…
Jade finishes with the knots holding the villain’s hands behind his back. “Now just wait here, till the cops come, okay?”