Day 92 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Pick up a book, flip to a random page, write a story include the first sentence on the page.
Shannon: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
“You want us to follow your directions, so we’re just supposed to blindly trust you and you’re going to get us out of this mess?”
I scrunched my lips to the side. I didn’t know how to make them believe me. I sounded crazy, but my plan would work if everyone participated. This would be impossible alone. “Yes. I know you don’t believe me, but can’t you give me a chance? Let me prove it to you that I can protect everyone. I don’t know what will happen if you all go out on your own. I can’t promise your safety unless you listen to me.”
“I don’t know about this,” Elise shook her head.
“Yeah, I mean we don’t even really know you,” Abby shrugged. “How do we know this isn’t a trap,” she tried to debunk my plan to the whole group.
Suddenly it came to me. “I can tell you the first obstacle,” I spoke up without giving anyone else a chance to give their own judgment. “How would I know that?”
“You could be working with them,” Max argued. “You could be their mole. Sent here to get us in trouble. They seem to know you,” he shrugged a shoulder, and got a few nods from the rest of the group.
I shook my head. “They know I wrote the story. They don’t know me,” I explained.
“Well I’m trusting my own instincts. I’m getting out of here without your help,” he started walking away and most of the group followed. Three less vocal ones stayed behind. I felt discouraged that I couldn’t persuade the majority. I never could. Neither could my character, and suddenly it clicked: they’d follow the story on their own. I didn’t need to tell them what to do.
Erin: Bone Appétit by Carolyn Haines
“I have no interest in going on this date, that’s why I have such a big pit in my stomach,” I clarified to my friend who insisted I was excited.
She scoffed and continued to curl my last strand of hair, “well you agreed to go. So it doesn’t matter what this feeling is does it?”
“Just don’t get your hopes up,” I warned.
“Oh, I won’t,” she rolled her eyes then winked.
I still had the ginormous rock weighing me down from my abdomen. So, I did the only thing I knew would lift my spirits back up: I put some mousse in my hair and fluffed it up. I looked like me, I felt like me, and I was ready to go do me.
And I did and my date did the same, and the rock disappeared. That day started my descent to falling deeper and deeper in love with me future husband. I owe it all to my trusty hair products and use them to this day to change the course of my life.
Borrow one sentence and add many of your own?
**Sentence from “The Dark Half” by Stephen King**
Brilliant lights gleamed murky orange from pumpkins and twinkle lights strung across the yard, encasing the space in a fittingly eerie glow. Bass-heavy music pounded out of a professional set of speakers on the deck and echoed around the neighbourhood, amid jovial laughter. The lawn was filled with clusters of neighbours decked in spectacular costumes from gory vampires and sexy nurses to wacky vegetables and furry animals. Everyone was enjoying themselves and imbibing in the free liquor that was always in steady supply at these sorts of events; everyone claimed to love them, but couldn’t make it through one sober.
Standing by the gate, a wicked smile plastered superficially to the otherwise vacant-of-emotion face, was the devil herself, Sofia. She’d forced herself into a skin-tight dress in brilliant scarlet that barely covered her and a set of neon devil horns adorned her head. If anyone wanted to get into the party they had to get past her sneer of judgement, or face rejection so severe it had driven three families to flee; one landing in some far-away war zone many in the area would gladly take over the menial block events they were required to attend. No one knew what the rules were, or if there actually were any, save Sofia’s husband Jim. Unfortunately, Jim was too drunk most days to care what hell his wife put the public through.
Across the lawn from smirking Sofia, a small gaggle of women gossiped about the town and who the wench was sleeping with that month, giggling like schoolgirls. No one danced at these events unless the hosts wanted to show off, and since Jim was leaning against their oak tree reminiscing about some war that he never fought, there would be none of that. Men’s hearty laughter boomed from one corner as a radio screamed about a goal or a run or something like that; clearly the crowd was pleased with the outcome.
But while most of the neighbours were having a good time, someone lurked unbeknownst to the hosts or guests, behind the peeling fence. The shadow leaned against the planks to eye the raucous revelry, with a merciless expression on its gloomy features. Breathing huskily into the other yard, it took a step backward and hustled away into the night; in the distance, though no one heard it, a rickety door slammed shut.
Over the next few hours the music got less coherent, the booze dwindled dangerously and the laughter became slurred beyond recognition. That was, in the middle of the night, someone had the brilliant idea to scare the living daylights out of Mr. Stevens, who’d skipped the bash. With an excuse like having work in the morning, he’d arrived in his suit to deliver an apologetic cake made from scratch. Though no one had taken a single bite of the suspiciously delectable-looking desert, the crowd was becoming more feral and some guests were sniffing at the fresh meat, so to speak.
As they plotted the trick, while scarfing down as much cake as they could, the frosty autumn wind whispered through the trees of danger and madness; no one heard that either. Instead, beginning to feel more light-headed than the copious amounts of alcohol she’d consumed would cause, Sofia began to plan out a devious prank on their unsuspecting neighbour. Everyone still present ate and drank, aiding with the joke as much as a bunch of drunks could. In the end, they cut the music, turned the lights off and began to stalk toward his front yard. The sudden silence would have been creepy enough, had the moonlight not glinted off the sharpened yard utensils they carried.
After the party had grouped together in the hosts’ front yard, everyone stripped the bulkier costumes and dawned garbage bags, kids’ hockey masks and power tools. It must have taken an hour to go from a rowdy block party in flashy garb to shadowy figures that had crawled straight out of someone’s nightmares. Crawling on all fours, some of the nearly-rabid guests guarded the doorway as the devil herself, Sofia, stalked to Mr. Steven’s front door, eyes wide with madness.
When she knocked on the door, posing in various positions as she waited, someone could have stopped the following series of events. If any of the drunken visitors had a clear mind, this whole thing could have been avoided, but all had drunk the spirits and eaten the tainted cake; none were of sane mind, but all were guilty of the charges. Somewhere in the night, a cat yowled, but no one heard.
Mr. Stevens answered the door in a ratty housecoat that could use a wash, rubbing his eyes in the hall lights. “Yeah?” he croaked, before recognizing the figure before him, “Sofia? You need something?” Yawning, he stretched his back as he waited, feeling completely at ease with his neighbour’s wife appearing on his doorstep, alone and dressed in a revealing outfit, in the middle of the night. But after a moment’s hesitation, he sputtered, “Did you, uh, did you like the cake?” Concern was evident in his stance, as he took a tentative step back and slicked his greasy hair back.
“Yes, it was lovely, thanks. We wanted to thank you in person,” she cooed, stepping one flashy heel inside the house, and gripping the doorframe in a seductive stance. “But, Stevens, before I think you, my friends wanted to give you something,” she whispered. When she peered around the corner and nodded, getting out of the way as the two dark figures twisted into the foyer, she let out a maniacal laugh into the deep, dark night. Mr. Stevens shrieked as the whole crowd descended, with pitchforks and covered faces, on his humble home.
When the group woke a few hours later, their half-dead bodies scattered about the property, no one could recall anything after eleven the night before; just when they started to eat the cake. Some of them were still dressed in their costumes while others were in garbage bags or their underclothes. Everyone moaned as they rose from the ripped-up backyard, pristine first floor or, in one horrible case, the second floor bathroom. While everyone appeared to be accounted for, and in relatively healthy condition, Mr. Stevens was missing.
**Castle Rock has been, at least in recent years, an unlucky town.** Last night was no exception, as Sofia discovered Mr. Stevens in his yard in the wee hours of the morning. Lying on his back in the middle of the frost-bitten grass was his body, staring glassily into the heavens with a pitchfork shoved through his chest. Too exhausted and shocked to scream, the devil dropped to her knees and cradled her head in her hands before the next guest came upon the scene.
With everyone gathered and in a relatively sane state, they attempted to understand the sequence of events to some extent; ultimately wanting to know if blame would be placed and charges filed. Luckily, Terry was a lawyer by trade, and spoke hasty lawyer jargon to the tune of them all going to jail for a very long time. After that, a plan was concocted, decided upon, and carried out by the group together, so no one of them would get any less blame, lest the horrible truth come to light.
The hosts slept fitfully through the next day, but the following morning, when the paper arrived at Jim’s door, he flipped through it, quickly scanning for anything familiar. On the second to last page was a headline, “Car Crashes Into Tree, Killing Lone Male Occupant Instantly.” Jim smirked as he confirmed they’d gotten away with murder; he decided he liked that feeling.
Created to Write:
Heather wakes up gasping. August looks up from his mattress on the floor. Heather is looking around, then starts pounding on the wall behind her. August is at her side, smoothening the hair on the sides of her face, “Heather, calm down, okay, take a deep breath.”
“I… I can’t,” Heather whimpers, pushing against the wall with one hand, “I can’t, the walls, I-”
August sits next to her. “Can I hold you?”
Heather shakes her head.
August thinks for a moment, “Wanna get out of here?”
Heather nods, gasping, “Yeah, I do.”
August smiles softly, “Okay.” He offers her his hand. She takes it and both stand up.
August opens the door and they walk out of her room. Heather starts for the front door, but August takes a detour. When he joins her, he has a few blankets and pillows. They slowly walk down the ramp, and August gently tugs Heather to the open yard.
“August..?” Heather asks.
He lets go of her hand and lays down the blankets on the grass. He then leads her to sit down. “Better?”
Heather looks around. She takes a deep breath, and smiles, “Yes. Much better.”
August lays down with his own pillow, “I’ll be here if you need me.”
Heather lays down too, with a generous amount of blanket space between them. August listens to Heather’s breathing fully calm down, then feels a warm presence on his back. He smiles to himself. Heather drapes the extra blanket over them, then falls asleep with her back to his.
And that’s how August learned what calmed Heather the best. They chose to sleep beneath the stars that night. And for a few nights after.