Writing Prompt: Day 117

117.jpgDay 117 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Incorporate the word “skeleton.”

Erin: When I walked out onto the stage the bright lights hit me. I squinted and tried to imagine that I was at home looking into the lamp that overlapped my line of sight in bed. It didn’t work. I turned into a skeleton of my bubbly self as my brain could not be tricked by my hopes.

Shannon: “I can’t do this,” I stated, shaking my head as we all stood outside the back door under the cover of night and behind Mr. Withers’ collection of backyard junk and unmanaged shrubs and trees. We were all waiting for Jim to finish picking the lock. “Please, can we just let this go? Let the man rest in peace.”

Mark turned his back, tuning me out. Pete put up his hands, “Calm down. It’s a quick peak and we’re already here. You don’t want to turn back now, do you?”

I didn’t need more than a second to think about it. “Yes I do,” I turned to walk away as I heard Jim quietly celebrating over the open door. Ally took ahold of my shoulders and I tried to shake her off, but her grip was strong. “No. We all waited too long. I’m not letting you miss out. You’ve come this far,” she maneuvered in front of me. “I won’t let you miss out on this,” she tried to lead me back.

“It feels wrong,” I wouldn’t budge.

She looked to the side and then back to me. “Well I think it shows we actually cared about him. Everybody else in the neighborhood is just going to forget and act like he never existed, because he was strange. At least he mattered to us.”

I furrowed my brow, “Only because you thought he was weird,” I argued, annoyed, and a bit too loud.

“Jen be quiet,” Jim whispered. “Are coming in or not?”

“Coming,” Ally answered for me and hooked my arm with hers until we were inside. Then she quickly abandoned me to cozy up to Mark as her new shield.

I went off on my own to look around right after Jim switched on a light. You never knew if the man was home, because his curtains were always closed and not even the slightest sliver of light would ever show through them, so we were sure we were safe.

I heard Ally scream, and it made me jump. “I knew it,” Mark called out. They were way ahead of us since he was using the flashlight on his phone. “Come see this,” he yelled.

We quickly walked over to see they had opened one of his closets and they were flashing a light on a skeleton hanging up. I felt a surge of panic. It looked like one you’d see in classroom, but I still wasn’t expecting it. Maybe their suspicions were right. Maybe he did have something to hide.

Throw a skeleton into your story.

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 117

  1. Staggering down the once-solid steps to the doorway, I used the handrail to keep my balance in the cramped stairway; the cold metal felt as if someone had been gripping it, their body heat transferring in a miniscule amount that kept the shivers at bay. As I pulled on my fur-lined boots and fished in the broom closet for some gloves, a hat and scarf, I could almost sense the frosty wind pelting the door with icy snow. I shivered and the writer, having been silent for a while now, sniggered and giggled in her serial-killer kind of way. With the winter garments securely on, I braced myself against the wild wind and yanked the door open.
    I’d been expecting the freezing cold to be immediate and biting, but instead it felt like a forceful hug that reassured me I was safe and cozy. Deciding it was the inordinate quantity of alcohol I’d ingested on an empty stomache, I began the difficult journey around to the front of the cabin. Along the slight trail, I could just barely make out the deep impressions set into the old powdery snow and kept my wind-blown eyes glued to them. But as I continued and made it around the building, I was having trouble seeing the footprints at all; there could have been two or eight sets of them for all I could see. Somewhere in the back of my mind, the writer’s dark chuckle resonated and nearly fell from my frost-bitten lips.
    She was enjoying sitting back to watch, but not lead, this dangerous mission to determine whether we were truly alone in the tundra or not. Sucking in a breath that fell into my lungs like a rock, I carefully picked my way down the incline to the flat field. Once there, I figured it would be easier to follow the path, though the snow was falling so heavily, and at such a steep angle, that I feared I may only see a few feet before my boots anyway. As I slipped and slid down the snowy hill, I marvelled at still feeling the after-effect of alcohol in the bubble of warmth around me. Though it didn’t keep out the snow, it kept the deathly cold from infiltrating my body.
    When I reached the flat, I finally glanced up to find the northern lights waving to me from their heavenly perch, undulating and shifting in a fantastic light show. I only watched a few moments because snow was building up around me and washing away the trail through the snow; if I lost it, I may never know who made the fresh prints. So I picked up my leaden boots and marched across the snow, still never knowing if I would be on the other side by the time I found the end of the trail.
    After half an hour of carefully making my way through the deep snow, I finally came across the would-be intruder. Well, rather, the body. Half-buried in powdery snowflakes, the person had died on their back, perhaps looking up at the aurora borealis as I had the other night. If it hadn’t been snowing so much I might have cried for them, but I couldn’t.
    From where I stood, leaning over the body, their skeletal features were frosty blue and prickly white under a toque of rough wool. “She looks terribly familiar, don’t you agree?” posed the writer, whispering doubt in my ear as though she already knew who it was. I would have asked her who it was, but there was a clenching somewhere near my heart that made it difficult to breath; a realization was dawning, if only my mind would catch up. When the thought entered my brain, I made my whole body freeze, warm or not.
    “She’s me,” I gasped, looking into the mirror the lay partially-buried in snow. “I died.”

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  2. August returns to Megdan’s secret fortress. He is escorted to her heavily decorated ‘throne room.’ He is pushed to kneel again. “No, no, let him stand,” she says. August stands up, checking his injuries. “Did you accomplish your task.”
    “Yes.”
    “The building is gone?”
    “Yes.”
    “And… the people?”
    August’s gaze darkens, “You told me to take their weapon cache. I don’t kill people.”
    “But…”
    August is silent for a minute, averting his eyes to the left. He sighs, closing his eyes.
    “Good.” She gets out of her chair. She walks closer to him and offers her hand, “Walk with me.”
    August takes her hand and she leads him down the halls, and then down stairs. In the basement, she shows him through a door. Inside, there are many multi-colored lanterns, illuminating a large expanse of gardens. She lets go of his hand and walks out along the steps. Servants tend the garden on their knees.
    “Now, where is that herb…” she thinks aloud, looking around.
    “…Which herb?” August asks.
    “The one to cure you. I promised to cure your amnesia, and so I will,” Megdan says as she inspects each plant.
    August stays in his spot, looking at the plants closest to him. He crouches down as he sees something in the soil. He looks up, but no one is watching him. He brushes the dirt away just under one of the plants.
    Bones.
    August stumbles back. Megdan is still searching for the correct herb, but August doesn’t care about it anymore; Charbrow was right, they use humans to fertilize her plants. The skeleton remains are tangled in the roots. August stumbles to his feet and leaves the room before she can turn around. He finds the stairs leading up, right as an alarm goes off.
    He reaches the top and is thrown to the ground. “You led them here!” The man says. August protects his face as the man tries to pummel him with big fists. August hears cries and sword clashes. He then aims a punch at the man’s nose. His fist is caught and he’s punched back. Blood seeps from his nose, running down his cheek to his mouth and ear.
    August tries again, only this time, he hits a pressure point on the man’s neck. He falls over, still on top of August. August pushes him off and stands up. He wipes the blood off his face, then pulls the cloth over his mouth and nose.
    ‘Time to leave.’

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