June’s Prompt

It’s that time again — time for another prompt! This month’s short story will be based on the following prompt:

We took turns guarding the door, neither of us sleeping very much. Ricky looked nervous, and suddenly I felt bad about getting him involved. I shouldn’t have…

Complete the Story

If you write a story using this prompt, I would love to share it on my blog!

Happy reading and writing this month!

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Dig Site

May 2019 short story

Today

He sprinted away, not daring to look back, his footsteps echoing down the hallway like distant gunshots. He just had to get to the back stairway and up to his office on the second floor, where like a fool, he’d left the artifact sitting.

Two weeks ago

The dig was going well. So far, they’d found several fossils, no complete skeletons, but those were rare finds anyway. Still, this dig would probably secure his grant money for at least five more years.

He was looking over the labels and cataloging that his students and summer interns had completed this week. They already had three crates to send back to the university.

He was impressed with the efficiency of his team this year. He’d be giving out a lot of recommendation letters. He was thinking about taking some time to pack this afternoon to avoid the rush that would happen tomorrow morning as they were leaving when he heard a lot of shouting.

Today

As he got closer to this office, he heard boots coming up the stairs – lots of boots. He decided to pick up his pace. He didn’t want the artifact in the wrong hands and he wasn’t sure who would come bursting through that door – CIA, FBI, NSA, or one of the sketchier people who were aware of and interested in his find. 

Two weeks ago

“Dr. Cooper! Dr. Cooper!” There were fifteen grad students and interns shouting his name and running towards him.

When the first one spotted him, they all bee-lined for him and forced him to the final dig spot they’d been finishing up that day.

“Tony, what is going on?” he asked.

“Dr. Cooper, you aren’t going to believe this.” Tony stepped out of the way and all the others stopped talking and shoving each other. They were outside, in the Montana wilderness, but you could have heard a pin drop.

Today

He began fishing his keys out of his pocket, but never made it to the door. He was surrounded by men wearing a lot of black, armed to the teeth, and all of them following silent orders given through headsets. He was handcuffed and led away from his office with brutal professionalism.

Two weeks ago

There in the ground was a metal egg about the size of a basketball. It was all black and perfectly smooth. It didn’t actually look like any egg he’d ever seen or heard of. And there was something so perfect about it, that he knew there was no way it was a shaped rock or gem.

“Why didn’t it show up on our scans?” He started to edge towards it. It beeped. “What the hell?” He reached out to touch it. It was metal and cool to the touch and now it was beeping.

Without looking up, he said, “Get a crate with lots of padding.”

No one moved.

“Someone. Go. Now.”

A group of students and interns ran off and returned several minutes later with a crate.

As he carefully placed the egg in the crate, the beeping stopped.

Two days later he was back in his office; he’d spent all his time with the egg since returning. He let Tony deal with unloading and arranging the rest of the dig finds.

The office secretary came rushing in.

“There are several angry men in suits here to see you.”

He had a feeling this might happen. Several of the students from the dig site posted video and images on the night the egg was discovered.

The last two days had been the most exciting days of his life. He didn’t want it to end.

The egg beeped off and on the entire time it’d been at the university. They had scanned it and ran it through every test they could think of. Nothing changed about the egg, and it didn’t do anything other than beep. Despite this, he just knew that something was going to happen. This egg meant something. It was something important, and he wanted to be the one to figure it out.

It was new and exciting – or possibly old and exciting. Everyone would be interested in figuring out exactly what it was.

Protest

April 2019 Short Story of the Month

The soldiers were tense, waiting for something to happen – like it was a matter of when, not if. For our part, we did our best to steer clear of them, avoiding the main square, where a group of protestors were on their 80th hour of shouting at city hall. It was only a matter of time. The whole city felt like a ticking time bomb. I didn’t want to be around when the explosion finally happened.

Derek and I were planning on leaving tonight. His uncle had a cabin about 60 miles out of town on the lake. We were going to wait it out there. I don’t know what made this time different than all the other protests we’d seen over the last few years. But there was definitely something in the air. This was not going to end well. Mostly for the protestors.

I actually agree with the protestors, but I don’t feel like getting involved. Does that make me a bad person? I just didn’t see the point in risking my life for an idea. My parents said that’s what was wrong with my generation. We don’t care about anything.

Which, is just not true. I care, but I don’t want to get hurt or put in jail. Was one idea worth risking my future over? Derek said no; that’s why we were making a break for it.

******

After meeting up with Trish and Billy, we all piled into Derek’s Honda CRV and rode in absolute quiet to the cabin. It was like we were all afraid to break the silence. The first person who did would be guilty of something, though I didn’t know what. I just knew, it wasn’t going to be me.

Trish was the first one who spoke as we pulled up to the cabin and Derek put the car in park.

“Does this place have Wi-Fi?” she asked.

I just rolled my eyes and took my things into the cabin. I didn’t hear what Derek actually said to her.

******

Later as we were sitting around a fire near the pit off the back deck, Trish said, “I can’t believe there’s no Wi-Fi, and my phone is getting a weak signal at best.” As she said all of this, she didn’t even look up from her phone.

“We have bigger things to worry about right now than cell phone reception,” Derek said. Then he added, “But if you want a better signal, you could sit on the cabin roof.”

“Really?” Trish asked.

“Seriously, Trish. You are not getting on the roof. That’s all we need is to rush someone to the hospital from way out here.” I said this to hopefully put a stop to the inane Wi-Fi talk.

Billy just chuckled. He didn’t talk much, which is probably why Derek let him hang out with us so much. Derek preferred to be the clear leader and to make all the decisions for our “group.” I just went along with him because he was my oldest friend. Sometimes though, I didn’t agree with him. Maybe my parents were right about me. Maybe I didn’t care about anything.

******

The next morning, we ate breakfast in silence. Every one was crunching and slurping their cereal lost in their own thoughts. I finished mine and put my bowl in the sink.

As everyone else was doing the same, I said, “I want to go back to town.”

Derek had his back to me but turned very slowly around. “I already told you, we should stay here till whatever is going to happen, happens.”

“I know. That’s what you said. What you want to do.” I didn’t want to let him get a word in, so I continued, “I want to go back. I want to join the protestors. It’s the right thing to do.”

I noticed out of the corner of my eye that Billy and Trish were not so subtly walking out of the room.

I didn’t let their cowardice in front of Derek sway me. “Just take me back to the edge of town. I will walk the rest of the way. I’m not asking you to come with me.”

Derek tried to stare me down. But I just stared right back. “What if I won’t take you?” he asked.

“Then you’re not my friend.” I just stood there waiting for him to say something else. If I backed down now, I would never live it down. Derek would boss me around for the rest of my life. This was my moment to be my own person.

******

“Good luck. Don’t do anything stupid,” Derek said to me as I was getting out of the car on the outskirts of town.

“Thanks,” I said.

As he drove away and headed back to the cabin, I had a feeling that everything would be different between us now.

I started walking and the movement helped clear my head. I knew this was the right thing to do, and I felt guilty for not realizing it until now. I hefted my backpack higher up on my shoulders and tried to pick up my pace.

******

I was about a mile from the center of town and I could hear the protestors voices being carried by the wind.

Their yells were interrupted by someone with a megaphone. “Disperse. We won’t warn you again.”

The megaphone was answered by louder, angrier voices.

Then I heard the unmistakable sound of a gunshot. I froze. I couldn’t move.

The sounds I heard after that didn’t make sense to me. I heard yelling and fighting. The screams were of pain and agony. The cacophony was joined by police sirens. There were more gunshots. There were definite sounds of glass breaking and things being knocked around.

I just stood there for what felt like forever but was actually only a matter of minutes. Eventually a police cruiser drove by me with protestors hand cuffed in the back. Then I heard ambulance sirens approaching the scene.

The flashing lights snapped me out of my paralysis. I turned and walked home.

******

As I entered the kitchen and the door slammed behind me, my parents looked up from their dinner.

“Thought you were at the lake,” my dad said as he forked another piece of pot roast.

I shrugged but didn’t say anything. I couldn’t process what I was feeling. At that moment all I knew was that I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere.

Playing Catch Up!

This month has been much better than last month for me. I am holding myself accountable and trying my best to catch up on my personal goals.

With that in mind, in the next few days, I am going to post not one but two short stories. I never finished my April one and I also need to finish my May one.

I am curious for those of you who set personal goals that aren’t related to work or school, how do you hold yourself accountable? What motivates you even when you don’t feel like doing it?

Happy writing and reading this month!!

May’s Prompt

AHHHHHHHHHH! How is it already the 20th? This month has been worse than last for me as far as being productive. But, that changes today… so even though it’s late… here is the short story prompt for this month:

He sprinted away, not daring to look back, his footsteps echoing down the hallway like distant gunshots. He just had to get to the back stairway and up to his office on the second floor, where….

Complete the Story

Happy reading and writing today and every day!

April needs to be over…

I realize as I am writing this, April only has a day left. I can’t freaking wait!

April has dragged on and on for me and sadly enough, I have been horribly unproductive this month. I am ready for a new month and a new start!

Normally by now, I would post some thoughtful, albeit short, post about my writing process, and then the last day or so of the month, I would post a short story. This month, I haven’t written a single word for my novel or my short story.

Why? You may be wondering. Or, you may be thinking, “it happens.”

Yes, I understand that with writing, as with everything else in life, there are good times and bad times. Sometimes it’s like the floodgates have been opened and sometimes the well runs dry. This is not my problem this month.

April 2019 has been a horrible, anxiety ridden mess for me. Here’s why:

  • one of my parents was diagnosed with cancer.
  • there was a death in the family (not my parent)
  • my husband and I’s 16th wedding anniversary was this month. He is currently in Japan for work, and I am not.

Basically, I have been having my own personal pity party, and I just don’t feel like being productive. I realize that people have it worse off than I do, but right now, I kind of feel like life sucks.

Bottom line for this month, I have read 6 books (yeah for me!) and I have written ZERO words. I think it’s time to shift focus!

I hope everyone has had a better month than me. Happy reading and writing! (Please do some writing for me!)

April’s Prompt

Here is this month’s short story prompt:

The soldiers were tense, waiting for something to happen — like it was a matter of when, not if. For our part, we did our best to steer clear of them, avoiding the main square, where a group of protestors…

If you want to write a story using this prompt, I will feature it on my blog! I post my story on the last day of the month, but you can write one and submit it sooner! I would love to see what someone besides me comes up with for these prompts!

Happy writing and reading this month!