Archive for March, 2012

Saturday Centus: Windfall

It’s Celebration time at Jenny Matlock’s place! Why, Because today is the 100th Saturday Centus, a Saturday Centennial!!

 To celebrate, Jenny is going back to where it started, the very first ever Saturday Centus, and we are to use that very first ever Prompt for our 100 word Centus. The funniest part is that Jenny, who has taught us to write tight, started out with a very, very, very wordy prompt – 53 words, to be exact! So instead of repeating the prompt twice, I will start with it, and then add a short —- line between the prompt and my continuance. Also, in celebration, I made very very sure that my continuation was exactly 100 words, in honor of this great day.

So, without further ado…

Windfall   (153 words)

My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indention in the muddy ground.

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Windfall! my heart sang.

Trouble…” whispered a voice.

I picked up the bills. Maybe I should check it out.

I stopped by the bank. “Someone paid me with this,” I handed the teller a bill, “Can you tell me if it’s counterfeit?”

She took the bill to a man in the back. He examined it, then entered the serial number in a database.

The teller brought it back. “It’s real.”

I left the bank, my heart hammering.  Windfall!

“Trouble…”  the voice insisted.

“Shut up.” I said.

A van pulled up. Three men jumped out.

“Oh, crap.”

“I told you so…”

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Fiction Faction: Cheating Death

Quill Shiv has offered us another episode of  Flash Fiction Faction.  The prompt this week is a quote:

Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. –Anonymous

The idea is to use the prompt for inspiration, however it might do so, and write something that it inspires in us. For Quill’s piece as well as the other participants, just click on the link above.

While much of my fiction tends to be dialogue and action, I took a different route this time, more of a telling than a showing. Why? I don’t really know, perhaps it was the nature of the quote itself. Anyway, this is what it inspired in me…

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Cheating Death  (672 words)

Charles Masters Garrety was a rich man, perhaps one of the richest in the world. He was also an old man, eighty-seven this month. He was in perfect health, all the fitness money could buy; trainers, doctors, dieticians.

But time was catching up with him. He was slowing down, had been for awhile. He had outlived all of his children and even two grandchildren. But his joints were beginning to ache infernally and it took him longer and longer to limber up when he rose in the morning.

Charles Masters Garrety was terrified of dying.

He wasn’t a religious man, he didn’t believe he would suddenly wake up one night and find himself in a pit of fire and brimstone. And he certainly knew he wouldn’t find himself floating amongst the angels – wouldn’t want that anyway, what a boring way to spend eternity.

His terror came from the unknown, the eternal question, does something of us linger after death, or is it just the end? The thought that the body could die, and his spirit might linger in limbo was even worse than it just ending.  He hated thinking about it. He still had so much to do, years of unfinished business.

People were living longer and longer now, why in another 50 to 100 years, 87 might still be considered as young. But he didn’t live in the future, he lived now. And all the money in the world couldn’t buy a man any more time.

Or could it?

Ten years before, Charles Masters Garrety had bought out a research facility, fired all but the best scientists, hired some more, and put them to work on a special project. The concept itself wasn’t new, the idea of cryogenics had been around for years now, even some success in early experiments. But most of the research had dried up for lack of funding. Except for Cryo-Futures.

The team had come to him several weeks ago. They had succeeded in preserving a chimpanzee for over 5 years and had recently brought it back to life. No tissue degeneration, no brain damage, in fact, the chimp was in perfect health.  They had told him they could suspend him for 50 years, or more, however long it took for genetic research (another of their projects) to find the longevity gene and figure out how to apply it.

Many meetings with lawyers and department heads and technicians and scientists had ensued, and finally everything was ready. Tonight Charles Masters Garrety would be eased into a cold sleep, and awake in the future, able to live many more years.

…………………

It was time. Charles Masters Garrety could feel his heart beating steadily in his chest. The doctor had given him a mild sedative. He had almost refused, but now was glad he didn’t. This was his last moment of life in this present time. When next he woke, he would be meeting strangers, new scientists will have taken over for these, many of whom would be long dead. The idea fascinated him.

They helped him into the cryo-chamber, naked as the day he was born. He could feel the cool air circulating around him, getting colder, so slowly, barely even noticeable. He felt his heart slow as his eyes closed, heavy and insistent. Soon he would be asleep, suspended in time, and the next time he opened his eyes, he’d be in a whole new world. His breath slowed along with the heartbeat, and he wondered if he would dream during these long years? His mind drifted, and he observed as if from far away that there was no longer a perceptible heartbeat, no breath moving in and out of his lungs. It was as if his body was gone, no sensation, only thought.

His mind was suspended in darkness, floating in a sea of black.  Awake and aware.

Realization drifted in like a dark whisper in the night. No dreams to come, just fifty years of waiting.

Awake.

Charles Masters Garrety screamed silently into the limbo.

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100 Word Challenge: Rabbit

For this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups, Julia has offered up a challenge with a twist.  We’ve been given an 8 word prompt, nothing unusual so far, and so we have 100 words, plus the 8 from the prompt, to create our entry.  What is different this time is that Julia has decreed, “You have 100 words making a total of 108. However, the last 10 words are going to be used to start a piece by someone else next week!!” Go check it out for yourself, just click the link or the logo.

This week’s prompt:

‘What was the rabbit late for?’ wondered Alice.

Rabbit Hunt  (107 words)

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‘What was the rabbit late for?’ wondered Alice, peering around the park.

Static in her ear, then, ” Fox-two to Foxy-Lady, do you copy?”

“Copy, Fox-two,”

“The rabbit has run.”

“What?”

“The rabbit–”

“I heard the first time! Where?”

“Out the south gate, must have sensed the trap.”

Weariness washed through Alice as she slumped onto the park bench. It had been a good plan. Her plan. It should have worked, dammit! What had gone wrong?

Now they had to go to plan-B, a much more dangerous option. Alice hated to take the risk, but she had no choice. The little girl’s life was in her hands.

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Writing Challenge: Plots

Chris Donner has decided to open up a writing challenge, but not just any kind of challenge, this is an exercise to get us thinking about… Plots. As Chris wrote, “Here’s a little exercise for you… I’ll give you a topic and you write as many plot ideas as you can come up with.” Now that sounds really fun to me, so I am jumping in here. If you think you might enjoy trying it out, go see her post HERE. Go ahead, give it a try, and leave a comment at her place so we can see what you came up with.

The Prompt for a plot:  Pat always knew this day would come

My plot ideas:

1) Pat has found out her husband is cheating on her and has to make a difficult decision – difficult because she has young children and no experience in the job force.  Emotionally she’s prepared, because she knew something was up when he gave her the diamond earrings for Christmas. But, what about the children?? She will find herself on a journey of self discovery and eventually realize that her husband’s cheating was the best thing that could have happened to her.

2) Pat is a man with a problem. He’s been embezzling money, and replacing it later, for several years now. He knew he was living on the edge, and he really didn’t have to do it, (because he is financially independent) but the risk of it made him feel alive. Now there is an audit coming, something he was more or less prepared for – but he wasn’t prepared for the beautiful auditor who came into his life. Will he learn to lead the straight life? Or is there more to this woman than he realizes?

3) Pat is a forty-something divorced mother of twins who have gone away for college, and suddenly she finds herself at loose ends. She decides to get a job – but not just any job. She wants to join the circus as a magician.

4)  Pat is a young man who has been moved from foster home to foster home, then thrown out of the system at age 18. In spite of that, he has managed to find jobs here and there, and is doing okay – but it has been hard and he feels resentful. He decides he wants to find his real parents, let them know what they’ve done. Bitter and angry, he does his own sleuthing for awhile, but gets nowhere against the system. He can’t afford a detective, so he does the next best thing. He sees an announcement in the papers about a PI looking for an assistant, and applies for the job. Neither he nor the PI realize they are father and son, and Pat pours out his anger to this new employer who has become his friend.

5) Pat had gotten top scores at the Police academy. But now the time has come for her to be a rookie cop in a male dominated world. She needs them to accept her as one of their own, but finds herself hazed at every turn, even more so than the other rookies, who are male. Then a serial killer hits town and all bets are off. Every “man” is needed if they are to keep the killer from striking a fourth time. Whats more, Pat fits the profile of his victims…

Okay, that’s all I have for the moment, actually I’m out of time, maybe I’ll add more tomorrow, maybe not.

It was fun, Chris, thanks for this!

Saturday Centus: Living the Dream

I missed the Centus last week, but hope to make up for it this week. Jenny Matlock has given us another great prompt to play with. You really should visit her site, it’s worth the trip. If you just want to check up on this weeks entries to Saturday Centus, click right HERE.

The rules change each week, which is part of the fun. This week, we are given a prompt, to be included in the body of the text, and we have 100 words, exactly 100 words, no more, no less, in which to write our tale. We must include the prompt within that word count. Interesting, yes? Jenny loves to challenge us. I had a little fun with this week, tried to keep it PG, hope I didn’t step beyond, it’s hard to tell these days…

This week’s Prompt:

I’m living the dream, man

Living the Dream (exactly 100 words)

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“I’m living the dream, man.”  Paul took a drag from the reefer and passed it to Gary.

“So you say.” Gary took a long hit. He was getting tired of Paul’s broken record. Living the dream, far out, big effing deal.

Paul droned on, “Yeah man, I mean lookit this, a cool pad, all the weed I wanna smoke, wide-screen tv, the latest vid games, a music system to die for. I mean I’m living the effing dream man, pinch me if I’m wrong.”

Gary pinched him.

Paul poofed out of sight.

Gary smiled. Now this was living the dream.

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100 Word Challenge: Red Box

This weeks 100 Word Challenge for Grown-ups hosted at Julia’s Place, is a topical prompt, where you can but don’t have to use the words of the prompt. Be sure to go by and see what others have made of this week’s prompt. I openly admit that my idea is not a new one, but i had fun with it nonetheless.

you bought her what

The Prompt: ...the red box

My entry: Wish Fulfillment, 101 words.

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“And behind curtain three is… The Red Box!”

The audience roared.

Sandra, the lucky contestant, jumped up and down, screeching in joy. MC walked her over to the large red box, center stage.

“It’s your choice, Sandra.” he said. “Keep the eight million dollars you’ve won, or trade it all for your Ultimate Wish.”

“My wish!” she squealed. The audience cheered.

“I wish my husband back to life!”

Hushed silence.

The box fell open. Sandra’s husband stood there, alive!  Bits of decomposing flesh dangled from his face with its wide lipless grin.

Sandra screamed. The audience went wild.

Another wish fulfilled.

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Flash Friday – Kill Shot

I’m turning this in a little late, but hey, there are things called Time Zones, so even if it’s not Friday, many of you are still asleep and not yet wakened to your Saturday morning, so I’m sneaking it in. 😉

Madison Woods has again given us a challenging picture for this weeks 100 word flash for Friday Fictioneers. To see what she and others were inspired to write, just click the link.

 

This week’s picture prompt:

My entry: Kill Shot. 100 words.

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A twig snapped under her boot, cracking into the distance. Amanda froze.

Distant voices, coming closer, “This way! Over here!”

Amanda ran.

The first shot came from behind, hitting her right shoulder, spinning her around with surprising force. The second shot hit square in the chest, She stumbled back, falling to the ground.

They surrounded her. “Kill shot!”

She glanced down at the bright blue paint.

“Game over.”  Josh reached down to help her up.

Amanda couldn’t lift her arm. Hot pain stabbed. “I think I may have broken something.”

A dark red stain spread out from under her shoulder.

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