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Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

As always, anyone is free to join, and there is no time limit. Remember to edit lock your writing when you're done.

Last week's rankings are as follows; 

1) Orange 2) Jep 3) Zag 4) Drew 5) cdrive 6) Zulu 7) Minnie 8) T-Count

If you'd like a detailed review on why your story is in the place it is, and perhaps some helpful criticism, just ask me in this thread :)

 

Prompt #1: A character finds out that a very common, everyday object he/she owns contains immense power.

Prompt #2: (I don't want to influence your take on this picture, so I'm not going to provide a description.)

Prompt #3: "It seemed like a good idea yesterday."

Stealing the tagging list from Axiom. Please inform me if you don't wish to be tagged to this anymore.

@WouldntItBeNice @Steve24833 @JJJ-thebanisher @bbshark @Bucky @mizal @FrankIevatus @TheNewIAP @Romulus @TacocaT @Crescentstar @Mayana @Zulutrader @MasonJarGuzzi @Ogre11 @malkalack @Charaxes @eshspoyeofdoom @RoyalGhost_007 @StillWatersRunDeep @temporaryaccount @ISentinelPenguinI @Drew8521 @Orange @LickReborn @ZagHero

Good luck to you all ^-^

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Funny how you guys ranked the highly ranked entries with the lowest numbers.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Haha, I know xD

I can come up with a point system for this as well if you want, so that the highest ranking people have high points :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Also, before I forget again... @jep49 @Zulutrader @MinnieKing

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
just thought I'd point out that on the main forums page I continually read the title of these threads as "Writing Prompts: Weeeee!!!" like a squeal of joy for the writing prompts.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Well, I don't know about you, but I am pretty happy whenever I read the stories you guys write. 

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

I'm gonna post something, gimme a few (insert period of time here)'s to write.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Hmm...you might want to take longer this time. Perhaps proofread it after you're done, form a more..intricate plot, think of your character's traits, etc. 

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

True. I wrote my last one in five minutes xD

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Exactly. You really are very, very creative, and if you spent a bit more time on your stories instead of rushing through them...they would be extremely good :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Dang it, I'm still working on last week's picture. Still trying to get a feel for it. Maybe I'll take a look at this week's... what the heck is THAT? :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

It is art. Very beautiful art xD

Also, if you think of a story to build around the picture, there's also the quote and the plot idea to build a story around :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Hmmm... are there bonus points if I use all three in one story?

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Well, I would be impressed XD But it would still depend on the story quality. If you manage to blend all of these together, it would certainly be creative! One of the things I consider when judging the stories :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Really liked your story, Orange, good job! Both you and Jep had really good entries. \(^-^)/

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Yup. Very, very impressive entries from you two :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Thank you! I also thought Jep's was really good!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Thanks, I tried to do my best. 

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

I'm satisfied I guess because it's one of my first literary pieces, regardless what can I improve upon?

Forgot to say, congrats to the winners

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 2/2/2017 2:49:19 PM

Hope this helps :)

 

-"This door won't budge will it," Stan asked.
(Need a comma after budge, a question mark would be nice, too.)

-”Guess not," I replied.  "Maybe this will help." I stated, just before kicking down the door.
(A comma after help would be better.)

-The door flew down. 
(Flew down? Flying is more something ascending or going vertically. Crashed down would be more appropriate. Have to pick your words in a way that will craft the right mental image.)

-“This house had been on the market for the past 10 years, and was being held by the city bank. 
(I kind of hate it when people use the digits instead of just spelling out the number in the narrative, it looks weird. Just a nitpick though.) 

-It's age on the market was probably because of the fact the house hadn't been cleaned by the owners since they bought it.
(Its, not it’s. It's means It is, and Its is possessive.)

-When we first entered, it didn't seem to bad.
(Too, not to. To is a preposition and used in instances such as "I moved to the house on Elderberry Street", while too is an adverb, that can be used with a similar meaning to "also" and "very")

-Most of the original framework and furniture was still present and intact. A few fancy paintings and mounted heads lined the walls as well. (Underlined bit is unnecessary and awkward.)

-Making our way through the house (comma needed) we began to see problems. Small cracks littered the floor, (comma not needed here) and there was a massive water stain in the living room. Then again, there was a fully functional television in the den, and amazingly enough (comma here) running water. 

-The wind whistled through the house, sending a slight chill down a spine. 
(... The fuck? It sent” a chill down A spine”? What, am I supposed to fucking guess whose? xD For all I know, it's someone’s great aunt Gertrude we’re talking about here.)

-We split off (split up, actually) 

-"Hey, that's on you (comma here)Harry."

I squinted past the stares into a field of boxes. The basement was lit with Christmas lights. The wallpaper was peeling off the walls, revealing a wooden log textile. (Wooden log, huh? As opposed to what?) 


-There he lay. (The sentence before this note should be connected to the one after) On the couch, arms and legs splayed all over. 

-Stan and I stared at him with empty eyes, and jaws open. (Empty eyes? Wide, shocked, surprised, confused, those all make sense. Empty eyes is a lack of emotion. Stoicism. That is not what this is.) 

(Not too bad, but obviously needs a little polish.)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

This idea has been scrapped and i'm dropping out.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

I'd like some criticism. Thank you.

EDIT: Also, dang it's going to be hard to choose between prompt one and two. Maybe I'll do both seperately.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Damn, I can't believe I lost out to an orange. 

Just kidding, I liked your story. I just need to go above and beyond with this one. 

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Orange you glad you didn't lose to an apple? HAHAHAHAHAhahaha...hahahah...ha...ha... I think I'm funny.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

That was low...

Orange, you should "citrus" one out.

I'm on fire today!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
you sound like hillary

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

I genuinely am laughing my ass off

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

How about you pokemon go jump off a cliff

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

That was lame

Nobody should Staryu as a comedian

*Claps sarcastically*

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Could I get some constructive criticism to improve my writing?

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
yeah

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Oh! I missed this >~<

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

A pen. A pen is a simple thing, for it holds mighty power in its own right. With it, great men wrote great proclamations that shook the foundations of society or signed away all that was to become all that will be. Artist created with a pen, a simple vessel of ink that flowed against a page to create stunning works of unimaginable scale, detail, and scope. It was the wand in which the real magic of the world was built!

“This is why everyone thinks I’m such a nerd… thinking about the wonders of a pen!” I muttered to yourself, walked through the nondescript school supply aisle in my local Walmart, and examining each pen with a calculating eye of a renown pen connoisseur… At least I thought I was, if pen connoisseurs existed. Running my hands across the many pens before me, from ballpoint to rollerball, with childish glee, before darting my eyes across the aisle to see if anyone was watching my strange ritual.

Finally, I overcame my unusually stubborn indecisiveness and settled for a small package of gel pens. They were beautiful really, their simplicity and ergonomic design screamed perfection, a perfection you could not deny! With newfound excitement, I rushed to the checkout and very nearly threw my money at the cashier. Not waiting for the receipt, I made a mad dash to my car and began speeding home. With my home insight, I couldn’t contain yourself… then the telltale sirens and lights exploded into my rear view mirror.

Letting out a defeated sigh, I pulled over, my house only two more blocks ahead. I looked in longing as the officer approached with sluggish confidence. With his hands in his belt and stereotypical aviators obscuring his eyes, he leaned down to my window and gave the oh so standard question, “Sir, do you know why I pulled you over today?” A bit of sarcasm seeping into his smug tone.

“No sir, I can’t say I do.” I gave my bland response, a innocent smile on my face.

The officers cockiness slid away when he spoke next, “Sir you were going 60… in a 30 zone. I’m going to have to ask for your license and registration.” He said as I pulled it out and he snatched it out of my hand.

Minutes ticked by as the officer sat in his car, his lights flashing in my rear view mirror, mocking me. Idly I began taping my fingers on my steering wheel as I thought of my perfect little pens, sitting in a plastic bag in the passenger seat. Every now and then I glanced at my side, at those perfect little pens. They screamed for me to open them! But this dreadful officers ate away at those precious minutes that I could be writing.

Nearly jumping out of my seat, the officer jolted me from my thought as he shoved the ticket in my face, “I had to write you a ticket today sir. Next time, watch the speed limit signs.” He said before swaggering back to his squad car.

Reading the ticket, I stared at the amount and let out an exasperated grumble. 169 dollars, just what I needed to ruin this day. I thought as I pulled into my drive way and dashed into my house and onto my desk’s small chair. Throwing the ticket and my small package of pens onto the desk, I threw open my journal and tore into the plastic keeping me from my glorious pens! Feeling each one with silent glee, I made little doodles using each pen to see which would be the one I used, the extension of my imagination.

With each one tested and carefully examined, my pen was chosen. It may not look any different from the three other pens that came with it, but this pen gave me a feeling that the others could not. Beginning with anger, I tore into my journal…

Today was supposed to be perfect! Today was the day I was to get my perfect pen, and I did. But it was ruined by a dreadful officer who wrote me a ticket! A god forsaken ticket! I wish I could just will the ticket away. I wish I never got that damned ticket…

As soon as I wrote that last sentence, I heard the sound of paper crumbling… then again. Looking up to find what had disturbed my near religious practice, I watched in utter awe as the ticket I had received slow crumbled into a smaller and small ball, until it was squished into nothingness. Wide eyed, I ran my hand over the the place it had just been, it was right here! Slowly, my eyes drifted to that final sentence that I had written… Could it be? No! It was impossible, but I had to satiate my curiosity…

A 100 dollar bill appeared on my desk…

Once again, I was greeted by the crinkle of paper as a small green ball appeared on my desk and slowly grew bigger and bigger, then it slowly un crumbled into a pristine bill. Astounded, I snatched it up and held it to the light… It was real! This pen wasn’t just a pen! It was the pen, the perfect pen, the all powerful pen! I couldn’t let this go to waste…

This pen has an unlimited supply of ink…

This time I wasn’t greeted by any noticeable indication that I worked, but I trusted my pen to the unthinkable. An idea slowly began to roll around my mind as I thought of all the possibilities! Writing away my hunger, my thirst, my fatigue, and my need for the restroom, I began to write, no to create, the greatest thing I could possibly create.

For days and nights, I wrote and I wrote as the world around me warped and changed in impossible way. The cities changed to mighty castes, only possible in the realms of fantasy and birds became mighty dragons. In sheer awe, I walked around the tangible world I had written into existence before sitting under the shade of a tree and wrote once again. Again, the world warp as the castles became continent sprawling cities of fly cars and untold technological advancement. I travelled faster than light as I explored the galaxy that would have never within my reach without this pen.

Again, I wrote and I wrote as I created countless fantasies, might heroes, dreadful villains, and even untold nightmares. I everything that could be written, I wrote. I became a god, a king, a knight, a cyborg, and a dragon. I saved, I killed, I married, I hated, I cried, and I laughed. Time became inconsequential as I rode the waves of my imagination, through worlds of untold creation. Until, finally, I sat in a blank white room with my precious pen in my grasp. Running my eyes over its simple, ergonomic form without a thought. I had thought all that I could write and I had written all that I could think, now I sit thoughtless with a useless pen meant for unending use.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Edit Lock

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

You should have out which prompt you chose even though it was quite obvious.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Shoot! I meant to do that! My excitement to post it got the better of me...

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

It happens to the best of us.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Clear, because it happened to me!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Prompt #1

I'm not too sure if pudding counts as a common, everyday object, but here we are nonetheless.

-  -  -  -  -  -  -

The clouds crowded the skies, like a shroud of thick cotton. Drops of rain pattered on the many roofs in the lands of Cystia.

Chris was sitting on the couch, reading some comics on his phone. Tim was in the kitchen, looking for something to eat. Tim bent over, rifling through the various foodstuffs. A small plain package caught his eye. The small plastic cup was covered in a simple film at the top, protecting it's contents. Tim snatched the small cup, and closed the fridge door. Setting the cup down on the table, he took a seat. Tim slapped his head, as he realized he forgot a spoon. He didn't really know what was in the plastic cup, but surely, it was some sort of paste like pudding or applesauce. In fact, he didn't notice any standard markings on the small cup. There was no brand, logo, trademark or expiration date. It was completely bare. A simple white and small cup with a film of plastic on the top.

Tim retrieved a suitable spoon from one of the drawers and shrugged off the peculiar thoughts. It couldn't be that bad. Tim sat down swiftly and removed the film, ready to dig in. In that exact moment, the contents of the cup began to tremble, gurgling as if in an attempt to speak to the masked fool.

"Hey uh, Chris-" Tim looked over to his friend.

Silas Schock, Tim and Chris' next door neighbor, cosmic guardian, and resident Penguinite, burst through their door, ripping it off of its hinges. He gripped a sizable steel spork in his hand. "Tim, back away from the pudding and get out of here." Silas spoke evenly and firmly. Tim hesitated, and joined Chris on the couch. Silas raised the spork, and the pudding cup trembled, clearly afraid of the utensil.

Tim was very confused. "What's going on, Silas?"

"Don't talk to me, dang it! I'm trying to defea-" The pudding leaped out of its cup, onto the ceiling. The pink ooze slithered along, heading for the door. Silas cursed and threw the spork at the door frame, lodging it into the painted wood. "This is strawberry pudding! It is a manifestation of evil, with a great weakness to sporks!" Silas didn't really have time to explain. "Just get out of here while you still can!"

Chris frowned, his face contorting into an expression of fear and confusion. "You can take care of this, right? I lost my favorite gun in that last full-kingdom blackout." 

"Bullets will do nothing! The righteous power of the spork is the only viable weapon for these sorts of things!" The strawberry pudding dropped from the ceiling in an attempt to land on Silas. The pious Penguinite protector dodged the evil ooze and leaped to retrieve his spork.

"How did this even get into our house!" Chris ran his chubby fingers through his wavy blonde hair, and sighed.

Tim furrowed his brow underneath his mask, "To think I was going to eat that stuff..." Tim trailed off, taking a single step back towards the couch and away from the pudding.

Silas ripped the spork from the door frame and spun it between his fingers. "Thank the mods you didn't. You would have been consumed from the inside, or used as a flesh puppet to further the dark agenda of evil." He leered at the pudding, while it jiggled mischievously. Roaring with righteous anger, Silas charged at the strawberry pudding, slamming his weapon into the soft pink ooze.

The pudding gurgled, boiling and eventually burning into a small mound of charred dairy product. Silas wiped his brow, and turned to Tim and Chris who had ended up hiding behind the sofa. "Where did you find this?"

Tim vaulted over the couch, and looked Silas in the eye. Tim rubbed the back of his head, "I found it in our fridge. The container had no markings to show where it came from. I didn't even know what was inside at first."

Chris looked up at Tim with a face of disbelief and complete confusion, "You were going to eat something with no idea where it came from or what it was?"

Tim shrugged.

Silas inspected the plastic pudding cup closely. "I suspect Ford has something to do with this. But then again, I always suspect Ford has something to do with a lot of things. Wait for a moment." Silas raised a finger and exited the two friends' apartment and quickly entered hid own. He returned with a gallon of gasoline and poured it all over the fridge, ceiling, table and floor wherever the pudding was. In a swift motion, Silas lit a match and tossed it onto the trails of gasoline. Naturally, the combustible liquid burst into flames.

Tim and rushed to stomp out the fire, while Chris filled up a bucket of water from the tub. Seeing as the strawberry pudding was vanquished, and the cleansing complete, Silas left with wave, running out into the rain-slicked streets.

"Who's going to clean all this?" Chris cried, looking at their scorched ceiling, floor, table, fridge, and unhinged door.

Tim shrugged.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Edit lock, my dudes.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Pudding propaganda is unfavorable :P

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Haha! Is this my reward (or punishment)?

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Propaganda!? PFF! That was exactly how it happened! That was only the true truth!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

I know, right? The pudding lost! How is it pudding propaganda if the pudding loses?

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Since when? This is not how you win writing challenges! :P

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

It was a painstakingly accurate historical fiction. Propaganda glosses over the gritty details and paints a completely biased picture, but Zag wasn't afraid to paint both sides of the Spork-Pudding conflict exactly as they truly are.

I'll admit that the story would've been stronger as a standalone piece if he took more creative liberties with the facts, but as it stands, this was a tasteful and starkly factual portrayal of an actual event, and I've gotta hand it to him, is probably one of the better bits of the Tim and Chris Roommate Saga. It felt like I was actually there!... Well, I was, but now I remember it again.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

You all are a bunch of lactose-intolerant, delusional troublemakers!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Minus the lactose intolerant part, all of that is very true about me!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

It's all true for me.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

What's the target word limit?

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

There's none. :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Are we sure there's no word cap? I started based on one of your prompts and it's rather... grown on me, as well as on the page.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

There is no word limit for the prompts. However, if it's very long(as in 5 pages or more), it may be a good idea to put it on Google Docs and link it on the thread; otherwise, I may have trouble loading this thread.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
I managed to write something for the third prompt. It is written in the style of a storygame page, but it is not from a story I'm working on. Any criticism is welcome.
Word count: 754

You awaken in a small jail cell. Looking at yourself, you see that your weapons have been taken from you and your hands are now tied behind your back. Your body hurts all over, as if someone had driven a carriage over it. Groaning you try to stand up, but your legs fail you and you collapse back to the ground. You must have taken quite a beating from the guards if you are so weak. Pulling at the chains does nothing, so you decide to just lie there for a bit, gaining some energy back before escaping.
You lie on the cold and damp ground for a few minutes, the silence only being broken by your breathing and the quiet dripping of water. But then you start to hear quiet footsteps, coming closer and closer. Managing to regain some strength, you pull yourself in a sitting position, hoping that whoever it is brought some food with them. When you see who it is, however, you lose that hope, the only food today will be you.
Nobody actually knows her name, so most just call her the vampire of Yantar. Yantar is the city you were born in and she is it's current ruler, after the previous one was killed by a stake to the heart. The killer was your grandfather, Tomaz Kent. If he saw you right now, he wouldn't be pleased at your pathetic attempt to continue the legacy.
You look up at her face. With the confident smirk showing on it, it looks so perfectly punchable, you almost want to just punch the bars to get to her. You think you can see her fangs shine in the light of the candle that she's holding when she opens her mouth and says, "Hello there, the newest hero of Yantar! Having fun?"
You reply with the first thing that comes to mind, "Do you think if I punched you hard enough, I could break your fangs?"
"I doubt it," she replies with clear amusement, "you are to frail for that. Even if you could, they would grow back. But of course, where are my manners! What's your name, kid?"
"Alder. And I'm not a kid!"
"Alder Kent? I didn't think one of the Kent's family could fail so badly. What made you think storming the castle with nothing but a stake and some holy water in the middle of the day was a good idea? You thought that nobody would be there to guard me while I sleep?"
You should have given her a long speech about freedom and how good always wins against evil. You should have told her that vampires are not welcome here and that nobody will rule over Yantar. There are so many things you should have said, but all you say is, "It seemed like a good idea yesterday."
"That's the best excuse I've ever herd," she says and tries not to laugh. "I'll go and fetch you something to eat. We wouldn't want the hero of Yantar to be starving, would we?"
You don't have to wait long. She returns about 10 minutes later with a glass of water, some dried meat and a peace of bread and pushes the plate to you through the bars. You dig into it eagerly, after all you really are hungry. As you are eating, she speaks, "I have a proposition of you. You want to kill me, yes? I'm giving you one more chance to do that. I'll give you a weapon, a silver sword. We will fight in the city square and everyone will have to watch. If you win, then you become the ruler of Yantar. How does that sound?"
"Why?" you ask, unsure of her intentions.
"I am bored. Besides if I win, killing you in front of everyone will destroy the morale. You weren't the only one that tried to kill me, you know? That way I'll have a break," she replies, but by her smile you can guess that she's got something else in mind as well. "Of course, you can just rot in this jail and wait for me to kill you, too."
You consider your options. She seems confident and will maybe underestimate you, allowing you to kill her. But you heard of her fighting fame, she doesn't seem that stupid. If you die, you'll take all the hope with you, and the people are already hopeless as it is. But is waiting in jail really so much better? Escape seems unlikely.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
I am stupid and forgot it before, so here. Edit lock.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 2/2/2017 2:49:56 PM

Alright, I'm a novice at literary critique in general, so please bear with me and my style. I'll try and provide an alternate treatment of your work, to help you consider different possible structures that could diversify your writing. I will not be as focused on the grammar per se as with flow, tone, and consistency.

I'll only be looking at the first two paragraphs to give you an idea of how you can improve on your work, and if you agree with the suggestions, feel free to rework your larger piece, and I'll happily critique that in turn.

General feedback

You can add more descriptors to make the story more believable. A silence can be eerie, chains can feel cold, you could remind the reader of the character's pain as they grimace when they try to move. 

You offer a lot of content as simple, for granted, obvious. You need to mould the words to mould the reader's mind, give them content which hides something between the lines.

Try and imagine what the character would feel. A person in pain would feel the pain immediately, so it makes sense to describe that ahead of talking about missing weapons, for example. In this situation, the character would not have a good grasp of time, so saying a person returned after 10 minutes is not thematically consistent.

Check for the right places to use commas.

Alternate paragraphs:

You eyes open, and slowly adjust to the darkness of your surroundings. As you try to move, you experience splitting pain, your body hurts all over, as if someone had driven a carriage over you. Your eyes focus on iron bars in front of your face. There's no mistaking it, you're in a jail cell. You take stock of the situation, grimacing from the pain that refuses to die down. Your arms feel weird, as you try to move them you realize that your hands are bound, and from the cold feel near your wrists you can imagine you're chained to the wall. Further inspection reveals you've been stripped of your weapons.

Groaning, you try to stand up, but your legs fail you and you collapse back to the ground with a thud. You must have taken quite a beating from the guards to be this weak. Tugging at your chains does nothing, so you decide to just lie there for a bit, gaining some energy back before escaping. 

 

That said, the piece looks interesting, and I'd look forward to seeing your revised version if you choose to do so

Cheers, StrykerL

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Thank you for your reply, it helped a lot. I will probably revise the writing sometime tomorrow.
I have one more question, if you wouldn't mind. How do you feel about the dialog? Now when I read through it again, some of it perhaps seems to unrealistic. Thoughts?

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 2/2/2017 2:50:15 PM

First half seemed a bit unrealistic. There are six ways to improve your dialogue that I can offer

  1. Read your statements aloud, see whether the words sound natural or not
  2. Listen to thematic music, it often puts you in the mindset of the scene, and can help you form more appropriate words
  3. Re-read good stories in the genre, and see how they managed conversations. Alternately, re-watch relevant parts of movies/tv shows for scenes which resemble yours, that should help assuming what you're reading/watching is well crafted itself (no fan-fics or the like)
  4. I'm not sure how viable this is, but just listen to people talking - while everyone has their own style, it is natural voice. If you can, ask them to roleplay the situation you're in
  5. Invert your frame of mind. If you've been mentally in the frame of the victim, imagine yourself as the oppressor now. What words would you as an oppressor use? Were they the same as you used earlier?
  6. Collect all your dialog by character (e.g. all by the victim, all by the vampire), and see if it sounds like it's coming from the same person. If it all seems to be blending together then you need to add more personality to the characters.

Hope that helped,

Cheers, StrykerL

P.S. there were a number of spelling mistakes in your first work, you may want to do a second pass to find those as well

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 2/4/2017 4:11:07 PM
Here is the revised version that I promised, even if one day late. I threw the old dialog in the trash, completely changed personalities of boath characters and removed some things from the old one, like the vampire's history. This is ment to be a single page from a story and by that point the reader should already know the details. I hope it is better now.
Word count: 853

A particularly agonizing pang of pain brings you out of your sleep. Instinctively you try to cover your head with your hands, but find you are unable to do that; there is something cold, most likely a chain around them preventing movement, so all you can do is take a few deep breaths and try to stay calm as you wait for it to pass somewhat. It does not help much and you have to bite your lip to the point of drawing blood.
As it passes you become aware of more pain, this time in the rest of your body. It feels as though someone had driven a carriage over you. You can remember that you were beaten up by the guards, but you just woke up and the details are still blurry. realizing you'll get nowhere if you continue to cry over a headache you try to focus and open your eyes.
As your eyes slowly adjust to the darkness you look over yourself first. You don't spot any major injuries, but at least one of your ribs must be broken. Your weapons are nowhere in sight. Looking around, you don't see much of interest besides something that looks like iron bars on your left. You are in a jail cell, no doubt about that.
Deciding escaping is of most importance right now you groan and try to stand up, but halfway up your legs fail you and you collapse back to the ground with a thud. Tugging at your chains does nothing as well, so you decide to close your eyes and just lie there for a bit, gaining some energy back before escaping.
The pain subsides slightly, allowing you to think clearly. You remember how you sneaked in the castle yesterday, armed with holy water, garlic and a wooden stake. Your plan was, now that you think of it, risky and stupid. While vampires do sleep in the day, you should have known that this one would be well guarded. It is hard to fight humans with a stake.
you are snapped out of your thoughts by the quiet sound of footsteps coming your way. As much as you tell yourself to be brave like your grandfather was, you can't help but be nervous, because you know what happens to those that don't obey the rules. You would rather not be bloodless. And as the person comes in your view, carrying a torch in one hand, you think this must be your end.
You can feel her judging gaze as she looks at you, the dark blue eyes look like they can read your mind. Finally she asks, "What's your name?" Her voice is quiet and calm, with a tone of boredom to it. When you fail to answer, she repeats again, this time louder, "Name."
"Alder Kent," you finally manage to say.
"Are you related to Tomaz Kent?" she asks.
"Yes, he was my grandfather," you answer.
"What's your reason for sneaking in the castle?"
"You killed my friend for something he wasn't guilty of and my sister is imprisoned here as well."
"And here I thought you just wanted to continue the legacy," she says. She seems to be thinking for some time, but finally continues, "Do you still want me dead?"
"Yes," you answer.
"Then I'm giving you another chance to do so. You will be given a silver sword, so you'll have an advantage. We will fight in the city square and everyone will watch. If you kill me, then you and everyone else will be free to go. You'll become the ruler of Yantar," she says. She seems to be smiling, like she has a plan.
"Why?" you ask, unsure of her motives.
"I am bored, haven't had a good fight in a while. Besides if you die, that will destroy the morale. You aren't the only one that tried to kill me," she answers. Before you can ask anything else, she continues with, "Of course, you can always just refuse and rot in this jail instead, but why to pass up such a opportunity? I will come here again next night, think it over well." And with those words she turns around and leaves.
You consider your options. While a chance to kill her once and for all is tempting, you doubt it will be that easy. You haven't seen her fight, but from the stories that you herd, she is fast, strong, good at dodging, skilled with a dagger. You did train with a sword, but you are far from skilled with it. If you die, you'll take your citie's hope with it, and Yantar is already hopeless as it is.
But is just waiting in jail really better? Unless you manage to trick the guards somehow, you doubt you could escape. But maybe you could lie and say that you want to fight and escape when they least expect you to?
What have you gotten yourself into? All because you let your emotions get in the way of your logic. "It seemed like a good idea yesterday," you say to yourself.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 2/4/2017 4:10:48 PM

Delightful! While there are still a few prominent spelling mistakes, this work is a major improvement from where you started. 

The dialogue feels much more natural, you've done well to improve there, though there's still scope to improve. Pacing is far better, and the tone suits the theme.

You've added details that add context, another notable improvement. Now you're on the other side of the fence, learning about brevity and conciseness. Use as few words as you can to set the tone, while still setting the tone. It's a fine balancing act, but a worthwhile one. Don't expect this to happen overnight, it's more of writer's sense than any hard rule

You'll want to read some more literature in the genre, you're doing well with the denotation of words, but you can choose words with better suited connotations.

 

//Specific feedback:

'A particularly agonizing pang of pain brings you out of your sleep.' > How about 'jolts' instead of 'brings'? Jolts would better convey the sharpness of the pain, while brings connotes a more gentle waking up.

Think a bit more from the perspective of the character. Instead of 'but find you are unable to', try 'but are alarmed to find your arms are locked'

Prefer full stops over semi-colons in most cases, the second line runs on for quite a while. The problem with long sentences is similar to trying to put too much food on your plate, it becomes hard to carry and things slip your reader's mind/plate.

'It does not help much and you have to bite your lip to the point of drawing blood. ' This one's great, good imagery.

Tenses: 'It feels as though someone had driven a carriage over you.' try instead 'It feels as if you were run over by a carriage'

" iron bars on your left. You are in a jail cell, there's no doubt about that. " how about mention smells as well? It'd use more senses and engage the reader more.

"gaining some energy back before escaping." You're jumping a little bit, you've just woken up and haven't indicated you plan to escape, saying that you need to gain some energy before escaping is breaking the chain of thought.

"The pain subsides slightly, allowing you to think clearly." How about "Slowly, the pain subsides, allowing you to think more clearly"

sneaked in  > sneaked in to

It is hard to fight humans with a stake.  ? Didn't understand this one, did you mean to say it's hard to fight vampires with a stake? This line confused me.

 quiet sound of footsteps  > I think you were looking for 'faint sound' not quiet

As much as you tell yourself to be brave like your grandfather was, you can't help but be nervous, because you know what happens to those that don't obey the rules. > Another nice, descriptive line which also establishes that the grandfather was important. I liked it :)

You would rather not be bloodless.  > didn't understand this one, did you mean to say 'You're afraid of being turned into a vampire'?

 the dark blue eyes > should be 'her dark blue eyes'

Finally she asks > you haven't set up how long it's been since she's arrived, perhaps a mention that 'she looked at you for what felt like minutes' before you use 'finally'

"Are you related to Tomaz Kent?" she asks.  > A little bit too sterile, how about adding 'Kent, by any chance?'

"Yes, he was my grandfather," you answer.  > you can describe if the character's emotions change a bit after saying this, as you are recalling a strong memory

"You killed my friend for something he wasn't guilty of and my sister is imprisoned here as well."  > Same, too sterile, consider relooking this one.

"Do you still want me dead?"  consider adding 'she says in a nonchalant/playful tone' to build her character a bit more

"You will be given a silver sword, so you'll have an advantage." how about "I'll even provide you a silver sword, to give you a sporting chance"

 everyone else  > everyone else in my dungeons

 destroy the morale > of the resistance / people who try to attack me.

why to pass up > why pass up

 I will come here again next night, think it over well." > I'll return tomorrow night, you have till then to think it over well

 that you herd, > heard

dodging, skilled > dodging, and skilled

citie's hope > city's hopes

is already hopeless > is already in despair 

"It seemed like a good idea yesterday," you say to yourself. > I like the ending, adds a twinge of personality through regret

//Feedback over

While there are areas to improve, this is a much more enjoyable read on the whole, don't let the edit's I've suggested make you think otherwise. I'll recommend a bit more practice in the Writing Workshop and the Creative Corner, before you start a full time story.I salute your spirit of self improvement, and look forward to seeing more good work from you, Mayana.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
I have to thank you for the millionth time now, the feedback is really detailed and it's quite clear what I need to get better at now. I probably won't have much time in the next few days, but I will still fix the mistakes as soon as I can. Seeing as you didn't understand a few of the lines, it would be best if I explained those first.
"It is hard to fight humans with a stake.": Aldir expected to sneak into the castle unnoticed, find the vampire as she was sleeping and drive a stake through her heart. Besides that stake, he didn't bring any other good weapons. I think you can see how smart that plan was.
"You would rather not be bloodless.": He didn't fancy the idea of having his blood drained from his body. I guess just putting it as "You don't want to die" would be simpler and more understandable.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Alright, then try:

"It's hard to fight humans vampires with JUST a stake, I should have been better prepared" (You try to punch yourself in the head to admonish yourself, but fail when you feel the familiar tug of your chains)

For bloodless > I thought that was what it meant, in which case you aren't emphasizing it enough. 'Rather not be' is a light feeling, compared to say "Your worst fear, being turned bloodless, flashes before your eyes"

All the best!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Thank you, but I dislike your improvement for the second sentence. It does sound better, that I can agree on, but it sounds even more similar to what you first thought it meant, "You're afraid of being turned into a vampire.'. That's because when someone becomes a vampire, "turn" is often the verb that is used. I think it's best if I just replace that sentence with something else altogether.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

It's your story, shape it as you will :)

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

I'm totally doing this but just as a warning, you might think I'm a bit crazy in the head after this.

 

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Prompt #3

***

Stephen was your ordinary man. He breathed oxygen, walked, talked and even blinked every ten seconds. He was just like everybody else in the world, uninteresting to the masses and nothing but another small creation in the universe.

Which is exactly why Stephen is directly 500 feet above a active volcano, with nothing on except a lion cloth and an umbrella on a helicopter driven by a monkey.

"WHY AM I DOING THIS AGAIN!?!" Stephen shouted at the top of his lungs toward his completely sane friend, Daryl. Daryl looks at Stephen likes he's out of his mind then responds while holding a video camera. "Because we're recording a sweet action scene! This is going to make us famous!"

"BUT I'LL BE DEAD!!"

"Most people become famous after they die, don't you know that? Hey, you said it was a good idea."

"IT SEEMED LIKE A GOOD IDEA YESTERDAY, BUT I DIDN'T ACTUALLY THINK WE DO IT!!" Daryl shakes his head while he smirks. He turns on the camera then puts a thumbs up. "Ready when you are!"

Stephen stands there, his eyes quivering and head sweating with apprehension. Suddenly, instead of standing, he's now completely airborne as he is pushed off by Daryl. "OOPS."

"DARYL!!!!!" Stephen screams until his throat goes raspy as he plummets toward death's domain. Stephen starts to spin as he reaches speeds of "NO! NO! NO!" and is slowly losing his mind. The volcano below him rumbles with ferocity as it starts to fume smoke and ash.

Stephen quickly opens his umbrella to save himself, but the air instantly tears it apart as Stephen plummets toward the fury of the planet. "OH COME ON!" As he falls, he looks at the actual umbrella to see that on the price tag, it says "On clearance".

"I hate Daryl on so many levels right now." Suddenly Stephen hears whizzing as the monkey helicopter starts homing in on him and flying toward him. "DARYL, YOU CAME BACK FOR ME!"

"No I didn't, I'm just trying to get a good angle. Also this isn't dangerous enough, so let's put my purchases to use."

Stephen curses Daryl with a scream that echoes across the side of the volcano but then realizes what insane man had in mind for him. A drone comes out of the helicopter and flies very close toward Stephen, enough to graze his face. Then a hissing sound is heard as pepper spray is shot into Stephen's eyes. "AAAAHHHH!!!!"

"This is perfect! Keep going!" As Stephen tries to wipe his burning sockets, he hears the volcano roar. "Hey I think it's erupting!"

I think I'm done with trying. The volcano explodes with enormous strength, as lava spews out like a soda can that someone accidentally shook then opened. Then, if things couldn't get any worse, a F-22 starts zooming by, its engine destroying Stephen's eardrums. It starts to fire at Stephen with its machine gun as it perform aerial maneuvers and dives across the gray ashes.

Stephen tries to scream but it comes out as a quiet whimper. "Time for the grand finale!" Daryl grabs his phone then dials a number. Daryl smiles as he talks then hangs up. He lets out a hearty laugh as he stares at Stephen's misfortune.

Please no more... Then in the distance, Stephen spots a massive B-17, its shine forever haunting his last thoughts. As the B-17 approaches, it flies above Stephen, seemingly missing but then drops 100 pounds of bees, honey combs and beehives. Most of the bees miss Stephen and go straight into their fiery demise but the ones that hit Stephen, definitely don't like it at all.

Stephen's eyes water as he tumbles down, cursing Daryl for being so deranged. His skin is pelted with the vexation of the swarm and Stephen starts to swell until he looks like a lumpy mushroom patch. Then as one last "HURRAH!", As Stephen meets the burning rock, and screams his last breath, the F-22 circles around then fires two missiles toward Stephen, racing across air like it was smooth as ice. The explosion devastates Stephen and sends him into another realm as his body is no longer identifiable.

Daryl laughs hysterically as the helicopter flies away, escaping the now sinned volcano...

Until the monkey starts to yell and smack random controls, crashing the helicopter into the side of the volcano, turning the vehicle into roasted scrap. Daryl screams into the sky, his words forever haunting the area.

"MY VIDE-"

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Oh yea, edit lock down, I repeat this is not a drill!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Sorry if this isn't as good as I thought it would be :(

I choose prompt 1

"For the last time, I do not want free samples of 'My Little Pony' collectible figures." I groan as I get rid of all the junk mail on my phone. Ads are so annoying. I just wish they would go away.

"Oh my god... that is the fifth piece of junk mail in the last hour!" I say, about to lose my sanity. It might seem weird that i'm making such a big deal out of something as small as this, but I feel like some sort of magnet. Every single day I get about fifty emails asking me to buy shit I don't want.

I put my phone down. If I don't take a break i'll throw it at the wall, and I don't really feel like buying another one. I stand up and look at myself, disgusted. I haven't gotten off the couch all morning, and now I smell like garbage, mixed with garbage, with garbage toppings.

I quickly go through my average morning activities. Comb hair, brush teeth, shower, get dressed, and then lay back down on my couch. I hear a 'ding' on my phone, so I glance over. The screen reads: "You have 34 unread emails." I grab my phone, open my window, and i'm literally about to chuck it out of my apartment until suddenly...

"Don't do it." someone says. My eyes widen. I know i'm alone in the apartment. I slowly look up at my phone to see a face on the screen. It's not a human face, but more like a scribbly flipnote animation a ten year old would make. "I can help you." it says. I scream. "HOLY SHIT MY PHONE IS HAUNTED CALL THE POLICE CALL THE GHOSTBUSTERS HOLY-" I feel a weak spark numb my hand, but not for more then half a second, as my hand is now numb.

I drop my phone on the shag carpet. The face looks at me. "I can help you get rid of all your junk mail." it says. I look back at the face, half scared, half confused, and completely weirded out. "All you need to do is free me." it says. I have a lot of questions for my haunted phone. I pick it up and put it on the table and start asking questions.

"How are you talking?"
"I'm magic."
"How did you become magic?"
"I wanted to become magic."
"How long have you been magic?"
"Since I became magic."

The conversation went on like this for a few minutes. I finally ask the question i've been wanting to ask this whole time. "What do you mean, free you?" I ask my phone. A grin forms on its face.

"Just plug me in and let me charge to exactly 91 percent. Then unplug me and do a silly dance." I have no clue why i'm listening to a talking chunk of metal with a face, but I quickly plug my charger into the wall. I then plug the other end into my phone and wait for it to charge to 91 percent. It takes about half an hour, but when it's finally time, I unplug it and do a silly dance.

The phone smiles "Perfect. Now gimme a few minutes, and those companies won't be 'ad-ing' anymore ads to your mail."

"Oh my god! Look, last night I played three hours of OverTale, and that was enough puns for me! Seriously, leave the puns to Frans the zombie!"

"Fine." my phone says as it turns off. I wait around for a few seconds, until a powerful spark comes out of my phone and zaps me. It shocks me really intensely, and everything goes dark.

...
...
...

I wake up in a strange pool full of... candy? There are red ones, striped ones, gummy fish... wait a second... this looks an awful lot like candy crush. There's a large glass screen above me, and it keeps swiping the candies, scrambling them to make matches of three or more. I watch, until it swipes ME into two red candies and I explode. It hurts really badly. This must be what the candies feel when I make a match in candy crush.

Before I know it, i'm back in my apartment. My phone is about the size of a mountain goat. It has wires coming out of it, acting as tentacles which it's using to suck all the electricity out of my apartment. Wonder how THAT happened.

"What the fuck?! We had a deal!"
"We still do! I need the electricity to erase junk mail from the system FOREVER!"
"Hurry up, before you zap me into something worse then candy crush!"

My phone finally shrinks (somehow), and dings. "Goodbye." it whispers before turning off. I turn it back on, only to find that the face is gone. I look around in my apps for the little guy, and eventually find him in Firefox. He looks at me, then tells me:

"Check your mail."

I do so. The junk mail is all gone, and I haven't received any in the last hour. I go back to Firefox, but he's gone. I smile, knowing i'll never deal with shitty junk mail ever again, but i'm also sad. I felt a friendship with that little guy.

Mabye one day i'll see him again?

But for now, i'll just sit on my couch... and enjoy myself.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Edit Lock

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Prompt: All 3, plus one from last week. Why not?

“I still don’t believe this. A house?”

Bill answered, “Yes, a house. Why is that so hard to believe?”

As the car took another turn up the windy road, Joe responded, “Tell me again how this happened?”

Bill kept steering the car along the turns of the ill-kept road as he replied, “We were playing poker, you know? And the bets just went too high. The one guy, he was new at the table, but Tim knew him right? He was out of money and he asked if he could bet his house to call. We all thought he was kidding, the kitty was only around a thousand dollars, so we let him. It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

“But obviously he lost. And you won. And now you have a house. What are you going to do with a house?”

They both got quiet as the car turned another corner and the house came into view through the trees. The wheels of the car crunched the gravel as Bill slowed and the two looked at the house. It was a large house with old windows in a long line along the second story. The windows were covered with dust and cobwebs. The suspension on the car squeaked as Bill put on the brakes and brought the car to a stop.

The house was yellow, or at least it once was yellow. There were vines growing up the sides of the house, everywhere but over that line of windows on the second story. The first floor had no windows at all. Bill and Joe got out of the car wordlessly and walked around the side of the house. The house was narrow, much more narrow than a house should be, and the side facing the driveway was blank: no windows, no doors, just more vines. They moved around the house some more to the far side. There appeared to be an old concrete pathway through the tall grass towards the house. They followed the path and listened to the crickets chirping as they moved around the house.

On the opposite side was the door, propped open and slightly crooked in the doorway. Joe nervously laughed, “Well, at least we don’t have to worry about a key to get in.”

Bill replied, “I think that will be the least of our worries.”

“Look, if there is a dead body in that place I am out. You hear me? Out!”

Bill led the way as the two walked through the doorway, careful not to touch the old door. Dust rose from the ground with each footstep they took inside. The area inside was dim, but lit from a few dusty windows and the place was completely empty. There was no furniture, nothing on the walls, and nothing left on the ground. Bill whispered, “This is really strange. I’ve never seen a place so empty in my life.”

Joe stepped past him and looked at a door on the right side of the room. He said, “Hey, look at this door. It looks completely normal, but that doorknob is kind of funky, isn’t it?”

The doorknob was old and almost seemed to be giving off light. It looked to be made of old glass or crystal and there seemed to be a tiny spot of light in the center of it. Before Bill could react, Joe grabbed the doorknob and turned it. The door pulled towards them and behind the door was another world.

Right where the floor of the room ended, the next world started. The ground there was red and cratered as if it had been formed from massive bombardments from space. There looked to be some kind of liquid filling each of the holes, but there was a small section, wide enough to walk along, that led to the far side of the room. There the ground rose quickly in various levels and looked like melted wax had fallen from high above to flow over each curve and edge of the land. There appeared to be some sort of ceremony going on with a few strange, almost humanoid-like creatures facing a tall figure spotlit from a light source out of sight. The tall figure had an elongated alien head with long, curving antenna. The head contained rather large, red eyeballs that slowly turned and looked directly at Joe!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Here's an edit lock for those who need such things.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 2/6/2017 8:41:41 PM

I chose Prompt #3. Hope you enjoy. 

-------------------------------------------------------------

Crack. The sound of a gun discharging. Another man dead.

“Why did you do it, Joseph….why? Now we’re all going to be shot like dogs…”

Crack. A bit closer now. Every shot meant that another man in the line was killed- bringing the officer with the pistol ever closer to me.

“It seemed like a good idea yesterday. I was...we were all hungry, brother.” I mumbled numbly back to Moshe, who was at this point sobbing in terror and despair. I could smell the piss on him as he lost all control, soaking himself as he succumbed to his instincts.

A German soldier- a fat one, with small eyes and a squashed nose resembling a pig’s- guarding our group laughed as my brother wet his striped uniform. “Scared, Jew?” He sneered, glowering down at the sniveling, whimpering form that was Moshe.

Crack.

“You steal bread from the kitchen and you have the nerve to cry? You fucking Jew thief! You’re parasites, all of you!” Lifting his shiny black boot, he brought it down with all his pig-like strength down onto Moshe’s hand. I heard an audible crack as the bones in my brother’s hand were smashed to pieces. I let out a yelp of surprise that was drowned out by Moshe’s scream of agony as he clutched at his ruined hand.

The fat soldier laughed again, and merely pressed down harder onto the remains of the hand. My brother’s screams increased in volume and pitch as the bones went from being broken to shattered.

Crack.

In that moment, did I attempt to save my brother, or at least call for his name, letting him know that I was there in for him through his agony? No, I did not.

All I wanted was for that horrible screaming to stop. It pierced through my eardrums and sent chills down my spine and throughout every nerve of my body. Please, please, please God, be merciful and let it end.

Crack.

And in his everlasting glory, He was merciful to me and my brother.

Moshe’s lower jaw was blown clean off with a single shot ejected from the pistol of the fat soldier. I caught only a brief glimpse of his gaping bloody mouth, still emitting that awful noise, before another bullet entered my brother’s brain.

His lifeless body dropped to the ground, brains leaking out from his skull. His eyes...they stared at me with accusation and hate. His eyes spoke to me. It was your damn fool idea, Joseph. Why I am the one lying here with my brains and teeth blown to bits when it should be you here? That’s not very fair, is it?

Crack.

I tore my head away from his corpse, tears flowing down my cheeks as I silently wept for my brother. The fat German chuckled at the sight of my grief. “Don’t be too sad, Jew. You’ll be joining your cockroach brother in hell soon enough. Your turn is coming, be patient.”

I took a glimpse down the line. Through my eyes, blurred by tears and sweat, I could see a line of ten corpses in the distance, with three men kneeling in between me and the soldier with the gun. There were four more men to the right of me, awaiting the fated bullet that would pierce their brains and end their suffering.

We had been through hell for months now. Every day, we were forced to work menial tasks for hours on end. Breaking boulders, shoveling piles of garbage, moving weights from one corner of the camp to the other. There was no point in any of it. We were being worked to death.

We were given just enough watery soup and sawdust bread to starve a little more slowly. Men died while eating, lowering their faces into their steaming bowls. When that happened, the man next to him would simply lift up his head and claim the dead man’s food for his own.

And throughout the entire day, as we worked without rest or sleep...we could smell it in the air. The stench of death lingered everywhere in the camps. You could smell it while you ate, while you slept, while you shat out watery fluid in the stinking toilets. It was constantly around us, hanging over each and every one of the prisoners like a vulture, waiting for someone to fall.

Crack.

The sound of the gunshot dragged me out of my horrible memories. With a cold horror, I realized that the shot had been directly to the left of me, and that I was next.

The officer who had shot the thirteen men before was now standing directly in front of me. His cold blue eyes seemed to pierce directly into my soul, and the sharp outlines of his face showed not a trace of sympathy nor hesitation.

“Why do you cry, Jew?” I cracked open my eyes to see that the barrel of the gun was no longer in front of my face. I at first wondered who the voice came from. It was far too soft and gentle to be coming from the officer standing in front of me. But then he spoke again.

“Why do you cry?”

Hesitantly, I replied to his baffling question. “B-because I do not want to die.”

“Nobody wants to die. You’re not crying because you don’t want to die. You’re crying because you want to live.”

“Remember this for the rest of your life, Jew, however short it may be. There is a very big difference between wishing for life and trying to avoid death.”

“Do you want to live?” He asked me, gazing at me without blinking once.

I slowly nodded, wondering what kind of game this German was playing.

“If you want to live, then prove it. Earn your life.” The officer barked some commands at the soldiers around us, and then hauled the five of us that were left to our feet. “Do you see that treeline?” He asked me, pointing at the forest that lay several hundred yards away from us. Between us and the treeline was nothing but open fields, filled with daisies and daffodils.

“Run, Jew. If you can reach that treeline, then you have earned your life. All of you will run.”

The four other men and I all started jogging slowly towards the forest, wondering if this was a trick. Those thoughts were quickly pushed out by the shot of the rifle, as the officer fired straight and true into the brain of the man to the right of me. His blood splattered up against my cheek, as his corpse fell to the ground without a word.

We took off into a sprint, desperately running towards the treeline. I was a strong runner, and soon outstretched the others. After a brief reprieve, another shot rang out, filling the silence with its echo. I heard the dull thud of a body hitting the ground, but still I ran on.

Crack. A missed shot, one that sang past my sprinting legs, so close that I could feel its heat on my skin.

Crack. This one connected, but not with me, thank God. Another of the slower ones fell, leaving just myself and another man.

The treeline did not seem to be getting any closer. I began to despair that I would never reach the trees, that I would never reach life- when another shot rang out- but this one was accompanied by a shrill shriek of pain- eerily similar to the one that Moshe had belted out before he had died.

Every fiber of my mind and body willed me to keep running, but I had to look back. The last survivor besides myself was screaming in agony as he held his intestines in his hands. The officer had shot him through the belly. The poor man tried to hold his guts in, tried to push them back in where they belonged, but they slipped out through his fingers. They vaguely resembled beef sausages, and I had a sudden urge to stop and vomit what little I had inside of me. I desperately wanted to stop and puke up the bile that was building up inside of me, but I did not. If I had, I would be like that man, holding my insides in front of me like they were leftovers from Passover.

I swallowed down my vomit and turned back around to keep running. The treeline was much closer by now- perhaps looking back at the man had saved me.

Crack. The screams stopped. I was the only one left. But the trees were so close now...I felt like I could reach out and touch them, and feel the cool skin of the leaves against mine…

I never heard the bullet before it connected with my ankle, obliterating it. It felt like the bones had shattered into a thousand pieces and were stabbing into my foot. I collapsed to the ground with a cry of agony and despair, despair at being so close to life yet having it snatched from my outstretched at the very last moment.

I laid over onto my back, sobbing. As if on cue, it started to rain, as if God was pissing onto my limp body.

I did not feel pain then. I felt anger. Who were these Germans to be shooting at me? What right did they have to kill me? What right did God have to take away my life, the only one I would ever have? WHAT RIGHT DID GOD HAVE TO MOCK ME AS I FOUGHT FOR MY LIFE?

I would not die here.

Gripping the dirt and the grass with my unwashed hands, I started to drag myself forwards. With every movement my foot was overcome with another wave of agony, yet I crawled on. I crawled through the mud, through the filth and through the wormshit towards the forest.

I no longer heard the shots as they fired. I barely flinched as another bullet hit me in the thigh, although it would torment me almost as much as my foot. I felt no pain. I felt no fatigue.

I no longer wished to merely avoid death, to hide from its grasp . I no longer smelled the stench of death. I wanted nothing but to live. To live, and to piss in the face of death.

I kept crawling even after I entered the treeline. I kept crawling even after the the cracks of the rifle had long since faded. I did not stop until I reached a small stream, which bubbled and gurgled as it meandered its way through the forest. I bent my head down and drank. I drank until my throat hurt so much I was forced to stop.

I gazed into my reflection, which stared back up at me through the clear water. My eyes, which I had expected to be tired and dark from the horrors I had experienced, were dancing and blazing with righteous fury. The officer was right. There was a difference between living and merely avoiding death.


And I had achieved the former. In that moment, as I gazed down at my own determined expression, I was well and truly alive.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

edit lock

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Finally you edit locked it xD

I was worried you forgot, then you'd die in the abyss of death!

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Posting the thing the moment I work out hyperlinkage...

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Alrighty Here it is, obviously not for the ranking, but I thought I'd pop it up anyways.

Here 

For the second prompt, which was great by the way.

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

@Endmaster I think this should be commended!

From the beginning, I can tell this will be an excellent read ^-^

Writing Prompts: Week #5

2 months ago

Thanks, that's very kind of you :)