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Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

18 days ago

If you should happen to play Sixteen Words, you will come to a "The End" page, which concludes the story with a word or two.

Your challenge:  write that last page.  What would your protagonist's conclusion look like if this were an eight-hundred page novel?  Can you go from a sixteen-word plot skeleton to a lavishly-written final page?

If you attempt this challenge, title your "last page" with the word or words that appear on the "The End" page.

 

Admins:  Feel free to bump this at any time.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

18 days ago
It's a fun idea and if you're someone reading this years from now and want to bump the thread with your own attempt the prompt, you have my permission.

Gower, unfortunately most of the endings I've gotten so far would be pretty X-rated...

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

18 days ago
Commended by mizal on 10/4/2019 4:46:39 PM
Bodies Everywhere

“Mr. Snuggles, would you please pass the cream?”

The plush pink elephant says nothing. Its two black beaded eyes stare aimlessly forward.

“Mr. Snuggles?” Barry asks again.

The elephant again says nothing. Visibly angered, Barry wipes the moist spot appearing at the base of his nostril. He’s left with a shooting star streak of snot along the back of his forearm.

“How about you, Milfred?” Barry questions the stuffed giraffe opposite the table. “Your cup looks low, let me top you off.”

Humming, Barry reaches for the teapot and pours a steady stream into the giraffe’s cup. “There you go. Don’t ever say Daddy doesn’t treat you right.”

Shattering glass draws Barry’s attention behind him. Among the ballroom of scattered bodies, a lone woman moves. Her bare foot steps on a broken wine glass collapsing the woman to her knees. The crunch reminds Barry of stepping into finely packed snow. The dark stain on her dress, just below her corseted breasts, could either be blood or wine. Both tasted sweet to Barry, but this is a night for tea.

“Mother, would you like to join us?” Barry questions the woman.

She looks up towards Barry through smeared makeup. The slight movement causes pearls from her torn necklace clattering to the floor. “Get…help,” she manages to whisper before descending into a coughing fit. A waterfall of red shoots from her mouth to the floor beneath her.

“I’m sorry, but you’ll have to clean yourself up before sitting at the table,” Barry answers. “Remember what you told me? ‘Wash your hands! A proper lady is clean and well-kept.’ Remember that, mother? Remember when you dressed me in pink because you wanted a daughter? Remember when you made me play with dolls instead of trucks? You taught me how to be a lady, but you don’t look so lady-like now, mother.”

The woman lies unmoving on the floor matching the rest of the room’s inhabitants. The ballroom doors swing open and a man in a tuxedo walks in. Barry recognizes his father’s bodyguard, Richard, immediately. His Rolex usually grabbed Barry’s attention, although this time it’s the hand holding the silenced pistol. His gaze meets Barry’s.

Richard takes a few long strides over several fallen guests of the party. “Good evening, Barry. Looks like you’re the life of the party,” he says dryly.

Disinterested, Barry continues facilitating tea and cookies to the surrounding stuffed animals. Richard turns to leave, hesitates for a moment, and then speaks, “Stay away from the wine, Barry.”

Barry nods. This is a night for tea.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

This was freakishly terrifying and funny and horrible and amazing.  I love that you chose this ending.  I'm very fond of this route, and toyed with making it into its own (fully written) game at one point. 

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

I read this earlier, but now feel like writing a review. Let me just say it was terrifying! One question rings in my mind even hours after reading this: who poisoned the wine Richard or Barry? I do not know who to trust which is unsettling. I feel like it fit the mood of the original 16 words very well, with a creepy tone. Opening with (presumably) a kid playing with dolls is a striking contrast—and wonderful framework—for the rest of the page. Everything about this sent shivers down my spine. I will not be taking communion at church tomorrow. Well done.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago
Lol. Great comment about communion. The answer to your question is heavily implied near the end. On a less subtle note, if you're wondering who killed everyone, the guy holding a gun is a good guess.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago

Thanks haha. I thought so as well, but the kid seemed to be in the know. Not only did he not want to drink wine, he talked to his mother like he had reason to kill her. I got the impression that they worked together on this. Of course, the body guard does not seem friendly. I don’t trust either...

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago
Interesting, I had a totally different take on it.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago

Do tell! I would love to hear your take.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago
Commended by mizal on 10/5/2019 6:55:19 AM

I am up for the challenge. I got a lot of endings, but choose Beheaded Relic. 

*************

Herod Antipas sighs heavily, rubbing a Prutah between his fingers. He runs a finger along the eagle carved into the copper coin and frowns; there is no doubt that the events over the last few months are weighing on him. John starts to think that he may have forgotten him in his nervous pacing, but Herod does eventually turn to address him.

"John as a holy man surely you can sympathize with my position," Herod says tiredly.

"I can, but your position does not change the facts. It is against God's law for you to marry her," John responds confidently. King Herod has tried to change his mind many times before; however, this time he seems desperate.

"Do you not understand the situation you are in?" Herod growls throwing the Prutah in frustration.

"Who are you speaking to Herod? Only He may judge me, but your subjects unrest puts you in a...delicate situation," John responds looking the ruler of Galilee in the eyes.

Ever since Herod divorced his first wife, Phasaelis daughter of King Aretas IV, he had lost the support of the neighboring Nabataeans. This alone jeopardized Herod's rule; he made things worse when we unlawfully married Herodias. At first, the people were excited for their union; alas, they were simply misinformed.

John would not have said a word if it only served to ruin Herod's reputation--this was not the case. People were growing confused about the law; confusion of this magnitude had never set in before Herod remarried without an annulment. Adding to his sins, Herod knew Herodias had not yet annulled her marriage to his half brother.

Outrage! Blaspheme! Perhaps a gentile could be expected to act so contrary to the law, but a leader of the sons of Abraham? Such a thing could not be allowed to stand. The Good Shepard had gathered many sheep in Galilee--as His servant John could not let the sheep be led astray.

Herod stiffens and covers his face with his hands; he does not wish to look John in the eyes. Even Herod could not argue with the truth. After a few moments Herod hastens to draw his sword, but John has been threatened before.

"John you are truly a godly man, for I have seen you perform miracles before my very eyes!" Herod cries. "Your rumors upset my people, and my wife, revoke your judgment and bless my marriage!"

"I have not judged you, for I am not The Judge," John responds calmly. "I can not change the law--or its interpretation."

"My wife, my daughter, and now even I am calling for your head John!" Herod threatens.

"Do what you must--just know that it does not change the law or the truth," John responds locking eyes with Herod. John sees only fear. Fear creates resentment and anger. Fear eats at a mans soul. "I pray that you see the truth before it is too late, so that there may be mercy for your soul."

"It is already too late," Herod says sadly giving his sword to a guard and turning to walk away.

"My death is not the end for me or you; there is still time to change your heart," John corrects Herod before dropping to his knees to pray.

Guards can not be swayed: they must follow the command of their master. John knows this well, so he does not attempt to sway the guard from his duties. John would not allow himself to be swayed from his Lord's commandments; he expected this guard to do the same.

Reluctantly the guard takes up Herod's sword and opens the gate to John's cell, and with a heavy heart, he raises it. John's head is removed in a single stroke; however, the worst of the guard's tasks is not yet complete. Though it sickens him, the guard follows his orders to place the holy man's head on a silver platter and deliver it to the servant of the house.

The servant is also sicked, so he quickly follows his orders to bring the platter to the feast. Herod had rejoined his guests at the table by now, as it was his birthday. The platter arrives faster than he had hoped; many of the guests had planned to leave soon. 

"Friends as you know my daughter, Salome, has greatly pleased me with her dancing on this special occasion," Herod starts--sweat pouring down his brow as he tries to this of the words that make this acceptable. "In return, I vowed to her any favor of her choosing-"

"Lord help us!" someone calls from the crowd, "he has beheaded John the Baptist!"

Pandemonium breaks out and quickly escalates beyond Herod's control--growing the fear in Herod's heart. There is no longer a path that does not lead to rebellion from his subjects, or worse, invasion from the Arabs. Aretas already was angry with Herod; he only had refrained from attacking due to the strength of Herod's army and the loyalty of his people--both of which would crumble as news of the death of John the Baptist spread.

End Game and Leave Comments

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago
I have to say, I was not expecting Bible fanfic.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

Me neither.  But I'm loving this.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

I am glad you were surprised and enjoyed it.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago
Commended by mizal on 10/5/2019 5:28:11 PM

Superhero.

Jarrod leaned over the putrid contents of a rusty trash bin, trying not to expel his stomach into its depths.  If he could only stop the goddamn spinning, maybe he’d be able to stumble out to the goddamn curb again and show off his stump of an arm to anyone willing to throw a few quarters his way.  It wasn’t much to look at anymore, just a cauterized, crusted scab. What brought Jarrod’s stomach into his mouth was not the sight of it, but the memories.  

“Goddamn it! We’re relying on you Jarrod, stab the fucker and help us out!” 

The voice of his late lover echoed in his skull --every-- time he looked at it, and it wasn’t exactly easy to avoid, being his left arm and all.  He couldn’t even remember her face anymore, just the face of the man who’d destroyed his life. A face with angles that cut deep into his brain, and spread fear and infection on a whim.  He’d made Jarrod falter then, and did the same now. His white knuckles tightened on the rim of the trash can.

New York had not been kind to him.  “Kinder than the sewers perhaps,” he thought as he traced thin scars along his stomach.  He’d been moving from block to block for as long as he could remember.  One of the local bums yelled something at him from down the darkened alley, but he ignored the man, wasn’t worth his time.  The only thing worth a damn anymore was this trash can. Something was keeping him from spilling his bowels though, and he couldn’t exactly put a finger on it.

“Hey, you fuckin’ deaf?  I see what you’ve got in your pocket, hand it over!”  Jarrod’s brain sighed internally, as it sensed a fight incoming.  The bum was coming at him aggressively with a bottle, a generic template for the loads of people he’d pounded over the years.  He grabbed the bottle with his right hand, slamming it against the bum’s head in one fluid motion, causing him to run into the side of the alley.  Red sticky blossoms appeared on the man’s head, but he was unfazed.

“Oh, you’ve got some fight in ya? Well then guess I’ll--”.  Jarrod shoved his fist into the man’s mouth, tired of his talk.  Violence was always something he had, something he could call home.  The bum stumbled backwards, about to hit his head on the pavement and knock himself out.  Jarrod used to find some sort of joy in fighting; he could remember that it used to have purpose.  

The bum tripped over his trash can and spilled its contents all over himself, knocking himself out as predicted.  Jarrod cursed, now he’d have to find some other receptacle. Something caught his eye in the waste, however. A blue and red, spandex outfit, with white lines all over it, like some sort of design.  Its colors were bright and stood out among the alley. Jarrod picked it up and held it aloft at arm's length, spinning his hand around to see it from all angles. It looked familiar, like he’d seen it on TV.

It was the costume of that crazy guy that had been flying around the city, fighting mob bosses and saving people who needed saving.  Jarrod reckoned he was a good guy, but his fighting skills could use a little touching up. That spandexed man needed to be a little more direct, a little more brutal, so that the villains wouldn’t come back.  The costume, dingy and destroyed as it might be, looked to be about Jarrod’s size, and he pondered on it for a moment before stepping behind a dumpster. Indecency had put him behind bars more than a couple times.

It WAS the right size after all, and Jarrod flexed a little bit to prove it to himself.  Of course, the left arm dangled rather uselessly, but a pair of scissors would fix that nicely.  Perhaps he could find the other spandexed man, and show him a few of his moves. If he wasn’t willing to listen, Jarrod had a couple different ways of convincing him.  Jarrod emerged on the sidewalk confidently, for the first time in years, excited for battles to come.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

Dammit!  I want to read the first 799 pages of that book!  That was so good!

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

Thanks Gower, it was fun to write lol!

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

I enjoyed this! Dang man, you need to write this book and the sequel! I also love how you walked through every word in the story path with just enough detail to make me want to know the full story. Excellent work!

 

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

Thanks man!  Yours was quite intense (in a great way), and I was glad my shaky knowledge of the Bible didn't keep me from following it.  

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

I appreciate that, I hope you enjoyed it! My goal was an intense, enjoyable, and historically accurate ending that could stand on its own. I didn’t want it to be something only a historian or priest could enjoy. It is a real bible story though (minus the dialogue and details).

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago
This thread's only been up a day and it's already delivering so much gold.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

17 days ago

Agreed.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

16 days ago

I couldn't be happier about this.  I sort of want to collect a story for every single ending.  That might take a while, though.

I just can't decide if the sequel should be called 17 words or 15 words.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago
Commended by mizal on 10/7/2019 7:13:58 AM

Went with the Sail West ending - wrote a bit more than a last page but oh well happy days! Changed the title 'cos I feel this is a better fit.
 

OLD FRIENDS

A great river slowly, idly, made its way through the countryside. Near its end it fell down a waterfall and into a cove. Where the fresh water met the salt, there were walls of limestone on either side – speckled by the last of the forest's trees like hairs on a cat's raised back.

At the base of one of these cliffs was a cave with a sole inhabitant - Rex. Rex was a whiskered bat: small and brown. At the same time, every year, he had come here with his mate, Sam. But this year he came alone.

Every day, Rex did very little. He hung in his favourite spot and snoozed. It wasn't very adventurous but he liked it that way.

One day, late in the evening, he woke as usual, stretched his legs, flexing his long, leathered arms and easing his stiff neck. But he was not alone. He could hear a splashing sound within the cave and it wasn't the waves on the limestone rock walls. It was a paddling sound, pattering in just as the tide had already begun to rise. Rex strained but could only see shadows. After he'd sent out a number of echoing squeaks, he could tell it was a sizeable, low-backed creature. Perhaps an adult otter.

It looked all around. Sniffing, and scratching. Then it seemed to be looking straight at him. Rex thought it couldn't see him as it was quite dark - and he was as dark as his surroundings.

From the darkness came an enquiry, "Rex, is that you? Are you there?"

Rex said nothing, he had no wish to advertise his presence to an unknown newcomer. He had had many a visit from rats and such - who would give him trouble if they were to find him.

The voice continued, questioning.

"Are you there Rex? I'm not going to eat you. It's me Kana, your old mate from the forest. This isn't funny Rex."

The bat opened its eyes wide and peered into the darkness. Its silhouette certainly matched the form of his old friend and the voice matched but he couldn't be sure.

"Look, are you there Rex?"

"No," the bat said in his uneasy voice as he shuffled back up to his position - just above the tidal line.

The otter laughed. "Why didn't you say so in the first place? I was getting worried I was talking to a wall."

"Do you have to yell? I have very sensitive hearing."

"Still the same old Rex." The bat chuckled to himself.

"Same to you, Kana. You still smell of stale fish and urine and are still loud and boring."

"Look, you old timer, why don't you come down here to chat for old time's sake and catch up on all that we've missed? Besides, my neck is getting stiff looking up all the time."

"Good... Sorry, I can't. I've got chronic stiffness in my joints. I'm immobile."

“That's too bad. Hope you can get over it soon. Had an Aunt with something like that, but she took it to the grave with her, noisy old bag."

"Never mind that. How did you know I was here?"

"I didn't. I came in here, figured it was good a place as any for a bat to be in and looked up and guessed it was you. Whether it was you or not, I didn't know."

"Still the same old dunderhead."

"How long do you suppose it has been since we last met?"

"A long time," Rex reflected. "A very long time."

"Got a lot of catching up to do. Hey, is Sam up there sleeping or is she out? I can't see her from down here."

The bat answered that he was alone and had been for some time.

"What, gone and left you for someone else? You two have quite an age difference."

"No," hesitating, "she's dead."

"Oh, I see. Sorry. I shouldn't joke about these things. You know what I'm like.”

The bat nodded. "It's alright. You weren't to know."

After some silence, Kana decided it was his turn to speak again. "How'd she die? May I ask?"

"Well," Rex didn't want to but he shrugged his shoulders and continued anyway, "I came home one evening a few weeks back after being out for a couple of hours searching for food and a roost when I found her."

The otter felt like he should say something. "What? Something like her heart?"

"No," said the bat, "She was attacked by something. All that I found of her was her left wing and her head still staring at me. She didn't look terrified - only surprised. I don't know what could have..." He broke off as tears overcame him.

Kana didn't know where to look or what to say.

"... Look it's over now. Let's change the subject... What are you doing down here in this part of the world?"

"I always come here this time of year. It's not a bad spot as there isn't much food up the river either. I try to get a little shellfish, crabs and shrimp. Lovely place."

"Yes it is. Actually it's a wonder we've never crossed paths."

"Oh, I usually go down to the bay down south. This year though I thought I'd come here for a change. More food you know. Well, what are you doing here?"

"I always came here every year with Sam. I thought I'd come back anyway, for old time's sake. The way things are going, I'll probably be staying."

Kana nodded but didn't speak.

"Say, isn't it about mating season Kana?"

The otter laughed. "That's all over now. I usually come down to the beach after the babies are out."

"Ah," the bat's voice brightened. "How many this time?"

"Three, same as last year. They're adorable but they're always adorable. Mind you, it's the last batch I'm going to have."

"The last. Why's that?"

"Well, I'm getting on a bit, I'm just not interested anymore."

"I know what you mean. I gave them up years ago."

"Waste of time as you get older. Anyway, this lot are definitely the last."

"Well, at least you're pleased with them?"

"Oh yes," he said with a gleam in his eyes. "They're just perfect. Two pups and a little kitten. They're going to grow up just perfect. I can tell."

"Aren't you worried you're leaving them so far away?"

"Oh, the nest is just on the third bend down the river, under that fallen oak."

"I should like to see them some time. Might cheer me up." The bat shifted to get more comfortable.

"Yes, you should." Kana became aware of his buoyancy. "Hey look, I'm floating."

"You never fail to state the obvious."

"How much further does the tide go up in this cave?"

"Not much further. It comes up to the next ledge and then just a little more.”

"At least we'll be able to talk face to face soon. Won't that be fun?"

"Well, it looks dark outside. I suppose you'll be off in a minute to look for food.”

"Oh, there's no hurry," Kana said casually.

"I wish this pain in my bones would go so I could fly out and get myself some decent food instead of the poor diet I'm getting now."

"Can't you fly at all?"

"Not even off the ground. I can crawl a bit though. Actually, I am getting hungry. Think I might go up on top of the cliffs and find a slow bug or something to pounce on."

"I don't think that's a good idea," said Kana.

"Why ever not old man?"

"I just don't see any point in it."

"I do. I could do with a quick bite."

"I don't mean that either."

"What exactly do you mean?"

Kana looked up sharply. His eyes were no longer the soft brown Rex had known but dark and menacing. "I mean I'm going to ensure you never need food again."

The bat fell silent, and for a moment could hear his own heart.

"Just what are you implying?"

"You know perfectly well what I mean."

"But you can't - ."

"What makes you think I can't," the otter said slyly.

"We've been friends for so long. You don't eat bats."

"Don't be a fool. I can eat you like I eat mice."

"How can you eat someone you know so well?"

The otter looked at him with clear eyes. "Who do you suppose ate Sam?"

The bat fell silent and edged away from the otter.

Kana spoke with regret. "I know. I'm not proud of it. If it's any consolation she died like a real lady. Didn't even cry out. Wanted to save you."

The bat shook his head, "You killed Sam," was all he could say.

"Don't make it tougher that it is."

"I can't believe you would do that. Why her?"

"Food, that's all. It's been a tough winter, what with the little ones."

"Just for food! I can't believe it."

"Don't make it any harder than it is."

"What if I won't let you?"

"You can't, remember. You can't fly."

Rex saw the water slowly creeping up the walls. He knew the otter had only minutes before he could snatch him from the roof. He had to do something. Rex drew back his head, drew in and spat in Kana's face. Kana was struck back, spit in his eyes. Rex was off, up the wall, out of a crack in the wall, up the mountainside. Kana ducked into the water and out into the bay. He looked around then saw what he was looking for: a path leading up the top. With any luck he would be able to catch up with the bat.

Kana didn't like climbing but he soon made it to the summit. It was already dark, a waxing moon lit the stunted grass.

"I've got to admit Rex," Kana shouted, "you never were a quitter."

He caught up to the bat with only a few paces between them.

"It's all over at last. There's nowhere to run."

"You, killing Sam!" Rex yelled, "I can't forgive you for that."

The otter had had enough. He lunged for the bat, his mouth snapping closed, but no Rex. He knew what must have happened. He crept to the cliff edge and peered over at the foaming waves on the rocks. No Rex.

Just then, there was a soft flapping of ancient wings as the old bat hovered high enough above the otter to be safe.

"You can fly! You lied."

"You think I would tell the truth to my wife's murderer? Yes, I knew it was you. Sam wouldn't have climbed down the tree to greet anyone but a friend. And you're the only rat we know. Besides, I saw you that day running off. Since then I couldn't do anything about it until now."

"What do you mean by that?"

The bat chuckled to himself. "The third bend up the river under the fallen oak.”

"No!"

"You think I can't?"

"You won't touch them. I know you."

"Perhaps you did, but that was before your sinful act."

"I'll break your back with the greatest of ease if you even try."

"But you'll never catch me. They'll be finished off before you can even get back.”

“They're only babies."

"How often did Sam hurt you?"

"She's dead man - or have you no heart! For pity's sake don't..."

"Pity. You want pity!"

The bat hovered just out of reach of the otter. With the passion of a desperate parent, the otter lunged again - without thought - missed, and plunged over the cliff.

Rex flew down to inspect the shattered remains of the otter on the red rocks. Revenge. But Rex still felt empty and alone. After some consideration, he flew off to the west. Away from the third bend in the river, not towards it.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago
And Ozoni joins the ranks of the closeted furries, nice.

I was suspecting the otter before the reveal, there's enough hints that something is off without making it TOO obvious. Talking animal stories where the animals are still animal-like enough to do animal things like eating each other are always so grim but kind of fascinating just in the sense of 'what would that do to everyone mentally and how would they constantly justify it to themselves'.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago

I'm still waiting for a no holds barred take on Redwall. Without hoomans.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

15 days ago
I'm still intending to write it. But, you know how that goes...

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago

I got confused by who was speaking once or twice, but I think I managed to figure it out based on context clues. I also got confused on if Kana was a rat or an otter once--this was also probably my fault though. Here are the clips that tripped me up:

"Still the same old Rex." The bat chuckled to himself.

Shouldn't this be the otter speaking? Rex is the bat, so the otter was speaking about the bat...Unless I am too tired to get it lol.

"You think I would tell the truth to my wife's murderer? Yes, I knew it was you. Sam wouldn't have climbed down the tree to greet anyone but a friend. And you're the only rat we know. Besides, I saw you that day running off. Since then I couldn't do anything about it until now."

This is where I thought Kana was a rat. I think in context rat is meant as an insult...whoops.

That aside, it was a very clever story! Dark and the author even managed to work a big twist in a last-minute double fake-out. I love the two reveals and how their seemingly casual conversations warps so quickly into a terrifying battle of wits. Also, great job with the interesting take. I thought "sail west" would be about pirates or settlers or something with a boat. Sailing through the sky because you are a bat fits, but was not what I expected. Well played.

 

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago

Oh thanks for pointing that out! I was supposed to put "[t]he bat chuckled to himself" to the dialogue bit underneath "[s]till the same old Rex". That's what I get for skim-proof-reading.

And yeah I called otters rats here :)

I was trying to go for a 'hey not everything is as it seems' idea with this one. So yeah, happy you commented on that - and I'm glad you enjoyed it as well!

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago
Commended by mizal on 10/8/2019 4:05:26 AM

Hopeless Coup

Lucian cast his weary eyes over the chaotic site. It was a disaster. A complete failure.

Thousands of his men lay skewed across the muddy fields, their blood painting the tents a crimson red. Some of the injured ones tried to crawl where their beloved leader is, but was quickly chopped down by the royal soldiers' swords. The noise of the battlefield - the sounds of continuous hacking sounds pierced by the occasional shrieks of agony - is enough to stab the young man in the heart.

Feeling the acidic burn of bile rising at the back of his throat, Lucian grits his teeth and turns to Jerald, his right hand man and the second-in-command of his army. The two men managed to survive the ambush - it was launched whilst everyone were resting and eating by the bonfire. Lucian knew something was terribly wrong when the chattering and laughter turned into frantic cursing and blood curdling screams in a moment's time. He ran out of his tent and hastily tried to usher an organized counterattack to the king's forces, but it was too late.

He and Jerald are now hiding behind the burning crates, safe from the massacre. But not for long.

The redheaded man sustained a head wound when he tried to save a group of defenseless men who ran to get their weapons. But Jerald doesn't seemed to be fazed by his wound at all; he looked devastated at the amount of their men killed.

"How in the bloody hells did they find us?!" He yells, his voice cracking in distress as blood continues to seep down his face.

Lucian grits his teeth. Part of him wants to scream out in rage, run into the middle of the slaughter, find the king and rip his heart out - but as the leader of the rebels, he has to control his composure, no matter the odds. 

"I know not," he finally answer, his voice low and dark. "The only plausible explanation must be that he has excellent spies."

Jerald looks appalled. "Y'mean one of our men is a spy?"

"I know not, Jerald."

"Or that the bastard king used his spies to found our camp?"

"I know not." Now he feels like a parrot, only capable of repeating one phrase over and over. The young leader lowers his eyes, the smell of burned flesh and blood churning his stomach. 

He remembered with anguish how he emerged victorious in the first battles, shortly after he declared war against the corrupted king early in the summer. With Jerald and a few others, he managed to organize a group of untrained mob of unruly peasants into a respected group of professional fighters in a short amount of time. He used complex tactics to outsmart his enemies, lay traps that killed countless of unassuming royal patrols, and even led many successful skirmishes against the army despite having half the number of men. It didn't take long for Lucian to obtain a reputation, much to his delight. The Blonde Fox; known for his cunningness and vast knowledge of living in the wilderness. Loved by the people, and hated by the nobles. He was always able to be a step ahead of the king, no matter what challenges he threw his way. Always. 

Until...

Lucian can feel tears prickling his eyes, and swiftly wipes them off with a closed fist. This is what his arrogance led him - the deaths of his loyal men, their blood on his hands. His ego is his downfall.

"Lucian?" A whisper breaks the blonde man away from his paralyzing thoughts, and looks at Jerald's imploring face. He seems desperate for a typical Lucian plan, the one that always saves the day. He can't stand that look. "What are we gonna do?" 

Lucian lets out a long sigh. There's only one thing he should do. 

"Jerald," he starts. "Do you remember what you have uttered to me when we first launched this rebellion?"

The younger man nods firmly. "I'll follow you, from the hells and back."

"Always?"

"Always."

"Is that still valid now?"

"Huh?"

Lucian rises from his crouching position, feeling the familiar rush of adrenaline coursing through his aching body. He puts a calloused hand on Jerald's shoulder.

"We cannot afford to surrender now, or all the times we have fought will be all for nought. If the king captures us, we will die a slow and painful death - a message to silence others who have enough courage enough to stand against him. Thus, we will fight. We'll kill those murdering bastards, and avenge our brothers-in-arms. We will take as many of his men with us as we can, Gods be damned, until the ground flows a steady river of red, and their bones stacked up high into the heavens, their flesh a hearty meat for the vultures."

Lucian looks up, The burning smokes wafts up into the moonlit sky. The stars are unusually bright tonight, its light burning through the wisps of grey clouds. A perfect night to have a hero's death.

"I have failed you all," he continues, his deep voice wretched with grief. "I have promised you freedom, and instead led you to your untimely deaths. It pains me to say this, but I will implore you to grant me this once last selfish request: Fight alongside me, and die glorious deaths, with fervour so strong the Gods will have no choice but to reward us for our bravery."

Jerald remain quiet, his dark brown eyes stare unblinkingly on his leader's face. Lucian feel a pang of fear, but squash it down with a grim smile.

He adopts a softer tone. "What say you, dear Jerald? Will you fight with me?"

The redheaded man briefly closes his eyes, before opening them and nods firmly. The face of the man that once looked at awed admiration of a innocent boy is now replaced with the face of weary resignation with the knowledge he's about to follow his leader to their deaths. Lucian turns away from Jerald with a heavy heart.

Jerald tightens his grip on his axe and stands up to his full large frame. He looks at Lucian with a somber grin.

"Betcha I'll kill more of these bastards than you."

Lucian lift one of his thin eyebrows up, amused. "It's that a challenge, dear friend?"

Jerald barks out a laugh. "'Course it is. What wrong? Has our glorious Blonde Fox left his balls back at the tent?"

"I still have them, I assure you. Very well, I accept your measly challenge."

They exchanged a fierce smile.

The screams of their men still rings loud into the sky, and Lucian used this as fuel for his rage as he grips his sword.

"It was a honor to fight for you, my lord. See ya on the other side."

"And you, my dear fiery haired friend."

In one heart beat. both emerge from their hiding place with powerful roars, running into the midst of slaughter with their weapons raised high.

It begins.

 

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago

This is why I wrote this game, to generate stuff like this story.  I couldn't be happier.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago

While there were some minor issues with things like double typing words (example from paragraph one, "...the sounds of continuous hacking sounds...") I loved this. So gruesome. Makes me want to read the beginning. I am also a particular fan of the unfinished endings like this. I sit there and debate: the two of them killed everyone and survived--no, no, that is impossible...but what if they did! 

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago
Wow, I don't think I've gotten anything this good out of anyone we ever Helled. The dialogue is great, dramatic and sincere and nothing else would fit the setting and situation; a minor peeve of mine is when authors can't break out of everything sounding casual and modern or give their characters real voices.

I wish you'd turn this plot into a real storygame.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

14 days ago

Ugh, so epic :okhand:

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

13 days ago
The End:

Or is it?

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago
Commended by mizal on 10/14/2019 7:15:06 PM
Contemplation

This world is not for me. The older I get, the more I understand that truth. In my former life, I desired accolades. I wanted the entire world to know my name and my worth. I wanted them to see that I’m better than the common man. I wanted to etch my name into the history books for all humanity to read. I have accomplished much more than most. What did I receive in return?

As a young man, I poured the entirety of my energy into training. When you’re young, your life seems endless as if each decision would take you down a separate path of adventure. Sometimes that’s the case. Most of the time, it’s not. Each day I’d rise before the sun. The practice room became my home. I devoted myself to master the body. No impurity was allowed in my system. Anything that did not contribute to the cause was forsaken.

Unsurprisingly, I separated myself from my peers. They did not have the same discipline. Their lives were led by cheap thrills and even cheaper wine. A few times they invited me to partake with them. I have to admit, I was tempted. My life was one training after the other. Why not have a night of fun? Eventually they stopped asking, and I was glad because my will had begun to waiver. Over the years, I had seen many men waylaid by drink and celebration. Their base desire and animalistic tendencies is the very thing wrong with humanity. If we are led by simple sensual pleasure, we are no different than the dog seeking scraps under the table.

I became the Emperor’s preferred instrument of destruction. His divine will was made manifest by my blade. He but had to point in the direction of his enemies, and I would wipe them from existence. It didn’t matter whether man, woman, or child, the enemy of my Emperor was the embodiment of evil. The world was better off without their survival. Nothing stood in the way of my holy scourge.

The entire world eventually learned my name. My name brought fear upon the battlefield. It was whispered by mothers to their children at night as a warning. My name became synonymous with death. A lifetime of training and self-denial had brought me to the thing I had desired most: a lasting impression on the world; the irony does not escape me.

The Emperor threw a feast, a celebration in honor of my conquest. That night should have been the pinnacle of my life’s work. I witnessed my fellow soldiers, men who performed battle formations flawlessly, lose themselves to base desire. They laughed and danced like fools. They treated the very women we fought to protect as their playthings, and simply tossed them aside after. The men of discipline, the men I had fought and bled with, were no better than the foreigners we slaughtered.

And so the mountains became my home. I found I preferred the animals in nature opposed to the animals in civilization. Out here at least they’re honest about who they are. Still I devote myself to my training. The empty feeling I have inside is no excuse not to remain disciplined. Every few years adventurers seek me out in hope I will teach them blade mastery. Their youthful energy and strength of body is no match for my skill. I cut them down to save them from the meaningless of life.

I sit here cross-legged at the mouth of the cave I call home. Light snowflakes sting my face as I breathe in the dew-filled air. In a few moments, the yellow hue of the rising sun will peer through the twin peaks facing the cave. Its golden rays will fire on the evergreens scattered down the mountains illuminating their eastern side with an angelic glow. The shadow is what catches my attention most. A sinister dark copy of the tree remains beneath the heavenly light; it’s the symbol of our nature’s duality. Despite the feeling of meaningless, I’ll begin this day with training. Each form takes me further from my shadow self. Each denial of my base tendencies draws me closer to the angelic light. Another day has come. I devote myself to training.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago

Holy crap that was really good. I didn't take my eyes off the screen the entire time I was reading, and I can practically visualise everything you described in that story. You sir are a fantastic writer!

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago
Thanks for the nice feedback. I was hoping the lack of dialogue didn't make it too stale.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago

No don't worry it's actually epic. You have a way with emotive and descriptive writing without making it seem too wordly, regardless of dialogue. I really enjoyed it!

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago

"I cut them down to save them from the meaningless of life."

This is my favorite line.  It's so moody, so characterful. 

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago
Your protag is such an unfun dick, but this is great. In a short story and one in first person especially I think you can get away with a lack of dialogue and keeping the 'action' as something in the past. It wasn't something I noticed as an issue anyway at the length this was.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

8 days ago

Especially for a story prompted by "Contemplation."

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

7 days ago

I think the best part of this was the pace. It all flowed so well that it was hard to stop reading it. I wish the rest of this game was written, but this is an excellent ending! The duality of the evergreen's shadow and the morning sun is a perfect metaphor for the character! I love the implication there, half of it shining in the sun with the other half creating a sinister darkness--the character seems unsure of which one he is though he wants to be the angelic light. Best of all, his idea of working towards the angelic light is so dark and backwards compared to what we might expect. Another great ending friend!

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

7 days ago
Yes I loved that it was a such a twisted take on the wise old warrior hermit on the mountain trope.

Prompt: Write the Last Page of Sixteen Words

7 days ago

Agreed, very stereotypical, but it was exactly backwards of the stereotype.