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I have a prompt

one year ago
Today is my birthday, and so I will demand presents from all of you.

Write a short story using the following prompt, overheard by the main character:

"I actually didn't spend too much time as a [X], it was more profitable just being a [Y]."

And plug any two of the following in:

evil sorceror
spice trader
sidewalk artist
gold miner
gold digger
bat smuggler
unlicensed piemaker
traitor to the human race
cabbage farmer
freelance arms dealer
dream technician
fanatical shipper
Holocaust denier
holistic healer
dragon tamer
snake scissorer
goblin detector
goblin defector
genocidal warlord
dog groomer
small, cute frog
fairy godmother
tour guide
museum curator
alcoholic apiarist
openly gay King
openly based King
warp engine recalibrator
fanfic writer
erotic baker
sufferer of made up mental illnesses
deadbeat dad
ruins raider
arms dealer
mild mannered news reporter
fancy hat model
fat rights activist
pie assassin
real estate mogul
clown stripper

Stories go here in the thread, 2000 word maximum. And we'll just say this will run until the 30th.

I have a prompt

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 9/24/2022 3:43:38 PM

Tanenbaum Sunglade woke up that morning. Sigh. His eyes crusted over with sand and sleep, and god knows what else. He rolled over, his fan doing nothing to stop him sweating bullets onto his already musty mattress. He checked his phone. No new messages.

He yawned, stretched, and opened a window to let an entire night of fart air out. The sunlight hit his eyes, and he cringed. Tanenbaum shuffled over, stepping over a pizza box and a crushed orange soda can, the wretch. And got dressed for the day. Sneakers, jeans, a red shirt and a hoodie that he zipped up. 

He looked in the mirror. Pale skinned, grey eyes with dark circles around them, dark hair and a face coated in stubble. He sighed and shuffled out into the hall. The days were not the same since he lost his job, he was a middle manager at a security corporation. Not that he did anything especially heroic or cool. He was just tasked with helping to guard the mall at night, but now in the light of day....sigh.

Tanenbaum walked downstairs, where he could hear two voices. Strange, he only lived with his dad. He went down the stairs, crept up to the bottom which led to the kitchen. 

"I actually didn't spend too much time as a vampire, it was more profitable just being a clown stripper." The words carried by his fathers voice didn't make sense when he heard them, nor did he really listen....until it was too late.

He walked into the kitchen where his father sat. Where as before he was regal, respectable, refined. He now wore a bizarre multi-colored suit, that was thin and a bit lacey in all the wrong places. Where once had a neatly combed and kempt grey-white shock of hair, it was now dyed red. His beard once of the same color and well trimmed, had been grown out and trimmed into the shape of a dong. Tanenbaum had wondered why he stopped trimming for a while.

And worst of all, he was speaking to his former boss. Who had fired him, that bitch.

"Dad? What's going on?" He said feeling dazed and dizzy, like he had to sit down. 

Tanenbaums father looked at him sternly, anger in his eyes. "Son, go upstairs and don't come back down until I tell you to!" His fathers neck veins were bulging, worse than that other bulge that made itself apparent when he stood, that the younger Sunglade never wanted to see. "We will sort this out later, but until then you are grounded!"

"Dad, I'm thirty seven!"

"And still a lame, useless, loser!" 

And with that, Tanenbaum ran upstairs with tears in his eyes. They found him on the floor, red crimson spilling from the wound. Tananebaum had tried to cut his wrist with the sharp edge of a cut in half soda bottle. But instead just managed to cut his thumb open and was just sucking his thumb and crying.

"Pathetic." His father said with disgust.

I have a prompt

one year ago
I love this. :D

Only a select few will be cool enough to get it.

I have a prompt

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 9/24/2022 5:51:37 PM
Tristan Garfield sat down at the Denny’s booth. His middle aged waitress walked over and smiled sweetly at him.

“Get me a coffee and make it a double,” Tristan growled.

The woman’s smile faded instantaneously, she scribbled unintelligible nonsense on her pad and power walked back to the kitchen. Tristan just held his head in his hands. This is the way it always went. Every time he went on a road trip, insomnia drove him to go to some all-night restaurant at three in the morning.

The waitress came back with a mug and just left an entire pot of coffee with him. In spite of his mood, the kind gesture made him smile. He ordered the Slamburger, slammed twice, and stared blankly at the TV playing the Weather channel. It wasn’t long until his attention began to drift elsewhere, and that’s when he heard his waitresses voice at the booth in front of him.

Due to the high backed benches, he couldn’t see who she was talking to, so he just listened to the conversation.

“So did you ever find Mister Right?” The waitress asked.

“No Betty, but it doesn’t matter anymore.” A woman responded in a young and musical voice. “I actually didn't spend too much time as a gold digger, it was more profitable just being a wendigo.”

Tristan coughed, spilling scalding coffee all over the front of his face and in his lap. Betty, the waitress, shot him a dirty look as if he had done something wrong.

Betty turned back to the hidden woman and asked, “How does that even work? Do people pay you to eat people, like a hit man?”

“No, Betty!” The woman laughed. “You’d be surprised how many men will pay good money to watch a pretty woman eat raw meat.”

“I suppose everyone has their tastes,” Betty said, doubtfully.

“No, I’m serious! The internet is a weird place. And some guys even ask me if I’ll eat them! I haven’t of course, but the monster inside me gets pretty excited at the idea.”

Betty pulled a chair from a nearby table and sat down, putting her hands under her chin. “So what’s stopping you? I know some people in my life I’d eat if I were a wendigo,” she said, looking at one of her coworkers.

“No, I just don’t want to go to prison. After all, human flesh is the spirit’s preference. I like beef better. One of these days though, I’ll find some rambler from out of town, lure him into an alleyway, and just feast and feast.”

Betty looked strangely excited to hear about it. “I have to get back to work, but you’re going to give me all the details later.”

She looked over at Tristan, then leaned in to the booth to whisper something to the mystery woman. Betty got up and left, going back to the kitchen. Tristan wanted to see what this woman in the next booth looked like. He knew that this was the specific brand of curiosity that killed the proverbial cat, but it was out of his control now.

He got up, and without looking at her, went to the restroom. He stood at the sink, splashed water on his face, and waited for an appropriate amount of time to pass before he went back to his seat. Not too long into his wait period, however, a bald man with several face tattoos barged in looking angry, so Tristan quickly left and walked back to his booth, looking at the woman as surreptitiously as he could.

She was probably young, but it was hard to tell, as her black, unwashed hair, filled with leaves and grasses hung loose over her face. She was eating whatever was on her plate ravenously, until she suddenly looked up.

Her eyes were a bird like yellow, and when she grinned at Tristan, her teeth were revealed. Hundreds of ivory needles in terrifying symmetry dripped with blood.

Tristan stood there like a deer in headlights until she winked at him. Tristan ran as fast as his legs could carry him, not caring that he knocked over the hostess and upended the crayon container on her podium. He bodychecked the bald man just coming out of the bathroom, and ran all the way to his car. He fumbled the keys and had to bend down to fish them out of his float board. When he got up, he saw her standing right in front of his car.

Panicking, he started up the engine and drove into her She hit the windshield, cracking it, rolled over the car and off the back end. As Tristan drove away, he saw her in a three point stance in the parking lot.

Tristan dove back to the hotel where he was staying, went up to his room, closed the door, and locked it. He grabbed a bottle of A1 sauce and put it in his pocket. Then he jumped in bed and spent a long night trying to sleep.

In the morning, after just a few winks, there was a knock at the door. Tristan walked slowly over to the peephole and saw a well-kempt cleaning lady standing on the other side. He breathed a sigh of relief and opened the door. The lady asked, “Do you need fresh towels?”

It was her voice.

She grabbed his throat and lifted him high of the ground, carrying him back into his room. She began to morph, a stretching and tearing noise making Tristan feel sick. Her limbs grew long and gangly, her lips disappeared, but antlers appeared. Her new gaunt form had to stoop to fit in the room.

Tristan felt his fear dissipate as resignation and shock set in. “I wish you stayed a gold digger.”

Her eyes just stared at him, and if she had lips, Tristan figured she’d be smiling.

Tristan reached into his pocket. “Well, if I have to die, I’ll die with the satisfaction of forcing you to eat A1 sauce.” Saying this, he bashed himself on the head with the bottle. He either failed to swing hard enough or the bottle was too thick though, as the bottle simply bounced off the top of his head and rendered him unconscious.

(The End. Happy Birthday, Mizal)

I have a prompt

one year ago
Cautionary tales about eating at Denny's are a good gift for anyone. The A1 sauce twist was certainly unexpected, but I think it may have been more effective to slightly overcook himself first.

I have a prompt

one year ago
Commended by mizal on 10/1/2022 11:43:45 PM
Tim turned around his seat at the coffee shop and said, “Excuse me, did I hear you correctly?”

The person in the booth looked up and said, “What?”

Tim spun his chair around and said, “I’m sorry, but I thought I just heard you say that you didn’t spend much time as an unlicensed piemaker and that it was more profitable just being a nun.”

The person looked around, then nodded and said, “Yes, I do believe that you heard me correctly.”

Tim looked at him and said, “What? I mean, you know none of those things makes any sense at all.”

“Well, it might not make sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to me. Oh, and the person I was talking to on the phone when you started eavesdropping on me.”

“Look, I said I was sorry about the listening in, but really, I wasn’t trying to do it on purpose. And you really do have to admit, that’s not a common thing to hear someone say – either one of those things.”

“Are you judging me?”

“No, no. Look, I’m just curious. I’m interested. I want to know more. Please. Can you at least just tell me what an ‘unlicensed piemaker’ is?”

The person looked down at their phone, sighed, and said, “Fine. Look, how much do you know about piemaking?”

“Piemaking? I mean, you make a pie. I don’t really understand.”

“No, no you wouldn’t. You cannot understand the world of piemaking. You’re like most of the normies who just think that you make pies and sell them. No, that’s not the world of pie making.”

“What are you saying? Things like government regulations?”

“Regulations? No. You have no idea. The world of piemaking is heavily controlled by a small group of people. Some people would call it a family control, but it’s really more than that. These people are serious. If you’re not part of the family, or approved by the family, they pay you a visit. And you either pay them to join or you shut down. If you don’t shut down, well, let’s just say that they make sure you shut down. You might think little old ladies can get by making pies, but even the pies you see at the church picnics and bake sales are controlled. Do you really think all of those old ladies die from heart attacks? Yeah, that’s what they want you to think.” He leaned in closer to Tim as he continued, “They even push them. If they don’t get to the old ladies, they make the church make payments. Without payments, those bake sales, well, let’s just say sometimes a lot more gets baked than just some pies and cakes.”

Tim was in total disbelief. He said, “Are you trying to tell me the mob controls every aspect of the pie trade?”

“I’m telling you the truth. Whether you choose to believe it is on you. And I never said they controlled every aspect of it, I said they’re trying to control every aspect of it. They’d like to control every aspect of it. But there’s a movement. There’s people who are trying to make pies without having to pay or be part of the family. People who want to make good pies, not just pies that meet the requirements of the family. People who want their pies to be free and available to anyone who wants a pie.”

“Now you’re telling me there’s a pie underground?”

“Look, you’re the one who asked me about the unlicensed piemaker. Which, I want to point out, I am NOT one of. You don’t have any evidence that I’ve created any pies without permission, and don’t you ever suggest that I did. I’m trying to explain to you why it would not make sense to be one of those unlicensed piemakers and why I would never do that.” He looked around nervously, making sure no one was watching them.

“Okay, look, I’m confused. I don’t think you’re making a lot of sense. I’m not saying I don’t believe you, but can we move on? The other part? You said something that sounded like it was more profitable for you to be a nun?”

“Yes, that is correct.”

“But you’re a man.”

“Did you just assume my gender?”

“No. I mean. But, a nun?”

“Are you suggesting that I can’t be a nun?”

“I’m not saying that.”

“So what’s the problem?”

“Well, maybe it’s that you said being a nun was profitable. From what I know about nuns, there’s no profit there in any way, shape, or form.”

“Have you ever been a nun?”

“Well, no, I guess I haven’t.”

“So how would you know how profitable it can be?”

“Are you talking about metaphorical profits?”

“I am not.”

“Are you saying that you are making money as a nun?”

“Are you saying that I can’t?”

“No, I’m just asking how you might be doing that.”

“That’s a little personal, don’t you think?”

“But you’re the one that suggested… I mean… Oh, never mind.”