Writing Prompt: Day 120

120.pngDay 120 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character who has to say everything on their mind or about a character who loses the ability to speak completely.

Shannon: “Oh, did you run out of ink?” Ben gave me a pity-filled pout. “Looks like you can’t help anymore. Darn,” he snapped his finger sarcastically.

I dug around in my backpack, looking for another marker. I was supposed to restock yesterday, but I forgot. The dried out ones were all already thrown out, and nobody ever wanted to help offer a spare, even though they’d be handing me my voice. I wasn’t deaf, so no one believed I was actually mute. Group work was hell, especially when they’d ignore most of the objects I’d used to share my thoughts. Reading was a hassle, hence I was a hassle as a partner, and nobody wanted to deal with me.

I pulled out a notebook and pencil anyway. I wasn’t giving up that easy. I could help them with the trivia question. We could win the extra credit, if they would trust me.

They were struggling with the logic riddle on the board, but after writing it out I had the answer a few seconds later. I tapped Derek’s shoulder but he swatted his hand like I was fly buzzing around his head.

“Helen stop,” Ben took the notebook and slammed it on the table. “You’re done. If you can’t explain quickly, it’s going to take too long to check your work and then we’ll lose. Just give up,” he held it down on the table.

“The blue team has it! They win this round,” the teacher announced before writing the answer on the board. The same one I had on the page Ben was currently smothering.

“Thanks a lot Helen,” Derek rolled his eyes.

I wanted to scream, but I couldn’t. I wanted to argue, but it didn’t have the same effect on paper. Not to mention people typically stop reading when they find out they’re being criticized. Instead I slammed my fist down on Ben’s hand and he retreated. “You freak,” he yelled loud enough for the whole room to hear.

I scowled at him as I took my back my notebook, picked up my backpack, and stormed out of the room.

Erin: “You’re annoying me,” came out of my mouth before I could reign it back in.

“What,” my boyfriend asked.

“I can’t stand how you stand how you sound when you chew,” I elaborated. I don’t know what came over me. There was no point in me telling him that. He chewed just fine. His mouth was closed he had a nice slow pace. A lot of people’s chewing annoyed me, no need to let him know his was one of them.

“Yeah anything else that annoys you about me,” he asked placing his fork back down and cocking his head to the side.

“Well yeah. You worry too much, you freak out when I do the smallest things, and feel like we are constantly on the verge of breaking up,” I smacked my hand to my mouth the second after I said it.

“And you thought it was necessary to aware me of all of this over brunch,” he smacked his hands to the table.

I looked to my plate of eggs in shame when I noticed a mystery purple powder. That’s when I realized there was a reason I was about to only get more honest.

Why is your character struggling with communication?

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Writing Prompt: Day 119

119.jpgDay 119 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Bring your story to conclusion by talking about time.

Erin: “She’s not breathing,” she’s not breathing a young woman shouted from the front.

Without thinking I jumped off of the 10-foot-tall stage without thinking. I grabbed the even younger woman and brought her body down to the floor. I had been so extensively trained in CPR as a lifeguard that it came as second nature to me. “Call 911,” I shouted as I pushed on the passed-out one’s chest.

The ambulance made it. The girl made it. I was told that was because of me. That’s when I concluded that my life changing moment had nothing to do with giving big inspirational speeches about how I could never work for anyone. My life changing moment was realizing that I could.

I just needed to find a person who wanted the work that I wanted to give. I wanted to save lives. I save lives to this day at the children’s hospital. If you want to see being thrown into the trenches, don’t look to performers. There is a lot of views, but what is the real risk to them. The first time I had a little life in my hand is a moment no one can prepare for.

In that regard, I feel no more like an expert today than I did the day I saved my first life. Those 30 seconds were just as significant as the last 30 years. They made them possible. It’s funny how the weight of time is not always dependent on the longevity, but more what you fill it with.

Shannon: I was the last one to make it to the door, so that may have been the reason the hand abruptly landed on my shoulder, but then again, the strange voice did know my name.

“Jenifer, please wait. I won’t hurt you, please calm down,” the voice whispered, sounding nonthreatening, but I could feel my heartbeat throughout my whole body. A hand reached over me to push the door shut with a loud smack.

I turned around, to peak at who I was dealing with, and I had to blink a few time to believe was I was seeing. “Mr. Withers? But you’re dead”

“I know.”

“Are you a ghost?”

He shook his head and handed me a newspaper then pointed to the date. It was from next Monday, a date that didn’t exist yet, but it looked so real. Then he pointed to the top story. I was in the picture along with the group and we were standing next to a large machine. The title read: Local High School Students Build Time Machine.

I laughed. “Yeah right,” I shook my head.

“It’s my time machine,” he explained, putting the paper back into his large coat pocket. “I’m from the past, and I’ve seen the future. After this is reveal to the public it gets into the wrong hands. I’ve come to destroy the machine, but at its current power I can only stay here for so long. I need you to do it, and I need you to keep your friends away.” He handed me a piece of paper. “Here are some directions. You’ll want to follow them, since the materials are a bit dangerous. There’s a list on there that explains what will happen if you don’t follow through too. Quick, I’ll show you the machine.”

I nodded, thinking I would wake up from the dream at any moment. We walked to the room and he revealed the bright blue light was inside a large tube contraption. I searched for the record player and it was behind the machine, “What’s with the music? And how did you do the phone thing?” I wanted to understand.

“The music keeps people away, and I have this to turn off phones,” he held out what looked like a handheld clicker. “Some technology from the future.”

“So why trust me? I could easily tell everyone as soon as you leave,” I was still confused.

“I know you’ll do the right thing,” he smirked. “I’ve seen another future, and if you follow through we’ll meet again, and I’ll have some very important news for you at that moment. But only if we meet again.”

And now we end our week of the unexpected, how did your story turn out?

Writing Prompt: Day 118

118.jpgDay 118 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Create panic in your story.

Shannon: “It’s a fake school skeleton he could have been a teacher or something else,” I pointed out since Mark made such big deal out of it.

“Or he made it look like a fake skeleton,” Mark was stretching it.

“Oh yeah, I’m sure he could make it look that clean,” I pointed to the flawless bones.

“Whatever,” he rolled his eyes before shutting the door. “It’s still creepy to keep something like this in the closet.”

“It freaked me out,” Ally shrugged.

I was about to scowl at her, but suddenly the lights turned off. “What’s going on,” Pete questioned, sounding as nervous as I felt.

“Did you lock the door,” Mark whispered to Jim.

“Yes,” he quickly replied. “Maybe they turned off his power,” he tried to come up with a less terrifying reason.

Within a second Mark’s phone light went off and it was pitch black. “Mark come on, turn it back on,” Ally demanded impatiently.

“Its dead or something. I can’t turn it back on. Does someone else have a phone?”

I pulled out mine to test it out along with everyone else. “Shit,” I heard Ally’s voice starting to crack. “It’s dead.”

“Mine too,” I added, freaking out since it was fully charged 15 minutes ago. I hoped Pete or Jim would save the day, but they both had the same problem. “It’s time to go,” I stated out loud, afraid to go off alone.

A blue glow appeared and it was almost worse than the dark. The light was located in a room we hadn’t explored yet, so we were only illuminated by a dull glow. I was afraid to look past the familiar faces, thinking a new one could have appeared in the darkness. A record player started playing a chilling song, and no one had to say anything this time. We all had the same idea as we ran for the door. 

Erin: Snap out of it. I could do it, I knew a lot about starting a small business. I didn’t need to be a great public speaker to help people with that.

“It all started when I hurt my,” in the middle of my “how I knew I needed my own business” story there was a loud screeching.

What’s the uproar about?

Writing Prompt: Day 117

117.jpgDay 117 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Incorporate the word “skeleton.”

Erin: When I walked out onto the stage the bright lights hit me. I squinted and tried to imagine that I was at home looking into the lamp that overlapped my line of sight in bed. It didn’t work. I turned into a skeleton of my bubbly self as my brain could not be tricked by my hopes.

Shannon: “I can’t do this,” I stated, shaking my head as we all stood outside the back door under the cover of night and behind Mr. Withers’ collection of backyard junk and unmanaged shrubs and trees. We were all waiting for Jim to finish picking the lock. “Please, can we just let this go? Let the man rest in peace.”

Mark turned his back, tuning me out. Pete put up his hands, “Calm down. It’s a quick peak and we’re already here. You don’t want to turn back now, do you?”

I didn’t need more than a second to think about it. “Yes I do,” I turned to walk away as I heard Jim quietly celebrating over the open door. Ally took ahold of my shoulders and I tried to shake her off, but her grip was strong. “No. We all waited too long. I’m not letting you miss out. You’ve come this far,” she maneuvered in front of me. “I won’t let you miss out on this,” she tried to lead me back.

“It feels wrong,” I wouldn’t budge.

She looked to the side and then back to me. “Well I think it shows we actually cared about him. Everybody else in the neighborhood is just going to forget and act like he never existed, because he was strange. At least he mattered to us.”

I furrowed my brow, “Only because you thought he was weird,” I argued, annoyed, and a bit too loud.

“Jen be quiet,” Jim whispered. “Are coming in or not?”

“Coming,” Ally answered for me and hooked my arm with hers until we were inside. Then she quickly abandoned me to cozy up to Mark as her new shield.

I went off on my own to look around right after Jim switched on a light. You never knew if the man was home, because his curtains were always closed and not even the slightest sliver of light would ever show through them, so we were sure we were safe.

I heard Ally scream, and it made me jump. “I knew it,” Mark called out. They were way ahead of us since he was using the flashlight on his phone. “Come see this,” he yelled.

We quickly walked over to see they had opened one of his closets and they were flashing a light on a skeleton hanging up. I felt a surge of panic. It looked like one you’d see in classroom, but I still wasn’t expecting it. Maybe their suspicions were right. Maybe he did have something to hide.

Throw a skeleton into your story.

Writing Prompt: Day 116

116.jpgDay 116 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Incorporate a weird belief someone has.

Shannon: There were a lot of rumors about Mr. Withers, and any time we were in the vicinity of his house they would come back up. It left a lot of room for my imagination to get carried away. My mind wasn’t as vicious as some of the other kids. I wasn’t accusing him of hoarding dead bodies, or anything evil. I guess I always kind of figured his anger and loner-behavior just seemed a little misunderstood.

Sure I didn’t completely rule out the possibility he had some creepy possessions, but I only pictured things like ventriloquist dolls or other unfamiliar antiques. Since it was an unpopular belief, I never told anyone that I believed he was normal and that we wouldn’t find anything too out of the ordinary. That’s why I wanted to see his house. One, so nobody could lie about what they found. Two, so I could see each of their faces when they found out they were wrong him.

Erin: Despite having convinced myself otherwise however, I was convinced that I could do it. For one reason and one alone: horoscopes.

Mine had said I would be taking a step to change the course of my life. It also said there was success in my future. Who was me, myself, and I to question the stars?

If I knew how to interpret my fate at all, this was going to work. This was my future and inevitably I was going to succeed. I knew being a Virgo would pay off some day. Things were finally looking up.

Make your character believe something most others do not.

Writing Prompt: Day 115

115.jpgDay 115 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Start with your character talking to them self.

Erin: “I can’t do this.”

“Yes, I can.”

“You’ve never done this.”

“Even Beyoncé hadn’t ever sung at one point in her life.”

“Yeah, but she didn’t have her first show at Madison Square Garden.”

“True.”

I had somehow managed to convince myself I was crazy. Thinking about that statement I don’t need convincing, I am crazy.

Shannon: What is inside Mr. Withers’ house? That was the question plaguing my mind the entire afternoon. It was a question I used to often ask myself when when I was little kid, back when I was terrified of its haunting exterior. Who am I kidding? His place still freaks me out now that I’m in high school, but over the years I’d learned to stop caring as I accepted the fact that the rest of the neighborhood kids and I would never have the guts to find out. However, my curiosity was rekindled when Mark slid the obituary section of the newspaper across the table during our lunch period. Mr. Withers passed away in his sleep.

Mark wanted to go inside now that the biggest barrier was gone, and he’d scooped out the best night for us to sneak in. “This Friday I’m going. I don’t care if anyone joins me, but this may be your last chance,” his arguments were always meant to linger. He once told me they more effective that way. Yet I didn’t know if it was worth the trouble we’d get in if anyone caught us. Even worse, the inside could be exactly what our imaginations had built up, and why did we want to see it?

Was it better to not know? Would I be missing out? Was I seriously considering going? The man just died. Was I that heartless? Ok, I wanted to go. Would I let myself go? That was the real question I was struggling with.

Which one of your characters will you have talking to that same character?

Writing Prompt: Day 114

114.jpgDay 114 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write the question your story will answer.

Shannon: What is inside Mr. Withers’ house?

Erin: How many times do you have to do something to become an expert?

To know when we are finished we must know where we are trying to go?

Writing Prompt: Day 112

112.jpgDay 112 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write the pictures’ story.

Shannon: During college I had a job working for an art studio, and I wasn’t hired to monitor anyone or help them find supplies. I was hired by a student who was on mission to make a name for herself by finding scrappy ways to sell her art. I wasn’t even making minimum wage off of the sales she was bringing in, but it was the best job I ever had.

I’m not sure exactly why she chose me over other students to assist her. We were in a class together, but all she ever saw of my work was a picture I took of a unique outdoor staircase in my hometown and a glass window painting.

My favorite art pieces were the slow shutter light pictures she’d have me capture. They always turned out beautiful, and she always had a concept to convey. I wished they could be seen outside of the frame. They were powerful and I wanted that power to be real.

Erin: “That’s beautiful,” I was in complete amazement of the artwork my sister had made overnight.

“I thought so too. But see I am quite sleep deprived at the moment so I am not in the right mindset to make that call.” She giggled at her masterpiece. For what reason, I am not sure.

“Was there a motive for this sudden night painting,” I asked.

“I dreamed of the fire man chasing me around the never-ending staircase,” her eyes grew as she took in her work.

“Okay crazy,” I walked away, because she was an artist and it wasn’t my place to try and understand her brand of uniqueness.

What’s their story?