Prompt Challenge: 080316 Secret Pets

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I realize that I missed posting a story last week. I’m sorry! I was on vacation and the internet at the hotel I was staying at sucked. So, I posted nothing last week. Actually, I didn’t read or write much last week. It was weird. It was a nice vacation though.

Anyways, let’s get into the story!

Prompt

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Secret Pets
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I live across the street from a lady. Just 2 weeks ago I noticed her walking to her back yard with a tray of food. She doesn’t have any pets, as the neighborhood I live in doesn’t allow pets.

I am not a social person and I don’t get into other’s business, but I am curious. I had made a decision to introduce myself to my neighbor and I planned on finding out what she was doing with the food she takes to her back yard. Maybe she is hiding a secret pet that she hoped no one would notice. Well, I noticed and I am going to find out.

I walked to the old lady’s house right at sunset. Just about an hour before her usual routine and I knock on her door. I noticed the name on the mailbox was ‘Foster.’

“Hello, Mrs. Foster.” I say as the lady opens the door.

“Hello, Lizzie.” I smile, but wonder how the old lady knows my name. Maybe she has been reading my mail, or maybe she has been watching me like I have been watching her. “What can I do for you?”

“Well, I noticed every night you take food to your back yard.” I say, getting straight to the point. I did mention that I am not a social person right?

“Yes, that is correct.” The old lady says with a smile. She steps back and motions for me to come into the house. I walked in and she shut the door behind me. My flight reflexes were lighting up at this point, but I thought ‘it’s an old lady, what could she do?’ I wish I had listened to myself.

“I am just finishing up the tray for tonight, would you like to help?” I shrugged off my unease and followed Mrs. Foster to her kitchen.

“What do you do with the food?” I ask as she starts cutting up the apples.

“I feed it to my pet.” I knew it! I almost jumped for joy, but I held back.

“Your pet has great taste in food.” I say, looking at the tray of meats, cheese and fruit. “What kind of pet do you have?”

“Why don’t you come with me and see. You will love him.” I am a sucker for animals so I didn’t resist. Why didn’t I resist? Why didn’t I listen to my instincts? Why did I have to be the curious cat?

“Sure thing, Mrs. Foster. I would love to meet your pet.” I grab the tray off the counter. “You do know that we are not allowed to have pets, right?” I ask as I follow Mrs. Foster out the front door and around the house.

“Yes.” She says. “The contract said no dogs, cats, or anything with fur or feathers.” She laughed. “I found a way around the contract, so should I be caught with my pets, I wouldn’t be in trouble with the landlord.”

We made our way to a door at the back of the house. Mrs. Foster fished out a key from her pocket, it was one of those old style skeleton keys. It was old and rusty. I almost ran then. I almost made up and excuse to suddenly need to go home, but again I told myself ‘little old lady.’ I can be such an idiot sometimes.

I followed Mrs. Foster into the door. She let me walk past her and she shut and locked the door back. Great, now I was stuck in this damp dim room. It smelled horrible, like urine and something else, but I wasn’t sure of the smell. I had smelled it before, but I couldn’t remember what it was. Not to worry though, only a few moments later I figured it out.

Mrs. Foster…the little old lady, opened a cage door and told me to set the food on the table in the corner. I did as I was told, but as I sat the food down I heard the cage door slam shut. I turned to face the old woman and watched as she smiled at me.

“New pet.” She said, clapping her hands. Yep, the little old lady had tricked me into a cage. Little old lady…Then I caught the smell again and found it’s source. In a cage beside me I saw a stain on the floor. Bright red and metallic smelling. Blood. Oh yeah, there was blood on the floor. And near that blood lay a body, I am sure it was breathing. The guy looked up at me, his bright blue eyes pained. One hand had been cut off. His limbs were thin as was his body, but not a starved thin. Mrs. Foster took good care of her pets. I shook my head.

“You live across the street?” The guy asked me. I nodded and he nodded back. “Curiosity may not have killed this cat, yet, but it sure did get me in trouble. He sat up and leaned against the cage. You will be safe for a little bit, until Mr. Foster dies any way. She will keep you nice and clean until she gets bored with the boys.”

“Have you tried to escape?” I asked. Surely a man as my cage neighbor could take the old lady.

“Sure, that’s how I lost the hand.” He showed me the stump of his arm. “She doesn’t play around. We may never escape.”

I just had to know where the woman took the food. I had to be nosey, I had to be social. I should have just stayed in my room watching YouTube videos.

But I was sure of one thing. I wasn’t going to sit around like Mrs. Foster’s husband or the man beside me, whose name I later found out was Matt. I was going to break free and let the landlord know that the old lady across the street had pets.

Prompt Challenge: 080216 Fireflies

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! Welcome back to Prompt Challenge Wednesday! I actually enjoyed writing this story and had to stop writing towards the end. It was getting to long, so if the ending sounds a little rushed…it was. It is just a short story after all. I think this one might be another for my file of stories that may become more.

Enjoy the read!

Prompt

BorderFireflies
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I have been watching the lady that lives beside me. I noticed one night that she had walked to her back yard with a tray of food. It wouldn’t have been so suspicious if it hadn’t been a try full of fresh food. Had it been slop, I would have thought nothing of it. I watched her walk around her house and go through the gate, where I lose sight of her. I even tried to see her from the upstairs window, but she goes to a part of the yard that is covered in trees.

I watched her for 2 weeks, and it never failed. Every night at the same time she would walk out of her house with a tray full of food and disappear into her back yard. I finally built up the courage to peak through the fence that separated our yards. But even that had its limits and gave me no new information. I decided that I needed to find out what she was doing, so I started talking to her more.

After a few days I confessed that I had seen her taking the tray of food into her back yard. I was always the type of person to not beat around the bush. If I wanted to know something, I just came out and asked.

The day I asked her about it, she told me to come over that night and she would show me what she does with the food. Her smile was friendly and her eyes sparkled. It was like she was going to show the world her first born or something. She seemed so excited to show me. I didn’t think much of it, I just showed up that night, helped her prepare the food and followed her into the back yard.

The spot of the back yard that was hidden had a picnic table. There was nothing special about it, just a family picnic table. The lady lit the candle that sat in the middle of the candle and sat the tray down. She sat at the table and patted the seat beside her.

“Have a seat.” She said, smiling up at me. “They can be a little shy when new people are around, but they don’t meet a lot of new people, so they will still come.”

“Who?” I asked. I was more curious now than I had been before.

“My parents.” She whispered. I thought the woman was crazy. I was planning on calling the police after I was done, after no one showed up, and get the poor woman some help for her delusions.

“Do they live back here?” I asked her, trying to figure out how crazy she was.

“Silly, no, they don’t live back here.” She shook her head and laughed. “They just come to check on me every night, make sure I am fairing okay in the world.” She looked at me, her eyes lit by the candle light, giving her an eerie other worldly look. “It’s hard to make friends in this world.”

“Yeah, it is.” I said. I was feeling sorry for the woman. She had created some kind of crazy place in her back yard where reality didn’t exist. I knew the woman lived alone and that she never had visitors. I was mad at myself for not being a better neighbor, or even a better human, and looking out for the people that lived around me.

“Here they come.” She said, clapping her hands. I looked at the seats in front of us and saw nothing but two fireflies. They were common around this time of night. But they changed before my eyes. They grew larger, taking human shapes and before I could even blink, two people sat in front of me.

“Daughter.” The male said. He looked at me and smiled, holding out his hand. I stared at his hand. “Is this not what humans do? Shake hands, I think they call it. When they meet someone new.” I shook his hand and nodded.

“Of course.” I mumbled. “I am sorry, but you just…” What had I just seen?

“What is your name, human boy?” The woman asked.

“This is Nick.” The lady said. “He is my neighbor. My new friend. He asked me why I brought food to my back yard every night.” She smiled over at me. I was wondering if I had lost my own mind. Maybe the lady had drugged something she had given me. I did eat cookies when she gave them to me. Maybe that was a stupid idea. Maybe this whole thing was a stupid idea. I was going to have to call the doctor the next morning to get myself checked out at the mental ward.

“What a strange person.” The man said, looking over to his wife. “I think we have shocked him.”

“I bring the food for my parents.” My neighbor spoke to me. “They just love human food, and they can only get it when it is given to them. And they bring me fairy food.”

“Fairy food?” I choked.

“Really?” My neighbor asked. “You haven’t figured it out yet?” She laughed. “My parents are fairies. I meet them out here because it is the only safe place for them to come. No one can see them here and they can’t stand to be inside a house. They say it is unnatural for a fairy to be trapped by four walls.”

“So…You are a fairy?” I asked her.

“Sort of.” She said. She looked at her mother and frowned. “My father made a mistake when he was younger and I was born to a human woman. That human woman didn’t want me, so my father took me to his world and I was raised by him and his wife, which I have grown to love just as if she were my biological mother.”

“Okay.” I said, rubbing my head.

“It’s okay, Nick.” She said laughing. “It’s a lot to handle.” They were all staring at me. “The only reason I have allowed you into this secret is because you are part fairy as well.” She frowned. “Your mother was half fairy and your father was human, so you are not even half fairy, but your mother was the child of a very important fairy.”

“My mother disappeared when I was only 16.” I snorted.

“But I am your grandfather, your mother’s father.” The man spoke to me.

“I’m your aunt!” My neighbor shouted, causing me to jump. “Isn’t it great?” She asked with a clap of her hands.

I felt like my entire life had just become a lie. I was part fairy? What did that mean for me? My mother left when I was a teenager, she just disappeared. Now I have a grandfather sitting in front of me and an aunt beside me. It’s the most family I have had my entire life.

“I am also the king of the fairy realm.” The man who claimed to be my grandfather said. “And while you are not even half fairy, we need you.” The man tried to smile, but his face was hard and unkind. “All of my sons and my sons, sons, have died. You are the only heir to the throne and there is much to learn, much to figure out, and immortality to be found.”

“Yeah, okay. I’m okay with that.” I said, shrugging my shoulders. Obviously, it was all a joke or a dream one.

But it has been ten years since that night. I have married a fairy and we have a child. I have taken the throne and I have won my immortality and the love of the fairy people. I keep asking when I will wake up, but I think I am finally starting to believe that this is real. If it is just a dream, no one wake me up because this is so much better than the human life I was living.

Prompt Challenge: 080116 The Beast

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! Sorry this is a day late. Not only is it a day late, but I also don’t like it. As I was writing it I was in pain and feeling a little sick. That is what working a 10 or 11 hour shift will do to you. Yeah yeah. I know people do that kind of shift all the time, but my shifts are usually 8 hours at the most. And it was truck day. I was hot and sweaty, didn’t get a lot of sleep the night before, and not to mention the pain in my ankle. It was a rough day and my story isn’t so good. So please forgive me. Next week should be much better.

Prompt

BorderThe Beast
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I noticed it not too long after I moved in. The little lady across the street comes out her front door with a plate full of something, and returns without it. At first I didn’t think anything weird of it. I just thought she had a dog or something in the back yard.

A few days after I noticed her do it the first time, I introduced myself. We spoke for a few minutes and I asked her about her pets. It was then that she informed me she had no pets. When I asked her about the food, she laughed it off and told me not to “worry my pretty little head” about it.

Of course, I have always been the curious girl that got herself into more trouble than most. I just had to know the truth. What was the food for? So I waited the next night. I watched her take the food out to the back of the house and come back with nothing in her hands. It wasn’t long before she turned out her lights in her house. I tiptoed to the back of the house, looking for any animals that may be eating the food. I was quiet and tried to stay to the shadows.

I spotted the dish the food was brought out in, but it was already empty. Not even a crumb was left. Frustrated I hurried back home before someone saw me.

The next night I came up behind the old lady’s house from the woods. I had taken a walk to the end of the street and then slipped into the dense woods, making my way back to the old lady’s house. I sat behind a tree and waited for her to bring out the food. I was determined to find out what was eating the food. Of course, I assumed at this point that it was nothing more than a few wild animals. Maybe the lady had some wild furry friends that she just wanted to keep well fed.

The sun had gone down and I watched as the lady made her way around the house with the dish full of food. She sat it in the grass where she had left it the night before. It was hard to see much, as the moon was not even out. I heard the woman clicked her tongue and call out “Come and get it.” She waited for a few minutes and smiled into the forest. It was then that I realized I may have made a big mistake.

I heard the growl come from beside me. Just over a little, right were the old lady had looked with a smile. It never crossed my mind that she may be waiting for something bigger than a raccoon or some other kind of wild animal. I didn’t expect anything bigger than a dog. As I looked over I realized that my curiosity had landed me in a predicament that I would be lucky to escape. I watched as the shadow made its way out of the woods and across the back yard. The black creature towered over the old woman, but she wasn’t afraid. She reached out her hand to it, petting what looked like a muzzle. I would have thought it was a bear, if the thing wasn’t standing on two legs and laughing.

“My baby.” The woman said. “I brought you more tonight.” She smiled and her eyes landed on me. I had fallen into the old woman’s trap. The woman sat on the ground and picked up the plate of food. “It’s much fresher then this food.” She began eating the food herself and the creature turned to the woods. Its glowing blue eyes settled on me and it lunged for the woods. I turned and ran, but I knew I wasn’t going to be fast enough. My fate was sealed the moment I moved in across the street from the old lady. There was a reason the house was so cheap. I should have listened to the realtor . He had told no one ever stayed in the house more than a few weeks. I was just in such a hurry to start a new life, to get away from my messed up past.

And now, here I was running from some kind of beast. I only had seconds to wonder if maybe the realtor was in on the plan as well. Maybe my whole life had lead to this. Who knows, but I never imagined that I would be the dinner of some old lady’s deformed child.

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August Prompt Challenge

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I have some bad news, I didn’t actually write a short story this week. I wasted a bunch of time and didn’t get it written. I know…I have failed at life. Don’t worry, it’s not the first time. Good news is there are 5 Wednesdays this month, so you will still get 4 stories!

For today I will just give you the prompt I have picked for this month!

Prompt

This will give you a chance to write your own story. So…go write something and let me know what you come up with!

I promise, next week there will be a short story!

Prompt Challenge: 070416 Road Rage

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I was going to take the whole week off…just give myself a little room and rethink some things. I am trying to get my blog to a place that I am happy with. But I realized this is one thing about this blog that I am extremely content with and that is my prompt challenge. So, I put together a little story for you.

This story is actually inspired by an incident I had on the road the other day. A guy had a bit of road rage against me because I didn’t get out of his way quick enough. He proceeded to try and run me off the road. I am not going to lie, I have been terrified on the road since then. I haven’t even told many people other than my parents and my brother, but I don’t think it’s something that will ever leave me. I still have little panic attacks every time I see a big blue truck on the road.

So, this story is kind of inspired by what I wanted to do to him. And this is also an example of how this writer deals with stressful situations in her life. 🙂

Enjoy!

Prompt

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The road was quiet today. No other cars on the road but her, though it was like this often. In a world where you were either a hunter or the hunted, no one risked being on the road. Kenzie, however, didn’t care what troubles lay ahead or behind her. She had made a name for herself in the new world. She was feared by most and worshiped by others. She was a fighter that grew up in a cruel world. Her mother and father had left her to die in the desert and the Desert Wolves had raised her.
Don’t get the desert wolves confused with the Desert Wolves. These were not animals, but a group of highly skilled, extremely lethal woman that didn’t take crap from anyone. They collected the trouble makers, took control of entire cities, and the world fell to their knees at the sight of the Desert Wolves. Kenzie had grown up with them, learned their ways, and became their current leader. Kenzie was also known as the Lone Wolf. While she was the leader of the pack, she was often seen going off on her own, just to scout out the towns or feel the wind in her hair. No one could touch her and they all knew it.
At least, she thought everyone knew it. Until this day, this bright, sunny, and dusty day. On a dead road, a truck came up behind Kenzie’s small car. She was only out for a joy ride to give herself a break from the constant fighting. The truck flew up on her, bumping her back end. Kenzie moved her car over to the other side of the road. The truck flew by her and the man driving the car stared at her. Recognition crossed his face. He slowed down, but Kenzie could feel that he was not done yet.
The truck whipped in front of her, almost hitting her front end, causing Kenzie to swerve. Kenzie was getting mad now. Not because the man was an idiot, but because he was trying to damage her car. It wasn’t a fancy car, but it was hers that she had built with her own two hands. She had collected the scrap pieces and put it together. It was her pride and joy in this world full of dirty and distress.
The man in the truck slammed on his breaks, forcing Kenzie to put on her own breaks, whipping to the other side of the road to avoid hitting the bastard. She could feel her anger building and she gripped the steering wheel so tight she knew there would be indentions of her fingers. She stared at the truck, watching as the man rolled down the window to throw out his hand with his middle finger up. Kenzie couldn’t control her anger any longer. She didn’t like getting so angry, but she wasn’t going to hold back.
The windows in the truck burst inwards, causing the man to swerve off the road. As he gained control of the truck, one of the tires blew out, causing him to swerve again. Kenzie couldn’t stop herself. The truck flipped over, tumbling end over end a few times before coming to a stop with the wheels in the air, still spinning.
Kenzie stopped her car, put it in park and got out. She slowly walked over to the truck, hearing the man screaming for help.
“Help?” Kenzie laughed. “You want help now?” She raised her arms and spun around. “No one can hear you.” She smiled and crouched down to look into the truck window. “Help.” She mocked him. “Even if there was someone out here to help you, do you really think they would help you?”
“Please.” He said, reaching out to her. “I was just messing around.”
“You don’t ‘mess around’…” She said, hooking her pointer and middle fingers in the air… “With the Lone Wolf.” She sighed and shook her head. “Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you.” She said, standing up. “I’m not going to leave you here either.” She jerked the dented truck door open, grabbed the man’s arm and pulled him out. The man screamed in pain as his bloody body was drug from the crushed metal that was once his truck. “I’m going to turn you over to the collection.” She said with a smirk.
Kenzie drug the man to her car, grabbing a rope and tying him up. She threw him in the trunk of the car and left the scene of the wreckage. Men got a higher price in this world. Being the leader of the Desert Wolves, she didn’t catch too many for the collection anymore. The organizers of the collection know not to mess with what the Desert Wolves take for themselves. In fact, the collection pays the Desert Wolves to keep them safe. That was what Kenzie had created as the leader of the pack. She had struck fear in those that everyone else had feared before. She was changing the world.
It wasn’t just her fighting techniques or her skills of survival. There was a reason Kenzie had been left in the desert to die. She wasn’t a normal human. She had powers beyond anyone’s imagination. No one knew the extent of her power. She was out to take over the new world, and she was almost there. No one could stop her, not even some bone head man who thought he could run her over on the road. She couldn’t wait to tell the collection what to do with him.

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Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t worry, there is more content to come!

Prompt Challenge: 070316 The Hunter

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! I almost didn’t get this finished in time. I was too busy watching a new show on Netflix called Stranger Things. Don’t worry, I have a review of that coming!

But I got this little story ready to go for you all.

I hope you enjoy it. It’s not my favorite, but I like it.

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Hunger had set in a day ago. Actually, if she really thought about, Elle hadn’t eaten in over a week. Water? She had plenty of that, some weeks it’s the only thing that keeps her going. She only got food when she brought in survivors. She traded them in for food and other supplies. When she brought in males she got more to survive with, which meant she could go longer before having to track down and turn in another person. She knew what she did was wrong, but she didn’t know how else to survive. It was all she had ever known.

There were some hunters that would turn over whole families for profit. Those hunters lived like kings and were worshiped like kings as well. Elle didn’t want to be like them. She only did it to stay alive and she only took in enough to keep her going.

How had the world become what it had? How did Elle become lucky enough to be a hunter instead of the hunted? She didn’t know all of the answers. She has just always been a hunter. The fact that she couldn’t remember anything from her younger life may have hidden the secrets, but she was too afraid of the answers to try and unlock those lost memories.

All Elle was focused on now was finding someone to trade for food. She had standards. The people she traded in didn’t have families and most of them were savages that tried to take advantage of a young woman on her own. She wasn’t defenseless either. But the choices are getting slim and she may have to settle for the first person she could find, no matter who they were.

Unfortunately, the hunt would have to wait a day because the sun was setting and night time was even more dangerous than the day. She climbed into a tree, finding a spot that would support and hide her. She fell asleep, but not deep enough to actually rest. She would get just deep enough to dream, and the dreams were never pretty. Her dreams were filled with all the men and women that she had traded for food. The haunted her the way she had hunted them. They would scream, cry, and attack her. She never woke without a jolt and holding back screams of her own.

The night was long and restless, but it was also helpful. From her spot in the tree she saw the man stumbling through the trees. She made her way down the tree, experience keeping her silent as she stalked behind the man. He fell twice and his breathing was heavy. The human side of her wanted to help him, but the survivor side of her knew this could be one of her only chances for weeks.

The third time the man fell, Elle attacked him. She brought a fist to the back of his head and he dropped, losing conciseness. She went back to the tree to grab her bag to get out the rope she had used several times to tie up catch.

“Elle.” The man said from behind her. She whipped around, comig face to face with the man she thought she had knocked out. “Elle.” The man said again. “Hello…Elle!” He shouted. He grabbed her arms and shook her. “It’s time to wake up.” The man shouted in her face.

Elle’s vision blurred, but the man’s face was clear. She could feel the tree at her back and the man shook her again. “Elle, you have to wake up. Before you get us in trouble.” Her vision started to clear, but her surroundings were different. She looked up into the blue sky. The ground at her back, not a tree. The man in front of her smiled. “Dreaming of being free again?” He asked as the fog cleared as her memories forced their way into her mind. The day she was captured, and the food she was traded for. Her dry throat and always empty stomach. Her hands felt rough as she scraped them down her face.

“A dream.” She said as she stood from her bed. She brushed dirt off of her, not that it helped much as she was covered in years of dirt. The only shower provided for the people in the camps was the rain that sometimes fell on them. It was rare and she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen the rain. She would have cried, but the lack of water made it impossible.

“We have to get to work before the boss comes around.” The man said. Though he wasn’t just a man. He was her brother, brought in the same time she had been. How many years had it been? Twenty maybe. It didn’t matter really, because she was never getting out. No one ever made it out of the camps and new people were traded in every day. If only she had been so lucky to be a hunter.

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I hope you enjoyed it. Leave your thoughts in the comments. 🙂

Writing Prompt: 070216 Changes

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends. I almost didn’t post a short story this week. My mind has been in a dark place and it seems hard enough to get out of bed. But, as a writer, I know that these moods are some of the best times to write. Also, writing is my stress relief, my passion, and something I have to do or the world just sucks me in, chews me up, and spits me out. Writing is how I keep a handle things and keep myself together. So, I wrote and this may be one of the longest short stories I have done in a while. I hope you enjoy it!

Prompt

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As a child I was told stories of a world that was far better than the world that is now. It was a world of beautiful chaos. The biggest worry most people had was falling in love with the right person or getting a better paying job.

This world is not the same. Now, a better paying job does not exist. Either you hunt your fellow man, or you go to the camps where these people are taken. Sure, I could hide. I could go to one of the towns underground. I could make a home for myself there and forget the harsh world above. I could forget about Nolan and the bodies that I owe him. I could abandon the comfortable life I have made for myself, my safe home with running water. I could leave it all behind, but for what? To hide from the sun? To eat food covered in dirt? To always be on the run always in fear that Nolan will find me and take what he wants? No, I won’t do that. I won’t give up what I have worked so hard to do. Even if it means turning in the men that I track down.

I only bring in men. I don’t waste my time with the women, unless they are with the man and poses a threat. Nolan loves when I bring in a pair. I can see the evil in his eyes when his men bring them into his trading station. I sometimes see that look in my sleep and it will keep me awake for days. I don’t know what Nolan does with any of the people I bring to him, all I know is that it’s not good and I am better off ignoring the screams that sound out from behind the fence. I am not heartless, but I am not stupid either.

I used to think like that anyways. I used to hide from the truth, ignore my lonely heart and do what Nolan expected from me. That was before I met a man. A man my age, who I caught rummaging through my scraped food I save for the buzzards while I am out in the hot dry bad lands.  You have to be a light sleeper to make it in the wild. The man had kicked the side of my cabin and I jolted out of bed, my weapon ready to strike whoever dared to attack my home.

I caught him by surprise and was able to wrestle him into my home. I had a cage meant for this, any hunter had a cage ready in their home for their prey. I threw him into the cage and huffed at him. “What were you doing?” I asked him. I stared at him, his eyes were a deep blue, almost black like the night sky. But they sparkled, as if he still had hope in this wasteland. A smile crept across his face and his yellow teeth flashed from between his lips. I looked him over, taking in his ragged long black hair, tan dirty skin, and torn and worn out clothes. He looked no different than the other men I had taken in, except for the light in his eyes.

“Looking for food, of course.” He answered me. I had almost forgotten my question and decided I didn’t care. I wanted to go back to sleep. I made my way across the room to my bed. I had once worried about leaving men caged across the room. I couldn’t sleep before, but I had grown hardened to the world, and I knew my cage was strong. I curled up in bed and covered myself, closing my eyes and hoped I could drift off to sleep.

I couldn’t sleep. Not even a wink. I lay there, staring at the side wall of the room. I could hear the man walking back and forth. It wasn’t long before he started signing. It was a song of my child hood. A song my mother once sang to me.

“Where did you learn that?” I asked him, not sitting up or looking at him. He didn’t answer. I sat up in my bed and stared across the dark room at him. I could see his shadow, and I knew those deep blue eyes were staring right at me.

“I heard it from a girl. When I was younger.” He said.

“Well, be quiet, I’m trying to sleep.” I lay back down and closed my eyes, ignoring the images that flashed behind my eyelids. My parents had been taken by hunters a long time ago. I was 15 when they were stripped from me. I had hidden, like my mother told me. I was young and weak.  I cried for days in the same hiding spot, until a boy came by and heard me. I didn’t remember his name or what he looked like. I hadn’t even thought about him until that moment. He had brought me to safety, a place among the hunters. Not the same ones that took my parents, but they were hunters. They were not like the other hunters. They would only take in the men that refused to cooperate. The ones who had raped and pillaged those they crossed. Those hunters were getting rid of the bad people in the dark world. I was like them once. Before I met Nolan and he decided I owed him for being alive.

“Tess.” The man said, causing my heart to drop. I sat up again and lit the lamp at my bedside. I walked up to the cage and stared up at the man. “I knew that was you.”

“How do you know me?” I asked him, not that I needed too. I knew who he was. He was the boy that had saved me. Now I understood the smile that had crossed his face and the hope in his eyes.

“Stop crying, girl.” He said. The first words he had ever spoken to me. When he had found me crying and hiding. Had he not come for me, I would have wasted away in the pit my mother had hidden me in. Once he had dropped me off with the hunters, he disappeared.

“Heath.” I said, remembering his name. “You…” I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know what to do. I owed my life to this man, not Nolan. Nolan had claimed my life when he saved me from a few raiders a few years ago. I could have fought my way out of that, but Nolan had beat me to it. But Heath, I really did owe him my life.

“Me.” He said, reaching his hand out to brush my cheek. I stepped back from him, feeling the tingle left on my cheek from his touch. “I knew I would find you again one day.”

“You just disappeared.” I whispered. I felt a tear race down my cheek. I had missed him. Even though we were only children, I had missed having someone to talk to.

“I had to leave.” He said. I shook my head.

“You were a kid. You could have stayed with the hunters like I did.”

“Do you remember the hunters I took you to?” He asked me. “They were all women. What place did a boy have in that?” I shook my head again. “I had to find my own safety. Those hunters would have waited until I was old enough and turned me over just like every other man.”

“No.” I said. I stepped back until my legs touched the bed and I let myself fall into it. I sat there and stared at him. The many nights I had dreamed of the boy who had saved me. The boy I had fallen in love with so long ago. My heart sang at the memory of his arms around me, his soothing voice calming my broken heart. “It would have been different.”

“What do you plan on doing with me now, Tess?” He asked, as if he had made his point. “You will turn me in, collect your reward and move on to your next victim.” Was he right? Was I going to turn over the man that had saved me? Was I really going to turn my back on someone I had once considered a friend? He was a man I had once considered more than a friend.

I stood from the bed and crossed the room, finding myself back in front of the cage, in front of the man. I could see his face better now. I could see the kindness in his eyes.

“I never forgot about you.” He said, reaching out of the cage again. This time I took his hand in mine remembering how short of a time I had spent with him and how strongly I had felt about him. I couldn’t turn him over.

I pulled my hand back and unlocked the door of his cage stepping back as the door swung open with a creak.  “I tried to forget you.” Telling the truth, finding the lie I had been telling myself crumble before my eyes. “It’s not safe to have friends.”

“We were more than friends.” He said, stepping out of the cage and closer to me. I held out my hand to stop him.

“You should just go.” I said. My throat was tight as I fought back the tears. This was not a world of friends or lovers. This was a world of survival.

“How could you let me go like that?” He asked, not coming closer but not moving away. I dropped my hand to my side and looked at the floor so he couldn’t see the tears in my eyes.

“Because I can’t turn you in.” I whispered. “Call us even.” I swallowed my tears and straightened my shoulders. “You saved my life. Now I have saved yours. Now leave.”

“No.” His voice was soft, deep, and undeniable. He could have told me to put myself in the cage and I would have done it. Even after all the years, my heart still craved him. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me, to kiss my forehead like he did when we were just teenagers. But I could not let him overpower me. I had a job to do.

“Heath…I ca-“ His arms wrapped around me before I could finish. His arms were warm and safe and I could feel myself breaking. I slumped into him and let my tears escape. My throat was relieved, not having to hold back my sobs. We folded into the floor and I cried into Heath’s chest. I was done with it all. I was done turning people into slaves, putting them into prisons where they were tortured. How could I go back to being the hunter I had been, when it only took one person to break my walls?

You can’t be a hunter once you have found love. And my heart was completely taken by the boy who had saved me all those years ago. He was no different, the same caring and giving soul he had always been. But how could I sit back and let things continue as they were? How could I find love, yet let so many people suffer in what ever hell I had put them in.

Heath kissed my forehead and stood, pulling me with him. “It’s time to bring back the real Tess. The Tess the hunters trained you to be.” He said, pulling my gaze to his eyes. In one single moment I had been lost and found so quick my head was still spinning. I nodded, knowing exactly what he had meant. We were going to turn the world around. We were going to take back our freedom. Return the prisons to what they were meant to be, and Nolan was going to be the first inmate.

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I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to leave any comments. Have a beautiful day, Friends.

Prompt Challenge: 070116 Finding Truth

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! Are you excited for a new prompt? I know I was.

Just quickly, I wanted to share with you the process of picking a new prompt every month. I still live at home with my parents and my brother. So when it’s time to pick a new prompt, I take my prompt jar to everyone in the family to draw out a prompt. I obviously pick one myself. I then read the 4 prompts and either pick my favorite, or get my mom to help me decide which one to do. This month was a little harder to choose because the ones that were drawn were all so fun! But I narrowed it down to this one…

Prompt

BorderFinding Truth
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Jessa moved silently through the dense forest, listening for the heavy footsteps of the man she had been following for the past week. She had learned over the years that it’s best to take your time when tracking a male. Even after all of Jessa’s training, some of the males were stronger than her. She couldn’t be reckless and she had to catch them off guard.

Jessa watched from above the man as she sat on a limb in the tree. He had scouted out his surroundings, knowing the dangers of the new world. No one person was safe, unless you were a hunter. And only women were truly accepted as hunters now. Jessa had never asked what happened to the humans she had presented to Vic, just that she got more when it was a male. So she spent most of her time tracking down the men.

Vic was the head honcho, big man on campus, the boss lady. Vic was as muscular as any man that Jessa had ever captured. She wore her hair slicked back in a tight bun and always dressed in a suit. Jessa was sure the boss lady slept in her suit, if she slept at all. Vic was vicious and demanding. If Jessa was gone for too long, one of Vic’s dogs came for her. And Jessa was feeling her time running out.

She sat in the tree and watched as the man lit a fire, long enough to cook some meat and warm up for the long cold night. The man had no idea he was being watched and Jessa knew it was time to strike. She didn’t like what she did. She didn’t like taking people from the little freedom they had, just to turn them into Vic. She may not know what happened to them, but judging by Vic’s attitude, she imagined it wasn’t all that great for them.

Jessa waited until the man seemed to fall asleep. He was peaceful in his sleep, forgetting the terrible condition of the world. Not many people alive remembered the old world other than the stories that had been tossed around. A world where people lived in homes and worked from sun up to sun down and were able to go home to a warm bed. A world where people sat at tables to eat every night. A world where you could bathe under warm water whenever you wanted.

It was all just stories now. This world was dirty. You were lucky to have a proper bath with clean water and soap once a month, sometimes longer than that. Meals were eaten quickly while crouching around a fire. Your home was a bundle of sticks you had thrown together to look like just a random pile of forest left overs.

Jessa sighed as she crawled down from the tree and made her way to the man. She reached in her pocket and pulled out a spray bottle. The liquid inside was a mixture Jessa had created to keep any human calm and mostly asleep while she tied them up. It was a simple mix of jasmine, lavender, and black skullcap. She misted the spray in the man’s face and waited for his lips to turn blue. They were not the same blue as someone who couldn’t breathe or suffering from the cold. They were more of a sky blue and the effect only lasted 10 seconds.

She tied the man up, making sure the knots could not be undone.

“Don’t do this.” The man said, shocking Jessa. She paused for a moment, but grunted at him, refusing to speak to him. It was never good to speak to the person whose life you had just condemned. “You can still untie me.”

“Quiet.” She said as she sat him against the tree and began to prepare a stretcher to drag the man back to Vic.

“I have escaped Vic once; I know what she does to them in there.” He said, grabbing Jessa’s attention. She turned to him, listening, but not saying anything. “For the men, she castrates them.” He winced. Jessa continued making her stretcher, and the man continued speaking. “The women get off a little easier. They are impregnated by Vic’s chosen men. Then she puts them all, male and female, in the mines, finding as much gold as they can. There is rumor that she has other places, other camps, where they are forced to mine for other jewels and anything valuable. She says once the world is reestablished, she will be the queen of it all.”

“That is what happened in the first place.” Jessa spat. “One ruler destroyed the whole world. Too much power was given to one man.”  She looked at the man, her head cocked to the side. “Why would she be so stupid as to do that again?”

“Because she feels as a woman she will do a better job.” He told her. “But look what she has already done. She has turned human on human worse than what it was before. She kills the slaves once they are too weak to continue, and they weaken quickly. She does not feed them properly or give them enough water.”

“What do I care?” Jessa asked as she finished her project. She tested the knots to make sure the stretcher would not fall apart.

“Because you will be in there one day. Have you ever wondered why there are so few hunters? How many have you crossed in the past year?”

“It takes a strong person to be a hunter.” Jessa said with her hands on her hips. The man raised his hands, free of the knots.

“I was strong. I was a hunter and I brought in more men and woman than any other hunter.” He stood up, not threatening Jessa, but showing her she had failed. “Vic turned on me when I found out what she was doing. She is allowing women to be raped, and she is mutilating men.”

“Lies.” Jessa said to him.

“Why do you think she sends out her dogs to find you when you have been gone too long? She is checking to make sure you are not plotting against her. She is running the show already, but the longer she has to take control of it all, the worse it will be for the rest of us.”

“You are just trying to get free.”

“I am already free.” The man said, a frown on his face. “I can show you.” He said, taking a step towards Jessa. She didn’t move. She would not show weakness. “I can show you everything, prove it all. I can get back in the way I got out. We can save them all. Even the ones you have turned in yourself.”

“They would kill me.” Jessa said, a sick feeling in her stomach. Now that the man stood closer she could see the sorrow in his eyes, the pain and grief, the results of a hard life. She even saw guilt in his eyes. She knew he was telling the truth, she could feel it radiating from his very soul. “It takes more than two to rescue the world.” She said, shaking her head.

“There are more than just you and me.”

BorderThe End
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I hope you enjoyed. Let me know what you think. Come back next Wednesday for a new story!

Prompt Challenge: 060416 The Path

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends! This is the last week with this prompt challenge. I am ready for a new one, but this one has been fun. Though, when do I dislike a good prompt challenge?

I wanted to challenge myself a little further today, so I challenged myself to write this weeks prompt story in 500 words or less. It ended with 499 words. YES! Nailed it!

Since it’s short I hope you enjoy it just as much as any other of my short stories.

Prompt Quote

BorderThe Path
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There was a path in the woods. Worn, yet overgrown. Like it had once been overly used, but was forgotten soon after. It made me sad at first, to see something so loved, left behind and collecting dust. So, I decided to follow the path and find out where it went.

It wasn’t a long path, in fact, it was only a few steps, but when I looked behind me the path I had traveled look much longer. I couldn’t hide the smile on my face. I had found something magical and I suddenly didn’t care where it led me, because I had found magic.

As I came into an opening, there was a little man standing there smiling at me. He was almost jumping with joy when he saw me, and I couldn’t help but to laugh at him.

“Hello!” He shouted to me as I made my way to him.

“Hi.” I said back, not sure what was going on.

“It’s so great that you have made it here. This place has been long overdue for a new keeper.” The little man grabbed my hand and pulled me towards a group of trees. “Your home has been cleaned and ready for you. You can bring anything in that you like. You can leave when you want, but you can’t be gone too long.”

“What are you talking about?” I asked, trying to free my hand from him.

“The Enchanted Hallow.” He stopped and turned to face me. “Or some call it the Mythical Mountains. Enchanted Forest. The Common Caves.” I shook his head. “I hate when they call in the Common Caves. They use that to throw off the non-believers. But the true believers find themselves in places like this, when it is their turn to care for magic.” He beamed up at me.  “The path chose you. You love for magic and fantasy has lead you here.”

“Okay…” I said. I wasn’t going to fight it. I had been searching for something like this all my life.  A place that needed me. A place that was proof of what I had always believed it. I knew magic was real.

“It’s not just magic that is real.” The man said as if he had read my mind. “When you think of magic you think of good things. Unicorns, fairies, and all things good in the world. But there is a balance. Where there is good, there is also evil. And it is your job to keep the evil at bay. Or the world of magic could take a dark turn.”

“Okay.” I said again, raising my chin and setting my shoulders straight. It wasn’t going to take much to convince me. “Where do I live?”

He pointed me toward the opening of the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly lager once you’re inside.”

“Magic.” I said as I entered my new home and accepted my fate as one of the worlds protectors of good magic.

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Leave your thoughts about the story in the comments. Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Prompt Challenge: 060316 The Chosen

Prompt Challenge

Hello Friends. I don’t have much to say other than, I am sorry. This story may be a little dark and super depressing. I don’t think I have the ability to write a normal story, and if it doesn’t involve supernatural beings, it’s really dark. Maybe I have some issues that I am not dealing with in my head??

Either way, here is this weeks short story. Again, I am sorry it’s not fluffy, frilly, and happy. But I like to think it’s a good story.

Prompt Quote

BorderThe Chosen
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He pointed me toward the opening in the tree. “I’m sure you’ll be pleased. It’s surprisingly large once you’re inside.” And then he helped me into the tree.

That is where I have been this whole time. He told me to stay and he would come back for me. I fear he won’t be back, it has been a while. I don’t know how long it has been. I used to hear people walking by the tree, some of them even yelling my name. At first I thought it was funny that they couldn’t find me. I thought I had been hidden really well, but it became old soon enough.

I tried climbing out of the tree, but I couldn’t get my arms or legs to work, they seem stuck in place. I tried crying out when I heard people stumbling around the woods around my tree, but I found that my voice no longer worked. No tears fell and I found that I could feel nothing but cold. Everything was so cold. I wanted to go home. I wanted my warm bed and hugs from my mother. I wanted to watch dumb football games with my dad. I wanted to go to the mall with my brother. I wanted to call my best friend. Yet, I am here alone and forgotten.

I don’t know how long I have been here, but I am ready to get out. No matter how hard I try I cannot seem to escape. I can’t sleep, I can’t scream, and while I know I have been here for a while, I am not hungry. I am just cold and alone.

I started to think about who put me here. The man with the pretty smile and the bright green eyes.  He told me we wouldn’t be gone long, but I can’t recall what happened between the park and the tree. My heart races as I try to remember and I stop trying to remember. I am afraid of the memory I have forgotten. But the thought always comes back.

I start to remember, even though I try not to. I remember following the man with the pretty smile to his car. He promised me and ice cream. He said it was a date.

He wasn’t a man, he was a friend. Actually, he was my best friend’s older brother. I had a crush on him and he knew it, because my best friend told him. He was a college boy and I had the biggest crush on him. I thought nothing of it when he offered to buy me ice cream. My heart fluttered when he called it a date. I knew I was too young for him, but I went along with it. I didn’t tell my parents where I was going because I knew they would be mad. Why didn’t I just tell them?

It wasn’t until after I got in his car that I felt something wrong. The sweet sparkle in his eye became a devious glint. I started talking a little crazy. He was telling me how pretty I was and how much he wanted to be alone with me. I am only 14 and I started to feel uncomfortable when he reached over and touched my leg. I told him that I needed to go home, that I forgot I had to be home early. But that devious glint became brighter. He pulled off the road and down a dirt road. I tried to call home, but he pulled the phone out of my hands and threw it out the window.

He stopped the car in a clearing and pulled me out of the car. I kicked him where my dad always taught me to kick a boy who was attacking me. I always thought my dad was paranoid, but then I was grateful for his advice. Though, it didn’t help. I don’t remember much after that. Evan, my best friends brother caught up to me. He hit me in the head and I blacked out. I woke up when he was putting me in the tree. I had forgotten what had happened at that point. I had blocked it all out. I still can’t fill in the pieces, but it doesn’t matter.

I hear the people again, they are quiet this time and they come right to me. I can feel relief rush over me. They easily reached in and pulled me out. I could finally stretch, or I thought I could. My body was stiff and I couldn’t move them.

Home. I made it home. I was standing in the doorway of the living room. My family was sitting on the couch watching TV. I could hear my mom sobbing. My best friend, Shelley, stood by my side, holding my hand and smiled. She didn’t say anything, but something about her was wrong. Something about me was wrong.

“Today, what we hope is the last body, was found.” The news anchor reads from his script. “We are not certain, but we believe that this was the first murder by Evan Newcomb.” My heart thudded hard against my chest. Evan Newcomb, Shelley’s brother was a killer? I looked at Shelley and watched a tear streak down her cheek. I hugged her close.

“Ari Shields, 14 when she disappeared, was found today.” My attention was back on the TV as a picture of me flashed across the screen. I looked back at Shelley. “The body was found just as the other had been found, including the body of his sister, Shelley. All the victims were dismembered and shoved into various trees with in the same forest. Every tree was only a few yards from one another.” No. This couldn’t be.

“According to police, all victims where young girls and all had signs of rape.” I struggled to breathe, not that it mattered anymore. I was dead. Shelley was dead. We had been murdered by someone we had looked up to at one point. Had he raped me before he disposed of me?

“Evan Newcomb was executed this morning by electric chair. After five years the families of these young girls have finally had some closure. It was known that the first victim killed, though found last, had been killed by Evan. Evan himself admitted to the crime just last year.”

I heard someone come up from behind me. Shelley and I both turned to find her brother, standing there, staring at us. That devious glint in his eye again. The world of the living only thought it was over. They didn’t know what was happening around them. We are the restless spirits that will live our after lives, running from the horror that took us from our human life. There is no safety, just constant fear and running.

Over all, Evan killed 14 girls before he was captured. In this hell, 14 girls ran from the monster that Evan had become. Shelley doesn’t think it’s really him. She thinks something happened to him while he was in college. But it doesn’t matter. Because of him, I am stuck in this dark world, watching my family move on, my brother grow older than me, the world forgetting about the 14 young girls raped and murdered by some sick boy. They think it’s over because he got what was coming to him. Why didn’t he rot in prison for years before they killed him? Instead they sent him here, to continue torturing his chosen.

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What did you think? Leave me some comments. 🙂