Covered With What? – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 17 January 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Rash
  • Wax
  • Phone

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

ANNE CARGILE:

“Are you kidding me?” she screamed over the phone. “I thought you said this place was legit!”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “I’ve been going there for years.” I twirled the cord in my hand, wondering how bad it had been. Whatever, I thought, she deserved it.

“You told me they did the best Brazilian wax in the state!” Amber screeched.

“They do,” I replied mildly.

“Then what is happening? I’m covered!”

“Covered with what?”  I pulled out a treat for my cat, Numbz, short for Numbnuts. A private joke with the vet. Numbz liked the duck jerky, and who was I to deny him?

“This rash”, Amber gasped. I heard something that sounded suspiciously like scratching, and taking the cue, scratched Numbz’s ears, much to his delight. His purr sounded like a freight train and I grinned.

“Oh dear,” I said. “I have no idea how that could have happened. I’ve never had any issue myself.”

“I have a date tonight with Brad!” she screamed.

“Oh, was that tonight?”  I smiled at Numbz. “I had totally forgotten.”

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LISA BARRY:

Donna’s rash words still hurt as Sam sat on the couch and stared at the phone blinking full of messages on his side table. It had been less than a day but last night’s fight had impinged. If she thought that was going to steer him away from his goal, she was not the women for him. The shrill ring of his phone echoed throughout his half-packed apartment. Funnily enough, Donna’s scolding had only made the burn to leave the city that much brighter. A situation he couldn’t refuse. To go to a place that Donna had vowed never to return. His father has passed. His brother was missing. He was the only one left to take over the clan. He felt the pull like a magnet to steel. He had to go. It was his legacy, his duty. He was the strongest left of the lionweres and he would make a difference. Donna could not ever change that. He picked up the phone and waxed enthusiasm.

“Hello, Mother.”

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DALIA LANCE:

Shelly looked back to her cabana “I think that is my phone, excuse me” she turned and walked away not waiting for a reply.

She moved into her bedroom and released a sigh. She would have to figure out how to avoid him for the next week.

“Phones don’t work on the island” he was standing behind her. He wasn’t quite past the line where her patio ended and bedroom began but she felt invaded.

She looked around as if trying to find the noise she made up coming from something else “My mistake, I wonder what that was.”

He then crossed the threshold “Do you want me to help you look?” he asked and without a moment of hesitation she yelped “NO!” then a breath “No I am good. I think I will just take a nap”. A look of disappointment crossed his face as he turned to leave.

“Make sure you take the wax off of the fruit before you eat it.” He said as he was leaving.

“What?” she replied without thinking.

He turned back again “The wax on the fruit, it will cause a rash” and with that he turned and left.

Now she was confused, worried, annoyed and nauseous. She should have stayed at home for all of this.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

Cathy’d been on the phone with the European Wax Center for twenty minutes already, getting passed from person to person. She’d been told to hold for the manager, and when the sultry smooth silky voice of the manager came on the line, and called itself, “Shiloh” she knew she’d reached the top of the line. Shiloh was a name reserved for Salon managers or hippies.

“How may I help you?” purred Shiloh.

“Um, did anyone already talk to you about my issue?”

“Please let’s begin fresh. Tell me how I can help you?”

Great. Nobody had bothered to explain to the next person why she’d called out of four people so far, so she’d had to re-tell the story, smack in the middle of her office, and by this time, she felt like maybe she’d need to raise her voice so that people more than two cubicles away could listen in better.

“Okay, so am I really definitely talking to the person in charge?”

“M-hm,” Shiloh intoned in a voice so soporific and calming that she almost forgot why she was calling. New age music whistled and bonged in the background at the wax center where she was calling, occasionally slipping past that voice.

“Fine. So I got waxed yesterday, and today I woke with a huge rash over the entire area.”

“What area might that be?” Cathy sighed.

“The private one,” she hissed. A giggle snort erupted from the cubicle to her South. Benjamin wasn’t even pretending not to be amused anymore.

“What private area?”

“How many do you have, lady? Let’s just call it the one so many Brazilians have.”

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

Angela stared at the burning candle, mouth twisting in concentration as the wax perched on the edge, seemingly defying gravity as it refused to spill down the side of the tall candlestick. “But…” she began, but the words trailed off. She looked from the candle to the beaker in front of her. More concentration, this time with her eyebrows joining the massive party of confusion across her face. “How…”

Arthur waited another long moment, seeing if she would articulate her issue, but her face was just too much, and he spoke, unable to keep the rash words inside, almost immediately cursing himself for the outburst. “What is it, Miss Price?”

Her face twisted even more, painfully at a loss, and sympathy suddenly overwhelmed his annoyance. “What?” he prompted, more gently this time. He had to remember that it was hard for first-timers. The stress of these tests was horrendous. He remembered those days. He should be kinder.

“It’s just…” again with the pathetic face, “how…how can I get the wax into the beaker?”

He stared at her for a long moment, wondering if he had heard correctly.

“I mean, it won’t even roll down the candle, so how do I get it into my potion like that?”

With a long-suffering sigh, he reached out and picked up the candlestick, tilting it so the wax ran freely off the side.

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BRANDON SCOTT:

The man on the swing chuckled and pushed away his oversized bangs. “They always do that, sorry if it made you nervous.”

She did not know what to say to him. When she’d signed up for the island’s program, she’d obviously know what it entailed—but that did not mean she really had a grasp on what was okay and what was normal in this place. She’d seen an awful lot of candles, thick golden wax candles, just lying around in a room marked first come, first served earlier.

“So…uh…” she trailed off and took a nervous step closer.

“Yeah, I know—it’s awkward. Just sit here, I don’t have a rash or anything.”

She did, after a few wobbling steps. He gave her a small smile, and then pulled out his phone. She did not know why, but she could not stop noticing how veiny his hands were.

The man flicked through a few things on his phone, before her own image sat there, smiling. She hated that look on her, but when they asked for a picture of her from the last five months, it was the only one she’d bothered to take—data limits sucked.

“So, then, your name is Sasha?” he asked.

“Yeah …”

“Well, Sasha, apparently you and I are potential true loves.”

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Featured Author: Brandon Scott

FEATURED AUTHOR

Brandon Scott

Brandon’s Website

Brandon’s Facebook

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________

Match, Island, Swing

“Are you sure it’s a good match?”

The boy, the one who did not appear to want her to know his name, nodded and gestured down to his phone.

“But, like, how can you be sure?”

He raised an eyebrow and rolled his eyes, but still did not speak. He had not spoken a word, not since they’d met—as if the island was not creepy enough as it was.

“Okay, fine…fine…” she muttered and continued walking along the path. The sand was too sifting, and the heat just a little bit too hot. She’d overestimated the wine’s potency and was not nearly as drunk as she would have liked.

The boy moved fast, tiny legs easily skimming over the hot sand, and went up a sharp hill. She, with a little panting, followed along, cresting the hill and looking a tad white. What she saw next seemed to undo any of what her time on the luxury island had done for her complexion. All that remaining tan went with a little sweep of emotion.

“Uh…” was all her brain managed, as she stood not too far from a man on a swing, kicking out his feet in little pushes and then coming to almost melancholy stops.

The boy pointed, and then, without a word still, ran back the other way—leaving her there alone with him.

 

 ____________________________________

Rash, Wax, Phone

The man on the swing chuckled and pushed away his oversized bangs. “They always do that, sorry if it made you nervous.”

She did not know what to say to him. When she’d signed up for the island’s program, she’d obviously know what it entailed—but that did not mean she really had a grasp on what was okay and what was normal in this place. She’d seen an awful lot of candles, thick golden wax candles, just lying around in a room marked first come, first served earlier.

“So…uh…” she trailed off and took a nervous step closer.

“Yeah, I know—it’s awkward. Just sit here, I don’t have a rash or anything.”

She did, after a few wobbling steps. He gave her a small smile, and then pulled out his phone. She did not know why, but she could not stop noticing how veiny his hands were.

The man flicked through a few things on his phone, before her own image sat there, smiling. She hated that look on her, but when they asked for a picture of her from the last five months, it was the only one she’d bothered to take—data limits sucked.

“So, then, your name is Sasha?” he asked.

“Yeah …”

“Well, Sasha, apparently you and I are potential true loves.”

 

 ____________________________________

Juice, Unwanted. Jelly

Sasha winced, again, she knew that was the deal—she’d been offered the chance through some random dating app she’d been trolling for perhaps one decent guy in her city, but to be so blunt about it, well, she was not a blunt sort of girl.

“I guess so,” she said and stared off into the distance. For a long, profoundly awkward moment, they both sat there.

“Juice,” he finally asked, and she jerked her head back.

“Look, okay—they set these up, okay, and it’s always a little awkward.”

“How could you know –if you already…?”

The man darkly glanced at the ground, still holding a little glass jar of pear juice that looked heavenly to Sasha, she’d only eaten jelly on toast since she’d gotten here.

“Turns out, you always get five—everyone, by sheer math, always have five true loves in the world. If one becomes…unwanted, for whatever reason, or someone dies, they bring you back: for free.”

Sasha did not know how to take this data but did accept his offer of juice. Her head was swirling a bit, and full of something fuzzy. But, and she had to keep reminding herself of this, the matchmakers did claim they were true loves.

So, she took another sip, wished it were wine and looked him in the eyes.

He held her gaze calmly and said, “So, want to try it out?”

“Hell to it,” she muttered and kissed him so hard they fell out of the swing.

 

 

 

____________________________________

About Brandon Scott

Hey, my name is Brandon Scott (though I often go by the name coolerbs). In 2014 I became a professional writer and it has been the ride of my life. I’ve met so many incredible people, and created more than I thought I ever could. And I am so excited for the future.

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Create a Better Day – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 17 January 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Match
  • Island
  • Swing

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

LISA BARRY:

She lit the match and watched the flame burn down to just before her finger and thumb and then dropped it into the cove’s icy water. The island was supposed to be an escape, a salvation from her aching heart. But instead, it increased the awareness of what she was missing. The swing of the pendulum had only ended back where it started, with a shredded heart and a heavy head. The sun was just dropping down and it looked like it too was being singed to nothing by the horizon. Lifting her head to sky, Sorla gazed upon the slowly darkening heavens and wished on the first star she spotted. She breathed in the salty air, dug her toes in the cool sand and decided to create a better day. As long as she continued to get up, things could be better. It was in her hands… Sorla looked at her hands. The pale skin glowing and knew that it was indeed her hands that would change the face of life.

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DALIA LANCE:

She couldn’t believe her luck. She had waited her entire life for something like this to happen.

As she stared out of her cabana to the white sands and blue waters of the beach in front of her she could not imagine a more perfect place.

This was the island of her dreams.

Then she heard the sound that would plaque her forever “Hey there” came a nasally voice from her left. She turned to see a man, well he was at least male, sitting in a wooden bench swing that seemed to be propped between her cabana and her neighbors.

“Ummm” she actually didn’t know what to say.

He decided to get up and walk towards her “So, did you just get here?” he asked. His voice was like liquid nails on a chalkboard.

“Yes” she said trying to look for something to occupy herself instead of speaking with him more.

“Well then we will be seeing A LOT of each other” he continued, she winced “I am here for another two weeks.”

This vacation was ruined in a matter of moments.

This was a tropical match made in hell.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

When I agreed to come out to the barrier island for an overnight, Sandra hadn’t mentioned that there would be so many strippers there. Maybe I would have worn a less grandma bathing suit, or maybe I wouldn’t have packed a picnic in a real live picnic basket like an idiot. Maybe I wouldn’t have brought my largest hiking pack, or a tent. But here I was, sitting somewhere between Caladesi and Seminole beaches on a large mexican blanket on a little spit of land in the intracoastal, with twenty people who belonged in Hollywood. Here I was wearing a large one piece sitting next to the three hottest men I’d ever seen, one of which looked like maybe he might swing my way. Didn’t some movie star start out out here?

Sandra was splashing in the surf, and I watched her in wonder. How did she even know these folks? Near her, two female strippers had on nothing but floss bottoms, and were currently doing lines of coke off a cooler of beer, which wasn’t really what I had in mind, so I dug my toes down into the sand off the edge of my beach blanket and pulled a sandwich out of my basket. Cucumber sandwiches were my favorite, and I’d packed enough to get me through until tomorrow morning.

Do you have a match? said a tall lanky brunette with six pack abs as he walked up with an armload of driftwood.

Um, yeah. As I rummaged, I thought perhaps there was an upside to being prepared for camping out.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

“Are you sure this was in the brochure?” Aileen asked, glancing up at the swing hanging from the tree worked perfectly into the side deck attached to the cabana. She tugged the chainlink toward her and touched the black seat bottom. “I think this is real leather.” She looked up at her husband. “Just what kind of place did you bring me to?”

Mark looked at the swing, eyes crinkling as he considered the possibilities. “The brochure mentioned all this island stuff. You know, beaches and bikinis, and massages, and yoga and little drinks with umbrellas.”

Aileen gave him a look. “Seriously? Then what do you call this?”

“A yoga swing?” he tried, voice cracking as he took in the solid construction, the perfect height of the seat, the wooden decking beneath worn smooth by what must have been hundreds of feet over the years. Just because it looked like a sex swing didn’t mean it only had one use. “There are lots of reasons someone might want to swing out here. The view of the wooden fence is lovely, the full bushes perfectly obscuring any neighborly witnesses…” he trailed off.

“Yoga.” It wasn’t a question. “Does this form of yoga come with a matching pair of handcuffs?”

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BRANDON SCOTT:

“Are you sure it’s a good match?”

The boy, the one who did not appear to want her to know his name, nodded and gestured down to his phone.

“But, like, how can you be sure?”

He raised an eyebrow and rolled his eyes, but still did not speak. He had not spoken a word, not since they’d met—as if the island was not creepy enough as it was.

“Okay, fine…fine…” she muttered and continued walking along the path. The sand was too sifting, and the heat just a little bit too hot. She’d overestimated the wine’s potency and was not nearly as drunk as she would have liked.

The boy moved fast, tiny legs easily skimming over the hot sand, and went up a sharp hill. She, with a little panting, followed along, cresting the hill and looking a tad white. What she saw next seemed to undo any of what her time on the luxury island had done for her complexion. All that remaining tan went with a little sweep of emotion.

“Uh…” was all her brain managed, as she stood not too far from a man on a swing, kicking out his feet in little pushes and then coming to almost melancholy stops.

The boy pointed, and then, without a word still, ran back the other way—leaving her there alone with him.

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Featured Author: Nicole DragonBeck

FEATURED AUTHOR

Nicole DragonBeck

www.NicoleDragonBeck.com

Nicole’s Facebook Page

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________

blow, infatuated, streak,

 

Ever since she could remember, she had been infatuated with the stars. She would sit for hours just watching the skies, with the glittering diamonds streaking and falling. And then one day they were just gone. All of them. She went out every night and waited for their brilliance to return, but all she had for company was the chill wind blowing through an empty sky. The others were scared, and set alight huge pyres to appease the gods, but the stars did not return. She was not scared, but she was sad to lose her sparkling friends. For a long time, she wondered where they had gone, and continued her nightly ritual though it was a cold and lonely time without the stars. After a while, she no longer went out every night, and then not every week. Finally, she no longer noticed the flat black sky that was left when the sun disappeared behind the horizon, and her childhood wonder never entered her thoughts. That all changed when the man with the silver eyes arrived in the town, at his side a massive wolf.

____________________________________

candle, black, wax

 

She made her way down to the tavern. The streets were rapidly emptying as everyone scurried to their homes. She adjusted the basket of bread on her shoulder, and went through the wide doors. Warm golden light and the smell of ale greeted her, and she relaxed. Walking up to the counter, it was several moments before she realized someone was watching her. It was several more before she found him, sitting in the darkest corner, his eyes glittering like gems. A single candle flickered in front of him, the wax oozing down the sides. She was disconcerted when she saw it writing and looping on itself to form the likeness of a beautiful flowering vine. “Do you like my work?” a voice issued from the shadows. She averted her eyes, and dropped into a shallow curtsy more as a reaction rather than a gesture of any respect. “I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, sir,” she murmured, and though she was no longer looking in his direction, she could plainly see the wax dripping into a perfectly normal puddle in the saucer. “I’m sure you don’t,” the voice agreed. She turned to continue to the bar to drop off the bread for dinner, and found herself confronted with a massive black wolf, its golden eyes level with hers and a pink tongue lolling from its mouth.

____________________________________

telescope, stickler, beard,

 

She swallowed, and edged to the side. The wolf’s eyes followed her, and when she had almost made it around the the chair, when the wolf backed around and cut her off. “Can you call him away?” she called to the man behind her. A sharp whistle made the wolf pad past her and back to its master. “Come sit with me.” She sighed. “I really don’t have time for small talk.” “Then we won’t talk small. Sit.” Something in his voice couldn’t be argued with and she sat. His beard was thick and neat, his face worn. The wolf sat with its head in his lap. An open satchel on the table showed an array of impressive tools, a knife, a telescope, a crystal ball, and other things that she didn’t recognize. “I’m sorry for the informality, I’m not a stickler for pomp and circumstance,” he said, and chuckled. “I suppose I’ve been out in the Wilds for too long to be fit company for civilized folks.” “Whatever made you go out there?” she asked. “The question is what made me come back,” he replied, the jovial expression falling from his face.

____________________________________

About Nicole DragonBeck

NicoleInto the AbyssNicole DragonBeck was born in California one snowy summer long ago, the illegitimate offspring of an elf and a troll. At a young age her powers exploded and she was banished to the wilderness of South Africa because her spells kept going inexplicably awry. There she was raised by a tribe of pygmy Dragons and had tremendous adventures, including defeating a terrible Fire-Demon that had been tormenting a sect of Dwarf priests. In gratitude they taught her the arcane magic of writing and the rest is horribly misinterpreted history. She reads as much as she writes, is obsessed with dragons and Italians, enjoys cooking, listening to music and can often be heard fiddling on a keyboard or guitar. She currently lives in Clearwater, Florida, is a member of The Ink Slingers’ Guild and is working on several novels, all of which have at least one mention of a dragon. She lists friends, music and life among her greatest influences.

The fourth book in DragonBeck’s Guardians of the Path fantasy series is called The Other World and will be available for purchase soon. Check out the first book in the series, First Magyc, and prepare for adventure!

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She looked Adorable – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 13 December 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Telescope
  • Stickler
  • Beard

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

DALIA LANCE:

“I can’t see a thing” Marcia said seeming even more frustrated then before.

Chris smiled a little because she looked adorable looking out of the telescope into the night sky.

Since he spent most of his time studying the stars, when he had met Marcia and saw her joy and wonderment it renewed his passion for his work.

He got up and walked towards her “Let me help you.”

As he came up behind her putting his hand on her waist she turned and at first gave me a small pout on her lips and then smiled reaching up to his face. She put both hands on the side of his chin, running her fingers through his beard and pulling him in for a kiss.

After a few moments on simply enjoying each other Marcia pulled away and smiled again “fix it please.”

Chris of course couldn’t resist and looked out of the telescope and sure enough there was something blocking the view. He moved around to the front of it, not wanting to leave her embrace and looked at the lens. There was a sticker on it that had hearts and said “I love you”

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LISA BARRY:

 

I scratched my short beard and thought about the best plan of action. If I went over there, the little witch might be able to do something foul to me too, but I was stickler for punching bullies where it counts. Carson was human, so he wouldn’t be very useful except…

“Hey Carson, let’s go have ourselves a chat with some little hotties.”

Carson stood nervously from his chair, but he was totally into it. As soon as we got over there, Pink met my eyes and gave me a smile that would have stopped a normal mans heart. The witch frowned but when Carson finally got the courage to say hello, her concentration dropped and Pink girls words, to me I noticed happily, were heard halfway through her sentence.

“I wondered when you would come same hi,” she said. I sat down and asked if I could get her another coffee.

“Get lost,” the witch said to Carson.

“I think you may need to rethink your friends,” I said softly to Pink even though I was a little scared to telescope in to her friend like that. She frowned but knew I was right. I girl that looked exactly like the witch came from the back of the coffee shop and blinked her lashes at Carson. He immediately started talking to her. The witch huffed and left the table. Carson and I smiled at each as we realized that we had actually scored some decent babes.

 

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

 

She swallowed, and edged to the side. The wolf’s eyes followed her, and when she had almost made it around the the chair, when the wolf backed around and cut her off. “Can you call him away?” she called to the man behind her. A sharp whistle made the wolf pad past her and back to its master. “Come sit with me.” She sighed. “I really don’t have time for small talk.” “Then we won’t talk small. Sit.” Something in his voice couldn’t be argued with and she sat. His beard was thick and neat, his face worn. The wolf sat with its head in his lap. An open satchel on the table showed an array of impressive tools, a knife, a telescope, a crystal ball, and other things that she didn’t recognize. “I’m sorry for the informality, I’m not a stickler for pomp and circumstance,” he said, and chuckled. “I suppose I’ve been out in the Wilds for too long to be fit company for civilized folks.” “Whatever made you go out there?” she asked. “The question is what made me come back,” he replied, the jovial expression falling from his face.

Like Nicole on Facebook!

BRANDON SCOTT

Henry’s gaze was like a telescope on Little Timmy, growing closer and closer. And despite the weak protests of Kyle, so small beside him, he moved forward almost automatically. Flowing forward on his feet and with eyes wide.

“I am sorry,” he said, his voice weak. For that moment, with the darkness of his fetish in his soul still bared, he looked frightening. His beard, though mostly managed, was a scraggly thing, reddish-flecked but mostly brown.

Little Timmy looked up with wide, tear-colored eyes. So full of reflected light, it contrasted with the red puffy skin beneath. “You blew out my birthday candles. You blew out my candles!”

Henry did not flinch, did not react much beyond the darkness in his eyes growing more powerful, more pronounced, as he stalked forward. This talk of candles was doing things to his body. And he was doing a poor job of controlling that.

“Oh, don’t be such a stickler for this. Don’t be so that way, okay?”

Little Timmy sniveled but still looked at him with disdain. Some things, it appeared, were not so easily forgiven. And, to a kid, that may have been the greatest crime ever committed.

“Suck it,” Timmy said, drawing upon the strongest swear he felt comfortable to use—even if the meaning was lost on him slightly. Suck what?

“It’s all over, okay? I don’t have any more candles; can’t you protect me and forgive me?”

Protect?” Timmy spat back, and then his eyes widened. Henry was still stalking forward, but that was not what he was looking at, what he was gawking at right then.

Henry got it too late, and turned, only to have a flower pot explode on his face, and the water wash over his skin. His eyes swam, and the kick to the groin dropped him into unconsciousness.

Kyle panted, and stood over him, eyes wide in a different way. He was not aware he could be that violent—it had not occurred to him.

“I’m calling the police,” he muttered.

“Yeah—the cops will get him for my birthday,” Little Timmy said.

Kyle pursed his lips and bopped his head. “Sure…yeah. That is what he’ll go to prison for. Right.”

He let out a sigh and looked up at his son. “Tim, buddy, could you maybe wait upstairs?”

“I want to see the police,” came the immediate request.

“I’ll buy you a new cake,” Kyle said, his voice flat.

Timmy was pretty sure he did not have to give into demands on his birthday but went along with it.

 

 

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Featured Author: Brandon Scott

FEATURED AUTHOR

Brandon Scott

Brandon’s Website

Brandon’s Facebook

 

Every time the Ink Slingers meet, we do two to three writing exercises that must include three to four specific words that were unknown to the author prior to hearing the loud “START!” command and then getting to it! We love sharing the end result with you.

Sometimes the author will have three unique shorts and other times the author will write a continuing story from one exercise to the next. These continuations can be tricky to create but this Ink Slinger killed it with this fun story.

Enjoy!

____________________________________

Blow, infatuated, streak

“I am infatuated with it, yes,” he said, sitting there, his face only slightly red. “I mean, everyone’s got something right? Don’t shame me.”

Kyle shook his head slightly, working words he could say around in his head until they fit what he thought was a good way to put it. But, none came to fruition, so he just went with: “Yes…sure…but most people don’t do that…most people do not have a streak of ruined parties.”

“It wasn’t ruined,” he protested, his voice somewhat shrill.

“Will they ever speak to you again?”

“Some of the kids did…” He trailed off and looked out the window, trying to find a counter-argument to the accusation.

“The parents?”

“No,” came the flat answer.

“Well, alright, so you admit that you should not blow—”

“Now wait,” he interrupted, standing up and raising his hand. “That’s not—that’s not…I need to, don’t you understand.”

“Then get help.”

These words seemed too heavy for him, as he fell back down into his seat without much defense. Eventually, he mumbled out: “It’s not like it is hurting anyone really. What’s a few…people make exceptions for your eccentricities all the time.”

“Yes, but I am allergic to cats and I am afraid of knives—different entirely. You can’t do what you do.”

“But—”

“Henry, you cannot blow out every birthday candle you see in sight. Little Timmy will never get over this.”

 ____________________________________

Candle, black, wax

“But, truly, you do not understand,” Henry said, again managing to push his will into the world and standing up to his full height. He was taller than Kyle by a good foot, and Kyle took a step back in alarm. A child was upset, but he did not want to be decked for defending him.

“Okay, then…explain it to me.”

Kyle regretted this almost immediately as a gleam came into Henry’s eyes. Something not wholesome in the slightest. Something almost dark in him, or at least shaded.

“Well, it’s like this…” he began, his face more and more animated. “The wax—the smell of it. That’s what goes for me to do it, okay? I can smell the heat and—”

“Okay. Stop,” Kyle said, looking a tad green. “That’s enough—I did not want to know. It’s a candle though. Like, it’s not like we are talking about even ears or feet here. Don’t you see it’s just wrong…”?

“Wrong?” came Henry’s question. “It’s a burden, yes—and I am sorry for Timmy. But it’s not like it’s morally an issue.”

“That’s not the point. You stole a child’s wish.”

“Oh, like that’s real,” came the snappy retort.

Off in the corner, quiet and sulking, Timmy began to sob uncontrollably.

 ____________________________________

Telescope, stickler, beard

Henry’s gaze was like a telescope on Little Timmy, growing closer and closer. And despite the weak protests of Kyle, so small beside him, he moved forward almost automatically. Flowing forward on his feet and with eyes wide.

“I am sorry,” he said, his voice weak. For that moment, with the darkness of his fetish in his soul still bared, he looked frightening. His beard, though mostly managed, was a scraggly thing, reddish-flecked but mostly brown.

Little Timmy looked up with wide, tear-colored eyes. So full of reflected light, it contrasted with the red puffy skin beneath. “You blew out my birthday candles. You blew out my candles!”

Henry did not flinch, did not react much beyond the darkness in his eyes growing more powerful, more pronounced, as he stalked forward. This talk of candles was doing things to his body. And he was doing a poor job of controlling that.

“Oh, don’t be such a stickler for this. Don’t be so that way, okay?”

Little Timmy sniveled but still looked at him with disdain. Some things, it appeared, were not so easily forgiven. And, to a kid, that may have been the greatest crime ever committed.

“Suck it,” Timmy said, drawing upon the strongest swear he felt comfortable to use—even if the meaning was lost on him slightly. Suck what?

“It’s all over, okay? I don’t have any more candles; can’t you protect me and forgive me?”

“Protect?” Timmy spat back, and then his eyes widened. Henry was still stalking forward, but that was not what he was looking at, what he was gawking at right then.

Henry got it too late, and turned, only to have a flower pot explode on his face, and the water wash over his skin. His eyes swam, and the kick to the groin dropped him into unconsciousness.

Kyle panted, and stood over him, eyes wide in a different way. He was not aware he could be that violent—it had not occurred to him.

“I’m calling the police,” he muttered.

“Yeah—the cops will get him for my birthday,” Little Timmy said.

Kyle pursed his lips and bopped his head. “Sure…yeah. That is what he’ll go to prison for. Right.”

He let out a sigh and looked up at his son. “Tim, buddy, could you maybe wait upstairs?”

“I want to see the police,” came the immediate request.

“I’ll buy you a new cake,” Kyle said, his voice flat.

Timmy was pretty sure he did not have to give into demands on his birthday but went along with it.

____________________________________

About Brandon Scott

Hey, my name is Brandon Scott (though I often go by the name coolerbs). In 2014 I became a professional writer and it has been the ride of my life. I’ve met so many incredible people, and created more than I thought I ever could. And I am so excited for the future.

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Someone was Watching Her – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 13 December 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Candle
  • Black
  • Wax

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

She made her way down to the tavern. The streets were rapidly emptying as everyone scurried to their homes. She adjusted the basket of bread on her shoulder, and went through the wide doors. Warm golden light and the smell of ale greeted her, and she relaxed. Walking up to the counter, it was several moments before she realized someone was watching her. It was several more before she found him, sitting in the darkest corner, his eyes glittering like gems. A single candle flickered in front of him, the wax oozing down the sides. She was disconcerted when she saw it writing and looping on itself to form the likeness of a beautiful flowering vine.

“Do you like my work?” a voice issued from the shadows.

She averted her eyes, and dropped into a shallow curtsy more as a reaction rather than a gesture of any respect.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, sir,” she murmured, and though she was no longer looking in his direction, she could plainly see the wax dripping into a perfectly normal puddle in the saucer.

“I’m sure you don’t,” the voice agreed.

She turned to continue to the bar to drop off the bread for dinner, and found herself confronted with a massive black wolf, its golden eyes level with hers and a pink tongue lolling from its mouth.

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LISA BARRY:

Carson’s love interest reached deep into her bag and pulled out a black candle. I couldn’t help but raise a brow. Where I’m from, that it not generally a good indicator. But since we were on Earth’s plane, I found it hard to believe that the pretty dark girl could do much more than stink up the quaint coffee shop we were situated in with random herbs and scents of burning waxed. I wondered if the proprietor would even allow for burning candles. I took a sip of my coffee and realized that it had gotten cold while I drooled over the pink girl. In a lovely accent, she kept chatting away at her dark-haired friend who seemed bored really, as she set the candle on a napkin between her and Pink and lit it. She leaned in to the candle whispered some words tossed an herb on, saw that coming, and then smiled at Pink who kept talking. I realized that there was now no sound coming out of her mouth. I sat straight and took a better look at Carson’s girl. She nodded and smiled at Pink but I knew damn well she couldn’t hear anything. I glanced around but no one else seemed to notice that lack of noise. Well, hell.

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DALIA LANCE:

Mari realized talking Cara down from this euphoric high she had from Brad’s spell wouldn’t happen without real proof. Brad was presently in the part of Man-of-her-dreams after-all so breaking the spell before he broke here was going to be tricky.

 

Mari picked up her phone and texted Brad: Can we meet?

 

She thought about being more subtle, but again, time was of the essence. 

 

Although Brad had told Cara he was busy with work and that is why he couldn’t see or talk to her now, Brad replied almost immediately: What were you thinking?

 

Mari looked at Cara and then responded: I will be at your apartment in an hour. Be ready.

 

He replied with a thumbs up emoji. Boys are dumb.

 

Making a bad excuse, Mari left Cara at the bar and headed home. She needed to grab one thing to be ready for the encounter.

 

She made it to his door with exactly five minutes to spare and when he opened the door his apartment was lit with only candles and he was wearing a black robe. She looked down as it was hanging open and asked “Did you wax for me?”

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JM PAQUETTE:

“Like a candle in the wind!” I was singing along to Elton John, sitting in my office, staring at the computer, lines of words streaking across the screen, wishing that finals week was over and I could just listen to music without using it as crutch to get me through the day. “Never knowing who to cling to…” I continued, bopping my head in time and leaning forward, trying to find a thesis statement amid the seemingly random words of the student essay I was grading.

            “Uh, miss?”

            I jerked upright, words falling silent as I looked at the door. A student stood there–well, I thought she must be a student. She had the right look for this time of the semester–harried, uncertain, nervous but desperate enough to venture into the professor’s office for one last chance to plead her case. She ran her hands through her black hair, a nervous gesture, and I swung my chair around to face her while reaching out to lower my soundtrack.

            “Yes?”

            “Are you Dr. Paquette?” She looked around the office, back to the door with the nameplate on it, then down at the stack of papers on my desk, my name clearly printed on the upper left hand corner of the top one.

            “I am,” I admitted, waiting for her to lay into her plea.

            “Oh,” she said, standing there nervously.

            “You can sit down,” I gestured at the chair opposite my desk, and slid the stack of papers away from the edge so she could lay down her notepad.

            She stood there for another long moment, and I wondered if she was expecting an engraved invitation, complete with a wax seal. “What can I help you with?”

            She sat, shoulders slumping heavily, eyes wet with desperation. “Well, you probably know that I never came to class this semester but…”

            I leaned back to listen to her story.

 

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BRANDON SCOTT

“But, truly, you do not understand,” Henry said, again managing to push his will into the world and standing up to his full height. He was taller than Kyle by a good foot, and Kyle took a step back in alarm. A child was upset, but he did not want to be decked for defending him.

“Okay, then…explain it to me.”

Kyle regretted this almost immediately as a gleam came into Henry’s eyes. Something not wholesome in the slightest. Something almost dark in him, or at least shaded.

“Well, it’s like this…” he began, his face more and more animated. “The wax—the smell of it. That’s what goes for me to do it, okay? I can smell the heat and—”

“Okay. Stop,” Kyle said, looking a tad green. “That’s enough—I did not want to know. It’s a candle though. Like, it’s not like we are talking about even ears or feet here. Don’t you see it’s just wrong…”?

“Wrong?” came Henry’s question. “It’s a burden, yes—and I am sorry for Timmy. But it’s not like it’s morally an issue.”

“That’s not the point. You stole a child’s wish.”

“Oh, like that’s real,” came the snappy retort.

Off in the corner, quiet and sulking, Timmy began to sob uncontrollably.

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Brandishing his Sword – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 13 December 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Blow
  • Infatuated
  • Streak

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

JM PAQUETTE:

“Only a word?” he recited. “Why not couple it with something? Make it a word and a blow!” At this, Christian stood up, brandishing his sword at Bryan, who was supposed to leap back in a display of cat-like ability. Bryan was playing Tybalt, after all, prince of cats, and he needed to show that he deserved the title. The audience would need to see it.

Of course, Bryan’s reflexes were more dog-like than feline at the moment, and he stepped back awkwardly, knocking over the table where Christian had been resting his feet, lounging as his character Mercutio was supposed to do until he jumped up and Romeo arrived and the real fight started.

The table fell with a crash, a few drinks spilling and bouncing around on the floor. Marie made a note to not fill them with anything on the night of the performance. Bryan may be adorable with his lean limbs and long brown hair, his face offset by the streak of white blonde just down one side. He swore it was natural, but Marie doubted it. The line was just too perfect. No doubt he went to the hair salon each month to get it colored. She just couldn’t picture him doing it at home, standing over the bathroom sink with a strip of foil scrunched up around his face, waiting for the timer to ding so he could rinse it off.

No, surely Bryan didn’t do such mundane things as stand in front of bathroom sinks. But as she thought about it, she decided that maybe he did. And he would be adorable as he stood there. Everything he did was adorable, even knocking over tables and spilling drinks. That’s what happens when you are infatuated with someone.

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LISA BARRY:

She had a streak of pink down her hair on right side and I couldn’t tell if it was natural or not. People here might think me dull by that comment but honestly where I’m from, her hair colors could easily be natural. I thought about blowing from this hang, but she was just so cute. And she had these little fangs sitting on her lips. I wondered if those were real too. If they were, she would be a really fun time.

“Check her out,” my friend Carson said and pushed his long jaw toward my pink girl. I was about to growl at him when he continued, “she’s got that thick dark hair that I would love to wrap my hands in.”

“I glanced over and saw that pink girl was sitting next to a raven-haired girl with rosy cheeks.

“Oh yeah, for sure,” I commented. I think it would be easy to be infatuated. I wondered if other people were curious about my pointy ears. Did they think I got plastic surgery? Or did they know with certainty that I was born with them. Pink glanced up and met my eyes. She smiled and those teeth, man, fake or not, I’d like to play with her.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Ever since she could remember, she had been infatuated with the stars. She would sit for hours just watching the skies, with the glittering diamonds streaking and falling. And then one day they were just gone. All of them. She went out every night and waited for their brilliance to return, but all she had for company was the chill wind blowing through an empty sky. The others were scared, and set alight huge pyres to appease the gods, but the stars did not return. She was not scared, but she was sad to lose her sparkling friends. For a long time, she wondered where they had gone, and continued her nightly ritual though it was a cold and lonely time without the stars. After a while, she no longer went out every night, and then not every week. Finally, she no longer noticed the flat black sky that was left when the sun disappeared behind the horizon, and her childhood wonder never entered her thoughts. That all changed when the man with the silver eyes arrived in the town, at his side a massive wolf.

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DALIA LANCE:

As Mari looked across the table at her friend she could tell she was totally infatuated with her new beau Brad.
Cara’s look could only be described as swooning and it was making Mari nauseous. Honestly Brad was a player. A horrible flirt and Mari knew that Cara was just the latest in his long line of conquests. 

Brad, for whatever reason, like the thrill of the hunt. Making the girl fall head over heels so when he merely entered the room you could blow the girl over like a feather because the only life raft was him.

He was on a real streak too. This was his third girl in less than a month. Mari usually didn’t care because the vapid airheads he normally chose to pray on were better gone from the circle but this was actually one of her friends. 

“… and then he told me his heart beat only for me…” Cara was finishing looking even more wistful. Mari decided she had to do something.

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BRANDON SCOTT

“I am infatuated with it, yes,” he said, sitting there, his face only slightly red. “I mean, everyone’s got something right? Don’t shame me.”

Kyle shook his head slightly, working words he could say around in his head until they fit what he thought was a good way to put it. But, none came to fruition, so he just went with: “Yes…sure…but most people don’t do that…most people do not have a streak of ruined parties.”

“It wasn’t ruined,” he protested, his voice somewhat shrill.

“Will they ever speak to you again?”

“Some of the kids did…” He trailed off and looked out the window, trying to find a counter-argument to the accusation.

“The parents?”

“No,” came the flat answer.

“Well, alright, so you admit that you should not blow—”

“Now wait,” he interrupted, standing up and raising his hand. “That’s not—that’s not…I need to, don’t you understand.”

“Then get help.”

These words seemed too heavy for him, as he fell back down into his seat without much defense. Eventually, he mumbled out: “It’s not like it is hurting anyone really. What’s a few…people make exceptions for your eccentricities all the time.”

“Yes, but I am allergic to cats and I am afraid of knives—different entirely. You can’t do what you do.”

“But—”

“Henry, you cannot blow out every birthday candle you see in sight. Little Timmy will never get over this.”

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Catching a Unicorn – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 15 November 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Derail
  • Reflection
  • Sugar

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

ANNE CARGILE

“You know, this plan isn’t very good,” Shane said. “Everything I’ve read about catching a unicorn has to do with a virgin or something. I’ve never heard of using sugar.”

Janice sighed and rolled her eyes. “Just stay close and do what I say, ok? I’ve read the instructions a thousand times. Since we don’t have a virgin…”

“No kidding,” Shane muttered.

“Shut up. Since we don’t have a virgin, the idea is to entice them with the sugar and then catch them in their reflection.”

“Um, ok, not to derail your wonderful plan, but what exactly will they be reflected in?”

“We know the unicorns come at dawn to butterfly pond, right? So we can spell the water, and when it goes to take a drink…”

“Gotcha!” they said in unison.

Shane grinned. “Lead the way.”

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LISA BARRY:

My plans were derailed when the sugar factory sent me the pink slip. Seven years I had slaved in the sales room and gotten some of the biggest contracts they had. They fire me because Nick Saint wouldn’t give me the contract. Well screw them. He was the smartest man I knew and seeing his reflection in the mirror behind me after a wild Friday night was worth every penny that I wouldn’t get this week. I sat on the edge of my bed and sighed. Now what? I wondered. A call flashed on my phone. I debated ignoring it as per usual but I needed a distraction from my current poor existence.

“Yes?’ I said into the phone, my voice still a little deep from my amazing weekend.

“How would you like to visit the South Pole?” a low voice said. My back went pole straight and my nerves flashed with energy.

“Mr. Saint? I can’t think of anything else I’d like to be doing right now.”

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Everything was in place to derail the king’s coronation. The street urchins had been payed to tip the barrels of oil over the procession. The sharpshooter with the flaming arrows was positioned on the corner of the highest roof of the square, his arrow coated in black to dull the sun’s reflection on the metal.

“What do you mean, the coronation has been called off?” the sulky lord shouted. “They can’t call it off!”

“I’m afraid they can, and they have,” the elderly advisor said without sympathy. “It’s raining. They cannot hold a party in the rain.”

“When will they reschedule?” the lord asked. “They did not see fit to give that information to me,” the advisor said, only now the slightest signs of strain seeping through his carefully controlled demeanor.

“Well, then, find out!” the lord said, throwing himself across the feather bed pouting. “First bring me some mulled apple cider. With sugar!” he added in an imperious tone at the retreating back of the old man. The advisor closed the door to the lord’s chamber, and only now did his impassive face melt into a disgruntled scowl.

“Perhaps someone should plan your assassination, you spoiled little brat,” he muttered to himself, before he walked off to get the tea.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

The reflection of the sugar glider in the lake was almost maybe starting to calm me… I hadn’t had time for a walk in over three days, what with my sister Carmen’s visit derailing every tiny detail of my usually impeccably methodical routine.

Firstly, booking a flight that arrived so late that she ended up on the last train out and got here to the end of the line at 3:20 AM. Neither early enough to require waking up early, nor late enough to conveniently allow for staying up a little. There literally couldn’t have been a worse time to need to be picked up.

I’d suggested Uber, but she’d never heard of it. Lyft either. And of course didn’t trust cabbies. She didn’t care about my fitbit circle, or my various yoga meetups. She still lived in the dark ages from before all these apps around which I’d built my life.

And it turns out she’d brought her dog with her, which on paper was a support animal, but in reality, my couch could barely support the damn thing. So here I was, distractedly forgetting to do my breathing exercises, alone at the park, just taking a fucking break from Carmen. Which didn’t move my fitbit count up one tiny bit, but I was too exhausted to care.

As I sighed, chilling out just looking at the glistening ripples of the lake, the sugar glider swooped by, depositing a little offwhite wet crap on my lap. Yup, that pretty much topped off the week.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

“I don’t want to talk about it,” Jasmine said, downing another shot and putting her hand on Rebecca’s shoulder. She grabbed the next glass on the bar and downed it as well, coughing a little as she turned to face her friend. “Not a word,” she declared.

“Ok,” Rebecca agreed, ever the supportive friend, but her face was red with suppressed emotion, either horror or hilarity, Jasmine couldn’t tell, and she was starting to think it was a little bit of both.

“I mean it!” Jasmine insisted, turning to face her friend as the whiskey burned through her. “Not. A. Word.”

Rebecca mimed a lock and key in front her lips and sat perfectly still, the red in her face growing deeper with each passing second.

“I don’t ever want you to mention this again!” Jasmine snapped.

“Mention what?” Rebecca asked, turning away to face the bar, carefully not looking at her friend, suddenly very interested in her own reflection in the mirror behind the bar.

“Was it…” Jasmine let the words trail off. She grabbed the third shot, downed it, and faced her friend again. “Was it really that awful?”

“Do you want the truth or do you want me to sugar coat it?”

“Just hit me with it.”

“It was more than that awful. So much more. You certainly know how to derail a discussion, Jaz.”

Jasmine winced. “I know. It was terrible. I don’t know what came over me.”

Rebecca smirked, “Well, there are worse things in the world. Nothing comes to mind at present, of course, but I’m sure they exist.” She pondered. “Famine. Pestilence. War…”

“Ok,” Jasmine told her. “That’s enough hard hitting truth.”

“Are you kidding?” Rebecca asked. “That was sugar coated.”

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

“Oh sugar,” Cali exclaimed.

“Really?” Max replied. “You can actually swear you know. It’s not going to be a poor reflection of your character.”

Cali shrugged. “I just didn’t feel like saying it. Sometimes swearing derails my train of thought, but now considering this ridiculous conversation, I should have just gone for it.” Cali’s voice rose in tenor, the way it normally did when she was aggravated. “Now, where was I?” She asked no one. “Right,” she said answering herself, focusing back on the shovel in her hand and continued to move the dirt off the top of the coffin.

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BRANDON SCOTT

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All That Scotch – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 15 November 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Poison
  • Top
  • Satisfy

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!

FEATURED AUTHOR

DESIREE MATLOCK:

I had no idea how much of this I was supposed to use. I’d heard that cardamon was a poison in high levels, but not enough and the pie might just taste like pumpkin mush… so there was that.

If I could somehow walk that fine line between mum’s dissatisfied narrow eyes face from poorly baked pies and mum’s dissatisfied narrow eyes face from sending uncle Pete to the hospital, maybe my stress levels would come back down before Christmas.

Maybe the internet could help. Or maybe I should just stick to the recipe for once, like I’d planned to from the top. But… I was never any good that that. I’m naturally impulsive. It works out great in the bedroom and the board room but it definitely is a mixed bag of issues in the kitchen. Sometimes, once in a blue moon, I could make something amazing happen.

Doubt it would affect mum’s face either way, but I was determined that if I was hosting the entire Thanksgiving spectacle this year, the cardamon levels of my pumpkin pie were going to be perfectly in balance with all that scotch I already added. Uncle Pete loves Scotch. I smiled and poured in what seemed right.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

LISA BARRY:

“What is this?” I asked, holding up the clear bottle of blue fluid.

“It’s the poison you asked for,” Tig answered without glancing up from the letter he was scribing. He frowned.

“This is not what I asked for,” I snarled. Tig looked up in alarm, his mouth gaping like a fish.

“What I asked for should be a greenish brown color, with a layer of gold on the top.”

His mouth moved slightly, no words coming out. The alarm in his eyes was growing. He grabbed his throat and I could tell he was trying really hard to pull air into lungs that I had blocked with a stray piece of magic. That’s how easy it was for me. I didn’t really need poison, but it would lay the blame elsewhere since everyone knew I would never stoop so low. I smiled at Tig. His eyes were just starting the satisfying roll into the back of his head when I pulled the magic back and let it seep back into the air. He fell onto the table, gasping and moaning.

“Just get me the right stuff, boy and we’ll discuss your tenure later.”

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ANNE CARGILE

“You know, we can be civil about this,” the witch said kindly as she poured iced tea into one glass, and milk into a small bowl. She brought the beverages over to the table and set the bowl in front of the cat.

Lily, the cat, was sitting politely on top of the stool at the table, watching her. The occasional twitching of her whiskers the only indication she agreed.

“Thank you,” Lily said, and took a polite drink of her milk.

The witch nodded, and said, “I don’t particularly like to use poison you know, but I can’t have the mice running through my supplies and contaminating my herbs. Makes for very bad results when I cast a spell and it has mouse poop in it. I’m sorry that your friend was made ill, but what can we do to satisfy both our problems?”

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Nat very carefully drew the tip of the arrow through the poison, watching the black liquid gleam and then sink into the metal. This particular batch was for an assassin who was very difficult to satisfy, but there was a reason Nat was called the best. Nat set the arrow on top of the roll of leather, and reached for the last arrow. He held it up to the light, admiring the grain of the wood, the expert fletching, the razor sharp head. Instead of drawing this through the jar in front of him, he stood and walked to the shelf behind his work-desk. He pulled the blue book from its place, and pressed the hidden lever. The false back swung forward, and revealed the little cubby he kept his most rare and potent potions. The tiny bottle had but a single drop left, and Nat has been saving it for a very long time, but now the time was right. He tipped the liquid onto the last arrow, and watched as the metal began to glow as if it has just been pulled from a fire. Then the glow faded, but if one held the arrow up to the light, the tip of the arrow now had a slightly paler gleam than the others. Nat smiled grimly. It was time for payback.

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JM PAQUETTE:

“What if I just poison her?” Cassandra offered. “It’s quick, simple, effective. You’ll never have to think about this again.”

Helen sighed, considering the offer for a fraction of a second. It certainly would make things easier. “No,” she said after a pause. “That’s too easy. I mean, even if there’s suffering involved, it’s too nice. She needs to pay for what she did.”

“And death is just too good for her? When did you become so hard to satisfy?”

“After I started boning a man who is literally the gods’ gift to women,” Helen quipped, unable to stop herself.

Cassandra blanched. “Come on,” she said. “I just don’t want to think of him on top of you, the two of you doing all manner of things…ugh!” she shuddered. “He’s my brother!”

Helen looked slightly abashed, but the expression fled quickly. It was kind of fun to nettle Cassandra when she got the chance. For a woman who saw everything, Cassandra was shockingly prudish when it came to relationships. Helen thought that being pursued by a sex-crazed god might do that to a person, but then again, she’d been pursued by all of Greece and she still appreciated a good time. It was just too bad that Paris hadn’t survived the war.

Being back home with her husband was nothing to compare. She didn’t think she would have been contemplating assassination if she’d still been in Troy.

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

Alistair searched the top shelf for a cobalt blue vial, “Where is it?” He muttered to himself, shuffling bottles to and fro. “Come out, come out, wherever you are,” he sung quietly trying to coax the missing bottle to appear. “Ah ha!” He blurted out with excitement and snatched the vial, satisfied with the results of his search. Alistair climbed back down the ladder and went over to the table where he had a scroll unfurled with opposite edges held down by a bowl. He slapped the paper with his finger and read the measurement…two drops. Two Drops was all it would take to make the deadliest poison the realm had seen in hundreds of years. Two drops, was all that stood between him and reclaiming his birthright as Archmage. Two drops and the King would cease to exist.

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BRANDON SCOTT

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Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise