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.
Silver, Spin, Birthday
The seventh time it happened, I really had somehow convinced myself over the course of the year that it had all been a figment of my imagination the previous six times. But, no. Here it had gone and happened again.
Just as I was preparing to blow out the candles, time froze, yet again, and a crack opened up in the world, right next to the ground. Just as the year before, and the year just before that, the world honestly felt as if it had just stopped spinning like every atom was wrong. Trapped even.
Every prior year, I’d just closed my eyes in panic, wished for the world to go back to normal, and blown out the candles. I’d kept them closed until I heard the simple sounds of reality again. The ones you don’t realize you need until they’re gone.
This time, instead, I held my panic at bay, took a deep breath and walked away from my party-goers. As I approached the crack in the world, I could swear it was growing a little. Seemed like it was more of a sliver now.
“Hello?” I asked. There might have been slight movement there, or it might have been a trick of the eye. If things inside the crack could change, had the world started up again? I looked out the window, but nope. Time was still. Everywhere.
I looked down, and the crack had become a proper hole. And there was definitely movement.
Ghastly, Tea, Crunch
Without thinking, I repeated myself. “Hello?”
I shouldn’t have done it, I realized too late. Did I really want to meet whatever terrible creature could respond from beyond time?
Out of the hole popped a hand, and at first, I imagined a ghastly manifestation, some kind of spider snake thing. But no, I quickly realized it was just a normal hand. I watched as it was followed up by an arm, a shoulder, and shortly, the robed midriff of what looked like a somewhat confused person. He was holding a cup of tea in one hand, a pencil in the other.
“What are you doing here?” he pointed the cup of tea at me accusatively.
“Um, shouldn’t I be asking you that?” His eyes suddenly widened, and with a yelp and a crunch, he fell back into the hole.
I knelt down and yelled after him, “I demand an explanation!” more out of curiosity than anger. Before the hole completely closed, a scrap of paper floated up and out, landing in my hands.
“Response for petition of redress: Appearance before council on 38th March 113492.784. Compliance mandatory.”
I shoved it into my pocket. I had no idea how I’d make it whereever that was whenever that was.
die, technology, mouth
“Redress of WHAT?” I thought. But, there was suddenly no one to ask. The hole closed up. I walked back over to my guests, looked down at my cake and time started up again.
And, back to miserable reality. I blew out the candles and put cake in my mouth, pretended engagement in boring small talk about other people’s weddings, babies and, promotions. I nodded and smiled. After they left, I opened up my presents, leaving a small one with no tag for last. I looked at it, silver wrapping paper glistened strangely. Curiousity got the best of me, and picked it up. It immediately fell open, disintegrated, and left only a gleaming die in my hand. Not proper dice, just one. And not a fancy D&D style die either. Six totally normal sides. Totally normal except that I had no idea what technology could open, evaporate and otherwise nullify wrappings. Nice touch, though. No clean up.
I inspected the die, bringing it up to my eye. The die was perfectly normal, but when I looked at the pips, they appeared to contain too much mass. I twirled to the one side. Looking at the single black dot hurt my eyes. I felt dizzy, like the impossible was in front of me, but couldn’t quite put my finger on why exactly.
“Okay, now what?” I said, sitting down on the couch. Nothing at all happened, no reply.
Was it weird that I found that disappointing?