Brilliant Plan to Divert the Subatomic Particles in Engine B to the Forward Thrusters – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 13 April 2016, these three words were chosen:

  • Mercurial
  • Current
  • Drop

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



“Sir, with the current orbit, are you sure she can withstand the drop?” First Class Sergeant Miller looked expectantly at his Commander, waiting for the telltale glint in the eye that would reassure him that yes, they would indeed survive even this dire situation, escaping the promise of certain death with a last minute brilliant plan to divert the subatomic particles in Engine B to the Forward Thrusters and usher them to safety just a split second before they crashed into the planet’s fiery surface. He’d witnessed it before. Many times. He had stood on the flight deck, missiles careening towards them, explosions rocking the ship back and forth, but always had the Commander stood firm, always that glint in his eyes, that mercurial sense of humor, the dedication to his crew, his ship, and their mission. They would survive, First Class Sergeant Miller knew. They would. He glanced down at his red shirt, then at the dire predictions flooding the monitors before him.

“Sir?” he asked, waiting for the response he knew was coming.

But there was something different in the Commander’s eyes as he stared coolly out the front display window at the planet rushing towards them.

“Sir!” He shouted it this time, trying to be heard over the roaring whine of the strained engines, the distant screams of crew members fearing the worst.

The Commander looked at him, eyes calm and sad. “Not this time,” he said quietly. “She can’t handle the drop.”

“But this is the part where you always have the brilliant plan!” First Class Sergeant Miller shrieked.

“I know,” the Commander said. He scanned the control room, aware of all eyes on him.

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His mercurial humor was going to get him killed one day, Jenna thought as she closed the door behind her. His laughter echoed in her mind and she stumbled down the hall. Why had her father hired him? And why now? She had dropped everything and run to the room believing that her brother had returned to the kingdom only to find that her brother had left his best friend, the revolting and lewd Sir Larken to greet her. Even now his smile burned her mind and all she wanted to do was hate him.

She turned the corner and a maid dropped into a curtsy.

“Your highness,” she said easily.

“Mel,” Jenna said, “how is your father this day?”

“Well, Ma’am, well. I thank ye for asking!”

“Good, and what have you there?”

The maid held out a basket stuffed with a mix of cheeses, bread and even an apple.

“For Sir Larken,” she said with a broad smile. Jenna rolled her eyes and growled under her breath quite unbecoming of a princess.

“Oh, ma’am, don’t concern yourself. He’s only sweet on you.” Jenna’s head whipped to the side to meet Mel’s eyes. Mel had already looked to floor and curtsied once more before rushing down the hall.

Jenna stood for a long time before continuing to her rooms.

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Jonathan Blackwell was often mercurial in his moods. It was hard to know how he would react to the news, but Morena hoped that he’d be pleased. Walking across the black and white marble foyer, she passed the water fountain, whose constant flow of water dropping into the pool below soothed her nerves. She felt drawn to the sound and involuntarily changed direction from Johnathan’s library to the fountain. Staring into the pool, she began to lose herself in the current that was forming. An image of Jonathan appeared. He was angry and his shaky hand held a gun aimed at someone who was just out of view.

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Halley waited in the darkness. Panic waited on the fringes of her consciousness, waiting to drop in on her. Her life as a slave and human sacrifice for the fae king had not agreed with her, and she was fairly certain this current situation was going to end up in a like manner. The mercurial fae did not have much respect for their lessers, as they saw.

The hood was taken from her head and she looked up to see not an elf, but a man. A man wearing elf’s clothing. He bent down and offered her a drink. Halley pursed her lips and drew back, giving him a glare and a clear warning that she wanted none of his potion.

“It’s water,” he told her. “You must be thirsty after all that dancing.”

Halley glared at him a moment longer, then snatched the glass from him and downed it. “Thank you,” she said. The common tongue felt rusty on her lips. It was not permitted in the forest or in hearing of the elves. And they had very sharp hearing, something Halley had learned early on.

“How long have you been here?” the man asked.

Halley had to count in her head. “Twelve years,” she said. “Since I was ten.”

The man stared down at her pensively. “You probably have not heard about what’s happening outside of the forest.”

“What happens in the outer lands doesn’t concern me,” Halley said. “I only care about what happens to me here. Which is where you are, I might add.”

The man smiled. “Yes, we’ve made inroads.” He stretched out his hand. “My name is Calahorn.”

Halley froze. The stories that followed that name were not few, and mostly contradictory, but they all said he was not a man to be crossed. He was looking at her expectantly.

“Halley,” she said, and left out her own family name as he had. It was better than way for now.

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Her current mood was pleasant but Max knew this could change at any moment. Her personality was mercurial and therefore unpredictable. He had found this cute and almost pleasant at first. Now, he simply found it frightening.

Although fairies tended to be considered delicate and beautiful, thier power and abilities are mostly overlooked and this means they cause more pain and damage then suspected of. Max at found that at the drop of a hat his little pixie would rip a persons throat out. She would show up all covered in blood carrying the larnex to show him that she did this for him. It was almost cat like behavior. He could however take a dead bird or lizard over the death of a human, or ten, every day of the week.

“Whatcha doing?” she asked flying over and sitting on his shoulder. “Making warm chocolate” he replied, keeping his voice level. She started clapping “I LOVE chocolate” she exclaimed. He smiled at her “I know. I made it for you.” She looked so pleased as she flew around him as he poured it into the tiny cup. He handed it to her hoping that he had put enough of the poison and that she would not detect it, otherwise, he would be dead soon as well.

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What evil are you now concocting, witch? You were asked to prove or disprove your innocence. Goodie WIllis stared her down, having come charging toward where she was, gathering her herbs by the river’s edge, dragging her husband and daughter along behind her.

Speak! ordered her husband, Minister Willis. Speak, witch, or what use is your tongue? What have you to say of the herbs you now hold? What magical demonic charm allows you to grow these in the dead of winter?

Temperance spoke for the first time, a mercurial look in her eyes, possibly threat, possibly plea. For the love of God, let me me pass.

Something in her eyes and they moved aside, not thinking.

She walked to their daughter, 7 months with swolen belly, showing all the signs of the same problems she’d faced with her dear Abigail, now seven months dead, stillborn.

Here, girl. She shoved the herbs at the girl, pulled a few more from her apron. Here. Take these, so that your child might live.

You threaten our daughter! Goodie Willis panicked. We will see you drowned for this.

I am trying to save the child’s life.

She looked at the girl, and the girl only. She smiled and nodded, waited until the girl nodded, then she backed away slowly.

Her eyes filled with pity, rage, again, flashing at Goodie Willis. The stupid suspicious woman would not cost her daughter the child, not anymore. This foolish woman believed a cut finger was the devil’s work.

She backed further, allowed herself to drop into the freezing river, and let the current take her away. There was nothing here for her any longer.

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1 Comment

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

One response to “Brilliant Plan to Divert the Subatomic Particles in Engine B to the Forward Thrusters – an ISG Writing Exercise

  1. Pingback: Writing Exercise: She felt drawn to the sound… – Alanna Cormier

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