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.
Turkey, messy, narrow,
He walked down the narrow alley, the dead turkey swinging at his side. They would eat well tonight, better than they had all winter. The dead bird was scrawny, and had not been plucked, so it would be a messy preparation, but still his mouth watered at the thought of hot, roast meat. His stomach gave an answering grumble. Shadows moving behind him pulled him from his lovely fantasy, and he groped for the rusty knife in his belt. He turned to look, but the alley was empty. After a moment spent searching the darkness, he convinced himself that he had been imagining things. He shrugged and turned to continue home. He ran into the tall man standing in front of him, swinging the silver topped cane with a smile that bared pointed teeth.
marked, butterscotch, grime,
“Who are you?” Tim stammered, clutching the turkey to his breast as if it would protect him.
The second man smiled wider. “My name is Toppam.” The man bowed and touched his hat.
Tim started. No one had ever bowed to him.
“And who do I have the pleasure of addressing?” The man had a pleasant smell reminiscent of butterscotch hanging around him, and his fine clothes seemed to repel the grime of the dirty alley they were standing in.
“My name is Tim. Tim Calloway,” Tim nodded, and raised his hand to his forehead though he had no hat to tip.
“Mr. Calloway, it is an honor to make your acquaintance,” Toppam said. “Would you walk with me this evening?”
Tim didn’t think he had a choice, so he nodded and fell into step beside the tall, sinister man.
“You are probably wondering why I came to seek you out,” Toppam continued in the same dignified voice that hinted at a private joke.
Tim nodded. “Yes, Mr. Toppam, sir, the thought has crossed my mind.”
“No, it’s just Toppam,” the man corrected, flashing pointed teeth again. “And it is a simple enough answer Mr. Calloway. You’re a marked man, sir, a man marked for greatness, if you would only allow me to assist you in that endeavor.”
Zone, ghastly, tickle,
Tim swallowed. “I don’t know about that Mr. Toppam, sir,” he said, forgetting that the man wished to be called simply Toppam. “I’ve never done anything great in my life.”
The tall man threw his head back and laughed, then turned and patted Tim kindly on the shoulder. “You are such curious little creatures,” Toppam murmured, more to himself than to Tim. “Such potential, and yet so shortsighted and narrow-minded at the same time.”
Tim gave a nervous cough, and distanced himself by two paces from the frightening man. “Mr. Toppam, sir-”
“Just Toppam, if you please, Mr. Calloway,” Toppam smiled, this time his lips pressed closed.
A tickle of unease rippled down Tim’s spine, and the fact that the man insisted on calling him Mr. Calloway made him more uncomfortable still.
“Toppam, if it please you, sir,” Tim continued, pushing past the lump in his throat. “If it’s all the same to you, I just want to go home to my family. They’re hungry, sir, and waiting for me to bring them supper.”
“Unfortunately, it’s not the same to me, not at all.” Toppam gazed at the sky, a ghastly expression on his face, one of age-old suffering, then he twirled his cane once more, and the expression was gone. “That is a fine bird. Tell me, how did you come by it?”
“Won it in a game of cards, fair and square, Toppam, sir,” Tim said, lifting his chin.
Toppam chuckled. “If it makes you happy to think so.” Toppam snapped his fingers, and the turkey vanished.
Tim let out an unmanly scream, and stumbled back against the wall, quaking as Toppam stepped towards him, reaching into his jacket.
“Please don’t,” Tim pleaded.
Toppam grimaced. “I’m not going to hurt you.” He withdrew a small square of paper. “Have you ever seen this woman?”
Tim squinted at the picture of a girl with blond curls and dark eyes for a long time, just to be sure. “No, sir.”
A sigh escaped Toppam’s lips, and he looked relieved, the darkness leaving his face and his eyes lighting. “There may be time yet,” Toppam said.
About Nicole DragonBeck
Nicole 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 was recently released. Check out the first book in the series, First Magyc, and prepare for adventure!