A Figure Came into Sight – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 7 March 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Hoodie
  • Green
  • Sight

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



A figure came into sight over the crest of the hill, a green hoodie obscuring their features. Berryl waited, leaning against the tree and taking small sips from the waterskin, waiting for the stranger to come to her. When the person got closer, she raised her hand in greeting, but the figure did not return the gesture, and simply continued down the road at a fast clip. Berryl blinked, her hand still in the air, and then hastily lowered it. She had been on this road for two weeks, and had encountered three people coming from the opposite direction before this fellow. They had been amiable enough travelers, and had stopped to talk and give news of the road conditions ahead. One had even offered her an apple they had pilfered from an orchard several days ahead. Berryl shrugged, picked up her pack, and set off down the road. She crested the hill the stranger had just come over, and surveyed the land on the other side, which looked much like the land she had just traversed, farmland interspersed with woodland. In the distance, a faint smudge suggested a larger forest, or perhaps mountains. Just as she proceeded to take her next step, a knife came from behind, and pressed against the tender flesh under her chin.

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When I walked in the room the first thing that was not quite right was the grey hoodie thrown over the living room chair. As I continued toward the back of the house, the second thing to make me frown was the green… well it looked like hair. The hoodie wasn’t mine, but it could have been the cleaner’s who had come earlier or even the meal prep chef who hopefully had left the next week worth of meals in my freezer but the hair? Fuzzy blobs of green continued to greet my sight as I made my way into the kitchen. There was a ridiculous amount of on the floor near the sink and more leading to the back door.

Curiosity had me stop and check the freezer. Yep! Yummy meals for the week. I walked to the back door and flung it open looking out into the shadowed yard, the sun almost set. I heard a low growl and turned in time to see pale white skin with weird blotches of green fur and teeth. Very large teeth. A blur lunged at me and as it tore into my throat I could only think of one thing.

I’m not getting to eat those yummy meals.

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“Well what do you think?” Mickey asked as he turned and showed off his new hoodie.

“I think you look ridiculous boyo. That green clashes badly with your red hair,” I replied, unimpressed.

“Oh come on, I thought it was quite dapper!” Mickey made a sad face, and started playing with his collar, adjusting the hood. It made him look like a twitchy green and red hunchback.

I harrumped and shook my head. Damn kids. “I don’t know what happened with ya kid, but as a leprechaun you’re a sad sight for sure. What are ya trying to do? Scare the wee ones from ever coming out?” I could tell I was upset by the length of my brogue. I may have lived in the new lands for a few hundred years, but the mother country never really leaves one.

I sighed. St Patrick’s Day was a blessed day, and one of the few days leprechauns could come out in the open without fear. My job was to teach the youngsters, and make sure no one got caught. As a breed we’re a greedy bunch, and any pot of gold one of my charges lost, I’d have to replace.

I looked at Mickey again. “I guess you could pass for a daft college boy,” I said.

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She flicked more cupcake off of her and although the towel was now covered she was still a sight.

“Explain what happened?” I asked trying to gather up all of the make-up wipes she had cast off. The alley didn’t need cleaning I just needed to do something so I wasn’t staring as she finally dropped the tablecloth to skirt level and pulled on my green hoodie I handed her.

“I wanted to surprise Steve as you know” I nodded as I could tell she was getting worked up now and just let her continue “and it turns out when I asked him what he wanted he said what he had really wanted was for me to meet his ‘book club’ which seemed weird, so instead of the awesome plan I had set-up I went over to his house.” I nodded again realizing she was waiting for encouragement.

“Turns out there isn’t books he meets once a month with a bunch of guys that like to watch girls sit on cakes and smash bakery items on themselves.” I pursed my lips so I wouldn’t laugh. I wanted to ask how she had agreed to such a thing along with about fifty other questions but all I could ask was “So did he have a good birthday?”

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“I shouldn’t even be here,” I moaned an hour later, my arm numb and about to fall off, useless weapon landing in the dirt that was soon going to be drenched with my blood. “They weren’t even looking for me.” I glared at him, at his long, lanky body, at arms that had clearly seen some training, at those feet that knew exactly which way to step. “This is all your fault.”

“My fault?” he echoed, bending to pick up the flail and shove it back into my useless fingers. I used my other hand to hold it in place, knowing that all of this was useless. “I wasn’t the one who started shouting at the guards.”

I sniffed, looking away from his accusing green eyes, trying to ignore the sight of a slightly flushed sweaty elf standing less than a foot away from me. He was, after all, the elf that was going to kill me soon. It was just like that old gypsy woman said. “I wasn’t shouting at them. I was trying to find out what they wanted.”

He shrugged. “Don’t you know that guards never actually find what they set out looking for? They just find the next person who gives them any crap and lug them down to the stadium for some good times with Cyrus.” He gave me a once over, similar to the one he’d given me when we’d met at the bar last night, though with a different objective in mind.

“You’re pretty enough,” he commented. “I’m surprised you ended up in here. I figured you’d end up with him.”

I pulled my arms close around my body, barely ignoring the urge to pull up my hoodie and cover myself. But my arms didn’t work anymore, and I was sweating from all the movement.

He thinks I’m pretty, my mind yammered at me. Of course, now I’m going to die.

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“Joe, are you sure you feel okay? You’re looking really green.” Joe pulled his hoodie tightly around him and nodded, afraid that speaking would break his concentration on keeping the contents of his stomach inside his body. He hated boats, but wanted to impress Rebecca by showing her the sights.

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

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