Featured Author: Dalia Lance

FEATURED AUTHOR

Dalia Lance

www.DaliaLance.com

Dalia’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!

____________________________________

Match, Island, Swing

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 plague 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.

______________

Rash, Wax, Phone

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.

____________________________________

Juice, Unwanted, Jelly

So how did the vacation go you might be wondering. She at least figured many of her friends and co-workers would be asking her this when she returned.

Well, she would tell them. She spent an entire week avoiding unwanted advances. Trying to see any part of the beach without hearing or seeing her neighbor Tim. That was his name she found out.

She also only ate juice and jelly on toast instead of any real fruit for fear of the mysterious rash that Tim had shown her on his arm and thigh. Not his leg, but pulled up his shorts and showed an upper thigh.

By the time she boarded the plane she sent her boss a brief, but concise email letting him know she would be using another three days of her vacation time starting Monday. She did not explain why, but more so that it was happening and she wasn’t asking approval.

She decided that she would pick up supplies and have a vacation on her couch, in her pjs watching Netflix and pretending calories and Tim do not exist.

____________________________________

About Dalia Lance

I have had a very interesting upbringing starting with growing up in Hollywood, CA. Never shy, I learned that if you are not willing to try something new you may let life simply pass you by. I love meeting people from all walks of life and these experiences inspire me on a daily basis. As a true friend once pointed out “You are never a complete waste, you can always be used as a bad example”. So what’s the worst that can happen?

What happens when you stop looking for Mr. Right and start looking for Mr. Right Now?

Check out the first book in the Randi Michaels series, My Home on Home Island, and prepare for Mr. Right Now!

 

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Eyes Weren’t Watching – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 31 January 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Shadow
  • White
  • Sunset

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

FEATURED AUTHOR

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

The sunset lit the sky in fire, and then the fire faded and died. Shevin watched the moon rise and the stars come out, sitting without moving and looking like a piece of the night itself. When he spoke, Jaden started with surprise. “We should break camp now.” Jaden nodded, rolled up his sleeping blanket and was on his feet in a moment. Shevin surveyed the shadows with his strange white eyes, eyes that saw more than they should. “This way,” the wizard said. Jaden followed him through the trees, trying to be as silent and swift, but his feet caught on roots and rocks that Shevin just glided over. Every night for the past week it had been the same, the pair traveling when other eyes weren’t watching, trying to make it to the border of the Woodlands without the Ember Guards catching them. “I have to stop,” Jaden called out, and doubled over, gulping for air and massaging the cramp in his side. He looked up to find he was alone. “Shevin?” he called out in a soft voice, hoping the wizard had not gone too far ahead. His only answer was the soft whisper of leaves.

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LISA BARRY:

I was waiting for the shadows to come before I went out for the night. What needed to be done did not need any witnesses. I dreaded the sunset for the first time in my life and had a very bad feeling that my life was going to take a sharp turn from ultimate white to deepest black. Just the fact that I was planning a murder was enough to make my knees shake.

“I’m heading the movies,” I hollered. My mother grunted acknowledgement as she turned the potion in the pot, sweat beading on her brow. I wasn’t going to waste my life with witchcraft, using up my strength and squandering animal lives on deities.

I stepped out of the house, three throwing knives strapped to my thigh, a gavotte on my pocket and a single phone number. Tonight would be my first kill, my first step into becoming the world’s greatest assassin.

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DESIREE MATLOCK:

I sat down at the bar and ordered a scotch, dark shadows everywhere concealing that most of the patrons were already drunk. I was tapping my nails on the chipped, grungy bar top until the drink arrived out of nerves, but arriving early was helping me cope a little better. First dates are hard enough, but ones that you’re being forced to go on by your stupid sister are even worse.

She’d sat me down and told me to make a profile. So I had. It had asked questions that I didn’t consider relevant. Single white female seeking… what? I didn’t know. My sister had filled it all out for me when I balked and walked away from the screen.

“Activities?” she’d yelled across the apartment.

“What?” I’d cringed.

“Come on, Lila, What do you like to do?”

“Long walks on the beach at sunset!” I’d laughingly shouted back.

“Seriously!” Joy had cried out in disgust. “Never mind, I’ll make shit up.”

Lots of mysterious clacking on the keys later, Joy had finished my profile, and set me up on this date, that she’d pushed me out the door to go to tonight.

She’d told me “Jon” was a Libra with a good corporate job. He arrived, and sat down. Not bad looking, but I was too nervous to really judge. He introduced himself, and then said, “So… loong walks on the beach, huh? I like those, too.”

I had no idea what to say. I couldn’t kill Joy, I couldn’t even blame her.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

JM PAQUETTE:

She squinted into the fading light of the sunset, trying to make sense of the humped shape she could spy standing at the edge of the water. “Is that…” She turned just enough to elbow John in the side, not looking at him. “Is that a horse?”

John sat up, the book he had been reading falling into his lap as he squinted into the fading light. She could see the early evening shadows playing amid the rocks along the edge of the ocean, the waves crashing into swirls of bleached out color. “It could be,” John said, but his voice was hesitant. He pushed his glasses up his nose as if that would help him see better. “A white horse,” he said definitively. “Definitely.”

She made a face. “What is it doing just standing there like that?” She stared at it, able to see the looming shape a bit easier now that the ball of the sun had dipped below the water. “It wasn’t there a second ago, I swear. It just appeared.”

“Were you watching a second ago?” John asked, picking up his book and putting it aside only after carefully marking his page with a bookmark. “I thought you were reading.”

“I was, but I paused to watch the sunset.” She sighed a little, remembering the colors, the sound of the water, the sensation of peace and well-being that rolled over her. “And then it just appeared, like some water-horse out of a dream.”

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ALANNA J. RUBIN

Henrick watched as the sunset gave way to night and the white of the stars began to shine. A blanket of cool air wrapped around him as waited for the shadows to emerge. There had been stories in the nearby village of the shadows and their hunger for light. They could not keep fires going or even the tiniest of flames on top of a candle. The instant they were lit, they were extinguished. Henrick had been chasing these shadows across realms for years, in search of answers when he stumbled upon the villagers stories, and tonight he had hoped the ritual he performed would call them to him.

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BRANDON SCOTT:

The two sat underneath the sunset, staring as it dipped lower and lower. Boy, girl: you get the idea. But something was off about the entire scene. The most obvious part: the shadows. They did not have them in any shape that was normal, human, or even within the laws of the light spectrum.

Sweeping tentacles attached to bulbous, though small bodies—round like engorged pumpkins.

The girl turned to the boy. “Was it at least fun for you?”

The boy turned to her, and his pupils were milky white and retained nothing of an iris. “It was okay, you know. Rather okay. I wish it could have gone on longer.”

The girl picked up a handful of dirt, black as the night would be without any electricity in the world. “I know, it really is a shame. But there will be other worlds, other spaces, other places. We can raze it to the ground too.”

The boy harrumphed. “I suppose. I guess. But I liked this planet—so many of them did something, tried to stop us. When has that happened?”

“On that one planet with the long-necked ones?”

“I guess,” he said, but he still looked unhappy.

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Just My Luck – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 17 January 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Juice
  • Unwanted
  • Jelly

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

FEATURED AUTHOR

DESIREE MATLOCK:

The bonfire of driftwood lit up the beach as the stars came out. It really was quite beautiful. It would have been better if I didn’t seemed to be the only person that the mosquitoes wanted to bite, which was just genetically unfair. The beach bodies that surrounded me honestly needed some flaw, and a few ugly mosquito bites only seemed fair. But maybe they just had better bug spray. I’d gotten mine at the health food store, which in retrospect looked like it might have been a mistake.

The brunette, whose name turned out to be Theo, plopped himself down on the sand next to my blanket, and somehow the sand that stuck to his leg in one spot looked like more of a Sports Illustrated carefully planned sandy patch than the one that was currently making my thigh itch.

“Hey,” Theo said. His voice was like honey. “Got anything to eat?”

“Um sure,” I rummaged again, glad to be this guys’ go-to for random items that the other folks on this beach hadn’t considered necessary. Maybe it would work out in my favor that I’d packed like a normal person. From what was going on around me, I guessed most of these folks had packed condoms and some party drugs. None of that was my style, and I didn’t see Sandra anywhere anymore. Oh wait. She was sitting over on the boat with one of the guys I’d tagged as probably not straight. Huh. I guess you never knew.

I found a juice box and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and handed them over to Theo. He smiled.

“Can I get two, actually?”

“Um, sure,” I repeated myself. I pulled out another one, and off Theo trotted, meeting up with the one who’d introduced herself as Tiffany, I think. OR maybe it was Luscious? Or was that the other one?

Just my luck I was the only unwanted person on this beach.

www.DesisTwoCents.com

LISA BARRY:

Margo pushed the unwanted glass of juice away and scowled.

“How can you lose a full-grown pixie?” she asked.

Dillon shrugged but barely moved his shoulder. If he had a tail it would be hanging to the ground.

Margo’s eyes blazed, a bit of gold sparked in them. She tried to hold down the fire. She picked up a slice of toast and spread two containers of jelly on it. Dillon had been smart to meet her at the diner. She would have been tempted to tear out his heart otherwise.

“Did you cuff her with the pokeweed like I said?”

He nodded.

“Did you play Mozart like I said?”

He nodded.

“Ok, so you should have had a sleeping, tied up pixie.”

He nodded.

“How,” she growled, “did you lose her?”

Dillon coughed quietly before turning slightly and pointing at a booth near the front door.

Margo paled. She saw not one but three full-grown pixies, including the one she had hoped to slaughter that evening, watching her with interest.

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DALIA LANCE:

So how did the vacation go you might be wondering. She at least figured many of her friends and co-workers would be asking her this when she returned.

Well, she would tell them. She spent an entire week avoiding unwanted advances. Trying to see any part of the beach without hearing or seeing her neighbor Tim. That was his name she found out.

She also only ate juice and jelly on toast instead of any real fruit for fear of the mysterious rash that Tim had shown her on his arm and thigh. Not his leg, but pulled up his shorts and showed an upper thigh.

By the time she boarded the plane she sent her boss a brief, but concise email letting him know she would be using another three days of her vacation time starting Monday. She did not explain why, but more so that it was happening and she wasn’t asking approval.

She decided that she would pick up supplies and have a vacation on her couch, in her pjs watching Netflix and pretending calories and Tim do not exist.

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BRANDON SCOTT:

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.

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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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Endless River – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 21 February 2018, these three words were chosen:

  • Cake
  • Endless
  • Plank

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

FEATURED AUTHOR

LISA BARRY:

I walked over the narrow plank that someone, years ago, had set across the slow river. No one was particular scared of crossing; the river was slow after all and truly it wasn’t a problem to get out if you did end up taking an unplanned swim. The real problem with the river was that it seemed to be endless. Our history books tell us that over hundreds of years, thousands of men had traversed down the river. Many came back after days, some came back after months and years and only the smallest amount came home decades later. But the one thing they all said, was that the river was endless.

There were small wonders along the way, other races with strangely colored skin, animals that you would never see near our village, fruits and vegetables that energize and taste of the god’s doing, but no end to the river. I was heading to the shaman’s hut for afternoon cake. I loved his stories. And I had one for him today. I was going to take my leave in a fortnight and find adventure on the endless river.

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 NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

“You’re scaring him, Plank,” one of the other men spoke up. “Why don’t you put away the sharp killing instrument and maybe he’ll come. Hey boy,” he called to Jack. “Come on over. The fire’s warm, and we have bacon and corn cakes if you’re hungry.”

Jack was so hungry he couldn’t think straight, and his vision was going blurry. He would’t be able to eat though, because his teeth were clamped too tightly together, though his shivering still rattled his jaw, protesting the endless cold. The man with the bow lowered it slowly.

“Come out, boy. We aren’t going to hurt you.”

Jack may have decided to go to the fire, but before he could act on it, the world swam into blackness. Little by little, a sharp, pricking sensation wormed its way into his awareness, and he realized it was warmth returning to numb fingers and toes. Someone had built the fire up, and it danced and leaped in the stiff breeze. Three figures sat watching him, two with their hoods up, one with his face bared. That face was weathered, with three white scars slicing down the left side through the thick black beard on his cheek.

“You’re lucky, boy. You weren’t two minutes away from frost bite, but you can thank whatever gods look over you that you get to keep all your extremities.”

Jack sighed. “No gods watch over me. You should send me away now, before the things that hunt me come for you.”

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JM PAQUETTE:

“This is a cakewalk, Josie,” Star told her friend. “Come on!” she cajoled. “It’s not like she’s asking you to walk the plank or anything. All you have to do is talk to the kid.”

“The kid?” Josie echoed, disgust clear in her tone. “You say that like he’s some ten-year old I need to babysit.”

Her friend shrugged, “Well…” she let the word trail off, looking meaningfully across the room at Trevor, who sat as usual amid a pile of books stacked here and there on the table around him. “He doesn’t actually need a babysitter,” she commented. “Just leave him alone with a book.”

“Twelve books,” Josie sneered, thinking of the endless reasons why she should not be the one to show the new kid around the school. He was so weird. They didn’t even have him in regular classes yet, so he’d spent the day in the library–and he’d used that absolutely gloriously responsibility-free time to get himself books to read. Definitely a weirdo. He probably would want to talk to her about them, too.

Josie sighed. “This is so unfair,” she groaned. “I can’t believe I have to show him all of his classes tomorrow.”

“It’s fine,” Star insisted. “He’s in, like, all of your classes. So just go up to him, tell him to follow you, and you won’t have to think about it again.”

Josie frowned. “I bet he smells funny,” she griped, then sucked up her dignity and took the few steps across the room to face her punishment. The new kid didn’t look up at her approach, but the smell that wafted over the stack of books made Josie redefine her sense of scent.

Trevor didn’t stink; in fact, he wafted the most wonderful scent Josie had ever had the pleasure of experiencing. “Hi,” she breathed, suddenly wanting Trevor to stand near her all day long tomorrow.

 

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BRANDON SCOTT:

Coming Soon

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Kalvin

The first man wished for a cake to eat.  A shortsighted man, if ever there was one.  The food was poisoned.

The second man wished for wood, for to construct a raft, and escape.  He was given a lone plank, and thus was his wish squandered.

I thought carefully on my wish, the moments seemingly endless, while an impatient and frustrated djinn hovered over me.  The “gift” would be poisoned fruit, surely, and so I would exercise the utmost caution.

Time counted itself away, unceasing, until suddenly I smiled.

 

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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.

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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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