Tag Archives: Author Laura Price

Multiple Wounds – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 30 September 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Predator
  • Wound
  • Pushy

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

ERIKA LANCE:

“As you can see the wound is deep as if penetrated with immense strength.” The instructor said gesturing to the cadaver in front of the class gathered around the autopsy table, he was being pushy with the instrument he was using to point out the areas on the body he was discussing.

“The wound was obviously caused by a large predator with claws.” He continued, “The animal was aggressive creating not just one wound, but multiple wounds.”

How many times had he just said wound? I wondered to myself.

“The animal obviously created the wounds to penetrate the victim with the intention of using the wound as a way to reach through the flesh of the wound to pull the organs through the wound.” the lecture continued.

I wasn’t even able to follow what Professor Blake was saying anymore, each time he said the word “wound” it caused me to recount from the beginning. How many were we up to?

“Ms. Jenkins, would you care to inform the class as to what is so amusing about the wounds this person has sustained that there is a smirk on your face?”

Nine times… I burst out laughing.

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ALANNA CORMIER

Jackson was breathing heavily as he staggered towards an outcropping of rocks for safety while clutching the wound that was slashed across his side.  He never it saw it coming and he cursed himself for underestimating his prey and now he found the tables to have turned.  Propping his back up against a rock, he took a moment to examine the wound, “son of a bitch”, he cursed as he saw the six finger-like marks oozing with blood.  Capturing this creature would have been quite a coup.  It was considered the fiercest predator on the planet, but he wouldn’t have gone if it wasn’t for his pushy best friend, Tom.  Now Tom was dead and he was left alone fighting for his survival.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

He was being stalked, helpless prey as the cunning and lethal predator glided ever closer. His breath came faster, lungs burning as he ran, trying to escape the shadow that came relentlessly on. Carson woke from his dream, drenched in sweat. He lay in the dark, eyes closed, afraid to open them and find what he knew must be there. Tense, waiting, then he heard it. The soft scrape of claws on stone.

Whatever it was that was after him was still coming. Whatever it was that was watching over him had warned him in time once again. Carson rolled over and moved to a crouch, ears straining. The raspy breathing of his pursuer came from behind the rock ledge that Carson had collapsed on, too exhausted to continue.

Now he had no choice but to continue further up the treacherous mountain side, hoping against hope that whoever was guiding him with those dreams, that were too real to be anything other than true, knew what it was doing. But Carson was in no position to argue, beggars couldn’t be pushy or whatever that saying was. So he began to run up the mountain, hindered only slightly by the wound the creature had inflicted the first and last time it had caught Carson unawares, and the first time Carson’s mysterious guardian angel had revealed itself. Sort of.

Carson pushed the thought from his mind. This was not the time to be distracted. He rounded the bend and ran into a sheer face of stone.

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LAURA PRICE:

Sarah dabbed at the wound gingerly, trying not cause pain, but also knowing that dirt would cause infection. She took off her flannel and t-shirt, replacing the flannel, and tearing the cleaner undershirt into a long strip of cloth to wrap around her bleeding thigh. She felt lucky that the beast had missed her femoral artery, but she was still bleeding quite a bit and was afraid her predator would smell her more easily now. Xandria made a distressed face that indicated they needed to move. Her sister was not one to be pushy unnecessarily, but Xan was also a leader, with the instincts to survive, if Sarah could just keep up.

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JM PAQUETTE:

“I’m sorry, sir,” First Class Private Kelly asked, “but did you just say there is a predator out here?”

“Roger that, Private,” the voice crackled over the headset in her helmet. “We have incoming.”

Kelly looked around as much as she could in the bulky spacesuit. There was no one around, just as she had expected in the vacuum of space. “Um,” she told the boys back in the control room, “you do know I’m spacewalking, right?”

There was another crackle and the words were lost, some static, and then silence. “Hello?” she asked, deciding that the damn fuse could wait, and she began the slow twirl around to face the space behind her. “Guys?” With her back touching the steel hub of the aft engine compartment, she felt a bit safer. At least nothing could sneak up on her from behind.

“Hello? Can you read me?” she said again, hands working quickly to untwist the tether that kept her attached to the space station.

“I don’t mean to be pushy but someone better reply to me!” She waited another few seconds, hands making sure the tether wasn’t wound around any crucial parts of her space suit. She could see only emptiness in front of her. What the hell were the guys playing at?

When the clawed hand came down on her from above, she didn’t even have time to scream.

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Tired of Walking on Egg Shells – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 30 September 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Cankerous
  • Flustered
  • Treasure

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

LAURA PRICE:

Robby was a cancerous old man and Eileen had had enough. She was tired of getting flustered, nit-picking every decision she made to make sure it would be acceptable to him. She was tired of walking on egg shells and she was moving out. Despite the years of marriage and being kept from finishing her degree or having a job, she had managed to maintain a couple of good friendships, and this last time that Lisa offered up her spare room, Eileen had sighed, “yes,” and felt a relief in realizing that she’d meant it. She knew she was no shining treasure, but it was her life she was living, and she deserved to be treated as a person with a mind and ambition.

Robby would be driving home from work, waiting for a dinner that he would find something wrong with. Eileen and Lisa, on the other hand, were hanging up clothes and sharing a bottle of celebratory wine, waiting for the phone to ring. Eileen felt afraid of his voice, but more than that she felt excited at the adventure of her life ahead.

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ALANNA CORMIER

I stared at the golden idol from across the booby trapped floor.  It was the treasure of a lifetime and I had come so far to get to this point.  But why was I hesitating?  Deep down, I knew why.  Rumors of the curse that would fall upon those that would dare disturb the idol had been plaguing me since I heard them.  Forcing out the voice of warning swirling in my head, I moved forward dexterously avoiding a false floor plate that would surely send me to my death.  To my surprise, I did not see the one just after it and I fell but manage to catch myself on the lip of the floor and pull myself back up to safety.  Flustered by my close call, I took a deep breath and continued.  It seemed like another hour before I came face to face with the idol.  It staring me down as much as I it.  I removed the idol from its resting place and half expected the temple to fall down around me, but nothing happened.  I laughed aloud, relieved and pleased by my success.  On my way back to town, my mouth started to bother me.  It felt sore, but I chalked it up to the fact that I hadn’t had a drop of water for what felt like days.  It wasn’t until the next morning, that I knew what was really going on.  My mouth had become a cankerous cesspool. I pulled the idol out of the bag and it now looked at me as if it were laughing.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Halley rushed around, putting everything in place, making sure everything was shiny, trying not to get flustered. It was common knowledge that dragons got, well…annoyed, when they were away from their treasure for any length of time, but Darcy was a special case.

Halley put the sapphires with the rubies, equally interspersed just like he like them, and just in time as a bellow came from the front entrance. Halley frowned. It sounded worse than usual.

“What’s the…”

She barely had time to get out of the way before Darcy came barreling in, a flurry of wings and claws messing up her perfectly placed gold doubloons and silver medallions. The dragon burrowed into the riches, still moaning.

“What’s the matter?” she finally got a chance to ask.

“I think it’s cankerous!” Darcy howled.

Halley sighed. “Let me look.”

Darcy rolled over, exposing his scaly underbelly. The delicate silver scales were flaking off in patches. Halley rolled her eyes.

“You’re shedding.”

“Dragons don’t shed,” Darcy sniffed.

“Then you’re dying of a horrible, slow, painful, dread disease,” Halley said. “It’s been nice knowing you. Can I have your stuff when you’ve passed on to the great beyond?”

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DALIA LANCE:

She wondered why was he now being so cankerous?

He told her his fantasy was to be tied up. Mia was flustered at first when he asked but she thought that if this was really something Dennis wanted then she would do it.

Mia wanted to make him happy, she loved him and didn’t want to lose him. He was her treasure unlike all the other men she had in her life. He was sweet and wonderful. He showered her with presents and every day told her how beautiful she was. You don’t find men like that everyday.

She had googled bondage and after scrolling through all the “50 Shades” posts that her friends told her were not real bondage she had found a local group that were bondage experts. They even offered to “assist” with the bondage experience.

Now that Dennis was tied to two wooden beams that the experts had brought into their living room and the ball gag was pulling tightly on his mouth as he was spewing profanities in a muffled manner she thought maybe this wasn’t the best idea.

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JM PAQUETTE:

Larry stared at the dripping pile of unidentifiable sludge in his daughter’s hand, trying to decide what was more important–his health or his child’s sense of honor.

Lily had found the item, her treasure, who knew where, and here she was, holding her most prized possession out to her father, wanting him to accept it and lavish her with the fatherly pride she deserved. Her little face was smeared with something black; Larry wondered with a shudder if the slime was cankerous. Why had he thought playing in the dog park for the afternoon was a good idea again?

He hadn’t looked away from her for very long, he thought, flustered. The dog had bolted in the other direction, he had turned his head to make sure the demonic labrador didn’t leap right over the fence and bound right back to hell where it clearly came from, and when  he turned back, Lily was holding out the mystery offering. Larry didn’t think it had come from any of the other dogs roaming about the park, but he also knew that his daughter always manged to find the dirtiest things around.

“Here, daddy,” she proclaimed proudly, “I got this just for you!”

 

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A Very, Very Long and Pained Death – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 8 August 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Freckle
  • Box
  • Apple

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

LISA BARRY:

Jorden traced the freckles on her skin with a slim finger. Her ghost pale skin made them so much more obvious. They were so cute. He leaned in and placed cold lips on hers. He knew there would be no response but his heart flinched anyway. She had been his favorite. He stepped away from the box and nodded to his day valet.

“Yes,master,” Limmy said. He tossed the half eaten apple into the trash then pulled the heavy cover closed and pushed the raised coffin into the next room.

Head bowed, Jorden left the room and stepped into the darkness. This was the third thrall that had been taken from him while he slumbered. He felt the heat trying to rise from his cool skin. First he would need to eat and then he would find the culprit and give them a very, very long and pained death.

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ERIKA LANCE:

He was breathing so hard his chest hurt. Running any further would cause his lungs to explode. He needed to stop, but the sound of footsteps and laughter behind him kept him moving.

How had he fallen for it again? Being a human seemed to make him dumb, he hoped it was the being a human part and not that he himself was actually stupid.

She had the cutest freckle right above her left eye. He could stare at it for hours. When she handed him the apple he was excited to take a bite and prove the gift was amazing and meant the world to him. A dryad had offered fruit from her tree. Of course his realization that he was beginning to get drowsy took a lot longer then it should have and had he eaten more slowly he wouldn’t have wound up in a box, on the front door of the giants house.

Now as he ran from what he could only assume was a toddler he wondered if giant babies were as mean to their toys as human babies were.

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 LAURA PRICE:

Apple was practically vibrating with excitement. She sat in her grandmother’s rocking chair, which was decorated gloriously with streamers and helium balloons, and tried not to rock, so that Daddy could hand her present and Mommy could take pictures for her scrapbooking. She had seen Uncle Dennis come in with the big box, so she knew which one was from him. It had metallic blue wrapping, and reflected all the other presents as it sat in the center of the table. She looked over her at him and scrunched up her little freckled face in a smile that let him know that she was holding in a tiny squeal. He winked one eye at her and pretended it was all no big deal. Uncle Dennis traveled the world, and came back every year to attend her birthday and give her something magical. She sat very still as Daddy handed her the first gift, and she couldn’t help but notice the big blue box wiggle.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Hedder looked in the box, hoping for something really cool, like a dragon egg or a crystal ball. Maybe he would even get a piece of rainbow or a shadow cloak. He pulled out the bright red apple, and wrinkled his freckled-covered nose.

“What is this?” he asked, looking up at his fairy godmother.

“It’s a wishing apple,” the delicate creature said, twitching her long golden wings. “It took me forever to find. It comes from the same seed as Snow White’s apple, or so the vendor told me. That could just be his sales pitch.”

“What do I do with it?” Hedder said, lamenting the non-existent dragon egg or magic carpet.

“Why, you make a wish with it, of course,” his fairy godmother said as though it were the most obvious thing in the world. “And then you eat it. You must save the seeds. Perhaps one of them will grow into a wishing apple tree.”

Hedder sighed. “That sounds like a lot of work. Why don’t I just wish for a wishing apple tree to grow in the back next to mother’s willow and father’s cherry tree?”

His fairy godmother thought about that for a long moment. “I see no reason that wouldn’t work,” she said at last. “But that won’t help you.”

“Why not?”

“A wishing apple tree only bears one wishing apple.”

“Oh.” Hedder looked down at the fruit. “Maybe I’ll just wish for a dragon egg then.”

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Alanna Cormier

I walked to the apple orchard.  It was one of my favorite places-so peaceful. I loved coming here with my favorite book in one hand and a box of chocolate chip cookies to munch on in the other.  As I walked through the rows of trees looking for the perfect spot to spend the afternoon a piece of a leaf fell onto my arm making it look as if I had a freckle, which was quickly whisked away by a warm breeze.  When I looked back up the perfect tree was before me with an inviting mix of green leaves and red apples.

 

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You are Both So Hot – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 8 August 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Loosely
  • Roadster
  • Charm

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

ERIKA LANCE:

It wasn’t his charm, and it certainly wasn’t the beat up roadster that he drove around. His missing front tooth didn’t put him in even the average category either.

Missy looked over at her sister who was simply drooling over this disgusting heap of a man as if he was Elvis Presley or someone. She didn’t get it.

As Dwayne moved towards them the smell of cheap aftershave and cigarettes almost made her gag. She grabbed hold of her sister’s arm and was loosely hanging on to her lunch. What the hell was her sister thinking?

The way Dwayne had been described she was ready to do what she had to do in order to wrest him away from the man-trap that was her sisters life. Now, she instead wanted to run before he was close enough to actually cause her to puke.

“Wow… you are both so hot… I am really into sisters” he said as he sauntered up. Yep, that was enough and the chunks began to fly.

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LISA BARRY:

I loosely held on to the steering wheel of the roadster and watched the scenery glide by, anticipating the low hills to give way to mountain. I glanced to my passenger and sighed. Her charms wouldn’t work on me now. The elf, beautiful skin glowing in the moonlight, was dead to me now. I would deliver her to the goblins and they would do whatever they did with the elf magic. I hoped it wasn’t too painful. But I had to hide my secret at all cost. Love wasn’t enough of a reason to destroy an entire civilization. One that I had kept hidden for more than three centuries now. She groaned and my heart bled. I knew not to give in to love and had done it anyway.

“Why?” she whispered. I thought how to answer so she would understand. I glanced in the rearview. The dark shape in the sky was a speck now but getting larger. Oh no, it was a trap.

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LAURA PRICE:

Sal thought he was the epitome of charm, despite how his shirts got tighter and tighter, seemingly daily, his hair was thinning so it fell loosely out of its ponytail, and the roadster tattoo on his right forearm was fading. Sheila scratched that thought. That the roadster tattoo existed at all detracted from the attraction factor. She honestly had no clue how he picked up a different chick every weekend from the – oh yeah, well, she guessed, it probably wasn’t that hard to pick up anyone from the sink-or-swim night at the town’s only country bar. It was bigger that the Costco, and everyone drove for miles to be there on Saturday nights. Now, as the police officers made themselves comfortable on her sofa with coffee she’d just made them, she wondered how charming they would think Sal was, as he explained that he had nothing to do with the string of missing women from that same location.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

When her voice sounded in his garage, he automatically began to rise, which resulted in his forehead colliding with the underbelly of his Roadster with a painful thud. Gal cursed and slid out from the partially assembled vehicle. Although it looked like your standard earth petrol-guzzling automobile, that was just a clever glamour that old Gibsom had gifted Gal with for when he left Herstolme.

Gal took a deep breath, the stood up, turning to face the garage door which was now filled with the form of a beautiful creature from hell, or at least somewhere close by.

“Risa!” Gal said with a forced beam. “Just when I thought this day couldn’t get any better, look who shows up at my door to prove me wrong!”

If he had thought his charm would get him out of a lecture, he was wrong. For the next half an hour, he listened, cringed, nodded where appropriate and was generally made to suffer through a loud rant about all the things he’d screwed up since he and Risa had arrived on this plane of existence.

“Well?” she demanded.

“Well what?” Gal said, then immediately wished he hadn’t.

“You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve been saying,” Risa said.

“I have,” Gal responded earnestly. “I’ve made a series of terrible decisions, each worse than the one before but by far worst idea was landing here to resupply. We’ve been stuck here while I dither away under the carriage of that hideous thing that passes for transportation, and now you’ve seen the Whispers and we’ve most likely got only a few more hours to live. Did I get everything?”

“Almost,” Risa sniffed. “I found you some power.” She held up the glittering lump and Gal snatched it out of her hands. “But the Whispers will be able to track it, so we have to leave now.”

She looked at the bits of their magic carriage lying about and raised an eyebrow. Loosely speaking, they weren’t quite ready to leave at this exact moment. Gal sighed. Was he ever going to be able to catch a break?

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Alanna Cormier

I must have tied and untied the scarf around my neck a half a dozen times finally settling on the loosely tied version now there.  He would be here any moment to pick me up and my stomach was filled with butterflies.  Jack had a charm that could rival that of James Bond and I couldn’t help feeling like the luckiest of girls when I was in the passenger seat of his roadster racing down the highway off to some mysterious destination.

 

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Bubbles For Bait – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 8 August 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Bubbles
  • Big foot
  • Rose

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

LAURA PRICE:

As the bubbles rose and drifted lazily to the west, Andrea thought of absolutely nothing. It was a bright, summer day, and after weeks of rain, simply breathing and enjoying the sky was pure bliss. She leaned back on her elbows and blew into the dripping bubble wand again. Carmella was chasing them, yards away, and her uncontrolled toddler laughter rang through the breeze like wind chimes. It was years since Andrea had done this, and it was nice to share the magic with her daughter for the first time. She thought to put down the wand for a moment and grab her camera to take a picture. As she blew a new batch for the scene, and raised the camera up to catch Carmella in action, she saw a huge creature at the edge of the woods. She gasped, but quickly regained her composure and snapped shots in quick succession. Robbie was going to freak out! After all his camping and hunting trips with his friends and all their high tech photography gear- she’d caught Bigfoot with her phone camera and bubbles for bait!

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 LISA BARRY:

Bubbles literally left my mouth and floated upward into the cloud covered sky.

“Close your mouth, loser,” Skyrn said. “I’m telling you it was Big Foot.”

I shook my head, and pointed at him. “There is no friggin Big Foot.”

“Stop with your anti-truth crap, sis. I saw what I saw.”

“There is no way you could have seen anything since it doesn’t exist.”

I pulled a rose out from the trampled garden. It had been my garden. I had loved and nursed it into a glorious home for the tiny dainty fairies and the woodland folk. It had been my paradise and now it was a decimated mess of greens and blues and purples. The rose hung limply in my hand and when I went to straighten it out, a long thorn took residence in my thumb.

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ERIKA LANCE:

“What are you doing?” he whispered to Talia in as hushed a tone as he could peering from behind the rock that seemed to be the only thing protecting them at this point.

She turned to face him and blew a bubble with her gum until it popped on her rose hued lips. He ducked as if this would somehow protect them from the creatures only a few meters away.

“Do you understand the danger we are in?” he asked imploringly. “You need to be quiet” he tried to sound more firm in tone. Talia tilted her head at him, her face scrunching slightly and made a harrumph noise.

Daniel sighed. Fairies were exasperating. He wasn’t sure why his mentor had insisted he employ one for this journey but now, facing down not one but three of the huge man/bear creatures he wished he hadn’t left the tower.

“Do you mean the big-footed smelly things over there?” she said pointing. “You know they can’t see us right?” she said wings moving back and forth indicating her boredom.

“But they can hear us” he said voice a little too loud which caused the creatures to turn and look there way.

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 Alanna Cormier

I checked my reflection in the mirror one last time and tucked the rose into my lapel before heading out into the night.  It was our first date and I had a big evening planned.  First, I’ll be taking her to dinner picking a fine Champaign where the bubbles would be sure to tickle her nose.  Then off to the theater for a show that revolved around a Bigfoot sighting.  The comedy was the talk of the town and she had been wanting to see it for the past month.  Nervously, I stepped up to the front door, rapping lightly. She appeared and I was instantly at ease when I saw the smile on her face.  I offered her my arm and we set off on what was sure to be an enchanting night.

NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Big Foot dropped in for tea quite unexpectedly. Rose was all a-flutter, putting out her best china and using the real cream. After she served the biscuits she saved for special occasions, Rose perched on the edge of the chair and clasped her hands in her lap.

“To what do I owe the pleasure, Mr Foot?” she asked.

“I’m taking up donations,” Big Foot said.

“Donations?” Rose asked. “For what?”

“Well, you know with inflation and things, it’s becoming harder and harder to get the appropriations from the Ministry,” he said.

Rose took a sip of her effervescent nectar – the only thing she could imbibe as a fairy – and clapped a hand over her mouth as the bubbles threatened to escape her mouth in a very unmannerly fashion. She nodded hastily and put her drink down. “Surely you must have gone to them first?” she said timidly. “It is after all, what we pay taxes for.”

“Don’t I know it,” Big Foot sighed. “But all the red tape and nonsense that they put one through…”

Rose nodded sympathetically.

“And it’s for the good of all mythological creatures,” Big Foot continued. “What would your life be like if they were aware you existed?”

Rose’s eyes widened. She couldn’t even bear to think about it. Every time men learned of fairy creatures, bad things happened. Big Foot pressed his point.

“I’m not asking much. I spend my time leading men on wild goose chases to keep our kind safe. I could really use a new fur coat…” Rose noted that the one he wore was rather balding. “And the Loch Ness Monster is getting rather thin for lack of fish. At this rate, we won’t be able to continue much longer.”

“That’s terrible,” Rose said. “I’ll fetch my purse.”

She came in time to see Big Foot stuffing the rest of the cookies in a giant pocket. He looked up sheepishly.

“Sorry, I…”

“No, it’s alright,” Rose said, waving away his excuse. “Would you like me to make you a sandwich for the road?”

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ISG Writing Exercise 4 February 2015 Part II

At every ISG meeting we undertake at least one writing exercise. The exercise is to have three members each pick one word and we then have five minutes to compose a story that must include those words. (Sometimes four members choose four words and we take eight minutes to write.) When we’re done, we read them out loud and as with any creative outlet, members take each other into new worlds the only way writers can.

We encourage you to join the fun! Feel free to take the words noted below and create your own 5-minute story. Share with everyone by putting your story in the comments section below! Note: There is NO critiquing during our meetings. We support and encourage each other by pointing out what was awesome or right. Do not be afraid to post – we approve every comment before it shows up! Write on!

On 4 February 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Burp
  • Monster
  • Digesting

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

LISA BARRY:

Laurel stood in the shadows observing her pray. The boys from camp had spread out to find and bring back their kill for the celebration meal, leaving Laurel at the camp with the other girls. Like she didn’t know how to bring in dinner.  Jerks. She watched the hulking beast rest lazily on a large flat rock. Burps and other disgusting noises rumbled from its body as it digested what appeared to be a gazelle if the remains on the ground gave any indication. The sword in her hands felt light and she knew it was sharp, and had rarely let her down. She waited patiently for sleep to fully take him away before you she removed his head. Unfortunately she would have to get help to bring him in for the feast but the head would certainly prove her worth. A loud snort echoed around the cave. Laurel smiled and brought the sword up. She started carefully and silently toward the monster. A breeze swept thru her hair, a blur caught her eye as she moved. Blood poured from the beasts neck onto the floor. Pulling in a breathe, Laurel could only stare at her kill, her monster. Her sword clean, the head was now missing.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Nelf hugged the wall, holding his breath. The monster grumbled and slithered somewhere in the maze behind him. Half eaten corpses littered the passages, the beast’s saliva digesting the flesh in preparation for its first stomach. Not two steps away was what looked like a cow, but it was so bloated and torn up it could have been a mutant cat, oozing maggots and green slime. Nelf tried to keep the bile from rising. He managed, but a small burp bubbled up from his own churning stomach. Immediately the grunting and snuffling charged in his direction, the scraping of claws on the stone painful to Nelf’s ears. He started running, no longer trying to remain quiet. If only he could find the chalk marks, he could find the exit and get the hell out of here. Although what waited for him without the maze was no more appetizing than what was inside the maze with him. Still, Nelf felt a little more confident at being able to deal with a few more or less human monsters than whatever-it-was-called trying to spew him with acidic saliva right now. He rounded the corner and found himself face to face with a second one, the chalk marks leading into the passage behind its bulk.

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ERIKA LANCE:

Tara and her brother Matt were staring at the trail of blood leading into the alleyway. Of course the alley was dark and now strange noises of bones crunching and skin tearing were issuing out of it.

“This sucks” Matt whispered under his breath.  “Well, if you had let me kill her the first night we wouldn’t be here would we?” Tara said curtly rubbing the metal baseball bat she carried as if it was a prize.

With a sigh Tara began heading into the darkness, listening she heard her brother follow, she/it would be digesting her latest meal now and they had only a small window of time where she was not at full strength. The coppery tang to the air let them know that the scene that would unfold in front of them would be bleak at best.

As Matt lit the flare and tossed it to where most of the sounds were coming from. They were finally able to see the monster that his now ex-girlfriend had become, as she gnawed on an arm of what remained of her dinner.

Tara heard a burp from behind her “Don’t you dare puke” she said as she raised her bat to swing

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LAURA PRICE:

Tamma was sealing all of the lunch pails for the kids, making sure to burp the lips so the biscuits didn’t get stale during the day. Her stomach was making such a racket, digesting left-over meatloaf that’s she’d eaten when she woke. She felt ill, and was finding it very difficult to carry on with the task at hand. Being pregnant made her feel like a big ugly monster, always eating and growling and feeling sick.

The boys ran down the stairs and she passed out lunches and kisses, one by one for all three of them. Please, she silently prayed to the gods, let this one be a girl! After the littlest of her chubby little sons marched out of the kitchen, she saw his little muddy foot prints left behind. How in the heck did he get into the mud before he even had breakfast? Yes, please, Gods, let the next one be a girl!

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ANNE CARGILE:

Burp was not sure if that elf tasted good. It had been slightly crunchy, not enough fat on it to be particularly filling, and rather stringy. But, what was a monster to do when the Captain ordered a smash and grub?

As he sat digesting the rather bitter elf, Burp used the little blade the elf had challenged him with as a toothpick. It was the perfect size and the slim metal made the pick worth keeping. When he finished getting that annoying bit of sinew out of his back teeth, he carefully tucked the silver blade into his pouch. Rumbling and groaning, he hefted his rather impressive stomach into submission by pulling his trousers up a notch and went off to find his captain. The sooner they were on the move, the sooner Burp could possibly find another bite to eat, maybe a tasty milkmaid. Something with a bit of fat on it, he could only hope.

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ISG Writing Exercise 4 February 2015 Part I

At every ISG meeting we undertake at least one writing exercise. The exercise is to have three members each pick one word and we then have five minutes to compose a story that must include those words. (Sometimes four members choose four words and we take eight minutes to write.) When we’re done, we read them out loud and as with any creative outlet, members take each other into new worlds the only way writers can.

We encourage you to join the fun! Feel free to take the words noted below and create your own 5-minute story. Share with everyone by putting your story in the comments section below! Note: There is NO critiquing during our meetings. We support and encourage each other by pointing out what was awesome or right. Do not be afraid to post – we approve every comment before it shows up! Write on!

On 4 February 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Dynamic
  • Practical
  • Bills

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

LISA BARRY:

“The dynamics of my life cannot possibly get any more confusing or complicated,” I stated to the lizard sunning himself on the table before me. I don’t think he even blinked. A drop of sweat bead at my temple and then slowing made its way down my cheek before I wiped it with my handkerchief. It was truly the waiting that made it so bad. Firstly, my highly practical mother had sent the invitations out before telling me her intention. That slight, little lie about being engaged seemed to have just suddenly blown itself out of proportion. And now? My groom was racing toward my supposedly betrothed house with an offer to pay all her bills for one year if she would just but pretend that all was well. We didn’t have to go through with it but just play along for a while. Sitting it the court yard, I sipped lemonade with a tad of the clear strong stuff my mate in the city sends over from time to time. I could only dream that my first meeting of my pseudo betrothed would be as eventful as I hoped.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

Staring at the pile of bills, she sighed. It wasn’t going to go away, even if she put her hands over her eyes like a child. You can’t see me if I can’t see you, she thought to herself. Picking up the first paper she looked at it for half a second and tossed it away. The same happened to the next and the next, and the next dozen after that. It was not a practical way to get the bills paid, but it made her feel good. Then she saw the one that was due to be dismissed next and she went pale. The details were written on thick parchment, in glittering ink, by a hand that took great pleasure in dynamic swirls and flourishes.

“In return for the aid of, blah, blah, first born child, blah, blah, first full moon after the first name day…” she trailed off, her hand unconsciously crushing the paper, and looked towards the nursery door.

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ERIKA LANCE:

As she looked around her brother’s apartment she couldn’t help but feel that this wasn’t a practical way of life. Being honest, the pile of bills and unopened mail next to the door was only rivaling the stack of mostly empty pizza boxes next to the couch.

Her brother was asleep on the aforementioned couch with a pizza box resting atop his stomach, wearing a pair of sweatpants that, by the stains, had not seen a wash in at least a week of wearing.

She sighed, her brother used to be dynamic and full of life and he was reduced to this waste of couch space all due to her. She knew he didn’t take the break-up, if that is what you want to call it well. However, when your girlfriend turns into some sort of demonic creature of the night you should consider it a blessing you didn’t end up a victim.

“Get Up!” Tara finally said poking her brother with the metal baseball bat on his exposed mid-section. She knew it was cold because she had been outside with it for the last two hours. As he jumped off the couch, looking around wildly, she let him take a moment to adjust to his surroundings.

“What?” he finally said.

“She just killed two more, we need to end this” Tara replied flatly.

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LAURA PRICE:

“Dammit, Sonja! Quit leaving your drinks lying around everywhere!” Kendra yelled to the house in general, in exasperation while flinging paper work, bills, Her brand new book on Dynamic Living Solutions, and her laptop off the table and onto every nearby counter, as they dripped with coffee. Grabbing a towel, and a sweater to sop up the sticky fluid, she growled.

“Mom!” Kendra didn’t turn around to see Jason as he rushed up behind her to try to save the sweater, “Why would you clean up coffee with a sweater?”

“Being practical, Jason. The sweater can be washed, my laptop will go up in smoke.”

“I can’t believe this. All of you girls are crazy. Dad would never clean up Sonja’s coffee with MY sweater.”

Kendra didn’t respond. She never sank so low as to talk badly about the kids’ father. He wouldn’t clean up coffee with a sweater, she thought, because he wouldn’t clean up anything?

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ANNE CARGILE:

The dynamic between the two was something to watch. Especially when they were paying the bills. One was very practical, sorting things into what needed to get paid and the other wanted to chuck the whole pile into the recycling bin and call it a day. Because, yes, we recycle in this house. We’re responsible earth dwellers. Duh.

On this particular day there was one line item that was causing some distress and I, being 15, pretended to have my ear phones in and space out to whatever it was the parental units thought I listened to, meanwhile secretly listening to every word, absorbing their interchanges like a sponge does spilt milk. I’m sneaky like that.

“What is this hon? I have a bill here from a local farm, but it doesn’t make sense. What are fairy mushroom caps?” my mom asked.

“You know the chairs fairies sit on. I needed a few last month,” my dad replied.

My mom raised an eyebrow. Not a good sign. “Oh really? For what?”

“You know, things. I had to help out a friend.”

I started tapping my foot in time to an imaginary beat.

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ISG Writing Exercise 7 January 2015

At every ISG meeting we undertake at least one writing exercise. The exercise is to have three members each pick one word and we then have five minutes to compose a story that must include those words. (Sometimes four members choose four words and we take eight minutes to write.) When we’re done, we read them out loud and as with any creative outlet, members take each other into new worlds the only way writers can.

We encourage you to join the fun! Feel free to take the words noted below and create your own 5-minute story. Share with everyone by putting your story in the comments section below! Note: There is NO critiquing during our meetings. We support and encourage each other by pointing out what was awesome or right. Do not be afraid to post – we approve every comment before it shows up! Write on!

On 7 January 2015, these three words were chosen:

  • Carnival
  • Participate
  • Tulip

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

LISA BARRY:

The dwarf stared at the bright red tulip painted on the side of his double wide. He glanced at me, a spark in his eye. Lifting a shoulder I scrunched my nose.

“I don’t know why you would be marked,” I said as he opened the door. A double wide to a dwarf was like a mini-mansion but for me, it felt little better than a water closet.

“They have no reason to mark me,” he grumbled as we entered, “I don’t participate in those stupid games.”

“They’re fun,” I said.

“What’s fun about being stalked and left for dead?”

“You’re only left for dead if you’re stupid and let them get the best of you,” I commented as I tried to fit into one of his chairs. He got two beers out of the fridge and handed me one. I leaned sideways in the tiny chair and tried to stabilize with one leg while balancing the beer on the other knee.

“Couple guys at the Carnival play. One was so bloody he couldn’t work,” he said.

“He’s not playing it right.” I grinned and threw the bottle at him.

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LAURA PRICE:

Tulip ran ahead, as usual, while Sally and Greg walked slowly. Nothing was more exciting than the annual carnival in the city, and though the girl’s parents had died months ago, nothing would stop them from going. Greg wouldn’t let them travel alone, the gentleman that he was, but his participation in the journey slowed them down too much for Tulip’s taste. She stopped for the third time to look back at them, staring into each other’s eyes and taking small ginger steps, so as not to trip on the uneven ground of the field they were cutting through.

Tulip couldn’t be angry because without Greg, Sally would likely be too scared to travel so far. Also, she thought, he added his money to the funds, so there would be no wanting for games or sweets. It seemed safe enough in the vast clearing for her to keep running ahead. They’d have to catch up eventually. She sighed at them in mock disgust, loudly enough for them to hear and causing them to laugh a little and look up at her. Then she ran off again, giggling.

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NICOLE DRAGONBECK:

In the end, despite everything he did to prevent it, the carnival came. The colorful wagons painted with rainbows and tulips rolled in pulled by the lumbering seven-headed elephants that they got from god knows where. The freaks and clowns with ghoulish grins, the too-pale men in ancient suits and the small people covered in glitter and not much else, all came to stay for a weekend in George’s quiet little town. It was hard not to participate when the whole town went into wild, enthusiastic convulsions to accommodate the show. But George knew what was hiding under the glamour and glitter and too-friendly smiles. So when Stacy said she was going, he couldn’t let her go by herself. Not into that horrible nightmare just waiting to boil over and eat the unwary. That was how George found himself throwing darts at balloons in an effort to win some stupid prize made in China, all the while looking around warily, the iron knives and flask of holy water hidden in his jacket pocket, and the gun with the silver bullets in his belt.

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ERIKA LANCE:

“She is refusing to come out” he said again curtly. She knew Brent was annoyed as she had asked where the next act was at least three times.

Marla hated the Carnival. Actually she both hated and loved it at the same time. In her life she had never found a place where she felt more at home and had experienced such magic. However in these moments she wanted to grab her backpack and continue on her trek around the country.

“Fine then if she doesn’t want to participate I will simply find someone else to headline” Marla stated being as loud and defiant as she could make herself sound knowing there was no show without the Pre-Madonna performer she needed to take the stage in 5 minutes.

As Marla began to walk away shaking her head she heard the tent flap move behind her and the smell of a spring day hit her senses. “Fine, I am coming, but I insist on a larger tent by weeks end” said a voice with enough liltyness to knock you over. She turned to face a woman whose skin was green and hair of pale pink. “Anything for you Tulip” voice dripping with pretended sweetness.

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KALVIN WIKE:

Rook watched from a distance as the Briars played an cavorted down below.  Curiosity piqued, he observed their odd, colorful carnival play out.

He found them bizarre creatures to begin with, and was puzzled by their odd games and pass-times:  all would participate in dances, strange choirs, races, and so many more.

“A shame to see it end,” he mumbled to himself, as he watched a tupil-haired Briar dance across a stage before a crowd.

He signaled the order, and his platoon descended on them, fire in their eyes.

“A real shame,” he said again.  He’d never know such games or pass-times.  He stood and watched as their homes burned to the ground.

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Story Reading at Studio@620 in St. Pete Florida!

Yesterday two of our members, Erika Lance and Laura Price, met up with the peeps at Wordier Than Thou, a literary arts organization that presents an open mic to authors for story telling only each month at The Studio@620 in St. Pete.

Erika1

Author Erika Lance

Erika read her short story called “The Quick Stop” which can also be found in the Ink Slingers Guild anthology called The Death of Jimmy, which incidentally is also available free on Goodreads.com right now.

lauri1

Author Laura Price

Laura read a character building scene she refers to as “Cookie”.

Both ladies had a great time and they, along with a few extra Slingers, will be going again on December 16th. Please feel free to join us if you find yourself meandering St. Pete!

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ISG Writing Exercise 8 October 2014 Part II

On 8 October 2014, these three words were chosen:

  • Tinker
  • Twilight
  • Juice

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

LISA BARRY:

I was tinkering with the sawsall, trying to figure out why it wouldn’t start when the wife called to me from the kitchen. Her voice was so high it could easily penetrate the door to the garage, even with my music playing.

“Do you want some juice, hun? I just made fresh squeezed mango juice.”

A chill of disgust crept up my spine. Mango juice from the store without pulp and infused with sugar was way more up my alley but it didn’t stop the crazy bitch from continuing to shove healthy foods down my gullet.

“No thanks.” I holler back. “I just had a gallon of water.” I lied.

“Oh, good for you. It’s in the fridge when you want it.”

“Yeah, that’ll be the day,” I muttered as I found the bad part in the saw.

As twilight approached I saw my neighbor, tall, smooth red head, come out and toss the trash.

“Hey neighbor,” she said as she always did, “care to come in for a drink?” she asked as she always did. I always say no. But for some reason, the thought of fresh mango juice crossed my mind and I stood.

“Sure,” I said and followed her back to her house.

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LAURA PRICE:

“Give her some juice, Sammy!”

Sam spun on his heel, took an awkward step, almost avoiding landing his left foot onto a pile of rusty screwdrivers but not quite making it, and tripping over it. He finally righted himself as his hand reached a large iron lever with an eight ball as a handle. He lifted it the lever with some effort, hearing the sparking of electricity connecting from here to Tom. Then he heard the purr of the machine. The machine, who Tom had lovingly named Tinker, because if course it’s what his wife had always said they were doing out here. She’d passed away, and the boys now had a real desire to get her up and running.

Sam turned around slowly, so as to really absorb the scene, and savor the moment that they had been engineering for years. She was a piece of work, steel and copper and lights aglow. “We did it, Tom. We can go back in time now, to when they were all still here.”

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