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Story a day: 3.16.16

Prompt: Just messing around with a side story in one of my longer stories and seeing what I can learn.

---

He donned his blue cloak with pride. As he strode through the city, he made eye contact with each person he passed. Some glared. Some looked away. Many pretended they did not notice him. It mattered not. The righteousness of the duty he performed lifted him above the low current of their disdain.

He caught a friendly eye. Another man dressed in a blue cloak nodded to him as they passed each other. It was good to see the brotherhood present in such force in this remote, heathenish city. He knew what the "people" (if they could truly be called people) who lived here called him and his brothers. But their petty mockery detered him not at all from his mission.

The mercenaries could not be allowed to lord over the two continents as they had for so long. It was time to restore power to a true king.

Story a day: 3.15.16

He stood on the precipise. Below him, the chasm writhed with life. He gripped his spear and looked down, but it was difficult to tell one beast from another in the roiling pit of fiends. He took a deep breath and prepared to jump.

But wait, a tiny voice in the back of his mind said. Why should we?

Why should we?

Yeah, why should we be the ones going down into that cesspool? There are plenty of others who could.

Well, I don't know.
He planted his spear in the ground and leaned against it, considering for the first time that he seemed to be the king's first choice for every mission like this, every long, grindy, difficult, filthy mission into one den of evil or another.

What about Lyora? the voice spoke up. She's just as qualified as you. What about Kraven? He's always bragging about his fighting prowess. What about the city peacekeepers? Isn't it their job to "serve and protect?"

Well...I suppose it is.

My point exactly. So how about we just turn around, go home and let some bar wench show us a way better night than any of those fellow plan to?


He took another look into the pit. Something hissed at him, spitting a foul green projectile that burned the ground where it landed. I suppose you have a point. And he left.

Story a day: 3.14.16

You cleaned the window. You used a rag, wiping the dirt off line by line, streak by streak. Methodically and precisely. You did not rush. You left nothing behind. Each time the rag pressed against the window, it left a clean, empty trail behind, a long rectangle of nothing for light to squeeze into.

Now, the window is clean. You look out the window. It is square and empty. Light wriggles into it from end to end, filling every empty, bright nook.

You aren't ready to see what's beyond the window yet. But you made it clean. You made it a window again, rather than a wall, rather than a gray box that closed you in on every side. You made it a portal. Anything may lay beyond. You are not afraid.

Story a day: 3.13.16

Prompt: None.

---

Mary never wanted to become a robot. She'd thought about it plenty. Hard to avoid the topic when even the woman selling her her milk brought it up.

"You need to be more careful," Tracy Marble said as he opened her forearm panel and surveyed the damage to the curcuits inside it.

Mary didn't respond. She didn't care about the damage to the hardware in her body, or to the window she'd smashed, for that matter. If they wanted to turn her into a freak and cage her, they'd have to cope with the damage she did when she tried to escape.

"All done," Tracy said. He smiled at her as he shut her forearm panel but the glare she shot him in return withered his cheerful mood. "Back in your room then," he said. "Let's try to avoid any more misadventures tonight, eh?"

Story a day: 3.12.16

Prompt: My brain started spitting out a story as I went to sleep last night, so I'm just going with it.

---

The man who arrived in town was pale as a tumbleweed. Pale hair like the sand dunes. Light eyes like the dusty fields of crops. Pasty skin like the watered down whiskey he drank in the saloon.

The man so thoroughly lacked color that no one else bothered to notice him. They played cards and drank and flirted with the bar wenches and brothel girls and made more interesting and colorful pursuits their entire concern.

So it was that no one noticed when the man, finishing his whiskey and setting the glass down for the barman, stood, unholstered his pistol and shot Tracy Marble right in the head.

Tracy fell over dead. His body hitting the floor silenced the entire room.

"That was for Mary," the colorless man said.

Then he left.

Story a day: 3.11.16

Prompt: This one from WritersDigest.

---

We'd been fighting for weeks. I punched the wall in frustration after she left. The next days were spent staring at the jagged edges of mangled flower-covered wallpaper.

I'd always thought it was gaudy. I picked at the edges of the wallpaper. She wouldn't care anymore. Why did I have to continue living with the stuff?

Strip by strip, I peeled away the wallpaper. But I did not find wall on the other side. Rather, as the scraps of flowery wallpaper fell away, trees and mountains emerged. Instead of a stark barrier, a firm ending, I found a lush and flourishing beginning. 

Story a day: 3.10.16


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Story a day: 3.9.16

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Story a day: 3.8.16

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Story a day: 3.7.16

Prompt: Write 10 sentences, each containing a cliche, then rewrite them without the cliches.

---

Cliched

1. We stepped into a cave black as pitch.
2. My boss is driving me crazy.
3. The watery stew provided cold comfort to the weary travelers.
4. I've been told that my biological clock is ticking.
5. Carol would have to hit the books to pass her test.
6. Arguing with him is like beating a dead horse.
7. The mercenary killed the king in cold blood.
8. They fled the lion like bats out of hell.
9. The applause petered out.
10. Explaining things to her was like screaming into the wind.

Un-cliched

1. The thick darkness within the cave left us stumbling and blind.
2. Interacting with my boss left my head throbbing.
3. The watery stew left a hollow hunger in the weary travelers' bellies.
4. I've been told I'll someday regret not having children, but that opinion does not sway me.
5. Carol spent the weekend with her textbooks instead of her sorority sisters.
6. Arguing with him yields nothing but headaches.
7. The mercenary left the king in a pool of his own blood before she sauntered off into the night.
8. They'd never run so fast in their lives as when the lion chased them.
9. The apalause hushed from a downpour to a drizzle.
10. Explaining things to her felt at best futile and at worst like trying to dig through concrete with a plastic spoon. 

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