Alice and the Warden

Alice and the Warden – 3

Alice had met Damon when she was sixteen-years-old, and he had talked her into bed with him that night. Shortly afterwards, she dropped out of school to run away with him on his motorcycle, and somewhere along the road she lost her sense of self.

When Damon asked her to have sex with a friend to repay a favor, she did it. When he wanted leverage over someone, she became a seductress on his behalf. He taught her to steal, chose her clothing for her, and pushed her into drugs and alcohol. After four years, Alice had disappeared completely underneath Damon, to the point that when he asked her to confess to murder, she did it without hesitation.

Until the moment Alice found herself alone in the stall of a public restroom, staring down at the two lines of a nicked pregnancy test, too numb to feel her heart beat. It was then that the word ‘dignity’ had risen up sharply in her mind, spoken by that stupid, impotent warden she had vowed to hate just three weeks prior.


She still didn’t know what it meant, but she knew that if she told Damon he would insist on an abortion, and she wouldn’t argue against him. That wasn’t what she wanted, and she knew that it wasn’t dignified to be so blindly obedient to someone like Damon. There was no doubt that he was the father, but she couldn’t trust him with her baby.

She never told him.

A couple weeks later, they checked into a motel where Damon began to undress her as usual, but Alice didn’t have it in her to go through with it. She was more tired than she had thought possible, slightly nauseated from the pregnancy, and angry at Damon for using her too much. For the first time ever, she snapped at him to ‘fuck off,’ then for a terrifying second afterward thought that he was going to hit her in response.

Instead, he grabbed his bag and left.

When dawn broke in the morning, Alice awoke with the realization that he hadn’t returned. She waited, staring at the clock until the motel staff chased her out to prepare the room for the next guest, and she drifted to a nearby diner to continue her wait, knowing full well that he wasn’t coming back for her.

She had a $20 hidden in her bra, so she ordered blueberry pancakes with whipped cream to help make up for skimping on dinner the night before, and she ate slowly as she wondered about what she was going to do. Her mom wasn’t going to want her back in the state she was in – especially after four years of estrangement – and everyone she knew was exactly like Damon. She didn’t have any resources, but she couldn’t live in the gutter with a baby growing inside of her.

By chance, the small TV in the corner of the diner showed a mugshot of her with the words, “Wanted for questioning.” Alice stared, seeing herself for the first time. That girl, glowering at the camera with flamingo pink hair and far too much eyeliner really looked like the sort of person who would be involved in murder, even though Alice had never felt that way on the inside – she didn’t want to hurt anyone.

She dialed the phone number provided on the screen with her cellphone, then put her $20 on the table before slipping outside.

With nowhere to go, Alice turned herself in.




This is something else out of my archives, written ages ago when I was on the cusp of maturity but Not Quite There Yet.

I think it is hilariously over-the-top melodramatic, but it sure is fun to reminisce on how my writing skills have changed over the years.

The heartache gripped her again, painfully constricting her throat as she watched the familiar scene pass her by for the last time. She wasn’t going back. She knew that no matter how her parents reacted, she couldn’t force herself back into the world that they had chosen for her. Yet she grieved at how badly she had failed their expectations.

Angel was now officially a college dropout. After two years, she succumbed to the overwhelming anxiety and depression produced by homework and exams, and admitted to herself that she couldn’t do it. Higher education just wasn’t meant to be part of her.

Her parents had pushed her into enrolling that first Autumn, despite the doubts that she had tried to share with them. They provided her with very little financial support, and made it clear that her continuing to live with them was dependent on her going to school. The thought caused Angel’s throat to hurt again. How was she going to survive? Another thought, dark and unwanted, hoped for a catastrophic falling out, leaving her free from their cold demands.

She was frightened. She was excited. She had asserted herself, and the ax was now poised to fall. It was comforting to know that her parents were away for the weekend, giving her time to collect herself before being struck by the blow.

Thoroughly distracted by the conflicting emotions surging through her, Angel got up automatically when the bus pulled over, and stepped off. As it drove away, she looked around her for the first time, then realized that she had gotten off too early. It would be a long walk to her house. With a sigh, she started down the street.

The sun was touching the western horizon, adding deeper golden tones to the yellow Autumn leaves. Although Angel enjoyed the stillness of the moment, she was worried that it would be dark soon. She had never been outside alone after dark, and didn’t know what to expect, other than the horror stories that her mother had told her. She berated herself for messing up again.

By the time she reached the bridge, the sun had fully set and the streetlights were flickering on. Angel’s heart was pounding, and she was glad to reach the landmark that signified that she was only a mile away from home. During the day she would often come to the bridge to watch the river flowing by, but at night the place seemed menacing. The river was dark, and seemed louder and swifter. Angel stopped in the middle of the bridge, and followed the compulsion to look down into the unknown. The sound of water seemed to deafen her, and for a moment she wanted to throw herself into the swirling depths, unconsciously stepping onto the bottom rung of the rail to lean over farther, yearning to answer the call from below her. Realizing what she was doing, she pushed herself forcefully away from the edge, then turned and hit something soft and warm. She stood stunned, and only when the figure spoke did she realize that it was a person.

“Pardon me,” a deep voice resonated, and Angel’s cheeks burned red as she quickly stepped back.

“Pardon me,” she repeated with a weak voice, then quickly tried to dodge around the man to continue on her way home. He caught her arm in his hand.

“Are you all right?” he asked. Angel avoided looking at him, focusing on his shiny black shoes.

“Yes, I’m fine,” she answered quickly, making a slight attempt to pull away. “Please, let me go.”

He watched her silently for a moment, his hand never relaxing. Angel began to quietly panic, certain that the horror stories she had grown up with were about to come true. After a moment, the stranger said, “I’m certain that you aren’t telling me the truth. A moment ago you acted like you wanted to commit suicide, and now you look like you’re about to faint. Tell me the truth now: are you all right?”

Something in his words made Angel look up with a start, and their eyes met. He wasn’t old, though Angel couldn’t guess what his age was, and his face was stern. His black hair was pulled back in a ponytail, and his eyes were dark. He scared and exhilarated Angel all at once, causing her heart to leap and burn with unfamiliar sensations. She felt driven by some unknown force to obey him.

“No, not really,” she said, and he let her go, keeping her in place with his gaze.

“What has you so frightened?” His voice commanded the same obedience; stern, calculating, but not unfriendly or harsh.

Angel’s bottom lip trembled. She was ashamed of the fearful thoughts that raced through her mind, and of the failures that the day’s events culminated in. Even though she badly wanted to, she couldn’t open up to this man. She didn’t have the strength to.

“Don’t cry,” he said in a much softer tone. “It’s okay if you can’t tell me.” Angel nodded, but her refusal to relax perturbed the man. He stared off into the distance, frowning slightly, before saying, “I’m going to get you something to eat to make this up to you. I had no intention of making you feel worse, and it’s now my obligation to fix it.”

“No, no.” Angel resisted feebly. She liked the idea that he had proposed, but she felt like she couldn’t accept it. After she said the words, however, she realized that choosing to drop out of college had changed the course of her life, and that after rebelling against her parents’ wishes in that regard, there was no reason for her to keep following them in this case either. She liked the man, and the way that he exuded strength and self-assurance. She liked that he had noticed her. So, after a pause, she said, “Yes.”

“Are there any places that you would like to go?” he asked.

Angel thought for a moment. There was a diner nearby that she liked, though she had only been there a couple of times before. She gave the name of it and pointed in its general direction, then felt embarrassed for choosing such a casual place. The man was dressed too nicely to want to go to somewhere like that, but he didn’t seem to mind at all. He set off down the sidewalk, then looked back and summoned Angel to follow with his eyes.

“My name is Murrich,” he said as they went.

“Angel,” she replied.

“Very fitting.” Murrich glanced over at her, and Angel blushed.

“I-I bleach my hair,” she stammered. “It’s naturally dark blonde.”

“Your eyes are a beautiful shade of blue.”

She didn’t know how to reply, so she didn’t say anything at all. Murrich seemed to understand how uncomfortable she felt, and remained silent. Their footfalls echoed as they walked, and a cold night breeze pierced through Angel’s sweater, causing her to shiver. He took off his long coat, and draped it over her shoulders. She liked the way it smelled.

When they reached the diner, Murrich held open the door and Angel scurried inside then waited. After a quick glance around, he led her to a booth by the window and motioned for her to sit down, before taking his place across the table from her. The waitress came a minute later, handing them menus and saying something that Angel didn’t quite understand, though she nodded anyway before burying her face in the menu.

“Can I get a dessert?” she asked, then felt childish for doing so. She was worried that she was coming across as immature and needy, and she didn’t want him to dislike her. For some strange reason, she felt that his opinion of her mattered more than anyone else’s.

“You may.” She couldn’t read his tone at all. “Have you thought about what to drink?”

“Chocolate milk.” She was being childish again. Angel hated herself for acting that way. Everyone told her that she was supposed to be strong and mature, but she couldn’t force herself to be something that she didn’t feel. She was inexperienced and easily overwhelmed, so that was the best that she could do.

“Tell me when you decide which dessert you would like.” Murrich looked at her. “I’ll order for you.”

Relief swept through Angel, and she liked Murrich even more for saying that. He was acting like a buffer for her, taking the pressure of having to speak to the waitress off of her, and making it seem like the most natural thing in the world for him to do it. She felt warm at the thought that he was reading her cues, and accepting them without judging her.

“Cheesecake,” she said, her embarrassment fading.

Several minutes later, with a glass of chocolate milk in front of her, Angel felt comfortable enough to say, “I dropped out of college today.”

“Did you like school?”

She shook her head. “No.”

“Then that’s a good thing.” He spoke resolutely, without a hint of doubt. Despite everything that Angel had been told about the virtues of higher education, she believed Murrich above them all. “What are you going to do now?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” Angel bit her lip and looked out the window. “I need to find out if my parents are going to kick me out first.”

“I see. I suppose that’s why you went to college in the first place.” Murrich’s expression became unpleasant for a moment, then unreadable again.

“They might not,” Angel quickly said. “They’ve told me things like that before, but then never actually followed through with it.”

“That doesn’t make it okay.”

Angel became silent as her throat started to hurt again. She wanted to say something, but couldn’t come up with the words. She knew, deep within her heart that she hated the way her parents treated her, and had never been able to say a word in defense of them when past friends had commented on it. She didn’t have friends anymore though.

“Miss Angel,” Murrich said, his voice somehow sounding like soft velvet, “is that why you were going to jump off the bridge?”

“No!” Angel’s face burned with shame at the memory, uncertain of what had happened. “I just . . . felt pulled . . . I don’t know. I don’t want to kill myself.” The way that Murrich was watching her made her even more uncomfortable, and she hated it. She wanted to make him like her, and she was sure that her ineptitude at handling the conversation was putting him off, but she didn’t know how to act better.

“Come.” Murrich stood up. “We’re both finished, and the night is beautiful. We should go for a walk.”

Complying, Angel felt panic surging through her as she walked through the door and out into the world again. She wanted to protest, demand to be taken to the safety of her home, but she felt too weak to do so. She remained quiet, keeping her turmoil inside.

“I’m sorry for distressing you, but I want to show you that the world isn’t as dangerous as you seem to think.”

Shocked, Angel quickly looked at him and exclaimed, “How did you know?!” Embarrassed by the inadvertent admission, she looked away.

He chuckled, stopping to put his hand under her chin and direct her gaze to meet his. “My Angel,” he whispered, “your face is not as blank as you seem to think. It’s in your eyes, the curve of you mouth, and the shade of your skin. All I had to do was look.” Then his hand dropped away, and he continued walking. “I’m certain that I’m not going to enjoy this, but I must ask you: what sorts of things are you expecting to happen, out here in the unprotected dark?”

Skipping to catch up, Angel clenched her jaw as she thought about the answer. Then, forcing the words out until they started to flow on their own, she repeated all of the stories that her mother had told her, shying away from the details but giving the general picture. Sharing such horrible things made her tremble, so Murrich put an arm around her shoulders, holding her protectively as she talked.

When she was done, he said, “I’m not going to lie to you, bad things like that do happen.” He squeezed her slightly. “But not as often as you think. It certainly won’t happen tonight with me here to protect you.”

“I barely know you. For all I know, this could be an elaborate ruse to get me vulnerable!”

Murrich remained calm at Angel’s outburst, answering, “When I deliver you safe and sound at your front door, you’ll know that it’s not.”

Suddenly Angel trusted him completely, assured by his words. Murrich, a man who hadn’t existed for her until a couple of hours ago, had managed to unravel the tangled mess of nerves and insecurity that had been her world for so long, simply by making her feel like he was strong enough for the both of them. Relaxing against his side, Angel murmured, “I hope that never happens.”

“You don’t wish to be safe and sound?”

“I don’t want you to leave me.” Blushing, Angel hid her face. “This is the first time I’ve ever felt safe.”

“Then maybe I shouldn’t.”

“I feel like I was supposed to meet you, supposed to . . .”

Angel was relieved that Murrich seemed to be taking her seriously, and not pointing out the flaws in her articulation. She had never loved anyone before, had never been in a relationship, and she wasn’t sure how they were supposed to start. She was certain that she was doing it all wrong, and moving far too quickly, but she didn’t have any more doubts about whether or not Murrich was meant to be in her life. There was something almost spiritual in the way that she was falling for him, and his acceptance of her confirmed her feelings. She closed her eyes and reveled in the fuzzy warmth that flowed into her from him.

“My Angel,” he whispered, closing his hand around hers. After a moment they began walking again, moving in the direction of Angel’s house.



Absolutely none of the writing prompts during this last week spoke to me in any sort of way — too much ‘internet culture’ crap (YES I SAID IT) to spark the imagination.

So I wrote up one of my own ideas to post instead.

Of course, if I worked on my novel instead of posting on Reddit, I’d be a lot closer to being finished with it. You know I’m totally just doing this for attention, lol.


Xander approached the lab with trepidation, his combat boots crunching loudly on the deteriorating asphalt with every heavy step. He had received his order to recruit a new teammate, and he knew exactly which old one had to go. While it was going to be a relief to be rid of Adora after her latest antics had nearly gotten the entire team killed, he did not care for the manner in which he had been instructed to carry out the task. The transition was not going to be smooth or pretty.

But first, he had to slog through all the options currently available in the lab. He hated the scientists in their white coats who lorded themselves over the soldiers as their creators. They tampered with life, but they did not understand it; not in the same way the soldiers did.

A new teammate would mean a mountain load of work late into the night. He was not looking forward to it.

He entered the building and went through all of the necessary security checks, then met up with the scientist who had been assigned to assist him. He was a boring sort of man, a balding egghead who didn’t think it was necessary to look up from his clipboard when he spoke. They went to the observation room, and immediately started going over the options.

Xander shot them down without even looking at them. He didn’t need someone who could read minds or levitate objects. “I need stealth,” he argued. “Don’t waste my time on parlor tricks!”

“Hm, lets see here …” the man studied his clipboard, musing in a way that sounded like he was talking to himself. “Ah, you should like this one. She came out of the lab just this morning, and is quite cutting edge.”

“Fine. Bring her in.” Xander rubbed the bridge of his nose, not feeling particularly excited about the prospect. The scientists’ idea of ‘cutting edge’ was never all that applicable in real combat situations, but he still wondered what sort of monstrosity they had created this time. Perhaps if she proved to be adequate, he would recruit her just to insult Adora, who had been getting on his nerves with her vanity of late. It would knock her down a peg before she was booted from the team.

The scientist spoke into his radio, and a few minutes later a door opened in the room on the other side of the one-way glass. Surprisingly, a pretty and slender girl was shown in and instructed to wait. She sat down in the chair facing the mirror, and folded her hands together on her lap in a manner that could only be described as delicate.

“Seriously?!” Xander couldn’t help but blurt, staring as if his eyes would bug out of his head. “She’s not a soldier at all!”

“Ah, don’t let her appearances deceive you.” The scientist chuckled, and for the first time set down his clipboard to look proudly at the girl. “I designed her abilities myself. She can project invisibility on whomever she chooses, and take out all electronic devices at will. She is perfect for stealth.”

“What’s with the long hair?” Xander asked. No one kept long hair on principle, not wanting to risk the hazard it posed in the middle of combat. He thought that he should decline on that matter alone, especially considering that it wasn’t simply her hair that bothered him; everything about her looked like some lonely man had decided to create a living doll for his own enjoyment, from her rosebud mouth to her D cup breasts. There was no way he could work with someone like that. There was no way she could successfully integrate into the team.

The scientist simply shrugged. “We provide their powers, not their personalities. If you want her to cut it, you’ll have to convince her yourself.”

Xander opened his mouth to say what his mind was telling him, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He was ogling her, embarrassed by his inability to look away. His heart tugged at him, whispering that he was a lonely man and that he could use some enjoyment. Of course, as the team leader, that would be an appalling abuse of power. Even if he recruited her, he would never be allowed to touch her.

“What’s her name?” he asked instead.

“Eleta. She’s the best we’ve ever made,” the scientist replied.

“The best, huh?” He clenched his hands into fists, keeping them rigidly at his sides as he tried to keep his mind clean and focused. She would prove to be too much for him, and he needed to walk away before he got into any trouble. “Invisibility would be useful …” He hated himself. He wanted to punch himself in the face for being so stupid.

Say no. Just say no.

“I’ll take her. She needs to cut that damn hair, though.”

The scientist grinned. “I’ll inform her that she’s been recruited. Take good care of her – we put a lot of hard work into this one.”

Xander grunted, his heart pounding over what he had done as he watched the scientist go into the other room to speak with the girl. For however long he was stuck working with her, it was going to be the sweetest hell he would ever endure.


WP – Haunted


It was the shrieks in the night that I wanted to address first. I could live with the bloodstained walls, the ghostly figures standing behind my reflection in the mirror, and the lights continually flickering like it was a party, but I needed my sleep.

I went to the toy store and bought a cheap Ouija board, made of plastic and cardboard. It was pink, too, because that was the only model they had in stock, and the box featured pictures of teenage girls asking silly questions along the lines of, “Who has a crush on me?”

Later. I promised myself. If it worked with getting me a night of undisturbed rest, then maybe I could spend a few minutes indulging in secret questions about my personal life. I couldn’t imagine any demons being attracted to the ridiculously girly thing tucked under my arm, so I was probably safe in that regard.

Home was an Edwardian bungalow. I had loved it so much when I first saw it, I had ignored the warning signs: like the way the real estate agent had refused to be alone and kept looking over her shoulder. In retrospect, I should have realized something was up. But I was caught up in admiring the original woodwork and the rich color of the brick, and didn’t pay her any mind. I guess you could say that I was too busy geeking out.

The housing market crashed before the ink was dry on the paperwork, and now I was stuck. No money to move, and no one to buy. I was the owner of a bona fide haunted house.

It had been months since I’ve slept straight through the night, and there were dark circles under my eyes. If those ghosts managed to kill me, I vowed, I was going to haunt them to see how they liked it.

I set myself up on the kitchen table. I wasn’t sure if the Ouija board would work with only one person, but I couldn’t turn to anyone else for help. It seemed like everyone I divulged my circumstances to either insisted that I needed to see a psychiatrist, or wanted to worship the Devil in my basement. There were a surprising number of really disturbed people in my social circle, to the point that I decided that I needed to reevaluate my life choices.

Later, after I had slept on it.

I put my fingertips on the planchette and said in my most authoritative voice, “I command you to speak! Who are you?”

The lights dimmed and the fixture started to swing, but the planchette remained completely still. I had the feeling that the ghosts were laughing at me.

I snapped. “Fine, guys, whatever! The fact is, I’m stuck here and you aren’t going to get rid of me no matter what. Could you just cool it during the night so I can get some rest? I’m going crazy here!”

This time, everything went completely still, and even the usual bumps that continually sounded in the background were silent.

“Thank you!” I exclaimed, and this time the planchette began to move. It was a strange sensation, as if my hands were pushing it despite my efforts to keep them limp, and I watched it slowly pick out the letters:


“It’s cool. You were probably just excited to talk to me, and wanted my attention. Right? You seem alright to me,” I said. I wondered if this was the beginning of a strange friendship with my ghostly roommates, but nothing else happened.

I kept asking questions for another half-hour, but got no other responses. I even, on a lark, asked if there was anyone who wanted to date me, but nothing. Sheesh.

I said goodbye, packed the board up, and went to bed. The next morning I woke up feeling better than I had in a long time, and all the usual hauntings picked right back up, including the ghastly image of a corpse glaring at me in the mirror as I brushed my teeth.

I could live with this.


WP – Dragon King

Aldric liked riding his dragon the way everyone else liked riding horses. He would often go on long expeditions through the sky, swooping and swirling to dance with the clouds, and trying hard not to expose his teeth to the grit that was always present no matter the altitude. As a matter of practicality, he took to wearing masks – black so he wouldn’t have to wash them too often – and due to his absent-minded nature, he often forgot to take them off once he was back home.

He ruled over a small, but economically powerful, country built on good sense and common courtesy. The children called him “The Candy King,” and looked forward to every Lammas when he would fly his dragon overhead and drop parachuted packages full of all the sugar and chocolate that his kitchen staff could put together, followed by a few stunts to scare and delight his people. He spent most of his waking moments focused on ensuring their happiness, and took enormous pride in being their king.

However, his benevolence did not extend beyond his borders. Aldric preferred to stay isolated from the world, and aside from a few well-established trade routes, kept his country entirely to itself in social and political matters with the reasoning that he had enough to worry about without dabbling in everyone else’s affairs. As a result, terrible rumors abounded unhindered about the “Dragon King,” who terrorized the countryside with fire and violence.

Aldric was blissfully ignorant until the first self-described hero showed up. He had been out on his daily ride, and had returned to play his organ while meditating on how to improve the healthcare for orphans, when he heard a sudden scream. He started and turned around, and to his horror found one of his guards injured by someone shouting hysterically about justice while flailing a sword.

The man was promptly jailed for his crime, but because he refused to state which country he had hailed from, Aldric didn’t know where to return him to. Thus, he was sent to a work camp, which was far more productive and reformative than letting people waste away in dungeons.

The next hero gave a speech before attempting to use his sword, claiming that Aldric was obviously evil from his black mask (he had forgotten that he was wearing it again), and threatened to slay his dragon. That made Aldric angry, so he sent this hero to the work camp as well – he wouldn’t allow anyone to menace his pet and get away with it.

This continued periodically for some time, with every single hero too absorbed in himself to listen to reason. Aldric was forced to tighten security around his borders, and his subjects became increasingly suspicious of outsiders in defense of their beloved king.

Mercifully, Theo the prince showed up on Lammas while Aldric was making his traditional candy drop. He had hoped to make a name for himself by defeating the evil dragon king, though through a series of unfortunately hilarious events, had brought his sister the princess Azalea along as well. Azalea was delighted to see the colorful parachutes drifting down from the sky, and even more enamored when she discovered they were carrying sweets. As a result, she refused to let Theo hide her away when he left to confront the dragon king about his evil ways – which were beginning to look less and less evil up close – and accompanied him to the castle.

Aldric settled in to play his organ upon his return, working on a song that had come to him while he had been flying on his dragon, and was deep in thought when Theo and Azalea arrived. Theo had wanted to burst in with his sword drawn, but Azalea insisted that they introduce themselves properly and speak to him first, arguing that anyone who cared that much about children couldn’t be all that bad. Theo had to turn his face in embarrassment while Azalea knocked and asked to see the king, stating their full names and kingdom in the process. It horrified him that his sister had so little sense.

As it was, they were shown into the audience hall and announced to Aldric. Upon turning from his organ, he was delighted to discover the most beautiful maiden that he had ever seen curtseying before him.

“Dragon king,” she said, her voice sweet and clear. “We have come to implore you to stop your evil ways…”

“I take care of my people, and I am loved by them,” Aldric replied, his eyes locked on the beautiful princess. “Is that evil?”

“Not at all, your highness, but you keep a dragon for a pet,” Azalea answered.

“She is a creature of the earth, as much as you or I, and I care for her deeply. Is it evil to love a pet?”

“No, your highness.” Azalea knelt down on the ground this time, and Theo’s face burned red with embarrassment. “But you dress all in black and wear a mask, and surely that is a reflection of the darkness in your heart.”

“Oh, confound it!” Aldric ripped off his mask and tossed it aside. “I have much on my mind, and I forget that I wear it to protect myself while on my rides. I wear black to save myself from worrying about my clothing. Is that evil?”

“No, your highness.” When Azalea looked up, her eyes were shining with deep admiration. Aldric stepped over to her and helped her to her feet, then stayed for a moment holding her hand as they gazed at each other. Theo saw it all in a heartbeat, and knew that his intended heroics were not needed.

A month later, Theo returned home to announce the news of Azalea’s engagement to Aldric, and talked freely about how wise and generous the dragon king was. The wedding was a grand celebration, and in the years that followed their children grew up happily as they played freely in the castle and enjoyed riding the dragon with their father.

The kingdom was never bothered by heroes again.

The end.


Look what I figured out how to do with the Reddit link, lol.


WP – Henchman

[WP] You were one of the henchman for the villain facing off against the spy hero. You were knocked out while fighting the hero, and wake up after it’s all over.


My head hurt.

It felt like something was pressing against my skull as I slowly propped myself up, so I took off my helmet and tossed it; however, the sensation remained with a dull ache. Rubbing my eyes, I looked around blearily.

Looked like I had been one of the lucky ones. There were a few other guys lying in the hallway not far from me, riddled with bullet holes. I recognized Jacob among them, and immediately felt bad for the pretty young wife he had left behind. Hadn’t I told him that this was not a suitable career for a family man?

The silence led me to guess that it was all over. Our boss was probably a smear of strawberry jam by now, and his arch-nemesis was off screwing some girl he had met along the way. I staggered to my feet and leaned heavily against the wall, cursing the intensity with which my head pounded.

I thought again about Jacob’s wife. She’d probably appreciate hearing the news from a friend, and likely needed a shoulder to cry on. I wondered what sort of career would be suitable for a family man, and if I should turn my life around. Without the boss, there wasn’t anything left to hold me here.

The number of bodies made me blanch. I had seen many of those faces talking and laughing over lunch just a few hours ago, and now they stared lifelessly at nothing. The hypocrisy of heroes is what inspired me to follow the boss in the first place, and I hated what had become of our organization.

I don’t know what it was with those guys that made them think that being a spy was a license to ruthlessly murder whoever they wanted. I stepped over George, who had bragged about his new puppy over coffee. He had been a nice guy. I was really growing to hate Mr. Hero now.

Finding the boss cinched it in my mind. Jacob’s wife was going to have to find someone else to comfort her, because I had greater things to do – I was probably too old for her anyway. I just couldn’t let that much suffering go unavenged, not when so many hopes and dreams had been abruptly ended so pointlessly.

Unlike our boss, I wasn’t going to build a family organization first. I didn’t care about making money or providing jobs, I just wanted revenge. I didn’t care if I was going to spend the rest of my life in a prison cell as the result of it either.

I was going to kill Mr. Hero.

And that was that.


Side note: I’m posting the prompts a week after I write them, so I know what sort of fallout my story achieved. This week my brain feels like an empty peanut butter jar (gee, I wonder why, lol), so I’m going to skip out for now.

About Me

Foolish Fool

I am a fool.

But we already knew that.

I am currently transcribing my WIP, and I decided to adopt a fairly intense pace of one chapter a day. This is my least favorite part of my writing process, so the faster I get it over with, the better.

Then I went and did something stupid: I let myself get talked into writing a second story at the same time.

The Reddit thing was a fluke. When I wrote and posted The Suit, I was the first response to an obscure prompt, and I figured that I’d get a few upvotes then move on. Over the next several hours, the prompt itself blew up BIG.

I was not, by any stretch of the imagination, in the running to be the most popular response. In fact, I seem to get downvoted a surprising amount, which amuses me more than anything else. However, the people who liked my story, seemed to REALLY like my story.

Including my husband. Which cinched it.

Since I already did the legwork to establish a solid universe, I decided to keep pursuing the story. And you know what I hate passionately? Authors who post three-quarters of a story before abandoning it. I am committed to finishing.

Now, between the kids and writing, I don’t seem to be doing much else with my days.

I’m worried that I may have outdone myself with this one.


WP – The Suit part 1

The Suit is powerfull. A mech for some, body armor for others, always unique to each person who wore it. Those who wear it, hear the words “not original user, booting basic mode” As a joke, your sergeant gives you The Suit and the first thing you hear is: “User detected: Welcome back, Commander”


Carol had won the envy of the entire base by receiving the job of cleaning the Suit between uses. She would proudly enter the bunker with her soft cloths and polish, and tenderly buff away every scuff of dirt that marred the paint. Every single time, she held her breath with the anxiety that the Suit had been scratched, and she was relieved when her love revealed that it had magically held its integrity through every bombardment. No one knew where it had come from, but it had become the pride and joy of the military, and she was its sacred Keeper. She often joked that the Suit took up so much of her time and attention, she didn’t have any affection left to share with another human being.

The master sergeant was considered to be the best pilot, which earned him more missions in the Suit than anyone else. However, unbeknownst to any of the higher ups, the cumulative effect was beginning to degrade his psychological resilience, and he was growing resentful of anyone else who touched what he was increasingly beginning to consider his own. Every time he donned the Suit, he thought about defying commands and never returning to base, certain that no one would be able to stop him if he turned renegade. Only the uncertainty of running from the military with no objective to follow kept him obedient, and his ache was a dark secret.

Brooding, he hung around to watch Carol work on his beloved Suit, and his heart stung with jealousy when he saw how tenderly she touched the metal. When she opened it up to wipe down the leather interior, he couldn’t stand it anymore; it was worse than walking in on a spouse in the thralls of another lover. He clapped his hand on her shoulder, roughly squeezed down, and growled, “You ever worn it?”

“No.” Carol winced and looked away, not daring to try to free herself. Something in his eyes didn’t look right, and she decided that it would be best to slip away as quick as she could before reporting him.

He lowered his mouth down next to her ear, and whispered with his lips brushing her skin, “Try it.”

“I’m not authorized,” she replied, tilting her head away. She scanned the bunker for anyone else to call out to, but it was lunchtime and the place was empty.

“Do you mean to tell me that you can repeatedly strip the Suit bare, and not feel the impulse to climb inside? Go on and try it, I won’t tattle.” His other hand seized her upper arm, his fingertips digging in deeply enough to leave bruises. He pushed her forward, banging her head against the interior.

“Here, I’ll even tell you what to expect,” he said, turning her around and holding her in position with his forearm, as he kicked her legs to get her to step inside. “Don’t worry when you hear the words, ‘User unknown: booting safe mode’, because it does that for everyone. Then it will squeeze tight for a moment before it releases like a breath of air, and you’ll feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all. Operating it is intuitive, so you’ll get the hang of it.”

He had completely lost his mind, Carol thought as she met his eyes. She was certain that he wouldn’t actually try to close her inside the Suit, knowing that it would give her the ability to turn him into a smoldering crater in a heartbeat. He was likely trying to get her fired, and that she couldn’t allow under any circumstance.

“Let me go,” she ordered, hoping that her voice sounded strong and commanding. “I’m not authorized to use the Suit, and I will report you for misconduct.”

“You think I care?” The master sergeant grabbed Carol’s chin and glared into her eyes. “You’ll have a fatal accident long before you report anything to anyone.”

The look of sheer malevolence on his face caused her to panic, and before she knew it she had hit the button to close the Suit. The master sergeant abruptly pulled his hand back with a cuss, and through the visor Carol could see that his wrist had been cut deeply, nearly severing his hand. She stayed very still, shocked and scared, wondering what she should do to get herself out of the metaphorical fire she had just jumped into. Then the interior of the Suit sprang alive with lights and a breeze of circulated air, as a computer voice spoke,

User detected: welcome back, Commander.”

Carol’s heart stopped.

Now she was really in trouble.



I rewrote the intro three times before I was finally satisfied with it.

All told, it took me about an hour to write those 774 words, and one person in particular described this story as, “just the prompt redone with more words added to it”. Lol.

I’m definitely in the camp that a well-written piece doesn’t need to be explained, so I want to make it clear that I’m not explaining the story itself, but rather my thought process behind it. I’m answering the question as to why it took me an hour to write this.

I made several changes to the premise of the prompt to come up with something that I personally liked. For starters, the main character is not ranked in the military, but instead holds a civilian job on base. Instead of a joking sergeant, I made that character a villain with a higher rank, but nicely situated in the middle, so he’s still very much subjected to protocol and orders. Frankly, the characters implied by the prompt struck me as boring, so I made them more interesting.

And, of course, I had to mentally model the world they lived in. Very little of this step gets written down, but it’s essential to give a sense of solidity to the story.

Then the characters needed motivations and personalities. I personally feel that this part was rushed, and if I were writing this as a novel, I would come back and agonize over it before publishing, especially with my master sergeant character. Since this was written for Reddit, I didn’t have days to devote to that much nit-pickiness.

Finally, the writing itself. I wanted to take a direct approach that was compelling and easy to understand, which took a couple of false starts before I found my groove. Rather than aiming to look awesome and gain lots of immediate kudos, my goal was to create something that subtly wriggled into your brain so you found yourself randomly thinking about it two weeks later, wondering about the characters and what happens to them next. This would be the book that you initially pass over, then end up buying later because you can’t get the first chapter out of your head.

Which, on the surface, looks a lot like, “just the prompt redone with more words added to it”.

Ultimately, I feel that this was a successful story. I did not expect people to find it as engaging as they did, and the theories the readers came up with has me humbled with the strength of their creativity. As I told my husband, “Now I’m guaranteed to disappoint them if I write more!”


WP – Ancient Evil

You are an ancient evil, a part of the world since it began. For eons you have walked your unholy halls devouring prey and sacrifice, and of course battling heroes. Now you have a new visitor, who does not seek to worship or to purge. They say that they’d just like to get to know you.


I lived a solitary existence in the Nothing, long before the impetuous young deity took it upon himself to move in and create his own little universe. I watched him, silent but curious, and found myself piqued when he filled one of his planets with tiny creatures that built grand monuments to themselves before running off to kill each other. It was strange.

The deity had assumed that they would worship him, but from the beginning his plan had gone awry – these creatures did not want to be controlled by anything. I watched as he punished them, demanded obedience, then punished them again, until he finally gave up and turned his back on them. Without his watchful eye on his little planet, I decided that it was time to step out of the Nothing.

While I had enjoyed watching the creatures, somewhere over the expanse of time I began to crave to walk among them, perhaps to even interact with them. However, I was not naive or idealistic. I did not imagine silly things like love and friendship; I had observed their interactions for far too long to fantasize them as a peaceful people. Truth be told, the excitement they promised was the reason why I wanted to share a world with them.

I took a form that was similar to their own, and I descended to their planet. The resulting chaos was glorious and beautiful. They violently rejected me, sending heroes and armies against me until they grew too exhausted to keep fighting. Then, after a couple centuries of rest and virgin sacrifices, they would try again. I grew to love them dearly, through their endearing games and insatiable lust for blood. These humans were a people after my own heart, though I did not expect to find my feelings reciprocated. I privately regarded them as my adopted children, and never once revealed that they had been abandoned by their true father.

Then, one day, she appeared.

After eons of our game, I hadn’t imagined that any one human in particular would come to mean more to me than any other. They were all the same, shedding their mortal bodies shortly after giving birth to others, without enough time to truly grasp the nature of their own existence. Yet, strangely, time stopped even for me the moment she crossed my threshold, and I knew that she wasn’t like the others.

I had built a castle as big as a mountain, then surrounded it with fire because it scared my little humans, and I was loathe to disappoint. She had lost her shoes during her journey, and the first thing I noticed was the red blisters on her bare feet, poking out from under the blackened hem of her skirt. It was strange to encounter someone in my abode who was so clearly not a warrior by any stretch of the imagination.

I bade her to sit, then carefully applied ointment and bandages to her burns as the both of us remained dead silent. When I finished, I asked her, “Why are you here?”

“I want to know you,” was all she replied.

Through the years that passed since that moment, she never returned to the humans that had given birth to her. Instead, she chose to remain by my side.


Not voted the best story, but certainly voted the most controversial, lol.


Writing prompt – Rebirth

You just died. You go toward the light, but when you reach it, you emerge into a delivery room as a brand new, screaming baby. You have no more control over this new body than any other baby, and no one looking at you has any idea that you possess the consciousness and memories of your old life


At 53, my life hadn’t been long enough. After all the stumbles and faux pas of youth, I had finally begun to figure things out, and I had finally begun to look forward to each morning. My children had grown and moved out, leaving me with enough time to think, and perhaps more importantly to sleep, and I had realized with startling clarity what was Important, and what wasn’t. My deepest regret was that most of my life had been spent missing out on the good things in favor of the superficial.

My death was abrupt, and perhaps a little glorious. While I was driving home from work, a sudden yet powerful gust of wind knocked a semi-truck off of an overpass and into the path of my car down below. My last image was of apples scattered around the freeway.

I was surprised that there really was a tunnel with a light at the end of it – having never experienced death before, I didn’t know what to expect. As I sped along, I thought about everything I had done, everything I had loved or regretted, and I felt sad that it was over when so many things were about to begin. I closed my eyes in preparation of entering the blinding light in front of me.

Suddenly air filled my lungs, and I let out a scream in shock. My body was heavy, my legs and arms were completely limp and unresponsive; I couldn’t even lift my head. Some giant held me, snuggling me against itself, so I slowly opened my eyes and stared in dumbfounded amazement up at my daughter’s face. She was huge.

Or rather, I was tiny.

She was laughing and crying, with sweat on her brow and bags under her eyes. It dawned on me that she had just given birth … to me.


“I don’t know why, but she reminds me so much of my mom,” my daughter said, beaming down at me. “I wish she could have been here … I miss her so much!” Her happiness quickly changed to sobbing, and inwardly I nodded understandingly at the mood swings that happen so fast during those first few moments after giving birth. I wished that I could have reached out to comfort her, but all I could manage was to stare, and that felt ineffectual as well. Everything beyond her face was so blurry, I couldn’t tell who she was talking to. Her husband, I hoped, because otherwise I’d have to have a word with him.

She began to stroke my face and hair, and it was so soothing that I felt myself drift off to sleep despite my best efforts to stay awake. The last words I heard before a slipped into a deep slumber were, “Let’s name her Rebecca, after my mother.”

I had been given a second chance, with the people that I had held most dear in my previous life, and this time I wasn’t going to waste it.

On Reddit