Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #142

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Odd
  2. Receive
  3. Drum
  4. Announced
  5. Rub
  6. Plant
  7. Issue
  8. Adhere
  9. Computerize
  10. Dig

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

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Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there

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115 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #142”

  1. Shane Arthur says:

    “Billy, ain’t it odd we ain’t received no orders for our Oyster Bread yet? Anne Wayman announced she was gonna helps us drum up business. What gives?”

    “Here’s the rub, Bobby. She said we needs to invest in some plant and equipment since we was cooking our oyster bread in a fire pit between the slaughterhouse and the outhouse. She said the 50 safety citations issued by the department of health proved we aint adhering to code. Besides that, she said we needs to computerize our operation. And I don’t think she done digged it too much when I asked if we could pay her for her copywriting services with Oyster bread credits on her first thousand loafs.”

  2. Rebecca says:

    Shane, this is just what I needed to read on a Monday. Funny!

  3. Tanja Cilia says:

    It was odd to receive a drum from my uncle, who never liked music and described it as commercial cacophony.  Shakespeare would have spoken about the rub lying there, when said uncle announced I would have to plant a chip inside the drum to computerize it. The point at issue, he said, was to adhere to regulations that said each musician must play his own compositions. My cousin was taking part in a national competition. They wanted me to cheat.  You dig?

  4. Jen says:

    She stood beside a straggly plant; they both drooped under the weight of the sun, forcing its glare onto the cracked, scrubby ground at her feet. From her eyes, she issued a challenge, almost threatening, but the twist of her thin lips announced a fear behind the anger.
     
    Her shadow lurches the longer I stare at the photo. I can almost feel the heat drum a beat through the veins at the temples, her hair pulled back in a severe set of braids that do little to soften her posture, her fierceness, her absolute assertion that she will adhere to this land, this plant, this memorial I hold in my hands.
     
    I wonder, did she dig that hard ground into a shallow womb for the meager plant at her feet? Did she, in her resolve, push those tender roots into darkness, did she rub the weeping leaves of dust, urging it to grow as she trod the same earth and made her own roots in that new place?
     
     
    She must have made a go of it, I think as turn my attention to the box of similar images I had received from my mother. Odd bits of our family history crammed into a box watermarked, stinking of mothballs and age, yellowed and crispy. This is the box of history it is my job to computerize, to scan and organize into tidy folders for future generations. Or for no one at all. Think of that. Digitizing one’s ancestors. I want to know more about her, this woman with the plant, her steely black eyes, her fear. I return to the box, looking for more.

  5. sefcug says:

    In numerical order today:

    *****
    Communication

    I though it was odd to receive the message via drum, but what the hell I didn’t feel like using my laptop at the time.

    The message announced a new procedure for closing a wound in the field:
    Rub the juice of a glue plant on the affected area.”

    I have issues with this communication. There was no information as to what a glue plant is, nor where to find the particular plant referred to. I have tried using a paste from plant starches in the past but, it does not adhere well to the skin, and comes off easily if it gets wet.

    I took out my own percussion instrument. I Composed my reply, stating that this information would be better if it wascomputerized, with specific references and illustrations. Also, it would be easier to dig out the correct information. And it would not be subject to misinterpretation, nor the vagaries of being forwarded on over long distances.

    Moral:
    Use the latest available technology, rather than primitive communication methods for important information.

  6. Chris Fries says:

    Happy Monday, everyone!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  Here’s this Monday’s episode:
     
    The Look of Murder — Part 15

    I stared at Warren Powell.  His face was ashen, his eyes moving quickly in their sockets as he glanced around, refusing to look me in the face.  His hands wouldn’t stay still; he’d rub them on his pants, then clench them together, and then stick them in his pockets in some sort of nervous hula dance, just without a grass skirt.  But it was clear to me that he was trying to skirt the issue of where his wife was.

    “I really can’t think of anything else to help you,” he said, “and I’m expecting someone, so I’m afraid you should probably go.”

    My guess was that he could actually help me a bunch, and I was just starting to dig, so there was really no need to rush out the door, at least as far as I could tell.

    “So you say your wife’s at her parents’ place?” I said.  “Where about is that, exactly?”

    “Vivian’s from Flint originally.  Her parents still live there.  Look, Mr. Sharpe, I’m afraid that I –”

    “So how long has she been gone?”

    “I honestly don’t see where this matters, I –”

    I took a step closer to him.

    “Well, about a week,” he said as he stepped back. “But –”

    “And when did you last receive word from her?” I said, leaning closer.

    “Not since she left.  Now, I’m afraid I must really insist –”

    “And that doesn’t seem odd to you, Mr. Powell?” I said.

    “No, why?  Her mother’s been ill.  I know Viv’s busy.”

    “Mr. Powell, did Vivian know Charles Thurston?”

    He paused for a second, his brows lowering, his neck tilting, his lips pursing, and his flittering hands going calm for a moment.  I seemed to have thrown him by the question, like he had some sort of script in his mind he was expecting me to follow, and I just wouldn’t adhere to it.

    “No, not at all,” he finally said.  “Well, they’ve met, at company dinners and events, so she knows who he was, but that’s all.  Why would you ask?”

    Maybe 100 years in the future, when they figure out how to use those rooms full of vacuum tubes to computerize investigative work, then they might be able to be absolutely certain when a guy’s telling the truth and when he’s lying through his teeth, but all I had to go on was my gut, and my gut was telling me that Powell was telling the truth, at least about Thurston. 

    But he was sure as Hell trying to cover up something.  I was thinking about how I could drum it out of him when a knock at the door interrupted my thoughts of violence.

    Powell raced past me and threw open the front door.  A tall, muscular man stood there.  He was dressed in a well-tailored suit with a ruby red handkerchief in the pocket, and carried a thick walking stick with an ornate gold crown.

    “James,” Powell said, “please come in.” 

    The guy strolled into the house like a two-legged panther, eying me up like I was a wounded lamb as he removed his felt hat.  He dropped the hat onto the chair by the door, but held onto the walking stick.

    “Good day.  I don’t believe we’ve met,” he announced in a deep voice, all slick and high-brow like we’d just bumped into each other at the opera or something.

    Powell kept the front door open, but stepped over and introduced us.  “James, this is Nick Sharpe, a private investigator.  Mr. Sharpe, this is James Anderson, an acquaintance of mine.”

    “A private investigator?” Anderson said and raised his eyebrows, but still held out his hand and I shook it.  He had a grip that was light, but his hand was meaty enough to tell there’d be plenty of force if he wanted to get rough.  “Pleased to meet you, I’m sure,” he said.

    “How you doing?” I said. 

    Powell continued on.  “Mr. Sharpe was asking me some questions about Charles Thurston, the president of the company where I work.  Mr. Thurston was murdered.”

    “Really?” Anderson said.  “I’d heard about that; just dreadful.  But Mr. Sharpe surely doesn’t believe you had anything to do with it, does he, Warren?” Anderson smiled, a predatory grin that kept all the humor out of his eyes.

    Powell laughed, a giddy giggle.  “Oh, no.  Of course not.”

    I smiled and said nothing.

    “But Mr. Sharpe was just leaving,” Powell said.

    Yeah, OK. I’d gotten enough to plant a few seeds of curiosity in my mind, and I didn’t think leaning on Powell any harder would get me any farther at the moment.  But then, I generally try to use more brains than brawn anyway; my tough-guy act is usually just that.

    “Sure,” I said.  “But I may want to speak with you again later, if I may, Mr. Powell.”  I slipped my hat on and went out through the front door.  It shut behind me as soon as I’d stepped through and I heard the click of the lock.

    Powell didn’t even bother to say goodbye.

    * * *
     

  7. Lydia says:

    Ed leaned over and rubbed another desiccated leaf of the sickly plant into dust. He and Marlene had been sitting here in the bowels of the Adams County public library going over the newly computerized genealogical records all morning. He glanced at his watch.
     
    “Twenty more minutes!” he announced.  Her drumming fingers against the keyboard quieted suddenly. The flea market closed at four and Marlene had promised they’d swing by there to scope out potentially valuable odds and ends after a morning of digging for information about her great-great grandmother. Marlene smiled and raised her eyebrows.
     
    “Adela Estella Combs,” she enunciated every syllable. “Born March 8, 1882. Died of puerperal exhaustion July 17, 1910.” The words tumbled out of her mouth and adhered to the walls like raw honey still clinging to its comb.
     
    “Your grandma had another sibling?” Ed received the news wide-eyed. If they could figure out what happened to the baby Marlene would have an entirely new branch of the family tree to explore.
     
    “Well, she would have,” Marlene said. “It looks like Adela’s baby was buried with her. The same thing could have happened to Antoine and me if we had lived back then, you know.”
     
    “Why didn’t your grandma ever tell you about this?”
     
    “I don’t know if she ever knew,” Marlene shrugged. “She was too young to remember her mama and the Combs never were ones to make an issue of things they couldn’t change.”
     
    Ed’s watch abruptly sounded. Noon.
     
    “Do you want to keep searching, love? The flea market can wait.”
     
    “No, I’ve learned enough family secrets for one day,” she replied stone-faced and they walked out of the basement.

  8. Rebecca says:

    Vanessa beat her hawk drum loudly to ensure the spirits would hear her call. She wanted to receive a message from the Great Spirit on what to do about her marriage. Deep down she knew how to handle the issue of infidelity. It was a deal breaker; betrayal and broken trust were “No-No’s” in her book. How odd was it that she could have married a man who one day announced he didn’t love her anymore. Didn’t she adhere to the marriage vows of love and honor until death do us part? To make matters worse, Todd’s new girlfriend would call the house and rub it in that he no longer wanted to be with Vanessa. She wanted to dig her nails into Tina’s eyes but knew that type of revenge would plant karma that she didn’t need or want. However, it didn’t stop her from having a little fun with Todd. Vanessa used her IT experience to computerize Todd’s cell phone with ‘eerie’ messages from his deceased mother about how his relationship with Tina would be his worst nightmare come true. She knew how the paranormal freaked him out. Vanessa wondered how Miss Little Play Thing would deal with a boyfriend who would soon be pulling his hair out. Todd did have a nice head of sandy blond hair, but not for long!

    • Lydia says:

      So much for avoiding bad karma. :O
       
      I’ll never understand why people can’t be honest about these things – agreeing to either part ways peacefully or choosing non-monogamy are much better options than lying and infidelity.

    • Rebecca, this was fun to read and Lydia’s quip cracked me up!
      Still, it would be something to watch someone lose his mind over messages from beyond the grave.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Rebecca-got me chuckling out loud-and the laugh was evil 😉

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: You made me chuckle with this. Todd’s in for it, and hopefully Vanessa will take a drive and rediscover freedom again.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Karma, schmarma — the dude deserves a serious ass-whoopin’!  Vanessa should set aside the Hawk drum and start beatin’ on Todd’s head.
       
      I’m just sayin’… ;^)
       
      Very entertaining read, Rebbeca!
       

  9. Kelly says:

    UPBEAT WAS THE WATCHWORD FOR THE DAY

    A drum announced the re-opening of the plant. Upbeat was the watchword for the day. Workers streamed on to the lot. The issues that held the two sides apart for so long—workers wanted to receive more secure pension options, wanted their benefits computerized so the process was more transparent, wanted more flex time… management felt they should adhere to the terms they’d agreed to, claimed the workers were digging a hole in the company’s future, and of course any  “demands” always rub management the wrong way when they’re certain that they are benevolent rulers in their little kingdom—those issues faded away like remnants of an odd dream you’d rather forget, when the gates were opened and the doors unlocked once again.

    The strike made investors flee for safer havens, and the company nearly went under during the six-months’ stalemate. In this odd dream, nobody was cheering, if they went back to work, and not too many would be going back. 2/3 of the workers lost their jobs.

    Management said: “We’ve made important strides.”

    rum-tum

    Organizers said: “We’ve shown this company that we will not be ignored.”

    rat-a-tat

    Workers said: “You take what you can get and say Thank You, y’know?”
    roll. roll. roll

  10. Rebecca says:

    @ Lydia … I agree. It gets stickier when a couple has children; they get caught in the middle.

  11. Rebecca says:

    Oops! I forget to delete the ‘period.’

  12. Cathy Miller says:

    Do you find it odd when you receive a pitch from someone trying to drum up business who starts out by insulting you? Why is it they don’t see the problem after they announced how stupid you would be not to take their advice? Pardon me, if that might rub me the wrong way.

    Take your pitch and plant it where the sun don’t shine and see if you have an issue with that. Adhere to the adage, you attract more flies with sugar than vinegar, and maybe I won’t want to computerize a grave for your senseless dig.

    • Cathy, you’re right. Those pitchmen take too seriously the emotional play on pain, forgetting that the problems they want to solve for us have nothing to do with our intelligence (except maybe Rosetta Stone. 🙂  )
       
      By the way, I read your excellent ebook!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      Cathy: I feel you completely on this. If I hear another salesperson say the word “No Brainer” again, I’ll brain them on the spot!

    • Chris Fries says:

      Brilliant truth in the message, and smooth beauty in the telling.  Great job with the prompt words, Cathy!

  13. Decided to put this little rhyming one together, was probably just thinking about the drip line and sprinkler head I have to dig up later and repair.
     

    Toiling
     
    Order announced, not banned
    Adhere and dig, the task at hand
     
     
    Issue each plant, a natural shrine
    Drum beat keeps odd workers in line
     
     
    No way to computerize this task today
    rub aching backs; pain doesn’t go away
     
     
    Receive pay for a hard days toil
    Planting life into fertile soil

  14. Sisterhood of the Void – 3rd Point
     
    “…Befum…”

    Conscious reverberations, the highly efficient, computerized drumbeat of communication between the creators, pulsed instantaneously throughout the void. Issued by Be, the First Mother, the waves announced the appearance of an anomaly within one of the universes. Jebubba knew that it was not her black hole, because the shape of the reverberation was dominated by the energy of Bef. Indeed, this anomaly was truly something new and unknown.

    “…Bekumturo…”

    As Jebubba continued to receive the reverberations, she learned that this odd thing was in the Bek Realm of Atefa, a second-generation daughter of Bef. The Bek Realm was so named to adhere to the tradition of honoring the First Sisters. The first ten universes created by each daughter exemplified the energy of a First Sister. Since Atefa was of the shadow line, her creations were more likely to bear strange fruit. This particular oddity was weakly sentient. It repudiated the four elements, thus was unidentifiable as matter, energy, plasma or consciousness. Jebubba did not understand how that was possible! How could it exist?

    “…Belumduvo…”

    First Mother heard Jebubba’s cry and answered immediately. Indeed, she tried to plant a calming arpeggio into the beats, as nearly all the other creators had had the same thought: “It’s not possible!” First Mother pointed out that the energy of Bek tempered the voracious appetite of this unknown thing. Besides, its replication energy was very weak and, thankfully, it had a tendency to respect boundaries, as Bed’s energy would make it difficult, but not impossible, for it to rub against matter or dig into consciousness.

    “…Besumnujo…”

    As the final wave of communication decayed into conscious silence, the creators absorbed its details with a sense of shock: harmonic destruction at nearly the speed of Bej! What was this thing? Within three beats, the void lit up with conscious waves of incredulous chatter. Descendants of Ben set up an erratic ebb and flow of synchronous energies to simultaneously protest the perversion of their forebear’s legacy and to suggest methods to neutralize this unknown entity.

    Bet extrapolated all known data points in the void – and for the first time, came up with no answer. Delalla, fourth-generation daughter of Bed, demanded an accounting of Atefa’s actions. Atefa asserted that she hadn’t visited any of her realms since cleaving her daughter, Atefiz. Delalla retorted that Atefa’s response was irrelevant and insisted on a formal audit. First Mother demurred – stating that the priority was to identify and contain the anomaly.

    Jebubba invoked Bej and fired off a question that stopped the bickering creators cold:

    “…Befumvujo…”

    What if this came from beyond the void?

    • Cathy Miller says:

      @Mitch-I cannot get over your imagination! Love this line As the final wave of communication decayed into conscious silence

    • Very interesting, when reading it produced imagery of “Dune” and Spice Melange a little bit when considering the theme.  Frank Herbert-esque feel to the writing style for me.

    • Thanks, @Cathy! I think this is the story I was meant to tell 🙂
      @Justin, thanks. I should check out Dune – I read it years ago and can’t remember it.
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Mitchell: If I wrote this, I’d have to lay it all out on a mind map just to keep it straight. Amazing. You’re the man!

      • Thanks, Shane! You do know that I’m reading Larry Brooks, right? And that I’m a programmer? LOL
        I’ve this thing mapped six ways from Sunday! If anything, I’m struggling to “show” instead of “tell”.
         
        How does one help readers recall the attributes of nearly a dozen entities without bogging down?
        Any tips?
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Mitchell: I was hoping you liked the book (Of course, now his new book which takes your book even further is linked in our sidebar now). I can’t help you on that, as showing is hard enough … and you’re doing so with entities, probably the hardest topic to explain much less show. You’ll do it.

          • @Shane: Larry was generous enough to give away copies of Story Engineering to folks who bought Demystified. I’m so jazzed right now because I get to combine two passions:
            Game creation and Storytelling. As a fan of simulations, I’ve always enjoyed the backstories that accompanied boxed games like Alpha Centauri. Fan fiction rocks!
             
            So, there’s a game element behind this…LOL
             
            Cheers,
             
            Mitch
             

          • Chris Fries says:

            Whoot! I LOVED Alpha Centauri (and still do)!!!  Best game Sid Meier ever did, IMO.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Been pretty busy lately, Mitch, so I haven’t had a chance to comment on your new piece yet.  So I wanted to tell you how cool this is — I’m really liking the images and the deep world-building and the wonderful flow of the language.

      Fabulously imaginative!  I’m eager to read more!

      • Thanks, Chris! Since I see by your later comment about loving Alpha Centauri that you enjoy world-building, let me add that this story is definitely influenced by my interest in the 4X PC genre. There will be much more to come!
        I haven’t tried to install AC on my Windows Vista – I would be to upset if it didn’t work (Spaceward Ho! hasn’t worked since Win 98!) Currently, I play Empire Earth. According to the Prima playbook, I play it wrong – I’m more interested in lining up my buildings LOL.
         
        Cheers,
         
        Mitch
         

        • Chris Fries says:

          Oh yeah — I’m a big space 4X guy, but I stil prefer turn-based.  MOO II was probably one of my all-time favorites.  Played a lot of Gal Civ II.  Currently playing another game of Space Empires V — very in-depth, and I love the ship-building (you do gotta get Captain Kwok’s Balance Mod if you ever decide to try this game).
           
          But being a TBS guy, I’ve never tried the RTS Empire Earth.   Although I have been tempted to try the RTS Sins of a Solar Empire.

          • Chris, this is why I need a random notes filing system. LOL I stored your comment on my hard drive where it will probably be discovered by archeologists in the 25th century.
             
            I rarely buy games anymore, since they went all FPS on me. Heck, I didn’t like the first ones, Doom, Duke Nuke’m etc.  When I do yearn for some space questing adventure, I check open source. The last thing I downloaded was rather involved … and dull. So, I stick to Empire Earth.
             
            Cheers,
             
            Mitch
             

          • As an IT guy I needed something to find any file anywhere on my computer, if you use Windows, then you want to use this one -> http://www.voidtools.com/download.php seriously, this will in real time find anything you type to search for and is far better than the windows search tool for finding.  It can only search in filenames though so you would have to name your files, windows search and google desktop can search for “data” inside files but is much slower than “Everything” tool.

          • Thanks, Justin! I added this to my toolbox. I do use Google Desktop which, surprisingly, sucks. (You can’t search for Bob and Mary -apples)
             
            Cheers,
             
            Mitch
             

  15. Only a few days had passed after the local government announced the odd problem emanating from the plant. Employees would begin to get laid off as plant technicians waited to receive parts in order to adhere to new federal laws and computerize the dilapidating construct. The main issue with this though is that they had to dig down to the old drum and rub out some of the rust. Only then would they be able to get the plant up and going to federal regulations.

  16. meek willed says:

    after buying an odd amount of chocolate for any guy I started to dig in and eat some as I walked home when someone adhere there self to my arm.
    then sue announced herself by planting her hand on my back with enuf force to break a drum which was not an issue for my strong back.
    we walked back to my house her cheek softly rubbing against my shoulder and I wonder how my mum would be when we got back would we receive a Nice hello or would she just steel my girlfriend to help her with her new computerized gadget I gust hoped she had stoped arguing with gran.

  17. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … Thanks, glad it made you laugh 🙂

  18. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Glad you had a laugh 🙂

  19. Anne Wayman says:

    CCC 142 announced while I received the drumming of an odd pain adhered to my head. Plant rubs didn’t help. I issued a computerized DIG – Do Ignore the Girl for now. I’m back.

  20. Anne Wayman says:

    If it were a comadore 64 I could help! can’t you set up a bicycle powered generator or somethin?

  21. Ok, I feel like I cheated the last time. Now for a better story. (And just to let you guys know, I’m off traveling again. I’ve been abroad in Europe since August [which is why it was slightly easier for me to vacation in Italy]. But now I’m traveling back stateside for a friend’s wedding. I don’t know what it is exactly, but something about traveling boosts my creativity like none other. Even if I am just going home to the boring, middle of nowhere [welcome to the Boone-docks], flowing with seas of grain Midwest. But it’ll be good to go home. So my apologies ahead of time if I get a little behind in this next week or so. I’m going to be doing a little bit of traveling and boosting the creativity through the roof.)
     
     
    This is a story never before told, and I’ll tell you why. The odd little man who told it to me forbid me of mentioning it to any other soul whilst he breathed otherwise I would receive a gift most undesirable. Of the gift I have no idea, but I needed not words from him to ascertain an understanding. He let his voice be a drum, resounding of the coming dangers for my soul should I let out the tiniest peep of his little narration. But now I can tell you of what has happened. I know he has been gone for nearly a week now. I received news of his death just the other day in the post. Strangely enough, it was from the odd man, writing a letter to me. And with the calligraphed letters, he announced to me, and God knows who else, that this would be the day he would die. He told me many years ago that he could see it coming, the day that death would come and rub out his life. I, however, attempt not to think of it so, but rather as some benevolent being, who, like a farmer sows the seed of life and in the autumn of our years returns to collect the harvest. The odd man, I perceived, was never keen of thinking himself a plant. Nor did he ever see death as a benevolent farmer. No, for him death was something horrible. A thief in the night. Perhaps that was the main issue.
     
    He told me how Death had stolen away his wife many years ago. It was in the middle of the cold winter night, the season when day is the shortest and night the darkest. Death, stealthy as he was, tried to sneak into the couple’s bedroom. The odd man, however, had always been a light sleeper, with the only comfort during the night being his wife snug at his side. Death stepped on the only floorboard that creaked and this made the odd man jump out of bed much like a jack from a box.
     
    “Who are you and what are you doing here?” shrieked the odd man, shaking in the frigid cold.
     
    “I am Death, and I am here to collect your wife.”
     
    “No! No! Take me instead. My wife means far too much for me.”
     
    “Your time will come, but now it is your wife’s turn. She is ready.”
     
    “What? I don’t understand!”
     
    “It’s not your time to understand. Just wait and someday you will see it coming. You will be waiting for it, perhaps with out even knowing.”
     
    “No!” And with that, the odd little man ran in a fury straight towards Death, but Death, being a much superior being, threw the man against the wall and knocked him unconscious.
     
    When the odd man woke up in the morning, he found a note next to the body of his breathless wife. It was a list of rules left by Death for how the man should continue to live his life. At the top of the note Death had written, “If you adhere by these rules, I will be kind to you on your harvest day.” If the old man lived by these rules or not, I am not sure. But I know he was waiting for Death in his last days. That much he had told me in his letter.
     
    Now, the events of the odd man’s tale had occurred in the days before it was necessary to computerize everything, I don’t know if I am allowed to tell you all of this, but I think it better to let you know than to leave you in the dark. Of what shall happen to me am I not aware. But I am always ready to dig my own grave. Actually, it’s already partially dug.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      Matt: Out-bleepin’-standing! Your best yet. I loved the more formal tone you gave this character. His wording was a perfect spice to this wonderful tale.

    • Chris Fries says:

      Great story, Matt!  Excellent voice, like Shane said.
       
      …and I’m really curious to know what Death’s rules were.

    • Matt, I’m glad you felt the need to contribute another fine piece to this thread.
      I thoroughly enjoyed this narrative! My favorite line:
       
      Death stepped on the only floorboard that creaked and this made the odd man jump out of bed much like a jack from a box.
      Fine writing!
       
      Cheers,
       
      Mitch
       

  22. Rebecca says:

    @ Chris … Lol! Hopefully, Todd learns his lesson.

  23. margaret says:

    I adhere to the rules of etiquette and share the news when I receive a computerized invitation to plant an odd tree that will issue stange fruit which you rub all over yourself while beating a drum.

    I dig weird stuff like this, but when I announced this to my friends, they just shook their heads and
    called me eccentric.

  24. Slow, slow, slow….
     

    Reynolds part 4
    The first words Detective Reynolds said to Simon Brubaker were just short of hostile. “This main room is the crime scene.” He said. “You will not be going in there just yet. We need to know what is on the other side of the wall right about here.” Mal pointed with his cigarette before flicking it away. “Take me there.”
    Brubaker watched the glowing cigarette arc into the parking lot and land a few feet away. He was distracted easily Mal now knew. Brubaker looked back at Reynolds. “Ok, Umm” he started “well there are some offices and a janitors closet.” “Show Me.” Mal ordered and Brubaker tured without another word and fumbled with a ring of keys.
    Finally, he found the one he was looking for and opened a stiff lock that did not look like it had been used for quite some time. ”Odd” Mal thought. “Maybe that hole didn’t mean a thing and the issue was a non issue.” Then again, Simon Brubaker was sweating guilty sweat. “Where were you last night Brubaker?” Mal asked.
    Simon gulped and said, “Umm..Last night, well, umm, I was here for a while checking doors, and then made my rounds to the other warehouses. I kicked out some kids trying to make a fire in one of the old oil drums out by the fence.”
    Mal asked “Did you see anyone in here or around here?” Brubaker gulped again.”N..No…” Mal nodded to himself, seeing the lie and the hesitation immediately. “Here is the office.” Brubaker said. “No,” said Mal, “further back.” That gulp again from the nervous security guard, but he kept moving forward. “Why don’t they just computerize this place and not have a real guard?” Mal asked.
    “Well, they like to have a uniform to keep people away. They don’t have any cameras or anything in here.” Brubaker announced. “Here is the janitor closet, the back wall is this one.” He pointed. Mal nodded. “This is about right. Open it.” Brubaker hesitated. “Open it.” Mal repeated. The security guards hands trembled with the key at the door. “Open that door NOW!” Mal shouted. Brubaker started shaking his head.
    “What am I going to find in there Brubaker?” Mal asked, heat rising in his voice. “What are you hiding in there?” The security guard was trembling and backing away from Mal who continued his tirade. “What is it huh? A little guys hangout? Your own little spank bank with some two bit video camera that lets you see people doing it on the other side of the wall? Your library of perverted porn? The death footage from last night?” He was screaming now and Brubaker turned as if to run. Mal grabbed his arm and twisted him into the floor, landing a knee in the security guards back. He cuffed Simon Brubaker and left him on the floor crying, “I didn’t know, I didn’t mean it..”
    Disgusted Mal took the keys from the floor and walked back to the closet door, ignoring the protestations of Simon Brubaker. People easily rubbed the detective the wrong way, and he could smell BS a mile away. He tried a few keys in the door and finally found the right one. He turned the knob, looked for a moment, and finally pulled the greasy string of a bare light bulb just inside the door. “Eureka.” He announced quietly to no one in particular. He was right. A small television sat next to a beat down, raggedy lazy boy recliner on a small table that looked as if it might collapse at any moment.
    A box of tissues and a pump bottle of lotion sat on the floor next to the recliner on the other side. Wires ran from the TV to the wall, and a small video camera that had been taped right against the wall, most likely against the hole they found on the other side. Feeling nauseated, Mal had to adhere to his police training and not enter further. He called for the crime scene techs and then went back to Brubaker.
    “Ok Douchebag.” Mal began to dig at the security guard who continued to blubber and cry as Mal hauled him into a rickety chair and stood menacingly over him. “Why the room? Were you there last night? Was the spank cam on? Who killed that guy next door? Maybe you did it, I can make it look like you did.”
    “You can’t plant evidence!” Brubaker spewed spittle and mucus as he shouted at Detective Reynolds. Mal’s large callused hand shot out and struck Brubaker across the mouth, knocking over the chair and spilling him to the floor. “Oh for these beatings we are about to receive make us truly thankful.” Mal said as he reached down and pulled Brubaker back into the chair.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Justin: I’m lovin’ it. That ending quote is awesome. Perfect was to set the tone for what will be a great scene I’m sure.


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