Writing 365

Warning – May Emit High Levels of Random

Archive for the tag “short story”

Writing 365 – The Marine Biologist

I’m back today with a short story based on the prompt from Twitter’s very own Magical Realism Bot: “A fortune teller turns over a tarot card with a mustache on it. ‘Your destiny is to be eaten by a giant clam,’ she says to you.”

The Marine Biologist

I knew the dangers going in, but the ocean is so vast, so beautiful, there was no way I could avoid my fate. Studying sea life is all I’ve ever wanted to do. So, even though I am trapped in this giant clam, its juices slowly eating through my scuba suit, I am happy I chose this path.

Two years ago, when I started this journey, I didn’t believe it would happen. I had just enrolled as a graduate student and could see the course to a PhD. My friends took me to the fair to celebrate, we ate funnel cake and rode on shaky platforms. Greg found the fortune teller, cajoled us all to get our palms read. I was last.

She took one look at my palm, shook her head, and told me she was going to read my tarot instead. When the fortune teller turned the last card – white background featuring a huge mustache in the fore – she shook her head again.

“What?” I asked. She was getting on my nerves. I’d paid $30 to get my palm read and she hadn’t said one word to me.

That’s when she looked at me dead in the eyes and said, “Your destiny is to be eaten by a giant clam.”

Of course, I laughed, accusing my friends of putting her up to it. None of them would admit to playing the trick and I tried to shrug it off. But that’s when I became obsessed with giant clams. That’s when I made it the basis of my thesis. That’s when I began down the path that led me here, to the soft, gelatinous insides of a giant clam. That’s also when I started carrying a crowbar during every dive.

I admit that it’s hard as hell to pry open a clam – especially when the clam is still alive and you’re on the inside. But I was highly motivated. I shredded the muscles and broke through the shell, scraping out of the opening and swimming back to the surface in a controlled panic. I couldn’t go up too fast, or I’d get the bends. But my radio was out and this discovery would make my career. The clam that had eaten me was definitely a new species: the snapping giant clam.

End

That’s it! I look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

 

 

Advertisements

Writing 365 – The Door

Today I’m using the prompt “What’s behind the closed door?”

The Door

The massive ebony door crouches in front of me. Bas-relief figures warn the unwary away, acting out scenes of violence and destruction. The blackness of the wood makes it hard to see these figures and, as I move closer, I cannot tell if they are in the throws of agony or ecstasy.

For all the intricacies of the door itself, the verdigris knob is utilitarian. It invites my hand, twitching by my side, to rest upon it and swing the heavy door open.

I am not supposed to be in this hallway, not supposed to be in this house. The city will tear down this ruin of a Victorian in two days, and I managed to sneak in to take a look around the oddly homey industrial building. I didn’t expect to find much more than decaying floorboards, but I found this baroque door jammed into a hall on the top floor.

A floorboard creaks as I step forward, putting my ear up to the menacing carvings and listening. No sound penetrates the heavy black mass. I put my hand on the handle and give it a push.

Light floods into the black hallway, blinding me for a moment. Beyond the door is a meadow. A warm breeze wafts through the doorway, tickling my nose with scents of honeysuckle and rich earth. I smile and close my eyes, expecting the scents and breeze to waft over me, but my nose fills with dust. Slamming my eyes open, the room beyond the door spreads out, dark and damp. I flash my light in, but the room just sits, empty and moldering.

I close the door and open it again, hoping to be transported back to the meadow, to the sunshine and warm air. Instead, my hands grow cold in the draft I am creating by opening and shutting the enormous door.

End

I hope you enjoyed the story! See you tomorrow!

 

Writing 365 – The Collective

Today I’m writing off of a prompt suggested by my Facebook friend, Jason D. The prompt is: Millennial selfies. Now, I personally don’t have a problem with millennial selfies. In fact, technically I’m a millennial. So I tried to think if there might be some secret reason we are all taking selfied. Here’s what I came up with.

The Collective

“You need to take that last selfie,” Sammy told Ethan. He sighed.

“Why am I doing this again?”

“You know why. You know what we’re working toward. Just do it.”

Ethan lifted up his phone, stuck out his middle finger, and shot a picture.

“Now upload it to the collective, it’s almost the cutoff!”

Ethan did as he was told, sighing again when the upload went through.

“I don’t know why you’re not excited about this,” said Sammy. “It’s literally the most important thing in the world right now.”

“Literally?” asked Ethan sarcastically.

“Literally,” said Sammy, frowning. “If you aren’t going to take this seriously, you don’t have to be part of it.”

Ethan rolled his eyes. “Of course I want to be part of it.”

“Then let’s go,” said Sammie.

Sammie started her car, driving it out of the alleyway, toward the warehouse district. Her hands vibrated on the steering wheel and her left leg gyrated.

“I can’t believe it’s happening tonight,” she said.

“Yeah,” said Ethan.

They parked outside a nondescript row of warehouses. Sammie got out and slammed the door, walking rapidly toward the building number 16. She heard Ethan close the door behind him and she clicked the doors locked with her key fob.

“Come on!” She opened the warehouse door and entered a room filled to the brim with servers. Cold air blasted through the huge space, keeping the machines at a comfortable temperature.

Sammie jogged past rows and rows of racked computers until she made it to the small office space at the back. The tiny office was filled with people, all aged between 20 and 30. They stared at the row of monitors hanging from the ceiling, watching the “loading” bar hit 100%.

Ethan’s hand slipped into Sammie’s as the screen, once filled with billions of selfies, switched to bytes, then began the conversion to something completely new. Sammie held her breath. She gripped Ethan’s hand. This was it. A new lifeform was taking shape, right in front of them.

It opened its digital eyes and spoke through the speakers hooked up around the room.

“Hello.”

End

That’s it! Thanks for reading and I’ll be back tomorrow.

© 2016-2017 JULIA SHAW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

 

Writing 365 – Missing Half

I have been absent, but I’m back! My next prompt: “Write a mystery.”44583444 - detective adjusting his hat standing in the dark, film noir

Missing Half

Half of Red lay there, cold and inanimate. Detective Ankle knew that Red would never move again unless his other half was found. It had to be found, stat, or it still wouldn’t matter. They’d be too mismatched to be of any use.

Detective Ankle started his investigation as soon as he could, following Red’s steps from the time he was whole to the moment he was split. It was the same story as all the others – a string of disappearances and subsequent murders spanning all the way back to when the detective had first moved in at 239 N. Caraway Ct.

The basket they all rode in was clean – no second half of Red detectable amongst everyone else. Detective Ankle had done a lot of pushing and shoving, asked a lot of questions, but no one had seen Red’s other half. They all tried to convince him to settle back – told him Red was just gone. Detective Ankle wasn’t having it.

Next, he checked the bathhouse. It was sudsy and warm, but Detective Ankle suspected foul play beneath those calm waters. He dived down deep into the bath, eyes peeled for a flash of red anywhere. Nothing.

Finally, Detective Ankle checked the last place he wanted to look. That hot, steaming, confusing room where so many of his friends had gone missing. He asked around as he tumbled, telling his friends to stay on the look out for Red’s other half. They all plead ignorance. He covered every inch of the room, steeling himself to look in every crevice, anywhere Red could have been torn in twain. It was like Red’s mate had just… vanished.

Detective Ankle finally returned home, ready to mourn his friend like all the others. But Red wasn’t there. He’d been removed, taken to the place they were all dumped in eventually. If Detective Ankle had tear ducts, he would have cried. If he had a voice, he would have screamed. Instead, he just clutched his other half and waited with all the other socks in the drawer, hoping no one else would go missing but knowing deep down – someone would.

End

I hope you enjoyed it! See you tomorrow!

 

Writing 365 – Writing Prompt “Serenity”

I was taking a walk in my backyard yesterday and that inspired me to write this short vignette of serenity. Thanks to my Facebook friend Farrel L. for this prompt.

Creekside

Steam plumes into the frosty air as I blow across my coffee. The morning is crisp, finally feeling like fall, even though it’s now the cusp of winter. Only a few soggy leaves clutch the gray-barked trees lining the creek.

I set up a folding camp chair on my weathered porch, enjoying the song of the rushing creek. In the summer, the water goes down to a trickle, but recent rains have whipped the steel colored waters into a torrent.

The world smells crisp and damp. An undercurrent of loamy soil, rain, and duck dung seep into my nose. Only a couple of yards away, ducks stand by the creek, some quacking and foraging, others content to stand perfectly still, like duck statues. The stillness won’t last long. Once they see me, they will babble themselves into an uproar before heading my direction, hoping for a handout. But for now, the ducks are happy to sit or scrounge in the rain-heavy grass.

The cold seeps into my skin, and I know I will go indoors soon. But for now, I will cup my hot mug, sip my coffee, and listen to the creek as it shushes its way over rocks and roots, waiting for the ducks to come.

End

Thanks for reading! I look forward to writing another story, vignette, or poem for you tomorrow.

© 2016-2017 JULIA SHAW, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Post Navigation

Shaw Marketing

Sharing Your Business with the World

Sharon Rawlette

Memoirist. Essayist. Philosopher.

Interesting Literature

A Library of Literary Interestingness

Ray Ferrer - Emotion on Canvas

** OFFICIAL Site of Artist Ray Ferrer **

My Blog

Warning - May Emit High Levels of Random

Manifest Photo Blog

Photography And Evidence-Based Art Information By Peter C. Blanchard

NERDSTEAK

Food and Culture Shenanigans

The Bully Pulpit

(n): An office or position that provides its occupant with an outstanding opportunity to speak out on any issue.

Kev's Great Indie Authors

Supporting Indie Authors Worldwide

The Bewildered 20-Something Writer

The ramblings of a 20-something writer fresh out of graduate school as she ventures out of the classroom and into the real world.