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First blog post

Well! I took a deep breath and jumped.

This is my very first blog. I’m kind of nervous and excited to get this started.

I’ve been writing stories on the Writer’s Digest Creative Writing Prompts forum every week for the past two years. It’s been a wonderful learning experience to take their prompts, no matter how weird or specific, and turn them into two or three completely different stories. I’ve written stories on there that I normally wouldn’t have considered writing – science fiction stories, vampire stories, and so on. My fellow forumites, who are awesome writers, have helped me with their suggestions and comments to grow as a writer.

So, after much mental fidgeting and nail biting, I finally decided to create this blog to give my prompt stories a proper home.

Hope you enjoy them!

AK

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Daily Spur Presents…Two Cups Of Coffee

Princess Ersimilitude sat demurely as the two princes placed a cup of coffee before her. She would have to marry whoever’s cup she chose. It was a silly tradition, but it was an unbreakable one.

She looked at the two well dressed men standing before her.

Who would I pick based purely on looks?

Neither.

They’re both very ordinary looking. There’s nothing exceptional about either of them.

Maybe that’s why this tradition exists. So, those of plain, unexceptional appearances may be married.

She contemplated the two white coffee cups on the table.

The one prince had attempted to create a heart with cream in his cup. It was wonderfully creative, but as each moment passed by, the heart lost its shape. It quickly took on a form of an unborn baby.

The other prince had done a yin-yang symbol with cocoa syrup in his cup. Not very romantic, but intriguing. Unfortunately, with each passing moment, the dividing line drifted towards the right side of the cup. The coffee looked cold and terribly plain.

So, appearances weren’t going to win this round either.

Yet, Prince A had clearly put some time and effort into creating his cream heart.

Prince B had put minimal time and effort into his yin-yang symbol and it showed. It showed oh so woefully.

Who would make a better husband and a better king?

One who apparently has limited imagination and will do the barest minimum? Or one who is willing to take a chance, to make a greater impression?

The cocoa syrup reached the edge of the cup and clung to it.

The ends of the cream heart unfolded further and further. It was like watching something beautiful grow.

Princess Ersimilitude smiled.

The choice is obvious and clear.

She picked up the white coffee cup with the cream heart.

Prince A went down on one knee. “Your Majesty.”

She smiled at him and drank from the cup.

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2018/12/04/two-cups-filled-with-coffee/

A Mirror Image

Bombs screamed.

Shrapnel flew.

Friends and comrades blew apart.

Albert jolted awake and lay there in a cold sweat.

Where am I?

Am I still in the foxhole?

No.

Too clean.

Too soft.

A coffin, then.

I’m dead.

The shrapnel hit me, tore me, broke me.

I’m dead.

Just like my friends, I’m dead.

But.

I’m breathing. I’m still breathing.

I’m.

I’m alive?

Maybe I’m in the hospital still.

He glanced around at the painted walls, at the ceiling fan, at the fancy light fixture.

No. This isn’t the hospital.

So?

Where am I?

He glanced to his left.

His wife slept beside him.

Home.

This is home.

I am home.

The war is gone.

The war is not here.

He rubbed the sides of his head.

It’s just all up in here.

He uncovered himself and took a deep breath.

I can do this.

He rolled to the edge of the bed and carefully set his feet on the floor.

This shouldn’t be so hard.

Why is this so hard?

I hate that this is so hard!

He pulled himself into a sit.

I can do this.

Albert leaned forward and wobbled up into a stand. He thought desperately about his walker, which he had left stranded in the bathroom last night.

I can do this.

Darn it! I can do this!

I hate this.

This shouldn’t be so hard.

I hate this!

I can do this.

He raised his foot and set it down.

One step.

He raised his other foot and set it down.

Two step.

His mouth twitched as he remembered dancing with his wife on their wedding day.

He raised his foot again.

Set it down.

Raised his foot.

Set it down.

Heavy, clomping steps forward.

Tears welled in his eyes as he remembered outrunning all of the other kids in his class.

Clomp.

Clomp.

Heavy.

Heavy.

Clomp.

Clomp.

Tears left trails down his face as he remembered walking in the woods. So easily. He didn’t even have to think about his feet. It was just a natural thing. Something he took for granted.

He left the bedroom and stopped in the hallway. He spread his hand on the wall.

It isn’t fair.

Why am I still alive?

Why aren’t I dead like them? My friends. My dear friends. All gone. But not me.

No.

Not me. I’m trapped in this broken body.

God, why did you spare me?

He raised his head and looked at the picture on the wall right next to his hand.

It was a picture of him standing with his hand spread on the wall. His other hand was on his hip. He grinned roguishly at the photographer.

He felt like he was looking at a mirror image of himself.

But the mirror had gotten something wrong.

On one side, he was happy and whole.

The other side, he was miserable and broken.

I will never be that man again.

I will never be that happy and carefree.

I will never be whole.

His wife stepped out into the hallway. “Al? What are you doing, sweetie?”

He stared at the picture, unable to respond.

She came closer and stroked his back. “Hey.”

He closed his eyes and relished the feel of her touch. “I had another bad dream.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

He thought about the screams and the sounds of death. The thick smell of death and blood.

He shook his head.

“That’s okay. Whenever you’re ready, I’ll listen. You know that, right?”

He nodded. “Jill.” He paused. “I’m a mess. I’m broken and shattered. I’m not good for anything anymore. I can barely even walk. You should just throw me away. Stuff me into some retirement home. Forget about me. Find someone else. Someone full of vitality. Someone who’s still alive.”

“No. Al, I love you.” She kissed the middle of his back. “Even your broken parts. You’re my husband. The only one I love. We’ll work our way through this. You and me. I know it won’t be easy for either of us. I know there will be anger and hurt. But I will hang on to you. I will not throw you away.” She wrapped her arms around his waist.

He released the wall and leaned back against her. “I love you too.”

 

 

December Writing Prompts

In The Dungeon…

Deep in the dungeon, the prisoner sat.

He was shackled to the wall. So, there wasn’t much for him to do besides sit and scream. Screaming, however, made his throat sore and it didn’t seem to accomplish anything more than that.

So, the prisoner sat and sat. And he thought.

And he tried to remember what freedom felt like.

What did freedom look like?

What color was it?

Was it sky blue and grass green?

Was it walking wherever he pleased?

Was it good tasting food and clean water?

What did it sound like?

He stopped there.

He couldn’t remember the sound of freedom.

Did that mean he never was truly free? Or had he been too wrapped up in his daily dramas to hear it?

He remembered the things he used to complain about.

Annoying co-workers.

Bad politicians.

Insane taxi drivers.

Insane drivers in general.

None of those things had any meaning to him now.

What would it be like to be free again? After being a prisoner for so long, how well would he be able to cope with freedom? To no longer be confined to one small cell? To feel and see the open space around him as he walked outside.

Panic shook his bones as he imagined it all too well.

Too much open space.

Too much air.

He shivered and pressed his forehead against his knees.

He knew.

He would never be free again.

 

December Writing Prompts

The Daily Spur Presents…Two Stories, One Photo Prompt

The sniper felt overly conspicuous in his red hoodie. He felt like there should be neon signs all around him: LOOK AT ME! I’M SOMEONE SUSPICIOUS! I’M UP TO NO GOOD! LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! RIGHT OVER HERE! DO YOU SEE ME NOW?

But all of his other clothes had gone up in smoke in the hotel fire. The red hoodie had survived only because it was made out of fire retardant material.

He raised his gun as his quarry stepped onto the suspended bridge.

At least the money from this job would be enough to buy a whole new wardrobe.

Maybe even a house.

All he had to do was wait for the right moment.

Just the right exact moment.

One…

Two…

And.

Three.

****

Or….

The doppelganger watched his other self cross the bridge.

Look at me.

I am here.

Stop and look at me.

See me.

His other self stopped at the midway point.

Look at me.

Please look at me!

I know.

I know one of us will disappear, but I’m willing to take that chance.

Are you?

Will you look at me?

Will you see me?

His other self turned and scanned the horizon.

The doppelganger started to raise his arms to get his attention.

His other self averted his gaze and ran the whole length of the bridge.

The doppelganger smiled.

He got away this time.

But there’s always a next time.

You will see me.

You will look at me.

I will make you look at me.

And we’ll see who disappears.

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/photo-prompt-10/

A Blanket Of Her Perfume

Jeff woke under the soft cashmere blanket that she loved. He curled into it and inhaled. Her scent was still there. The smell of juniper berries and something herbal. Maybe lemongrass. He never could quite pinpoint what that other smell was.

He could have gone on the internet and looked up the description of her favorite perfume, A Lass In Glass. He could have seen the scent broken down to its top notes, middle notes, and base notes. But he never did.

He liked the mystery of it.

Just as he had loved the mystery of her. Those moments when she’d sit quietly and meditate…He never asked her what she meditated about. He had liked the idea of not knowing, as strange as it seemed.

The scent was growing fainter day by day.

Soon it would be gone, replaced by his own scent of body heat, soap, and cologne.

But it wasn’t gone yet.

It was still there.

It was still there, embedded in the blanket’s soft weave.

He held onto it with all of his might.

December Writing Prompts

Daily Spur Presents…Island Awakening

The island lay below, looking like a mossed over whale carcass.

Serene as a graveyard.

Beautiful as life.

Secretive as death.

But it was not dead.

It was gathering up its power, drawing its energy from the life-rich ocean lapping around its edges.

Until, at last.

Three rappel-lengths off its northern edge, one large sand colored eye opened. It opened its other eye.

It smiled a dirt and sand and moss smile.

It was ready to hunt again.

 

https://thedailyspur.wordpress.com/2018/11/29/photo-prompt-4/