Cubing the Stories #13

Confession: I’m a white girl who likes pumpkin spice. Walking cliche, amirite? Have fun.

Here’s the plan:

  • I’ll roll nine story dice and supply a photo of them. You may interpret the images however you wish, and you may use any number of the images to create a work of fiction. Or nonfiction, if you’re feeling froggy.
  • There’s no hard and fast word limit, but I’ll roll a six-sided die and suggest a limit based on that roll.
  • At the end of your post, you may suggest a literary device to be included as an option in a future prompt.
  • Don’t forget to link back to the prompt here!
  • Have fun!!

Enjoy this week’s set of story dice!

Your suggested world limit is 60 wpc–words per cube.

TBP’s On-line Writer’s Guild #32

TBP



‘The thin man was seated on my recliner in the dark.  The reading lamp was positioned so as not to illuminate his face but I could see the dark handgun, on the arm of the chair very well.  His two goons had my arms pinned behind my back and had done a very effective job of subduing me and restricting my movement.  I think my nose was broken and the coppery taste in my mouth was all too familiar.

“Just so we’re clear” he said softly, “I wanna make sure you understand.  You have till the end of the month to get the job done. I’ve got the doll, for collateral purposes, understand.” He reached into the pocket of his black suit coat and pulled out a crumpled pack of Camels, grabbed a match from the container on my end table and struck it with his thumbnail.  He cupped the flame and leaned forward to light the smoke.  I got a brief look at his face.

Dark, slicked back pomaded hair that was parted in the middle sat atop a long, narrow face; sunken cheeks framed a pencil thin mustache over thin lips that looked like they had been carved out by a razor.  His eyes were large and dark.

He exhaled the smoke, shook out the match and dropped it on my floor. “Hey,” I said.  I didn’t finish the admonishment though because my outburst had been rewarded by a sharp punch to the kidney.  My knees crumpled but, my new best friends kept me upright. The thin man picked up his gat, stood and turned towards the door.  He was tall too, at least 6, 6.  “That dame better hope you care for her.  Because if you don’t get this job done, in time…” he shook his head slowly, “well, let’s just say that her days are numbered.”

He signaled to the goons and they dropped me in a heap on the floor.  I lay there while they filed out the front door of my apartment and quietly closed the door.  I ached all over.  I ached in places I didn’t even know existed before they started aching.  It gave me time to think.

He said I had till the end of the month; that meant I had less than a week. Not a lot of time.’

##

Edward scanned to the next page “Chapter 2” it said at the top.  He leaned back, set his library card to keep his place in the book and closed it.  God, he loved reading these old detective novels.  This one was going to be great. The kettle whistled.  Edward set the book on his coffee table and headed to the kitchen to prepare his morning tea.

 

Thanks guys!

Here’s how it works:

  1. TBP maintains a file of fifty writing prompts from which the given prompts for a given week will be drawn
  2. The prompts are chosen at random by three participants who select a number between 1 and 50.
  3. Writers may choose one, two or all three of the prompts as inspiration for a story, poem, or stream of conscious scribbling. Writers may deconstruct one or all prompts and use only a word, or a part of the prompt (s). If you are feeling really adventurous, you might want to write around a prompt, tangentially. So it’s there on the periphery of your piece; but not seen or referred to directly.
  4. There is no minimum or maximum word count, but this challenge works best if you set a time limit. We suggest 25 minutes. If you think that’s too long, then shorten it. If you think it’s too short, then lengthen it.
  5. If you want to publish your first draft without editing, please do. If you are uncomfortable with that, set another time limit to edit and polish (or include editing in your initial limit, i.e., 30 minutes to write, edit, polish and post).
  6. Indicate the time limit you chose (or, if you didn’t limit your time, indicate what time you did spend on the piece).
  7. At the end of your post, give us a random number between 1 and 50. Your numbers will be used to choose the prompts for the next TBP On-line Writer’s Guild prompt, but if you guys don’t choose – we’ll have to!
  8. Remember to link back to the prompt!
  9. HAVE FUN!

This week’s prompts are:

  1. He really stepped in it this time
  2. Hard right rudder
  3. One more chance!

At the end of your post, give us a random number between 1 and 50. Your numbers will be used to choose the prompts for the next TBP On-line Writer’s Guild prompt.

TBP PSA: Whenever you have the time is OK!

writing-calendarI recently received a couple of messages inquiring if it’s too late to respond to a certain prompt. Please know that most TBP prompts do not have deadlines to respond. Even though we post on a weekly basis, it’s never too late to respond if more than a week has gone by, because inspiration hits when it feels like it!

Scroll through the nearly 300 TBP prompts to find one that inspires you today, tomorrow, next week, or next month! Respond whenever suits you and your schedule. We look forward to reading what you write!


 

Thematically Correct?

sunshineYour theme: down and out.

In your story about “down and out,” you include the following phrases: bright sunshine; happy couple; sugar on top.

You may write something as short as 25 words, or you can go as high as 1000.

The “April Rule” for Bonus Points: Also include the following: twin, computer repair, Christmas cactus, poolside, Angelina Jolie is no longer a Pitt (who cares).

Most importantly, have fun!


 

TBP’s On-line Writer’s Guild #31



Ephraim put his toe right next to the line, careful not to touch it. He looked down and watched where his mother put hers.

“Is it my turn, Mom?”

“I believe it is, Effie. So whenever you’re ready, sing out.”

He brushed his hair back off his forehead with his fingers, “On your mark… Get set…”

His mother took off running down the driveway, holding her skirt with one hand as she kicked up small dust clouds from the drive with her bare feet. She built a strong lead.

“Hey,” Ephraim shouted as he took off after her, “you cheated. I never said ‘GO’”

She looked back at him, over her shoulder, her hair streaming behind, and he heard her laughing. “I’m gonna win,” she yelled behind her as she veered off the drive and onto the grass. She was heading for the apple tree, the finish line. Her one arm was pumping and her feet were flying, but her boy was catching up. The end was only fifty feet away and he had closed the gap to where he was less than five feet behind her.

He was passing her with about ten feet to go when she pulled up and stared across the yard. Ephraim ran strong and touched the tree before he came back. Laughing, he said, “You didn’t have to stop, Mom. I was going to beat you anyway.”

His mother stared emptily across the road and he followed her gaze. A man was standing in the shadows of the big Magnolia . Effie could tell that he was a big man but he couldn’t tell much else about the stranger who had captured his mother’s attention.

“What’s wrong, Mom? Who is that?”

She didn’t answer; she just shook her head and smoothed her skirt back down. She yelled to the stranger, “We all thought you were dead, Mac Parsons.”

The stranger stepped out into the light; he had been cleaning his fingernails with a long thin bladed knife. Spinning the blade on his finger he tucked it neatly into the leather sheath he wore on his belt.

“That’s what y’all was s’posed to think, Angie.” He said, he spoke softly but his deep voice carried easily across the road.

They stared at one another from opposite sides of the dirt track road for what seemed an eternity. As though neither one wanted to speak first. Only the buzzing of cicadas broke the silence.

Finally Effie spoke up, “Why did he call you Angie, Mom? That’s not your name.”

She held her hand up in Ephraim’s general direction, palm down. Then she yelled back to the stranger.

“I suppose you ought to come inside, Dad. You need to meet your grandson and I’ve got a pitcher of sweet tea in the fridge.”

The man turned and picked up a carpet bag that Ephraim hadn’t noticed before. He began walking across the road. Effie noticed the half smile on the man’s face. It was his mother’s smile.

“You can stay the night, Mac, but I want you gone by sunup.” She spun on her heel and headed towards the house.

The big man came up to Effie, “What’s yer name boy?”

“Ephraim,” he answered, “Ephraim Parsons. Folks call me Effie.” Almost too late, he remembered his manners and stuck out his right hand, “Pleased to meet you sir.”

The man shook his hand, “Ya, got a middle name?” he asked.

“No sir, just an initial, it’s ‘M’. My full name is Ephraim M. Parsons.”

The man whistled low and looked heavenward. “Well Ephraim M. Parsons,” he said, “you can call me Mac, ever’one does, but my full name is Ephraim McCool Parsons. How bout that then? I’m pleased to meet you too.” Together the two men started moving. They were following Mom to the back porch. Mac put his free hand on Effie’s shoulder.

Effie had a lot of questions, but he wasn’t sure where to start.

Thanks guys!

Here’s how it works:

  1. TBP maintains a file of fifty writing prompts from which the given prompts for a given week will be drawn
  2. The prompts are chosen at random by three participants who select a number between 1 and 50.
  3. Writers may choose one, two or all three of the prompts as inspiration for a story, poem, or stream of conscious scribbling. Writers may deconstruct one or all prompts and use only a word, or a part of the prompt (s). If you are feeling really adventurous, you might want to write around a prompt, tangentially. So it’s there on the periphery of your piece; but not seen or referred to directly.
  4. There is no minimum or maximum word count, but this challenge works best if you set a time limit. We suggest 25 minutes. If you think that’s too long, then shorten it. If you think it’s too short, then lengthen it.
  5. If you want to publish your first draft without editing, please do. If you are uncomfortable with that, set another time limit to edit and polish (or include editing in your initial limit, i.e., 30 minutes to write, edit, polish and post).
  6. Indicate the time limit you chose (or, if you didn’t limit your time, indicate what time you did spend on the piece).
  7. At the end of your post, give us a random number between 1 and 50. Your numbers will be used to choose the prompts for the next TBP On-line Writer’s Guild prompt, but if you guys don’t choose – we’ll have to!
  8. Remember to link back to the prompt!
  9. HAVE FUN!

This week’s prompts are:

  1. They’re not vices anymore
  2. Who can argue with ‘affordable’?
  3. Yeah? Lemme see yer badge

At the end of your post, give us a random number between 1 and 50. Your numbers will be used to choose the prompts for the next TBP On-line Writer’s Guild prompt.