In the spirit of writing more this year, I have started taking part in Friday Phrases, a weekly 140-character story challenge based on a small prompt (as my Twitter stream testifies). It’s great fun and I recommend everyone try it. Now I have decided to take part in another challenge, set by Chuck Wendig, to write a piece of flash fiction (maximum 1000 words) based on a D&D character website.
This is my prompt:
- CALLOUS HUMAN WIZARD FROM AN ILLUSORY FOREST WHO SAW THEIR WHOLE FAMILY CONSUMED BY A GELATINOUS CUBE
And this is my story based on it:
The kids gathered outside the fence, whispering to each other.
“I hear he eated Mrs Tawdley’s cat.” one whispered.
“I heard he likes to eat children.” another chimed in.
“You’re all wussies, I’m sure he’s just a grumpy old man with an ugly face.” said the biggest of them.
Nobody dared to disagree with him.
“Maybe we should leave him alone then.” the only girl in the company piped up.
“Go home, Lizzy.” the big boss, Billy, told his sister. She stayed put.
“Right.” he went back to ignoring Lizzy. “Let’s go.”
Everyone nodded, some more reluctantly than others. Then they followed their leader through the gate and onto the manicured lawn of the old man, staying low so as to avoid the windows. The curtains were drawn, but everyone knew the man liked to peek out every now and then, as if to assure himself everything was still where it was supposed to be.
The kids got to the fence that separated the front and back yards, breathing heavily.
“Remember, whoever gets the ball back gets to pick the next game.” Billy silenced his pack.
They opened the gate a little bit, and noticed the ball in the middle of the garden, with no cover anywhere around. Everyone looked at each other nervously, daring someone else to go first.
Billy sighed. “Fine, guess I’m the only one worthy of being king around here.”
His little sister had other ideas. Lizzy darted out in front of him, then full on sprinted across the grass. She grabbed the ball, then turned around holding it up like a trophy.
Her victorious face quickly turned sour as she saw not the boys, but the old man standing there blocking her path.
“What are you doing in these woods, young lady?” he asked. “It’s dangerous to be out alone.”
“I’m sorry.” Lizzy replied instinctively, before she could wonder what woods the man was talking about. “I just.. Ball..”
“Ah, I see.” the man squinted at the object in her hand, as if seeing it for the first time. “Who sent you? What’s in the ball, poison?” he advanced upon her, standing real close.
“No, no, I just..” Lizzy started to cry.
“Tears won’t help you, little girl, you’re trespassing, know what that means? You’re in trouble! The police is going to lock you away, if the bears don’t get to you first!”
Lizzy stopped crying and stared. “Bears?”
“Oh yes, lots of bears in these woods. Don’t want me to leave you alone with them, do you?” the man gloated.
Lizzy thought. The man was clearly crazy, they were in suburbia, no bears had been sighted since the stone age. She remembered from when her uncle was in hospital that you had to treat crazy people a certain way. So she took a chance, dropped the ball, and rummaged through her small purse. The man looked at her suspiciously, leaning back in preparation for whatever witchcraft she was about to unleash.
“If you let me go, I’ll give you this jello cup.” Lizzy pleaded, producing her favourite snack.
“Agh!” the old man recoiled. “No! Take it away!”
Lizzy gaped at his reaction, then grabbed the ball, throwing the jello down in its stead, and ran to the fence.
She didn’t stop running until she was back at her house, where her big brother was waiting.
“I guess we’ll all be playing dress up princess for our next game.” Billy greeted her with his arms crossed.
Lizzy could see in his eyes though something she had never seen, her brother’s respect. Things would be different now, she thought, and just like that her fears evaporated, and all that was left was a feeling of triumph.
This is the prompt I nearly chose, added for laughs and hopefully some inspiration:
CHECK THIS SHIT OUT, I’M GOING TO BE A FUCKINGDILIGENT HUMAN PALADIN FROM A SMALL TOWN TAVERN WHO CAN’T READ