Ideas in Ink: Mirrors

Ksi

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Ideas in Ink is a series of topics dedicated to practising writing by assigning writing exercises over a month, each on different aspects, themes or genres.

What you write is up to you - poetry, brainstorming, short stories, longer stories, lists of ideas... everything is welcome and you may be as serious or ridiculous as you wish.
 
You may also write about whatever you wish as long as it pertains to the subject/theme and prompt. This means that there will most likely be some over-PG-rated works. Because of this, I ask that you stick to the rules of posting.
 
Rules

 
RULE 01 - Posting
You have one post in the thread in which you add your prompts, using the handily coded list below.
 
Each prompt should be hidden in spoiler tags with the appropriate heading above them. When you have completed a prompt, bold the header.
If a piece is over a PG rating, it should be tagged with descriptor tags: Sex, Violence, Drugs, etc as well as approximate age tags - 13-15, 15-18, 18+. These must be in bold and next to the title of the piece.
Like so:
Prompt 07 {Sex, Drugs, Foul Language}{18+}
If you are told to change or add tags, do so or I will edit them myself.
I'll be linking each of your main posts to your name in the OP to make it easier to find them, so please follow this for posting prompt updates/additions.
 
RULE 02 - Necroposting
These threads can be brought back from the dead at any time. They're immune to age, so feel free to post the prompt updates your forgot to add at any time, even two years down the track.
RULE 03 - Feedback
Please be constructive when giving feedback. This means try to point out the things you liked in a written piece as well as the parts that need improving. Don't be a dick.
 
For example: "I liked your character, but I think you need to check out your spelling and grammar. Also, the theme is really good, but there needs to be a bit more reaction from the surprise twist. As it stands your character kinda just takes it as is and doesn't really react at all..."
To give feedback, add a post in this thread with the name or number of the prompt for which you are leaving the feedback as well as the name of the writer.
*RULE 04 - Word Limits
I don't want to be strict, but I do want to point out that using each prompt for only 3-6 lines is a bit wasteful. I don't want to instil a word limit as I feel that that would be limiting a person's scope.
 
However, the idea is to challenge yourself. You are your own competition. So please, don't just write a few lines for each and every prompt and consider it 'done'. At least aim to make it harder on yourself, if only to push your skills to grow.​
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Prompts:-
Mirrors
This month we're gonna do a character challenge. The idea is this: pick one of your well-established characters. They may be from a game or story of your creation, or just someone who's been in your head forever. Each prompt needs to show a different (yet similar) interpretation of your character. You may choose to do this by genre of writing (romance vs sci-fi), different settings and situations (being held prisoner vs killing dragons) or simply by focusing on different aspects of that character (sardonic wit vs being scared). Think of parallel universes with your character as the focus, mirror worlds where you character is the lynchpin.​

01 - Broke
02 - Super Galactic
03 - Royalty
04 - Dragons
05 - Fuel
06 - The quietest place
07 - Simple things
08 - In anger, march
09 - Holiday
10 - Realms
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Copy below code and post for easy set-up.
Prompt: BrokePrompt: Super GalacticPrompt: RoyaltyPrompt: DragonsPrompt: FuelPrompt: The quietest placePrompt: Simple thingsPrompt: In anger, marchPrompt: HolidayPrompt: Realms

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Makio-Kuta

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The challenge is to pick just one character, but if we have two characters who are very-very-very-very connected and hardly ever apart, can we do this with two characters? Because the prospect of having them NOT together for some of the prompts greatly excites me. ((Sorry, not sure if we're allowed to ask questions in the thread. If not, I'll edit this post into prompts later. Because this theme is lovely and I really want to attack it.))
 

Alexander Amnell

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   I've been considering participating in this event for a little while now, but all of my writings are generally really personal to me and deal with ideas and thoughts that are prominent in my mind at the time. However I figure that to become a better writer I've got to break out of that particular binding, couple that with the fact I'm having an insomniac night right now with thoughts spinning in my mind that  beg to be put to paper and the story resulting easily fits the theme of the first prompt and I figure now is the time I guess. 

Prompt: Broke {Political Discourse, 13+}

Animus of Arrogance

By. Alexander Cain

   His pace was systematic yet leisurely as he strolled down the blackened cobblestones winding their way through the crumbling tombstones and somber spirits that bear witness to the gloomy shadows of the deceased in their final residency. Of those gathered before him, most took no notice of a stranger’s awkward intrusion into their quietus ritual.

   For the ones that did sense this intrusion, there was little to be gleaned from turning their heads to view the awkward stranger wreathed in shade as he observes the last rites of a man he knew well in life from the edges of obscurity. The stranger was dressed in earthen browns, a cowl wrapped loosely around his head and obscuring his face. In life he had once heard it told of his ancient acquaintance that he would likely arrive late to his own funeral. In spite of the serious backdrop within which he now stood, the stranger couldn’t help but to crack a small smile at the memory, for this he was grateful for his current coverings.

   The man on the bier wasn't the sole familiar to the stranger. Though they might not recognize him he knew all in attendance save for the priest administering the rituals. Three of them, even, the stranger could claim to know on a more intimate level. A fiery soul came to the forefront of his mind and vision simultaneously, a dark skinned, red haired pillar of confidence and composure that clearly hadn't the time to acknowledge the stranger’s presence while she focused on the stone bier supporting her old paramour and confidant. Beside her was a silver haired beauty with her arm around her in comfort, she appeared numb and distant, staring at the walls enclosing the cemetery as if seeing beyond them into the countryside.  Lastly stood a young man of teary eyes and clenched fists, desperately struggling to prove himself a man before the others and don the emotionless mask of a cracked adult displaying his fallacious strengths to a world that would assuredly break him were it to discover the weaknesses within him.

   Of the vultures that were left little save animus and asperity resounded within the stranger as his silent vigil continued. These men and women before him on the surface exhibited the epitome of class and sophistication. The fine silks and regimental robes attested to the success of the individuals present. These were clearly the elite; the wise hands that guide the world from the safety of their glorious capital, free from the pitfalls of the common man these great ones are capable of leading those beneath them to greatness and success.

   That was the surface at least, a reflection distorting the truth and propagating it to the masses in promises of hope of salvation from hardship and deliverance from famine unto feast. He saw them through separate eyes, however, he saw past the surface of the mirror and into the dark reality within. All that the stranger saw within was arrogance. This arrogance that brings the young officer to guide the men whom place their faith upon him into a slaughter, the arrogance of the philosopher forcing false perceptions upon the world around them and the arrogance of a bigot encouraging violence against others just to pet his own ego.

   No, the arrogance around him stemmed from this cycle, but it was much more destructive than that. It is the arrogance of the unneeded rulers whose misguided preconceptions threaten genocide and strife. This is the arrogance to start wars and to lie, to break the very laws that they are supposed to uphold over and over and over again in reckless abandon without so much as an apology or an acknowledgement. The arrogance to break the world was standing before him, and he could conceive of no way in which to stifle its poison no matter how hard he tried.

   It is for this reason that the stranger ceased trying to save the world. He simply turned and walked away; feeling nothing save his animus as he left the life that had nearly broken him behind. Nothing followed him out of the grave as he abandoned his homunculus to the earth, save the spiteful glare of a silver-haired beauty following his departure. The stranger couldn’t blame her for her anger, she had shown him unconditional friendship and in return he used her in his lie. A lie that she was now forced to carry with her for the entirety of her life; it would be no wonder if she hated him, for she was the only one alive who knew of his surrender.



Prompt: Super Galactic

Prompt: Royalty

Prompt: Dragons

Prompt: Fuel

Prompt: The quietest place

Prompt: Simple things

Prompt: In anger, march

Prompt: Holiday

Prompt: Realms

 
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mlogan

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I'm excited about this one - it helps me get into the mood and do a bit more character development for my project.

Prompt: Broke (one swear word)

Spoiler alert: Super cheesy ending. I may come back and change it if I think of something better, lol.

Tor took one last swipe at the boat before calling the day done. The shin-high water washed against his legs, its tepid temperature doing nothing to ease the heat of the day. He was dripping in sweat and salt water, his shirt crusted to his skin from being baked in the sun all day. Scraping barnacles was far from his ideal work. But it wasn’t criminal and he’d promised he’d try.

He hauled himself onto the dock and rung his pant legs out before slipping on his boots. It was Friday, pay day. That was something else to get used to – waiting to get paid. When you stole for your living, you got your pay right away.  He searched his shirt, trying to find a spot that he could use to wipe more sweat from his face before he headed to the ship yard office.

Inside, Tor found a bit of relief from the heat. The windows were propped open to allow the breeze from the ocean to blow through. Combined with the dark atmosphere, it was a relief. The purser was behind a rough oak desk tucked into the corner of the small front room, spectacles slipping down to the tip of his nose, which was covered in ink blotches. Two other men stood before the desk as Tor approached and took his place in the queue. The man in front of him glanced over his shoulder and then did a double take as he realized who had joined the line. With a nasty glare, he stepped forward as far as he could.

Instinctively, Tor crossed his arms against his broad chest and drew himself up to his full height. Conflicting emotions were erupting inside of him. A part of him wanted to punch the man for his actions or at the very least, verbally remind the man who he was and, more importantly, of his strength. The other part felt ashamed, because he knew the man had every right to look at him with such loathing and distrust.

For several long minutes, Tor stood his ground, fighting the urge to leave and come back later when the men were gone. At last it was his turn in the front of the purser. He stepped forward to the desk and gave his name to the man who began rifling through several lists, searching the rows upon rows for his name. At last he found it and the sum owed him and began counting out coins. He handed them to Tor without a glance as he wrote notes and made marks on the ledgers.

Tor looked at the coins, quickly counted them and swore.

“This ain’t right,” he told the purser. “I was told I’d make more than this.”

The man looked up for the first time since Tor had entered, his eyes going wide at the size of the young man before him. “Oh, um, yes, um, well you see there are the fees,” he stammered.

“Fees? What fees?” asked Tor.

“Well uh, you see, there are the taxes to the city, the taxes to the province, the handling fee to ship yard, and the uh, the uh…”

“The what?” asked Tor angrily.

“The purser’s fee,” the man said, almost inaudibly.

Tor swore again and stormed out of the building, jamming the coins into his pocket.

“Honest living, my ass,” he muttered to himself. “How is anyone supposed to survive off of this?”

He stewed in his anger and frustration all the way home. Through the field, the wind kicked up the dry dust, making it stick to his sweaty brow. He was still muttering choice swear words when the home he shared with his father and brother came into view. Stopping at the end of the lane, his heart sank as his took in the truth of their dwelling.

His father always tried to give them enough and teach them well. The fact was, his father just didn’t have enough time. He worked so hard to provide the meager dwelling that any attention to its actual appearance had been neglected.  The roof and structure were badly in need of repair. The gardens his mother had kept lush and thriving were now overgrown and wild, much like her two sons, wilting in the absence of her tender care. He thought of her with a pang and in his mind could see her turning to smile at him from where she knelt beside the flower beds.

He sighed, more guilt and shame swallowing him. He was old enough to help and he hadn’t been. With a new resolve he walked in and deposited the paltry sum of coins into his father’s money jar. It was what it was. He went out to the back of the house where a shed stood. He pulled the door open on its rusted hinges and peered inside. He found the hammer and nails as well as some scraps of wood that hadn’t been yet ruined by bugs. Grabbing them he headed towards the house.

Maybe he couldn’t contribute a lot to the money jar, but growing his father’s trust in him was more important than growing his riches right now.



Prompt: Super Galactic

Prompt: Royalty

Prompt: Dragons

Prompt: Fuel

Prompt: The quietest place

Prompt: Simple things

Prompt: In anger, march

Prompt: Holiday

Prompt: Realms

 
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ThatMaestroGuy

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This seems like a lot of fun and a nice way to get those creative juices flowing. I'll start off with Bob, the Epic Warrior.

Prompt: Broke

"That'll be five-hundred gold, sir," the inn-keeper told him.
"Five-hundred, huh? Sure, you got it," Bob said through his thick metal helmet. His hand reached down to his money pouch, instinctively pulling at the latch and digging in to reunite his ears with the lovely jingling sound they were so accustomed to hearing, just as it had done many times before.

Only this time, it found nothing.

"What the...?" Bob murmured, his hand now frantically searching the empty pocket.

"Is there a problem, sir?" the merchant asked him.

"No...no, of course not," Bob began. "I was just admiring—" But he never finished his sentence. The wandering finger had dipped in hard to expose a rather large hole within the pouch.

"Sir...?"

"Yeeeeeaaaahh....I'm broke," Bob revealed, now turning to show the inn-keeper the worn-out container.

"Oh...no, no, no. This simply won't do," said the inn-keeper, contorting his face in disappointment.

"Now, hold on! Hold on! I got uhh...other stuff here. Yeah, other stuff...that uhh...that'll help pay for this. Gimmie a sec, here," Bob explained, motioning with his hands and lowering his backpack to the ground. The inn-keeper raised his head to look over the counter, his eyes fixated on this strange warrior's oddly-shaped backpack. Bob opened a latch and pulled out a short sword in an impressive-looking sheath. "Here ya go!" exclaimed Bob, firmly placing the sword onto the counter. The inn-keeper's eyes, obviously not content, briefly looked at the sword before darting back to Bob.

"And what exactly am I supposed to do with a sword?" the inn-keeper asked.

"Do you want a practical answer or a business answer? Cause I'm pretty sure just about everyone knows how to use a sword," Bob chuckled.

"I have no use for a sword. I need money. That's how a business is run," the inn-keeper retorted.

"Then sell the thing," Bob suggested. "And don't you dare settle for anything under fifteen-hundred. Heck, even THAT is an insult to this blade's maker...whoever that is."

"I don't have time to go selling weapons to some brutish dealer!" the inn-keeper yelled.

"Then I'll do it! Geez!" Bob snapped back.

"Oh, please. Do you think I was born yesterday? That's the oldest trick in the book," the inn-keeper sneered.

"Well...not the oldest trick in the book...," Bob laughed. "But hey. Do you have anyone else around who could go down the block to sell this thing? I'm more than sure you'll get a great deal on it...payment for three instead of one. My loss is your gain...what do you say?"

The inn-keeper thought it over for a few moments....

Prompt: Super Galactic

Prompt: Royalty

Prompt: Dragons

Prompt: Fuel

Prompt: The quietest place

Prompt: Simple things

Prompt: In anger, march

Prompt: Holiday

Prompt: Realms

 

wallacethepig

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I'm hopping on the bandwagon at long last. For those who care: The character is named Renn, a teenage girl who experiences a catastrophe somewhere in her life. Said catastrophe will be different depending on what world I'm writing her into.

Prompt: Broke

The most painful part about being homeless isn't the cold. It isn't the angry glares from misers either. It's not even the pain in your stomach from starvation. No, the most painful part is definitely the homesickness. "Please...could I have some money, or something to eat? Every little bit helps..." The woman didn't slow down for me. Instead, she hurried along even faster than before. Man, how did I get into such a sorry shape? I must look terrible. I was living the good life two months ago, and then Dad had his "accident." Sure, Dad. It's an "accident" because you got shot in the chest when running from the police. Real convincing. Those hospital bills were expensive. Still are. I don't even know why Mom tries to pay them. Dad took away all of our money. He broke apart our family.
"Renn? I'm hungry..."

My little sister wasn't taking this too well. We had to run away in order to even have a chance at a life out of prison. Mom was working us to the bone, trying to get money to pay those hospital bills any way she could. I didn't want to be a human life support system, especially for someone like Dad. So I ran away with my little sister. Sometimes I wish I could go back to those days, when we were all happy together. Ignorance is bliss, I guess. "Please give something to us...we're so hungry...we're willing to work for food..." My sister was much better at this than I was. "Hey, you two need some money? How much?" said a man in a trenchcoat. "We just need money to make it for a few days. Then, we'll be able to get jobs somewhere..." "Hey, I know a place you can go if you want to work. Follow me." This guy gave me chills. Mom always told us to never follow strangers. Then again, Mom's still hung up on Dad, so..."Hold on, we're coming!" I said.

Somehow, I don't think we'll be homeless anymore...but we'll wish we were.

End

Prompt: Super Galactic {Moral ambiguity}

"Commander! We're under fire, what do you suggest we do?"
"Hmm..." said the commander. "Can we fire the ion cannon?"

"No, sir, the enemy destroyed it with a blast from their own," I replied.

"Well then. Have the fleet turn hard to port and fire one of our missiles at the medical ship. That oughta teach 'em a lesson," said the commander.

"Yes sir, I'll notify the gunner right away." I scurried off to find the loudspeaker system. There was a guard in front of the door.

"Soldier, list your name, number and rank," said the guard.

"Renn Forester, 1776, two-star speaker. I have orders from the commander to be here," I said to him.

"Right. You check out, go on in," he said as he stepped aside.

Inside the room was a tangled mess of electronics and sound equipment. You'd think I'd have this place more organized, but I seem to do alright with the messy setup that's in place here. I found the loudspeaker for the gunners and turned it on.

"Attention all gunners! The commander has given you direct orders to fly your ships to port and fire missiles at the medical ship. Return for further orders once you're done. Over and out!"

I turned off the loudspeaker and caught my breath before rushing to the Eye in the Sky. He was a fairly nice person, but a little too nosy for me. "Sir!" I said as I entered his post. "What do you have to report?"

"Ah, hello Renn. How are you? I assume you told the captain the ion cannon was out?"

"Fine, sir! Yes, sir!" I responded.

"That's good. He really does love that old thing, I'm sure he'll want it replaced when we make it back home."

If we make it back home. The last time an enemy fleet attacked, there were over 300,000 soldiers dead – and that's just on our side of the field. My father was among them. He's the reason I'm here now, actually. I wanted to fight, to win, to show the enemy why taking lives is pointless. I wanted to make my father proud.

"Anyway, Renn, go ahead and tell the commander we lost three gunners out there. It's a bloodbath out there; if this keeps up I'll have to pull out the bottle again..."

"Yes sir. Is that all you want me to report?" I said back.
"No. You should also inform the commander that there is a part of the fleet on our starboard side that is retreating. That will be all."

"Yes sir! I'll tell him right away, sir!" I rushed back to the bridge. These hallways were too long...and so was this battle. Our ships have been dogfighting for over two hours now, and there were casualties on both sides of the field. It's anyone's game at this point.

"Renn, you're back. Can you give me some info?" said the commander.

"Sir, yes sir! We lost three more gunners in the dogfight. And the starboard side of the enemy fleet is retreating," I said.

"Ha! I knew it, the cowards! Blast the port side with all we've got, let's get them to retreat too!" said an all-too-happy commander.

"But...but sir! There are still gunners out there fighting for their lives, trying to destroy the medical ship!" I cried.

"So? A few lives, a few ships, not a big problem. We've got an opportunity, we can't waste it! Let's get 'em while they're down!" said the commander.

"Yes...yes, sir," I said with dejection. I trudged back to my post.

"Soldier, list your name, number and r–"

"Oh come on, you know me. I was just here 10 minutes ago. Renn Forester? I work here? Number 1776? Move aside, I'm a higher rank than you are anyway," I said. He tried to stammer something out, but just stepped aside and let me in.

I made my way to the loudspeaker. I turned it on.

"Attention. Um...the commander wants to blast the port side of the fleet, so I guess you should do that. But maybe you can get your guys back first? I mean, they are humans like the rest of us, after all –"

I looked up for a moment and saw fire coming from the gunner's air hangar. "Right," I said with a sigh. "Over and out."

As the medical ship – and all of our gunners that were still out there – were blasted to space debris, I couldn't help but cry a little.



Prompt: Royalty

"Now when you go out there and make your speech, darling, don't say anything that would upset those from Sudoville," said one of the maids."
"Right," I said, "I'll be careful."

I headed for the balcony, ready to give my speech. All of the townspeople were pretty upset at the attack from Sudoville. An assassin from over there had murdered my mother and brother. People began to riot pretty quickly after the assassin was caught, and it was my job to calm them down. Of course, whether or not the speech I had prepared would have the desired effect was still up in the air...

The trumpets blared, announcing my arrival. You know, I've always wondered what that would sound like from the ground. From right here the sound is just obnoxious. I guess they're necessary, we can't have all of the guards having sore throats from shouting at the people.

"Citizens! Hear me now! What happened to the Royal Family was terrible. But w –"

"Yeah, it was terrible!"

"How could you let something like this happen?"

"I blame the guards!"

"Let's get 'em!"

"Everyone, please stop!" I said as a riot ensued. Tough crowd today. I waited for everyone to calm down before I continued.

"This kind of behavior is silly. There is nothing to be done about it now. My father, the king, is still here to protect you like he always has been. He –"

"He let his wife get murdered – some protection!"

"Yeah! And his son, too!"

"Stop it! Stop fighting! You all came here for a speech. Now sit down, shut up and listen," I said. I figured the best course of action would be to shock the nincompoops into silence. I needed to say what had to be said.

"Look. Nobody's happy the Queen and Prince died. I am in that group – they were my mother and brother, after all. But just because they were killed is no reason to attack Sudoville!"

A groan came up from the crowd.

"You really believe that?"

"We need to fight fire with fire!"

"Hear, hear!"

"SHUT UP, ALL OF YOU! ANYONE CAUGHT SPEAKING BEFORE I'M DONE WILL BE EXECUTED, GOT IT? AND I'LL BE THE ONE TO DO IT!" That seemed to calm them down a bit. It probably didn't help that I was entirely serious about it.

"Listen – We can't invade Sudoville. They have heavy fortifications, we'd never survive. I doubt we'd even kill any of them. We're just going to sit tight and wait. My father is headed over there right now to negotiate things. So you can all settle down, all right? Speech over. Go home."

Everyone slowly got up and walked home. They were probably too dazed to do much of anything else, actually. I might just be the first princess to shout at her subjects.

I also might be the first one who was so embarrassed by what came out of my mouth. I ran away into the courtyard to hide from everyone.

"Hey there, princess."

"Huh? W-who are...how did you get in here?" I said to the voice that called out.

"Hey, don't worry. I'm not an assassin or anything," said the voice. I looked up and saw a strapping young male in a tree, about my age I suppose, with blonde hair and green eyes. He was dressed rather nicely, too; for a peasant. Was he a peasant? He might be nobility. Hmm...

"What are you doing in that tree? Why are you even here, anyway?" I said to him.

"Look. I can make a deal with you. You'll get to see your mother and brother again. They aren't dead – they were kidnapped. By the Marauders. I'm one of them, actually, and –"

"Hold up," I said. "My mom and brother aren't dead? They're with a group called the Marauders? And you're going to take me to see them? Sounds awfully fishy, mister..."

"This will be the only chance you have. Your family is being held captive in Sudoville. Don't you want to save them? Come on, there's not much time! And it's not like journeying 100 miles on horseback will be easy, you know..." He swung from the tree onto the courtyard wall. "Let's go, Princess Renn."

Why not? I thought. This could be fun.



Prompt: Dragons

It's time. I grabbed my sword and got dressed. The dragon that killed everyone from my village should be sleeping by now. I made my way out of the shambles that was once my house and went to the stables. Thankfully, my horse Groundrender was still standing. He had a shining brown mane, sparkling eyes, and unbelievable speed and stamina. I love horses. Far more than I love dragons.
I grabbed the saddle and hopped on. With a whinny, Groundrender charged on towards the mountain that housed the beast. The light of the moon guided our way, shining brightly down upon us. And we rode on, kicking up dirt as we traversed a field of grass.

After crossing the large field, Groundrender and I had finally arrived at the base of the mountain. I gave him an apple and a pat on the back. "Thanks for the lift," I said to him. "But don't wait for me if I'm not back by sunrise, okay?" I began to climb the mountain.

It was surprisingly cold on the way up. I could see the moonlight illuminate the vapor of my breath as I got closer to the cave where the dragon lived. It was a long way up for someone like me – someone who isn't a dragon. Someone who can't fly.

But I made it, somehow. My fingers were numb, my face was cold, and my feet were asleep. But I couldn't just sit there and recuperate – there was a town I needed to avenge. I drew my sword and sneaked into the cave. The dragon was sleeping there – it was big, obviously, but it was more majestic than I had realized before. It had shining green scales that glimmered from the moonlight as it snored, and steam came out of its nostrils like a tea kettle ready to be taken off the heat. But I had to kill it – half of my friends were in its stomach. I got ready to impale its brain, pointing my sword at the dragon's head.

I had expected a "squelch" sound, but instead all I heard was a "clink!" I looked down. The sword had hit its mark, all right, but it stopped at those thick scales. And then the dragon opened its huge red eyes. I had a feeling he wouldn't be too happy, so I did what I could to make myself look as not scared as possible – a difficult task, when you're standing in front of something that would love to have you as a midnight snack.

Shockingly, he just grunted and went back to sleep. I breathed a sigh of relief. But now, I needed to figure out a way to kill this monster. I can't get it anywhere on its body, so where would a weak point be? Its nostrils? Its eyes? I had no idea. And then, I saw it.

A little baby dragon. It was about the size of my hand, maybe a bit bigger. But compared to the other beast, it seemed insignificant.

I knew how to slay this dragon. I just needed one of my own. I stuffed it into my pack and left the cave, riding on Groundrender all the way home.

This could be fun.



Prompt: Fuel

"No, no, no!" I said as the jalopy I was driving sputtered to a stop. Well, I had managed to leave the city, but I still had to get somewhere. Where that somewhere was, I had no idea.
"Hey, don't worry too much about it," said the boy I had picked up along the way. "We'll find some way to cross this highway – after all, you wanted to get to an airport or something, right? Let me see that atlas..." he said. He was a generally optimistic guy, and kind of annoying when he wouldn't shut up. Still, I enjoyed the company.

"That atlas is too worn to read, John. I tried looking at it, but there's no use," I said.

"Well, give it to me anyway. I happen to have good eyesight, you know," he said. Whatever. I tossed the atlas to him and got out of the car. It would be a nice day if I wasn't trying desperately to get away from all the zombies.

"You're right, it's too illegible to make heads or tails of. But there might be a car on the side of the road we can use," he said. See what I mean? Optimistic.

"All right. Let's go look for one. We've got nothing better to do," I said. I grabbed a brick and started bashing windows. I felt kind of bad about it – but it's not like a zombie would have any need for one. Eventually, we found a car with a legible atlas.

"Let's see...If this is exit 128, then the nearest airport is about 50 miles south, at exit 177. If our average walking speed is 4 miles an hour, then it'll take us around...13 hours to get there," said John. 13 hours is a long time to be walking. Plus, we'd have to spend a night out in the open, and we'd probably have to find some food along the way...

I wanted to say "It's hopeless. It'll never work." Instead I said "Right. Let's get going then, huh? We'll need to find some food and shelter along the way..." John had a huge smile on his face. "We can do this, Renn! I know we can!" he said. He skipped and I trudged on. Shelter? That idea in and of itself is preposterous. Zombies break down doors, windows, walls...there is no "shelter." "Shelter" is equivalent to "sunlight," and neither of us have any control over that. It's around noon now, so at best we'll make it to an airport at 1 AM. Long into the night.

"So John. When and where do you want to stop and spend the night? I mean, all of these zombies only come out at night, so we'll need to find a way to not be detected by them. What do you suppose we do?" I said.

"Let's just run the whole way!" said John as he burst into a sprint. Oh boy. I was never a good long distance runner. If his plan is to run and cut our time down to 6 hours, it's not going to work. But, I may as well try it.

An hour later, I was basically a dead girl walking anyway. "John...how...can you...have so much...energy?" I said, totally spent. "Renn...don't you...want to...survive?" he said back. "If we...want to get out of here...we'll need to run...even more," he said. Great. He started "running" at around two miles an hour. Yep – he's as spent as I am.

"John, look...we're not going to...make it. You...have to know your...limits..." I said. It was still light out, but we still had 43 miles to go – even if we could still run, we'd never make it. We should rest here – but there's nowhere to rest...

I have a feeling I'll be making out of this country. But it won't be the way I anticipated.



Prompt: The quietest place {Warning: Animal Death}

Renn woke up with the sun in her eyes. She had forgotten to close the curtains last night. "Oh well," she said as she made her bed. "I'll just have to remember next time." As she walked downstairs, she saw a note. "Renn--I'm in the farm. Feel free to hunt, but be back before sunset. -Jenkins" A smile appeared on Renn's face. She grabbed her bow and arrows skipped to the forest.
She was cautious at first, but she managed to relax after a while. She got into her favorite tree and tried to make herself as quiet as possible. "Well," she thought to herself, "I won't have anything to do for a while. I guess I can just sit here and think for once." Renn closed her eyes and took in the environment. The sound of the cicadas buzzing, the sound of the trees figeting in the wind, and even the sound of the brook farther away. It was so much more peaceful now. Renn couldn't help but doze off for a bit.

When she awoke, it was past noon. But more importantly, there was a rabbit at the foot of her tree. She notched an arrow and took aim. The rabbit hadn't noticed at all, everything was going smoothly. Twang! Swish! Thunk! These three sounds mixed together as the rabbit fell dead. But Renn heard another sound: A scream. It couldn't have been the rabbit, rabbits don't do that. She looked up at a little girl.

"F...Flu...Fluffy?" she said.

Oh no, what have I done? thought Renn. The little girl had a heartbreaking look of sadness on her face. She ran over to Fluffy and fell to her knees. "There, there," she said, "It'll be O.K. You'll be O.K. We'll take you home to Daddy, he'll fix you up..." The tears mixed with the rabbit's blood. Renn had shot it through the head, there was no way it was alive. "Hey, I'm sorry. If you want, I can dig a grave for it--I mean him," said Renn. It didn't really help. The girl avoided eye contact and ran away in tears. "Hey--wait!" Renn ran after her. She was taller and faster than the little girl, and caught up to her in just a few seconds. "Hey, listen. I'm really sorry, I didn't know the rabbit was yours. Maybe I can make it up to you? I know! I'll get you a new rabb--"

"Can you fix him?" said the little girl. "Excuse me?" "Please make Fluffy better. He's very sad because you hurt him. If you can make him forgive you, then I'll be happy." What was this girl saying? Fluffy's dead, there's nothing I can do about it, Renn thought. "Look, kid. I'm really sorry, but Fluffy is dead. He can't be your pet anymore. Just bury him and move on. All right?" Renn truly was sorry she shot that rabbit. "Like I said before, I can dig a grave for Fluffy. But that's it. He can't be fixed." "No...I'll dig the grave myself." Renn felt like saying something. But what? "I'm sorry for your loss?" "It's O.K., just find another pet?" "Don't worry about it?" She wasn't very good with kids. Renn noticed the time, it was getting late. "Hey, I've gotta go now. And I really am sorry about your rabbit. Come on, you're a tough kid. Fluffy wouldn't want to see you sad, right?" Renn tried to say something after that, but couldn't think of anything. She bolted off into the woods, her face bright red. Why did I have to shoot someone's pet? she thought. She thought quite a bit about this on her way home.

The next morning, she woke up and went down to have breakfast. Jenkins had made eggs. "Good morning, Renn," he said. "How are you feeling? Are you upset because you didn't bring anything home last night?" "No, it's not that," said Renn. She polished off her breakfast and went hunting again. She went to her favorite tree. I just have to forget all this. I mean, it was only an accident, right? she thought. Renn knew how it felt to lose a loved one. She knew how much it hurt. She clambered into her tree and noticed something new about her surroundings.

There was a tiny cross on a pile of dirt.

Renn tried to forget. She tried. She tried looking at the bug wings glinting in the sunlight, but there were none to be found. She tried to listen to the trees fidget, but there was nothing to hear. She remembered as well as that little girl did. Another rabbit was in her sights. She had to think twice about killing this one: surely it wasn't a pet, but still...would it be any great loss? No one cares about this rabbit. Its purpose is to feed me. I need to hunt it.

Twang! Swish! Thunk!

As Renn went to collect the dead rabbit, she noticed something. She wasn't going to eat a dead rabbit.

She was going to eat a dead mother.

3 baby rabbits. 3 baby rabbits without anyone to care for them. Renn had taken another life that meant something to someone. Why did this keep happening? It happened with the last rabbit she killed, and it happened with her brother, and her father...She scooped up the mother and ran home.

The next day, the little girl decided to go pay respects to Fluffy. But she had to pick more flowers.

She needed them to pay respects to the other grave.

End



Prompt: Simple things

"Renn, can you grab the sugar and give it to me?" said mom. "Sure thing," I said as I got out the sugar and gave it to her. We were making cookies for the funeral service for dad. Mom was focusing on making food for the service. I was just trying to avoid thinking about it. It's really hard to do that.
I'll never get to see him again. I'll never get to hear him again. I'll never get to hug him again..."Renn, I need the chocolate chips now. Be a dear and get them for me, will you? They're on the top shelf," said mom. I silently thanked her – she had just saved my from an untimely breakdown.

"Here you go," I said. "Are the cookies going to have nuts in them? We're fresh out of almonds, should I run down to the store and grab some?" I said.

"Yes," said mom, "Would you do that for me, Renn? I've got to stay here and work on dinner for us," she said with a smile. I put on my shoes and got on my bike. The store was about 5 minutes away on a bike, so I had plenty of time to enjoy the beautiful day. I hope tomorrow is a good day too; I'm sure dad wouldn't want to be buried in the rain.

"Welcome! Is there anything I can get you?" said the store clerk.

"Yes, actually. I'm looking for some almonds. Could you show me where they are?" I said back.

"Of course. Right this way," she said. The almonds were on sale today – lucky me. I gave the clerk my cash and rode on home.

"Hey mom, I've got the almonds – mom?" There was no comforting sound of any sort of cooking going on, and there was no greeting of "Welcome back, Renn." I ran into the kitchen. Mom was lying on the ground. "Mom! Hey – can you hear me? Wake up!" I had to call 911.

"Hello, this is 911, what's your emergency?" said the lady. "My mother just fainted. Can you send an ambulance over?" I said.

"Of course. Just give us your address," she said. I told it to her. "Right. We're sending one over right away. Hang tight, OK? Everything is going to be fine." Click. I listened to the beep of the phone for a while until it was drowned out by the sound of an ambulance. The paramedics picked up mom and carried her off on a stretcher. Looks like she won't be making all of the food for dad after all.

But someone had to do it. It might as well be me. I had picked up a few of mom's cooking tricks. It'd taste just like she had made it.

I'm sure dad would understand.



Prompt: In anger, march

I'm not usually one for speeches. But this time, things were different. I stood on the fountain in town. "Ladies and gentlemen! May I have your attention please?" Everyone looked at me. "A pack of wild dogs has attacked my family. And they've been attacking several families for years. You know who they are – the Southern Barbarians. You know what I'm going to do? I'm going to teach them a lesson. I'm going to grab my late father's sword, and I am going to kill as many of those killers as I can. Who's with me?"Silence, for the most part. People didn't care much – they had learned to accept the barbarian attacks as a sort of natural disaster. But there was one kid about my age who heard me.

"I'll go with you," he said, "and we can kill all of those barbarians together. My father was the blacksmith in this town before they got him. We seem to have a mutual hatred – shall we bust some heads?"

"All right. Honestly, I could care less if I live or die. I just want to make them pay," I said. "We'll go to their encampment tomorrow. And we'll show them."

The next day, I got my father's sword. I went to the blacksmith's to wake up that kid – I never did get his name. "Hey there. I see you're all ready to die today," he said as he perused the shelf of swords hanging in the shop. "Looks like you're ready too," I said. "Come on, sword boy. Let's go avenge our parents."

We marched out into the town square. It was surprisingly empty – It's typically full of people in the mornings, but there was no one to be found today. Past the town square was a gate – the gate out of town. Sword boy and I marched on through it. The guards didn't stop us.

But as we got farther away from town, the sound of marching got louder. "Hey, sword boy," I said, "Are you being loud? Since it's just the two of us, we should be quieter. We don't want to be killed before we even get there, you know."

"Tell that to them," he said. I wondered what he meant until I looked behind me. Most of the townspeople were marching right behind us, and I didn't even notice. I guess I was just angry at the barbarians.

Maybe now, we'd have a chance. We will avenge the fallen. And though we may not have thought that way in the past, I get the feeling we'll be avenging for a long, long time.



Prompt: Holiday

Ugh. Why did Ben have to be so late? It was already 11:45, the new year was going to start soon.
Hopefully he remembered the firecrackers. And speak of the devil, there's a knock on the door."Hey, Renn! Sorry I'm so late. Traffic and whatnot. Happy early new year," said my very late friend.

"Did you bring the firecrackers?" The look of bewilderment on his face told the whole story. "Gee, I'm really sorry, Renn. I must have forgotten them," said Ben. "Well, remember next year. But don't worry about that, it's almost midnight! Come on in," I said.

Ben and I became friends when we were real little. We've been friends for 13 years now. In 10 minutes, it would be 14 years. Apparently, our parents were business partners and good friends until the fire. I guess we just kind of stuck together growing up in the orphanage. When we were around 10, we were adopted by a new family. They just wanted a girl – but I wouldn't come without Ben, so they ended up dragging him along for the ride. Now he's my brother. Funny world, huh?

"Renn, is Ben back? We've only got 5 minutes!" said dad. "Yeah," I said, "He got back just now. He forgot the firecrackers, though...Where's mom?"

"Oh, she's upstairs taking a nap. Why don't you go wake her up? I'm sure she won't want to miss the town fireworks," said dad. I went upstairs into mom's room. It was really dark – courtesy of the fact that it was nighttime. But this darkness felt...different. Not just "time for bed" darkness. There was something...darker about it.

"Mom? You awake?" I asked. No response. "Mom, you need to get up," I said in a slightly louder tone. "Hey – mom!" I was shouting now. "Mom, wake up! Come on, you're going to miss the new year!" I said while shaking her. "MOM! Why aren't you waking up?!" I ran downstairs to get dad and Ben. "Hey, guys. Mom's not waking up, can you come up here and help me?" They came up the stairs with me. We entered the master bedroom again. "Honey – it's time to wake up now," said dad. "We can't have you missing the new year!" said Ben.

It hit me. It hit me hard. The realization. As the fireworks went off outside, I realized no one in our family would be appreciating them this year – or possibly any year.

A death is a terrible resolution.



Prompt: Realms

I loved to travel. Probably a little too much, actually. I just can't settle down into one place – I have to be on the move. With my rotten luck, this typically ends up poorly for my comrades. "Hey, Renn! All the other patrolmen are ready to go – do you have everything?" said a fellow patrolman.
"Yeah. I'm on my way," I said. My job was to basically regulate alternate planes of existence – the slang term is "Echoes," but they're basically parallel universes. My fellow patrolmen and I make sure that they stay parallel.

"OK, the conveyor is all ready to go! Everyone get in there!" said a scientist somewhere. 5 other men and I got in, ready to go. We were going to Echo 5LL413. My job was to make sure that a certain plane lands safely – saying why is confidential. But I'm supposed to do it because I'm the best pilot – not to mention actress – on my team.

I heard the sound of a microwave coming on, and then a "ding" as if we had just been cooked alive. But really, it was just the sound the conveyor made when it world-jumped. We landed out in a field – but something was wrong. There were no voices on my walkie-talkie telling me what to do; no airports to go to – there wasn't much of anything BUT a field, now that I look around a bit. Just...flat grasslands as far as I could see.

"Hey – did something go wrong?" I heard a patrolman say, probably into his walkie-talkie.

"Looks like we're stuck," I said. "I guess we should just wait for orders."

A few hours passed. Clouds started to roll in. I got a little worried – usually missions went smoothly. But the fact that these dark clouds are here could mean something went wrong...

Crash! Lightning struck. This was one of those "banestorm" thingies – storms that carry people between parallel worlds...Lighting struck again. My fellow patrolmen seemed to be getting rather panicky. And then they ran back into the conveyor without my knowledge – I was too curious about this storm...was I going to be taken to a parallel world? Were other people going to come here? I'm not entirely sure – but it gives me the creeps.

And then I saw a figure. It was a girl – about my age, I suppose. And there was another figure beside her – it looked like a little spiked ball with wings.

A girl dressed in armor appeared also, and a princess appeared somewhere else...what was all this?

They all started coming towards me. I pounded on the door of the conveyor – but that's probably a bad way to go about things when the people inside are already scared out of their minds. "Hey! It's me, Renn! Let me in, guys!" I said in desperation. I had a feeling the steel walls of the thing were too thick – especially with all this thunder going on.

I was approached by a girl dressed slightly like I was. "Hey," she said, "Do you know what planet this is? Our spaceship got lost out in deep space, and really weird things have been happening ever since...I woke up here, and I don't know where the rest of my crew is. I don't even know where the rest of the world is – " She paused. She was staring pretty intently at me. And that's when I noticed something – she looked like she could be my twin. Really – this girl looked exactly like me!

"Excuse me, subject. I've cursed myself to this dreadful place while trying to save my mother from a villainous government. Do you know where we are?"

I didn't respond. Instead, I just stared at her. Again, she looked exactly like me. "I'm sorry, you two. It's an off day for me...I have no idea what is happening, just like you don't."

A flash of lightning, a clap of thunder...And then we were gone. 10 of us including myself, if I saw everyone. Every me. It was too foggy to see anything, and too loud to hear anything, so I had no idea where we were going. But where ever it was, I'm sure it'll make for an interesting story...

-Wallace
 
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Lars Ulrika

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That's interesting! I'm gonna give it a try. Sorry for eventual grammar mistakes as english is not my native language. 

It will star In-Son Park, one of the main antagonist in my game and she will sometimes be accompanied by Hal Zeimer, her partner in crime. 

Any feedback will be highly appreciated :)

Broke (Slightly graphic) 

1: Daily life in Pongpang.In-Son Park was in Pongpang, capital of the kingdom of Chickorea. The high buildings and over-clean streets were pleasing her pretty much. This kind of cold settings was fitting her usual mood very well. She was thirsty and went to some public drink distributor. She put her hand in the pocket and .... empty. 

She raised an eyebrow while a corner of her lips imperceptibly shook in discontent. "What?" she muttered through her teeth. She stood a second and without second thought went to the man next to her and said "Hey you I need money. Quick.". The anonymous figure shook in terror and in his panic just stuttered "Wh...wh...wh....In...In-Son...In-Son...", In-Son Park had an annoyed sigh and quickly slashed the man , now laying dead and bathing in his own blood. 

She looked over her clothes. Full of this weakling's blood. "Drats, I hit him too strong now my clothes are all dirty. Whatever". Walking slowly to the drink distributor, she paused a moment,muttered "Oh wait..." and slashed it , giving her access to the drinks. She poured some mineral water on her clothes to wash them and grumbled "I'm really too distracted today, I could have stood clean from the beginning.." 

When the police arrived , she was already away, as usual. Lucky for them.  

2: Mission in Groshka province, the orkid land.

In-Son Park was bored. A bunch of dead bodies was around her. Orkid krunchers. Idiots whose main hobby is to "krunch da head fur da hurk hurk". Orkid way of speaking the common language was really pissing her off. And their obsession with flowers..... krunch heads and then cultivate your garden. Such a stupid motto. Anyway, it was not the moment to lose time. She quickly entered the orkid camp , entering houses and basically destroying anyone around after asking "Are you Krokbutt the butt krokker?". There were kids and females too but she was considering giving death quickly to them was a mercy from her.

Yes, they should be thankful. This world was not so worth a dime. Well , that's what she self-convinced herself to believe for many years at least....

Seeing the biggest tent around she smiled slightly and whispered "Of course. How stupid am I sometimes. Well, whatever."  

Rushing in it she shouted "WHERE IS MY FAT REWARD AND TICKET HOME?" while looking at the fatass standing in front of her with a huuuuuge mace. 

"Hey ya kill ma derping ya humon! Imma krunch ya face hurk hurk!" answered the one who obviously was calling himself Krokbutt the butt krokker, one of those who was giving orkids a bad name. Orkids were not all brutal. In fact many were just gardeners loving flowers like their own mother. But there were those "krunchers" and you know what they say : whatever the marjority thinks, we hear the one krunching harder. 

Thrusting his mace at In-Son Park , Krokbutt looked at his suddenly opened belly , witnessing his guts saying hello to the outside world. "Wh....why u leaving guts?" he said before feelling a cold breeze on his neck, his head being cut-off. 

In-Son Park took a handkerchief and put it on her nose to prevent the nauseous smell coming out from Krokbutt's body from entering her sensible and refined nostrils. "Revolting" she told herself , thrusting her sword to remove the blood. 

Well, at least she would get her reward and be able to cook some good grim sun, a chickorean speciality. She was salivating in advance. This with some grimchi. Awesome. 

And she should be careful not spending too much money in shake shake revolution sessions. She hated being broke and most of all she hated being forced to accept missions involving orkids. Orkid krunchers stink. That's revolting. 



Prompt: Super Galactic

Prompt: Royalty

Prompt: Dragons

Prompt: Fuel

Prompt: The quietest place

Prompt: Simple things

Prompt: In anger, march

Prompt: Holiday

Prompt: Realms

 
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Finished that egg-sitting mini-game I mentioned here a couple weeks back. Now to fix the weather system so it doesn't rain indoors while you're playing it. >.> A simple fix in itself; leave it to me to take it as an excuse to completely revamp the time/weather/lighting system from scratch.
I'm really tempting to pre order cyberpunk 2077... should I do it or not :/ I really want to play the game but don't want to take a big hit to my saving because of it
So I need to come up with quite a few action sequences.
Was stressing about this plugin earlier, but pretty happy with how its looking now! Purple makes it pop more too!! :)

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