Tag Archive | prompt: dailyprompt

And Ahead of Me… a story for #Fridayflash, DailyPrompt

I woke alone, I woke blind to the world, and I woke scared.

Those are the things I know about when I woke, and only those, not when nor where nor why I was, or even who I was. I was against a wall, the floor was cold, and I could not see.

And you were not with me. Of course: I was alone. But more than the absence of other breath, other voices in the room was the absence of you.

I found my feet, somehow. I found a stick, a cane, somehow. My body knew the way. I found a door – that was harder – and the sun on my face told me travel west.

But the ache in my gut told me travel east, so east I went.

The bus was going North, so I walked. The police officer that stopped me wanted to take me west, but I talked him out of it. The punks that wanted my money, when they found I had none wanted to take me to their home.

But their home was to the south, so I kept walking anyway. I didn’t know where I was going – how could I, when I didn’t know even who I was? – but I knew you were there.

“There’s nothing to the east,” the taxi driver told me. “You can’t go there like that.” I say taxi drive, like I said punks, because he asked if I needed a ride and told me a price, like the punks grabbed me with hard hands and then handed me back my cane with soft words.

The sun’s warmth was gone before I reached my destination, but I could feel the edge of the road with my cane, so I kept walking. Cars would rush by, a gust of wind and a blast of sound, but I kept walking. They’d honk or shout or both, but I kept walking. The night grew cold, but I kept walking.

I didn’t know how far I had to go, and I could not see the signs to read them, but I knew you were ahead of me still. There was nothing to do but keep walking, keep walking.

The sun was warm on my face again when a car pulled alongside me. “You can’t be here,” the woman told me. “The signs say so.”

“I’m almost there,” I told her, and by that I knew that I was nearly to you. “Only a little longer.”

“But you can’t be here.”

I kept walking. There was nothing behind me, after all, but the dark. And ahead of me was you.

To [community profile] dailyprompt, 2014-09-10:
If I was blindfolded
If my memory was erased
If every sign pointed
to another place
I’d still find you

For #FridayFlash

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/808735.html. You can comment here or there.

Better Left Unsaid, a story for #FridayFlash

“It’s the job,” she’d say, when Tchaikovsky announced a text. Better not to say someone’s dead; they either already knew or they’d never get it.

“I’ll be back when I can.” She’d step out carrying her go bag and never saying if I survive. If they understood already, it was cruel. If they didn’t, it was crueler.

“It was hard,” returning, never filling in the gory details, the struggle to pull herself back to humanity, the blood that never totally washed out. If they’d asked, they already knew.

“I’ve got to go:” never even hinting at the pain of being so close to someone so human.

From [community profile] dailyprompt, 2014-08-21: “things that are better left unsaid”.
For #FridayFlash; I wasn’t satisfied with my last piece so voila
This riffs off of Entanglement from #3ww

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/803055.html. You can comment here or there.

It’s You

From [community profile] dailyprompt, 2014-08-21: “it’s always you.”
For #FridayFlash – it’s Friday somewhere!

It’s you. It’s always you.

I stand up, I answer the door. I don’t bother to look through the peephole anymore, because it’s always you.

4:35 p.m., every day. I get up, I answer the door. I take the package, I mutter thank you, and I close the door. There’s always a package. There’s never a conversation.

I open the package, of course. It’s from you, and it wouldn’t do to ignore it. Flowers, food, socks. I unpack it all carefully. Blue socks, because it’s me, tie-dyed and organic, because it’s you. It’s very you.

It’s always very you.

I put away all the presents, very carefully. I eat the food, slowly, savoring every bite. I put on the socks – my feet are cold, so cold. You always know what to get for me. That’s very you, too.

When I’m done, I throw out the packaging. It wouldn’t due to leave it sitting around. I make sure to put the box in the recycling. You’d like it better that way.

I try very hard not to notice that yesterday’s box isn’t there. Recycling, I tell myself. Like my feet are cold because the socks were missing this morning. Like I have a vase for the flowers, even though I only have one vase.

The doorbell will ring again tomorrow, and I’ll answer the door. It will be you. It’s always you.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/784514.html. You can comment here or there.

The Daily Grind

From [community profile] dailyprompt, 2014-08-14: “I’ve never met anyone like you.

She’d sit down. She’d buy a drink and then, after a moment’s consideration or an hour’s, she’d buy him one too.

She’d slowly lose the tension that held her shoulders stiff, as she even more slowly sipped her second drink, or her third.

And he’d wait until he saw that tilt of her head, and he’d wander over, nursing the drink she’d bought him. He’d slide into a seat, just so, letting her grope him with her eyes until she’d had her fill. He’d sip his drink like he was making love to it, until her eyes filled in the blanks.

“I’ve never met anyone like you,” she’d say, or “you’re nothing like the guys at home,” or “you’re new.”

And he’d smile, and blush prettily, and say something that said nothing, something that pulled the attention back to her.

And she’d bring the circle back to him again, sooner or later, another drink in or three.

“You’re a really good listener,” or “I haven’t met many guys as well-dressed as you,” or “you have really nice eyes.”

And he would smile, and blush prettily, and say something that said nothing, and they’d talk about her some more.

And she would invite him up to her room, or she wouldn’t, or she’d invite himself up to his room, or they’d end up in the Jacuzzi. She’d run her hands over his body, and she’d murmur words like “I could just eat you up” or “how are you even real?”

And he would smile, and blush prettily, and say something that said nothing, and then his mouth would be otherwise busy for a while.

And she’d make noises, little ones or loud ones or screaming, and she’d arch and pant or hold very still or yank his hair, and when the alcohol and the exercise had done its job, and she’d passed him over handfuls of money or passed out and left him to take it on his own, he’d slide back out the door, and take a long shower, and a long nap.

And then he’d do it again.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/776006.html. You can comment here or there.

Locked In, a story for Trope Bingo/Bonus Round

This is to [personal profile] rix_scaedu‘s prompt to my [community profile] dailyprompt here.

This fills the “locked in” square in the Trope Bingo Card.

Names from Fourteen Minutes‘ generator.

“All right. This is looking bad.” Richan frowned at the door.

“Looking. Looking.“ Cathuyet shook her head. “I’m not sure looking bad is the phrase you’re looking for.”

“Would you shut up and let me work?”

“No. No, I won’t. And I’ll tell you why.” She pushed the lantern into her partner’s hands. “Because we have twenty-five minutes to get out of here. Failure is in no way an option.”

“I know, I know.” Richan paced around the room for what had to be the seventieth time. “There could be another way out.”

“There is most definitely another way out.” Cathuyet’s voice was level, but she wasn’t paying her partner much attention anymore; she had a small ball of light floating over the lock mechanism and was tapping at things with a tiny hammer. “I can think of at least four.”

“What?” Richan paused in the pacing to stare at Cathuyet’s back. “Then why- Oh. That hardly counts.”

“Well, they’re exits.”


“At least the first one would dump us into the lake. We’d almost certainly survive. Can you bring the lantern over here and look at the top left lock? I think we need to focus on that one and the bottom right one at the same time.”

“We might survive, but what about everyone else?” Richan obligingly hung the lantern on a hook in the ceiling and began examining the lock in question.

“Well, that’s why we’re not taking those routes.” Cathuyet peeked up. “Richan, do you hear that…”

“Grinding sound? Yeah. Yeah, that sounds… shit.”

Richan reached for the lantern. “That hook – damnit, rookie mistake.”

Cathuyet stopped Richan with a grab to the wrist. “No, leave it. Remember what happened back in the labyrinth.”

Richan froze, and then, very slowly, nodded. “Right. Once you’ve set something off, minimize other factors. Like in the lake trap. Blasted waters, I hope that Edmose got out all right.”

“It’s a lake. Right now, Edmose has as good a chance of survival as we do.” She tilted her head and leveled her breathing.

“I can’t believe…”

“Richan, stop beating yourself up – this place is made to cue mistakes like that – and act like the safecracker you are. Listen.

The younger thief did as instructed; soon the only sounds in the room were very measured, quiet breathing and the creaking of the mechanisms. Creaking. Everything here was relatively new; nothing should be sounding that decrepit. That meant…

Richan jammed a stiletto into a hole just as it opened. The gear-creaking sound clicked, clicked again, pushed against the knife… and stopped. With no sound at all, a door slid open.

“Richan, you’re a genius.” Cathuyet used a mirror on a stick to check out the passageway ahead. “Clear in all directions. And so are we. With twelve minutes to spare.”

“Only if we get the idol and get out of the final chamber before the time tips over.” This entire set-up had been built on a balance board, with only the hour-timer keeping it from flopping sideways.

“Right.” She wiggled through the entranceway – and stopped.


Cathuyet was choking, soft laughter that shook her shoulders. “There’s another blasted door. We’re still locked in.”

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/673910.html. You can comment here or there.

He Couldn’t Fail, a microfic

This is to stryck‘s prompt to this bonus-round call to the [community profile] dailyprompt prompt “I can’t fail.”

It would probably have come out better if I knew anything about football… sorry.

There was a witch in the stands. There had to be.

Ernie was trying to miss throws. He was trying to fumble the ball. He’d even tried to run into the opposing team’s biggest guy: in short, he was trying to fail, because if he didn’t…

There had to be a witch in the stands.

He grabbed at the point of the ball and suddenly found the whole thing in his hands, threw it haphazardly, and found it flying true towards his teammate, tripped into the opposing team and ended up getting in their way just enough to tangle them up.

There had to be someone jinxing him. He couldn’t fail.

He made his second touchdown of the night and tried not to cry. Grown men don’t cry, certainly not football players, even college players. The team was cheering. They hadn’t done this well in years. They hadn’t done this well ever.

Someone was messing with him. There had to be someone in the stands.

Ernie made a last-ditch effort. He’d seen someone do this by accident, once, slip, fall just the right way, and fracture their leg. He found the muddiest patch of ground – it was a wet day after a wet week, so there was a lot of that – and let his heel slip out from under him.

The ball flew at him as he dropped and, on instinct, Ernie caught it.

There might be a witch in the stands. There had to be.

But there was also, front and center, the mafioso who had told him he had to fail today.

There had to be someone jinxing him.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/656850.html. You can comment here or there.

Bonus Round: Daily Prompt

[community profile] dailyprompt:

Today’s prompt is “I can’t fail.”

Now accepting up to three prompts for this theme. – Closed already!

Bonus points if they dovetail with a square of my Trope bingo card

Trying to fail: and failing

Locked in and can’t fail

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/651072.html. You can comment here or there.

Exhaustion, a story of the Aunt Family for the Bonus Round/Bingo

This is to [personal profile] kelkyag‘s prompt to my [community profile] dailyprompt here.

This fills the “exhaustion” square in the January Bingo Card.

This is either a different branch of The Aunt Family or an earlier/later line.

Warning: death.

Olianda died.

This was not, generally, a quick process, and in her case, it was further complicated by any number of problems.

The first problem was, of course, the simple physical act of dying. The family to which the Aunts were adjunct was, by virtue of their nature, a particularly hearty lot, and they did not grow frail quickly or easily. Olianda’s spirit was tired – weak, one might say – long before her flesh stopped being willing.

At one hundred and seventeen, she was finally ready to die, body and soul.

Now, she had to convince the family to let her go, the house and its attached role to release her, and her successor to take up the mantle.

“Aunt Olianda.” The woman holding Olie’s hand was the daughter of her niece’s daughter, but in this family, ‘Aunt’ was always the appropriate honorific. “Please don’t go. I don’t know what we’ll do without you.”

“You’ll thrive, of course.” Her voice was barely a squeak anymore. “You’ll be fine. Enid – you are Enid, right?”

“Yes, yes, I’m Enid.” The girl blinked at her. “I only have brothers, you know.”

“And you’re pregnant, which was a swift move on your part. Child, tell your children this – they cannot make you take the role. No matter how long they push, how hard they complain, the role is the role.” She patted the girl’s arm. “You’re safe, besides. Brett will be my successor.”

“But she’s…”

“I know. Now be a dear and give me a hug. Your Aunty is tired and wants to rest.”

She waited until the girl was out of the room. ::You understand?:: she asked the house.

The house rumbled in reply. A cupboard creaked. A statue shifted.

::I have been training seven of them as long as they have been alive. You will not be alone.::

The house groaned again. It needed more reassurance.

::Besides… I will be here with you.:: And Brett would take the mantle gladly, once she understood.

The house settled. Olianda closed her eyes.

In the house, in the neighborhood, in the county, in the world, her family sighed, absorbed the loss, and shifted the power amgonst themselves. Seven heirs felt the strength touch them, and stretched, and took it in. The house cradled the consciousness, the family the power, the world her spirit, until all that had been Olianda was exhausted.

Olianda, having done what she must, died, and the era of a new Aunt began.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/650776.html. You can comment here or there.

Closing Up

This is to Rix_Scaedu‘s prompt to this bonus-round call to the [community profile] dailyprompt prompt “the end of an era.

The sign out front said “Closing! Everything Must Go!” It brought people in like nothing else ever did.

Vultures, Tama thought, but, like vultures, they served a purpose. They picked the last otherwise-useless things off the bones, for one, leaving a nice, tidy skeleton. Nature’s disposal system.

“Excuse me? Excuse me, miss, this Hunnel statue. It’s a fake, you know, right?”

“I sell curios and curiosities, trinkets and treasures.” It was late in the evening, and Tama’s spiel was sounding rough around the edges. “I do not verify anything.”

“It’s just that this price…”

“Everything in the store is seventy-five percent off. That little statue is…” She peered at the ancient tag. Miss or not, the light was low and the day was old. “Five-fifty.”

“But twenty-two dollars is too much for a fake Hunnel, miss.”

Tama let her accent thicken. “Is not twenty-two dollars. It is five-fifty.” She flapped a hand around the store. “Everything is seventy-five percent off. Five-fifty.”

The woman held up the statue woefully. “It’s the last thing left in the store, except the table it was sitting on. And twenty-two is too much.”

“Sell it for eleven on e-bay.” Tama had bargained and argued and fussed all week. Now, she was ready to be done. “Statue and the little table, ten seventy-five.”

The table, unlike the Hunnel, was a genuine antique. The woman salivated. “Nine.”


“That’s not how you’re supposed to do that!”


“Okay, okay, here.” The woman counted out eleven dollars. “There.” She paused, as if the act of buying had broken some spell on her. Maybe it had. “This store has been here as long as I can remember. What will you do, now that it’s gone?”

Tama looked around the empty store. Bones, now, picked clean. “I’ll move on.”

“It’s like it’s the end of an era.”

She closed the cash register on the last eleven dollars. “It is. And now I can start a new one.”

She locked the door behind her last customer, her last customer ever. The end of an era, indeed. With that outworld Hunnel (and the sapient pearwood table) safely out of her hands, she could move on, see the worlds. Do something with her life.

She thought, this time, she’d try to travel light.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/646061.html. You can comment here or there.

The First Step

To kelkyag‘s prompt to this [community profile] dailyprompt prompt.

“Come on, already.” Fionnlagh shed boots and socks, cuffed pants, and waded in to the swamp. “You said you wanted to see.”

Eoghan lingered on the path. “I wanted to see. I didn’t say I wanted to go into White Swamp.”

“There’s no other way to see it. And it’s not like you can go alone.” Fionnlagh was moving fast, despite water that was knee-deep in places and ankle-eating mud in others. Soon, the swamp would obscure vision between the two entirely.

“Fionnlagh! Come onnnn.”

“You can’t see the House of the Mist from the path. You can’t see anything worth seeing from the land path. Now come on. Take off your boots and wade in, or don’t bother. It’s no use if you don’t get your feet wet, and sodden boots are exhausting.”

“Off? My boots? What if…”

“Nobody will steal boots from the edge of the White Swamp. You know that.”

Eoghan swallowed. A quick glance along the edge of the path showed that to be true… although the moss had grown up around the oldest pairs, there were boots there, just barely still on the solid land, waiting for owners who had never returned.

And, sitting within boot-lace reach of a pair so old they had hobnails – and a tree growing out of the left boot – were Fionnlagh’s, almost-new, fair-bought this summer and the shiny not worn off yet.

“Are you coming? Or will you spend your whole life in the safe and the dry, never seeing aught at all?”

One, two, Eoghan’s boots joined the others, generations of others, on the short. “‘Twill be the death of us both.”

“It may be, and it may not be. But I’d rather this death than a dry life, wouldn’t you?”

“I’m coming, aren’t I?” The water was surprisingly warm on Eoghan’s bare feet, and surprisingly deep.

This entry was originally posted at http://aldersprig.dreamwidth.org/644680.html. You can comment here or there.