Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j5w2ymx wrote

    Enar pulled his sweater tight to block the chill of the interrogation room with its drab, lifeless metal chairs and table. The thermostat read 107° F. They were trying to save on heating bills again and he wished they would move the room closer to the fiery inferno in the center of hell.

    The door buzzed and clicked open. In strode a young woman. Enar put on his reading glasses and inspected a file containing the her profile.

    "Marla Ensrude, 27, car accident...firefighter?" Enar looked over the top of his glasses at Marla.

    "Kind of ironic isn't it, a firefighter sent to hell," she said.

    "Not yet. Why do you think you should be here?" Enar read her file a little further. Stable relationship with a boyfriend, they adopt stray cats, she calls her mom four times a week.

    "Oh, but you've already said it," she said with a smile. Enar cocked his head and looked at her. Marla leaned over and pointed at the "Firefighter" on her profile.

    Sirens wailed outside the interrogation room, the screech forced Enar to cover his ears. The sirens hadn't gone off for over a thousand years. The door burst open and in stomped a man wearing a firefighters jacket and hat, carrying a fire hose. He tossed it to Marla.

    She pulled back the lever on the hose. Water exploded in a powerful jet and scoured Enar with cold water, extinguishing his eternal flame. "Surprise."


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j5lurao wrote

    Elgar knew the family would soon enter his bare, but warm office. The weeping from the visitation room dwindling down always meant they were almost done. Four hundred and seventy three. That was how many children Elgar brought back to life, just to hear the sobs of their parents when they inevitably passed away again. He finished the paperwork for the family and stared at nothing in particular. Lost in the thought of all the children over the years and how much it cost the families for an extra hour of life. This was his sixtieth year in this business and he was tired of burying babies while he lived in excess.

    "Thank you, sir," said the man in his doorway--the father of the three year old boy he'd resurrected. Three years old, here long enough for his parents to know him. The woman standing next to the man--the mother--could only give a half-hearted bow, unable to talk in her grief.

    "Of course, of course. Please sit. Here are our options for burial," Elgar said and slid a sheet of paper towards them detailing coffin options and pricing.

    "I-Is there anything, cheaper?" the man flipped the sheet of paper over looking for more options, only to find it blank.

    "Well, there is an option to donate the body to the state, he will be laid to rest eventually," Elgar said quietly. The couple looked at each other and embraced, crying. After a moment, the man nodded.

    "Can we choose the plot? We lost his sister last year and want them to be together," the man said. Elgar knew the answer was no, but his heart couldn't take it. He took a deep breath and sighed.

    "Follow me," he said. He stood up with great effort--recent resurrection hadn't been kind to his old body--and led the couple back into the visitation room. He checked his breast pocket to make sure it was right where he always kept it. The letter. He handed it to the man, "Please open this." As the man opened the letter, Elgar laid his hands on the boy again and smiled. He felt the life drain out of him. He felt the world fade. He felt at peace.

    Elgar collapsed on the ground, pale and lifeless. The young boy coughed, sat up, and cried. The mother grabbed her son tight and cried with him. The man looked at the letter, which read:

What a precious thing a life is. I hope your child lives as full and long of a life as I've lived.


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j5bwb6z wrote

    Dark clouds roiled in the distance, hurling tendrils of lightning to the ground. The cool wind blew them towards the small, strange, idyllic town where Lauren found herself stranded. She'd gotten lost after her phone died and now she'd run out of gas. Stupid, she thought, I always fuck up. Everywhere she looked was a pristine rambler-style house with a small, lush yard. They came in two types, with a white picket fence, and without. A suburban neighborhood miles away from anything urban, surrounded by corn fields. She walked the pothole free streets and noticed the women wore shirtwaist dresses, the men suits.

    "Is there a gas station somewhere near?" she asked a man in a gray suit and dress hat. He looked at her black denim skinny jeans with disdain.

    He scoffed and said, "No."

    Lauren noticed that everyone looked at her as she passed. Several times she tried to ask the same question about the gas station and each time she got the same simple answer, "No." As she approached the town center she met eyes with an old man. He had slicked back hair and sharp teeth.

    "Storm's coming," he said with a smile. Lauren quickened her pace to get away from the man. As she passed an alley, someone pulled her in, putting their hand over her mouth.

    "Shh, I'm going to help you," he said and slowly removed his hand from her mouth and turned towards him. The alley was dark, but she could make out his striking yellow eyes and his diminutive stature made smaller by hunching over.

    "What is this--" she started to say, but he cut her off by shoving a book in her hands. He disappeared back into the alley and Lauren thought she could make out scales on the man's back as he left.

    She inspected the book. It was leather bound and felt old, ancient even. The musty scent of the pages was almost overwhelming. As she flipped through the book, she noticed everything was handwritten in almost illegible script. It detailed how an ancient species that inhabited the abandoned mines to the south had cursed the town. Frozen in time since 1950, it didn't take kindly to outsiders.

    As she read, it was growing dark and the thunder clouds had started to roll into town. The thunder boomed and reverberated off the buildings near her. It started to rain. Thick, heavy sheets of rain. It was almost pitch black now. Lightning flashed, illuminating the town square long enough to see a circle of people, maybe a hundred in number, holding hands under the biblical rain. They began to chant in an ancient sounding tongue. In the middle was a hunched, scaly, grotesque facsimile of a man. For a long moment, there was no lightning and Lauren stood in the silent darkness of the alley, hoping they wouldn't spot her.

    Lightning flashed again and she saw it. The entire crowd was twenty feet closer to her and moving now. Lauren recoiled in panic, running deeper into the alley until she was in the light of a back entrance lamp. Hopefully she could at least see when they were upon her. She breathed and remembered there was an inscription at the back of the book in a foreign language. She flipped to the back of the book as the first figure reached the edge of the light. She read the inscription:


Akhea, oh h'las me whro

Akhea, oh me'ras me whro

Me'ras, akhea mneas.


    Lightning struck the tree in the center of town square and it exploded into burnt embers. The figures in front of her fell to their knees, unable to keep their balance, and gasped for air. They looked up at her with confused expressions.

    "Where are we? Who are you?"

    Lauren breathed a sigh of relief, I don't fuck everything up.


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j57pv2j wrote

    The floor of the refuse chamber vibrated, a strange violent vibration that made Wyatt feel sick to his stomach. The queen was dead. On the other side of the door, the mindless butcher wasps were feasting on his kin. If they breached this chamber, they were next to the brood chamber. He thought of the white larva, the future generation, in the other room, stacked floor to ceiling. and wondered how much promise would be ended today before they ever had a chance. A great sense of loss overcame him.

    He looked up and saw the ventilation shafts above him. A straight line to the outside. Wyatt could only laugh. His one mangled wing would prevent him from flying very far. It had prevented him from doing a lot of things. Often in moments of feeling like a burden to the hive he would overindulge in royal jelly as he had done this morning, leaving him feeling sluggish and slow.

    The wasps were hammering at the door now, attempting to break the hexagonal wax structure. Wyatt started stacking refuse into a pyramid, a stepping stool to get into the ventilation shaft. From there, he thought, he could claw his way out of the hive. He looked at his wing again. What would he do once outside? He needed to get the Keeper's attention. He couldn't fly, he was useless, a burden. Wyatt shook these thoughts away and continued his construction.

    Finally, he climbed the make-shift stairs into the ventilation shaft as the wax door gave and the barbarian horde spewed into the chamber. He scratched, clawed, and shimmied his way up the vent and could only imagine razor sharp mandibles behind him. Too much royal jelly made the corridor tight and the going slow. Wyatt vowed to get in shape if he ever made it out of this. The exit grew closer and closer until finally Wyatt was able to grab the edge and hoist himself into the sun and wind. He laid there panting for a moment. The wind. Wyatt stood up, looked around for the holy Keeper and found her kneeling near the bed of flowers in her sun hat. He turned his body to face her and felt the wind on his back. He sprinted and leapt high into the air, opening his wings like a glider. The wind caught his wings and it took all his strength to hold them open. He soared towards his last hope and fell directly in front of her.

    "Huh?" she looked at the motionless bee in front of her. It looked like it was...panting? "I better check the hive."


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j43tyew wrote

    Doctor Julian Shephard watched as one of the men who ambushed his groups wagon fought for air. His blood spilled onto the bright green grass under him. Julian's traveling companions were tied up, but they hadn't bothered to do the same to him due to the cross patch he wore indicating he was a doctor.

    The dead mans voice was hoarse and weak, "help me." He looked at his comrades. One man was trying to stop the bleeding, but to no avail. Two others were crouched near and looking intently, but the other four off to the side weren't interested in the soon-to-be dead man.

    Julian wondered why he should help this man. It was likely the bandits would throw them all into the river anyways. He thought for a moment of his oaths: every life is precious, do no harm.

    "He has a severed brachial artery. A tourniquet will need to be carefully applied," Julian said. All seven bandits looked at him. "Let me get my bag and I will do it." He hurried to the cart near the road and retrieved his doctors bag.

    He put the tourniquet around the mans arm, above the laceration. As he was cinching the tourniquet he had to remind himself that this was just another man. Maybe a husband, father, brother, or son. Julian didn't know his story.

    "He will still need a doctor, but this buys you a couple of hours." Julian said.

    One of the four bandits who didn't seem interested in the dying man said, "Alright boys, throw these poor souls into the river and lets move on."

    "Hold on a second, I'm not throwing that doctor into the river," another said and a fight broke out with three on one side, four on another. Swords clashed and knives were slashed wildly. In the end, the group defending the doctor were left alive, the other four dead.

    "Thank you," the injured man managed to whisper. The remaining bandits looked at their swords and their former comrades dead on the ground.

    "So pointless. You have the power over life and death, yet we are but brutes who only kill. For what? All we do is bring death into this world. Pointless." The seven bandits dropped their swords and started burying their former comrades. When they finished and left, the swords remained there in the grassy ditch.


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j25kx5a wrote

    James stared at the $100,000 in cash on the desk in front of him, and then back at the piece of art. The offer didn't make any sense. In his ten years as an art dealer he had never sold anything worth more than $5,000 until he married his wife and now he had twenty times that sitting on his desk for a large yellow square by an unknown artist. His father-in-law Tony had wanted $200,000 for it and this was the fourth time in as many months he's listed something for an outrageous price and it sold.

    "Tony dropped this off yesterday to sell, right?" said the buyer, an older man flanked by two younger men.

    "Yes that's right, he told me to hold it for you. I'm not sure I can sell this to you though, Tony said it was worth double that amount," James said to the man.

    "I'm good for it, I just need a couple more days," the man said, clearly nervous.

    "I'm sorry, Tony is very particular about these things sometimes, he said $200,000 and I know he wouldn't be happy with me if I sold it for half and a promise," James said. He wasn't sure why the man was getting so worked up over some art, "Listen, if you don't want the art for that price, I'm sure you could talk to Tony personally and he'd set you straight." The man stared at James for a moment, sizing him up.

    "Don't you threaten me you weasel," the man said.

    "I'm not threatening you, I can call Tony if you want. He's just down the street at Artie's restaurant," said James, picking up the phone.

    "Let's not do that. Mikey, " the man snapped, "go get the other bag," he said to one of his cohorts. He turned back to James and said, "You're getting a bit of a reputation kid, keep shaking people down and you'll find out." James wondered why Tony's friends always acted like he was forcing the art on them. He shrugged and started loading up the safe.


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j21jfbn wrote

    The interrogation room was bare bones: a steel table, two steel chairs, and a single incandescent light hanging from the ceiling. Detective Hugo Boone had brought in another snatcher and was sitting down across the table from him. They'd grown bolder since the near constant brown-outs plagued the city. This was the fourth one he'd brought in this week, they'd all flipped quick, these guys always do.

    "Name you gave the cops who picked you up is Nick, is that right? Which illegal power station is paying you?" asked Hugo.

    "Oh you got it all wrong, I don't work for an illegal station, nice try," said Nick, leaning back in his chair with a smirk on his face.

    "Is that right? Sex workers turn up dead in your apartment often?"

    "Just doing my job, just like you."

    "Yeah, well, my job is catching guys like you. You can give me the name of your boss now and get a nice plea deal, or you'll find yourself in a soul splitter helping power the city."

    "I already help power the city," said Nick with a laugh.

    "Where'd you get the soul splitter?" asked Hugo.

    Before Nick could respond, the door opened and two men entered in black suits and sunglasses.

    "Is this Nicholas Akers? You'll be releasing him into our custody," one of them said. He handed Hugo the release paperwork and their badges: Agents Miller and Dobson from the Ministry of Energy.

    As they walked him out, Nick turned and said with a smile, "Told you I don't work for an illegal power station."


Jce_WritingPrompts t1_j1fr7o0 wrote

    Down in the valley, on what is perhaps the last patch of real lush green grass in five hundred miles, was also the last neutral place: Ulysses' Daycare. Today children played tag, their laughter, shouts, and sometimes cries filled the bright sunny day. Ulysses thought it felt like the before time on days like this, at least in here. Normally he spent his day enjoying the sounds, manning the door, and delegating tasks to his assistants, but today he kept an ear towards two parents who waited to pick their kids up.

    "Melton," said Harrison, who led the vicious Nightcrawlers, the radiation had given them the ability to see in the dark.

    "Harrison," said the man across from him, Melton, who lead the industrious Curies, full of chemists that flooded the streets with recreational drugs, but also medicine.

    "I thought we had an agreement"

    "Olivia needed the night off, ok, chill, it's a one time thing," said Melton, his eyes bloodshot and suit even more torn than usual today. Ulysses thought maybe Melton had been testing his wares all night.

    "We had a fucking agreement, you get the day, I get the night. I dont give a fuck what sorta shit excuse you've got. I dont want your shitbag kid talking to my Ruella."

    "You take that back Harrison," said Melton, now inches from Harrison's face.

    "Shitbag. fucking. kid," Melton pulled his laser pistol from his belt, pointed it at Harrison's face, but just as he was about to pull the trigger he vaporized into ash.

    "Threat neutralized," said Ulysses' PRO-TEC 9 XL robot. It was an older model and bulky, but he really appreciated the full vaporizing feature, it made cleanup much easier.

    "Fourth one this week, Harrison," said Ulysses.

    "It's a lot easier than fighting out there," said Harrison, with a wink. Ulysses went back to reading his newspaper and Harrison turned to the children filing out of daycare, "Ruella! How was daycare today, princess?"