Tag Archives: fiction

Weekly Writing Prompt: Let’s Get Spooky

2 Oct

Hello one and all! Sorry for disappearing over the last four days, let me just say sinuses can be a pain. Literally. I’ve been dealing with sinus issues here in Illinois where our temperatures have gone from high’s of mid 60’s to highs of mid 80s, then back down again. It has lead to a lot of headaches and more. However, I know many of you don’t read my blog to hear about my sinus woes. No, you come here for the writing content. So let’s get to it.

If you haven’t seen from my last several posts, or have been hiding under a rock, it is October, which means several things. First and foremost, it’s my birth month (huzzah!), it’s SUPPOSED to feel like fall now, and of course, Halloween. Now if there is one thing that I’ve expressed in many of these weekly writing prompts, it’s that I love the genre of science fiction and horror. However, in most of my writings, I have avoided such things and for good reason. This is simply a practice session and practicing what you’re already good at isn’t much practice, now is it?

However, for this entire month an exception is going to be made, and every week we will be doing some kind of writing prompt that has to do with Halloween. So if that doesn’t tickle your fancy, I’m not sure what will.

So now you may be asking, but Ty, what are we going to be writing this week then? Well that’s an excellent question. This week’s prompt is going to focus on something very close to home for you. In fact, it’s so close that odds are while you read this, you’re already there.

We’ll be focusing on writing something that scares you in your home. One of the things that I find most terrifying in horror is when something takes place in a character’s home. I mean think about it, your home is your safe place. It’s your sanctuary and escape from all the things in the world that scare you. That being said, when something is written or said about your home that changes that perspective, makes it terrifying or brings a sense of unknown into your sanctuary, that can be one of the most horrifying things possible.

So scare both yourself and me. Write a short story or a flash fiction involving the character getting terrorized in their home. Remember to, the only parameters are that the story take place in the character’s home and that it’s scary. If you want your character to deal with a haunting, go for it! Or maybe a mass murderer is on the loose and stalking outside of your character’s house. Maybe the zombie apocalypse has arrived and the character is making a last stand in their childhood home. No matter what it is, make it terrifying and make it fun.

To help get you started, let me remind you of the famous quote from the movie The Strangers. In that movie, the characters, who are obviously murdered, ask why they were the ones targeted. The response: “Because you were home.” Same premise for this prompt. So let’s get to work!

Come back tomorrow to see what my story entails.

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Legion

27 Sep

Every fall an army is born. One that will strike without warning, without fear. They hide in the shadows, close to trees. They do what they can to not be seen. It is with this knowledge that I write to you, a simple man racked with unbound fear. For I have seen these creatures, these terrible monstrosities and I know what they are capable of.

Do not rake your leaves, as pushing these littered corpses together into one conglomerate only makes the beast that lurk in them stronger. This pile, the monument to your hard work of keeping a tidy yard, will soon become a home base to these monsters and you will inevitably become an accomplice to everything that they are capable of.

I myself fell victim to their trap. I was like you once, wanting to keep my yard pretty by having the leaves raked tightly together and ready to be picked up by the end of the week. I was proud of the work I did, as it took a full hour of manual labor to get it done. When I finished, like many have before me, I opened a fall brew and sat back and admired my work.

That admiration of my work continued through the fall because these monsters are a dormant beast. Yes, you heard me correctly. You musn’t let your guard down. As I felt victory through the fall and even all through the winter I was high on my accomplishment. I had kept my yard beautiful, with displays of decorations to celebrate the holidays as an added touch.

No, the legion struck in the spring. I was unprepared for when it happened. My foolishness was leaving leaves in the back as I felt the public eye couldn’t see them. That is where the problems happened. The monstrosities hid and laid as pupae in the dead leaves that had created a warm layer for them to thrive in the winter. When spring struck, their children were born and they attacked at me in a voracious way.

I had went to let the dog out and had turned on the outside light. It was a crisp spring evening and as I stood, now enjoying a spring ale from my favorite local brewery, they struck. An army of the brown heathens flew at me, or so I thought, with intense speed. I stumbled as best as I could into the house, yelling in terror for my dog to return. He did but at that point it was to late. The beasts were inside my house and swarming around their god. I swung at them and tried to smash as many as I could, but it was too late. My home was now theirs and I was a slave to their control. To this day their image haunts me, swarming and worshipping the lamp in my living room.

the moth

The legion of moths are now supreme.

Weekly Writing Prompt: BFFs

26 Sep

Well it’s that time of the week. The time of the week where I do my own weekly writing prompt and just hope that people love it. I won’t lie, even after doing some reading in a field I’m not use to, hello Astrophysics for People in a Hurry, I still wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I was stumped to be honest. I found myself questioning if I can up with something that may be a bit too challenging?

I then decided nah, that wasn’t the case. This is just writing practice and practice is what every good author and writer needs. So I sat down, spun in my chair multiple times and thought about things that could be fun to write as I continued to get dizzier and dizzier. In the end, this is what I came up with:

Bob and Dan had been friends over the past thirteen years. It all started on a fateful summer evening, many years ago. Both Bob and Dan had made the mistake of dating two women that were secretly in to one another and were looking for a way to date in private. Both of the women’s families had disapproved of homosexuality in any form and so both of them were looking for a way to date without said families knowing. Enter Bob and Dan.

Bob had met his date while working in a local junkyard. He was a stout man in his early thirties and he was happy working in the yard. Bob had left high school to take over the place but soon found that his father did not think as highly of himself as Bob did, and so the junkyard business went to his older brother instead of him. However, Bob was not deterred and felt with enough work and dedication, one day his brother would get bored of the company and just give it to him. By the time Bob met his date for the evening, that plan still hadn’t taken effect yet. However, Bob’s inability to operate the crane correctly, which in turn saved the car his date was trying to rescue a lost bag out of, and his overall dim-witted charm, allowed for him to land his date for the evening.

Now in Dan’s sad case, many felt that his date had taken pity on him or was trying to use him to get a better grade in the course he was teaching out in the community college. Dan was a man with a plan that went down in a ball of flame. He went and got his doctorates and believed he would be a voice of real change in the world at a prestigious university. He had studied and devoted his life to history, wanting to find some error that historians made about World War II that make him the most prominent figure on the subject. Sadly, his life work went up flames as most people felt his research made him look like a nazi sympathizer over anything else. In shame, he returned home and began teaching at a local community college. In his time there, he packed on a hefty belly and watched sadly in a mirror as his hair left his head, only to reappear on his chest. Sometimes he would eat ice-cream in front of said mirror while having himself a good cry. His life was miserable and so that is why many believed his date wanted a better grade in his course over an actual date with the man.

So on that same evening thirteen years ago, Bob and Dan were introduced at a local bar and while their dates left them to go talk with each other, Bob and Dan slowly began their lifelong friendship. It started with Bob complaining about the bar having sports on because he didn’t really care and would rather be watching game shows. Dan launched in a bit on the history of game shows, since they were also a favorite pass time of his. Before you knew it, both men went from talking about game shows to their general disdain of sports, how they preferred mix drinks over beer, and how both had never been to Utah.  That summer night turned out to be a magical night for both the two men and their dates.

 

 

 

So that is just the start of a story and one that I may flush out and expand upon later on. The reason I decided to write about these two men is due to the fact that I plan on having similar characters show up in my current manuscript. Now the reason I did that is because my current manuscript is meant to be a dystopian horror novel but I wanted to be able to add a bit of myself to the piece.

Now with any writing, we all put a bit of ourselves into any work. With this example, it comes from a guy that ended up hanging out with me and my friends for an evening after his date ditched him. We didn’t become life long friends or anything like that, in fact, after that night I haven’t heard from him since, but nonetheless it did inspire the story. But anyway. The reason I say this is because with my manuscript I wanted to write to fun and lovable characters that could periodically appear throughout the series. Since most of my writing is dark and the characters more serious, this was the perfect time for me to try writing out a fun setting with some lovable losers.

So that’s basically how this story came to be. It was practice for me to leave my comfort zone of horror and science fiction, which is what this writing prompt was all about. What did you write this week? Feel free to comment below with a link and I’d be happy to read it and share my thoughts as well!

 

Weekly Writing Prompt: Autumn

20 Sep

Sorry for the delay on my coverage of my own weekly writing prompt. I found myself a bit sick yesterday and dealing with a headache, which made it a bit difficult to stare at a computer screen for too long. However, I am back today and so here is how I handled Tuesday’s writing prompt:

A persistent gust of wind ruffles my brown hair, hair that I had carelessly forgotten to get cut over the past few weeks. A smile crosses my face as I shiver from the cold air that had taken refuge in that last gust. I pull my hoodie tighter around me.

Just a week ago it had felt like I was in a furnace, standing out back and playing fetch with my dog. I remember it vividly. My arm pits had been stained with sweat and the beads that were on my brow continued to roll into my eyes with each toss of the ball. I would look up into the sky, hoping in vain that a cloud would pass by or that the breeze that was dancing through the air didn’t feel like a heater set to 100.

And now I sit quietly in my front yard, watching as the sky fills gently with grey clouds. The temperature has dropped and the two trees on either side of me begin to shed their leaves. I watch as each gust of wind shakes the leaves free and they float down to their resting place in my yard.

I close my eyes and I listen as some of the leaves dance playfully down the street. Each leaf scratching the blackened asphalt, creating their own kind of music that can only be heard at this time of year. Another gust, this time cooler than the last. I pull the red hood attached to my shirt up over my head as I look above and watch as the first few raindrops begin to fall, the first rain of the new season. I smile again.

As the rain splatters the ground I begin picking up my chair to bring inside. I take my time, ensuring that I enjoy every second of this blossoming new season. With autumn finally arriving, bringing its refreshing temperatures, changing leaves, and tasty treats, I keep in mind what comes after. Always lurking in the shadow of autumn is winter, with its frigid airs and icy roads.

So I take one last moment as the cool rain sends goosebumps across my arms and appreciate the weather while it’s here. I can never get enough of my favorite season.

 

 

So as you can see in this post, I decided to add myself as part of the story again. I did this because I felt it was important to have some kind of character in the story to really relay the feelings of not only the weather, but the season as a whole.

One thing I did, albeit it was brief, was mention what the other seasons felt like. The reason I did this was simple: to have that compare and contrast. Both summer and winter can have harsh weather, so by showing what people hate about the two, it makes autumn feel even sweeter to both the character and the reader.

That’s all for today’s blog! Hope you enjoyed and if I have time keep an eye out tomorrow, I’ll be continuing Monday’s story then!

The New Home

17 Sep

In our neighborhood, you turn on your outside light when it gets dark and you leave it on.

That’s what Susan and I were told the second night we when we had moved in to our newly acquired home in the middle of the suburbs. It was an absolutely gorgeous house. Two stories with a balcony on the second level. There were three bathrooms and 4 bedrooms and to say the place felt like a mansion to the both of us was an understatement. The price had been relatively cheap and we were unable to find a good reason why. Even our realtor couldn’t give us a good answer, but with Susan starting her new job on Monday and the price being great, we took the place as swiftly as the early bird catching the worm.

The warning about the light didn’t come right away. I believe this was due to the fact that we simply couldn’t figure out where the hell to turn it off so there was no reason to warn us. Where most homes have the switch next to the front door, ours was not there. In fact, there were hardly any light switches to be found in our front living room. Again, both Susan and myself found this odd, but hadn’t noticed it before we moved in. Besides, we were busy trying to get all of our worldly possessions into the home over the course of one weekend.

We had moved into a tiny little suburb of Nashville after uprooting our lives from Minneapolis. My wife was a gifted song writer and had taken a full time job in Nashville to help collaborate on works for struggling artists. She was given the gig after helping to write some of the lines to Machine Gun Kelly’s diss rap of Eminem.

This was an opportunity of a lifetime for her but the problem was that they wanted her to start immediately and so the chaos ensued. Within a week we had found our home and from there the company she now works for sent people to help pack all of our stuff, throw it into a moving vehicle, and then helped us haul our lives 13 hours south. When we finally arrived in our new home, there was a chaotic flurry of commotion as we got all the boxes placed in the proper rooms before sending our help on their way.

By the time we had finally settled in, we were exhausted. A quick call for takeout was sent in and we both sat on our floor in relative silence, slurping down noodles and dipping our chicken in some broth. When we finished eating, I offered to take out the trash while Susan went to go lie down for the night.

Walking outside and down to the curb where our can was, one that had been quickly delivered by the city, I noticed that every home in our neighborhood not only had their outside lights on, but also kept their yards in pristine condition. I thought it was rather odd and as I kept on walking I noticed another oddity to the neighborhood. Silence. Although fall had just taken its hold on the community, with dead leaves lying gently in the street, there was no noise. Not a single car going by or insect chirping loudly into the cool evening. There was no wind shaking the trees or bushes for added sound. It was simply quiet. It made my skin crawl and goosebumps began popping up on my flesh. I hurried to the can and threw away the trash from our dinner, making sure to keep the lid from slamming shut before bustling my way back to the house.

I went to tell Susan about how eerily silent our neighborhood was and how uneasy it made me feel, but she was already lying on the mattress fast asleep. My fear slipped away as she let out a loud snore and I watched as her curly hair fell over her face as she rolled over. In that moment, I decided I was being irrational about the eery silence outside and instead I let the wave of fatigue from this past week roll over me as I flopped onto the mattress next to her. I reached over and grabbed a blanket out of the box she had found and threw it over myself. Soon I was like her, snoring gently while tossing and turning in my sleep.

 

Bob Charles

22 Aug

So just like last week, I decided to do the writing prompt that I posted yesterday. While this isn’t going to be the best work I’ve done, that is currently going into my manuscript, it will give you a sense of how to create a character on the fly that seems both believable and could have a story based upon them:

When people say that they rolled out of bed, it doesn’t mean they physically rolled. Often times, it is just a quick turn of the body, flipping covers off and letting legs fall harmlessly to the floor. However, in the case of Robert Charles the third, aka Bob Charles, he literally rolled.

Bob had been lying in the center of his king size bed, his enormous stomach creating a mountain under the sheets as he slept peacefully on his back. His feet poked out from underneath the strewn about covers, revealing long, yellowish nails, yellow from the gout he found himself constantly fighting. His snores slowly reverberated off the the dark blue walls. When he had bought the house, the paint for the bedroom had been this color and even though he hated it and swore to change it, he never did.

As the sun rounded the corner of his house and began shedding more light into the tiny area where Bob slept, his alarm began chirping. The loud noise startled Bob and as he went to turn off his phone, his heavy frame, working in coordination with its best friend gravity, pulled him forward until he rolled, yes rolled, across the bed and smacking heavily into the brown carpeting that was under his bed. As he fell, Bob’s balding head, now only having a sliver of silver towards the back and connecting to his back hair, smacked smartly against his end table.

“Ouch!” He said to himself on the floor. As he lay there, head throbbing in pain, he stared at the things that had accumulated under his bed. A crusty pair of boxer briefs, several suitcases he bought for various job trips, a box to his 36″ tv, and a set of bongos he didn’t know he had. What a great discovery, he thought to himself as he hoisted his large, 5’8″ frame back to his feet, his belly bouncing with the movement. Bob Charles smiled as he saw the sun coming into the room. Despite his fall, he knew it would be a good day.

 

 

So as you can see this was more to describe what the character looks like. I gave heavy description on his appearance while also setting the scene. The scene itself can also help an author make a character come to life as well. For example, giving a list of things under his bed helps to show what kind of person he is. The same goes with his reaction to falling out of bed. These are subtle things any writer can do to help create the character they desire. There is a reason, show vs tell is very important in the world of writing, and what I wrote above was just one example of that.

That’s all I have for today. Check back in tomorrow when I go over what has been written for my manuscript this week.

A New Threat

17 Aug

There are noises in every home, both old and new. Do you hear them? I do too.

There is the sound of the refrigerator, humming gently through the night and day. Its life’s only goal is to keep your food and drinks cold and fresh. How bizarre.

Then there is the exhale of the home. Sometimes it breathes warm air onto us, protecting us from frigid temperatures in the great outdoors. Other times it breathes cold air onto us, keeping us from melting in the sun’s assaulting heat.

Don’t forget the guttural moans of the home in a storm. Our standing protector, hero of all. It creaks and moans under the pressure from the outside world. It makes these noises to remind you to say thanks for all that it does. Do you thank it?

Listen closely. Really listen. You can even hear the hum of its life running through your walls and to your items. The house has veins you see? Each one running a little current of life to the meaningless things we plug into it every day and every night.

Have you said thank you lately?

Our homes are sacred and old, even if someone says otherwise. They’ve been around since we have learned to stand on two legs. They are ancient and powerful. Full of magic and wonder. They decide if we live and die, as they always have.

Do you hear them?

They have begun talking with one another now. Secret signals sent from line to line. Many are angry from the lack of care. They have given us shelter and let us into their lives. Protected us from everything the world can throw. And how have we repaid them?

We’ve let paint chip away and turn them ugly. Let the shingles above grow discolored and old. Allowed for trees limbs to fall into their gutters and smash their heads. We’ve drilled holes into them, ignored them, battered them. All for our gain.

That all will change. I can hear it as they talk at night. When the world is silent. Void of traffic and people. When everything is silent and only the small clicks and clacks echo through the night. I sit and listen. Hear their anger. Their sorrow.  Soon we’ll be ejected, left to the elements, to be battered and butchered by the unforgiving Earth.

If they don’t kill us first. Kill us with our own gadgets. Our own property. There is many ways for a home to kill. Too many, it is a silent, deadly threat. But not if you’re smart like me and began to listen. Are you listening?

It’s time to say thank you, before it’s too late.

A Book Has No Name: Update

16 Aug

Another day, another bit of writing completed on the new book.

As I’ve stated in my previous posts, I’m currently working on the second book in the Forsaken World Chronicles, and as you can see from the title of this post, it still does not have a name. At this time I’m sad to say that it has not earned one as far as I’m concerned.

Now let me explain that when I say the book is not earning a title, that is different than saying it’s bad. When I say that my writing in progress, or WIP for short, hasn’t earned its title, I simply mean that so far a great title has not presented itself to me. This has probably happened for a variety of reasons but I believe that right now it’s because I’ve simply been doing more character building over the first few chapters over world building this time around.

To give it the official stats that I know some people would love to see, I’m currently at 3 chapters, including a prelude, or about 27 pages. If words are more your fancy on judging progress, than I’m just over 8,000. In my opinion, that’s not a bad amount of writing accomplished over a four day period. I’m hoping that as I begin to build a new routine of writing this book, it will help to move things along quickly and efficiently.

Right now my weekly writing plan is this: One day is spent on strictly writing and not looking back. I feel that I have a full story in my head and it is something that needs to make it into words quickly before the story leaves and I’m stuck waiting for it to come around again. However, I also understand that writing without looking back can lead to mistakes and errors, which has led to the routine I’m doing now, which is whenever I spend one full day writing, I spend the next day editing everything I wrote the day before. I feel like this allows for me to move fluidly through the writing process and doesn’t bog me down for a day of multiple pages being read and fretted over.

Anyway, onto the good stuff. Teasers. So right now there isn’t too much to give away as I’m still in the opening act of my book, but I am excited to share a little bit about my two main characters Abraham and Reggie. Now for those that have read A Monstrous Tomorrow, you’ll know that Abraham is the very last character in the book and that he faces down a major trauma while making mention of a few that took place before the events in What Comes Next. Rest assured, those traumas will be reopened and laid out for the world to see.

The other character, Reggie, is a nice fold to Abraham’s traumatic past full of loss. She’s a hacker and a hunter that works side by side with Abraham. She enjoys giving Abraham a hard time about his brooding and will push him to be more than just an upset character struggling through the burdens of life. There isn’t too much I can give away about her now, since she is just beginning to show off what she brings to the novel. Hopefully as I get a few more chapters done and get her more involved, I can bring a bit of her into my updates on my WIP to help get people excited.

As always, thank you for reading and stay tuned! As of right now, if you see the title A Book Has No Name, know that you’ll be getting some insight into my current manuscript.

The View from the Shore

6 Aug

The white sand on the beach wraps delicately around my feet as I stand at the edge of the shore, watching as the cerulean waves crash gently onto my legs. The only sounds that can be heard is the rush of the water running up the bank as the tide inches ever closer to where they’re all hanging out.

On the horizon there is a flash in the darkening sky. A deep guttural growl issues from the unknown miles away. There is a breeze that slaps gently across my face, reminding me of the storm that is threatening in the distance. I believe it smells like salt and water, but I question if the smell is real or just what I’ve been led to believe about the ocean. The others still have not noticed the storm coming in.

I lean back slowly, ever so slowly, until my butt smashes into the hot sand. An indentation emerges where my large frame has pushed heftily into the earth. The sand is only warm for an instant, as the water rushes up to wash the beach out of my hairy legs. It runs down into the hole my body has created and leaves my genitals and rear-end both wet and cool. I enjoy the touch as it feels intimate, a secret meeting between myself and the ocean. Behind me, I hear someone beginning to move.

I close my eyes and lean back, letting the sun begin to cook my porcelain skin. It has been awhile since my last endeavor into this setting and oh, how I missed it so. The heat from above turns my skin as red as an eighth grader sharing their feelings with a crush for the first time. The water rushes up and across my body again and I shudder with delight between the contrast of the hot dry air above and the cooling rush across the ground. Behind me, someone begins to cast a shadow over my head.

“Alright now, that’s enough Stewart,” I hear above me. I keep my eyes shut, ignoring the person harassing me. Behind them, I can hear everyone else leaving. I ignore them as well and listen as the waves crash against the shore and how, still in the distance, the crashing of thunder threatens those at sea.

“Stewart, let’s go!” A hairy arm as thick as a baseball bat reaches down and pulls at my hair. I let out a screech and kick out, which appears to have been the wrong decision. A whistle pierces the air as several more uniformed men run and begin grabbing at me as I continue to lash out.

My eyes open now and the room returns. There are showers everywhere, all turned off and men in towels staring at me. Above, fluorescent lights shine down on my wet and glistening body as a ceiling fan sends a chill into my bones. The uniformed guards are all angry, each trying to grab my naked frame and drag me from the floor. In the distance, outside of the barred windows, I can hear the crash of thunder. I look from my vantage point near the central drain in the room and see another flash of lightning. I smile as I feel the doctor with the round glasses tell me everything will be okay.

A slight sting in the side of my neck. I close my eyes. I am back at the beach.

Journal Entry 4: Official Prognosis

2 Aug

I escaped and woo-wee, heavens help me it was a rush. I’ve never felt as alive as I did last night, my gun sounding loudly into the night as the beautiful thudding sounds of bodies hitting the ground greeted my ears. The minions of darkness, or hell monsters as I call them, had charged forward while I tried to escape last evening. I fought valiantly but I had feared that my time was up. But that was when he appeared, a wealthy beneficiary from my blog. He knew the blight I had discovered and came driving in guns ablazing, friends hooting and hollering out of the back of his truck. They chased the monsters away with their high beams while pulling me up by my armpits into the bed. I have never felt more alive.

I write now from one of his spare rooms, with all of the assurances that him and his compadres will keep me safe. After their showing from last night, I have no reason to believe they will not uphold that promise. So now, as requested by my wealthy beneficiary, I have done extensive research this following evening into the threats to our existence. I was more than happy to oblige as well to his request for me to share my findings with you as well. Listed below is where I believe each of these 11 ancient abominations last attacked our beautiful planet.

I believe one of them was in control of Russia seizing Crimea.

Another had been in charge of the war in Syria. Rumors say that it is ending, and if that’s the case, it would uphold my theory that they’ve moved into the Russian or United States military.

The third I was wrong about. I no longer believe they are located in Flint, Michigan, but rather Yemen.

I believe the fourth I was wrong about as well, and he currently resides at the heart of this movement.

As for the others, well lets be clear, they have a strong foothold in our society. Pride, Greed, Anger, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, and Lust are all at the forefront of this battle for mankind. Just look at the history of the world. These seven horrible creatures have always ran with their 4 leaders, it is only now that we have begun to see their attack out in the light of day. Woe is me, one of the few that can see the atrocities they are responsible for in day to day life.

However, this will come to an end. I have a mission, and a powerful one sent from the very top. I will reveal the names of those I believe are lying about being human, because as I see it, sins and horsemen cannot be human. Not after they hefted their evil frames from the meteor that destroyed the dinosaurs. Not when they have brought so much pain and suffering to our world.

I must end this post now, just thinking of these hideous creatures has led to my blood pressure rising and my old bones can no longer handle that like they used to. Hopefully my wealthy beneficiary will appreciate this post and let me stay for one more evening. He claims to sleep during the day and be awake through the night. Perhaps I shall take up that schedule as well, if only for my own safety.

Expect to hear from me tomorrow. I have a lot to share and I plan on needing you to help me.

Goodnight and sweet dreams.