Prompted Piece- Always Read the Label

Inspired by a prompt over at Featured Fiction, a blog which has a variety of brilliant and really unique prompts. I would definitely recommend checking out if you fancy writing something different 🙂

It’s unedited again, and was just for a bit of quick fun in a genre I haven’t tried before 😀

 

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Prompts:

Sentence starter: We fed on blind adventure, devouring each course it laid.

Suggested genre: Action-Adventure// Subgenre: Spy-Fiction

Featured Words: Wheel, Camera, Picture

Suggested Theme: On the surface your new assignment is a walk in the park. The fun starts when you dig a little deeper, and discover a secret even you can’t put back in the box.

 

Always Read the Label

 

We fed on blind adventure, devouring each course it laid. Well, that was until the course laid out, opened its jaws and swallowed us whole.

My God, what had we uncovered…

***

Half an hour earlier.

“You know, I really hate guard dogs.” Max groaned, doubling over and resting his hands on his knees to catch his breath.

I chuckled. “Yeah, well, I don’t think they like you much either.” Swiping my thumb across the screen of my iPhone, I noted the clock speeding down its blazing green numbers quicker than I would have liked. “At least they didn’t sniff us out. Come on, we only got half an hour before Coltan gets back.”

Max nodded, straightened himself out and then we both dashed through the formal gardens, the once lush green foliage of the topiary hedges dyed an inky black by the midnight sky.

Coltan Hunter, tycoon and billionaire. Two traits I didn’t like in a man; both tended to turn anybody, male or female, into a greedy, manipulative jerk with no thought of others. But his personality wasn’t my problem, his monopoly over the vitamin pill market was.

Corporate espionage had failed when the company I was hired by couldn’t find anything on Coltan’s new wonder drug and their infiltrators had been discovered. So, in the end, they’d resorted to real espionage, hiring me and Max to break into Coltan’s manor house and take a peak in his most private office, where there had to be something on the pill everyone had suddenly gone crazy for.

Dressed in a rather cliché, black, form-fitting suit, I could dodge the laser alarms and pressure plates with ease. Coming to the towering white stonewall of the house, I leapt upwards, grabbing onto a drainpipe, which sprouted from the ground and all the way to the top floor and our goal.

Max grunted as he followed up behind me, shuffling his muscled bulk up the- surprisingly sturdy- pipe. “I really hate drain pipes.”

“You don’t like anything, Max,” I said, shuffling my feet up before attempting to the same with my hands, my knuckles whitening as I gripped on for all I was worth. “Did you even consider what would be involved in becoming a spy?”

“Yes,” Max said, and as I glanced over my shoulder I caught a flash of a grin.

I rolled my eyes. “Apart from the women and money?”

His grin fell.

The window was ajar when we reached it, no bars or apparent alarms to hinder us any further. Clambering inside, I took out my can of spray, the contents hissing out of it as I pressed the button on the top.

No lasers.

I frowned. Something didn’t feel right.

Max didn’t have the reservations I did, flicking a triumphant smile my way before heading further into the shadowed room. “Sometimes we get lucky, it’s like spinning a fortune wheel and seeing where it lands,” he said with a shrug, after I explained my worries over there being little security.

I sighed and stared about the room, trying to settle my building nerves. It was a spacious office, with bookshelf-lined walls, a carpet so plush my boots sank into it, and a giant mahogany desk sitting pride of place in the centre.

As Max shuffled through the papers splayed on the desk and whipped open drawers to investigate inside, I trailed around the room, still searching for hidden tripwires. Between the bookshelves, hung at regular intervals, were photos and diplomas; the photos were of a balding Coltan posing with a variety of high-up officials, and the diplomas detailed the many degrees he’d accumulated from various universities.

“Weren’t we supposed to find the ingredient list for Coltan’s new pill?” Max asked from behind me. I tore my eyes away from a picture, Coltan’s captured image leering out from the frame, and nodded at Max.

He was hunched over the desk, a manila folder in hand and a brow lining his chiselled face. He thinned his lips. “I think we just found something so much worse.”

“What?” I huffed and traipsed to his side, conscious of the bleeping in my pocket, my iPhone yelling at me that we had only minutes before Coltan returned from whatever charity function he’d been attending that night.

But the timer was forgotten as soon as I glanced down at the folder, the stark white papers blazing with red ink.

I couldn’t even take a gasp of shocked breath as I stared at it. “My god…” I breathed. “This isn’t a vitamin pill.” I flicked my gaze up to Max, his face drained of colour.

The white paper and red words were lost as a streaking pain pierced my side.

I hadn’t even heard the guards open the door, but I felt their bullets slice through my body. Slumping to the ground, I gritted my teeth to bear the searing pain like fire in my lungs. I stumbled to find the camera on my phone, desperate to send a photo of the file to someone, anyone!

But it was too late.

The last thing I remember was the rich carpet hugging me as I spluttered my final breath.

The man with the striking green eyes.

This story was inspired by this prompt- http://theheartofwriting.wordpress.com/2014/07/18/photo-prompt-47/– from the Heart of Writing blog (which I recommend you check out ’cause it’s brilliant).

**This was a short piece that I wrote quickly because I felt inspired, it hasn’t been edited or the like, so excuse any errors. Hope you enjoy!**

The man with the striking green eyes.

Midnight. There was something about that time which evoked a magical almost dreamy state. The narrow street was silent but not eerie, and Tom walked with a purposeful stride, not fearing the shadows that stabbed out from the buildings.

A twinkling mass of stars were sparkling in the indigo night sky above, though they were lost to the illumination of the strings of lights that zig-zagged from the roof of one building to another all the way down the alleyway, lighting Tom’s path in an off-white glow.

He shoved his hands into his pockets, ignoring the feel of the few coins he had remaining; it wouldn’t get him far when called a cab at the main street. Still, he grinned, the night had been perfect and the money spent had been more than worth it.

Snapped from his thoughts, Tom flinched when a group of young men his age stumbled out of a nearby red-painted, plaster-crumbling building. They hushed their slurred words, though their voices still permeated down the once comfortingly quiet alleyway, and the corners of their discarded t-shirts were shoved into the belts of their jeans.

The gaggle of men swayed as they tried to navigate down the narrow street, their ankles threatening to buckle on the uneven cobblestone. Tom lowered his gaze to the ground and marched on, hoping they would pass him by without notice.

When the group parted around him, like a stream breaking around a rock, Tom dropped his hunched shoulders and let out a breath.

That was until one of the men gripped his arm and spun him round. Tom’s stomach lurched, unsure what was about to happen, the man’s sharp green eyes piercing down into his own.

Then the stranger planted his lips onto Tom’s.

The kiss tasted of alcohol, the remnants of the drink burning against Tom’s mouth and staining his tongue with a bitter tang. Tom’s eyes widened and he shoved the man away with a force that sent the stranger toppling backwards, only just able to regain his balance when he flailed his arms about.

“Dude, I’m not like that!” Tom yelled and then snapped his lips shut as a light in the building close by blinked on behind the shutters.

The drunken man shrugged, his toned torso flexing as he did so. “Shame,” he said and shuffled back to join his merry band of men, who hadn’t even stopped to wait for their friend.

Curling his lip in a grimace and shaking off the incident, Tom walked on, bowing his head against the accusing glare of the lights. After spending the night surrounded by bikini-clad women, being pounced on by some shirtless, male stranger was not what Tom needed.

Yet, as he made it into the main street, he couldn’t help biting his lip, savouring the tingle left by the kiss of the man with the striking green eyes.

 

 

The Box- Featured Fiction Prompt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Featured Fiction prompted piece.

 

Prompts:

– ‘It didn’t begin that way, but then things rarely turn out as expected.

– Choker, Goblet, Wind

– ‘You find an antique box, transcribed with an ancient language – a language you shouldn’t understand and yet, somehow, you do’

– ‘Fantasy’

It was supposed to be fantasy, adventure, fun type thing. Which I failed at. It turned out a bit creepy. But! It’s still fantasy, so that counts right? 😀

‘The Box’

This was turning into a heist beyond all proportions. It didn’t begin that way, but then things rarely turn out as expected. A simple job, one item, that was all, but then Jax’s greed had kicked in and it had become just one more thing, ‘oh, no one’s going to miss that ruby encrusted choker’ and then, ‘a gold lined goblet won’t weigh me down much more’. Now Jax was dragging a sack of clinking loot behind him and he still hadn’t found the prize he was being paid to steal.

He was loathed to leave behind his stash, but he knew if he didn’t find what he’d come here to get, then his life would be forfeit. His fingers tightened around the top of the rough cotton sack, as though unwilling to let go, but eventually he pulled away and left the bag on the top of the staircase, beneath the open window he’d used as entry into the fine mansion.

With silent footsteps he clambered down the stairs and jumped over the banister, landing without a sound. His elvish agility and speed were part of the reasons he’d been hired in the first place. Blowing his raven black hair out of his eyes, he scanned the foyer but could see little in the dim light. He kept to the edges, running his slim fingers over the table tops and shelves with absent-minded intent. It was only a few more steps before he realised he’d found what he was looking for.

Twisting back he squinted through the deep shadows and saw the faint outline of a glass case. Inside was a box. Jax frowned and pursed his lips, he hadn’t seen the box as much as felt it, a low hum vibrating from it and tickling over his skin. Whatever it was, it definitely had magic.

With shaking fingers he touched the glass case and let out a drawn breath when no one came running. No magical barriers had been put up around it, at least that much was in his favour. Lifting the case off he placed it to one side and took a step closer to the box. It was small, not much bigger than the palm of his hand, but when he reached out to take it a sharp sting ran down his arm from his fingertips and he snatched his hand back and cradled it to his chest.

The reaction only made Jax more determined. He reached forwards and grabbed the box, the sides pressing into his fingers with an icy cold that made it seem as though it should have been made out of ice not wood. But there was no pain this time, so he uncurled his fingers and took a closer look at what he’d been sent to retrieve.

It was made of ash wood, light caramel in colour and engraved all over in some kind of symbols. Vibrations still emanated from it, a low thrum of energy pulsing out and making him shudder as it passed over his entire body. Feeling unnerved by the box, Jax was about to shove it in his jacket pocket when his eyes flitted over the carved symbols again and realised… he could read them.

Jerking the box closer to his strained eyes, his mind whirled as the symbols began to twist and form words before his eyes. He ran his thumb over the lid and held his breath until the symbols stopped and only clear words remained. The thrumming energy became stronger, each wave of magic pressing against his temples and crushing his lungs beneath the weight of it. Then he opened his mouth and did the one thing he knew he shouldn’t have.

He read the words.

Kealah mon serai as fermon,” he whispered in breathless voice.

An icy wind snapped against him and Jax was pulled out of his thoughts. On the sudden wind grew small flakes of snow, until the whole foyer was white with a blizzard that had sprung from nowhere. The snow stuck to his body and clothing, each icy flake bitingly cold and he struggled against the torrent that had whipped up around him.

As the wind grew stronger and the snow covered his lean frame, the box toppled from his hand and fell to the round with a clatter, not moved by the gusts that made Jax stumble and fall to his knees. He looked like a snow sculpture, the cold sapping his energy and he took a deep breath against the blasts of wind.

When the owner of the house arrived home after a boring day of meeting with Royals, he paused to find his father’s prized possession in the middle of his foyer. The tall man bent down and picked it up, turning it over in his hands. It was the same as always.

He shrugged and moved over to the case where it normally sat. He sighed mournfully as he put the glass lid back over the odd looking, little box. It was the only thing left of his father, the man having disappeared without word or evidence of where he’d gone some years back. Now, the box remained a memory for all to see, a remembrance of the father and husband they still mourned for. The owner of the mansion turned away, frowning to keep back the tears. The confused thoughts still haunted him: Why had there only been that object left?

It was only a box, after all.

 

Featured Fiction Prompted Piece

 

Another prompted piece for Featured Fiction. It was really fun to write something different, not sure how well I did on it though!

The prompts I used were:

Sentence starter: ‘It would not do any good to call for help’

Genre: Horror

Theme: Someone is following you but no one believes you. You decide to take matters into your own hands.

Poetic form: Cascade

Now, I am not a poet… At all! But I tried to include this in this piece, to give myself a go at something different.

Though if you do like poetry, I recommend checking out Callum McLaughlin, who has an incredible talent.

“I’m sorry, miss.” The police officer let out a badly disguised sigh of frustration. “But there is just nothing to support your claims.”

“I’m being followed,” I screamed, my frustration straining the tone of my voice and showing through the heavy, dark bags under my eyes and wild mess of hair that had not been brushed in days. “I hear them, I see them. You have to help me!”

The policeman raised an eyebrow. “Look, miss, maybe if you just calm-”

“Calm?” I let out a strangled laugh, all eyes in the room turning to me and making me realise I probably did actually look crazy. “How can I be calm with them always there?” This question I whispered, leaning over the wide desk closer to him. His tightened lips and tenseness made it obvious he thought I might turn violent.

It would not do any good to call for help, when no one would believe me anyway. This much was apparent from the glinting gazes of the men in the precinct; they found my torment amusing, not concerning.

“Miss, come back!” the policeman yelled as I shoved open the door and walked outside. A few passing people eyed me warily, tugged their purses closer to themselves and scurried past.

The night air was cooling on my heated skin and I closed my eyes to take in a clearing breath.

That’s when I heard them again.

“No one can see,

No one will believe,

You can’t be freed,”

My eyes flashed open and I thought my heart had stopped. It wasn’t voices in my head. It wasn’t! It was real, I could hear them. The flashing, tiny shadows that flitted about in the corner of my vision, never truly there but definitely real.

My feet sprinted down the pavement before my mind could catch up. I passed the open bars at speed, the calm people within sipping their expensive wine and not aware of how grateful they should be for their sanity.

It didn’t matter how fast I ran, I could still hear them. Their taunting, echoing little voices scratching at my mind.

“No one can see,

No one will believe,

No one can see,”

“Leave me alone!” Again I screamed, and dropped to my knees, the concrete path scratching against my skin. I didn’t care about the pain, I only cared about being alone, being free of them and their ever-watching eyes; like gems glinting in the dark at me, their faces hidden in shadow.

“You can’t be freed,

Forever ours,

No one will believe,”

I sobbed loudly, having the whole pavement to myself as people crossed the road to avoid my hunched, crying figure. It hadn’t always been like this, I had been sane only a week ago. Then that damn book had come into the antique store. How was I to know cracking open the pages would also crack my mind?

A dark, tiny figure flashed past my vision, but I was too exhausted to care any longer. I lay down on the path, breathing heavily and pulling my knees to my chest. Their pin-like fingers knotted through my hair as I could feel them surround me. Squeezing my eyes shut I tried to ignore the feeling of the coldness they brought with them.

Their darkness consumed me.

I was lost.

“You’ll be ours,

Forever bound,

You can’t be freed.”

Featured Fiction Prompt

This piece is a short piece inspired by the prompts at Featured Fiction.

Hope you enjoy it 🙂

Consequence

I’d signed up for this, hadn’t I?

It was my choice after all, I mean, I only have myself to blame if I was starting to regret my decision.

There was a soothing light as I blinked my eyes open, my vision quickly clearing to take in the vivid hues of lime greens, citrus yellows, and hot pinks. The ground beneath me was spongy and damp, a carpet of moss spreading out to meet the circular walls that surrounded me. I slowly managed to haul myself from the ground and stand, rather uneasily.

Even though the curved walls were bare and grey, the colour and life that illuminated the room made everything feel spectacular. A smooth boulder sat in the centre of the room, wild flowers and grass creeping up the edges and softening the blankness of its surface. I flinched as a pure white butterfly glided across my vision, its feather-light wings sparkling in the light that filtered down from above. At first, I thought there must have been no roof to this place, yet looking upwards I could see that although there was a solid ceiling, from it hung a large chandelier made of what looked like crystal, beams of rainbow tinted light streaming down from within it. It was bright and welcome as there were no windows to let in light otherwise.

Life, colour and beauty dominated this small, circular room, but I could not help but shiver. I knew the real reason behind this place and all the brightness in the world could not mask its vicious intent.

The small wooden door had been left ajar right before me. I didn’t move to it, I only stared. Shadow seeped from behind that door, threatening to tug me into it. I knew what awaited in that darkness and the bright beauty of this place would never be enough to make me forget. I flinched as the door opened, no creaking or noise. Just a silent, dark opening, like the vacuum of a black hole.

There was no turning back now. This had been my choice. I had to live with the consequence.

Engagement Party- Emotion Practice

Engagement Party- Inspired by my need to practice emotional scenes and dialogue.

“May I dance with the almost-bride?” Tony asked Stephanie. She smiled politely, scooped up the rich fabric of her dress and took to the floor. They looked very elegant together, the tall dark haired man swirling his best friend’s slim, auburn haired fiancée around the room.

“Would you like to?” Eve looked in surprise to Gabrielle as he offered her his hand. It took a few moments to realise he really was asking her to dance. Her heart leapt at the chance. She placed her hand lightly in his and he wrapped his fingers around them. His hand rested politely on her waist, his other raising their hands up a little to the side. They swayed gently, formally. Eve could barely breathe, she wanted this moment to last forever, just this small touch together would have been enough to last a lifetime.

“You are very lucky.” Eve voiced quietly as she glanced to Stephanie. He heard easily and simply nodded. The train of Eve’s long, blue satin dress followed gracefully behind her feeling like a glamorous shadow.

“I feel lucky.” He said after a while avoiding eye contact, his mouth tightened into a straight line. Eve glanced over his focused expression before looking away. He gave her nothing, no hint of emotion, not even a smile. The dance she had known was just a polite gesture, but she hoped with all her being that it had been for another reason. Was it truly over? How could it not be? Eve wanted to laugh at herself for thinking there was anything left in him.

The fast tempo of the music came to an end and she felt Gabrielle pull away slightly. They both glanced to Tony and Stephanie as the slow song began, they were still dancing. Eve looked up to Gabrielle who was frowning before once again taking Eve in a formal hold.

The slow song had inspired couples to embrace whilst moving. It made Eve and Gabrielle stand out like a sore thumb as they danced far apart. She bit her lip trying to hold back a sudden barrage of tears that threatened to spill. Her heart was quietly and painfully being twisted with every beat of the song and every distant step they took. But the pain stopped suddenly as Gabrielle’s arm slipped further around her waist pulling her close. Their body’s pressed against each other and she couldn’t tell if the fast heartbeat belonged to him or her.

Eve was wide eyed and holding her breath as Gabrielle’s cheek rested against the hair at the side of her face.

Their dancing had slowed to a very slow sway. “I will always love you.” Gabrielle whispered, barely audible as though it pained him to speak it. Eve caught a ragged sob in her throat. The first tear spilled down her cheek, leaving a cool trail over her hot skin. His fingers spread over her back bringing her even closer against him. She responded by grasping his shirt tightly not sure she could ever let go.

“Don’t marry her.” Eve said without realising. She could feel his body shake slightly with a hollow laugh.

“I have to.” He replied his face pushing more into her hair, his breath on her neck making her shiver.

“Why?”

“For you.” He paused. “I am not good for you. You deserve more.” The music came to an end and couples separated to clap at the orchestra. Eve and Gabrielle stayed together, still swaying to their own rhythm.

“Gabrielle?” Stephanie’s unwelcome, nasal toned voice made Gabrielle pull away. Eve couldn’t breathe having him pull away from her. She stared at him in disbelief, unsure of his words.

“Yes, my love?” He asked to his soon-to-be bride and Eve’s knees almost buckled at his sweet tone.

“Excuse me.” She blurted and took off at hurry from the people flooded room.

The Nyriads- Short Story

The Nyriads- Inspired by my developing fantasy world. I tried a different writing style on this piece, hoping it sounded more like an article from a fantasy ‘Guide to the Region’ kind of book. I hope it worked!

There is a song the folk of Asphoden sing; it has not changed over many, many centuries. All know its tune from the youngest child to the most elderly of men. The tune, though melodic, is a warning. It speaks of the Mirror Lake that lies not two miles from their border. For in that pool of crystal water lives a race of creatures of great power and reverence.

Nyriads they are called.

When the sun shines down on the lake the waters glitter like liquid diamonds. The shimmering reflection is a halo of light that beams constantly from the water. That is when you see them, the Nyriads. Magnificent in their splendour and kind in their hearts they are truly an evolution above that of mortal man. Crowns of gold, copper and silver hair frame their long, slender faces. Wide, innocent eyes glimmer back to greet you warmly.

In the light of day the Nyriads are people of truth, joy and justice. In tune with the pool in which they live, they are bound to its changing waters.

But when the sun dims and night swallows the land, the Nyriads are changed. The waters, so clear in the sun, become black as ebony. And so, as the waters shadow, as do these normally peaceful creatures. Their hair of autumn shades stain to black. The eyes so full of wonder will narrow and sharpen. Long, elegant limbs twist and grow blackened claws. This is where the Mirror Lake gains its name; the Nyriads bound to the different reflections of the water in light and shadow.

Few dare to pass the lake at night, even fewer would take peaceful refuge at its edge. For although the Nyriads would not touch those pure of heart, who can honestly say there is no small taint of darkness buried within them? Those who do not prove wholly true are not even given the opportunity to scream before being dragged down into the murky, judging depths of the lake.

So, though the day provides many with a memorable glimpse of this spectacular race, you would do well to heed the warnings of the song. Leave the lake to undisturbed shadow when the moon rises or pray the Nyriads judge you worthy.