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.

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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.

 

 

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.

Magpies of Praulia- Short Story

Magpies of Praulia- Inspired again by my steadily growing and developing world.

The tavern was not as Ula had been told taverns would be. It was clean with white washed stone walls and well lit by simple metal chandeliers that held many candles. There was no foul stench and her shoes did not stick to the floor as she’d been warned would happen in such places. As she stared around the open and welcoming inn, a rosy faced woman walked to the edge of the wooden bar and smiled brightly.

“Looking for a room or meal, Miss?” She asked cheerily. Ula shut the door behind her, completely leaving the dark of night and entering the warmth.

“Both, if available.” Ula replied as she shrugged off her heavy but worn purple cloak which was only done up by a few wooden buttons at her neck.

“Of course.” The woman gestured to a stool at the bar. “What do you fancy?”

“Just something simple.” Ula was still suffering from the foreign foods of this land that she had mistakenly bought and eaten without realising their spiciness or strong flavours. In her home the food was a lot more homely and didn’t cause her to reach for a glass of water after the first mouthful.

“Coming right up.” The woman nodded and turned to talk through a small window in the wall to where Ula assumed the kitchen was. Ula let her body relax from the long days trek. It had been a flat road but a tough one with dust being easily kicked up and little shade from the beating sun. With a sigh she placed her small pack on the seat next to her. “What brings you here?” The inn keeper asked in a jolly tone.

“I’m just passing through.” Ula tried to hide her fatigue from her voice. “I’m on my way to Praulia.” This caused an almost sudden silence to pass over the room.

“Praulia?” The lady asked tensely. “Then you’ll be going to see the elves.” Ula nodded, not understanding their reaction. Normally when she spoke of going to see the elves of Praulia most people got a glazed look in their eye and went into wistful speak of their famed beauty and wealth. After all, tales of the Praulia elves had had time to travel far over the thousands of cycles they had been in the world. Their reputation consisted of such tales of great wisdom, intelligence and everyone marvelled after them.

“This is the town at their border?” Ula asked in panic, wondering suddenly if she had travelled the wrong way.

“Yes, yes…” The woman began wiping the top of the bar furiously with her rag. “What is it that takes you to them?”

“I have goods to sell.” Ula smiled. “I hear they pay greatly for items of unique and beautiful properties.” In her naivety of youth she pulled out a large ring, not realising all of the eyes that were trained on her to see what riches she carried. The inn lady stared at the exquisite piece made of gold metal swirling around three large rubies set in the middle.

“A very fine trinket.” The woman said finally clasping her hand over the piece to hide it from the prying eyes. “But you would be better to take it to a merchant in the market. I’m sure you would find a good price there.”

“You do not think the elves would find it of value?” Ula asked placing the ring back into her pocket.

The woman frowned. “I do. Very much so.” She then leaned in almost conspiratorially. “They take anything they think comes up to their standards: jewellery, paintings, instruments, all of it. Indeed, it is said that the very walls of their buildings are covered in tapestries of such glorious and rich silks that they can only be seen in the radiance of sunlight. The songs that play in their halls make grown men weep at their splendour.”

“I have heard tales like this.” Ula said to which the woman shook her head.

“The elves of Praulia do value beauty over all things. So much so it has consumed them over their long lives. Where once they were a wise race now they are… corrupt.” She took a deep breath to steel herself. Ula leaned closer. “It is said that only those of very plain looks dare trade with the elves for not only do they want beauty in their objects but people too.”

Ula recoiled. “They take people?”

“The ones of superior beauty, yes.” She replied sternly. “A shadow lingers over that place, their need of exquisite things has laid a foul air there. For a long time they have not been considered elves but creatures of need, magpies taking what they want to glitter their nest. It is dangerous to travel there.” Her heavy warning weighed down on Ula. “Fill up on good food, Miss.” She said suddenly breaking the tension that had fallen between them and placed a plate of bread and cheeses before her. “Rest and think over what I have said, hmm?” She smiled at her hopefully and then walked to the end of the bar to see to another waiting customer.

Ula’s hunger suddenly vanished, her thoughts overtaken with this new information on the elves. If it had just been her, maybe she would have risked it. She did not consider herself of any particular beauty with her long auburn hair and small brown eyes. Yet she did not want something to befall her. Her trip to sell the last of her family’s heirlooms was only to be able to feed her sisters and brother. Her fingers fiddled with her satchel. Should she turn back empty handed or risk these Magpies of Praulia?

Tropical Encounter- Descriptive Short

‘Tropical Encounter’ Descriptive short- Inspired by a writing prompt on Twitter

It was difficult to breathe in the heavy, damp atmosphere of the rainforest. Michael slumped to the ground and rested against the rough bark of an obviously very ancient tree. Its roots twisted and clawed into the leaf covered ground. He sipped a small drop of cooling water from his flask and tried to inhale a few breathes, only to find them clogging in his lungs.

A ‘jaunt’ through the tropical trees of his home had been a little more difficult than Michael had planned, though it was a much more beautiful setting to jog through than the concrete jungle of his old city neighbourhood. Michael narrowed his eyes as the large, thick glossy green leaf before him as it suddenly began to move. He held his breath and felt himself stiffen knowing the kinds of creatures that prowled this region. Onto the leaf’s flat surface crawled a small lizard and Michael laughed out his nerves. The creature stared at Michael as though assessing the threat level and then just blinked its large black eyes at him. Its scaly skin was a bright almost fluorescent shade of lime green blended in with citrus lemon. Above its round eyes was a blob of neon blue like it was wearing a dash of eye shadow.

Michael continued to watch the reptile as he tried to regain his breath. It cared little for his presence and continued to make dashing, flitting movements over the leaf. For such a long animal it could move very fast, its sucker like feet seeming to let it cling onto the very shiny surface of the leaf. With one last beady look to Michael it crawled off into the thicker foliage, its fruit coloured skin blending surprisingly well into its surroundings.

With a smile on his face, Michael pushed himself from the ground and continued his jog. It was a tropical encounter he realised he would have to get used to in his new home.

New Year, New Journal

New Year, New Journal- Short Story inspired by the New Year! Hope 2014 is a good one for everyone.

The journal was indeed beautiful. Sally turned the book around in her hands feeling the luxuriously soft brown leather. It was weighty and felt expensive. The journal had been Sally’s indulgent Christmas present to herself. Excitedly she pulled open the cover and stared at the cream paper of the first page.

A blank page would normally cause intense panic to some writers, but for some reason empty journal pages held only promise and hope for Sally. The paper in this journal was to be filled with her life stories some which would be full of drama and others which would be merely humorous anecdotes. At least, that was how Sally intended her life to be. Apparently owning a journal meant her life would now take on a rom-com kind of quality.

Sally picked up her fountain pen and held the end to her lips in thought. Her first line had to be intelligent, witty and in the style she meant to go on. She planned to fill the entire book after all. Though in the back of her mind she knew that by March the beautiful, leather bound journal would probably be nothing more than an unused ornament that decorated her bedside table; at that moment, on New Year’s day, her good intentions overwhelmed her and she had plans of writing everyday.

Sally looked to the blank page, nibbling the end of her pen and smiled. She knew exactly how to start. So, putting pen to paper she began to write, began her good intentioned, life changing journal.

‘Dear Diary…’