Posted Jun 11 2012 - 06:37 AM
Alright, I lied about the stuff. Whatcha gonna do about it?Theme: TreasureWord Count: 563Diary of a Treasure Hunter25th JulyWhoever came up with this crackpot scheme clearly had a screw loose. Y'know, I'd be surprised if they had a single screw that hadn't worked itself loose and fallen head first into the ocean. Who's idea was this, anyway?Ah, wait. That'd be me. Five hours of digging in the hot sun on a tiny island direct in the middle o' nowhere is more than enough to make anyone realise just how much they hate digging. I mean, 's all very well if there's something under there, but you ever tried digging through solid earth in this weather? You'd think the soil'd be all nice'n dusty. Think the spade'd slip right in. As if I'd ever be so lucky.You probably wanna know why I'm here, ay? Wanna know why I'm suddenly in the middle of nowhere and not resting in a nice bed in some tavern with a frothing mug of ale? Bah! I doubt anyone's reading this anyhow. Perhaps I'll wanna look back some day and remind myself not to be such a brainless fool in my old age.This brilliant scheme all began a couple of days ago in an aforementioned tavern. Few drinks with the lads, some good ol' banter, then of course the talk turned to treasure. Always seems ta do that. Anyhow, this old dude said he knew of some buried treasure far out to sea on an isle no man had ever returned from. And of course, in my drunken stupified state, I took this as a personal challenge. Ain't no treasure as can elude me, I says. Tales of doom and terror don't frighten me, I says. So of course, I gets me the map and set sail at first light. Now that's one stupid idea if ever I knew one.So I arrived this morning, found me the spot where the treasure's meant to be and started digging. And digging. And more digging! I weren't even told what's down there. Could be a bucket a' rusty nails f'all I know. Anyhow, five hours and one massive hole later and I ain't found nothing. This is not best pleasing to me, but it ain't like I'm gonna return empty handed now, is it? Guess I'll start again tomorrow. In the meantime, I best get myself some food and shelter.26th JulyWell that may just rank as the worst night's sleep I've ever had. Coul'na breathe for hearing some strange moaning or howling. Probably just the wind I says, but it sure is strange. Anyhow, decided to have another crack at the digging today. Blasted hole keeps getting larger and I still found nothing! When I get back I'm having me a good long talk with that old man. Ain't no way there's treasure here. Just some godforsaken spit o' land right out where no one wants ta travel, 'cause there ain't nothing here!Ain't wasting no more time digging, or writing for that matter! Curse the treasure and curse this island! I'll be heading back now for somewhere I can at least get some company. Sitting about all on me lonesome ain't exactly my style. 'no man's ever returned.' Pah! Ain't nothing here! Certainly ain't nothing as gonna stop me leaving, that's for sure.27th July....28th July....29th July....Theme: The GameWord Count: 597GunfightKarl ducked behind cover as another flash narrowly missed his shoulder. He briefly poked his head over the crates to judge distance, location, anything. All he saw was a thick veil of mist obscuring already darkened hallways. He narrowed his eyes, trying to discern anything amidst the gloom. A vague shadow, an outline, anything would do.He ducked once more as another flash, accompanied by the unmistakable sound of a shot, buzzed overhead. It had been close, that one, but it was also exactly what he needed. That one shot had given his enemy's position away. He was crouched to the right in the corner of a door, doubtless focused with great intent upon the crates Karl crouched behind.Wiping the sweat from his brow, Karl moved. He leapt from his position and ran, full pelt, to an opening on his left. Shots rained across the room, but luckily for Karl they all missed. He stumbled through the doorway, skidding to a stop by an open window. From it, he could clearly see his enemy's position. He wasted no time in lifting his weapon and firing three shots at his crouched nemesis.Haste drew his aim, and he missed by wide margins. Cursing, he ducked below the window. He bit his lip anxiously. This was proving to be much harder than he had expected. He braved a quick look through the window again. Before he could make out even the vaguest of details he ducked again, narrowly avoiding being shot in the head. He had to move, but whichever way he went he was sure to be seen. He cursed again silently as he tried to come up with a plan.* * * * *Alex was enjoying himself. Having avoided being shot thanks to his enemy's incompetence, he definitely had the upper hand. He had been winning from the start, but this was just too good. He peered round the corner of the door hoping to see movement, something he could shoot, but his target was no more visible than before.He shifted impatiently, growing bored as the seconds ticked by. Waiting around was no fun at all. And since it was no fun, that was precisely what he would not do. Besides, the advantage was his. He could afford a few risks.He peered round the corner again. Seeing nothing, he ducked out of the room and snapped to the wall across from him. Quietly, carefully, he inched along to the left. He even held his breath, lest his enemy hear even that. As he reached the end, he peered cautiously round the door Karl had run through minutes before. Seeing nothing he moved quickly, bursting into the room, gun pointed at the window.Karl was gone. Incredulously, he moved towards the window, searching round it and through it for any sign of where he had gone. Worried, he began turning, but felt something press against his back.“Got you.”Karl stood behind him, gun pressed against his back with a smile on his face. His finger danced along the trigger, testing it, pushing it slowly, slowly in-*click*Light flared up around them, a second before Karl could fire. The game was over.“Five more points, that's all I needed! Five more points!” Said Karl angrily, slamming his laser gun against the wall.“It's always 'five more points' with you. You'll never beat me, y'know,” Alex chided, grinning from ear to ear.“I'll get you one of these days,” Karl grumbled. “Same time next week?”“You're on!”Theme: Amor Omnia Vincit (Love Conquers All)Word Count: 600EvictionLily stood in the doorway, tears rolling down her cheeks. “I don't want to go,” she sobbed.“We've been through this and we can't- we just can't keep going like this,” said her mother. The words came no more easily than they had last time, but the repetition helped build conviction. she almost believed them now. Almost.“But I want to stay! I hate it there! Dad doesn't care! He's useless and he's so angry and- oh mum, why can't I stay?” She wailed, her breathing fractured by uncontrollable sobs.“It's- it's better this way,” her mother said, staring at the floor. “You know we don't get on. We're always shouting and screaming and we never agree and- you're always saying you wanted to leave. I thought you'd be happy.”“Happy? You're my mum! You're supposed to care for me and love me, not throw me out! Why would I be happy?” Lily screamed. She ran past her mother into the front room.“Lily! What are you-”“Look mum! Don't you remember when we watched that ridiculous film together? We laughed for days and spent ages putting speech from it in everything else we watched! Or all those times we just sat and watched TV together! Were we screaming and shouting then? Or-”“Lily-”She ran into the next room. “Remember when we tried to play the piano together? We thought we could play Beethoven or Mozart or something and it was the worst thing we'd ever heard! Or-”“Lily!”Lily ran into the kitchen. “Remember when we tried to make that meal for Grandma and I chopped everything too big then still burnt it all? It went wrong, but it was fun right? We can make it work! You can't just throw me out 'cause you don't think we get on anymore! Mum, please!”“Lily!” Shouted her mum. “You have to go. This is better for both of us, ok? If you're with your dad then you can have a fresh start. We can still see each other, but we can't stay under the same roof. All the arrangements-”“Arrangements!” Lily screamed. “Are 'arrangements' more important than your own daughter? You find it difficult so you're just giving up? Is that how little I mean to you?”“You're my daughter, Lily! Of course I care, but we can't keep going like this. You know we can't. We've tried-”“No we haven't!” Lily shouted. “You've shouted and I've shouted but we haven't tried anything! And now you won't try! Well maybe I don't want you as my mother! Maybe I don't care about you, since you care so little about me!”“Lily, wait!” Her mother grabbed her arm.“What? What do you want? I'm leaving, aren't I? I thought that's what you want!” Lily shrieked, trying to tear herself from her mother's grip.“I do love you, of course I do. And, maybe you're right. We can try something. We can talk, we can get help. You're right. You shouldn't leave like this.” Both of them were crying now, and for the first time in days they were able to look each other in the eye.“You mean it?” Lily sniffed. “I can really stay?”“Yes, I mean it.”Lily's face broke into a huge smile, a line of joy spreading from cheek to cheek, and she hugged her mother for all she was worth. “I love you mum.”“I love you too.”Theme: UltimatumWord Count: 597This One ThingSimon couldn't believe what he was hearing. “What are you getting me into?” “It's simple. Just go to this address at this time. Tell 'em you know me, they'll let you in. From there it's easy.” Dan explained.“Look, you're a good friend and you've helped me out loads,” said Simon nervously. “I mean, I'd probably be on the street if it weren't for you, but just turn up at some random address and then, what? If you're trying to drag me into some- some illegal underground, thing, there's no way I'm doing it. No way.”“Really Simon,” Dan smiled. “I wouldn't go and do that now, would I? Just go to this address, tomorrow, ten pm. Everything will be just fine.”Simon still wasn't happy. “You're insane. I ain't gonna do this just cos you tell me to. Tell me what this is about!”Dan sighed. He casually drew out a cigarette and lit it, inhaling deeply. “I didn't wanna do this, but seems you've left me no choice. That money I send you? It stops, unless you do this one thing. No more help, no more support, nothing. Understand?”“But- look, I can't just-”“Yes. You can.” Dan turned, taking his hat from the table as he went. “Now I'll leave you to think about it. But if you want anything from me, you'll do it. That's the deal.”Simon sank into a chair. Dan was right. He couldn't manage without him. Simon buried his face in his hands, dreading what the next day would bring.* * * * *The address was a surprisingly large house in a well built-up area of town. Simon cautiously approached the door, shaking beneath his coat. He just wanted to turn and run. To be anywhere else but here.He knocked. A few seconds later, the door opened an inch. A sliver of a face appeared in the crack, a narrowed eye staring out at him.“Yes?”“I- uh, Dan sent me,” Simon stammered, sweating in the cold air.The voice grunted and the door closed. A few seconds passed, and it opened again. A figure in dark jeans and a hood ushered him in.The door shut loudly behind him. The hooded figure ushered him towards a room on his left. Simon moved towards it. He grasped clumsily at the handle, his fingers scraping round the smooth edges. Finally he got a decent grip. Trembling, he turned the handle. He pushed the door open inch by inch, not knowing what he would see on the other side.Behind the door was...darkness. No lights illuminated the room. He took a small step forward, then another.Light flooded his retinas. A sudden noise, dozens of voices, cascaded over his eardrums. He stumbled backwards, but his way was blocked by the hooded man. He stared up, pale-faced, into the man's eyes.“Dan?” He gasped.Dan grabbed him and spun him around. Simon's eyes widened in surprise.“It's not! You've got to be kidding!” Simon gaped.Dan burst into laughter. “Oh man, you have no idea how fun that little routine was! Been planning it for ages! You were hilarious! You actually thought I was trying to press you into some drug gang or something!”“But- it's not for three days!”“Well, yeah,” Dan shrugged. “Wouldn't be much of a surprise on the actual day. Come on everyone! Don't think Simon heard us last time. One, two, three-”“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!”Theme: Character Story – Male, Doctor, aged 37, likes to wear a hat, has a tattoo of a wolf wearing a crownWord Count: 600College FriendsSo I was just sitting there, minding my own business as usual, when I see Jake enter the bar. I pull the brim of my hat lower and turn away, praying he doesn't see me. Well, when was the last time that worked?“Hey, Wolf! Long time no see! How ya been?” Jake said in that grating, high-pitched tone he always uses.“You saw me last week,” I growled. “And don't call me that.”“You gotta crazy tattoo of a wolf on your chest. Whadda you expect me to call you? Doc? Ooh, I know. King!” Jake smiled. I'm sure he would have ruffled my hair if he could.“Edward. Call me Edward. It's my name,” I replied, exasperated.“Sure, but thought you liked being called King,” Jake sneered.“That was twenty years ago!” I shouted. People around us had started to stare, so I lowered my voice. “I was seventeen. I grew out of it. Now will you kindly leave me in peace?”Jake laughed. “So you can mope around by yourself? No way! You need to meet people, have fun, and drink something other than- what is that, orange juice? C'mon. Let's get you a real drink. And while we're at it, I know this couple of reeaally nice girls. Wouldn't wanna pass that up, would ya?”“You know I'm married!” Jake never changed. He'd been a good laugh back at college. He'd known all the best places to hang out, all the best people (or so it seemed at the time). But while the rest of us had moved on, he was still stuck in his ways.Jake shrugged. “You were always boring. Took me ages to convince you to get that tattoo – with a crown and everything! How cool's that? Think how much duller your life'd be without it!”I glared at him. “Yeah. I could go to the swimming pool without everyone staring at me. How terrible my life would be. How I would hate it!”“Oh come on. Bet you have some interesting stories to tell the ladies,” he winked, the immature schoolboy as ever.I'd had enough. I rose from my chair, fist clenched so tightly around my glass I feared it would shatter. The stare I was giving him should have been warning enough, but he just stood there, clueless grin fixed on his gormless face. That was too bad. I began to raise my arm, my intent visible to everyone but him.“Hey, is your pocket meant to be beeping?” Jake observed, still not realising how angry I was.I quickly drank the rest of my orange juice and placed the glass heavily on the table, still glaring at Jake. “You're lucky.”“Yeah, I am pretty marvellous, aren't I?” he admitted, still grinning away. “Say, where you going? Night's still young! Don't tell me you've got a date or something?”“I've got a job!” I shouted. “Just because you can't scrape together the willpower to do a single day's work doesn't mean the rest of us have to be as useless! I am a doctor in a respectable hospital and people need me! Now if you don't mind, I have better places to be than hanging around with a half-wit like you!”“So, same time next week?” he said jovially.“Whatever,” I grunted, straightening my hat as I left. Perhaps I would be there next week, as I had been for many weeks past. But for now, duty calls.Theme: PreparationWord Count: 556FriendshipThey were coming. Those people. Those wonderful people who I had once called friends. They were coming.It was my own fault. I had tricked them. Deceived them. Taken their money and tried to run, but they had found me. They were coming.I sat in my chair, waiting. The TV was on, but I had stopped watching it some time ago. I tried to pay attention, to distract myself, but to no avail. I tried to distract myself by making a drink, picking up an old book, even looking over my tax forms one last time. But nothing could fully distract me from that one, simple fact. They were coming.I did not know what they would do. They would be angry, I knew. There would be shouting, harsh words, I expected there would be pain. But what could I do? I did not have the money to return to them. I had tried running, hiding, but still they had found me. All I could do was sit, wait and try, however uselessly, to prepare myself.There is a knock on the door. I freeze up, tense, knowing who it must be. After a few seconds it comes again, louder this time. I rise slowly from my chair. I am not ready for this. I can't face them now, I need- it doesn't matter what I need. I have no choice.I shuffle slowly to the door, trying mentally to harden myself against the fear and the shame. It doesn't work. The knocking comes again, louder again and more insistent. I open the door slowly and see them standing there, stern expressions on their faces. I am not prepared. This will not go well for me.*Thirty minutes later*They have gone, and I am left...astounded. I had tried, fruitlessly, to prepare for a number of eventualities. But the one thing I had not prepared for, the one thing I had not expected, was kindness.They had been angry, yes, but they had understood. They knew I had not taken the money out of greed or selfishness. They knew that I needed it, that I was desperate. It was not right, what I had done, but they had even agreed to help me, to support me. After all I had done to them. The promises I made, the lies I invented. How did I deserve this?The TV is still on, but I cannot see it. My eyes are clouded with tears. I sit, staring into nothing, trying to understand. How did helping me benefit them? It did not, could not, make sense.It was not until much later that I realised, and I was ashamed it had taken me so long. It was friendship. It mattered to them more than what they had lost, and they were willing to make greater sacrifices still to keep it. In my desperation, I had not understood. I saw only the problems and a way to fix them, not seeing or caring what it might cost in the long term.This understanding brought me to tears, but I was smiling as they ran down my face. I had made a terrible mistake, but life had given me a second chance. An opportunity improve. And I would embrace that opportunity with open arms. I was prepared to do better.
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