Other stories for this prompt

She listened, intently. The night was quiet, and she might be alone. Then again, she might not. The girl in the red gown wished she were somewhere other than Beijing, huddled in a doorway in the night. But where would she be, if she could choose? Back in England, probably. There, she would be fearless. There, dangerous men would not be chasing her across the city, seeking to recover an ancient idol - really, it was an ugly thing, wooden and splintery. She wished she knew what all the fuss was about. James had wanted it, though, and so she'd...

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Everybody slept at eight. You had to sleep by eight. The air grew still as the sun went down, such was the way of the savannah. By the time darkness had enveloped the world, the constant patter of feet heard throughout the day disappeared.
Once in a while, one of the goats would make a noise, otherwise, it was dead silence, like a drawn breath- the night was listening. Huddled inside their rooms praying were the superstitious, trying to ward of Dimka son of the soil, who it was said came for human sacrifice around this time.
Silence, the air...

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She wanted to hear the whispers in the next room, but the pleading to her ears were also unheard. She stretched up onto her toes as if height would give her hearing a greater advantage.

"What are you doing?"

"Nothing. Go away!" she frantacilly whispered, ushering her little brother out of the room with her eyes.

She suddenly heard footsteps approaching, and she pressed her small frame against the wall as to not to be seen. The red drapes of the gown following like an obedient shadow.

"If that is what she wants, that is how it will be."


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Most times we just picked on the same couple of boys. they were easy to spot and easy to make do whatever we wanted them to do. I suppose that we never thought about the fact that we weren't proving how strong we were by picking the weak ones. I suppose we never thought about much at all.

But that day I decided that I wanted to pick on someone bigger than me. Someone who seemed a lot like me, and them. When I found him he was alone but in just a few minutes we were surrounded by kids...

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She clutched whatever she had to her chest. Whatever dignity. She thought to herself. I cannot, do this. But she remembers what her mother had told her. You can, you can. She knocked on the door once, but backed away, out of the doorway, and leaning against the wall. She heard a door open, and then close. While the rain closed in on her, as she stuck out her tongue and let it fall. She could barely hold in the laugh. She took a deep breath and tried again. She knocked on the door slightly, and this time, waited for...

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Soul by steve

She told me never to open my mouth, never to talk. She said I am nothing, no one, and not even a mere object. But I did, I gave my self an excuse to talk, as I bulleted down Quincy Lane, and ran into the cemetery on North Boulevard. I walked over to the tombstone that represented what ever life I had. What ever excuse I had to be a happy person. For the next hour, my teardrops fell on the stone. And quietly, under my breath, I read the words engraved in the stone.


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Cuthbert was a fairly average Crocodile, with the expected number of teeth and glinting eyes like two marbles set in his swarthy head. He was not a particularly happy Crocodile though, as he was kept in a pen in a tourist attraction, where he was made to jump fifteen feet in the air to obtain his dinner, which was invariably a raw, plucked chicken on the end of a long pole. He found this predictable, boring and undignified.

So, one day, like any other. When the crowd gathered to watch his feat, cameras and phones poised to record him springing...

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Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway. She shielded her eyes from the flashes of light that arced across the blackened sky, her face soaked with tears, her heart pounding in her chest as the cacophony of noise rattled her skull.

In London, a family huddled together in a corner of their living room, across from the window that had blown itself out from the force of the first impact. They held between them the grandmothers crucifix, praying to their God as if he could save them.

A man stood atop the Eifel...

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The rain came pouring down upon me. And as I lay there, my cheap gown leeching its red dye into the gutter, I imagined my own blood joining it and just letting myself go away. I thought about it for a long, long time. The rain intensified. The thunder seemed to be synched to my thoughts and my sudden spasms of regret and anguish and misery.

It came down to making a choice. I would either stand up and walk on, or I wouldn't. I thought about how long it would take for me to perish in this place, knowing...

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If I just write something, what if I reveal something unsavoury about myself?

What if I mess up the spelling?

What if I am under so much pressure to knock something out in six minutes that I don't write anything? A single blank page permanently appearing on my profile as a record of my inneptitude?

What if I write about something uncool, or unninteresting? First impressions count, after all. I'll be an outcast before I've even started.

Maybe I could just leave here and never come back. All this would be a brief, awkward memory. I could add it to...

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About the prompt

Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.
Prompt suggested by Galen
Originally displayed on:
September 20, 2010


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