Other stories for this prompt

His apology was not the thing she'd expected when she checked her phone in the morning. With one eye she stared at the screen and then rolled to her belly and pulled the phone to the tip of her nose as she tried to focus.

"I shouldn't have done any of that, I can't stop thinking about it."

She patted her hands over the bedcovers, fumbling through folds until she found her glasses and pressed them to her face.

"I can't stop thinking about it either," she replied, "But I liked it. It was exactly what I wanted."

His reply...

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"What is this?" I ask, my voice becoming more and more hysterical with every word I say.
"It's your life." Jordan says. My life? My life is printed in front of me. It's not possible! I know what my life'll be like. I like to swim, I'll be a swimmer. But this book says otherwise.
"The Dramatic and Unfortunate Life of Mary Sue Crawson." I read out loud. "My life is supposed to be perfect. This story says I'll be a representative of a rebellion. I'll lead the world to destroy the government. I'll... I'll... get shot." This can't happen!...

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The words hovered beneath my glowing finger, power incarnate. I lifted the text, spinning it lazily in the air, before hurling the curse at the image of my nemesis.

The photo I had ripped from the backcover of her book dissolved, dripping onto the table, her face hideously deformed, the black ink staining the tablecloth beneath.

"She thinks she can write horror," I said, the deathly silence of the basement swallowing my words. "She doesn't know what horror is." I smiled. "Yet."

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The first sentence of Fahrenheit 451 flashes into my head as my last cigarette is lit. That book made me fear a world where books, where knowledge, could not be free. To me that was a crime, I didn't really think I'd have to die for it though.
And for a second I think about how all this started, all I remember of it is a single phrase,"I aim to misbehave." Well I certainly have at this point
Looking back I should have known I'd be caught smuggling those textbooks into this shitty country and really I almost wish I...

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Enigami rehtona dlrow erehw a tcefrep rorrim em si gnipyt na lacitnedi yrots. Rehtien ylurt erawa fo eht rehto, tub gnitcepsus taht srehwemoe a degnagleppor 
pesuas wehn he deos. Lokos oevr his shoulder, smiles, and returns to type. Imagine the two in perfect unknowing symmetry, reaching a finger to press a key to flash the last word on the 


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This is the draft of my next novel

This is the scene/event that my subconscious created for me that caught my imagination, and made me believe it could be spun out into a whole book, because it was so good. SO good!

This is the ending I thought my agent/publisher would probably want me to finish it with. I don't actually like it that much.

This is something that happened in my actual life that is funny/poignant/unbelievable but I think will add gravitas and depth to the book.

This is the point when i start grasping at formula to pad...

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"You have six minutes" He said before he closed the heavy, metal door and slammed the heavy, metal bolt shut.

"Six minutes to do what?!" I shouted, pounding on the heavy, metal door in a dark room. I searched my pockets and found this match. Lucky me. I strike it, and find a treasure trove of books, but I can't read them with this. I throw open the first one I see, and all that is written across every page is "It was a pleasure to burn." in a serif font. I think it might have been Times New Roman,...

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It was a picture to burn.

His arm was wrapped around her waist and they were cheek to cheek, grinning like fools at the blank eye of the camera. Her arms were flung around his neck, a laugh frozen on her lips as they stood, all dressed down for a summer evening together, in her driveway.

She carefully held it to the candle flame and watched the smooth paper blacken and burn. Watched the image slowly eaten away to ash that fell like dark snow over the candle.

The dusting of ash of what had been her life: lies, broken...

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It was a pleasure to burn.

Holding the papers over the flame and watching as the flames spread over each one. Swallowing the words and memories as it went. The demons danced in the flames until there was nothing more for them to devour. Until the fire had taken every last word. Every last sentence and turned them into nothing more than a pile of ash on the ground.

Each piece of paper a different memory. A different time, another thing that needed to be burnt away. Each strike of the match burst into a flash of bright light. Each...

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Pleasure. Burn. They're the only two words on the whole page - in the whole book if he was honest - that he had read and actually remembered. The rest was a jumble of names, bad descriptions, inplausible mixes of action and consequence.

Pleasure, the word just rolled off the tongue, almost like a cat unfurling itself and stretching lazily, purring as it spots some new distraction.

Burn, more akin to an explosion, though with the same purring quality, it flooded into his ears a lot more passionately than pleasure did, filled his mind with images, tortorous landscapes with dark...

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About the prompt

Originally displayed on:
September 29, 2010


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