Captain Constance

Writing prompt:
You are an immortal who is on death row.”

The thing about eternal life, m’lads, is that a life sentence is a far more serious punishment than if ‘twer otherwise. How fortunate for meself, then, that the grand tradition of Piracy now be a capital offense.

I’ve plowed the seven seas for more than thrice the span of a mortal man, and amassed more riches in that time than Kings dream of. Gold doubloons, pieces of eight, priceless art, jewelry, idols, gems and pearls festooned about me hidden trove! I’ve sent more galleons to Davy Jones than the Kraken and made bilge-sucking landlubbers of every man jack to pursue me ship, the mighty and inescapable Lusca. None can stand against me man-o-war, and sure’n if I don’t take advantage. I rule these waters with a golden fist, I terrorize nations and governments, and that be why my capture and eventual execution be such an embarrassment to the legendary name of Cap’n Constance.

Of course, the hempen halter hold no fear for an immortal being such as meself. This will be far from the first time I’ve suffered a pernicious penalty, and certainly shan’t be the last. Death has no hold upon me, for I am blessed (and I do mean blessed. I’ll cleave to the brisket any scurvy dog who claims undeath to be a curse) with a life that always returns like the tides of the sea, and I merely bide me time until the spectators clear and I may return to this mortal coil and me precious Lusca. Then I shall return, and keelhaul the lot of them.

 

Original Prompt: Reddit – Immortal

Captain Constance

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Writing Prompt:
“You come from the long line of sorcerers who deem themselves defenders of the earth. Sadly, you didn’t really get hang of this “magic” thing, but you have a different talent.”

My father was a Red Mage. His father was a Grey Mage. His father was a Purple Mage. I can trace my lineage back through twenty-eight generations, covering hues from all over the spectrum, every last one of the geezers a Mage.

Me? I’m a Green Nothing. Not a shred of magic in me. At least, not as far as I can tell. And I’m still a damn hero.

I’ve had to sit back and watch countless times as Pops whisked away to save the world from Demonic-Emergence-This and Elder-God-That. I’ve witnessed Gramps banishing Wights, Shades, Lichs and more. I can’t even ignore it and try to be normal, because the two of them insist on making me sit in on Mage Council meetings, hoping something might ignite the gift in me. I tried to tell them it’s a waste of time, but their need to save face is just too strong. So I would slouch in the council chamber, trying to ignore the floating screen displaying whatever current magical heroics were occurring in the world.

Things were different when the Ma’le’gas invaded.

They were nigh invincible. It happened so quickly. One minute the skies were sunny and clear, and the next they were filled with gargantuan spacecraft, each miles long from end to end, looking like circuitry-covered bricks ready to fall and crush the world. Their weapons were devastating, reducing every major government center in the world to rubble faster than the human eye could detect it. Not even a flash of light to accompany the destruction.

The council immediately threw everything it had at the invading aliens, to no avail. Every spell bounced harmlessly off their shields. Our human magic was no match for their extraterrestrial technology. After an hour of fruitless labor, the council reconvened to argue over their next course of action. It struck me as odd that there had been no further aggression from the intruders.

Then, booming across the sky all around the world like an unfathomably large PA system, came The Ultimatum.

“HUMANS. BRING FORTH A CHAMPION. UNLESS WE WITNESS A SWEET 360 NOSCOPE COD RAMPAGE IN THE NEXT TEN EARTH MINUTES, WE WILL DESTROY YOUR WORLD. 420 BLAZEIT BITCHES.”

The council was dumbfounded, but I knew my moment had come. I stood up in the following silence, put on my shades, cracked open a Mountain Dew, and said, “I got this one.”

 

Original Prompt: Reddit – Different Talent

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Chasers

Writing Prompt:
“Some days, I love my job. Those days are the worst.”

It came too early. We weren’t expecting it for at least another hour. I’d have called MacCallan a liar if I couldn’t see it with my own eyes through the window. I knew there was no sense in arguing against the obvious, however, and so quietly shifted my mind up a gear or two.

“Alright, this is it then. You know the drill; I need you here 20 minutes ago. I’ll contact Travers, you pick her up on the way. See you soon.”

I didn’t wait for a reply. I had both my associates’ numbers saved as favorites, and was speaking to Isabella Travers inside of ten seconds. “Izzy? It’s Don.”

I wasted no time, quickly making my way around my cluttered bedroom and gathering gear as I coolly relayed her orders. “Get your things.” Knapsack. “We don’t have much time.” Laptop. “Andy will swing by soon.” 4K Camcorder. “Have the radiosonde ready.” I ended the call again, not worrying about social niceties. They were both fully aware of the situation, and knew we couldn’t afford any delays. I snatched up my travel kit, a small cooler filled with various snacks and beverages with a medical kit bonded to the outside, and hoisted my now full knapsack onto my shoulder.

I didn’t need to hurry down the six flights of stairs from my apartment door to the nearly empty street below; MacCallan would be another few minutes regardless. Still, the excitement bubbling up inside of me forced my feet to dash recklessly down the staircase. As I stood, bouncing lightly on my toes, waiting impatiently for the two to arrive, I couldn’t help but smile. An EF3 was coming through, and it promised to be beautiful.

Finally Andy appeared, coming to an abrupt halt in the extensively reinforced pickup we had created ourselves. Izzy waved to me from the passenger seat. All told it took him just over fourteen minutes to make it to my place. I ran to the vehicle, tossed my things in on Izzy’s lap, and climbed into the truck bed. As I strapped myself into a heavy-duty standing harness bolted to the cabin, I caught sight of the storm rolling by in the distance, and was struck by how dead the city seemed with no one out on the streets in the middle of the day. For just a moment, I reflected on how strange it was that I should be feeling such exhilaration while the rest of the populace hid indoors, fearing for their lives and those of their loved ones. It made me feel almost guilty.

The feeling quickly transformed, however, into a tremendous sense of freedom and individuality as Andy laid on the accelerator. I grinned into the increasingly fierce wind and started my camcorder recording in its waterproof case. I could just make out the first few bars of “Ride of the Valkyries” blasting from the radio inside the truck cabin. “Once more unto the breach,” I whispered.

 

Original Prompt: Reddit – Worst Days

Chasers

Interrogation

Writing Prompt:
“It is your job to “interrogate” one of the most ruthless terrorists that ever lived. Due to budget cuts, the only tools you have are: An easy bake oven, a flashlight, and, 1 pound of vanilla frosting.”

His gaze was cowed
His jaw was tight
But I knew I was in the right
He sat restrained
Upon a chair
Tied up and mutely fuming there

Here was a foe
To all of Man
Left here to suffer by my hand
But hardly could
I stomach that
Instead I’d try and trick the rat

I smiled at him
A charming grin
I said, “Hello,” and smiled again
Then I revealed
An oven small
Atop a table by the wall

Both pink and white,
A lovely sight
For someone struggling with his fright
And resting near,
A glistening mound
Vanilla frosting, ’bout a pound

I offered him
A tasty treat
A dozen cupcakes, short and sweet
And for each one
Each frosted dome
His terror-tummy would be home

He nodded then
His eyes aflame
And then fell victim to my game
His hunger for
These teeny cakes
Made him agree to all my stakes

He spilled his guts
Told all we’d need
Just hoping for a little feed
But I just laughed
and pointed then
Said, “Wait,” and then I laughed again

I flipped a switch
The lights went out
A flashlight then I brought about
Upon my face
An eerie glow
And spookily I told him, “No.”

 

Original Prompt: Reddit – Interrogation

Interrogation

Still

Writing Prompt:
“Write a story without any characters.”

All was still, a portrait of serenity. There was no disturbance of any kind until a soft zephyr lazily wafted by, gently caressing the earth and stirring the leaves scattered about the grassy carpet. A pair was caught up in the breeze, carried along with it, dancing in circles with one another. They spiraled through the cool, humid air, oblivious to the world, not caring for themselves, not caring for each other. They were at the mercy of the current, which was in turn at the whim of atmospheric pressure, which was a slave to the heat of the sun. Balance reigned over all.

The fated couple twirled and floated past obelisks, giant, empty stone husks. Titanic monoliths that seemed to claw at the sky, they were rendered impotent. Gaping mouths and empty eyes loomed threateningly over them, but nothing issued from the hollow beasts apart from hanging green tendrils of vegetation. They were still.

The pair of star-crossed lovers twisted through and around enormous serpents, like the endless coils of a lifeless grey ouroboros. Steely scales glinted between the bushes and ferns that overwhelmed the behemoths. Some lay flat along the ground, snaking between the obelisks. Some contorted and wriggled through the air, sending forth shoots and tendrils to plunge into the earth. Some tunneled below the surface, undermining the land. All were still.

The twosome drifted over gleaming white scaffolding, dwarfed by the legendary monsters surrounding them, but scattered everywhere. They knew not the purpose of the cages, the domes, the beams and joints laid out beneath them, for they had no will of their own with which to question such things. The frameworks simply lay there, placid and still.

The leaves wound toward their ultimate destiny, never contemplating their nature, but simply accepting their fate. The zephyr carried them onward towards the horizon, and the air fell back into tranquility. All was still.

 

Original Prompt: Reddit – No Characters

Still