Archive for January, 2013

27th January
written by amber

Dear writers – you have your choice of two first lines to inspire you this week. We are having a watercolour workshop at the Black Cat Guest Ranch and the creativity was amazing. I asked for suggestions. Here are two –

Somehow it didn’t make sense: what I was seeing.

It was the first time she could stop to catch her breath and she could still hear the dogs in the distance.

24th January
written by amber

Here’s a story posted by one of the participants to my on-line writing workshop. Another story suggestion will be posted this Sunday. Please feel free to make comments on Darryl’s story.

The Hunt

“I smell the unicorn.”

Shadia was never wrong. She was born of the Clan Wysderi; who were Keepers of the Woods. From an early age, some of the tribe were chosen for specific abilities. Some were Trackers, able to track creatures even after three weeks of passage, and across the hardest of ground. Others were Talkers, able to communicate by thought.

Even fewer were those that could sense the rarest of the Woodland creatures, usually one was born every other generation. In the Clan Wysderi, one had not been born for five generations; until the birth of Shadia. The instances of these births were becoming fewer and fewer, and many feared that one day, none would be born again. More and more frequently, those that could sense these rare beasts were paid quite highly by Off Worlder’s, to track down these creatures so that they could be either caught and sold as oddities, or dispatched to collect the rare items they possessed. Her Clan counted on the annual migration of the unicorn; the outside shell of their singular horn shed just after mating, and was used for many purposes by the Clan. Once shed, the horn shells deteriorated quickly, and needed to be found as soon as possible. Unicorns were generally creatures of shadow, difficult to find, their secrecy was almost complete. Once a year, however, during the Time of Union, they became visible for only a day, and their sheds fell, male and female, as if on cue.

“Over there,” she whispered, pointing off to the right, using her chin to direct the small group’s attention towards a glade of wide trunked and heavily foliaged trees.

The group followed behind her, trusting her senses, believing in her expertise. They moved slowly, noiselessly through the trees, as if a slight breeze rustled the grasses and shrubs. Suddenly, Shadia stopped, and stood still; the group followed her lead and stopped, standing still beneath the forest giants. One of the members of the group, holding a weapon not commonly seen in the forest of the Wysderi, moved quietly to her side and whispered into her ear.

“What is it?”

Shadia did not answer; she simply stood and looked towards the grove of trees

“Remember what will happen if you do not guide us to the herd,” the man continued.
Her people would die, if she did not lead them to the herd of Unicorn she knew to be just ahead. They were been held as captives by other members of this man’s group, and were to be executed if Shadia did not bring the group to the herd. Once she showed them the herd, they were to open fire and kill as many Unicorn as possible, the horns themselves were invaluable, and carried a great bounty beyond this world.

“Where are they!” demand hissing in his whisper.

Shadia was Clan Wysderi, Keepers of the Woods. She suddenly lifted her head, and issued a high pitched whistle; the Unicorn would understand.

With the whistle, she had saved the Unicorn, but doomed her Clan.

They were Clan Wysderi, they would understand.

20th January
written by amber

I’m busy these days, turning the Story 365 Project into an ebook and it’s fun to see all my flash fiction stories and recall the inspiration behind them, often first lines supplied by my readers.

So let’s use a line from one of those stories –

Something bit me when I was just about to come out of the ocean – something big.

13th January
written by amber

I have two suggestions for you this week. One is a line quoted in Oliver Sack’s great new book, ‘Hallucinations.’ Describing sensations some people have when on the verge of slumber, he mentioned a woman who heard sentences uttered as she was falling asleep. One of those sentences is – I smell the unicorn.

Or, you can visit my Facebook page where you will find a picture of a woman leaning against a car, and use that as your inspiration.

Have fun with this, and remember that you’re invited to make comments on the stories already posted and certainly to post your own in this on-line writing workshop.

13th January
written by amber

Here’s the story that Darryl wrote with last week’s first line suggestion –

“The devil made me do it.”

The audience roared as the tall, handsome, well-dressed man delivered the punch line. It had being a good night at the comedy club. The tables were usually only about a half to three quarters filled on the best nights; but tonight, they were literally overflowing. This was mostly due to the fact that the headliner act for the evening was hometown boy, Cory Sharpe; a class clown in school whom had made it big in the entertainment world, and had decided to come back to where he grew up to let them see what he had become. He had grown famous from this one line ‘The devil made me do it’; the same line he used in school to cause others to laugh, even if it was at the expense of others.

The comedian stopped, took a drink of his rum and coke, and continued his well-rehearsed and time proven routine. The part of his show that included someone from the audience to humiliate was drawing near, so Cory pointed his act towards this part, and began to finish off the joke he was telling.

Cory looked into the audience. He knew who it was he wanted; he knew who it was he hoped to see.

“There he is,” Cory thought to himself as he saw a man named David Coop standing in the very back of the room, leaning up against the bar. David Coop had been Cory’s favourite target in school for the butt of his cruel, and mostly demeaning, jokes.

He finished his joke, and waited the appropriate time for the laughter to die down before talking.

“I need someone to come up for a skit I have prepared,” Cory spoke into the microphone, scanning the room. His eyes settled on David at the back.

“David?” Cory said loudly, feigning surprise at seeing him at the bar, “David Coop?”

As he said David’s last name, he emphasized the ‘P’ at the end. Anyone from school, remembering how Cory called David, David ‘Poop’, snickered.

David simply stood there, holding a pint of draft, his eyes looking at the top of the bar.

“Come on, David,” Cory spoke once again, drawing David’s name out.

“David…David…David…,” Cory chanted David’s name; the audience took up the chant.

David finished his beer, set the mug down on the bar, put his hands into his pockets, and turned towards the stage.

“David Coop, ladies and gentlemen,” Cory announced, his hand up towards David.

As David stepped onto the stage, Cory smiled and put out his hand to shake his school mate’s hand.

David looked at his hand, at Cory’s face, and then towards the audience.

“Come on, buddy,” Cory said, his hand out, “Put ‘er there.”

David withdrew his right hand, and held it out towards Cory. As the two men shook hands, David took his other hand out from his left pocket and slammed a knife deep into the surprised comedian’s chest.

An immediate hush fell over the audience.

“The devil made me do it,” David calmly said, turned and walked away.