Archive for the ‘INDIE500’ Category

INDIE 500

Here we go again. This week we pick up where the prompt posted this past FRIDAY left off. Please post your submission of 500 words or less to your blog, then in the comments below share the link to your submission here. Readers, please use the RATING stars to vote for the story or stories they like, the story with the highest rating as of WEDNESDAY will be kept and used as the prompt for the coming week.

Below the line of asterisks is my submission. If you find it worthy, please vote using the comment section below where I too will place a response.

I’m looking forward to reading your work!

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Homeward Bound

“Jesus. Belch. What the fuck?” Jacob stepped forward palming his forehead with a sweaty hand, then stepped back again, his eyes shifting focus.

“Howdy, Jacob.” Norman Belcher, business partner of Jacob’s father, Cornelius MacManus, and family friend, tongued the salty split in his lower lip.

“Why were you inside that bag?” Jacob began to wheeze as he often would whenever he was nervous or overly stressed.

“Slow down.” Belcher raised up on an elbow and tried to manage a seated position without success. He settle back again, pain clearly evident upon his usually handsome face.

“Who put you in there?”

“Breathe, kid. One thing at a time.”

“Your wrists are taped up. It looks like someone beat the shit out of you.” Jacob fumbled inside his pocket and retrieved a tiny aerosol cylinder. He sucked on the plastic mouthpiece and pumped, his face contorted in a grimace.

Belcher held his hands before him, as if in prayer. “Jacob. Keep your shit together and get this tape off me.” Jacob quickly obliged.

“Listen Jacob, we need to get out of here. They’re probably watching us. Now help me up would you, because as a matter of fact, I did get the shit beat out of me. You should see the other guys.”  Smiling, Belcher reached up one bludgeoned hand which Jacob accepted.

“Who? I’ve got to call my father. Shit. What’s all this about? What are you into?” Belcher stiffly bent over and grabbed the canvas sack. As they ambled toward the car he tested a couple teeth for stability. Pressing his thumb to his nose, he occluded one nostril and cleared a blood clot as the two men, this odd pairing, one more child than man, opened the Saab doors.

“It’s not just me, kid. It’s you too.” Belcher tossed the sack into the back seat; a bound stack of hundred dollar bills spilled out.

“That’s a lot of money.”

“It is. Seed money. Now, get in and drive.”

Belcher adjusted the passenger side mirror.  On the rise behind them idled a black sedan with tinted windows. Its passenger door opened. “Drive, Jacob.”

“Seed money for what?” Jacob pulled the door closed and reached for his shoulder strap.

Sun light glinted off a shaved head and mirrored glasses.

“Let’s go, Jacob.”

Belcher watched as a long matte finished barrel was leveled across the upper frame of the sedan door.

“Drive.”

There was a flash as the passenger mirror exploded.

Jacob stepped full on the gas; the Saab fishtailed spitting gravel then straightened when rubber bit asphalt.

“Do me a favor, Jacob.” Belcher turned his head to face Jacob who was hunched before the wheel like a ninety year old driving after dark.

“What’s that?” Jacob chanced his head high enough to scan the rear view and found no one in pursuit.

“Don’t tell you father. Not yet, anyway.”

INDIE 500:  Weekly Prompt

The race continues!

Thank you to those who entered their 500 words or less story. And, thank you to those who visited, read, commented, and voted. The INDIE 500 would not work if not for all of your participation. We invite you sideline observers to participate this week. Give it a shot. Jump in. Even if your contribution is only 100 words. Come out and play.

Also, this is a work in progress. If you have an idea on how to make this prompt concept run smoother, please, please, please let me know!

OK, back to the INDIE 500…remember, the winning story selected from the previous week becomes the prompt for the coming week.

Below is the ‘checkered flag’ story, based on the rating votes. Please read this story, use it as your prompt, begin your submission for this week where the story below ends.

I will make another INDIE 500 posting on Monday. This posting will have my contribution for the week. On Monday, you should post your contribution to your page, then come to mine and place a link within the ‘comments’ section. On Wednesday I will use the wordpress rating report system to tell me which story has the most votes/highest rating, and that story will be the ‘checkered flag’ winner, and thereby, become the prompt for the following week. Capice?

Readers, please use these links to visit the blogs of the other contributors, read their stories, then come back to my page and vote. How? Within the comments section on my page, where you found the contributor’s link, you can express your appreciation by simply clicking on the yellow rating stars. That is where you vote.

 

Without further adieu…the winner and prompt for this week:

 

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Homeward Bound

 

Jacob pumped the brakes and shifted lower through gears, the engine whined. He slowly rolled passed the mound which appeared to be made of canvas, searching for a clue. He halted the vehicle a few feet beyond and set the brake of the Saab.

“What the hell?”

He was looking through the rear-view mirror, edging down the Foo Fighters, and thought he saw the sack move. Maybe it just shifted or something inside settled. Jacob released his seat belt and turn to look over his shoulder.

It moved again.

Jacob exited the driver door and cautiously observed the sack. It was dirty and scuffed, probably from use and travel experience. It resembled one of those bags soldiers used to port their belongings into war zones, nearly four feet in length and thick like a fat greasy sausage link. The sack showed no signs of having been tossed out of a moving vehicle or having been run over; there were no rips of canvas or tears of the heavy stitching. It seemed to have been just dropped here. Left behind. Or forgotten. But what of the skid marks? Instinctively, not expecting and answer, Jacob called out, “Hello? Is there anybody there?”

Branches rustled with the morning breeze. He approached closer and circled half way around. It shifted. Then, something inside moaned.

Jacob leaped back. “Shit!” His fingers drummed against his thigh as he thought what to do. He could simply hop back in his car and drive down to New Haven, spend the weekend at his father’s place with his daughter-aged new wife, Kelly, and just act as if this all never happened. More moaning, this time the sound was more drawn out and pathetic and ended with a cough.

“Shit. Shit. Shit.” Somebody was inside the bag. Jacob could now see protrusions beneath the surface of the canvas, and elbow, a knee, the base of the sack appeared to hold something round like a head. Jacob did what any good boy would do, he hesitated. Then he inched closer and inspected the latch on the top of the sack. Metal riveted circles pierced through folds of canvas were slid over a small metal post and secured by a clasp. He unhooked the clasp and unfolded the flaps of canvas. The first thing he saw was a scuffed running shoe, then a sock which sheathed a foot, then a hairy leg.

“Holy Christ. Hello?” Jacob unwrapped this weird present, pulled at the legs and slid the bottom half of a man from the sack. “Are you okay?” The body was clad in shorts and a windbreaker pull-over. This person, whomever it was, seemed to have been badly beaten. His hands were bound and there were abrasions and welts and trickles of blood all the exposed legs.

Jacob pulled the sack completely off, like the whale expelling Jonas, the body slid upon the pavement, then the body rolled.

A battered yet very familiar face appeared.

 

Here we go, folks.

The INDIE 500 begins! The prompt is shared again below. Please use the prompt however you will, create your story of 500 words or less, post to your page, place a comment here with a link to your page, then sit back and enjoy the action.

The story which receives the most votes will be used as the prompt for next week. Voting will be closed as of Wednesday.

I’ll lead with the prompt, then below will be my posting.

Please remember to VOTE, even direct your followers to help in the voting if you like. The more the merrier. Also, remember to have fun with this.

Did I forget to remind you to vote?

The Green flag is waving…and…they’re off ! !

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The First Prompt:

Jacob MacManus, a sophomore attending Dartmouth College and one hell of a fabulous golfer, was traveling south on route 91 in his father’s hand-me-down yellow Saab 900 SE Turbo convertible. The sky was blue, the mountains were a blurred green and Jacob was sifting among words to help him explain to his father his new found desire. His fingers rapidly tapped at the leather wrapped helm as David Grohl lamented through 8 acoustically engineered speakers about ‘One of these days’.  Just as the machine crested another rise Jacob discovered a sight he would not soon forget. Two parallel and very long stretches of blackened rubber still smoldered in the morning air. Just beyond them lay a dark heaped something in the road.

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And now, my personal entry:

 

Homeward Bound

Jacob pumped the brakes and shifted lower through gears, the engine whined. He slowly rolled passed the mound which appeared to be made of canvas, searching for a clue. He halted the vehicle a few feet beyond and set the brake of the Saab.

“What the hell?”

He was looking through the rear-view mirror, edging down the Foo Fighters, and thought he saw the sack move. Maybe it just shifted or something inside settled. Jacob released his seat belt and turn to look over his shoulder.

It moved again.

Jacob exited the driver door and cautiously observed the sack. It was grungy, probably from use and travel experience. It resembled one of those bags soldiers used to port their belongings into war zones, nearly four feet in length and thick like a fat greasy sausage link. The sack showed no signs of having been tossed out of a moving vehicle or having been run over; there were no rips of canvas or tears of the heavy stitching. It seemed to have been just dropped here. Left behind. Or forgotten. But what of the skid marks? Instinctively, not expecting and answer, Jacob called out, “Hello? Is there anybody there?”

Branches rustled with the morning breeze. He approached closer and circled half way around. It shifted. Then, something inside moaned.

Jacob leaped back. “Shit!” His fingers drummed against his thigh as he thought what to do. He could simply hop back in his car and drive down to New Haven, spend the weekend at his father’s place with his daughter-aged new wife, Kelly, and just act as if this all never happened. More moaning, this time the sound was more drawn out and pathetic and ended with a cough.

“Shit. Shit. Shit.” Somebody was inside the bag. Jacob could now see protrusions beneath the surface of the canvas, and elbow, a knee, the base of the sack appeared to hold something round like a head. Jacob did what any good boy would do, he hesitated. Then he inched closer and inspected the latch on the top of the sack. Metal riveted circles pierced through folds of canvas were slid over a small metal post and secured by a clasp. He unhooked the clasp and unfolded the flaps. The first thing he saw was a scuffed running shoe, then a sock which sheathed a foot, then a hairy leg.

“Holy Christ. Hello?” Jacob unwrapped this weird present, pulled at the legs and slid the bottom half of a man from the sack. “Are you okay?” The body was clad in shorts and a windbreaker pull-over. This person, whomever it was, seemed to have been badly beaten. His hands were bound and there were abrasions and welts and trickles of blood all over the exposed legs.

Jacob pulled the sack completely off, like the whale expelling Jonas, the body slid upon the pavement, then the body rolled.

A battered yet very familiar face appeared.

jKb

INDIE 500

 

Stuck in the doldrums of procrastination? Lacking in motivation?

 

We all find ourselves spinning our wheels at times, wasting time with no productivity, perhaps searching for a new muse, or simply disinterested in our work or the world around us. A great way for writers and artists in general to break through these barriers is to contribute in prompt style forums.

 

Here comes the pitch.

 

Being so impressed with the #FridayFictioneers and the level of interaction, the volume and quality of talent, and the simple pleasure and fun of it all, I’ve begun diddling around with an idea. No need to keep secrets, this is something I can discuss proudly, even in church.

 

I’m calling this interactive project the INDIE 500.

 

Here is what I’m envisioning. On Friday I will post a prompt. (For cripes’ sake, another guy trying to get us all to do a prompt…enough already!) The prompt will contain a premise, provide a setting, give some character information, if I can add some photos even better. These items will be resources. (Starting to sound like work to me…I’m outta here) This is simply a starting block. In 500 words or less develop a story. Use the characters, or make up your own. As typical, post your story to your page. For the purposes of this project please do so by Monday. Provide a response on my page with a link as well. Use the hash tag #Indie500.

 

Here’s how this is new…  (This had better be good)

 

On your response/comments on my page will be a ‘Rating’ function. We want readers to vote/rate the story submissions for that week. Voting would end Wednesday. The story with the most/highest votes stays.

 

Stays?

 

Yes. The following week will begin where THAT story left off. What this means is the prompt for the next week will be the winning story from the previous week. Perhaps there will be a tweak added to the prompt without violating the integrity of the winner (something added as a recommendation for the coming week but not introduced into the storyline). This prompt will be made available on my page, properly dressed up, on Friday and we continue the saga.

 

The idea is to build one comprehensive story from the weekly pieces, like lustrous pearls on a length of silk, with a final culminating finish when it seems necessary.

 

Then what?

 

To quote David Mathews, we could “Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” Or, we could…

 

Publish.

 

When it’s all done, I will compile it, place it into a nice format, give credit where credit is due, place an authors page, and then use the SmashWords system for publishing it into e-book format.

 

Really?

 

Sure.

 

What SmashWords does is convert the text into each and every portable electronic e-book reading device format. SmashWords then will ‘distribute’ the e-book to the major on-line sellers. My intention is not to sell for money, rather, to list the price as FREE. Then each of you can provide a link to your followers, fans and friends so they can download free copies as well. The ‘Authors’ page will contain contact information including links to personal web-pages if so desired.

 

Interested?

 

Here is the first Prompt…let’s see how this grand experiment goes!

Untitled

Jacob MacManus, a sophomore attending Dartmouth College and one hell of a fabulous golfer, was traveling south on route 91 in his father’s hand-me-down yellow Saab 900 SE Turbo convertible. The sky was blue, the mountains were a blurred green and Jacob was sifting among words to help him explain to his father his new found desire. His fingers rapidly tapped at the leather wrapped helm as David Grohl lamented through 8 acoustically engineered speakers about ‘One of these days’.  Just as the machine crested another rise Jacob discovered a sight he would not soon forget. Two parallel and very long stretches of blackened rubber still smoldered in the morning air. Just beyond them lay a dark heaped something in the road.

Let the games begin!