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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by Famewriter

UNCOVERING THE PAST

    "Where are we?" I asked groggily as Colt shook me awake. 

    "I have no clue," he said.  "Looks like we're in some sort of cell." 

     "Go figure Genius," I muttered. 

     "Why thank you," he said in a voice that sounded mad. 

     "It wasn't a compliment," I said.

     "I recognize this place," He said. He ran his hand over the walls and then pulled sharply away. 

     "Really?" I ran my hand over the wall too but didn't pull back. I left my hand there, letting my hand feel the wall. A vision passed before my eyes. Slower. I thought. The vision went slower and I saw it. 

     "Did you see it?" I asked Colt. 

     "What do you think it is?" He asked. He looked at me expectantly. 

     "I slowed the video down so I could actually see what was going on. It was a ceremony of some sorts and I was there and so were you. You had a really good haircut though," I smiled at him as he ran his hand through his blonde hair. He blue eyes scanned the room.

      "Anything else?" He asked. He sat down up against the wall and sighed. 

      "No,"

      "What?" Colt asked. He stood up and sighed.  "We need to get home." 

      "We need to find out what that vision was about," I said. I slipped my hand into my pocket and then laughed. 

      "What?" he asked. 

      "You're worried about getting home and there is literally no way to get out," I said. I felt along the wall and the vision re-flashed in front of my eyes. My hand ran over a bump and then there was a click. 

      "What'd you do?" Colt asked, worry written all over his face. 

     "Why do you have to be such a worry wart?" I asked. I pushed against the the wall and then it gave way. I pushed it some more and it swung open like a door. I walked through and Colt followed, cautiously. 

     "Should we......?" he asked. 

     "Shhhhhh!" I shushed him and continued. Little lights lined the walls so we could see. I rounded a corner and stopped short. Colt bumped into me as he rounded the corner.

       "Who goes there?" A guard asked. He pointed his gun at me. "How did you get out?"

       "Go," the guard nudged me with his gun barrel and then pointed towards the door.

       "Okay, we'll go," Colt said. 

       "Wait," I whispered.  

      "Wha?" the guard stammered. I pinned him to the floor and then knocked him with the gun barrel. Since I had four brothers, I know how to do it. Thankfully.  

     "Come on," I motioned for Colt to follow me and rounded the corner again. Colt hesitated, looked down at the unconscious man, and then followed.  

     "What were you thinking?!?" Colt asked in an urgent whisper. 

     "Calm yourself," I opened a door. It was a plain room like what we had just in. I walked in and Colt came in after me. 

      "What it this place?" I half-asked myself. 

      "I don't....." Colt stopped short when he heard a click. He turned around and saw that the door had closed behind him, sealing us in. "Uh," 

     "Colt?" I said. "Come here." He what was the matter instantly. There was a portalish thing that was coming from my hand. 

      "What is it?" he asked. I shook my hand and the portalish thing came off and hovered in mid-air. 

       The portal sucked me and Colt in and we found ourselves standing in the middle of space. Comets shot past narrowly missing us. That's when it made sense. I was a timelord. 

   

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by Famewriter
UNCOVERING THE PAST
    "Where are we?" I asked groggily as Colt shook me awake. 
    "I have no clue," he said.  "Looks like we're in some sort of cell." 
     "Go figure Genius," I muttered. 
     "Why thank you," he said in a voice that sounded mad. 
     "It wasn't a compliment," I said.
     "I recognize this place," He said. He ran his hand over the walls and then pulled sharply away. 
     "Really?" I ran my hand over the wall too but didn't pull back. I left my hand there, letting my hand feel the wall. A vision passed before my eyes. Slower. I thought. The vision went slower and I saw it. 
     "Did you see it?" I asked Colt. 
     "What do you think it is?" He asked. He looked at me expectantly. 
     "I slowed the video down so I could actually see what was going on. It was a ceremony of some sorts and I was there and so were you. You had a really good haircut though," I smiled at him as he ran his hand through his blonde hair. He blue eyes scanned the room.
      "Anything else?" He asked. He sat down up against the wall and sighed. 
      "No,"
      "What?" Colt asked. He stood up and sighed.  "We need to get home." 
      "We need to find out what that vision was about," I said. I slipped my hand into my pocket and then laughed. 
      "What?" he asked. 
      "You're worried about getting home and there is literally no way to get out," I said. I felt along the wall and the vision re-flashed in front of my eyes. My hand ran over a bump and then there was a click. 
      "What'd you do?" Colt asked, worry written all over his face. 
     "Why do you have to be such a worry wart?" I asked. I pushed against the the wall and then it gave way. I pushed it some more and it swung open like a door. I walked through and Colt followed, cautiously. 
     "Should we......?" he asked. 
     "Shhhhhh!" I shushed him and continued. Little lights lined the walls so we could see. I rounded a corner and stopped short. Colt bumped into me as he rounded the corner.
       "Who goes there?" A guard asked. He pointed his gun at me. "How did you get out?"
       "Go," the guard nudged me with his gun barrel and then pointed towards the door.
       "Okay, we'll go," Colt said. 
       "Wait," I whispered.  
      "Wha?" the guard stammered. I pinned him to the floor and then knocked him with the gun barrel. Since I had four brothers, I know how to do it. Thankfully.  
     "Come on," I motioned for Colt to follow me and rounded the corner again. Colt hesitated, looked down at the unconscious man, and then followed.  
     "What were you thinking?!?" Colt asked in an urgent whisper. 
     "Calm yourself," I opened a door. It was a plain room like what we had just in. I walked in and Colt came in after me. 
      "What it this place?" I half-asked myself. 
      "I don't....." Colt stopped short when he heard a click. He turned around and saw that the door had closed behind him, sealing us in. "Uh," 
     "Colt?" I said. "Come here." He what was the matter instantly. There was a portalish thing that was coming from my hand. 
      "What is it?" he asked. I shook my hand and the portalish thing came off and hovered in mid-air. 
       The portal sucked me and Colt in and we found ourselves standing in the middle of space. Comets shot past narrowly missing us. That's when it made sense. I was a timelord. 
   
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by Acadec56

There will be war

And then there was light. We raced through a space projection, watching hundreds of different stars that were all bigger than the sun, moons that emitted a crimson glow, and many other astonishing Earth-like planets. Then, we came to a quick halt at a gigantic, mostly blue, oval planet with only a small spec of green. And it all made sense. With shock and terror on both of our faces, we rushed back to the spaceship to inform Earth of this horrific situation. We strapped in, started up the Patriot, and in a few minutes, we were off. "Scarlett, let me see that orb." Said Justin. Hands shaking, I gave the orb to Justin. He stared at the cloud white orb until finally he said, "this changes everything". And he was right, everyone's lives were about to change. We both had suspected that the aliens were hiding something from us, something diabolical. That's why the government sent us, and thank God they did. After 20 years of cooperating and living with them, they were planning on stabbing us in the back. But why now? Why wait 20 years to move forward with this plan to remove Earth's Crust and implant them into their planet? Hopefully, we get answers to these questions, but there's one inevitable truth, there will be war. Finally, we landed onto our space station where general Jackson was waiting for us. "What have you found??" He said. Justin looked at me then back to general Jackson, "this Sir". And with one touch, there was light once again. After it was over, everyone in the room looked shocked, scared, and very sad. Angrily, the general shouted, "THIS MEANS WAAARR!!".

     A few months later, families were torn apart, lives were ruined, and war had began. The absolute terror and sickening landscape that war had provided, decimated both Justin and I. It was only the one's in power that were plotting against Earth, not their citizens.We tried to make things right, we tried to help as many aliens as possible, but we couldn't and Justin paid the ultimate price in order to protect me. This is all my fault. Even though Earth utilized guerilla techniques against the aliens, there's no way that we are going to win this battle. They have too many soldiers, allies and weapons. We are going to loose. We are going to die. And you whomever finds​ and reads this, please remember what my husband told me....What is loved will never fade away.

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by Acadec56
There will be war
And then there was light. We raced through a space projection, watching hundreds of different stars that were all bigger than the sun, moons that emitted a crimson glow, and many other astonishing Earth-like planets. Then, we came to a quick halt at a gigantic, mostly blue, oval planet with only a small spec of green. And it all made sense. With shock and terror on both of our faces, we rushed back to the spaceship to inform Earth of this horrific situation. We strapped in, started up the Patriot, and in a few minutes, we were off. "Scarlett, let me see that orb." Said Justin. Hands shaking, I gave the orb to Justin. He stared at the cloud white orb until finally he said, "this changes everything". And he was right, everyone's lives were about to change. We both had suspected that the aliens were hiding something from us, something diabolical. That's why the government sent us, and thank God they did. After 20 years of cooperating and living with them, they were planning on stabbing us in the back. But why now? Why wait 20 years to move forward with this plan to remove Earth's Crust and implant them into their planet? Hopefully, we get answers to these questions, but there's one inevitable truth, there will be war. Finally, we landed onto our space station where general Jackson was waiting for us. "What have you found??" He said. Justin looked at me then back to general Jackson, "this Sir". And with one touch, there was light once again. After it was over, everyone in the room looked shocked, scared, and very sad. Angrily, the general shouted, "THIS MEANS WAAARR!!".

     A few months later, families were torn apart, lives were ruined, and war had began. The absolute terror and sickening landscape that war had provided, decimated both Justin and I. It was only the one's in power that were plotting against Earth, not their citizens.We tried to make things right, we tried to help as many aliens as possible, but we couldn't and Justin paid the ultimate price in order to protect me. This is all my fault. Even though Earth utilized guerilla techniques against the aliens, there's no way that we are going to win this battle. They have too many soldiers, allies and weapons. We are going to loose. We are going to die. And you whomever finds​ and reads this, please remember what my husband told me....What is loved will never fade away.
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by RubyPond

A Dead End

It was almost 2:00 p.m. The service was about to start and he wasn't there yet. She kept her eyes low and tried not to look around at anyone. Looking down at her hands she noticed how hard she was squeezing the tissue in her hand. Her knuckles were actually white. Finally, she felt a hand on her shoulder and he scooted past her to sit on the pew beside her. "Oh my God! Where have you been?" She scolded through clenched teeth.

     "I'm here! That's all that matters!" He adjusted his tie and cleared his throat as he sat down. They sat quietly through the remainder of the service. As the Reverend began the dismissal prayer she stood and walked quickly to the back of the church. He followed close behind. As she made it to the parking lot, she walked to the side of a building and lit a cigarette. "Regina, what the hell are you doing?" He grabbed her arm and looked at her with wild eyes.

     "Dammit Jay, I just had to get out of there. I couldn't make myself go up there and look into that coffin one more time!" Her green eyes were actually wet with moisture as if she had really been crying. "It was giving me the creeps!"

      "Come on, you have to go back in. Before they close the lid. Now is the only time we have. If you don't get it now, it is gone forever!" He realized he was gritting his teeth but, that ring was worth $350,000 dollars and he was not about to let her walk away without it.

   

  "Alright! Alright! It's not like they can continue without me. I'm the wife!" She pushed a strand of her red hair behind her ear and dropped her cigarette into the soil.  She straightened her dress and they both looked up and the door was open. "Shh..", she started to say as she quickly walked toward the building. Jay strolled behind and the funeral director met her halfway.

     "Mrs. Cobb. do you need more time? We can play the video again if you like or perhaps more music?" She could see the beaded perspiration on his brow.

     "I'm fine! The last thing I need is to drag this out." She realized how he was looking at her friend and quickly spoke up. "My brother, Nick." She said gesturing toward the impeccably dressed man standing beside her.  His face loosened a bit as he extended a sweaty hand toward him. 

     "Mr. Jones, do you think that I could have a moment with my husband before we go to the cemetery? Alone?" She was trying to grab at any emotional memory in her mind that might possibly bring a tear to her eye.

     "You mean, you want me to clear the room? Normally, the pallbearers take the deceased out to the hearse before the dismissal." He had a look of horror on his face.

     "No! I mean, could you have the pallbearers wait until everyone leaves and I have a few more moments. I know the procession will be waiting, but.." She managed to make one lone tear slip from her eye.

     "Now, now! We can do that! Not a problem at all, Mrs. Cobb." He gently put a hand on her shoulder and pushed her along in the direction of the church.

     Regina got her moment and Jay watched from behind. As she gently picked up his cold hand she couldn't help but gasp! They both knew they had been doublecrossed when they saw the ring was missing.

18
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by RubyPond
A Dead End
It was almost 2:00 p.m. The service was about to start and he wasn't there yet. She kept her eyes low and tried not to look around at anyone. Looking down at her hands she noticed how hard she was squeezing the tissue in her hand. Her knuckles were actually white. Finally, she felt a hand on her shoulder and he scooted past her to sit on the pew beside her. "Oh my God! Where have you been?" She scolded through clenched teeth.

     "I'm here! That's all that matters!" He adjusted his tie and cleared his throat as he sat down. They sat quietly through the remainder of the service. As the Reverend began the dismissal prayer she stood and walked quickly to the back of the church. He followed close behind. As she made it to the parking lot, she walked to the side of a building and lit a cigarette. "Regina, what the hell are you doing?" He grabbed her arm and looked at her with wild eyes.

     "Dammit Jay, I just had to get out of there. I couldn't make myself go up there and look into that coffin one more time!" Her green eyes were actually wet with moisture as if she had really been crying. "It was giving me the creeps!"

      "Come on, you have to go back in. Before they close the lid. Now is the only time we have. If you don't get it now, it is gone forever!" He realized he was gritting his teeth but, that ring was worth $350,000 dollars and he was not about to let her walk away without it.
   
  "Alright! Alright! It's not like they can continue without me. I'm the wife!" She pushed a strand of her red hair behind her ear and dropped her cigarette into the soil.  She straightened her dress and they both looked up and the door was open. "Shh..", she started to say as she quickly walked toward the building. Jay strolled behind and the funeral director met her halfway.

     "Mrs. Cobb. do you need more time? We can play the video again if you like or perhaps more music?" She could see the beaded perspiration on his brow.

     "I'm fine! The last thing I need is to drag this out." She realized how he was looking at her friend and quickly spoke up. "My brother, Nick." She said gesturing toward the impeccably dressed man standing beside her.  His face loosened a bit as he extended a sweaty hand toward him. 

     "Mr. Jones, do you think that I could have a moment with my husband before we go to the cemetery? Alone?" She was trying to grab at any emotional memory in her mind that might possibly bring a tear to her eye.

     "You mean, you want me to clear the room? Normally, the pallbearers take the deceased out to the hearse before the dismissal." He had a look of horror on his face.

     "No! I mean, could you have the pallbearers wait until everyone leaves and I have a few more moments. I know the procession will be waiting, but.." She managed to make one lone tear slip from her eye.

     "Now, now! We can do that! Not a problem at all, Mrs. Cobb." He gently put a hand on her shoulder and pushed her along in the direction of the church.

     Regina got her moment and Jay watched from behind. As she gently picked up his cold hand she couldn't help but gasp! They both knew they had been doublecrossed when they saw the ring was missing.
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by sandflea68

Blue Steel

Warning: This includes erotica, horror, murder and psychological aberrations. 

She danced her finger along the sharp blue steel of the glistening knife blade. She was overwhelmed by intoxication as the claret drops of blood trickled down her bare breasts culminating at the secret place where it all ended. She lifted one of her heavy breasts to her lips, licking the blood with her elongated tongue in a passion of frenzy. Wafting her thoughts through the inner realms of her subconscious, she grasped that the portal to her psychopathic needs could never be locked again. The first half of her life was merely a practice run for her future. The world was opening up to her like a ripe pomegranate ready to burst as swift veins of excitement coursed through her body. She realized that she could never look back.

Peaking around the corner, the man was mesmerized by her crimson beauty, drawn into her sensual vortex. Heated pink steam seemed to arise from her torso. Unable to resist her magnetic appeal, he meandered toward her alluring seductiveness, sucking the beads of lusty hunger from her wet lips. He became aroused as he ran searching fingers down her slippery body, searching for her center.

Her left hand wandered down his torso as he closed his eyes and moaned. Teasing, she lightly touched him and then withdrew, driving him to desperation. When she had driven him completely crazy, she began to frantically stroke his manhood as he lost himself in the epitome of his ecstasy. Drawing out her right hand surreptitiously from behind her back, she plunged the knife, warm from being pressed against her body, into his heart as she climaxed at the same time, rubbing his blood in erotic circles all over her aroused body. He never uttered another word as she tossed her head and laughed in crazed delirium.

Tracing her lips with her pink tongue, she wiped the bloody knife off with the black tresses of her hair as she glanced down at him, lying lifeless on the floor. With a burst of realization, it dawned on her that this was the reason she had been put on this earth. She would be unable to wait more than a few days for the next encounter as she felt the juices stirring through her loins. This fever must be quenched before it ravaged her body and she lost complete control. With mounting anticipation, she looked forward to the next challenge. There would be many more.

17
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by sandflea68
Blue Steel
Warning: This includes erotica, horror, murder and psychological aberrations. 

She danced her finger along the sharp blue steel of the glistening knife blade. She was overwhelmed by intoxication as the claret drops of blood trickled down her bare breasts culminating at the secret place where it all ended. She lifted one of her heavy breasts to her lips, licking the blood with her elongated tongue in a passion of frenzy. Wafting her thoughts through the inner realms of her subconscious, she grasped that the portal to her psychopathic needs could never be locked again. The first half of her life was merely a practice run for her future. The world was opening up to her like a ripe pomegranate ready to burst as swift veins of excitement coursed through her body. She realized that she could never look back.

Peaking around the corner, the man was mesmerized by her crimson beauty, drawn into her sensual vortex. Heated pink steam seemed to arise from her torso. Unable to resist her magnetic appeal, he meandered toward her alluring seductiveness, sucking the beads of lusty hunger from her wet lips. He became aroused as he ran searching fingers down her slippery body, searching for her center.

Her left hand wandered down his torso as he closed his eyes and moaned. Teasing, she lightly touched him and then withdrew, driving him to desperation. When she had driven him completely crazy, she began to frantically stroke his manhood as he lost himself in the epitome of his ecstasy. Drawing out her right hand surreptitiously from behind her back, she plunged the knife, warm from being pressed against her body, into his heart as she climaxed at the same time, rubbing his blood in erotic circles all over her aroused body. He never uttered another word as she tossed her head and laughed in crazed delirium.

Tracing her lips with her pink tongue, she wiped the bloody knife off with the black tresses of her hair as she glanced down at him, lying lifeless on the floor. With a burst of realization, it dawned on her that this was the reason she had been put on this earth. She would be unable to wait more than a few days for the next encounter as she felt the juices stirring through her loins. This fever must be quenched before it ravaged her body and she lost complete control. With mounting anticipation, she looked forward to the next challenge. There would be many more.

#fiction  #horror  #murder  #erotica  #psychological 
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Chapter 5 of Collection of Short Stories
Written by Charlton_Ghosh

Dream Machine

   Hazel and Chester sat in complete darkness. The two of them were locked in a Cranial Pressure Chamber. They dealt in the manipulation of the subconscious, a pseudo-scientific endeavor, spearheaded by the great Dr. Glaznoch. Their current mission was the extraction of a dream from a new patient. The patient was some fellow in a coma that Dr. Glaznoch had brought in for special treatment. He had said it was of utmost urgency. Neither Chester nor Hazel were given more information than that. They did not need more information. All they needed to know was the description of the dream they were hunting and removing.

 

   Hazel pushed a button on a hand held remote and a small dial in front of them lit the tiny chamber with a dull glow. "Mental Pressure is reaching target point. We'll be entering the subconscious state in just about forty seconds."

    "Roger that," replied Chester. He tugged a little at his helmet. This item protected his head from the building pressure in the chamber, and it also connected him to the patient.

   "Ten seconds," Hazel said, "Five, four, three, two, one." Both Hazel and Chester felt a tug at the base off their skulls. Both went limp at the controls and both entered the subconsciousness of their patient. They felt a jostle from side to side, then a sort of drop with a sudden stop. They were now in the patient's subconscious mind. In front of them a door opened, flooding the room with light. They stepped out into a strange, ever changing, ever solid, landscape.

   The world into which they stepped, was brightly lit, with a sky blue dome over head. The ground seemed to be made of a dull pink stone, which shimmered and swirled. The patterns shifted this way and that, but the physical structure of the material stayed the same shape. These two colors, the pink and blue, dominated the landscape. In fact, nothing else was present. Hazel and Chester stood in a veritable desert of pink.

   "Well this is quite unexpected." Hazel said. She pulled a tool from her belt and powered it on. It whirred and whistled for a few seconds and then displayed a few numbers. "It looks as though we are the only things here. Literally, nothing else seems to exist in his subconscious."

   "That can't be right." Chester glanced at the numbers on the tool. "Scan again. If those numbers come up again we'll need to contact Doctor Glaznoch pronto."

   Hazel ran the machine again, and the result was the same.

   Chester clenched his jaw, "I'll establish the connection. We have to contact Glaznoch to figure out what is happening." There was an urgency in Chester's voice that Hazel didn't argue with.

   "Okay," she replied, "What do you think is going on here?"

   Chester looked around, "I don't know, I've never seen anything like it. It is sort of like the patient has ceased to think altogether."

   Hazel looked around as Chester prepared the Convo-Link.

   "Chester, what's that over there." She pointed to a small round disc sitting on a pile of rocks. Chester looked up, but now that he was establishing the link, could not reply due to the concentration required. He could only watch with a slightly detached expression.

   Hazel walked over to the disc and picked it up. The disc was only five inches in diameter, and on its face was inscribed. "Subconscious compromised and deleted. Source code in hibernation. Machine in permanent shut down mode."

   "Uh, Chester." Hazel said, "I think we entered a machine, not a human."

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Chapter 5 of Collection of Short Stories
Written by Charlton_Ghosh
Dream Machine
   Hazel and Chester sat in complete darkness. The two of them were locked in a Cranial Pressure Chamber. They dealt in the manipulation of the subconscious, a pseudo-scientific endeavor, spearheaded by the great Dr. Glaznoch. Their current mission was the extraction of a dream from a new patient. The patient was some fellow in a coma that Dr. Glaznoch had brought in for special treatment. He had said it was of utmost urgency. Neither Chester nor Hazel were given more information than that. They did not need more information. All they needed to know was the description of the dream they were hunting and removing.
 
   Hazel pushed a button on a hand held remote and a small dial in front of them lit the tiny chamber with a dull glow. "Mental Pressure is reaching target point. We'll be entering the subconscious state in just about forty seconds."

    "Roger that," replied Chester. He tugged a little at his helmet. This item protected his head from the building pressure in the chamber, and it also connected him to the patient.

   "Ten seconds," Hazel said, "Five, four, three, two, one." Both Hazel and Chester felt a tug at the base off their skulls. Both went limp at the controls and both entered the subconsciousness of their patient. They felt a jostle from side to side, then a sort of drop with a sudden stop. They were now in the patient's subconscious mind. In front of them a door opened, flooding the room with light. They stepped out into a strange, ever changing, ever solid, landscape.

   The world into which they stepped, was brightly lit, with a sky blue dome over head. The ground seemed to be made of a dull pink stone, which shimmered and swirled. The patterns shifted this way and that, but the physical structure of the material stayed the same shape. These two colors, the pink and blue, dominated the landscape. In fact, nothing else was present. Hazel and Chester stood in a veritable desert of pink.

   "Well this is quite unexpected." Hazel said. She pulled a tool from her belt and powered it on. It whirred and whistled for a few seconds and then displayed a few numbers. "It looks as though we are the only things here. Literally, nothing else seems to exist in his subconscious."

   "That can't be right." Chester glanced at the numbers on the tool. "Scan again. If those numbers come up again we'll need to contact Doctor Glaznoch pronto."

   Hazel ran the machine again, and the result was the same.

   Chester clenched his jaw, "I'll establish the connection. We have to contact Glaznoch to figure out what is happening." There was an urgency in Chester's voice that Hazel didn't argue with.

   "Okay," she replied, "What do you think is going on here?"

   Chester looked around, "I don't know, I've never seen anything like it. It is sort of like the patient has ceased to think altogether."

   Hazel looked around as Chester prepared the Convo-Link.

   "Chester, what's that over there." She pointed to a small round disc sitting on a pile of rocks. Chester looked up, but now that he was establishing the link, could not reply due to the concentration required. He could only watch with a slightly detached expression.

   Hazel walked over to the disc and picked it up. The disc was only five inches in diameter, and on its face was inscribed. "Subconscious compromised and deleted. Source code in hibernation. Machine in permanent shut down mode."

   "Uh, Chester." Hazel said, "I think we entered a machine, not a human."
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by JRose

Twisted

They were children back then. She was only five and he only six years old.

She finds him hurt, with a knife in his hand and he is shaking. There is blood running down his leg; that is being washed away by the cold rain that drizzles around them. He is barefoot and she offers her shoes to him and he smiles.

Her family takes him in after that. She learns that he was tortured as a child by his uncle. At night when he has nightmares she comforts him. Laying in bed beside him and singing the lullabies her own mother taught her.

They go to school together, and while she enjoys playing with the other children he sits on a bench and simply gazes at her. There is no smile, no emotion in his eyes except when she looks at him. His face soon lights up and she can only smile back.

They found a dog once. A small scruffy little thing. She'd taken care of it, cared for him and then. He promised her he'd help her find him a home. One night he was gone. That cute little golden retriever ran away. She could never understand and at night when she'd cry herself to sleep he would comfort her.

When they're fifteen, girls begin to disappear. First, her best friend Rachel goes missing. Her parents have a search party for two weeks and then; they find her. Dead by a creek, her feet have been cut off. Rachel's older brother Max cries in her arms without consolation vowing to find whoever did this. But the trail remains cold.

A few days later another girl goes missing. She begins to suspect only after the third girl.

She had seen him talking to her after school and when she asks he gets angry. She begins to observe him and the day before they find another girl at the creek she sees him sneak out of their home. He comes back in the middle of the night trailing mud behind him and watches as he cleans the floor before going to bed.

There's a sinking feeling at the pit of her stomach; because she now is more than sure that he is the murdered. She pretends to be sick that morning and when their parents leave and he goes to school she writes a quick note and places it under her bed. She doesn't tell Max about her suspicion; afraid of what he'll do, but when he finds her ransacking through her own brother's things that day he helps her search only to come out empty.

They place everything back in place and Max stays over at night. Another girl has gone missing and it's only a matter of time. They wait for him to leave. Watching him cross the threshold.

"Are you ready?" Max asks with a wary look. 

"Yes."

They follow him to an old cabin just outside of town. She recognizes this place. His uncle's home. The door is open. When they enter there are hundreds of child shoes on the floor. All similar to the pink little flats she'd given him to wear.

"He wants me." She whispers in realization. When they walk further in they see him. The girl is tied up. He has a knife in hand and pink children shoes beside him.

He's not yet heard them come in; Max has grabbed an old bat just outside the house. The girl screams for help and before he can turn he is struck in the head and falls unconscious.

"Why?" She asks him.

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by JRose
Twisted
They were children back then. She was only five and he only six years old.
She finds him hurt, with a knife in his hand and he is shaking. There is blood running down his leg; that is being washed away by the cold rain that drizzles around them. He is barefoot and she offers her shoes to him and he smiles.

Her family takes him in after that. She learns that he was tortured as a child by his uncle. At night when he has nightmares she comforts him. Laying in bed beside him and singing the lullabies her own mother taught her.

They go to school together, and while she enjoys playing with the other children he sits on a bench and simply gazes at her. There is no smile, no emotion in his eyes except when she looks at him. His face soon lights up and she can only smile back.

They found a dog once. A small scruffy little thing. She'd taken care of it, cared for him and then. He promised her he'd help her find him a home. One night he was gone. That cute little golden retriever ran away. She could never understand and at night when she'd cry herself to sleep he would comfort her.

When they're fifteen, girls begin to disappear. First, her best friend Rachel goes missing. Her parents have a search party for two weeks and then; they find her. Dead by a creek, her feet have been cut off. Rachel's older brother Max cries in her arms without consolation vowing to find whoever did this. But the trail remains cold.

A few days later another girl goes missing. She begins to suspect only after the third girl.
She had seen him talking to her after school and when she asks he gets angry. She begins to observe him and the day before they find another girl at the creek she sees him sneak out of their home. He comes back in the middle of the night trailing mud behind him and watches as he cleans the floor before going to bed.

There's a sinking feeling at the pit of her stomach; because she now is more than sure that he is the murdered. She pretends to be sick that morning and when their parents leave and he goes to school she writes a quick note and places it under her bed. She doesn't tell Max about her suspicion; afraid of what he'll do, but when he finds her ransacking through her own brother's things that day he helps her search only to come out empty.

They place everything back in place and Max stays over at night. Another girl has gone missing and it's only a matter of time. They wait for him to leave. Watching him cross the threshold.
"Are you ready?" Max asks with a wary look. 
"Yes."

They follow him to an old cabin just outside of town. She recognizes this place. His uncle's home. The door is open. When they enter there are hundreds of child shoes on the floor. All similar to the pink little flats she'd given him to wear.
"He wants me." She whispers in realization. When they walk further in they see him. The girl is tied up. He has a knife in hand and pink children shoes beside him.

He's not yet heard them come in; Max has grabbed an old bat just outside the house. The girl screams for help and before he can turn he is struck in the head and falls unconscious.
"Why?" She asks him.
#fiction  #horror  #mystery 
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by MikeRich15

It comes knocking at your door

Alvin had problems. He had done something no human had ever done before. 

Twice. 

Watching his wife Sarah wash dishes in their farmhouse kitchen, he scratched and itched vigorously, prying at the scabs on his arms and tearing off little chunks of skin. Chipped porcelain plates vibrated on the oak table as his leg bounced up and down nervously. He tried not to continuously glance over his shoulder as sweat beaded precariously on his forehead. 

Sarah will know, she will find out. 

"The sows are acting up tonight," she said suddenly, and he fought against the purging urge to scream. 

They were acting up. A surge of inhuman squealing pulsated in and out of the barn; it sounded like choking toddlers crying. Sarah glanced out the window, but everything was smothered in a thick blanket of darkness. 

"I wonder why," she continued on. All Alvin could manage was a weakly muttered "Mmhmm". 

He knew exactly why.

His lungs felt crushed. Buried beneath the rubble of the sins he had committed. He looked at his wife, standing there, a dish towel in one hand and the worn out tea kettle in the other, and beneath the rough exterior of his stubbled face he wept. As she turned towards him she frowned. Obviously, the sadness had seeped through. 

Before she could speak, a soft knocking on the front door could be heard. A quizzical look dawned upon her face. Quite right, he thought, we are in the middle of a long way from nowhere. 

"Who could that be, at this time of night?" she wondered aloud. 

"Don't...." he croaked. His voice was like gravel being chewed up by a garbage disposal. He had no breath. The sows screamed louder, harder. A furious wind picked up and started throwing the porch swing against the house, causing the walls inside to shake with each slam.

Sarah started towards the door.

Slam. 

Alvin tried to call out to her. 

Slam.

Just as she reached for the doorknob, a howling scream pierced the air and the door flew open. Sarah cried out. 

The sows stopped crying. 

There, on the porch, was a freshly dismembered pigs head. In a numb shock, Sarah picked it up and saw that it's eyes were stitched shut. 

Sarah threw a rage into the night. She turned on Alvin, her heels digging into the carpet as she advanced on him. She could barely contain her simmering anger as she forced the words out. 

"You...summoned...it...again?"

"Yes," Alvin cried out. "It made me. Talked to me."

Sarah slapped him, twice, across the face. 

"How could you? After what it took last time? Do you remember what we buried in the backyard?"

Alvin started wringing his hands and muttering under his breath. He fell to his knees and wept softly. 

"Alvin, what are you saying? What did you DO?"

He looked into her eyes. 

"Sarah...this time it wants you". 

Between his stifled sobs, the sows began to cry once more. 

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by MikeRich15
It comes knocking at your door
Alvin had problems. He had done something no human had ever done before. 

Twice. 

Watching his wife Sarah wash dishes in their farmhouse kitchen, he scratched and itched vigorously, prying at the scabs on his arms and tearing off little chunks of skin. Chipped porcelain plates vibrated on the oak table as his leg bounced up and down nervously. He tried not to continuously glance over his shoulder as sweat beaded precariously on his forehead. 

Sarah will know, she will find out. 

"The sows are acting up tonight," she said suddenly, and he fought against the purging urge to scream. 

They were acting up. A surge of inhuman squealing pulsated in and out of the barn; it sounded like choking toddlers crying. Sarah glanced out the window, but everything was smothered in a thick blanket of darkness. 

"I wonder why," she continued on. All Alvin could manage was a weakly muttered "Mmhmm". 

He knew exactly why.

His lungs felt crushed. Buried beneath the rubble of the sins he had committed. He looked at his wife, standing there, a dish towel in one hand and the worn out tea kettle in the other, and beneath the rough exterior of his stubbled face he wept. As she turned towards him she frowned. Obviously, the sadness had seeped through. 

Before she could speak, a soft knocking on the front door could be heard. A quizzical look dawned upon her face. Quite right, he thought, we are in the middle of a long way from nowhere. 

"Who could that be, at this time of night?" she wondered aloud. 

"Don't...." he croaked. His voice was like gravel being chewed up by a garbage disposal. He had no breath. The sows screamed louder, harder. A furious wind picked up and started throwing the porch swing against the house, causing the walls inside to shake with each slam.

Sarah started towards the door.

Slam. 

Alvin tried to call out to her. 

Slam.

Just as she reached for the doorknob, a howling scream pierced the air and the door flew open. Sarah cried out. 

The sows stopped crying. 

There, on the porch, was a freshly dismembered pigs head. In a numb shock, Sarah picked it up and saw that it's eyes were stitched shut. 

Sarah threw a rage into the night. She turned on Alvin, her heels digging into the carpet as she advanced on him. She could barely contain her simmering anger as she forced the words out. 

"You...summoned...it...again?"

"Yes," Alvin cried out. "It made me. Talked to me."

Sarah slapped him, twice, across the face. 

"How could you? After what it took last time? Do you remember what we buried in the backyard?"

Alvin started wringing his hands and muttering under his breath. He fell to his knees and wept softly. 

"Alvin, what are you saying? What did you DO?"

He looked into her eyes. 

"Sarah...this time it wants you". 

Between his stifled sobs, the sows began to cry once more. 
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by luvtoread_21

The Sweetest Sixteen

She walked into the eerily quiet and dark room. There was one single box sitting on the floor in the middle of the room. Elisha had no idea what was in it. Frankly, she really didn't want to know. It could be something horrifying, like a huge spider. Then again, it could be two tickets to Harry Potter world. Or maybe it would be just plain cash. There was an endless amount of possibilities.

Sadly, a spider was the least of Elisha's worries.

Connor entered the room with a weary defeated look, yet he was still alert and stressed. 

Elisha stood to attention as soon as he entered.

"Don't open the box, Elisha. Please." 

"Is it your box, Connor? Did you put it there?" she demanded. "What's in it?"

"Yes. It's my box. No. I didn't put it there."

With that, Elisha picked the box up from the middle of the room and opened it in her lap. 

In the box, laid a piece of paper. It was thick and had a texture that made it feel like it was official. Grabbing the slick piece of paper, she turned it around to see the death certificate that Connor had so desperately tried to keep hidden from her.

The name was sprawled messily onto the name line, but she could still read it. The familiar name, Justin Carter, rang bells through her mind.

Her father was dead.

As she looked at the date, everything became too clear. 

Every time her father had texted her, it had been Connor. Every word he had said to her, every single moment since she had turned sixteen had been fake.

Elisha's own brother had killed her father.

"Look. It's not what you think." Connor tried to explain.

But she wouldn't have it. Connor had lied to her. 

Elisha's tears rolled down her cheeks as she spoke. "That night, the night before I left for the academy, the night of my sixteenth birthday. You killed him. You came home with blood seeping through your jacket. And yo-you said that you went hunting with him. I didn't know you killed him because he already told me he wouldn't be there to send me off. You lied to me, Connor. You killed him."

Sobbing, she left the room, leaving the eternal ghost of silence haunting the dark room and Connor on his knees.

Softly, he whispered, "But he was going to kill you."

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by luvtoread_21
The Sweetest Sixteen
She walked into the eerily quiet and dark room. There was one single box sitting on the floor in the middle of the room. Elisha had no idea what was in it. Frankly, she really didn't want to know. It could be something horrifying, like a huge spider. Then again, it could be two tickets to Harry Potter world. Or maybe it would be just plain cash. There was an endless amount of possibilities.
Sadly, a spider was the least of Elisha's worries.
Connor entered the room with a weary defeated look, yet he was still alert and stressed. 
Elisha stood to attention as soon as he entered.
"Don't open the box, Elisha. Please." 
"Is it your box, Connor? Did you put it there?" she demanded. "What's in it?"
"Yes. It's my box. No. I didn't put it there."
With that, Elisha picked the box up from the middle of the room and opened it in her lap. 
In the box, laid a piece of paper. It was thick and had a texture that made it feel like it was official. Grabbing the slick piece of paper, she turned it around to see the death certificate that Connor had so desperately tried to keep hidden from her.
The name was sprawled messily onto the name line, but she could still read it. The familiar name, Justin Carter, rang bells through her mind.
Her father was dead.
As she looked at the date, everything became too clear. 
Every time her father had texted her, it had been Connor. Every word he had said to her, every single moment since she had turned sixteen had been fake.
Elisha's own brother had killed her father.
"Look. It's not what you think." Connor tried to explain.
But she wouldn't have it. Connor had lied to her. 
Elisha's tears rolled down her cheeks as she spoke. "That night, the night before I left for the academy, the night of my sixteenth birthday. You killed him. You came home with blood seeping through your jacket. And yo-you said that you went hunting with him. I didn't know you killed him because he already told me he wouldn't be there to send me off. You lied to me, Connor. You killed him."
Sobbing, she left the room, leaving the eternal ghost of silence haunting the dark room and Connor on his knees.
Softly, he whispered, "But he was going to kill you."
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by RoseZee

A Disaster

April would never forget that sound; the sound of a thousand freight trains crashing around her. She clenched her eyes shut even more as she held tight to pipes under the sink. She could feel her heart beating fast against her chest as she held on for dear life.

It had all happened so fast. The wind picked up. A siren rang out. Jonah had pulled her into the bathroom and underneath the sink, wrapping himself around her. Then the tornado ripped through their home, almost lifting the entire roof off the house. 

It wasn't the house that she was most worried about though; it was the barn. Jonah didn't know this but April had recently taken all of their money out of the bank and stored it in a small safe in the barn. She hid it under a dilapidated tractor. They had been planning to run away together to start fresh after being told they were getting kicked out from her Uncle's house. That money was all they had left and it was right in the path of a deadly twister.

Suddenly the winds stopped and everything became quiet. The tornado had moved along, taking half of the house with it. April and Jonah got up and made their way through what once was a wall into the living room. The house was a disaster, just like their lives had become in the last few weeks.

When Jonas lost his job, April thought she could pick up extra hours at the diner to pay off the rent. Surely her Uncle wouldn't kick her out, right? Wrong. The scumbag noticed she was one day past due and down came the gavel. She was given two weeks to pack up and move out. 

The front door was hanging open. Taking a deep breath and nodding at each other for reassurance, the couple walked out the door. Outside was chaos. Jonah's eyes betrayed the terror and worry he felt looking at the shambles that had been normal suburban homes just ten minutes before. Almost every building on the street was torn away.

April, however, was not worried. She looked toward the the right to see red barn and gasped in surprise. It was still standing and completely in one piece. She took off towards it and entered the structure, stepping around the fallen rusted tools.

Diving under the tractor, April dug out the safe. She put in the three-digit code, Jonah's birthday, and it popped open. Inside were nicely stacked piles of bills. She signed heavily.

"What are you doing?" Jonas asked from the barn doorway, "It's not safe in here, come on."

"Baby," she responded, slowing picking up the small safe, "Everything is going to be alright."

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by RoseZee
A Disaster
April would never forget that sound; the sound of a thousand freight trains crashing around her. She clenched her eyes shut even more as she held tight to pipes under the sink. She could feel her heart beating fast against her chest as she held on for dear life.

It had all happened so fast. The wind picked up. A siren rang out. Jonah had pulled her into the bathroom and underneath the sink, wrapping himself around her. Then the tornado ripped through their home, almost lifting the entire roof off the house. 

It wasn't the house that she was most worried about though; it was the barn. Jonah didn't know this but April had recently taken all of their money out of the bank and stored it in a small safe in the barn. She hid it under a dilapidated tractor. They had been planning to run away together to start fresh after being told they were getting kicked out from her Uncle's house. That money was all they had left and it was right in the path of a deadly twister.

Suddenly the winds stopped and everything became quiet. The tornado had moved along, taking half of the house with it. April and Jonah got up and made their way through what once was a wall into the living room. The house was a disaster, just like their lives had become in the last few weeks.

When Jonas lost his job, April thought she could pick up extra hours at the diner to pay off the rent. Surely her Uncle wouldn't kick her out, right? Wrong. The scumbag noticed she was one day past due and down came the gavel. She was given two weeks to pack up and move out. 

The front door was hanging open. Taking a deep breath and nodding at each other for reassurance, the couple walked out the door. Outside was chaos. Jonah's eyes betrayed the terror and worry he felt looking at the shambles that had been normal suburban homes just ten minutes before. Almost every building on the street was torn away.

April, however, was not worried. She looked toward the the right to see red barn and gasped in surprise. It was still standing and completely in one piece. She took off towards it and entered the structure, stepping around the fallen rusted tools.

Diving under the tractor, April dug out the safe. She put in the three-digit code, Jonah's birthday, and it popped open. Inside were nicely stacked piles of bills. She signed heavily.

"What are you doing?" Jonas asked from the barn doorway, "It's not safe in here, come on."

"Baby," she responded, slowing picking up the small safe, "Everything is going to be alright."

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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by ruffmiriam

The Core of the Matter

The lightness of Canara's even, brown skin had less to do with genetics than with having lived her entire life under the dome that held in the air but kept out the sun's harsh radiation. She stood looking through the ClearSteel viewport at the network of tunnels crisscrossing Level 2, yellow-zone region, New Mars settlement. Otthin sat behind her at a small table in the stark four-by-six-meter steel-and-rock room identical to all the crew quarters of the sector. His dark hair and pinkish skin told of a more recent immigration to the Red Planet. But both were miner moles through and through, better adapted to the depths of the planet than to the bright surface. They barely ever made it topside.

This sector belonged to Salvino Corp., an Earth-based mining outfit with sole rights to Mars ore extraction. They had staked their claim almost 150 years ago, first sending up automatic equipment, then people to establish the bases and crew the operation. Luna served as the go-between point, allowing equipment and ore to flow more smoothly between the planets than if the ships and stores had to go through Earth's gravity. The system had worked seamlessly for most of that time, until about 20 years ago. The miners, feeling they were treated little better than slaves, had gone on their first strike, halting operations for almost two weeks before the company's enforcers beat them into submission. And once they got replacement workers into orbit, they filled the mines with poison gas to rid themselves of the troublemakers. Tensions had been running high ever since.

"What you lookin at?" Otthin queried.

Canara startled from her reverie. "Um, nothin. Nothin." She moved away from the port and sat down at the table.

"That's whole lot of nothin."

"I thinkin 'bout the food. You know Salvino just gonna starve us out, you know?" A third-generation Martian, Canara's accent was decidedly more pronounced then her companion's.

"They sure try."

"We no got any leverage. We no put in the work, they send in skippies. We good as dead. It be '05 all over again."

"Maybe not. We got Luna on our side now. They gonna get ‘tween us. This could end better."

"You dreamin' Otthin. We still miner moles. We nobody. We strike, no helpin us."

"There be less ore now. Maybe they cut their losses. Figure givin us something better than the cost of shippin skippies. We should wait it out and see."

There was a sudden sound outside the door to the compartment, a small "thump." Canara and Otthin got up from their seats and walked over to the hatch. Silence. Canara opened the hatch door. A few feet from the doorway rested a circular metal object, about the size of a fist.

"What is it?" He couldn't see past her.

“Dunno.”

They both walked out the hatch. Looking outward, Canara saw that such an object rested outside all the other compartments down the row. She stared at all of them with puzzlement. Otthin looked worried. They were the only ones out investigating.

Canara stooped down, picked up the object, and turned it over, feeling the depression switch on the grenade even as her thumb passed over it. It all made sense now. Salvino wasn’t going to starve the workers out or send in skippies, they were going to blast the rock open and make the remaining ore more accessible to their automated equipment. She had just a brief moment of clarity before the world exploded around them.

#ProWritingAid #challenge #prose #SF

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Juice
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The writer of the best short story from this challenge wins a ProWritingAid Lifetime License, worth $140. Take the terribly-written adverb-laden outline of a story below and use your own voice to make it amazing. Maybe it's sci-fi, maybe it's romance, maybe it's thriller...it's up to you: The door was opened and they looked out. She was very surprised. He looked very worried. They went quickly to find out more. She slowly picked up the object and it all finally made sense.
Written by ruffmiriam
The Core of the Matter
The lightness of Canara's even, brown skin had less to do with genetics than with having lived her entire life under the dome that held in the air but kept out the sun's harsh radiation. She stood looking through the ClearSteel viewport at the network of tunnels crisscrossing Level 2, yellow-zone region, New Mars settlement. Otthin sat behind her at a small table in the stark four-by-six-meter steel-and-rock room identical to all the crew quarters of the sector. His dark hair and pinkish skin told of a more recent immigration to the Red Planet. But both were miner moles through and through, better adapted to the depths of the planet than to the bright surface. They barely ever made it topside.

This sector belonged to Salvino Corp., an Earth-based mining outfit with sole rights to Mars ore extraction. They had staked their claim almost 150 years ago, first sending up automatic equipment, then people to establish the bases and crew the operation. Luna served as the go-between point, allowing equipment and ore to flow more smoothly between the planets than if the ships and stores had to go through Earth's gravity. The system had worked seamlessly for most of that time, until about 20 years ago. The miners, feeling they were treated little better than slaves, had gone on their first strike, halting operations for almost two weeks before the company's enforcers beat them into submission. And once they got replacement workers into orbit, they filled the mines with poison gas to rid themselves of the troublemakers. Tensions had been running high ever since.

"What you lookin at?" Otthin queried.

Canara startled from her reverie. "Um, nothin. Nothin." She moved away from the port and sat down at the table.

"That's whole lot of nothin."

"I thinkin 'bout the food. You know Salvino just gonna starve us out, you know?" A third-generation Martian, Canara's accent was decidedly more pronounced then her companion's.

"They sure try."

"We no got any leverage. We no put in the work, they send in skippies. We good as dead. It be '05 all over again."

"Maybe not. We got Luna on our side now. They gonna get ‘tween us. This could end better."

"You dreamin' Otthin. We still miner moles. We nobody. We strike, no helpin us."

"There be less ore now. Maybe they cut their losses. Figure givin us something better than the cost of shippin skippies. We should wait it out and see."

There was a sudden sound outside the door to the compartment, a small "thump." Canara and Otthin got up from their seats and walked over to the hatch. Silence. Canara opened the hatch door. A few feet from the doorway rested a circular metal object, about the size of a fist.

"What is it?" He couldn't see past her.

“Dunno.”

They both walked out the hatch. Looking outward, Canara saw that such an object rested outside all the other compartments down the row. She stared at all of them with puzzlement. Otthin looked worried. They were the only ones out investigating.

Canara stooped down, picked up the object, and turned it over, feeling the depression switch on the grenade even as her thumb passed over it. It all made sense now. Salvino wasn’t going to starve the workers out or send in skippies, they were going to blast the rock open and make the remaining ore more accessible to their automated equipment. She had just a brief moment of clarity before the world exploded around them.

#ProWritingAid #challenge #prose #SF

9
4
23
Juice
141 reads
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