Prompt: Finish The Story (#3)

First, a reading assignment.  If you haven’t already, go read all the contributions from last week’s prompt:

El Guapo
Judah First
Juliette Kings
Jamie
JED
moi
Matticus (hey, that’s me!)

Second, a writing assignment.  Here is the current prompt.  How are you going to finish it?

………………..

Gentling rubbing throbbing temples provided the illusion of relief without actually carrying through with the promise.  Another futile second and the hands dropped, defeated, and eyes flared open again.  Angry red lines coursed away from pools of deep blue that framed anguished black pupils.  Creases above eyebrows and worry lines appeared in the recently vacated spaces.

Neighbors cast furtive glances, some of concern, some of blame, and some of boredom, and they were all ignored.  There was no time or energy to deal with their intrigue, there was only pain.  Constant.  Intense.  It burrowed further in, disrupting the normal flow of tissues and synapses.  Eyes closed once more for balance but the bursts of light cascading in synchronized waves against eyelids required hands to go fumbling in search of something solid to cling to.

Balance restored, slowly.  Achingly slowly.  The throbbing headache remained.

Dark thoughts, twisted and writhing with mischief, found a way to surface when no others would or could: quick ways to end the suffering, names of those at fault for the current agony and how best to serve a fitting revenge, and the long road to recovery hidden in shadows and chains.  The abused heart lurched haltingly as it became wrapped in despair.  Knees grew weak.  Eyes, still hidden protectively behind their lids, rolled upwards.  Gravity did the rest and cooling air rushed passed falling limbs…

 

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36 thoughts on “Prompt: Finish The Story (#3)

  1. Some lurched forward others wrenched back from the falling girl. No matter anyone’s intent the result was the girl fell flat on her face. Finally having passed out. No one was surprised. They were dropping like flies. That’s what midterms often did to first year med students. She, like many in the study group, had been knocking back energy drinks for the last 90 hours. That mixed with roughly ten hours of sleep if you were lucky meant everyone was on edge. Now this? All the test scores were going to be forfeit if the parties responsible for cheating didn’t step forward.

    Marcus had his doubts any cheating had taken place. The teachers were suspicious that their study group in particular had scored so highly. Hello? They were a study group and they had all been working their collective buts off to make sure they were ready for this first big hurdle. None of them had gotten where they were today by cheating. He would wager his right arm against any in his group being the culprit. However, it didn’t make sense for anyone else in the class to have cheated. Mack was looking rather shifty, but they all were twitching from sleep withdrawal and borderline caffeine overdoses. He and the rest of the study group surrounded Maria. While they tended to this incidental patient the rest of the class settled deeper into their seats. No one would be confessing any time soon.

    • Nice!
      Definitely hadn’t thought about a classroom setting like this when I was writing it, so well done taking it some place unexpected!

      In one of my college classes I heard some kids talking about how the test had been exactly like the versions they had studied off of, laughing at how they had cheated and gotten 100% on the test. After class that day I stuck around to tell the proffessor what I had heard – to at least let him know that there were versions of his test floating around and maybe he should make a new one, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “All the information the students need for the test is in the book. If you study that you have just as much of a chance of getting a 100 as do the kids who cheat.” I was floored… That was the beginning of the end of me having any interest in furthering my education between college.

      • Yikes! That’s not good. Especially because the difference is in one case you are studying the source material and actually learning. The the other your just memorizing answers. Guess which is going to be more beneficial in the long run? Too bad your professor put such a damper on your education. There are all sorts (maybe he was one of those that found a test when he was a student).

      • Sadly, he was one of the more celebrated professors in that field of study. He had such a high position of influence that he actually taught at 3 different universities in the area and I had to assume he was too busy with all those commitments to spend time developing new tests every class cycle.

      • That more than stinks. When I was in Grade 11, a copy of the final exam floated around for all to cheat. This was Algebra 2. Instead of saying anything, I purposely failed the exam. I was a straight A student in the class and the instructor commented that I failed. When I told her that I knew I failed, she looked at me like I had a tail. I wonder if she ever knew the truth.

      • If she ever knew or if she even really cared. Ugh. I guess it is a more pervasive problem than I had thought. That’s disheartening and makes me even less happy about schooling through all levels.

  2. I had a little story forming until I read the bit about gravity, then all I could think of was:

    ….As he slammed into the concrete 700 foot below him.

    But then that was a bit lame so I thunked again.

    … he felt as if he were floating in slow motion and he actually felt at peace which was in stark contrast to the turmoil that he felt even just a few seconds ago. He would be with his family again soon and they would all be together once more, the arsonists that had burnt down his home whilst his family was asleep had paid the price already, their body parts scattered around various places around town. He had stayed alive only long enough to gain vengeance for those that could not, and it felt good.

    He opened his eyes as much as he could, a beautiful sunset cast across the sky, large fluffy clouds hovered in the distance like forgiving witnesses to his actions.

    He looked down, the ground was reaching up to him, beckoning him closer and just before his journey came to an abrupt stop, he smiled and all was good in the world.

    ———-
    Not sure how this came out, I kinda knew what I wanted in my head but not sure if the reality came out well.

  3. As he fell to the ground the whole sorted scene replayed in his mind. Had he killed her? Was this really happening or was it just a bad dream. Longing to awake he opens his eyes only to discover he is awake. His head still pounding, neighbours staring as the cops cuff him and read his rights. It’s all too much and things go black for a moment. When he comes back his memory has completely left him. He doesn’t even know his name…

    • Oh, twist! True traumatic amnesia, or convenient so he can’t answer questions?
      Plus, was he really guilty? Had he murdered someone? So many unanswered questions!! I demand more!! Keep writing.
      Please.
      Pretty please?

    • He doesn’t understand why a body is being wheeled out of what he assumes is his home, or who’s in it. He catches a glance of red, red on his hands and realizes it’s blood. Where did the blood come from? He looks around to get a better picture of what’s going on. He wishes there was someone there to explain, but no one steps forward. Only the cops who seem to be very aggressive. He asks what’s just happened but all he hears is, “You have the right to remain silent.” He can’t remember a thing and now he knows the cops don’t believe him. He does the only thing he knows to do in this whirlwind of a moment. He yells out for someone to tell that knows him, to explain what’s going on.
      One person he doesn’t recognize steps out of the crowd..

  4. The professor looked at me in one of those weird mixtures of amusement and disgust. God, she was beautiful for someone in her fifties. My head was ready to explode but at the same time I just wanted her to hold me tight, my head between her breasts. I wanted to die on the spot. I wanted to…

    “Jason.”

    I came out of the trance at the sound of her voice.

    “Jason, you need to stop drinking so much on Thursday nights. You can’t keep coming in every Friday morning with a hang-over. You’re a brilliant student. Don’t throw it all away. If you need help the student health center has support programs.”

    I stepped back feeling… oh the horror. “You are absolutely right Dr. Todd, it won’t happen again. Oh God, don’t call my parents. Whatever you do…”

    Then I turned and staggered away to the library to find solace in the stacks and sleep off my nightmare and start anew.

    ————————–

    (More of a punchline to your brilliant prompt. Just got back from 4 days in the mountains with no internet or phones so my brain is still trying to get back to civilization – just like Jason. This was fun. Thanks for the prompt.)

    • Ah, time in the mountains. I hope it was wonderful. I’ll be taking my own mountain adventure next week. I’m very much looking forward to it. Love this take on the prompt! Not sure I’d have picked the library as my place of solace… but, to each their own, as they say. 😉

      • Thanks it was nice. Hope your trip is great.

        Glad you liked my odd bit of writing. There was a lot of solace and sleeping in the UCD library back in the days… deep dark underground spaces where only the most serious students or serious problems would go. It was another world down there.

      • I think I was only in the UCSD library a handful of times… Once when I toured the school, once during orientation, once when I was meeting a friend there, and once when I had to do some research on a paper I was writing on the physical comedy in Monty Python movies (a 12 page paper I got an A on, thanks for asking).

  5. He didn’t feel anything as his body crashed onto the landing. He no longer felt pain and he knew he needed to exact his revenge on just two more people, the one who injected him, and the one who falsely said she could cure him. He only had 24 hours. If he wasn’t successful, the pain would return for 365 days.

    Yours will be better…wow, I’m doing fiction, horribly.

    • You are doing fiction wonderfully!!
      I like revenge tales. 😉 And revenge on a timeline… bring it on. I bet you could keep this going… see where the character goes in the next 24 hours.

      • He opened his eyes and closed them, then shook his head. He stood with the expectation that the wave of excrutiating pain would buckle his legs, but it didn’t. He decided to hunt the one who injected him, first. He found his vehicle and punched in the coordinates to his mark. Within 8 hours he had travelled 4,000 miles. Just a few years ago, his 24 hours would be up, and he would have to wait another year. Go technology. He rang the bell. A woman who identified herself as the landlady explained that his mark left just two days ago. The mark paid the final rent plus 5,000 in local currency. Shit! He had no idea what to do next. He had 15 hours left after peppering her with questions. He left in frustration. What to do? His gut told him to return to the starting point. Okay. He punched in the coordinates and…nothing. What the Hell?

        A bystander told him that all electronic devices were on shut down for 6 hours to recharge. Go technology? He had 9 hrs to return to his starting point and 8 would be travel. All might be okay if landlady couldn’t warn his mark.

        He made the 4000 mile journey. In town, his eyes met his mark’s. The mark ran. He felt a twinge of pain in his legs. NO. This wasn’t going to happen again. He kept pace plus a few quicker steps. He caught the man who injected him. His body was rebelling but he was determined to end this. “Why did you do this?” His mark replied, “She made me…”. He responded, “Who?’ His mark showed the picture of the one who promised to save him. He asked, ” Why?.”. The mark replied as he injected himself with a syringe, “you will never know, unless she tells you. Unless you find her. I’m done. Enjoy your year in agony.”

        Done.

      • Riveting. Well done, again.
        Dark and mysterious. Compelling. With some humor too! Stupid technology… so useful at times and so useless at others.
        Thanks for adding some more to your story!

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