Friday, June 3, 2016

Friday Prompt

Shannon Dittemore is the author of the Angel Eyes trilogy. She has an overactive imagination and a passion for truth. Her lifelong journey to combine the two is responsible for a stint at Portland Bible College, performances with local theater companies, and a love of all things literary. When she isn’t writing, she spends her days with her husband, Matt, imagining things unseen and chasing their two children around their home in Northern California. To connect with Shan, check out her website, FB, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Hey all! How are those last few days of school going? If you're anything like me, your brain has switched over to automatic and you're just trying to make it through this week--and maybe next--in one piece.

You can do it, friends! I promise.

How about a little writing prompt to kick start your summer writing session?

Here's how it works: I'll start and then you continue on in the comments section--a nice chunky paragraph, alright? Do the thing justice and then come back throughout the weekend to encourage your friends. Keep it clean for me and enjoy yourself! Writing is supposed to be FUN, remember?

37 comments:

  1. It was too perfect. the sand was neatly stacked in towers. It was not the work of a five year old boy, nor some work that could have been done by Max. Max got right up to the wall and touched it, even though he felt like it was the wrong thing to do.
    When he touched it he found out why.
    A siren started to shriek, but it was only in his head. He had an urge to run, but his feet were glued to the ground. It only felt like his eyes could move, but when he moved them, he saw that the rest of his was only perfect sand.

    Thank you so much for the post! I love writing prompts, it gives me time to work on something else when I'm getting sick of the current story I'm writing.

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    1. Sorry for the grammar errors.

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    2. Great job! And don't worry a thing about writing errors. They are just the reality of writing fast.

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  2. It was just a sandcastle. He's watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about it. Pearl white and the soft pink of flesh coated shells that dotted the sand. Towers peaked and melted in with the smooth walls. No cracks. No sign that it could crumble away when the tide came roaring in.
    Something flashed past the doorway; a blur of black.
    Aha! Max put a cheek to the sand, squinting to see inside the door. But nothing but darkness and an even sand floor greeted him. Shaking his head at his paranoia, (he blamed all the books he read,) he stood.
    As he walked away he could have sworn something laughed.

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    1. Oooo! I like it. I wonder how that laugh sounded.

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    2. Me too! I want to read on. :)

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  3. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the way the light glinted off the packed sand. It was too bright, almost unearthly.
    Max had no idea why his heart was beating so fast the closer he got to the little castle. But the air around him was still, and in his mind the memory of the child building the sand castle played in slow motion. He had forgotten how strange the child's smile was.
    Close enough now to touch it, Max reached out and brushed one of the turrets with his fingertips.
    A bright flash of light blinded him, and the coldest, eeriest wind he had ever felt blasted him backward. He landed on his back in the sand, gasping for breath. Bright light blinded him, and he held his arm up to guard his eyes.
    But amidst all the light was a darkness. Max began crawling frantically backward. But the black silhouette that was standing before him, growing larger by the second, did not get any farther away.

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  4. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the way the ocean waves seemed to part around the base of the castle. Not a single grain of sand was washed away.
    "Do you like it?"
    Max nearly jumped out of his skin. Standing behind him was the boy who'd crafted the sandcastle. He still wore his navy blue, Hawaiian-print swim trunks despite the late hour and cold ocean breeze.
    The boy tilted his head, green eyes unblinking. "I asked if you liked it."
    "Uh, yeah. It's cool," Max said, slightly uneasy.
    The strange kid kept staring, and a happy grin split his face. "Good. You can live there!"
    "What?" Max asked, but the boy cast his hands out in front of him. The wind picked up, and sand billowed around them. Max flew backwards and landed with a hard thump on the ground. When he opened his eyes, he found himself surrounded by four walls made out of sand. The boy stood outside, now as large as a giant. Max was inside the sandcastle.
    The boy's booming laugh shook the castle walls.

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    1. Love this! So fun! I wonder what he gets up to inside that big ol' castle?

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    2. Nice! The little kid us playing jailer with the grown-up! Only the kid is has very special abilities, doesn't he?

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  6. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about a red-colored sandcastle, not that he hadn't seen one before.
    "Heave-ho!" The tiny General Torin, Max's arch-enemy shouted. "Raise the flag."
    Great. They were back. Max jumped to his feet and got out of rang of their tiny arrows.
    In less than an hour, that castle would be bigger than his house, and the people-- well, bigger than him. The general was after him again.
    And this time, Max's son would pay.

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    1. Interesting! You've captured some lovely world building here. Good job.

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  8. It was just a sandcastle. He's watched the kid build it, for crying out loud.
    But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange going on with the crumbling towers and shifting sand...the tide hadn't touched it for two hours, and yet there it was, falling apart. He inched closer, lying on his stomach to get a better view. He touched the packed sand gingerly, then sucked in his breath as there was a slight rumble, and the castle fell to dust. "Crap," he murmured, getting to his feet. It had been a real beauty, too. Best to get out of here...

    "Stop." Max froze. When he turned around, no one was there. "You...you ruined that, didn't you? Did it give you happiness?" Max frowned. "Who's there?"

    There was a laugh, a hollow laugh that seemed to wash up from sea. It sent chills down Max's spine. "I'll have to sleep in the cold tonight. Perhaps it'll made you laugh. Did you laugh when you ruined my home?"

    Max's eyes widened. The laugh reverberated through the air once more, and Max turned around and ran. Something grabbed his feet, and he screamed as he stumbled and fell to the ground. An invisible force grabbed hold of his ankles, dragging him to the rising tide. Max sobbed, screaming for help, for his parents, for anyone. The voice whispered cruelly. "Let's see you like the cold water yourself, pretty child...

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    1. *shivers* Very cool. Creepy and cool. Love it.

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  9. It was just a sandcastle. He's watched the kid build it, for crying out loud.
    But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about it--perhaps it was the opulent decorations, which he had initially mistook for common shells, but were in fact glistening gemstones. The castle was decorated like a royal crown, the jewels embedded in intricate, flowing designs. They were perfect. Some were smooth, some had geometrically exact facets, none had a single blemish. It was unnatural.
    Max plucked what appeared to be a diamond from from of the towers, sudden excitement quickening his heart. There was no one there. He could collect the gems, sell them, set off to live the high life...
    "Thief?" The voice was not bitter or angry, but rather shocked--tinny and small.
    Max looked down. The kid who had built the castle was standing in from of him...only minuscule. It was androgynous, its eyes now glittering and beady like a iridescent beetle shell. The kid took a step forward and expanded to its former size. Max backed away. Now that it was this close, he could see that its pale skin was white like frosted glass, that its soft hair was parted over pointed ears, and when it smiled it had fangs.
    It pointed at him. "That's your first payment," it announced. "You're my soldier now, do you understand? You'll defend my castle from...them." It dropped its voice, eyes glinting delightedly. "The sirens."
    Max's mouth was dry, and his voice rasped. "S-sirens?"
    "I'm the last defense," the kid said solemnly. "And you won't let me fall too, will you?"

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    1. Sirens! What a cool way to go with it! Loved the world building here.

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    2. Ooh! So cool! I love a last stand beginning. :)

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    3. I love the line "And you won't let me fall too,will you?"
      Especially since it's a kid saying it!

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  10. It was just a sandcastle. He’d watched the kid build it, for crying out loud.
    But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the sand.
    Yes, it was a regular, pale yellow. Still wet from where the girl had dug it up and pushed it into her pail for shape. But the sand was drying now, towards the dying sun, and two indentations were forming in the castle’s base. A glimmer of white was exposed on their rims.
    “Where did you find this?” he asked the girl. He brushed off the sand, revealing the white. Bone—the rims he saw were empty eye sockets, now filled with sand. How long could he have dozed off for, that she found a skull and built her castle around it? A four-year old girl. . .
    “Daddy told me to put it in. He said it’s a. . . I forgot the words, Maxie.”
    He put his fingers in the sockets and pulled. There was a crack running down its side. He knew this skull—it had been in the glass case, at the museum.
    A click sounded behind him. Someone releasing their safety.
    “I believe the word is ‘message.’”

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    1. Oooo! Very surprising and fun way to go with it! Good job!

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  11. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud.

    But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange ...


    By the gentle light of the moon, he saw tiny shadows dance menacingly around its ramparts and across the plank bridge that spanned the surrounding moat. Max thought at first that they were fiddler crabs, until they lined up in front of the causeway, and the plank lifted as if by magic, sealing the castle gate.

    Shaking, he squeezed the button on his flashlight, hoping the comforting, yellow beam would prove his eyes false, but nothing happened. "Dead again!" He muttered, running a rough hand through his hair.

    Then, Max heard a voice, a small voice echoing distantly. He couldn't understand it at first, but it repeated, louder this time, and he realized with a start that it was not one echoing voice but lots of tiny voices saying the same thing at the same time.

    "Halt! Who goes there? Identify thyself, whether ye be friend or foe."

    Max looked around. He looked up. And then, he looked down. The crabs, or ... whatever they were, appeared to be gazing up at him expectantly.

    Suddenly his mouth felt very dry. "I, uh ... whose friend or foe?"

    "Whose friend or foe? Whose? Why her Majesty's, Queen Silvia of the Sands." Said the foremost of the creatures.

    "Well?" It added, as he hesitated.

    "Oh, um, hmm ..." They made a move toward him. "Friend! Friend of course!"

    "A friend! If ye be her Majesty's friend, we must bring ye to her chamber at once."

    Max stared. What? How in the world ...

    The castle seemed bigger than before, and it grew until he couldn't even see the buttresses from where he stood.

    Max turned to flee but his arms were immediately seized by vice-like grips and he was dragged toward the moat. One of the creatures sounded a trumpet, and the plank-er, bridge, came down with a crash that shook the ground beneath his feet.

    Max dared not scream, not knowing what they might do to him if he did, and his final thought, as they dragged him inside, was "This is what I get for being nosy about my neighbors."

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  12. It was just a sandcastle. He's watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was quiet now, abandoned. And as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the sand around the drawbridge. Markings of some kind, words maybe?

    Casually stepping closer (so as not to seem too interested if it turned out to be nothing- abanded or not, you can never be too sure) he looked down at the words written in the sand.

    SEEK

    Seek? Seek what? Life on Mars? MacDonald's next happy-meal toy? Disney's next chick flick? The meaning of life? What?

    Max snorted and shook his head. This was all too cryptic and mysterious. Not to mention foolish that he wasted his time looking at. He had to admit that it was a nice touch, though. It would probably up the tourist attraction.

    Sneering at himself for his blasted curiosity, he turned to see the boy from before.
    So much for quiet abandonment.

    "What are you doing here, kid? Where are your parents?"

    "My Dad's with me. He's over there collecting shells. Mom and Sis are doing girl stuff."
    He made a face as if the very mention of "girl stuff" was disgusting.

    "Did you write in the sand?" Max blurted out. Curse his curiosity, it had gotten him in enough trouble for more than the nine lives of a cat, and you see where it the cat!

    The boy shrugged. "My Dad says it all the time, the 'Seek and you will find' and I thought that 'SEEK' sounded pretty cool for a Rescue Base. Especially since it stands for Spy Extreme Encourager King! Not to mention that everyone seeks SOMETHING. So it kind of fit, if you know what I mean."

    "Sounds nice, kid. I think your Dad is coming this way, so you might want to go now." Max really wasn't comfortable with kids. They talked to much and too...insightfully. It was disconcerting.

    "Okay. Goodbye!" The boy ran off, and I saw him grab his Dad's hand as they walked off together. Glad that someone's Dad cared enough to do a good job of it.

    Seek and you will find.

    Maybe he should go back. Sure, it's a load of sentimentality, probably foolish, and most likely all going to go south, but what had he left to do? Heck, he had already turned himself in cicles. He was drowning, thrashing in the curents of life and didn't know which way was up.

    Maybe it wastime to go on a seeking excursion. Who knows, he might just find X marks the spot!

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  13. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was abandoned now, and as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the symmetry and perfection of the soaring towers and carved windows. He sat looking at the castle for almost ten minutes and nearly jumped out of his swim trunks when a voice said, "It really is amazing, huh?"
    "Whoa!" Max scrambled to his feet. "Do you know the kid who made this?" He turned around, and standing behind him was a vision. One-piece swimsuit, perfect legs, golden hair and a face that could melt with a glance.
    "The 'kid who made this' is my little brother," she said. "And by the way, my name's Brittany."

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    1. After "my little brother" comes the sentence "He's an autistic savant."

      Writing prompts are the best!

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    2. Such a fun way to go with the prompt! Unique and different from the fantastical interpretations before. I love that each of us has a unique voice and view point. Great job.

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  14. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was abandoned now, and as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the location. Shifty sand on a steep bluff above a bed of sea rocks, looking out over the sea.
    Not the safest of places, especially in light of recent events.

    Why would a kid play there? Better yet, why would his guardians let him?

    Looking around in search for the boy -or anyone, for that matter- proved fruitless. Climbing up the scattered rocks, Max could only hope that the boy was safe and behind closed doors.

    Now on top of the bluff, Max cautiously knelt beside the sandcastle and studied it's unusual design.
    The castle itself was triangular in shape, the body being three swirls branching out from the center in the form of a Triskelion. In the center there was a tower, proudly bearing a scrap piece of paper twisted around a stick as some sort of a crude flag.

    Max shook his head in horrified incredulity. No. Not the boy, he was a kid! Just a kid!

    A kid who's Grandfather and Mother had mysteriously disappeared on this very beach. No trace other than triskelions drawn in the sand.

    Angrily, Max kicked down the sandcastle and snatched the crumpled paper.
    Forcing himself to open it camly, Max read the message.

    "'One for the Master, one for the Dame, and one for the Little Boy who lives down the lane.' The slavery of three will be sufficient payment for all debts. I will no longer seek vengeance for my stolen thone so long as you will not seek out your Crown, your Jewel, or your Heir. Find them, and I will slaughter you all-Trey of Kiellem"


    Max stood there for some time before folding the paper carefully and placing it in his pocket.

    If Trey was stupid enough to think that a mere threat would stop the Royal House and their Guard, then he was sorely mistaken.

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  15. Very interesting! Mysterious and intriguing. Great job!

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  16. It was just a sandcastle. He'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was abandoned now, and as Max crept closer he had to admit there was something strange about the kid who had built it. She had walked kinda funny and after disappearing behind some rocks (which were a complete dead end) she hadn't come out. Max had looked for her but she had disappeared. He decided to look closer at the sand castle, even though from this far away, he could see it was pretty complicated.
    As he came closer, the sandcastle seemed to get farther away. Huh, he thought as he tried to get closer. What is going on?
    He started running towards it, but every time he got within five feet of the sandcastle, it, or him, was ten feet away again. He stopped chasing after it and looked around. WHERE WAS HE???? A minute ago he had been on the beach, but now he was.... somewhere else. It didn't look familiar and it looked kind of strange. But then he saw the girl. Only, it wasn't the girl. Was it? Her top half looked the same but then the bottom half....
    He fainted.

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  17. It was just a sandcastle. She'd watched the kid build it, for crying out loud. But the beach was abandoned now, and as Max crept closer she had to admit there was something strange about about the castle. She didn't realize that as she got closer the castle slowly turned into a humongous palace, and got larger with every step, and when she reached the palace, not only did she realize what had happened, but she also realized that the beach had disappeared entirely. Being an adult she was suspicious of the palace at first, but as she remembered her childhood dream to live in a palace she squealed with joy. She walked up to the gates, and knocked loudly. A young man answered the door,
    "You may enter, however if you enter you must live here. But if you live here all your memories will be taken from you and you will seem to be alone. Are you all right with that?"

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