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Monday, September 30, 2013

Terrible Minds Cliffhanger Challenge. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!


I've written about Chuck Wendig's blog (Terrible Minds) before, and I've taken up a few of his flash fiction challenges. Well, this is another.


Here’s what you’re going to do:
You’re going to write an unfinished story.
Around 1000 words that leads to a cliffhanger of some kind.
Then, next week, we’ll pick up in part two –
Where someone else may write the end of your story.
You’re writing, in a sense, to entice another writer to want to complete the second half of your tale. To answer the cliffhanger, to be the one who saves the day, solves the mystery.
Like I said: ~1000 words.
Post at your online space. Link back here so we can read it.

If you'd like, read the complete blog post here:

I chose the following story to add to (although I couldn't complete it within the thousand word parameter, so... I didn't.) If the author of the original would like me to carry on, I will, as I'd like to see how this story ends!

Here is "part one" READ THIS FIRST (follow this link):

I'd love to give the author credit, but all I could find was the name "Al" (maybe it's like "Cher," or "Madonna," or "Prince?").

Here is my continuation:

Julia opened her eyes. She was alone, but other than that, everything remained the same.

     Yet, she was alone. John and Katie were gone. Where were they? How long had she been out? She pushed herself off the floor and stood. The clock on the wall showed she’d only been out a minute or so. She felt fine. She wasn’t groggy or disoriented. The effect of the “drug” was in no way noticeable; nothing like she had expected or feared. Gazing at the floor, Julia noticed with some confusion that the pillow, mat, circles of copper wires, salt and oil weren’t present. That seemed impossible. She couldn’t see a grain of salt or a smear of oil on the tile floor. A chill ran up her spine.

     Julia’s mind raced, trying to rationalize the disappearance of the rings of protection, the rings which John had scoffed at as superstition. Before she could form any kind of conclusion, she heard the metallic click of a door latch; a slight sound that echoed from down the long hallway outside the door of the lab, followed by footsteps.

     She hid in the only place available, under a stainless steel table, pushing herself back into the corner as far as she could, knees drawn up against her. Her heart beat furiously. Julia could hear her own blood course through her head, feel her heartbeat against her thighs. She tried to take shallow breaths, to be as quiet as possible. The inevitable happened. The someone opened the door and walked into the room, Julia realized she’d failed to turn out the lights. He walked past the table where she hid. She heard him sit in a swivel office chair and sigh. He spoke. She almost screamed.

     “Angel of Mercy 33. Yeah. No one’s here. I know what you said. Your guy was wrong. They weren’t shooting the koolaid here. Yeah the lights are still on, just like I left them. I know. I know how dangerous it is to cross over. At least we don’t turn, like most of the ones who come our way. So, what now? Alright.”

     She realized he was on his cell. “Angel of Mercy 33” got up from the chair and walked out, turning off the lights. He closed the steel door. Julia heard the deadbolt click into place. She was locked in. She sat in the dark for what seemed like a half an hour, but when she crawled out of hiding and turned on the lights she saw that only five minutes had passed. She pulled out her own cell, only to see that she couldn’t get service.

     A lone computer sat on the desk where the guy had sat. She decided she’d try to attempt contact with John or Katie through the net. She sat and waited while the computer booted. A blue screen proclaiming “Windows 17c” was the operating system. Windows 17c? Never heard of that, she thought. A series of unknown icons filled the screen. The one most familiar was a stylized letter “e”, but orange rather than blue. She opened the browser. The home page was a news site, “MWN, MicroWare News.” The leading headline hit her psyche like a concrete bus: “More Deaths Attributed to MD Murderer.” Julia read the article in utter confusion. It read like a bad zombie novel. It seemed some type of fiend was randomly slaughtering people in a major metropolis that she didn’t recognize. Then eating part of his victims. The MD stood for “Multi-Dimensional,” she found out through the site search engine. What was going on? Katie would know. Katie followed every news site, legitimate and suspect; from CNN to the National Enquirer and beyond, looking for anything that might even be remotely connected to Ian’s disappearance/sighting. Julia would email Katie. She’d stay here as long as she could, awaiting a reply.

Julia couldn’t find her email account. She searched desperately. She found an email site that looked in every way like her gmail account, but was titled “Goggles.” She felt she was just wasting time. She shut down the computer.

     She tried the door. It was locked, just as she had expected. How was she going to get out of this room? She was below ground. No windows. No window out into the hall way. Her only chance was a key. She knew the lock on the door served one purpose only, to keep people out. The use of a deadbolt was the best way to achieve that. So, would there be a key available, in case someone was locked in? She found it in the top desk drawer and escaped the building.

     Julia found herself on the street, illuminated by the yellow glare of sodium lights, the sky black beyond the rectangles of light cast from the skyscrapers surrounding her. A patrol car slowly rolled by, emblazoned with reflective lettering: “New Jorvik Police.” She walked briskly, her sneakers making little sound. She pulled her gray hoodie over her short cropped hair, bleached blond. She didn’t hail a cab. She was afraid to. The drug had taken effect after all, she surmised. It was confusing her. She’d been unable to make sense of her internet browsing. Couldn’t find her email account. And what about New Jorvik Police? This was New York.

     The cool September air seemed to help clear her mind. She passed all the same apartment buildings and stores she had always passed on this nine block stretch of the city. She buzzed herself in to her apartment building, took the elevator to her floor, and made her way towards her door without incident. Julia stopped when she saw that something was wrong. Very wrong. A dark stain, like chocolate syrup, pooled from under her door. As she came closer, she realized it for what it was. Blood.
As I said, I'd like to complete this, but would rather do so only with the original author's approval.
If you're a writer, or a lover of edgy, dark fiction, you really need to check out Mr. Wendig's blog. And by "need" I mean like you "need" to breathe.
- Timothy Whitcher

Check out my two short stories, now published on Amazon Kindle:








Check out my new book, TEN LITTLE TERRORS, now on Amazon:


1 comment:

  1. Tim,

    So long as you credit me (which it appears you already have), feel free to continue! I'm planning on finishing it myself, so it'll be interesting to see which directions our divergent stories go