Featured Stories, Week of February 17, 2019 Part Two: "The Wall"
Updated: May 12, 2021
Each week we feature stories from members of our group based on the weekend meeting's prompt assignment. For our February 16th meeting, we used the Barnstormer app to select three subjects, then wrote for 20 minutes including those prompts and "something about a wall," as instructed by Erik Day.
Bernard and Shella
By Salem Cole
Prompts: 1) Odd couple 2) Royal 3) Wizard
“Bernard, I think it’s this way,” Shella said as she passed a troll frozen in stone. “We’ve passed this troll before, I just know it.”
Bernard let out a long sigh, just to let his wife know she was wrong. “We’ve been through this, follow the wand.”
Bernard motioned to the long knotty stick in his hand.
“That’s what you said to me the first time we made love, and I’ve regretted following a wand ever since.”
Bernard wanted to snap the wand in his hand. His words ran out of his mouth without a second thought. “Out of all the women I had to be magically compatible with, it had to be you. 50 years we’ve been doing this…”
“What was that dear?”
Bernard replied, “Nothing, love muffin. How about we continue following the spell and see what happens. If I’m wrong… we’ll come back to this troll.”
Shella shrugged and stood next to her husband. They held the wand together and spoke an incantation. The wand started to move and shot out of Bernard’s grasp. A light appeared at the end of the stick, like a firefly, and the wand flew through the wilderness towards its destination.
“It’s working!” Shella shouted with amusement.
“I told you it would work! We’ll find the kingdom in no time.”
The couple hobbled behind the wand like old dogs following a bone. The wand’s direction started going uphill to a castle. Shella held her lower back and cried out, “My sciatic nerve. Oh, Bernard, this better be worth all the trouble.”
Bernard helped Shella up the hill and gave words of comfort. “Don’t worry, honey, when we’re the king’s wizards, everything will be different. This is our chance at a better life!”
The couple approached the castle, which was complete with a mote, gators, gate, a pot of hot oil, and 100-foot wall with spikes. The couple cocked their head to the side.
“I’m getting a compensation vibe, but I could be wrong,” Shella remarked. They both shrugged and stepped toward the gate.
“Who goes there!?” cried out a guard from the wall’s walk way.
“Oh, hi! We’re Bernard and Shella”—Shella curtsied—“and we’re here to bring your kingdom magic! The wizard council pulled your king’s name out of the hat, so woopdydoo you guys are getting an upgrade by yours truly.”
“Magic?” The guard laughed uncontrollably. “What could we possibly want magic for? Look at our wall! We will never lower ourselves to use tricks of darkness and sorcery.”
Bernard and Shella walked together towards the gate, and Bernard continued talking. “Well, there are many benefits to having a wizarding couple in your kingdom. Firstly…”
The couple phased through the gate like it was air. The guard panicked and slid down the ladder. He stopped the couple from walking further.
“How! This is black magic!”
“Oh, honey, you read too many fantasy stories. Black magic… that’s a good one.” Shella laughed out as she patted the guard’s shoulder.
Bernard examined the interior of the wall and casually said, “We’re just proving the point that having this wall is not going to do you any good. The moment another kingdom attacks your door step and they have a pair of wizards like us… You’re going to wish you didn’t turn us away. A level 2 wizard could easily phase through this with a lightning bolt ready and then ‘boom’ BBQ soldiers. Mmmmm…”
Bernard spaced out for a moment. Shella hit him a couple of times.
“Were you thinking what I was thinking?” Shella eagerly asked.
“We should get BBQ on the way home?”
“Yes, the place with the boar decorations everywhere.”
“But they’re cash only!” Bernard turned to the guard and pulled out shiny pebbles from his pocket. “Do you guys have a magic rock for quid exchange booth here?”
By Ryan Carbrey
Prompts: 1) Flight 2) Natural 3) Motorcycle
One hundred and twelve meters north by northwest to the laundry by tunnel. Two hundred and twenty three meters west by tunnel to the motor pool. Enter through the bathroom grate. Change in the stall. One at a time. Hank gets the truck, Johann rides shotgun. Terrance, Sven, McCholes, find what you can, scuttle the rest. Six hundred and fifty meters south east to the tree line by tunnel. South by the star. Repeat.
This is the prayer. Fifteen Hail Mary's to the northwest, thirty two to the west. Ten to get dressed. Repeat. Count the steps.
Be mechanics. Be calm. Remember the prayer. Collect coils, collect distributers. Be same, be different. Be deliberate. Look like you're fixing them. There it is. We've met. There is only a staff car and a motorcycle and the truck. Cough. Cough cough. Cough.
“ESCAPE! ESCAPE!” Yell it as loud as you can. You are the alarm. No one looks twice at you. The truck clears the way. “After them!” your teammates will yell. They'll jump in the staff car. The will be angry. They will carry guns. The will fire warning shots.
Gesture. Give chase. Chastise them, those whose vehicles won't start. Implore them that the prisoners are getting away. Ride off on the only functioning motorcycle. Repeat the plan. Remember the prayer.
Fire off 'warning shots.' One hundred meters to the main gate, it looks like you're firing at the truck. Take out the towers. The barriers are meant to stop someone coming in. Going out they are brushed aside by the six wheel transport. More warning shots into the trucks in the yard. “Hurry up, they're getting away! They have guns!” Yes you do. Make them take that extra fifteen seconds of precaution. Head to the tree line. Full throttle, count to six, stop. Ninety seconds. That's all. Count it. Remember the plan, recite the prayer.
What's that sound? That buzz...air support. Four minutes early. Hold. Hold. Bullets rip the truck to pieces. Twist the throttle, fall in behind the staff car. Outrun the explosion that followed the bomb that followed he bullets. Gun for a clearing. Cross it dragging your rear tire in a pitch. Throw up dust. Make noise. Find the tree lined road. Hard to hit, easier to see. There's the sound. The staff car tears to pieces. Twist the throttle, there is the meadow. The hill, the wall. Come at it at an angle. Pull the handlebars. Not high enough, not fast enough. Caught in the wire. This will hurt. This is perfect. They need me now. That will take time.
I'm three clicks to the northwest.
Six hundred and fifty meters by tunnel to the southwest. Repeat the plan. Make your way to the pickup. They will be looking the other way. Say the prayer.