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Featured Stories, Week of November 4, 2018: "It's Only The Woods" and "The Freeloader"

Updated: May 12, 2021

Each week we feature a story written by one or two of our group members at our weekly meetings. For this week's featured stories, we used a prompt generator that gave us a subject, an action, and a result, and used those to inform our stories. We had 20 minutes to write.

It's Only The Woods

By Madison Hodges

The woods were always a looming presence on the sleepy town of Amsterdam. Particularly windy days would leave the trees moaning and creaking with ominous menace.

But it was only the woods, people would say. Comforting their children but always cautioning them to keep their distance.

It was only the woods.

But then one day when the winds were gone the moaning remained. The groans still came and parents tried to say the same.

It’s only the woods, they said. The trees of this forest are old and make plenty of noise, but no matter what stay away from the woods, girls and boys.

You never know what you might see.

As they passed by and the groans grew louder, their pleas for distance came stronger. But one little girl peered into the woods, and kept looking for just a moment longer. Her mother came to pull her away and demanded what she thought she was doing.

There’s a man in the woods, said the little girl, to her mother’s growing panic. A funny looking man with a painted smile on his face and holding something that looked like a knife.

From there the mother ran with her daughter in tow. To warn the whole town, as they all should know.

It’s not just the woods; there’s a man out there. And he’s coming to take all their lives.

She pounded down doors and gathered every person to rally against this strange man. The people of this town banded together and ran down the streets with weapons in hand. We must find this man, this danger, this threat, we should have known these woods are as dangerous as it gets.

And just as they reached the forest’s edge, a lumbering shape emerged from the creaky woods. His groaning voice echoed across the street as he stood to full height, his painted face shadowed and menacing as he loomed over the crowd in streetlights.

GET HIM, they shouted as they surrounded this man.

In no time at all, they had taken hold of each limb and pulled and pulled him away. Away from their township. Away from their children. Away from their creaky old woods. Until there were great rips and splatters, each limb coming loose in their grips.

This clown is no more, and no longer a threat. They’d done it! And saved them all!

And yet....

That’s what they thought until the very next day when they all had heard the news.

Little Timmy Smith and his mother and sisters were looking for their missing father, Marty. The last time they saw him, he was dressed up as a clown at little Timmy’s birthday party. He’d just finished cutting the ice cream cake when he had taken a slice and experienced the greatest pains of his life.

He went to the woods to take a break, not knowing he had made such a grave mistake.

The Prompts: A lactose intolerant clown emerges from the creaky wood and is pulled limb from limb.

The Freeloader

by Salem Cole

The time of the vampires had come, and with this consummated the era of chaos.

Rivers no longer flowed with water but with the blood of our victims. Humans were no longer the top of the food chain. We welcomed our livestock to fight back. It was humorous to see them try with their guns. I remember, before I was turned, how hard they fought to keep their guns, and now, they hold them like a rosary.

The only weapon left that could stop us was the sun. That was my job, to find a way to block out the sun. We were a group of a hundred, scattered about in the wilds of Eastern Europe. Legend told of a leader long since disappeared who understood real science—magic. I’d say deceased, but if the legends were true, death was his puppet. After years of searching, my research team found him, buried beneath a fallen castle. There he was, our master, our king, our leader into the everlasting night.

It took lots of vampires to open the sages' old tomb to Dracula… and when he awoke… he was a total jackass. Don’t believe me? I’d take a picture if he’d show up in it, but the guy is drinking a bloody Mary on my couch playing Mario Kart.

I looked to my brethren who helped me find him. We all were squished in my one bedroom apartment, wanting nothing more than our fierce leader to speak words of wisdom… or speak Latin, something that that wasn’t interrupted by a burp. Nope, there he was in his cape, using it as a napkin to clean up the spilled bloody Mary. He’s a lot clumsier than I imagined.

“What now?” whispered Sir Icarus of the Night Kingdom to me.

“Well, I’d hate to be that vampire, but until we slaughter all Humans, I have to pay rent… so personally I’d love for him not to be a freeloader anymore.” My voice grew louder at the end just in case Dracula’s ears were full of coffin dust.

“It’s been a month, and all he’s wanted is to drink, have sex, and check out the Naughty Unicorn club every night,” said Icarus.

“The Naughty Unicorn is fun,” piped in Robert. He’s the newest turned one in the group.

“I’m sure he’s just happy to be out of the coffin and is sowing his pent-up oats until he has a battle plan,” I said, trying to reassure the murder of vampires in my 500sq ft home.

My nerves were getting the better of me. No one dared to go up against his lord Dracula, but angry vampires could easily gang up on me to satisfy their frustrations.

Dracula stood up. We all froze; didn’t even breathe. He stepped toward us, towering over all of us. His blood red eyes shined in the dimly lit living room. He reached out to me, gripping my shoulder. I felt his nails dig into my skin. He leaned in and burped into my ear.

“You got any beer?”

Prompt: Vampires - lots of them - opened the sages' old tomb and Dracula was a total jackass.

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