The Gates of Hell

979edffc-b85c-4449-9c3a-1e43e7686501.jpegTake the gun,” she said, handing me the revolver. She was stunning. A ginger with green eyes and a body that wouldn’t quit. I’d walk to the gates of Hell for her if she’d ask me to.

What’s the plan?” I asked after taking the gun from her.

“We break camp at dawn,” she said. “We’ll be meeting up with fighters from the other rebel camps in the foothills just south of the metropolis.”

“You know that the government troops will still seriously outnumber and outgun us,” I pointed out.

“Our objective is to cause as much havoc as we can, to disrupt their operations, and to try not to let them capture or kill us when we inevitably retreat,” she said.

“From what you’re saying” I said, “it sounds like this is shaping up to be a suicide mission.”

“You’re probably right,” she said, “but we are rebels with a good cause. As Patrick Henry said, ‘Give me liberty or give me death.’ I’ll see you either at the rendezvous point tomorrow night or we’ll spend an eternity in Hell together.”

See, I told you I’d be willing to walk to the gates of Hell for her if she asked. And that’s exactly what she was asking.


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt, where the first line is “Take the Gun,” and for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter, where the line is “What’s the plan?” Also for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (camp), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (rebel), The Daily Spur (metropolis), Word of the Day Challenge (capture), and Your Daily Word Prompt (eternity).

Which Way Is North?

DA17162C-BFB8-4EFF-9F8D-E564D951C9E4Breathe in, breathe out, you’ll be okay,” Hank said to his wife. “Listen, there are a lot of people who are directionally challenged. You just have to try understand that driving uphill doesn’t mean that you’re headed north.”

Tell me something I don’t already know,” Beth said. “Intellectually I understand that. But when the lady in the GPS tells me to head north, my brain converts that to uphill. And when she says go south, I can’t help but think she means to go downhill.”

“I suppose there’s a certain percent of the public that associates north and south to up and down,” Hank said.

“That’s easy for you to say,” Beth said. “I’d estimate that it’s an incredibly tiny number of people who do that. I feel so stupid.”

“Just pull over, take a deep breath, and get yourself together.” Hank said. “It’s understandable that you’d feel that way. After all, Beth, when you look at a map, north is up and south is down.”

When the car was parked by the side of the road, Beth started crying hysterically. Hank reached over and grabbed her hand. “Hey, Beth, it’s okay. You have so many great characteristics that being directionally challenged is insignificant. Look at our president. He just tweeted that the moon is part of Mars, for crissake.”

“Yeah, I know you’re right, Hank,” Beth said. “And given that I’m close to hysterical, I really do appreciate your ability to maintain a stolid demeanor. Since you’re so cool, calm, and collected, I think you should get behind the wheel.”

“Fine,” Hank said, walking around to the driver’s side of the car. “Let’s see. We’re supposed to head north from here. That means we just go up that hill, right?”


Written for the Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday prompt (“Breath in, breath out, you’ll be okay”), for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter prompt (“Tell me”), and for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (directional), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (percent), Word of the Day Challenge (public), The Daily Spur (estimate), and Your Daily Word Prompt (stolid).

She is the One

58DC3994-C8C2-47B6-BFD5-6767C9A8337ASara never thought of herself as special. Sure, she was tall, blonde, and beautiful. But between genetic engineering, hair coloring, and cosmetic surgery, who wasn’t?

But then, in 2180, everything changed for her. She was looking for a position within the security force and had transmitted her CV in response to an inquiry from a bot investigator. When she got a message on her communicator regarding her CV, she provided the bot with her physical world coordinates and was instantly teleported to what looked like an underground room in a 21st century ruin.

Sara looked around the dank, dirty room into which she found herself when she noticed what appeared to be a tiny, iridescent dot on a far wall. She walked up to it and touched the dot with her index finger. That action brought the wall to life, a giant screen with thousands of horizontal dots and shimmering images appeared before her.

Instead of jumping back in fear, though, as so many who had preceded her had done, Sara was intrigued. She reached out and touched the screen and she instantly knew exactly what it meant.

At a different location in another dimension, the Managers were watching Sara as she absorbed what was passing from the screen to her consciousness. “Is she the one?” one of the Managers asked.

“Even in the darkest hour, you can see her light, the Manager of the Managers said. “She is, indeed, the one.”


Written for The Haunted Wordsmith Daily Prompt. Teresa selected the genre of “Superhero” and the Sentence Starter of “Even in the darkest hour, you can see his (or her) light.” Photo credit: Josh Hild on Unsplash.

Time to Write — The Peephole

513BBE11-0F37-4BDE-AB11-0E0A58674BEA“How did you find me?” Jimmy asked Anita.

Just an hour earlier, Jimmy had been sitting on his living room couch sucking on a joint and watching a baseball game on TV when his doorbell rang. “Damn, who the fuck could that be?” he said aloud. He slowly stood up and walked to the door. When he looked through the peephole, he saw a young woman, maybe in her late teens or early twenties, someone Jimmy didn’t recognize.

He decided to just ignore the unexpected visitor, whoever she was, and to head back to his couch and finish watching the game, but as he started to back away from the door, the doorbell rang again and he heard the woman’s voice say, “I know you’re in there. I saw you look through the peephole.”

Jimmy opened the door and said, “Whatever you’re selling, whether it’s Girl Scout cookies, magazine subscriptions, or Jesus Christ, I’m not interested.” He started to shut the door when she literally stuck her foot in the doorway.

“Wait,” she said. “Are you James McMurphy?”

Surprised that she knew his name, he said, “Yeah, who the fuck are you? What do you want?”

“Do you know Rebecca Hartley?” she asked.

“No, I don’t,” Jimmy responded, although in the far reaches of his mind, the name did sound a little familiar.

“Did you go to Northgate High School?” she asked.

Jimmy was losing patience. “So what if I did? Who are you and what’s this all about?”

“May I come in?” she asked.

Jimmy sighed, stepped aside, and waived her in. Once she was inside, he shut the door and said, “Yeah, so?”

The young woman made a sniffing gesture and smiled at the familiar aroma of marijuana. “My name’s Anita,” she said, putting out a hand for Jimmy to shake. “And you’re my father.”

Jimmy started laughing. “Yeah, right,” he said. “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what your game is, but you need to get the fuck outta here.” He reopened the door.

“Rebecca Hartley!” she blurted out. “She is, or was, my mother. She died last month.”

Jimmy closed the door. “I’m sorry about your mother, but I don’t know your mother and I sure as shit ain’t your father.”

Anita reached into a backpack she was carrying, pulled out a few old photographs, handed them to Jimmy, and said “That’s you in these pictures with my mom, isn’t it?”

It had been 22 years since Jimmy had seen these pictures, but when he looked at them, his mind was flooded with memories. “Becky,” he whispered. He looked up at Anita and said, “You’re Becky’s kid?”

“And yours.”

“No way. Becky would have told me if I’d have knocked her up.”

“She never told you because she knew you weren’t right for each other,” Anita said. “You only went out three or four times, but she said you were hot and, well, I happened. It was the summer after you graduated when she found out that she was pregnant with me. You were getting ready to leave for Ann Arbor on a football scholarship and she didn’t want to burden you.”

Jimmy was dumbfounded. He walked over to the couch, sat down, grabbed the remote, and turned off the TV. He picked up the joint and lit it, took a deep drag, looked up at Anita, who was still standing by the door, and asked, “How did you find me?”


Written for this week’s Time to Write Sentence Starter prompt from Rachel Poli.

 

Time To Write — Trial and Error

1018822723Look at that!” William said. “I can’t believe how full the courtroom is.”

“I know,” Jason, who was sitting in the first row of seats directly behind William, acknowledged. There’s a real flurry of activity here.”

“That’s good news,” William’s lawyer said. “We’ll have plenty of character witness to testify on your behalf in this lawsuit.”

The judge asked the attorneys if they were ready to proceed with their opening remarks. The defense attorney started first. “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said. “This case may be an emotional one for you to hear, but your job is weigh the evidence in a cool, dispassionate manner. You will see that the accident that injured the plaintiff was caused by his own willful negligence and irrational behavior.”

The lawyer pointed to a police officer in the courtroom. “You’ll also hear from the officer who attempted to collar the plaintiff, only to have the plaintiff, despite having just broken his leg, attempt to flee the scene. There is simply no way anyone in his or her right mind could condone what the plaintiff did or that it was in any way the fault of my client, the defendant.”

Then it was the William’s attorney with the opportunity to address the jury. “My client, this poor, now crippled young man, was simply doing his laundry at the laundromat. He put his clothing in a basket and brought it to the establishment, where he loaded it into the washing machine. As he was waiting for his wash to complete, he climbed into the industrial-sized dryer and asked his friend, Jason, to turn it on. It was at that point that my client sustained the severe fracture to his right femur, rendering him unable to walk without crutches.”

The lawyer moved closer to the jury box, used his finger and thumb to sarcastically mimic playing a tiny violin, and in a stage whisper, said, “The opposing side would have you believe that my client’s actions were reckless and that the owner of the laundromat should not be responsible for my client’s medical expenses plus compensation for pain and suffering. But let me inform that there are no signs or warning labels anywhere in the establishment indicating that patrons should not climb into the machines. So how was poor William to know that doing so would result in personal injury. Thank you.”

The judge shook his head and said, “I’m sorry, but this case is an insult to my court.” He looked directly at William and said, “Son, you’re a jackass and the injuries you sustained were due to your own stupidity. Case dismissed.”


Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write Sentence Starter prompt, where the starter is “Look at that!” Also for Paula Light’s Three Things Challenge, where the three things are basket, violin, and lawsuit. And for Teresa’s Opposites Attract prompt, where the opposites are emotional, cool, and dispassionate. And finally, for these daily prompts: Your Daily Word Prompt (flurry, plenty), Word of the Day Challenge (collar), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (condone), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (laundry).