Wakefield Mahon’s #MotivationMonday (1/23/2012):
Prompts: Start with “People call them dragons.”
“People call them Dragons. The Eighty-Eight Dragons, to be exact.”
Captain Emerson looked out the grimy side window at the group—men in their teens and early twenties—lining the street and staring down vehicles as they passed. Some wore expensive hoodies, jeans, and shoes, while others were adorned with white wife-beaters that showed off expansive and colorful tattoos.
“You’re saying my boy joined them.” Her inquiry was phrased as more of a statement than a question.
Emerson nodded soberly and placed his hand on hers in an attempt to comfort the grieving woman.
She began to sob, quietly at first but then erupting into an hysterical outpouring of emotion. He let her express her sadness and frustration for several minutes without interruption.
“Why didn’t he tell me? Why would he do this without telling me?”
“I’m sure he didn’t want to hurt you, and, well, obviously he knew you would not approve.”
She frowned but said nothing, staring at the troublesome young men as they laughed and pushed each other playfully like little, deadly pit-bulls. She saw the glint of hand-guns in the waist-bands of at least two of them.
“I understand today is Chinese New Year?” he asked, jarring her from her thoughts.
“Yes, but we are Vietnamese. It is Tet, the Lunar New Year.”
“I am aware. Chuc mung nam moi,” he said softly, trying his best to comfort her.
“Thank you. Happy New Year to you too, Mr. Emerson.”
She laughed humorlessly, adding, “How ironic is it that this is the Year of the Dragon?”
He nodded. “Yes, I thought the same thing.”
She swallowed and began to muster her strength, as if the question she was about to ask was the toughest she’d ever say in her life.
“So what will happen to him?”
“Well,” he replied solemnly, “he’s probably already been partially initiated. Part of that process requires extensive tattoos. He’ll be asked to steal a high-end vehicle. We don’t believe they’ll force him to hurt or kill anyone, but only time will tell.”
She nodded, wiping her eye with a tissue. “I just don’t understand. Why a gang? Why this?”
He remained silent, unable to give her the answer she desired.
“You think he’ll be OK?” she finally asked.
He nodded emphatically. “I’m sure of it. Nguyen is the best young cop on the force right now. If anyone can go so deep undercover, it will be him.”
She turned and looked to the police captain for reassurance as he patted her hand gently. At least, he thought, he wasn’t telling her that she’d lost her son in the line of duty. Yet.
Cara Michael’s #MenageMonday (1/23/2012):
Prompts: Photo of an Irish Pub bar, the phrase: “just like you”, and a scenario of paranormal shenanigans at the pub.
The boyish man sauntered into the pub, looking around at the patrons before climbing onto a stool at the bar. He couldn’t tolerate alcohol, and yet bottles lined the wall like colorful decorations. A beefy, red-nosed bartender shuffled over, studying him suspiciously. He pulled out his ID and gave it to the large man, who inspected it as if it were a flawed diamond.
“You’re 28? I would have pegged you for 17.”
“So what can I get you?”
“Oh, just a soda, please.”
The man shook his head and returned with the can, snapping it open loudly and slamming it down onto the bar.
A beautiful brunette beside him commented, “Don’t mind Charlie. He’s a jerk. You, though—what’s a fine young man like yourself doing in a place like this?”
“Oh, I’m just like you. Out to have a good time.”
“Is that right? You need a date?”
He smiled wickedly and leapt off his bar-stool, pulling back the skin around his lips and nose to reveal hideous black lizard scales and a thick forked tongue. The prostitute screamed and dropped her beer as he threw himself on top of her, ripping her flesh apart.
Stevie McCoy’s #TuesdayTales (1/24/2012):
Prompts: “Legion” and a picture of a road closed due to snow.
“Ok, gentleman, our legion is about to rain down upon this foreign planet. Considering that there are over 100 trillion of us, this should be a piece of cake. Earth will be ours!”
The invaders began leaping from their ships, plummeting to the ground below.
“General, we’ve made grave miscalculations!”
“What’s that, Colonel?”
“The objects on Earth are a thousand times bigger than we imagined! And, it’s entirely too warm. Half of our soldiers are literally melting on impact. The other half are immobilized, getting shoveled to the side in droves.”
“Then our only hope is to snarl their transportation!”
Siobhan Muir’s #ThursdayThreads (1/26/2012):
Prompts: “As a matter of fact, we are.”
Wally hated jobs like this. As a general contractor specializing in roofing, he was accustomed to walking on roofs and being high up in precarious positions. This, though, was something else entirely. The pitch of the roof was extremely steep, nine inches of rise by twelve inches of run, and while he’d been on roofs like this before, this was one of the highest ones, nearly twenty-five feet from the ground below. Somehow, though, the church had come up with the money he quoted, which he had set purposefully high due to the risks involved. Therefore, here he was, climbing off the ladder onto what could potentially be his last job.
He clipped a safety strap into an old metal eyelet at the edge, not really trusting the worn and partially rusted circle, but it was all he could find. He then crawled slowly, on hands and knees, up to the area of the leak. Within seconds he spotted it, a handful of shingles missing.
He reached into his sack and pulled out matching shingles and a small can of roofing cement. He began the repair but stopped as he heard footsteps approaching.
Turning, he saw four little ragamuffin children scurrying up toward him.
“Hey, you’re not supposed to be up here!” he shouted.
“As a matter of fact, we are. Mother Bijou sent us up to help you.”
He cursed, silently questioning this silly idea his wife had of going to Haiti to help rebuild the devastated country.
Jen DeSantis’s #FridayPictureShow (1/27/2012):
Prompts: A picture of a sign post with a slew of signs pointing to different mythical places
The signs pointed in all different directions: a ruse, meant to confuse. He ignored it completely and instead studied the ground. Little wet footprints went this way and that. They were clever, but not as clever as he was. They had doubled back, retraced their steps, but he could clearly see their tracks, in reverse heading west to the Shire.
Shaking his head, he proceeded in that direction, and sure enough he saw their little heads a moment later, their unmistakable curly brown hair, balloons trailing them.
“Kids, I’m not kidding! Trip’s over! We’re going back to the hotel now!”