Hey guys, how are you all doing? Happy August, it’s the eighth month of the year. I hope you’re all cashing in on those promises and goals you made earlier this year – or even two weeks ago. It’s been a great year so far, and I can’t wait for more. Though I’m not sure I want this year to be over yet.
There’s a fat chance that there won’t be any reviews this month. I’m writing exams this month, and as much as I’d like to add the finishing touches to my review of Edgedancer the night before my Statistics exam, I’d rather not. Those things tend to be too addicting. Before you know it, it’s 6am and I’m only 2 chapters into the next book. P.S., my logic is still flawless.
So because I’d rather not leave the site redundant for a whole month, I thought up something else I could do that wouldn’t take the same amount of time as writing a book review. And that is; Writing (obviously) prompts!
I’ve stumbled across a few writing prompts before and even tried some of them, but this is the first that I’m officially posting. If you don’t know what a writing prompt is, basically someone posts something (a topic) and all you have to do is write in line with that topic. Easy peasy. This is actually very useful for me because (1) reading a prompt takes a lot less time than reading a book. And (2) it helps me improve my writing skills, by writing a good handful of words everyday – or close to everyday 😉
The prompt I’ll be writing on today was found on Reddit. But if you’d like to see me write on your prompt(s), simply leave them in the comments below. We’re gonna do things a bit differently though. You’ll see the writeup before the prompt. I want you to guess what the prompt is from the writeup. This helps me see whether or not I’m terribly off point with my writing, and adds a bit of novelty. Brilliant, no? Yes? Okay.
“Cal!” Maryse yelled. Cal didn’t think he’d known her long enough for her to yell his name. They’d only just met after all. Maryse was his best friend’s girlfriend. And Bryan – the best friend – had gone to get drinks while his best friend and girlfriend got to know each other. It felt like he’d been gone forever.
“Yeah, what?” Cal replied.
“Aren’t you gonna tell me about yourself?” Maryse asked, her violet eyes glinting in the small light of the bar. She was attractive, just not to Cal. He’d long since given up things like that. They wouldn’t happen to a man like him.
“What would you like to know?” Cal asked. He shifted forward to take a drink, but his glass was already empty again, and Brian wasn’t back yet. What was Brian up to?
She played with some of her jewelry and said somewhat absent-mindedly, “Well everything, I guess. It’s not so fun when you don’t know a lot about your boyfriend’s bestie.” She smiled at that last word.
Cal shifted uncomfortably. The last thing he wanted was to be on Brian’s bad side because some girl he didn’t even like couldn’t keep her hands to herself. He’d read about stuff like that in movies. But he thought it only happened to the handsome guys. “Um”, he started. “I’m 23, work as a clerk, live a regular life. Mostly boring stuff.”
Maryse laughed. He didn’t think he was being funny. Was he being funny? Whatever. Brian should come back already so she could focus her attention on him, not Cal. But Brian still wasn’t coming. Cal sighed.
“Tell me about it”, Maryse said, raising an eyebrow.
“What?” Cal asked. He didn’t think he was hiding anything. What could she possibly be –?
Oh. Right. That. Of course she wanted to know about that. Everyone wanted to know the type of powers their friends had. Wasn’t it enough that people were sharing posts of themselves setting stuff on fire with their bare hands? In a “safe environment” of course. Everyone just wanted to share their “secret ability”. Nothing was secret anymore. Everyone had powers. Everyone found a way to show them off. Seemed like a waste to Cal.
“I can control vacuums”, he said finally. That was his default answer to anyone asking. They all just thought it was some kind of rare power. And whenever they asked for a demonstration, he’d always say there was air all around them, so nothing to show them with. The dumb ones believed. The smart ones understood. But they never said anything. Cal was glad for that small grace.
Maryse’s only answer was “Oh.” She wasn’t a dumb one. “Right”, she continued. “Well, I’m a healer.” She seemed to be a bit less interested in Cal and more in showing herself off. Brian could control water, though that was quite commonplace. There were others who could control fire or sound, or something else.
Healers were the rarest of the bunch. There were hardly ever more than two to five hundred of them in a generation. So of course one was sitting across from him on Saturday night in a bar, having a drink paid for by her boyfriend, who was Cal’s best friend. The universe was on a roll.
“I’m gonna go check on Brian,” Cal said, getting up to leave. He didn’t need to be reminded of his situation. Cal got to the bar, and looked around. Brian wasn’t there. He asked the bartender, describing Brian. The bartender said he’d seen him step out the back to take a call. What sort of call had taken so much time?
Cal stepped out into the night, Maryse forgotten. The cold seemed to indicate that squallers (water people) were in the area. But Cal couldn’t see anyone outside, not even Brian. He tried dialing Brian’s phone. It rang. No answer. He tried again, and the phone was off. What could be so important that Brian didn’t answer a call from Cal and turned off his phone? Cal didn’t like the feeling in his gut. He’d read about this type of stuff. He wouldn’t want Brian “having fun” with another lady while he ‘handled’ Maryse.
The backdoor of the bar opened and Maryse stepped out. Her face was flushed, like she just had a weird conversation with someone. Cal didn’t mean to, but he asked, “Are you okay?” She didn’t seem to be doing too well for a healer.
She stared at him and answered, “Did you find him?”
He was about to answer no before her eyes widened and she pushed him to the ground, yelling something he couldn’t make out. Half a second later, she fell, spraying something on him. Almost immediately, a loud bang came from somewhere on the other side of the street. Cal’s ears popped from the intensity of the sound, leaving him disoriented.
Everything went silent. Cal tried to get up, but his ears were ringing, and there was a subtle tingling feeling in his arm. His clothes were starting to get wet. He guessed it was from whatever liquid Maryse had gotten on him. Maryse! She hadn’t gotten up since.
“Maryse,” he called. He could barely hear his own voice over the ringing. He touched Maryse and felt her grunt once, like someone in pain. She turned to him, revealing a gash across her throat. The liquid she sprayed was blood. Maryse was bleeding out.
“Oh my God!” he yelled, still inaudible. He’d read about situations like this. Stop the bleeding his mind seemed to say. He tried to rip a part of his shirt, but couldn’t get it fast enough. Maryse hiccuped and he could tell she was trying to breathe. What was he supposed to do in situations like this?
He placed his palms over her throat, trying to stop the bleeding. As soon as he touched her, she stopped breathing. “Maryse!” he yelled. The sound had gone back to normal, and the ringing in his ears stopped. He could hear heavy footsteps approaching. Someone was coming. Turning, he saw the murderer. The person was clad in all black, and held no weapons. He must have killed Maryse with a power. Across the street, splayed awkwardly on the sidewalk with his body hanging at awkward angles, was Brian. The murderer had killed him too. What the hell was happening?!
The murderer stopped walking. He was about to kill Cal. Cal didn’t know what to do. The books he read never said anything about facing a murderer with powers. They obviously all assumed the readers had powers. Cal had no such thing. Determined to die with dignity, he pulled his bloody hands away from Maryse’s neck and stood to face the killer.
He wanted to yell, but no one was out. It was late at night and behind a bar. The assassin had picked his spot expertly. Cal didn’t want to die without knowing the reason, so he asked. The assassin’s masked face tilted as if in amusement, and then he raised his hand and thunder rumbled in the distance. Cal wouldn’t close his eyes. He would stare down death. He wouldn’t die of another’s volition. The assassin brought his hand down in a swift arc and Cal shut his eyes, crossing both arms to block whatever was coming.
Nothing came. The sound from the bar seemed to have faded. The only thing Cal could hear was a gurgling sound. Cal peeked and shivered at the sight. He wasn’t dead. And neither was the assassin. Or Brian. Or Maryse. The assassin had stopped mid-motion, eyes wide. He was bleeding from multiple cuts all over his body, his mask shattered into different pieces. Beneath it, Cal could see the bartender from earlier. He was held in place by Brian and Maryse, both bodies pale in stark comparison to the bartender’s black clothing. Brian held a knife made out of water – Cal had never seen him do that. Maryse held a shortsword that the same markings as the bracelet she was wearing earlier. But weren’t they dead?
Cal dropped both hands and watched as Brian and Maryse fell to the ground. The bartender fell last, mouthing a broken “What in the –“ He never finished, as his body disintegrated as it hit the ground, joining Brian’s and Maryse’s that flowed into Cal.
A thought flashed at the back of Cal’s mind. He’d read about an ancient power that had been missing from generations. This power was the strongest and the most dangerous of all. Cal fell to the ground, remembering what the book called people with that power. Cal was a necromancer.
The prompt is:
Almost everyone has a unique power. Healers are the rarest group of them all. When a group of high-tier villains terrorize the night, you, the one with seemingly no powers, discover you’re the first Necromancer in two hundred years.
Okay. So I did not at all expect the writeup to be this long. I mean, you’re awesome if you read until the end. That said, a couple of things to note: After looking at the prompt again, I realize it was supposed to be a group of high-tier villains, but I think the story works this way too. It might have also been intended for use in shorter posts, but this one happens to be longer. I think most of my responses to writing prompts will be long formats as well. But hey, it’s something!
Let me know what you guys think about the write-up, if there’ something you’d like to see corrected. Also, if you have a prompt you’d like me to write on, do leave them in the comments section and I’ll attend to them as soon as I can.
Thanks for visiting the blog today, and at 1978 words (1978 was the 1978th), I’m pretty sure this is the longest ever post on this blog. Anyways, I wish you a happy August, I hope you come back for more posts. As always, have fun reading!