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    astone2292
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Rocky Prompts, Tennessee - 1. Prompt 892 - Wiler's House

Prompt 892 - Creative
Tag - List of Words
Use the following words in a story - a storm, a broken fence, a scared dog, a flash light, and an old typewriter.

Tony and I had everything planned out. We had been working on the details since March, but he was sick of waiting. The abandoned Wiler house was the target, and it’s contents would be our prize.

Of course he wanted to do this today! Piss-pouring, lightning crackling through the sky; it was a downright storm! Armed with nearly empty backpacks, stocked with some necessary tools, we were ready. Giving each other a firm nod, we opened the car doors with reckless abandon and scurried to the sidewalk.

The broken fence; our first obstacle. We inspected it both from afar and up close over the past several weeks, but it was a challenge no less. Black like coal, the fence was warped; bars bent in different directions, squeezed together, pulled apart, and even one or two missing. The iron tops were deceiving, but the old hag must have had them sharpened before she passed several years ago. Three weeks ago, I climbed it and it sliced open my palm something fierce! Bandaging it up brought questions from my boss, but it was just his sad way of forcing conversation on me.

Donning the safety gloves Tony stole from his grocery job, we fearlessly scaled the fence. The thick fabric and rubberized dotted grips worked like a charm when we reached the top. We had to be careful, or we would have poked a hole in something vital! My hair got in the way when I tried to swing my leg over. I had to use my sense of touch going down, considering I couldn't see past my wet bangs.

Landing, I bolted to the porch with Tony not far behind me. Staring at each other, we laughed at how soaked we were. Man, we should have packed an extra set of clothes!

The next step was to check the doors and windows for an opening. Tony anticipated for everything to be locked, so he purchased a lockpicking set and watched countless videos on how to use it. We circled around the house and found the corner of the back door window smashed. I guess we weren’t the only ones who wanted to loot the place. Testing the knob first, the door opened.

Stepping in, the grimy tile was slippery from the rain. Tony pulled his flashlight before I did, assisting in grabbing mine. After scanning the room, we were met with our expectations. The kitchen was littered with dust and even a cobweb or two. However, we weren’t ready for the lingering smell of urine. After a brief and distasteful comment, I marched onward.

Opening every cabinet in the kitchen was fruitless, aside from a very expired can of kidney beans. I didn’t open the fridge, even after Tony bribed me with a twenty. The attached dining room was barren; console shelves empty and no furniture to admire.

In fact, the entire first level of the house held no value to us, but we anticipated this.

The house had been sitting empty for a couple years. Braver souls than I jumped at the opportunity to thieve the place the moment Wiler’s kids couldn’t bear to see the house demolished. In hindsight, I’m glad they left it. Tony and I had our own agenda, but the whispers of the younger children of adventure created a tale, mystifying the area.

Now that we’re older and able to formulate an action plan, Tony and I wanted to see the tale for real.

We knew if there were to be anything left to nab, it would be in the upper two levels. Faint-hearted fools wouldn’t journey to the staircase. Most acclaimed entrants stated there was furniture blockading it, or even the first several stairs were missing.

Baloney.

The stairwell was in perfect condition, aside from the dust on the handrailing. The second floor seemed more promising. After evaluation, the landing pointed towards it being the home of Wiler’s two children. A chest sat on the side wall, pictures with a family of four littering it. To the left was an open door, leading to a room with faded pink walls and a white, dainty yet decorative bed frame. From what I could see from my positioning, everything was very frilly.

Tony nudged me, bringing my attention forward. As both our gazes set upon the corner, a whine pierced the sound of silence. An unplanned obstacle.

I grew up around dogs, and spent some free time working with them at the local animal shelter. Seeing Tony unnerved, I sent him down stairs. A scared dog is not something to take lightly, even if it doesn’t show signs of aggression. Slowly, I knelt. The terrier never averted its eyes from me. Even more cautiously, I rolled my backpack off, unzipped it, and retrieved a beef jerky stick.

Snapping open the package, the dog’s head shot up, causing a light jingle. I saw it; a dog collar with a bone-shaped tag. He’s trained! Relief swept through my body knowing I wasn’t dealing with a wild animal. Ripping off a small portion of the stick, juices coated my fingers. I sat on the landing’s edge and offered my meal to the dog.

Jingling became jangling as the terrier bolted towards me. I would have been concerned if I didn’t notice its tongue swaying from the corner of its maw. Tail swinging side to side, the dog graciously took my gift. Breaking off more, I quickly earned its trust. After testing a few pets and ear scratches, I turned the dog around to find it was a female.

Tony slowly came up the stairs per my instruction. Tossing him the food, the terrier ate from my friend’s hand and acclimated. She followed us as we journeyed to the next room. Getting closer to the door, we found our new friend’s piddle corner and nearly gagged. Quickly scanning it, we determined it was a boy’s room. Tony took the dresser drawers while I combed through the closet.

The room belonged to a well-behaved teenager. Filled with simple shirts, both formal and informal, I abandoned the clothes and aimed for the top shelf. Tossing aside a few ballcaps and knick knacks, I saw a black box.

Safe.

Jackpot!

Lifting it, the box was light. I kept my optimism high. Setting it on the bed, I opened it, surprised by the lack of security. Inside was a few envelopes, a dated checkbook, a lighter, and a pack of cigarettes. Well-behaved, my ass!

Tony declared the room a bust and we moved on to the next room with the dog in tow. We elected to skip the girl’s room and tackled the master.

It was more scarce than the boy’s room, but my eyes immediately drew to the writer’s table. An old typewriter sat next to a closed notebook. I gracefully thumbed through the book, glancing at the jotted words. They were plots, filled with character notes and charts of major events. I was smitten.

Tony never knew of my love of writing, and I didn’t dare tell him. I knew I wouldn’t hear the end of it if he found out. Unzipping my bag, I pocketed the book. My eyes rested on the typewriter. We both came here to scavenge, but the thought of taking something that the owner used hit me like a mack truck.

She used this. We both write. Did her kids know that? If it was important to her, why didn’t they keep it?

I scowled. Picking up the typewriter, I measured its weight. My guess was twenty pounds, and I’m sure my backpack could carry it. The sad part was it would take up the rest of the space.

Nothing else mattered. I connected with Miss Wiler without meeting her. It was sick and twisted, but I wanted to use the abandoned machinery in memory of her lost words. Under the table, I noticed a brown case. Opening it, I place the typewriter inside. It fit perfectly. The case barely squeezed into my bag, but after finagling the fabric and zipper, I got it to close.

After a curious look from Tony, I stated it would be worth some money if it was cleaned properly. My friend found nothing of interest, but we were distracted by the terrier’s insistent clicking of her nails on the floor. Instantly, I knew her demands. Asking if she needed to go outside, the dog flew down the staircase. Tony followed me and I unlocked the front door, only to see the terrier run, sniff, do her business, and bolt back inside.

Roaming through the third story, Tony found his treasure. The first box he opened contained old comic books, his guilty pleasure. Several boxes later, I discovered an old pen case and quickly dropped it in Tony’s bag. Right before we left the attic, we spotted an ammo box. Tony opened it, finding it was empty. He rearranged the contents of his pack to fit the box inside.

We were ready to leave.

Leaving the way we entered, the terrier followed us into the rain. Like us, she wasn’t afraid of being wet.

Donning our gloves, Tony scaled the gate first, clearing it easy. My ascent wasn’t as successful. The extra weight from the typewriter prevented me from gaining traction! This thing was coming with me, one way or another.

Walking around the perimeter, I inspected the different warped bars. None were wide enough. In a last effort, I ran to the cellar door and lifted it. Going down the stairs, I saw it; a ladder.

Bringing it to the fence, I scaled it, and with Tony’s help, I dropped it to him on the other side. Returning the ladder to its proper place, I closed the cellar and climbed the fence.

Our hearts sank. What about the dog?

I guided her around the fence, pointing out a possible opening. She stared at it with hesitation. Tony clapped his knees, encouraging her. The dog’s head turned to the left, and she darted! We could barely keep up with her, but she stopped, dropped, and crawled through a wider hole. What a smart girl!

We set our findings in the trunk of my car and hopped in. The terrier found her home in Tony’s lap as I started the car. Grabbing a shirt from the backseat, I wiped off my face, then offered it to my friend. Sitting for a moment while the car’s air conditioning kicked in, we played with the dog.

She needed a name. Tony kept providing typical names for dogs, and none were interesting to me. I had one, but I didn’t want to seem like a pansy. The typewriter came to mind again, and I caved.

“How about Wiler?”

Tony looked at me, then at the terrier. He smiled and agreed.

This was my first attempt at a prompt, and I had a lot of fun with this! I wouldn't expect a lot of these, but it was useful fighting a writer's block. I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Rocky Prompts, Tennessee as much as I did!

Copyright © 2021 astone2292; All Rights Reserved.
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It was an interesting use of the prompts and you evoked the adventure of a minor quest and the ambience of an abandoned house very well.

The real mystery remaining is where the dog came from. I find it unlikely the dog would have been there since the house was abandoned with no food or water.

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2 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

It was an interesting use of the prompts and you evoked the adventure of a minor quest and the ambience of an abandoned house very well.

The real mystery remaining is where the dog came from. I find it unlikely the dog would have been there since the house was abandoned with no food or water.

Thanks for commenting, doc! Who knows how the new Wiler made it inside, but as long as she has a home with our friendly scavengers, I'll be content.

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1 hour ago, astone2292 said:

Thanks for commenting, doc! Who knows how the new Wiler made it inside, but as long as she has a home with our friendly scavengers, I'll be content.

Pesky plot hole. I had a one legged pirate with a voice suspiciously reminiscent of Lionel Barrymore's who hung around for ages demanding rum and joints of mutton.

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3 minutes ago, drpaladin said:

Pesky plot hole. I had a one legged pirate with a voice suspiciously reminiscent of Lionel Barrymore's who hung around for ages demanding rum and joints of mutton.

Well, the dog did have a tag. I'd blame the owners. Either that, or Wiler is a very crafty pup.

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I just wish I had half the imagination you do!  That was such a change from the other stories.  All the little details about the abandoned house were on point.  When I was much younger, my great uncle inherited a house from a distant family member.  The house had been vacant since the mid 1940's (this was in the late 70's early 80's).  It was similar to this.  No domestic animals, but there was evidence of other "critters"!  Hahaha...  The house was small but nothing had really been touched since she passed away.  The furniture and "knick knacks" were still in place.  It was cool to go through and see what all was there.  I don't remember much about it except I found silver dollars under a piece of vinyl flooring in the bathroom.  She had hidden a bunch of them under the flooring.  My uncle let me keep one...still have it LOL.  Anyway, this was a refreshing change and it really shows your versatility as an author!!  As always, LOVE your work!!!!!  

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17 minutes ago, Patch1 said:

I just wish I had half the imagination you do!  That was such a change from the other stories.  All the little details about the abandoned house were on point.  When I was much younger, my great uncle inherited a house from a distant family member.  The house had been vacant since the mid 1940's (this was in the late 70's early 80's).  It was similar to this.  No domestic animals, but there was evidence of other "critters"!  Hahaha...  The house was small but nothing had really been touched since she passed away.  The furniture and "knick knacks" were still in place.  It was cool to go through and see what all was there.  I don't remember much about it except I found silver dollars under a piece of vinyl flooring in the bathroom.  She had hidden a bunch of them under the flooring.  My uncle let me keep one...still have it LOL.  Anyway, this was a refreshing change and it really shows your versatility as an author!!  As always, LOVE your work!!!!!  

Thanks for reading, Patch! I kept seeing all these prompts and figured, "why not?" Hearing you went through a similar experience is exciting! I can see myself doing one of these every other month or so.

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I loved the spooky ambience of the abandoned house and the fact Miss Wiler had been a writer.

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4 hours ago, Mawgrim said:

I loved the spooky ambience of the abandoned house and the fact Miss Wiler had been a writer.

Thanks, Mawgrim! I've always wanted to go through an old house like this. There's several of them in my hometown, and it was always a rite of passage for kids growing up. I never got the chance to, mostly since all my friends were goody-too-shoes.

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What fun to read ... and to write,  I bet.  I just might have to try writing from a prompt or two myself :)

Zeke

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Prompts are wonderful things. I love your take on this one, old houses have much to say.  The dog is a surprise but terriers are hunters so she was good choice. 

Nice job.

 

 

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1 minute ago, Mikiesboy said:

Prompts are wonderful things. I love your take on this one, old houses have much to say.  The dog is a surprise but terriers are hunters so she was good choice. 

Nice job.

 

 

Thank you so much for your comment! I had such a blast writing this, and I'm glad you enjoyed the adventure.

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I really enjoyed this.  You did a great job describing the house.  I really liked how the protagonist connected with Mrs. Wiler, even though she's long gone.  Naming the dog after her was perfect.  :) 

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1 hour ago, Valkyrie said:

I really enjoyed this.  You did a great job describing the house.  I really liked how the protagonist connected with Mrs. Wiler, even though she's long gone.  Naming the dog after her was perfect.  :) 

Thanks for reading, Val! I'm so happy you enjoyed this little story. 

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This is the second version of this prompt that I have read. It’s quite different from the other, but nonetheless, it is very good. Comicfan would be pleased with your offering.  :) 

PS: I’m glad they didn’t open the fridge, because if they had, they would have discovered the body hidden within its depths. I just know that to be true… yes, my mind does go strange places. :P 

 

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35 minutes ago, Reader1810 said:

This is the second version of this prompt that I have read. It’s quite different from the other, but nonetheless, it is very good. Comicfan would be pleased with your offering.  :) 

PS: I’m glad they didn’t open the fridge, because if they had, they would have discovered the body hidden within its depths. I just know that to be true… yes, my mind does go strange places. :P 

 

I'm glad you enjoyed this, Reader! I was in a way of sorts when I learned Comicfan passed. It was a few days before the announcement I posted this, and although I never had a personal conversation with him (outside of LPW), the news hit me hard. The first prompt I responded to would be one of the final ones we would see from him. It helps me knowing you believe Comicfan would approve of Wiler's House.

For those who open the fridge must have a curious mind. Did the relatives of Mrs. Wiler have the sense of cleaning it out after her passing, or no? That's the thieves' gamble. All minds must go to strange places when wondering about the contents of an abandoned house's fridge, and even stranger places for the freezer.

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My imagination ran away when you mentioned the fridge...:unsure:, better leave that...whew.

I had fun reading this. Wherever the dog came from, she's probably happier now.

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6 hours ago, Aditus said:

My imagination ran away when you mentioned the fridge...:unsure:, better leave that...whew.

I had fun reading this. Wherever the dog came from, she's probably happier now.

Issa Rae Mask GIF by Insecure on HBO

I do not envy possible future owners. 

Thanks for reading, Dad! Glad you had fun!

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24 minutes ago, drsawzall said:

Very enjoyable, now I need to read the rest!!~

You will not be disappointed :)

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