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    PBax
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

PBax's Prompt Work - 1. Chapter 1

Prompt 385 – Creative

You have just finished the week from hell and just about crawl out of your car. You drag your work bag and some takeout food you picked up and schlep it toward your front door. As you reach for your keys you stop cold as you notice someone is curled up asleep on your front door step. It is obvious even from where you are standing that it is a child. Who is the minor and why are they sleeping on your door step?

“Damn it! I bet that one left a scratch.” Barely 15 m.p.h. registered on the speedometer. Where the hell did they find this vicious gravel? “And when the fuck am I supposed to find time to fix potholes?” Steve screamed out loud and to no one. He stopped the truck, got out and took a leak. He’d only made it a mile down the gravel road. With another mile to go it was this or soak the seat of his new truck. He got back in, sank into the seat and reached for the liter of vodka tucked into his duffel. Two big swigs. This won’t wait either. He put the truck back in drive as the welcome burn spread down his throat.

The road curved to the West and the late-afternoon sun hit him in the face. He was blinded from the pothole that sent his third swig as much down his chin as in his mouth. Perfect. Fucking perfect. “Thanks for nothing, god damn it.” He’d forgotten he’d come to the section that was more hole than road. Steve stopped the truck, recapped the bottle and put it back in his bag. He barely pressed the accelerator as he wiped his chin with his sleeve and the truck lurched and swayed along what seemed like endless ruts before meeting more gravel bent on scratching the paint. By the time he made his final turn into what he considered the actual driveway, it felt like it had taken as long to drive the final two miles as it had the first twelve from the truck stop/taco joint/pizza buffet at the highway exit.

He threw his duffel over his shoulder and grabbed the burritos. Lifting the fob to lock the truck he briefly wondered why he took the time. No one was coming all the way out here just to steal a truck. But then he remembered hearing years ago how the sheriff’s department had cornered an escaped prisoner in the neighbor’s barn so he pressed once and at least set the locks. As he walked, he flipped around the still unfamiliar keys trying to find the one to open the front door. It had been a week from hell but he berated himself for never taking a few seconds to mark the key. It’s not that he really hadn’t had the time, it was just that he never found the energy or conviction.

He raised his attention to walk up the steps to the porch and was startled to see a boy curled up in the cushions of one the oversized wicker rockers, sound asleep. There was a hole in one knee of his jeans, his grey sweatshirt was dirty, and his socks had the dirt stained lines of heavy, regular wear. His boots, cleats caked with dirt, were tucked under the chair. His wavy brown hair fell across his forehead and bunched against the cushion. There was a fresh scratch along his cheek, slightly swollen, and all the more noticeable because of his otherwise perfectly unblemished skin.

“Hey there.” Steve coaxed as he gently tapped the arm of the rocker. “Wake up little guy.” Steve knelt down in front of the chair resting his duffel bag and food on the porch and tossed his keys on his duffel. He reached over and tapped the boy’s ankle, “Wake up, kid.” I really don’t need this right now. Why the fuck is some kid sleeping in this chair? Steve tapped the boy’s ankle again and ran his hand bruskly up and down his calf, “Hello! Wake up.”

Steve stood, banged on the arm of the chair so hard it scratched sideways and demanded, “Not fucking joking, wake up kid!” At that, the boy opened his eyes with a startle and sat up in the chair. You could see as soon as he realized where he was he was again thrown by Steve standing over him.

“Hi there. What’s goin’ on here?”

“Who are you?” asked the boy. His big hazel eyes and soft voice were more confused and curious than afraid.

“I’m the guy that lives here. Who are you?”

“No you aren’t. Mr. Dan lives here.” There was no challenge or accusation. Just simple fact. And just as simply the boy took his eyes from Steve and began to put on his boots. “Do you know Mr. Dan too?” he said with a little grunt as he pulled on a boot.

It was taking everything Steve had to not completely lose it. “Why are you sleeping on my porch?” He’d barely gotten out the words when he spotted a man walking around the corner of the house. The boy looked up and followed Steve’s eyes.

“Hi, Dad. I scratched my face on a branch, but I’m okay. I’m gonna go find Emerald again.” The boy started to run off the porch. His dad met him at the bottom of the steps.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa. Let me see your face.” The man held the boy’s head in both hands and tilted his face sideways to get a good look at the scratch. He let go and tousled the boy’s hair. “Yep, you’re fine. Except we really need to get you washed up before dinner. Go find Emerald, but we’re leaving in a few minutes.”

Steve had just stood watching. Everything happening around him. In spite of him. Maybe I don’t live here.

“Sorry. My name’s Kent.” He stretched out his hand for Steve to shake as he kept talking. “I live on top of the next hill, other side of the pond and through the woodline ‘bout a quarter mile.” He lifted his left arm and made an up and down reaching swoosh in the direction of his house, like he’d just sent an imaginary basketball to his roof.

Steve noticed he had thick, stocky hands that perfectly matched the rest of him. He had wavy brown hair like the boy’s. His deep hazel eyes welcomed Steve’s gaze and stripped him of any confidence that remained from the week. And he had a smile that was so effortless you couldn’t help but smile in return. Fuck me, this guy is handsome. Steve reached out and shook Kent’s hand. “I’m Steve.” Steve pulled his hand back and put both thumbs in their respective pockets. Does this look relaxed. Does it look like I’m trying too hard? Shit, I could use another drink.” I just got here and found the little guy…”

“Nick.”

“…found Nick sleeping in the chair. Damn that kid’s a sound sleeper. I’d just gotten him to wake up and was still trying to get him to tell me his name when you came around the corner.”

“That’s happened before. He comes over to visit Emerald and ends up asleep in the chair.” Kent looked around. Steve watched his eyes as they arced around the yard and landed back on Steve’s duffel and grease soaked take out bag. “Where is Dan anyway?”

Prompt 385 – Creative

You have just finished the week from hell and just about crawl out of your car. You drag your work bag and some takeout food you picked up and schlep it toward your front door. As you reach for your keys you stop cold as you notice someone is curled up asleep on your front door step. It is obvious even from where you are standing that it is a child. Who is the minor and why are they sleeping on your door step?

Copyright © 2015 PBax; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
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Chapter Comments

  • Site Administrator

I really like this, though I'm wanting to know who or what an Emerald is, not to mention Dan and his relationship to the main character. Maybe you'll continue the storyline in another prompt response to answer the curiosity you raised? *hint, hint* ;)

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Ditto what Cia said. I'd love to read more and find out who/what Emerald is and what happened to Dan. Nice first prompt.

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I'll go one step further than Cia did... you should continue the storyline with or without a prompt! "HINT, HINT" ;)

Welcome to the family!

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On 01/16/2015 02:08 AM, Cia said:
I really like this, though I'm wanting to know who or what an Emerald is, not to mention Dan and his relationship to the main character. Maybe you'll continue the storyline in another prompt response to answer the curiosity you raised? *hint, hint* ;)
Thank you for the kind words. It feels nice to have made this first step.
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On 01/16/2015 09:12 AM, Valkyrie said:
Ditto what Cia said. I'd love to read more and find out who/what Emerald is and what happened to Dan. Nice first prompt.
Thank you for taking the time to read and for the encouragement. It certainly makes it easier to open myself to the GA process.
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On 01/16/2015 11:01 AM, Carlos Hazday said:
I'll go one step further than Cia did... you should continue the storyline with or without a prompt! "HINT, HINT" ;)

Welcome to the family!

Your welcoming words mean a lot. Thank you.

 

I have to admit that I chose this story prompt not just because it was recent, but because it jangled some nerves that made me uncomfortable. That I was able to turn it into anything anyone would want to read more of is incredibly humbling.

 

Thanks again for the boost.

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Great first prompt. I'll agree with all the others and say I want to know more about these characters.

And I'll also agree with Carlos and say please continue with or without another prompt.

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On 01/22/2015 02:37 AM, Caz Pedroso said:
Great first prompt. I'll agree with all the others and say I want to know more about these characters.

And I'll also agree with Carlos and say please continue with or without another prompt.

Very glad you found the story and liked it enough to want to see more. Thanks for the words of encouragement.

 

I'm not sure if I'll use this as a first chapter to a larger story, but it definitely gave me some characters to play with. I am starting to think I may be able to do something more with them.

 

Thanks again for taking the time to share your thoughts. It's wonderful how a few kinds words can be so helpful when I sit down to try and do more.

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