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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 347 (February 1-7) Stories Topic: Of Mice And Men

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message 1: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments You have until the 7th of February to post a story and from the 8th to the 12th of February, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!

Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.

Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.

REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

This week’s topic is: Of Mice And Men

(Thank you goes to Edward T. for suggesting the topic!)

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.

And most of all have fun!

message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9065 comments Edward Davies gave me an idea with his most recent entries. Like him, I also have a novel I’m working on, though mine is called Demon Axe. If you want to read the first eleven chapters of it, they’re posted in my folder called Garrison’s Writing. For the next few weeks, I’m going to post new chapters of Demon Axe as contest entries (since it’s one of the projects I’ve been neglecting lately). The prompt conformity for chapter twelve is that Daniel Mercer a.k.a. The Lord of the Pit finds a dead mouse in his bologna sandwich. Lovely, isn’t it?

message 3: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Good on you, Garrison. I'm using the prompts to help me write a children's novel. So far my word count is 14k!

message 4: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9065 comments A children's novel with puppy-duppies and other cute animals! ^_^

message 5: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9065 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Demon Axe, Chapter 12
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RATING: R for violence and language

For Daniel Mercer and his rock and roll crew, time moved slowly and painfully in the confines of their dark holding cell. Pain and disgust were etched on their faces as they ate spoiled bologna sandwiches compliments of the state. Tarantula Man held his sandwich meat and stared at it like it actually was a poisonous arachnid in his hand. His Islamic diet would never allow him to eat such rancid garbage, so he flushed his food down the toilet in the center of the cell and sat back down on the graffiti-covered bench.

The cell had been deathly silent for what seemed like hours (even though only one hour had passed). Every member of Demon Death Juice along with the two pro-wrestlers sat with a miserable and pathetic hunched over posture. As Bear Man tried to stomach the abomination he was feasting on, he piped up, “I know we’re prisoners who’ve been stripped of our freedom, but do we at least have the right to some mustard?!”

For Daniel, it wouldn’t have mattered if his sandwich was covered in an entire bottle of condiments. He took a bite out of the center and gagged so badly that he doubled over. He spit out what appeared to be a dead mouse, complete with teeth marks and sloppy guts.

“Oh god, dear god…” Daniel kept repeating to himself as he held his stomach and rushed over to the toilet. He vomited so hard that it sounded like he was laying down vocals for the first Demon Death Juice album. Another stream of masticated mush came up. And another. And another. Everybody sharing his cell looked on with horror before throwing their sandwiches on the floor in rebellion.

The Lord of the Pit wiped his mouth on his bare arm before slowly standing up and approaching the bars with a predator’s pace. He grabbed hold of them and yelled out to whoever would listen, “Whoever’s keeping us here has a shit load of explaining to do! You arrested us for no fucking reason and feed us these god awful sandwiches like we’re a bunch of goddamn dogs! We’ve been sitting on our asses for who knows how long, so whoever’s out there, you’d better get your ass over here and tell me what the hell’s going on!”

Daniel’s sentiments were echoed by his rock and roll troupe, all five of them sitting up and roaring like animals. They sat back down again at the shrill sound of metal banging on metal. Even the high and mighty Lord of the Pit backed away to the center of the room. The clanging and banging turned into something sharp being scraped across the bars. The prisoners winced and held their ears at the awful shriek.

The sharp metal object stopped at the entrance to the holding cell, where an oil lantern was lit and revealed a green-skinned man holding a machete and wearing a black monk’s robe, complete with a hood shrouding his face. The prisoner’s nerves were jittery and wild as Daniel said, “No way. You can’t be!” The robed figure flipped his hood back and revealed the sinister mug of Roger Zee, elven terrorist. His sharp-toothed grin sent chills up everyone’s spines. Even Daniel was struggling to say, “I’ll be damned” behind his quivering lips.

“Don’t act like you’ve never seen one of my kind before, Mr. Mercer,” said Roger in his grating voice. “I bet you’re wondering what the hell I’ve been doing this past month. I sure as hell wasn’t taking a nap. I also didn’t spend my time behind a computer raving like a teenaged lunatic. On the contrary, I’ve spent my last month of inactivity…getting to know some people around here.”

Daniel crossed his arms and said, “Let me guess: you’re the one who’s got Detective Henry’s balls in your pocket.”

“Not just his balls, my friend,” said Roger with a wag of his long-nailed finger. “The whole department. I’ve got more balls in my pocket than a game of billiards. Everybody in this god forsaken precinct has something to protect, something to hide, something to lose. I had no idea your city cops had so much to cover up. Racial profiling, racketeering, extortion, political embezzlement, this shit goes on forever. But then again, they can’t all be criminals who are willing to give me their puppet strings over some blackmail, right? Well, not all of them. But enough. Most of them are just hardworking family men who don’t want to see their precious demon seeds get hurt. I’ve got enough connections to take over this entire city if I wanted to.”

“All this just to bring things back to the good old days, huh?” said Daniel with a condescending smirk. “Well, the good old days weren’t all that good! In your so called golden age, bigotry was considered normal, death was the status quo, and beating your wife was an act of discipline. You want to bring that shit back to life? Not on my watch, motherfucker!”

Roger bent backwards and chuckled before saying, “And how is that any different than today’s world? Huh? Bigotry is still normal, death is even more normal, and beating your wife is still a shit load of fun! I’m not really changing much with my so called acts of terrorism. All I’m doing is speeding up the inevitable. Surely, your friend Tarantula Man knows something about this.”

Without his stage mask, Tarantula Man’s white hot angry expression could be seen from the moon. He approached the bars with breakneck speed and barked, “Don’t you ever talk about my religion that way! I am nothing like what you hear in your little bubble! I’m going to raise my kids to be respectful even when scumbags like you are hastening the inevitable as you say!”

Roger held his lantern and machete-holding hands up in defense and sarcastically apologized with, “Whoa, whoa, easy there, big man! I believe you when you say you’re going to raise your children right! Okay?” The elf leaned so close to Tarantula Man’s face that they were touching noses. “After all, if they don’t act proper, you can always strap a suicide vest on them.”

The Muslim rocker took a swing through the bars and got his arm chopped off at the elbow for his efforts. He howled in miserable bloody pain as he stumbled backwards on his ass with Bear Man and Lady Killer tending to his wound.

“Anybody else want to try that shit with me?! Anybody?!” Roger proudly challenged.

Johnny Vega and Sonia Marquez, the two beefy wrestlers slowly stood up and took their places next to Daniel, who also had his muscles bulging and pulsating like blood bombs ready to blow. Sonia stared a fireball through Roger as she said, “If you still think beating women is a shit load of fun, let’s see you try that on me, bitch!”

“You don’t have your stupid little crowns anymore, amigo,” said Johnny while punching the bars. “Besides, it’s hard for someone like you to wear a crown with your brains leaking all over the fucking floor!”

“You fucked with my friends one too many times,” said Daniel, who was trembling with rage and ready to snap someone’s head off. “Up until now, I’ve been backing away from you anytime I had an opening. You chopped off my new friend’s arm. He’s never going to play guitar again because of you. And you, you’re never going to eat solid food again because your fucking teeth are going down your goddamn throat!”

Roger Zee laughed like a banshee and blew out the oil lantern, covering the holding cell in shadows once again. Daniel and his wrestler friends didn’t need the light to know where the elf was. They could smell his dick-licking breath from a mile away. The door opened so slowly that the hinges could be heard creaking and grinding.

Johnny, Sonia, and Daniel came out of the gates swinging like wild brawlers. They were certain their savage punches hit their marks, because they could feel the slimy flesh between their knuckles and fingers. Daniel even pierced his knuckle on one of Roger’s sharp fangs, causing a liberal amount of blood to flow from his hand. He didn’t give two shits and a flying fuck.

His veins were ready to blow like dynamite and he wouldn’t stop punching until he heard Roger let out a pathetic squeal of pain. “Ouch…ouch…no more…please…” Each cry for help was getting more sarcastic and it all crescendoed with evil hyena laughter that had everyone in the cell on edge. “My turn!” Roger shouted before the sounds of skin, organs, and bones being slashed pierced Daniel’s ears, causing the traumatized rocker to shriek a prolonged, “No!” and huddle to the ground in tears.

The oil lantern was alight once more and Roger waved the device around the cell to show Daniel that he was right to be traumatized and frightened. Pieces of his band mates and friends were scattered all over the cell with blood drenching the floor. Their faces were hardly recognizable with smashed skulls and popped out eyeballs. Daniel’s tears flooded down his face as he saw that his last circle of friends had left his earth forever.

He truly was all alone in this world. Every time he brought the metal scene back to life, it was taken away from him again. Every time he tried to have a positive thought, it was slashed to pieces. Every time he tried to live his life again, his happiness was ripped away from him like a teddy bear in a crying child’s arms.

Roger set the lantern down and petted Daniel’s hair in mock comfort while silently shushing him and whispering “sweet sounds” to him. “There, there, my little child. All is not lost. You can call me your friend anytime you want. You know what friends do when one of them is feeling down? We have some fun together. Good…old fashioned…medieval…fun!”

The lantern was blown out yet again and Daniel felt himself being dragged by his follicles across the bloody floor. He wished he had drowned in his own tears and in his fallen friends’ blood, for it would have been a friendlier ending to his story than whatever was about to happen to him next. “Just kill me already!” he pleaded. “Kill me, damn it!”

message 6: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments So happy to see postings already!

Also as a side-note, I hope to get mine out soon as well. (It's a carry-over story. I thought it wasn't good enough to post last week but I shouldn't think that way about it. I'll leave it up to everyone who checks it out!). :)

message 7: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9065 comments Hey, everyone. The reason why I wasn't online all day today was because of a power outage due to a winter storm blowing through Washington. Tomorrow might be more of the same, then again it might not be. If I'm offline, you all know why.

message 8: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments At least you got your story posted well in time. Mine is on its way.

message 9: by Edward (last edited Feb 07, 2017 12:15AM) (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Here's chapter eleven of Karsten Pasternack And The Quicksilver Caduceus. Hope you guys enjoy it.
Title : The Painted Car And The Hungry Mice
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1131
Rating : PG

Pablo looked at the vehicle he had just created with his paint brush, then looked at the doors to the building he and his friends were in.

The car was never going to fit through the door.

“Curses,” Pablo cursed, “I wish I’d thought of this problem before I’d painted the car inside this place.”

“I guess we will simply have to keep on walking to the citadel,” Matilda sighed though, for her, walking wouldn’t be involved and instead she be wheeling herself along on her cart.

Simon stared at the car, then stared at the doors, “Can’t you just drive the car through one of the walls?” he said, “They don’t look that tough to me.”

“The car couldn’t take it,” Pablo replied, “it’s basically made out of paint, and any collision would most likely destroy it.”

Karsten shrugged, “Can’t we just go outside and you can paint another car?” he suggested.

Isador shook his head, “Pablo can only use his paintbrushes once every six hours. If he were to try to create another vehicle for us right now, the bone in his arm would not reform.”

“Basically I’d be crippled,” Pablo emphasized.

“So now what do we do?” Karsten asked, “We still have to get to the citadel, don’t we?”

“Of course we do,” Matilda nodded in agreement, “but we can’t use that car.”

Simon suddenly started to grin from where he was sitting on Matilda’s cart, “Maybe we can get the vehicle through the doors, after all,” he said cryptically,

Eve narrowed her eyes at the squirrel, ”What are you suggesting?” she asked.

“Bear with me,” Simon said, then put his fingers to his mouth and whistled loudly.

After a few seconds, the group started to hear little scampering noises all around them, then they spotted a number of tiny mice, dressed in shorts and t-shirts, skipping across the ground towards them.

“Eek! Mice!” Eve shrieked uncharacteristically, leaping onto the vehicle to keep out of reach of the tiny creatures.

“Don’t be frightened, Eve,” Simon smiled, “they’re friends of mine.”

“Friends of yours?” Eve repeated, sounding mildly disgusted, “Why are you friends with … with vermin?”

“They’re not vermin,” Simon said, “and they’re going to help us out of this mess, so be nice.”

Simon jumped down to the ground, approaching the largest of the mice, and he began chittering to him in a language only he and the mice could understand. The largest mouse saluted Simon when he finished speaking, then led the rest of the mice to the doorway.

“What are they doing?” Isador asked, watching the mice in wonder.

“Just keep watching,” Simon instructed him, folding his arms across his chest.

As the group watched in wonder, the mice started to nibble around the doorframes, shredding the doors slowly but surely to splinters. Karsten gaped as he watched the doors fall to the ground, then he stared as the walls were slowly nibbled away to make room for Pablo’s vehicle to pass through.

“How are they doing that?” Karsten asked in wonder.

“Mice can eat through anything,” Simon chuckled.

The mice continued to eat through the wall, munching and crunching, chewing and gnawing, until the wall started to visibly get smaller. Yet all the while the mice had begun to get bigger.

“Is it just me,” Matilda mumbled, “or are those mice increasing in size?”

“It’s not just you,” Simon admitted, “when the mice of the 300 eat enough, they go through a transformation.”

Karsten watched the mice with curiosity, “What do they transform into?” he asked.

Simon smiled, “You’ll see.”

“What about their clothes?” Karsten asked.

“Why, they grow with them,” Simon said, much to Karsten’s relief.

The group began to set themselves up in Pablo’s car as the mice continued to eat and continued to grow. After a few minutes the mice were almost three feet in height, and they were still eating through the wall.

Karsten leaned in to whisper to Simon, who was now sitting atop the headrest of the driving seat of the car, “Are their ears getting smaller?” he asked.

“Yep,” Simon chuckled, “they certainly are.”

Karsten watched in disbelief as the ears of the mice began to shrink, and move down the sides of their heads. Their whiskers retreated into their faces, and their noses began to shrink. Their tails had almost completely disappeared.

“They almost look like…” Karsten began.

“People,” Isador said with wonder, “they’re turning into people.”

Isador was quite correct. The mice were almost four feet tall, and looked almost completely human in appearance. What’s more, they hadn’t finished eating yet, and the hole in the wall was getting wider with each bite.

Finally the mice had finished, and each of them stood between five and six feet in height. Karsten stared through the windscreen of the painted car at the strange humanoid mice, who waved casually at Simon.

“Thanks for your help, guys,” he smiled, waving back at them as everyone else climbed into Pablo’s car, “it’s much appreciated.”

Isador and Pablo helped Matilda and her cart into the back of the car, while Karsten and Eve clambered into the back seat. Once Matilda was comfortably sat down, Pablo got into the driver’s seat and Isador climbed in next to him.

“Well, here’s hoping the engine starts,” Pablo said calmly.

“Why wouldn’t it?” Pablo piped up from behind him.

“I may not have painted it right,” Pablo admitted, “I was in something of a rush.”

Pablo placed his paintbrush where the ignition should have been and pushed it into place, twisting it 45 degrees to the right. A sound like an engine turning rumbled for a second, then stopped. Pablo tried again, and again the engine sound rumbled briefly before giving out.

“Come on Pablo,” Isador said kindly, “you can do it.”

“Hurry it up, Pablo,” Eve said impatiently from the back seat,

Pablo sighed and turned the paintbrush one last time, and the engine rumbled again, then caught.

“There!” Pablo beamed, “That got it. Here we go.”

“Are you going to be okay driving?” Karsten asked quickly, “I mean, your eyes are all on one side of your face – you might have difficulty checking your mirrors.”

Pablo frowned, “The boy’s right,” he said, “excellent point.”

Pablo unbuckled his seat belt and swapped seat with Isador, who stared at the controls with some comfusion.

“It’s quite simple,” Pablo said, noticing Isador’s confused look, “it’s just like any other car really, except it’s made completely out of paint.”

“DO you think it will be okay once we’re on the road?” Isadorasked.

“I’m almost certain of it,” Pablosmiled.

“Almost?” Isador repeated.

“Yes,” said Pablo, “almost.”

And with that, Isador drove the car through the huge hole in the wall and resumed the journey to the citadel.

message 10: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4214 comments Title: Table of Destiny

Author: CJ

Word Count: 1703

David was waiting for his cup of coffee at a table when his agent finally walked in. Barely giving any sign of greeting, the man rushed him in chat.

“Are you getting anything to eat?”
“Just coffee. Why?”
“I called you here for something important. You’re going to need something in your stomach before we begin. Order for me too. I’ll take anything for breakfast with raisins.”

Now David went from vaguely wondering about this little meeting to feeling a sharp sting of worry. Unknowingly he swung his arms into a slight shrug.

“I’ll tell you why soon. First, I’ve gotta make a few calls and then I’ll come in and sit down with you.”

He charged out the door again, this time seeming like he wanted to be as discreet from David as much as possible. David peered through the windows but his agent had moved out of view. He couldn’t even hear him anymore.

Just what in the world was this about? David felt his stomach start rising, bubbling close to a growl.

He waved to the waitress who then handed him a mug. “Hi, sorry. It’s me again. I’ll take a plate of eggs and my friend outside wants an omelette on a raisin bagel.”

David had a reaffirmed fear as his agent charged back into the building.

He nearly jumped when the man burst into a flurry of words.

“I just talked with the publishing company. You really turned down a meet-and-greet signing at the most popular Barnes & Noble in town??”

He felt scared, suddenly on the spot. “I just…. I like the idea of staying anonymous.”


“Because I don’t want to get hassled by fans in the middle of a street. I like that the back covers only talk vaguely about me. Heck I even wanted to put a false picture there but they wouldn’t let me! That’s why it’s got info and info only.”

“But you do realize that our second book hasn’t even made a dent in the market and it’s been out for a quarter of a year already.
“Plus on top of that your first book wasn’t even that successful. It was only moderately sold: it only made just enough money for that year to make a profit.”

David felt he had an inkling of where the conversation was going.

“Yeah. So... what are you saying?”

The man snatched a chair and sat down in front of him. He was surprised when the waitress came by with the warm and steaming plates.

He looked down at his food then to David and sighed.

“I’m saying if this book does any worse... you will no longer have me as your agent.”

“Wait, what? I thought you were about to tell me that I needed to up the ante with the marketing of this book. So you’ve got people wanting to fire you now?!”

He lost eye contact with him. “It’s… it’s not something ‘they’ want.” He paused. “This was my decision.”

“Hey wait a minute, come on! I thought you were on my side. You helped me through so much last year and look… we made some money out of it. It wasn’t huge, like you said but I bet it got you enough to live on, right? If I lose you I won’t have a writing career in any shape or form! Do you really want that?”

“Well… if you look at a lot of the critics and what they even said about the last book… maybe… ahem… maybe writing isn’t your style.”

Dave felt another stab into the gut.

“Wait, when did you think I wasn’t a good writer?”

He sighed again. “Listen… I don’t know how to break this to you but have you seen the review that was quoted on the blurb of this year’s book?”

“No I don’t think so. It looked like the guy really liked it.”

“If you look closely the author and critic to a magazine says ‘A page-turner… one writer you need to seek out today.’”

“Yeah, so?”

“Did you ever wonder about what the ‘dot-dot-dot’ contained in the original review?”

“Well to be honest I hadn’t am pretty curious now.”

Through a few sweeps on his personal cell David’s agent then showed the screen to him. He handed him his device, an apparent modern day version of one handing someone the newspaper containing reviews.

David was shocked that the man gave it only 3 out of 5 stars admitting he was for the record only being “nice” to this one since it had a “potential” to be better.

He read on. Finally he recognized the section that was his blurb.

“The story is like a person trying to find himself, which is fitting because the main character Marvin Hollison tries to find out who he really is. Why a character like this is inside of a book labeled ‘murder-mystery’ while it feels more at home as a thriller is anyone’s guess. But one section I admit is a page-turner: Hollison’s motives and his many ventures while on the run are reason to make David Serker one writer you need to seek out today. You just have to keep in mind though that the parts are more beneficial than the whole.”

He put down the phone. Flushed in red he was silent for a moment.

“Is my career doomed?”

His agent gave his arm a kind squeeze.

“I don’t know but your fate is determined by how this all goes.”

“‘How all this goes?’ Are you really going to quit if this book doesn’t make enough?!”

“I’m sorry. This isn’t personal.”

“Oh it’s just business. But what…. What if I reinvent myself? What if this book makes just enough like the last one? Will you stay if my next one takes off in a different direction?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean I don’t have to write mystery. In fact it probably shows. I thought this was a genre a lot of people wanted… but I realize I didn’t fully want to make it myself. What if I find a different subject? A different genre?”

He sat and munched his bagel for a while. Looking deep in thought he spoke up.

“I gotta say, I didn’t think our conversation would head in this direction.” He paused again.

“Okay, you know what? I’ll say if this works out the way you say it will… I’ll stay. But you’ve got to really get going, mister. I didn’t sway my decision because I’m a softie; I want you to really work at it. Because you can either re-think how you should go about in this career…. or just find a new one altogether.”

David felt a little wounded but a tad encouraged. The agent continued.

“I have to make a few more phone calls. I’ll be back if you want to talk about anything else.” He then took off and David saw him with his cell to his ear head to the men’s room.

David stared down at his food. It was lukewarm now. He decided to get to his drink and spoiled his coffee with plentiful cream and sugar.

After a few sips he looked around. Wow so this is the place I have to choose my destiny. Strange.

It was a rather unusual place. It described itself as a restaurant but it felt more at home to be like a diner. There was no fancy food, nothing that was too pricey but yet David felt at home in it. He walked over to one of the walls.

Still unsure of what he would do at this moment with a story he stared at a painting. A Monet. He wondered if all people ever hit a point in their life that they aren’t inspired enough to make a great work of art or if it was just him.

He always thought he could build up his life as an artist, in this case a writer. He wondered how he could make something of himself and yet he still didn’t do well enough.

“The best laid plans of mice and men....” David paused. “I forget how the rest of that goes.”

Then he sat at his table. After pushing food around his plate his eyes drifted again, this time finding an interesting middle-aged woman at another table.

Of all places she’d be reading it had to end up there. And plus it turned out she was reading David’s latest book!

Showing complete engrossment she looked hypnotized by the pages, only stopping to turn them and neglect her large glass of iced tea.

He wondered why such a woman would be wearing a sun hat, a chignon scrunching up her hair, and just fancy attire altogether. Was she on her own personal costume party? Or was there just some sort of mystery writer cosplay that he didn’t quite know about.

Before he could come up with anymore conclusions he watched the woman put the tome down. To David’s surprise she stood up and walked over to him.

“You know David, I really liked Marvin Hollison as a character. You should use him again sometime.”

And just like that after she paid her bill she left.

David didn’t know what to say, he was shocked.

“How did she…?” He thought he had remained unknown, shaded within his own world of comfortability. Now he didn’t seem to have that.

But later he had thought about her suggestion. Marvin Hollison. He always felt Marvin deserved a huge project again. Maybe this time he would take him a new direction.

A crossover character! I don’t think this has been done before. He would be great to use in a thriller. Plus his identity and what he’s running from can be expanded; there can be so much more to do with him, even bigger than before!

He whipped out his mini-notepad and started scrawling notes. When his agent came back to visit him he jumped out of his seat, this time startling him.

“You’ll never guess what happened. Have I got a couple of stories to tell you…!”

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