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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 438 (December 11-December 17) Stories Topic: Procrastination

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message 1: by C.P., Windrunner (new)

C.P. Cabaniss (cpcabaniss) | 658 comments You have until the 17th of December to post a story and from the 18th to around the 24th of December, 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: Procrastination

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.

Most of all have fun!

message 2: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Hmm, maybe I'll write something later on...

message 3: by C.P., Windrunner (new)

C.P. Cabaniss (cpcabaniss) | 658 comments Hahaha.

message 4: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9545 comments (sing-songy voice) Tomorrow...tomorrow...I love you...tomorrow...

message 5: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9545 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: No Pain, No Reign
GENRE: Western Horror
RATING: PG-13 for torture and swearing

“I’ve procrastinated for so long. I’ve wrestled with my conscience. Should I do this tonight? Should I bring this lazy bastard into my home? Should I make him feel my pain? The answer was not just a resounding yes, but a hell fucking yeah!” The grating, raspy voice of the purple-skinned witch Dollhouse awakened Ivan Keith from the shadows of sleep. His head throbbed and pounded like rapid fire boxing blows. The water in his stinging eyes ebbed and flowed. His body weighed down on him like an elephant sitting on his slowly rising chest.

When the Sheriff of Savage Duck County tried to move, the steel bindings in his ankles and wrists cut into him like an executioner’s axe. He laid on an uncomfortable metal table in a T position and struggled some more, but to no avail and only more pain. “Don’t fight it,” warned Dollhouse as she scratched her long, wart-infested nose. The wrinkles in her visage coupled with the shadows brought on by her pointed hat gave her a constant resting bitch face, which only made Ivan’s heart race even further.

“You can’t keep me here forever, old lady,” said Ivan in his southern drawl. “I’m taking you into custody once I get off this here contraption.”

Dollhouse cackled and coughed while slapping her bony knees for extra effect. Quickly reverting back to her resting bitch face, she pointed her elongated finger and sneered, “Nobody’s looking for you, Sheriff Keith. You’ve fucked over so many people that they don’t give two shits if you live or die by my hands. Always drowning your sorrows in beer rather than facing the harsh realities of your line of work. I could have used a savior when my daughter was taken from this world. You did nothing about it but drink…and drink…and drink…and drink!”

The last of Ivan’s stinging tears rolled down his face and his vision became clear enough to see that he was in a laboratory of some kind. Tables full of bubbling potions, tools and devices covered in blood lying about, shackles holding rotted black skeletons, and even a randomly loose eyeball turned this seemingly ordinary hideout into Ivan’s personal hell. He wanted to scream, but his throat felt as though he swallowed a bone saw, so why bother with even more pain?

“Listen, lady…I don’t know who your daughter is…I get lots of cases…I’m overworked…maybe if you jogged my memory…”

Dollhouse flipped an oversized witch on the rocky wall and sent a lightning storm of pain throughout Ivan’s body. His nerves lit up like nuclear heat. Schizophrenic laughter rang throughout his head. Visions of blood-soaked monsters stained his eyes. Ivan finally did scream out and his sore throat felt as though he was being decapitated with a hot blade. Every part of his body, physical and psychological, was corrosively melting before his very eyes. And then Dollhouse pulled the switch back to its original position.

Ivan took a few heavy breaths as sweat trickled down his skin like a heavy rainstorm. “What…the hell…was that?!”

“I’ve been working on this device for years. The worst kind of pain imaginable and I brought it to life. Water-boarding? Boring! Musical torture? Better, but still boring! Iron maidens? Brutal as hell, but boring as shit! If I’m going to get some answers from a filthy liar like you, I might as well get a little bit of enjoyment out of it. What can I say? I feel like I’m a hundred years old. Got to have some fun while I can!” Dollhouse gave another wheezing cackle, which sent ice cold anxiety through Ivan’s body.

“You’re insane!” cried Sheriff Keith. “You really think this is going to work? I told you, I don’t know a damn thing about your daughter! And even if I did, I wouldn’t think twice about turning her over to CPS if she’s got a sick mother like you!”

With a thumbs down gesture, Dollhouse made a game show buzzer sound and hacked, “Wrong answer, dip shit!” before flipping the switch again. The feeling of bathing in hell’s lava while demons and skeletons laughed at his misery invaded Ivan’s body and mind again. His heart thumped so quickly that he was on the verge of cardiac arrest. His brain felt like it was bleeding badly enough to give him an atom bomb of a stroke. Dollhouse flipped the switch back to normal and Ivan once again breathed heavily enough to give him a Buddha belly. Oceans of sweat did nothing to cool him off.

“You still feel overworked or should I flip the switch again?”

“No! Please don’t!” begged Ivan with cascading eyeballs. “Oh my god…that was just…” His heart refused to slow down and his stomach refused to deflate, making putting together a sentence virtually impossible. “If you…tell me who…your daughter is…I’ll help…you find…justice…”

“No, you won’t. You’re just going to cast her aside like you did everybody else. Being tortured is your only motivator. And I’m sure if I just let you go and do your job, you’ll find Isabel’s husband and string him up for the public to see. I don’t want you to just find her husband. I want you to want to find him!”

Ivan’s breathing lessened somewhat and his sentences became more coherent. “Ma’am…I didn’t get into law enforcement so that I could laze about. Nobody does. But sometimes, cases come pouring in and we’re stretched too thin. If you were to kill me now, that would mean less personnel to help you find your daughter’s murderer. I probably should stop drinking so much, I agree with you on that.”

Dollhouse folded her stick-like arms across her dark-robed chest. “I want to believe you, Mr. Keith. I really do. But the fact is…you’ll stick up for your own kind even when they’re wrong. Law enforcement always does. Your coworkers could commit genocide and you’d still kiss their grimy cowboy boots.”

“What? What do you mean?”

“Isabel’s husband was a cop under your jurisdiction.”

Ivan’s eyes widened at the revelation. “Wait a minute…you mean…one of my own guys killed your daughter? That’s a little slanderous, don’t you think?”

“You see?!” Dollhouse croaked, causing Sheriff Keith to nearly jump out of his skin. “This is exactly what I’m talking about! Paid vacations! Severance packages! House arrest in a lovely seaside hotel! Cops never get the punishment they deserve because shit heads like you keep covering for them!”

“You think it’s as easy as tossing them in a cell?!” shouted Ivan. “There’s a whole power structure at work here, lady! You’re damn right we protect each other! Ratting out one of our own could mean the end of our careers, or even our fucking lives! I’m not taking that risk just because of a conspiracy theory you’re peddling out!”

“So in other words…you won’t help me…because you’re scared? You look so tough in that cowboy hat. You look so cool in that trench coat and those blue jeans. You look like a real cowboy. But in reality…you’re smuggling BB pellets underneath that zipper. Look at it this way, slick: if there really is a power structure at work here, you’re fucked either way. It’s all a matter of which way of dying you’d rather face. You could get shot by your own kind…or you could go through a lifetime of agony on my table!”

Ivan gulped so hard that one would swear he was chugging another bottle.

“Truth is, Sheriff Keith, I could keep that switch flipped until time itself is standing still. Sure, I’ll run up my electricity bill, but when nobody knows where the fuck you are, you don’t pay bills. Like I said before, nobody’s looking for you, Ivan. Nobody’s looking for me either. Even if you did report me to your buddies, they’d never believe that a hundred year old witch tortured you all this time. Come to think of it, they’d die of laughter before you died of ratting out your fellow cops.”

Ivan sighed deeply and tried to relax on the table, but obviously to no avail. He hated to admit it, but everything she said was right. No holes in her logic, but there would be a bigger hole where Ivan’s heart used to be if he endured another round of torture table madness. Then again…

“Let’s say I do help you find your daughter’s killer and bring him to justice. If my fellow cop is a killer…what does that make you, Dollface, or whatever the hell your name is? You built this table because you wanted justice. But in reality, you’re every bit as bad as your daughter’s murderer. Maybe you’re worse. At least when Isabel was shot, it was over with a quickness!”

“Ah-ha! So you admit it! I knew it! I bloody knew it!” boasted Dollhouse as she pumped her arm up and down in victory.

“Okay, fine, so you know who your daughter’s killer is! Why don’t you put HIM on the table instead of me?! Sure, he’s long gone by now, but I’m sure if you spent as much time finding him as you did me, you’d get your justice a hell of a lot faster! I’m just a middleman, for god’s sake! Torturing me isn’t going to do shit!”

Dollhouse sighed and held her face in her hands. “You know what? You’re right. You’ve been right all along. You’re about as useful as an asshole on my elbow. I should have never drugged you and brought you here. Yes, you’re a sheriff, but you probably got that job by putting the right body parts in your mouth. I should just let you go.”

Ivan breathed a sigh of relief, confident his debating skills have saved his life.

“Then again…if you just admitted to being useless…then that makes you an accomplice!” snickered Dollhouse before flipping the switch and making Ivan scream loudly enough to loosen dust from the walls and ceiling. The pain of a thousand gallons of acid and a million knives being poured on his body was back again, but for a much more eternal period of time. His jaw stretched beyond its means as he screamed. His tongue fell out of his head. His heart, brain, and eyeballs were time bombs ready to detonate. His bowels flooded badly enough to sag his jeans around his ankles. His underwear stunk like a junkyard after his bladder exploded.

In the end, Ivan Keith didn’t stand for something, so he laid down for everything.

message 6: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 7 comments Title: Avoidance
Author: M.A. Romero
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Word Count: 1,301
Rating: R; for adult themes like sexuality,failure,shame

Maybe I could find a place to pee, I thought. Maybe along the way. That would be ideal. You want to find a place? Why don’t you just go? No, I don’t think so. How long do you think it’s going to take to get to McDonald’s? She’s still in bed, still asleep. Just go. We’ll need to find a place in the meantime. Why wait? Why not just go in the bush over there? OK. I can do that.

Did you tell her? No. I haven’t told her. I honestly don’t know what to tell her. I peed in the corner behind some kind of large mutant palm bush somehow surviving amid winter’s dry death all around. Do you usually meet her at McDonald’s ? Is that what you two do when her lover is at work? Yeah, mainly because the coffee is cheap and the wifi is free. Don’t you want to get out of this cuck-ish situation? I may have a place. Does she even know me Os? Does she even know who I am?

I listen to your questions and your nagging. I imagine your cock, just seeing your cock and placing it in my mouth. The urine shoots like a loaded projectile on the freakish palm plant. She’d had trouble defecating she said. Hadn’t been feeling well. I imagined her in the back of the minivan, in the piles of blankets on top of a mattress stuffed in the back and currently sleeping three people: her lover, her and her husband, myself. Not including you and your cock which I still love. I see her rustling in the bed, maneuvering for her medication, her oxycodone, her acid reducer, her weed and her pipe to smoke it in. I don’t even know if she’ll be coming.

We are walking across a bridge and I stare out over the shipping canal, watching a tugboat lugging a barge filled with small hills of sand out into the sound. I didn’t know why I didn’t want to tell her. I didn’t know what I was afraid of. J, you don’t understand. I can’t even fucking talk to her anymore. She comes to the conversation loaded with ego, assumptions and fucking biases like a loaded gun. They’re just fucking words dude. Just words you load with these ideas, ego and biases. Take a look at yourself before you start blaming her for your problems.

I was trying to remember why you were there. I’m glad you were there. The wind off the bridge was cold, our breath apparent. At the other end of the bridge was the bird man. He always anchored himself at that point. We assumed he fed the birds since they were a constant presence around him although we never saw him actually feed his flock.

She’d pulled a muscle weeks ago and had the oxycodone from a script. She should have been off of it by now. I wondered if she was developing a new problem, or perhaps found another solution. Maybe I should give her a call. I grab my phone and call her. Goes to voicemail.

-Leave a message

-Hey, wondering how you are. Wondering if you’ll be around. Lemme know. Bye.

Phone still to my ear, I look at my lover and watch his breath and his cheek. It pulses under the chill of the wind. We met when they were bunked up in an airport motel. I found him somewhere: a bar, a park bench, a ditch. I don’t remember exactly. I just remember his skin, the cold air on his skin. The way his nipples stuck out a little, those bright red aureoles. I pocket the phone and walk ahead past the bridge proper and into town proper.

Hey wait up. Where do you think you’re going? I think I need to check the mailbox. I need to do that first. What’s up? I need the mail for the plasma donation. They need a physical address. That would give me some extra cash.

A loud thrashing in the air made me jump. Seagulls by the scores flew upwards amid steel grey clouds around where the bird man perched on the bridge, right at the first point of suspension.Shit. We go to the left. That guy freaks me out sometimes.

He does? He’s hardly the strangest person in this town. You know we don’t have to be here. I told you I have a place I stay sometimes. He told me. Yeah, I know. But I have responsibilities, I said. I have a marriage. Yes a crappy one. One that’s off-screen. But there it is.

We are walking up the sidewalk and I almost lose my footing on a kiosk holding weeklies. As I catch myself I wonder if I wanted to grab a weekly but then I thought it just a random thought that had crossed the mind. It didn’t seem to serve a purpose, this paper at the moment.

OK well I guess you’ll just have to come to that decision at some point, just like talking to your wife about me. What exactly are you saying? Do I sense some sarcasm in your voice? I don’t know. You’re the college-educated boy, you figure it out.

Somehow when you argue, or at least when I argue, I often lose the focus of what feelings and intentions are going into the moment. In this case, amid all the anger and slight resentment directed towards J, there was something else I was feeling and had been since he joined me today: aroused. So I veered the argument that way. Now I’m sucking his prick behind a building off an alley, near the mailbox, this winter morning. All the while I could still tell I was angry, but this would do, for now. Hey, don’t fucking choke on it Oswald. What do you think you’re doing? Trying to impale yourself. What? I was just working on my gag reflex. Can I have my dick back now? I wiped off and zipped him back up. I can’t believe we got away with that. It was a quiet morning.
Suddenly, a leg spasm, no a message.

On the way. See you at McD’s.

I still needed to get the mail. We walked into the main office of the mail place and went into a hall off the room filled with PO Boxes. I got out my keys, bent my knees so I could get to a box in an awkward lower right corner. I opened the little box, stuffed to the gills with officious looking clear windowed envelopes. Bills, some I hadn’t paid down in months. I don’t know why I came down here. Fuck, with the message and mail anxiety I totally blocked on fucking coming myself.

Why didn’t I have you finish me off? I asked J. Fuckifino. I thought you were doing some kind of edge play man. I’m really distracted. I can’t deal with this. Shit. Look at all this crap. Bills. Statements. Dead pulpy trees. An abandoned hardback in the corner. All I’m doing is cleaning out a mailbox, J. What am I doing? I can’t do it. I can’t move back in. These streets have a way with messing with you. I’m stuck in survival mode. Fucking fight or flight. Ever since the eviction. I’ll suddenly get to feel it all and have to somehow deal with all this crap, debt, divorce, etc. I don’t know if I can do it. Face anyone. I have to go to McD’s.

I know that, Os. Hey listen. I’m gonna get going. OK? I’ve always known that, I’ll see you around. And he was gone. He walked out of the mail store. Like he was just checking the mail like any other week.

message 7: by Edward (new)

Edward Davies | 1727 comments Title : Procrastinate! Procrastinate!
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 561
Rating : PG

Okay, so I honestly sat down to write a story this week. I had an idea and everything; it was going to be about a scientist who creates a machine that can bypass procrastination in people and improve their lives, removing procrastination from their life equation. Obviously, it was going to be something of a Monkey’s Paw kind of a deal and things would go wrong, so that would have been cool.

Then I realised it was a little too much like the movie Click.

Remember that movie, with Adam Sandler? The remote control you could use to mess with time? The Hoff was in it, he gets slapped a lot? There was an online game of the Hoff getting slapped? Okay, so you don’t remember it, fine, but anyway my idea was a little too similar, and to be honest with you most time travel stories have been done to death, so I tried to think of something else.

That’s when the Boy started asking me questions, mostly related to Harry Potter, or to Lego, or to Harry Potter Lego. Anyone with a child will know how distracting this can be, especially when most of the questions end with, “I need your help,” so I got waylaid with that for most of the weekend.

Then it was story time for the bot, and this week it’s been Captain Underpants. I do secretly like reading those books, but they do eat into your evenings, especially the ninth book which is over three hundred pages long! Soon the Boy was asleep, and I snuck out into the living room.

When I finally got some time to myself in the evening, I thought about writing a story but I also had my new graphic novel collection of Torch stories from Strange Tales. I do love kitschy 60s Marvel comics, so I decided it would be okay to read those for a while before starting on the actual story writing. You never know, I might have even got a great idea from Stan The Man and his World of Ideas.

Or is it House of Ideas?

Maybe I’ll Google it.

Yep, it’s House of Ideas. A No-Prize is on its way to me. Snigger.

By the time I’d read a few of those, it was getting late, so I headed off to bed.

By morning it was time to head to work, and I could hardly write anything on my lunch break; after all, I had books to read. Just finishing up another Agatha Christie, and between answering calls there’s no time at all for me to do any story writing, not since my last job where I managed to write an entire book just during my working hours.

And so it went, day after day, all week. Something got in the way of my story writing. And anyway, procrastination is a pretty tricky prompt. Procrastinate! It sounds like something a Doctor Who villain might shout as it attacks you.

Procrastinate! Procrastinate!

Maybe I could have written some Doctor Who fan fiction. That might have worked. But I don’t like doing fan fiction, I prefer coming up with my own characters…

But it’s late again. Someone has to finish reading Captain Underpants to the Boy. And I’ve still got four hundred pages left in those Strange Tales comic books.

Oh, well. Maybe next week…

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