Bill’s List by Arthur Hall

Prompt 1:The List | Word Count: 1500 exactly | Genre: Childhood fiction (1950s)

The small cottage was dark but it was my safety, my home. The hallway was where I marshaled my armies and fought imaginary battles. Marbles were my cannon fodder and mother’s saucepans the targets. The kitchen was also the bathroom. Like magic you lifted off the work surface and underneath was the bath. My mother did that for me.

The neighbors were strange; the Turpins shouted and screamed at one another all the time and mother said they were disturbed and better to “stay clear of them”. So I did. The lady on the other side, Margarethe Baumgarten, was a picture framer and restorer. It said so on her wall which jutted out in front of our house. I think her nerves were not good because when I played football against her wall for hours on end, she became angry and said things which made me think she didn’t like children. Sally watched me play and kept an eye on me. She was under instructions from mother. Sally was a beagle mongrel bitch and my best friend.

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None by Michelle Crowder-Soellner

Prompt: The List | Word count: 1500 words | Genre:

I looked around the room and could see that what they all desperately needed was for someone to take charge. “Alright!” I said, and saw the mousy one named Shelly startle, “We can figure this out. We don’t have to sit around and wait for the police to get here. We can find her ourselves. I mean, best case scenario, she’ll show up here eventually and we’ll all laugh about how we turned into amateur detectives because some lady got pissed at her husband and took off,” Shelly all but rolled her eyes at me, a curious reaction, “but in the meantime, let’s discuss all our observations and make a list of clues.”
“You, red shirt, you seemed like you had something to say.”
Red Shirt’s eyes widened almost like a cartoon and he seemed to grow a couple of extra chins as he stuttered for a moment before saying, “I saw her last night- in the rec room. She was playing pool with him.” He pointed to the husband, who was sitting in the corner with slumped shoulders and his hands over his face. Oh, the husband, poor schmuck. Everyone in there who’d seen a cop show was certainly blaming him for the disappearance. And he wasn’t helping his case by sitting around moping. Lucky for him, I knew better.

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Lara’s List by Riham Gharib

Prompt: The list | Word count: 1500 words | Genre: Romantic Drama

The movie was not exactly what they expected, but still the three friends were having a good time. It was a day worthy of celebration. Adam, the clever guy, graduated college with flying colors, he came second best, and was a bit down, and that was even more reason to celebrate. Watching a movie was almost a weekly ritual for them, but the day called for more action so next, they had plans to get some pizza, then ice cream, and naturally burn it all at the dance floor. The planning was Lara’s specialty, but she made it feel like a mutually agreed on decision. Karim, the talented one, was a bit timid about crowds, but he didn’t know how to say no to Lara.

‘What does she see in him? Why would a girl like THAT be with a player? A jerk actually!!’ whispered Adam, his voice clear to Lara but barely reaching Karim. As always she sat between the two guys, it wasn’t a choice made by anyone, just where she liked to be, and where they knew she would be.

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A Winters Tale by Elspeth Flatau

Image

Prompt: The list | Word Count:1500 |  Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult

It was deep winter at Home Farm and yet Alannah lay on soft green grass. Summer in the air, lacy tree branches patterned over her head. Warm breath, a nudge against her side woke her completely.

‘Where am I? And who are you?’ Alannah’s voice loud in the still air, fear in her thoughts. She looked at the giant white horse leaning over her.

‘Wake up stupid mortal. I must take you to the Queen. She does not wait. Get on my back.’

‘Horses can’t talk, this is a nightmare. I must get home! My Mam will worry.’

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The List by Cinthia Albers

Prompt 1: The List | Word count: 1500 words | Genre:

She woke up with a start. The sheets were wrapped around her ankles. The house was cold. She turned over. The empty space. She had almost forgotten. His pillow was undisturbed. It was real. She didn’t want to believe it. She hoped it was just a bad dream.

He was gone.

She sat up and put on her slippers and robe, pulling the robe around her. It was so cold. The house was colder than she could ever remember. She turned up the heat. She slowly made her way to the bathroom. She brushed her teeth. It was strange not having to wait for the bathroom. She knocked his razor to the floor on accident. She picked it up and held it for a moment, then slowly lofted it into the waste can. She followed it with the can of shaving cream. A million times she had knocked that razor to the floor. She thought about retrieving it, holding onto it. She let it lay.

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The List by JM Barrie

Prompt: The List | Word Count: 1500 | Genre: Childrens sci-fi/adventure

Jonah threw his Starfighter’s throttle hard to the left as Frederick’s fighter exploded in front of him. Bloody Corporation bastards. He dodged the debris field. ‘All remaining Gamma Squad fighters, form up, we’re going to hit that Corporation cruiser again. One more attacking run and I reckon we’ve got her.’

Half a dozen single seater fighters raced in formation towards the battle cruiser painted the bright green of the Corporation. ‘Split on my mark – three, two, one, Mark!’ Jonah yelled into his mouthpiece. The ships broke formation and assumed individual attack vectors. Jonah trained his weapons array on the cruiser’s damaged shield generators, damaged courtesy of the squad’s first attack run. His console beeped. He stabbed it.

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Making Lists

Prompt: The List | Word count: 1500 | Genre: General Fiction

Matt talked about when they both die. Daisy could smell sweet tea on his breath. It was early morning, just after six. The unexpectedness of the topic had her frozen to the spot. Usually a quick exchange about the day ahead ensued – what’s for dinner, if there was any shopping to be done. He clutched his lunch box in one fist, backpack was on his back, the newspaper rolled up under his free arm for reading on his lunch break. Just like every other weekday morning.

The air was so still she could see dust motes in the lamplight on the hall dresser.

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Happy Place by Sree Lekha

Prompt: The List | Word Count: 1500 words | Genre: Feel Good

“Hamrithaa!” he shouts for me again, clearly exasperated. I fold the last T-shirt and place it atop the pile with a grunt.

“What?” I say, appearing at the doorway, the stack of folded clothes carefully held against my protruding belly.

He looks at me innocently, patting the bed beside him, saying, “Arjun just posted pictures from his trip to Japan…”

The freshly laid soft bed sheets beseech for me to plop myself down on them.

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Igniting a Flame by Sophia Bonnie Wodin

Prompt: The List | Word Count: 1500 | Genre:

Karen didn’t want to go. For years Terri had talked about these seasonal gatherings but Karen thought the tales beyond belief.

“Doesn’t happen in real life,” she thought. “At least not in mine.”

So when Terri invited her to a mid-winter gathering called Imbolc, Karen’s immediate impulse said “No.” She was surprised when “Yes!” emerged from her mouth.

“Great,” responded Terri. “I’ll pick you up. Dress warmly, we’ll be outside.”

Karen looked at the phone in her hand and shook her head. “Who’m I kidding,” she thought. “I don’t even believe in this stuff.”

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Last Writes by Martin Haworth

Prompt: The List  Word count: 1500  Genre: Contemporary Fiction

I position myself to shoot. The target bobbles into vision in the scope and I’m ready. I suck air in deeply and slowly, then squeeze on the last out breath. That’s how I always did it back in the old days.

Never failed me. Gently does it.

I once heard that lunacy was defined as ‘a population of one, believing themselves right’. I don’t know where I heard that – or even if I did. Maybe I made it up. My thinking around this little situation is perfectly sound – to me – and that’s all that matters. Maybe it’s a little selfish, but I am doing a service to so many. The fallen. The innocent. The unprotected.

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