Eve by Zane Baisley

Prompt: |Mastermind | Word count: 1000 | Genre: Science Fiction

I like that it’s quiet down here, well except for the hum of the fans.

A bank of servers and other electronics stand along the east wall. The space is small, about the size of a double garage, the black cabinets taking up most of the space. Three large screens sit midway up the north wall, the centre screen much larger than the other two. This is my haven – my sanctuary. Here I can communicate with the world.

The desk faces the huge screens; a spot in the middle accommodates my wheel chair, an empty spot on my right, closest to the servers and processing units, for Theodore, my hands. A room next door holds banks of batteries, charged by the solar cells up above ground on the roof of the main dwelling. I could be in here for days, they could take down the power grid and I could still operate.

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The Club by Zane Baisley

Prompt: |The Club | Word count: 750 | Genre: Drama Thurg could feel the anger burning inside like orange embers. ‘The more I think about it the more the anger grows. Anger is a dangerous thing, those coals can quickly turn to roaring…

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A Writer Undone by Zane Baisley.

Prompt: |Coming Undone | Word count: 1200 | Genre: Real Life Drama

This month’s prompt has me coming undone.  The page is as blank as my mind, my fingers perched motionless over the keys like strange spiders. I type a single line of text with a frown on my brow. The dogs start yapping outside and I take the opportunity to fetch a cold beer and shout at the stupid mutts. When I return the letters have fallen to the bottom of the page and lie in a jumble like pathetic dead insects. The beer has left a pool of condensation on the table. “Damn.” I mumble as I rush to find a cloth and a coaster, looking over my shoulder to see if the wife has noticed.

Finally, draft one starts to take shape, well not shape as such, more of a pile of letters, a terrible, stinking, steaming pile, I tried to blame it on the dog, my wife made me clean it up, it left a  dark stain.

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Going Home by Zane Baisley

Prompt: |Going Home | Word count: 500 | Genre: War Drama

The cold wind bites at my face like some wild animal, my cheeks are red and cracked. I can barely put these words down on paper; my hands are shaking so badly. The shakes, not only from the frigid weather, fear is my constant companion here. I would have thought I would be immune by now but the dread is always there, like a heavy stone in the pit of my stomach. A mortar shell whistled into the machine gun bunker not even an hour ago. I can still smell the blood and taste sand, Charlie will be going home today instead of next week like the rest of us. No happy reunion with his family though.

I don’t understand this war thing, maybe I am just a little older and wiser now, but the glory I sought is nowhere to be found. War is just death, misery and sadness.

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The List by Zane Baisley

Prompt: |The List. | Word count: 1500 | Genre: Drama

Pink and orange are fading to purple and red. Deep blue follows from the east, the traffic a lonely hum on the streets far below. A single white sheet of paper with blue lines sits on the mahogany desk. The desk a huge black expanse, the white sheet like a hole in the universe that refuses to be filled, refuses to conform to the order of things. I have tried to write the list, the words fall onto the paper but they are angry and misspelled and refuse to make any sense. Both my hands rest on my desk next to that impossible white sheet. I stare at the sky as it changes slowly to night. A small lamp casts a pool of yellow light. I prefer the friendly glow of the lamp to the clinical brightness the fluorescents would cast. I place the point of the silver pencil against the page again and watch as my hand shakes.

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Conversations by Zane Baisley

Prompt: Conversation with my spouse | Word count: 1200 words | Genre: Drama

I can see you through the window. I have to make sure you are alone before I knock at the door. I don’t know if you will even speak to me but I have to try, I have to know. Last time I tried, he was around and that ended badly. You seem to be alone but I have to be sure. I made a fool of myself last time and the police were involved. I feel the flutter of butterflies, I know watching you is wrong but I can’t help myself. You are picking up our children’s toys, they are sleeping at this hour. Grey clouds like blankets have hidden the stars and I smell rain. It’s now or never, I step out of the shadows. I realise the instant I move that I have made a mistake. My mind on the questions I need to ask. The headlights pin me down like spotlights. A prisoner on the run, I bolt. I can hear his frantic shouts and I am sure you have joined him outside to see what’s going on. How can I be such a fool? Why can’t I just move on? I am bound by love, by honour, or maybe just madness.

The chair is brown, the armrests are worn through but I don’t care, this chair is a friend. Maybe the only one I have right now. A cricket chirps in the still night there is still no rain, although the smell lingers. Darkness fills every corner of my small home, like it does my heart. I guess I can’t really call this home it’s just a place where I exist when I am not at work. Homes are happy, there is no happiness here, just gloom. A clear bottle stands on the small table next to my chair, the glass is frosted. I keep the vodka in the freezer so I can drink it neat, I have nothing to mix it with.

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New Life by Zane Baisley

Prompt:  A New Life | Word count: 1000 words | Genre: Fantasy

“Drone came down pretty hard. Nearly took my damn head off!” Lollika screamed. Dust and smoke filled the desert night.

“We better get down there before the thing burns out and there is nothing to salvage.”

“Wait.” Gavin said calmly.

“How do you remain calm when things are going crazy?” Lollika muttered.

“Experience. Self-preservation. Panic leads to mistakes, mistakes cause death.” He fiddled with his scanner.

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A White Lie by Zane Baisley

Prompt:  A White Lie | Word count: 2500 words | Genre: Fantasy

Grunt sat by the fire, he knew he didn’t fit in, but he didn’t know why. His mind wondered while he stared into the flickering orange and red flames. From the day he entered this world, hardship followed him. His name, given to him by the clan mother who assisted in bringing him to this life, the perfect example. The night he arrived, unseasonably cold, a huge fire needed to be kindled to keep the small birthing cave warm enough to ensure both his mother and him did not succumb to the freezing weather during the birth. The labour, so long and hard, the clan braves sent forth five times, by the shrivelled little shaman to replenish the wood stock for the fire. They dare not refuse, her wrath when lives were at stake, was immeasurable. All through the pain of her long labour, his mother grunted. The strange thing, her name was Cries All The Time, yet not a single tear did she shed. When the baby finally came, he too, uttered only a single grunt. There were no tears or wailing, as would be expected. The wizened woman held up the small boy, allowing the ancestors to welcome him, touched her forehead to his and whispered his name, Grunt.

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