söndag 31 maj 2015

Writing Prompts

På hemsidan Reddit så finns det en del som heter /r/WritingPromts. Syftet med denna sida är att någon postar en prompt som andra ska basera en dikt eller en kort historia kring. Jag föredrar ofta att enbart läsa detta men emellanåt skriver jag också. Av denna anledningen så tänkte jag samla mina writing promps som jag skrivit fram till dagens datum på ett ställe. Klicka på titeln för att komma till tråden och läsa andra prompts.

[WP] A musician plays for a God.

It was just an ordinary day, really. Or so I thought. Walking carefully down the small trail past the small trees, I had the luxuary of looking up at a clear, blue sky. There was not a single cloud in the sky and I felt good. All my work for today was done at the market and I had offered my prayers in the temple. Now it was time for some quality me-time.

Feeling the soft grass tickle my feet above the sandals I had chosen for the occasion, I kept my lyre tightly in my arms. I had once made the mistake of dropping it and it had never sounded right for months after that - in fact it had taken a lot of adjusting to make it sound like it should.
The trail was small and to my knowledge almost unknown. When I first started walking this path, there had not been a trail and I suspected that the trail like my music was my creation simply by my very existence. It led me past a pair of tall bushes that was my sentinels against unwanted visitors. So far, I had yet to see anybody walk past them.

The river flowed steady in the summer breeze and I sat down with my feet in the water, letting the gentle flow soothe my feet and legs. For a moment, my image flashed to the stories of water nymphs I had heard the older men speak of. My brother was convinced that they where lies and old tales - how could women live in water? But for a moment I wished - almost prayed - that my music would find an audience. I pushed the thought out of my mind at once. I could not play. That was why I was here where I could be alone with my Lyre and not be heard but those who would mock me.

She would mock me. I was certain of it. She never had any eyes for me. Maybe I was not heroic enough for her having never been a Hoplite or it was something else that I lacked. Her eyes never found mine. They only found others. I could never see what they had that I had not and I suspected she lay with many of them. She was the most gracious and the lack of attention from her filled my heart with a darkness, a darkness that turned into guilt as I thought about how unreasonable my thoughs where. And when the guilt turned into sadness, my fingers touched the strings and started to play.

I do not know how long I did it. I played until the sadness faded into something manageable, something I could hide. Something nobody would notice. I would never give her the satisfaction. And then I heard the sound. The last sound I had ever expected to hear after playing. It was a short, rythmic sound - loud in its own way but still soft. It punched trough the air in short, sharp burst.
It was an applause.

Only one pair of hands created the sensation but I felt both warm and embarrassed at the same time. How long had whomever was complimenting me been listening. The interesting thing is that I could not see anybody. Was whomever was complimenting my music hiding? Or merely mocking me. I turned my gaze back towards the forest. There was nobody there. Had it not been for the sharpness of my ears and the clarity of the sound I would have sworn I was imagining it. I turned my eyes back to the river and saw with a jolt of suprise something that did not belong there.

It was a Dolphin. I heard my uncle speak of them when he served on the ships of Athens but never had one been seen here. They lived in the great sea and should not be in this place. And yet it eyes was looking at me with great interest. Not judging. It was warmth and kindness in its eyes. And I was filled with great inspiration. So I picked up my Lyre and played again. And the Dolphin would listen and it was hours until I stopped. I felt joy in the music, confidence in my abilities and that life was well and the day was good.

As I stopped playing, the Dolphin disappeared beyond the waves and I knew somehow that I would not see it again. It was fine by me. It was a good experience and one that I felt. My steps took me back trough the bushes and back onto the trail. I had just reached the road when I saw something glorious. It was her. And she was looking straight at me, shining almost like the dolphins. Her smile was small, almost shy like she did not dare talk to me. We stood and looked at each other for almost a minute before she spoke.

"I met a very interesting person today. I think he was a Toxotes. And...after that I knew I had to find you. Talk to you. Know more. Can I accompany you to the village?"

As I took her hand and walked towards the village, I knew that my previous feeling was correct. I would never see the Dolphin again. Maybe would I never play that way again, now that the muse of sorrow was replaced with the muse of happiness. Or maybe the Dolphin had simply arranged it that way. Who am I to question the decisions of the gods?







[WP] A unit so secret, almost no one knows of its existence, and so stealthy, it cannot be found. This is the Battalion 404.

"Welcome Soldiers. You are all Volenteers to this unit, and I appreciate the fact that you signed up for this duty. It is a tough job, but we have to do it. If you are unclear what we do here and merely has been recommended duty here, let me sum it up for you.

We are Battalion 404 of the British Army and we do not exist. There is no sign of us on the generals maps, the Germans can´t attack it because they have no spies to tell them we are here and the rest of the Army would shoot us or join us depending on their point of view if they knew we existed. But allow me to guarantee you that Field Marshal Haig himself put this unit up for special duty. Our role is simple. Our duty is simple. We stay out of the war. We do not kill. We do not die. We do not fight.

We do not attack. We are not attacked. In short, we are on paid vacation until the war is over. Sure, the pay is bad and the food too, but we do not dig trenches and we have some nice facilities here. And best of all, the duty is classified and if you say that back home, they usually think you been off playing the hero for the entire war. Gets you in the good with the ladies.

You are in first platoon. Report to Captain Edmund Blackadder for duty. Dismissed."



[WP] A king drinks with the lowliest soldier in his army... and it changes everything.

"This is an unexpected pleasure, Your Highness."
The soldier raised his glass to me. It was not more then I deserved, really. The lesser should pay tribute to the great. "All who fight alongside me are men great men with glory and honour" I replied. "Even the one who clean the latrine pits!"

He poured water into my glass. It was good water, clear water. Almost the same quality as my own. I wondered where he got it, but it might just be one of my stewards who gave him a bottle for this very reason when I told him I would visit the common soldierly.
I lifted up the glass and tasted it. "This is good water. Worthy of Heroes in the Kings Service!" The soldier nodded.
"Indeed, sir. The Quartermaster was very kind and stocked prime water for this voyage."
"I should make a commendation to the brave man who not only volunteered to serve but also does his job well."

The Soldier looked keenly at me.
"You do not know, sire?"
I glared back at him. A King cannot confess ignorance.
"He took one between the eyes in the last attack. This is what he kept from us. We took it for ourselves - and for you when you decided to honour us with a visit."
He paused.
"You said he volunteered? That is not what he told me. We have heard none who have gone willingly to this field, Your Highness."
"But you stand here!" I countered. "You stand and fight instead of running like yellow-livered cowards!"
He shrugged.
"A choice between two deaths is much choice."
I took pity on the man. I could not just as well send him home - think what that would do to morale! - but I could encourage him. A soldier without morale was as good as dead and I kind of liked this young lad.

"Of course you are all volunteers, here because of your free mind, good spirit and brave hearts!" I thundered, vying to impress.
"The kings word is my law." he answered and stood up. "I am a Volunteer no longer."
"What?" I could not believe this! I ought to have him hung!
"The King spoke and we obey. We are volenteers. We can chose to end our service and I will."
The last one was a shout. I had to deal with this at once, but as other voices took up the message, I found myself quite impassive.

And it was that by the next morning, over half the Army had just decided to quit, to leave the field and camp. Some have pocketed what they thought was their right share of pay, others packed food, water and kit. I do not know why those who remained chose to do so but I made a point to thank them each personally the next morning.
Because what had been an easy victory turned into certain defeat. All Humans under the binary moons on this world was doomed. And as I gazed upon the enemy charging us in the distance, I decided I did not like the lad after all.




[WP] Every morning, a husband plays Russian Roulette with his wife. He/they believes it adds excitement to their relationship. This morning is no different.


"I decided to change the weapon" I heard her say as her head leant over my shoulder. Her cheek was nice and warm compared to my own cheek after my stint in the cold autumn air to fetch the mail from the mailbox. "Was that really necessary, honey?" I admonished her as I tok a sip from my cup of coffee, my eyes not moving from the newspaper. "Oh come on. Ever since you introduced this thing when we got married, we used the same revolver. Where is the fun in that? Where is the excitement?". I looked up and sighed.

"The excitement is - as you know - that we shall live each day like it could be our last. That is why we had this wonderful marriage last for years. That is why our bond is still strong. But we also need traditions. Changing the gun will not change this. I think we should continue with the old one." She smiled and put a pistol case on the table. "Are you sure? I got this new toy, just for you!"
I leaned forward and let my fingers brush the surface of the case. It was a smooth plastic and I could feel the logo engraved in it long before I looked up to see it. With almost trembling fingers, I flipped open the locks and gently inhaled.
I had waited for this a long time.

Inside the case was a pistol. Not a revolver like the one we usually used, but a service weapon with a black finish, small white letters and a rail for accessories under the barrel. I grinned at her.
"Oh, honey. You should not have. But what are the new rules?" She grinned back. "We each draw a bullet from this bag." she said, opening a drawer and pulling out a small bag containing ammunition. She must have thought about this for some time. "All but three are duds - the gunpowder has been removed. When we are down to the last six bullets, we refill with duds. Simple as that." "Are you sure, honey?" I asked, peering at the gun on the table. "The Revolver is a tradition after all." "Yes, and traditions are boring, just like dinner at Thanksgiving." "But tradition nonetheless. But you are right of course. Ladies first".

She almost hesitated and I took the bag of ammunition from her and shook it so that the there would really be a random draw. She seemed to take an awful long time choosing a bullet but after a while she smiled and picked one. She loaded it into the pistol, and pulled the slide back with the same deliberate care she used to show in the bedroom.

She then put the gun to her forehead and pulled the trigger. A large noise filled the room and I realised that it was the sound of a gun going off. I had expected it, even bracing for it and yet I found myself surprised by it. I did not even look down on her body on the floor as I reached for the revolver on the table. It had been loaded with the same rounds since we where married. The six duds that had made sure that none of us would perish. Did she know that or had she simply become tired of waiting for chance to take me out of her life?

I did not know and I frankly did not care. I took my cell phone out of my pocket and pushed three letters into the call screen.

911




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