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Author Topic: The 4 word challenge  (Read 667 times)

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Offline Blackbird

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The 4 word challenge
« on: September 01, 2014, 04:28:54 PM »
I hope I can just post this here, but I really wanted to share my favourite writing practise with all of you.

This is a slight challenge for your originality and an overal writing challenge.

Basically you get 4 words and those four words have to be notably used in a short story. The length can vary, but the story has to acutally have a story line and character(s), not just be a description of something.

To demonstrate. I used to do this with friends so I've got an example.

Words given: Cloud, Sheep, Fairy, Key.

The tale of the Fox and the thief

Cloud, Sheep, Fairy, Key.

‘Cloud, this is Sheep. Do you read me?’ Daily brought his hand to his right ear where his earwig was screaming loudly.

‘Yes, Sheep I do. Could you please turn the volume down? It’s not helping me hearing anything around me. And are these code names really necessary. I find it pretty stupid.’ He rested his back against the wall while he checked if his gun was loaded.

‘Yes, they are, Cloud. The government will be listening in on us and they can’t hear who we are!’

‘If they hear the plan at all we’re dead so it’s still pointless.’

‘Quit whining, the cat is in position and you’re good to go.’

‘Wish me luck, Sheep.’

‘I’ll do that for him,’ breathed a female voice in his ear. Ilnoia just couldn’t resist, could she? Daily grabbed the drainpipe next to him and hoisted himself onto the glass roof of the fifty-seven floors counting building. He looked down. Damn, that was high. Why couldn’t those government building ever have two or three floors. But no, always these high buildings with small glass roofs. Not that he was complaining about the glass.

One punch and he was through the glass. He clipped the cable onto the highest part of the frame and dropped. Speed was crucial with this job. Too late and the glass would hit the floor down below and the alarm would ring. There was no way to catch it, and no way to shut down the alarm. With a shock his body came to an abrupt stop at the fifteenth floor and Daily felt the need to vomit. Next time they would have to find a solution for the place the cable was tied. He swung to the floor that was only a few inches away and the moment he grabbed the railing the glass hit the floor downstairs and a loud siren rang. Half a second too late. He was getting out of shape.

He quickly got rid of the cable and jumped onto the floor. A hand grabbed his and pulled him into a closet. Fiery red eyes met his and he knew the right person was standing in front of him. The morphication had done a really good job, but her eyes would always betray her to him. She put an access card in his hand ruffled up his hair and kissed him on his cheek leaving a red lipstick stain. She was just too good. His ruffled suit was pulled straight quickly, but not too much.

‘Go, there’s not much time.’ Ilnoia winked and threw open the door of the broom closet. A lot of people were surrounding the cable, but the alarm had stopped ringing and people were already returning. Daily walked fast.

‘Cloud, slow down. The dogs wont let the fox go. I repeat, the dogs wont let the fox go.’

‘Relax, Duncan. She’s good at what she does. We all are. Are you already inside?

‘I’m missing one door, ten more seconds. And what did I tell you about the code names?’

‘People will look at me if I start talking about sheep. Wouldn’t want that now, would we?’ Daily grinned smugly as he reached the door. At that exact moment a group of large men ran past as if chasing someone. Daily stopped at the door.

‘Sheep, are you in?’ There was a silence for a few seconds.

‘Seven, eight, three, six, two, one. The fox is already in the cage.’

‘Copy that.’ Daily quickly typed in the code and the door slid open. For hyper intelligent beings the fairies were pretty stupid. He looked around the room as the door slid close behind him. A woman was lying on the floor. Daily hurried over to her. Her blond hair was spread over the floor and blood was dripping from her neck. She was dead.

‘Fox,’ he breathed while he brushed hair from her face. She was so beautiful.

‘Honestly, Cloud. What’s with you and the blonds? And why do the blonds always have empty trashcans?’ A pair of trainer clad feet popped out of the trashcan that definitely wasn’t large. A pair of hands followed and within a few seconds a girl of approximately thirteen years old stood next to the trashcan.

‘What’s with you and killing blonds? And why do you always hide in the trashcan?’ Daily grinned.

‘They’re annoying, and the trashcan is spacious, now open that bloody door because I want to get this over with.’ Daily slid the card through the scanner and the second door opened revealing the body scanner. He was much too large for it, but  Fox could fit in just right, if she adapted.

‘Good luck, little one.’

‘Don’t call me that.’ She stepped inside the shaped figure and metal bands clasped around her wrists before the doors slid close. 

‘The key is in the lock,’ Daily said to Duncan who was listening to the microphone. A groan from behind the door. ‘See what you can do for her.’

‘I will,’ Duncan replied.

The fairy government. If you wanted advanced intelligent technology you had to come to this place. The fairies, spread all around the world disguised in human shape would come here to work on their inventions. The computer was invented in 1207, and the car long before that. If the humans would discover that the fairies weren’t the tiny glittery creatures from their fairytales they would start a war. And they couldn’t have that. Fairies weren’t much different. They could shift shapes, had various colour of eyes, and were hyper intelligent, but they weren’t indestructible, and they would probably never be.

War wasn’t something most fairies paid much attention too. Too busy with their technology, and therefore none of them had seen the potential in the new chip hidden behind these doors with the fairy lock. Before someone got in he had to shift himself into a certain shape or he would die while the shape was tested. Only Fox had succeeded the training for this, and they could only pray she was coming out alive. A loud beeping started and Daily grinned that same smug smile again. It was his trademark. The door opened and out stepped Fox grinning like a cat.

‘Let’s go.’ Daily opened the door out and they were welcomed by high pitched yelling of a woman. Daily looked at where the sound came from. She was on fire. Ilnoia was on fire! Her scarlet dress seemed the centre of the orange flames that were eating at her body.

‘Ilnoia!’ He wanted to run over to her, but his hand was grabbed by Fox.

‘There’s no way to save her. We’ve got to go.’ Daily sent a longing glance at Ilnoia, but then followed fox to the stairs. Three stairs up was the electronic heart of the building. Duncan was supposed to be here. Smoke was coming from his body, his portable computer was black and his skin was visibly burned away. He had been electrocuted.

‘No!’ He yelled angrily.

‘Daily! We’ve got to move.’ Fox told him angrily. He turned around pushed her against the wall.

‘You care about nothing but yourself, don’t you? Fox only takes care of Fox. These were my friends! And now they’re dead!’ His pale blue eyes were shooting fire, but her completely black ones showed nothing, as always.

‘They were my friends too, and they did everything to keep us alive. So what I’m doing is to save you, like they were trying to do. That is the way I work.’ He loosened his grip on her and let her drag him away. For as small as she was, she was very strong, but not stronger than him. Three more stairs up, to the twentieth floor, she dragged him then they came across the elevator. The siren was still going off, but they probably had no idea where to look. Fox pushed him in the elevator and pressed the upper button.

‘Where’s the chip?’

‘Don’t worry, I’ve got it. It’s safe. Now, help me up.’ Daily lifted the girl up and put her on his shoulders. She opened the air grate above their heads and climbed through. She pulled him up after her and they could see the roof approaching fast. Glass. Gods he loved glass. With a shock they stopped two meters below the glass and once again he put Fox on his shoulders. She broke the glass and climbed through.

‘Pull me up, people are entering the lift!” he said. But she grinned.

‘Now what would be the fun of that?’

‘Fox, this is not a time for games.’

‘I already told you from the moment we started that I work alone. Should have listened back then. Too bad, now I have the chip, and you have two dead friends. But don’t worry you’ll see them soon enough.’ The elevator beneath his feet shook and just before it went down he jumped. The remains of the glass cut in his fingers as he held on to the frame.

‘I can help you. We’re a good team. We’re friends.’

‘Like you said,’ she pulled out a knife and a flask with a purple liquid. ‘I care about nothing but myself.’ She dipped the knife in the liquid. ‘And now I have the chip.’ His eyes flitted over to the silver dot just above her brow while she examined the knife. ‘And Fox only takes care after Fox.’ She stabbed the knife into the back of his hand and he yelled while his hands slipped away from the frame. He watched her face disappear from his view as he made the terrifying fall he knew he wouldn’t finish, for her toxin would have killed him before he reached the bottom.

Yes, I write really long stories but it doesn't have to be that long.

So, for the next person who wants to take this up. I've got 4 random words.
Fish, Floor, Agriculture, Jellybean.

Please, try and be original in the use and GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE!
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 04:36:43 PM by Blackbird »
Tomorrow I'll stop running...

Offline NordicWrath

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Re: The 4 word challenge
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2014, 06:05:55 PM »
   My good friend, I commend you for this idea. I had a blast writing this!
As I wandered about, I pondered on what I saw. Not exactly a nightmarescape, the architecture suggested more M.C. Escher than Salvador Dali. Corners jutted out here and there, staircases led to nowhere, I was utterly confused. At some point, I don't know when, there seemed to be a lack of or a slowing of time here, I could hear a light slapping behind me. Turning, I wasn't all too surprised to see a fish, walking on its fin as if uni-pedal. At this point, I was ready for anything, so I approached it. To my dismay, the fish slapped me, but my anger was short-lived, for now I found myself in a cubical room.
     The fish spoke, but not in a physical sense. It may not have been the fish at all, but at the time, I attributed it to said scaly creature. "Look at the floor." Not really caring, I looked down. Just an immaculate snow white floor. As I looked up again, the voice said to me, "The floor is now made entirely of candy." My curiosity had been piqued, for who could say no to candy? Surely, just as the fish, who from now on will be referred to as Francis, was right! The entire floor was comprised of jellybeans! I bent down to pick one up, not questioning the fact that I was still standing and not sinking into them. Taking a tentative nibble, I spat it out quickly. I knew that taste. Baby Wipes. These beans had been mixed. Some were good, some were bad. Then, I heard Francis clear his(?) throat. I raised my head from the spot where I was gorging myself, and he again spoke.
     "We are now in a hall for the study of agriculture." And, once again, he was correct. All around me, people scurried about, tending to their work. Suddenly, so suddenly that I am not entirely sure it was of my own making, a thought came over me. "Pardon me, but if you're able to do all this, why? Why are you sending me along? Is there any purpose as to why I've been doing this? Brilliant job with the jellybeans, though. Nice touch." If Francis reacted, it was imperceptable. Finally breaking the silence, or whatever silence there could be, what with the scientists, he ststed merely this. "You are in control. This is a lucid dream. It always has been, and yet, you have not been fully aware of it." As he spoke, but also didn't, he began to fade quite slowly, until by the final word he replied with, he was a mere whisper. Quite dismayed at being left alone, I began to will myself awake, but it wasn't working. I tried, and I tried, and I tried, but it didn't work. And that's when I began to see the shadows....
Now. I must challenge the next person to stumble blindly in! Pyramidal, cacophany, clockwork, and kinetic.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 06:24:51 PM by NordicWrath »

Offline legomaestro

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Re: The 4 word challenge
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2014, 06:10:29 PM »
Interesting workshop. I'll definitely try my hand out. Will need to read the entries first...