Topic: APRIL WRITING CHALLENGE - A classic random elements challenge.

A different challenge this month - something random, designed to draw out a myriad of different responses to the same challenge.

I'd like you to write 500 words or less, following these rules. (You must adhere to all rules, and every element has to be present in every story.)

1. The story takes place during a holiday celebration.
2. A character pretends to be someone else.
3. A character misreads something.
4. A character has to pay a fine.
5. The story must include an inheritance, a dog, and a change in temperature.

As usual, please make it clear which character you're writing, and from which sim.


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Re: APRIL WRITING CHALLENGE - A classic random elements challenge.

My go:

This story features Peter Tyler, an NPC in Kvant and is set in Sihnon in December 2517.

The irritating dog was no longer being irritating, Major Peter Tyler thought, as he watched the poodle snoring under the Christmas tree. He took another sip of his wine as this undercover assignment continued – an evening pretending to be a banker, when in reality he was something else entirely.

His unit, or part of it at any rate, had been hired for a covert surveillance/protection operation – to keep an eye on a rich heir until she turned 21 and gained access to her full trust fund, worth a considerable amount of money. If she died before then, her uncle would inherit instead… which was an obvious motive for murder. Thus, a group of Brent Cross mercs were staking out this party, waiting for an assassin to show up and then deal with the situation – hopefully in the process gaining the proof they needed to take this person to the authorities.

As he watched the woman in her festive red dress dancing, the usual masculine urges came about, but he suppressed them – she was half his age and that really, really wouldn’t help his career.

Something interrupted this train of thought. He saw a man in a Santa outfit approaching the woman. His highly trained eyes noticed the bulge in the man’s stomach and the location of his hand…

"Gun!" he yelled, racing forward to tackle the shooter. Tuxedo and red suit tumbled to the ground together, grappling frantically as two other Brenties grabbed their charge and swiftly escorted her out of the elaborate hall. Tyler’s reflexes weren’t what they were and he took a punch to the head, rolling to the floor as his opponent sprinted for the fire escape, killing a waiter as he ran.

Tyler got up and went after him, blood oozing from his head - he was going to get this guy come hell or high water. He followed him down the stone corridors, but the head injury was making him feel woozy… then he missed his step and tumbled down a flight, landing hard, but remaining conscious.

He again got to his feet and reached the bottom, kicking open the door ten seconds after his quarry, feeling the cold winter air go through his tuxedo. He saw his quarry getting into a mule and he saw his own company vehicle ahead of it… He jogged over and got into the car, starting the ignition and then reaching for the gear lever.

He moved it to where he thought first gear was, but his vision was blurring and he actually moved it into reverse. There was a sickening crunch as he went straight back into a concrete wall at ten miles per hour… followed by the sound of gunshots as others did his job for him.

Major Tyler was fined two weeks’ worth of wages for operating when unfit – and had to pay for the repairs.

- Silent

Last edited by Silent Hunter (2013-04-13 15:22:55)

Re: APRIL WRITING CHALLENGE - A classic random elements challenge.

Woah! Way to kick us off Silent!

Great writing.  That's set the bar high for the rest of us. smile

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Re: APRIL WRITING CHALLENGE - A classic random elements challenge.

I hope this is alright. I'm imagining Joshua from the Jericho is visiting this world with a shipment of Bibles.

I include a picture of a Catrina doll for flavour.

Bizarre music on reed instruments and percussion skins and pipes blared and beat out a rhythm in the crowded plaza, matched by the colourful flashing electric lights and manifold candles that lit up the night and the spinning and swaying dancers on scattered pedestals and the shuffling crowd. On a stage, players on stilts clad in long robes with shells sown into them so they clacked with every swish prepared to act out Don Juan Tenorio, and a ripple of laughter rolled across the crowd when, through over familiarity, the presenter misread his lines. The front row was empty, reserved for ghosts.

Around the crowded plaza were colourful altars festooned with wide tobacco leaves, incense burners, and bright flowers like orange marigolds with various offerings of fresh fruit, candied pumpkins, tequila, and milky pulque standing by wistfully smiling holograms of the deceased. All the shop doors were locked and their lights out, except one where the trader was being spoken to by two local lawmen upholding the custom that businesses be closed during the festival. Men and women handed out rice and corn dishes and traditional egg and cheese flatbreads with free beakers of mezcal to adults and hot chocolate to the many costume-wearing children who moved amongst the altars.

Goats with ribbons tied to their horns bleated and bolted through the crowd as bonfires roared and people threw joss paper prayer offerings on them to be burned. The shopkeeper handed over some notes to the lawmen as a fine and as the lawmen turned to regard the crowd, skinny urchins who had been selling prayer beads, Catrina dolls, and brightly coloured statues of saints and the Virgin Mary suddenly scattered to flee their attention.

Flickering paper lanterns floated up into the night sky and a Theravadan anagami was inspiring a small crowd of sotopannas with a message about a particular type of ghost who suffer permanent hunger because of their thin and fragile necks through which no food can pass. The solitary bell tolled out from the tower of the small church which stood in a side street, not in time with the other music but keeping its own rhythm. Its doors were open, and light streamed out from within. A small group of anxious-looking folk were handing out bottles of water by its threshold, but a group of lawmen were aggressively disagreeing with the pastor about the building’s right to be open and lit.

Masked, Joshua Temple, Captain of the Jericho, moved through the chaos, flinching when a vicious-looking Doberman with a docked tail and cropped ears, straining against the chain shackling her to an altar decorated with dolls of little children and angels and ofrendas of sugar skulls and toys, jumped up and barked at him, spit spraying from her mouth and her tongue lolling.

"Over here!" hissed a voice from the bushes by the gates of the town’s graveyard, beckoning him away from the crowd and fires and lights towards the cold of the stone memorials.

Last edited by Ash Leighton Plom (2013-04-14 20:18:52)

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Re: APRIL WRITING CHALLENGE - A classic random elements challenge.

Wowza. That's a great post. Love how you've made some of the elements less obvious than others.  big_smile

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Re: APRIL WRITING CHALLENGE - A classic random elements challenge.

Here we have a certain alcoholic Surgeon from Jericho on an auspicious day.....

Christmas again, and the rain, so incessant, still fell from the sky in a deluge Noah would have been worried about. The man, dressed in an old leather jacket, baggy cargo trousers and, rather incongruously, a santa hat, strode through the deep puddles in the muddy streets of Ariel, avoiding the stares  of the locals, half inebriated in their ‘we’ve got to be happy because its Christmas’ attire looking at him.
Snapping at his heels, followed a mangy mutt, who’s name was probably ‘sod off’, trying desperately to get ‘santa’ to play with it. As if chewing someone’s trouser leg would make them do that. The man shooed the pooch away several times before giving up the ghost and accepting the bastard wasn’t going to lighten up and get the message.
‘Santa’ pushed his cold hands deeper into the cargo pants in a vain attempt to remain warm as the night settled into just above freezing, and cautiously holding onto the service automatic taken from his brother during the war four years ago, a family heirloom so to speak. He muttered to himself as he walked promising the authorities on high that if one more drunk ran up to him and ask ‘Santa’ for a gift, it was likely to turn ugly…or someone’s head into a bright red canoe.
Turning a corner and joining the main street, well lit by fairy bulbs and lanterns, multi-coloured and flashing in sequences understandable to only mathematicians, ‘Santa espied the large, well lit multi-story building on the corner of Elm and Battleship Row, his ultimate destination. His new Captain had insisted on his attendance to the crew’s Christmas party within. A further ‘order’ was to come in fancy dress. This was all’ Santa’ could muster up at short notice. The real ‘Santa’ he had taken the hat from, lay belly up with a bloody nose somewhere to the east. It didn’t pay to upset this particular guy on this, so called auspicious night’.
Dripping and cursing under his alcohol laced breath and dirty brown beard, ‘Santa’ stepped up into the doorway to face two toughs, he presumed doormen, watching him approach, one of them putting up a meaty hand to ‘Santa’s ‘ chest. ‘ Got an invitation Santa?’, the tough asked, laughing  with his pal.
Cornflower blue eyes regarded the two men from the shadows of the hat that had slipped down over the man’s eyes, owing to the weight of water saturating it. ‘Yeah. Ive got an invitation mate. An invitation for good boys like you to go get yourselves a box of rubber dog shit and make a nice Christmas pudding’……he growled, trying to push the damn dog off him again. The toughs merely smiled and threw  Santa into the mud of the street, flat on his ass with a polite ‘Merry Christmas’, just as the two policemen approached to fine him for being drunk and disorderly.

‘Santa’ looked up at the two officers, withdrew a party blower and ‘raspberried’ the police from the ever deepening puddle he sat in, ‘sod off’ the dog timing his leg shagging to perfection as Callum Mcwatt muttered ‘ God hates me. That’s what it is…’…..just as his Captain came to the door.

Last edited by pauljericho (2013-04-17 18:12:02)

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