Category: Four Elements Prompts

Helga Concealed Herself

  1. k-avatarcharacter –bigfoot
  2. setting — dry dock
  3. object –wooden shoes
  4. situation –wet t-shirt contest

Helga concealed herself below the experimental hydrofoil in the dry dock. Stowing away on it in Seattle had been the only way for her to reach Holland undetected, preserving the secrecy of her woodland race. But the next stage in her mission would require that she show herself, in fact the magic tulip bulbs would only be given to the winner of the wet t-shirt contest. And to be allowed into the waterfront dive where the Dutch National Wet Tee Convention would be held, she had to first obtain the traditional footwear. She hoped she could find them in her size.

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I Led Tessa Outside

  1. by jenCharacter – Harajuku girl
  2. Setting – behind the wheel of a large automobile
  3. Object – keys
  4. Situation – hiccups

Tune In Next Time Part 12                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

I led Tessa outside and balanced her on the handlebars of my stolen bicycle as I pedaled through the dark city to the self-storage facility where my excavation machine was stored, along with the rest of my inventions. Things were improving between us, but I didn’t fully trust Tessa. I couldn’t imagine letting her get a look at the contents of my storage unit, so I left her in the office, talking to the night manager, a Japanese woman with bright pink hair, cat ears and a parasol.

The submersible digging machine was far too bulky to carry on the bike, so when I hurried back to the office I asked Michiko if I could borrow her car. She charged me $200 and tossed me the keys. Tessa hadn’t run off during my brief absence, which both pleased and frightened me. The two of us climbed into Michiko’s Hello Kitty-bedazzled Lincoln Continental, me behind the wheel, Tessa riding shotgun but twisted around to stare at the mechanical wonder in the back seat.

As I navigated back to the pier, Tessa gave a loud hiccup, and then another. She turned around to face front and hiccuped again. I knew those hiccups well. Tessa always had an attack when she was horny.

“Now’s not a good time, babe,” I said.

“I — hic — know,” she said. “And that only makes it — hic — worse.”

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Sheets of Flame Enveloped Every Surface

  1. k-avatarCharacter – pimp
  2. Setting – Hell
  3. Object – baseball card collection
  4. Situation – amnesia

Sheets of flame enveloped every surface, including the bubbling black tar of the river.

“I don’t remember how I got here,” I said to the tall, goat-headed person beside me.

“That’s normal,” the demon replied. “Which is too bad, because the dimensional transit vortex is really bitchin’.”

“The spinning tunnel of sulfurous lightning? Oh I remember that part,” I said. “I meant in a philosophical sense. As in, what did I do that was so terrible?”

“Ah!” Goat-Head brayed. “Tasty. Existential dread added to the other forms of torment! You’re gonna be a celebrity down here.”

“Maybe I can figure it out,” I said.

“Oh, I hope not.”

“Let’s see. I stole my sister’s baseball card collection…”

“That’s a first. But no, that’s not the reason.”

“I had a stable of skanky hos, sold their asses all up and down the north side. And I was looking to expand my territory, which come to think of it is probably what got me killed.”

“I’ve been a loyal customer for years. That’s not it.”

“Really? I was sure that would be the answer.”

“You were a businessman. The big guy doesn’t hold that against you.”

“Well, then what is it? Why did I get sent to Hell?”

Goat-Face grinned. “You’ll thank me someday for not telling you. Things get a bit monotonous after a century or two, and that question will be all that still interests you.”

I looked at him. His words made a kind of twisted sense, even if his breath was a roadkilled skunk in late July. “Thanks,” I said. “You’re okay in my book.”

“Keep your voice down,” he hissed. “If I get fired from this job, I’ll have to move back in with my mom.”

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“I Don’t Care That You’re Married, Genevieve”

  1. by jenCharacter – cheating wife
  2. Setting – witch’s cottage
  3. Object – sequined handbag
  4. Situation – I smell smoke

“I don’t care that you’re married, Genevieve,” cried Wilhelm. “So am I, and I won’t let it keep us apart.”

The beautiful raven-haired woman behind the cauldron nodded and held out her hand, and Wilhelm handed over her gift. As she opened it, Wilhelm admired the pale green undertones in her silky complexion and the way the firelight danced in her deep black eyes. Those lovely dark orbs sparkled with delight when she saw the sequined handbag under all the layers of tissue paper. Or was it the smoke that made them glisten?

“Thank you darling, it’s lovely,” Genevieve purred. She pulled a ladle from the voluminous folds of her long black gown and scooped up some of the liquid from her bubbling vat. The fumes made Wilhelm’s head spin. Genevieve carefully poured the effervescent concoction into a vial and handed it to Wilhelm.

“Have your wife drink this and our troubles will be over.”

“What about your husband?”

Genevieve smiled lazily. “Let me worry about him.”

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Ripples Would Betray Him

  1. k-avatarCharacter – ninja, just one week from retirement
  2. Setting – penguin enclosure
  3. Object – snorkel
  4. Situation – revenge

Ripples would betray him, so there were no ripples.

Shivering would reveal his lack of adaptation to this environment, so there was no shivering.

Oddly, the snorkel didn’t seem to pose a problem.

Swimming among the penguins behind the glass, Jin sought to merge with their graceful motion the way his black garb helped him blend with their distinctive coloration. Swimming, he watched the crowd on the other side of the glass. Watched for them to note something amiss, watched for them to discover that one of the penguins was actually a ninja. Hoped they wouldn’t realize that, in fact, two of them were.

Na must be in here somewhere, too. The one who had dishonored the guild and deflowered Jin’s betrothed. He could only be hiding among the penguins, because Jin knew he wasn’t in any of the other traditional ninja hideouts.

Time was of the essence. Jin and Na were both only a week from retirement, and union rules were very strict about seeking vengeance once a shadow warrior started drawing a pension. But Jin knew he was close, that he need only be patient a little longer.

The time would soon be right. The place was certainly right.

Revenge, after all, was best served cold.

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Tracy Clutched Her Skull in Agony

  1. k-avatarCharacter – equestrian
  2. Setting – the moors
  3. Object – halter
  4. Situation – blinding headache

Tracy clutched her skull in agony, wrapping her arms around her head to ward off further dashings as Seawind galloped heedless across the moors with Tracy’s leg thrust through the stirrup.

She knew the mare was too spooked to stop, might plunge over the approaching cliff. She had to regain control. She shouted, “Seawind! Whoa!” and coughed as soil and grass flew into her mouth. Desperate, she risked reaching with one hand. She heaved her torso upwards and strained after the halter. Seawind’s pulsating movement threw her about, the leather straps slipping her fingers three times before offering a hold.

Tracy clambered up the animal’s flank, drawing her weight off her leg and pulling it free. Seawind veered and Tracy tumbled into the heather, and then the horse went riderless over the lip.

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Heather Skirted the Edge of the Exercise Yard

  1. by jenCharacter – chunky cheerleader
  2. Setting – prison
  3. Object – scissors
  4. Situation – need to find the black market

Heather skirted the edge of the exercise yard, eyeing the pyramid formation with jealousy. The scissors were concealed in her left pompom and she had to remember not to be too spirited, or one of the guards would notice.

Where was Sarah? Normally she’d be near the trampoline, surrounded by her posse of bitches. But the trampoline was vacant today.

Heather had to hurry. In another 10 minutes it would be time for headcount.

Ah! There was Sarah, by the over-sized megaphones.

Heather hurried over. On the black market, these scissors would buy at least a case of Ding Dongs.

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Harry Couldn’t Go Out There

  1. k-avatarCharacter – politician
  2. Setting – Australian outback
  3. Object – monocle
  4. Situation – earthquake

Harry couldn’t go out there. The crowd was rabid. He would call campaign headquarters, but some lunatic wallaby had his cellphone in her pouch.

“He’s almost ready. Where’s that monocle? Harry looks dignified with a monocle.”

That kangaroo is only making this worse, thought Harry. The noise of the crowd was suddenly louder and a stray boomerang caromed off the wall near his head.

The kangaroo was shouting now. “No! Monocle, I said monocle, you egg-laying imbecile! I suppose it’ll have to do…”

Before he could react, Harry’s wrists were bound by cold iron manacles and he was shoved out onto the stage.

Suddenly, the building began to shake. The pandemonium of the crowd sputtered out.

Harry cleared his throat, lost his balance, and toppled to the floor. He couldn’t get up because of the restraints, and the shaking of the floor. Plaster dust sifted down onto his blue suit as he thought, I can see the headlines now — Harry won’t take a stand.

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Francine’s Toes Hurt

  1. by jenCharacter – South American cannibal
  2. Setting – submarine
  3. Object – lucky rabbit’s foot
  4. Situation – new shoes today

Francine’s toes hurt. The new “sensible” shoes were worse than her old heels.

Stopping her pacing, Francine leaned against the wall of the submarine passageway and felt the faint vibration. They would be in Caracas soon.

Francine rubbed her lucky rabbit’s foot and thought about what it would be like to be reunited with Stanley after all this time.

The mix-up, last time, had been unbelievable but understandable. Stanley and Ngegue looked exactly the same. Still it was embarrassing to explain to both the Bridge Club and Stanley’s mother that she had mistaken a South American cannibal for her own husband.

No matter. Everything was about to be put right. Ngegue would go back to his tribe, Stanley and Francine would return to the State Department.

Francine wondered, though, whether Stanley would ever live up to Ngegue’s performance in the sack.

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Agent Smedley Raised the Collar of his Trench Coat

  1. k-avatarCharacter – inept hacker
  2. Setting – world’s most inappropriate McDonald’s
  3. Object – nail gun
  4. Situation – midlife crisis

Agent Smedley raised the collar of his trench coat, shot a shifty glance up the hill to see if he was being watched, and ducked into the restaurant. He queued for his ultra-fatty burger and deep-fried potatoes.

The vibrant yellow insignia that had led him here stood in garish contrast to the centuries-old stones of the fortification that housed the establishment. Mere steps from the site of royal decapitations, amid the grand murk of the Tower and its veil of history, lurked a hive of incipient obesity and totem of the very rebellious colonists who repudiated this empire.

Smedley surveyed his fellow diners, alert for anyone else who seemed to be looking for someone. His contact had said, “Meet me at the world’s most inappropriate McDonald’s,” and this had to be the place.

It was Smedley’s turn. He looked at the person awaiting his order, and saw that his piercing gaze was being shrewdly returned. He smiled.

“Deep-fry me a nail gun,” he muttered.

“This job is just part of my midlife crisis,” responded the young man in the polyester hat. He slid a tray across the counter, and Smedley noted an excessively printed order slip. He nodded and took the empty tray to an equally empty table.

He read the slip. He shook his head. Although there was lots of jargon about firewalls and encryption, all the strip of paper really told him was that he’d been outbid for the clock he really liked on eBay.

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