Tag Archives: writing prompt

4-15-2016 #WritingPrompt – Character

I thought we could focus this writing prompt on character… and not just your MC… to me, adding character to something, or someone, means ‘to make stand out’… something with character is something that will be memorable… it is okay to go a little over the top with your MC’s actions and emotions sometimes… I mean, which would your rather have happen??? your reader closes the book and forgets half of what they read, or they end up replaying one of the scenes in their head while they anxiously await the next book???

try to picture your favorite actors… what¬† movies or tv shows did you rewatch time and again just to see the perfect moment … that scene that had you wiping your eye, or laughing out loud… oh, hey… looks like my mind is on eye candy… ūüėõ

but from pretty boys to astounding acting, bringing their looks from normal to amazing for that scene, actors/actress can give us a visual aid to improve our book characters… we need our reader to be picturing Matthew McConaughey when they read that scene about our MC saving the day…(sorry guys, but there are some alpha males in my latest book, and I keep thinking of him in Sahara) … but what about Sean Connery … omg, the man is older than dirt and still he has character that pulls me in…

but you need to make sure that your entire book has Character… the good guys, the saviors, the kid that sounds the alarm, even the jewelry/setting/housing/food that makes your MC stop and go huh… but remember to flesh out the bad guys … it is soooo easy for me to merely say, Mr. X is trying to kill them… now lets focus on the hero… but the hero doesn’t have a true purpose unless we understand and grow to hate Mr. X… so be sure to make ever scene count… add a little definition to your people and places… just don’t over do it, guys… there is nothing worse than your reader becoming bored with page after page of room layouts… (hey, I actually read a series that every book was description, descriptions, descriptions… and book two would repeat *at length* what was said in book one… give me the cliff notes, please… I ended up skipping ahead to get to new info… )

Check out Bryn Donovan’s¬†Master List of Physical Descriptions to help add a little more character to your characters… and here is your pinterest writing prompt… we all need more women of power… even if it is evil power… muahahahaha … happy wordage, tracey

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4-14-2016 #WritingPrompt – Forest

Living in Kentucky, I am well acquainted with the feeling¬†of being surrounded by trees/woods… I love the coloring of the leaves in fall, or the smell of honey suckle in spring… I love the fact that¬†what most would considered forest animals feel right at home in walking through my¬†back yard, even though I live a stones throw away from the¬†mall, the railroad tracks, and AK steel… so for this writing prompt I am going with forest… and what would your MC do when surrounded by trees???¬†

a forest has the ability to be magical even if you are writing a contemporary themed novel… with out without a hidden waterfall or stream, walking through a forest in fall or spring you are surrounded by beauty… and the sight of the stars through otherwise dead tree limbs is a sight that is hard to describe…

but a forest can also scare the crap out of your MC… some are full of closely packed trees and brush that you have no choice but to go where the forest wants you to go, and the light wouldn’t dare break through the leaves, to noon on a summer day appears like midnight without a star in the sky… add a little fog and you have a place that demands quiet… your quiet, because the forest will be making all kinds of creepy sounds… muhahahaha

don’t forget the animals and bugs that are found in a forest… is you MC afraid of spiders??? well a forest would be a hell of a place for them to end up… and I didn’t add a picture, but a forest is an excellent place to come across a skunk… omg… my dog riled one up while we were camping, one time… we all woke up to the smell… both dog and skunk were under the camper… I ran out to get the dog to come out and leave the a skunk alone before we all suffocated… before mom could finish screaming for me to stay back, both the dog and I were covered in renewed skunk spray… it wasn’t pretty… needless to say, I washed and still mom made me sleep in the car…

as an added piece of character, what would happen if your MC lost their food and water while in the forest… would they know what to eat… if they were hurt, would they know what to use to ease pain… and what if they ate something poisonous??? or heck… your MC could live in the forest, growing their own medicines…

finally, why is your MC in the forest to begin with… are they searching for a cabin deep in the wood, the home of some recluse??? is there some cave or ruin hidden in the trees cover area??? and what types of bridges and trails will they come across on the way… or will they need to create their own… I know there is a cave at Carter Caves that had used the trunk of a tree as a kind of ladder for more than twenty years before it broke… not sure if another was ever brought in, but it was pretty cool… not so much when it broke but otherwise, pretty cool… (and okay, that one pic is actually dark forest cheese cake, but ymmmm)

and for your Pinterest writing prompt… here are some substitutes for ‘look’… if there is a word that you find yourself overusing, see if you can find some substitutes that you enjoy using just as much… happy wordage, tracey

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4-13-2016 #WritingPrompt – Emotion

Showing that your MC has emotion/feelings/passion is one of the most important ingredients for great writing… I know I enjoy a story that has emotion over something flat and informational… think of the children’s story ‘Jack and Jill’… while cute and fun to read as a child, as an adult wouldn’t it be more interesting to know what Jill was thinking, how the hill felt as she tumbled down after Jack, what emotions were evoked by the fall…

for this writing prompt, I suggest you take an emotion that you don’t feel at home with when writing, and play with it… push yourself to learn more about that emotion and then write the a scene with it…

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Emotions can be seen and felt… from quiet pain/loss, to overwhelming grief… what type of character are you dealing with…¬† does your MC hold it all in, or wear their heart on their sleeve???

and while you are learning more about your chosen emotions, remember to look up some visuals… these are just a few I came across on Pinterest…

if everything you write down still doesn’t feel right to you, remember that there are times that what your character shows to the world is only the tip of the iceberg… from stoic on the outside to explosive on the inside, or maybe your character is frozen in helpless¬†tears by on the inside those¬†tears are a release, a freedom… ¬†

okay…. now here is the pinterest writing prompt… lol… I thought it went perfectly with this post…. why??? because sometimes your emotions can lead to behavior that is out of character… at least that is what I thought of when I saw this… what do you see…. happy wordage, tracey…

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4-12-2016 #WritingPrompt – Dream

all writer’s are dreamers… we dream of love, adventure, chaos, heartache, reality, and the unbelievable… we dream up stories and we dream about the readers that will enjoy them… but because I know personally that ‘writer’s depression’ is very real, here are a few quotes and sayings to keep you going… and then back to the writing prompt…

Does your MC have a specific place they go to in order to dream??? like a child’s clubhouse, do they have a place to get away from it all and dream??? do they dream of that perfect vacations or home improvement like an upgraded kitchen??? or maybe¬†a library to beat all libraries???

What does your MC do in order to save up for their dreams??? do they have a system that can add some quirk to your story??? orrrr, if there is evil afoot, what happens when their hard earned savings are stolen???

And finally, I had to add dreamcatchers to the mix… I don’t know much about my Cherokee heritage, but I have always loved dreamcatchers… in a paranormal story, you could have a mystical dreamcatcher that protects your MC from evil… or your dreamcatcher could transport you to another realm… or in a contemporary, you MC could make them… I have had some beautiful ones in my lifetime… play around with it, and give your MC a ‘Dream’….

And for the Pinterest writing prompt, here is something that most people consider the opposite of dreaming… Spring cleaning… does your MC enjoy this yearly task, or do they despise it… do they need help, or do they prefer to take it all on alone… happy wordage, tracey

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4-11-2016 #WritingPrompt – Build

I love words… one simple word can be taken in so many different directions… take today’s writing prompt ‘Build’… for starters, I’m¬†building this post… build is a word that can be applied physically, emotionally, or even mentally… soooo many different ways…

you can have your MC be a master craftsman, or a newbie attempting a DIY project… or just have the act of building be something in the background of a dialogue … you can build a garden, furniture, a home, a greenhouse, decorations or items to sell…

or your character could be building a relationship (either romantic or friendship or unknown)… they could be building a fighting group, a band, a working staff, or any number of groups… but mainly, as a writer, you are building your story… and if you write series, with each book you build your characters and your world… I like to introduce characters that will have a front seat as the MC in previous stories…

A writer is always building… we sit in a place that relaxes us and allow our minds to wonder, to build on the story we’re working on… I like to take a relaxing bath and just dream about my characters… we build worlds for others to enjoy… but never give up… building a story is a process… the first draft is merely your first building block…

And now for a Pinterest Writing Prompt… you can use this to build a character that appears bad, but underneath is redeemable… muhahahaha … happy wordage, tracey

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4-10-2016 #WritingPrompt – Wedding

For the most part, it seems that wedding scenes are useful as quickly mentioned and then something happens… like the reception, or the honey moon… or their can be a short story about a hiccup that almost derails the nuptials… the point is that most people want to get through the vows as quickly as possible, and if you don’t enjoy something in real life, why in the world would you want to read about it… so who can you add a wedding scene without losing some of your readers…

a scene from the dressing room, the nervous, the cold feet, or even the giddiness… then in the next chapter, summarize the vows and get to the good stuff… the shower or the honey moon…

and why are they getting married… is this a true love match or is it a one night stand that resulted in pregnancy but after getting married they will fall for each other… or is the marriage all for show (because of work, family, green card) and then there is love… or a drunken night in vagas… what caused the wedding and how do they deal with it…

and just for fun, here are some Oh-crap moments that I found on pinterest… some can be added into a wedding scene but most are for any story you are working on… happy wordage, tracey…

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4-9-2016 #WritingPrompt – Activity

What activities fill your MC’s down time… since spring is here, here is a list of spring related activities for you character to be involved in… you could start a scene with either an activity that will relate to the story, or just something random everyday activity that will be interrupted by either the villain or the love interest… something on the list that a lot of people feel the need to do as soon as the sun starts making itself know is ‘wash the car’… buffing up and making your ride shine is a ritual that some hate, and some seem to enjoy…

if the love interest interrupts it can lead to water fights (the inevitable wet t-shirt issue), or the villain can interrupt and the MC will be more worried about avoiding bullet holes in the car than being shot…

think about the time of year in your story, and then sit down and make your own list… how can those activities work in your story… like my MC paints with oil paints, she loses herself in the activity, but she uses it in her work (as well as artistically) … the paint gets everywhere, it takes forever to dry, and is very forgiving and easily to fix when there is a mistake… and if you use something you do often, you can add the little insights into the activity that most people don’t think of..

I would use a side character to screw up with his first time using oils… trying everything to dry his painting (sun, fan, hair dryer) but I would have it in the underlying story… the MC would mostly ignore while he complains or whines…

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having an underlying activity can help to move the story along… I mean.. you don’t want your MC just standing in the room for every scene…

and what about your Villain??? what is their motivation??? why are they striking out??? for most stories, the emotion and understanding comes from the good guys, but the villains are there, and if you understand why they are attacking your MC you can better write their actions and reactions… so ask yourself to give your villain a motivation… here’s a list to go by… just have fun with it… their motivation can be typical evil logic, or you can take something that can be found in your MC, like romance or justice, and twist how the villain goes about to achieve their goal… muhahahahaha…. happy wordage, tracey

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4-8-2016 #WritingPrompt – Gradening

alrighty… this may sound like a boring Prompt, but the simplest thing can add definition to your character…. I have a favorite series that I read… (Eileen Wilks) and the MC can be found pulling weeds when life is overwhelming… she wont say a word, just go into her grandmother’s back yard and start pulling…

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so think of it this way… what does your MC do to relieve stress??? how do they keep from exploding…

but also, their is the beauty and feeling of accomplishment that can come from gardening… is your MC a landscaper… do they add flowers, hedges, and definition to a boring yard, creating something magical??? or do they work the land to get food for their family, or to sell at the local market…. or maybe they have a large operation that contributes to grocery stores??? I’m not a yard working gal, but I think we all appreciate the end results that come from both landscapers and farmers… the hardship of working outdoors can add definition to your MC… so don’t be afraid to add some hardships…

alright… that is it for now… here is a Pinterest writing prompt for the fantasy/paranormal set… happy wordage, tracey

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4-7-2016 #WritingPrompt – Passion

ooo la la…. today’s prompt is Passion… that blush of a first kiss, the love at first sight that grows into a need to grow old together, or a blazing heat that never seems to cool… every time you touch, a tingling breaks out and catches fire…

but passion doesn’t stop there… you MC could have a passion to create, a passion for justice, or a passion to explore/to find answers… not all passion is about sex… it is about a need that refuses to be ignored… have your MC cross a sign that clearly says Danger/do not cross, just because they want to know what happened… have they stop an attack without thought or reservations for their own safety… or maybe climb down the side of a cliff to the ledge below because there is a picture/stone/animal that they just have to help or have for their art… find your MC’s passion…

and finally… here is the pinterest writing prompt… you can use fear while looking for your MC’s passion… what do they have to face in order to accomplish their goals… (I’m sure there are more fears… just play around with it) make your MC as real as possible… happy wordage, tracey…

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4-6-2016 #WritingPrompt – Food

It is easy to forget to feed your characters but unless you are writing a short story your MC will need to eat and sleep… or you will need to comment on the fact that they haven’t had time to do either… some of the stories I read always make me hungry… lol… there is this one series that I don’t even start on an empty stomach… it is like going to the grocery store… never do it hungry…

But what type of food does your character like, or hate… do they eat out, order delivery, or cook it themselves…and are they good at cooking, or horrible… there really is no middle ground… lol…

maybe your character is a chief or a food critic … or they have the best/worst mean while out and meet their true love when the host walks around asking if everything is alright…

and lastly,¬† food can be extremely messy… from a baby spitting half of it out, to the disaster in the kitchen if you don’t clean as you go…

now enjoy the pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey

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4-5-2016 #WritingPrompt – Flippy

lol… this seems like a hard word to build a writing prompt around but bare with me … since it is spring, I think of Flippy Skirts… I love long flowing skirts with lots of folds… and the wind is everywhere, flipping the skirt all over the place… soooo, does your MC like wearing flippy skirts… or is it her first time and the wind is causing all kinds of problems… just ask Marilyn Manroe… stay away from heating grates ladies… lol

something else that is flippy??? Hair… women flip and toss their hair, especially to show attitude…but with long hair, a certain¬†amount of flipping is necessary … and lets¬†not forget the masculine hair flip… especially if they have¬†wavy hair… but hey…paranormal men tend to have long hair, so flip away…

and¬†¬†lastly, we have flip-flops… they are definitely flippy… and it is about time to start wearing less and less on our feet… at least round here… personally, my feet hate being encased in shoes and socks… what about your Character… do they love flip-flops, insist on going bare foot, or maybe they have to have the best shoes and look down on anyone in flip-flops… hmmmm…. what is your Character wearing…

oooo…I just thought of one more clothing¬† ‘flip’… lol… a kilt… who doesn’t love a man in a kilt… and those are right up there with flippy clothing…

In the non-clothing flippy category, I think of acrobats and cheerleaders… or maybe a ninja or karate expert … those peeps are always flipping about…

okay… I think that is enough for today… here is your pinterest writing prompt… happy wordage, tracey … ooo… wait… don’t forget ‘flipping out’… lol

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4-4-2016 #WritingPrompt – Drink

Day four of Camp NaNoWriMo… and today’s Prompt is Drink… immediately I think of mixed drinks… something yummy, and maybe a little strong… maybe your MC is a light weight, and embarrasses themselves… or a strong constitution and can drink anyone and everyone under the table… or maybe your MC is a hot bartender that can flip the bottles and mix up anything you want…

Drink could also mean that your MC is drinking someone in… totally drawn to someone… or they have a thirst that for adventure… or they are dang dehydrated from working or from being lost in the middle of nowhere without anything to drink…

a refreshing drink like iced tea, or lemonade is very important here in Kentucky… but you could also focus on an addiction to coffee or liquor…

this is a short one… here is your Pinterest writing Prompt… happy wordage… tracey

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4-3-2016 #WritingPrompt – Beauty

What do you find beautiful??? my mind always goes to nature first… from the sky to the land… I see beauty all over the place… especially in spring and fall… I really love when the leaves turn colors and fall to the ground… use the landscape, something that stands out to you to comment on your MC’s surroundings… personally, I get bored if there is too much info on rooms or landscapes but something is needed to make your story come to life…

Maybe your MC is lusting after a car or a boat… or maybe a horse with fine lines… what is your MC into??? what will they look at when they think of beauty… does your MC favor the newest, shiniest toy… or are they more into antiques… and don’t forget the energy saver cars that usually look like something your five year old would rive… ¬†

¬†And lastly, there is human beauty… I write romance, and there is always something about the person your MC lusts after that they find beautiful… and it doesn’t have to be physical… it can be a talent, or maybe the way they speak or laugh… maybe they create art that calls to the MC, or their caring/personality shines for all to see… what exactly draws your MC to this person???

okay… that’s it for today… here’s your pinterest writing prompt…. happy wordage, tracey

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4-2-2016 #WritingPrompt : Animals….

Day two…. and the prompt is animals… so lets start out with baby animals in a continued Easter idea…

baby animals are one of the things I always think about when I think of Easter… my grandmother used to get us baby animals from the local hatchery when we were small… lots of bunnies, and goose … how does your MC feel about animals in general… and how do they feel about baby animals… do they love them like most people or do they not see a reason to get excited about the newness of the cute little things… lol…

how about big animals… from a loveable dog, to wild animals… and for the paranormal set… can your MC turn into an animal… what traits carry over into their human form… can they fade into the shadows like a jaguar, or clamp their jaw down in a killing bite like a shark or an alligator… or is your MC running from a wild animal in a deserted area they are unfamiliar with…

¬†Is your MC a zookeeper? Do the animals get loose, or¬†is¬†your MC¬†in the artic facing off with polars….or maybe your MC tames wild beasts, and walks freely among them where others run for their lives… or do they deal with large animals like horse, cows, and goats… farm animals… maybe as a vet…. learn about the animal and see where you can add some humor to your story… or maybe a little suspense… muhahahaha

and here is our rap up pin from pinterest… Happy wordage everyone… Tracey

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4-1-2016 #WritingPrompt : Eggs

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all pics from pinterest.com

WooWho… It is time for Camp NaNoWriMo… for my writer peeps out there that have never participated in one of the NaNo events, it is easy to join in and definitely worth it… sometimes too worth it… lol… I have a tendency to push myself to reach 50K words during every Nano, which sounds like a good thing in theory… but that also means that I have more and more edits when I still need to finish work on previous projects… I did manage to use the last NaNo as editing time, and instead of creating something new, I worked to edit projects from my growing stack of novels and shorts.. Camp NaNo is great for beginners, as you can set your own goals… and if you happen to reach your goal, you can push the goal line back, and keep going… Go HERE to check out Camp NaNo and see if it is up your alley…

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Now lets hit the page with our first Prompt… (warning… I will be adding some Easter-like prompts even though Easter is over… as writers, it is always a good idea to pull information and ideas from our lives and the lives around us, and what better theme than Holidays… like, this Easter, My cousin (newly pregnant) went to her new in-laws and her new Aunt always decorates eggs with the names of those in her family… and she added an egg this year that said Baby Smith… how cute is that…

it is something that you could use to slip in info in your story… a new mother telling the father to be that way, or a code left on an egg in a spy novel… ooo… your code could only show up in black light, and the spy could be fighting to get some kid to give him the eggs they had collected… lol… or you could have a newbie trying to color eggs and they forget to hard boil them first…

But the word Egg can be used as to Prompt your story in other non-Easter ways… like a pregnant person … they have to drop an egg to get pregnant… did you MC want to be pregnant, are they just trying (or trying to trick someone into getting them pregnant) or maybe they just found out they don’t have any eggs…

another way to add eggs to your story is cooking… what can you cook with eggs… does your MC now how to cook… do they need to get the egg from the store or do they live on a farm… or maybe they are new to the farm and don’t know how to retrieve the eggs from the chicken coop… and if you want to combine cooking and Easter… I like the idea of deviled eggs and food coloring… the guests could freak out because the white part of the deviled egg on there plate is green… or some other color that automatically makes them think of food poisoning… lol

alright… time to wrap up our first writing prompt… and this time I decided to use Pinterest pics that I found under Writing Prompt to end my posts… enjoy and happy wordage, Tracey

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Camp Nano and Writing Prompts

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well just a quick note to let everyone know that I will be doing writing prompts for Camp Nano … I had planned to skip this one, but the dang things are addictive… lol

so I will be writing up prompts and editing… also hope to work on a new contemporary romance… a second in the Skymann series… if off to Mary at Gone Writing Publishing …

and that’s all I have to share right now… see you guys later…. happy wordage, tracey

this could be Makayla

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this could sooo be Makayla LaPine… she only had a few lines in Shocking Finds: A Finder’s Keepers Novel, but she is making her mark in book two… Twin Findings…

this picture is definitely worth a thousand words when it comes to Makayla’s younger days… she tells us all about her younger days as she sits with Marin, going through the details of the day her twin went missing… poor Makayla… so young, so sad, and oh so strong… stronger than she should have had to be… our sexy southern bell has a few crack in the shield she presents the world, but the woman will always be sassy and strong when the end of the day comes out to play…

I can’t wait until you guys get to read this book… between the continuation of Marin’s story, and this peek into Makayla, this book is gonna rock… happy wordage everyone… tracey

Fall Into Romance bloghop

Ahhhh…. Fall is the best time of year, especially in Ky

fall KY/home
fall KY/home

My favorite Fall Activity has to be taking pictures of all the changing colors, the leaves falling to the ground in reds, yellows, and browns… and so many other colors. It is also the only time of year that I feel comfortable walking through the trees. The cool crisp air gets along with my MS, and I get to enjoy the outdoors. I love the way the world smells and feels.

I also love to paint and write in the fall, not that I don’t normally love these activities, but fall seems to recharge my battery. It seems right that my first book was released this fall. Shocking Finds is a paranormal/fantasy romance at its best… Fae assassins, betrayal, and undeniable lust…

20151007 Shocking Finds cover

Now for the giveaway portion of our blog hop… to be eligible, comment about your favorite fall activity and on the 22nd I will pick a random comment to win an ebook copy of Shocking Finds…

Now head back over to Sexy Scribblers to check out the other giveaways/posts… the Sexy Scribblers will also be giving away a grand prize … woo who … just click on the Raffle Copter Here

Sexy Scribblers Giveaway

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check all the wonderful writers out HERE

Contest to win a copy of Shocking Finds

Contest, contest, contest…

Hit C.D. Hersh’s Blog¬†on Nov 6,¬†and leave a comment on her Shocking Finds Post to enter to win a copy of Shocking Finds (A Finder’s Keepers Novel) … woo who… the contest will run until noon the following Monday… Then a randomly picked commenter will be chosen.

 20151007 Shocking Finds cover

Just¬†add your comment about the blog and wait to see if you are the lucky winner… happy wordage everyone…

Oct 25 writing prompt… TOLD

Oh Boy… Shocking Finds is almost here… just hours away… to fill that time I am working on a free story and putting together this writing prompt for you… just like yesterday, I will write up a few sentences to go with the pictures… feel free to use for your own inspiration and grow it into your own story… muhahahaha… I’m sure all hallow’s eve would love to have your short…

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“You were told! You were warned.”

James froze in place. His hand shook as he slowly reached for the¬†gun at his side. He turned slowly, trying to hide the moments of his hand. “Don’t want no trouble, friend.”

That weird sign about dead bodies already had his nerves on edge. Like he needed to be told not to touch dead bodies, but why would this field be full of corpses.

Finally facing back the way he had entered the large field of cheat grass and boulders, James whipped out his gun and started firing at the body crawling out of the ground.

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She had been told about the orphans and their antics. Jessica knew that the girls would try to freak her out, but this was insane. There was no way that the slight females should be able to hang halfway up the walls with no real handholds. That was bad enough, but when they all started humming the same off key turn with perfect synchronicity, Jessica decided to slowly back out of the room. She needed to get out of this job as soon as possible.

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The small skeletal creature appeared dead; his humanoid body placed beneath the words that told all that he didn’t deserve his treatment. His body was contorted in the throws of death, but Jim wasn’t stupid. The last guy to rush into that room was lying with glazed eyes beside the body of the sharp fingered corpse. Fingers that had sliced through the throat to the man beside him.

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Nick could feel his body beginning to shake. The world was beginning to darken. Wrapping his arms around his torso, Nick did his best to hold his body together, to keep from flying apart. He couldn’t afford to disintegrate in the middle of town square. It was night and no one appeared to be around but how could he be sure?

“No, no, no…”

Beyond his control, his body burst into an invisible cloud of atoms.