• Ashley Nicole

Three Elements from Twitter!

This week on my Twitter page a ran a little contest of sorts. I gave my followers 24 hours to give me their best Three Element Prompt ideas. I was given more than I could write BUT I did end up choosing Five.

So here they are! I just have to say that some turned out very twisted. They were also all five written in just a few hours so they are very raw and unedited. I wanted to keep them that way since that is the first thing my head thought of and I went with it. I didn't spend much time thinking on them just to see what would come out. More fun that way!

A stolen necklace

An out of tune piano

An old, forgetful monk

Piano Fixing Man

“Ha ha ha! I have it!” I rejoice to myself as I dart up and down the alleyways of the quiet town. Slipping in and out of the shadows I can still hear the young woman screaming after me. I clutch her string of pearls tighter in my right hand and become one with the darkness.

The wailing sirens ring in the distance. I check the door nearby. Locked. I check another on the opposite side of the alley. Locked. Desperate for a hiding place I whip my head around searching.

There, on the other side of a chain link fence I see a door cracked with just a trace of light creeping into the night. I set to climbing as the sirens grow louder. The wobbly metal works against me with every inch I gain upwards. The sirens are on this street now. Steady blue flashes hit my peripherals. Sweat beads on my forehead. I’m too exposed.

My hand reaches the top and I use all my strength to hoist myself over. I lose my balance and freefall for a split second until my back flops hard onto the ground. Coughing, my lungs take their time filling back up with air. I struggle to my feet then hobble to the door.

Once inside I close the door and slide the lock. My hand reaches into my pants pocket. “Good. They’re still there.”

‘Who’s out there?” A scratchy voice calls from the other room. My eyes dart around looking for a place to hide but the barren room offers nothing. A hunched balding man moseys into the room. His brown robe drags the floor and the click click clicks of his cane on the tiles sends echoes through the house. His squinted eyes find me. “Who are you?”

“Uh.. I think I’m at the wrong house. I’m sorry for disturbing you, Sir.” Turning I reach for the door, but the man begins to come closer.

“Wait. I know you.”

I rack my brain. Was there a Wanted poster on this block? Had I missed one? “No, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. You couldn’t possibly know me,” I again try to leave, fumbling with getting the lock back open.

“Awfully late to be out fixing pianos isn’t it?”

I freeze, “Pianos?” I turn to look at the man who now stands just a few feet away. He reminds me of a bulldog with his short stature and overly wrinkled face.

“Yes, you’re the piano fixing man. I sent a letter ages ago. I didn’t think anyone was coming. It’s right this way.” He turns and begins to walk in the direction he came from.

Outside the door I hear a dog barking and fists pounding on doors. I can’t go back out there. Not yet. But what the hell do I know about pianos? I follow the man anyways. The room we enter is dimly lit by a few candles. Bookshelves line the four walls and in the center of the room sits a piano. On a small table just inside the doorway lays a piece of paper and a pen. I glance over the letter.

Dear piano company,

I am writing to request service on my piano. The thing seems to be out of tune. I would appreciate the utmost haste.

The letter then trails off into illegible scribbles. The date at the top shows yesterday’s date. I stuff the letter into my pants pocket. “So when is it you sent the letter Mister?”

“My name is Monk Greary. And I don’t know, it feels like it’s been forever ago. Weeks. Maybe months.”

“I’m sorry it’s taken so long Monk Greary. But I’m here to help take care of the problem. It says here in your letter,” I pull the paper from my pocket, “that your piano is out of tune?”

“Yes! That’s right! So you can fix that?”

“Well I’m going to try.” I move closer to the old piano and lift its top. The orchestra of strings is overwhelming. I don’t think I’ve ever seen inside a piano before. Monk Greary peers in next to me. “If you don’t mind, Sir, I do like to work alone.”

“I’ll just go sit in the next room while you work.” He slowly migrates out of the room and I shut the piano lid.

Now what? No way the police have given up yet. I start at one side of the room and begin skimming the titles of the hundreds of books. Most of them are written in a foreign language with old broken spines. Not much time passes before Monk Greary comes back. Had he forgotten something?

He stops suddenly, “Who are you?”

Puzzled, I stammer out an answer, “I- I’m the piano fixing man. We just spoke a few minutes ago?”

“Did we? Sometimes I don’t remember things like I used to. Did I tell you it was out of tune?”

“Yes, that’s what I’m checking now.” I start to inch back to the middle of the room toward the piano.

“Alright. Be careful, you’re losing your necklace.”

My heart jumps and I look down at my pocket where the pearls are dangling halfway out. I must have done that when I pulled out the monk’s letter. “Oh, uh, thanks. They’re for my wife.”

“She will think they’re lovely. I will go sit in the next room if you need me. These old bones need a break.”

I watch him go for a second time. I need to get out of here. Even as I think it the sirens whistle through the air telling me I can’t. I start to turn away to scan some more books but that old man steps through the doorway once again.

“Who are you?”

“I just told you, I’m the piano fixing man.”

“Oh, I must have forgotten. I don’t remember things like I used to. Did I tell you it was out of tune?”

“Yes, you said that in the letter.” My patience begins to grow thin.

“You got my letter? I was wondering if it was ever going to make it there. I sent it weeks ago.” A thundering knock breaks the conversation. I freeze. The old man slowly circles around. “I should see who that is. Maybe it’s the man to fix my piano.”

I again find myself looking for a place to hide. The door opposite the way I came in is locked. Sweating I stay still. Maybe the man will forget I’m here and the police won’t come in.

My heart sinks as Monk Greary escorts the uniformed men into the room. “Here’s the piano.”

“We told you, we are not fixing a piano, we are looking for a thief.” Both officers look annoyed until their eyes land on me.

The old man looks up too, “Who are you?”

I bow my head and reach into my pocket pulling out the pearls. I trudge over and hand them to one of the officers. “Here, please, just take me away from him.”

Earthquake

Diary

Crying baby

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

Mommy just gave me this diary today. She told me to write in it so I will leave her alone. I’m just sad and lonely a lot. I wish I had a cat.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

You will never guess what! A cat showed up at the back door this morning! My wish came true! Mommy doesn’t know about it yet. I’ve been sneaking it milk from the kitchen. She’s grey with green eyes and so pretty! She listens to me when I feel like talking.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

Mommy found out about my kitten because it went downstairs and Sissy saw it and screamed and mommy kicked it outside and make it go away. She’s so mean! I don’t think I will sleep tonight without my sweet furry kitten. I hope the baby cries all night and keeps mommy awake so she knows how it feels. I’m going to try to find my kitten and hide it better.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

Mommy is so grouchy. Sissy kept her up all night. I told mommy I asked for that in my diary and she yelled at me. I told her I could tell the future and she told me I need to stop making up lies. I hope my kitten comes back and mommy doesn’t find out.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

I told you! I can tell the future! I found my kitten outside! I snuck out the window and there she want laying right next to the road! She must have missed me because she didn't even try to run! She's curled up in bed with me now. I think I’m going to name her Fluffy.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

Mommy found Fluffy this morning and screamed so loud! She said she was going to bury it so it would never come back. I wish mommy would get buried where she would never come back.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

The ground started to shake today. I haven’t seen mommy or Fluffy. Sissy cries a lot but I can't help her so I stay in my room.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

Newsman on the TV said we had an earthquake yesterday. Mommy and Fluffy are still gone. Sissy stopped crying.

Love Jilly

Dear Diary,

Fluffy came home! Now we can finally be happy!

Love Jilly

A drum set

Iced coffee

Bloody knife

Bad Beats

I take a long gulp of my grande, iced, sugar free, vanilla latte with soy milk setting the cup back down hard onto the coffee table. “Now we have to get it right this time guys!” My head twitches. I strip off my purple, leopard print, satin robe and sit at the drum set once again. “My agent Carlito Ramirez won’t stand for this sloppy behavior!”

I wait for my hands to quit vibrating before picking up the drumsticks. “This time follow MY lead!” I click my sticks together and start in on some beats. It only takes about thirty seconds for it to all fall apart again. “No, no, NO! It’s all wrong again!” My head twitches.

“Dan, what the hell is wrong with you? You’re playing way too slow! And Josh, you’re singing so off key I’m surprised my windows haven’t shattered!” My head twitches. “I am not happy! And you two know what happens when I’m not happy.” I gesture to the bloody dagger laying on the floor. Dan and Josh’s mangled, bleeding bodies don’t stir. “Let’s try again then.” My head twitches.

Age

Mist

Park Bench

Let's Grow Young Together

Hidden deep in the Careena Valley, past the rugged foothills and swift flowing streams, lies a secret wonder. A quiet meadow filled with a rainbow of flowers and a million butterflies that take flight and kaleidoscope the sky. A place untouched by mankind other than an unexplainable bench that waits for its next visitors.

Mable intended to be that next visitor, along with her husband James. “Come on dear! We have no time to waste!” She scurries him out the door clutching her pocketbook in one hand.

“Woman I am 84 years old. I have no time period!” James grumbles but climbs into the driver’s side of the car.

“That’s why we have to hurry!” Mable puts a hand on her head to hold her hat down as she gets into the passenger side. She navigates James the half an hour drive to the countryside with bubbling enthusiasm.

This meadow isn’t an ordinary meadow. Oh, no. It’s a place of magic. When the stars align just right a cool mist will come down from the mountains and any visitors on the bench will have an age shift. Mable recalls stories of older couples growing young together with a whole second life to live ahead of them.

She stares at her reflection in her compact mirror from her purse. The wrinkles around her mouth and eyes pull her face down into a droop leading to the saggy skin under her chin. She no longer looks like the beautiful young woman that her husband fell in love with.

But soon she will.

James pulls the car over along the side of the road where Mable has a star marked on her map. They both get out and disappear into the woods. The extra effort of climbing over fallen trees and across loose rocks proves to be difficult for the elderly couple but their love has come this far and it’s not about to give up now.

Achy, out of breath, and dizzy the two make it to the meadow. Colors swirl in the air around them and a light breeze helps to carry them to the little bench waiting patiently. They rest their tired bones on the dark wooden seat. The temperature drops. James brings his arm around Mable’s shivering shoulders.

The mist seeps in around them from all sides. A hush falls over the landscape. Everything grows still. The couple becomes enveloped by the freshest breath of air they have ever known as the mist swirls around them.

Then, it retreats.

Mable opens her eyes and looks down at her hands. The once prominent veins and dark spots have vanished. Excitedly she scrambles to find her compact mirror. Her reflection couldn’t be more different than the one in the car. Her blue eyes shine bright with youth, and her smooth flawless skin has a new rosy color. Even her thin, grey hair is now a full head of shiny brown locks.

She looks over to her husband, recalling the handsome man he had been when he swept her off her feet so many decades ago. Her eyes are met by a pile of aged bones.

Televangelist

A Toaster Oven on the fritz

A confused but fully aware zombie

Judgement is Coming

“What’s the man on the TV yelling about,” I beat the top of my microwave over. Is it too much to ask for my pizza to be done? “This thing better not burn my pizza, or you’ll be ordering me a fresh one!”

“Hush up a minute! The preacher is praying!” My sister Ada yells from the living room.

I mosey in. “Since when do you listen to preachers? I thought you were atheist?”

“Since this one has a zombie with him! No hush!” Ada bows her head and scrunches her eyes clothes, gripping her hands tight together until her knuckles turn white.

Zombie? I look at the tiny foggy screen in our trashy apartment. On stage is a man in an expensive suit, probably bought with the money from his “followers.” But as the camera pans out, there over in the corner, is a raggedy dressed man with his mouth gapped open. “You think that’s a real zombie? It’s just some homeless man the preacher uses for crowd sympathy so he can take all their money.”

“No! It’s a zombie, the man said so! He’s not asking for money; he’s asking for prayers that the government doesn’t kill him. Listen.” She leans forward and turns the volume dial up.

“What our small minded, godless leaders see is a zombie capable of nothing more than killing. But what I see is a new form of life God has offered us. This poor soul may think he needs brains, but he is just confused. He needs God and I want the opportunity to show him that! He needs compassion! Not a lab full of tests and a cell full of chains! He is still a person in their somewhere and through God we can find it!”

The man walks to the zombie and puts a hand on him and begins to pray again. The zombie takes a couple snaps toward the preacher but that chain around his neck restricts his movement.

“Oh my God… it’s really a zombie!” My jaw drops.

“I told you Jessica! So do you think the preacher will actually heal him?”

“You are so daft. You can’t heal a zombie. They’re dead.”

“These people pray to a dead man. Do they think this is how Jesus is coming back?”

“Probably. They’re sheep who believe anything a preacher tells them.” I turn my attention back to the TV.

“Now Brothers and Sisters, God has given me his protection. Let us see the transformation before us!” He motions for the chains to be removed from the zombie and two men come forward to unlock them. The zombie takes a couple steps, growing used to the freedom. “There you see? He-“

In a lightening fast motion, the zombie reaches out putting its hands around the preachers neck and snapping it in an odd angle. His body slumps to the floor. The two men try to restrain him but he thrusts his hands into their guts simultaneously and pulls out handfuls of intestines. The audience bursts into fits of screams. Ada wide eyes mirror mine as we watch the chaos before us.

The zombie looks directly into the camera and points, as if he was pointing right at me. “Next, judgement is coming for you.” Then the screen goes black.

There you have it! These were so fun to write! Comment which one was your favorite!

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