Alright so I hope everyone had an exciting New Year's Eve! I spent mine moving from California/Georgia up to Maryland ... that's about as exciting as it sounds. A lot of marathon driving, but I arrived safe and today is the second day I've been able to write without being rushed for time! So I figured, why not whip out another "Writer Igniter" prompt! Now if you don't remember, or didn't see, what Writer Igniter is, it's this cool little site I found that gives you a few ideas to start a story up. You can check it out: here.
Alright so I spun the wheel and here is the prompting I got:
Character: Delivery Truck Driver
Situation: Arranged Marriage
Prop: <<I actually started writing too quickly with just the other three points in mind and blanked on the prop! Oops!>>
Setting: A city on the coast.
Now keep in mind the piece below is unedited, so don't judge too harshly for grammar or spelling!
I'd be happy to see any prompts you undertake as well, post them in the comments below! Let me know what you think!
The air brakes hissed a defiant challenge—or perhaps the final wails of death, given the shoddy maintenance schedule these vehicles underwent—as they gradually brought the freight hauler to a stop. He narrowly edged the bumper of the hauler out over a cautionary line, and glanced either way at the intersection. Why the stop? Traffic had grown conspicuously scarce. What should’ve been streets packed end to end with cars and sight seeing vehicles was now a scarce wasteland. Hank half expected at any moment for two gunslingers to emerge from the nearby bar--club, there wasn’t a bar in sight—doors and holler draw!
Come to mention it, the traffic wasn’t the only scarce thing here. There were no pedestrians milling around either. No shoppers in the cafe, or boutique windows. The only sign of other life was a sailboat cutting a course across the glittering waters of the bay over to his right.
“Oh, there’s that.” Hank noticed a gathering up on an outdoor gallery of a second-floor building. One of those clubs where ritzy, sparkling decor and bright flashing lights would draw in the crowds by night. Twenty or so people milled about beneath umbrellas and clothed tables. Three young, clean-shaven men leaned against the glass railing that looked out over the intersection and stared Hank down.
His skin crawled. Come on light. The damn thing wasn’t turning green. He would just run it this time. What was the saying? No cop, no stop? He let his foot off the break, expecting to hear the squeal of the releasing brakes as the wheels began to roll forth once more.
A series of erratic warning beeps sounded from the console. “What now?” Hank swore, setting the vehicle to park. The engine temperature had dropped to the little snowflake icon.
Hank glanced up at where the three men were.
They were gone. He shot glances in every direction. Not seeing them turned around up with the others. His throat caught as the corner door to the club on the street level opened up, the frosted glass parting to show the three men striding confidently toward him. They looked like federal agents in their sharply tailored gray suits. Perhaps they were. The subtle rumble of the engine died.
“There’s no way.” Hank started, “no way.” The black asphault of the street was glazing over with a crystalline sheen of white frost. The frost advanced before the men like an ever-expanding carpet of white. The immediate center of the carpet nearest them was a smooth velvet, out toward the extremetiest of the literal ice path large stallagmites of ice jutted upward like spearpoints toward the sky, a protective barrier to ward off any newcomers.
“Enough gawkin’ you goof.” Hank fussed with the keys, turning the vehicle on and off to try and revive the engine. It wasn’t working. “What the fuck!” Hank slammed the steering wheel. Frost was creeping up over the red hood of the cab, invading the glass like a never-ending tide. The hair on the back of Hank’s neck stood on end, goose flesh creeping down his arms and the cab’s temperature dropped.
“G-god help me.” Hank shivered despite his best efforts.
Lock the doors. That’s it.
At least he would be safe in the cab. Reuter Industries protected their drivers with bullet-proof glass and armored doors. He never thought he’d need it but was glad to have it.
The three men reached the vehicle. Through a break in the frost he saw them break away to either side of the cab. One to the right, one in front, and the other strolled his way around to the driver’s side door.
Hank jumped as the man tapped on the driver’s side window and waited patiently, staring up at him with unblinking … solid blue eyes. His black hair was trimmed neatly at the sides, a military cut of some degree. No doubt he was like a guard. His skin was a fine porcelain, lips a slightly discolored purple … as if he had been starved for air. Overall the man had more angles and edges than the icy daggers beside the path, a face of all planes and facets. No curves.
“What!” Hank demanded.
“Lower your window!” The man said, cupping his hands around his mouth in an effort to direct the voice better through the glass. “Just a crack even.”
“I don’t see wh—” to Hank’s surprise the window lowered. He quickly tore his finger from the switch. An inch was more than enough, a slipstream of icy air cutting any warmth that had remained. The cold froze to his bones.
“That’s a mighty odd manner of dress for a wedding.” The man pointed.
Hank raised his eyebrows in confusion. “W-what?” His teeth clattered.
I will do my best to be posting new content every Wednesday. Tentatively dubbed "Workshop Wednesday" I will relatively unedited practice pieces I create to work on certain aspects of the writing craft. Bear in mind military service and training schedules are unpredictable and may be cause for the occasional late post.
In the future I plan to have a set schedule for posting about other writing-related things, or topics in my interest field such as Table Top War Gaming and Video Games.
Thank you for your support and feedback!
Matthew Taylor was born February 13, 1991 in Simi Valley, California. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from California State University Channel Islands, where he served as treasurer and briefly President of one of the campus's two political clubs. While earning his degree he continued to write and hone his craft, eventually releasing an initial few short stories on Kindle.