Writing prompt: Writers were given the plushy toy (seen in the photo) and a random genre. The following stories were created in 40 minutes. Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
Story 1: Arthur the Seal by Vanessa Motyl
(Genre – Thriller)
Arthur the seal has been living in the village for a very long time.
He knew everybody there, from the oldest lady at the hospital to the baby born the previous month. And everybody in the village knew him, the wise brown seal, who wore a scarf also in the warmest summer day – “I need to protect my throat from the wind”, he always said. “You will understand when you get 89…”.
Arthur had a brown fur, a bit ruined by the time, but still shiny and soft. Also his teeth were strong like when he was twenty, they were still able to crack nuts and cut nylon threads – nobody considered them harmful though. Nobody, until that Christmas.
Do you remember the baby born the previous month? Poor thing, he didn’t see his 30th day. The screams of terror of the mother have been captured by the snow, but not her memories: how could she be able to forget the terrible amount of blood pouring from the wounded body of her little son?
“We will keep investigating, madam “, said the police. “But we are almost completely sure that your baby’s death was caused by… teeth. Very big ones”.
The only one to have so strong teeth was the poor Arthur, unable to provide with an alibi for the evening when the child died. He tried to defeat himself, but it was useless: the police arrested him, as soon as the DNA test confirmed that his teeth were the responsible for the murder. What reason could he have had to commit such an awful crime? “Yes, granny, what was the reason?”.
“The age likes to make fun of an old body; when it comes to the brain, you never know which tricks the mind could do”.
Story 2: Saul and Pepa by Debbie Liebenberg
(Genre – War drama)
The room looked liked a frilly marshmallow wrapped itself in toilet paper floral designs. She said they kept everything ‘nice and cushy’ so the seniors wouldn’t hurt themselves. They’re just like giant toddlers…barely able to stand, swaying, drooling, not to mention the smell of musky powder badly disguising shitty diapers.
It was my first day on ‘playtime duty.’ I was told to make sure the seniors play nice together, to pick them up if they fall and make sure no one steals the others’ fruit cup. It all seemed fine today.
A group of old boys sat and played poker with each other. Ernie’s dementia made him believe that he was smoking an actual cigar. I’d even be called to change his filthy ashtray. Of course the ashtray, the ash, the cigar, and Ernie’s sanity were completely non existent, but I played along.
A group of old gals sat and spoke about the neighborhood gossip. Francis had been flirting with Ray again, that 60 year old slag. Oprah only gave the audience free books instead of cars, that greedy bitch. And the fruit cups had less fruit everyday.
Sir Saul kept to himself though.
He would sit at the window and stare out for hours. No one knew what he was looking at or looking for, they dared not ask the decorated war hero either. If Sir Saul had something to say he’d bark it at you like a drill sergeant. And dare you not address him as sir! You’d quickly find yourself at the receiving end of a voice so harsh and powerful that it made a machine gun sound like a tap dancing two year old. Sir Saul wore his military uniform everyday, ‘can’t ever let your guard down’ he would say. He had spent most of his life as a soldier. All of his family died in the war. Non one ever came to see him. Despite his injuries and hi loneliness, he sat in his wheelchair like it was a throne.
I walked over to take a closer look at what he was doing. His medals reflected the sun and blinded me as I approached. I could barely make out the brown furry object on his lap. He half concealed it as he stroked the fluffy little thing…wait! It must be a dog! That’s what Sir Saul’s been hiding all this time! He didn’t want us to see his furry little friend, he knows it is forbidden.
I decided to approach slowly and speak softly so as not to embarrass him. As I got closer he suddenly lifted the animal and started chewing on it. I heard a whimper and started running to save it as fast as I could. I managed to pull the poor puppy from his jaws but as it fell free a terrifying shriek escaped Sir Saul’s mouth! His eyes filled with terror. His lifeless limbs shook with shock. “Pepa! Pepa!,” he shrieked! I froze.
Soon another nurse grabbed what I now realized wasn’t a puppy but a old chewed up walrus plushy. The nurse quickly handed Pepa to Sir Saul and Sir Sault silenced his screams by stuffing it in his mouth.
I quickly realized why Sir Saul spent so much time with his back to the room. It was to hide his screams. Pepa the walrus was the only comfort he had.
As the nurse rolled Sir Saul away, she shot daggers at me and strongly advised, “You never, NEVER, separate Sir Saul and Pepa!”
Story 3: Mindy and Humbert By Maria Karamanoglou
(Genre – Horror)
To tell you the truth, I never really liked Humbert. I don’t even know how he got here; I just saw him one day among my little sister’s toys, a worn-out little intruder, with black scratched plastic eyes, a stupid red scarf, his left nostril missing, and naked patches all over his body. It was not a premonition, I just hated that Mindy would prefer him to all the new shiny toys I brought her whenever I got home from college. I suppose this was already paranoid. But it got worse. Sometimes I would catch with the corner of my eye a malicious smirk on is face – which is funny, since he didn’t even have a mouth. Once or twice I found him in the middle of the living room, without obvious reason why he should be there. I swear to you, it was like he was following me. And that time I went to say goodnight to my sister before my night flight, I was sure I saw him eyes gleaming red in the darkness of her bedroom. It went on like this for years. When all the other toys moved to the store room, he was still there, firm above her bed. When she went to college, she took him with her. And when she disappeared without a trace…Well he was not in any of the boxes our parents brought back from her dorm room. Never saw him or her again. I’m a grown man now, almost old… but I still get the creeps whenever I look at our old pictures and see him in some corner of them. In all of them.