Flashathon Hour 2 Prompt: From Laura Anne Gilman


I hope everyone was able to get through the first hour without too much trouble.  Just like any other online writing challenge.  Now’s where the rubber hits the road as we all turn around and do it again.

This hour’s prompt was provided by Laura Anne Gilman, providing a setting for your stories.  So let’s get down to it:

The protagonist, the antagonist, and the narrator meet at a crossroads…

Use it, have fun with it, or write something else entirely.  Just create!  And let us know what you did in the comments.

Laura Anne Gilman is the author of the Cosa Nostradamus novels, including the forthcoming Tricks of the Trade (November 2011) and the Nebula award-nominated Vineart War fantasy trilogy, which began with Flesh and Fire and Weight of Stone, and concludes in October with The Shattered Vine. Her story collection, Dragon Virus, was published as a limited edition hardcover from Fairwood Press. A member of the on-line writers’ consortium BookVew Café, she writes the “Practical Meerkat” advice column for writers on their blog every Friday. Learn more at www.lauraannegilman.net or follow her on Twitter: @LAGilman.

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  1. avatar

    #1 by DLThurston on October 22, 2011 - 1:20 pm

    Halfway between Heaven and Hell is the city of Casselton, North Dakota. It’s just outside of town, where State Road 18 hits I-94 in a desolate bit of nothing where people desperately wanting to get from Point A (Fargo and or Bismarck) to Point B (Bismarck and or Fargo) don’t realize just what they’ve driven through. It was where I met them.

    The one on my left wore a smile and a shimmering robe. The one on my left horns and a loincloth. From one direction blew a refreshing wind, not cold per say but lightly bracing. From the other blew pure hot of the kind that tore at my nose and made me wish I could just stop breathing.

    The demon spoke. “Your debt is due, human.”

    “His debt,” the angel said, “is with us.”

    My debts were to many who weren’t of this world. I owed bits of my soul at any one time to Satan, Yahweh, Zeus, Hades, Baal, Beelzebub, Thor, Loki, Pluto (was odd to learn he wasn’t actually the same as Hades, really embarrassing when I invited both to a party), Dagon, and older gods whose names men long ago forgot.

    “We promised him prolonged life, but he was to come with us when it was over.”

    “He has earned eternal life with my Lord.”

    “Sounds absolutely miserable,” the demon said with a wry smile playing across his garnet features.

    I cleared my throat. “May I make an observation?”

    The two ethereals turned and looked at me. With their attention came their scrutiny, that odd yawing sensation that I felt deep in my belly whenever dealing with these beings. The feeling that I was nothing to them even if they fought for me. This wasn’t about me. This was about winning.

    “Clearly we are at an impasse, and as there’s but the one of me, we need a better way to fix this situation.”

    The angel was dubious. Angels have this dubious face, and they wear it often on earth. The demon coughed, “what did you have in mind?”

    “You are both laying claims, I should clearly be the one to decide which is the stronger. And I cannot do this if you’re just going to bicker. I suggest, instead, a battle. Angel against demon. For my soul. Here at these crossroads.”

    They looked at each other and the winds swirled around them, blowing the scents of lavender and sulfur. Without speaking agreement, they backed up, reared up, bulked up into two hulks of pure righteous fury. They clashed like thunder as the skies darkened overhead.

    I’m sure at some point they realized I’d slipped away, hitched a ride east on 94. They’ll probably try to find me again. But that will be another day. Another crossroad.

  2. avatar

    #2 by N.R. Brown on October 22, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Story removed per author’s request.

  3. avatar

    #3 by Jennifer Brinn on October 22, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    Halfway through the hour and 520 words in. I’m loving this story–it’s getting all mythic and spooky. I think the narrator is going to end up the protagonist, but that’s the danger of writing. Damn characters and their attitudes!

  4. avatar

    #4 by Blythe on October 22, 2011 - 1:27 pm

    “Various words drifted through my mind as the Mini was lifted up. Enormous. Gargantuan. Impossibly fucking huge. All were words for the amount of trouble I was in, and also words for the size of the tentacle that had wrapped itself around the Mini and yanked it into the air like a toy.”

  5. avatar

    #5 by Day Al-Mohamed on October 22, 2011 - 2:11 pm

    Story removed per author’s request.

(will not be published)


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