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The pulsing lights, the throbbing bass, a room full of pheromones and sweat even without alcohol, immersion in the ancient rite of dancing is enough to put you off balance.

As we enter into our first full week with Song Story: Volume 1 from Song Story Press, we are neck deep in the excitement.  The pursuit of an audience, of great music and more great stories brings with it a heady emotion reminiscent of child hood games.

Does this week's prompt remind you of innocence or terror or romance or a little of each?

Guest Judge: L.T. Dalin

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This week is Motivation Monday's very own L.T. Dalin.

LT has been writing all her life, in some form or the other, but it wasn't until University when she studied Broadcast Journalism that her eyes were opened. Since then she's spent the past years trying to find her voice, her style and comfort zone, and she's having a blast with it. She's also a housewife, with a loving husband and two very demanding budgies. When she's not attending to them, she's working on a Fantasy Trilogy for YA called The Finder.

In L.T.'s "Death's Apprentice", a tallyman of the fatal sort takes an interest in the fate of two star-crossed lovers to amusing effect.

In her second story, "Primal" urges move a blood-sucking club promoter to consider throwing it all away for the thrill of the hunt.


The Prompt

[Watch out]; here [I] come!
*words and phrases in brackets can be replaced creatively (eg. "Ready or not; here we come!)

The Rules

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  1. The story must start from the prompt.  This means the prompt must be the
    first words in the story.
  2. No more than 500 words (not including the prompt).  No less than 100 words.
  3. Any genre (in fact an unexpected genre will get you more brownie points.)
  4. Entries must be submitted by Tuesday Noon EST0
  5. If your story would be rated R or NC-17 in a movie, please post a note to that effect at the beginning of your entry.
  6. The winner of each week's competition will win a kindle copy of "Song Stories: Volume I"
  7. The winner and runner-ups will be entered into a drawing to win a beautiful paperback edition of song stories
  8. Have fun!

3/18/2013

“Look out guys; here they come!” We took our positions behind chairs, tables, doors, anything that could block water. We carefully aimed our water guns at the doors, windows and stairs. Then, we waited. For the girls.

It was a game we played every week. The girls loaded up their water guns, then went upstairs, and outside. We loaded up ours, and stayed downstairs, in the family room. We took up defensive position, and waited for the girls to invade.

It was great fun. We always wound up laughing. Most of us wound up soaking wet. And Mom and Dad didn’t mind. The hard floor dried no problem, and the water didn’t hurt any of the furniture. It was almost like they’d planned for our water gun wars.

I took my position, behind the door to the stairs. My plan was to get behind them when they came in, and soak as many as I could. Tommy was flat on the ground, next to the sofa, his super-soaker aimed at the other entrance to the room. Bobby, Jimmy and Donnie were hiding behind the two coffee tables. They’d laid the tables on their sides, so they were like little walls.

And we waited.

It started with water coming through the window, aimed at the two coffee tables. Donnie, trigger happy fruitcake that he was, leaped to his feet, screaming, and firing shot after shot out the windows. That’s when Debbie and Jill came through the main door. Tommy nailed Debbie right in the face. But Jill got him from head to toe with her water canon.

I got distracted, and didn’t see Barbara and Pam race through the door at the stairs, water guns blazing. I took it right in the chest, but I fired back, hitting Pam right on her chest, and Barbara right on her butt.

But, the invasion had begun. The girls came in, shooting, and we shot back, and before too long, we all wound up soaked and sitting on the floor, laughing, with water everywhere. God, but those water gun wars were fun.

355 Words
@LurchMunster

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“You have summoned me; behold, here have I come.” (Keep your eyes down; don’t look up, don’t look up, don’t look up.)

“You are even more breathtaking than the last time I saw you.” His voice thundered across the hall. “What wizardry is at your command, that you could achieve such a feat in so short a time?”

“No wizardry, lord, save that which is natural to a woman.” (Hunch your shoulders. Stoop. Tremble a little.)

Now he was behind me, his breath warm on my neck. His voice was thick. “But you are no natural woman.”

(Pause. But only briefly.) “And you, my lord, are no natural man.”

“No.” One hand brushed across my cheek, a quick flash, like lightning. “No, I am not. So—so you will have me? Surely you did not journey this great distance to reject me again.”

“It depends. You know my condition.”

The room temperature dropped, and I shuddered at the sudden chill. “Marriage,” he said.

“Yes.”

“But you know—you are lovely, oh, you are so lovely! Your skin is so soft—but surely you know I am not the marrying sort. Would your woman’s heart not be satisfied with jewels? No. Foolish thought; you are too clever for jewels. A kingdom, perhaps? Or several. All within your grip.”

“Kingdoms I have,” I said. (Keep your voice gentle, demure. Like silk.)

“I could give you more kingdoms—what is that fragrance? your hair—”

(Not much longer. Don’t look up.) “That is the smell of the East wind, my lord. I came to you freshly washed by the dawn.”

He groaned. “You will not yield? This is the only way?”

“Yes, my lord. Marriage, then I am yours. Yours only.” (Now whisper. Whisper softly, so he can hear you, but barely.) “Yours entirely.”

A thunderclap. “Enough! Enough. This once, and this once only, I shall be the one to yield. You wish to marry the king of the gods? Then so you shall. My hand, my heart, are yours, Hera, you who have driven me to the brink of madness. Now take pity on me, and say you are mine.”

“I have your word? Then yes: I, O Zeus, am yours, to do with as you will.”

And as the sky around us exploded into storm, I lifted my eyes and smiled.

390 words
@postupak

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3/19/2013

“Ninety-eight, ninety-nine, ONE HUNDRED! Ready or not, here I come!” The girl sing songed as she spun around from the tree she was leaning up against. There wasn’t much movement from the copse of trees or bushes. She pursed her lips, thinking before turning right and heading towards the birch trees.

She was glad not to be inside. There were all sorts of people coming in and out of the house and she had been told not to get underfoot. Pft. Adults. They thought they were so smart. They were looking for a monster that had been attacking the village.

She giggled and spun around under the trees, peering through. A pout as she didn’t find her quarry. “Boo. Maybe…this way.”

They thought the monster would come to her house? She had been told that it was monster free. Of course, mommy told her that but hadn’t come back yet. So she had to amuse herself until the elder was around. Mommy had gone to fight the monsters.

The slight breeze caused her hair to stir and her nose wrinkled before she spun in another direction, sliding across the grass to burst through some bushes. “BOO!” She squealed when she ran into the legs of the man standing there and looked up before giggling. “Found you!”

She patted the legs of the stone statue. The man’s face was captured in an open mouthed movement. The snakes hissed by her ears and the snake portion of her body undulated as she went flying off in another direction, laughing. “You’re IT!”

259 words
@solimond

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3/19/2013

Academic Abandon

“Stupidity, here I come!”, Clayton chided himself as he parked his battered Civic beneath a flickering streetlight.

As a fully-tenured professor of anthropology, he had thought his days of doing field research were far behind him. True, in his day he’d squatted in muddy jungles, lost gallons of sweat in boundless deserts and nearly lost digits in the frigid wastes above the Arctic Circle but those days were in the past. Or were they? The university was…displeased he’d attracted so few candidates for his post-doctorate program and had decided he needed to take a more hands-on approach with these students.

For that reason, he found himself striding down an alleyway strewn with things best not considered. There were no addresses in view on the hulking warehouses lining either side of his concrete pathway but his students had assured him he would know when he reached his destination.

He felt as much as heard the pulsing throb of the music as he stood outside a short blocky structure not noticeably unlike those to either side. Though he knew it to be impossible, he swore he could see the steel walls bulging outward in time to the pounding bass rumbling from within. Steeling himself for hazards at least as daunting as those of any jungle, he pounded on the heavy door before him.

Having passed muster, more by dint of handing over the green paper likeness of the 18th United States president than by appearing to belong here, he was granted admission. The murderous assault of the music was staggering and he clutched the tubular steel handrail tightly. Passing along the walkway he came to a point he would designate in his journal as the “main gathering place’.


Some 30 feet below, amidst the cacophony, strobing lights and swirling vapors of a fog machine were more people than he’d have thought it possible to pack into such a space. They drank, laughed, sweated and gyrated in a hedonistic ritual not unlike those he’d observed in many cultures. Squinting against the stinging smoke, he thought he saw Tia, Aleks and Robert amongst the others. His erstwhile charges, he noted, had abandoned their scientific objectivity in favor of a sort of bonding ritual with the ‘natives’.

Almost as one, the trio joined the rest of the crowd in a series of turns and twists as the music entreated them to “spin right round, right round”. Clayton found himself immersed in the sea of light, sound, perspiration and an indefinable energy that transported him with memories of times and places nearly forgotten by him. His blood rushed and his senses reeled as he allowed the forgotten freedom of the primal, the wild, the unrestrained to take him.

Seeming to fly down the narrow steel stairs, his voice joined in with the singer as the last vestiges of the closeted academic fled his mind and he howled, “Watch out, here I come!” before surrendering to the mindless celebration of life his students had led him to.

500 words @klingorengi

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3/19/2013

“Stand back; here I come!” Tristan’s voice was close. I could hear the smile, but he was hidden by the leaves and branches above. I scrambled away from the trunk. I was still boggled the tree was even here – this huge oak in the mountains, it was impossible. He was so excited to show me his hidden valley.

Leaves rustled and Tristan gave a Tarzan shout as he jumped the last ten feet and landed with a wink. “TaDa!”

“Oh, you!” I gave him a little shove on the shoulder, mostly so I could touch him. “You just wanted to be sure I was watching your stunt.”

His grin broadened, “Well, yeah. You had a much better view from over here, didn’t you? A guy’s gotta do something to get some admiration around here.”

I put my hands on my hips and pursed my lips, ready with my normal retort, but changed my mind. Now or never. I held my hands at my back, gave him a half smile, and closed the distance between us. I leaned in as much as I dared, looking through my eyelashes, “You don’t need to try so hard.” It took all of my will to turn around on the spot and walk away.

I felt the hairs on my arm stand up as he, presumably, reached out to hold me. I could almost picture the stunned look on his face. He wasn’t surprised often.

“Clara…” He cleared his throat.

I turned around. His face was pained. I rushed to him, “Are you alright? Are you hurt? What’s wrong?”

He stared into my eyes with horror, “You need to leave. Now. Get back up that tree!” He pulled me back toward the trunk.

“We just got here. I didn’t walk seven hours and scale a rock face just to turn around!” I yanked my arm out of his hand. He wasn’t interested. I wished it didn’t hurt so much. Just pretend it never happened and maybe we could go back to being best friends. Tears smarted at the corners of my eyes.

“Please, Clara! You need to get out of here!” He grabbed me around my ribs and lifted me toward the branches.

I looked at the branch as the tears spilled over, then I looked down at him. The words just spilled out, “Am I that repulsive?”

“Oh God, Clara, No!” I thought I could see tears in his eyes now. “You’re… I just never thought… You never… How could you feel… the same…” He looked around with wide eyes. I could feel his arms trembling with my weight.

“The same?” I whispered.

His head snapped back to me. His face softened and his arms lowered me slightly before he shook his head and lifted me up again. “Please? I can’t ask you to be here. You don’t know what…”

A fog swirled.

“No! She doesn’t know! We’re leaving!” He turned tortured eyes to me. I grabbed the branch and swung up. “CLIMB!”

499 words
@lissajean7

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A Tall Tale


“Fe fi fo fum, look out below, here I come.”

“What the hell… TOM!” Mary glared up into the tree and at her little brother. He had one leg swung over the branch and was hovering just above her and Jack, posed to leap onto the hammock the two of them were sharing. “Get the hell out of that tree.”

Grinning, Tom swung his other leg over and leaned, ready to leap.

“NO! Not like that,” Mary shrieked.

Ignoring her, Tom sprung, flyng through the air towards Jack and his sister. Mary screamed, covering her face. She felt a slight shift in the hammock, but that was all. Moving her hands from her face she glared at Tom, who was still hovering above her. Jack had caught him before he landed on the two and held him in the air. The boy laughed and spread his arms, flapping them like a bird.

“That was fun,” he laughed.

“Listen you little twirp, you leave us alone or I’m going to tell Mother.”

“It’s alright,” Jack said, “I don’t mind.”

“What was it like?” Tom asked.

Mary sighed. “Here we go.”

“What was what like?” Jack asked.

“When you faced the giant. Were you scared? Was he really as big as this tree?”

“Nah, he wasn’t that big. Maybe as tall as Grandma’s shoe.”

“That’s big enough,” Tom gulped.

“I’m going to go check on the sheep,” Mary said. Walking away she shook her head. Everyone wanted to hear about the giant. Jack the Giant Killer. That’s what they were calling him. If they only knew the truth. She could tell… but then Jack would be mad at her. Still, she didn’t want to date a Giant Killer, she wanted her sheep herder back.

Opening the gate to the field she saw that something was wrong. Her sheep were gone. Sitting against the tree was the giant, finishing off a leg of one of her sheep. She wouldn’t need to tell everyone that Jack had lied. He hadn’t killed the giant, just cut down the beanstalk. But somehow he had found his way down and now the entire village would pay.

Unless she could kill him. She pointed her staff at him and smiled. She liked the sound of Mary the Giant Killer.

Word Count 381
@jezri1

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3/19/2013

“Back up, back up! Here it comes!” I ran from the temple, missing a full-body tackle of Adrius by scant inches.

“Circe, what’s going on?”

“Mad druid,” I said, gasping for breath. “Bat-shit insane druid. I thought you guys were tree hugging hippie types. You didn’t tell me you could turn into—”

Adrius uttered a word he’d learned from me and I spun to face the temple entrance.

“Yeah. That.”

Black tentacles gripped either side of the massive opening. One Kryptonite-green eye locked on us.

“Gods above,” Adrius whispered.

“Suuuuummmmmeeerrrrr Quuueeeeeennnnnnn. Cooommmeee toooooo meeeeeee.”

Aw, shit. Of course it wanted me.

“Giiiivveee meeeee yoooouuuurrrr ssssssoooouuuullll.”

“Tempting,” I said. “But I’m afraid my soul’s not available right now.”

A rumbling growl grew, shaking the temple. Ancient marble crumbled like chalk, blowing outward as the thing within freed itself.

“Run.” I grabbed Adrius’ hand and bolted for the trees. The earth shuddered with each step the creature took after us. It screamed as we reached the dubious cover of the forest and I clapped my hands over my ears.

The ground scraped my hands as I tripped over shifting tree roots. The immovable turned to liquid as the world heaved up. I clung as the flat ground beneath us lifted us high into the sky, transforming into a hill before dropping down, leaving my stomach far above me.

Adrius lost whatever he’d last eaten, taking projectile vomiting to a new level as we soared up again. Thundering howls shredded the air. In the distance, maybe half a mile to the northwest, I spotted the glimmer of a portal.

Adrius clung to ground, fingers dug into the earth as the carnival ride of terror came to a stop. I climbed to my feet, dusted myself off.

“Stay here,” I said. “I have an idea.”
“Circe.” Adrius struggled to stand. “No. This druid was cursed with one purpose: to kill you.”

“And I was born with one purpose,” I said. “To save this land.” Sucking in a huge breath, I shouted, “You want me? Well, let’s see if you can catch me!”

I turned to the northwest and ran like hell.

@caramichaels
358 words
(had some trouble getting this to post, sorry)

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3/19/2013

“Back up, back up! Here it comes!” I ran from the temple, missing a full-body tackle of Adrius by scant inches.

“Circe, what’s going on?”

“Mad druid,” I said, gasping for breath. “Bat-shit insane druid. I thought you guys were tree hugging hippie types. You didn’t tell me you could turn into—”

Adrius uttered a word he’d learned from me and I spun to face the temple entrance.

“Yeah. That.”

Black tentacles gripped either side of the massive opening. One Kryptonite-green eye locked on us.

“Gods above,” Adrius whispered.

“Suuuuummmmmeeerrrrr Quuueeeeeennnnnnn. Cooommmeee toooooo meeeeeee.”

Aw, shit. Of course it wanted me.

“Giiiivveee meeeee yoooouuuurrrr ssssssoooouuuullll.”

“Tempting,” I said. “But I’m afraid my soul’s not available right now.”

A rumbling growl grew, shaking the temple. Ancient marble crumbled like chalk, blowing outward as the thing within freed itself.

“Run.” I grabbed Adrius’ hand and bolted for the trees. The earth shuddered with each step the creature took after us. It screamed as we reached the dubious cover of the forest and I clapped my hands over my ears.

The ground scraped my hands as I tripped over shifting tree roots. The immovable turned to liquid as the world heaved up. I clung as the flat ground beneath us lifted us high into the sky, transforming into a hill before dropping down, leaving my stomach far above me.

Adrius lost whatever he’d last eaten, taking projectile vomiting to a new level as we soared up again. Thundering howls shredded the air. In the distance, maybe half a mile to the northwest, I spotted the glimmer of a portal.

Adrius clung to ground, fingers dug into the earth as the carnival ride of terror came to a stop. I climbed to my feet, dusted myself off.

“Stay here,” I said. “I have an idea.”
“Circe.” Adrius struggled to stand. “No. This druid was cursed with one purpose: to kill you.”

“And I was born with one purpose,” I said. “To save this land.” Sucking in a huge breath, I shouted, “You want me? Well, let’s see if you can catch me!”

I turned to the northwest and ran like hell.

@caramichaels
358 words

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