I'm just kidding.  I've got plenty of prompts left.  This week's prompt was inspired my new favorite web series, "The Guild" but I didn't want to limit the writers with an RPG prompt. 
(I think I have a crush on Felicia Day, I hope Natalie Merchant doesn't get jealous.)
In other news we will have a guest judge on May 28th with a special prize for the winner.   The winner of the May 21st competition will be the judge the following Monday.

The Judge

This week's returning judge is Jake Wilkins, A little bit about him in his own words:

I’m a humorist, comedy writer and entertainer with a day job.  I live outside Fort Worth, TX with a mean ole’ yellow eyed cat named Mango.  I’m more story teller than author and probably the last person you’d expect me to be.

Current WIPs include a comedy romance about a writer with a wicked twist on the classic Cyrano De Bergerac tale and the early stages of a sitcom pilot being developed and written with a partner.  I enjoy writing in a variety of genres and am drawn to works with strong female characters (yes, I have a bad girl fixation) and to wickedly clever subtlety in subplots.

The Prompt

I'm out of

The Rules

Picture

5/7/2012

I’m out of the woods, or that is what they would have me believe. The woman in the next chair looks exactly like my wife, sounds like her, smells like her. It isn’t her. There isn’t a chair or person at all. They’ve done a very good job and I will do my best to hide my knowledge.

The plan was a failure. I was supposed to break in, cut the power, and get out. I am fast, nondescript, and I had the proper card to give me access. It should have gone smoothly, quickly, seamlessly. Getting in was no problem. I looked like the man on the card, or close enough that no one would look twice at service staff in a brown uniform. I made it to the fuse box. I remember pulling one switch, but everything after the first is fuzzy.

I flex and bend my arm, still feeling the pins and needles from the electrical jolt that first switch gave.

“Is it still bothering you?” my wife asks. “Maybe you should see someone.” They’d like that. They’d like me to go to a medical facility where they can put me out and change more things about my reality, drag me further into this simulation. I don’t think so.
“It’s fine, just tingly. What’s for dinner?” I ask, playing my part. I may be just another in this illusion, but I know there are people on the outside working to free us. I was one of them.

250 words (yay for round number!)
@kimmydonn

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“I’m out of toilet paper.”

No response.

“Hello? Did you hear me?”

Not even the sound of footsteps.

“My ass is gonna go numb. Hello? Anyone?”

I hear the door to the restroom open but not the sound of anyone coming to my rescue or the door closing.

“I heard the door open. I know you’re there. Please bring me some toilet paper or paper towel.”

Still no response, I hear the faint drip-drip from the faucet outside the stall.

“This isn’t funny.” Maybe they don’t speak English, I think and use my best Spanish. “Necesito papel del sexo.”

I hear wet footsteps trod toward me and I see the shadow of someone approach but it stops. I cannot see feet from my angle under the metal wall and door. I jump from the sound of something wet colliding with the ceiling. A drop of something cold and wet lands on my head. I tilt my head back slightly. A wad of soaked toilet paper hangs above me. Is it tinted a light reddish color?

“What the hell?”

The wet footsteps come closer. I can see the shadow darker in the next stall but not the feet it is attached.

“Who’s out there? I’m calling the Police.”

I reach down to my pants around my ankles to pull out my cell phone. It’s not there. I lean from side-to-side. It’s in the stall the shadow stopped at. I cannot reach it from my position. I lean further forward, reaching under the stall wall. A purple gloved hand quickly snatches my cell phone from the floor.

“Shit.”

I contemplate my options. I do not see anything else to do. One leg at a time, I remove my pants and underwear. I put my pants back around my ankles and wipe with my most comfortable underwear before pulling my pants up the rest of the way. I hold my stained underwear carefully by the waistband and turn the stall lock with the other hand. As I step out of the stall I fling the underwear at the person standing in front of the next stall.

“No hay sexo en el baño,” the bathroom attendant yells at me; my soiled underwear fly high of him.

“What?” I ask and point to the empty toilet paper dispenser.

“Papel higiénico?” he says with a large grin.

I grab my cell phone from his hands and storm out of the restroom.

@Chuckwesj
405 words

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5/7/2012

“I’m out of line, Cassie. I’m sorry.” He sounded so sincere, but her fury raged on under her skin. “That was badly done.”

“Yes, it was.”

“Can you forgive me?”

“We’ll see.” Cassie turned back to her breakfast. “Why are you really here, Jack? I seriously doubt you just woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’d better go get Cassie to marry me after I left her seven years ago’. What’s your real deal?”

Jack spread his hands. “What? You don’t believe my heart’s in this?”

“No.”

He sighed and nodded his head. “Well, you’re wrong. I did wake up one day and wish I’d chosen differently all those years ago, but it took me a while to realize it. And by then I had another problem to deal with.”

“Just one?” She lifted a sardonic eyebrow.

Jack grimaced. “One really big one. A buddy of mine got in deep with a gunrunner.”

“Why does that not surprise me?”

“Yeah, well, he wanted out, but the gunrunner doesn’t take no for an answer.”

Cassie sighed and flipped her eggs onto a plate. “Again, not surprised. Why does anyone think working for a gunrunner is a short term gig?” She sat down at the table as far from Jack as she could. There was no way she’d let him use his famous “Jack the Bloodhound” charm on her. Been there, done that.

“The gunrunner kidnapped my friend’s sister and his niece. He asked me to look into getting them back.”

“So, did you?”

“Give me a break, Cassie!” Anger filtered into his expression. “Yeah, I checked into it. But the gunrunner in question is Sebastian Leech.”

“Whoa.” Cassie held up her hand and swallowed her eggs. “<i>The</i> Sebastian Leech, billionaire, philanthropist, and the Mayor’s best buddy? That Sebastian Leech?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s not funny, Jack.” Cassie leveled her fork at him. “That guy has been vetted for years. Hell, he even does work in defense contracts with the Feds.”

“I know. Where do you think he got all his expertise?”

“Are you serious?”

“I checked, rechecked, and double checked again, Cassie. Everything leads to him.”

“Why, Jack? Why would he take a woman and a little girl to keep one of your dubious friends? Even if he was dirty, he’d have bigger fish to fry.”

Jack looked down at his hands below the table. Cassie really hoped he wasn’t doing anything interesting down there because she’d have to shoot him if so.

“Mike isn’t just my dubious friend. He was Sebastian Leech’s chief of staff.”

Cassie blinked. “And he wants out? Why?”

Jack’s jaw clenched. “Because he learned more than he wanted to. Sebastian Leech is a pedophile.”

“And he kidnapped Mike’s niece?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re sure Mike’s right? You’ve got proof this isn’t just a wild goose chase?”

Jack’s face turned a little green. “Yeah. Proof and pictures.”

476 #WIP500 words
@SiobhanMuir

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5/7/2012

I’m out of time and out of luck. Was it only a few hours ago, I thought the worst to happen to me was my boyfriend cheating on me? Now I was facing certain death and all I could think was I don’t want to die.
I found my fiancé with my so called friend Tina. Tina, who said she was too busy tonight to go out with me. Tina had encouraged me to take an extra shift in my job as a librarian tonight. There was a power outage at the library and I’d come home early to find the two of them in bed. I had run blindly out the door and wandered for hours. I found myself in a part of town I wasn’t familiar with and a thirst from walking so long.
A building made of stone, looking average and non-descript was in front of me and it said Pub. I stepped through the doors, determined to get drunk and forget my troubles.
“A nice girl like you shouldn’t be here.” the bartender exclaimed, as I took a seat at the stool.
“I need a drink.”
“One drink and then you go.”
“Fine.”
The other patrons all stared long and hard at me, as I drank down my drink.
I requested another but was refused service.
“Go now. Too late, I warned you girl. Don’t say I didn’t. He comes now.”
“Who comes now?” I asked curiously, to no answer.
A tall man with a great stride stepped into the pub. His hair was raven, his eyes a piercing green. Every eye in the room was upon him. He slid into the stool beside me and smiled widely at me.
“What is your name my lovely. I don’t think I‘ve seen you here before.”
I should have laughed at such a pick-up line and have run away then but I didn’t. Something about his eyes compelled me to stay.
“Give the lady a fuzzy navel.” he demanded from the bartender who quickly complied pushing a drink in front of me.
I drank it down like I hadn’t drunk anything in a week.
“Another for the lady.” He commanded.
“Are you trying to get me drunk? I don’t even know your name buster.”
“It’s Christian Cabadeau, and you are?”
“Carina Knight.” I answered.
As the night went on I have to admit I became enamoured with him. When he asked me to go back to his place, there was no one more surprised than me when said yes. Why he waited until we entered his house I don’t know. His teeth retracted and I saw him for what he was, a vampire. I was out of time ready to die, when instinct kicked in. I seized a piece of wooden baseboard and staked him. He turned into a pile of dust on the floor. Another man had bit the dust for me but I had gained strength I didn’t know I had. I would survive.
495 words
@SweetSheil

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5/7/2012

“I’m out of patience, Witch!” the burly warrior spat through his coarse beard.

“Oh,” Mirro cocked her head. “Is there anything I can do?”

The man’s eyes bulged out of his head as his face flushed with rage. Leaning forward in metal scale armor and brandishing a battle worn axe he menaced the little girl sitting on the village wall. Mirro sat back, as much weight on her hands as her seat, and watched the warrior with mild interest. Her slight frame, dark hair and darker dress all contrasted to his Nordic physique.

“Mock me once more, Witch! I challenge you!”

“Hhmm,” Mirro placed a finger to her lips in thought. “What kind of a warrior carries a wood axe rather than his weapon?”

Roaring and foaming from the mouth the berserker cleaved deeply into the wall, chipping his axe further. Mirro had already found her feet and stepped lightly out of the way and bent over to watch him pry his axe from where she had been sitting. As he continued to swing at the little girl she moved effortlessly as a breeze around his blade, hands clasped behind her back.

“Are we fighting?”

Stopping to stare at Mirro, the man sprayed hot sweat and spittle with his great heaving breaths.

“I know you’re the one who has been defacing our dead before their last rites! Our honored warriors deserve better! What have you done with their hands?!”

“Oh,” Mirro stepped off the wall to hang weightlessly from the warrior’s taut arm. “I collect them.”

Seemingly paralyzed, the man paled as he watched the child run her hands over his own coarse calloused ones.

“You have good, strong, hands.”

280 words
@DavidALudwig

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5/7/2012

The Ranger Alone

“Need more rounds for my rifle, Tonto!” Captain Elias Freng, 12th Republic Space Ranger Battalion, shouted into his comm.

*All rounds expended Captain. I am fabricating more now. Time to completion…4 minutes, 30 seconds.*

Freng sighed. Nothing he needed less than to be pinned down on a planet so obscure it had no name. Strike that. He needed about a division’s less of the damned enemy here.

The Space Rangers required a tough, resourceful individual, willing to do whatever to accomplish the mission. For those reasons, Freng had not merely warped out when he detected the concentration of forces on the mudball.

He’d had his ship execute a burn into the atmosphere, ejecting him at the last possible instant before taking up orbit. The planetoid hosted an automated intelligence outpost that spent the last three solar months charting enemy activity and strength. His mission? Retrieve the data at all costs and return to HQ.

In this case, “at all costs” involved neutralizing more enemy forces than any ranger could be expected to. Freng didn’t really care for the idea, but failure wasn’t an option.

“So, Tonto, we got a few while you fabricate and them bastards regroup. Wanna kill time getting’ better acquainted?”

Freng’s singleship was the first fully-autonomous scout vessel in the quadrant. He’d been paired with the experimental craft from a pool of hundreds of applicants. Though they’d been deployed awhile now, operations had prevented completion of the full ‘bonding procedures’ from Science Command . It was believed the bond between commander and ship would decrease manpower needs and significantly improve efficiency. Good theory but unproven.

*As you wish, Captain. I have noted your continued references to this unit as ‘Tonto’. This is not my designated nomenclature, model number or any classification I have knowledge of. Explain, please.*

He chuckled. “Big Braniac like you hasn’t figgered that out, eh? Well then, here goes. What’s the standard crew complement of a Republic Ranger scout unit?”

*Two. Pilot and Intelligence Analyst/Gunner.*

“Yep. Now, how many are there crewing our ship?”

*One. My autonomous nature renders the need for an additional crewman unnecessary.*

"Yep. So…instead of a human partner I’m out here all by my lonesome. That makes me a lone ranger, got it? And if I’m the Lone Ranger that makes you Tonto.”

Freng imagined he could hear the AI puzzling out the human logic.
*Reference understood, Captain. Enemy troops massing on your location. Ammunition not fabricated. Shall I plot course for extraction?*

"Naah…I’m gonna hang out here Tonto and fight these buggers off with some surprises I been workin’ on. Need you to get in range of Base and get me some help.”

Freng was glad the ship was incapable of emotion. It saved time and energy arguing the point while downplaying the seriousness of his situation.

*Calculating flight plan. Estimated round trip two hours, 14 minutes, 34 seconds. Good luck…Kemo Sabe.*

Despite the dire straits, Freng took time for a startled bark of laughter. “High ho Silver, buddy!”

500 words @klingorengi

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5/7/2012

Such a genius am I. In process of cutting out words I managed to edit myself out of competition by changing first line. D'oh!!

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5/7/2012

“I’m out of my mind.”

I rubbed my eyes, but a man still stood before me. I could find no sign of the tree I would swear had occupied the very same space scant moments earlier.

“Time to break out the white coat with the extra-long sleeves,” I said, whirling away and walking. It didn’t matter where I went. I’d no doubt find some other form of crazy. “Because I’m clearly out of my mind. I dream of trees, I talk to my dog… hell, I volunteered for the Army. What more evidence do I need? I’m certifiable. Nuts. Starkers. Loony. There’s no other reasonable explanation.”

“You may be overreacting slightly,” my derangement said, keeping pace with me.

I twitched slightly. He really had a lovely voice. Deep and dark. Warm. The kind of voice a girl wanted to whisper in her ear.

Ho-ly shit.

I wondered if I could reserve a padded room from here. I dug my cell phone out. No signal.

Of course.

“I need to go home,” I whispered. “Right now.”

The man cocked his head, studying me as we walked. “But you are home.”

“See, that really doesn’t help me feel any better about my mental state. Because my home? It—it doesn’t involve—whatever you involve.”

A heavy hand gripped my shoulder and I didn’t think. Years of training burned through the crazy leaving icy calm in its wake. I stopped hard and leveled my Sig—safety off, round chambered—on the man.

“You need to remove your hand from my person, sir,” I said. “Right. Now.”

He lifted his hand and stepped back.

“My apologies, lady.”

I cleared the chamber in acknowledgment.

“Is it reasonable to consider yourself insane?” he went on in his phone porn voice.

“As reasonable as it is for dogs to talk, women to form out of water, and trees to transform into men.” I ticked off the sights I’d seen to make me question reality, muttering the last with a wave in his general direction.

The tree-turned-man shrugged easily. “All of those things are fairly normal in this world.”

“Just making that statement is abnormal, pal.” I poked a finger into a very hard and warm shoulder. My whole body trembled to feel the solid proof of him again. My voice hiked half an octave skyward. “This world? As opposed to what? There’s only one world I know of, and that world has no oak trees that walk around as men when the mood strikes them.”

“Cypress.”

“I wasn’t beings serious.” I closed my eyes, calling up the memory of the tree. Tall, coniferous, dense foliage. I frowned slightly. “A Mediterranean Cypress? In Kentucky?”

“I do not know this Mediterranean or Kentucky you speak of.”

“Excuse me?” My eyes opened to stare at him.

I had to look way up. Even as a man, he stood well over six feet.

“But I am a cypress,” he said. A mischievous grin lit his face. “When the mood strikes me.”

@caramichaels
500 #WIP500 words

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Zombie Ball
By Lisa McCourt Hollar

“I’m out of bullets.”

I froze, my wife’s words sending a chill down my spine. Around us the hungry growl of the dead brought me out of my paralysis and I took aim, picking off the closest to us, then another. Now I was out of bullets too and we were still surrounded. Then from behind me a rock sailed through the air, hitting one of the monsters square in the head. Blood splattered from the hole created and the zombie fell, this time dead for real.

“Got plenty of rocks though,” Stephanie said, picking up another and tossing it towards the next zombie in line.

Like David with Goliath, we stoned one drooling walker after another until I thought my arm would fall off. I’d pitched in high school, but I’d never had so much at stake. If I threw badly one game, there was always the next. Sure the coach would be in my face threatening to bench me, but compared to a slobbering, un-dead ghoul that wanted to chew my face off, that was nothing. And the problem was that I could only throw and pick up another rock so fast. The creepers were gaining on us. I threw one final rock at a zombie that looked no older than my daughter had been…for a moment I thought it might be her…and my aim was off. If I’d missed that badly when I was playing ball, my coach would have done more than bench me. Stumbling backwards I fell over a zombie that had slipped behind me. I knocked his head hard enough off the ground it cracked open, but the little zombie girl was still after me and I couldn’t throw another rock, even if my life depended on it…and it did.

I could hear my wife screaming and I was sure she was probably in the same situation, out of strength, out of hope, out of time. The girl that had hair as blond as my Mandy got down on her hands and knees, slobbering and drooling all over herself in her craze to be fed. I think she even licked her lips before diving for my face. I wanted to close my eyes, not see the end coming, but I couldn’t. My eyes were glued open, waiting for her. That’s when a huge stick knocked the girls head off her shoulders, sending it sailing through the air. Stunned, not sure what happened, I looked over at my wife and then behind her at the horde of un-dead, now headless, zombies.

“Sticks work well too,” Stephanie said, smirking at me.

My wife has quite a swing. Coach would have liked her.

Word Count: 446
@jezri1

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5/8/2012

"I'm out of sugar again Harold", she bemoaned.

“Yes dear”, he replied. He had no intention of getting it for her this time. He had made a mistake six years ago when in a drunken stupor he wished that the crab next to him on the beach could be his wife and end his loneliness. He passed out shortly afterwards, only to awake the next morning next to a beautiful woman. His head throbbed, as only too many tequila sunrises can do, while she explained to him in broken English that she was his wife. After a couple more days of consummation, they both headed back to his home. She proclaimed that all she needed was in her luggage, she had no need for an abundant amount of possessions. The first few weeks were fun, it was like he was getting to live life for the first time. As time went on though the joy left and was replaced by a constant demand for sugar. It started off slow and gradually increased to the point where a fifty pound bag bought at a warehouse store might get her through a week. That, however, was just the payment for his wish. You see it was a sugar crab that was next to him, and if given enough sugar they can grant wishes, he had spilt his daiquiri on her and now was bound to him for as long as he could supply the sugar. Over the last year and a half her true form has been overtaking this facade she created for him. Now she doesn't even leave the house for fear of what people would say about her pertruding eyes scaly exoskeleton, or sharp pincer like fingers. Harold had had enough. He had bought a jacuzzi not long after they got together, she had stayed out of it for obvious reasons. He stood over it now pouring the jumbo container of Old Bay into the bubbling water.

"I got some out here Dear!"


333 words
@warrendanbar

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Rebekah Postupak
5/8/2012

I’m out of mustard.

My husband, a ketchup man, laughed at me when I pointed this out, kissed the top of my head and headed out the door to work, whistling. If only I could be so cavalier.

“I’m out of mustard,” I told the receptionist dully as I walked into my own office some time later.

“I’m out of money!” she chirped back. “Bank account’s empty as my ex-husband’s cold, cold heart.”

“Sorry,” I said, because there was nothing else to say. Bank account problems trump condiment problems, I suppose, even here in Texas.

Still, the lack of mustard nagged at me all day like a hangnail, and I scrawled notes on several post-its, strategically placing them around my desk as reminders to take care of it at lunch. But emergency meetings crowded out my day and somehow, ten hours later, I found myself in a dark kitchen back at home, staring into the pantry at an empty space.

No mustard. I had no mustard.

“Jackie?” said my husband’s voice behind me, and I jumped. “What are you doing here in the dark?”

“I’m out of mustard,” I said. My voice caught in my throat like a pre-teen boy’s.

“Jackie,” he said in a strangely tender tone, “what’s wrong?”

“I’m out of mustard!” I shouted. It felt good to shout. “There is no mustard in this blasted house!”

He turned the light on—why had we installed such an ugly, naked light in our kitchen??—and pulled me into his arms. I fought him at first, but his arms felt better than I’d expected and after a minute I let him hold me.

“Jackie,” he said a while later, “I saw the doctor’s report.”

I didn’t say anything. Hadn’t he heard me?

“You’re going to be okay,” he said. “It’s just one opinion. This is Dallas. Everybody has an opinion. We’ll go get another one, okay?”

I just stared at the empty spot on the pantry shelf. No mustard, not one jar.

After another long moment, he said, “Let’s go get mustard. Let’s get twenty things of it, okay? Fifty things. We’ll get so much mustard, it’ll run out our ears.”

And I cried.

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Rebekah Postupak
5/8/2012

365 words
@postupak

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5/8/2012

<I>I’m out of time.</i> Jersey gave a kick to the door as it refused to give under her foot. The long coat swirled around her as she turned and backed up. She could hear the yells inside and only one shot had been fired but that didn’t mean something serious didn’t happen. She grumbled as she saw the trellis that ran up the side of the building the only viable way to get in quickly.

Good thing she was wearing gloves because the roses that climbed up the trellis with her had the longest thorns possible. She would have lost the long coat but she had things that she might need hidden in the inner pockets. There was another shot and she moved faster, hearing the snapping of stems as she tromped on the flowers, but at least the window was partially opened and she pulled herself in.

There was a moment to pause and listen but she didn’t hear any footsteps outside the room. She heard raised voices coming from below. The banister of the stairs was used to slide down and keep her from hitting any squeaking boards that would signal her approach. The foyer of the large house was empty and there were multiple hats and raps by the door. The inhabitants could have been having company when the raiders stepped in. More of an opportunity to maximize their profit.

It was luck that the door was partially opened.

“-and if we don’t get the ransom, there will be others to fall.” Male voice, deep baritone.

“I swear, that’s all we have. Please, sir, leave and a word won’t be spoken about your actions.” That voice was also male but seemed more proper. Older.

She put her eye to the gap and saw some people sitting on a seat. Some older people, one or two younger females.

“I’ll have your fancy pocket watch and the jewelry of the ladies. I shouldn’t think that is too much to ask.”

“Please, sir, please. Take it and leave!” The female voice was a bit over dramatic.

Jersey reached a gloved hand into one of the inner pockets and pulled out a few small spheres, giving them a quick squeeze before tossing them into the room. It didn’t take long for the smoke to billow smoke to obscure her movements. She slipped on her mask before darting in and went in to tackle the location where she thought the one voice was coming from. She hit a solid body and they both went down.

“What is going on here?” There was coughing as the smoke cleared from an opened window and she stared down at the man she tackled. Who looked remarkably like the man who was advertising his new theatre in town.

“Marshal, what is the meaning of this?” The other male voice she heard was one of the men who sat on Council.

Jersey sighed. She didn’t interrupt a hostage situation, she interrupted a theatrical showing.

Just wonderful.

499 words
@solimond

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5/8/2012

DISTRACTED

“I’m out of here!” Anna mumbled with a smile, bolting through the classroom door and out into the hallway, powering up her cell phone as she went. She was done with her last final, done with college, done forever!

Her cell was blowing up with text messages. Chrissy wanted to go to Players to dance their asses off. Liv wanted to go to a frat party. Everybody had something planned. No matter what happened, Anna planned on getting wasted in one way, shape, or form. She deserved it!

The hallways of the Morris building were less packed now that classes were over, and so she casually made her way to the exit while skimming through her texts. As she got to the door though, she noticed a heavy chain had been secured around the bars. No signs suggested she shouldn’t use the door, but the chain had been put there for a reason. She shrugged and turned to walk down to the exit on the other end of the hallway, still flipping through her texts.

Laughing at another, this one from Will, she heard a ton of commotion on the floor above her. They sounded like they were having a party or something, sliding chairs around and people screaming. She’d heard of TAs throwing pizza and cupcake parties when exams were over, but she’d never been lucky enough to have one.

She paused by the restroom, debating on whether or not she could hold it until she got home. She hated using public restrooms. They were gross and disgusting, and she’d lost at least three cell phones over the past few years by either accidentally dropping them in the toilet or leaving them on the paper dispenser. She wasn’t going to make it the eight blocks home though, so she went in. Luckily it was deserted.

When she left and headed in the direction of the other exit, she noticed that the hallways were eerily quiet. Had she missed something? A fire drill? Her phone was still blowing up with texts, dinging the alert message incessantly. She started scrolling through them, then froze.

MORRIS BUILDING LOCKDOWN! SHOOTER IN MORRIS!

Her hands began to shake. She began to run for the exit, then skidded to a halt as she saw a chain on that door as well. Shit!

She spun around, thinking, and suddenly he was there. Clad in all black, wearing a ski mask, carrying a mean-looking gun.

She freaked. Sobbing, crumbling to the floor. Why? Why hadn’t she just left? Her damn phone, that’s why! She couldn’t pry herself away from it. She was nomophobic, as her friends had teased her that she couldn’t go a second without it.

“Girl,” said the masked man. She couldn’t look at him. He was going to kill her. She shivered, crying uncontrollably.

“Girl, I’m a SWAT officer. Get up and let’s go before it’s too late!”

She stood up, took his hand, and swore to never text again.

497 words
@rastrohman

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5/8/2012

Title: New Life

“I’m out of gas,” Merle said as the car sputtered and slowed to a crawl along the road.

Hank grumbled and undid his seatbelt. “Why didn’t you check before we left?”

Merle tittered as she put the car in park and pressed the emergency lights. “You take care of all this stuff, Hank. I thought you said we were ready to go.”

Hank slammed the car door as he got out and muttered a few choice words under his breath. Merle tried to ignore him. He knew she didn’t know anything about cars.

She was startled out of her thoughts when Hank banged on the trunk. “Merle, for God’s sake, open the trunk!”

Merle looked around for the trunk release but couldn’t find it. So, she pulled the keys from the ignition and got out of the car to hand them to Hank.

“Jez, Merle, how stupid are you?” he yelled. “The trunk release is on your left side on the floor of the car, near the seat adjustment. You didn’t need to bring me the keys.”

Merle kept her head down while her husband of too many years yelled at her. It was easier when she could pretend she was elsewhere.

When he was done with the keys and belittling her, he tossed them toward the front of the car, several feet from where Merle stood. “Go get the damn keys, you worthless woman. Stay with the car while I walk to the nearest gas station.”

Dismissing her, Hank turned and began walking the way they came. Merle straightened her shoulders and retrieved the keys from the gravel shoulder of the road. She carefully cleaned them from the bit of road dust and returned to the car.

She watched Hank walk in the rearview mirror. When she judged that he was a safe distance away, she locked the doors and started the car. Merle smiled when the engine roared to life.

She wasn’t out of gas like she told her husband. She was, however, out of patience. With a smile as big as the Grand Canyon, she pulled the car around in a tight u-turn and blew past her astonished husband. If she wasn’t such a lady, she would’ve given him the finger too, but she was raised better than that.

Instead, she would have all of his things out of the house by the time he managed to walk the ten miles back to the house. And on top of all of his meager possessions would be a divorce suit.
He was out of time.

MLGammella
427 Words

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