Writing Prompt: Office Intrigue in the Future

**Note: This story contains the 11th Doctor, as played by Matt Smith in the TV series “Doctor Who.” The author claims no rights to any Doctor Who characters/props, however does claim to be a Whovian. This is an original work of fan fiction for this prompt.

Office Intrigue in the Future

time travel     trousers     supervise     successfully     law     identity     mustard    kitchen     tooth     fly


Ryan rubbed his eyes and leaned back in his chair. He had been putting in too many long days recently at the office and it was beginning to catch up with him. He looked at his watch and sighed.

23:56

If he left now, he would have to be back in just over eight hours.

Out of the corner of his eye, he swore he saw someone walk past his door.

That’s odd. I know I’m the only one in the building. He stood and walked to the doorway and looked down the hall. No one. Man, I really must need sleep if I’m seeing things now.

He turned to go back to his desk when once again, he swore he saw someone, this time down the hall a bit.

“Hello? Who’s there?”

Just then, a man popped out from around the corner of a cubicle wall.

“Oh hello there!” He waved at Ryan with an almost goofy grin. He was tall and lanky with messy hair, and wore suspenders to hold up his trousers. Topping off the ensemble was a matching bowtie and tweed coat.

Ryan narrowed his eyes, shifting into a guarded stance. “Who in bloody hell are you?”

The man hooked this thumbs in his suspenders and said quite matter-of-factly, “I’m the Doctor.”

“Doctor? Why would there be a doctor in a law firm? Did someone fall ill?”

“Nope. Not unless it’s you. Say, you haven’t told me your name.”

“Ryan. But—”

“Great! I’ll just call you Ryan, because with a last name of Butt, it would get awkward really quickly. So. Ryan then. Perhaps you could help me since you know the layout of this building. But first, where is the kitchen? I’m starving!”

Kitchen? We don’t have a kitchen.”

“Well then, some sort of other room with food?”

“There’s the break room—”

“Ah, splendid!” The Doctor clapped his hands together. “Which way then?”

Ryan, confused at this whole encounter, pointed the other way. “Down there, third door on your right.”

“Then what are we waiting for? Come on!”

Just great, Ryan thought, I get to supervise some mad man as he ransacks our fridge. He took his phone out of his pocket, ready to dial the police if he needed to.

When they reached the break room, the Doctor began rummaging through the cabinets and finally the fridge. He pulled out a container. “This looks good.” There was a sandwich inside, and after taking a large bite, he spit it out.

“Yuck. Mustard. I don’t like mustard.” He tossed the container on the table and pulled out a to-go pack of custard. “Now here is something worth eating. Got any fish sticks?” The look on Ryan’s face said enough. “Never mind. This is good enough.” He tipped back the container, squeezing the soft plastic until it dropped into his mouth.

“You know, there are spoons here…”

“Nah, I’m good.” He set the container down and leaned against the counter. “So. You. Helping me. Have you seen a small sonic device about yay big with a green light on the end of it?” He held his hands apart, the distance not much greater than that of a pen.

“Uhm…no? Should I have?”

“A funny little man with a chipped tooth—at least I think he was a man at one point—came through here about an hour ago. My T.A.R.D.I.S. tracked him to this building. It’s a hotbed of alien activity.”

“Are you sure you have his proper identity? I’ve been here all day and no one strange came through these doors that I’m aware of. And what is a T.A.R.D.I.S.?”

“My ship, of course. You haven’t seen anyone out of the ordinary?”

“Just you.”

“Well unless you help me find my sonic, I’m afraid there will be an alien civilization trying to destroy your planet.” He began to open the cabinets again, peering inside to search for possible hiding spots.

Ryan slowly began to back into the hallway as he picked up his phone. “This is crazy. I’m calling the police.” But before he could even press a button, the Doctor spun around to face him, catching him off-guard.

“Wait! What year is it?”

“2019.”

The Doctor slapped a palm to his forehead. “That’s why! We are a hundred years too early. Come on, follow me!”

Ryan contemplated hitting the send button, but he hesitated too long. The Doctor grabbed his arm and pulled him along until Ryan was running to keep up on his own. They exited the building into the alleyway behind it, and there stood a tall blue police box. The Doctor opened the door for him.

“A police box?”

“Oh just get inside.”

Ryan stepped over the threshold and was completely blown away by what he saw. He took a step back outside and studied the police box a moment before going back inside. This time, the Doctor followed him.

Ryan stammered, and the Doctor silently imitated him from behind. “It’s—it’s bigger—”

“On the inside, yes, yes. Now let’s try and get to next century before it’s too late.” He began flipping switches and levers on the console. “I suggest you hold on.”

Ryan approached the console in wonderment and found a bar to hold onto. “This is a spaceship?”

“Yup. My T.A.R.D.I.S. Though she’s a bit fickle sometimes with the time travel stuff. But she can fly successfully. Just is off a few years every now and then or so.”

The T.A.R.D.I.S. made some whooshing sounds, and if Ryan were honest with himself, he was slightly terrified. The Doctor turned to him and grinned. “And we’re off! Geronimo!”

The T.A.R.D.I.S. faded away from the alley, and they were gone.

Writing Prompt: Fired From a Long-Term Job

So I have another prompt.

This one was selected by my friend Dawn, who is doing this challenge with me. And as soon as I read the words that accompanied the prompt, I was thrown for a loop. Where would these words take me? They were so random! Ack!

Disclaimer:  While the prompts themselves are not mine, the stories are, and I am hereby declaring them property that should not be reproduced or duplicated in any way without written consent from myself.

Getting the serious paragraph above out of the way, I encourage you all to try it for yourself! It’s super fun!


Fired From a Long-Term Job

guitar     military     aversion     mouse     vertical     crumple     runaway     creation     alphabetize     tablet

U.S. military delta force agent Michael Burke hung back in the shadows, watching the events unfold through his thermal imaging goggles. Christine O’Mally, the President’s fourteen-year-old runaway daughter, was inside the warehouse tied to a chair and gagged, her captors circling her like feral cats would circle a mouse before pouncing.

He had rescued hostages many times before—his career took him back twenty years now—but when the President’s daughter’s life was on the line, the stakes seemed a little higher. He couldn’t screw this up.

It was pitch black inside the warehouse. He couldn’t see his other two agents, but knew their exact positions, communicating by headset.

The kidnappers were part of a radical left-wing activist group with a strong aversion to anyone—especially the President—who didn’t see things their way. They were violent towards many innocent people, the recent case being the severe beating of a guitar player that was performing a song about traditional Christian values, on the claims that he was being intolerant.

Burke wanted this group eradicated, and badly. His goal was for these thugs to no longer remain vertical by the end of the night.

Suddenly, there was a warm glow that lit up the room. One of the kidnappers pulled out a tablet and thrust it in front of Christine. A ringing of a phone, and the President’s voice echoed through the empty room.

“Christine! Christine! Can you hear me?”

Christine mumbled through the gag and her head lolled to the side.

“You crazy bastards, let her go!”

There was a maniacal laugh. “Only if you resign from office.”

“You know that will not happen. And you should also know that you are being watched by some of my best agents right now, their weapons already trained on your every move.”

“You mean these guys?”

There were two near-silent “pop-pop”s and Burke listened in horror as his other two agents crumpled to the ground.

What the hell?

“Now come on now Mr. President,” the man drawled. “You didn’t think that I rushed into this, did you? I have other men of my own stationed around this building wearing specially designed suits to prevent them from being detected by any thermal imaging equipment. My own creation, actually. Tell you what. You resign and not only will your daughter live, but I’ll give you the blueprints for the suits. I’m sure you could find them useful.”

Burke swore to himself. How the hell will I know how many other men are here then? And I can’t shoot without giving away my position…

He was stuck. Really stuck. He had only one option: use the flash bang and hope he could get in and get Christine out safely. If he failed, it was either die trying or be discharged dishonorably.

Failure was not an option.

He quickly put on ear protection and threw the grenade. The sound was still deafening, but at least more manageable now.

He ran.

As he reached out for Christine, something slammed into his chest and his world went black.

* * *

The monotonous beeping eventually aroused him. He was groggy, and when he tried to rub his eyes clear, he noticed the i.v. in the back of his hand.

“What?”

Two secret service agents were in the room with him. One pressed a com link on his earpiece.

“He’s awake, sir.”

A moment later the President walked through the doorway.

“Burke.”

“Mr. President! I—”

The President held up his hand. “Please. Just. Stop. You have failed me. Christine… she…”

“Is she alive?”

“I don’t know. They took her again.”

“And the other two agents?”

“Dead.”

A wave of guilt and nausea crept up in Burke’s throat.

“Needless to say, you are removed from the assignment. Until I can find reason to have you work in the field again, you will be a grunt in one of the offices and your job will be to alphabetize case files. Hopefully you won’t screw that up.”

“Sir! This is one case. I can—”

“Agent, this was the most important case to me.”

“With all due respect, I can’t be confined to an office. You know that.”

The President frowned and nodded. “Very well, then. You’re fired. You have civilian freedom now. I hope you have a good life with a typical boring civilian job.”

“But—”

He turned and was gone.

And Burke was already formulating a plan.

Writing Prompt: “A Strange Request at a Piano Bar”

I am taking a step outside of my comfort zone and doing some writing prompt exercises with a few friends. I came across this book called “Write the Story”  published by Piccadilly and thought it would be a good way to rejuvenate my writing as I work on book 3 of the “Another Lifetime” series (which, by the way, I am mid-way through ch. 5! It wasn’t exactly the easiest year, so I haven’t written much, sad to say. But that will change!)

The idea behind these prompts is that you must create a short story/scene using a series of words that are given to you. One word always seems to throw the cohesion of them askew, and one must think outside the box.

This is harder than it looks, and is–to me, anyhow–quite challenging. While the prompts themselves are not mine, the stories are, and I am hereby declaring them property that should not be reproduced or duplicated in any way without written consent from myself.

Getting the serious paragraph above out of the way, I encourage you all to try it for yourself! It’s super fun!


A Strange Request at a Piano Bar

carnival    sprained    mask    oxidation    awkward    apple     juvenile    controversy  twirl    sassafras

The man walked into the bar, clouds of smoke creating a lazy haze in the joint, the sounds of an out-of-tune ragtime piano coming from the back corner. He had just come from the carnival—the traveling circus was in town, and having never been to one, wanted to see what all the hype was about. It creeped him out more than anything. The carnies seemed to be another breed all to themselves, awkward representations of normal human beings who tried to lure the innocent into their world of psychics, bearded women, and money-sucking charlatans.

He shrugged off the shiver and continued towards the back of the bar.

Prohibition has turned this place into a juvenile soda shop.

He scowled.

The controversy of legalizing alcohol was basically a joke. Back rooms existed everywhere, and many times the government cronies themselves were found greasing the palm of a goodfella.

But tonight, he was not here for a drink.

As he made his way, he took in some of the details of the place: the brass light fixtures tarnished by oxidation, the worn wood of the tables and chairs, the mask of a smile that the waitress wore as a man pinched her bottom. Patrons sipped on sassafras as they played cards, their games more subdued without the usual libations.

It’s the same as all the others—uninteresting and spiritless.

A twinge ran through his wrist and he rubbed it almost unconsciously. He had sprained it a few weeks ago, a would-be-pick-pocket getting a nasty left hook instead of his wallet. It still ached on occasion, and part of him wondered if he should have gotten it looked at—especially since it had the capability of ruining his chances of finding her again if he could not utilize it.

His heart ached.

Twenty years ago she was taken from him.

She was skipping down the country road, a freshly picked apple in her hand. She stopped to twirl in the soft breeze with her head tilted back and eyes closed, not a care in the world. He wasn’t that far away—he knew she could still hear him playing “Hello Ma Baby” on his cornet from the porch. It was her favorite song, and she loved dancing and frolicking to it.

Out of nowhere came a horse and wagon moving about as fast as it could be. Before he could act, one of the two men in the wagon scooped up his little girl and rode off with her.

Having no horse himself, his attempt to chase after them was futile. One of his neighbors who did have a horse heard him scream and made to chase the kidnappers. But by that time, they were too far ahead, and he lost them as they entered the big city. The police were no help, either. They closed the case after a few weeks due to lack of evidence. So he took it upon himself to try and find her the only way he knew how—music.

Though she was little when she was taken from him, he had faith that perhaps one day she would hear him play and recognize her song. Almost every night he played in multiple bars, hoping that fate would reunite them.

Twenty years and nothing came of it. Not one sliver of hope that she was still alive. Part of him wanted to give up. He was tired and weary, and after tonight, he would just have to make peace with the fact that she would never come back.

He stopped in front of the piano and held up his cornet case.

“Mind if I join you on a tune?”

The piano man eyed him carefully. “Whattdya know?”

“Can you play ‘Hello Ma Baby’ in E-flat?”

“Mister, these folk don’t wanna hear songs that are over two decades old. They wanna hear the modern stuff. Know anything else?”

“Please. Just that song. It really means a lot to me.”

The pianist crossed his arms over his chest and frowned. “Tell ya what. I’ll play it if you give me your suspenders.”

“What? What kind of ridiculous thing…”

“Take it or leave it, pal. I can’t afford to buy another pair and these are pretty shot. Held up by pins, they are.”

Seeing as though he didn’t have much of a choice, he took his jacket off and undid his suspenders, handing them to the pianist. God help me if I lose my britches in the middle of playing.

“Okay then, you’ve got yourself a deal.”

He barely had enough time to take his cornet out of the case before the song began. But like every other time, he played his hear out, hoping that his daughter was there and remembered her song. It ended far too quickly though the song was played in its entirety, and once again it seemed like the chance to see her slipped through the hands of fate.

He was done.

After thanking the pianist, he packed his cornet, hiking up his pants a bit higher as they had slipped a bit.

“Excuse me, sir?”

He turned around and found himself face-to-face with a young lady, tears staining her cheeks.

 

“Enzo’s Story” Official Release Date: July 7th!

It’s finally here! The official release date for Enzo’s Story will be THIS SATURDAY, July 7th! And to celebrate, I am offering the Kindle version of the first book, Another Lifetime, for only 99­¢ on Amazon from July 7th until July 14th!

Because I am super excited about this release, I am holding another cool promotion as well–you will also be able to get The Bard on Kindle for FREE from July 7th until July 11th! If you haven’t started this series yet, now would be a great time!

And as always, reviews are greatly appreciated–they take less than five minutes and are a great way to let other readers know your thoughts about the books!

Click on the image below to take you to the Kindle page–if you’ve read Another Lifetime and can’t wait to read Enzo’s Story, you can purchase the Kindle version now! (Remember, the paperback and other deals won’t be out until Saturday!)

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Enzo’s Story — Cover Reveal!

Drumroll please…

Here it is, the official cover reveal to Enzo’s Story which will be released after the proof is in my anxious hands, checking things twice. A special thank you to Amanda Poston for providing a photo to be used as the cover inspiration! I hope you like it, and I can’t wait for you all to read it!!

My First Author Visit

I was very blessed to be asked to be the featured author at our 8th grade author visit this year! I have never done one of these before, but I have seen other authors visit our school, so at least I had an inkling of what to do–though, since the students know me already, I also decided to turn it into a teaching moment and make it more about the writing process than simply a plug for my book.

Some people are more comfortable speaking in front of people they know, but for me, it’s the opposite. It’s as if the bar is already set, and if I don’t meet or exceed their expectations, then I have failed them.

I expected some kids to be inattentive and to laugh, or make goofy comments, because they would certainly see my quirky side, or just not appreciate this type of thing to begin with–after all, not everybody enjoys writing or listening to a band director talk about writing.

But they surprised me–it was silent. They were all attentive.

One teacher confessed to me later that a girl leaned over and asked her if I ever slept.

I had students come up and congratulate me, telling me what a great job I did. It felt weird, since it’s usually me telling them what a great job they did on things.

There was even a reception and book signing! Some kids made me a t-shirt that depicted Aria and Enzo in paintbrushes. There was a huge banner welcoming me with a drawn cover of my book with some of the students’ favorite quotes all around it.

They made me feel famous for that afternoon.

And they were talking about it the following day, too.

But the best thing of all? I had students–some I had, some I didn’t–come up to tell me that I had inspired them to go home and write. I may not be a best-selling author, but to hear them say that is worth more to me than any accolade I could ever receive.

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New Event! Tinley Park Public Library Local Authors Expo!

This Saturday, November 18!!!

Sat 11 AM · 7851 Timber Dr, Tinley Park, IL

The Tinley Park Public Library Local Authors Expo will be held in the library Meeting Room on the first floor. Myself and around 20 other local authors will have books for sale (and sign them!!) and you can feel free to engage in some lovely conversation! 🙂 I hope to see you there!!

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