Hello, Arcians. Are we ready to write? Let’s do this. For June’s first prompt, we’re taking a drive through the woods. Bring your snacks and hop in. We’re going on a road trip
You received a letter from the state explaining you were chosen in a lottery to come and rescue an animal. The shelter is being closed due to the owner’s untimely death and his will instructed for his estate to be divided up randomly. Being the animal lover you are, you decide to follow up on this mystery and pop on down to look at a potential pet or two. The address typed on the back of the letter is unfamiliar to you, but your Saturday is wide open. You fill up your gas tank and head out. Why not?
Your GPS goes out about a couple of miles from your destination. Your radio, which was off, turns on by itself and starts transmitting whispers, screeches and what sounds like wing flaps. Your cell phone flashes and starts vibrating and chirping like a bird, disappearing somewhere below the passenger seat. You bang on your car’s dashboard, wondering if your car is suddenly possessed when you see the building rise up around a wooded bend. The radio silences. You’re at a prison complex.
The road is too narrow to pull around on and there are steep ditches on either side. You decide to pull up to ask for directions and to see if you can turn your vehicle around inside. Surely you missed your turn. They need better signs out here.
There’s no one at the security booth when you pull in through the open gate, your tires bouncing harmlessly over the bright yellow tire shredders–the kind that if you drive over them the wrong direction, they’ll shred your tires like mozzarella cheese. You begin to eye the roofs and sidewalks warily for armed security officers, then anxiously when you don’t see anyone.
You can’t go back out the way you came in so you circle the compound for another exit when your car promptly dies. The engine won’t turn over and of course your cell phone isn’t working either.
You get out and enter into what you guess is the main building, warily taking your time crossing the gravel parking lot. You hear your car lock by itself behind you when you enter in through the front push door, calling out for assistance. You meander a dimly lit hallway or two with flickering overhead lights when you hear someone talking. You run down a side hallway eagerly only to find a tape recorder playing at a desk, giving this instruction:
Greetings, traveler and welcome to The Prison for Dangerous Beings. Our shelter is being vacated due to the owner’s recent accident and death. You have been chosen in a random lottery to partake in his estate.
If you would like to participate, simply proceed through the doors in front of you and hold up your letter to whichever cell you wish to open. Whatever’s inside the cell will be released and will become yours.
But beware what you pick, traveler. For…
Here the tape speeds up garbled, stops, rewinds itself and starts over. How did it do that by itself?
Thinking of no other option, you peek in through the doors warily looking about for a phone, any phone really, so you can get a tow and a ride. You’re in a small room with ten cells, five on either side of you. Ivy is draping in through a broken window high above, blowing in the wind. There’s a red phone on the wall opposite you, but it’s obviously broken.
You begin to turn around to try another hallway when a pair of eyes hits you from the dark. Sitting in the first cell is some kind of a creature, shifting its appearance, you sense, to figure out how to please you. Or is it to trick you? It raises a clawed finger into the air, and the recorder on the front desk clicks over, repeating its message once again. The seated figure sneers at you and addresses you in an unfamiliar language as it finally settles into the appearance of a man.
There are gouge marks inside the cell on the cinder block walls and dark stains of blood, as if a great beast or creature had attempted to escape. The being is shacked to the wall by its arms and legs but can move around a little. You have a feeling you are being very closely watched and studied. The other cells are unnaturally silent. You sense all attention is on you.
Take it from here. The rules are below. Fly, Arcians.
- Keep it PG. Pretend your great Aunt Gertrude would read it and disinherit you if she smelled even the faintest whiff of impropriety.
- No word limit. Just please don’t try to out write the greats.
- You can do descriptives, a story, whatever your imagination comes up with.
- Repost on your blog to increase the fun (optional). I do like to be pinged back so I can read and comment on your works.
- What does the prison smell like? Do you get gravel in your shoes walking up to the entrance? Are you thirsty by the time you get inside? Most importantly, do you look inside the other cells?
You have until Friday, June 7th, 11:59 p.m., EST to make your post. Author reserves the right to approve and disapprove comments at her own discretion.
Have fun writing and exploring your imagination. Pass the hand sanitizer, wouldn’t you?🦉