Monday, June 30, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 30

Day 30: Fun Voyage

"The voyage is part of the fun, " he said with a grin. ..

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan, 
June 30th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 29

Day 29: Shredder

Write from the point of view of a stack of paper a few inches from the shredder.—CWP

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 29th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 28

Day 28: Accidentally Bossy

Daydreaming on your way to work, you get into a car accident. Frustrated because you will be late for an important meeting, you curse and yell as you get out of the car. When you go to confront the other driver, you find out it is your boss. Write this scene.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 30th, 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 27

Day 27: Rusty Razor On Edge

Effective listening is imperative to effective writing. Listening carefully while sitting on a crowded subway, drinking coffee in a lonely diner, or asking a stranger for directions can lead to new characters, settings, and story lines. It is also important to listen to your own characters. Make a list of ten questions to ask a character you are developing. Listen to your character’s answers, diction, and inflection, and write down what you hear and see in your imagination. Most people, including fictional characters, will tell you who they are. You just have to ask.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 27th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 26

Day 26: Old Flames Burn Deep

You call an old flame from high school whom you still have feelings for and ask to meet up. The flame says, “Sure, how about noon at the pub by your house.” While waiting at the pub, your flame walks in—wearing a wedding dress (or tuxedo). The flame looks at you and says, “I’m supposed to be getting married today, but …” What happens? Write this scene.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 26th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 25

Day 25: Downsized

Dieting is the most common New Year’s resolution, and the most difficult to stick to. Sure, we essentially know what’s healthy and what to avoid overindulging in, but when a doctor or nurse tells you to change your eating habits it weighs much heavier on your conscience. Does one of your characters have a diet that is putting his health in jeopardy? Try writing a scene in which that character is told by a healthcare professional to overhaul his eating habits. How does this character react? If this character can no longer have some of his favorite foods, how does this affect his mood and his day-to-day routine?

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 25th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 24

Day 24: Visual Terms

What happens when two friends visit an old house that one of them inherited from a distant relative? In the house, there is a 100-year old mirror that has never been broken.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 24th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 23

Day 23: Cerebral Report

Write a story or poem about a broken promise. 

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 23rd, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 22

Day 22: Her Chapter

While you're having coffee at Starbucks, a strange woman pulls up a chair next to you and says, "You must write my life story," and... 

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 22nd, 2014

Friday, June 27, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 21

Day 21: Prof's Invention

When you return to school for a conference, you bump into one of your old professors, who is rambling on excitedly about a new discovery. He asks you to follow him to his office—he has something he wants to show you. What is the new discovery? Why is your professor so excited? Write this scene.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 21st, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 20

Day 20: The Zone

Spring can at times seem like one long daydream. Does one of your characters have the habit of drifting off into a fantasy world? This week, write out one of these daydreams. Use plenty of surreal elements that make it clear this is a fantasy sequence and not just the character re-imagining a scenario working out a different way. "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" by James Thurber is a perfect example.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan.
June 20th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 19

Day 19: Avalanche

After a skiing mishap, you dig your way out of an avalanche and find yourself in a totally different place.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 18th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 18

Day 18: Billie Jean

A clown appears at the back of the garden during a birthday party but nobody else sees him... 

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 18th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 17

Day 17: Shambler

Put an athlete, artist and a fitness instructor in a museum. Add in a broken window and a crooked painting. One of the three panics. Write out the scene.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 17th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 16

Day 16: One Ill Turn

You are a world-renowned mystery writer living a life of seclusion. A random email informs you of a great story, the next bestseller. Unfortunately, you find the details to be a little too close to home. Write a scene where you confront this mysterious informant, who seems to know a little too much about your personal life.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 16th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 15

Day 15: Implications

Write a story in which the phrase 'I don't know' occurs at least thrice, each time having a different implication or hidden meaning.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 15th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 14

Day 14: Digital Ghosts

Motels are frequently depicted in novels, TV, and film. This week, write a scene that takes place in a motel. Perhaps it's a seedy, roadside fleabag; a clean, well-maintained establishment with a dark history; or simply a familiar setting for a dramatic turning point in your narrative. You can weave it into a short story or use it as a starting point for a new piece. It can be inspired by your own experience or entirely imagined.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 14th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 13

Day 13: A Knife's Life

Write from the point of view of the knife inside a thief`s pocket.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 13, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 12

Day 12: Firewalled

Write from the point of view of a virus about to infect an important document. 

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 12, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 11

Day 11: Angie's Dilemma

Make this the first line of your story: Catching the signal from one of her friends, Angela brushed her skirt, took a deep breath and walked towards where he was sitting.

Word Count: 1,000+

Eneh Akpan,
June 11th, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 10

Day 10: I, Akam

Today’s Prompt: Write about five things you would do to entertain yourself if you did not see a soul for 7 days.

Word Count: 1,510
            “You go ahead and survive in there for 7 days and you can walk away a free man. All debts cancelled.”
It was a large building past its glory days. It could have been an apartment or a hostel once. But it had long since served its purpose and its ghost defaced the landscape like an unsightly landmark. All the inlets and outlets had been boarded up not with wood but welded with metal. The main entrance provided the only access into the building. My captors pushed me inside, slammed the doors shut and reinforced it with chains. Even if there really was another way out, I knew death alone awaited him on the other side of the steel doors.
            The men who dropped me off had given me this odd challenge as the only alternative besides immediate death. All I had left was a prayer—which is the direct English interpretation of my name, Akam (/arkham/), anyway.
            “Survive 7 days in there and you walk,” they told me and drove off, heading south of my location. I had spotted one or two security cameras mounted within the perimeter. A single path led to the house and the weeds prowled it. I stepped into the wide corridor of the structure.
            “Piece of cake,” I said. “There’s bound to be a master bedroom in this place with a giant-sized double bed somewhere in here. All I gatto do is find it.”
Find it, I would but I, Akam was about to learn a vital lesson about beds; they weren’t always vacant and especially, not always inviting even in an abandoned house. I walked along the corridors, feeling the walls, working at my first tour of the place—my new residence.
            “Since I’m gonna be hanging around for 7 whole days, I better acquaint myself with the settings. Wouldn’t want to get lost in the dark,” I said. Read More Here: IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan,
June 10th, 2014

Sunday, June 15, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 9

Day 9: My Friend, Mark

Today’s Prompt: You receive a mysterious email and the subject line reads “Everything you know is a lie.” You open the email and read further: “Act calm as not to alert anyone, but everyone around you is not who they say they are. You need to quietly get out of there and meet me at the spot where you had your first kiss. You know the place. My name is Mark.”
— Courtesy: WritersDigest.Com

Word Count: 1,770
I want to tell you about my friend, Mark. But let’s get something straight from the onset. ‘First Kiss’ isn’t exactly what it sounds like and Mark who is the reason I’m telling this story to begin with, is not the guy’s real name. And I am not in the secret service or anything so lay aside every sentiment you may have for folks in that department. Let’s get back to Mark cause this story is about him. Him not me, forget everything you ever heard those wannabe shrinks say. Those folks couldn’t wriggle free of a wet toilet tissue trammel to begin with.
            …What? You wanna know how I ended up eating roaches for dinner? That’s what I’m getting at. Haven’t you been listening to a word I’ve said these past minutes?
            ‘First Kiss’ was what we called our rite of induction. We belonged to this cult, you see?
            …No it aint the kind of cult where you had to off people just to make an appearance. It was totally legit stuff.
            …How come I’m stuck here if it was totally legit? Are you for real? Who’s telling this story, anyway? Are you an undercover shrink or something? You even stink like one.
            …You’re not? Let’s get something straight, I’ll tell my story my way or it’s no way.
            Like I said, it was totally legit. We committed no crimes. Check your records see if you’ll find a crime by The Mark Gang. The only clause is we were all boys. Four boys, five, if you counted Mark.
            Let’s get to the highpoints of the story. There were school folks who believed Mark was an alien.
            …No. Not an illegal immigrant kind of thing. We never knew who his parents were, though.
            I’m talking about an extraterrestrial, the Stephen Spielberg kind. He probably flew in from one of the Kepler cluster of planets all these young charismatic set of astronauts keep probing. He looked the type, too?
            …Did we find any evidence to buttress the fact? Plenty.
            First, one of the kids in our cult Etok (/hey toke/), I believe it was had this issue with Mark about his gender and he called him out, too.
            “How come I never seen you go on a date?” Etok said. It was the truth Mark rarely ever chatted up a girl and he forbade us to bring girls to meetings even a simple group gathering.

            …What did we discuss in the meetings? Why would I tell you? Those were group secrets and we swore to never tell. Would you tell me if I asked what you guys discussed in your locker rooms or what you and your wife do… Read More Here: IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 9th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 8

Day 8: King’s Law

Today’s Prompt: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude,” said Martin Luther King Jr. imagine a character who needs to forgive someone. Who does he or she need to forgive? What was the nature of the injury? What were its implications? Does forgiveness come easily to your character or is retaliation a more natural impulse? Does your character try and fail to forgive initially? See how your character’s desire to forgive creates obstacles and ultimately, fuels your plot.
— Courtesy: PW.Org

Word Count: 1,152
            “He ought to have known better. It’s supposed to be his job.”
No answer.
            “Damn, I should have killed him on the spot. I should, too.”
            “It would have increased the fatality by one. That’s bad arithmetic.”
            “It’s good equation, though. It is too, considering who’s involved. Leaving him alive creates a chemical imbalance.”
He rolled off the bed and walked around the room in an arc heaving heavy sighs. He turned around abruptly, retraced his steps and sat on the edge of the bed.
            “You can’t resolve this issue with a mathematical formula.”
            “My point,” he said. “Is I didn’t fulfill my obligations to him.” He stabbed the pendant lying in a tangle beside the bedside lamp.
            “Let it rest now.” She reached out and touched his hand. “Come to bed.”
He took her hand in his but kept his back turned to her.
            “You know what, everyday I remember that cussed day, every night the memory of it weighs down on me, and I feel like I played the role of the actor who forgot his lines at the defining moment of the play. The jerk who ended the play before it truly ended.”
She remained quiet. She’d heard those lines rehashed over and over again these past months she might as well live in an echo chamber. Read More Here: IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 8th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 7

Day 7: Hard Drive

Today’s Prompt: “Checking Hard Drive… File Corrupt.” With a deadline looming, my heart stopped.
— Courtesy: Writing.Com

Word Count: 1,723
Koko stared at the screen of her inbuilt computer, the sense of urgency charged the air. The street was alive with people but Koko knew better to be wary cause this was 2057 where people had ceased to be just people. Computers ruled the age and people had become Files. Night had covered the world with deceptive ease while she buried herself in work.
            “Shit, this is going to be a long night,” she said aloud to no one in particular. “Can’t you just figure out who is real and which ones are ghosts of their former selves?” she asked the artificial intelligence installed in her Jeep. Just when she decided to spin her wheels, she probably had nothing to fear, her computer shattered her hasty conclusion with a ‘BONG!’
In 2057, that sound had become the next thing to the Final Trumpet Sound. Sitting in her Jeep, alone in the dark of night, the computerized female voice inserted terror in Koko.
‘CHECKING HARD DRIVE’ traded places with ‘virus detected’ and got traded for ‘file corrupt.’

Blue dots filled the computer screen. That signified one thing: she was in danger. She was stuck for alternative routes. Plus, beating the deadline seemed somewhere in the realm of impossible. The blue dots converged cued by an invisible, diabolic director. Then they began to move in on her in slow measured tempo acting out their cemetery choreography. Read More Here: IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 7th, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 6

Day 6: Capacity for Violence

Today’s Prompt: A basket floats down a stream, lodging on a rock in front of a child who runs crying to his parents about the contents.
— Courtesy: Writing.Com

Word Count: 1,171
Phillip and Marge Udra were puzzled by the single content of the picnic basket.
            “There’s gotta be some sort of explanation for this,” Phillip said.
            “I think it’s the kids upstream playing dirty pranks,” Marge said.
            “Don’t they know better than to mess with a child’s mindset?”
            “I say we ought to call the cops.”
And that’s what they did. The cops came, sirens blaring. When they arrived they combed the entire area for the pranksters but found none. The police car driver recalled seeing some kids running off into the distance as they turned into the park area.
            “That must have been our boys said the detective. Well, Ma’am, sir, you got nothing to worry about. I’m sure those troublemakers won’t make anymore trouble today, at least.”
            “Thanks, officer. I feel this was all for nothing. Sorry I brought you all the way down here for nothing.”
            “Any time. It’s my job, too.”
The officers left and the family was on their own again.
            “Why would anybody place such a grotesque object inside a picnic basket?” Marge asked.
I’ve lost my appetite, was all the reply Phillip gave.

The content of the basket had been handed over to the cops who recorded it as evidence. They took it away with them to Marge’s relief. She couldn’t shake the feeling there was more to the whole ordeal than kids playing pranks. Read more here: IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 6th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 5

Day 5: The Enterprise

Today’s Prompt: “My business is to create,” wrote William Blake. This week, write a story whose protagonist is also in a creative enterprise. Your character can be an artist, or he or she can be involved in a field your typical reader may not initially think of as creative. Try to find and describe this creative impulse.
— Courtesy: PW.Org

Word Count: 1,544
It was five in the evening and the feasting was done. Me and Reuben had grabbed a rattan chair each and walked off to the bank of the river a few meters behind his house. We took glass cups, a bottle filled with water and a little table for entertainment. The evening air was fresh and cool; a perfect culture for a serious conversation.
            “What do you guys do down where you said you worked?”
 I took a deep breath and said, “The Enterprise?”
            “Yeah, that. What are you up to?”
I cleared my throat. “I am the Creative Director.”
            “Break that down into chunks I can gobble in one swallow.”
            “I create stuff and I have all authority in decision making.”
            “You’ve lost me for the second or third time in as many minutes.”
I looked at him and spoke one word I knew he’d understand. “Art.”
            “I’d have come to ruin towing that line,” he said. “I tried it often even with you standing close by doing your own thing. Remember the times we came by these same waters as kids to paint the scenery?”
I nodded.
            “You, you were always the gifted hands in the family. Always.” His face congealed in a scowl. “How did you drift so far apart from the promising kid we all believed in, Markus?”
I swallowed and even though my mouth was empty, a lump slid down my throat like XL bitter-leaf-flavored pills.
            “Called and said you got a fine job and we was happy for you. Said you ‘created’ stuff and we believed you were a genius of some sort and beamed with pride everywhere we went…”
Reuben sniffed on his inhaler. He always had one on him whether he caught a cold or not. God knows why.

            “’Kay, I give up. I can’t narrate your own story to you it’s like preaching to the darn choir. So help me out. I want to know what you did. Don’t spit it like some god darn official report. Spin the yarn as simple as simple does without making it sound like a ball of confusion.” He sniffed some more on his inhaler. He sank in his rattan chair. ‘Your turn’ that gesture seemed to say. Read more here: IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 5th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 4

Day 4: Box Fever

Today’s Prompt: The department store elevator shuts down on the way to the fourth floor, with you and ten other people in it. You remain calm but other people begin to panic. Write this scene and the dialogue between characters.
— Courtesy: WritersDigest.Com

Word Count: 1,312
            “Last time I was in an elevator and this kind of shit happened things took a bad turn and one of the guys croaked,” A woman standing close to the doors said.
            “And when precisely was that, madam?” A man gone in years said.
            “Two, three, four, five years ago,” Said the lady.
            “On what floor was the elevator when it got stuck?”
And the answer came flying right back. “About the third or fourth floor.”
All eyes in the elevator shot up to the display panel. The electric potential in the atmosphere went up a few notches.
            “Ya gotta be kidding me. I don’t believe that hype you cooked up. A ball of crap and old women’s fables, is what it is.” The old man eyed the lady. Well, I can’t say he stared hard or was only looking in her direction cause the place we were in was dark with the lights out.
            “I swear on my mama’s grave.” The lady’s voice had increased in pitch. “Why would I lie when I’m also stuck in this circuit just like everybody else?”
            “Because some people major in giving other people a heart attack,” The old guy said. “Besides being under a lot of stress can lead to running off at the mouth.”
            “I am not under stress, sir.”
            “You’re stuck in this mess with us, lady. Ain’t you?”
“Excuse me,” a masculine executive voice said. Probably, the guy I’d spotted donning a three piece suit earlier when all the lights were on. “Shouldn’t we concentrate our energies on finding a way out of this jam?”
An alarm went off someplace overhead.
            “What on God’s earth is that?” Some guy topping a face cap said. That moment of urgency made his voice come out in a squeal.
            “People, if there ever was a way out of this situation, it is not racketing and panic,” Some dude, standing in the center of the elevator, said. “Let’s get ourselves to…” Read more here IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 4th, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 3

Day 3: The Comic Book Generation

Today’s Prompt: It’s your 18th birthday and, upon it, your parents deliver some pretty shocking news: You’re not really human. They admit that they’ve been covering up the fact that you are actually a (fill in the blank). After hearing the news you still decide to go to school, but this school day is different than all your school days past, especially when it’s revealed to others what you truly are.
— Courtesy: WritersDigest.Com

Word Count: 1,406
            “I can’t make things pop out of thin air if that’s what you’re thinking.”
I could feel their eyes crawling all over me like a million needles and pins.
            “So what exactly do you do, then?” Alicia asked.
            “Maybe, he can spin a web like Spiderman.” Rebecca suggested.
There were a few giggles after that last statement.
            “Well…” I said.
            “Maybe, he can dance standing on his head.” That was Dick.
This announcement was followed by an uproar.
            “I’ve not really attempted that one but yeah, I think, maybe, I could if I gave it a try,” I said.
            “Don’t think. Just do it,” Dick said.
            “You don’t think before breathing, do you?” Rebecca.
            “Or before falling in love,” said a kid with a low punk haircut whom we called Groovy.
That got everybody in the classroom roaring with laughter. Even Amen, my best buddy, was slamming his fist into his desk again and again bellowing a belly laugh.
And the silence held sway for a moment.
Just then some kid in the front seat flung a ball made from crumpled paper at me. I caught if off the air and made a paper aircraft out of it in the space of 5 seconds and tossed it. It glided in an arc round the room and returned to me. I snatched it out of the air.
The silence weighed down on my eardrums like a dead weight. I felt the eyes of the entire class trained on me. As far as I was concerned, I knew I had done something awesome but if you asked me to create a chemical formula to explain the process, you’d be barking up the wrong tree.
            “Dude, how on earth did you do that?” Dick whose eyes bulged with surprise asked.
            “I didn’t think. I just did it,” said I.
            “Do it again,” Shorty said.
            “I can’t.” I lied. “I don’t know how it happened.” Which was true. “Reflexes, I guess.” Which was both the truth and a lie. Read more here IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 3rd, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

IntShoWriMo 2014: Day 2

Today’s Prompt: Kristin Pedersen and Russell Ebert meet before he inherits money. One of them is killed.
                                                                                           — Courtesy:

Word Count: 1,234
My memory of that day is as clear as day. The waiter’s name was Pedersen and I could tell from the way he looked at me, through me my face didn’t juggle his memory. Not that I expected it to. I was only, how do they say it, playing my position. He had the same low haircut. There were a few grays in there but the similarity was good enough for rock and roll. Same chiseled chin, deep-set eyes just like the high school picture I acquired. Don’t ask me how.
He walked briskly past me. I reached out and tugged at the tail of his cheap waiter’s jacket and held on.
            “Don’t you recognize an old friend when you see one?” I said, flashing my winning smile.
He stopped and turned to face me. “Not like I can remember everybody and I’ve met hundreds since I started working here.” He raised his hands, palms facing up, curved his lips and shrugged. “The job.”
I shook my head slowly from side to side. “It’s that. But I’m not talking yesterday not even last week. I’m talking years.”
            “How many years are you willing to wager?”
He was taking the bait. Nibbling at it at the edges, eventually he was going to swallow the line and get stuck.
            “I’d like to think your face got lost in the sea of faces I meet everyday in this room. Hell, I can’t even recollect faces I came across yesterday besides the regulars, that is. And here you are taking down memory lane several years from now.”
            “1992,” I said. “We were part of a team.”
            “’92 in high school. Strikes a chord?”
Pedersen ran his fingers through his hair. There wasn’t much left to explore. The dude was going bald.
            “A football team.”
            “I’ll be darned,” he said.
            “Ugh, ugh.”
            “I still can’t place your face or name. Wait… I think it’s coming back. Ernest, wasn’t it?”
            “Damn right it is.” I lied. God help whoever the real Ernest is.

Read more here IntShoWriMo 2014

Eneh Akpan
June 2nd, 2014