#6 Man Versus Book

#6 Man Versus Book

/u/MagicofFriendship submitted the writing prompt:
Write a story about your greatest fear and how you eventually overcome it.

“How do we do it?”

“How do we do it? Honey, you don’t have to do anything.” She was ready. Slippers on, cup of tea brewing by her side and a smile I hadn’t seen in a longtime. My hands were shaking. She noticed and placed her hand on mine. “You’ve still got your shoes on! Take them off, you can’t do it properly if your shoes aren’t off.”

With my shoes off, nestled beside the arm chair I sat in, I felt like I couldn’t escape. It wasn’t when I got into my loungewear, it wasn’t when she told me I couldn’t have my phone, it was then – making a quick escape and running back to The Mill in my socks was impossible, because it was fucking freezing outside.

“What have you got?” I asked.

“I’m about half way through. Here.” She handed me the book. I heard my phone ringing on the kitchen counter next door. She could tell I wanted to answer it, perhaps my hands were shaking even more, perhaps I began to sweat or perhaps she knew it was Alfie asking where I was. She held my gaze with reassuring confidence. “Read the back.”

I remember struggling to read it. I don’t have a problem with reading or anything, I’m not stupid, but it definitely felt odd holding something in my hand I couldn’t drink. It was about an old man fishing in a big lake. It said something about wrestling with a fish, man versus nature, that’s all I remember. I handed it back to her.

“Is it good?”

“It’s great. Here’s yours. I spent a lot of time trying to pick one you’d like. You said you wanted something funny. It’s not too complicated either. Here you go.”

“How do you know I’ll like it?”

“I found a line you could read. It’ll make you laugh. Then you’ll know.”

I opened the book to the dog flapped page. There was a sticky yellow tab pointing to a highlighted line.

In the beginning the Universe was created.

I couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking – what the fuck is this? She had tricked me into it, into this night in. I wasn’t at the The Mill. I wasn’t with Alfie, Ron, Toby, Ben, I wasn’t on the fruity, I wasn’t watching the football, I wasn’t enjoying the finest bitters, I wasn’t sharing jokes with Shelley at the bar, I wasn’t chasing spots or stripes or the big 180, I wasn’t where I should be, where I wanted to be. I was at home, at fucking home on a Friday night, and I had a fucking book in my hand and it sounded like it was fucking religious or something. It was 8 o’ clock and I was getting converted by my wife and some Douggy Adams bloke.

I sighed. I went to hand it back to her – I couldn’t do it.

She still held her smile and she read me so well. “Read the rest of the line.”

This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

I’ll admit – that book gave me the biggest laughs and that girl of mine changed my life.

#3 Mars

I wrote this writing prompt a while ago. It’s by no means up to the standards of the other creative writers but I had a little idea and wanted to get it down. It’s very much a fresh perspective on a great prompt.

#3 Mars

/u/kevinbobevin submitted the writing prompt:
Write us a section from the critically acclaimed, historical non-fiction book entitled ‘The Tragedy of The Red Planet: a History of Mars Colonization’

Below is the transcript recorded between the two navigation pilots of the Crimson Shuttle III. It is the last recordings we have that began the fall of the Mars civilisation.

“Range 250 metres. Closing in…”


“Yes, Captain?”

“Engage thrusters, mark 3. Let’s make this an easy landing.”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 28%

“Landing site not yet in view, sir.

“What? Bring up the co-ordinates.”

“Co-ordinates on display.”

“531 – 8008? That can’t be right.”

“That’s what’s on the log, sir.”

“Increasing thrusters, mark 4. We can’t use those. For all we know we’re hundreds of miles from the base. We’ve got one tank of fuel. Increasing thrusters, mark 6.”

“That’s what’s written down.”

“It’s bloody wrong! We’re running out of fuel.”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 23%

“Just land, it has to be right. Billy triple checked them.”

“You got Billy to prepare these? You know that kid can’t be trusted. Billy is a punk. Find me the real co-ordinates!”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 15%

“That’s all I have, sir.”

“Don’t you bloody understand the importance of this ship? We’re carrying the embryos. We’re carrying the life. We are the ignition. The fate of the human race in is our hands. Don’t give me that shit – find me those fucking coordinates!”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 10%. Critical. Thrusters failing

“Oh, Christ. Captain.”

“What? What is it?”

“Is it April 1st?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“We’ve been pranked. Look at the co-ordinate number backwards.”

#2 Solar

#2 Solar – Another writing prompt response from Nesbit.

/u/CrimsonChin11 submitted the writing prompt:
Sometime in the near future our technology becomes solely dependent on Solar Energy. Tell us about the day the Sun went black.

Didn’t know what had happened. When it went out, we had no idea. Everyone has their stories of thinking they went blind and thinking their eyeballs had fallen out, some people driving their cars off cliffs and that. Not us, though.

Had a lock-in down in The White Hart. Barkeep lit some candles, made it all nice and cosy and we drank ourselves through the night. Now, the barkeep – that’s Billy, that is – has a funny thing with clocks so he took ’em all out the pub. Doesn’t like ’em because he thinks you serve customers until they’re done, not until his shift ends. Anyway, because of that, of course, no one inside knows what time it is.

After about 8 hours of drinking and pissing and the pool table got boring, we all decide it’s the morning. We stumble out and it’s pitch black, just a bit of light from the candles inside. Being pissed and all, none of us can see anyway.

But, you know, no one thought ‘Oh shit! The suns bloody gone out!’

We said ‘Nah, not morning yet, let’s carry on drinking.’

#1 Vibrations

#1 Vibrations – Writing Prompts from Reddit.

/u/Beed28 submitted the writing prompt:
Long, continuous vibrations are being felt all over the world. As the days pass, they worsen. “

“First time I noticed, old Tom handed me a pint and it shook in his hand. Thought the poor lad had Parkinson’s or something! But it happened again. Round about every Sunday when I was in the pub. More or less every time, I’d be taking a sip and I’d spill it everywhere.”

“The wife complains to me nearly every night now. They keep happening. That spice rack – the one I built for her for Christmas? – stupid thing just spills them out onto the counter. Fourteen jars smashed now so I’ve had to put a bar across it. It looks ugly now. Kitchen’s a mess, we can’t keep books on the shelves. Piles of them on the floor. And the telly stopped working. Now I have to read. Christ.”

“Can’t sleep anymore. Far worse than before, you know, daily. It’s daily and it’s nightly and it’s awful.”

“Still, when me and the wife have sex, she fuckin’ loves it.”