in finishthestory •  6 months ago 

{"For me, one of the most perfect times to watch a horror movie is when it's cold and raining outside and there's pretty much no outdoor activity to be done. It kind of sets the mood" - Kirk Hammett... This is an extension post for’s Zapfic contest and an entry for the @bananafish Finish the Story contest. Of course, I shall do one for my first ever entry to the contest on a later date. I think only one other person other than will enjoy how I extended this; just glad the road structure wasn’t emphasized by @gaby-crb’s prompt nor under @ntowl’s moderation... Today’s music-aides: Crystal Peak from Hollow Nest OST.}

Banners by @f3nix

- Carriage -

- Prompt by @gaby-crb -

Condensation clung to the window, occasionally releasing a surge that cleared a path making the outside world visible. The cold white light refracted in the tiny water droplets. It was pretty, Shannon thought, as her breath spread across the cold window.

She checked her phone, the bright screen dazzling her. Her eyes darted to the mirror. The baby didn’t stir, still sound asleep in his comfortable car seat. She checked the time, the numbers read 23:46. There was no message.

She slipped it back into her coat pocket, wrapping her fingers around each other in an attempt to bring them back to life.

The CD stopped playing, the story finished. She pressed replay. The kid would no doubt wake up if it went silent. The story started up from the beginning. It was one she had listened to herself as a child. The narrator had a soothing voice, Shannon felt calm despite her predicament.

She checked her phone again. Still no message. Her eyes darted back to the boy, his blond hair showing underneath his fluffy hat. His cheeks pink. His blue eyes hidden beneath heavy eyelids.

A gloved hand rapped against the window. Shannon jumped, she quickly rolled down the window.

A clean shaven man ducked his head down to look at her.

“You have the package?”

His eyes glanced around the car, resting a few moments on the sleeping boy before returning to her face.

She nodded, her heart hammering in her chest. This was the first time she had done something like this.

She removed the key from the ignition and opened her door, the man stepped out of the way. She was not surprised to measure up as shorter than him. She fumbled with the key in her hand. She found it hard to swallow.

“How many times do I have to do this?”

Her voice shook. She wrapped her arms around herself, giving her hands something to grip onto.

“Until you’ve paid what you owe.”

His voice clawed at her insides. He stepped closer, a hungry look in his eye.

Shannon shivered. She was mentally kicking herself for getting into debt. But there was only one thing she could do now.

- Ending by @theironfelix -

Twops clop about cobblestones, the ricket moans from an old carriage. Chattering leaks outside from inside the boxcar.

"But mama, do we?"

"Yes dearie. Now mask up and holster the sword. Remember the plan?"

"Kill, loot, run!~"

"Atta girl!"

The carriage veering to the side to where the night blanketed it from sight, skirts flew into the air and the cobblestone pronounced their feet striking the Earth.

Hands flinging off dusty fans of their work, their feet carried them through the nooks and crannies. Their arms yanking their bodies over steep walls, eyes scanned high and low for cracks amongst the buildings, hands checked the common locks that a simple hairpin can convince to open and ears ready for even the unlucky guard walking out for a smoke break.

Fortuna this night dared not bless one thread to unravel, their usual hi-jinks put to rest for the night. But the gravelly crunches groaned from afar and their ears leaned in for more.

"I heard a car stop, I'll take the rooftops!"

"Brave initiative!... Now what flaps so heavily above my ears, I swear Fortuna-"

A grey scar on the night-sky, so flapped its wings as the gravel screamed with its form making a mess on the ground. Perched that make crows appear as white doves, its body contorted from the rags of torn and grey-bleached wounds into a clean-shaven male figure adorned with gloves. Mama tailing the creature, her eyes spotted her lassie being her eyes in the sky.

Her body contorting behind a street-post lamp, her ears heard the freak approaching the car. Soon her voice-box cursed sacrilege to Fortuna for allowing what coursed into her ears.

"Packages and debts you say, New Angel? Well, lemme just nullify that."

Body popping out of cover, her ears caught off guard by the yelp and her eyes spotting the creep grasping at the stomach before the façade deteriorated away. Mama's eyes deadlocked with Shannon's, Shannon had her courage rekindled as the sky roared out a lightning bolt that pierced her blade.

Shannon's car wheels shouting their escape, the New Angel stammered back to form yet leapt away from the blinding slash cutting the air. Being chased, the grey-skin danced away from every swoosh of the blade; now self-pinned to the wall, the air sang yet gave way to a descending skirt. Before its head could see her blade making headway, the blade chinked and its body soon embraced the hard reassurance of gravel. Blood soon climbing away from the impact zone, Mama's blade struct the New Angel's pierced point and the body was engulfed by hungry flames.

Her fingers wiping away blood spurts on her cheeks, their voice-boxes gaffed off the loot-less night. The ricket moans piercing their ears, the horses nyeh-d and puffs shot through their snouts. Once in, Mama's blade tapped once on the carriage and lightning struck the horses; the air lifting them up as the horses galloped away from the scene of corrupt dust and nullified debts.


Two Things: wowzers, I killed two birds with one stone and I managed to make a 500-word story after serious cutting from 567 to 500. I mean, you couldn't tell until I told you this; yet with this repainting my entire ending, you could imagine that I added just more vivid details which are now taken away from the final draft as presented here. At least, something were I again forcefully taken the perspective of the prompt to another scene and tied it into the prompt; like the one time with Ashley and Red from all those FTS contest weeks ago and made them fight a New Angel in a village party. Well, I just have this memory of that; dunno if some of you will recall that or not.

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This post was submitted for curation by: @theironfelix
This post was voted: 100%

i wasn't sure how you'd bring them together but i enjoyed the way you did it.

sometimes people need the initiative of others to discover their own courage!

UwU ~ Thanks for reading and thanks for the compliments!~

So you continue the story with two new characters, who are following the man? These are guardian angels that end up protecting Shannon and killing the man. I like some of the sentences you have used and enjoyed the characters you created, but I had to re-read the story a lot to finally understand what you were trying to get across and how it tied into the first half. I feel like this with a lot of your work, you don't consider your audience, who are mostly multi-lingual with English being their second language, this hinders the number of people who can understand and appreciate the characters and worlds you can create with your fascinating imagination.

But apart from that these are some of the lines that I really liked...

its body contorted from the rags of torn and grey-bleached wounds into a clean-shaven male figure adorned with gloves.

This is an interesting description of the man who tapped on the car window, he is a New Angel?

her ears caught off guard by the yelp and her eyes spotting the creep grasping at the stomach before the façade deteriorated away.

I love this fast paced section, it helps to visually bind the characters into the same space.

the horses nyeh-d and puffs shot through their snouts.

I am confused as to where the horses came from but this sentence was a great description of them.

Overall a good entry :)

UwU ~ Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting! While I could harp on forever on my audience and the purpose of why I create these (plot twist: it is meant to hit those in the head that makes an occult out of the "show don't tell" rule and make a casual joke for Global Periphery ["Eastern and Southern" World] authors), I have to remind people for the umpteenth time that English is not my first language. English was the third language I heard, second language of mine (that got heavily impacted by a speech impediment early childhood) and my technical first is Polish. However, I misread your comment a first time and had to rewrite this entirely after being told of my incredulous error. Though I do wish for a direct comment with me and to be beaten over the head for it, I finally see the fact that you were just saying I had an abstract tone - and I feel dumb for not understanding it a first time. Just next time don't make obscenities of people (I could go on a limb to point out popular Global Periphery authors who write/self-translate in English that have done abstract tones). Yet you were not wrong to point my defining distinction with most entryists, I was wrong to not spot that your comment was mainly harping in on that. Thus why yah may have been notified I made a reply to yah but this is the only one yer seeing.

Well, what were thy lines? I shall see below!

Indeed, I never had stated otherwise; I have a weird habit that if I don't have multiple people being focused upon in a scene that it all gravitates the person I have been describing so far.

I've been told I write fast pace things (and I love your comment here), I just see things as they happen and treat it at normal speed. XD - Albeit, I probably could get away with that being normal paced in a movie.

The ricket moans piercing their ears, [...]

I mean, it was right there. But blushing with the second half of the comment. And this is weird habit number two (out of how many writing concerns I do have), I make every single word count unlike most of the Global North ["Western"] authors I've read - that being the ones that wrote books, I need to see if this generalization of mine with Steemit. Nobody can escape not reading a word I lay down, thus forcing a long session of reading, mwahahhaha... That and I love the re-reading principle where a work makes more sense with some re-reads (a thing I borrow from Ancient-Medieval times and the Global Periphery way too much).

Dziekuje, @gaby-crb!!!!~


Hey @theironfelix!

I'm always amazed at how you dive right in a create such intense scenes. I don't see how it picked up where the other one left off but I imagined we jumped into an alternate reality where the original took on a whole different feel and direction.

I like this line the best, " its body soon embraced the hard reassurance of gravel". Poetic, tragic, and visceral.

UwU ~ Thanks for reading and commenting! Well if one would stare very carefully in something in plain sight, the usage of the words Shannon, car and packages links together the two parallel stories. But I agree that the mood/tone of the story is perpendicular to the prompt, after all it isn't a requirement (least not in written word) to carry out the tone/mood. And maybe you equally mean the genre, which I agree as well with the fact the prompt is contemporary and the ending here is purposefully a SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) twist/parallel. But if the ending is in the same story as the prompt, yes; the prompt never dabbled who was the strange debtor nor the type of road used for which I decided to take the liberty of painting the trail. After all, I do take stock of the littlest details missed and decide to fill up those torn holes if I can and/or am necessitated by the prompt to do so.

But of course, my pettiness aside and me taking a bazillion pain killers to numb a headache, I love making lines like those. Any time I can even fit a line like that along with a story, and neither contradicting each other, is a good feeling for all to have. And I agree with thy phrasing, unknown Bananafish Paladin, that it is poetic, tragic and visceral - been too much into The Stranger recently and reflecting on William Shakespeare, not that I can even live up to either but just developing my own tongue. I need to read the Iliad by Homer.

Now: who art thou? Art thou @f3nix, art thou @marcoriccardi, art thou @calluna, art thou @ntowl, art thou whomst've?~

I be the @ntowl...and blame @f3nix for the anonymity. He told me to comment as the BF...from now on I'll mention who is at the helm.

Ah, thank yah good traveller. Please just a follow my trend when I commented about for previous FTS editions qua the @bananafish. At least we can all have creative ending signatures, it be cute if we all did that! <3

Be gentle. It's my first time...
I'll look and see what you've done before.

Well I can lead thy hand into unfamiliar grounds, but don't go alone and take this! [Hands thee a giant pen-sword] For the pen with the sword is mightier than either alone!
;-; I just mean ending signatures, nae need to look at all I have done like the poems and what not!~ ;-;
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Jeesus! This is hard for me.

I felt like when I tried to read my first accounting exam in college. It was Chinese for me.

It gives me the impression that it is a fight of spirits or ghosts to save the girl and her child, describing every detail in the way that only you know how to do.

I think I need a Webster dictionary

Do not take it badly, many times I'm reluctant to make comments to avoid misunderstandings or flags. I think I do not know enough English to evaluate/estimate/appreciate your stories.

Well it's comments like these that I wish I knew many other languages to help translate stories to other languages, and or the Bananafish community had translators that help translate things so stories could be understood better than in non-mother tongues. Because all stories should be accessible in the mother tongues of the members in the community (so far English, Spanish and Italian). It make stories at least more intelligible to people to others, even if we have to push back publishing a story some more days to achieve mutual intelligibility. Also idioms are a killer, no matter the language.

... Bananafish community had translators that help translate things so stories could be understood better than in non-mother tongues.

That would be great