Lotan Brown, aka Ian Gough, on Twitter offers up the #7daytale. The writing challenge is to write a story using 7 tweets, one per day, for a week. I decided to give it a go. I'm a pantser. I didn't outline the story or write ahead. What you'll read is what came to mind each day that I sat down to add to the story. I have not edited the story. Each day below is a direct copy from my daily tweets. I titled the story at the end. Writer or not, give it a try.
Not What It Seems
By Robert Stanhope
From a safe distance, I observed something I never thought I'd see. It happened quickly. A young blonde girl riding a bike down the street. A gray van pulled along side her. A side door opened. Two men hurried out, grabbed the girl and the bike, and pulled them inside.
The van raced away and I followed. After turning onto Main Street, the van slowed to the speed limit. I kept my distance a few car lengths back. After a right onto Elm, the van stopped in front of a warehouse. Three men in black, and the girl, got out. I called 9-1-1.
The police dispatcher heard my report & kept me on the line. The police were en route. "They are coming out!" I shouted as four people, dressed as clowns, exited the warehouse & climbed into the van. "I know the small one is the girl." "Okay, sir. We'll be there soon."
A fifth clown rolled bicycles to the van. They drove off. I was conflicted. Follow the van? Wait for the police? I followed. "The van is moving & I'm following them," I told the dispatcher. A stern, calm voice replied, "Step down, sir. We'll track them down." "Sorry."
"Sir? Sir!" The dispatcher called out. I ended the call. I thumbed through my apps. I wanted to go live on Facebook. I placed the phone in its holder and started streaming. Why are they pulling into the elementary school parking lot? Another van pulled alongside them.
A police van? How did the police know where they were going? A half dozen officers got out of their van & walked around the gray van. No guns drawn. No urgency in motion. They slid open the door on the gray van. The clowns exited and hugged the officers. I was shocked.
An officer walked in my direction. He was carrying what looked like a suitcase, but larger. He stopped at the street corner, opened the case and stood it up. A sign. "POLICE DEPARTMENT CIRCUS - TONIGHT - 6:00 PM" A circus! I turned down a side street and drove away.
A few times in my blog I have discussed writing prompts. You can search Google for writing prompts. You can open a Twitter account and participate in daily prompts from various authors in a variety of genres. The great thing about prompts is that they get the muse going. You can adapt them to your writing style. I use them primarily to practice writing concise lines. Since I enjoy writing poetry and flash fiction, being concise becomes extremely important when I want to enter writing contests with limited line submission guidelines or limited words.
WRITER TIP: Keep a log of writing prompts and your prompt writing. This journal can be a useful reference if writer's block strikes.
Today, I practiced with the prompt for #MuseMon which was the word save. Here are a few samples.
I saved the moment I fell in love with you, like an instant Polaroid picture, slowly coming into frame, pinned to my heart. #MuseMon
She needed saving, but her salvation was locked away in a broken heart, filled with hatred and confusion. She was a lost soul. #MuseMon
I'm saving my final words for you. The words will reflect my life, a life I couldn't have lived without you. #musemon
Writer and photographer.