This is a special post because it will be the last ‘Prompt Me’ post. I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who offered prompts. The exercise has been rewarding and such fun. I couldn’t have created any of the short stories without the inspiration spurred by your prompts. I have another prompt post to fill the Tuesday slot, so keep your eyes peeled for that one.
This scene prompt lends itself to so many scenarios that I was chomping at the bit to have a crack at it. I hope I chose the narrative wisely. It’d be a shame to fall short on such an interesting prompt.
This is the second prompt offered by Al from Hyperactive Pandemonium. The short stories featured on his blog are out of this world. If you’re not following, why not?
An American type diner in the middle of nowhere in England. Two people awake from a drunken night to find themselves alone. Then, strange sounds emit from the kitchen.
“Wake up, Dude.” Vin slaps at his friend’s face. Hadley just stirs, scratches his balls, and rolls over. “Wake up, you stupid dick.” Vin slaps him again.
“What is your problem, man?” Hadley groans, rolling too far, and falling from the pink, pleather seat. He clambers to his feet in a zombie like state. “Where the hell are we? I told you we should have got off the Jager train before we hit the club.”
Vin rubs a hand over his shaved head. They would never have voluntarily come to a cheese fest like this. Some kind of 1950’s American style joint in England was the cheesiest of cheese. “Do you not remember anything?” he asks Hadley.
Hadley shakes his head. “You don’t think we were spiked, do you?”
“Why are we the only ones here? Where’s the waitress? It’s not like they could have missed your snoring last night.”
Hadley pushes on the door with little effect. Vin pulls out his mobile, but there is no signal. He scales the counter, and tries the diner’s phone. “There’s no dial tone.”
“What bloody happened last night?” Hadley pinches the bridge of his nose, and grabs an apple from the bowl by the till. “Weird? This is fake.”
Vin sticks his finger in one of the cakes in the glass cabinet. The rubber pings against his touch. “These too,” he says.
A crash emits from the kitchen; metal on metal, like trays colliding as they hit the ground. Hadley jumps, dropping the apple, and cursing loudly.
Another crash. Vin edges toward the swing door, the noise inside the kitchen growing louder with each step. Whoever it is, is really doing the joint over. He peers through the round glass window and staggers backward, falling over a stool, and smacking his forehead on the counter. The skin splits open, but he doesn’t notice. Jumping to his feet, he grabs the stool and smashes it against the windows. They don’t give despite how hard he tries. They must be reinforced.
“Whoa, man. Are you alright?”
“Grab a stool,” Vin screams, blood pouring down his face. Hadley stands rooted to the spot. “Now, Dude!”
The swing door flies open with such force that it is knocked clean off its hinges. First, Hadley sees the green exoskeleton, followed by the elongated bug head and pincers. Second, he hears the creature’s shrill humming noise. It sounds like that of a cricket, but so loud it could make your ears bleed.
“What the fuuuuuucck?” Hadley grabs a stool and follows Vin’s lead.
The creature rushes them, it’s jaw extends from it’s mouth, displaying rows of razor sharp teeth. Vin launches his stool at it, taking it off guard long enough to scramble to the counter.
The wind chime in the window glistens in the sunlight, the light dancing over the creatures green skull. It recoils slightly, twisting it’s head, furiously trying to rid itself of the twinkling light.
“It doesn’t like the light,” Hadley shouts to Vin. He crawls on all fours into the nearest booth. “What do we do, man?”
Vin grabs a knife from the cake display. At least that is the real deal. The creature’s attention is back on him. It tilts its head, its extended jaw gnashing at thin air. “Use the torch on your phone. Distract it somehow.”
Hadley fumbles in his pocket, finally retrieving his phone. The torch is bright and instantly draws the creature’s attention away from Vin. “What now, man? You better have a plan.”
“Now, I kill the asshole,” says Vin. He jumps toward the distracted creature, sticking the cake knife deep into its softer under belly. Over and over he stabs, until the creature’s squeals and flailing pincers stop.
His arm is covered in a brown, jelly like substance and he flicks it to the floor. Hadley peeks out from behind the chair. “I’m never drinking Jager again.”
The lights brighten in the diner, and the door swings open as if on a mechanised locking system. A military man strides in. Both Vin and Hadley know to salute him. He’s the Major General of the British marines, Bentley.
“You boys did good,” he says, stepping over the creature. “It took the others double the time to put an end to the ugly fuckers. Well, those who survived anyway.”
“What is that thing, Sir?” Vin asks.
“That is what our boys call a Jiminy. I’m sure you can guess why. You two lads will be briefed in ten minutes, and sent to a training base in the Lake District.”
“But we were dishonourably discharged, Sir,” Hadley says.
Bentley strokes his moustache with his middle finger. “Does this look like the face of a man who gives a shit, marine?” he shouts.
“No, Sir!” Hadley replies.
“At twenty two hundred hours on the fourteenth of this month, you will be shuttled to a planet known as Lox. You will join forces with some of the most skilled military personnel in the world. We want that planet, marines, and we need you to clear it of those buggy bastards.” He kicks at the creature as he speaks. “Any questions?”
Both men raise their arms in salute. “No, Sir!”
All excerpts are the works of K.J.Chapman.
Please request permission from the prompt creator for use of the prompt in this post.