FOWC~ Tainted Stats #Fandago #FOWC

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Dr. Gabriel Rockwell’s experiments in behavioral science had always been considered odd. Some of his fellow scientists at the institute, (despite their respect for him) would secretly question the validity of Dr. Rockwell’s stats from his research. Still, the board members running the institute were satisfied with the results and continued to approve funding for all of Dr. Rockwell’s experiments. The latest one that recently concluded discovered yet even more significant understandings of the human mind with unfortunate consequences.

“Project- Colorblind” was simple in its theory. Dr. Rockwell hypothesized that, if a person suffering from a psychotic disorder were to be exposed to an environment comprised completely of one color over an extended time period- the result would be that their behavior would drastically change for the better. Miss Arlene Woodard had been the first subject chosen to undergo the test. Miss Woodward had was serving a life sentence in prison for the brutal murder of her entire family. On March 1st, Dr. Rockwell had Miss Woodward moved into a special house that was constructed just for the experiment. The entirety of the house was fabricated completely in one primary color. Every piece of furniture within the four room house, including walls and floors, were decorated in a bright sunny yellow. The subject would have no contact with the outside world or any other colors for a period of ninety days. She would be videotaped throughout the entire process and closely monitored by Dr. Rockwell’s team under secrecy. Miss Woodward was provided with substantial supplies to cook her own meals and take care of personal hygiene. All the food and toiletries were previously dyed or made out of yellow materials, made by a seperate division of the institute.

At the end of ninety days, Dr. Rockwell would conclude the experiment and inform Miss. Woodward that the test was over. What Dr. Rockwell was greeted by upon entering the house was a very different Miss Woodward than the one who entered the structure ninety days before. She displayed no more violent tendencies or thoughts towards others. Miss Woodward was now a polite and approachable woman with a radiant smile. She was quite docile and expressed how happy she was to have company over to “her home”.  All memories of her past life (before the experiment) had apparently vanished, with her not remembering any of it. Dr. Rockwell had even jokingly compared her to a “50’s sitcom wife” to one of his colleagues about Miss Woodward’s behavior and look.

Dr. Rockwell was initially pleased with the results. Then, something went horribly wrong.  Miss Woodward insisted that Dr.Rockwell and the two accompanying scientists stay for some home baked refreshments and a hot beverage.  The invitation was accepted and a few minutes later, Arlene returned from her kitchen holding a serving tray.  According to Dr. Rockwell in his statement to the police after the incident, Arlene suddenly became agitated by the complete lack of interest in what she had served.  She proceeded then to grab a fork off the serving tray and plunged it directly into the neck of one of the scientists. She was erratic in her movements, screaming out obscenities about “her cooking always being hated”. Institute security soon arrived and subdued Miss Woodward in a straitjacket.  It was only later discovered after a closer look into Miss Woodward’s background that a possible reason was uncovered for the accident.  The original motive behind the murders of Miss Woodward’s family, was the constant criticism she would receive from her family about her cooking skills. Over an eleven year period, every single meal that Miss Woodward prepared for them was ridiculed and sometimes either ignored or thrown out in disgust. This apparently was still a deeply rooted trigger for Miss Woodward and how the scientists reacted to her current culinary offerings, caused her to have a complete psychotic breakdown.

In his exit interview from the institute, Dr.Rockwell stated, “I still feel the experiment was a success. Being surrounded by the existence of one color in an individual’s world does indeed alter even the most violent personalities. My error was in its initial effects to a perfectly normal person. Miss Woodward became quite a decent cook in the ninety days of the experiment. However, the appearance of yellowed tea served with yellow brownies was simply a ghastly site to myself, Dr. Renow and the late Dr. Corrigan, God rest his soul. Ironically, Arlene’s brownies were quite tasty, once you closed your eyes and took a bite”.

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Written for the Haunted Wordsmith’s daily prompt for April, 30 (Long overdue!) and Fandago’s FOWC prompt – “Stats’.

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Daily prompt ~Who’s the Doctor here? #THWS

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   Today’s prompt from The haunted wordsmith was to pick your favorite song. I decided to “spring-off” of that idea. I attempted to write a coherent short-fiction piece utilizing song lyrics from “THE WHO”. It really was fun writing this and the finished story is just so silly-but,it makes sense.

___________________________________________________________________________________________     As I walked through the hospital door, a nurse quickly approached me.
“Who are you?” She asked.
“They call me the seeker, but my name is Tommy and I’m feeling a bit ill. Everyday I take this bus, but this morning as soon as I got on-I had to vomit in the park. I don’t have a fever yet, there’s other symptoms that I can’t explain”.  The nurse took my arm and led me into to an examination room. “Have a seat on the table, Dr. Jimmy is currently mobile but will be with you shortly”. She then left me alone.  The door swung open.  A man dressed in a silver sparkled glittering gown entered. I looked at him and asked “Oh come on and tell me who are you? Are you a Doctor??” 
    He smiled back,  “No, I’m a substitute for the other guy. Are you the one with the stutter?”
   I shook my my head “No” and was starting to get upset.
    The Doctor then raised his hands, “Oh, you must be Happy Jack!”
     I stood up in anger, yelling back at this supposed “Doctor”.
   “Look, I’ve had enough! I could have gone anywhere, anyway, anyhow I choose! But, I came here to this clinic. Now, I know you deceived me well here’s a surprise..I know you’re a just a fake!”   
     The strange looking Doctor stepped back. “Now, now..this is no social crisis. I just wanted to fiddle about”.
     I jumped off the table, pushed this weirdo out of the way and yelled back at him, “OH NO YOU DON’T! This happened to me once before and I WON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN!”  I exited the hospital thinking that out here in the fields anything could happen.

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This piece was inspired by The Haunted Wordsmith’s Daily prompt – song challenge

 

SoCS ~ A Good Sign #weekend-writing-prompt #SoCS

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Wonderfully, Peggy found her dream man
A restaurant chef simply named Stan
She was hesitant about this particular guy
He wasn’t her compatible Zodiac sign
But, Horoscopes are not always guaranteed
He was her perfect match who also made great Mac and Cheese

(43 words)

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Written using the following prompts – Linda G. Hills SoCS for 5/18, Sammiscribles Weekend Writing prompt and The Haunted Wordsmith’s Daily Prompt “Mac and Cheese”.

Genre Writing Challenge~Missed text #genre-writing-challenge

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“What am I doing here?” whispered John Davenport to himself as he entered the  restaurant.  There was quite a large crowd there having dinner that evening but, that’s not why John was already planning his hasty exit.  He was there for a blind date, which to him was the equivalent of medieval torture.  John simply hated the whole dating process, period.  The endless text chats that either led nowhere or worse a meeting that was a complete letdown from all the digital verbage that had been previously sent.  He had been single now for about six months, ever since Amy “needed to be free”. Since that time, he had gone out on three lousy dates.  Two were complete lies from their online profiles. The third woman had every possible offensive thing in her that John found offensive in the female race.  Tonight would be the last one for him.  He promised his buddy, Larry that he would meet ‘Karen’ but, then that would be the last date he would go out on for a while. It would be time to start practicing a self-care regiment and focus on himself, maybe learn to play an instrument.  Larry casually knew Karen from some mutual acquaintances and basically volunteered John to have dinner with her. Larry had always been a good friend and supported John through the whole “Emancipation of Amy” hardship. Besides that, tonight was as easy as dating could be after Larry picked the place and time for John to meet Karen.

John stood up at the front of the restaurant and scanned the room for his date.  She had texted him earlier, stating she had auburn hair and would be wearing a dark blue blouse.  The only lone woman in the dining room was wearing a Navy blue blouse (“maybe she changed her mind?”) and had dark red hair (“It kinda looks Auburn?”).  This was the place and it was just about the time to be there,  So John started to walk over to her table.

“Hi, are you Karen?”  John asked through a nervously forced smile. The woman looked up at him and smiled back.  Her face actually lit up her beauty as she grinned.

“Well, its Sharon..but, everyone mixes them up. You must be Ron”.

John snickered back at her,  “Actually, its John..but, also everyone gets that wrong as well.”

He sat down at the table and after just a few Smalltalk bits of conversation, John felt completely comfortable being with her. She had this persona in a woman that he had always wanted in a companion. Her laugh and green eyes just melted into John’s heart as he found himself slowly inexplicably being captivated by this new woman.

Sharon excused herself from the table to go find the lady’s room.  John quickly took out his phone to use the short amount of time to text Larry about how great this date was turning out to be.  He took out his phone and saw he had a text from hours earlier. It was from, surprisingly…”Karen”.

I’VE DECIDED TO GO BACK TO MY BF. SORRY-CAN’T SEE YOU

John looked up from his phone to see Sharon walking back towards the table holding her phone.  She had a look of slight confusion on her face.

“Uh..you’re NOT Ron. The guy, I was supposed to meet. He cancelled” Sharon said as she sat back down at the table.

“Well… you’re not Karen. The woman I was supposed to meet”.

They both sat there dumbfounded and then, they started to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. They decided to continue on with the wonderful evening that they were having with each other before the big revelation. Both of them luckily finding romance with one another simply by missing a text.

 

Written for Teresa’s Genre Writing Challenge April 7- Romantic comedy

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/82277260/posts/2234334966

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Story Starter Challenge ~ Time to pay the check #daily-prompt #ssc

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The waiter cleared away another empty plate from the table of Harold Gromish as he finished off his fifth helping of Beef Chow-mein. Harold belched as he contemplated going up to the buffet for round six. This was his favorite place to dine at, alongside “Barrigans barbecue pit”. When he wanted to chug back a few beers with his dinner (usually it was “Barrigan’s unlimited basket of buffalo wings”) Harold would go eat out over there. However, It was Tuesday night. Tuesdays meant it was time for the thrice weekly visit to ‘Godfather’s Dragon’  Italian/Asian all you can eat buffet.  The booth creaked a painful squeak as Harold leaned his large frame back against its padding. He reached into his chest pocket and drew out a single cigarette.  He inhaled in a puff off his freshly lit Marlboro as his flushed cheeks glistened with sweat.  A man walked past the table from behind Harold’s booth and left a small plastic tray with a paper and pen on its surface.

“Please sign here” were etched in gold along the top lip of the black tray. Harold grabbed the pen and instinctively scrawled his name down,  like he had done hundreds of times before at multiple restaurants.

Then, a thought suddenly entered his mind.  He hadn’t asked for the check, nor did he give the waiter his credit card for payment.  Suddenly feeling strangely uncomfortable, Harold snubs his unfinished cigarette out into the ashtray on the table. He begins to push himself up out of the booth as a sharp pain engulfs Harold’s chest from within.  His eyes roll back in his head as he slouches back down motionless. Harold Gromish was dead no less than three minutes after he signed his name down on the check.

The paper that was signed by Harold was soon collected by the man who had dropped it off earlier. His presence was not seen by any of the restaurant staff or any other dining patrons enjoying their meals.  Death left the restaurant, having  finished his quota for the evening and having the signed receipt to prove it.

 

Written for Teresa’s  Story Starter Challenge, where the line is “Sign here.”

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/story-starter-challenge-april-6/

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Quality Issue: Genre Writing Challenge #25~#epistolary fiction #

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March 20, 1974

Dear Mr. Stillson,

We recently received a complaint from Richard Daily, a sales representative from our east coast division. Mr. Daily claims that on a recent visit to your office, a Miss Doris Berg assaulted him with various office supplies. Apparently, Miss Berg was “outraged” over the quality of our newest model of typewriter.

Thomson office equipment has been the leading supplier of quality typewriters for over eighty years. We pride ourselves on the workmanship that goes into every product and find these claims of the quality of our latest typewriter to be unsubbscated.

Our partnership with your firm has been long and successful. It would be most unfortunate if we were to drop you as a client should this matter not be addressed.

We cannot have our loyal associates assaulted in any way by anyone connected with your agency.

Please advise us of whatever disciplinary actions are being taken against Miss. Berg. We want this matter settled before any legal actions are taken.

Sincerely,

Franklin J. Thomson, President and CEO, Thomson Office Equipment

March 23, 1974

Dear Mr. Thomson,

As I am well aware of the incident that happened at my office between Miss Berg and Mr. Daily, I would hardly call it an “assault”. She merely verbally accosted him about the quality of your latest typewriter.

Regardless, Miss Berg was in the wrong and I will address this with her directly. As far as any disciplinary actions against her, I will only do so if you are dissatisfied with the formal apology that I will have Miss Berg herself send to you.

Thank you for contacting me on this matter. Miss Berg’s correspondence will arrive in your office within the next few days.

Sincerely,

Jack Stillson, Stillson Accounting agency.

March 27, 1974

Dea M Thom on,

It i with my ince ent intent, to give you my deepe t apologie . I t uly meant no di re pect to M . Daily. I wa f u t ated about not being able to d aft a lette fo Mr. chone . The ” ” and ” ” do not wo k on you late te t typew ite . It i quite tre ful fo a ec eta y to not do he job. I t uly hope M .Daily wa not ha med in any way by my e atic behaviou . I hope you find thi apology to be to you ati faction in eading it a it s wa in typing it.

incerely,

Do is Be g

March 28, 1974

Dear Mr. Stillson,

Upon reading the letter from Miss. Berg, we will no longer be pursuing this matter any further. Additionally, there is no need to enforce any disciplinary actions aganst Miss Berg. We will be recalling our latest model of typewriter for “quality issues”. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

Sincerely,

Franklin J. Thomson, President and CEO, Thomson Ofiice Equipment

Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Writing #25 prompt

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The Mann of Danger~#MarchWriting #Genre-writing

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Secret Agent Rick Mann had been caught once again

By trusting someone who he thought was a friend

He was the spy that always got the job done

Danger to him was just a form of fun

Being held captive was nothing new

It’s happened before when his identity became true

This time he was stopped by the assassins of Dr. Pain

Each one was armed with weapons to injure or maim

Rocket launching ladies and gals with sharp swords

Mann was sure to be heading up to his final rewards

Of course, he escaped avoiding any irrefutable harm

He simply defeated those women with his irresistable charm

 

Inspired by prompts from- The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Writing Challenge# 18 and March Writing Prompts – Rocket launching ladies – Day 21/31

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Genre Challenge #15 ~ Missing Cries #genre-writing #daily-prompt

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It had been five years since Elaine Simmons  had been admitted into Bellevue Memorial psychiatric hospital.  She sat there now in the living area as other non-violent  patients were allowed to walk around freely.  Elaine hadn’t made much progress in her rehabilitation here at the hospital. She was court ordered to be admitted here, after the incident at the ‘Smiles for Awhile’ daycare center drove her clinical insane.

Six years ago, Elaine was a functioning academic professional and business owner.  The “Smiles for a while” daycare center that she owned was quite well-known and successful throughout all of Sussex county.  Parents from all different towns felt comfortable in dropping off their children at a place that was safe, affordable and convenient. Elaine herself was a parent of a twenty-seven year old daughter, Lisa, who also worked at the center.  The interior rooms of the center were decorated in bright,  joyous colors of yellows and pastel blues.  When you walked into the front foyer, (after being cleared by the staff via close-circuit cameras) a large painting of a flourishing green tree welcomed you.  The Words, “It’s time to smile! Won’t you stay with us for a while?”  were written on the tree’s bark.  For 11 years, Elaine took in infants from six months old up to children aged six into a place of pure joy and imagination. Former students (now Teenagers) would often come back to visit, reminiscing about the very special time they had  there. Elaine and her daycare center had made a genuinely positive impact on the lives of many people for years to come.

Then, the babies disappeared.

It was a typical busy Thursday in April when it happened.  The nursery room that watched the babies had five infants being cared for that day by long time employee, Mrs. Rosemarie Jameson.  She was a registered Nurse with a master’s degree in child psychology.   Elaine had hired Rosemarie as her first employee when she initially opened the school simply based on her work experience and bubbly personality.  For years, Rosemarie received nothing but praise and respect from parents for the level of care that she had joyfully given all their children under the age of eight months.

One spring morning,  Rosemarie left the room to go get more diapers from the adjoining supply room.  In multiple accounts and sworn testimonies from Rosemarie before she committed suicide, she had stated that she literally left the room for less than ten minutes. When she returned back with an arm full of diapers, all five cribs were now empty and all the infants had vanished.

It didn’t take long for Elaine Simmons’s world to completely unravel after the news became public. Every possible explanation had been researched, from the criminal to the spiritual. Mountains of forensic evidence were collected. There had been hours of interrogating anyone associated with the daycare center or the infants themselves. It had become a nationwide internet phenomenon that baffled everyone.

The parents of the missing infants were never the same.  After many of them destroyed Elaine financially through legal means, some also acted upon their unanswered pleas for justice. Elaine’s house and car had been vandalized multiple times. She was an outcast in all the towns that had kids in her daycare center, which was now closed by the state.  Lisa, her daughter went missing and had been rumored to be living somewhere else under an assumed name.

The babies were never found.

Today, Elaine sits staring out past the barred window into the hospital’s open yard.  A stream of drool  drips down out of her mouth and into her lap. Her memories are now deluded by various types of psychotropic drugs.  Occasionally, she recalls a place…a place where…. “You could smile for just awhile”.

 

Inspired by The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre-writing prompt #115

Genre Challenge #8~Calhoun’s last kill #daily-prompt, #genre-writing

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It had gotten to the point in Will Calhoun’s life where bloodshed was all he knew.  He had been hired so many times as a gunslinger, that his world had just become one death after another. The guilt he once had about killing any man, no longer existed within him. People needed to be dead and he got paid to make that happen. It was an alright life for a man who was quick with his hands. Then,  it all just went wrong one day.

He had been hired by a Sheriff Haley over in Carson city to protect the townsfolk from a possible visit from a bad man. An upstart snake of a man known by the name of Blackburn Hennessy.  An hombre that was known for occasionally riding into different towns and causing all kinds of mischief.  At least, that’s what the stories were that preceded him.  Sheriff Haley was a big man,  but that little tin star can only give a man so much power.  Eventually, a lawman has to be able to back up his given title. Calhoun himself had developed quite a reputation in these parts and when he stopped in Carson for some Whiskey at their saloon, the sheriff hired him on the spot to “take care of Blackburn”. It wasn’t even a day later that Calhoun took out Blackburn as soon he rode into town during the night.  He did it with one shot, right through the heart.  Blackburn didn’t even get a chance to speak out his last words before dying.

The next morning, people all over town were whispering about the death of Blackburn Bill. Calhoun unfortunately overheard some fellas talking about how Blackburn was actually hired to come kill Sheriff Haley, who had been a ruthless tyrant to all the townspeople.  Apparently, Calhoun had been swindled.  He killed a good man who was there to kill a corrupt and lecherous sheriff.

Calhoun got on his horse and rode out-of-town.  He came here, up to the mountains and breathed in the clean air.  Things were purer up here, helped a man think about his role in the world.  He looked out at the desert landscape made by God himself and realized how little a role a man plays in this world when all he only knows is one thing.

Calhoun took out his colt. 45 and made sure it was loaded.  His gut told him it was time to stop the killing. It was time to start being a better man.  All the violence of ending lives for a sawbuck would come to a stop…but, not today.  He turned his horse around and headed back to Carson city to become their new sheriff.  The town was going to be needing a new one soon, once Will Calhoun was done speaking with Sheriff Haley.

Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s prompt- Genre Challenge #8.

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Story Starter Challenge #8 ~The Cheetos Clue #daily-prompt #story-starter-challenge #themagicshop

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The Bounty hunting couple of ‘Scratch and Crush’ had apparently missed their latest target as Victor Morrison’s apartment appeared to have been vacated.  They had been on the trail of Morrison for over a week now, after he skipped out on his latest bail hearing for assault and drug possession. Natalie ‘Scratch’ Simpson and Dominic ‘Crush’ Carlone had been hired to hunt down Mr. Morrison as their next target . The couple had been in this business for well over twelve years now with their business cards saying

“CATCHING CROOKS FOR CASH”

The chemistry they shared together was often electric but never romantic. It was one of mutual respect and a fearless determination to put away the bad guys.

“Shit, he ain’t here” Scratch said begrudgingly as she walked into the bedroom with her nine millimeter drawn in front of her.

Crush stood in the living room listening to her.  She unfortunately maybe right. They had both checked every room in the apartment and all the closets with no sign of Victor Morrison to be found anywhere.

“This place is the biggest dumping ground I’ve ever seen”  Crush yelled back at Scratch. He wasn’t exaggerating either. The apartment was filled throughout all of its interior with piles of dirty clothes, shoulder-high stacks of magazines and giant clear garbage bags filled with recyclables.

Scratch walked back into the living room, shaking her head.

“Damn. They said he was like a hoarder,” she looked down at multiple empty bags of chips and snacks on the floor, “And he liked his junk food.”

Both of them stood there a minute feeling discouraged. They were good at their jobs, having never lost a bounty until now.

Crush holstered his gun. “Come on. Lets get outta here” he said to his partner as they both headed to the front door.

As Crush began to turn the door handle, Scratch stopped walking and turned around to look back into the apartment with a look of curiosity.

“You know”…She began to walk towards pile of clothes on the floor. ” I smell Cheetos.”

“Yeah..So?” Crush replied back as started to follow her in. “The guy ate crap. Whaddya expect?”

“Yeah…Maybe..” Scratch held up her revolver in front of her as she got closer to pile of clothes, that seemed to be shaking. “But, all those bags of chips and not one of them being a damn Cheetos bag.  ISN’T THAT RIGHT, MR. MORRISON?”

She leans over the pile and pulls some clothes off the top.

Laying there surrounded by various shirts and pants, with an open bag of Cheetos, was Victor Morrison. His now disappointed face was covered in orange crumbs and swallowing  what ever incriminating Cheetos he had stuffed in his mouth.

 

Inspired by the Haunted Wordsmith’s- Story Starter Challenge #8- “I smell Cheetos”

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Story Starter Challenge #2~The Captive

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“Thank you, but I don’t think I can do that” Brian Phillips whispered at his captor. He had already suffered enough torture and he refused to give in to their latest demand.

“Ok, well then you leave me no choice” Monica said as she pressed the barrel of her revolver Brian’s head. He knew that despite his total aversion to what was being asked of him, he would eventually do exactly what Monica requested. At of the corner of his eyes, he could see Monica’s deep blue eyes staring directly at him, through strands of blond hair. He loved her, no matter what she threatened him with. Even after all her acts of emasculation upon him, Brian still would do anything to please her. Gun or no gun. Was it a psychological flaw within his character to just surrender his manhood or did he just desperately needed to be loved?

This wasn’t the time for self-analysis. Brian could sense that Monica was getting anxious and he simply needed to do what she asked. He slowly reaches down towards the coffee table in front of him, grabs one of the old lipsticks that was given to Monica and takes off the cap. As he finishes putting on a small smear of lipstick thus completing his face, Monica pulls the trigger. A dozen clear bubbles come floating out into the air as his daughter giggles her six year old laugh.

Brian sat there and smiled his silly-looking smeared lips. The embarrassment of “Daddy gets a makeover” was done for today. Monica would dream up some other wonderful thing for him to be a part of after this was one was over. He would do it all, because that’s what made her happy. To him, that was all the reason in the world that he needed for being “tortured”.

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Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s -Story Starter Challenge #2

Daily Writing Challenge #24~ #3tc #daily-prompt #themagicshop

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Hallway

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Owen Murphy felt like he had been walking down this hallway for hours. His legs hurt and he was starving. The last meal he remembers having was breakfast earlier this morning with the rest of the inmates. Usually, after their morning meal all the prisoners were led out to yard for some fresh air and exercise. Today, (was it still today?) Murphy was escorted away from everyone else by police guards, Venezia and Rooker. They led him out of the cafeteria and down multiple flights of stairs. That’s where he first saw the beginning of this hallway. The one that he was now currently walking through

“Seems like you got someone looking out for you, Murphy” Venezia sneered through his tightly pressed lips.

Murphy remembers how confused he felt hearing such an odd comment.

Rooker had then chimed in. “It’s like this, Murphy. You’ve been picked to be part of spme new rehabilitation research. All ya gonna do, is walk down to the end of this hallway. The staff is waiting for you to take you to their research room at the end. If you whatever research they have in store for you, the DA will look into either reducing your sentence or in some of the previous cases, DISMISS IT ALL TOGETHER”.

At the time, Murphy remembers almost giggling at Rooker’s words. Why choose him? He was already serving a life sentence for killing his wife and three kids. He really had no feelings toward’s their deaths, remorse or anything else. His days of “rehabilitating” were long gone. What reason could they even think for picking him in ANY type of rehabilitatatin? Whatever it was, he did’nt give a shit. Walking freely down a dirty hall was better than wasting away in his cell, anyday of the week.

He had been assured by both guards that this entire thing was legit and that all he had to do was simply walk forward towards the room at the end that would conduct the research.

Seems like that talk had happened days ago and not hours. Or was it even just thirty minutes? Murphy had lost all track of time as he continued his trek. He had looked back at both guards a few times, even asking them if they were still there once out of his sight. They answered a few times then stopped altogether.

It was cold in the hallway, raw with a smell that unnerved Murphy. No windows, no other rooms either. Just the endless rows of cement blocks and pipes overhead. He started to get frustrated and decided that he was going to get to this damn room even if his feet were bleeding from callouses. He stood up straight with a new resilience and started walking faster.

Minutes (hours?) later, Murphy spotted a man walking slowly towards him off in the distance in the shadows.

Oh, thank god! Hopefully it’s whoever is conducting this test finally here to greet me.” Murphy desperately thought.

He yelled out down the hallway towards the approaching man.

“Hey! Are you with the rehabilitation group? I was sent down here by the guards. I’m supposed to be working with you”

Murphy’s words echoed all the way down the hallway with no response coming back from the stranger.

The stranger was now only about fifty feet away. He appeared to be young, maybe in his twenties. Short cropped hair, close to a crew-cut. His grey uniform looked somewhat familiar to Murphy.

“Hey, Buddy?” Murphy stood out and stuck his arm out to stop the young man from walking any further past him.

The young man looked at Murphy somewhat startled by his appearance.

“Are you with the..rehabilitation research people?” Murphy asked, hoping for some type of informative answer.

The young man stared back at Murphy with confused eyes.

“Rehabil-Who? Don’t know anything about that. I was just told by a couple of the prison screws to start walking. They told me that theres these Eggheads at the end who might help me get out of this joint. I just started walking a little while ago. They tell you the same thing?”

“Yea, they did” Murphy said in defeat. He glanced closer at the man’s uniform. Suddenly, he remembered where had seen the clothes before. On the right wall of the small hallway that led into Warden Keller’s office, there had been some vintage photographs hung up from the history of the prison. Murphy remembers seeing one of the photos, was of a lineup of prisoners out in the yard from 1955. The young man standing in front of Murphy was wearing the same exact prison clothes that those men were wearing in that picture.

Murphy was silent, not answering the young man’s initial question. He felt his mind slowly slipping into a state of disbelief and anxiety.

“You ok, buddy?” The young man asked Murphy with genuine concern.

Murphy slowly nodded yes, his hadn’t blinked his eyes once since his realization of what couldn’t possibly be true.

“Well..You take care of yourself now. I’m gonna get going here. I’m looking to be free soon. I heard Brooklyn made the world series. Maybe, I can catch a game if they let me out by the weekend.” The young man smiled at Murphy and proceeded to walk away.

Murphy watched him shuffle back down into the direction of the hallway from where Murphy had just walked from. He stood and watched for the longest time as the young man eventually disappeared out of his line of vision.

The hallway stretched out in both directions for what seemed like miles. Murphy contemplated for a moment walking back to Venezia and Rooker, the two guards who sent him here. He then thought differently with an overwhelming feeling that, both guards are most likely long gone. There was probably no new rehab research center either, Murphy thought.

He looked down towards the Hallway in the direction he was originally walking. For whatever reason, out of all the low-lifes that were housed in the prison above (?) him, someone had chosen for him to finish out the rest of his sentence down here.

Owen Murphy did the only thing he had left in his life and started walking again down the hallway.