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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Finish the Story – The Recruit – Part 9 #fts #THWS

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Part 9 by John at The Magic Shop

“NO! I’ve had ENOUGH.” Adam snapped at the two uniformed soldiers.

“I want answers and I want them NOW. You have been giving me the run-arou…

Adam felt something sharp pierce the back of his neck. He felt his world being turned upside down, before hitting the linoleum floor and blacking out.

A large metal fan was spinning directly above Adam’s head as he slowly opened his eyes. He woke up on top of a king-sized bed, soaked in a pool of sweat. His head was still groggy as he pushed himself up on his arms and looked around wherever his new surroundings were. He was now in a dimly-lit hotel room decorated in earth-tones and tree decor. A slim beam of sunlight shot out from behind the mauve curtains. Wherever he was, it was daytime. He staggered off the bed and spotted something laying on the dresser next to an ashtray.

“Thank you for staying at THE MONTANA LODGE. We hope you generously appreciate the services of our staff”.

It was a gratuity envelope. Adam had seen them before, growing up with his Dad. When they were on the run.

“Yeah, here’s my tip..Tell me where the Hell I am”. Adam thought, still trying to clear the fog out of his head. He knew he had to pull himself together, figure this out. A plan, he needed a plan. Before he could even come up with the first part of his escape, someone started knocking on the room’s door from outside.

A slow, steady knock of a hand that sounded big…….

I am tagging Dorinda Duclos, Night-Owl poetry to tell us “who is knocking on that door?”

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Story starter challenge – Cinema #hwdp

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The stub is split as you begin your retreat

Your world left outside as you seek to find seats

Others surround you in this collaborative quest

An escape from one’s life with all of its tests

You’ve heard of this place with its gateways to amaze

And it’s artists within who invite you to their charade

The food for your journey feels synonymous with this time

Exploded ears bucketed never tasted so sublime

Curtains pull back tingling your reactions

The suspense of the debut grows with each attraction

It’s arrived in your sight as the lights are dimmed slowly

A showtime of wonder that unites all from loved to the lonely

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Inspired by the Haunted Wordsmith’s Story starter challenge prompt – “The lights dimmed slowly.”

Genre Writing Challenge~ Download

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A notebook and a pen never looked so good to Amanda Wells right now. She hated them both in high school, reminders of long days filled with constant note-taking and late nights loaded with excessive homework. But, now they were like a pirate’s treasure just dug up on a dessert island. It was important for her to get the story down by hand, that is if anyone normal was even left to read it. She checked out the area, ran over and picked up both items quickly.  She then headed for the nearest hidden place to start writing.

“My name is Amanda Wells. I’m seventeen and probably the last one left alive in my town to write about this.  I can’t say much right now. This is a warning. Whatever you do, DON’T DOWNLOAD THE APP, “FRIENDME2″. Your phone takes over your brain. You become something… weird. I can’t explain now, JUST DON’T DOWNLOAD IT”.

She looked over her shoulder, out from behind the ‘ALL DA TIME” convenience store. It was nighttime and no one was around. Still, Amanda felt uneasy about these  particular surroundings. She closed the notebook and started to run out into the darkness, hoping she wouldn’t be seen by her closest friends. The ones that she had known since the first grade but, were now completely devoid of any humanity and controlled by something sinister.

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Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Writing Challenge 16 prompt

Genre Writing Challenge 13~ Dead Vader

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Billy Holmes had just finished dressing up the deceased body of Todd Sanderson in a full Darth Vader costume. He had snuck into Todd’s hotel room earlier and waited in the closet. When Todd showed up and entered his room, Billy crepted up from behind and strangled him with a belt. Billy then put his belt back on around his waist and started to dress Todd in the costume. The tenth annual “Sci-Fi, Horror and Fantasy” con was currently going on at the Wilshire hotel, where Billy worked. His plan was simple. He would kill Todd, dress him up as Vader and then set up the body sitting somewhere among the hundreds of fans watching new footage of an upcoming “Star Wars’ project being shown in the grand ballroom. If everything went smoothly, no one would uncover an emotionless, still body for hours until after the event was over. By that time, hundreds of potential suspects would have entered and exited the hotel. It was now early morning and Billy had to move quickly to get the body down to the ballroom before the hallways filled up with guests and hotel staff. He finished putting the helmet on Todd’s head and then went outside of the room into the hallway. He wheeled in a large canvas laundry cart large filled with hotel linens. Having been employed at the hotel for three months now, gave Billy free access to move about the employees’ areas with no questions asked. He dumped the newly garbed Todd into the cart, threw in his ‘light saber’ and covered the body up with sheets. He then pushed the cart out of the room, down the hall and into the service elevator.

Once Billy had left Todd sitting up in a row of chairs that had been set-up just for the show, he left the ballroom to go start his shift at work as one of the hotel’s maintenance people. He knew he would have to work his full shift today, before leaving town tonight-if he ran into any trouble. For now, everything was going according to his plan. As far as anyone could tell, a Star Wars fan wanted to be the first to see the film, they got up early and snuck into the ballroom for a good seat. Billy felt confident that this would all work out and went about to start his day as the hotel begin filling up with hundreds of fans dressed in costumes.

Two hours after Todd’s body was set up, a very elaborate, rather large cos-play of ‘Jabba-the-Hutt entered the ballroom. The two fans who were working the long, rubber tail of the costume had misjudged it’s movement and smashed the tail into one of the rows of loose chairs. Todd’s body fell down unto the floor and landed on its side.

The police were called in immediately once it had been determined that the deceased had indeed been the victim of foul play. The Ballroom was sealed off and no one was to allowed to leave the hotel until a full investigation had been conducted. Lt. Daniel Kelso from homicide was called in to lead the hunt for the killer. He began questioning some of the early morning staff of the hotel if they had witnessed the deceased (A Mr. Todd Sanderson according to his driver’s license found in his wallet, along with a lifetime membership card to the “Friends of the force” Star Wars fan club) anywhere near the area.

When it came time for Billy’s questioning, he stuck with one of his rehearsed answers to respond with, if he was to be questioned by anyone. He told Lt. Kelso, “That he did see a man dressed as Darth Vader walking around early in the morning but, that’s all he saw”

Lt. Kelso felt uncomfortable in ruling out Billy as a possible suspect. He had a hunch in his gut about Billy but, really had no concrete reason to hold him there as a suspect. Then, a hotel maid had found something and alerted the police. In Billy’s attempt to rush getting Todd’s body set-up, he had forgotten to take the light saber in the laundry cart. According to Billy’s description, the ‘Darth Vader’ that he saw that was walking around this morning was holding a blue-bladed light saber. Possibly, the same light saber that had been discovered by the maid.

Kelso knew that finding the light saber was merely circumstantial evidence and not enough to incriminate Billy in Todd’s Murder. Any passerby could have left the saber in the laundry bin and it didn’t mean that it belonged to Todd himself. Still, Kelso was positive that Billy was the killer and after a more intensified line of questioning, he finally got billy to breakdown and confess.

As Billy Holmes was handcuffed and led away by police, Patrolman Ed Martino who was friends with Kelso approached with a curious look on his face.

“Lieutenant, How did you know it was him, that he was the killer?”

Kelso looked at him with that mischievous grin of his, like the cat that just swallowed the canary.

“I guess you would have to be a fan of the films, Martino. I happen to be one and Mr. Holmes is not. He admitted to me that he hadn’t seen any of the films”

Martino looked at Kelso, perplexed.

“Huh? I don’t get it. How would being a fan have anything to do with this?”

Kelso stood there for a second, then walked over to the light saber, which was being processed for fingerprints.

“Well, according to the suspect, he saw Darth Vader walking around this morning holding his blue-bladed light saber. This same one that was found in the laundry wagon”.

Kelso nodded down in the direction of the light saber.

“See, Darth Vader’s light saber beam is red. Luke Skywalker’s is blue. There is no way that any die-hard Star Wars fan would dress up as Vader holding Skywalker’s saber. Clearly, someone one dressed the victim up themselves and then moved their body. I suspect by use of the laundry cart”

Martino just stood there in disbelief. He had seen Kelso solve murders before, but not this quickly.

“Come on now…couldn’t the victim just picked up the wrong color light saber?”

Kelso quickly turned to Martino with his eyes widened.

“NEVER! These fans are obsessed with details. Something like that, they would never get wrong. Besides, once Mr. Holmes knew that we found his fingerprints on the saber’s handle, he confessed to everything”

Martino looked down at the crime scene technician who was still dusting for prints.

“But, how did you know his prints would be on the handle?”

Kelso leaned in and whispered.

“Oh, I didn’t. Then again, neither did Mr. Holmes.”

Martino smiled and shook his head.

“You always amaze me, Kelso”.

Kelso waited a second, planning his answer.

“It was nothing. I merely used the force”

Kelso chuckled at his own bad joke, knowing that a non-fan would never understand it. Nor would a non-fan ever get away with murdering Darth Vader either.

Written for the Haunted Wordsmith’s Genre Writing Challenge 13

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/82277260/posts/2241701779

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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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Genre Writing Challenge #2~Coachman’s Abscence

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Malcolm the butler didn’t mind taking over carriage duties once again for this evening, it meant that he got to leave his dull manor job for yet another night out. Normally, this was Phillips the coachman’s job to do but, he had recently abandoned his duties. It had been days since anyone had seen or heard from the man. The horses slowly trotted   down the cobblestone bridge as Malcolm guided them as best as he could being merely a beginner at this. He breathed in the night air, enjoying its freedom away from the stuffiness of Kensington mansion. Darkness surrounded the carriage as it proceeded away from the estate grounds and unto the long country roads towards town. Only the silence of an empty night could be heard under the sound of clopping hooves and rickety wheels.  Malcolm kept his eyes focused on the dirt road ahead of him when he saw something off on the side.  It was a man, waving his arms for Malcolm to stop the carriage.  Malcom pulled up on the reins, bringing the horses to a complete stop.

“Phillips, is that you?”  Malcolm said as he recognized the man to be the missing coachman.  He looked perfectly healthy and dressed ready to come back to work.

“Malcolm! My dear fellow, yes it is me, Phillips. Might I get ride from you back to the manor? It’s quite cold out here and I’ve been lost out here for some time”

“Of course, of COURSE! We’ve all been quite worried about you. Climb aboard, now”

Phillips climbed up the side of the carriage and sat next to Malcolm, who proceeded to motion the horses to get moving again.

“Well, I’m certainly glad to see you, Phillips. Good to see you’re safe, at least” Malcolm’s breath hit the cold air with a puff of frost.

“I’m glad to see you too, Malcolm” Phillips said, as he turned to look at where he was sitting. “There is just one problem”

Malcolm looked over at him away from the road, with a confused look.

“See….you’re sitting in the wrong seat. That’s MY SPOT”.

As Phillips finished his thought, he curled back his lips and lunged towards Malcolm. It didn’t take long for him to plunge his bite into the open neck of Malcolm and drain him dead. The horses stopped moving as Malcolm’s grip reflexively pulled on the reins in his now lifeless clutches.

Written for the Genre Writing Challenge #2 and the Story Starter Challenge prompt.

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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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50- Word Thursday # 12~The Race #themagicshop #50WordThurs

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Jesus,  Buddha, Allah, Shiva and other deities were sitting around simply bored. They had created everything and Now, they just watched over their universe.

They decided to start challenging themselves to different games for amusement.

Today, they ran along the surface of Mother earth’s oceans in one miraculous race.

(49 words)

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Written for The Haunted Wordsmith’s 50 Word Thursday Prompt