…there was a group of writerly friends — you know the type. Friends who had aspirations to literary greatness. One of these friends had the brilliant idea of posting three words as a prompt every day, and those participating would write 100 words of an ongoing story incorporating those three words. The friends thought that was a marvelous idea, and all took turns posting three words. At the end of a month, each friend ended up with an unusual and entertaining 3k word story.
Although sometimes time was tight and inspiration lacking, most of the participants did indeed finish their stories. Some couldn’t tie everything up in one month (not mentioning any names, ahem) and continued their story for several months. Others were much better about it and finished a story every month. A good time was had by all. The brilliant originator still carries on now and then to this day, and even put together some PDFs of all the original work. Some funny, funny shiz-niz and hilarity has ensued.
Special thanks to Dave Burton, for shepherding us and keeping us motivated and on track.
For your entertainment, I present you with the first story I wrote for 3Words, complete and unedited. I could have bolded the three words given every day, but I think you can tell anyway. Heh. Instead, I’ve included the listing after the story.
Here it is naked. It was a blast to write, and I hope it’s as much fun to read.
Marissa put the fish in his sock and sunk it down the well like the witch had told her. The full moon shone brightly in her liquid eyes, pulling out tears like strings of pearls.
She swayed to an unearthly lullaby, stretching her slim arms over her head towards the unbelievable moonlight. Her small feet moved in an intricate dance over the fragrant petals of gardenias, tissue-soft against her soles.
Marissa danced in mystery against the infection in her head. She danced in supplication, for mercy, until her feet throbbed with weariness. She bent, scooped up a handful of colourless sand and clenched it tightly.
She released the sand into the cool night air, watching it shimmer and fall to earth. “Thee art my ticket,” she whispered, while her heart railed against the black bitch-witch working the intricate, delicate spell.
Moving to the beach, Marissa retrieved a cushion of sea teeth she had fashioned from a worn pair of her beloved’s work pants. She held it close and inhaled, his masculine scent filling her nostrils.
From her hiding place beneath the banana-shaped rock, she pulled out her velvet spell bag. She knew it was a race to finish in time. He was depending on her; she couldn’t let him down.
Rummaging in her velvet bag, her trembling fingers closed upon the potion bottle wedged sideways between his picture, framed in tiny bones, and the spell book. Waves pounded a musical rhythm against the sandy beach.
She drank down the secret potion and chanted the words of power, the cumbersome syllables falling like stones from her dry lips. She drew the ancient symbols of protection and invocation with her pointed dagger.
The spell completed, seawater swelled until it exploded, drenching Marissa in salty tears cried over millennia.
To her credit she continued her chanting, never stopping even as she ducked the worst of the deluge.
Out of the heaving waves appeared the face of a man, framed by sea-foam, with dark hair and large, expressive eyes. His mouth was a rictus of agony as he fell back into the water.
“From the grip of she that holds you, I command thee!” shouted Marissa over the scream of the waves. “From the ash of a seared heart, as cheese from the wheel, I do claim thee!”
The man’s face reappeared, scarred with pain, his arms flailing. “Your friend needs thee – the grave plot closed to thee – return to those that love thee most!” Marissa’s voice was hoarse with salt and heartache.
Pulling out her jewelled dagger, she drew it down the inside of her left arm, a long line of heart’s blood dripping to the damp sand that shifted beneath her feet. The demon wind howled.
As soon as her blood hit the sand, the wind hushed to a murmur. Marissa’s body went stiff, locked to the earth. The angry sea disgorged its prisoner; a single tear snuck down Marissa’s cheek.
Unable to move, Marissa watched as a luminous ball of blue light danced over the still water and over the prone figure of the man. She saw him breathing as the light winked over him.
The clear blue light brushed over his hair and down the length of his body, illuminating the bleached pieces of driftwood strewn about. A mild breeze caressed Marissa’s skin; dried the tears upon her cheeks.
Marissa tried to move but the solid earth held her fast and all she could do was watch and wait. Months of preparation and sacrifice had sucked tears of blood from her. Her world trembled.
The light emitted a bright ray that struck Marissa resulting in her silhouette appearing as a shadow on the sand, bookmarking her place in one reality when another beckoned, seduced and demanded payment in full.
She heard the man pull in a tearing breath, saw him raise his head and blink furiously against the light. Her heart pumping double time, she became aware of an unexpected and heart-stopping call.
A crystal horn sounded as the man gained his feet. The blue light caressed him still, as if loathe to give up according to plan. He leaned his head back and voiced a thrilling answer.
A loud moan escaped him as the blue light fondled him. A red floor of tiny sea creatures formed under the man and flowed over his legs, up on to his torso. The light pulsed.
The sea creatures covered the man completely. Marissa was torn between loss and hope, watching this transformation. The selfish side of her dreaded this drastic resolution, knowing deep down inside there was no other way.
As the man changed, creatures swarmed, creating a new schnizzle. He sneezed several times, shaking the creatures but not dislodging them. “Gesundheit,” Marissa whispered, wishing she had become a wino before getting to this point.
The man continued to writhe, and Marissa knew she would remember how the red sea creatures fluttered against his flesh for the rest of her life. Oops – that probably wasn’t going to be for long.
She had not lost all – he’d survive. This was her purpose, why she’d paid the price demanded of her. The wind freshened and feeling returned to her numb body. She lunged toward where he lay.
Marissa screamed at the searing pain in her legs, as she bumped her toe against a half-buried rock in the wet sand. Her heart wanted to fly to his side, but her body betrayed her.
As bad as she wanted to reach his side, a giant ladybug trundled onto the beach and barred her way. Marissa fell to the sand as her reality started to fray at the seams.
She became blind to any and everything around her as colors merged and textures faded. The only thing that was left was love… she clung desperately to that in her journey to the next awaiting reality.
~ * ~
BIO: Nayskya is a four hundred year-old Russian mermaid who has given up her career of inseminating oysters to produce pearls in order to pursue a caree in fiction. She has no legs but has been known to knock out ten men at one blow of her powerful tail. She enjoys listening to the song of the whales and her hobbies include seduction, swimming with the dolphins and diving wrecks. She prefers swimming in cold waters, is studying English as her seventy-seventh language, and her greatest wish is for world peace.
Sock, fish, sunk
Unbelievable, tissue, lullaby
Mystery, head, infect
Bitch, ticket, shimmer
Cushion, teeth, pants
Banana, bag, race
Sideways, bottle, frame
Point, cumbersome, secret
Explode, duck, credit
Out, fall, boys
Cheese, grip, ash
Plot, friend, scar
Shift, damp, long
Lock, snuck, hush
Dancing, wink, balls
Brush, mild, bleach
Suck, wait, try
Result, bookmark, silhouette
Pump, blink, tear
Plan, horn, lean
Fondle, moan, floor
Torn, side, cover
Wino, gesundheit, schnizzle
Remember, oops, flutter
Lunge, wind, lost
Bump, fly, scream
Bar, bug, bad
Blind, love, any