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24 Hour Short Story Contest 3rd Place!

November 1, 2020

Here is the link to my story which placed third in the Autumn contest! If you’re a writer and you don’t participate in this contest, you are missing out on a lot of fun! First place pays $300, second place $250 and third place $200. 🙂

My story is titled, “A Matter of Time” The maximum word count was 875.

Making it Right

September 11, 2020

Short stories from writing prompts have made the 24 Hour Short Story Contest one of my favorite writing endeavors. I have two Honorable Mention stories which I will include in this category. I also will resurrect the other contest stories I’ve written along with the prompts, as long as I can find them. My filing system is somewhat less than systematic…

Here is the prompt and story for the Summer 2020 contest!

Prompt:

Their trips to the drive-in movie theater were always
the same. He would fall asleep and she would quietly
leave the vehicle to get popcorn, Milk Duds, and soda.
As she walked back with her goodies, the car-side
speakers stopped and the screen went black, throwing the
entire lot into darkness. She stopped, temporarily
blinded. Then, the screen lit back up again, showing…

 

Making it Right

Stars.

Ethereal, surreal moving stars. They whisked by, silent, like the starfield on Star Trek as the Enterprise sluiced through space.

Vertigo enveloped Jane once she muscled her gaze from where the screen once stood out. Now it enveloped her in a complete view. Her feet stumbled inch by inch as she turned underneath a canopy of moving stars.

She forced her eyes to take in her surroundings. The throwback drive-in’s outer periphery ceased at what once was the tree line. Each vehicle contained bodies, stiff as uncharged robots. Her hands flew to her face, Milk Duds and soda released without sound.

The nonexistent tree line now revealed how the theater grounds blew by stars. One glance at Harold revealed his open mouth, frozen in mid-snore. Panicked, she shot another quick look toward the Milk Duds. Along with the soda, they hung mid-air precisely where she let go of them.

A scream demanded release, but she found she was no longer breathing. Echoes of thousands of arguments against this reality exploded throughout her brain. Her heart should be pounding yet all within her remained calm, just as the moment before the lights flicked out.

Curiosity silenced the cacophony of voices once she reached for the Milk Duds and moved them. When she rescinded her grip, they remained hung, mid-air, as before.

Jane ventured one halting step toward the outer edge where trees once reigned. The movement, she realized, was completely effortless as though she did not need feet and legs. Another step revealed the same sensation. She stopped, turned, and stared directly at her body, statuesque like all the others.

Questions dazed her mind. She feared panic would overtake her. To the contrary, she found her mind handled the queries, mostly with the answer, “How the hell should I know?”

She glided to the drive-in’s horizon. Scraggly grass at the edge of the gravel road circumventing the theater ended in an abrupt view of stars whizzing by below. She controlled another bout of vertigo.

“What would happen if it poked a finger past the edge of the grass?” In her mind she voiced the question, but no sound sprang forth. In fact, she could hear nothing at all. With a tentative motion which she quickly remembered did not involve her body, she tested the illusionary finger experiment.

A sensation flowed through her unlike anything she’d ever known. The closest she could identify the sensation to be involved a “wrongness.”

Jane quickly skirted the outer reaches of her new world. She possessed a ghostly feel about how she could glide and pass through objects. In her first circuit of the grounds, she felt three twinges of “rightness.”

She set out on a second round, stopping at the first sensation. The lure of feeling something external drew her toward a car on the outer edge of the lot. The feeling of “rightness” intensified as she approached, but once at the car, immediate evil halted her forward progress.

She peered in the window of the car. In the back seat, a naked girl lay wide-eyed, duct tape over her mouth, with a knife an inch from her glistening chest. Jane felt a surge of anger, yet delicately she opened the door.

The girl’s head remained resting on the now nonexistent armrest. Jane slid her hands underneath the terrified young woman’s armpits and pulled her out with surprising ease. It appeared that once she concentrated on pulling the girl out, once she touched her, the potential victim’s body took on her own ghostliness.

With the body out of the car, Jane removed the duct tape, recovered a bra, blouse, panties, skirt, and heels. She dressed the mannequin. In an afterthought, Jane turned the attacker onto his back in the seat. She trained the descending knife an inch from his groin and closed the door.

Jane carried the girl to the concession stand. She placed her out of the direct line of sight of anyone yet still amid people. The motionless girl now stood next to the office. Inside, Jane could see a tired-faced woman on the phone.

Jane returned to her circumnavigation of the drive-in; this time more aware of the feeling of “rightness.” The second rightness felt just as the first. As she approached her destination, the sensation grew in strength.

Instead of the feeling evil, the rightness diminished, and a sense of loss overcame her. She again found herself at a car containing a couple, this time occupying the front seat. The man, posed in a beseeching manner, presented a ring to the woman. At first, Jane could not see anything wrong. The woman smiled lovingly, with excited eyes and a fresh tear of joy sneaking from one eye.

The woman’s eyes, however, were drawn to a text on her cell which read, “Dad just died.” Jane snatched the phone, searched through other texts, and found one apparently from her suitor. She typed the words, “Please marry me!” and replaced the phone in her hand.

Satisfied, she returned to her search. The third “rightness” led to another car. This one held a man mid-snore with a lovely, kind-hearted woman perched just outside in the process of dropping some Milk Duds and a soda. The woman, now committed to no more lackluster drive-in movies with someone who did not value her enough to stay awake stepped back into her body…

Writing Prompt Request!!

September 7, 2020

My short story, “Making it Right” won Honorable Mention in the Summer 24 Hour Short Story contest! I decided I would like to write off random prompts just like the contest, therefore I am requesting 2 to 3 sentence writing prompts. Please send them to me either in the comment section on this site or my Facebook Author page, Michael Ray King (Author)

Thank you in advance for your prompts! I will write a 1500 word story based on the prompts I receive, then I will publish them on this site!

 

You Don’t Get to Say Goodbye… Episode 6B

March 5, 2020

In life, childishness and maturity clash internally at times, most often growing up. There’s a transition period where life becomes a muddled, exciting, insane, formative, blur. More goes on within us than we know. Sometimes, decades pass before we realize lessons we learned when we weren’t aware we were being taught.

Connection 101

Ray and Mary Ann swallowed each others’ tongues at every possible juncture the first couple years. They would get naked on every possible occasion that presented itself, which was far too few in Ray’s mind.

Yet, something else was happening. Mary Ann loved many of the things Ray was passionate about. Music, for instance. She loved live concerts. Rock concerts. Heart. ELO. Frampton. The Police. The only minor hiccup was her disdain for Elton John, Ray’s favorite performer. No matter, they had enough common artists to keep the Elton “thing” at a minimum.

Basketball was another commonality. Mary Ann had a passion for basketball, as did Ray. In fact, Ray played ball every chance he could get. Mary Ann did not like it that Ray could easily beat her one-on-one. Ray loved the fact she did not like that. She possessed a competitive nature. She did not like to lose.

After a while, the focus on sex (without intercourse) diminished a bit. Not much, but enough to allow concerts and basketball to infiltrate their days. Ray played on his church men’s basketball team. He was young and the leading scorer for the team. By far a better player than the rest of the players given their prospective ages which were at a minimum double his own age.

Mary Ann had been attending his church rather than the Catholic church of her upbringing. They eventually hatched a plan to petition the team to give her a spot on the team. Eventually, after getting approval from the team, the church and the league, Mary Ann was finally able to play competitive team basketball.

Ray was head-over-heels. She loved music, basketball…AND SEX!!!! Could there be anyone better?

Ray bodied up against Mary Ann as she attempted to post him up on the right block. He loved when she worked to back him down physically. The contact combined two of his three favorite things in life. Now if only they had some background music…

Mary Ann picked up her dribble, She shot a quick-release step back jumper. Ray attempted to adjust out of his pleasure and back into game mode, but the ball sailed over his outstretched fingertips. Nothing but net.

“That’ll teach you not to be so damned horny all the time!” Mary Ann laughed as he tossed her the ball.

Even though he led 16-2, she still talked shit when she scored. “Yeah, well, if you wouldn’t go braless, maybe I could concentrate better. All I want to do is tackle you and have at those puppies!”

“Better watch out, I might just kick your ass!:

Ray lunged at her as she dribbled to her left. Mary Ann attempted to switch dribbling hands but Ray caught the dribble down low. “Kinda tough to kick my ass without the ball!” Ray laughed.

“What are you talking about? I’ve got two balls!” she exclaimed as she cradled his crotch with her right hand. That allowed her left hand, her dominant hand, free to knock the ball out of his grasp.

She didn’t go after the ball. Neither did Ray. They embraced in a sweaty, passionate kiss. Her hand was now down his shorts, stroking up an erection.

“Do you really want to do this here?”

“Why? Scared we’ll get caught?”

“No. I know we’ll get caught. I’m just not sure you want the world to see your tits,” Ray exclaimed as he lifted her jersey over her head.

Quick as a cat, she darted away, extricating her hand and pulling her top back down with the other hand in the same moment. Ray doubled over in laughter. “You’re so bad!”

“Hey! You grabbed my balls first!”

They both burst out laughing, falling into each other in a heap on the court. They laughed for what seemed like hours to Ray, his sides splitting in joyous pain.

Their lips met as soon as the laughter subsided. Ray closed his eyes to savor the moment. Mary Ann popped up in an instant, grabbed the basketball, and dribbled in for a layup. Ray scrambled to rise up and catch her, but came up a couple steps short of stopping the basket.

Mary Ann took the ball back to the top of the key. “Check,” she stated as she tossed him the ball. “And stop pointing that thing at me!” she laughed as she pointed out his erection.

“Hey, you played with him first. Now he wants to join in!”

They went on to finish their game. Time felt infinite. Ray could not imagine a better girlfriend. He could not imagine a better life. All was right with his world.

***

In their third year, sexual escapades took on a more mature level. Ray had endured a year of college away from Mary Ann. They still hung out on weekends, but during the week he stayed in the dorm. Se mailed him a letter ever single day. Sometimes the mailbox would be empty and his spirits would drop. Then there’d be two the next day.

The letters did not say much other than “I love you” in 40,000+ different ways. He could not take being away from her, so his second year of college he moved back in with his mother. The one hour commute was a bit much, but at least they could be together more often.

That first year in the dorm, his roomates threw a birthday party for him. They invited some girls from the girls dorm. Ray bought a couple bottles of Bacardi 151. Everyone drank but Ray. One of the girls got drunk and started coming on to him.

The next thing he knew, they were dancing. Then they were dancing toward the desks. Then behind the desks with the behemoth book shelves built into them forming a wall between them and the other partyers.

They kissed. Ray realized his relationship with Mary Ann just shifted. In fact, this could potentially end a perfectly good relationship. What was he doing!

She kissed him again. His will to resist, weak at best, floundered and died a quick death. Hands headed toward breasts and buttons and…

The girl projectile vomited all over Ray’s chest. The sheer volume of puke impressed and mortified him. The girl stood there, terrified by what just transpired.

Ray could not tell if her pale complexion stemmed from sickness or embarrassment. She ran from the room, out the door and down the hall.

“Great. That’s great for you!” Ray exclaimed as he surveyed his soaked shirt and pants. “I can’t come after you with all this puke on me,” he muttered.

Ray did not hold the incident against her. In fact, he wanted to talk to her. He actually desired to see if they could rekindle the spark which led to the unfortunate event.

Alas, she would not speak with him. She would see him walking toward her and she would change sides of the street to avoid him. Ray decided two things. One, the effort it would take to pursue this girl would be overwhelming. Two, his relationship with Mary Ann was too good to toss away like this, so he decided to tell her what happened.

Mary Ann was none too pleased. When he told her about the puke, Mary Ann smiled. “Got what you deserved! Too bad none of it went in your mouth!”

“Oh my god! That’s nasty!”

“Yeah, well, you would have deserved it if it’d happened!”

In this third year, Ray felt so much more stable. His parents paid for his first year of college. The second year, Ray bought a car so he could commute, and the rest of the money he’d saved by working in high school all went toward tuition.

This year, though, saw many good things happen to ray financially. He’d landed a job as manager of a sporting goods store. He traded his car in for a brand new car, transferred to a college 10 minutes from where he lived, and bought a house by being in the right place at the right time.

Now, Mary Ann had graduated from high school. Despite her mother’s objections, she moved in with Ray. They’d decided they would get married. Again, everything looked so perfect.

There was just one problem…

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