Writing Prompt: There Were Three of Them

December 5, 2014

So, I've decided to start using writing prompts at the beginning of my writing sessions. Not necessarily to get me going on my WIP again (though I will be doing that too), but just to get me writing in general. While I'm not going to make myself write past the initial flash of interest on any of these, I've found writing prompts to be helpful in the past, and some of them have even carried forward into entire stories.

Today's writing prompt was to write a story that starts with the line ‘There were three of them.' And I must say I'm somewhat pleased with what I turned out. It's definitely not a story, but it has the makings of one. It could even be a novel someday.

But for now, here it is, in all it's rough, unedited glory:

There were three of them. All dressed in hoodies and ripped jeans, their heads bent down over their text books as they pretended to study along with the rest of the class. They looked ordinary enough, with neatly trimmed haircuts and bland, unremarkable faces – the kind of kids you’d wouldn’t even give a second glance.

But Christine knew them for what they really were.


She’d seen them file in during homeroom, and for a moment she thought maybe they were just new students. She'd just been about to dismiss them, but then she noticed that not one of the other students was looking at or talking to these newcomers. Her classroom seemed to flow around these three like water, almost as if they didn’t exist, which was highly unusual. Ordinarily, the arrival of a new kid sparked glances and whispered conversation, if not outright attempts to welcome or converse with them, and the fact that these three seemed practically invisible was enough to make the hair rise on the back of Christine's neck.
One of the monsters – the blond one, glanced up as if to check the clock. Christine didn’t miss that his worksheet was completely blank, nor the way his eyes scanned the room. Surreptitiously, she turned her head toward the bulletin board to her left and relaxed her eyes, perceiving him through her peripheral vision.
As before, his features instantly changed; his hair became longer and stringier, his face growing gaunt and turning a pale shade of blue. His brown eyes now burned with orange fire, and his lips widened, revealing rows of shark-like teeth. Fighting back a shudder, Christine glanced away from the bulletin board and the boy’s face returned to normal, just as before.
“Ms. Fusco, is there somewhere else you’d rather be right now?” Ms. Flanagan rapped her knuckles sharply against her desk, and the entire class swiveled their heads around to look at Christine, including the monsters. “I see there seems to be something more important than your worksheet.”
“N-no, Ms. Flanagan.” Christine lowered her eyes, her face flushing. “I was just trying to work through a problem in my head.”
“Well that won’t do,” Ms. Flanagan scrunched up her bird-like nose, causing her glasses to slide down the bridge of her nose. She gave Christine a stern glare, then pushed them back up. “I expect you to use your scratch paper if you need to work something out.”
“Yes Ms. Flanagan. It won’t happen again.” Christine ducked her head, returning her eyes to her paper. Her pulse was pounding in her ears as though she’d just done a set of laps around the track.
Smooth move, attracting the attention of the entire class, an inner voice snapped. Now the monsters have taken notice of you.
Flicking her eyes ahead, her heart nearly stopped as she noticed one of them had turned his head and stared at her directly. She immediately looked away, but she felt his eyes stay on her for several more seconds before he, too, turned back to his work.
There was no doubt about it now. She was definitely going to have to kill them.

Do you use writing prompts? If so, have you found them helpful in boosting your creative juices? Would love to hear your thoughts.

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