Day 1 —Select a book at random in the room. Find a novel or short story, copy down the last sentence and use this line as the first line of your new story.
“For a moment, he thought he heard a woman’s voice…the wisdom of the ages…whispering up from the chasms of the earth.”
(The Da Vinci Code)
For a moment, he thought he heard a woman’s voice…the wisdom of the ages…whispering up from the chasms of the earth.
His vision blurred into a constant state of dizzying motion, and for the life of him, he could not tell what was up from down anymore. His mind was blank, for the first time in ages; he could not bring himself to do anything about it.
Why would he, when everything he had ever held dear to him had been ripped away from him in front of his very own eyes?
In his mind’s eye, he could still hear the screams of agony; he could still see the fury in his best friend’s eye, boring holes into the back of his head, blaming him for everything…
…he could still feel the warmth of a child’s soft embrace, wrapped around his torso, following his movements everywhere, as if it were afraid that he would soon forget everything about it once it chose to let go.
Fat chance of that happening, he snorted.
For what little time remained in his own miserable life, he would never, could never, let himself forget about the one thing that anchored him to this world.
He closed his eyes then, the only thing he could physically manage to do in his weakened state, and let himself remember…
Of times when he would wake up to childish laughter, to the soft pitter patter of feet shuffling towards him and whining, “Mooommy, Daddy won’t wake up! Should we bathe him in bed?”
Of times when he would lay down on his (then) wife’s lap, whispering things that would make her blush prettily, a sight he had already forgotten and thrown away.
Of a time when he’d spent two days straight in the hospital, barely eating and barely sleeping, too nervous to move from the uncomfortable steel chairs that were supposed to be the waiting area. And when the doctor finally, finally, emerged, her grin as wide as a painted doll, telling him, “Congratulations, she’s a girl!”
(He could remember fainting right then and there, too relieved and joyous and nervous and everything all at once.
“Yah, you idiot husband of mine! I was the one in labor for twenty hours? Why are you the one fainting and crying?”)
He smiled faintly.
He had lived a good life, a happy life. A life he was proud to have had with the two people he loves (loved, he corrected wryly) the most.
He was a despicable man, he knew that, but no, that didn’t seem to reflect in his daughter’s eyes, which were huge and innocent and filled with child-like wonder at everything surrounding her, who loves (loved) her father and regarded him as an international hero (a belief he fervently encouraged).
He was a despicable man.
But perhaps…by willingly throwing himself for the sake of his family…perhaps then he could still hope to remain a hero in his child’s, his wonderful sweet child’s, eye.
He grinned, laughing heartily, as he let himself fall….
…towards the sweet earth, falling falling falling down into nature’s sweet embrace. His head hit the dirt first, pain shooting up his entire body. He took no mind of this, for who was he to still have control of his own body? Sooner or later, control will be ripped away from him too…
His body tumbled into the ground, pain evident everywhere.
Well of course, he thought, what else did you expect from throwing yourself from a vehicle moving at 50km/hour?
He lay on the ground, smiled, and looked at the horde of infected zombies hurling themselves for a chance to bite him.
They won’t be getting my daughter. They’d have to go over my dead body.
He laughed again, feeling his control slowly slipping away through his fingers, and closed his eyes.