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Evenin', folks!  It's high time to return to weekly writing prompts!  I know it's not Wednesday, but on this quiet Friday night, I hope you're all doing well.  Tonight, you're in for something a little different . . . 

 

Writing prompt: You live alone and have just finished playing your piano. Someone starts clapping for you.

Word count limit: 2,000

 

This can be comedy, drama, fantasy, thriller, and even horror!  I look forward to seeing what you come up with. I promise, I'm gonna try to get to it myself over the weekend.  Well, have at it, and happy writing!

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   Thank you Grey_Skies:

   It looks like you've thrown us a curve.  Coming up with any kind of a plot will have to be given a lot of thought.  Since I'm the one who made the request for another writing prompt, I'm not going to complain.  I'll be exercising my mind, which is always a good thing.

   It's now time to start thinking.  

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I'll give this a go....

 

I just finished playing my piano last night and out of the blue I heard clapping. Living alone on a quiet street; this was unusual and a bit scary. I got up from my piano, walked throughout my condo but saw no one. I also looked out at my patio and again, nothing. 

I returned to my living room and to my astonished eyes I saw an angel! She was tall, strong-looking, beautiful and smiling. She said, "Toni, that was beautiful! When you arrive in Heaven, you will be playing piano with hundreds more. We can always use another pianist. See you then!" Seconds later, she vanished.

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21 hours ago, Toni Star said:

I returned to my living room and to my astonished eyes I saw an angel! She was tall, strong-looking, beautiful and smiling. She said, "Toni, that was beautiful! When you arrive in Heaven, you will be playing piano with hundreds more. We can always use another pianist. See you then!" Seconds later, she vanished.

 

Toni, for real? 😲

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Thank you, Lynn. This is amazing because the words flowed effortlessly and as i wrote I remembered what my brother-in-law said when my mom was dying. Seconds after mom died, he saw two angels lifting her from the hospital bed. And, I recall reading many times in the Bible how God sent angels down from Heaven to help David and others in the Bible. Everyone has an angel and that is so comforting; especially with what is going on in the world. Apparently, some can see angels. It must be a wondrous and comforting sight!

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Of course, the above words are fictional--used only as a writing prompt; however, it is true what my brother-in-law said about seeing two angels lifting my mom toward Heaven. In another instance, while lying in bed one night facing upcoming surgery, I felt that I saw  a vision near my bed and it gave me great comfort and peace. The vision was white in appearance and it gave me a peaceful feeling. I was no longer afraid of the surgery. What my brother-in-law said, I believe was true, because he was and is a shy person--not one to lie or boast of what he saw. It gave me great comfort what he said because my mom was a quiet and good person, who suffered emotionally and physically the last 10 years of her life. God certainly works in wondrous and lovely ways! Praise God!

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Here's my sort-of-autobiographical story.

 

 

When my pump organ came home, all repaired and everything working, I felt the need to celebrate by writing its story. With some research on the time it was created and the little I knew about where it had provided music, I created characters around it.

 

Amanda was the organist at the instrument’s first church. She was young and talented. Her fingers flew over the keys, creating music that mine could only consider in my dreams. She loved that organ and cared for it as a child. 

 

A writer is the parent of all her characters, but Amanda became real to me. I sometimes even quoted her as though she were a friend, which she was.

 

Time passed, and I moved on to other writing projects. I continued to practice—I never reached the point where my practicing was playing, even when I played for church.

 

One Sunday afternoon, my fingers pressed the keys with a joy they seldom exhibited. They touched the proper keys in order and in the proper rhythm. A half hour passed as I relished this unusual ability. My only audience consisted of the four-legged animals lying around on the floor. 

Into the third verse of “Rock of Ages,” I felt a presence in the room. Not the cats, not the dog, but a human presence. I heard someone clapping.

 

The door had not opened. The windows were shut to keep out the cold. Nobody could have come in. Four-leggeds do not clap. Sometimes a cat might jump up on the bench beside me, or the dog might put his paws on the middle of my back. But they had never clapped.

 

I knew without turning around that it was Amanda. For that short period of time, I had met her expectations for playing her pump organ.

Edited by carolinamtne
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1 hour ago, carolinamtne said:

Here's my sort-of-autobiographical story.

 

 

When my pump organ came home, all repaired and everything working, I felt the need to celebrate by writing its story. With some research on the time it was created and the little I knew about where it had provided music, I created characters around it.

 

Amanda was the organist at the instrument’s first church. She was young and talented. Her fingers flew over the keys, creating music that mine could only consider in my dreams. She loved that organ and cared for it as a child. 

 

A writer is the parent of all her characters, but Amanda became real to me. I sometimes even quoted her as though she were a friend, which she was.

 

Time passed, and I moved on to other writing projects. I continued to practice—I never reached the point where my practicing was playing, even when I played for church.

 

One Sunday afternoon, my fingers pressed the keys with a joy they seldom exhibited. They touched the proper keys in order and in the proper rhythm. A half hour passed as I relished this unusual ability. My only audience consisted of the four-legged animals lying around on the floor. 

Into the third verse of “Rock of Ages,” I felt a presence in the room. Not the cats, not the dog, but a human presence. I heard someone clapping.

 

The door had not opened. The windows were shut to keep out the cold. Nobody could have come in. Four-leggeds do not clap. Sometimes a cat might jump up on the bench beside me, or the dog might put his paws on the middle of my back. But they had never clapped.

 

I knew without turning around that it was Amanda. For that short period of time, I had met her expectations for playing her pump organ.

That's amazing, @carolinamtne!  Great story, thanks for sharing.  I love it!

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Hope it's not too late.

 

The dark haired man at the piano stopped his song suddenly. He stretched his shoulders to relieve the tension that had built up while he played.

A strong slow clapping behind him caused him to straighten his posture.

"You know why I am here. Let's not make this harder than it needs to be."

The man at the piano nodded, not turning around. Footsteps approached from behind and two hands encircled his neck and then pulled back leaving a steel and emerald amulet lying against his wide chest.

"You must complete this challenge in one hour." The voice said in a husky voice near to tears. "The Lord bless you my friend."

Edited by nbunney
Grammar!
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21 hours ago, nbunney said:

Hope it's not too late.

 

The dark haired man at the piano stopped his song suddenly. He stretched his shoulders to relieve the tension that had built up while he played.

A strong slow clapping behind him caused him to straighten his posture.

"You know why I am here. Let's not make this harder than it needs to be."

The man at the piano nodded, not turning around. Footsteps approached from behind and two hands encircled his neck and then pulled back leaving a steel and emerald amulet lying against his wide chest.

"You must complete this challenge in one hour." The voice said in a husky voice near to tears. "The Lord bless you my friend."

Hey, it's never too late!  😉  Very cool!  Thanks for participating.  Now I want to know what happens next!

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Okay, how do I punctuate this sentence?

 

Again his eyes slipped to the wall at the back: A chain hauberk with attached hood, Sturdy leather pants, hobnailed boots, a green cape that bore his family crest over the breast. A belt with three sheaths, one on the left hip for his sword gleaming coldly in this light; one for the mace, black as night; one across his back for his dagger.

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Okay, here is the draft of the story.

 

Okay, here is the draft of the story.

 

The dark-haired man at the piano stopped his song suddenly.  He stretched his shoulders to relieve the tension that had built up while he played.

 

A strong clapping behind him caused him to straighten his posture.

 

"You know why I am here."

 

The man at the piano nodded, not turning around. Footsteps approached from behind and two hands encircled his neck and then pulled back leaving a steel amulet lying against his wide chest.

 

"You must complete this challenge in one hour." The mysterious stranger said in a husky voice near to tears. "Bless you, my friend."

 

Jason stood from his piano and stretched again. One hour left him time to investigate, prepare, and then, hopefully, finish the challenge. He walked down the hall to the door at the very end. It only opened when he was wearing the amulet. He had tried to open it at other times but to no avail, it was simply sealed. Opening the door revealed an impossibly long hallway. The other end should be in his garden, clearly, this door leads to another place.

 

Swinging open silently the door revealed the hall of portals. Jason froze. The door at the end of the hall was illuminated. It had always been one of the side doors, never the final one. Gold, Green, Red, Orange, Silver, Pewter doors slid by to the left and right, each with a glowing frame and a clear glass panel, but the one at the end had no window, nothing to peer through to see what was beyond. As he approached the door at the end of the hallway began to glow brighter, the blue luminance near blinding as he neared. As he reached out to touch the door he felt the pull.

 

He retreated and moved up the hallway finding brief solace in the lack of strangeness of his own home. A quick left turn and then a door to his right led into the armory.  He removed his clothes and then dressed in his ancestral armor. A chain hauberk slid easily over his muscled body. He stepped into his sturdy leather pants and hob-nailed boots. The cool feel of the blue cape that bore his family crest as it slid around his shoulders was comforting. Lastly he equipped the belt with three sheaths: the one on the left hip for his sword which gleamed coldly in this light, one on his right hip for the black mace, one across his lower back for his sharp silver dagger.

 

He moved quickly now, no reason to waste time.  Standing again before the blue door he ran his hand over the gold stitching above his heart. Generations of Bonnes had worn this cape, and it was not the least bit frayed. Prepared he reached out his hand and touched the door.

 

###

 

When the sense of disorientation left him he found himself standing in the snow. He knew this place; the low wall, the street before him. But he did not know this when. The wall was in near perfect repair, the road was fresh with spilled hay and animal dung. He also did not know this sound, gone was the rumble of the factory, gone was the distant roar of the motorway. The smell was strange too it was earthy, wholesome.

 

A hand touched him from behind, he could not be certain but he thought it was the hand that bore the amulet.

 

"Good, I am glad you are ready lad. Tonight the Bonnes make their stand."

 

Yes, the voice was the same.

 

He turned slowly to view the face behind the voice he had heard so many times.

 

A face that he recognized but did not know stared back at him. Pieces of his grandfather and of his father but neither of them. The man wore the same clothes and weapons he did.

 

"Come, follow me."

 

He lead him around the corner to the entrance to the family estate. The wood on the gate doors looked nearly new like everything else. Then he saw it, eight other men of the Bonne line, all dressed like him, all a little confused.

 

"I am Arthur Bonne, and I have a need tonight, a need I have prepared near a lifetime for. I am the one who built the hall and the doors, I built them to train you, and in the end to call you here tonight. Not every firstborn son is here, not all answered the call, and some answered but proved too weak. But each of you has passed the tests and stands here ready.

 

"This night is All Hollows Eve, The year of our Lord 1600, and tonight you are called to defend your birthright, to defend the Bonne ancestral home. This began with a witch my father dallied with. I cast her out after he died but she left a terrible curse behind that comes due tonight. But enough words, I feel them coming now."

 

Across a cold and fallow field, a line of creatures approached. They limped and waddled, they lowed and screamed, they glared and they cowered, but they all came. It looked as if every evil thing that lived under every cursed rock and in every blasted hole had arisen tonight and was coming here.

 

The men had formed themselves into a line, standing before the gate to their home, a home that each, in turn, had ruled. Faces were grim and firm. These evil beings would not pass, they would not defile our home.

 

Suddenly the shambling mass of dark creatures moved into a jog, and then a run, soon they were crashing into the defenders.

 

Jason had drawn his sword and mace so when the line closed, his sword arm was already arcing downward cleaving through the skull of a birdlike man. His mace blocked its clawed hands as they darted for his neck. He spun before the dark thing had dropped jerking the sword out of the shattered skull of his enemy. A werewolf was already mid-swing when Jason saw on him. He attempted to dodge but the blow still caught him and lifted him from his feet. The beast was quick to follow his victim dropping on top of him and raking its claws across his chain-mailed chest.

 

The creature was perched on Jason's mace arm and he had lost the sword in his fall, but he reached to the small of his back, extracting the silver knife that was hidden there. He brought it up and struck but the creature was too quick, knocking his blow aside easily.

 

A familiar mace suddenly appeared arcing down to crush the lycanthrope's skull. A hand pulled the furred body away from him and then offered him a hand up, the smiling face seeming as familiar as his own. Jason quickly sheathed his dagger and retrieved his sword entering the fray a second time.

 

He watched in despair a man in a flue cape fell under the weight of three attackers, his wails piercing the night. Jason and his silent savior rushed to assist but by the time they had killed the attackers their fellow heir lay dead eyes staring cold and sightless at the night. Looking around they could see some cleanup going on but the defenders had stood. Four lay dead but six still stood. A cheer began to rise but fell again as they heard a great thumping stomp erupt behind them. Approaching from the field was a giant. It was girded for war with two axes as long as Jason was tall.

The defenders tensed, here was a true horror, twenty feet tall, arms banded in steel with muscles visible under tanned skin. Eyes black without any white, white teeth gleaming in a tight grimace. As one, the remaining defenders rushed the giant. They flew forward, wordless battle cries erupting from their mouths. The man to His left was cut in two by a mighty blow as Jason darted between the monster's two tree-like legs hacking with dagger and sword as he ran past. He spun and hacked at the back of the giant's knee, severing a tendon causing it to fall to one knee. But the creature was not finished, it screamed and flailed about it on every side catching Jason on the side of his head with the haft of one of his axes. The world faded to black even before his body crumpled to the ground.

 

###

 

Jason awoke in his armory, he lay not sprawled but neatly arranged on the floor. Getting up he walked to the front door still dressed for battle. The gates to the manor house stood, in all of their aged glory. Jason heard the distant sound of the motorway and sighed.

 

He returned to the piano and resumed his song.

Edited by nbunney
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Mmmm. I like the way you changed the war apparel from hanging on the wall to putting it on. That helps the reader understand what each is, in case we don't know what a hauberk is. It also gives us a helpful bit of description of the piano player.

 

16 hours ago, nbunney said:

These evil beings would not pass, they would not defile our home.

Suggest: Either These evil beings will not pass; they will not defile our home (as thought), or These evil beings would not pass; they would not defile this home.

"our" does not fit with the rest of the story being third person. "will" or "must" with italics lets the men think these words and avoids the possible confusion of "they" and "their."

 

Does he have any after-effects from the battle? If he were unconscious for the rest, he might have at least a lingering headache.

 

Doing the scene entirely from his point of view is good, but it does seem to cut it short too soon. Perhaps he could be semiconscious and hear the sounds of the battle raging around him.

Edited by carolinamtne
added a thought
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