Figment Daily Themes: Notes

Running in the night, chasing a trail of words.


Sometime before 4am, when the city is just about dead and the sky is as black as it gets. No stars, no moon, just the underside of a permanent overcast looming over the skyscrapers like jagged mountains.

Trees frame the scene, leaning over a jogging trail that’s getting lost in the undergrowth. It’s a big park and this isn’t the best trail to push your $400 jogging shoes down.

JOSH WHEELAN is running. Running straight at us and by in a flash. His eyes are huge, his breath is coming fast, and he’s sweating. He dressed in a hurry and it looks it, shirt buttoned uneven, shorts askew, shoes barely tied (and definitely not $400 trainers).

At a bend, he slumps against a tree and looks at the STICKY NOTE he has folded in half in his sweaty hand.


Josh wheezes and grits his teeth. Looks around with a steady intensity.

Another NOTE is stuck to the next tree along the path. All it has on it is an arrow pointing further along and the word “FASTER”.

You son of a bitch. You can’t have her. Do you hear me! You can’t have her!

He takes off running into the dark.


The sun has started thinking about creeping its way up high enough to light the sky, but hasn’t quite found the will. It’ll be hours yet before this alley sees enough light to be a place normal people would deign to visit. It runs behind a couple of restaurants and even at this hour, BILLY HALE is out taking a smoke break instead of doing the baking prep.

Josh hurtles around the far ends of the alleyway, still breakneck, though his SCRATCHES AND BRUISES to his face and hands tell he hasn’t had any easier time of it. He SLAMS into a DUMPSTER and just hangs there as if impaled on the edge, catching his breath.

Billy looks up from the cigarette, juggles whether or not to get involved. Could be a junky or a scam. It’s still pretty early, though.

Hey man, you okay?

Josh looks up slowly as if he can’t believe someone’d be talking to him.

You — seen a note around here?

A — note. Like a folded up —

No, man, I mean like a sticky note. Probably yellow.

Billy notices the wads of yellow (and a few pink and blue) sticky notes folded in half and stuffed into the pockets of Josh’s shorts. Starts putting out the cig.

Nope, ain’t seen nothin’. Don’t know nothin’. Don’t really want to know nothin’.

Josh has been methodically stalking down the alley, scanning every nook and cranny. Billy backs toward the door to the bakery slowly.

Motherfucker took my mom. Took my _mom_, you understand? I’ve been chasing his goddamn notes across the goddamn city all night. I’ll find him. I’ve got to.

Billy is intrigued, despite better judgement. Steps forward, just a bit.

Who took your mom? Didn’t you call the cops?

Josh stops in his tracks. “Someone wants to help” is an idea he hadn’t had until now. He takes a long moment picking through some of the notes, then smooths one and then another out, then steps toward Billy, holding them forward.

Billy takes them both.


“COPS” With the universal sign for no over it.

He looks concerned but skeptical.

This looks like some bullshit to me. Who would want to take your mom? And why — all this?

Josh crumples the notes back into his pocket with an air of defeat.

I don’t know. I don’t know. We were going to have a nice dinner, just she and I. Catch up on old times, you know? Family shit. Then I got to her apartment, opened the door, and it was a mess. Like a fight, y’know?


Don’t think he was there. But there were all these notes, though. Least ten of them. All through the place, down the hallway… I hadn’t noticed them on the way in.

But who’d want to do something this crazy?
Are you into drugs?

Billy edges back ever so slightly.

Josh just looks him square in the face.

Would you believe I’m the great grandson and heir of Moriarty, from the Sherlock Holmes stories?

Billy looks square back.


Good, because that’d be bullshit. I move drugs for the Zapatos.

Oh thank God. Far better than being any of that fictional otherkin bullshit.

Josh picks a note off the side of the next door down like a bird of prey.

“INSIDE.” Great. You know —

Jewelry store. There’s going to be an ugly alarm on that thing.

How long until the Keystone Kops show up around here?

This time of morning? Two, three minutes?


He lays a sweaty hand on the door handle and JERKS.

Nothing. Pitch black inside, too.

Figures. You in?

Billy dusts his hands off on his apron.

I’ve been waiting for an excuse to quit this shit job all month. I hate getting up early, right?

Josh heads into the jewelry store as Billy moves quickly behind.

But I am _not_ going to be Moriarty’s thug henchman. That guy always gets killed.

The door closes with a dull thud.

Figment Daily Themes-April 04, 2017

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Write about a character who finds a series of notes containing one word each.
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