NaNoWriMo: Short Story Edition 2018

Introduction

National Novel Writing Month meets Inktober with NaNoWriMo — Short Story Edition.

The intention is to give you an excuse to create a writing habit. And selfishly, I want to become a better storyteller, which means lots of practice.

I put together a list of prompts for the month of November. Each day of the month has a different prompt. It’s up to you how you interpret that.

Crowded

She can’t break up with me!

I step out into fourth avenue, street lamps glowing like giant fireflies in formation up and down the street, bracing myself to be bitten by the wind. But there’s only the still cold inking through my ankles. I lower my lapel. Quicken my pace. Should have worn wool. Why didn’t she scream at me? Anger is a much warmer companion.

Left, right, left.

I round the first corner. Only three more of these to return home. Home is where the hearth is. Home is where I can stuff myself into the covers. Her smell is in those covers. Suffocating —

Left, right — my left foot stopped by something.

I do a single-footed hop over the obstruction while turning to find a black dog. It’s just sitting there! I grumble my obscenities at it and it simply stares at me with its blue eyes. Blue eyes? No, hers are blue. I cross the empty street and my heartbeat pounds in my ears. Or is that music?

Two corners to go.

Hairs stand up on my neck. Some things are best ignored. I press onward, looking both ways before crossing. A single car hurls through the intersection, but squeals its tires and sharply changes course straight into a lamp post, knocking out the light.

Smoke hisses out of the engine and there are silhouettes in the drivers seat. They’re moving. Barely. But why did they lose control so quickly? Did something block their — I knew the answer before I could think it. Following the tire tread left on the road backwards, lead straight to the dog. Black with its unmistakable blue eyes.

It stared back.

The driver stumbled out, looking back at the dog, or towards the dog. Then he turned to me. “Are you okay?”

The dog stepped towards me. My heartbeat pounded in my ears, or was that music?

I ran.

Around the third corner. Past a line of traffic cones. These shouldn’t be here. My heartbeat getting louder, then people. Lots of people. All crowded around the final corner. Right beneath my apartment. They were jumping.

Behind me, the dog had broken into a run. Blue eyes bouncing.

The crowd stopped my progress. The music deafened my heart beat. Something from the roof? I pressed through. No time for niceties. Get out of the way! Why won’t they leave me alone!

The dog slipped through the crowd unnoticed.

Getting closer.

Pushed through a couple, tearing them apart. They’ll just reattach. Almost through. I can see my door. My toes catch her stiletto. It suddenly became the fulcrum for the ground the rotate around. WHAM! My face hit it. Something warm trickled out of my nose.

The dog now loomed large, climbed over my body. Those blue eyes. I can’t look at them.

I couldn’t move. The music continued, but the jumping crowd seemed to part away from me. For a moment, I’m Moses. But Moses never killed a dog.

The blue eyes again. I don’t want to look, but I have to now. The dog cocked its head to the side, breathing calmly. Still staring at me. It’s blue eyes speak of neglect. Maybe I want to look. Maybe I can do something.

Nick Ritter
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13 min
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8 cards

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