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Making Monday Interesting, Hopefully.

Let’s make Monday a little more interesting. ::grin::

The GGD writing challenge. Up to it? Need a reference? Previous challenges are here and here.

Starting points are provided below. You can use one or any combination of the three if you like. Whatever works.

Word: Clarity
Phrase:”I’ve never been intentionally malicious.”
Image: A red blinking voicemail indicator.

You write whatever you like using that starting point and see what comes. (Note, no rules on length, content, whatever. Just see what happens)

p.s. As always, tell a friend and read the comments ;-)


  1. Cole couldn’t quite make himself look up at the man. He just waited for him to continue.
    “I could tell you that their sacrifice… your sacrifice… saved countless lives. That your family deserves to be memorialized, lionized on a dozen worlds. But I know that it wouldn’t matter. And that it won’t matter. Because as soon as I leave here, you’ll never even know that you knew them. That, other than in my own memory, the universe will have forgotten them.”
    “Because they were never there to be remembered, right?” Cole asked. He meant for the words to come out hard and angry. Instead, they were grey, empty, lifeless.
    “Exactly so,” said the man, not unkindly. “Please pick up your phone, Mr. Mason. On it you’ll find the last message that your family left for you. I’m afraid that it isn’t much. But you deserve to hear them one last time, and they deserve to be grieved for before it’s too late.”
    Cole brought the phone to his ear, pushed the button, and listened.
    “Hi, hon! You’re so not gonna believe what’s happened while you’ve been in Chicago! I can’t tell it to you now, not over the phone, but, believe me, it’s really wild! Now, I know that you’re not supposed to be back until Thursday, so Lissa and I are going on a little trip. I’ve been assured that we’re gonna be back before you are, but I figured I’d call, just in case, just so you don’t worry. Hey, Lissa, say hi to your father before we go.”
    “Hi, daddy! We’re not supposed to say where we’re going, not like you’d believe it anyway, but I promise to bring you something back as a souvenir if I can. And it’ll be better than a t-shirt, I promise.”
    “Okay, hon, we’ve gotta go. We’ll see you soon! Love you!”
    The call ended.
    Cole tried to ask the man again what happened or to ask him how he justified taking a girl still young enough to call her father ‘daddy’ into something so stupidly dangerous or to scream in rage that the man had allowed the woman that had been the core of his life for as long as that life had matterd to vanish into nothingness.
    All he could do was to bury his face in the covers of a bed that wasn’t his and sob.
    The little man sat there, eyes again lowered, and waited until sunrise. He then said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Mason, but I have to go. Even I can’t hold back time forever.”
    “So, what happens now?”
    The little man considered for a moment before saying, “Honestly, I’m not sure. Cliché as it may sound, time does heal all wounds, including its own. When I leave here, when I stop interfering, time will slide into its new order. Your life will go on and you’ll never know that it was ever any different. I know that’s no comfort.”
    No, it wasn’t.
    As the man walked to the door, Cole slid a picture out of his wallet. He looked at his family, standing in front of a bear carved from a tree stump with a chainsaw. Melissa had loved that dopey looking thing so much that Cole had had to buy it and take it home with them.
    “Again, I’m sorry.” And with that, the door clicked.
    Cole Mason shook his head and wondered where his mind had been. He looked down at the picture in his hand. His niece and the stupid carved bear. His sister had never quite understood just why he’d bought that awful bit of kitsch for Angie, but, since he’d never had kids of his own, it was an unspoken rule that he was allowed to spoil her.
    With a half smile, Cole put the picture back in his wallet and prepared to face the day.

  2. Cole awoke in the dark hotel room after the third ring of his cell phone. He didn’t bother to reach out to answer it. He always let his calls go to voicemail, a carryover from the days of screening his calls at home. And, sure enough, a minute or so later, the little chirp sounded and the light began to flash to indicate that he had a message.
    “Red is an odd color for an answerphone indicator, wouldn’t you say?” said a Scottish accented voice from the corner of the room.
    Cole bolted upright and reached for the lamp. Even he wasn’t sure if he meant to turn it on or grab it as a club, but he accomplished neither, sending it instead crashing to the floor.
    “Rather careless that, but it’s to be expected, I’d think. And I do wish you’d relax. If I’d meant you harm, I’d have done the deed whilst you slept, wouldn’t I have done?”
    And for no reason that he could think of, Cole did relax. But only just a bit.
    Looking into the corner, Cole could make out only vague impressions of the man based on the city lights filtering in through the window. He was a small man, that much Cole was certain of. He was sitting in the chair by the desk, and his hands were resting on an umbrella, of all things, propped up like a cane. He had some kind of a hat on, maybe one of those ones old men wore at the beach? But one of the man’s features did stand out, as clear as if he were lit by a floodlight: his eyes. Those eyes held a depth and a clarity bordering on the unnatural. And suddenly, Cole was afraid. And he knew exactly why.
    “It’s Cyndi and Melissa, isn’t it,” he stated rather than asked.
    The little man lowered his head for just a moment, then said, “I’ve never been intentionally malicious, Mr. Mason. I try to do the best that I can wherever and whenever I go. And sometimes my best isn’t quite good enough.
    “Yes, I’m rather afraid that my visit does concern your wife and your daughter. They’re gone. I’m sorry.”
    Again, Cole had no idea why, but there was no question in his mind. The man was telling him the truth. “What happened?” he asked. “How did they die?”
    The little man looked down again for a moment, then brought those damnable eyes of his up again to meet Cole’s. “I’m afraid that it isn’t as simple as that, Mr. Mason. Your wife and daughter didn’t just die. They’ve been removed from time. It’s as if they’ve never existed at all. No, not as if, they really have never existed.”
    In the back of his mind, Cole knew that was impossible, that this little man was surely insane, that this was a nightmare or a practical joke or some half-assed reality TV show and that Cyn and Lissa would jump out any second now and laugh at the ludicrousness of it all.
    So if he knew all of that, why did he feel the tears welling up behind his eyelids?
    “You still haven’t answered the question,” he said.
    “I can’t answer it, not in any way that you’d understand, other than to say that they’re gone because I couldn’t save them.” The little man paused for a moment before adding, “No, that’s a lie. It’s not that I couldn’t, it’s that I didn’t.”

  3. “I’ve never been intentionally malicious.”

    The words came out so softly that I almost missed them. My attention had wandered over to the red blinking voicemail indicator. Who the hell could that be? And why would it matter? I have money sitting in front of me, I mean a client sitting in front of me, explaining her case. What was her problem – oh yeah, her ex-boyfriend. I turned my attention back to the petite brunette sitting in front of my desk and began to pick up on what she was explaining. She just wants to be left alone, she said, but all these things keep happening to him. Somehow the police keep blaming her and she just wanted to be done with it. His car and garage got vandalized with spray paint, a real Fast Times job. His hotmail account was hacked and compromising pictures and info were posted on various places around the internet, not that the stuff wasn’t true, but it releasing it appeared to break some local ordinances. And then there was the incident with his dog… It was at that moment, I understood with perfect clarity, I needed to run from this case. Run far, run fast, run screaming at the top of my lungs. And that’s what I did.

  4. I awoke to a red blinking voicemail indicator. The flashing jolted me awake as I began to wonder who had called me at this early hour. Was there a problem at work or did someone need to be bailed out? Was it a hospital calling for me to rush down and hear someone’s last words? My mind raced what should I do… Hmmm I guess the mystery would have to wait as it’s just too early to answer voicemail. I’ve never been intentionally malicious but truly the urge to delete all the messages was far too strong and I hit the button. It was probably my boss who has a serious addiction to work and no hope of recovery. I guess all the fantasies of bailouts, emergencies and being important would have to wait for my second cup of coffee. As I close my eyes to go back to dreamland I wonder what the day will bring. I guess if it’s real important they’ll call back. Why is someone banging on the door and why is it so light outside? Pitchforks and torches what is everyone talking about? Suddenly in a moment of clarity I realized what was happening and I knew it wasn’t good. To paraphrase one of my greatest role models… can’t we all just get along. Sadly as Rodney and I both knew, the answer was no.

  5. I could hear the rainstorm whipping up outside as I closed the apartment door behind me. With my windows boarded and nailed as they were, the only light in the room came from the blinking red LED on my phone. I could see that I had 3 voicemails. Probably more clients. Since the outbreak, I’d been going non-stop. Now, I’ve never been intentionally malicious, not even when I told Sharon that we were through, but I felt as though tonight was a turning point. That last freak that I took down deserved a little…extra. What’s worse is that I’m not ashamed of what I did. It’s in this moment that I could see this insane life I led with shining clarity. I was a zombie killer. And I enjoyed it.

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