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Show Me What You Got?

I’ve been home sick for a week and I need you to help me keep from going stir crazy ;-)

A down and dirty 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: Fragrant
Phrase: I don’t know that I’ll ever hunger again..
Image: A vast field of poppies

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

Oh and today, I challenge the writers here. Because, it’s not about the saying, it’s about the doing. ::wink:: So, do.

p.s. Tell a friend and make sure to read the comments. I’m always amazed by how good these are.


  1. “Fragrant…”
    “What?” Kai stared at me as I questioned her.
    “The room…It’s fragrant…” I arched a brow at her unusual revelation. This strange woman named Kai had been locked in a plain room with me as some sort of voluntary test study. We had no idea what we were supposed to be doing, but we were waiting for the scientist to back at any moment to enlighten us. We weren’t allowed a watch,cell phone, iPod, not even a magazine or book. So we just sat there…
    Her back was completely straight and she was bouncing her right knee.I dropped my head to my hands as she continued to sniff the air.
    “We’re in a blank room…there is nothing ‘fragrant’ about white walls…”I moved my hands up my face to rake through my black hair. Kai just kept bouncing her knee.
    “Just stop thinking and breathe for a second, stupid.” I sighed and faced the woman I was locked with.
    She wore a white blouse with tight black pants. Her green eyes were lined heavily with bright pink eyeliner and her red hair was pulled into a tight,sleek ponytail on the top of her head. There was an intricate dragon tattoo across the left side of her face that wound its way from her forehead, down her cheek, and came to an end curling next to her ear. She wore an armor ring on her right pointer finger and it clinked with the delicate band on her middle digit as her leg continued its bouncing.
    “BREATHE!” She shot her hands out to scare me. It didn’t work, even in the utter blandness of the room. I leaned back and stared at her.
    It was totally silent.No buzzing, no knocking, no moving air;just the sound of my own nervous system. But then..
    “That’s weird…” I cocked my head at the sudden smell. It was sweet, like rich oils and incense, and it filled the room. I stood from the unremarkable chair and wandered around. It grew sweeter and sweeter, thicker and thicker, to the point where I could almost taste it. No matter where I moved, the fragrance followed and overwhelmed my nose. There was no escaping it.
    Oppressive and dense, it filled my head and caused me to drop to my knees. I squeezed my eyes shut as they started to burn and tear. I heard screaming coming from Kai. Afraid to open my eyes, I crawled towards her manic cries. I spread my hands out in front of me and they found contact with wetness. I forced one of my eyes to open and investigate what I had touched. My vision immediately went black as my eyelid retracted.My other eye shot open and, for a brief second, saw a pool of red across the white linoleum before the light was cut from my eye.Kai had stopped her screaming. I now heard nothing but gurgling coming from her direction.
    My finger started to burn and the sensation slowly crept up my arm, intensifying with each passing second. The smell was still there as I doubled over and cried at this new hell. My desperate sobs soon grew to frantic yells until there was no sound escaping my throat. I stopped moving as wave after wave of debilitating pain swept from my fingers through me.
    The burning ceased, my vision returned, and the smell was gone. I turned my head left, right, trying to figure out what had happened. How could I be raked with pain one second, and the next second be perfectly fine? I let my gaze fall to the ground.
    I wanted to scream at what I saw, but I couldn’t. I was too calm. The whiteness didn’t bother me; the pools of scarlet couldn’t shake me from my zen and the mass of flesh in the middle of the room stirred no emotion from me.
    I was free from the pain and the paranoia of life because I decided to sign up to be a test subject…and I couldn’t be happier…

  2. It was a dark and stormy night. Much like tonight and I found myself stuck in the middle of nowhere. The humidity was thick but the air was fragrant with the light scent of a woman yet unseen. I inhaled deeply stimulating both my sense of smell and the memories of years long forgotten. Searching desperately in my mind for that scent it all came rushing back like a dam had ruptured in my soul. Her name was Amelie and she had the softest brown eyes I had ever seen. I last saw her as a child in France when we said au revoir as the car departed the driveway to begin my trip back to America.

    She walked slowly across a vast field of poppies that stretched all the way from my childhood to the present. It seemed quite impossible that I would once again gaze into her eyes, feel the curls in her hair and listen to her sigh contentedly but there she stood. How, when, and why flew out of my mouth before I could reign them in. She deflected them with a smile and I understood completely. Her hand reached out to touch my cheek and wiped away a lifetime of regret and sadness. It was at that point that I knew I was home. Home isn’t so much a place as it is a state of being and that had never been so clear as it was in that instant. Minutes ago I was stranded with people to see and places to go yet suddenly it didn’t matter. Amelie was here and I vowed never to lose her again.

  3. Crimson. As far as the eye can see. It’s as if the world’s been drenched in blood. A sharp inhale and my sense of smell and taste are saturated in the richly fragrant, but too-quickly cloying scent. We shamble out of the fields, heading to safety and collapse. I realize that as we woke, my mouth filled with that taste and I felt that I’d never know hunger again. A flickering memory pushes against my consciousness: for a moment, I thought I’d been mutilated. My feet, encased in glittering ruby, disappeared among the poppies. That witch is going to pay.

  4. Anonymous Anonymous

    Fragant the smell of new comic waiting to be opened. Calling me to it.

  5. Fragrant.
    Not usually a word that one would use to describe a corpse, but it was. It smelled of rum, tobacco, and leather. I’m guessing that whoever killed this poor unfortunate (and I have to be gender neutral because, honestly, I can’t tell if it’s a man or a woman) didn’t care for the smell of death and opted to smother it with other, far more pleasant scents.

    The body itself, what was left of it, was draped across the bed of an otherwise cheery little hotel room, posed to look like a lounging Playboy model, just without the silicon and the airbrushing. And the skin, for what it’s worth.

    By the condition of the room, I knew that the victim had to have been killed and mangled somewhere else, and I wondered how the hell someone smuggled a corpse to a fourth floor room located halfway down the hall. After thinking it over,though, I realized that folks ’round here don’t tend to pay much attention to anything but their own business. Survival mechanism, even in the nicer parts of the tourist-trap area. Also, they don’t tend to grow poppies in hotel rooms, and the body had one stuffed into the hole where an ear used to be, a perverse decoration for dead model’s non-existent hair.

  6. It hit me like all the nut shots in AFV history rolled into one.

    I looked around the train car, and as far as I could tell, there was no upended PortaPotty despite the stench. Where the hell was it coming from?

    The guy sitting in front of me shifted, and another wave of funk smacked me upside my head. He looked completely normal; he was just…fragrant. And not in the vast field of poppies kind of way. Vast field of poopies, perhaps.

    How do you not know you smell like the inside of a dead bear’s colon in the dead of summer? Encountering a particularly pungent person forces you into that rare situation where you actually hope someone farted.

    Fortunately, he got off the train after a few stops, but the damage had been done. I don’t know that I’ll ever hunger again.

  7. Corine Corine

    Part 2 of 2:

    But then, life took pity on me. The air changed ever so slightly. Like everywhere else in this land I found it pungent; but I recognized it as a different sort of pungent that might, by some, be considered fragrant. Not knowing what else to do, I followed the scent through the forest until I came upon a vast field of poppies. I had never seen such colours nor smelled such scents and, again, my senses threatened to become overwhelmed.

    Quickly, I crept back into the forest where the field disappeared from sight and I waited for my senses to right themselves. In the meantime, my thoughts returned to the problems of my stomach. Over a week had passed and there was still nothing edible in sight. I would never admit it but panic was starting to settle in to the recesses of my mind.

    Poppies. Could I eat them? They certainly didn’t resemble anything I’d ever eaten and there wasn’t much I couldn’t eat. Back home I had honed my foraging skills to a level of mastery that was unsurpassed but this was different. This whole place was different.

    Not feeling like I had any choice, I began to slowly creep forward hoping the taste of the poppies wouldn’t be as violent as their sight and smell. And then, I heard it.

    No, not it, them. A few hundred yards to my right three brightly coloured children emerged into the poppy field, laughing and jumping as careless as could be. But before they could even take in the full view of the field, they stopped, yawned, and curled onto the ground to sleep.

    I realized it must be the poppies that caused the impromptu napping and wondered why I didn’t have the same reaction. I didn’t marvel at the difference for very long though as I realized the gift life had given me.

    I had been ripped from my homeland and almost left to starve but it was all being made right. No longer would I starve. Life had given me a field of poppies to attract the most edible of delicacies and then to lay them out before me in the kindest of gestures. As I sauntered towards this gift, I smiled at how funny life could be: I don’t know that I’ll ever hunger again.

  8. Corine Corine

    Part 1 of 2:

    It’s funny how life works itself out. Truthfully, it’s only funny because it worked out in my favour this time around; generally, life works against me and I don’t find that so funny.

    This time though? Funny.

    To explain, I don’t know how I got here, to this place. I was happily foraging in my homeland, minding no one’s business but my own, when the weather turned. No, it didn’t turn: it revolted. Suddenly, blue skies were the devil’s doing and Mother Nature wasn’t going to stand for that sort of blatant evilness any more. She lashed out with everything she had and I became the innocent bystander who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Darkness rolled in and the winds barreled down and before I knew it, something had collided with the side of my skull. I’d like to think there were pretty stars everywhere but I was too unconscious to know for sure.

    When I awoke, I was here and everything was wrong. I don’t entirely know how to explain it except to say that everything was off. The colours were brighter (or maybe there were just more of them), the ground seemed to hum at a different frequency, and the air had the slightest hint of pungency to it. My head swam for days, either from the assault to my senses or the assault to my skull, and I was only able to wander aimlessly and sleep fitfully. I wasn’t sure I would ever get used to this place.

    After almost a week of this ‘not really here’ existence, my head began to level out. Slowly I was beginning to feel more like myself and what I noticed almost immediately about myself was that I was hungry. I hadn’t seen any other living creatures since arriving (or if I had, I’d not remembered them) so I didn’t know what I could eat but I knew I had to find something. My stomach was growling so ferociously that I was reminded of the storm that sent me here. I found the memory and the feeling very unpleasant.

    Not having a clear sense of direction, I continued with the aimless wandering for another day. Forests and roads, trees and rocks: plenty of what could not be eaten.

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