I have sooo many WIPS, I shouldn't even be bothering with this, but my attention-span is shot since I found out about the no job/no place to live thing. So, I'm doing something random and weird just to be doing something because I can't focus! No focusing happening here!
I forget where I found this, but I saved it and here goes.
1. Write down the names of 10 characters.
1. Rorschach from Watchmen
3. The Crow
5.Sirius Black from Harry Potter
6. Mirage from The Incredibles
7. Muriel Bagg from Courage the Cowardly Dog
8. Story from Lady in the Water
9. Nightfall from Elfquest
10. Mehitabel from Shinbone Alley
2. Write a ficlet for every prompt, using the characters determined by the numbers. Do NOT read the prompts before you do step 1.
1. First time, 4 and 6 Inspector Gadget and Mirage
He had resisted her attempts at covert surveillance and seemed oblivious to her seduction attempts. She had finally confronted him with simple curiosity and he had given in. He had seemed afraid to let her see, but had finally bitten his lip and pulled off the trench coat. She had assumed he was keeping his modifications a secret, but he used them in public without a mask or a qualm.
Now, stripped to the waist, he just looked bashful and a little resigned. She stepped up for a closer look. He was covered in something like skin, but the planes and angles it covered weren’t muscles. He didn’t have a pulse that she could see and when she touched him, he was room temperature, even if he did blush.
“How much of you is-?” she started to ask, looking up. She was closer than she had realized, almost nose to nose. He swallowed hard.
“Most,” he said. His usual, nasal staccato voice was hushed. She was used to men being flustered by her, but this was more like reverence. It occurred to her that he probably didn’t get a lot of physical contact. So she left her hand on his chest, until the synthetic skin warmed under the touch.
She had never been overly romantic, but she could sense something tragic and painful under the silly man’s demeanor. She was used to power, to having it, to being attracted to it. This was the first time she could remember finding something so bumbling and ridiculous appealing. She acted on it without thought, which was another first for her, and went up on her toes to press a kiss against his mouth.
She hurried back to her car after that and was on the phone before she was out of the driveway.
“False alarm,” she said into the tiny phone. “He isn’t a super.”
“Are you sure? We just saw the footage-“ Her boss sounded suspicious and a little sulky. Did he know about the kiss? No. It had been his idea for her to use her feminine wiles, even if he did.
“It’s not a power,” she said. “It’s some kind of tech. Nothing like yours. He didn’t even create it himself and has only a vague idea of his own capabilities. I mean, roller skates and extending arms? They’re just toys. Gadgets. He’s no threat to you.”
“Well, of course not!” he huffed, sounding even more childlike now. He seemed to realize it too, because he cleared his throat and tried to sound more authoritive. “Hurry back. I have a new assignment for you.”
2. Angst, 7 Muriel
Dogs didn’t live forever, not even the best ones. And her dog had been better than any other. How many times had he saved her from some hideous fate? How many times had he just puttered along and helped her with little things like housework?
Her husband had died a few years before and left her alone on the farm. She had been able to bear it, even if she hadn’t been able to explain to anyone why the bad-tempered old man had been so dear to her. She has still had Courage, not as strong or quick anymore, his sweet little nose fading to white, even as he still insisted on following her around, helping out everyway he still could. She had grieved for Eustace and still been able to go on.
She and Courage had been alone, but not especially lonely. Muriel loved the little farmhouse. She knew every corner and creak. She had loved the barren beauty of the Nowhere plain and had grown her garden as best as her arthritis and bad back would allow. She dozed in her chair when the stairs got hard to climb, and Courage curled in her lap to keep her safe and warm.
Finally one morning, the familiar weight on her knees was cold and heavy, and she held him for a long time after she knew he was dead, knowing that it would be the last time. When she could bear it, she wrapped him in his blanket, took him out to the garden, and buried him where the wishing tree had been. She had cried the whole time, but she had worked hard enough all her life that she didn’t need to see to use a shovel. When she stood up and wiped her eyes, she realized for the first time how desolate and empty the middle of Nowhere really was.
3. AU, 1 and 8 Rorschach and Story
He was patrolling the docks when he caught a glimpse of long hair and pale limbs in the water. His stomach fell until he reminded himself that he was resigned to atrocities now and he made his way carefully down to the water’s edge. There was no hurry after all. He couldn’t save her now, only avenge her. But instead of a limp and bobbing corpse, the girl was standing up, staring at him with ink-dark eyes.
The water lapped around chest and her wet hair clung enough to keep her decent, but he could tell she was naked. She smiled faintly and shyly, and it slapped all the air out of him.
“Do you feel it?” she whispered and he stood frozen, pinned by a thousand needles. All his layers were no defense. He couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. “It will be you that changes this world,” she said. Her smile turned sad. “You won’t see it happen, but it will be you that sets it in motion. You are so important, and better loved than you know.”
Then she sank, like a stone, vanishing so completely that if he hadn’t still prickled and ached, he would’ve been sure he had imagined it.
4. Hurt/Comfort, 5 and 10 Sirius and Mehitabel
She was hurt. Her left hind leg was held at a painfully broken angle as she cowered in the alley. He was hungry enough to eat a cat, but there was a gleam of intelligence in her eye that made him think she might be a familiar. Hermione’s cat had known him right away, so he wagged at the scruffy creature to give her a chance to see how friendly he was.
She didn’t seem impressed, so he crept into the shadows to turn back to his human form. That made her cringe even farther, so she either wasn’t used to magic or it had been an animagus who had hurt her. Or maybe a werewolf. He had heard some howling earlier, but had been too hungry to investigate. He reminded himself again that she was too thin and scrawny to be more than a crunch and a chew.
“It’s all right,” he said, stroking a knuckle over her tattered ear. Her fur was surprisingly silky for the state it was in. She hissed at him when the wand aimed at her. He had stolen it, so it didn’t respond to his spell well enough to heal her completely, but the bone was set and she was using it when she sprinted away.
5. Crack, 1 Rorschach
The sightings had been coming in since the weekend. One person had seen it in Central Park and then there had been five witnesses when they saw it duck down a subway tunnel. The security cameras at the platform had showed a large, but blurry figure. It was already been largely written off as a hoax or someone in a costume, but at least one of those who wore costumes professionally wasn’t so convinced. A slaughterhouse had been broken into and a mounted policeman had gone missing. His horse had turned up without him the next day, and it all added up to something big and strong that liked meat, but not attention.
Rorschach searched the subway tunnel and found coarse hair caught on the jagged mortar of a hole in the tunnel far away from the light. The darkness was absolute here and the footing was dangerous. No one wearing a clumsy bear or gorilla costume could’ve made this trip in the dark. He was having trouble even with his flashlight.
He followed the tunnel even when the stink became terrible. He wondered if it was an animal from the zoo in Central Park. It smelled like one. It was a horrific reek of body odor, animal musk, and filth. He would’ve gagged if his face hadn’t kept him from tasting it in the air. He finally felt a breath of fresh air and came to the end of the passage. The sun was rising. He had been underground all night. There were trees, which disoriented him until he turned to see the skyline and recognized the buildings. It had taken him back to Central Park. The sightings could be connected then.
He cast around with the flashlight and realized his foot was squarely inside a footprint nearly three times bigger than his own. It was a bare footprint, toes clearly visible. He studied it carefully, memorizing all the details to jot in his journal when he got to decent light. He would have to go to Daniel’s and see if he still had those mythological and cryptozoology books. It would be faster to cut back through the park and he tried not to hurry as a weird, primal howl rose over the trees behind him.
6. Horror, 10 Mehitabel
The cats knew. Just because they were immune to the infection didn’t mean they were unaware of it. They knew when it first began to spread. They could smell the change in humanity. They made themselves scarce like they always did before a disaster. They were cats. They knew. They survived.
Mehitabel didn’t know how bad it really was until she saw the change in Archie. He had more contact with humans than she did, ate what they ate, touched what they touched. He had been a human in his last life after all. She hadn’t heard the typewriter clicking for a few nights so she had gone to check. Archie wasn’t writing any poetry. He just stood there, muttering softly to himself, and staring at the page the newsman had left in the typewriter. Archie had looked at her for a moment when she called him, then refocused on the paper. Puzzled, she looked around the room and noticed what she hadn’t before. There was blood on the walls and floor, human blood, carrying that more and more familiar stink.
Had Archie’s human boss died? The alley cats had seen humans kill each other before. It wasn’t unusual in a town like this. Mehitabel’s only real concern was that Archie was upset over it. There would be a new tenant in the flat soon, but would he leave a typewriter out or roach traps?
“Oh, Archie honey, I’m sorry,” she said. “If you want, we can hide the typewriter at my place and you won’t have to worry about losing it.”
He looked at her again, and pulled something out from between the typewriter keys to stuff in his mouth. That wasn’t like him. He chewed slowly, still staring.
“Archie?” she tried again.
“…hungry…” he hissed. It made the fur along her back rise. She was a cat. She knew Death when she saw it. She recognized ghosts and demons for what they were. She had no idea what this was.
He finished his mouthful and sniffed for more, then hopped from the desk to the chair to the floor. He was heading toward the larger puddles on the floor. Mehitabel couldn’t make her fur lie down again and cast around for anything that made sense. The paper in the typewriter had some writing on it, so she leaned in the window to see what it said. There were capitols, which meant it hadn’t been Archie who typed it.
radio has stopped. No more reports coming in. I’ve nailed the door shut, but I’m on the third floor, so the window should be safe. I can hear them, down on the street. Maybe they haven’t come inside yet, but there were screams and now there’s nothing. The poetry has stopped. There may be no more. If you are reading this, it may mean it’s over. I have my own way out, if the door won’t hold, or the food runs out.
More screams. On this floor now. I’ll have to stop typing. They may hear it. Good bye.
“Archie…” Mehitabel whispered, mournful now. He didn’t look up from his feast and she crept away. Maybe when the diseased flesh was gone and he ate normal food again he would be all right, she told herself hopefully. Nuclear war couldn’t kill him, so this shouldn’t. In the meantime, it was time to take care of herself.
7. Baby Fic, 5 and 9 Sirius and Nightfall
“I am the eldest son of the House of Black, a founding member of the Order of the Phoenix, and last surviving member of the Marauders,” he said, gravely offended, but trying not to let on. “I am a powerful wizard with magic at my command.”
She tilted her head wolf-like, and the golden eyes added to the image. Her voice was more like a bird’s though.
“I’ve never seen humans with magic,” she said. “But you are still human. I remember when your dens of stone.” She tossed her head towards the city. “Were just a flat place by the river. I have hunted stripeback deer where your chieftess’ ancestors built her palace. Not my kind. Not my bloodline. I, myself, stood here before all of this that you think so ancient was even dreamed of. You ARE.” Her emphasis on the word, made her sharp canines more noticeable than her pointed ears for a moment. Had he really mistaken her for an elf? “Only,” she went on, and she was disappearing into the shadows of the woods so quickly that she was out of sight before the last two words reached him. “A child.”
8. Dark, 2 and 8 BJ and Story
“This should not happen!” she screamed, terror twisting her pixie face into something even more otherworldly. “This is not allowed! They can not interfere when the Eatalon comes!” Blood ran from the scratches in her legs, blood flowing out as the poison flowed in.
“Rules,” he grunted. “You know I hate em.” He met her eyes and she went very still, recognizing the difference between a man merely broken-hearted and one long, long dead. He recognized her too. Human or not, she wasn’t long for the world, and he knew a fresh corpse when he saw one.
“Until you learn to break the rules back,” he went on. “You’d best stay where it’s blue.” His head tilted like a dog hearing a whistle. He jumped to his feet and strolled over for a better view of the scratches. The humans scrambling to help her didn’t see him. Another shiver as if he had heard the sound again and he gave her a grin that oozed mock sympathy.
“If you make it over, doll, you can look me up,” he winked and then the third call came and he blinked away, disturbing the butterfly that was trying to stay out of way on Mr. Heep’s shoulder.
9. Romance, 4 and 7 Gadget and Muriel
They met briefly when they were both young. Him, so dapper in his trench coat and fedora, just like in the movies she still stayed up late to watch. It was all so long ago, but she still thought about him every now and then. Things could’ve been so good between them. They had similar optimistic outlooks and enjoyed wandering through the world. Their dogs would’ve had much to talk about in regards to saving their owners.
There had been some sort of terrible accident and he had to go home to his brother’s funeral and to care for his young niece. She had teased at silly thoughts of what it would be like to have a step-daughter, but then there was news of another accident, one that had torn him apart. She had grieved and gone on and had eventually married another man in a hat, proud and stubborn. She went on and it wasn’t until there was an update on the Nowhere new about some terrorist attack thwarted that she saw her first love again.
Seeing him on the news made her drop her knitting. He hadn’t changed a bit, hadn’t aged a day.
She was sure it was him, and she felt her cheeks go pink as she giggled. When the news went off, she was still clasping her hands in her lap like a schoolgirl and Courage was looking at her with that adorable puzzled look of his.
“I always did love a man in uniform,” she said, booping his nose, and she went to hide the remote so she could watch the mystery movie instead of her husband’s fishing show.
10. Death Fic, 2 and 3 BJ and Crow
Beetlejuice had seen (and been) enough angry spirits to know all about wanting revenge on the living. He followed the young wraith, processing. He had a good look, BJ admitted. A little severe, a little humorless, except for the black smile painted ear to ear. It was an effective color scheme, even if the kid had over done it a little.
The Crow stalked the street for the first few hours, and then started killing breathers. Beetlejuice followed along, just keeping an eye on things. It was kind of like community service. It wasn’t every day a Crow dug its way out, and he been the only spook on the outside for Juno to call. They wanted surveillance, because the Veil always suffered when Crows were loose. They did bring the party with them, but it wasn’t much fun for anyone else. Even they didn’t seem to enjoy it.
They did all right, he supposed, from an artistic point of view. They had a sort of grim showmanship, but it was just a lap dance, intended only for their immediate victims and with no thought to the rest of the audience.
“Wrap it up, junior,” he muttered, floating along after. The car wired with explosives went tearing by an he sighed. “Some of us still have unlives. This isn’t how I like to spend Halloween.”