“What is writing? Telepathy, of course.”
Stephen King

author: Nicole J. LeBoeuf

actually writing blog

Notes from the author:

Another good writing prompt source is Watchout4snakes.com. It spits out random words and phrases, which you can configure in various ways.

For me it spat out “bothersome playpen,” and I remembered a short story from the Zombies vs. Unicorns anthology. “Children of the Revolution” by Maureen Johnson is a zombie story. It opens with a description of the most fabulous playroom a toddler could wish for, and a protagonist charged with caring for the very strange children inside it while their guardian is away.

Take a heart-stoppingly scary idea, and have your character approach it as an annoying and tedious chore. There’s your prompt. Go.

I hate it when it’s my day to muck out the kelpie. Seriously, there are not enough words in the English language to adequately express how much I loathe the job. But everyone has to do their part, mustn’t grumble. Just pick up your pitchfork and taser and in you go.

Have you ever mucked out horses? I used to, when I was a little girl. It’s nothing like mucking out a kelpie. Kelpies are so much worse. For one thing, horse manure is relatively pleasant on the nose, but kelpie shit, being produced by an obligate carnivore, stinks like a cat box. And, like the contents of a cat box, you can’t compost with it. I’m not sure what you can do with it. Bury it deep in the ground under a marble slab carved with a three-hundred-year hazard symbol, maybe. It has a corrosive effect on most everything that comes into contact with it, too. Stand too long in that pen and your boots’ll start to dissolve. I go through so many boots in a year, you would not believe.

Also, kelpies are worse than horses for the simple and obvious reason that horses aren’t out to eat you.

This has been an excerpt from the Friday Fictionette for August 7, 2015. Subscribers can download the full-length fictionette (1243 words) from Patreon in PDF or MP3 format depending on their pledge tier.

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