Frozen Solid

The phone rings. It’s your mother and she’s upset. “What’s wrong?” you ask. “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn’t: 1) This is your fault and 2) you’re the only one who can fix it. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” Write this scene.

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649 thoughts on “Frozen Solid

  1. Vicky

    The thick chill of magic sweeps her head to toe and really, it takes all of her will not to shiver. Across from her, her twin doesn’t look that better off; frost clinging to his hair and his hands are cracked from the force of blocking raw magic with his bare hands. She knows it will hurt when he starts thawing out. Seeing her glancing at him, Noel glowers from beneath frosted bangs and Ash winces at the stare. Noel looks angry and Ash knows that she screwed up big time today. And the evidence was staring right at them — or rather, what remained of the circle stared at them; the ground caked with so much ice that it rendered the area impossible to stand on. Ash looks at it and swallows thickly, fumbling about with numb hands when her phone buzzed and rang in her pockets. Noel makes a grunting sound and tries to stand, hissing when he started feeling pins and needles in his legs and hands; his extremities starting to warm up slightly at his moving.

    “Hello?” her voice shakes with the cold and hopes the other line doesn’t notice. Clearly not because there’s a muffled sob likes sound and Ash’s brows rose. “Mom?” Noel looks up and he reads Ash’s expression. His brows furrow and Ash can barely make out what’s being said on the other end. She does catch a few words though and her body stiffens, a chill that had nothing to do with the cold sweeping her body before settling uncomfortably in her stomach. Noel comes up behind her and Ash’s voice tries not to tremble as she says, “It’s okay mom. Don’t worry about it. Noel-Noel and I will take care of it. We’ll head into the embassy and find a healer. It will be okay. Don’t worry.”

    Noel’s brows are furrowed and the slightly older girl turns, eyes wide as she slides her phone shut. The boy raises an eyebrow in question, not saying anything (not that Ash expected him too – Noel rarely said anything to anyone) and Ash twiddles her thumb, a hand starting to move to mess with a beaded bracelet on her wrist. It’s a nervous habit and Noel’s eyes narrow. He takes a step forward and Ash flinches. She pauses, waits as if she’s gathering her thoughts and Noel frowns deeply at her. The older of the twins licks her lips and Noel was lucky he grabs a branch to steady his slipping lower body when Ash squeaks, “Mom just called. Dad’s frozen solid. We messed up somewhere.”

    1. WriterDana

      Very detailed, descriptive, and good use of terminology! I read this and can imagine the details of what is happening in the scene. I love this! Keep up the good work!

  2. sealskin

    The phone rang. It was my mother and she was upset.
    “What’s wrong?” I asked.
    “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid!”
    I paused, hissing a curse under my breath. “I should have known not to trust that bitch, damn her!”
    “Hello? Did you hear me?”
    “Yes, I heard you. Don’t worry, Mom. I’m going to take care of this. And Mom…? As you guessed this is magic, so don’t try to thaw him out because it won’t do any good. I’d hate for anything to catch on fire.”
    After my mother hung up I immediately called my travel agent to book a flight to Gatwick – London and then to Oxford by rail. “Not a good time for this,” I muttered. “Not at all convenient.”
    On the way to the airport I dropped by my parents’ house. There was Dad, just as he had been when he was flash-frozen: his pipe jutting from his mouth, his glasses opaque from frost, his hands in front of him holding a newspaper that was no longer there.
    “Mom, I have to go to England. It’s the only way I can resolve this situation, and that’s really all I can say. I should be back in three days, four at the most. Be careful not to let Dad fall over or he might break into several pieces. You might want to prop him up in a closet, or maybe a corner in the basement.”
    “Be careful, son.”
    On the plane, I gazed at the vast expanse of the Atlantic and remembered that summer in London. Could it have been twelve years already? Yes, but even twelve years was a short distance to open between now and that time of bewitchment, because that’s exactly what it was, though I didn’t know it at the time. We seemed to share everything in common, we laughed at the same jokes, we noticed the same things when we would take those late night strolls. Even our coffee – half teaspoon of sugar and no cream – was the same. It was almost too late when I learned the truth.
    She was, in fact, a witch.
    Not just any witch. She who I knew by the name of Polly Sutcliffe, a girl from Holborn, was actually one of the great necromancers of this age. And she seemed so sweet and so guileless. The well-tended farms and pastures of Buckinghamshire slid past my window as I thought of how easy it had been to fall for this tall, slender woman, how sharp my disappointment when I learned the truth of how she had used me, and how arduous the coming to terms was – the striking of a bargain that kept our relationship from erupting into a bloodbath. Admittedly I had slipped once. I admitted it. But wasn’t freezing my father a bit out of proportion? I thought so, and I was prepared to let her know it.
    I got off at the station and quickly walked to the Professor’s house, situated on a twisting lane right outside of Oxford. He was in his garden when I arrived. I waved at him and shouted: “Hallo, Professor! I can’t talk right now as I have urgent business with… her. I should be back by tea time. I’ll see you then?”
    “I understand completely.”
    “I bounded up the stairs of the rambling old mansion and quickly entered the room – empty but for the wardrobe standing in the corner. I opened the wardrobe and plunged in. Woolen coats turned to tree branches against my face, wood floors became snow crunching under my feet. Then I was in the clear. The lamp shone several feet away. A frosty breath of air. I called out, loudly: “Your majesty!!! We need to have a talk!”

  3. jopgespn

    Teleportay!, The world flips upside down and inside out and there I am standing before my mom and an ice cube that is my father, “What happened?” I ask knowing I’m truly responsible.
    “He took a bite of that popsicle and, BAM, he froze,” she slaps her hands together imitating the function of the spell, “but I took a bite of it too and, obviously, I didn’t turn to ice.”
    “Yeah, well, that’s because the spell didn’t come from the popsicle, mom.” I sigh and motion for her to sit on the couch. It’s Monday night, mom and dad always go buy ice cream in some form or another and back home to watch one of their favorite shows. The TV is on and their show is on but dad is out of commission, mom is concerned, and I’m about to tell her that I did this, “It’s tough to explain, but do you remember that magic set you two bought me a couple of years ago?”
    “Yes, I do, but what’s that got to do with this,” she raises a hand to my father who is slightly dripping at the elbow where his raised arm is holding the popsicle up to his mouth, it’s hard to tell what flavor since the entire cast of the ice has a dark blue tint.
    “It’s REALLY magic, like, magic-magic.” I say as I produce a black wand with white tips from my sleeve. Usually magicians pull flowers out but the flowers aren’t the answer to reversing my mistake. “The truth is, I cast a freezing spell, but it wasn’t intentionally meant for da—“
    “Briton, stop. This is serio—“
    “No, mom, I’ll show you.” I swish the wand around in a concentric circle and visualize butterflies coming out of the tip and then point it away from her causing a group of Monarch Butterflies to flutter out. Her jaw drops and her eyes twitch around following slight movements of her head as she tries to figure out the trick, “You see? Like I said, the spell wasn’t meant for dad.”
    “That is unbelievable, so, who was it meant for if not your father?”
    “I never meant for the spell to involve ice, but this guy keeps trying to one up me in front of my girl, so I was going to freeze him in his tracks,” I pause and look at up at my dad for a second, “the thing is, he has the same name as dad, and I think when I cast the spell, I may have thought of dad instead, and the fact that he was eating ice cream may be why he is now a block of ice.”
    “Fix it! Briton. I need you father, you need your father! Fix it!”
    I stand up and face the dad-berg, his eyes focused on the popsicle, mine on his eyes. I see him as his old self and unharmed, I point the wand. ”Dethaw!”
    Dad’s color returns. He’s safe.

    1. jopgespn

      Bleh. I need to start proof reading these so the logic, punctuation, spelling, and grammar makes sense. But, that’s a quick ten minute scene sans revision for ya.

  4. ofwait

    It is late and I was sound asleep when the jarring sound of the telephone made me jerk awake. I covered my head hoping that whoever it was would just go away, but I wasn’t that lucky. The ringing stopped as the caller was sent to voicemail only to start again as they called back. I heaved a deep sigh, and answered the phone.
    “Hello” I answered the phone rather waspishly. My tone of voice didn’t deter my caller though.
    “Randall! Oh, Lord! Randall I need you at home now!” My Mother’s voice cut sharply through the last vestiges of my sleepiness.
    “What?! Mother, what is going on!” I am quickly alarmed, because my mother is not normally an excitable person. She is the most level headed person I have ever met, for her to be in this state meant something huge I was sure. I swallowed thickly “Mother!” she didn’t answer “Mother!” I practically yelled, “What’s going on?”
    “It’s your father!” She sobbed into the phone “He’s frozen! This woman barged into the house and she froze him! I don’t know what to do other than call you!”
    “I’ll be there in 20 minutes Mother. I will take care of this!” I hung up before she had a chance to say anything else. I sat for a few moments on the edge of the bed racking my brain for answers and carding my hands through my hair making it stand on end. What were my options? I quickly decided that calling Robert was probably my best option at this point, he was an ass, and I didn’t want to owe him any favors, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I sigh and dial Robert’s number.
    “What!?” is the surly answer on the other end.
    “Robert” I sigh, “this is Randall, I need your help.”
    There is a muffled snort from the other end “The Great Randall needs my help? You must be pretty desperate.” I hear the glee in his voice, it nearly makes me hang up.
    “Astrid broke into my parent’s house and froze my dad. I don’t have the skills to reverse that, but you do.”
    There is silence for a few moments and then a sigh. “Alright, you ass, I’ll help you, but only because it’s your parents, they are good people. You owe me though, big time.”
    “I know, believe me, I know. See you at my parents in 10.”
    “Right, see you there.”
    I hung up and then started to quickly get dressed. As I got in my car and drove over to my parents, I felt relief. I knew my Dad would be alright, and that was worth any price Robert might ask.

  5. Saeboran

    “Don’t worry mom. I’ll take care of it.” I must have said it a little too flatly because she was suddenly hushed i think i could hear her on the verge of tears when she asked


    I hang up before she can ask anything; it was just much easier not to talk about it to her right now.

    “Isn’t this what you wanted?”

    The specter was listening over my shoulder turning the very air cold and giving me goosebumps. His expression changed from the feigned innocent curiosity, to a smug asshole. I despised it.

    “I wanted him to feel what felt not fucking freeze!”

    “Whoa there, such language isn’t ideal for a young gentleman such as you! Besides, isn’t that what you felt?”


    “Don’t interrupt boy” He snapped, his voice suddenly much louder then it was before and his figure now towering over me.
    “This is exactly what you felt, all those years when he wasn’t there, even when he was he didn’t care about you. He didn’t care about you or your mother, leaving you for a cheap whore when it sufficed. What you felt was hurt, betrayal, hate, and jealousy, the very fire of souls.”

    I was surprised, to say the least, I didn’t think he was really paying attention, but i guess he was waiting for a moment like this.

    “But in the end you turned cold, stolid. You pretended he didn’t even exist in your life, and now he’s feeling that, the very cold in your heart. At least i didn’t just set him on fire” He seemed quite pleased with himself having figured this whole thing out, his eyes prodding for a response from me and his grin showing o so well. He disgusted me in all his little ways. I wasn’t willing to let him have his pride though

    “How do I fix it?”

    He frowned, He knows he was right. I’m almost willing to let him keep my father that way but i can’t. Something he obviously didn’t understand

    “Well you should at least give it_”

    He let out a long sigh, which did nothing but irritate me even more, putting a bite to my words


    “It’s simple” he grinned a toothy feverish grin again, with those sharp white teeth. The kind that would make little kids hide behind their mothers.
    “It requires a trade”

  6. LiveOakLea

    Mom kept asking the same question, “What shall I do?”

    I reassured her, hiding the fact that I was trembling, “Mom, it will be okay. Don’t panic. Fix yourself a stiff drink, and this will be over before you know it.”

    At my suggestion of a drink, Mom seemed to get a grip and in a calmer voice she said goodbye. I held the phone for an instant, picturing Mom as she made her way to the liquor cabinet, pour two whiskey doubles, one for herself and one for Dad, in the same way she’d done every day for the past forty years, then imagining her face crumble as she remembered that Dad was sitting, frozen, in the wingback chair in front of the study fireplace. In my mind’s eye, I could see her downing both drinks. She would be fine for a couple of hours. Hopefully that would be long enough.

    First, I had to reach Ron, but in my hurry I dialed a wrong number. The man who answered, coincidentally also named Ron, might never forget the call he received from a crazy woman screaming at him to ‘get his ass over here’ and bring the sorcerer’s cigarette lighter, that her Dad was frozen, and there was no f’in time to waste.

    After I reached the right Ron, for the next half hour there was nothing more I could do except pace the floor, cursing myself with every step for being so stupid. Only an f’in moron would try to get away with taking a sorcerer’s cigarette lighter. Giving it to your boyfriend for his birthday wasn’t an excuse.

    Thirty minutes was enough time to finish berating myself, and then begin rationalizing what I’d done. After all, who could have known the guy was really a sorcerer? Maybe he just liked wearing a black robe and pointy tall black hat. And any slightly freaky dude can leave a note on your front door saying that the cigarette lighter you found in the laundry room was his and that if you didn’t return it within twenty-four hours, he would start turning your family into human popsicles.

    I saw Ron’s car pull up at the same instant I heard someone rattle the front door handle. I ran to the door, gluing my eye to the peep hole, and there he was – the sorcerer.

    I flung the door open just as Ron jumped out of the elevator. He ran in an odd way that would have been laughable in a different situation, with both arms outstretched and his hands together, clasping the sorcerer’s cigarette lighter.

    The sorcerer’s laugh filled the hallway as he plucked the gleaming silver lighter from Ron’s extended hands. He flicked it and laughed louder as the flame shot up.

    I heard my cell phone buzzing, and I knew that Dad was thawed out and he was probably calling worried about finding Mom passed out.

    That, I decided, was their problem.

  7. thatbillguy

    I am Winter


    I awoke to a deep chill.

    Breath rose from me and disappeared as the last bits of heat fled from it. I wiggled down into the covers trying to find a warm pocket. The chill remained. I needed to pee, but getting out of bed was not an option.

    What happened to the heater?

    Then, the phone rang. I grabbed the cold chunk of metal and plastic and touched it lightly to my ear.

    “Hello,” I whispered.

    “Son.,” It was my mother. I was rare for her to call. She preferred to wait until I finally called her, and then complain that I never call her. “It’s your father.”

    “What’s wrong?”

    “A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.”

    “Um, what?”

    “We’re not sure what happened. The Council can sense his life, but it’s fading. Come quickly, there may not be much time. I love you.” The line died.

    I sat up and threw the covers off. A snowy cloud swirled from them. I swung my bare feet to the floor. A burning cold chased the blood from the extremity, to places my body deemed more vital. I recoiled from the cold floor with some effort, tearing my frozen sole from the sheet of ice.

    I looked around the room. Familiar surroundings looked alien beneath layers of solid cold. Long, icy spikes reached out of the air vent high on the wall. The ceiling fan lolled to one side from the weight of icicles gripping the blades. The sterile smell of cold rode on each breath.

    I shivered in disbelief. In the oppressive cold, I remembered a dream. The dream, actually. The dream of my manifestation. The dream where the world was white and cold and desolate and I was at its center driving the heat away as one would scatter stray cats from a porch. The cold freed me from the heat of mortality and the world suffered for it.

    For thousands of years there has always been a mage of seasons; Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.

    I am Winter.

    Each of us manifest at adolescence with a significant event. The last Winter was responsible for two ice ages. It is thought that power of that magnitude no longer exists. Technology, and its proliferation in society, interferes with the harmonious nature of magic, diminishing its flow. That, in and of itself, is a part of the natural order. People rely on technology for the things that magic used to provide. It is inevitable for evolution to weed us out.

    Right now, however, my power surged into being. It threatened the lives of everyone I knew and loved, and everyone else in the world. I had to gain control or become the creature of apocalypse from my dream.

    Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care it.

    I stood on the burning-cold floor. I exhaled foggy breath. The cold flowed into me. The patter of rain filled the room, as the ice returned to water.

    I am Winter.

  8. ouamish

    I pressed the button to end mom’s call and immediately dialed David’s number. I felt enraged, almost homicidal. The fact that David could do such a thing to my father? The fact that he thought he could get away with it? Insane.
    The phone rang once, twice, and David picked up.
    “Hellooooo?” he said in a sing-song voice.
    “I’m going to kill you,” I growled.
    David laughed. “Aw, babe, don’t be mad! I asked you for something, you didn’t give it to me. I told you there would be consequences.”
    “David,” I said, working hard to keep my voice even, “Break the spell. Now.”
    “That sounds like another threat,” David replied, any trace of humor gone from his voice. “That’s two in the last couple seconds. I’m a pretty calm person,” he lied. “I like to keep things cool, but I don’t like being threatened. Especially by someone who works for me.” I closed my eyes and shuddered, remembering all the “work” I did for David. “I might lose my temper.”
    My anger faded. This was my relationship with David in a nutshell: he was the dominant person, the boss, and if he wanted something you gave it to him, with no questions and no complaints. He had half the city working for him, and the other half afraid of him. He protected himself with powerful magical wards. He was untouchable.
    I pulled the doll from my desk drawer, followed by a case of long needles that glinted in the light. I had attached David’s picture to the head of the doll, and a small nest of David’s black hair to the top. Hair collected from his bed after long, vicious nights spent under his fat, sweaty body, his thick hands wrapped around my throat or threaded through my hair, pulling, wrenching it out by the roots. If it didn’t seem like I was enjoying myself, he would beat me. He didn’t care about bruises, blood, or concussions.
    I traced David’s face with the first needle, slid it down to the doll’s stomach, and jabbed.
    “Urgh,” David said on the other end of the line. “Damn enchiladas.”
    “David,” I said, sticking another needle into the doll’s arm. “Break the spell.”
    I heard his breath hiss through his teeth. A needle into the other arm. Two into the doll’s knee, followed by a sharp scream from David.
    “What the hell…” David whimpered.
    “Break the spell,” I repeated, rubbing the tip of another needle around the doll’s face. I knew David could feel it, like an urgent itching.
    David went quiet. After a few moments, a text came through from mom. he’s ok!
    “There,” David snarled. I knew he would have something particularly nasty for me in a few seconds, something far worse than being frozen. We were finished, one way or another.
    I took a handful of needles and drove them through the doll’s head. On the other end of the line, David screamed, screamed…and fell silent.

  9. Kerry Charlton

    Music Trivia Question, while we’re wailing for a new prompt.

    What three recording artists had five of the top ten selling albums on Billbord at the same time?

  10. PromptPrincess13

    Am finally catching up with these prompts! I struggled with an idea for this one all week but finally just decided to write and see where that led me, with a vague memory of something in a Sabrina, The Teenage Witch episode. Thanks Salem for the inspiration! Advice always welcome!


    “Mom, what’s wrong?” I stood braced against the wall of my hallway, closing my eyes against the emptiness of my apartment. The weight of dread hung above my head like an anvil, awaiting the words that were sure to come to cut it loose and crush me.

    “It’s your dad. Something awful happened to him.” The wretched panic in her voice harpooned its way through my heart, causing tears to bud in my eyes with fiery heat. I gritted my teeth and slid down the wall, none of the plushness of my furnished apartment screaming to me that I was safe in my home. This place was my abode, my lodgings- nothing else.

    My mom’s voice hardened, icing into stone, bitter. “He’s frozen.”

    All I could do was hug my knees to myself, my echoing breaths, short and forced, mocking me as it dispersed through the empty rooms. Why had I asked?

    “I know.”

    “What the heck do you mean you know?!?” I cringed at the sound of my mother squawking her disbelief on the other end of the phone. I fought the urge to hurl the phone at the ceiling, knowing this was my own fault. My own failure.

    I could hear my mom pacing on the other line as I leaned deeper into myself, shrinking my limbs and rolling into a rigid ball on the cold floor, seeking any form of comfort I could find. Comfort I didn’t deserve. I deserved to suffer like this; all of my mistake were finally catching up with me, the habit that had turned addiction now eating at the only parts of my life I’d thought were sacred. Honesty was the only thing that could save my blackened heart now.

    “Mom…I lost a gamble.” I heard my mom take a breath that might’ve steadied her but rattled me even more. I had to say it all now, everything, before I lost my nerve. “I was playing against Darrick Frost and I-I-I thought I had it. It was practically guaranteed mom. But…I messed up. I-I lost.” I paused then, forcing myself to straighten and stand. I balled my fist and gathered my courage; no going back now. “I lost everything mom – my apartment, my money, my reputation…I had nothing left. And I lost my mind mom, I didn’t know what to do…so I did something stupid, so, so stupid. I bet you guys. I bet the house.”

    I heard my mom let something out between a sigh and a gargle of anger. She said nothing, not a word, as I stood alone in my apartment. I held the receiver away from my mouth and cried quietly. The tears kept coming, feeling like flakes of fire against my skin, burning me with shame. “Don’t worry, mom. Please don’t worry. I’m going to fix this.”

    “No. We’re going to fix this. Come right away.” I held onto the notes of forgiveness in her voice, the ones hidden behind the tenseness just close enough to the surface for me to hear. I didn’t say a word, just hung up, got in the car that soon wouldn’t be mine, and drove to the one place where my wrongs could be righted. I drove home.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      This is a beautiful story of a mother’s love for her child. It’s hard for a man to understand, but I do from watching my daughters as they stand by their children, trying to save them from a world inhabited by drug demons. They don’t give up and neither has your MC’s mom.

      It was worth the wait, Prompt Princess.

    2. Breezybealle

      I guess I’m confused. Unless I’m missing something I don’t understand the jump between betting her parents and her father being frozen? And if it involved betting both of her parents, why was only the father affected?

  11. Breezybealle

    Bob Marley’s jamaican accent floated across the room as my cell phone rang. Don’t worry… ‘bout a thing… ‘cause every little thing… gonna be alright…

    I looked down and saw my mother’s number. Such a pretty song, I told myself. I’ll just listen to it a minute longer. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was her calling. Right. I sighed and readied myself for the upcoming conversation.

    “Hey, mom” I answered quickly, trying to make myself sound as rushed as possible. “I’m late for class. On my way out the door as we speak.” I picked up my keys and rattled them as loud as I could, hoping she’d take the hint.

    Silence. That response was unexpected and I stopped rushing about.

    “What’s wrong?” I asked, completely serious now.
    “It’s your father. A spell has been cast on him and he’s frozen solid.” It was such an odd statement to hear over the phone that it took a second to register. I sucked in a deep breath then let it out in a woosh, knowing my day was not going to go the way I had originally planned.

    “Don’t worry mom, I’ll take care of it.” I pushed the end button before she had a chance to say anything else, looked down at the keys still in my hand, and walked out the door.


    Loud music greeted me as I walked through the front door and I knew immediately that at least one of the twins was home.

    “HELLO?” I called out as I searched the bottom floor. “Mom? … Connor? … Cassie? …” Not a sign of anyone. Figuring they must all be upstairs, I climbed the wooden steps to the second floor. Pictures of the five of us lined the wall, reminding me of how close we all were. Sometimes I still longed for the creature comforts of living at home. Being with them every day instead of the bits and pieces of time I got to see them between classes and staying at the dorm.

    I caught mom at the top of the stairs, basket of laundry in tow. A frown furrowed her brow, replaced with a flood of total relief as she noticed me.

    “Tori, thank God you’re here,” she sighed, pointing in the direction of her bedroom with her chin. “Your father’s in there.”

    I followed her into the spacious master bedroom and immediately saw my father, frozen mid-stride, presumably on his way to the bathroom.

    “Have you talked with the twins?” I asked. “Tried to figure out which one did it?”

    “And how exactly was that conversation supposed to go?” she asked as she set the basket on the bed. “By chance have either of you frozen your father with a new magical ability you both didn’t know you had but should have received when you turned 16 last week?” She began to yank the laundry out, piece by piece as she folded it and flopped it on the bed, undoing her already sloppy work.

    “Mom,” I said slowly. “Calm down.” I stopped her from demolishing the remaining clothes by grabbing her hands and holding them in my own. “We all knew this day was coming. We just didn’t know when. They’ll be okay, just like I was when I found out about our family.”

    [I’m planning on continuing the story by trying to incorporate the next writing prompt if possible….]

  12. seliz

    Question for those users who have a profile picture/linked webpage. How exactly do I add those? I tried updating my profile but to no avail. Google and the FAQ’s were no help either.

  13. JessCheney

    “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” The words sounded hollow, even to me as they tumbled out of my mouth automatically.
    “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” The words sounded hollow, even to me as they tumbled out of my mouth automatically.
    My eyes began to lose focus. Mom’s hysterical cries through the phone fell on deaf ears as my heart was racing at triple speed.
    Think. Think! How did she find him? How did anyone find him? I was like a drill sergeant that night, checking all the possible outlets in that…that place. There were none. There was no way he could have escaped, and no way anyone could have gotten in. So how—?
    How did this happen?” Mom had began uncontrollably sobbing now. “Who would do this to my Deeeeky? Hmm? Who? WHO?”
    My insides froze for a frightening second. Did she know? She couldn’t possibly know. “Mom…I’m going to have to call you back.”
    I quickly hung up the phone, my mind blasted by a million memories of that night. Of Deacon. My mom must have been crazy to have married him. Smoking some of that stuff only mortals smoked. Marijuana perhaps. I laughed out loud. Deacon, my dad? Her
    Deeky, she called him. If only she knew what Deeky had drunkenly tried to do to her daughter that night. If only she knew how he’d unexpectedly turned up at my self built cottage in the woods, just stood there, his too large silhouette outlined in the dim moonlight. I was surprised to see him, as he’d never come to my workplace before in all the three years I’d had the privilege of knowing him, yet there was my mom’s husband, standing only a few yards away from my little sanctuary. At a quarter to midnight.
    “What are you doing here, Deacon?” I had asked, hoping he didn’t notice my voice waver. I could tell he’d been drinking by the way he couldn’t keep still. He seemed to be swaying slightly even though there was no breeze. I began growing increasingly alarmed when he still hand’t answered me.
    “Deacon…?” I tried again.
    His yellowing teeth flashed briefly, as he made an attempt to smile. Only it didn’t look like a smile at all. It looked more like a snarl.
    Then he started forward towards me.
    Lurching towards me was more like it. Then all at once, it hit me. All the reasons why I hadn’t liked him before, and why I never could place my finger on the reason. He’d always been a little too…comfortable around me.
    I felt my throat close up, and the magnitude of just how scared I was kicked into overdrive. I started to panic, and a million thoughts flooded my mind. It was just the two of us, alone, in the woods at night. Great idea, Lilly, I scolded myself. Great idea for not even keeping a knife here—
    Then it hit me. The potion. The potion that I’d always worn around my neck…but where was it? And was it really necessary?
    But looking into the hungry, empty eyes of my step father, I knew it was. He was already in a state beyond words, and he didn’t need any, his eyes said it all. He wanted me. He wanted me now. And even through all my blind excuses for his being here, I knew it. And he knew I knew it.
    I put my hand casually in my pocket and desperately willed it to close around that small glass vial. Where was—? Yes. It was there. I closed a tight fist around it, never taking an eye off my enemy. He was slowly getting closer and closer.
    Quick! Think. How was I going to make him
    drink it, though?
    I groaned inward, coming to the only conclusion a tired, sleep deprived 18 year old could think of: I’d have to seduce him.
    “Um, Deacon, would you…like to come in for a glass of wine?” I asked. My throat felt like it was incapable of holding any air. “I’m 18 now, you see.”
    His eyes had widened in surprise, and his snarl became even more grotesque.
    Inside, after I’d slipped the potion into his glass, I made sure he’d come to regret wandering into my woods that night. His facial expression as he watched his feet start to turn to ice, then his legs, and soon his entire body, encased in a block of ice…was priceless. I almost laughed so loud I was afraid Boxie, my baby dragon would wake up.
    I thought I’d locked him up in my secret place for good. But now I had a new problem. Someone knew my secret. Someone had broken him free and somehow gotten my mother to discover him. Someone was close to me. Very close. And now that someone would wish they were someone else. Very soon.

  14. soochybee

    The first time my mom called, I slammed the phone down. Regrettably, she didn’t take the hint. Six calls later, I picked up the phone in a huff. “WHAT?!?” I yelled. “You have to come over here, Alexa!!” I sighed. “Mom, you know I won’t. I can’t be around you people and your magic anymore. My mother’s voice was grating as it came through the speaker. “Get off your high horse. You’ve used just as much magic as we have.” I squeezed the phone, willing it to turn to ash and crumble in my hand. “Mom, I’m not getting mixed up in any more witchcraft. Not after what happened last year. Now stop calling me!!” Before I could slam the phone down yet again, my mother’s voice turned pleading through the phone. “It’s your dad. He’s been frozen solid! Alexa, if you won’t do it for me then do it for him. We all know you’re the most powerful one of us all.”

    I closed my eyes wearily and said nothing. My mother took my silence as me yielding, and 3 seconds later I was zapped back to my parent’s house. “Ugh, I hate it when you zap me.” I muttered. “Where is he?” I asked, my eyes scanning the room. “In the freezer” said mom, then seeing my expression, “What? He turned into ice, I didn’t want him to melt!” I pulled open the industrial sized freezer and hauled my dad out. He had a remote in his hand, must have been watching TV when he got frozen. I grasped his free hand. “We need a power circle”. Some of my siblings filed into the room and my mom beckoned to them. We joined hands, my brother grasping Dad’s remote hand as best as he could. I scanned my mind for the spell and took a deep breath. The chanting began, and I felt the long dormant magic trickling its way back through my veins. As the spell reached its climax, I felt the power surge through me. Sparks swirled in the midst of the circle dramatically, and a cloud of smoke surrounded the statue. When the smoke cleared, my dad was cracking his knuckles. “Man, that really messed with my arthritis.” He groaned. My family was clamoring at me, singing my praises all at once, but I didn’t hear any of them. I flexed my hands, relishing the feeling of the magic in my blood. I’d forgotten how good it felt. Right then I forgot about all the consequences. All I could think was:
    I’m back.

  15. Doug Langille

    INITIATION DAY (cont’d from last week’s prompt)

    Brother and sister sauntered along the sidewalk. Dorian asked her about school and Samantha asked him about being away. He kept steering the conversation back to her. The conversation turned back to the mystery of the hour: Initiation Day.

    “Really, Dor. Why does Dad always have to be like that all the time? Sometimes I wish he would just s–”

    “Don’t, Sam. Don’t finish that thought.”

    Too late, she thought. “What are you talking about? Your’re still so melodramatic, just like him.”

    Dorian’s phone rang and he put his finger in front of his sister’s lips as he answered. Their mother yelled frantically, but the only thing Samantha made out was “Hurry, Dor.”

    “Don’t worry, Mom. We’ll take care of it,” he said and ended the call.

    “What’s going on?” asked Samantha. “Is Mom okay?”

    “Yeah, she’s fine. It’s Dad.” He grabbed her by the shoulders and looked her straight in the face. “Think, Sam. Where you just thinking about when you were ranting about Dad?”

    Samantha face blanched then flushed. “I don’t know. I just wanted him to…”

    “To what? Sam, it’s important.”

    “I wanted him to stop and keep his trap shut.”

    “Okay, we gotta run. We need to fix this.”

    “What? What’d I do?”


    Dorian took off with his long stride. Samantha sprinted after him, thankful for the year in cross-country running. She ignored the stitch in her side as she rounded up the driveway to the side door, almost slamming into her brother as they rushed inside.

    Irene stood over her husband’s unconscious body. She looked up at her children, her eyes wide and glassy. “Who?” she asked.

    Dorian answered. “Sam. I couldn’t stop her. She’s so strong. I can feel it.”

    “Stop me from what?” asked a bewildered Samantha. “What’s wrong with Dad?”

    Irene said “We were talking and, just like that, his mouth clamped closed. He started thrashing and then passed out, like he couldn’t breathe. I can’t open his mouth. I tried every cast I could think of.”

    Dorian bent down on one knee and examined his father’s frozen eyes. The pupils twitched but otherwise he was stiff and lifeless. He placed his hand over Phil’s face and closed his own eyes. Samantha heard him muttering some strange gibberish. After a minute, he stood and both Dorian and Irene looked at Samantha. She saw a mixture of fear, sadness and excitement on their faces. It confused her.

    “Mom, I don’t understand. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean for him to…”

    “Listen, Sweetie,” said Irene. “Take our hands. It’s okay. We’ll show you.”

    The three stood in a circle over Phil’s prone body and joined hands.

    Dorian’s voice was low and even. “Close your eyes, Sis and concentrate on Dad being okay.”

    She did and Samantha felt her hands get warm and her feet grow cold. The static behind her eyes flashed gold and rust electric against a black canvas. She pictured her Dad pushing her on the swing-set. Samantha, a little girl in pigtails, laughing. Her daddy strong and alive. He laughed strong and she loved him.

    “That’s it, Sam. Just like that. Hold that image,” said Irene.

    Their hands burned hot but there was no pain. Then it was gone. The heat, the cold and the electricity all vanished with the kaleidoscope of her mind’s eye.

    Samantha dropped her hands to her side and opened her eyes. Her father stood in the center of their circle, smiling. His voice held the same strength as her memory.

    “Happy Initiation Day, Sam.”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      What a great follow up sequel, Don. writing is so crisp, it almost scorches the computer screen. It’s amazing you can put two prompts together and have the story line flow that well. Your two lines, “Dorian bent down on one knee and examined his father’s frozen eyes.The pupils twrtched but otherwise he was stiff and lifeless.” These two lines are perfect horror.

  16. enzobalotelli

    “What’s wrong?” I asked.
    “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” I paused, knowing two things that my mother didn’t: 1) This is my fault and 2) I’m the only one who can fix it.
    “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.”
    Dawning a pair of black frame aviators I slowly scaled down the ladder to my secluded loft. The apartment was quaint but living in the loft section provided enough room for me to experiment with temporary stabilizers. My second hand moccasins scuffed lightly on the tarnished wooden floor, kicking along bits of dirt and spilled chemicals with each lazy step. On the cluttered computer desk by the door a long box containing at least 20 hypodermic needles lay open. I poked through each one like a shopper carefully avoiding the rancid clothes in the discount bin at goodwill, just looking for a gem.
    “Ah, there you are” I whisper to myself, finally coming across a medium sized needle filled with translucent grey liquid. Capping the needle, I put the concoction in my jacket pocket along with a pill bottle with 2 rattling blue circles in the bottom. I was going to fix this problem alright.
    The drive over to my mother took all of ten minutes. No one was on the road, Sunday afternoons were like that in Lewisburg. The warmth of the setting sun relaxed me, the cold wind from the brisk early March day woke me up. Interesting how the balance of opposites can make you feel so grand. Lost in a daydream I rolled upon the curb of my mother’s late 1800’s two story town home. The white paint had given way to age and the blue shutters were chipping away to brown. I plugged in my headphones and cranked some death metal, I couldn’t listen to my mother panic.
    Opening the door revealed a ballet scene of unmatched words as my crazy mother frantically screamed about magicians and spells (at least I assume) as her voice was drowned out by the sounds of Bring me the Horizon. I immediately walked to the den where my father lay motionless except for blinking eyes on a lazy boy. I see the new serum is just what I was looking for I thought to myself as I dissolved the two blue tablets into a glass of water. The Columbian government will pay out huge amounts for darts tipped with immediate setting – and non-damaging- tranquilizer/paralyzer blends.
    With one swift motion I jabbed the needle into my father’s arm. With a huge gasp of fresh air he began listing off a string of inexplicable curses. I still couldn’t hear him over the Screaming Serenade of “Suicide Season.”
    “DRINK THIS” I yelled, my commands were followed promptly and after 5 minutes of watching him slowly lose the ability to scream, I finally took my headphones out.
    “…if this spell stays for ever with your witchcraft and wizardry I swear…”
    “Shut up ma.” I spat.
    “Dad has pain relievers and adrenaline pumping through his veins now, make sure he eats in an hour and gets a full night’s sleep. He’ll be fine.”
    “What about you?” she asked curiously.
    “I’m going to go make a million.” I said and the door clicked shut behind me.

  17. shampton

    I pace the floor nervously after hanging up with Mom. That bastard. That absolute, complete bastard. I should have never let him back. If I didn’t let him back this would never have happened. I feel panic rising in my throat until I choke. I close my eyes and stop pacing. Steady breathing calms the panic. I don’t have time to think of a long-term solution, but I know a short-term one. I sigh and snap my fingers. A coat appears around my body. I flick my wrist. The door swings open.
    As I trudge up the street, the snow is now falling in earnest. Conversations from open doors of coffee shops and busy bus stops tell me that everyone is surprised by the heavy snowfall on the doorstep of April. But, I am not surprised. The weather is frequently affected when he is angry. I don’t miss the connection between the heavy snowfall and my father’s current state.
    I reach his building and stare cautiously up at the bay windows that provide him with a bird’s eye view of the street. Does he see me through the drawn blinds? Who am I kidding, he knew I was coming the moment I decided.
    I put my finger on the bell for his apartment, but before I press it, the main door buzzes softly. I open it. I make my way up the staircase to his third floor home. The door is already cracked. I don’t bother knocking.
    Randall is sitting on the couch, a coffee in hand. He is facing away from me, no sign he even acknowledges my presence until he speaks. “I know why you’re here,” he says. I walk over to him, anger and rage burning inside my chest. My hands are clenched, my teeth gritted. I close my eyes for a beat and breathe. I relax. And sink to my knees in front of Randall. The tears come easier than I could have imagined.
    “Please, baby, I made such a big mistake, I can’t live without you.” Only now Randall turns his eyes to me and they are full of confusion. He places the coffee mug on the table and I know he wants to touch me, but he is uncertain. Doubt colors his expression. I grab his hands instead.
    “But what about your father,” he begins staring into my eyes. He’s still cautious.
    “Screw my father,” I spit. “They have been calling me all morning. But, I don’t need them anymore. Randall, we only need each other.” I see his guard instantly drop as his repulsive mouth finds mine.
    Exactly an hour later I step outside. The sun is shining, the birds are singing. The snow is melting into the city drains. Surprised, but happy, residents are strolling, laughing, and enjoying the happiness only a spring day can bring. Happiness is not an emotion I am experiencing. I am only focused on revenge.

  18. lori k

    “What’s wrong?” you ask. “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn’t: 1) This is your fault and 2) you’re the only one who can fix it. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.”

    “Yeah, I’ll be sure to take care of it,” Sammi said to herself as she dropped the phone back into it’s cradle.

    The spell had misfired. The man that she had been raised to call father was not supposed to be frozen, he, along with his wife, was supposed to be dead.

    Samantha began to pace around her cold dark kitchen frantically replaying the words of the spell in the back of her mind. She had gone over the ingredients just as the tome had instructed but something had gone wrong. If she didn’t figure out how to fix the spell and kill the man before he unthawed she was afraid that she would be the one that would end up dead.

    The story began long ago when Sam was no more than a few weeks old. The couple had stolen her from her real parents, leaving them dead, their bodies so burned that they were unrecognizable. The man had been behind the entire plan. His wife had no more magic in her veins than a wooden pole that was used to hold telephone wires. He had been the one, he was the great wizard, Zohar. He had felt the presence of Samantha when she had come into the world and he stopped at nothing until he found her.

    The woman that took the role of the small girls mother did his bidding. She raised the child to be mortal, to look mortal and to do as all good children did…to listen.
    When it was time he would take her under his wing and teach her the true ways and that would be Zohar’s downfall.

    Samantha began to soak up magic quicker than a sponge soaks up blood. It came naturally to her and it made Zohar proud and yet, in a small core of his black soul, it made him afraid. The girl showed signs of power, power that matched his own. It wasn’t until the day that he showed her how to read the minds of others that Zohar made his first true mistake because that was an ability that Sam did well…very well.

    It only took one look into her foster mother’s eyes to see who the woman really was and what had happened to her real parents and that was the day that Samantha began to plan her revenge.

    Would she be able to get to Zohar before the spell set him free? He would be sure to kill her because he would know that she planned nothing more than to kill him first.

  19. Congau

    I am my father. When mother called and told me that father was no longer present, I knew it already because his presence is now in me. His body is motionless, his eyes are empty and she can’t make contact with him, she moans, but little does she know that at this very moment she is talking to him. She is talking to me, and I am my father.
    You see, I decided to take control of my own origin. We humans are sheer products of our parents. At birth we were forced to receive what we inherited from them, and therefore we are born without freedom. But I want to be free, and therefore I had to become my own ancestor.
    I’d rather not disclose the details, but the hypnotic process was relatively simple. I stared into my father’s eyes and sucked his person into mine. Thus I captured my father to become free myself, and now I can do everything.
    “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it,” I say confidently. Then I add: “Maggie, meet me yesterday in 1985.” I hang up before she can answer.

    I, the son, am 28 years old, born in 1986.
    I, the father, am 28 years old in the year 1985. I’m on my way to meet Maggie in a café. It’s our third date. I think I like her, but I’m not sure. Tonight something must happen. Either I’ll take the next step or I’ll give up this woman.
    She’s already there waiting for me and I sense a slight blush on her cheeks the moment she sees me. She may become mine.
    I sit down and enter into a light conversation. She laughs at my jokes, but then she suddenly becomes serious and looks straight into my eyes.
    “You are a cheerful and light-hearted guy, she says, “but you do have earnest goals in your life, don’t you?”
    I do. I sure do! Am I not a promising young man at the stock exchange? No doubt I will soon get some really big money in my hands, and then I sure will perform heroic and liberating deeds.
    I’m about to elaborate on my prosperous future, but then suddenly I’m gripped by a strange feeling: It is as if I see my father. He is a respectable grey-haired man who is sitting in an office leafing through documents. His entire being is a monument of dutiful decency, but there is no trace heroism and freedom.
    Was that what my father wanted? Is that what I want? I no longer know what I want.
    I lose confidence and start stuttering. Maggie looks at me in surprise. She is staring at me. She has eyes from the future and I can’t stand her look.
    “No,” I mumble. “No!” Then I run out of the café. I run away from her.

    This was the story about how I was not born.

  20. wells2683

    “Take care of it, how?” say’s my mother with suspicious sound in her voice. “I don’t know what planet you come from, but on this planet we worry when people cast frozen spells on other people.” “This is your father, and you should be as worried as I am.” I said, “I am worried mom, I just need to explain to you what is going on, I’ll be there as fast as I can.” I hang up the phone and gather my thoughts on how I will explain what I have done to my father.
    It’s about seven o’clock in the evening. I’ve just gotten home from work, and wasn’t able to shower and change cloths. I smelled like Jupiter ate Saturn and had a bowel movement because I work with manure from Mars. I arrived at my mom’s house ten minutes from when we had ended are phone call. “How can you possibly explain to me what’s going on with your father,” says my mother with tears streaming from her eyes.
    “Mom, everything is going to be ok.” I said, “Last week we were watching the earthlings, and noticed that their scientists have figured out how to make cars fly.” “We bought thought that was very excited since their tiny little brains can’t discover that there’s life on other planets.” My mom says, “What does that have to do with the reason your father is frozen right now?”
    “We thought it would be a good idea to wager a bet,” I said. “Daddy and I both have powers that you’re not aware of.” “I can instantly freeze and unfreeze entities, and dad can see the future.” “I bet dad that a million flying cars will crash into each other by the end of the week.” “He betted me that two million cars will crash into each other by the end of the week.” “If I win, I get to freeze him, and if he wins, I get to freeze you.” “Dad said to tell you that he can see the future, and knew exactly how many flying cars were going to crash.” “He lost the bet on purpose because he loves you so much and wanted to make sure that you knew that.”

  21. Silver Sister

    Sister . . . Silver . . . Sterling. . . call me anything but late for dinner. (Sorry, that’s my dad’s joke:) )

    Thank you for your incredibly generous comments. For me, as a reader, a story is just as much about the character as it is the events. Think of the ‘perfect’ people you know. Nobody likes them. :) I know I have flaws, so I like the people I hang with (real or imagined) to have a few, too. As for word choice, I remember reading the advice, ‘never say red when you mean crimson. Never say tree when you mean elm’. That stuck with me.

    1. mlmoore

      The buzz of my phone sent a rush through my palm, down my right side to my foot, causing it to press harder against the accelerator.
      “What’s up mom,” I answered in a camouflage of calm and casual as if I hadn’t been expecting her call.
      “Adam, I need you home,” she shouts. “Your father’s finally done it. I told him to stop with those experiments but no, he insisted on turning our basement into a science lab. ‘Well, look at you now Albert – frozen solid from head to toe, covered in ice crystals, looking like a freezer burnt Popsicle. Go ahead; smile – I have half a mind to leave you this way.’”
      I stifled a laugh, picturing mom; one hand on the hip, the other attached to a finger wagging it in dad’s defenseless frosted mug which she thought was taunting her. While the image was amusing, I couldn’t allow dad to be thrown under the bus.
      “Mom this one’s on me,” I confessed. “I was working on a cryogenics project using liquid helium and dad accidently got blasted.”
      “Where did you get liquid helium?”
      “Ebay,” where else?
      “Well, you better have something from ebay to unfreeze your father or…”
      “Mom, I’m on this.” I sliced her or before she threatened to do the same to my reproductive existence. “I’m pulling in Professor Brimstone’s drive now. If anyone can fix this it’s him. So, chill out with dad until I get there.”
      “Adam Burke that’s not funny. Your father’s chilled out enough for the both of us and…”
      I hung up, adding another strike against me. I’d heard mom rant for hours over experiments gone wrong and yesterday, Brimstone said he was leaving town today at noon to attend a conference. It’s half-past eleven – I was cutting it close.
      I sprinted up the walk hoping the Sedan in the drive was an indicator he hadn’t left. At Brimestone’s door, a familiar pair of argumentative eyes greeted me.
      “This bromance with dad has to stop. Why are you always here?”
      “Cage it Emma.” I pushed passed her, trying for once not to allow her presence to distract me. “Something’s happened with my dad – I need the Professor’s help.”
      “Mom took him to the airport,” her finger twirled the end of a blonde curl “Try his cell.”
      “He’s not answering.” My hand took my hair hostage.
      Her brown eyes caramelized at my hopelessness. “Can I help?”
      I gave her stunning face a doubtful look but handed her my phone anyway revealing the pic I’d taken of dad to show the Professor.
      “Nitrogen or helium?” she asked, handing it back.
      Impressed and confused, she left me standing there as she took off up the stairs. Minutes later, she returned carrying a huge bottle of hand sanitizer.
      “Dilute this with water.” she slammed the bottle into my ribcage “Start with a heavy concentrate then slowly decrease the solution. The component of ethanol will act as antifreeze and water will reverse the dehydration process. It’ll take about forty minutes but your dad should begin to defrost.”
      My palm latched to her face and I finally did, what I’d thought a million time before of doing. The respondent touch of her lips created a current throughout my body, way more intense than the earlier buzz of my phone.
      “And that Harper,” I say, tucking her pink bear in bed beside her “is the day daddy found the courage to show mommy how much he was in love with her.”
      “Tell it again daddy.” Her innocent eyes struggle against sleep as her finger finds a curl.
      “Tomorrow night,” I promise, kissing her forehead.
      At the doorway my wife greets me with a loving smile then hands me the phone. “It’s your mom.”
      “Mom?” I’m cautious to say.
      “Adam, your father’s done it again. ‘I told you Albert…”
      I pull the phone away as mom continues her rant. “Is this us in twenty-five years?” I ask Emma.
      “I hope so,” she kisses me, placing my car keys in the palm of my hand.
      (New to this, so sorry if I posted it in the wrong place and for the upped length. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.)

  22. mykidsareasleep

    On the best of days my relationship with my mother is, well, difficult. I’m a loner and she’s a clinger. She wants too much from me and respects me too little. We’ve never really gotten along, but we pretend. It’s what you do for your mom, right?

    She’s panicking. This is not new, she panics if she doesn’t hear from me for a day and a half. I never call her more often than weekly. She panics about her Kindle not turning on and expects me to drop everything and fix it. I don’t own a kindle. I have no idea how they work. She panics … well, you get the picture. No, I’m not the greatest daughter on earth. But I try far more than I’d like to.

    Perhaps I’m not being fair. Dad is, apparently, frozen. She said I’ve got to fix this. You should know this about me: I’m in sales. I know not the first thing about bodies or why people freeze up. Why is she not calling a doctor? In her world, I’m the only one who can fix anything. I honestly have no idea what she means when she says he is frozen. She was so panicked she couldn’t explain. So I said I’d go over and I hung up. I was looking forward to taking my dog to the park this morning.

    I’m on my way over there. I am hungry, too, and I haven’t had breakfast. I’m going to go through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. I can’t face her on an empty stomach.

    I pull into my parent’s drive way. I shove the last bite of my bean and cheese burrito into my mouth and chew quickly. She’s been eyeing my thighs lately and I don’t want a conversation about my eating habits. Mom answers the door, an unusual look on her face, but then she is always dramatic. She once faked a heart attack and called an ambulance because she didn’t like the guy I was going out with that night. The ambulance driver called it. He said, “I think she’s just emotional.”

    “Mom, where’s Dad?” I ask as I walk past her, trying not to make eye contact. I am sure if I look at her I’ll hear how this is my fault- I should have stopped by to see them over the week end. It’s not like I have a husband to spend time with.

    Holy shit. He’s frozen. As in … frozen. “Mom! Why didn’t you call an ambulance?” I yell. I touch him. Ice cold. How did this happen?

    She hasn’t uttered a word. I want to shake her and make her tell me what is going on. I see hot breath. It is coming out of his mouth. Through wordless horror she slips around me and points to his back. There is a note stuck to him: “Katherine Gahl, if you want to save your father, do exactly as I say …”

    1. Reaper

      Intriguing intro. I like the character study here, that you made me sort of dislike the MC, but at the same time want to like her and hope she grows on me when I see her outside of the relationship with her mother. Though I also liked the way that you showed that she dislikes things about her mother but has many of those same traits, I see a drama queen in the making as much as she resists it. I definitely want to see where this goes.

  23. mykidsareasleep

    On the best of days my relationship with my mother is, well, difficult. I’m a loner and she’s a clinger. She wants too much from me and respects me too little. We’ve never really gotten along, but we pretend. It’s what you do for your mom, right?

    She’s panicking. This is not new, she panics if she doesn’t hear from me for a day and a half. I never call her more often than weekly. She panics about her Kindle not turning on and expects me to drop everything and fix it. I don’t own a kindle. I have no idea how they work. She panics … well, you get the picture. No, I’m not the greatest daughter on earth. But I try far more than I’d like to.

    Perhaps I’m not being fair. She’s panicking for a reason. Dad is, apparently, frozen. She said I’ve got to fix this. You should know this about me: I’m in sales. I know not the first thing about bodies or why people freeze up. Why is she not calling a doctor? In her world, I’m the only one who can fix anything. I honestly have no idea what she means when she says he is frozen. At first I thought she meant he was having a stroke, but she insisted that’s not it. Maybe his back gave out again. She was so panicked she couldn’t explain. So I said I’d go over and I hung up. I was looking forward to taking my dog to the park this morning.

    I’m on my way over there. I am hungry, too, and I haven’t had breakfast. When I was in college she used to call at 7 a.m. to make sure I had spent the night in my dorm, ostensibly by myself. I am 35 now and she’s still calling way too early, I think to see if I’m spending the night at home. I get the feeling she’d be happier if I wasn’t home. She is panicked about not having grandchildren, too- yet another thing that I have to do for her. I’m going to go through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. I can’t face her on an empty stomach.

    I pull into my parent’s drive way. I shove the last bite of my bean and cheese burrito into my mouth and chew quickly. She’s been eyeing my thighs lately and I don’t want a conversation about my eating habits. Mom answers the door, an unusual level of terror on her face, but then she is always dramatic. She once faked a heart attack and called an ambulance because she didn’t like the guy I was going out with that night. The ambulance driver called it. He said, “I think she’s just being dramatic.” Those were his exact words.
    “Mom, where’s Dad?” I ask as I walk past her, trying not to make eye contact. I am sure if I look at her I’ll hear how this is my fault- I should have stopped by to see them over the week end and helped with the weeding. It’s not like I have a boyfriend to spend time with or children to take care of.

    Then I see him. Holy shit. He’s frozen. As in … frozen. Like someone stuck him in a freezer kind of frozen. “Mom! Why didn’t you call an ambulance?” I yell. I touch him. Ice cold. How did this happen?

    She hasn’t uttered a word. Yelling at her is my first instinct. I want to shake her and make her tell me what is going on. Through silent tears she slips around me and points to his back. I see breath. Hot breath, like hot breath in the winter air. It is coming out of his mouth. There is a creaking sound. I think it’s coming from his chest He is breathing. Nothing makes sense. I look at his back, where Mom is pointing. There is a note: “Katherine Pierce, if you want to save your father, do exactly as I say …”

  24. Bilbo Baggins


    It was just another normal day- and by that I mean that I had a few socks missing, I dropped my toothbrush into the toilet and had to rush to the store, and conveniently forgot about the road work and had to wait in line while men in yellow vests leaned lazily against road signs.

    The phone rang, and I dug it out of the cup holder.

    “Yes, Ma? Okay, just calm down… frozen, really? Okay, whatever you say, he’s frozen. Have you tried the hair dryer? Not working? I’ll be home right away. Bye, Ma. Yes, love you too. Bye.”

    That was the daily debacle that I got for it being the weekend. I looked up from the phone to see that we were still in deadlock. The worker had changed shifts with another bulkier guy and he swung his sign towards a dirt road branching off. It seemed an unusual spot for a detour, but I didn’t ask questions. As long as I could console her crazy mind five minutes sooner.

    “Where in the world is this even going?” I asked myself. I went under a hill into a tunnel, but I could see that downtown was just a mile away, so I would be fine.

    Believe me; I was jolted out of my boredom when, in the dim light of the tunnel, I noticed the dead end at the end. Automatically swinging into reverse, I was about to rev back with all the power my foot could muster when a guy stepped behind, waving his cane.

    “Man, meet pavement,” I breathed, and was about to make my getaway when I noticed his outfit.

    “What the—“ My foot left the pedal, and he rushed over to the side of the cab, motioning for me to roll down my window.

    “Okay, where’s the costume contest?”

    “Nope, it’s me, laddie,” he assured with a toothy grin and a stab with his pipe.

    “You’ve got to be kidding me. He is a fictional character, for crying out loud!”

    “You mean I’m a fictional character.”

    “Okay, whatever, just tell me to get out of here.” I tapped the wheel.

    “I’m sorry, but you can’t leave yet. Your father is in desperate danger,” said a musky voice from behind him.
    The English chap turned around and my mouth flew open so big his fist could’ve fit in there.

    “Oh, sorry, I don’t think we’ve met properly. The name’s Bruce.”

    “Um, yes, I think I know you already.” I tried to secretly pinch myself, but Sherlock noticed and chuckled.

    “The earth’s not what it seems anymore. Do come inside. We’ve got some sleuthing to do!”

    I reluctantly popped open the car door and followed the duo into some rear room, where Watson was waiting under a lamp with a bulky folder.

    “By the way, did you go to Hawaii last summer, do you play baseball in your spare time, is your favorite color yellow, and did you have a banana before you left?” Holmes nonchalantly sat.

    “Yes to all of them.” The creep must have inspected my car. I slid into the wooden chair.

    “Well then, now we know you a little better.” Watson sat up straight. “But, getting down to brass tacks, your father is in desperate danger. He has been frozen by a force of—“

    “Well, what he’s trying to say,” Bruce interrupted, “is that he has been frozen by a force of—“

    “Snow monsters,” Watson finished, with a glare at Batman. “And so, the next logical step would be to rescue him.”

    “So, why don’t you… just rescue him? And I can go to the store.”

    Holmes bit the end of his pipe, thinking, and then set it down. “I’m afraid you don’t understand quite yet. We need your specific… talents to unfreeze him.”

    “Excuse me?”

    I heard the door burst open behind me, and their expressions changed to alarm. Swinging around, I saw two evil monsters raise their clubs and lunge for our gathering.

    Sherlock grabbed an umbrella from the corner and fired twice. Both of them collapsed in a heap of snow with a puff.

    “Always loved the umbrella gun. Grab the rifles from the closet! There’s more bound to come.”

    Watson threw two rifles at each of us, the barrel landing awkwardly in my arms. I had never known how to use a gun, but when confronted with an enemy my instincts made me learn. Within a few minutes, all of their frosty attacks had been beat off, and we cleared out the garage outside.

    “I think we got them all. Pretty close one, though.”

    I wiped my sleeve, but looking up my expression paled at the empty parking spot.

    “My car!”

    “Don’t worry about that,” Batman said. “We’ll just take mine.”

    I paused. “Wait, I get to ride in the Batmobile itself?!” He nodded gruffly.

    “Shotgun!” Watson ran for the curb as if pursued by demons.

    “Wait up!” Holmes called, hobbling along. “And, by the way Bruce, does the tea maker in there still work?”

    (Ladies and gents, my weird side is officially back. GH)

    1. Reaper

      Mr. Baggins, I don’t really know what I just read but I enjoyed every second of it. I keep hearing this in my head.

      You can’t make me look! I’ll just shut my eyes.
      Oh, you’ll open them. You have to breath sometime.
      No, I – Wait… What do eyes have to do with breathing?

      I love Invader Zim and that is the rabbit hole I just followed you down.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Hello, Bilbo. Reads like you had one to many before you went to bed. I thought it a lot of fun running with Bat, Watson and Sherlock. The killer to the whole story and summing up your delirious insanity was,
        “And by the way Bruce, does the tea maker in there still work?”

      2. Bilbo Baggins

        Reaper- I don’t really know what I just wrote, either. It’s just… something. But, glad you enjoyed it nonetheless.

        Kerry- Hello again to you as well. Thanks, I can spot a few mistakes in it, but altogether glad it put the insanity across. The idea of Sherlock battling snow monsters just popped into my head, and wouldn’t leave.

  25. john godfrey

    That’s Super!

    I sighed as I put my phone back into its cradle. My mother had just finished telling me my father had been frozen, as in encased in a block of ice. I told her, hiding the reluctance in my voice, that I would take care of it. Unfortunately for me, that would mean I would have to deal with…her. It was something I had been dreading since the words of encouragement had come out of my mouth.

    We all have bad ex-lover stories, don’t we? The crazy cat-lovers, the uptight religious-types…the list could go on and on. Well, I think I’ve topped the list with my worst ex-girlfriend: a superheroine with the power to do practically anything. Think of Superman, except with breasts and a bitter attitude about heartbreak.

    She claimed I had broken her heart, but how could I? It was freakin’ impenetrable, that was one of her powers. Ever since our bitter break-up, she had been striking back at me: two weeks ago, she melted my cat with heat vision. Last week, she lifted my car from the ground and flew it to Tokyo (leaving me with a hell of a lot of unpaid parking tickets). Now, she had frozen my father with her freezing breath. What could possibly be next?

    I grabbed my car keys, found a sweatshirt to cover my Batman t-shirt (also a former boyfriend, she claimed he was too moody) and set out to confront my former girlfriend. Driving my parent’s minivan, which I knew would not get me any phone numbers from cute girls; I drove north of the city, where I knew her headquarters were. At its highest point, it went above the clouds, something I saw immediately as I turned on to the narrow road that would lead me to it. It was made up completely of crystal, and in the setting sun, it was beautiful.

    Suddenly, a large piece of crystal came flying at my car, and I narrowly dodged it with a yell of surprise. Another followed, and after it was thrown, I could see my ex, hovering 100 feet above the ground, chucking them at me. I realized she had seen me coming with her heightened vision, and prepared an attack. I stopped my Volvo with a screech, and hopped out of the car, waving my arms towards the sky.
    “Sara! Please! Stop, I just want to talk!” I screamed to the sky desperately. I saw her slowly begin to drift towards the ground. However, she still launched a final piece of crystal at my car, crushing it with a pitiful crunch.

    Head in my hands, I heard her land on the ground with a powerful thump. The landing sent me flying to the ground. She began walking towards me, boots drumming on the concrete.

    “What do you want, Mark?” she said, her eyes turning red with the approaching heat vision.

    “Sara, please, calm down. I’ve come to ask you to unfreeze my father. This silly revenge against me has to stop. We broke up, like, a month ago.”

    “You left me, Mark! I came home after a ferocious battle with Mister Fist to find all of your stuff gone, your comic book collection missing and a note on the table with a quick “You were super!” scrawled on it. That wasn’t even funny.”

    “I never meant to hurt you, Sara.” I said, suddenly noticing that she had lifted me up into the sky and had one muscled hand clenching the collar of my shirt.

    “Well, you are almost as good at doing that as the Hulk. You know he wasn’t the most gentle of lovers.”

    “I know. Listen, Sara…maybe we could try it again. I miss you, and I know you miss not spending your nights terrorizing me, you’d rather be saving the world.”

    Her face lit up. She was so beautiful when she wasn’t throwing chunks of crystal at me.

    “Really?” she asked hopefully. “You won’t leave this time?

    Noticing us gently falling to the ground, I nodded. “Cross my heart.”

    We got to the ground, and we embraced. I lost my breath for a moment because of the super strength, but regained it once it was done.

    “Let’s go unfreeze my dad, okay?” I asked hopefully.

    “Sure.” she said with a grin. Suddenly, she frowned. “I have something I’ve been meaning to tell you, Mark.”

    “What is it, baby?”

    “I’m pregnant.”

    I said the first thing that came to my mouth, which wasn’t what came to my mind: “That’s super!”

    “Actually, he is.”

    Flying off into the sunset with my girlfriend, all I could do was curse myself with those famous words: Without a condom comes great responsibility.