Short story: For WritersDigest Weekly Creative Writing Prompt

Out of a great urge to write and having no particular topic to write about, I ended up looking at this week’s Creative Writing Prompt on WritersDigest. I have added a link to the prompt at the bottom of this post. The prompt looked very familiar and I hit the pause button on my work and jumped straight in. But they have a 500 word limit. My first draft had 1150+ words. I managed to cut it down to 650+ in the first revision. But finally ended up at 800+ words. This was really challenging as I wanted to tell a short story.

Please send me your feedback using the comments form.

***

Priya was deep asleep when I finished typing the last sentence of my first novel. It was a story about a suspicious new neighbour who commits a murder. It was past midnight and I went to sleep happily.

I woke up from my blissful sleep when I heard a loud noise from our neighbour’s house. He moved in recently. I looked at my wife and she was still deep asleep.

The first time I saw him a few days ago, I had a strange feeling that I have met this guy before.

I got up from my bed, put on my shirt, walked half awake and knocked on his door.

He opened the door after a minute.

“I am Akash, your neighbour, I heard a noise from your house, everything fine?”

He nodded and gestured me to come in. His expressionless smile revealed silver teeth he had for two of his upper canines like the murderer in the novel I just finished writing. I smiled at the strange coincidence and went inside.

I sat on the sofa as he excused himself and went to use restroom. It took me few minutes to realize that there were many things in that house which I wrote about in my novel. To make things more confusing, this man looked very similar to the murderer that I always imagined while writing the novel; including those two silver teeth. I started to sweat and I tried to believe this was a mere coincidence.

The most terrifying of all were the following words on the wall written with a sketch.

“I am not a Romeo. I rather want to kill her than to die for her.”

As I finished reading those words on the wall, I had to shout loudly to believe I wasn’t dreaming.

He rushed out of the bathroom and asked me if everything was fine.

I wrote these exact lines and those were written on the walls of the murderer’s house in my novel which I used as a crucial clue in solving the murder mystery.

“What is your name?” I asked him dreading to not to hear the same name.

“Rakesh. Friends call me Raku.”

The same name as in my novel. As if that wasn’t enough to make me go insane, as I started walking towards the door, I saw a knife that had a pink rubber handle similar to what my character used to kill a woman in the first page of my novel.

I hurried to see if Priya was sleeping. I woke her up and asked her to kiss me. She wiped the sweat off my forehead and kissed me. I knew it wasn’t a dream any more.

I never slept that night.

I decided to not to tell Priya about what happened.

I followed my neighbour for next two days to look for clues to dismiss the whole thing as a supernatural coincidence.

Many strange things happened which were exactly same as I wrote them in the novel. Three nights later he knocked on our door as my character did in the novel. He borrowed some sugar while carefully studying our house and often times looking at our bedroom where Priya was talking on the phone.

This was beyond what my brain could handle.

The most terrifying of all was that I knew what was going to happen if things continued to follow as per the novel.

Priya would be brutally killed with a knife if things continued to happen. So brutally that I regretted imagining it.

I was totally insane. I hurried up Priya the next morning and asked her to go to her Mother’s place. She fought with me and I convinced her somehow.

I was insane to an extent that I forgot what I wrote in my novel. The murder happens in the victim’s mother’s place. I realized it after we sat in the car.

She did not agree to change her mind and all the way she was asking why I was behaving weirdly.

If this insanity continued, I had only twenty four hours to save Priya. I took a couple of pills and never knew when I fell asleep for few hours in the noon.

In my dream, I met a publisher in a bar. He looked at the manuscript and read first few pages.

“Akash,” the publisher said while putting his wine glass on the table, “can you change the place where she gets killed and the way she gets killed. We may turn off some sensitive crime fiction readers because of the brutality of the murder,” then he laughed and vanished with the dream as I woke up abruptly.

That saved my wife and my life. I opened my laptop and changed the story without sleeping the entire night.

 ***

The prompt: http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts/novel-character-comes-to-life-and-may-murder-someone

The word limit of 500 din’t allow me to elaborate the story any longer than what I did. I ended up with 800+ words though.  Hope you liked it.

There are quite a few movies and novels which revolve around a similar theme. The challenging part was to finish with as minimum words as I can while keeping the interest till the end without missing essential details.

Thank you! You have made my day if you have read this entirely!

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3 Comments

  1. Posted October 15, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Nice thought and the way u manage to keep it interesting…

  2. Mariam
    Posted January 2, 2013 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Love that it might happen to a writer to start go insane because of what he wrote …it could happen in real life

  3. karthik
    Posted February 27, 2013 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Nice and interesting

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