Last week was our first workshop of this years Creative Writing sessions. Despite being an informal “icebreaker” we actually managed to do some work and produce some really good stories.
Our task was to create a story using two of the below sentences. But many of our groups (in true competitive spirit) managed to create stories using all 15 sentences! Here is a sampling of our work for you to enjoy.
- “And basically that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again”
- “I need to borrow a shovel… don’t ask why.”
- “Don’t go to the door.”
- “Holy shit a unicorn!”
- “I didn’t realise it was so cold.”
- “No I haven’t. Not for a while.”
- “I wish someone had told me that.”
- “There’s only one left.”
- “You’re not serious?!”
- “Only if she’s not going to be there.”
- “Take her to the castle.”
- “It was only a shadow.”
- “Find him. Find him, before it’s too late.”
- “The road was long and winding, and night was dark and full of mysteries.”
- “It would only take one bullet.”
The Misadventures of the Bytheways
-By Elizabeth Graham, Ebba Magnusson, Maciej Garbacz, and Daniel Reidy
The road was long and winding, and night was dark and full of mysteries.
“I didn’t realize it was so cold,” Bytheway Junior said and shivered in the back seat.
“You’re not serious! It’s the middle of August, and we’re in Florida, you twat!” replied Josh.
“Be nice to your brother,” Mama Bytheway chided from the front. She looked out the window and murmured, “There’s only one left.” From the window, Mama watched the dark trees fly by. Papa squinted and flicked on the high beams.
“Honey,” he said, “Have you seen any road signs for Disneyland?”
“No, I haven’t, not for a while,” Mama replied. Papa reached over the glove compartment to find a map.
Suddenly, a white flash passed in front of the car. Papa looked up and tried to swerve out of the way, but it was too late. The small car collided with the mysterious object in the road. They spun out off the road and into the woods. The car jerked and collided head on with a tree. All Mama could do was scream as they were jostled about.
After the initial panic had died away, Mama spun around to look at her sons and ask, “Is everyone ok?”
Everyone confirmed: yes, they were ok, no broken bones. They stepped out of the car. While the Bytheways had suffered no damage, a bright white carcass lay in the middle of the road.
“HOLY SHIT! A UNICORN!” screamed Junior.
“Is it . . . is it dead?” Josh walked closer to the unicorn. Without warning, the beast sprang up and trampled Josh. He hit the road with a thump and the unicorn galloped off into the forest.
“I guess it’s NOT dead!” exclaimed Junior.
“I wish someone had told me that,” Josh groaned from the ground. He sat up, adjusted his fitted cap, and took out his vape (to calm his nerves). Papa ran to his eldest son and fell down beside him.
“Are you okay, my sweet boy?” Papa cradled Josh’s head.
Josh replied, “You need to find him. Find him before it’s too late.”
“What, y-y-ou want me to kill him or something?”
Josh looked up, tears in his eyes, and said, “It would only take one bullet.”
It was then Papa knew what he had to do. He went to the trunk of the car and took out an AR-15 (like a real American). He went to Mama and touched her shoulder.
“I need to borrow your shovel . . . don’t ask why.”
Mama nodded and took her prized shovel out of her purse. Papa took the shovel and kissed Mama on the cheek. He then walked back to Junior.
“Son, if I don’t come back,” He looked wistfully at Mama, “Take her to the castle. Find Disneyland and take her to Cinderella’s castle.”
Junior, overcome with emotion, could only nod as Papa ran into the woods after the aggressive unicorn.
Hours passed. Mama, Josh, and Junior sat on the side of the road, waiting. After some time, Mama said, “That’s it. We’re going in after him.” Josh and Junior nodded and they walked into the deep, dark woods.
While they trudged through the forest, Junior began to remember and tell his family about the famed Floridian Forest Witch (which he had learned about in school).
“Do you see that?! That figure in the trees! It’s the witch!” Junior cried.
“It was only a shadow!” Mama said, and they forged onwards.
Soon, they stumbled into a clearing with a cabin. Horrific noises erupted from the inside.
“It’s her! The witch!” screamed Junior.
“We have to go in,” Josh said, his voice trembling.
“Only if she’s not going to be there!” Junior weeped.
While her sons made fools of themselves, Mama ran to the cabin.
“Don’t go to the door!” Junior screamed, but Mama didn’t listen. She went to the cabin, grabbed the door handle, and wrenched it open.
Mama’s heart sank as she looked upon the cabin’s interior: Papa and the unicorn were making sweet, sweet love on the hardwood floor.
“Papa!” screamed Mama, “Not AGAIN!”
Papa pulled away from the unicorn and looked at Mama with pleading eyes.
Mama shook her head and ran back out to her children, tugging them back into the woods towards the road. She explained what Papa had done.
With tears in her eyes, Mama choked and said, “And basically, that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again.”
–By Robin Thomson & others
The road was long and winding, and the night was dark and full of mysteries. That’s why we took a torch. It was getting close to half past one and we still hadn’t reached our destination. Suddenly, John stopped in his tracks and pointed the torch at something in the bushes – something which quickly scampered away.
‘Holy shit! A unicorn!’
‘Find him. Find him, before it’s too late.’
‘Too late?’ I was afraid – not of the dark night, not of the great beast, but of John: his steely eyes and his grim tone. It wasn’t like him.
‘It’s very dangerous. Too dangerous to let it live.’
‘…I wish someone had told me that.’
I had always thought that unicorns were friendly. But John seemed certain – really certain – that this one was not. He had pulled his gun from its holster hidden under his jacket. He hand me the torch.
‘Keep an eye on the bushes,’ he told me. ‘If you see it, we’ll shoot it.’
‘You’re not serious?’ I followed him towards the trees, by now thoroughly fed up. ‘This is the worst date ever! You’re so into your virtual reality, I don’t see why we can’t do something normal-’
‘We just need to finish this level! There’s only one left-’
‘You told me we were having dinner!’
‘You want dinner? Help me shoot this unicorn. There! …No. It was only a shadow.’ He sighted down the gun, oblivious to my scowl. I was sufficiently put out that I made up my mind to sabotage his “hunt”.
‘What? Where?’ John swivelled to aim at an unremarkable patch of bush.
‘There’s nothing there. It was just a trick of the light.’
‘Damn it, Kate, next time don’t shout unless you actually see something.’
This was getting ridiculous. I just wanted to go out to dinner for once, instead of this virtual reality gaming crap. He knew i didn’t like this kind of thing. Fed up and tired, I reached up and pushed the “Exit” button that hovered in the top corner of my field of view.
A glowing blue door appeared in front of me. John turned just in time to see it pop into existence.
‘Aw, Kate,’ he whined, ‘Come on, don’t go to the door. We’ve been having such a good time, we’ve got dinner with my parents next week-’
‘I don’t want to go if your sister’s coming,’ I said, but with less conviction. The door flickered and disappeared. ‘Last time we were all together, she got off with six different guys – and basically that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again.’
‘We could still go ourselves! If I stop playing now, will you come next week?’
‘Only if she’s not going to be there.’ I spotted the unicorn picking its way towards us again, but I didn’t say anything. ‘I don’t mind your mum and dad.’
‘Good. I don’t think Emma’s coming, anyway.’ John raised his gun again, taking aim in the wrong direction. ‘Think her boyfriend wanted to visit Edinburgh with her anyway. Take her to the castle have you ever been?’
‘Not for a while. I don’t really like Scotland. I didn’t realise it was so cold.’
It was a hint, but he didn’t pick up on it. He was watching the trees.
‘Look, let me just kill this unicorn. It would only take one bullet.’
Three hours later, I went home by myself.
[Well – I had John with me, in a manner of speaking. I left him at the bottom of the garden and went to wake up my mum.
‘Mum? I need a shovel, don’t ask me why.’]
The Great Mouse
–By Reilly Dufresne, Marta Ron Folz, Hannah Donnelly
It was only a shadow- a shadow of a nightmare. But it haunted me for the rest of my life. There, in front of me loomed the castle. Behind me a woman screamed “Take her to the castle!” in a shrill Glasweigan accent.
My brother, next to me, trembling hysterically, whispers “It would only take one bullet.”
I nodded, feeling cotton candy swirl around my stomach like the sick web of lies we had been caught in. I knew the day was coming but I had not anticipated the fear. I wish someone had told me that.
I didn’t realise it was so cold. And it was not just the tropical air that had taken the downward plunge. The road was long and winding and the night was dark and full of mysteries as we made our way past the masked silky sweet figures bemused with false smiles and baskets of treats.
My brother boldly reached for the door. I hissed “Don’t go to the door…”
He shot back, indignantly “It will only take one bullet. We must kill the Great Mouse- enslaver of the young and optimistic.”
My brother was too anxious. “We need to find him, find him before it’s too late.”
We both held the hands of our parents as we waited in line to meet the Great Mouse.
35 mimutes we were standing in disgrace at the front gates, our parents glowing crimson. And basically that’s why we can never go to Disneyland again.