So, you've had two sets of Friday writing prompts and you may be wondering just what to do with them. Every Saturday, I'm going to post a short story, scene or other piece of writing that I created from a prompt. Some are complete short stories, others are just a scene or captured moment using the prompt as inspiration. And sometimes, a prompt leads to a whole lot more, like an entire novel, novella or long short story. No matter the case, these are all short pieces for Short Story Saturday.
For now, I'll share some prompt-based writing that I did a few years ago. I'd love to hear your thoughts on the stories.
This first one is a story I wrote in 2010.
Prompt: Your character inherited 500 acres of rich farmland in Kansas
“Are we there yet?”
“I think we left Earth several hours ago.”
“Come on guys, it’s not that bad.”
Actually, it was worse than bad. They’d been driving now for at least three hours and had yet to see any sign of civilization. The last Starbucks had been in the airport concourse in Wichita . Cell service had been non-existent for at least the last 100 miles.
“Are we there yet?”
“I don’t even think this is still the United States .”
“Shut up, guys,” Carrie Ann said. “We should be coming up on the turn off sometime soon. You’re gonna make me miss it.”
The four best friends were on a mission to see what Carrie Ann’s grandpa had left her. Claiming the inheritance meant she had to leave New York and travel to the hinterlands of nowhere. Her three best friends signed on to the adventure with a promise from Carrie Ann that if the inheritance sucked –- which they all expected it would given what the lawyers had said -– Carrie Ann would owe them all a pampering day at the spa.
Things were looking good when they arrived at LaGuardia to find four first-class tickets waiting for them. The route took them from New York to Houston, Houston to Wichita and from there to a small prop plane that dumped them in the middle of what was called a runway but could best be described as a deserted dirt road surrounded by fields in the middle of only god knew the hell where. They assumed the stuff growing up along the so-called runway was corn, since that was the only vegetable any of them knew grew in a field.
No one was there to greet them, but a late-model sedan suited for a grandpa was waiting with Carrie Ann’s name printed on a piece of paper under the windshield wipers.
They hauled their own luggage into the trunk, and set off down a road with a map that had been left inside for Carrie Ann.
Ten minutes later, the rental was bumping along until they’d come to an asphalt road that apparently had no end.
“Are we there yet?”
Carrie Ann made a turn.
“Not so fast, it’s just different corn.”
“ New York is where I’d rather, stay. I get allergic smelling hay.”
Ten minutes later Carrie Ann stopped the car in front of a fenced gate. She got out unlocked the gate with one of three keys the lawyers had given her.
“It’s supposed to be thirty minutes from here,” she told her friends.
“A serial killer is out here waiting for us, right?”
“I was thinking the same thing. I think you’re gonna owe us way more than a day at the spa.”
“Uh, maybe we should just forget about your inheritance.”
“Come on, guys, we’ve come this far. I want to know what’s waiting for me.”
“A guy with a hatchet.”
“If you guys bail on me now, you have to walk back to that rinky dink gas station and hitch a ride to Wichita .”
That shut them all up.
Twenty minutes later, the car crested a small hill, took a curve and …
“Oh. My. God.”
“You have got to be kidding me.”
"I cannot believe what I'm seeing."
Carrie Ann looked at the paper from the lawyers and at what stood in front of them.
All four got out of the car, each one slamming her door as if that might make the illusion disappear. They walked toward the house.
Along the long drive from the regional airfield, they’d played guessing games about what the property would look like. The lawyer told Carrie Ann there was a main building and a few outbuildings. He hadn’t specified what any of it looked like. But a five-hundred acre farm in the middle of nowhere didn’t produce visions of grandeur. A clapboard farmhouse or maybe a one- or two-room log cabin where the two best guesses the friends came up with.
No one, not a single one of them expected to see a magnificent 20,000-square foot mansion that looked more like a ski resort’s lodge in Vail than a simple farmer’s house.
Carrie Ann looked at the paper in her hand, at the house, at her friends and back at the house.
A moment later, the front door of the massive residence opened and three people walked out and toward them, two women and an older man.
Carrie Ann nodded. Her friends nudged her forward. She glanced back at them, then took a step forward. “I’m Carrie Ann Ambrose.”
The woman smiled and gave a small curtsy.“Welcome home, Miss Ambrose.”