DWP No. 032




Turn an idea into a short story with a beginning, middle and “end.”

Each day this week, you will be asked to write about a certain aspect of your idea. These writings will then become the filling for your pie. For DWP No. 038, you will finally write your story and share it in its entirety on that day. In the meantime, get to work on imagining the world in which you will tell your tale.

Days ONE thru SIX are all EXERCISES in story-making.





  1. The Listmaker’s Ranch

    The sound of a light bulb pulled by a chain. SCKERICKPT. Replacing the light of the moon, without a cloud in the sky, the sun shines bright overhead. It’s high noon. A dull ticking and tocking of a clock ticks and tocks overhead. Directly under the fat face of the sun sits a stately country home, dilapidated, barely standing. An old colonial, as it were, the thing looks as if it ought to be torn down. Despite its condition, the house stands tall, adorned with shutters and wrap-around porches, and to its right, if the front door is the “front” of the house were it to open its eyes and look out, rests a lively garden fluttering and singing with all sorts of tiny creatures and tiny plants. Beyond the garden sits a greenhouse teeming with self-sustaining life.

    Dusty, a dirt road leads to and away from the house through a circular drive accessible on the left side of the house, again, if the front door is the vantage point from which the house would view the world. As if lassoed by the gravel tirepath, a large tuft of lush green grass rises high around the base of an old, thick, perfect-for-climbing tree. Shaded, the tree grows tall and wide, rounded, covering the grass-laden area below. Surrounding the home sway fields of tall green grass, patted down in various places by random things, and beyond the waves of grass sits a large forest that spans the entirety of the property not already described.

    Of significant size, no one can ever really know how large the Listmaker’s Ranch truly is, especially since the only person who could know the answer is the Listmaker, himself, except that he never leaves his house. With regards to the entrance to the property, it is said that no one knows where it is. Tales of the Listmaker always begin upon the dirt and/or gravel path whereupon the visitor may see the house in the distance. These rumors tell of The Bromides, supposed travelers of time and space, and their special ability to commune with the Listmaker.


  2. Dune’s Apartment

    Inside a cleverly makeshift single-occupant “nest” embedded inside the interior of the now-defunct maintenance station that encased a section of vertical real estate most of the way up towards the top of the spire crowning the 206-story Ytllysyn Plaza building, there are innumerable, inventive ways to wile away the time spent perpetually alone, not the least of which is an impressive collection of rare books (or at least, the covers) ingeniously arranged with a mechanical book retrieval system of an obviously custom design. The “apartment” crawled and wound its way up six stories of traversable elevation, all of it over three thousand feet in the air off the sea-level street below. A thin, chalky dust was heavily ubiquitous on every surface and in every nook and cranny of the space, clearly a product of decades of accumulation, though in its own way it was quite soft and innocent and much friendlier than dust. Clearly, it was of no consequence to the inhabitant of the place. Ancient technology (the kind with all the cords and buttons) manifested a heavy presence among the crowded interior levels and reminded one of a sophisticated steampunk vending machine brought in from the Ookala Sand Dunes. Not being a good place for those prone to motion-sickness, the whole spire gyrated around in swooping, ambulating arcs, constantly, though that was never visible to all the busy bees down below, seeing as how it was so high up in the sky that an observer walking along the narrow traffic corridors crisscrossing the metropolis in the vicinity below couldn’t even crane their neck back enough to catch a glimpse of it over the edge of the Plaza’s roof anyway.
    The technology that powered the megacity was sufficiently advanced so as to be incomprehensible to the layman (that layman being any purely biological human being), but it all worked together quite marvelously and all of the resident humans were more than satisfied benefiting from the incessant cleanliness and precision public transit punctuality without understanding all the fine details of the programming algorithms or robotic infrastructure that glued everything into one smoothly purring municipal engine. That was all well and good, of course, until something went wrong, in which case the resident people were essentially helpless, and without leverage. Well, most people were without leverage. But I suppose that hasn’t changed much over the millenia.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like this line: Clearly, it was of no consequence to the inhabitant of the place. The placement of the sentence adds power in its location.


  3. Millersburg- The Scene

    The house stood on the corner of Hunter Avenue and Miller Road, just like it had for the past 60 years but not like he remembered. It had three peaks, each one slightly smaller than the other cascading downward with the last one topping the garage door that was painted a dull pink like the color of white panties stained with old menstrual blood.

    The house itself was a monstrosity compared to the others in the neighborhood. It was painted Girl Scout uniform green with tan shingles covering the tops, the peaks like little birthday hats you would stick on your dog’s head and laugh to make fun of it. Compared to the neighbors who had little packet sized parcels, the yard was huge, a large lawn expanse, flat but lush green with its edges trimmed with baby Cypress trees all perfectly manicured leading up to the front door.

    There was a slab of dirt at the road’s edge where people could dump their cars as they zipped up to the front door. No one stayed long anyhow. What did it matter? The parking spot was off the road and perfectly safe but really, it was not any place you’d want to park permanently. From there you would take the sidewalk leading up to the house, that is if you didn’t want to take a shortcut across the grass and get yelled at. It had odd- shaped slabs of granite, grayish blue in color, the edges embroidered in a zigzag, with crushed blue slate rock as if it were sprinkles on a birthday cake, the homeowner hopeful it would disguise the ugliness of the house itself. The crushed rock was shaded with mulberry bushes all missshapen and as gawky and awkward as a 12-year-old boy, as if someone took a crash course in basic pruning and forgot the directions.

    A visitor approaching the front door, and there were a lot of visitors in those days, was shocked by the flowers growing in the yard, given how dismal the house looked from the curb. Straightahead lay the front steps and clearly a handyman‘s job. There were 4 cement steps, all uneven, all with different risers, with 1 black fake iron handrail bedecked in curlicues. The door itself had more wrought iron railing, dull grey in color like the dull side of a piece of aluminum foil. It was a single door, not the fancy double kind like other houses had. This one was a screen door with a bit of glass window at the top, its pitcher-shaped handle half- attached to the bolting.

    Liked by 2 people

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