DannyT Land

This is my writing prompt blog. If you like something, please post a comment, and maybe even ask for more

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Location: Winter Park, Florida, United States

A couple of writers, adult children, dog lovers, theme park fans, Stargate fanatics, and generally silly people.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Eastern Establisment

I started back in Jamie Morris' Amherst Writers Workshop. It's on Tuesday mornings. Very difficult to wake my creative brain up that early, but it seems to work sometimes.

Today, the prompt was an object. She laid out a few things on a table, we pick up something, and used it as a prompt. See if you can guess what my object was:

He was standing at the curb, watching us. The owner. Watching, and seeing the incompetence of my crew. The only day when anything had gone wrong so far, and he was here, and all because no one had brought a tape measure.

"Christ, God almighty," I thought. "Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad, whoever, help me now, please."

I couldn't find the frigging little thing anywhere. It was easy enough to see - bright orange, but then so is everything on a construction site now. Nothing stands out anymore. Orange and yellow everywhere. Too much orange.

And this wasn't just any customer. This was Heart. Or was it a Vanderbilt? It was one of those family name people, and he wasn't very nice.

Luckily, the curb was almost a mile away. Lugo watched from his binoculors.

"What are they doing?" I asked, pacing the work area, trying to find the tape measure.

"He's talking to Max. Their pointing away from the house," he said in his thick Armenian accent. "I think at the guest house."

The Guest House! Maybe that's where it is. We were there yesterday, fixing the wiring panel for the summer kitchen.

"Ivan," I paced through the bottom floor of the east wing looking for him. "Ivan."

"I am upstairs," he replied, as best as I could tell. My Ukrainian wasn't very good. Ivan didn't speak any English, and he refused to speak Russian, but at least he'd listen to Russian.

"Ivan," I yelled as I ran up the unfinished back stairway. "I need you to go to the guest house. No one has a tape measure." Luckily, I spoke Russian well enough to get the job done. Unless I didn't have a tape measure, that is?

Just as I came into the unfinish bathroom, Ivan was pulling a tape measure across the top cabinet. Behind him, in the bathtub, was a body. No face, and no hands.

"Oh, no. Not another one." I threw my hands up.

"You want I finish this first?" Ivan asked. He was the one that usually got rid of the bodies.

"No." Sweat was now on my forehead, even in this below zero temperature. "Get rid of the body first. The owner is here."

Ivan's face went pale. "Here? Now?" He looked at the body in the tub. "Where I put him?"

"In the river, but I need the tape measure first."

He handed me the measure, and pulled the shower curtain down as I ran out.

The fifth body in as many months. Another investigative reporter probably. In the states, they were the final authority. Here, in the Ukraine, they were the hunted. Far too many Ruskiya Mif - Russian Mafia- to get any real news out. In a complete turnabout, the government no longer supressed the news. The people did.

"Son of a bitch!" I completely forgot what I needed to measure. "This day isn't going well at all," I said as I walked by Lugo.

"They come now," Lugo pointed, no longer looking through his binoculors.

Max and the customer we coming down the long unfinished drive. Ivan was dragging the body with the shower curtain beside the mansion. But, at least I had my tape measure back.

"Everyone, pretend Jesus is coming," I yelled. The entire crew jumped up, and tried to look busy.

It would have been nice if I could remember the rich American customers name.

Friday, January 20, 2006


Today's Prompt - Write about a vivid dream you've had recently: Describe it, including your personal interpretation and what it has to do with your current life events.

(Writers note- Ugh. I hate dream writeups. But, I'll give this one a go.)

Matt couldn't find the scissors. They weren't in his mom's desk drawer, the kitchen drawer, or the utility closet. They weren't anywhere they were suppose to be. Which meant they could only be one place.

After moving the dirty clothes around, shoving the coloring books under his bed, and taking every toy out of the toy chest, Matt finally found the scissors in his underwear drawer. Just were he'd left them the last time he cleaned up his room. Time for some alterations.

Ming, the family Akita, trotted in Matt's room just as Matt took the scissor to his new Batman sheets. He'd ask for them just for this, but for some reason, his mom thought they were suppose to go on his bed. Ming climbed on the unused, lower bunk and watched as Matt went to work. He'd make Alfred proud.

Within a few minutes, and with the help of lots of grey tape, Matt's Batman cape was ready. This was not just a cape, like his friend Johnny had made. This was going to be a cape, and flight wing, like Batman used. The grey tape kept the cape stuck on his ankles, and the broken curtain rod created more support when he spread his wings out. Matt put on his Batman mask, his utility belt, and climbed to the top bunk.

Ming was use to Matt getting on the top bunk, but he wasn't use to the new clothes Matt decided to wear, especially the new fur on his back. Ming climbed down, and stood in the doorway. Matt smelled like he was up to mischief. Matt stood on the top bunk, raised his arms out to spread his cape, and jumped.

Lo and behold, it' worked! The cape caught air. It bellowed out as Matt came to the ground. Of course, Matt didn't notice his feet hit just as hard as normal. Ming noticed.

Matt took off his mask, cape, and grey taped shoes, rolled them all together, and looked down the hall. His mother was in her home office on the computer; the perfect time to ask her for something.

"Mom, do you know where the ladder is?" he asked.

His mom's eyes never left the computer, and her fingers kept pounding away on the keyboard. "The tool shed."

"Woof! Woof!" Ming barked. Or "Matt's up to no good. You need to come now." Ming tugged on her shirt sleeve.

"No!" she yelled. "Go. Go outside, Ming!" she yelled as she pointed toward the pool area. Her eyes never left the computer screen.

Just in case, Matt set his equipment outside before getting the ladder. Even if it worked perfectly, his mom would never let him do it again. She was just like that. Matt tugged the ladder in place. It was much heavier than he thought it would be. His dad handled it so easily. It took even longer to get it opened, and set up against the house.

After dropping everything trying to get it up on the roof, Matt put the Batman cape and shoes on. Ming watched as Matt started up the ladder.

"WOOF! WOOF! WOOF!" Ming barked, or "Get down, Matt. You get down right now! You hear me?"

"No Ming. Be quiet." Matt said as he climbed the ladder, the Batman masked tucked under one arm. When he got to the top, he looked around for the best place to jump. The side of the house was almost two stories up, perfect to get more flight-time. He donned the mask, and walked to the side of the roof.

Ming was not comfortable with this. Matt had jumped off the bed with that fur on, and Ming would bet his next Milk Bone he'd jump off the house with it now. Even Ming knew humans couldn't fly. He waited till Matt was out of sight, then started up the ladder.

Matt stood at the edge, and jumped. He started to fall straight down, then something stopped him in mid-air. His feet dangled just above his moms bedroom window. He tried to look up, but the mask was in the way, and his feet were beginning to pull up behind him.

Janice heard something on the roof. Frigging squirrels. A few keystrokes later, it computed in her head; Batman sheet > scissors > ladder > Ming barking > squirrels....

"MATTTT!" Janice jumped from her chair, and bolted out the open porch door. "Matt? Where are you? Come here, now!"

Uh oh, Matt thought. His arms were stuck to the cape, his feet were sliding behind him more, making him arch more. His back was getting uncomfortable. Maybe his mom would go back to working.

"Matt? Where are....Oh My GOD!" Janice saw Ming with a Batman sheet in his mouth, and Matt dangling from him. Ming was trying to hold Matt in place, but losing grip on the gravelly surface of the roof. Janice ran under Matt. "Drop, Ming. Drop."

Ming opened his mouth, and Matt fell towards him Mom. Both landed on the tulips, breaking all of the new ones. "Woof," Ming barked, or "Finally. My shoulders were getting tired."

Johnny took off the helmet, and looked up at Ming wagging his tail.

"Get in your room, now!" Janice pointed. Matt knew he'd messed up. No arguing with this one. Ming came running around the side of the house. Janice grabbed him, and hugged him close as she could. "Thank you, Ming. You're such a good dog. You saved Matt." Ming wagged his tail.

As the walked back, Janice stopped, looked down at Ming. "How'd you get down?" she asked.

"Woof," Ming answered, or "I'm an Akita."

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Today's Writing Prompt: While unpacking at your new apartment, you find a box left behind in the corner of the closet. Whats in it? What do the items tell you about the previous resident?

I couldn't decide if I wanted to bring my stuff in all at once, or one box at a time. I had a nice spot on the street to unload things to my new apartment, but other people needed to use it. I was taking up too much room, and didn't want to piss off my new neighbors. I unloaded everything into the two front rooms, then took the uHaul to the turn-in center.

The cab ride back was nice. I'd driven through San Franciso many times in the last few month, but I never took the time to simply look around and enjoy the sites. Instead of driving, I was now the passenger, and I could see why this city brought so many tourists, and inspired so many songs.

My company company sent me here after the disaster in Nova Scotia. Much of my home and where I worked was now under water. Actually, it was water at the time, but now it's ice. I'd only been to the states once before, but I was nine then, and didn't really think much of what I saw. I wasn't too happy when they told me where I was going. I was hoping for British Columbia, but our company didn't have anything there. Since they were paying for the apartment, and I had only a few things of my own left, I took what I could get. After the cab ride, I was glad I did.

I started by sorting the boxes into the necessary rooms. My new furntiture wouldn't be here for three days, so I'd be sleeping on an air mattresse. Except for the kitchen and bathroom items, I couldn't put anything away yet. I blew up my mattrese, set up the computer and TV, made dinner, and ate with the evening news.

Twenty minutes later, I was bored as hell. I began to understand why people fill their living space with so much stuff -to chase the boredom away. I figured it could put away all my hanging clothes. I gathered them for the uHaul hanging clothes box -I never knew they had such a thing- and walked into the small closet. The bulb was burnt out, so I stole one from the other bedroom. As I started to hang the clothes, I noticed a box on the shelf above the closet door frame. I figured the previous owners couldn't see it with the burnt out bulb, and forgot it.

As I pulled the box down, it was obvious it was pretty old, and very delicate. I took it in the kitchen where the light was better. I didn't know who the previous owners were, and hoped there might be something inside that could tell me. As I opened the lid, I could see it was a box of pictures.

These weren't just any pictures -they were very old pictures. Most where on tin plates, some where board mounted. The paper ones were very brown, and the tin ones were almost black. One by one, I took them out, laying each one on a paper towel on the counter. These were antiques, and might be worth something to the owners, if not a museum. They were so old, it was difficult to see everything in the picture. Some were of people, some were of buildings, but the detail just wasn't there anymore. At the very least, I knew I wasn't going to be board out of my mind this weekend.

I took one of the tin plates to my computer, plugged up my scanner, and scanned it in at the highest resolution I could. Within a few minutes of working with it in photoshop, I was able to see most of the original photo.

These were obviously very old pictures, showing a time I'd never seen. I saved the file, went back to the kitchen. I found some ziplock baggies, and put the pictured I'd just scanned in the baggie. I took another photo back in with me. I printed out the first picture. Might be easier to figure out who they were if I could show the adjusted picture to someone.

The next picture was something else. This one was mounted, and only a little browned. It didn't take me near as long to adjust it.
It looked more a like a ticket. But at least it had a date. This was getting interesting, and fun. I printed out that picture, took the original back to the kitchen, and ziplocked it. The next one was a bit plane, but still interesting.
I couldn't seem to repair the damage of fading out on the top parts of the picture. I figured it was just too damaged. The next picture, however, told me a different story.
I could tell what this one was from the earthquake of 1906. The previous picture wasn't damaged after all - the buidings were damaged.

I guess the previous owners and I had something in common.

(The above pictures are from different public sites online. To see the original sites, click on the pictures. This is a work of fiction. I've never lived in Nova Scotia, and it's not currently underwater, least as far as I know.)

Monday, December 12, 2005

First Post

Welcome to my first post. This blog is my writing prompt place. I'll post up something I did from a writing promt, and you let me know if you like it. If you don't like it, don't comment. If you do like it, let me know by asking for more.
Most of the time, I'll probably use the writing prompts from the Writer's Digest website, but I might use the good-ole writers block prompt book here and there.
I'll probably do some advertising here too, maybe google adsense, or writing specific ads I do myself. We'll see.
Here's my first prompt -It came from Jamie Morris' Amherst Writers class tonight.
Luke closed his eyes, and listened to the water coming out of the shower head. He listened to the sound it made when it hit his head. He felt the muscles in his scalp relax from the clench of uncomfortable sleep. The heat from the water melted the tension.

This was part of Luke's moring ritual. Every morning, same time; 5:50am. He soaped himself in the same sequence, rinsed in the same sequence, and dried off in the same sequence. Every morning. The ritual enabled him to get up on time, to work on time.

This morning, however, his socks weren't ready. He'd forgotten to take them out of the dryer the night before. Now, he's be 1 minute, 30 seconds off his routine. He hoped for only 5 redlights. He could makeup 2 minutes if he did.

"It's getting closer to Christmas," Luke thought. "Maybe this year won't be as bad."

The little rituals in Luke's life made it easier to get through day-by-day. Holidays, especially Christmas, threw those rituals off.

Mark opened his eyes, and laid in bed a few more minutes. Sarah slept quitely next to him. At least he thought this was Sarah. He turned his head gently, raised up on one elbow, and saw the flowing black hair, and alabaster skin. Not Sarah, that was for sure. Mark looked around the room. Not his room, either. Too much pink. Too many stuff animals. The sheets smelled of sex, and Mark knew he probably didn't smell very good, though he couldn't tell.

Whoever the girl was turned over, the sheet fell off, exposing her torso. Mark looked there before looking at her face. He didn't recognize her face, but those breasts belong to the waitress where he's ate the night before. He'd remember those anywhere.

Mark put his clothes on, minus his underware. They were nowhere to be found. As he walked down the hall, Mark ran headon into an older man, the face similar to the waitresses. He was older, but not much older than Mark.

"Morning. Sounds like you had fun with Betty lastnight," the man said through a powdered sugar encrusted mustashe. "Bet your hungry. Got some Dunkin Doughnuts in the living room if you want some. Help yourself." The man turned away, and went into another room.

As Mark walked out to the living room, he could tell he was in a manufactured home. "Time to go," he thought. "Got to beat Luke to work."

Luke waited for the cellphone to pick up. "Hey buddy boy. How are we this bright shinny morning?" Mark answered.

"Wakin up. How about you? Did you hookup lastnight?" Luke asked.

"I think so. I didn't wake up in my bed, that's for sure."

"We've got a meeting at 9:30. Lisa's going to go over the proposal with us.

Mark and Luke were game developers. Luke was the programer, and Mark the creative and strategy part of their business. They created a game called, 'The Bretheren's Heart' together.

Mark and Luke were bootstrappers. The worked for different companies, in different cities. Mark worked in Jacksonville, Luke worked in Boston. They'd met on a gamers messege board, came up with an idea, created a business, worked on it secretly at work, and in the evenings. They did everything online, never having met each other. They called their business, 'Unseen'.