sentence to story

On The Line (Sentence to Story #15)

The man paid the taxi driver, closed the door behind him, and walked directly into the incoming traffic.

“What do you want me to do now?” the man yelled into his cell phone, holding up the briefcase in his free hand to try and slow the oncoming cars.  Brakes squealed and drivers cursed out of their windows while the man stood in the middle of the road.

“Nothing,” came the reply on the phone.  “You will stand there and make sure everyone sees you.  Open the briefcase.”

“What?” the man yelled, horns honking and commotion building all around him.

“Open the briefcase. Inside there is a gun.  Put it to your head and pretend like you are going to shoot yourself.  Do not let anybody near you until I tell you to?”

The man in the street reached down to open the briefcase, sweat dripping from his forehead.  Then he paused.  “What are you going to do with…I need to know that my wife is safe?”

There was silence for a few seconds.

“Jake…Jake,” came a female voice on the phone.  “Oh, please, God, Jake, come and get me, please don’t let me…”

Silence.

“Sarah!”

The original voice on the phone came back on.  “Your wife is fine.  If you do what we ask, we will not harm her.  We only need you to make a scene for a short while in that area and we will be done with our business. Time is running thin, though.  Take out the gun and put it to your head, now.”

Jake fell to his knees and fumbled with the briefcase until it opened.  The crowd had grown larger around him.  He looked up and saw the frustration and confusion on their faces.  Then he heard sirens.

He pulled the gun out and the crowd started to scatter, screaming as they ran.  He didn’t say anything, only put it to his head.  A couple of cop cars squeezed through on the side of traffic, stopped, and the doors opened with officers ready.

“Sir, drop your gun and get down on the ground, now!”

“You stay right where you are,” the voice on the phone commanded.

Jake looked at the officers and shook his head.  “I can’t go anywhere.”

Hard to Digest (Sentence to Story #14)

“You ate how many hot dogs?”

Jeannie answered, “Twelve.”

The boys sitting around her at the lunch table stared with a mixture of disbelief and awe.

“There’s no way,” Brady said, looking Jeannie up and down.  “You couldn’t hold down that many hot dogs.”  Monty and Pete shook their heads in agreement.  Brady started again, “There is no way you ate twelve, real size, on the bun, hot dogs in…”

“I’m telling you,” Jeannie interrupted, eyes wide open to drive home the point, “I ate twelve, real size, on the bun, in front of people, hot dogs in five minutes.”

Week after week, lunch break upon lunch break, all Jeannie had heard about was how many mayonnaise packets Monty had downed or how many goldfish crackers Pete had crammed in his mouth.  Boys and their stupid dares.

“Prove it!” Brady said, folding his arms.  The other two smirked, assuming victory.

Jeannie smiled and pulled out her phone.  She took her time, letting the boys wonder for a few seconds.

“Just in case you needed more proof,” she said, turning the phone around.  The boys clamored for it.

“No way?!” Monty screamed.

“Well get out of way, lard butt, and let me see,” Pete said, trying to push his way in.  Brady stood next to them, peering over their shoulder.

Jeannie flipped her hair back over her shoulder.  No girl at Rosemont Middle had ever – ever – felt the pride she felt as the boys in front of her ogled over the picture of her, standing in front of Vinny’s Famous Hot Dogs and Fries.  The shirt she had on in the picture was neon green and had printed, ‘Winner – Junior Division.’  The hand written sign she was holding read:

Total Dogs = 12
Total Time = 4 minutes and 58 seconds
NEW RECORD!!!

All three of the boys looked up from the picture in unison.  Brady held the phone loosely in his hand, which Jeannie gently reached over and took back.

“I would have wore the shirt in person, but I didn’t want to rub it in,” she said, turning to walk away.



First sentence of this story submitted by Gavin T. It received the second most votes for sentences submitted the week of October 8, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

Over Easy (Sentence to Story #13)

Although his morning had begun like any other day, as he stared at his plate of scrambled eggs something told him this was not to be just another day.

It was too quiet, maybe?
No, that wasn’t it.  Buster, the neighbor’s golden retriever next door, was barking away as usual.
Was he running late?
He checked his watch.  7:23am.  Still plenty of time to finish eating, finish the paper and be on the road in time to get to work.
Why am I so nervous?

He got up, still holding his coffee, but leaving the plate on the table.   With his black, nylon socks sliding across the hardwood floor, he walked over to the kitchen window.  The blue sky had only a few clouds scattered around.  The grass seed he planted in the spring had taken root and was now lush and vibrant.  Even Miss Tolliver’s daisy’s across the yard were coming in bright white with dot after dot of beautiful yellow.
Laughing at himself, he took one last sip from his mug and then poured the rest of his coffee in the sink.
Today is going to be a great day!

With his head still bent over the sink, he noticed a shadow falling over him.  He looked out of the window.  The few clouds that were there before were still trickling by, but not enough to cause a shadow.  Yet the light was gone; almost black.
“Hmm…”
Sliding over to the front door, he opened it and stepped out onto the porch.  Neighbors had noticed the sudden change too and were starting to venture outside.  Everyone was looking up, for something; some reason there was a gray cast where the sun had been shining brightly.
Then he saw it.  He assumed everyone saw it, but was in such a trance, a state of shock, he didn’t turn his head to look.  The massive fireball hurtling toward him.  It just kept getting bigger and bigger.
All around he heard screams and yells, people praying, Buster barking; yet as he stood in his nylon socks the only thing he could think of before it hit was that he was still hungry.
I always finish my breakfast.



First sentence of this story submitted by Dalynne D. It received the most votes for sentences submitted the week of October 8, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

Another Day (Sentence to Story #12)

She could feel his presence all around her and wished she could hear his voice, just one more time, assuring her that everything was going to be okay.

The old feelings came back.  They would come every so often.  As much as she hated herself for having them, especially after so many years, Rebekah welcomed them.  She welcomed any real feeling.

Moving over in bed, her nose closer to his pillow, she breathed, deep.  Hoping.

Nothing.

Grabbing the pillow she pulled it close and wrapped herself around it.

“Daniel,” she said, tears coming.  “I miss you, Daniel.”

The ceiling fan massaged the air as the morning light made shadows dance around the ceiling.  The dawning of each day and the eve of every night she lay, watching, hoping.

Nothing.

Wiping her eyes she pushed his pillow away, back into place.  A couple of deep breaths and she rolled her legs over the side and her feet onto the floor.  Her back ached and she waited for the blood to find it’s way to her toes.

Time.  Age.  She never used to mind them.  Facts of life.  Now they were the things she was fighting.  Each day trying to hang on, finding a reason; knowing that she still had too long to go.

She shook her head.  She used to know that Daniel had too long.

Rebekah stood and stretched.  All she would try to worry about is today.  That’s the best she could do.



First sentence of this story submitted by Cathy S. It received the third most votes for sentences submitted the week of October 1, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

No More Monkey Business (Sentence to Story #11)

Preface – My son, Michael, is celebrating his 11th birthday today, so I let him pick the sentence to start.  Thanks so much to Jim B. for his willingness to trade out his submission for another time.

Mario arrived in Kongo Jungle to capture Donkey Kong’s banana stash, ready to deal with Diddy Kong.   As soon as Mario’s feet touched the shore, even before he could take off his tanooki suit, barrel’s were raging toward him.  Diddy stood on top of the bank, gleeful, hurling one after the other.

Dodging and jumping over the barrel’s, Mario carefully made his way up the sand, closer to Diddy.

Stupid little wanna-be monkey.

Mario’s last attempt had been a complete failure, thanks to Diddy, and Mario was not going home to the Mushroom Kingdom empty handed this time.

Diddy jumped and flipped with excitement, watching Mario struggle up the hill.  Mario let him have his moment of glory.  Last time Mario only came with his hammer, but this time he was ready.

As the next barrel came rumbling toward Mario, he jumped and simultaneously pulled a shell out from his backpack.  Before he landed, he lobbed it at Diddy.

Diddy stood, the next barrel high above his head, ready to throw.  The sadistic joy in his face turned to shock, then terror, as the shell made it’s way up the hill and plowed right through him.  Diddy flew into the air, barrel’s cascading around him, and then landed on his head.

As Diddy lay, unable to move, stars swirling around him, Mario ran past and said, “Woohoo!”


I love you Michael.  Happy Birthday!

Trying to Stay Positive (Sentence to Story #10)

When I was young, I thought I truly had it all figured out.  Life and I were pretty tight.  Anytime I wanted something, life was there, with exactly what I needed.  It seemed it would always be that way.  Unfortunately, when you’re dead, life kind of shrugs its shoulders and says, “Sorry, wish I could help.”

Well, dead is a relative term.  What would you call it if you still feel like you are walking around, interacting with the world, but you have no control over what you do?   Is that living?   If I used to have a soul, is it gone now, somewhere else, and my brain is still stuck in this body, watching me do what I do day in and day out?

I don’t know.  Like I said, dead is a relative term.

Do I agree with the things I do?  Certainly not!  But if you don’t have any control over what you do, does it matter?  Mostly I’ve gotten to the point where I just try to ignore it, and keep my thoughts occupied with different things.  Positive things.   All the wonderful memories I had when I was young and thought I had it all figured out.  It’s amazing how real a memory can feel when you need it too.

Every now and then I’ll see somebody that is still like I used to be.  If only I could communicate.  Oh well, the best I can hope for is that something changes and my mind takes control of my body again, or, more likely, somebody puts a bullet in my head.

I’m assuming a bullet to the head will actually finish me off.  But who knows, I also never assumed that I would ever be walking around, making animal noises, eating human flesh.

Like I said, life and I used to be pretty tight.

Used to be.



First sentence of this story submitted by Trey G. It received the most votes for sentences submitted the week of October 1, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

The Stuff of Legends (Sentence to Story #9)

About to enter the gates of Urquhart Castle, Rupert hobbles up to the entrance trying to adjust his headset for the tour, and yells out, “How do ye turn it down a bit?” 

The tour guide grabbed the control box from Rupert and adjusted the volume.

“Is that better?” she asked, smiling.

Rupert saw her mouth the words, but couldn’t hear a thing over static in his ear coming from the audio.  Lifting one side of the headset, he gave her a puzzled look, and asked, “Huh?”

“Can you hear it now?” she asked, louder.

He gave a disgruntled nod.

“Come on dad, we need to catch up,” his daughter said, putting her hand around his shoulder.

Catch up.  He knew he was going to be playing catch up all day.  His whole life he had waited for the time when he could come to Loch Ness.  Now that he was here, he was going to have to fight his body, and this boring tour, to get to what he really wanted.

“Dad?”

“I’m coming!” he said gruffly, trying to get his legs going.

At every stop in the castle, Rupert made his impatience known with a heavy sigh or a loud, “When are we going to see Nessie?”  Rupert didn’t have time for all the ‘old castle’ shtick.  His daughter just rolled her eyes and smiled, apologetically, to the other group members.

Finally, at the end of the tour, they were standing on the shore of the great lake.

“The first account of the Loch Ness Monster dates back to 1933, when…” the guide started.

Rupert took his headphones off and gazed out over the lake.  All these years, waiting, he was finally here.  He handed the headphones to his daughter, who didn’t seem to mind taking them.  She never really understood why he wanted to come anyway.

He slowly walked away from the group and onto a small dock leading out into the lake, the group turning their attention from the tour, to him.

“I’m sorry sir, you’ll need to come back to the group.  You need to be off the dock, please,” the guide said, a look of concern on her face.

Rupert ignored her.  At the end of the dock, he pulled an old necklace out from inside his shirt.  On the end of it was a whistle.  He put it to his mouth, smiled and blew long and hard.

There was no audible sound.

“Dad,” his daughter called out, exchanging looks with the guide.  “Dad, come on back up here.”

“I’m home,” Rupert said, quietly to himself, before jumping in.

Screams echoed off the shore of the lake, right beside Urquhart Castle, nestled in the Scottish Highlands.



First sentence of this story submitted by Becky W. It received the third most votes for sentences submitted the week of September 24, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

An Unforgettable Presentation (Sentence to Story #8)

She knew the story so well she could actually quote most of it, but for some reason, this time, it sounded totally different to her.

The students in the class were staring, looking at her oddly. Something wasn’t right.

“Are you okay, Beth?” the teacher asked, starting to rise.

Beth wanted to speak, she could feel the words inside her, but she couldn’t say anything.  She nodded and wiped the sweat from her forehead.

“Well,” the teacher said, hesitantly, “why don’t you start again?”

Taking a deep breath, Beth lifted the poster board and started to recite her story, again.

“When he was little, his name was Malcolm Little.  But then he got bigger and got…different…and then there were sheets and shotguns and…”

The room started spinning and she wanted to puke.  The last thing Beth saw before she hit the floor was the teacher and a couple of students on the front row running over, trying to catch her.

On the floor, she felt like she was dreaming, hearing the conversations around her.

“Call the school nurse, quick!”

“Look at how pale she is!”

“Somebody get me a jacket or a shirt for her head!”

“What’s wrong with her eyes?”

While Beth’s eyes rolled into the back of her head, her body started convulsing, violently.  The students and teacher backed away as she lay shaking, not knowing what to do.  Gentle sobbing started among some of the students at the brutal site.

Then it stopped.

Beth’s body lay, peaceful, eyes closed, as if she were sleeping.  The group around here, breathing heavy and uncertain, started moving closer to see if she was okay.

Beth’s eyes opened suddenly and the group flinched.

Then she screamed, loud and piercing, everyone in the room covering their ears.

When her body started rising off the floor, floating, those who were slowly backing away started to run out of the classroom, screaming.  Other students fled from their chairs past Beth, now hanging in the air as if suspended by a string, had and feet dangling, still omitting a piercing scream.

The teacher backed up to her desk, dread and fright in her eyes.  The few students that remained seemed paralyzed, unable to move.

In an instance Beth’s eyes closed and her screaming stopped.  Her body fell hard to floor, but before it touched the laminate, it disappeared.

All that was left in the room were random bursts of terror and tears, piercing through a dreaded silence.  The teacher walked over to where Beth’s body had been.

It was not there.

She looked at the students.  They looked back, blank.

The assistant principal appeared in the hallway, out of breath.

“What is going on in here?”

The teacher turned to him, “She just…disappeared.”



First sentence of this story submitted by Toni S. It received the second most votes for sentences submitted the week of September 24, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

Goodbye Mary (Sentence to Story #7)

“Where were you last night?”

Mary, scared and uncomfortable, ignored the question.  She looked at the mirror on the wall, wondering who was behind it.  She had never been in an interrogation room, but she had seen enough cop shows to know somebody was listening on the other side.

“Where were you last night?” the detective asked again, slower, so Mary picked up every word.

“Why do you keep calling me, Mary?” she asked, wrapping her left arm around her chest, trying to find some comfort, understanding.   Her right hand sat awkwardly handcuffed to the chair.

When the police found her car on the side of the road, wrapped around a tree, all she was wearing was a bath robe.  She was unconscious, with multiple face and head wounds.  When she finally woke she was unable to explain the gun on the seat beside her, or her dead husband back at home.

The detective rolled his eyes, growing impatient.  “Look lady, your name is Mary.  It says so right here on your licence,” he said, holding up her wallet.

Mary?  Mary?  Is that my wallet?  What am I doing here?  

“I told you I don’t know what happened last night, or where I was,” Mary answered, tears welling in her eyes.  “I just want to go home.”

“Do you know where your home is?”

Mary’s eyes were searching.  She could feel the answer, but it wouldn’t finalize in her mind or come out of her mouth.

“No,” she said, sobbing.

The detective threw up his hands.  There was a buzz at the door and it opened.  A woman came in and sat down across from Mary.

“Mary, I am Doctor Thompson,” she said, handing Mary some tissues.

Mary took them, cautiously, and began wiping her cheeks.  “I already saw the doctor.”

“I’m a different kind of doctor.   You have been through quite a traumatic experience; I want to help.”

Mary pointed at the mirror with her free hand, still holding the tissues, “They keep saying my name is Mary and that I killed my husband.  But…but.”  She searched for the words.  She could not remember, but she did not want it to be true.

Doctor Thompson opened up an envelope and slid some pictures across the table, lining them up so Mary could see.  “Do you recognize the woman in these pictures?”

Mary leaned over and looked at the three pictures on the table.  The woman in the pictures was wearing a white gown and looked like she had been beaten.  Gashes over her eyes, swollen lip, and bruises on her throat and cheeks.

Mary looked up into the mirror and ran her hand across her face.  She had bruises and cuts, but they were different than the ones in the pictures.  But there was no mistaken.

“This looks like me,” she said, puzzled.  “But these weren’t taken last night.”

Doctor Thompson removed the pictures and said, “No, Mary, these were taken six months ago, after you made a call to 9-1-1.  Do you remember that?”

A trigger fired in Mary’s brain and a flood of pictures ran through her minds eye.  Not everything, but most everything, came back, including all the feelings and emotions.

The hurt.

The fear.

The promises.  The broken promises.

And ultimately, the revenge.

The one thing that did not come back, this time, was the guilt.

Mary situated herself in the chair and said, trying to look confused, “No, I don’t remember that.”



First sentence of this story submitted by Lana K. It received the most votes for sentences submitted the week of September 24, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!

One More Time (Sentence to Story #6)

He always wondered what the initials ‘XAQI’ stood for that were tattooed on his father’s arm, and today he would find out.

“Sampson, do you have the money?” Marco asked.   Alone, unarmed, and staring down a low life and his minion in a run down alley was not how Sampson wanted to spend his Thursday morning.

But all roads had led here, and he was sick of traveling.

“Yeah, I got the money,” Sampson said, opening his jacket up to flash some of the cash.

Marco grinned and motioned for his henchman to open the trunk of the car.  Sampson looked around, to see if they were alone.  It seemed like it.

“You know how long it took me to find this for you?” Marco said as his partner lifted the trunk.  “I had to use every connection I had in town.  But,” he said, motioning for Sampson to come closer, “your sob story intrigued me and the money was right.  What’s not to like, eh?”

Sampson ignored him and reached in to the trunk to lift the cover.

A steel box.  Ordinary in size, but on one side was a row of buttons, one for each letter of the alphabet.  Was this really it?  He looked at Marco concerned.

“Hey, believe me; I tried to open the stupid thing.  I can be trusted to a point,” Marco said with a wicked grin.  “But if you got the combination to that then you are smarter than me.  I ain’t never seen anything like it.”

“I am smarter than you,”  Sampson said, quickly drawing his gun.  There were two quick, loud pops that echoed off the alley.

He picked up the case.  It was lighter than he expected.  Forgetting everything around him, he took a deep breath and moved his fingers over the letters.  He hovered over the ‘X’ and then, holding his breath, pushed it.

Nothing happened.  He pushed it again.  Again, nothing.  Flustered, he threw the case back into the trunk.

He turned away from the car, hands in the air.

“For the love of…how many times are we going to do this take?  Can somebody from props please get the stupid case to work.”

“Cut!” came a loud call from down the alley, where a film crew was sitting.  The director got up from his chair, rubbing his eyes, exhausted.  “Tammy, seriously, didn’t you just change out the cases.”

“Sorry,” Tammy replied, running on the set, past ‘Marco’ and ‘the henchman’, swapping out the old case for the new one.

“I don’t know why I agreed to this stupid movie anyway,” ‘Sampson’ said, continuing his agitated monologue.  “The whole plot revolves around that stupid tattoo and we’re going to string the audience along for…” he stopped to check his script, “eighty-eight pages before it’s even revealed.  And then to have such a let down.  The audience is going to be so livid when they find out what the letters stand for.  What a waste.”

“Are you done yet?” the director asked, motioning back to the set.

‘Sampson’ took another deep breath.  “Fine, let’s go.”

“Alright, everybody ready?  Places everyone and quiet on the set.”  The actors were in position to start the scene again.

“And…action!”



First sentence of this story submitted by Justin Y. It received the third most votes for sentences submitted the week of September 17, 2012.  

Please leave comments below on if you liked the direction I took the story, or if you would have personally went a different way.  I would love to know!