ROW80-1 check in - 01/30 - The Doctor
ROW80-1 check in - 02/03 - back to school

The Skull

This week's challenge from Terrible Minds was to write based on a motif. As Chuck wrote:


What, is it, you ask? Besides someone explaining that they have plenty of chompers in their mouth? (Wait for it, you’ll get it. I’ll just stand here while you… ah, good, you got it.)

A motif is not a theme. It is not a mood. It is a recurring element. A repeated symbol or overarching image.

So, today, I’m going to give you 10 motifs.

You will choose one. Randomly, either by d10 or by random number generator.

This motif will be a significant symbol or element in your story. Symbolically and/or literally.

I’ll also toss in two other categories: setting and subgenre.

Choose (randomly or otherwise) one from each. 1000 words max.

The following were the choices we had: 

  1. Birds

  2. Skulls

  3. Blood

  4. Eyes

  5. Snakes

  6. Swords

  7. Water

  8. Storms

  9. Mirrors

  10. The Moon

  1. Dystopia

  2. Erotic Fantasy

  3. Noir

  4. Paranormal Romance

  5. Comic Fantasy

  6. Cozy Mystery

  7. Transhumanism

  8. Ecothriller

  9. Wild West (In Space)

  10. Mythpunk

  1. A train

  2. A virtual reality world

  3. A king’s bedroom

  4. A labyrinth

  5. Inside the mind of another character

  6. An amusement park

  7. A restaurant in space

  8. A villain’s volcano lair

  9. In the chamber of the gods

  10. Route 66

I rolled, and got 2-5-5.

That gave me:

  • Skulls
  • Comic Fantasy
  • Inside the mind of another character 

This was a fun little story - only 500 words. Not sure if I did skull as a re-ocurring element or symbol - mine was the main character. Here it is anyways.

The Skull

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."

"I thought you were a vegetarian now," said Agnes. "Was this a late night snack?"

"No, just Veggie-ground for me now," said the wolf. He held the skull aloft. "I bought this for you at a garage sale - thought it would fit in well with your potions and such.  Maybe by your spell book, with a candle on top of it. It would help your image."

"My image is just fine," said the witch. "I do appreciate the gesture, though. I wonder what the history of this is - ah, if only it could talk."

"What would you like to know?"

Romulus almost dropped the skull. "Shit, Agnes, was that you?"

"No, it's me, the skull, you idiot."

"But I can't see your mouth move," said Agnes.

"That's because dummy here left my lower jaw behind at the garage sale."

"Sorry," said Romulus. "I thought someone was selling part of their dentures. I could go back if you'd like?"

"No, never mind."

"So Skull," said Agnes," I can call you Skull can't I? How can you talk, you're empty, there's nothing in there. Is there?"

She picked up the skull carefully and peered into one of its eyes.

"That doesn't seem to stop your wolf friend here, does it?"

Romulus growled. "How would you like to join me in a game of soccer?"

"Ooo, clever after all," said the skull. "OK, but riddle me this, how can two Grimm's Fairy Tale characters talk?"

"It was the stories," said Agnes. "After generations, they started to bring us to life. Now, we can animate other stories, add our magic to make them more believable, to add punch to them."

"Were you in stories too?" said the wolf.

"Bingo," said the skull. "Since the first caveman stuck the head of his enemy on a stick. Usually evil stories mind you, but I didn't let that bother me. I was into a lot of ceremonial skulls too over the centuries - works of art really, huge clear crystals, silver, gold."

"Were you in all of them at the same time?" said Agnes.

"I think so, sort of spread out. Until recently, I had just a fuzzy awareness of myself."

"Same with us," said Romulus. "We think it was when our stories took off in movies and TV - that's what focused us and created us like this. What was it for you?"

"Skeletor," he said. "Blessed be Mattel. Masters of the Universe comics, some movies, a series."

"That was you?" said Agnes. "You do a great evil person, loved your character. We still watch re-runs Saturday mornings."

"Thanks," said the skull. "I'd give you a kiss if I had lips. Or a lower jaw."

"I said I was sorry," said the wolf. "I'll go back and get it - sheesh."

"Say, would you like to join out team?" said Agnes. "There's about eight of us now, hiring out for stories, good money and a lot of fun. Some from the Grimms tales, then Barney, the Count -"

"Purple Barney? One-two-three The Count?" said the skull. "I love those guys. I'm in."

"Hey, that's great," said the wolf. "You guys work out the details, be right back with your teeth."

"Watch your tail!" cried Agnes.

There was a crash. Romulus looked down at the pile of shattered bone. "We can glue him, right?"






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