Writing Prompt of the Week: June 27-July 3 (Dark, Dreadful & Dystopian)

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Welcome to the second Writing Prompt of the Week!


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Week of June 27-July 3
Submissions: June 27-July 1
Voting: July 2-3
Winner Badge Awarded: July 4

Dark, Dreadful, & Dystopian

These prompts are creepy, mysterious, maybe downright scary. There’s some prompts with room for comedy, though. Give us your best spin on a thriller, mystery, or horror short story. Whatever genre you choose, make sure there’s a spine-tingling plot twist or chilling ending for maximum effect!

This Week’s Prompt

Write a murder mystery where every character believes they’re responsible for the death, and tries to cover it up.

My attempt

The wind blows harshly through her hair, having already pulled off her hood. There’s snow, accompanying the winds and making it hard to walk. Somehow, she doesn’t move much, simply stays frozen in place, swaying slightly.
The shouts are faint, and Lei cannot bring herself to answer them, her mind still replaying the last few moments. Her friends find her fast enough, though, despite the storm. They cluster around her, noticing her glassy eyes and open mouth.
“Lei! What happened? Are you okay?” Tirinea asks, looking her up and down for any bruises.
Lei can only find enough energy to nod.
“Where’s Kiriti?”
That comes from the ever-inquisitive Renee.
Lei tries to speak. To tell them. ‘I killed her. She’s probably dead, hanging off of the ledge over there-
I pushed her. She’s gone.’
But nothing comes out of her mouth, only a shaky finger, pointing in the direction Kiriti went.

Later. They sit around a coffee table at Barney’s, who tells them his son, Leo, has gone out to get ice, up on the mountains. The girls have already taken off their snow dresses and thrown them somewhere on the snowy slopes.
Lei’s eyes are still glassy, focusing on something in the distance.
“We weren’t up on the mountain,” declares Tirinea, suddenly. “We went for a stroll in the south but came back in the blizzard. Kirti wasn’t with us.”
Lei doesn’t say anything. She thinks it is unfair, to Kiriti’s parents, and to themselves.
Kiriti won’t go to Harvard, now. She won’t get to give her Valedictorian speech at their local high school. She won’t get to attend her girlfriend’s shows.
And the girls are to continue their lives as normal?
But she nods, and that is the end of it.

Leo’s used to walking through blizzards. This isn’t the first time he’s done it, and he has a stick with him to give him a grip through the snow. The rising terrain makes his breath fog, and his body is bulky with the number of layers he’s wearing, even underneath the snow dress.
The bag to get ice sways at his hip as he climbs up to the frozen lake slightly above the ledge. He wants to whistle, but his voice is lost in the wind and his lips are numb with the snow. He tries to walk faster, wanting to get back down to the hot chocolate his father promised him. But the winds oppose his motion, and he has to continue onward.
It’s been a while since their little town had blizzards like this, his father told him. Good thing his uni was up north, he knew how to navigate through them. And yet, he almost misses the ledge, lost in his own mind. He jumps down, landing on something softer than snow, something almost bending underneath him.
“AAH,” The scream is out before he knows it. He doesn’t recognize her. What if- what if she was alive-
But he doesn’t check, and runs - or walks as fast the winds allow - away from her.
Back down the slope, to familiar things.
He will never go up the mountains again.

Becker goes up the mountains in the evening, after the snowstorm passes. He knows a nice tree up near the ledge that he’s been eyeing for Christmas this year - he’s even told all of the town’s residents specifically not to touch it. He’s looking forward to seeing his wife’s face light up when she sees the magnificent tree he’s brought for her and their children that year. The trucker’s daughter, Carie, waits for him down the mountain with her truck, and she’s going to come up to help carry it down when he’s done cutting.
He starts sawing the base, singing to himself as he works. It doesn’t seem like it takes very long because it’s still light when it swings down the slope.
He calls Carie on his phone, asking her to come below the ledge - one of their only checkpoints up here. The kid doesn’t take long to come up, and they jumped off of the ledge together.
And stop right where they fell.
Under the tree is a girl.
The tailor’s granddaughter from the city.
And she lies there, stiff.
Carie helps him raise the tree, and together, they move her away from the tree’s fall. The two of them cover up her body shape in the snow and carry the tree down, no words spoken between them until they’re in the truck.
“There was no one there,” Becker says.
Carie nods.

I don’t feel like this is a murder mystery, but I tried.

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