Wednesday Writing Prompt

~ By Jeff Salter

Hi Everybody. It’s Melina here. Today we’re lucky to have another fun writing prompt. And for those of you who are looking to exercise your NaNoWriMo muscles, this is perfect! It doesn’t have ninjas, but it does have zombies.

So get writing! If you try this, leave a comment and let us know how it went. Good luck, and have fun! 🙂

It was Maura’s worst nightmare, but she was wide awake.  And everything so improbable that it seemed like a really bad movie … but wasn’t.  This was life and death – real life and real death – at the decayed hands of an isolated ‘tribe’ of ghoulish zombies!

            Maura could not recall how she got here.  She didn’t even know the other two captives, both men.  They were tied to posts, but Maura was held firmly by a huge, strong zombie enforcer with disgusting breath.

            The zombie chieftain stood extremely close and groped her body.  Which was worse:  the putrid stink of his un-dead body … or the feel of his bony hands?  Maura nearly retched.

            Suddenly, he cackled insanely and whispered into her ear:  “Normally, we’d simply eat you … piece by piece. And, of course, you’d scream with every bite until you pass out from the blood loss.”  He licked Maura’s face … his tongue had the texture of rancid coffee grounds.  “But I’ve decided to make YOU a bit more of a sport.  We’ll have a chase.”

            Maura looked nervously over at the two bound men.

            The chieftain addressed his ravenous tribesmen.  “I’m going to let the woman go … and give her one hour’s head start.  Then we’ll track her down and eat her … slowly.  Painfully.”  He cackled again.  “Female flesh is especially delicious.”

            “There’s no sport in turning me loose for an hour.  Even if I out-run you, I’ll die out there in the wilderness … or jungle.  Or wherever this insane camp is.”

            There was a flicker of thought somewhere deep in those dead eyes.  “Very well … I’ll give you one of the men to take with you.  Perhaps it’s possible to escape — you and the one you select.  But you’re also choosing which one will die, because we’ll eat the one you leave behind … before we begin chasing you.  Choose wisely.”

            Maura turned and looked at the two captive men.  “Who are they?”

            The chieftain pointed to the one who looked like a model for the cover of a romance novel — strong, muscular, impossibly handsome.  “He’s a television soap opera star in Spain.”

            The other man looked like the skinny nerd who’d sat behind her in college science class.  “That ugly one is from Italy,” said the chieftain.  “He’s an engineer and inventor.  If you’re wondering, both of them speak English.  Now choose!”

            “Can I ask each man a question first?”

            “One question … only one.  To each man.  Ask quickly and then you have one minute to decide who goes with you.”


            What does Maura ask the good-looking Spanish TV star?

                        What is his reply?

            What does Maura ask the ugly Italian engineer and inventor?

                        What is his rely?

            Which man does Maura choose to assist her escape from the ghoulish zombies?

Jeff Salter has completed seven novel manuscripts, three of which he considers chick lit.  He also co-authored two non-fiction books with a royalty publisher, in addition to an encyclopedia article and a signed chapter. Jeff has also published articles, book reviews, and over 120 poems. His writing has won nearly 40 awards, including several in national contests. He’s a retired librarian, a decorated Air Force veteran, and a published photo journalist. He’s married with two children and six grandchildren.

21 thoughts on “Wednesday Writing Prompt”

  1. One of my friends tried to post and couldn’t.
    So it’s possible the site is experiencing some technical difficulties.
    To anybody who has access to the site management — HELP!

  2. Jayne, I thoroughly enjoyed your ‘solution’ to the puzzle. Thanks for posting!
    Nope, I haven’t tried the pretzel type M&Ms. I’m a dyed-in-the-wool M&M Peanuts kind of guy.

  3. Okay, I’m an HEA (Happily Ever After) kind of gal, so I have to believe that they will escape the zombies. Maura is a lot like me, so her questions are thinking more long term. So, cue The Dating Game Theme Song:

    Maura: “Bachelor number 1 (the Spanish Soap Opera guy), I love a man who knows his way around the kitchen, so what do you consider your signature dish?”

    Bachelor #1: “I will delight in preparing for you a fluffy omelet filled with herbs and vegetables from my garden, with a side of spicey potatoes and a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice, served to you while you are still languising in bed after a night of passiionate lovemaking.”

    Maura: “Bachelor number 2 (the Itlaian Geek), same question.”

    Bachelor #2: “My specialty is a pumpkin creme brulee that will send you into grastrnomical heaven.”


    So, who does Maura choose? Bachelor # 2 of course, because anyone can fix eggs, but someone who does a pumpkin crem brulee has some serious cooking skills, and there is nothing sexier than a man who knows his way around the kitchen!

    Great writing prompt, Jeff. you really got my creative juices flowing. Now, what kind of M&Ms should I send your way? I’m partial to those new pretzel ones and I’m not a good sharer, so you’ll have to settle for plain or peanut.

  4. Okay, I’m an HEA (Happily Ever After) kind of gal, so I have to think they will escape the zombies, and Maura, being the same HEA type, would ask questions geared towards life off the Island. So cue The Dating Game theme song.

    Maura: “Bachelor # 1 (the spanish Soap Oper guy): “I love a man who knows his way around a kitchen, so what is your speciality?”

    Bachelor #1 replies: “My specialty is an omelet filled made with herbs and vegetables fresh from my garden, served to you with spicy potatoes and fresh squeezed orange juice while you are still laying in bed after a night of passionate love making.”

    Maura: “Bachelor # 2 (the Italian geek), same question.”

    Bachelor #2 repliies: “I prepare a pumpkin creme brulee that will have you in gastronomic heaven.”

    (I suppose you’re wondering whwy I chose the pumpkin creme brulee? I saw a recipe for it on some blog I read this week and I can’t get the craving out of my head!)

    Maura chooses #2, because any one can make an omlet, but if Bachelor #2 can make a pumpkin creme brulee he can make anything, and there is nothing sexier than a man who can cook!

    Just don’t ask me how they escape from the zombies!

    Great prompt, Jeff. You got my creative juices flowing.

    Now what kind of M&Ms do you prefer? I’ve developed a particular fondness for the new pretzel ones!

  5. Well, Jenn, so far you DO have him to yourself. Everybody else must figure they could always close their eyes if they have to kiss the ugly dude. Oh, wait … most people close their eyes anyhow. Oh well …

  6. Leigh, so far the majority (here) have selected the guy with brains. I guess most of us predict he will help Maura figure a way to survive this mess. Of course, from what I know about zombies … they CHEAT. Picture the chieftain sending scouts to ‘tail’ the escaping couple during that entire hour. Ha.

  7. Wow, Jeff. You sure do know how to confuse a girl. I have to go for brains, it’s just the kind of gal I am, ’cause I just wouldn’t want to face zombies or a final hour.

  8. I love this- such fun- I’d take the Italian only because I’ve truly never seen a homely Italian man and I’d like to explore that possibility!

  9. I knew you were busy today, Jenn — blogging at MuseTracks. Glad you could stop by. Well, I figured someone would select the hunk. And, sure — he could be resourceful also.
    And, if the situation were reversed and Marvin had to choose between Sophia, the curvaceous Spanish TV star, and Groana, the homely Italian technician … I’m sure that Marvin would be think about sensory delights during that final hour. LOL

  10. Oh wow. How fun, Jeff! I’d totally do this if I wasn’t eyeballs deep in edits.

    How impossible! The geek could invent/create a weapon to kill the zombies with. But in an hour? Not sure he could do that.

    The hunk surely works out to keep up his physique. He’d come in handy for physical fighting. Maybe he could carry her if she gets tired of running. LOL.

    Ack, decisions, decisions.

    I suppose if I’m going to die, might as well die in the arms of a hottie. Shallow, I know. 🙂

  11. Yes, Rebecca, I agree: the inventor / engineer would probably have many resources to draw upon. I doubt, however, that he could save the TV star … since the zombies will dispatch him in the next 60 mins.
    Besides, if he saves the good-looking guy, then Maura might run off with HIM after the homely man saved them. Ha.

  12. Glad you stopped in, Liz. I’m afraid it’s up to each of y’all to ‘finish’ this story … in your minds.
    So, you’d prefer homely brains over muscular strength?

  13. How fun! I’d take the geeky engineer/inventor and not just because he’s Italian. 🙂 I guess questionwise– I’d ask them both why I should choose them. I’m not sure what the actor would say, but I’m thinking the inventor would have a way for all three of us to survive.

  14. P.S. If it were me I would choose the geeky Italian – definitely more my type. Plus he’s got brains.

  15. Oh, man I love this. Can I please get a whole short story? I can’t believe you left us hanging!
    My favorite line is “his tongue had the texture of rancid coffee grounds.”

  16. Sarah, great to see you. Since you’re cranking out those 20k words before the week ends, I wondered if you’d find the time for this little diversion.
    I’m also wondering how many individuals will select the handsome soap opera star.

  17. Oh, man, I was totally into it. You yanked the ending on me! (Okay, I get it. “Writing prompt.” But ARGH!) Now I’m going to spend half the day thinking of a good question, LOL. (Nix the soap opera star, though. He needs a script.)

    And only slightly OT, I do believe the weather is nearly in cooperation mode for shipping FRESH PACK M&Ms. Peanut, of course. ;c) Love your prompt, Jeff. Nice going!

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