John's tale: a poetry-verse story

Submitted into Contest #72 in response to: Write about someone getting a job offer they never would have thought to apply for.... view prompt

39 comments

Adventure Crime Funny

Author's note:

The world that Chocolate Kisses started in, despite being the same place, is very different from the modern, twelve-years-later one, and you don't even need to read the first, unless you want to catch up on details like who Emilia is, how come Ellen and Joseph are married, and why their daughter is named Chocolate.

The original was very sentimental and sweet, but as we go on, I decided to branch into a sort of mystery-crime-adventure genre, with lots of humor to balance it out. If you would like the story to become a little nicer, (romance, friendship tests, determination to do good, etc.) then please message me in the comments and I'll be sure to respond and remove some of the creepiest elements of this story.


Thank you for reading, and if you have any ideas for what could happen next, please tell me!


-- Emmie Greensgate





I haven't heard from

Sherry, that weird twelve-year-old girl who followed me everywhere, or

Chocolate, who cleared my name when

Samantha-Jae accused me of stealing

Ellen Abbot's secret spice.

I haven't heard from

Emilia, the town's resident author, since last night.

Actually, I haven't heard from any of them

since last night, when

we "rescued" Samantha from her stepbrothers and stepfather,

who had taken her away from out little town of

Bridgebrook, for reasons she tried

to explain, but flew over my head.

I haven't heard form any of them...

We exchanged numbers

after "rescuing" Samantha-Jae, and I scroll through my texts.

Nothing

from them. They're all offline and have been

offline

for about eight hours. Well, that's normal, right?

It's not

like they've been on their phone all day, every

day. I'm

overreacting. They're okay. Right? Right?

I send them a quick text through the group chat that

we set up yesterday.


Hey guys. Are u okay? I haven't received any

texts from you 4 a while. Please tell me if

there's a problem.


I wait

and look

at my phone.

Nothing. That's

normal, though. They

probably have their own

issues. Maybe they have their

phones on airplane mode. That

shuts off texts, doesn't it...? Sherry

always has her phone on her, though.

She is always texting. Sherry would not

ignore a text from me. Not unless... maybe

something's wrong with her...? Is she okay?

Sherry is like a little sister to me. I have

been like a brother to her, too. We're

inseparable. I think it comes from

growing up right next door,

sharing our yards and

snacks and lives

with each

other.

I

couldn't

bear anything

bad to happen to her.

"Oh, Sherry," I say.







Emilia:

The door shuts with a loud, metallic

THAAAANK!

Locking us in the room.

I roll my eyes, looking at the high, stone walls. I could

climb them. They're about fifteen feet high,

with lots of toeholds in the gray, rough stone.

The ceiling is made

of the same stone blocks, like a dungeon,

and wooden boards

crisscross below it, holding it up.

The door is wood, but here's a big, heavy,

locking mechanism of some sort inside of it, that makes it so heavy

that it would take

ten elephants

to make it budge.

It locks from the outside, as far as I an tell, so

there's no way we could get out through there.

The walls, upon closer inspection,

are so rough that you'd bleed if you tried to

climb them. There are no windows, either, and

the wood beams are full of splinters.

We're basically trapped as trapped

can be.

Sherry keeps thanking me because of something I

did, even though it's

kind of

random.

I smiled at one of the boys in a way

that I thought would make me look like a gremlin about to kill him,

but apparently it looked cute and he got a crush on me, if

Sherry is to be trusted.

"He likes you, I swear," she

says, pacing around the room.

"He thought you were hitting on him

so now he likes you."

"I'm a grown adult! He's,

what, sixteen?"

I say.

"Eighteen, it looks like. but you

look really long, like maybe nineteen? I think

he thinks you're in his age group."

"Well, if he really is 'hitting

on me' then maybe he could

let us out, huh?"

"I think he did his part by

not tying

us up."

"Whatever. Where's the kid I lied to? he can

get me out of here before the stepfather in question

comes back."

"I think he's coming...

now."

I snarl.

My phone dings.

Uh...

Oh right!

I hid my phone from them, saying I was

anti-tech.

They had Sherr's, but they didn't

have mine.

I get a really good idea.

I pick up my phone and begin to write...

Words pour out of my

f

i

n

g

e

r

t

i

p

s

and create a message that

I send to everyone.






"Hello, John Kazzer."

I yell, jump around like a deer,

and turn towards the speaker, a look of rage in my eyes.

He is a tall, thin man,

dressed in a black trench coat.

Who even wears those anymore?

"How do you know my name?"

I ask.

"That weird girl

with the long black hair

and the tendency to punch

kept yelling about you."

"Samantha-Jae?"

"She didn't give her name,

so we're calling her 'Project 45'."

"Project 45?"

"Our forty-fifth catch."

"Catch?"

The man looks at me like I'm mad.

"You mean to say that

you've never heard of Project Stockholm?"

"I've heard about some guy

called Stockholm, but I didn't

know he was a project already."

"He isn't! It's

named after Stockho--

I'm not telling you.

This is top secret. Even

the president doesn't know about it."

He is

creeping

me

out.

A lot.

"I'm giving you an offer."

I feel my phone buzz in my pocket.

"An

offer?"

"Consider this," the man

says.

"You could work for my boss. Simple

jobs at first; backup guard for hunting, patrolling the

borders,

figuring out the details of our missions, if

you are good at that sort of thing. Driving our

catches to the base.

Then if we still need to get a few more, you can

get into the higher leagues.

Take down a few targets. Bring back

information on their reactions.

Maybe play the role of

Keeper. "

"What does that mean?"

"I'm recruiting you for a job."

"What kind?"

"Experiment dirty work."

"I am not

killing anyone," I say, loudly,

to make it clear.

"You won't have to. All you have to do

is make sure that the experiments stay put."

"Are you cloning alien life

or something?"

"No...

simply..."

He reaches

for his pocket.

I flinch. I think

he has a weapon in there.

"Keeping it."

"Keeping what?"

"Life forms.

The highest, most

complex one of all.

We have forty-six in total, but

we'll need fifty to round it out more.

What do you say?"

"What life form are you working with?"


"Sir,

what are you?"


Sickness churns inside of me.


Humans.


He means humans.


Other intelligent,

living

breathing

beings.


For science.


"I'd suggest you agree with me,"

he says in an ominous tone. He smiles

in a creepy way.

"... if you want to see

Chocolate again."

"Are you threatening me

with food or people?"

"The man reaches

for his belt. There's

something under his cloak. I can see it. I can

tell that he is trying

to scare me

into saying yes.

But the people, the forty-six people who are all

being experimented on by whoever his boss is!

And

oh no, Samantha-Jae must be one of them!

But at the same time,

I need to protect Chocolate!

And on the other hand, Emilia and Sherry could have been taken, too!

"I'll give you twenty-four hours

to think it over." the man says, turning away from me.

"Twenty-four hours before we so much as look at that

girl. Twenty-four hours for

you to make

your choice."

He walks away.

I remain rooted to the ground.


A human experimenter.


Someone whole experiments on humans.


I need to be one to get Chocolate back.


A horrible,

twisted darkness

rises inside of me.


Would I be willing to do something like that

for her?

For Samantha-Jae?

But there could be-- no, there have to be

people out there who want the forty-six back.

The're girlfriends and boyfriends.

Brothers and sisters.

Friends,

teachers,

cousins,

football champs,

wrestlers,

and readers.

People-- ordinary people

who ended up in this somehow.



"What should I do?" I ask

myself, my voice

nearly freezing away in a gust of cold wind.








The

message

has to have

sent by now.

There's enough

signal, but hardly any.

It doesn't take a lot, usually,

but I think they're shutting off

the WiFi or something.

I hear

footsteps coming down the halls.

Closer and closer.

"Sherry, on my command,

beat up whoever comes through

that door.

Ready? three-- two-- one--"

The lock opens, the latching mechanism

popping open.

A man who looks like an adult form of

the boys behind him

scowls into the room.

"Them?" he says.

"You think they were the

ones who kid napped Samantha?"

"We didn't!"

I say at the same time

the boys shout

"One word, dad!"

I nod to Sherry, who in turn, nods

back.

And we leap.



The "message sent" alarm

dings happily

as we punch the boys and man

uselessly.






One new message!

My phone says.

I open it.








To whomever gets this:

I know now that it isn't the stepdad in question

who's taken Chocolate and Samantha-Jae.

He thinks we did it, I bet. We're

trapped in a creepy room in his basement.

Don't come for Sherry and me

unless you have to.

I don't know where they are, but I know where they aren't.

Please come as soon as possible--

but only if you know where Samantha-Jae and Choco are.

I wish I could help you. But you're

on

your

own

here.

They're trying to Steal Samantha-Jae back

because she's the inheritor of her multimillionaire mother's wealth.

I'll try to escape, but that's a pretty risky move for us.

We'll have to wait until they clear our names

and realize that we only took

Samantha-Jae because we thought

they were the evil ones.

Tell me if you know anything,

but keep it encrypted.

Not too hard, just enough

that no one besides me can interpret it.

Thank you.

--Emilia.








I hold my phone tightly.

then, I text:

I know where Chocolate is.

I was threatened with her.

Some guy tried to get me to join his

big boss's H3uM@n 3xP3r1m3nTiNg project by

dangling her over my head,

not actually,

just told me I had

Tw3nTy4 hours to join his side or

she was theirs to 3xP3r1m3nT 0n.

I'll tell you more later.

I'll get you out of there a$ $o0N @$

p0$$iBl3.

--J0hN k2zZ3R.





She'll be able to

uncover my message.

It's not even that good, but I'm hoping that

she keeps her phone on her at all times.








Chocolate woke up, a bleary feeling

filling her body.

She though about

opening her eyes or moving,

but she was just too tired.

"...all clear, sir."

"Very well... the..."

the voices

w a r p e d

away.

then they returned, Who

were they? Chocolate didn't know them.

"...Noticing that, I can..."

"Sir, yes sir!"

"Get ready for..." she couldn't make out what

he said.

"...Obsidian."

Obsidian? she thought.

Where have I heard Obsidian before?

Chocolate lapsed into another round of deep, dark sleep,

not even noticing the needle

injected into her arm

or the chains

on her hands and feet.


Obsidian....














Thank you for enduring this long, weird story. Who wants the

sequel?

December 12, 2020 21:42

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39 comments

I love these types of poetry stories Emmie! So creative! :)

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Thanks? What or who do you think Obsidian is? And do you think they'll all get out okay? Will John Kazzer make the right choice? What is the right choice? Again, thanks for reading Bridgebrook Tales (what I'm calling this)

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Amel Parvez
16:38 Feb 22, 2021

nice!

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Thanks! CLIFFHANGERS AHA

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Amel Parvez
14:28 Feb 23, 2021

you're welcome! yeah :)

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Working on the next part now! HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH oh man, my characters deserve a break. And a milkshake. Fifty milkshakes. πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€ πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€πŸ₯€

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Wow Emmie! Very interesting concept you've got here. Amazing work on the dialogue! Super mysterious! Keep writing:)

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I will, just maybe not with these prompts, they're all too holiday-y. Is that a word? :)

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Have you read any of the others? This is a direct pick-up from Storm, so it might be confusing if you didn't read some of the others first.

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Hey, guys! I'll be leaving Reedsy for a little while, so I won't get your comments. Don't worry, I'll come back in a week or two, but I won't be able to get your comments. If you want to comment please like this story and go to it later. (in a week or two weeks) Thank you!

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Ray Dyer
22:07 Dec 13, 2020

You've definitely taken these into a darker direction, like you said. These read like you're having a lot of fun writing them, and if that's the case, then you should keep going and exploring your story. You've got an interesting group of characters, and you're doing a good job juggling them and keeping them distinct, even in the form of the poem. I like the different types of "word art" that you're using, with the paragraphs growing and shrinking, and continuing to do things like "fingertips" literally pouring out of the poem.

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Thank you! I do enjoy the darker, mystery vibe I get from these, so I guess I'll keep the creepy style. It can't get any worse fro the poor characters, can it? :p (yeah, it could, but I won't make it that much worse.) The word art can be tricky but I like to use it for thinking instead of just italics, which you might have noticed. The growing and shrinking paragraphs are usually not action, but thought. I'm glad that you like these stories! Thank you for reading them!

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Ray Dyer
22:18 Dec 13, 2020

I was noticing that - setting up patterns like that is a great way to give the sense that your free verse has "rules," especially in a series like this, where the reader is going to see repetition of what you're building. Cool idea!

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Thanks!

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Hey, guys! Is this next bit creepy, or what? Who has any ideas on what or who Obsidian is? I already planned it, but I'd love to hear your ideas! Also, I'd like to thank everyone who liked this and all the other Bridgebrook tales! Maybe someday I'll publish a treasury of these stories.

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Ruth Major
03:37 Dec 13, 2020

I really like your stories, they are very interesting...I would like to see more

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Did you read them in order? I checked the likes and it looked like some were liked before others... That's ok, though! Who do you want a point-of-view on the next poetry-verse one? Or should I do a bit of everyone?

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B. W.
22:17 Dec 13, 2020

I like that this is sort of poetry in a way or something, I don't think a lot of people do that on here. Besides that its great as usual and it gets a 10/10 :)

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Thank you! This is the last one I've written, and I won't be a able to use any other prompts, so just hope that John Kazzer makes the right school and imagine how Emilia and Sherry will escape :)

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B. W.
22:21 Dec 13, 2020

You did all five prompts??

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No, but I did the mystery one, and the love one and I'm trying to fit an Emma and Alexander continuation into one about an inheritance, so the sci-fi one doesn't fit into small town mystery thriller thing.

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B. W.
00:51 Dec 14, 2020

hey, could ya maybe help me with something?

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What is it?

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