"How many likes have you gotten on your latest Prompts story? I've got 10 already."

         "Must be nice for you. For me, not so much. You can't get likes until they post your story."

         "You're kidding, they haven't approved it yet? It's Tuesday."

         "Tell me about it. You always seem to get yours approved early. This is like the third one in a row for me. I think I keep getting the procrastinator judge who waits until Tuesday."

         "The procrastinator judge? Who's that?"

         "How should I know. How am I supposed to build up likes and comments when my story doesn't come out until so late in the week. I think they're doing it on purpose."

         "Come on, that's not true. They have a lot of stories to go through every week."

         "If you say so. It just always seems I'm getting the short end of the stick."

         "Luck of the draw, I'd say, but you probably will if you put the whole procrastinator judge thing in one of your Prompts stories. No point in sticking a finger in their eye."

         "It can't get worse than now."

         "My grandmother always said, never say it can't get worse. You don't want to give Karma a reason to show you how it can. It's like parking in a handicapped spot when you're not handicapped. You're giving Karma a huge reason to make it legal for you. Do you get my drift? Besides, when your story gets approved doesn't affect the overall judging to determine the winner."

         "I'm not as sure of that as you seem to be. In any case, I bet you the $250 dollar prize from my first win that if Stephen King entered the contest, he wouldn't be waiting until Tuesday before his story got approved. No doubt his would be first."

         "So I would have to wait until you win one of these contests to collect my bet? That could be forever."

         "Thanks for the support, geez. Okay, how about a 100 dollars?"

         "It doesn't matter how much the bet is. How could we ever bet on something like that?"

         "Ask him to do it."

         "Ask him, right. I'm pretty sure neither of us has Stephen King's number in our Contacts."

         "True, but I could ask my sister."

         "Your sister?"

         "Yeah, she used to date him."

         "Yeah right, your sister dated Stephen King. We're talking about Stephen freaking King here."

         "He wasn't always Stephen freaking King. Okay, he was always Stephen King, just not STEPHEN freaking KING. At some point, he was probably just Steve. Why are you rubbing your face? Dr. Fauci says you shouldn't do that."

         "I'm rubbing my face because you are unbelievable and let's not get back on the whole COVID thing. I had to listen to you for over two years about COVID stuff. How about you give it a rest."

         "Alright, alright."

         "But Stephen King dating your sister?"

         "Did you ever see the guy?  He's no Rock Hudson."

         "Rock Hudson? I don't know what Rock Hudson looks like."

         "Google him. Besides, they don't give someone a stage name of Rock Hudson if he looks like a dork. Trust me, Stephen freaking King would never have a stage name like Rock Hudson. You're rubbing your face again."

         "You're too much. If your sister did date him, it would have to be a long time ago. I'm sure he doesn't remember her."

         "Are you saying my sister isn't memorable?"

         "I'm just saying that I doubt your sister will know how to contact him."

         "Then you'd be wrong. She says they still touch base around the Holidays."

         "Okay, you get Stephen freaking King to enter a story in the Prompts contest and I'll take that bet."

         "Stephen freaking King agreed to do it."

         "What, it's only been three days."

         "What can I say?"

         "So he remembered your sister?"

         "My sister never dated Stephen King. I can't believe you fell for that. There you go rubbing your face again."

         "How are we still friends?"

         "Because we know bad things about each other. You know, mutually assured destruction. What better foundation for a friendship."

         "Yeah, that's true. Okay, back to this. You said he agreed to do it."

         "That's right, I contacted him."

         "I can't wait to hear this. Let me sit down first."

         "I'm surprised you forgot I do this kind of stuff for a living. Private detectives use my services all the time. I can find anyone. You do remember that thing called the Internet, don't you and keep your hands away from your face."

         "And you just reached out and convinced him to join a weekly Prompts short story contest?"

         "Yep, bet him a bottle of single malt Scotch that he wouldn't win it. He texted back a laughing emoji and said how much he was going to enjoy drinking it after he won. He's got a pretty big opinion of himself, but he is Stephen freaking King after all. Oh, for future reference, if you ever meet him don't call him Steve. Apparently, he's a little touchy about it. I think it must bring up bad memories of when he was just lowercase stephen king."

         "Good to know if I just happen to bump into him at the grocery store. I'm having trouble believing you just talked him into it."

         "Yeah, he did balk at it at first so I attacked him at his weak point, his pride. I said I get it. You're Stephen freaking King, you got nothing to prove."

         "You didn't say Stephen freaking King to him."

         "You're right, I didn't. But I did say he could now rest on his laurels and put out damn near anything and people would buy it. He didn't need to enter a weekly short story contest to prove he still has the right stuff."

         "No way!"

         "Way. Then he insulted me and I insulted him back and voila, he agreed to it so, in his words, he could prove what an idiot I am and because he likes single malt Scotch."

         "You certainly can be an idiot at times. So how's this going to work? He's going to pick a prompt and write to it as Stephen King?"

         "Yeah, write to a prompt, that's how the contest works. You know that."

         "So Stephen King is going to enter the Prompts contest?"

         "I think I just said that."

         "I'm trying to make sure I have this straight. And your bet is that his story comes out first?"


         "No one is going to believe he's THE Stephen King!"

         "I did my part. If you don't want to do this, just pay up. There you go doing the whole face thing again. You in or not."

         "Okay, if it shuts you up, I'm in."

         "He said he'd text me after he submits."

         "And you trust all of this?"

         "He seemed pretty stoked to win a bottle of Scotch."

         "Don't forget about proving you're an idiot. I could help him with that part."

         "It's Wednesday and I don't see any story out there."

         "By who or is it whom?"

         "Very funny."

         "Did you really believe I could get Stephen King to enter the contest? You're going to need to see a dermatologist if you keep doing that to your face."

         "So you lied about it."

         "Lied is a little harsh. How about I really enjoyed yanking your chain for not supporting me about the whole procrastinator thing."

         "No, you lied."

         "Why are you smiling? I thought you'd be more on the really pissed-off side of this."

         "Because technically you lost the bet and therefore owe me a hundred dollars. Oh, did I tell you I signed up to be a contest judge? I'm going to start calling you Mr. Tuesday from now on. I warned you that Karma's a bitch. Who's going to need to see a dermatologist now?"

                                       The End

April 14, 2023 15:29

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Mary Bendickson
14:51 Apr 24, 2023

Funny and relevant. Maybe you already know this but if you go to 'Activity Feed' under 'Stories' you can find the latest entries from people you follow up to a limit. I don't think they have to have been approved yet. So if you follow people they may elect to follow you and can like your stuff earlier. No guarantees, of course. I just found this gem recently.


John Jones
16:00 Apr 24, 2023

Thanks, I didn’t know that


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Vicki Myers
13:04 Apr 27, 2023

Ha! That was awesome. Stephen freaking King would be proud.


John Jones
13:46 Apr 27, 2023

Thank you so much for reading my story and commenting


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Russell Mickler
03:46 Apr 27, 2023

Snort - so meta! A fun read :) R


John Jones
04:16 Apr 27, 2023



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22:15 Apr 26, 2023

This was a good fun read, nice banter back and forth between the mates. I'm new here so this gave me some insight into the process! 😂


John Jones
01:09 Apr 27, 2023

Thank you


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Amanda Lieser
13:14 Apr 26, 2023

Hi John, I gotta tell you, that first line reeled me in! I love when writers write about this process. It feels rather cathartic to know our insanity is shared by an entire community. I also loved the idioms you tossed into this piece because it felt so fitting for the overall theme of the week. Best of luck to you!


John Jones
13:54 Apr 26, 2023

Thank you for your thoughts. It means a lot coming from someone who has won. I agree, we are all a bit crazy.


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Michelle Oliver
12:42 Apr 25, 2023

Haha, love your dialogue and your protagonist’s attitudes. You almost had me believing that there would be a story from the Stephen freaking King this week. Good job, I’ll follow you now, and your story will show in my activity feed next time, so I can like it before it gets approved. If you follow me or any others, their newest stories will show up on your activity feed too. Keep writing.


John Jones
13:51 Apr 25, 2023

Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It means a lot coming from someone who has won twice. I will follow you as well


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Prijanga Selva
13:54 Apr 22, 2023

This was a fun read!


John Jones
14:23 Apr 22, 2023

Thank you so much


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