Welcome to a new segment here on Fighter to Writer. In order to get a little more structure and stability to my weekly routine, I'm trying out different topics to see what sticks. So, today, we're going to try something. I'm going to pull a random prompt from somewhere on the Internet and write for a full ten minutes without stopping. Then, I want you to do the same (with the prompt I give you) and let's compare notes. 


You're a secret service agent and you've been kidnapped and are trapped in a basement. You have only three items and must use those three items to escape and save the President of the United States. Go!

- Brian A. Klems of Writer's Digest


It's dark when I wake up. No, not dark. It's pitch black. Wherever I am, they covered the windows and doors with sealant and rubber fillers. There isn't so much as a hint of light in any direction. My heart starts up for a run, pounding at my rib cage like an overactive puppy. I swoon, teetering on the brink of another round with unconsciousness, when I heart the sound.

A voice. No, two. Three. A group. At least five, each with deep baritones that rumbled down from the ceiling above. Then another voice. Pleading. No, not pleading. Demanding. I'd recognize even the faintest whisper of that voice. I'd listened to it nonstop for the past two years. President Lizeth Martinez. She's still alive!

I'm alert but wavering. They must have drugged me with something after knocking me out. I can taste copper and bile in my throat. I spit on the floor, not just to clear my mouth but to get a sense of where I am. The impact tells me the floor is concrete. My ankles are tied to the chair, so I can't move my feet much, but the ground feels smooth. Not tiled. Best guess: I'm in a basement. 

Take stock. I'm back in basic, hearing the whispered words of my drill instructor. He wasn't the normal type, screaming everything at the same level until it all drowned into background noise. He was careful with his words. Somehow, that made him more intimidating. You're in a tough spot, you can't see, you can't move. What can you do? Think.

My hands are bound, but the knot is amateur hour. I'm lose in a few minutes, and out of the chair seconds later. Great. One problem down. I stand and nearly collapse. Okay, so I also have a concussion. Makes sense, considering how I got here. I'm a little nauseous too, so it's a pretty bad case. I'll need to see a doctor if I live through this.

Focus, moron!

It's a small basement, about eight-by-eight. I shuffle forward until I make contact with the wall. The rectangular blocks are moist to the touch. For the first time, I smell mildew and soil. The floor is fairly solid, so there's either a bag of soil nearby, or there's a window the attackers covered too well. File it, move on. I slide down the wall, using my fingertips to lead the way, when--

FUCK! I bite my tongue to keep from crying out. Damn it, must have run into the hot water heater. My fingers are raging, already forming blisters on the tips. That's going to be fun to fight through. I suck on my pointer and middle fingers and keep going, giving the heater a wide berth. 

The soil smell is heavier now, and there's something else. Something acrid and toxic. Like ammonia. Lye? Okay, so these guys are ready to bury bodies. That doesn't bode well for either of us, but especially not for me. There are bags on the ground, and a shovel. Nice. That'll come in handy. 

Did they leave me with anything? I give myself a pat down, checking pockets and hideaways. They took my service weapon, of course. And they found my two backups. Damn. But they left my cigarette packet? YES! I uncrumple the packet and pull out the lighter tucked away inside. I flick the roller twice and a flame jumps up from my hand. 

Let there be light. The room is small, just about what I'd figured. I see the bags are marked lye and filler soil. Shit. That's a murderer's toolkit. I take a longer look around. Roaches EVERYWHERE. It's a real infestation. I shudder. I'm not afraid of roaches, at least not anymore than the next guy, but this is pretty disgusting. 

Wait. Roaches? 

I check the corners and the shelf on the far wall. Sure enough, there's a can of RAID waiting. I give it a tentative shake. Full. I can feel a weight slide off my shoulders. I'm armed now. And there are at most five people upstairs. All I need now is a plan. 

They haven't checked on me since I woke up, which means they're due for a quick look. They won't send more than two, and surprise is on my side. I take the bags and arrange them in the chair, pushing and molding until I've got the semblance of a torso. I lay my jacket over the top and take a look. It's not great. Won't hold up to scrutiny for too long. 

I don't need that long. 

I take the shovel and let it drop to the floor. The sound is deafening in the silence. I quickly snatch it off the ground and rest it gently beside me. 

A light appears, revealing a set of wooden stairs leading up to the main floor. I press myself against the wall and ready the spray can and lighter. Someone starts down the steps, headed for my mannequin in the chair. 

Let's do this.



Okay, that's me. How about you guys? Post your stories below!