Daily Writing Challenge #2

Day #2:

Today’s prompt is the image seen below.

This one was also a harder one because I was in a mood today. Basically, I got feedback on the first draft of my big WIP, and I’d asked for harsh criticism because sugar-coating it wasn’t going to do it—or me—any favors. While I appreciate getting what I asked for, an artist also never fully likes to have their work nitpicked and prodded and have everything wrong with it pointed out. It makes you second guess yourself and wonder if you have what it takes. I’ll get over it like usual; I just needed to wallow a little bit because as much as I wish it wasn’t the case, I’m a baby when it comes to criticism.

Besides that, todays small challenge turned out much longer than the first, just because I had a more specific ending in mind for how this short story was going to turn out. I don’t preplan or outline anything out, I just think of a simple premise based off what the prompt given is, and literally just go for it! The ending I thought of while writing in the moment. Hope that all makes sense, enjoy today’s short piece!

***Trigger warnings: depression & suicidal thoughts***


Her eyes drifted over the edge of the bridge, and contemplated how much of a drop it was to the lake below. It looked about a hundred feet or a little more, so would that be enough? A girl standing all alone on a bridge in the middle of the night told herself that maybe she should’ve thought this through a little more.

It was a balmy, spring night that was overrun with a dense fog that gave an enchanting but utterly ominous haze. The girl could barely see the town on the other end; the glow from the streetlights being the only source giving her any sense of direction.

Life has always had its ups and downs, and has definitely had its curveballs that could go either way, but lately it’s all just become a slow moving train towards derailment. For quite some time, nothing was giving her life like it used to. It’d become harder and harder to get out of bed in the morning, to brush her hair, to fix her chipped nails, and remember to grab a bite to eat. It was like there was a brick of lead in her very essence, and she couldn’t handle the weight it dragged any longer. 

She’d started to notice her friends slowly distance themselves, like they didn’t want to deal with her anymore; not that she could blame them. They’d told her over and over how they were there for her if she wanted to talk, but do people really mean that? It feels more like when a family member dies, and everyone stares away or goes quiet because they don’t know what to say around you, or worry they’ll say the wrong thing. Never taking them up on their offers, she never said anything as she’d noticed how they too started to dwindle as time moved forward. 

That damn insidious voice in her head told her how they didn’t really care about her, how no one really did. She was just a burden, an annoying speck on the mirror they look past to worry about themselves. They only said anything because they felt it was expected, but have they done anything to really show they care? Maybe, but not nearly enough.

Some days she could tell that voice to shove off. She could convince herself that it was wrong, that all her inner fears, the worried thoughts that kept her up every night staring at her ceiling weren’t valid, and it was only her paranoia conjuring up cackling demonic and shadowy doubts into her mind.

Some days she could ignore it all, but lately it’s become a battle she just doesn’t have the energy or willpower to fight any longer. 

She didn’t want to make some grand, articulate plan about it, or leave a note for her RA to find days later. Maybe people would notice her then, but then again it didn’t seem like there was much of a point to that since she wouldn’t be around for the acknowledgement. No, if she was just a speck, she’d simply wipe herself away, fast and without a second thought. 

The girl’s heart jumped in her chest when three random bar goers passed by while she continued to just stand there overlooking the lake. One of them, an intoxicated twenty-something male with faded jeans and a beanie, lit a cigarette and bumped into her.

“Oh, my bad, dude,” the guy apologized. “Didn’t see you there.”

The other two just laughed and teased the guy until they all disappeared through the fog like they’d arrived. 

She huffed air through her nose to get a hold of her rapidly beating heart, and told her hands to stop shaking. Of course they wouldn’t notice her; hardly anyone noticed anything about her anymore. Or if they did, they simply didn’t care. 

Thank you universe for yet another reminder of how much I don’t matter…

She brushed a few strands of her medium length dark hair behind her ears and gripped the railing, testing whether the metal bar was slick with condensation. She told herself she just had to do it already before she psyched herself out, and tried to find a way to heave herself onto the other side as quickly as possible. 

Another thumping of footsteps got closer, stopping her in her tracks. They were more uneven and stumbling than the last people walking by, so it must be just another drunk-off-his-ass bar goer. 

She felt tears threaten to escape and she held in a groan; there weren’t supposed to be so many people out that night. 

A single silhouette traipsed through the fog until she saw that it was yet another younger guy, hopefully just heading home for the night. Still, the girl couldn’t help but utter a curse his way for yet another interruption. 

“Hey! How you’z doin’?” the guy slurred. He waved excessively and tripped into the railing. She ran a hand across her face as he laughed at himself and decided to plop down right there at her feet on the bridge, and took a small step back. 

“Hi. I’m fine, just want to be alone if that’s okay,” she replied, her voice low and clipped. 

The guy looked up at her and bobbed his head up and down. “Tha’s cool. Being alone is cool.” Yet he didn’t make any effort to get up and get lost, much to her growing frustration. 

He looked distant, then closed his eyes as he leaned his head back against the railing. She was worried he was about to pass out right there next to her, but he spoke again.

“So, whatta ya doin’ out here all alone?”

She thought of the quickest answer. “To look at the lake.”

He tilted his head. “Why come out here then?”

She sighed. “I don’t know…the view’s better out here, I guess.”

“Whatever ya say, lady.”


She turned back towards the lake instead of facing the random stranger that couldn’t seem to take a hint. The guy still sat by her feet, his eyes still resting on her but remaining silent. She couldn’t tell if he was simply a creep, if he actually passed out, or if he was hoping she’d go home with him. Not gonna happen. After what felt like forever but was probably actually only three minutes, she turned back to his figure still sitting against the railing.  

She crossed her arms and didn’t look him in the eyes. “Look, I really want to be alone right now.”

The guy’s eyebrows rose, and he muttered an apology as he scrambled to get up. She instantly wanted to apologize and throw out that she normally wasn’t so rude, but instead chickened out and silently watched him struggle to even stand on his own. She thought to herself how sad it looked for a guy that was so drunk, he couldn’t hardly get his body to function normally or balance himself out. He was like an overgrown toddler, and was a perfect example of why she chose not to drink. 

When she couldn’t stand to just continue to stay there and wait for him, she reached out and helped him gain back some balance, and ignored the stench of beer that oozed off his breath.

He chuckled to himself as he looked to the ground. “Thank you, I guess I had too much to drink tonight.”

“Yep, I guess so.” She cringed at herself again, and cleared her throat to soften her voice. “It happens.”

He’s silent, and seemed to study her through his glazed over expression. She felt the weight of his attention on her, and it was like a mosquito in her ear that wouldn’t go away. The random stranger copied and cleared his throat to fill the silent gap, but she couldn’t just force him to leave. It was obvious he wanted to say something else, but she turned her shoulder on him to peer out at the lake once again, silently begging him to just leave already.

With a deep sigh, the guy finally began to wander away, stumbling away the direction he was originally heading. Out of the corner of her eye, she watched him have to use the railing to keep himself from falling over. His figure began to disappear back into the fog, and the girl found herself worrying whether he’d make it home or not.

The girl rested her arms against the railing and put her face between her hands to clear her head. Should she follow him, or offer to help get him home? What if he’s dangerous? Then again, the guy couldn’t even stand on his own; how dangerous could he really be? Damn her guilty conscience to consider helping a random stranger who may or may not cause her arms simply because she had a guilty conscience. 

“Hey, wait!” she called out to his retreating form. 

It turned out he was actually quite a talker as they walked back to his apartment complex that was thankfully just on the other side of the bridge. She listened to him talk about his classes, his part-time job at the admissions office that he hated, and the girl who just dumped him; the reason he was out alone and drinking in the first place. 

“I jus’ didn’t see it coming, ya know?” he slurred. “I don’t think I ever felt this low, ya know?” 

His head hung between his shoulders, and the girl swore she could hear the agony in how deep of a sigh he’d exhaled. She nodded along and felt a need to comfort the poor guy who felt the need to wallow in self pity all alone. 

She glanced over at him. “I do…I know the feeling too.”

His eyes met hers, and a silent understanding passed between them, as if they both felt each other’s pain behind their shielded windows to their souls. They returned to walking back towards his place; the light coming from the front door to the lobby only about fifty yards away. It was guiding them through the misty fog that concealed everything else around them.

The stranger turned back towards the girl when he rested his hand against the handle, his key unlocking the door. ““Hey, I wanna say thank you. I don’t know what I woulda’ done if I hadn’ run into ya tonight.”

The girl’s throat closed in, and she couldn’t form words in response to his own. She thought back to what she was doing back on that bridge, to what she was contemplating before he’d shown up. Would he have made it back on his own if she hadn’t been there? Would he have made it if she’d already done what she’d intended to go through with, or would the town have lost two more people if they hadn’t run into each other? 

The girl couldn’t say anything back, but could just nod her head and offer a small smile in return as she watched the morose stranger walk inside towards the light, towards warmth, safety, and another chance.

Thanks For Reading!

— Nick Goodsell


Daily Writing Challenge #1

Hello all you cool cats and kittens, Nick Goodsell here, and like many of you, I am sick of this pandemic that’s taken the world by storm. I’m not going to be yet another person droning on about it, so I’m already going to leave it at that…

Writing has been a huge coping mechanism for me during these crazy times, and has been a great way to not only distract myself, but enjoy the act of creating something for myself, and maybe even someone else can enjoy or be inspired by. A friend and me were talking about stories and the “Choices” role playing app, and discussing my “When in Doubt” WIP when we came up with the idea to do a fun activity of doing daily writing challenges based off a prompt we switch off and personally select. Since this is my personal blog and want to include more writing projects besides just book reviews and fancasts, I thought I’d post mine on here and share with whoever happens upon them!

My friend, Danielle, selected the first prompt and she selected this image to write a short piece about:

Not sure who the artist is, I’d of course credit them if I knew, but the landscape of the shadowy city mixed with old and new gave me an idea of a steampunk-like heist story involving a small group of rogues who need to steal a powerful, magical item from a corrupt Commandant in order to save their city and return their world back to its former glory.

Without further ado, here’s my excerpt:

“The Heist”

This world may be shrouded in darkness, it may be in the creeping shadows that are filled with the unknown faces of soulless, roaring monsters, but no more. Tonight, they’d put an end to it all. 

For too long has the Lord Commandant kept the Alkalian Shield in this world, and for too long has it been a parasite, and has sucked the life from this world in which was once a grand oasis, but now lay in dark and the edge of total annihilation. Paranoia, fear, and chaos have taken over with a brutalistic pull of the trigger, with a twist of cap off a blackhole grenade, and the city of Alpatuan has become the centerpiece for the horror of what everything this world has become. The poster city of desperation, carnage, and near extinction. 

From a nondescript roof of a small factory in the heart of the city, five figures hid in the shadows of its smoke stacks, completely unseen as they watched the streets below while ash continued to fall from the black sky like snow. 

Andrian, a mercenary and the captain of their small rebel crew, narrowed his eyes as he watched three of the totalitarianistic officers corner a woman who was walking completely alone. They were supposed to be the keepers of peace and order, the presence of safety and protection against the crime that was rampant, yet there they were cornering some poor, innocent soul into an alleyway to rob her of whatever she had, and to possibly commit even worse crimes.  

He took a deep breath to keep himself in place once the screaming began. He hates what his home has become.

“Easy, Captain.” 

Andrain turned to Elthea, the shapeshifting assassin who’s head slightly turned his way, and gave her a gruff nod. “I know the plan.”

Her eyes narrowed, but Elthea looked back towards her sector while the others remained stoic and silent at their posts. 

Andrian’s hazel eyes traveled over her lithe form and noted how she’d gone with her darker skin, long ebony hair, and elongated elven ears for the expert hearing she’d need for their mission. She’d widened her hips since the last time he’d seen her, and memories of last night and their night of wicked passion came rushing back to him and caused his blood to flow to all areas of his body. It was a swift, stolen act in the back storage room while they’d all been resting for the task ahead, but lords had it been absolutely thrilling and absolutely mind altering. All three times. 

Andrian swallowed as he told himself that if they survived this night, they’d have to do a couple repeat performances. When he was sure she wouldn’t notice, Andrian squatted in his position to subtly adjust himself without moving his hands from his semi-automatic bronze rifle. 

“Captain, suspicious movement on my end,” Rokanathon, his Skyphos spymaster, warned him from the edge of the roof. With his grey feathered wings, and the winged Skyphos people’s ability to stay as stiff as stone for periods of time, he was a gargoyle as he watched over his section of the city. 

Andrian’s dirty thoughts flashed from his mind, and he flipped the dark locks of hair that had fallen over his eyes back, and crept over to whatever Rokanathon was reporting about without making a sound. All the others became tense, but no one still made a sound as Andrian peered over his spymaster’s large, tucked in right wing. Sure enough, the figure they’d been waiting for maneuvered through the foggy streets; avoiding contact with anyone as their midnight violet cloak stirred in the air around them. 

Andrian scratched his lightly stubbled chin with satisfaction as he witnessed the glowing object the figure carried preciously in their gloved hands. “Good work, Ro.”

Without looking away, he signaled for Elthea, and like she was made of the mist of the early dawn, she was right at his side, her lavender eyes now also trailing who was soon to be her latest acquisition. 

Andrian couldn’t help but give her a teasing bump of his shoulder. “Think you can handle ‘em?”

He could sense her eyes narrow at him, but also knew her lips quirked up into a smirk that would’ve sent chills down his spine if he could see it for himself. The air was stolen from his lungs when one of her needle-like knives appeared at his throat, and the scent of rainfall when it lingered on stone mixed with sea mist intoxicated his senses.  

“I think you of all people know that I’ve got it covered,” she said along his ear, and he tried his damndest not to shiver at the breath he felt lace along his throat. She wasn’t about to have him lose control in front of everyone else, even if she was obviously enjoying watching him squirm. 

Andrian dared to gaze into her eyes, and was both aroused and terrified of the devilish amusement lit in her heated gaze. “Then the plan’s all in motion.” He signaled to all the others to move into the next phase of their heist. “Let’s move.”

That’s all I’ve got for now! What do you think? Feel free to join in and create your own work based off this prompt, we could form some sort of writers community and help each other out!

If not that, if you want to get more into writing, I recommend going out and finding your own prompts and/or writing inspirations to keep those juices flowing! It’s a fun activity to try everyday, and who knows, maybe you’ll find the next Harry Potter in your work

Thanks for reading!

— Nick Goodsell