Daily Prompt One Word Prompt 3-1-2016


Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.

The Secret hung over them all. They all thought they knew the secret, but they didn’t.  They knew different things, but no secrets.  All except one woman.  She knew, but she didn’t know she was the only one to know. So they all worked to keep their secret from each other. No one trusted anyone; they didn’t even trust themselves.

There was one other person to know the secret, the Secret Keeper, the man who had given them their secrets.  He kept a firm eye on the woman, waiting to see if she broke.  If she whispered to another, he would sign her papers and she would disappear.

That, too, was a secret.  The last three who whispered vanished. The others had been told they left for other jobs and didn’t question. Truth was, once here, you didn’t leave for another job. You left dead and no other way.

That was the rule and he made the rules just like he made the secrets.

She lived in fear.  What if she told?  What if she slipped and let out the Secret? She was smart. She saw things, puzzled out things, put them together again. The last three who shared their secret vanished.  They hadn’t gone to new jobs, she knew that.  What other jobs?  Keeping the Secret was the only job they had ever been allowed.

And so she waited, watched, keep to herself and keeping silent.  If the secret was true, and why wouldn’t it be, she had hope there was something more, something beyond the dull grey maze of their existence.

A world. She almost remembered what the word meant. Sometimes.  Other times, her thinking got tangled, grey and fuzzy and distant. When she could, she stayed in her room, hiding even though she knew he was always watching.

In the end, she broke.  She had to tell somebody, had to share the possibility of world. They came for her that night, silent, dark, taking her out of her room and through the maze. Through locked doors to one final door.

This was it, she knew. There was nothing left.  Soon she would be nothing.

One of the Takers tapped the wall beside the door.  It swung open, blinding reaching in to take her. Hurt. So this was hurt. A moment’s hesitation and the Takers pushed her forward, into blindness.  The door closed silent behind her and she was dead.

Daily Prompt 2-17-2016

Evasive Action

What’s the most significant secret you’ve ever kept? Did the truth ever come out?

He stood in the shadows, watching the building beyond, half-hoping nothing happened, other half hoping he might see the man he’d been tracing for so long. The night was dark and drizzly, water dripping from the rim of his hat, soaked his shoes.

He should have worn better shoes.

The building remained dark, a looming cliff-face in the thin glow cast by rusted streetlights. It was hard, knowing things, secret things he could not share. Sharing meant death or at least the loss of his job. He’d prefer the loss of the job but one never knew.

Why hadn’t he worn better shoes?

A light flicked on in a window on the first floor. He tensed, struggling to discern cause through the drawn shade. A shadow passed back and forth and then another two in quick succession. Three?

Shit shoes.

He considered moving closer, attempting to gain access to the building, but held back. Too dangerous when he didn’t know the identity of the third man. Woman?

His socks were soaked in his shit shoes.

Two forms materialized in front of the shade, shadow-boxing. A punch was thrown. Another. His hand went to his belt and the gun there.

What happened to waterproof shoes?

One form raised an arm, something clutched in one hand. Dark spots splattered onto the shade. Frick, he just hoped it wasn’t his man down.

Didn’t he have better shoes at home?

The first form collapsed. The third entered the screen, tackling form two. He’d labeled them one, two and three according to their appearance, not even sure which shadow was his man.

Tomorrow, he’d have to get better shoes.

The forms struggled back and forth. Hands wrapped around two’s neck. Two collapsed. There was a gun shot. Form three fell. No need to worry about that secret anymore. Kicking off soaked shoes in his car, he drove home.

Tomorrow, he would get rain boots.

Three shadow forms stood behind he shade, watching him go.


Invasive Action