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  • Writer's pictureKali Kuzma

Ghost Writer Versus Writing Prompt

Taking on Another Prompt

It's been a while since someone took on a writing prompt from my book, 45 Writing Prompts for Basic, Intermediate, and Advance Writers. So, I hit up to see who would be willing to take on the challenge. After receiving the prompt, I got someone who took the bait. Let's see how this ghost writer did!

Words: climate, guideline, compliance

Sentence: You've been eyeing me all day and waiting to make your move, like a lion stalking a gazelle on the savannah.

Phrases: N/A

Characters: Adeline Mack

Word Count: 1000


The Chase

“You can run, but you cannot hide!” Groger Mack was a bear of a man, huge and deadly. His voice shot like a cannon so everybody throughout New Sahara heard him. But, he shrunk into the distance as the target of his threat dashed away. He’d need the thermocycle en route to his location to catch up.

Over the stone, around the log, and jump…now! Adeline Mack zipped through the air, over a small creak clear to the other side. She rolled into her landing and sprung back up like she’d never been off her feet.

She was incomparably quick.

Ever since she’d been upgraded with Jetison – a next-generation genetic modifier called ‘a boost’ – there was nothing to which one could compare her speed. Adeline’s body had reacted to the jetison boost so well, that eighty percent of her leg muscle converted into twitch-muscle and her leg bones into lighter graphite fiber. She was simply faster than any other living organism on the planet – no small feat.

So rare was it for an individual to be boosted into superhuman ability, she’d become what is known as ‘a paragon’.

After another mile and a half, Adeline looked back from whence she’d come.

Groger was a speck on the arid, African horizon – only the LiveWire facility – the factory that produced genetic modifying boosts – was slightly bigger than him from this distance.

She took the opportunity to collapse. Her swords, weapons she’d strapped to her hips in case she was cornered, poked her sides, but she was too worn to care.

Her lungs and heart writhed in pain behind her ribs. The rest of her body, Adeline realized, had not been boosted to keep pace with her new legs – legs that wore out faster due to their increased volume of twitch muscle which consumed calories like a starved lion.

She heaved her bag off her back and ripped warm, but necessary air into her normal lungs. In her bag, hundreds of stolen vials of boosts similar to the jetison encoded in her DNA clicked against each other.

The harsh, New Saharan climate made every breath feel like she was choking on sand, but, after a moment, her breath became manageable.

A ping rang from in her pocket and she produced a phone with what little strength she could stir up.

A text from her father, the freedom fighter who orchestrated this whole heist:

'Are you Ok? Adie? You don’t have time to stop! Get to evac point!’

‘On my way. Didn’t think about heart or lung boosts. New legs draining me,’ Adeline replied.

‘Whatever you do, be careful.

‘Ditch the boosts if you have to. We’ll get them some other way. Not worth losing you!

‘I love you.’

‘You know I don’t give up,’ Adeline replied. ‘Love you.’

She returned her phone to her pocket as she fully caught her breath – the only thing faster than her now.

Then, she heard the familiar sound of a thermo-reactive engine.

“What’s wrong, runner, tired out?” Groger rushed into earshot on his thermocycle – a two-wheeled military vehicle that turned the endless heat from the ground and sun into thrust to power small jet engines underneath him.

Adeline returned to her feet and snapped up her bag.

“Tired of you,” she huffed before disappearing in a blur of dust and dirt. Groger knew he didn’t need to speed up.

Godammit, Adeline thought. How was she going to get to the evac point? Her legs were already wincing, they begged her to stop. They’d spent a marathon’s worth of energy in 30 seconds, and she still had another three dozen miles to go.

“You can’t keep this up,” Groger said. “But I could do this all day.”

So he did.

They went back and forth like this, turning what should have been a half hour trip with her superhuman speed into a drawn out pursuit of several hours – her stopping for a moment to catch her breath and him pulling up just close enough to make her uncomfortable before letting her go again to wear herself out.

‘Drop the cargo!

‘Just get out of there!

‘Adie, are you alive?

‘Your lack of compliance in emergency situations, Adie, I swear!! Don’t die for this, your grandfather doesn’t take prisoner!’

Adeline’s phone went off every other minute when she’d not arrived for the evac when they’d planned for her.

“You should just give up,” Groger said as Adeline tripped and failed to get up. He crossed his forearms over the bars of his thermocycle like a big, wild cat presiding over a fresh hunt.

“You know, the company guideline for things like this is for me to bring you in, let the empire deal with you.

“But, between you and me, I never told them you stole from us in the first place.” He shot daggers from his harsh, old eyes. “I’ve just had enough of you and your little ‘cause’ ruining my good name. You think just because life is hard you can take from the people at the top and give to the people at the bottom? That ain't how this works.

“Consider this off the books.” Groger produced a large gun from the console of his vehicle and oriented it on Adeline.

Adeline’s legs quaked underneath her – no longer strong enough to hold her up.

But, despite this, she stood again.

Her blood boiled in her heart. Mostly strain from her extreme sprint, but also disdain for Groger.

She clenched every bone and muscle, but her rage, her fear and exhaustion, burst from her lips like steam in an engine.

“Screw you,” Adeline shouted. “You’ve been eyeing me all day and waiting for your move like a lion stalking a gazelle in the savannah.” Adeline peered across the arid valley at Groger. It was stunning, she thought, how he could appear so arrogant with just the way he stood before her.

She produced her swords, her grip as hard as their steel.

“But, this gazelle’s got horns.”

Final Thoughts

I was not expecting a sci-fi short story with the prompt that was given, but that's the glory of writing prompts. You never know what you will get! Overall, I found the story to be creative and interesting. Sci-Fi isn't something I normally read but this one kept my attention.

I did leave the story as it was given to me. There are a few errors that should have been fixed before I received the final version as well as to many paragraph breaks. I would have liked to have seen more cohesion to the sentences as trying to keep up with the dialog was a bit difficult.

The number of dashes is also too many. This tells me the ghost writer wants to fit as many thoughts in as possible but has a harder time including it throughout the story.

They were able to hit all 1000 words and include everything in the prompt as asked. Overall, I would rate this story a 4.5 out of 5.

What kind of story would you have written given the prompt? Have you had experiences with ghost writers- if so, how did they turn out? Let me know in the comments below!

Check out the last ghost writer challenge.

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