Sunday November 24th, 2013

The exercise:

I figure it has been long enough since the last time I used it (plus I'm fresh out of prompt ideas at the moment), so we're making use of the first line prompt today.

We all get the same opening line, but each of us shall take it in a direction of our choosing. If that's as hideous a description as I think it is, feel free to click on the label at the end of the post to see how previous installments have gone.

Our first line this time shall be: Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars!

Bowled in a team pins over average tournament at the alley this afternoon. I'm happy to report that I did my part in the three games, finishing at +104. The other four guys on my team had a little less luck but that's all right - I despise letting my team down, so I was just pleased that our less than ideal result was not my fault.

That sounds rather silly, now that I've typed it out.

Mine:

Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars!

"What in the...?" Albert glanced up from the letter just long enough to make sure no one in the coffee shop was watching before continuing on.

We have been keeping close tabs on you in recent months and believe that you are a perfect candidate for this voyage. Having been without a job long enough that you are, essentially, unemployable...

"Oi!"

... and having no skills or knowledge which might lead to the opening of your own business (not to mention a complete lack of motivation to do so)...

"That's taking it a bit far!"

... you are ideally situated to leave this planet behind with no regrets whatsoever! Toss in the fact that you're fresh off your girlfriend dumping you...

"It was mutual! Sort of."

... on Valentine's Day...

"Unlucky coincidence, that was!"

... via text message and honestly, what could possibly be keeping you here? And, just for the record, we had nothing to do with the termination of that relationship. Just because her new boyfriend works for our company...

"He what?"

... and had been assigned to your case for the preceding six weeks, that doesn't mean it was planned, or that we had a hand in how things concluded between you and the lovely young lady. It's all circumstantial, really.

"You sons of..."

At any rate, please do get back to us with your response as soon as possible! There are a limited number of seats on this flight and we'd hate for you to miss out simply because you were too slow in replying!

Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
NASA

3 Comments:

Greg said...

Well done on the score, and I perfectly understand what you mean about not letting the team down: it's horrible thinking that a team's position is all down to one not playing well.
I confess, I can't parse "team pins over average tournament" into anything meaningful though :(
Hmm, NASA seem to have quite close tabs on your protagonist, have they merged with the NSA recently? That's a great little story, with Albert's reactions to the various revelations ever more amusing. I almost felt sorry for him by the end!

First line prompt
Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars! Desault smiled as he slipped the last of the letters into their envelopes and handed them over to the work experience monkey they'd hired to lick, seal, and stamp them. The girl smiled, clearly hoping that this job would lead to something better, and processed it quickly.
This was a truly brilliant idea, he mused. Send all of his enemies a letter that would excite the stupid ones and enrage the clever ones, and provide them with a place to meet where the trip would be discussed. Then kill ninety percent of them. A hecatomb; he was delighted to have the opportunity to revive that word's original meaning at last.
And only ninety percent of course; he wanted to hand-select the enemies that survived. Mostly stupid ones, but since a man was judged by the quality of his enemies (and he enjoyed playing internet chess against Miss Chase) some of the clever (and beautiful) ones should survive too.
And of course, Henri, enemy and idol, would never fall for such a scheme as this, though he would surely approve....

morganna said...

"Congratulations, you have won a free, one-way trip to Mars!"

Sarah backed away quickly from the annoying little man. She was used to the salespeople being pushy at these commercial trade shows, but he was a bit too persistent. And such a ridiculous pitch, too! A free trip to Mars, indeed.

Sarah's foot hit something hard behind her and she staggered and fell over a stroller. The salesman advanced on her again, the fluorescent lights glinting on his oily, slicked-back hair.

"M'am, wait m'am, just let me explain." He came closer, holding something out towards her in his hand. Sarah suddenly recognized it as a hypodermic needle. She scooted backwards away from him, hoping to lose him in the crush. He continued to advance and Sarah screamed. Why did no one else in this mass of people realize he was attacking her. She kept on screaming as the needle came closer and closer to her bare arm ...

Marc said...

Greg - sorry, I really should have just said 'points over average', not pins. Either way, each person on the team has an average from league play and your score is based on how far over (or under) average your team's players are. If that makes sense.

Hah, that is a rather clever plan. And I quite like that he wishes to only eliminate 90 percent of them... and with good reasons!

Morganna - scary scene. Almost sounds like a nightmare, with the crowd failing to react. Either way, not a fun spot to be in for poor Sarah.