You receive a mysterious email and the subject line reads “Everything you know is a lie.” You open the email and read further: “Act calm as to not alert anyone, but everyone around you is not who they say they are. You need to quietly get out of there and meet me at the spot where you had your first kiss. You know the place. My name is Mark.”–Prompt via Writer’s Digest
I was approaching deadline, and glancing at the clock only made it worse. I had about an hour before my editor would come by this side of the newsroom and ask for the story I had told him I was working on, but after some heavy research and foot traffic the lead went cold.
I called and emailed a few other people on the list I was given by a contact who may have known more about the alleged scandal down at the mayor’s office, but I never heard back from any of them. I sipped the lukewarm coffee sitting on the corner of my desk and began to panic internally. I had stared at my computer for another three minutes before a Gmail notification popped up on the side of my screen. The sender was an unrecognized name, but at this point I had nothing to go off of for my current story and decided to click on the popup for a better look.
“Alright class, let’s settle down and get started,” the Professor said. “We’ve gotten a little behind last time and so we need to get started right away to finish this chapter by the end of today.” Groans from various members of the class ensued. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon and several of the college kids were canceling their plans on leaving early from the lecture.
Papers were ruffling around and students were still filing into the class room late and making noise as they unpacked their tablets and computers from their bags. “Today we are going to be cov—“ A light ringing noise was coming from behind the professor. “What is that?” Read the rest of this page »
“Act calm as to not alert anyone, but everyone around you is not who they say they are,” I paused to look around the newsroom and see if any coworkers were attempting to see my reaction to this silly joke but all I saw were frantic journalists on talking loudly on telephones while simultaneously typing on their Mac desktop computers. I then continued to read. “You need to quietly get out of there and meet me at the spot where you had your first kiss. You know the place. My name is Mark.” -Everything You Know is a Lie
I had made my way to the back of the movie theater building in town and met up with this “friend of a friend” passing along information in a file. I walked back to my car in the parking lot looking for anyone that could have seen the exchange and locked the car doors as I quickly climbed in. I received a text right afterwards from my editor telling me to come back in to the newsroom. And I had realized in that moment that I couldn’t trust anyone if I took on the story. Someone had already gone missing after looking into the case, and I didn’t want to be next. Read the rest of this page »
I sat in the far corner of the local café sipping my hot cup of coffee with hazelnut creamer. I double checked to make sure I had my recorder so I could get everything on tape for later recall. I looked at the ticking clock on the wall behind the busy barista at the counter. My interviewee was 45 minutes late, and I was worried he had changed his mind.
I had received a tip from a mutual friend of a friend, who is now most likely deceased, about the misappropriation of funds from our city’s government. I had a file filled with evidence in my possession of where the funds were taken, and into what personal bank accounts they were put into. I now needed names, witnesses and a bit more information before I could send the whole thing to print and expose the truth. Read the rest of this page »
Your computer won’t shut down when you are getting ready to leave work at five. Instead, it is looping a message, and then attempts to tell you something. What is your computer doing? Write this scene. –Writer’s Digest
I stare anxiously at the clock that is located on the wall behind the water cooler. It seems as though time has stopped indefinitely at 4:59 p.m. So I grab my briefcase even tighter to get ready for when time decides to reinstate itself and move its minute hand up to meet the 12.
When the clock eventually strikes 12, I quickly stand up with my briefcase in hand, adjusting my black pencil skirt in the process, and reach for my computer mouse. I move the pointer on the to the startup button and select the option to shut down my computer. However, for some reason, the computer begins to shutdown, flashes some sort of error message, and then goes back to the desktop screen. Read the rest of this page »
I jogged out of the newsroom with my briefcase at my side and didn’t look back. I was knee deep in the biggest story I have ever been involved in, and I still couldn’t even get the nod of approval from my editor. Money that was stolen and became tied up in the local government’s personal pockets, as well as the Paper’s, proved to be fatal when Mark went missing and one of my other sources was found dead outside the coffee shop where I was waiting for him. Lives were now at stake, and I had the obligation to write the story and try to save whoever was left.
I made it home about twenty minutes after I had left the newsroom. Which was probably the fastest I have ever driven home in my life. However, as I was driving on to my street, I noticed that my front door was open. I managed to flip a quick U and speed off before I believed anyone saw me. Read the rest of this page »