Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – I Dare You

Have you ever done anything on a dare?

As a kid, dares resulted in me climbing (and getting stuck in) a tree or two, asking a boy to dance at a junior-high dance, and a few things best left unmentioned.

As a teenager, the game “Truth or Dare” was popular, especially at slumber parties.  The dares were typically pretty outrageous, so most players went for “truth” instead.   My memories are a bit hazy, but I’m pretty sure boys were the subject regardless of which was chosen.

The subject of dares is fresh in my mind today because I was just sorting out the DVD cabinet and came across the Christmas Story DVD, which includes the “double-dog-dare-you” scene that results in one of the characters getting their tongue stuck to a frozen pole.  Thankfully, not the kind if dare *I* was ever involved in.

Now that the DVDs are all sorted and I’ve finished my trip down memory lane, it’s time to do a little writing in preparation for next month’s NaNoWriMo.    I’m thinking a few minutes of Random Word Improv will be a great way to get started.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re reliving your past, slaving away on your latest story, working on your Halloween costume, or just looking for a distraction, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.


Today’s words are random, so the theme is up to you.  There will be bonus points for actually including a dare though.

stiletto            wrinkle             vampire               sensible

knees              friend                 hate                       dare

bar                   smile                  hands                    truth

resist               win                     contest                 hummingbird

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how we play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Okay.  Are you ready?  Let’s sprint!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Ah, you’re back.  Kind of fun, right?  Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

5 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – I Dare You

  1. I put in two words! Probably could have done more, but I was on a roll. Love the double-dog dare thing! There’s nothing like a dare to get my heart beating! Here’s my story:

    “I double-dog dare you to knock on that door,” Nessa said to me. But I was unsure. We were in the darkest corner of the cemetery, and the door led into the Foozle family crypt. I mean, I don’t believe in ghosts. But the Foozles are just weird. They might have rigged the mausoleum with dynamite – they were that kind of family.

    But I couldn’t back down – Nessa would tease me for weeks. So, I gave two quick knocks. And yeah, of course, the door creaks open. I was ready to run, but I tripped over Nessa, then she tripped over me, and we both went sprawling as the golden light from the crypt shone over us. Fearfully, I looked back over my shoulder, but it was only Freddie Foozle. I shoved Nessa off my legs. “It’s Fred,” I said.

    “Fred, you stupid shithead. What are you doing in the cemetery?” Nessa liked using all the bad words; I was afraid to get into the habit, because what if I let an s-bomb slip in front of my mom? Still, I admired Nessa for the breadth of her vocabulary.

    Fred shrugged. “It’s quiet out here. Wanna come in? I hooked up some cable from the caretaker’s cottage, so there’s YouTube.”

    Well, what else was there to do on a Saturday night? We’d been scraping the bottom of the barrel by hanging out at the cemetery, anyway. We joined Fred. Fred was the least creepiest of the Foozles. We went into the crypt. Fred had a little cot, and the walls of the vault were draped with black sheets. I tugged at one of the corners to take a peek behind, but Fred said, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.”

    “Why not?” I asked, and peeked anyway. Three shelves with coffins on them. I quickly tugged the sheet back into place. “Fred, are there dead people back there?”

    “I told you not to look,” he said, and threw us a couple of cushions. “Don’t worry, they won’t bother anyone now. Popcorn?”

    We sat down. I refused the snacks, but Nessa opened up a bag of microwave popcorn – he must have been stealing electricity from the caretaker’s cottage, too – and started chowing down. Nerves of steel, Nessa. I kind of felt like I wanted to throw up, still. But Fred was right – unless we had somehow set down in a zombie novel, his weird dead relatives weren’t going to give us any troubles. So, this is how I wound up sitting in a crypt, watching cat videos on a boring Saturday night. Fred didn’t want to talk about why he was out here, but apparently his parents were being weird again, and it was just easier to study out in the cemetery. Foozle logic for you, but I wasn’t sure what else he could do. When my parents fight, I go off to the library, but Fred had managed to make the crypt into a cozy home-away-from-home. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt to make friends with Fred. The library was fine, but it was always nice to have a back-up plan.

    So, we’d settled in, and Fred was showing us a movie he’d downloaded last week, when all the electricity went off. All of it – even my phone was dead. And then we heard voices. Breathy, eldritch sort of voices that we shouldn’t be able to hear through a door at all. “I double-dog dare you to knock on that door,” one said. We all held our breath, and then it came. Knock. Knock.

      • I don’t want to promise anything, because I thought it was finished. But . . . it may not be finished. Let’s see what next week’s sprint words will bring us! But, a lot of the best Halloween stories wind up in a place where the reader has to choose an ending, and they can make up details that are ten times scarier to them than any broad scary details I can come up with. We’ll see.

  2. It took me a few days to have time for free writing, but I’ve often been very inspired by word lists, so I’ve kept this tab up to come back to. I didn’t write the beginning of a story, because the words so easily painted a scene with current characters. Here’s what I came up with:

    They’d gone the wrong way, but Missy had to admit to herself that she didn’t mind. The truth was that though she had genuinely been appalled when Remiel had tried to share his big secret with her, she was starting to enjoy having him as a friend. He reminded her of Leahna, whom she had been missing a lot recently.

    As they walked, she suddenly smiled. “I dare you to run up to the front of the unit and attack something when we go out tomorrow.”

    A laugh caught in his throat. “W-What?”

    “I double-dog dare you,” she said, crossing her arms.

    He wrinkled his brow. “What does that mean?”

    “I don’t know; my dad used to say it.” She glanced over at him as they turned north on the next cross street and were headed the correct way. “Do you even carry a weapon?”

    In answer to her question, he drew a dagger out of his belt. “I’ve been wearing it all this time.”

    She felt her cheeks flush, but shrugged. Her eyes fell on the blade he was holding. “Can I…can I see your stiletto?”

    He turned the dagger around and handed it to her hilt-first. “I’ve had it for at least ten years. I traveled all the way to Aleutia to watch the smith who crafted it work for a while, before purchasing this one for myself.”

    She nearly stopped walking, but continued to force her feet forward as she turned the dagger over in her hands. She ran her thumb lightly across the touch mark.

    “Oh…Missy, I didn’t even connect your name to—”

    “It’s okay,” she said. “A lot of people have his weapons…I don’t…” She frowned. It wasn’t sensible to still become so emotional over her dad’s death. She looked back up at Remiel, searching his face for a few seconds before handing the dagger back to him. It wasn’t the stiletto, at least not solely. It was the man who owned it.

  3. Pingback: Daily Writing Check-in: October 8, 2017 | Keeping Procrastination at Bay

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