Today’s writing prompt, Graveyard Shift, is all about creating a specific setting. Keep reading to see the full writing prompt and my completed version of it.
Today’s Writing Prompt: Graveyard Shift
Write a scene that takes place during a graveyard shift. But before you begin writing, think about who is working this shift, why, and where.
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
Graveyard Shift, by K.E. Creighton
Gary didn’t rush when he heard screaming coming from the other side of the compound. Teenagers were always getting inside the wrought iron fences somehow. And he would have admitted, it was a complete mystery to him how they did it, so he was sometimes more impressed than annoyed. Once he had caught a young boy who couldn’t have been a day over fifteen carrying a chainsaw in the middle of the grounds with a group of his buddies around two in the morning, but there was no damage to anything and they were surprisingly quiet, so he hadn’t asked any questions and just told them to leave. Plus, these annoying trespassers did keep him employed as a night watchman here, in a way, so he was never too harsh to them when he caught them. Although sometimes when they were rude, he would get pretty perturbed.
On that night though, he never got a chance to be annoyed or perturbed. He had just taken the first bite of a sandwich from his favorite deli back in town when he heard the screaming. It sounded like it was coming from upstairs in the building two doors over when heard it the second time, which housed dangerous materials of some sort. Apparently, whatever was in that building was so dangerous that even he wasn’t allowed to go inside to check on things in there during his routine sweeps of the grounds. During his orientation of the grounds, he was expressly forbidden to go in there, no matter what. But Gary was so taken aback by the decibel of the screams that he instantly forgot all about what little they had told him that day, his instincts kicking in instead. The screams were blood-curdling and literally scared him stiff for much longer than he’d liked. He knew someone was terrified and hurt. He had to go check. Damnit.
When Gary reached the front door of the building, he was winded. As he crouched over to catch his breath, he noticed a trail of fluorescent-green liquid coming from the entrance, from inside the building. The front door which was usually shut and locked with five bolts he didn’t even have keys to was wide open. And as he stared at the river of unearthly liquid, he heard the muffled whimper of a female voice say, “Please help me,” coming from inside. Gary lifted his flashlight and cautiously crossed the threshold, never to be seen alive again.
[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]
Notes on Completing this Writing Prompt
I used to work graveyard shifts off and on for nearly a decade when I was younger. And it can be such a weird shift to work. It’s either exciting with weird things happening or a lot of things happening at once. Or you’re bored out of your mind, and nothing is ever happening. While there are many directions this writing prompt could go in, I chose to write about a night watchman because oddly enough, I’ve been reading about them here and there in stories I’ve come across over the past year or so. And I feel like the scenario I wrote left a lot of room for suspense and mystery, which can be fun to write.