Today’s writing prompt, On A Mission, can go in so many different directions. And I’d love to see some of your completed versions of this prompt. Keep reading to see the full writing prompt and my completed version of it. Then feel free to share your completed version with us in the comments or on social—tag @kecreighton and #DailyDraftsAndDialogues on Facebook, WordPress, or Medium.
Today’s Writing Prompt: On a Mission
Write about a character who is on an important mission. Consider what type of mission they’re on and who they’re with unless they’re alone. Is it a space mission, a spy mission, a military mission, a religious mission, or a mission to save humanity? …
Completed Version of Today’s Writing Prompt
On a Mission, by K.E. Creighton
I crouched behind a makeshift concrete wall as a group of boys walked by shooting out windshields of parked cars covered in dust. It sounded like there were at least a dozen of them, considering the raucous they were making. But when I peered over the top of the wall, I counted only four of them. They were taking their sweet time sauntering and vandalizing their way down the street, precious time I didn’t have to waste. I was more annoyed than I was scared. Sure, they were likely dangerous post-apocalyptic hoodlums, but they were still just kids. The oldest of the group couldn’t be more than twelve. But I was still flying solo today, so it was best if they didn’t see me and if we didn’t make contact.
I didn’t want to be in this god-forsaken ghost town again. But I had no choice. I was the only one available to make a supply run today. Jamie was in critical condition after giving birth to a tiny baby boy in the middle of a field outside our camp last night. And everyone who usually went on supply runs was off trying to find better shelter for our group now that the baby had arrived. We were too exposed where we were now.
The boys were loitering in front of the drugstore I needed to scavenge for baby formula and medical supplies for Jamie. It looked like they were teasing the youngest one in their group about something, but I couldn’t quite make out what they were saying. They were laughing and poking at him. God, I seriously didn’t have time for these idiots.
After a few minutes, when they finally had their backs turned, I moved quickly and snuck around the side of the building. I entered it through the side entrance undetected. I was in and out with what I needed in less than ten minutes. Luckily, I’d been to that drugstore thousands of times before the world started to turn sour, so I knew where everything I needed was.
When I re-emerged onto the street, there was no need to stay quiet. The boys were gone by then. Well, all of them except the boy they had been teasing, who was vacantly looking up at the sky in a bloody pile next to an overflowing public waste bin on the curb.
[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
My completed version of this prompt was inspired by two books I recently finished, The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton and Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. And by the show, The Walking Dead, which I’ve been watching on Netflix over the past week or so. One thing I noticed about narratives with characters on a mission is that there are always unexpected casualties in them. I think my completed version also has Lord of the Flies-type vibes, too, which was harder to write than I originally thought.
It had been a long 20 years working for the city. I was fortunate to get a position right out of high school. This gave me the degree I needed to get the plumb job, the Monday-Thursday day shift at city hall. I knew that the state had a terrific pension plan for city employees, and I was just 10 minutes away from my final shift.
The city commissioner walked through the door, along with the mayor and several reporters.
I had been told to wear my dress uniform, since I would be handed my official retirement package and my first pension check. I had managed to train over 50 security and clerical personnel over my career, and now the first kid I ever trained was about to give me my retirement.
Mitch, the city commissioner, and Randy Long, the mayor, posed for the reporters and shook my hand as I looked at the checks I had longed to see for the past 20 years. I smiled for the cameras, and my boss told me to meet him and the city council at Mark’s, our favorite bistro.
I noticed my son, Tom, smiling and waving at me in the crowd. I waved him up, and he hugged me. Then, he pulled me to the side, and said, “Dad, I know my timing is terrible, but Mitch needs some help.”
I looked at him, wondering how his best friend growing up could possibly need my help. Mitch dismissed the crowd, and walked over to me and Tom. He showed me a text message, which had a picture of his 12-year-old daughter, with her hands and feet tied to a chair! The message stated, “Either drop out of the race for mayor, or you’ll never see her again.”
I quickly asked him why he needed my help, and he told me his wife was scared to bring in anyone besides Tom and I, since the kidnappers told her no police. I told Mitch to meet me at the security office, and told Tom to tell my boss I had to attend to a family emergency.
Mitch and I scanned the city garage camera files, and we found what we were looking for on the Thursday tape. The same car that had been trailing him for almost a week, and we finally had a license plate number. I quickly entered it on the DMV website, and I was amazed to see it registered by the nephew of the mayor!
Mitch made a phone call to a friend of his who had a private investigation firm, and one hour later, he called back. The car we were looking for was at a remote cabin, and the cabin was in the mayor’s name. I went to Mark’s bistro, and luckily my boss and his nephew were still there. Mitch trusted them, so I filled them in. They gathered their equipment, and we loaded up with my son and Mitch and took off for the cabin.
The mission was clear.. We needed to verify she was in there, then tie the mayor’s nephew to the kidnapping. Mitch had brought along a blueprint of the cabin, and we were almost sure she was in the basement off the garage. Tom and Mitch agreed to wait for the signal, then break into the garage and get her out the back.
I knew those woods, and I knew our best bet was to create a diversion by starting a controlled fire just beyond the tree line. I found a large burn pile, and put a bunch of moss on it. The smoke was going right toward the cabin, and it wasn’t long before the nephew and two of his large friends came out to try and put out the fire.
Mitch had called the state patrol, and just as I guessed, Mitch’s daughter was out the back door just as they were finishing putting out the fire. As they were heading back to the cabin, they were met by the state patrol. The testimony of Mitch’s daughter and the security logs were more than enough to lead to the arrest of the mayor, his nephew and his friends. The state attorney general assured they would all be put away for at least 20 years.
My boss and his son held my retirement party the next day. Mark’s bistro had never seen such a huge party. My son and Mitch’s daughter took me into a private room, and I saw Mitch with his campaign manager. He hugged me, and told me that I could consider the office of city commissioner, if I was interested. I turned to my son, and told him he was more suited for it, since he had recently received his degree in political science.
Mitch smiled, and assured me that I would be held as a security consultant. My son smiled, and assured me that I would be called on to have a meeting with him at least once a month. My boss came through the door, and handed me the contract. After I signed it, he promised me I would be missed. I told everyone the feeling was mutual!
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