Writing Prompt: Fixing the Hole

I took this evening off to relax and try to figure out what my writing plans will be for the rest of the month. I didn’t get very far with that, so I decided to do some practice work then call it a night. So I went to one of those writing prompt generators.

I didn’t follow the prompt fully. I could have spend more time getting the length right or better matching the genre, but I chose to just go with my first idea and see where it took me. I wanted to capture the first draft of what was a spontaneous half hour of writing.

Here are the results:

Prompt: Write a 650 word story in the suspense genre. It’s about a soulless man and should include a wrench. Also use the sentence ‘It is required of you.’ Bonus prompt: There seems to be no one left on the planet.

Fixing the Hole

The gears turn.

Empty eyes stare at an ocean of stars. The Milky Way rises like a phantasm in the dark night sky. In centuries past, the old ones drove the stars away. They paled before the brilliance of progress.

Grease flows through copper channels.

After they finished killing God, they turned to the planet and then finally upon themselves. Turning from all that they were, they receded into a new violent ignorance. They no longer outshone the heavens. The fire faded. They froze to death.

Tension builds, wires pulling taut.

Glimmering in the starlight, the remnant looks down. Its arm isn’t responding. The outer plating had long ago corroded revealing the metal cored and plastic stoppers that imitated muscle. One of the stoppers has snapped, letting the corded metal loosen, leaving a hole in the intricate fibrous structure.

Elastics react to the shifting air pressure. The remnant sighs.

“I’m going to run out of these if this keeps happening.”

It turns away from the light and moves towards small a shed. This tiny building lies in the middle of a barren landscape, sheltered from the drifting snow by an outcrop of jagged stone. Entering the shack, the remnant is aware of the darkness, but has no need for further light. Its glassy optics find a drawer in the darkness and, with mismatched iron digits, it carefully pulls a small plastic stopper from what may be the last bit of cardboard in existence. It grabs a wrench and wanders back out into the glorious night.

Gyros spin, balancing a heap of rusted metal.

The remnant sits down on the ground and examines its arm. With its working hand it pulls the wires back together, placing the new stopper in place. Using the wrench it tightens the plastic and metal. Without feeling, it knows that it is regaining control of its functions. Without understanding, it knows satisfaction.

“You can’t stop now. It is required of you.”

The remnant turns back to the sky. It scrutinizes the stars. If there are more out there, it can not know. If another is staring at that same sky, it cannot say. If it had the capacity for loneliness, it would want to believe so. But it only knows the odds.

“If you stop now, no one will be left to see this.”

Published by Jacob Marsh

My name is Jacob Marsh. I am an emerging writer currently swimming around in the Puget Sound looking for fresh fish and even fresher ideas.

2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Fixing the Hole

  1. That’s some pretty nice stuff you have going there. I used to love fiction writing prompts, but now I just focus all my efforts on turning my own ideas into reality. Thanks for sharing, Jacob!


    1. Thank you! I have been finding these prompts to be a fun way to unwind between projects.It also beats ending a night without a real milestone. There is nothing like the feeling of finishing a story, even if it only took 20 minutes!


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