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Your character picks up a hitch-hiker on her way home from work.


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The hitch-hiker tries to persuade your character to leave everything and drive her across the country Your character has to sell the house where she grew up. A potential buyer comes to look at it and begins to talk about all of the changes she would make to the place. This upsets your character, who decides she wants to find a buyer who will leave everything the way it has always been A bat gets in the house.

Your character's husband becomes hysterical, frightened that it might be rabid. In his panic, he ends up shutting the bat in a room with your character while he calls an exterminator from a safe place in the house. His behavior makes your character see her husband in a new way Your character changes jobs in order to have more time with his family. But his family doesn't seem interested in having him around Your character develops the idea that she can hear the voices of the dead on a certain radio channel.

She decides to take advantage of this channel to find answers to some questions that are bothering her about her dead parents Your character's dream is to be a professional dancer. At a party, she mentions this dream to a stranger, who says that he has contacts in the dance world and gets her an audition for a prestigious dance troupe.

One problem: your character doesn't know how to dance. Your character decides to accept the audition anyway and look for a solution And still more short story ideas Your character thinks her boss is looking for an excuse to fire her.

She decides to fight back Your character goes out for dinner on a date and becomes attracted to the waiter or waitress Your character notices that a stranger is following her. She pretends not to notice. The stranger follows her home and watches her go inside. Then when he leaves, your character turns the tables and starts to follow him A child moves into a new house and finds out that the other kids in town think it's haunted.

She begins to invent ghost stories to tell at school in order to get attention. But the more stories she tells, the more frightened she becomes of the house Your elderly character escapes from the retirement home where his or her children have placed him or her Your character gets cosmetic surgery in an attempt to make her boyfriend love her more. But then she worries he only loves her for her looks Your character is a writer.

But his new neighbors are so noisy that he can neither work nor sleep. He decides to take action Your character's mother-in-law comes to visit for a week, and your character suspects she is trying to poison him. He shares his suspicion with his wife, who says he's always hated her mother but this accusation is going too far. Meanwhile, your character has stomach cramps, and his mother-in-law is downstairs making breakfast again It's a freezing cold night. Your character finds a homeless family on his doorstep and invites them into his home to sleep. But in the morning, the family doesn't leave Your character has recently married a man with two teenage children.

The children resent her, and she tries to avoid them altogether. Then her new husband their father disappears suddenly, leaving only a short good-bye note Short story ideas - personal creative writing challenges Make a list of five things you're afraid of happening to you. Then write a story in which one of them happens to your character.. Think of a big problem that one of your friends had to face.

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Then write a story in which your character battles with that problem.. At length, however, he found his tongue, for this strange creature was determined apparently to say nothing more until he had heard from him. By way of answer the man proceeded to open the bag. He took out a parcel wrapped loosely in brown paper, and about the size of a large book.

It was tied with string, and the man seemed unnecessarily long untying the knot. When at last the string was off and the paper unfolded, there appeared a series of smaller packages inside. The man took them out very carefully, almost as if they had been alive, Blake thought, and set them in a row upon his knees. They were dollar bills. Blake, all in a flutter, craned his neck forward a little to try and make out their denomination. He read plainly the figures Blake simply gasped.

Are you sure? I mean--you mean they are for me? He felt quite silly with excitement, and grew more so with every minute, as the man maintained a perfect silence. Was it not a dream? Wouldn't the man put them back in the bag presently and say it was a mistake, and they were meant for somebody else? He could not believe his eyes or his ears. Yet, in a sense, it was possible. He had read of such things in books, and even come across them in his experience of the courts--the erratic and generous philanthropist who is determined to do his good deed and to get no thanks or acknowledgment for it.

Still, it seemed almost incredible. His troubles began to melt away like bubbles in the sun; he thought of the other fellows when they came in, and what he would have to tell them; he thought of the German landlady and the arrears of rent, of regular food and clean linen, and books and music, of the chance of getting into some respectable business, of--well, of as many things as it is possible to think of when excitement and surprise fling wide open the gates of the imagination.

The man, meanwhile, began quietly to count over the packages aloud from one to ten, and then to count the bills in each separate packet, also from one to ten. Yes, there were ten little heaps, each containing ten bills of a hundred-dollar denomination. That made ten thousand dollars.

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Blake had never seen so much money in a single lump in his life before; and for many months of privation and discomfort he had not known the "feel" of a twenty-dollar note, much less of a hundred-dollar one. He heard them crackle under the man's fingers, and it was like crisp laughter in his ears.

The bills were evidently new and unused. But, side by side with the excitement caused by the shock of such an event, Blake's caution, acquired by a year of vivid New York experience, was meanwhile beginning to assert itself. It all seemed just a little too much out of the likely order of things to be quite right. The police courts had taught him the amazing ingenuity of the criminal mind, as well as something of the plots and devices by which the unwary are beguiled into the dark places where blackmail may be levied with impunity.

New York, as a matter of fact, just at that time was literally undermined with the secret ways of the blackmailers, the green-goods men, and other police-protected abominations; and the only weak point in the supposition that this was part of some such proceeding was the selection of himself--a poor newspaper reporter--as a victim. It did seem absurd, but then the whole thing was so out of the ordinary, and the thought once having entered his mind, was not so easily got rid of.

Blake resolved to be very cautious.

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The man meanwhile, though he never appeared to raise his eyes from the carpet, had been watching him closely all the time. You have to give me a receipt only to satisfy the sender that it has reached your hands. The money will never be asked of you again. Blake noticed two things from this answer: first, that the man was not to be caught into betraying the sex of the well-wisher; and secondly, that he was in some hurry to complete the transaction.

For he was now giving reasons, attractive reasons, why he should accept the money and make out the receipt.

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Suddenly it flashed across his mind that if he took the money and gave the receipt before a witness , nothing very disastrous could come of the affair. It would protect him against blackmail, if this was, after all, a plot of some sort with blackmail in it; whereas, if the man were a madman, or a criminal who was getting rid of a portion of his ill-gotten gains to divert suspicion, or if any other improbable explanation turned out to be the true one, there was no great harm done, and he could hold the money till it was claimed, or advertised for in the newspapers.

His mind rapidly ran over these possibilities, though, of course, under the stress of excitement, he was unable to weigh any of them properly; then he turned to his strange visitor again and said quietly Blake could see no possible objection to this, and he at once proceeded to obtain his witness. The person he had in his mind was a Mr. Barclay, who occupied the room above his own; an old gentleman who had retired from business and who, the landlady always said, was a miser, and kept large sums secreted in his room.

He was, at any rate, a perfectly respectable man and would make an admirable witness to a transaction of this sort. Blake made an apology and rose to fetch him, crossing the room in front of the sofa where the man sat, in order to reach the door. As he did so, he saw for the first time the other side of his visitor's face, the side that had been always so carefully turned away from him. There was a broad smear of blood down the skin from the ear to the neck.

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It glistened in the gaslight. Blake never knew how he managed to smother the cry that sprang to his lips, but smother it he did. In a second he was at the door, his knees trembling, his mind in a sudden and dreadful turmoil. His main object, so far as he could recollect afterwards, was to escape from the room as if he had noticed nothing, so as not to arouse the other's suspicions. The man's eyes were always on the carpet, and probably, Blake hoped, he had not noticed the consternation that must have been written plainly on his face. At any rate he had uttered no cry.

In another second he would have been in the passage, when suddenly he met a pair of wicked, staring eyes fixed intently and with a cunning smile upon his own. It was the other's face in the mirror calmly watching his every movement. Instantly, all his powers of reflection flew to the winds, and he thought only upon the desirability of getting help at once. He tore upstairs, his heart in his mouth.


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