Ten Sentences

Ten Sentences

A Story by StarNinja

A writing challenge from none other than Chuck Wendig, specifically from his blog Terrible Minds. I decided to use all ten sentences to create this story. As such it is a bit of an incoherent mess


The man sits down on the bench across from Nathan.

“The mysterious diary records the voice,” says the man.

Nathan’s rehearsed reply, “The stranger officiates the meal.”

The man hands the suitcase to Nathan. “Do you have everything you need?” he asks.

Nathan feels the weight of the suitcase and knows the answer is yes. He simply nods.

“I have a favor to ask,” says the man. He is calm, but nervous. A throat clear and hat fidget give it away. “I know I’m not supposed to. I know our two sides stay separate for a reason, but I’m feeling a bit desperate this morning.” He waits for a reply. Nathan nods.

“Before you go, there are some people after me. Specifically, after the key I have in my pocket. I will give you double asking price, from my own funds if need be. Just take care of them before they…” He says no more. Nathan chuckles.

“Sixty-Four comes asking for bread,” Nathan says, not a question but a statement.

“I need an answer quick. We’ve been here too long,” says Sixty-Four.

“Here is my answer, old friend. The memory we used to share is no longer coherent,” says Nathan. Sixty-Four looks at Nathan.

“No,” he says. Then his head explodes. A second later, the report of a Barett .50 caliber rifle.

Nathan gets up, suitcase in hand and plucks the key from Sixty-Four’s pocket.


The airport is busy as it usually is. Traffic was a nightmare on account of some crazed gunman shooting a man in a park but, these things happened sometimes. Everything seems to happen sometimes. Nathan hits his head. The old mantra slips into his thought stream. ‘Abstraction is often one floor above you.’ Indeed.

Airport security is a snap. The suitcase goes through the x-ray with no problem. It was made to show whatever Nathan wanted. Today it displayed the luggage of a man on the way to a business meeting in Costa Rica. They even threw in a pair of shades and sandals. The devil is in those details.

As Nathan waits for his flight he peruses a book store. The latest and hottest titles displayed like T-shirts at a mall. Undignified. Here’s one. The River Stole the Gods by Andy Stoneman. A fake name for a fake premise in a fake world.

“I like his old work better,” says someone standing to close to Nathan.

“It’s already too late,” says Nathan.

“Not yet. You’re still here,” says the woman.

Nathan puts the book back on its display and chuckles.

“You know what Stoneman was great at? Characterization,” says Nathan.

“Your point?” the woman asks.

“Foreshadowing, however, was never his strong suit.”

The move is almost quicker than the eye can see. The woman moves to block his attack, but she has already been stuck with the pin. Her body grows numb. Nathan embraces her.

“You had everything you wanted. You had your severance package. You had… me,” says the woman. He helps her to a seat away from the others in the terminal. He kisses her gently on the head as her eyes close.

“Now boarding,” the gate agent announces. The shooter says goodbye to his love.


The flight is supposed to take nine hours. Hour three into the flight, Nathan unbuckles his seatbelt, grabs something from his suitcase and walks to the restroom near the front of the plane by first class. He places the bag on the sink. His face is ragged, worn, scarred. He’s lived a good long life.

Thoughts flood his mind as he opens the bag and organizes the contents within. Thoughts of his old life. The life before they found him. The years he’d spent doing jobs for them. The pay was nowhere near worth the damage it’d done. But it would soon be over. The big boss, the one who’d ruined him and would never let him live a normal life was about ten minutes away. A slight course correction was in order. Something that Twenty-Two once said comes to him. The old apple revels in its authority. Too true.

He opens the vat of face paint and dips his fingers in. White, the color of death. Spread over his forehead and cheeks and chin. Red, the color of blood. Two spots on his cheeks and on his lips. Black, the color of night. Lined around his mouth and on his eyebrows to accentuate his expression. Nathan smiles as he takes in his handiwork.

“You never saw this one coming, old apple,” Nathan says before putting on the wig.


No one can say for sure what really happened next. Witnesses on the ground reported seeing a plane flying very low over city limits. Some even said they saw a man jump out of the plane. The passengers on the plane couldn’t shed much light either. All the claims were different. Some said that a clown with flaming chainsaws for hands came out of the lavatory and flew out a window. Others that a clown with razors for teeth and eyes ran to the cockpit screaming, “Rock music approaches at high velocity!” All agreed they saw some sort of clown but the psychotropic gas being pumped out of the suspect’s suitcase did little to help the investigation clear that detail up.

In a somewhat related story, that same day Colin Bowell, CEO of private security company First Defense and headmaster at the International School of Clowning, was found dead along with two bodyguards in his rooftop pool. A note was found next to Bowell’s poolside chair along with a key to a safety deposit box. It read, “A glittering gem is not enough.”

© 2015 StarNinja

Author's Note

I hope you enjoyed this little story of mine.

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Added on March 9, 2015
Last Updated on March 13, 2015
Tags: ten, sentences, prompt, spy, thriller




I like lots of things. One of them is air. Another is writing. So... let's get right down to it! more..

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A Story by StarNinja