Tag Archives: murder

Writing prompt: National Weatherman’s Day

Time: 10 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“National Weatherman’s Day” (This list is an awesome source of completely silly prompts.)

I turned on the news. I took my shower and I brushed my teeth. There had been two homicides overnight, unusual but not unheard of in this town. In fairly suburban neighborhoods. Something domestic I imagined.

The weather outside was crisp. The dew point was low. No clouds in the sky. That always irritated me. The absence of clouds is boring. No stratus, cirrus, or anything. Just blank. The weather station by the front door confirmed the low dew point and said it was 58 degrees. The morning sun glared at me on the commute, and again I wished there were clouds.

“Marty, did you hear?” It was Terry, the senior weatherman, the guy who went on the screen. I just did calculations and measurements.

“Hey Terry, you’re all sweaty and red. You should get into makeup.” It wasn’t the first time he’d come to work hung over.

“I guess you didn’t hear then.” He lowered his voice. His eyes were wide. “Those two homicides overnight? They were weathermen.”

I laughed. It was the only reasonable reaction. I was incredibly jealous of Terry’s job, but I knew well enough that few others cared about it. It was just like him to make a couple of murders all about him. Maybe he’d had more than booze the night before.

“They were,” he defended. “Ed Street from channel 5 and a guy that does the broadcast on a little station in Springfield.”

“It’s a coincidence, I’ll give you that.”

“A Milwaukee weatherman died in hunting accident last night. And in Orlando a guy died in a car wreck.”

I shrugged. “So are you going to do the weather or not?”

He puffed. “Of course!”

“Then get to makeup, you look like a piece of raw meat.”

He glowered. Then he nodded and scurried off.


The phone rang before my alarm chimed. It had to be work, it was the only contact that could override my do-not-disturb setting.

“Marty?” It was the producer. “Terry’s dead.” He’d fallen down the stairs. Drunk I bet, no doubt fretting his conspiracy of weathermen. I was going to do the weather today. I was passingly sad to hear about Terry, but it was my big break.

I hung up the phone. Not knowing what else to do, I turned on the radio and hopped in the shower. A weatherman in San Francisco had died.

Suddenly I was less excited to do the weather.


Writing prompt: “A ghost in the building”

Time: 10 minutes. Click here to go to my list of prompts.

“A ghost in the building” (For Halloween!)

Anitra loved her apartment building. It sat between campus and the downtown, and was still elegant. One day a year, however, she didn’t love her apartment—Halloween. Something must have happened, once, over its ninety years standing, that imprinted into the bones of the building. And every Halloween it happened again. She didn’t know if she could bear it again.

This year she’d thought ahead. She was going to stay with the Johnstons in the suburbs. She would help hand out candy. Twilight fell, and she pulled into the Johnstons’ driveway. “Damn, how did I forget my backpack?” She reversed the car and drove back. It would be fine. The elevator man’s demise didn’t play out until later in the evening.

She retrieved the bag from her apartment. She took the stairs. Even on good days, the manual elevator doors spooked her. Some day, they might not slide open when they ought to. She went back to the Johnstons.

“Anitra, I can’t believe you’re afraid to stay in your apartment alone on Halloween,” Marci Johnston said, ladling out spiced cider. “I thought you were an independent woman.” She smiled wryly.

Anitra laughed. “I am, I am. It’s not the apartment I’m afraid of—it’s the fact that every year…” she lowered her voice and set her mug on the table. “You won’t believe me, but every year, the ghost corpse of the murdered elevator man roams the hallways.”

“No way!” Marci smiled broadly. “That’s so cool!”

Anitra shuddered. “I’d just rather avoid it this year.”

“You say he was murdered?”

“That’s the legend,” Anitra said, not liking where this was going. “Apparently it was never solved.”

“Then we have to solve it!” Marci cried, spilling her cider a little.