Using These 8 Words - May 2019

Ashley Marie

Staff member
Create a short story ( <500 words) using these 8 words. Bonus points if you can use the first word, first.

Desert, pilot, junk, bicycle, park, summer, lemon, rouge.

Blue Kat

New member
(I kind of feel like I cheated a bit with pilot and rouge, but I could not make it work otherwise.)

On the Origins of Mrs. Norris
by Blue Kat

It was the last full week of summer and Argus Filch was drunk.

Filch wasn’t normally much for liquor, not with his stomach. But the waning days of August had a way of bringing out the fiercest kind of melancholy in him, the kind that sends a man looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle of Ogden’s or Rouge Pilot. Term would be starting in a matter of days and the castle corridors would soon be echoing with the sort of too loud, inane chatter that set his teeth on edge. During the summer, those corridors were his—no one tracked in mud, no one left bits of rubbish and junk for him to pick up, no one sneered or smirked like they knew that he was something lesser. The castle afforded a rare sort of freedom during the summer and every year, Filch mourned when the time came to give that up.

For Filch, that particular kind of mourning took place in the human desert that was the Hog’s Head Inn.

In most circumstances, he preferred the Three Broomsticks. It was clean, for one, and the food could be trusted. But the Hog’s Head was the sort of place you went when you had something gnawing at you and you didn’t want to talk about it.

The Hog’s Head never really closed, but the barkeep stopped serving Filch at midnight and that’s when he decided to stumble back to the castle. The crickets were singing as he shuffled out onto High Street, the air heavy with the bright scent from the lemon and orange trees that some overambitious gardener at the apothecary had put out in planters for the summer.

Filch intended to go straight back to Hogwarts and the quickest route took him right through the park. Filch had strong feelings about parks. They were a good idea in theory: in practice, they attracted the sort of nuisance behavior that he abhorred.

As if the universe were trying to prove his point, a trio of youths were gathered at the park, half hidden in shadows. No doubt they were up to no good—one had dragged his bicycle with him off the path and onto the grass. Possession of a bicycle was suspect enough in Filch’s book, but bringing it off the established path? That was outrageous.

Though he held strong opinions about bicycles and the comportment and behavior of youths, Filch was prepared to slouch by without more than a scowl in their direction.

But a small, dark shadow suddenly bolted from the trio of youths and Argus Filch, senses dulled by drink, stood still as it sped toward him and stopped, shaking at his feet.

Filch looked down. Two luminous yellow eyes peered back at him.

It was a cat. A kitten, really.