Kickoff written by TiredHuman

Scene 1

A dark, empty street at night

The stars twinkled in the night sky, as cold and distant as ever. I stumbled. The city around me bathed in shadows, I skipped down the cracked cobblestone road; avoiding the swirls of inky darkness that pooled beneath the buildings. My steps echoed along the streets like gunshots, the tak, takity TAK tak disrupting the stifling silence. I let out a long breath. A plastic film was being tightened over everything, stretching over my skin, my ears, my nose, mymouthmyeyesmyhead—ohGODICAN'T B-R-E-A-T-H-E—I let out a long breath. I let out a long breath!

The watery darkness slid along the path and stuck to my shoes like honey, caking their soles and leaving black footprints behind me. I kept walking.

It was eerie, walking along a silent street like this. A couple of years ago, the roads would've been full of racing cars in obnoxious colors, their rolled-down windows leaking their music into the world. The occasional restaurant might adorn their store-fronts with brilliant lights, inviting
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cold passersby into the loud, cheerful conversations that accompanied the quiet music of the locale. Street vendors would walk around yelling the prices of their little treats, struggling to be heard over the wafting melody that night's street musician shared.

My clumsy steps reverberated in my brain as I remembered a beautiful tune I'd heard back then. I'd passed my my favorite bookstore, an old, small lil' nook between two towering buildings that blocked out the sky. The store featured a new performer every evening, and that night it had been an old woman with her acoustic guitar. Gently, she'd strummed it, teasing out the pretty, flirtatious notes that danced and twirled in the air and softly touched my cheek. I'd stood by the doorway, closing my eyes and listening to her thin voice rise over the cold that bit at my skin, beating it back and slowly warming my frozen fingers. It was a small reprieve from everything.

Now, the emptiness of the street screamed loudly in my ears, accentuated
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by my thundering footsteps. Tak, takity TAK tak, they echoed. Against the dim light of the street-lamps, my hands were bathed in shadow—the darkness sticking to them like old, lumpy blood. Nervously, I rubbed them against my sweater, but still the heavy darkness stuck to them.

I accidentally kicked over an old soda can on the floor and jumped as I heard it bounce along the cobblestones. The clanging of the empty tin accompanied my footsteps. I let out a long breath.

Shivering, I pulled up my hoodie—taking care to stuff in my long hair—and picked up the pace. Unrelenting weight hung from my shoulders as every step felt heavier.
I was almost home.

**(So to the next writer, I actually have no clue what's happening, lol. Just a scene I imagined. The original prompt I followed was to try to write the ending scene of a story before writing the beginning, but you can choose whether to treat it as a beginning or as an ending—where you would write the scene right before this one. Anyways, have
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fun and good luck!
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Award this author for the correct use of keywords. The keywords were used well and add a great value to the story.


Award this author for a well-written and beautiful follow-up. The two story parts blend seamlessly together.

Plot twist

Award this author for a very awesome unexpected radical change in the expected direction.