Milestone 1 Creative writing image prompt
A loud boom sounded in the distance as thunder warned of incoming rain. Our hero, Hagalooge, quickly set up his tent. Fearing for his life, he grabbed his bag of Cheetos and other equipment, then ran inside his tent. He knew the dangers of Chronos Woods, and the rain was no exception. Hagalooge pushed the thought out of his head and started to sort through his equipment. A camera here, a couple of lighters there, and night vision goggles drowned in his extra clothes. Nothing too special, not like the professionals anyway. He started to relax a bit, but it wouldn’t last long. Hagalooge was on a top-secret mission to find alien life in Chronos Woods. There have been several reportings of alien life in the woods. A huge reward was offered to anyone who could prove it. Even though Hagalooge was barely ten years old, his family was poor, and he needed the money. He knew that if he found signs of alien life on his planet, he would become rich and famous! A loud snap of a twig woke Hagalooge from his daydream. Then came the sound of a glitched computer, but this did not sound like any ordinary computer. This was the sound of an alien computer! It was a sound so unusual it sent chills down Hagalooge’s spine. The sound continued, getting more disoriented the longer it lasted. When it seemed like the sound would drive Hagalooge to insanity, it stopped suddenly. With the sudden stopping of the electronic sounds came the sudden starting of the rain. Rain started to pour, thunder boomed harder than ever, and lighting made a horrifyingly large shadow of a beast outside of Hagalooge’s tent. Slowly, the creature came inside the tent and then Hagalooge started screaming. The creature walked in a tiny bit more, keeping its dark, empty eyes fixated on Hagalooge the entire time. Hagalooge was helpless. He was too scared to even look at the monster. “Please. Don’t do this to me”. Suddenly, Hagalooge had a brilliant idea. Thinking fast, Hagalooge screamed so loud it felt as if it ripped a hole in his throat. This startled the monster. Shoving his hand into his bag, Hagalooge grabbed his camera, took a quick picture, then bolted out the other hole in his tent to run away as fast as he could. Hagalooge never looked back. The light from the camera gave Hagalooge an advantage. The creature seemed to be clutching its eyes in agony. It also seemed to make loud electronic noises similar to the sound of screaming. Hagalooge ran through the forest at lightning fast speed. Hagalooge cried as he told himself everything was going to be ok. He knew he was going to be okay so long as the creature did not outrun him. Hagalooge was experienced in the woods. He knew every inch of the leaf-covered ground. It was why he was able to make a quick escape. Hagalooge also was very fit and quick-minded. If he saw an incoming branch, he was easily able to dodge it. After about what felt like an hour of running, Hagalooge was exhausted but happy when he saw the distant lights of civilization.
The next day, Hagalooge decided to tell the agents that he was working for his discovery. He went back to the government hideout to show them the picture. Hagalooge remembered exactly where it was. He just had to go back to the creepy forest. Hagalooge thought that it was idiotic that the government would put its agents right next to the forest with that creature. Once he arrived back to the forest, Hagalooge walked across the outer edge to the other side of the forest. It would be quicker just to walk straight through but even in broad daylight, the forest had a dark aura. Once he got to the other side, Hagalooge stepped on a brown rock with dark spots. Suddenly, a trapdoor opened to a secret bunker underneath. There were three agents assigned to that bunker but only one of them was in the bunker. Agent Jack one the one in the bunker and the one who kindly greeted Hagalooge as he climbed down from the ladder. “HAGALOOGE! Why are you late?! I gave you a maximum of a week! If you did not know, it is going on three weeks now!!!” Agent Jack was the one who controlled the whole operation which is why he got the nickname “Jack of all Trades”. Hagalooge knew he had to talk kindly and politely to Jack. Hagalooge needed the money desperately. “Well you see sir, I did not have the proper equipment. You never supplied me with anything. It took me a whole week to earn enough money to get basic materials”. Jack did not take kindly to this and saw it as an excuse. “Well then, it is all MY fault you say? In that case you do not get money at all. My team is doing fine”. In reality, Jack’s team was doing terrible. Unfortunately, only children could attract the monstrosity that was lurking in the woods. Agent Jack knew this but was using some brand-new equipment that would “get the beast out of hiding”. “Sir, you know full well that you cannot do this without me. The creature only comes to the scent of children” Hagalooge said with an apologetic tone. “In fact, I have the picture now”. Agent Jack’s mood changed immediately. “Where?? Let me see it!” Hagalooge handed over the picture and Jack quickly examined it. The picture showed a creature unlike any Jack had ever seen. Even with the darkness and poor detail in the picture, the creature was still visible. It resembled a solid ghost in some way. Its face was cracked and shattered, broken in separate pieces. While one eye was drooping, the other was lit with an eerie blue glow. And as if it wasn’t creepy enough, the creature had a curved smile on its face. The creature also appeared to be wearing fancy clothes like a person would. That detail confused Hagalooge. Why would an out of control alien killer be wearing a suitcoat? Hagalooge then remembered the computer sounds right before he took the picture. Hagalooge peered over Jacks shoulder and saw that there were glitches in the creature. Up until now, Hagalooge thought that it was just an error in his phone. It was clear the electronic noises came from this creature. As soon as the thought came to him, Hagalooge wished he never thought of it in the first place. This was no normal living creature. This was a computer that someone made. “Congratulations my young fellow! The science committee will award you your prize money this week! Or maybe three weeks just because you decided to take an extra three weeks yourself.” Hagalooge thanked Jack and was about to go home when Jack asked Hagalooge to make a deal with him. “Hagalooge, I will make you a deal. I will give you some extra bonus money if you say to everyone that I caught the abomination”. Hagalooge thought about it and finally agreed to the deal. “Good choice Hagalooge. I will get you that extra money. Tomorrow, I will post an article about my grand adventure fighting a monster unknown to science. You will say nothing about this and claim you only helped out with small tasks. Okay?” Hagalooge did not want the fame anyway and agreed. “I promise. Don’t worry. I am excellent at keeping secrets”. Jack gave Hagalooge a pat on the back and told him to hurry home.
Hagalooge shivered with fear as he saw the article about the alien discovery. Agent Jack decided to name the creature “Tenebris”. Tenebris almost seemed lifeless, yet not quite. Its dark eyes stared back at everything that looked upon it. Its face melted and waxy. Tenebris almost seemed like something out of a horror movie. Hagalooge thought that the picture was a lot more interesting than Agent Jacks five paragraph long essay on how he bear wrestled the monster though. Jack even included a video that was obviously fake of him searching for Tenebris. Hagalooge closed his computer and went downstairs to eat dinner. Hagalooge got his prize money a week after his journey into the woods and with that money, Hagalooge’s parents quickly bought a new house with furniture and everything. Hagalooge did not like the new house though. It was right next to the woods. Even though it was right next to the dark and displeasing woods, Hagalooge’s parents seemed to be filled with happiness and energy. “WOW! Did you see how much space is in THIS room Hagalooge???” and “Hagalooge!! Have you tried out the swimming pool yet???” His parents also admired him and quoted him on his bravery. “We are so glad that you did all of this for us. We have been struggling and it is nice to relax now.” Hagalooge remembered what Agent Jack told him and Hagalooge decided to keep his promise. “No, no, I did not do very much at all. I just helped with a few basic things. The biggest project I did was checking off some boxes while Agent Jack did the procedures. He is the generous one. Giving our family all this money for those small tasks.” His parents thought he was just being humble. “Oh, it’s okay. We know all the stress science can put on a person. You did a very good job Hagalooge”. That night in his new home, Hagalooge was watching TV, when he heard his parents let out a blood-curling scream, followed by the sound of strange computer noises. He ran out of the living room and into their bedroom. They were nowhere to be found. A feeling of dread overcame Hagalooge. Quicker than he ever ran, he rushed outside into the cold, harsh night. “MOM!! DAD!! THIS ISN’T FUNNY!! PLEASE!! COME BACK!!” They were not out there either. Hagalooge felt hopeless until he heard loud static noises coming from his room. Thinking that his parents were in his room playing a well-designed prank, Hagalooge ran in quietly to find the following message on his TV, glitching back and forth like crazy: I am still here. This message was quickly followed by a picture of the creature now named Tenebris, more frightening than ever. The creature had more of a curved smile and even though it had no eyes, the darkness in the sockets seemed to stare back at him with hatred. Slowly, Tenebris reached out its hand until the hand started glitching out of the TV and into the real world. Tenebris looked at Hagalooge and made a smile that looked like its mouth had been stretched out for many days. Tenebris then started to put its legs out of the TV, slowly getting itself into the real world. Hagalooge screamed louder than he had ever in his life and ran out of the house. He ran as far away from the place as fast as he could. Hagalooge ran into the darkness that seemed to go on for eternity. When Hagalooge was a good distance away from his house, he felt a sharp pain in his back. Hagalooge let out a loud cry of distress as his world went dark, darker, yet darker, until he saw nothing. In his final moments of consciousness, Hagalooge heard a voice, much like Agent Jack’s. “You can’t hide in the shadows Hagalooge. Don’t worry. We will welcome you with loving arms. We just could not leave any evidence behind. I hope you will understand. It will be VERY painful if you don’t.”
Hagalooge woke up in a very brightly lit room. The room was so bright that it was almost blinding. A few minutes went by and Hagalooge’s eyes finally adjusted enough to see his surroundings. He was in a room that resembled an insane asylum. All the walls were white and padded with a soft material. There was only one door that looked like it was the finest you could get. The door most likely required a keycard or face recognition. Off in the corner of the room Hagalooge saw a bed, it’s covers white and spotless too. Hagalooge was the most colorful thing in that room. Looking up, Hagalooge squinted his eyes at the brightness of the light and saw a camera in the corner above the bed. Hagalooge suddenly remembered why he was there. He ran to the door and started slamming his fists up against it. “LET ME OUT YOU MONSTERS!!!” Hagalooge remembered Agent Jacks voice right before he passed out. Agent Jack was doing this. This was his fault. After slamming his fists up against the door for ten minutes he decided to stop, since he knew that his fists would break before the door ever did. Tired and stressed, he sat down and started crying. Hagalooge was so distressed that he could barely think when a hidden intercom came on and scared him near to death. “Ah! Hagalooge! I am so pleased that you are awake! Thank you for telling us that by damaging our poor door. Now, listen to me closely. Your parents are still alive. We can reunite you with them if we can trust that you never speak of Tenebris.” Hagalooge knew the voice was Jack’s. Hagalooge’s eyes lit up at the mention that his parents were still alive. He jumped to the opportunity to appease Jack. “Yes! Please! I will do anything Mister Jack! I just want my parents back! Please!” The intercom came back on. “Well then, let’s just make sure you don’t let out a peep, shall we?” The room instantly went dark and the sounds of static and electronics filled the air. “Hagalooge! Our team made sure to program Tenebris to its full potential! I wouldn’t suggest that you lie to us boy. Tenebris can sense your feelings towards certain things. Now, will you speak of this to anyone?” Hagalooge knew that he would have to lie to save himself and his parents. “NO! PLEASE! I WON’T SPEAK OF THIS SO LONG AS I LIVE! PLEASE!” Tenebris let out a high-pitched electronic noise that greatly resembled a scream. Agent Jack knew that Hagalooge lied. “Tenebris does not take kindly to liars! Do you want to see what this beast can do to a poor boy such as you? Tenebris does not eat you or rip out your organs. Believe me when I say that. I would hate for this room to get blood stained on it. No, Tenebris does something FAR WORSE. Tenebris drains you of your soul, emotions, and your purpose. If you have no purpose, you are useless. You are nothing.” The sounds of static got louder, and an eerie blue glow started to fill the room. “You see Hagalooge, Tenebris can also rid you of your body. If you let out one word of what you did to help me, you will be nothing more than an idea floating around in darkness! Hey, it is best if I just let Tenebris demonstrate.” A bright blue glow filled the room and the sound of static and electronics was almost deafening. Hagalooge felt hopeless. “PLEASE! STOP! I WONT TALK!” Tenebris drew nearer and Hagalooge noticed a cloud of static around Tenebris. This gave him an idea. “Ok Hagalooge. Time to be brave.” He said to himself. Hagalooge ran to the corner of the room and got under the bed. He squealed in happiness when he saw that Jack forgot to take out the metal bars that support the bed. “Game over Jack” he said with a smile on his face. Hagalooge knew it would take a while to pull the metal bar off. This made him a little uncertain of his plan. A dreaded cold then enveloped him. It was a bone-chilling cold. He did not have much time. Shifting one bar a little to the right, Hagalooge was able to get it loose. He started to work on the other side when he started to feel empty and worthless. “Is it even worth it to try and escape?” Hagalooge thought out loud. He suddenly remembered that Tenebris was controlling his emotions and Hagalooge slapped himself. “Come on Hagalooge. Escape. Escape. Escape.” He had to keep on repeating this to himself as to not fall into the hands of Tenebris. What seemed like an eternity later, he finally removed the metal bar from the bed and pointed it towards Tenebris. Tenebris started to back away but Hagalooge was quick. He ran towards Tenebris and let out a battle cry before stabbing the monster with the metal rod. Tenebris let out a scream of pain as its very existence was being sucked into the metal. The electricity flowed from Tenebris to the metal rod and finally to Hagalooge. Hagalooge felt the energy and power of Tenebris flow directly to him. It felt exhilarating. Hagalooge underestimated the power of Tenebris though. He immediately started to have feelings of hate, revenge, and despair. After gaining the full power of Tenebris, Hagalooge looked up at the camera, except you would not think this was Hagalooge. His face was shattered and melted. While one of his eyes were drooping, the other was lit with the same blue glow. Hagalooge let out a bone-chilling laugh and opened the electronic door with a wave of his hand. “Lights out Agent Jack” Hagalooge said with a curved smile. And before anyone could do anything, Hagalooge walked right out of the door. Agent Jack got on the intercom. “FULL LOCKDOWN OF THIS FACILITY! WE HAVE A CRAZY SUBJECT ON THE LOOSE! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!” Before Jack could say anything else though, the whole facility went pitch black due to loss of power and blood-curling screams filled the halls.
Milestone 2 Endangered animal point of view
Deep in the caves of Slovenia lives a species of salamanders known as Olms. These caves are dark, dreary, and very, very wet. To add to this sad tale, Olms are completely blind. They will never see the sunshine, see the smile on their children’s faces, and they will never see their children graduate college. Olms rely completely on their sense of smell and taste to survive. Experts from around the globe interviewed many of these salamanders, one of them being this very story. The Tragic Tale of Roofy the Olm.
“It was a normal, dark time in the cave. The water was still dripping from the ceiling, the bats were as loud as ever, and the distant smell of food filled the air. I immediately noticed the smell and called up my friends to go out and eat. I only had two friends back then, TimTim and Sticks. They were possibly the best friends a salamander could ask for. Anyway, my friends and I decided that we would eat some nice snails that day since the bugs we ate the other day gave us upset stomachs. What a pleasant experience that was… Anyway, we had a great time while we were searching for food, laughing at jokes about our main enemy, the frogs, and swimming in the comfort of the warm water. We were about to attack our nice little breakfast until something made us all stop, something that made us all go deathly silent, something that posed a serious threat to us.”
Roofy stopped talking and shed a little, salamander-sized tear. Roofy then began to talk again in a monotone voice.
“We Olms don’t need eyes to sense danger. Our sense of smell is all that’s needed. Safe things smell fresh and dangerous things smell rotten. This thing that we just smelled, it smelled rotten. Needless to say, we knew that we needed to get out of that tiny, cramped tunnel as soon as possible. Before we could even take a step to run away, the distant sound of a croak echoed through the halls. We immediately knew what the danger was. It was those darn frogs, come to make US breakfast! TimTim was the first to bolt away, then me, then Sticks. I used to always score first place in the Race of the Olms, so I had no problem outrunning the frog. Sticks, on the other hand…”
Roofy cried for almost half an hour this time. Psychiatrists had to come in and get him under control. Roofy stopped his whining after the psychiatrists talked to him. By now, his face was covered in tears. He started talking again, this time his voice very hoarse.
“Sticks! Why did you have to go?! You never told me your favorite flavor of centipede! That frog… I vowed vengeance on all frogs that day. I would never spare a single frog that crossed my path!”
It took another hour of therapy before Roofy continued with the story. He was extremely distraught after the loss of Sticks.
“So, as I was saying, TimTim and I carried what was left of Sticks’ bloody corps… You know what? I will skip ahead into the story. It was late in the day and I could not eat, let alone think! I was depressed over the loss of a close friend. When I started thinking to myself and fell into my imaginary world where nothing bad ever happens, that horrible feeling came over me again. The feeling that I had right before our encounter with a frog. And I could have never predicted what would’ve happened next…”
Roofy looked off into nothingness for a grand three minutes until he broke the suspense.
“Heh. Almost everyone in my family died just like that.” Roofy attempted to snap his fingers with his slimy hands, but only was able to produce a soft, squishy sound. Roffy ignored this fact and continued to tell his story.
“I was the only survivor. I was the one who was able to escape the quickest. If it wasn’t for my training in running, I would have bit the dust too.” An awkward silence filled the room until someone asked Roofy what his favorite flavor of centipede was. Roofy ignored this question and continued talking. “I was lucky! I smelt the danger, a contaminant in the water, most likely pollution. This contaminant, I can’t describe how it felt! Us Olms are very sensitive to our environment. If even a slight change occurs, we are all doomed. This pestilence, it was no slight change.
There was a longer, much more awkward moment of silence. The same person once again asked Roofy his favorite flavor of centipede. Roofy, too, ignored this question again and continued.
“I ignored my desire to help my family and ran away. Now they are all dead. And just like that, this story is over. There is no cliff-hanger. There is no plot twist. There is only sad truth.” And with that, Roofy did a mic drop and left his audience wondering what his favorite flavor of centipede was.