I had a lot of fun writing this prompt. The list that I provided was so large that I actually wasn’t sure which one I was going to pick, so I did it at random. I can’t wait to see what you guys have done! NaNo is getting so close… are you ready?
In order to avoid a blizzard, the mayor of a small town has to sacrifice to the Snow Demons
The excitement in the town was palpable. Every year at the end of fall, it was like a fever hit Haven. People knew that the lottery was soon to take place, and they were anxious for their turn at a rich, new lifestyle that would take them away from their simple town. A family was selected annually to receive the prize of a lifetime—residence in the hills, and enough money to make sure that they would never have to work again. For a small town full of citizens who were used to hard labor, it was truly the dream of a lifetime. Assuring that your children and their children would never have to work again?
People clamored for the chance to enter in their names as many times as possible. Tickets were earned based on how many hours were worked collectively in a family. Though wages were low, the mayor more than made up for it with the opportunity to escape hardships and live a life of peace and riches.
Everyone in the town was gathered in the community hall, families holding hands and silently praying that this would be their chance at a new life. The container with all of the entries was taken out and the silence in the room was so thick that the sound of paper rustling nearly echoed in the hall.
“And the winner of this years lottery is…” The mayors bright blue eyes looked down at the paper with no emotion, “The Carlson family.”
There was many sounds of lament, but they were drowned out by a mother screaming in joy. Her husband had died – she was unable to care for her children and labor away with the physical tasks assigned to her. This was a dream come true.
There was no great ceremony – no banquet. The families that hadn’t been selected were given free rations for the day and the Carlson family was quickly ushered into a carriage waiting for them outside. Lana Carlson held the hand of her fourteen year old daughter tight, and felt her sons hand on her shoulder.
“My darlings, our life is going to change. I love you.” The carriage door closed and they felt the movement of horses pulling them along the trail that a hundred families before them had been down.
The ride wasn’t a long one. Thirty minutes later, the carriage came to a stop. The door was opened and the chill of the bitter mountain air stole Lana’s breath away. The mayor stood by the carriage steps, ushering the family to exit. Lana beamed at him, and for a moment there was a flash of guilt in his eyes as he stepped into the carriage in her place.
“Welcome to your new life. I want you to know that you’re saving the town. The blizzard isn’t something we can survive.” Lana’s eyes widened, but the door closed and the carriage took off before she could ask a question. She turned – there were no homes here. They were on the edge of the great black forest that none dared enter. There were tales of a monster who lived here… a monster whose very breath felt like the harshest of winters. A vicious growl came from the darkness of the woods, and she heard a cry spill from her daughters throat.
The screams were dulled by the closed door of the carriage, but the mayor could hear them nonetheless. He pulled a flask from his coat pocket and took a deep drink. The alcohol stung his throat, but it numbed the guilt in his heart. His father before him had told him of the task that he would have to perform. The demon had grips on the city, and there was no other way to placate it. Once a year, it demanded a feast, or the city would be consumed by an endless winter.
Once a year, it demanded a family to consume, body and soul. The lottery promised a better life, but it only bought a year of safety for the rest of the village.
The mayor took another long drink from his flask, trying to drown out the sound of a mother’s screams of pure terror and horror as she and her children became sheep for the slaughter… the demon was hungry.
That was a lot of fun, and I’m getting into such a horror mindset. Tomorrow’s prompt is coming soon! I hope you’re ready!
Until next time, keep reading and writing!
Author Amanda McCormick
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