Try this! the “Alphabet Exercise”

I couldn’t resist trying this exercise. It was one tough cookie, but one I’ll try again 🙂

Taming the devil (Alphabet Exercise)

At any other time I would have ignored the knock.

But the fact remains, without humanity the monster within me would claim complete control.

Can you imagine the thought of losing yourself so completely there’s not even an echo of you left behind?

Deep within my soul there is a part of me that welcomes the thought, a secret part I try to deny because it would be too easy.

Even then, as I walked towards the door, I prayed this time, this visitor, could help me.

For all my good intentions, I hurt people.

Going solo was a choice I made a long time ago, a choice that is part protection, part curse.

Hard as it may seem, containing evil comes with a price-tag and I must live a solitary life.

I know it’s selfish, but I opened the door anyway.

Just as a young boy was forcing his way into my lair.

Killing him would have been easy, and the monster would have taken great pleasure in it.

Luckily he sensed the danger and ducked around me like a phantom in the night.

My mind caught on quickly, understanding the boy had been an illusion.

Nobody in their right mind would visit my home unprotected, because everyone knows what I am, what I keep locked inside.

Only the most powerful of magic could hope to defend against me or, more accurately, the darkness within me.

Perhaps that’s why I felt a surge of hope, a feeling that was completely human and stemmed from the loneliness in my soul.

Quintessentially, I’m sure, the other half of me had the opposite reaction; it burned with hatred towards the perceived threat in the air, a threat that even I knew was a challenge to everything it stood for- it would have happily ripped the stranger limb from limb, unleashing a strength in my modest form that would have required an army of men under normal circumstances, and though I knew I shouldn’t, the fact I almost relished the prospect, was evidence that I had kept myself locked away for far too long, that my humanity was almost lost to me completely.

Right then, I had enough left to beat back the devil and await both our fates.

Some have questioned my ability to defend against the demon; they fear me because I should be powerless in the face of such possession.

To them, the fact I hold the beast at bay is a matter of sorcery and witchcraft is not to be trusted.

Unlikely as it may seem though, I do not have a magical bone in my body.

Vanquishing the evil would have been my first spell, if the rumours were true.

Wherever I go, and whatever story follows me, people either try to kill me or cure me of my sin.

X marks the spot – isn’t that the term used in executions; if only it were that simple.

You’d think, after all this time, they’d understand – conventional weapons are worthless.

Zapping this thing like a bug only feeds the hatred, and for me there is only one answer; perhaps this time they’ll find it.



Blimey, that was impressive! 😀

I enjoyed your story very much. The 100 word sentence took me by surprise. Thank you for a good time.

I once composed a poem like this; in poetry they are called abecedarians. Here is a link:
Below is the poem:
“The Storm”
An Abecedarian
A malevolent wind
Blows leaves into a swirl.
Car engines cease to purr.
Eagle drop from the sky and leave winged craters in the sand.
Fish float upside down, lifeless eyes gazing sunward.
Giraffes hang their heads and sob
Hyenas find no cause to chuckle as they solemnly scavenge.
Inmates bloody their fists on bars.
Jailhouse guards have long gone home.
Kraken clouds swim the smoky sky
Locking ethereal tentacles around suffocating tree tops.
Mountains crumble like crackers under heavy feet.
Now their peaks rest scarcely higher than their bases.
Off key are the songs of what few birds remain.
Perfect pitch is a thing of the past.
Quavering a moment, an island slowly
Retreats into the ocean from which it once rose.
Snow bubbles and boils, scalding
Those treading through it.
Unbridled rains of melting stone
Violently brand the ground.
Wantonly destructive, a
Xiphoid shard of glass impales a child.
Yielding not to the pleas of man, the storm prepares to reach its

I will have to try that this week. That is very cool!

Cool prose exercises you are producing. I like the 100 word sentence. A real crescendo moment.

Your prompt inspired me to try prose fiction for the first time. Thanks! And thanks for sharing your story!:

I especially like your “W” line: Wherever I go, and whatever story follows me, people either try to kill me or cure me of my sin.

You might enjoy this prompt for writing an Alphabetic list of advice:

I enjoyed giving it a try:

Achievement is not the child of conquest
Bravery is not the brother of aggression
Courage is not the spouse of violence.

Do not underestimate the mundane
Experience the miracle of breathing
Feel the breaths come and go.

Getting even—becoming an account in need of balance
Hurting those who hurt you
Injuring those who injure you, is never

Kings are often miserable
Lords just as sad, but
Maids might smile sincerely.

Narcissism drowns people in themselves.
Obsession drowns them in others
Paranoia drowns them in delusions about themselves and others.

Quiet when listening
Respectful when speaking
Silent when enraged.

Termites bring down houses
Unseen amoeba destroy humans
Vices bury heroes
Water erodes mountains.

Xenophobia freezes hearts to stone
Young smiles gently melt them to soothing liquid
Zealotry boils hearts, leaving a dry pot.

I planned to write this in series of 3, but I noticed too late that I had left two letters out…I ended up adding those two to existing sets of 3.

P.S. This is a first draft. I welcome feedback.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

Alphabet soup | Mindful DigressionsMay 27, 2014 at 1:53 pm

[…] morning I read a post by Melissa Barker-Simpson about something called the alphabet exercise. It involves writing a story in which each sentence […]

[…] you need a reminder of the first instalment, click here. Otherwise, my second attempt is below – the 100 word sentence is still a killer, but there’s […]

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