On Writing

Prompt 21 – Desert Kill Switch by Mark Bacon

Book: Desert Kill Switch
Author: Mark Bacon
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Prompt chosen by Mark Bacon, as per my request!

The long carving knife, covered in blood and cake, lay next to the body.

H picked it up and licked it. Held the oozy liquid of blood and sugary buttercream on his tongue in a quiet ecstasy before he swallowed. He looked down at the limp, slashed body of his latest victim. Killing people was just too easy. And to get cake as part of his prize? There was literally cake and icing on his luck.


He leaned his head to the right then to the left, cracking the bones in his neck before he knelt down and used the knife to cut a deep gash in the dead man’s throat. This was his favourite part of his murders – sucking blood out of a body without a pulse. Somehow the blood fattened as it cooled and lost its mobility. It was like icing! Thick and delicious. H shoved his open mouth over the wound and closed his eyes as the warm blood filled his mouth.

Gretta’s eyes were bursting with tears, but she could not close them. She was pressing her palms over her mouth so hard, she could feel her inner cheek pushing into her teeth. She tasted blood and gagged, then shoved her face into a thick winter coat to cover the sound. The crack in the closet door she was hiding in was large enough to offer her a front row seat to the murder unfolding in the conference room of the office space she worked in. This was her second day on the job. Her first task was to prepare a birthday party for the dead man on the floor. His name was Baresh, and she only knew that because she had to tell the grocery store baker the name to put on the cake.

She swallowed down warm chunks of cake. Less than an hour ago, she and several others had gathered in the conference room, and sang an out-of-tune ‘happy birthday’ to Baresh who was turning 37 years old that very day. Gretta had been proud of what she’d been able to pull together for the short-notice party. She’d found a box labeled ‘lost & found’ in the very closet she was hiding in, but a bit of shiny silver had caught her eye. She’d pulled the box off the shelf and looked inside, giddy when she’d realized it was full of party supplies. Some so old and cracked she had to cut and paste to make them look presentable. A higher-up had given her a nod of approval as she’d shoved a plastic forkful of grocery slab cake into her mouth. Her iridescent purple lipstick had left a thick line on the white plastic, Gretta had noticed. She’d noticed because she’d forgotten to reapply her own lipstick before the party, and she’d chided herself for not paying more attention to how she looked. Wasn’t this job a new start? A new identity?


Bacon and I…

Here is the rest of the paragraph to give context to the line I chose from what Mark sent me. This way, you’ll discover a piece of Desert Kill Switch, love it, and promptly purchase a copy of the book (paper or e, for your convenience – link at the top!).

The Rockin’ Summer Days staff had obviously been celebrating the event’s twentieth year. A large sheet cake covered in white frosting sat on a broad work table.  Enough of the cake had been eaten so the inscription, in red icing, now read “Happy Birthday Rockin’ Su.”  The knife used to cut up the cake had also been used to cut up Al Busick.  He lay sprawled on his back across the table next to the cake, blood from several stab wounds covering his stomach and chest.  Someone had smeared frosting over Busick’s face creating a smiling clown’s expression. Kate shuddered. The long carving knife, covered in blood and cake, lay next to the body. Although Busick had lost more blood than a rare prime rib, Kate automatically felt for a pulse—in vain.  Busick’s skin felt warm. As she realized this, Kate started to gag.” Desert Kill Switch, Book Two in The Nostalgia City Mysteries.

Mark and I have been writing friends for nearly ten years (is that right, Mark?!). We met online connected by flash fiction. We held a flash fiction contest via my blog, and since then, we’ve been writing emails and letters, celebrating each other’s writing publications and successes, and becoming great pals (is this right, Mark?!). In any case, I asked Mark to give me a prompt line, and he did. Because he’s a giving kinda guy. Thank you, Mark!

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