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Praise for Daily Story Seeds

Scott Walker’s Daily Story Seeds are contagious flights of fancy, perfect pick-me-ups for when the imagination is lagging. Discovering the original factual inspirations for each seed is almost as much fun as reading the stories. Almost, but not quite.
— Alexis Niki, story consultant and filmmaker
Chefs always talk about the search to create ‘the perfect bite’ — the single mouthful that encompasses the entire experience of a dish — Scott Walker’s Daily Story Seeds deliver a perfect bite of fiction, every day.
— Gareth-Michael Skarka, game designer and writer
I love Daily Story Seeds! Like any gardener knows, not all seeds sprout; many I keep in a file marked ‘clever amusement.’ Then there’s one, or two–no, three–that find fertile soil in my mind membranes, take root, and blossom into an actual creative project. It happened to me, it can happen to you, too.
— Aaron Vanek, writer and game designer


Interesting. Can I Read One?

***

“Marked”

[inspired by Soviet Union spy dust]

Beth throws the rock in a high arc. Ned counts off - one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand - splash. Not her best throw but not bad.

The noise of the rock hitting the lake doesn't interrupt the frogs gathered at the water's edge, a choir of croakers in the night.

"Seth says you're lying."

Beth snorts. "Seth don't know cow bells from cow balls."

Ned laughs. He never liked Seth.

"Well, he says you're lying about it all. Says you put those marks on your arms yourself."

"Now that is a lie."

"Just telling you what I heard."

"And I didn't ask, okay?"

Ned nods in the dark. He likes Beth, no matter what the others say. When she invited him to the pond tonight, well, he figured he might just get his first kiss.

If he doesn't blow it by saying something stupid.

Ned gropes for something - anything - to fill the silence, but he comes up empty. He thinks of Seth, two years older and popular as all get out, holding court at school and talking trash about Beth.

Batty Beth, the crazy girl who lives with her crazy mother in the trailer by the lake. Batty Beth, the girl who cuts her own arms and says the spooky lake spirits did it to her.

Thing is, Ned's been in her room, he's seen the thin knives in the chipped coffee cup on her desk. A bouquet of crafting blades sitting in a green mug.

Beth told him why the lake spirits marked her, how it doesn't hurt, told him all about their visits. He still doesn't know if he believes her, but he'd be Beth's boyfriend if he had the chance, and that's the truth. If she said it was okay, of course.

"Think they're gonna come tonight?"

"Dunno. Might. Might not." Beth arcs another stone in the lake. "You can go if you want to."

"No, I'm good."

And Ned meant it.