On a Mission from God

Dolphins outside window - Illustration for story free writing exercise On A Mission From God

One of the best ways to deal with writer’s block is “free writing”. Just putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and letting it flow, without editing, reservations, or judgment can be a great way to recharge your creative batteries. Sometimes, you will produce gibberish. Sometimes, you will produce the seeds of a great story idea. And sometimes, you will produce… Something else.

I get home from work, and there is a message from God. First of all, who gave God my number? Damn it, I’m unlisted for a reason. God’s been bothering me ever since we first met. He was sitting outside of Burger King, begging for change. I didn’t have any coins, so I gave him a tenner. Ever since then, he’s asked me for a favor every time we’ve talked. I guess he thinks I’m a pushover. I guess I kind of am. Today, God says I have to save the world. The dolphins are growing opposable thumbs. If I don’t do something soon, they’ll discover fire, the wheel and, eventually, the atom bomb. And then we’ll all be screwed.

I drive to the zoo and visit the mermaid that lives in the “Wonders of Australia” exhibit. (Technically, mermaids are from New Zealand, but what are you going to do?)

“Rockwell!” she says. “I’m so glad to see you again!”

“I have an unusual request, Princess Starshine. You’re not going to like it.”

“I’ll do anything for you, Rockwell. After you rescued me from the clutches of the Moon Nazis, I owe you big time. In fact, if you climb in my tank, I could repay y–”

“I need to borrow your gills,” I say, interrupting.


“I’m on a mission. I have to save the world.”

“What, again? Fine. I won’t need them for a while, anyway. I’m going to California to be on Wheel of Fortune. Come around back, and I’ll take them off.”

Ten minutes later, I’m on my way to the docks. I swim to the bottom of the bay. The kraken sells me a map to Dolphin City. I need a recent map because they move Dolphin City every week to avoid their creditors. Apparently the dolphins have a lot of student loans.

I swim down to Dolphin City, and discover that the front gate is being monitored by two dolphins in security guard uniforms. Dolphins not being the most intelligent of the undersea creatures, I decide to try my luck.

“Halt!” the left one says.

“ID!” the right one says.

“I don’t have any ID,” I say. “Where would I keep it? Dolphins don’t have pockets.”

“No ID, eh?” the left one says. “Well, to prove you’re a dolphin, I have to ask you a riddle. Listen closely… A train leaves Chicago going forty-three miles per hour. Twenty minutes later, another train leaves Detroit going sixty-three miles per hour. At what point do the two trains meet?”

“I have no idea. I’m a dolphin.”

“Correct! You may pass.”

I swim inside, take out my knife, and start hacking away. Bloody dolphin thumbs everywhere. Soon, the blood starts to attract sharks. Biker sharks! The sharks start tearing Dolphin City apart, their motorcycles spewing smoke, oil, and toxic waste everywhere.

Fortunately, I managed to escape. There was a costume shop nearby, and I had just enough money to rent priest’s vestments. Clad in my clever disguise, I swam past the sharks and back to the surface, where the Queen of England was waiting for me. So, of course, we had to go back to her place. We were up all night, and I made her breakfast the next morning.

And that, in a nutshell, is why my term paper is two days late. Can I have an extension?

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