The Dice Game: Writer Exercise

IMAG1319Sean and Nick decided to use story cubes to write a creative piece.  Here is what they each came up with.

Nick’s Cube:

  • Circus Tent
  • Cracking Egg
  • Angry Face
  • Puzzle Piece
  • Road to mountains with sun
  • Treasure Chest

Jordan knew that the Spanish hid the treasure somewhere out in the Rockies. The Donner Party and all those unlucky bastards were just prospects looking for the same thing, their death was just a cover up. The treasure was something big, something Jordan had been searching for for quite some time. But his search had landed him in the deserts of Nevada, with a group of misfits he never thought he’d get tangled up with.

Smack, Jordan was laid out on his back, staring up at the ceiling of a large circus tent, a small bit of light breaking through the hole at the top.

“Get up you weak bastard,” the man said in a thick Irish accent.

Jordan struggled to get to his feet, the Irishman, all 300 pounds of “The World’s Strongest Man,” staring back at him and shaking out his arms.

“I’m afraid you’re not as strong as you look,” said Jordan as he wiped the blood from his chin.

The large man swung at Jordan, but Jordan squatted. He gave the large man a straight kick to the knee cap, dropping the man to one knee. Jordan grabbed the man’s head under his armpit, swung his legs around the man’s shoulders, and choked him until his massive body went limp. Jordan rolled the man over and stood up to address the four other men in the room who were watching.

“Very well,” said the older fat man with the raddy suit, “come with me.”

Jordan walked with the man to the “Wild Animals from Africa” exhibit.

“You know in all the years we’ve been out here looking, we thought no one else was as close as we were. I surely thought Stonehenge was going to kill you.”

“Yeah me too.”

“You know his family has been traveling out this way ever since the railroad. All our families have been looking.”

“Well, I’ll be looking a little further.”

The man gave Jordan a sad smile. The two turned into the ostrich exhibit and the man stopped at one of the cages. He opened the cage, lifted a blanket and Jordan saw a dozen ostrich eggs. The man reached in and pulled out a large egg with a map on the outside.

“Do promise me something,” the man said as he held out the egg in front of Jordan, “if you find it, make sure it finds its rightful place. Because if it’s not I’ll find you myself. And I’ll kill you.”

“That won’t be necessary,” Jordan smiled at the old ring leader, “but I’ll still be happy to see you again otherwise”

Jordan took the egg and left the traveling circus. He arrived at the Reno Tavern for a night of rest and to examine his next move. Not but minutes after arriving in his room for the night there was a knock at his door. As soon as Jordan’s hand touched the knob, bullets flew through the door and Jordan dove across the room. The door burst open and a man stormed in, pointing the gone at Jordan. Anything Jordan found he threw at the man as he dodged further gunfire. With all his rounds fired, and with none striking Jordan, the two men began to fight. The man was a good fighter. Jordan could barely keep up with his fast hands. When Jordan fell to the floor he grabbed a towel that was lying near his bed. Jordan was then picked up and thrown across the room, falling into his dresser and braking the mirror on the wall. He took the towel, wrapped a piece of glass in his hand, and charged at the assailant. Jordan planted the shard firmly in the man’s stomach and they fell to the floor.

Jordan stared into the man’s eyes as he bled out on the ground.

“You’ll never find it,” the man said, “the map is wrong.” And with his final breath he let out a small laugh.

Jordan looked at the man’s coat and saw a small crest on the breast pocket. The Emerald Union was written across the top of the crest. He was a man working for the Irish railroad workers union, and probably also working for the Irish traveling circus. Jordan looked around at the devastation in his room and saw that the egg he had placed on his bed had been shot to pieces in the altercation. Jordan’s blood ran hot and his face boiled with rage. That was his last hope to find the lost Spanish treasure and to put a stop to the corruption. But in his explosions of rage he realized something. Amongst the shattered pieces of the map from the outside of the egg, there was one small distinct piece that had to have come from the inside of the egg. When Jordan examined it he realized it was a piece to a map. In a chaotic epiphany Jordan laid out all of the pieces of the egg flat on the floor. He then ran the puzzle piece over the top of the map to see where it fit. Roads, coordinates, mountains, forests, all just cracked pieces he had to decipher. Suddenly he came across a railroad junction on the map. It was sitting at a mountain in the middle of the Rockies. It was called Sutter’s Pass, and it is where the Union Pacific railroad came through to meet the Central Pacific Railroad. The Central Pacific being the railroad with predominantly Irish workers who named the junction after the settler who received a large portion of land from the Spanish. Everything felt right. Jordan did not hesitate. He packed his things and took off, putting the puzzle piece in his pocket as he stepped out the door.

Jordan arrived at Sutter’s Pass the next evening. There was a road that ran through the mountains. It’s where he had to go and the sun was already setting. He needed to be quick. Jordan road deep into the valley and found himself in an old boom town turned ghost town. There was not a soul around. Until Jordan noticed a light in a small building down an old service road near the mines. Jordan approached the building. It had a sign that read “Con Alvarado.” He walked inside.

There was an old man standing there already pointing a gun a Jordan

“What do you want?” he said in Spanish.

Jordan put his hands up in the air.

“I have something to get out of my pocket. I need to give it to you. Can I get it?”

The man gestured with the gun to Jordan’s pocket. Jordan pulled out the puzzle piece and tossed it at the old man. The man caught it.

“I don’t need a piece of scrap medal, leave now.”

“Turn it over.”

The man turned it over and smiled. He put the gun on the counter.

“Come with me son.”

“Wait,” Jordan said, “is this it? Is it here?”

“We’ve been waiting for you for a long time Senor Stanford.”



Sean’s cube:

  • Pagoda Arch
  • Cave
  • Legumes/Beans
  • Satchel
  • Waves/Water
  • Dinosaur Skull


Blinging bells singing

The gathering at the pagodas entrance

Commenced, Emperor holding hands with the pastel face painted widow

The procession to celebrate the man

Who would be in generations

More legend than human

And the cave etched within the Mien Mo Mt Range

Passed silent and bat thrashed through the nether dwellings

And our hero here had gone to cure

The Emperor’s daughter of the ghastly disease

That which ripped her mind apart

He sought legumes rumored to hide in a paradise through the Mt

Cave, shining divine on that unreachable



He set out with a sack, given to him by the high priestess of Shin-Zhu

An oracle lady, whose face hide sullen beneath silkworm hood and riverbed gems

A sack containing something unreal, vast, and quaking

“You shall not open the Ancestral Satchel of Century Wisdom

Till you cross the beast, and then you will know how to use its


Proclaimed the sage priestess, atop her shrine adorned with moonlit lotus flowers

And silk worm strands rainbow in the starbeam raining down that night

And with that the hero left, swift, brave

And curious as to the magic he knew he now possessed

And worried that he’d know when to use it and

How to use it

But faith he had in the ancestors’ ways, and

Faith he had in a cure for the Emperor’s daughter’s dying mind

Before he left his wife had warned

“The townspeople they are saying the daughter

She has visions, evil ancestors torment and show her

Things in the nighttime, Lien-Mi says last night the daughter,

Poor tortured child, painted a dragon on her sheets with the blood of

The royal meadowlark, which she had slain, a bad omen my dear, please

Do not go”

Yet he must go, it was his duty as the capital’s historian to decipher ancient

Text and locate ancient tombs and discover ancient wisdom

And none else could navigate the tumbling treachery

Cave, and none knew what to look for on the Otherside

And none but he knew the old language, the lost

And forgotten tongue, and so when he arrived

He could speak with the master spirits inhabiting the hidden paradise

And he kissed her, and he left swift for the cave at the base of Mien Mo Mt

He passed down the rock etched stairway, soot and guts and insects

Crackled under his swift footed meticulous steps, a torch burning,

Following a scroll with a map, keeping faith,

And he walked and turned and chose carefully his route

And he reached the mysterious chamber, blotted on the map,

A barrier between him and the Otherside and

he heard snarling

Gurgling, stirring and heavy snuffs

He wondered…..

The omen?

The child’s painting….

He walked through the archway into a temple

Stowed away by epochs and isolated by foreboding tales

But now here he stood, our hero, the town’s historian, the royal

Archivist, the strange man who kept to his books and his tea and his wife

Here he stood gaping mouthed and proud, and chest ablast

He was an explorer, a warrior, a strong brave man

Yet something lurked and slumped gigantic about the pillars

Soot and ash littered the floor, and bones, bones, skulls

Human and unhuman and subhuman, and our hero’s torch

Trembled in his delicate page-turner’s hand


The torch went out,

But not before a terrifying sight revealed itself to our hero

A yellow-stucco, 50 foot, black diamond eyed, bone faced

Dragon skull

Flashed across his sight

Alive and moving but petrified and made from perennial bone

The monster crept and stomped and screeched not a deep roar

But an anguished hawk death scream,

Our hero collapsed, and covered his ears

Letting go the sack, and letting its taunt top fall open and water began to pour forth

Waves began to flow and flow and torrential rain began to fling forth

And an ocean uncoiled its wrath from deep within the ancestral abyss

And our hero backed away near a pillar as the water amassed a tsunami

And the skeleton dragon beast screeched and screamed and whipped

It’s dusty tail and hurled flames at the wall of water

And our hero witnessed magic and reality and ancient wisdom

From the within that torn satchel

And the water crashed upon the beast and smoke doused the room

And our hero, stumbled, unsure and puzzled, scroll open

Eyes searching in the rotten mist filling the chamber

Till he saw the gate, and looked up past the final pillar

And saw a tall wooden door, hinged in rock

He pushed leaning his body onto the wooden plank gateway

He cried as he pushed, he yelled as he pushed, and the door gave

Way, slightly creaking ominous entrance

And orange purple spears shined through the crack

And our hero

Slipped through

Onto the Otherside

Where he was lost

In what many say was perfect hell

A cursed paradise,

For he met there wise beings, glittering in wild unknown pattern and color

Glittering and humming sweet melodic tones as they spoke, as he

Our hero hummed and sang back to them

All the ritualistic songs he had studied as a child, as a youth, and as a man

Dreaming of this grace gifted moment to be present and conversing

With the ancient ancestors and he asked them for the cure

The silver legume, the cure for the ghost echoes in the head disease

A most tragic and unsolvable riddle this condition was

Some could become prophets using the messages as guides

Yet most were possessed and murdered and tortured by the evil magic

Flooding their minds, and the Emperor’s daughter the most beautiful

Daughter the Empire had ever seen, could not be lost,

And he told the glittering forms who glowed unspeakable shades

And they scooped from metallic rivers three silver beans

And they instructed him specifically how the silver legumes should be ingested

But our hero here, in his triumph made his mistake

He did not understand the glittering master beings and

Perplexed with the vastness and holiness and celestial magnificence

Of the paradise he found himself in, he did not listen,

He misinterpreted the melodic tongues of the ancient paradise beings

He, staring at the salvation gleaming in his palms, three tiny shining legumes

He ate one

Thinking he had earned a taste as reward for his heroics

Thinking the glittering ancestor spirits proclaimed him to do so

Thinking he wanted all knowledge and all wisdom

Thinking he was a hero and forgetting he was

A historian, a royal archivist, a man who read books and imagined

Vast paradises and hidden worlds

He swallowed and looked up and began to watch the sight

Rip and tear and swirl and shake and droop and melt and splinter

Before his eyes

The light became dark,

The glittering become dull

And the metallic river turned grey and slimy

The mountains in the distance become fire hearth coffin volcanoes

The beings became void, the wisdom no longer glittered

The hero, choking, strangled eyes searching saw nothing but bones

Littering the landscape that which seconds before was gold and sacred

And he, our hero, dropped,

Unclenching a fist, and returning the cure to the paradise’s grip.

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