CSI: Carbondale

Subject: Describe an object you made up
Setting: N/A
Time Period: About 4:30 in the afternoon – or any
Length: 500 Words
Restrictions: This is just about describing an object. Go into good detail, but make sure its a fictional object.

Jason carefully walked down the steps into the basement. He blinked his eyes several times attempting to adjust to the darkness. “I can’t see anything,” he whispered.

Tina followed Jason down, covering her nose and mouth with her arm. “It stinks,” Tina whispered from under her arm. “Take my flashlight,” she said handing him a small penlight.

“I can’t see anything with that tiny light. I’ll just use my phone,” Jason said taking out his i-Phone. After thumbing the screen for a few seconds a light on the backside lit up. “The musty smell is from the mold down here.”

“I hate it, I want to leave,” Tina said with her arm still over her face.

“Wait!” Jason raised his voice before resuming his whisper. “Steve told us about something strange being down here today after our kendo practice at Davies Gym.”

“What if we get caught or run into a burglar? You should’ve brought your shinai for protection.”

“We won’t get caught. It’s in the middle of the night. Besides, this house has been abandoned for years,” Jason said as he slowly walked deeper into the basement.

Tina slowly shuffled her feet forward, holding her penlight in front of her with both hands as if it were a sword. “Let’s just leave,” Tina said.

“Someone left a bag down here.”

“Great, then you look and I’ll stay here.”

“It’s bogu! I think this is Argus’s equipment! I guess it explains why he wasn’t at practice today.”

“What, Argus missed practice?” Tina asked.

“I know, it’s not like him. He’s always so eager to practice,” Jason said while sifting through the bag. “I’ll take it back with me and give it to him later.”

“How could have just forgotten it down here? He paid a lot of money for that?”

Jason laughed. “Yeah, didn’t we all. There is something else here, but I cannot see it well. Bring your light over here too.”

“Fine, but then let’s get out of here.”

Jason knelt down next to a long piece of dark stone. “I don’t know what it is, but it’s at least five feet long and three feet wide.” He held the light next to the stone seeing an onyx like material. Dirt covered the base but he could see feet that have been carved out. “What is this?”

“There’s a face here. It looks like a statue lying on its back.”

Jason shot to his feet and widely opened his eyes, “Good god, don’t blink! Whatever you do, don’t blink!”

“Keep your voice down. And what are you talking about?” Tina asked.

Jason shook his head, “Sorry, I saw something like this in a show once.”

“Great. I bet it was in the SIU Animation Club, right?”

“What? No,” Jason said kneeling back down.

“Look here at the skin, it looks spongy,” Tina said, pointing her finger.

“Don’t touch it!” Jason said shining his light over the face of the statue. It appeared to be a woman with long hair in a dress. Such a sad look etched into her face. The stone around the face and neck appeared to be a lighter color and different texture. Perhaps this was to make it resemble skin. With his light, he traced the face down to the neck but could not see a separation in the stone. It appeared to be the same piece. The details of the clothes, hair and facial features were so fine it had to take years to make this. Running his light down to the hands, he could see the fine details of the wrinkles in the skin and the roundness of the knuckles. He was amazed how lifelike they were. Almost too lifelike. A chill ran down his spin. He backed up. “Something’s not right here.”

“Yeah, besides being down in a cold dark basement in the middle of the night?”

“I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” Jason said.

“Let’s go then. I don’t need to solve this mystery. This ain’t CSI Carbondale!” Tina said moving back to the statues face. “We can leave this statue here all by herself,” she said as she ran her hand down the statue’s face.

As Tina’s hand touched the statue’s face, tiny blue lights lit up from within.

Jason gasped and back up. “What did you do?”

Tina remained silent seemingly entranced by the lights. Jason inched closer peering into the statue. There were over fifty points of blue lights from inside the statue lighting up at one time. In his mind, he could hear cries for help. Distinctly he could hear Argus’s voice telling him to run. Are these lights souls?

Jason panicked. He jumped to his feet just as the eyes from the statue lit up with a blinding white light.

“I think they went in here,” John said walking into the basement a few minutes later.

“Let’s find them and get out of here. They’re showing Vampire Hunter D at the Animation club tonight and I don’t want to miss it,” Ben said following behind.

“Well, there no one down here now. Hey! Someone left their i-Phone, let’s check it out.”

In Memory:

Have a Ball

It’s no Babel fish, but I like the concept I created.  I think I did a fairly good job of creating detail on an object that barely had any.  Let me know what you think.  I tried to make the description more “conversational” than definitive.  I did enjoy writing this simply because descriptions can sometimes be a challenge for me.  I write a story fairly well, but I’m not great at taking the time to build the world around it, which can often leave the reader with a vague image in their head.


The cold, metal ball fit easily into the palm of a hand.  It was about the size of a baseball, but much heavier.  The weight seemed to heavily favor one side, which gave it a very “this end up” feel when holding it loosely.   It was intentionally designed that way, since there were no markings on it to establish which way it should be held.

Upon closer inspection of the outside, it was apparent that it wasn’t just metal, but some form of metal/graphene/plastic mix.  The ball hadn’t been painted to look like metal, but all of the pieces that went into it’s outer appearance all reflected as if it were entirely made of silver.  The pieces were all of uniform shape; thin, elliptical bands that met at the ends of the ball, about twenty in all.  The pieces were aligned so perfectly that it seemed as if it were one solid object.  The spaces between each piece were almost invisible to the human eye.  The ends at which the pieces met were perfectly matched to make it seem as if they weren’t separate at all.  It was crafted to be as ordinary and commonplace as possible; and if someone didn’t know what it was for, it would be hard to convince them of what it was unless you turned it on.

In truth, the ball was nothing more than a map and a clock.  But it was an accurate map and clock and that’s what made it especially amazing.  It didn’t just tell you where you were, it told you where you were in temporal and spatial relation to anything else in the universe.  And it didn’t just tell you what time it was, it told you what time it was, regardless of how fast you were moving or where the other object might be.  If you were cruising through a galaxy at light speed that was being consumed by a black hole and you were experiencing its effects, the ball could tell you which pizza place your lawyer buddy was eating at during that exact same moment.  Not that it would matter, since that moment would have passed before the ball could fully explain it to you (given the conditions), but it’s the thought that counts.

When activated, the ball would turn a bright blue and then project a globe around the user.  The projection had X, Y, and Z axis lines running through it.  When standing outside the globe of light, it looked like a standard globe you might see a map of a planet on; but inside, it seemed as if the navigational lines expanded infinitely in every direction.  The current time was shown in the upper right corner of wherever the user was looking; below it, the current time with local gravitational motions factored in, and below that was an indicator as to which direction the user was headed.

On the map itself, one could see exactly where they were and then sift through all of spacetime to find the other person they were looking for.  All the user had to do was think about the person or the general location they were looking for.  The globe would look as if it were zooming through the cosmos to that particular spot, although it was really just an animation and not an exact replica of the directions necessary to get to that point.  When the user was finished, they simply thought about shutting the ball off and it would go back into its hibernation mode, looking just as simple and unremarkable as it always did.