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Category Archives: WIP

Forever Hold Your Confession

As I watch Corey Eisner setting up a poster size picture of Kevin, my mind slips back to my first night in jail.

I was exhausted after what felt like hours of relentless interrogation. I’ll tell you now, the movies don’t exaggerate the mental beating detectives put you through. There truly is a protocol for good cop, bad cop. Detective Spencer played the good cop. I’m sure his boyish good looks serve him well not only in his chosen field but his personal life. I trusted him far less than Detective Kray who exuded a genuine dislike for his fellow mankind. The more exhausted I became, the greater their resolve to reduce me to a puddle of tears. I held firm to my determination not to cave by remaining silent. It was Detective Kray’s raised fist flying towards my face which put an end to the interrogation. His partner narrowly missed deflecting the blow to my jaw before angrily shoving him towards the door. Both men shot me a dirty look as they nodded to the startled rookie to escort me to my cell.

After the humiliating experience of being stripped searched and deloused, I was led to my new home. And my new cellie. Wanda wore the air of someone who was old school in the ways of being a criminal. I watched as her eyes grew wide with greedy delight as I hesitated at the entry into our cell. She appeared to be in her mid-forties, although I suspected she was probably younger. Her hair wore the disheveled style of a woman who had no time to worry about outside appearances. Her brown eyes were etched deeply with weariness displayed in the form of wrinkles. Her mouth formed into a grotesque smile of sorts, showing random missing teeth.

“Well, well, well, if it isn’t the Ice Princess herself,” she cackled with glee. “I have me a real life bona fide celebrity right here in my cell. Come on in, sugar. Old Wanda ain’t gonna bite you. Not unless you ask real nice.”

I stood frozen in my spot, willing myself to wake up from this horrible nightmare. It was in this moment Kevin’s death and the reality of my situation hit the center of my existence full force. There was no turning back the hands of time. No undoing the actions which drained Kevin’s life from his body. No escaping the bitter truth of what my life was to become. Had become. The rookie gave me a gentle push, telling Wanda to play nice, before chuckling as if he were comedian of the year.

Drawing myself up, I pretended not to feel intimidated as I went to put the sheets on what I assumed was my bed. My stomach gagged at the strong smell of urine embedded in the mattress. I contemplated the choice of sleeping on the floor, deciding it was my best option. Taking my time, I refused to look in Wanda’s direction until I sat down on the bed mere inches from her. She gave a little snort as she swung her heavily tatted legs on the floor.

“So, it’s gonna be like that, is it?” Her eyes narrowed, nostrils flaring. A mental image of a bull with her face jumped into my mind. For the first time in my life, I truly understood the concept of fear.

“I guess they was right to give you that name. Ice Princess.” She drew the ‘s’ out sounding much like the serpent who tricked Eve into taking a bite of forbidden fruit. “Suits me just fine. Ice Princessssssssss. Makes no never mind to me. Cuz in this cell block, I’m the Princess. I call the shots but you’ll figure that out.”

She stood, surprising me with how petite she was in build. Leaning towards me, she grabbed my face, squeezing hard. “You best play nice with Old Wanda. I’m the best friend you got now. What’s that girl’s name? The one they call the Little Girl Lost?”

“Angela,” I gasped. “Her name’s Angela.”

“Yeah, Angela was your best friend but mark my words, when you least expect it, she’ll turn on you quicker than a snake in a hen-house. Yep, you best mark my words. Ice Princessssssssssssssss.” Letting go of my face, she adorned me with another smile. A smile I soon learned meant someone was to pay hell for the demons raging in Wanda’s mind.

Write in the “close” first person:

John Updike’s short story A & P is a great example of writing from this close “I” colloquial (spoken) point of view; it is through the spoken tone here, that we come to know this character as a teenager:
Link up with us HERE

Curious about the Ice Princes? Catch up with her story.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2012 in fiction, Sandra's Writing Workshop Hop, WIP

 

Turning Back The Clock

When I first started this story, it was in response to a prompt. Read here for the first part.

Corey Eisner, is the new, up and coming prosecuting attorney who has been assigned to send us to death row. He’s made plenty of statements to the media stressing how he will not rest until he knows we meet with the fate of having a needle put into our arms. He has also assured Kevin’s family and friends it won’t be a twenty year process of constant appeals.

I believe him.

Mr. Eisner is preparing to give his opening statement to the twelve strangers seated in the jury box. I’m not quite sure how these twelve people are my peers. What do they know about us? They’ve never spoken to us. They’ve never asked, ‘How did it get to this point? Would you change it if you could?’ I don’t believe they haven’t been exposed to the headlines in some manner or another. The entire jail of inmates knew who we were before we were even arrested and booked.

I remember reading somewhere once our brains aren’t capable of creating faces as we dream. You think your mind conjures up a stranger’s face, but the reality is at one point, even if it was just a second, you’ve seen that face somewhere. Maybe the jurors didn’t know it was our case being discussed but I’d lay money down they’ve heard something about us.

My attorney keeps telling me I need to quit coming across like I don’t care about what’s going on around me. It’s not that I don’t care, it’s that I already know I will be sent to death row. I don’t see the point of carrying on a trial when we could just plead guilty. Presenting all that evidence isn’t going to change a damn thing. It won’t clean the blood from our hands. It won’t bring Kevin back. It won’t make all of our lives go back in time and back to normal.

Studio30+ offered two prompts this week. I chose ‘Back To Normal’

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in book, fiction, Studio30Plus, WIP, writing prompts

 

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Whistle While You Work

Dawson pulled up in front of the old theater, his old truck idling roughly. He stared at the building responsible for the course of his life. He still savored the irony of the townspeople asking him to fix the old building, returning it to its former state of glory. He knew their dreams of breathing life into Avery were pipe dreams but he’d allow them to dream, just as he had once.

He turned off the engine, tossing his cigarette butt out the window and stepped out of the truck. He gave a friendly wave to the mayor walking towards the diner. Dawson could picture the scene. The usual group meeting for their ritual breakfast of coffee and gossip. Not that there was much to gossip about in Avery. Outside of Carolyn’s unexpected pregnancy, rumors flying fast and furious about who the father really was. Dawson felt a little sorry for Carolyn, knowing she lived in a private hell, much like he did.

Stifling a yawn, he grabbed the box of trash bags from the bed of his truck. He’d decided to start with the bulk of the work which would be inside. Over the years, the bored teens of Avery had snuck into the old theater to make it a place of partying and release of pent-up hormones. He supposed it was a natural course of action given there wasn’t much to do in the sleepy town.

Making his way into the building, his eyes momentarily hurt as he left the glare of the morning sun. Slowly, his eyes adjusted to the darkness. The shadows turned into visions of peeling paint, piles of trash, and smatterings of graffiti. He could make out the faint scent of urine as he kicked a path through the piles.

Yes, he’d have plenty to keep him busy and his mind occupied as he settled the score accomplishing his life’s mission. A wicked grin in place, he whistled as he began collecting debris.

This week I’m taking part in my first prompt with Studio30+ , a picture prompt. We had a choice of two: Peeling Paint or Kool Aid. When I saw the picture for the ‘Peeling Paint’, I knew it was perfect for Dawson’s Story.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2012 in fiction, Studio30Plus, WIP, writing prompts

 

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A Life’s Mission

Take the prompt provided and develop it into a story of no more than 750 words: 

It all started in an old, abandoned movie theater…

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Avery was a small, long forgotten town, nestled between two bustling cities on either side. Most folks stopped only long enough to fill their gas tanks, maybe grab a bite to eat at Mya’s Diner, if time permitted. Once they packed their tired kids into the car, pointing it in the direction of the highway, Avery would soon slip from their memory banks.

Avery towns-folks tried to mind their own business for the most part. Sure, they knew about the Kendall’s who resided on Birch Street. Marvin Kendall was known to partake in a bit of moonshine and lay into his wife Carolyn. Upon seeing her, folks were kind enough not to mention her blackened eyes, or the gradual progression of  teeth disappearing. It didn’t stop tongues from wagging after she left the diner or church functions. A man has the right to treat his wife the way he sees fit, they’d nod in agreement.

One might suppose the town-folks would have a different point of view due to the scandal, which rocked the town to its very core, some twenty years prior. The local pastor, still performing his duties years later, had been caught in an affair with a local married woman. The towns-folk were up in arms over the chain of events, steadfastly accusing the wayward woman of being Satan, tempting their powerless pastor into such seediness. It didn’t take long for the township to run her and her mortified husband out of Avery. That was the one subject you didn’t hear discussed in any circles, even now. It were as if the entire town had its collective memory wiped out.

Dawson Sanders liked this little fact. It helped him to fit right in with his life’s mission.

Most days, you find Dawson rocking on his freshly painted porch, coffee mug in one hand, cigarette in the other, staring across his vast field. He had a string of bad luck when it came to the women he choose to marry. The folks of Avery felt a little sorry for Dawson but he didn’t seem to mind losing the wives he met through the classified ads. He was fond of the city women, with their air of self-imposed sophistication. It was always the same. The first few weeks were met with a hint of quiet shock at the town’s uneventful happenings; the long, drawn out evenings. Eventually, the bickering would begin, boredom settling in. Then, they’d up and leave Dawson, declaring him to be a fool for staying in Avery.

No, Dawson didn’t seem to mind at all. He’d smile at the fretful women at church on Sunday’s as they’d cluck around him after each desertion. He’d wave their concerns away with nicotine stained fingers, accepting an invitation to dinner from one of the well-meaning wives.

No, Dawson figured this was his lot in life. But he never gave up looking for the right woman to settle down with him in Avery. For he had an important mission in life.

Dawson wasn’t a local by birth but more of a transplant in his early twenties. He’d spent a few years migrating with the seasonal workers. With the way of the economy, however, job opportunities began to dissipate, leaving Dawson virtually homeless, broke, and near starvation.

It was at the local diner, where Dawson had been dropped off by a passing trucker, that he befriended Mya. She took a shine to the young man, never having had children of her own. She offered him a job, along with the cramped storage room in the back of the diner. Dawson gratefully accepted. It wasn’t long before his skills as a handyman came to light and offers of odd jobs began trickling in. His big break came when the townsfolk took a vote and asked him to fix up the old abandoned theater, sitting in town square. It was a huge eyesore but some folks believed if they resurrected the old theater, maybe it would help to breathe some life into Avery.

Dawson humbly accepted the job offer, cautiously explaining it would take some time to restore the old theater to its original glory. Carefully explaining he wanted to repay Avery for the kindness and acceptance bestowed upon him during his first few years.

Yes, Dawson had a life’s mission, which oddly enough, it all started in an old, abandoned movie theater.

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Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Bloggy Moms, fiction, WIP, writing prompts

 

Yet Another New Beginning

Exhausted, Kate sank wearily into the rickety wooden kitchen chair, stopping long enough to straighten the worn cushion as it shifted. She’d spent the entire day getting her new apartment cleaned and painted. Eyeing the soft sage green on the walls, she felt a contentment that had been missing for a few weeks. Her eyes took in the new color of the carpet, which had gradually changed with almost a week’s worth of steam cleaning. The worn matching floral love seats and couch were covered with crocheted blankets, hiding the worst of the wear. All in all, she was satisfied with the transformation of her new place.

She hadn’t expected to have to look for an apartment, let alone in a new city, quite so suddenly. A former co-worker had given her the tip about a vacant apartment, which Kate followed up on. The landlady, a sweet, elderly lady named Mrs. Brown, had gladly shown Kate the apartment. She’d been having some difficulty renting it out due to the damage left behind from the former tenant. It was worse than what Kate had expected.

“I know it looks bad, dear,” Mrs. Brown apologized as three sneezes escaped her. “But as you can see, I can barely stand to be in her before my allergies flare up.” Three more sneezes. “Mrs. Pendle was our building’s cat lady, as you can tell,” she emphasized by nodding at the fur covered couch.

“Oh, I can see that,” Kate had agreed. Her heart sank as she thought she would have to pass on the apartment.The rent was beyond reasonable, in a quiet neighborhood, and near her job. The mess however, was overwhelming.

“It’s not very big. Let me show you the bedroom,” Mrs. Brown continued, sneezing in three’s as she walked towards the bedroom.

Kate followed, not expecting to feel better upon seeing the bedroom. She was pleasantly surprised to find the bedroom almost the virtual opposite of the living room and kitchen.

“I think Mrs. Pendle spent most of her time in the living room with the cats. When I’d come to collect the rent, I can’t recall seeing the bedroom door open.”

“What happened to Mrs. Pendle?” Kate asked as she walked over to the window to look out.

“Oh, her children finally came to pay her a visit. They didn’t come by very often. I guess when they saw the state of the apartment they thought it was time for her to go to a nursing home. I think,” Mrs. Brown sniffed, wiping her nose with a worn handkerchief, “if they’d bother to include her in their lives more than once a year or so, she probably wouldn’t have taken to all these cats.”

Kate nodded. “I see. What about her belongings? Will they be coming to pick them up?”

“I doubt it. They didn’t really say much to me outside of they were taking her to a nursing home. I’ve called them several times but they either reject the calls or it goes to voicemail. Neither her son or daughter has returned my calls. I suspect they aren’t going to do the right thing so-” she trailed off, shrugging.

“Is the building owner going to use her deposit to repair some of the damage?”

“No,” Mrs. Brown sighed. “He really has no interest in this building. I think it’s more for a tax write off than anything else. His best offer is the next tenant doesn’t have to pay a deposit if they take care of the mess. It’s really not as bad as it looks. I mean, it’s mostly cat fur and the carpet just needs a good cleaning.”

Katie walked around the small apartment, slowly, trying to make a decision. She had a couple of more weeks left to find a place. No need to jump right into this one. Still, she did want to move on with things.

“Will I need to sign a lease?”

Mrs. Brown laughed. “Oh no, dear. Mr. Landry, the owner, doesn’t want to be committed to anyone by signing a lease. I think he plans to either tear this building down or sell it sometime in the future. He doesn’t want to have to wait for leases to expire.”

Kate chewed on the inside of her mouth. She headed back to the bedroom, hearing Mrs. Brown sneezing. She stood by the window, looking down. It really was a good location. She could clean up the apartment with some hard work. She’d store her things in the bedroom until she could tackle the living room and kitchen. She’d made her decision and went to let Mrs. Brown know.

Now it was two weeks later and the apartment didn’t resemble the mess she’d walked into. Grabbing the greasy take out bag on the worn kitchen table, she tried to convince herself not to think about Kyle. It was because of Kyle she was in this tiny apartment.

No, no, it’s not Kyle’s fault I’m here, she reminded herself. He doesn’t know what’s really going on. I would have done the same thing and had the same reaction. 

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2012 in WIP

 
 
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