RSS

Category Archives: writing challenges

Hidden Truth

Storch-Badge

Your challenge this week is to use this line as a fourth. It can be used anywhere in the story as long as it is in a 4th position (8th line, 12th line, 16th line, etc). Please be sure the line stands out from the rest of your text by bolding or italicizing or enclosing it within quotes.

Charlie Higgins assumed most grown folks viewed the world cloaked in an aura of thick, murky darkness. His earliest recollections of life manifested in muffled tones of anger capped with fear and dread. It was often those memories which pulled him into troubled slumber.

Charlie barely recalled fleeting images of his birth mother. His young mind didn’t comprehend who she was but he welcomed the warmth her image instilled in the hollowness of his heart. Snippets of a young face twisted with laughter as familiar to him as the uncertainty of his young life. Instinct instructed him to never question the parents raising him.

Until recently, he’d assumed the wrinkled, slightly stooped over lady was his mother. Hadn’t he called her ‘Mama’ for as long as his lips could form the word? The elderly man, permanently scented in stale smoke and whiskey fumes was ‘Papa'; the male half of the puzzle.

It only came through an argument between his ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa” his world became confusingly clearer. They’d consumed their daily “liquid medication” quite early that morning after an unexpected call. Normally, Charlie stayed clear during the morning ritual but the phone call had piqued his curiosity. Conversation peppered with curse words centered around an unknown female. Charlie scanned his memory banks, trying to follow their anger. Whoever she was, there would be hell to pay. “This is Charlie’s mother,” a drunken voice mimicked.

Disbelief swallowed Charlie as the floor gave way. Mouth gasping soundless as the memories of the woman made sense. He stood from behind the chair, ignoring the shocked expressions on ‘Mama’ and ‘Papa’s faces. Things had been much better when he had been hidden. Yes, much better when he’d been hidden from the truth he knew he wouldn’t be able to escape.

 

One Too Many

mancontemp

Well, hello there friend. Mind if I bum a smoke from you? What? Oh, you thought you’d hidden your dirty little habit? Technically, you have. At least from the mortal world. Ah, thank you. Not much of a talker, are ya. Insert a chuckle here. I don’t possess the actual ability to laugh. One of the curses I get to carry.

I don’t know why these cigs are given such a bad rap. Do they not fulfill their function above and beyond expectations? Think about it. You inhale to feed your addiction. It provides you the relief you seek. Can’t think of a sweeter poison.

Normally, I don’t make personal appearances but your thoughts have been, how shall I put it? Annoying? No, not quite. Alarming? Neh. It’s the ones who never entertain the thought who alarm me. Not interesting either.
Does my candidness offend you? I thought not. No need to feign you’re astride that high horse. No siree bob. You’re pretty mediocre at best, I’d say. If I were judging you on a scale of one to ten, I’d give you a minus three. Insert that chuckle. No my friend, you don’t possess any of that hoopin’ and hollerin’. You almost slipped under the radar. So subtle, you sneaky little bastard. Insert a shit eating grin here.

Did you know your partner suspects you of embezzling? Yeah, yeah he does. Pretty convinced it’s you. Don’t that beat all though? Letcha in on a secret. It’s his mistress robbing you blind. Know how ditzy she plays? All an act. She’s Mensa material, that one. Anywho, she’s setting you up to take the fall. If it comes down to it. Gotta love a girl who plans.
So, there I was, sitting in my flames, minding my own business. Believe that or not. Most folks don’t get I don’t come looking for souls. They come looking for me. Kinda pisses me off how you simple mortals twist facts to fit your limited, inadequate ways of thinking. But whatta gonna do? But I digress. I’m sitting there, going over the month’s quotas. Yes, yes, we do have quotas to meet. Much more competition than one might realize.

I stumble across a little oops in my numbers. I don’t have a lot of room for errors. Everything is carefully planned out. The big guy upstairs knows everything there is to know about you before you’re even conceived  That’s where the challenge for me comes into play. I have to find a way or ways to upset the apple cart, so to speak. Wanna know what the mistake was? Thought you’d never ask!

I have one too many people for the month. Can’t say that’s ever happened in the history of my ruling. Hell, I even shot a quick prayer up to the big guy when I realized what was going on. Wanna hear a funny? I think he answered it. Go ahead, insert a good ol’ chuckle for me. That’s how I started hearing the murmuring of your thoughts.

If I do it, will the insurance pay? What if the insurance doesn’t pay? Will the kids hate me? Will it bail out the business? Will Myra remarry? Should I make it look like an accident? How should I do it? Pain? No pain?

Pretty common thoughts, wouldn’t ya say? Now, as much as I’d like to accommodate your solution to your problems, I have to simply ask that you not follow through on your intentions. I’m not really sure what would happen to the dynamics of heaven and hell if you throw the numbers askew.

How ’bout I have one of my guys seduce the hell out of the mistress, get her to trip up? Set it up to where she takes the fall and you’re in the clear? Once that ball gets rolling, things will start looking up, dontcha think? No pressure or anything for a decision. Just that I need an answer in an hour or so. Gotta get the corrected figures to my accountant so we can close out the month.

I’ll sit over here and letcha think, my friend. Mind if i bum a cigarette? Never a sweeter poison, I say.
For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Barb Black gave me this prompt: reconsidering.

I gave Jester Queen this prompt: a lingering scent, a bus, a phone

 

Undo The Chain Of Events

scriptstory

Dear Kelley,

It’s hard to believe, as I sit by your grave, we lost you almost a year ago. I know you understand why I haven’t been back to see you since the day we lowered your coffin into the ground. I thought I’d lose my mind the day  your brother showed up at my doorstep, sobbing, tripping over his anguish. Even when I finally understood his words, my mind shut down and refused to believe it was true. All I kept thinking was how much I took you for granted, believing you’d always be there. I lost my best friend, my soul sister, the godmother to my unborn children. Even now, my heart still hurts just the same as that pivotal day. If I could undo that day…. that moment. If I could undo the chain of events which bring me here today.

This is the first birthday we won’t celebrate together but I wanted to keep up with our tradition, although I felt a little……..unsure when I ordered your birthday cake. I avoided our usual bakery so I wouldn’t have to endure the weird looks from old lady Smith. Remember how she use to stare us up and down like we were space aliens freshly transported from our mother ship? What is she, a mere hundred years old? How is it some of us barely live a life and others essentially live a few people’s lives? 

I have a tremendous secret I’m keeping from everyone. I’ve even tried to keep it from you. I imagine you looking down from Heaven, shaking your head, your halo shimmering with each shake. I picture your wings trembling from anger and betrayal. I can almost taste the tartness of your tears, as they splash onto my guilt. I’ve resisted your presence in my dreams.

I know everyone thinks he’s a monster. So did I at one time. I had weeks of nightmares about him. Always chasing me, yelling he needed to make us angelic sisters. I’d wake, my heart slamming against my throat. I could never shake him, even in my waking hours. It became unbearable. I wanted answers. I wanted the truth as only he could confess. I fought it, denying the hell living within my soul. I pretended not to feel his pull, the weight of his need to answer.

When I was on the edge of my mind snapping, needing to know if he took you from us, I went to see him. Over and over I pictured us sitting across from each other, me demanding to know the truth. Him staring back at me. No matter the different ways I played the scenario in my mind’s eye, he could never quench my thirst to know quick enough.

I wanted to be free from the unknown. To have my pain eradicated within the breath it takes to create a mere moment of time. I wanted to be able to lay my head down at night and find you alive and well in my dreams. He gives that to me, Kelley. He releases the demons from within and takes them on as his own. He loves me in a way that proves he wasn’t the one to take you from us. I believe that within the entirety of my existence.

I don’t know if I will be back to see you again, Kelley. I’m torn. Conflicted. I think, sometimes, I can almost sense your presence, hovering, stalking. Maybe it’s guilt. I can’t say for sure. He calms me when I tell him of these feelings. He is not what the world seems to think he is. He is the man who loves me.

Sarah

Happy Birthday, my dearest friend. 

For the Scriptic prompt exchange this week, Kirsten gave me this prompt: A birthday cake, a forbidden love and this quote by Carrie Fisher : “instant gratification takes too long.”.

I gave Andrea this prompt: It isn’t every day you trip and fall into the arms of…………….

 

Tags: , , , ,

The Story Circle-The Forest King (Part 2)

I was surprised and excited when Sam from My Write Side invited me to participate in a writing circle.

Check out this amazing first part of the circle: The Forest King, Part One, Sam tagged me for the second part.

I’m very excited to share my part of The Forest King, Part Two. I’ve tagged my friend, Jeannie, for the third part.

Thank you so much to Cameron Garriepy for her patience and support.

Story-Circle-Button

 

Tags: ,

Recipe For Love


No need to scream in such terror, my love.

I only want the best of you

to be with all of me for eternity.

Dry your

salty trails

of frustration, my love.

I only want you to see

the beauty I see in you.

Stop your quivering lips, my love.

I only want to taste

of your sweet innocence,

the very aroma which led me

to you.

Ah, the pounding of your racing heart, my love.

Fuels my everlasting desire

to combine our souls,

twisted as one.

Save your strength for our union, my love.

Oh, how you disappoint me!

This is my first time participating in the 100 Word Challenge.

This week’s challenge is to ‘create a recipe of a dish fit for a witch.’

 

Life’s Crimson Liquid

For this weekend’s challenge, we’d like you to read the 33 words below and then add 33 of your own words to move the story along.  Have a great weekend and good luck!

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be.

The last strains of sunlight lingered in the corners, grasping every available point of refraction.  She slid her fingertips along the glass wondering if this was all there ever was. Or could be. She’d spent far too much time draining life’s liquid from human prey to be convinced there wasn’t a piece of the puzzle she was missing. She had an eternity to bring it together.

 

Push The Up Button

Most nights, you will find me sitting at my favorite booth in Mel’s Bar. I like Mel’s for the simple fact, the other customers are much like me. We nod a silent hello upon walking in, claim our spot and our drink of choice appears magically, courtesy of Marita, of course. I’m not anti-social, mind you, just extremely socially selective. I prefer my own company over the irritating voices of my fellow mankind.

After a particularly annoying day of interacting with co-worker’s, I was looking forward to an extra hour or two of sipping my sorrows. It was Friday; an invitation to endless sipping. Ol’ Timer, yep, that’s what we call him, was standing at the jukebox, arguing with the voices in his head about which buttons to push. Long-legged Marita was perched on her bar stool, reapplying blood-red lipstick on her downward turned mouth. I imagine when she looks into the mirror, she sees the woman she was thirty years ago.

Good, everyone was in their usual somber moods. Just how I like it.

As the first notes of  music floated through the air, the door opened with a clash. Our heads swiveled simultaneously, faces mirroring a collective offended look. A frantic businessman stood in the doorway. His eyes scanned the bar, choosing me as the ending target. I gave my best leave-me-alone look and turned my back to him.

He half-ran, half-skipped to my booth, stumbling into the opposite seat. I sipped my beer, ignoring his presence.

“You have to pass it on,” he whispered urgently. “You have to pass it on or you’ll be next.”

“Uh huh,” I replied, looking at Mel. No help there. I took another swig, gathered my coat to leave. No sooner had I raised from the booth, the stranger grabbed my wrist. I winced. His grip was strong, camouflaged by his frail appearance.

“Sit,” he hissed. “Sit, and listen. I’m trying to do you a favor.

I sat. Mel raised an eyebrow, cocking his head. I shrugged slightly. Two beers appeared magically on our table. I caught the rear-side of Marita sashaying from our table. The stranger snapped his fingers in my face.

“Pay attention,” he snarled, nervously glancing at the front door. “I don’t have much time before they get here.”

I settled back in the booth. “Okay,” my tone patronizing as I reached for the fresh beer.

“Before you go to work Monday, you need to pass this on.” He pushed over a worn wallet, with a faded gold monogram. “If you don’t, you will be seeing me again.” His eyes darted wildly at the door.

I stared at the wallet, half-tempted to pick it up. It was stuffed beyond my craziest dreams, hundred-dollar bills, peeking out. I reached for the beer bottle instead.

“Are you listening?” he demanded, his voice rising. “Do you hear me? You need to pass this on.”

I regarded him silently, wondering if he was going to drink the other beer. “Okay, I’ll pass it on.” His face registered relief. “On one condition.” He paused, unsure. Then nodded. “I’ll pass it on,” I continued, reaching for the wallet, “If I can have your beer.”

Before he could respond, two men,dressed in white shirts and white trousers burst through the door.

Again, our heads swiveled.

“Is it a full moon?” Old Timer yelled. “Is it a bloody full moon?”

The two men ignored him, spying the stranger. They rushed over, grabbing him. I have to admit he put up a good fight but he was no match for the two brutes. We all watched as they dragged him to the front door. No one offered to help or called the police. Once the door shut behind them, we went back to business as usual.

Last call came too soon after the night’s events but I knew I could repeat my endless sipping the next night. I stood, reached for my coat and spied the wallet on the table. Shrugging my shoulders, I thought, why not? and stuffed it in my pocket. When I got home, I became curious about how much sipping I could do with the wad of cash stuffed in the worn wallet. Let’s just say, I was going to be doing a lot of sipping. Chuckling, I took the wallet with me to my room, to hide it in my mattress. As I lifted the mattress, I saw a white piece of paper sticking out of the wallet. Strange, I hadn’t noticed this little compartment.

I pulled out the paper and read the words: If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button. Huh, that man really was off his rocker. I stuffed the wallet under the mattress and laid down to surf in liquid dreams.

I spent the weekend trying to sip as often and as fast as I could. Come Monday, I’d all but forgotten about how I came to have the wallet.

I admit, I hesitated briefly before stepping onto the elevator to go to work Monday, the note flashing through my mind. I had a good chuckle when I arrived on my floor, safe and sound. I dredged through the eight hours of paid annoyance, looking forward to a couple of hours of sipping.

I all but ran to the elevator to partake in my plan as soon as five o’clock hit. Feeling pretty confident, I padded the worn wallet in my pocket. My mind danced around the idea of shaking things up a little by ordering something besides beer. Then I realized, I really was shaking! The screech of cable snapping dropped my heart. Screams filled my ears as my stomach flew up into my throat. We were falling at lightening speed.

When I woke up, I was sitting at my favorite booth in Mel’s bar.

A frantic businessman stood in the doorway. His eyes scanned the bar, choosing me as the ending target.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, Carrie at http://viewsfromnature.com gave me this prompt: If you die in an elevator, be sure to push the Up button.’ –Sam Levenson and I gave Amy I. Bloom at https://www.bloomindc.com this prompt: Time stood still as he/she watched…

 
 

Tags: , , ,

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 261 other followers