Wednesday Write-in #3


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

This is the new feature on the blog which we’ll be running every week from now on to allow all of us writers to practice our skills, and get chatting to each other about our work.

Prompts

two girls  ::  thick braid  ::  peel  ::  heavy traffic  ::  allergic reaction

Guidelines

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some brief guidelines:

  • You can use the prompts as inspiration or try to work them into your story somehow. Use as many as you want.
  • When your story is done, post it online (your blog/twitter/in a comment here), tag with #wednesdaywritein and comment with a link so we can read it. You can write as many stories as you like.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you can.

Featured Story

We’ll feature our favourite story on the blog with a review of it and links to the author’s blog/twitter/facebook if relevant.

Posts will generally go up at 9am(ish) on Wednesday – stories are due by 9am Thursday (UK) to be considered for the featured story. You can keep posting your work after this, it just won’t be featured.

Rewards

We’ll keep track of who takes part in the write-ins, and you earn points for different things.

  • Take part in a write-in = 1 point.
  • Comment on other people’s stories = 1 point.
  • Share/reblog this post = 1 point.

When you reach ten points the editing team will give detailed feedback on a story of your choice. This only counts for separate sessions—so if you write five stories for one write-in, that counts as one, and if you share on both facebook and twitter, that’s one. We might give an extra point if you comment on everyone’s stories, but we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Please look for us on Facebook or Twitter to keep up with the write-ins, or click the follow button to get blog updates!

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

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71 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #3

  1. For Wednesday Write-in
    Whenever I see cars caught up in traffic I wonder what those trapped drivers are experiencing. This untitled story (127 words) offers one scenario:

    This is bad. As bad as could be. I left as soon as I got her call but had divert to Tesco to get petrol. Should have kept it topped up. I promised her I would. The traffic is so heavy. Must be an accident up ahead. I know the area well. No getting around it. My phone battery is dead. I need the loo and will have to find somewhere. But don’t want to stop. Don’t want to be late. She told me, don’t keep me waiting, she said. Not again, she said. I said, no problem, I’ll be there. On time. No worries. I won’t screw up again, I said.

    But I do, and she once again gives birth in some ambulance. With strangers. Not me. Again.

    • oof. Love this. I absolutely hate traffic (so much so that I didn’t feel that I could even write a flash fic about it without descending into furious key smashing), but this is it exactly – the anxiety and stress of not being able to get where you need to be….and the last line! Nice work 🙂

    • Aw man, I so feel for this guy (not that it states it but I’m assuming he’s a he). I know that he is really trying but just keeps letting her down. I hope she can forgive him! Lovely writing.

    • I can’t help feeling sorry for the wife! You’d think a father-to-be WOULD keep the petrol topped up and his phone charged. Something tells me the kid won’t be able to rely on Dad for much… lol

    • I kinda feel sorry for this guy! I sympathised, I’ve been there, all the way up to the mention of the element that gives it urgency – giving birth – not been there myself!
      I wondered if you needed the last word, as you’d already emphasised that it had happened before in the previous paragraph: “Not again, she said”. Nice short sentences – that’s how I think when I’m stuck in traffic running late!
      @misswriteuk
      http://www.facebook.com/louise.gibney.writer
      http://www.misswrite.co.uk

    • Wow, I could feel the rush and the anxiety in the way you wrote this. I could feel myself sitting in the traffic feeling exactly this way.

      The ending actually made me raise my eyebrows and say “what?”! That was completely unexpected. Very well done,

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    • Wow, dark! I’m quite interested in how he lost his leg. I like how it skirts around the memory without telling you it completely, clever. I query why the dad would be playing pat a cake when the daughter has a sister to play that with. The dad would be up front driving, especially if the mum has a drinking problem. Of the two girls, only one is in focus, and for a while I kept expecting the other to come into focus but it didn’t happen. The thirty seconds is like this bomb that keeps appearing, like that. 😀

      • That’s really interesting, because as I reached the last paragraph I decided that the ‘two girls’ were his wife and daughter. But maybe I’m wrong and the other girl is only mentioned less because he isn’t grieving for her. Hmm!

      • Thanks beccaaudra for your comment! The idea behind this story was that it was about his wife and daughter. I was attempting to create the assumption that his wife had left with his daughter, when in actual fact what happened was they were in a car accident while his wife was driving drunk and in the process lost his leg and his daughter. I was trying to see if I could this across without specifically saying so!

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  7. After months of writer’s block, the prompt words ‘two girls’, ‘thick braid’ and ‘peel’ finally morphed into a story idea this morning. I’m well outside the 9am deadline, I know, but as it’s my first week of taking part, I thought I’d post anyway by way of a thank you for getting me writing again.
    So, here’s my effort. ‘Missing’ 400 words.

    Missing

    One of my ‘girls’ is missing and I am bereft. This morning, John met my eyes in the dressing table mirror.

    ‘We’ll adjust,’ he said, and he kissed the top of my head. ’Take some time to mourn.’

    Is there a traditional mourning ritual? Should I rip my clothes or cut my hair? I decide to do both. I tear my wardrobe apart. Strapless dresses and skimpy tops strewn the floor in a muddle, but it makes me feel worse, not better and I sit on the lopsided pile and weep.

    Back at the mirror, I plait my hair into a thick braid and fasten the end with a pink ribbon, tied in a bow. Preparations complete, I rest the scissors on the nape of my neck. The steel is cold, like an executioner’s axe.

    My reflection blurs and I see a younger me in a pink negligee, hair tied back with the same pink ribbon. Younger John stands behind me, my breasts cupped in his hands. He kisses my neck and whispers, ‘Ditch the nightie and let me take these two girls to bed.’

    Blinking to clear my vision, I peel back the edge of my blouse and study the thin red scar where my left breast should be.

    One of my girls is missing and I am bereft.

    The blades open and close, but the snake coiling down my back resists death. I hack at it until it slithers to the floor, the ends of the pink bow licking the air like a forked tongue. John says he still finds me attractive, but will he feel the same when all of my hair is missing?

    I check the clock. Two hours to my first chemotherapy appointment. John’s idea of adjusting is to put on a brave face. I apply my make-up carefully and tie a scarf over the ragged ends of my hair. The severed braid mocks me from the floor; the bow obscene in its symmetry. On impulse, I pick it up and snip off half the bow. The cut fragment curls into a loop in my palm and I pin the pink ribbon over my heart. The braid I put in a bag, ready for the wig maker.

    An unfamiliar woman looks back at me in the mirror. ‘You’re one of the lucky ones,’ I tell her. ‘You’re a survivor.’

    She lifts her chin and smiles.

    • I love what you did with this prompt, you took it somewhere totally different – it’s so interesting to see how different people interpret the same words!

      This feels so raw, and so real as well. I haven’t experienced this myself (touch wood!) but someone very close to me went through breast cancer, surgery, chemo in the last couple of years. Like roosterswifey says, I love that you showed the decision to take power over the situation, I think it’s so important.

      Bravo 🙂

    • Powerful is an understatement; I was left reeling by this. I’m used to encountering you on the other side of the writing process (EDF?) but it’s been a privilege to read your work for a change. Hope the writer’s block has been banished for good.

  8. This evoked some powerful emotions in me. Having survived cancer myself, I remember the gravity of losing my hair and taking the power over a powerless situation by shaving it myself. The reference to an executioner’s axe was very chilling.
    The reference to a survivor at the end made me raise my chin in sympathy with the character. What a lovely reflection of that moment, that other survivors will know so well 🙂

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