Wednesday Write-in #11


Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

CAKE.shortandsweet runs a write-in every week to writers to practise their skills, and get chatting to each other about their work. Everyone is welcome to join in, and the more people you tell, the more everyone will get out of it.

By the way, we’ll issue a bonus point this week for the spookiest story, if people are feeling inspired by Halloween!

 

Prompts

caffeine  :: poverty  ::  stalk  ::  scalded  ::  blown

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 10am Thursday (UK) to be considered for the featured story. You can keep posting your work after this, it just won’t be featured.

The winner will also be eligible to publish on our special CAKE.shortandsweet genre through Ether Books.

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.

 

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

Don’t forget to read our Previous Issues and check out the Submissions page if you’d like to be a CAKE.author!

 

Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

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70 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #11

  1. Pingback: Coffee Apocalypse « Rebecca Dudley – Collected Stories

  2. Pingback: Story :: Espresso « a slice of imagination

    • Hi Bekie, I loved how your story led me in one direction then very cleverly twisted to a completely difference ending than I had expected. The only tiny quibble I have is when you have her saying ‘I’ve always hated 31st October.’ – maybe I hate the 31st October would have a made it even stronger – I know it’s only one word though and probably wouldn’t make any difference to anyone else and didn’t stop me liking your story.

      • Thank you 🙂

        I’ve been thinking a lot about what you said as to putting the last thing she says (well actually she doesn’t really say it as she’s dead by this point 😉 ) into the present tense. Interesting … not sure. Either way, I need to stop pondering over it at the moment as my Nano novel is, well, not happening very quickly at the moment.

  3. Pingback: WWIn: Halloween | beccaaudra

    • ‘Trees with green marrow’ love this expression and won’t be able to look at trees in the same way again. A gripping, sinister tale that I enjoyed reading, apart from the ‘mother’ bit at the end. Not sure why. Maybe because I guessed it. Maybe because the rest of the story was so descriptive that the one word felt a bit harsh and abrupt but that was probably your intention. But I still enjoyed your story.

      • Aw thanks for the feedback! I’ve really struggled with the ending, changing it four times. I’ve probably still not really got it, because a few ppl have mentioned they thought it was going to be her own face, and if that’s where it’s leading maybe that’d what I should be writing. Glad you liked the trees 😀

  4. Pingback: Dzinski – Diner « Craig Towsley

  5. As it is Halloween, here is my attempt.

    Grotto

    I felt secure on the eighth floor. I wouldn’t be bothered by children Trick or Treating but the scream did seem real and that was how I found myself on the next floor down, how I found myself calling my neighbour’s name.
    ‘Hello? Mrs Brownson? Hello?’
    Her door was ajar by inches; I pushed it further and stepped on to broken glass. I called again but hoped she wasn’t there, the hair on my neck told me something I couldn’t see.
    Thousands of coloured shards twinkled, shined and reflected as I crunched into her apartment. A myriad of bottle green, cobalt blue and brown merged and shone, prisms bounced and a kaleidoscope of colours blinded and I shielded my eyes. It was stunningly beautiful.
    The kitchen revealed apparatus for blown glass. Some hobby. I spotted a clear vessel, a vase in the making, now broken, it was embellished with a smudged blood red pattern and I didn’t want to see more. I knew what lay on the other side of the counter.

  6. Here’s my two attempts. The first one is a bit Halloweeny.

    Grim Reaper

    The Grim Reaper stalked the wind-blown street. She drew a long finger through the soot clinging to the walls of the houses. She looked up at the grey sky and smiled. Her next victim was close, she could feel it. She could sense happiness and knew it had to be wiped out, struck a fatal blow. Finally the Grim Reaper reached the house she had been looking for. She stood outside on the pavement looking through the front window at the children playing with a toy train set. The Grim Reaper smirked, they don’t you know what’s coming.

    Slowly, savouring the joy of anticipation, the Grim Reaper made her way up the garden path. She hesitated as her thin hand reached for the door, but it was only a momentary hesitation. Knock, knock. A woman answered the door, she was drying her hands on a dish cloth. Hello? She peered up and down the street, expecting to see children running away, laughing from their knock-a-door run. Instead the street was empty.

    Slipping in besides the woman the Grim Reaper made her way into the kitchen and sat down at the table. This will be a nice job, she though and smiled as she rubbed her cold hands together. The woman shut the door and returned to the washing up. The Grim Reaper ran a long finger down the woman’s spine and the she shuddered. The woman’s thoughts turned to money and she started to feel a growing sense of worry. That ought to do the trick, thought the Grim Reaper.

    Hibernation

    Leaves blew across the square as the couple sat drinking coffee. They were wrapped up to their ears in scarves and still the wind bit at them and they drew their coffee mugs closer for warmth. Over head the sky was white with unbroken clouds that seemed to weigh down on them, forcing all conversations to scurry away. Their minds were blank and sleepy. The coffee sat heavy in their stomachs and clung to their mouths, failing to have the desired effect. No amount of caffeine could seem to bring them back to life. It was the season of hibernation and the ever-lowering sun seemed to tug at their resolve.

    They drained their coffee mugs, paid the bill and walked home. Stumbling with tiredness they finally reached their house, threw off their coats and climbed in to bed. Sleep overtook them. All through the winter they slept. They slept through the snow storms. They slept through the scurrying of the mice that had grown brave and raided their larder. They slept on as the letters piled up on their hall mat and the telephone rang and rang. A musty fug filled the air of their bedroom and patches of moss started to grow on their blankets, but still they slept on.

    Only when the days had grown long enough and the sounds of joyful bird song had started to filter into their dreams did the couple finally stir. They stretched their creaking limbs and took tentative steps to the window. They pulled open the curtains and smiled in the glow of the evening sun.

    • You definitely caught me by surprise in the first one, I was expecting it to turn around and reveal that the Grim Reaper was just a girl in costume, but this was so much better. It was really unsettling, and I liked the subtlety of how she dealt with bringing on the woman’s death.

      The second piece has a lovely lethargic, romantic feel to it. Again though, it’s quite unsettling in the comparison of a natural state like hibernation, with humans falling into it unnaturally. There is some really lovely imagery in the second one, I liked the ever-lowering sun and the musty fug!

      • Thanks. That’s interesting that you initially read the Grim Reaper as being someone dressed up. I hadn’t thought of the second one as being unsettling, but actually thinking about it, it is quite unsettling. I was clearly channelling the Halloween vibes!

    • I enjoyed both your stories. In your first one I felt you had managed to convey menace and inpending doom so subtly in the way you used the woman’s spine. In the second one I expected them to be found dead after months or years instead they wake from hibernation to enjoy their lives. Are they ogres/werewolves/vampires?

  7. Pingback: The Walk Home | brassduke's Blog

  8. #wednesdaywritein

    This is my first attempt at the Wednesday write-in. Here goes:

    Paper World

    I suppose I had felt this for a long time. The thread of their cruel comments had tugged and tugged at me until I was dragged down. You see I had been trying to rise above them.

    Playground tactics are not left in the playground: they graduate to the workplace.

    Back then, Mum did not have the answers. It did not seem at all wise, to me, to point out to bullies that their name-calling was useless. It seemed that that might serve to antagonise them: sticks and stones will break my bones and maim and really hurt me.
    And anyway did she not know that names stung you until your eyes watered?

    But I didn’t have the answers, now.
    I wasn’t that odd, I didn’t think.
    I had heard one say I was creepy and she tried to avoid the papers I had touched. I overheard another say he could not bear to watch me eat. I chewed on even smaller bites after that and covered my mouth a lot. I kept myself to myself avoiding the poison at the water dispenser, the duplicity at the photocopier and the designated areas of smoke without fire.
    The pack was neither loyal nor kind to one another. In the time it took for a staple to fasten paper: weight was gained, hemlines lost respectable inches, accusations were launched and culprits were born. Voices kept soft failed to disguise their spite.

    I tried not to appear too sensitive, though. They thrived on that.
    I had imaginary phone friends who knew when I needed them most and they told wonderfully funny stories that made me smile and even laugh. I walked purposefully.
    I was self sufficient with packed lunch and caffeine in a flask, and I had deliciously disposable cutlery that kept me from the sink’s dirty washing.
    But I had drooped in my Tupperware armour. I needed escape.
    From my desk, I imagined my flight as I floated dreamily beyond their pettiness holding on to the thread of a kite fashioned from complicated paper clip connections and beautiful white sheets of wafting paper. Oh how I would dreamily cling to my flimsy arrangement.

    • Hi Elaine, welcome to the write-in!

      I really like this piece, it’s incredibly perceptive and so sad. I think most of us have been there before, it’s so easy to sympathise with your poor narrator. Sounds like she needs a new job to me!

      But I had drooped in my Tupperware armour. – my favourite line

      • Oh my goodness. For the first time since reading these stories, I had tears in my eyes at the end of this story. You really managed to convey her sadness and pain, it was too real to ignore. The line that really got me was this one ‘And anyway did she not know that names stung you until your eyes watered?’. What a great first contribution, I will look forward to your next one.

    • Ah…another story that made me feel something. I like this woman, I want to know more, how does she get out of her situation? She is a strong woman. A survivor! I find myself caring for this character (been there, done that etc.) Nicely written (Ooh I hear my literature teacher at school screaming at me for saying that, but I’m feeling brave 😉 Well done Krystal.

      • Thank you 🙂 I am thinking she might make a reappearance at some point, there is so much more I feel I could do with this character and I really enjoyed writing about a strong and perfectly flawed woman. I’m starting to get much more of a feel for the characters I want to write about now 🙂

    • I loved the character development. I felt my feelings change towards her as the story progressed. I also thought the stain on the skirt was brilliantly observed. The ending packed a lot of punch and brought so much of the story together as well as opening up new questions. Well done.

      • Thank you Elaine, that was exactly what I was going for, so I’m glad you picked up on that. Thank you for your lovely comments everyone, both here and on my blog. It makes me feel very lucky to be able to have such well considered comments from people I am coming to respect more and more each week

  9. Pingback: Featured writers weeks 9, 10 & 11 | CAKE.shortandsweet

  10. Pingback: Speaking the same language | Jacky Hillary

  11. So late. Caffeine.

    Hello, hey Joe, you wanna give it a go-oh-oh……”Oooh!” The sound of Lady Marmalade fades away as Jenny goes right over on her heel and lands, rear up, face down, by the stacked speakers. The sound guys groan loudly as they start setting up again.

    “Go on, Jenny!” Lillian yells, giving her a well aimed smack with her petite faux leather gloves. “Show’em how it’s done.” Jenny grins crookedly and gives a little wiggle as two girls help her back to her feet.

    The tape starts playing unexpectedly and sounds like it’s getting chewed, words being eaten and regurgitated, choking the life out of Patti Labelle until she finally falls quiet. Keith, the “production officer” is looking very concerned. The girls start to practice a few moves to stay warm. “Moka Choka Latta ya ya” intonates Annelise – an ardent fan of this number. The girls all spin around her, long flamingo legs dipping in and out of their imagined swamp full of money, money money.

    It’s only Vivian stalking back onto center stage and roughly pulling her bustier back into place that stops everybody dead. Even the rude lighting technician doesn’t pipe up. Nobody, nobody dares mention her smudged lipstick. The shadow of the club owner slips quietly, but not unnoticed, out the back entrance.

    “He says we need to do better tonight,” Vivian says and the girls shuffle back into place wordlessly, tape saved, lights and sound ready. Vivian needs the money most out of all of them, after all.

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