Wednesday Write-in #14


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.

NaNoWriMo is blazing onwards – how is everyone getting on?

 

Prompts

dizzy  ::  spit  ::  replacement  ::  grey  ::  campfire

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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35 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #14

  1. #wednesdaywritein #14

    Death Squad

    “Jesus Christ man what are you doing” Eric Miller was apoplectic with anger.

    Without looking he threw his lukewarm coffee into the tiny campfire and made a beeline for Alan Slater. His gaze was locked onto the incompetent replacement. Blackness came over the scene as the tiny flames were extinguished and a thin line of creamy smoke began to drift upwards.
    Slater’s face turned from a chirpy red hue to a lifeless grey in a split second as he realized his gun shot had just given away the squads location. The enemy would now be on them in minutes.

    The blow to the temple was a rapid one and Slater stumbled to the left dizzy and confused. Miller was in no mood for asinine behavior. He twisted his cheeks from side to side and heaved a lump of spit into the rising smoke where the small campfire once burned.

    “Let’s go” he said.

    The small squad drifted away into the shadows. Slater his head still ringing from the sharp blow of Millers well placed fist picked up the pulsing rhythm of helicopter blades. His heart began to race and his legs felt pusillanimously weak.

    Minutes later all five of them were face down in the paddy field. A thin red line of blood snaked between the tender young shoots of new rice. Their bodies ripped to shreds by a hail of heavy machine gun fire.

    • I like the way you introduce this, you let us know that something dramatic is going on straight away, but hold back the cause – the gun shot – until the second paragraph, and I think the suspense works really well.

      After that opening, I think the ending almost destroys that tension. I can see why you want to tell us what happens, but I think the piece would be stronger if you just imply it perhaps, but still leave the reader not knowing whether they get away or not? Just a thought 🙂

    • Very good evocation of atmosphere and tension, some great imagery. However I think the end is a bit abrupt “Minutes later all five of them were face down in the paddy field” it feels like you are telling rather than showing. Maybe a transitionary paragraph would work well instead of this sentence. You could draw out that tension you’ve done such a great job of creating. I like the image of “red line of blood snaked between the tender young shoots of new rice” this does a good job of showing us what happened.

    • The images you paint in your words are great. I was a bit confused about the gunshot. I thought he had shot Slater when you tell us about it, but then later on you say Slater was punched. I agree with Sarah about the ending, prehaps you could drop it and instead tell us the moments leading up to it. Leaving us in suspense and questioning what happened.

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  3. Young Tom was almost dizzy with excitement. The Beavers were going camping at the weekend and he couldn’t wait. All his friends would be going. There would be midnight feasts, lots of hot-dogs and ghost stores round the campfire.
    Friday afternoon finally arrived. But the sky, which all week had been an amazing cerulean blue, turned an ominous grey and it began to spit with rain. The children and their rucksacks were herded onto the minibus while their anxious parents tried to catch their attention calling last-minute instructions about cleaning teeth and not getting into trouble. They were ready for the off. The excitement was tangible.
    But the driver was shaking his head. ‘Sorry, kids. Unless we get a replacement vehicle we’re not going anywhere. This battery is dead.’

    • Oh no! Poor Beavers. In a way, I have a similar issue with this to Thomas’s story above. You set up all this tension and excitement for what’s to come, then you crush it. This is fine but in this case we don’t see the consequences. Of course we can imagine how Tom feels, but I want to see the effect this has on him, and what happens next? I’d like a tiny hint of what they do – do they decide to just hike there anyway? Do they go and camp out in the scout hut? Just some thoughts 🙂

    • The sense of excitement is well written but I agree that this does feel like it ends in the middle of the story just as the conflict is introduced. I’m looking forward to finding out if they overcome the obstacle and how they do it! Maybe you could use next weeks prompts to inspire the resolution!

      • Thanks for commenting. I’m fairly new to this and it was just an exercise to get all the prompt words in; I never intended the story to go anywhere. Must try harder next time!

    • I liked how you used “replacement”. We all know that feeling when transport lets you down! I liked the jaunty start, too, it was really sweet.

  4. #wednesdaywritein #14

    Hi, I have tried something slightly different this week

    Taste
    She would put the cheesecake in the refrigerator and enjoy it when Page was in bed. Page’s low fat yogurt would have to do for now.
    They sat in front of the television. She watched Page’s spoon skim the top of the yogurt so that only a globule of chemical pink clung to its tip. Her daughter rationed every treat this way.
    “Is there enough there to work up a flavor, Page?” her mother asked more agitated than concerned.
    “I like it to last, Mom.”
    “Well, it’s gonna last until breakfast, at this rate. You need to finish soon so we can do your teeth.”
    Page returned to the delicate operation she was performing.
    Carrie’s spoon clawed at the bottom of her small pot, but at least this definitely was teaching her daughter self- discipline. That’s The Beauty of Beauty she smiled. That was the title of the book she was going to write. It would be partly autobiographical. She had been deeply unhappy until she had Page. She always felt like she had something to prove.
    Not now though: she admired Page’s golden skin and long limbs dangling over the couch – it tickled her pink to think of this itty-bitty part of herself existing.
    Page was only halfway through the yogurt now. Carrie thought of the cheesecake in the refrigerator.
    “Just getting a glass of water,” she lied.
    The open refrigerator door now concealed her, and she measured out a piece of cake. As she drew the soft topping into her mouth, Page’s voice interrupted, “Mom! Mom! We’re on TV!”
    Carrie spluttered and spat before bolting into the living room.
    Breathless, she coughed, “My… God! You’re right… Sweetie!”
    A film crew had been at one of the Pageants! It was a while back now. All the moms had queued to sign consent forms, but they had been disappointed that nothing had aired – until now. Carrie just knew they had shown a special interest in her and her daughter!
    “Oh look at you in your little coconut outfit!” Some of the other girls’ outfits were so bad taste Carrie thought to herself.
    “What does vi-car-ious-ly mean, Mom?” asked Page
    “I’m not sure, Honey. But don’t you look good enough to eat!”

    • I love the mother’s obliviousness to the meaning of the word vicariously when it so clearly is about her. You’ve done a great job of capturing someone in denial. You don’t need to do any editing here in my opinion. You did a great job of disguising the prompt, I am curious as to which you used. Alot of us have food in our pieces; there must be some sort of subliminal collective hunger inducing quality in the prompts!! Well done.

      • Thanks for your comment. It is good to hear you think this is in good shape before any editing. It can take me a while to get things right. I used ‘spit’ and the idea of replacement (but I used replacement in a more round about way that might only make sense to me! )

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  7. Elizabeth’s wish
    Mike and Sam lifted the wheelchair over stones that jostled and repositioned themselves beneath their feet. The girls negotiated their own balance over the rocks at each side. Stars glinted like shards of glass.
    Always an early riser, Elizabeth seemed fresher; there was a twinkle in her eye, a glisten of excitement. Elizabeth was so fragile that it made Sam dizzy just to look at her. Her intestines made dark slippery sounds. One last time before she died, she wanted to watch the sunrise from this beach.
    Mike tried to conjure a bulletproof objection.
    “She is so tired and weak. The cold can’t be good for her.”
    He was surviving on the shoestring hope that the cancer that was eating his wife away from the inside would miraculously disappear and leave him and his wife to live their lives together in peace. She had said enough prayers during her time here to earn a miracle.
    His resistance was futile. It was what Elizabeth wanted. He did it with care like he always did with Elizabeth, allowing her the dignity she was due.
    Mike set up a campfire to keep her warm. The girls had baked Elizabeth’s bread especially for the occasion, timing it perfectly so that when they unwrapped the tea towel from its crust it would be still warm. The doughy smell wafted around them protectively as Elizabeth sat in what seemed like sheer awe watching the blazing fire.
    The white noise of the sea swelled and faded in the background and into the foreground and back again. The Brennan family sat beneath the shelter of the cliff looking out to sea, comforted by the crackle of flames jumping into the air and fizzing noises as sap from the wood leaked out and sizzled away. The cliff rose more than a hundred feet in the air above them.
    They settled into a type of collusion, faces knotted against the smoke of the fire, hardly daring to breathe, they moved as quietly as dust does.
    Elizabeth looked up at the charcoal grey sky and smiled. Wrinkles tightened at the corners of her eyes. Her stomach groaned again. Light chewed at the space where waves met the sky. A delicate mist drifted in from the sea. Droplets hissed and spit as it met the flames. The haze washed over her face.
    Sam felt the hairs rise on the back of his neck as the wind continued to rise. He felt something he couldn’t see. It contradicted all of his scientific reason.
    As impoverished light grew richer spreading and stretching out, a laugh bubbled from Elizabeth’s throat in phlegmy splutters. Her teeth looked too small for her mouth, grinded down by a half-life of worry and stress. She breathed in heavy gulps until she cleared her throat with a low groan. The blaze still flickered, emitting a steady stream of smoke.
    Light invaded like honey seeping in and the previous mist became more of a drizzle. Elizabeth blinked her eyes rapidly and then closed them gently allowing the light to wash over her, savouring the moment, finally allowing herself to really taste it. The lids thin and veined are more unsettling closed than open. Flopped in absolute surrender, she bathed in the glow.
    The sky wrinkled as she took on the forces of the place. She was making peace with it. Bright rays came spilling through the moisture in the air and smeared florescent colour across the blank canvas of her skin.
    Sam was mesmerised at the arc of colour the dawn sun was splaying across the open sky for what seemed to be their benefit alone. Reluctant to attribute a heavenly cause, he searched his knowledge for a replacement explanation to find none. He knew that phenomena that appear random could in fact have an element of regularity that can be described as a pattern. Eventually all the pieces will fit together he told himself and he was right.
    This rainbow was a bridge between fact and faith, a pathway to guide Elizabeth to the other side.

    • Your description of the surroundings are vivid and you have used nature in your story cleverly. The description of his being “dizzy” when he looked at her worked on a number of levels, and the ” dark slippery sounds” of her intestines was graphic and effective.

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