Wednesday Write-in #18

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.



the worst party  ::  cucumber  ::  listen  ::  grumpy  ::  waterfall


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.


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!


Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

42 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #18

  1. Pingback: Wednesday Write-in #18: A Perch for Pruning (~450 words) | Pen Tight | Edit Straight

  2. #wednesdaywritein

    The Voice
    “Knock, knock,” Mrs. Kerr, he said tapping the bed frame with his index finger.
    “I hope you don’t mind this interruption. They asked me to call in on you. I am here for your family. They hoped it might help you. I sent them to the cafeteria – your daughter Olivia and your husband. I think they need a little respite. They are keeping a vigil, you know. Very attentive.”
    His voice claimed authority over the room with its measured rise and fall that was both soothing and solemn. He was practised.
    He surveyed the hospital room. A small white radio sat on the window ledge, its antenna fully extended in its effort to lessen the silences. The Christmas Song tried hard to spread its merriment.
    “Olivia thinks you might hear the music. She doesn’t want you to feel alone. Isn’t it curious how our sense of hearing is so persistent? Ironic, really, since humans are such poor listeners; of course, I listen for a living. People want to talk, unburden. I have few opportunities to do that myself. I do hope you can hear. Olivia wills you to hear her. She thinks it is a good sign.”

    Bleep! Bleep! Bleep! The monitor warned.

    The nurse opened the door and smiled, “The probe must be out of position…..There,” she said attaching it to her patient’s finger. “Sorry about that, Father Jim.” The door closed leaving them alone once again.
    He walked over to the radio and switched it off. “I will not pretend, Cathy. I can call you Cathy? You will know you are near the end. People do. Olivia is a young woman and still hopeful that you will mend. I deal with death. I know it better than any living person. I will pray with you in your final hours. I do hope you can hear.”

    His dark clothes made him a shadow in the hospital whiteness. He stood at the foot of the bed like the hollow of a paper chain man: arms extended out to the side, palms facing outwards. Closing his eyes, his low chant filled the room for a few moments.
    And with “Amen” he resumed his flesh and blood posture. He moved towards her still talking.

    “Yes, this is a lonely job, Cathy. It’s not the celibacy. That’s manageable. I hope you are not shocked, Cathy – I am a man like any other. It’s just that there are so few opportunities for a priest to really talk. I sometimes, when the circumstances are right, tell my secrets. Do you want to hear one?”
    He took up the seat at her bedside. He moved in close. His lips brushed her ear,
    “I am going to kill Olivia.”
    He paused, sat up and scanned her body greedily for response. She was still.
    He leaned in again intent on polluting whatever was left of her senses. A rasping whisper replaced the singsong of his speech. “It will be quick. That is my way.” He sat up straight once more and rummaged through the gifts that had accumulated on top of the cabinet.
    He took a mint from a packet and began to unwrap it.
    “This is my secret. One of them,” the rhythm of his words rose once more. “I choose carefully and I am patient. The police don’t think to make a link. The Oratory provides good shelter. So there it is… No one can stop it, Cathy,” he placed the mint in his mouth methodically. He popped another in his pocket as he stood and moved to the window.

    He flicked the white switch, “And now we have Sinatra himself with his classic ‘That’s Life ’,” said the radio.

    “I’ll be on my way. I’ve disturbed you enough,” he said closing the door.

    • Creepy! Does he have a reason for picking his victims? Are they all relatives of dying patients?
      Just need the end quote after the Mrs Kerr instead of the knock.

      • Oops, “Knock,knock, Mrs. Kerr.” Thanks.
        Yes, the victims are all relatives of dying patients. He is a villain that’s been kicking about in my head for a wee while. Glad you thought he was creepy!

    • Once I found out the priest was a serial killer, I was really hoping for justice at the end of the story: someone overhearing him, Cathy coming alive and stabbing him with a knitting needle. But that hasn’t stopped me from liking your story, and you do end it well; I can live without knowing what happens. One thing I would like to know in the story is how he chooses his victims, maybe he can tell Cathy that too.

      Great story, well done.

      • I think you would make a good job of a story in which a patient stabs a priest with a knitting needle! I would definitely read your version. Thanks for the feedback. Glad you liked it.

    • This is a really well constructed narrative. It has pace and just enough tension to maintain the underlying threat without overdoing it. Very well judged and left me asking for more. Will we see Fr Jim again ? I hope so.

    • Gripping story. Liked the sentence about the Christmas song. And about listening for a living – that damned him for me.
      I would have said “I’ve sent them to the cafeteria” rather than “I sent” as I assume they are still there. (I’m a pedant having been an esol tutor.)

      • Glad you found it gripping. I think Father Jim’s grammar would be impeccable-noted. Thanks for comments.

  3. Pingback: Story :: Stirred « a slice of imagination

  4. Here is mine this week. Went for a poem, been too busy to commit to a story. I look forward to reading everyone elses.


    I met him at the worst party I had the pleasure to attend
    Stinking of booze, looking after my best friend.

    With a drunken slur, he said his name was Chas
    His breath offensive and gaze lingering south of my face.

    I told him to bugger off, as only a lady can do;
    Just as my friend bent over and covered the carpet with spew.

    If someone was ever in search for a reason to leave
    The stench of my friends cucumber cocktail was the key

    I said good riddance to Chas, pushing him aside
    My distaste for him was certainly bona fide.

    At me he made a reference to a female dog;
    Before spinning on his heel to find more grog.

    As insults go, it wasn’t the worst I had heard.
    Mainly because it lacked an intelligible word.

    I rubbed my friends back, asking if she was alright.
    Watching Chas in the kitchen set his fart alight.

    Ten years on, he is now my husband, so what can I say?
    It turns out, minus the alcohol he’s actually okay.

  5. I thought I’d posted something last night but can’t see it – must have put it in the wrong place.
    Have a good Christmas everyone.

      • Yes, it’s here but who knows where I put it before!

        Caroline wished she hadn’t agreed to go to the party with Mike and Sue. She couldn’t even remember what the occasion was, only that it was at their tennis club and involved food and music.
        It had seemed a good idea at the time. There had been two other couples at the dinner party, closer friends than Sue and Mike, when they had made the arrangements, but now they couldn’t make it. Caroline hoped she wouldn’t feel like a spare part. Now she had to think of something to wear, was it formal or casual, she’d have to find out. Then the hair and the shoes, and of course she’d have to make sure she had cash for the evening. She had to pay Sue for the ticket and she’d have to buy some drinks. At least she wouldn’t have to drive.
        Cold rain was pouring down outside like a waterfall. She wished she’d said no, then she could have stayed home warm and cosy on the sofa watching TV with a big cup of hot chocolate. Like most nights. Well, it was too late to cancel. She’d go and make the best of it.
        It was all so different now, not being half of a couple. Learning how to do things solo. You felt you had to accept invitations when people were kind enough to include you. But it’s often loneliest in a crowd.
        She was ready. It was actually quite nice getting dressed up for a change and Caroline felt a little thrill of excitement as she waited for her lift.
        In the car the feeling evaporated as she listened to Sue criticise Mike’s driving. However did she let the man drive a taxi, for God’s sake? But to be honest Mike was such a grumpy old sod Caroline didn’t know how anyone could live with him fullstop. Again she wished she had stayed home.
        The club house was freezing. It was really nothing but a big wooden shed with no insulation in the walls or ceiling. There were radiators which felt very hot to the touch but they failed to throw out any heat. Caroline felt this had to be the worst party ever and thought longingly of her hot chocolate.
        But two other couples she knew slightly were approaching to share the table. Things were looking up. A kitty was arranged, thank goodness she had brought enough cash, and drinks were ordered. The red wine had no chance of achieving anything approaching the correct temperature. The bottle was placed next to the radiator until they could wait no longer to pour.
        The DJ was playing really boring music and Caroline wondered whether the food would live down to expectation, when it was eventually served. She was getting hungry.
        Another bottle half-finished then it was announced that the buffet was ready. The evening perked up. There was a delicious spread of cold and hot food and thankfully not a cucumber sandwich in sight. They all tucked in and began to feel a bit warmer.
        Once the food was over the DJ seemed to get the message and all of a sudden he was playing great music and people began to dance. Caroline got on the floor with the others and it didn’t matter that she wasn’t with a partner, she was enjoying herself.

    • Great depiction of how the character see’s life as a singleton. I’d like to know more background information about Caroline, e.g. Her issues, why she’s single, why she hates hanging with couples etc. Maybe she’ll find love at this party 🙂

      There’s the odd punctuation issues, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying your story.

      When I read this, the scene from Bridget Jone’s Diary where she has dinner with all her married friends comes to mind 🙂

    • Your character has a real range of emotions and reactions that I find realistic. I also like that she agrees to invitations because people are kind enough to invite her, that was a very perceptive line.

  6. I need to cut down on New Years resolutions for 2013 (can’t do them all!!!) but one is to join in here more frequently! Merry Christmas to you all xx

  7. Pingback: Chas « Rebecca Dudley – Collected Stories

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