Wednesday Write-in #38

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.


sandwich  ::  country house  ::  atheist  ::  slate  ::  second hand


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 if you like, and comment with a link so we can read it.
  • Please take the time to read and comment on as many other stories as you can.
  • If you want to write a poem, a script, or something completely different, feel free.

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30 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #38

  1. Not much time today so gone for the short short approach. Look forward to reading.

    I wish I had taken my jacket off before being sandwiched between Great Aunt Petunia and Plump Aunt Muriel. I feel my summer dress dampen and crumple as I watch my cousin marry a man her mother slates. She smiles at her second hand groom. Happily enough.
    Feeling queasy now, I allow my weight to rest against the two large ladies. They don’t notice.
    At the country house reception, I am far more chipper and wonder if I am just allergic to church.

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    • That’s a sad story, but very important because it speaks to a rarely-discussed truth about our society. Amidst plenty, there are always those in need. Thanks for writing this and sharing it – I thought it was great, and very honest. Well done.

    • ‘Smudgy spot on the horizon’ is a fantastic image that says it all. The grey throughout is sad and effective. Sad and moving.

    • A great reminder to take notice of those that fade into the lanscape. I loved the image of “heaviness seemed to be pressing me down into the earth”. You captured the mood very effectvely, well done.

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    • Well, having read your piece I’m thoroughly depressed. 😀 It’s very well written and has a great, punchy energy to it, though. I enjoyed it. The only thing I’d say is I found it hard to work out how you used the prompts – perhaps I’m just dim. 🙂

      • “Second hand” ideas and “being sat at a desk looking out across the countryside” were taken from the prompts – the second hand ideas being the bit that set it all off. I tend to use ’em to get something going; I don’t think it’d matter to me too much if I ended up using none of them; it’s a prompt, not a mandatory inclusion 😀

      • Cool! I know it’s not a mandatory inclusion, and normally I find your use of the prompts pretty easy to follow, but just not this week. Thanks for the clarification. 🙂

    • There’s a real authentic feel to this and I am sure alot of writers will identify with this.The pacing wrks really well, it’s snappy and is carried along by the poor tormented writer nicely. Well done, well written.

  4. Here’s my one for this week.
    The terrain got bumpier once we turned onto the lane. I adjusted my seat belt and held onto my little bundle, rubbing in a circular motion of reassurance.
    “Obviously we’ll get this resurfaced. I’ll go slowly.”
    I could see him cringing as the thorns of scraggy bushes clawed and screeched along his car door like fingernails down a blackboard.
    “You might need to trim those hedges too.”
    I felt the stodgy sandwich we’d bought in the garage along the way expand like a sponge inside me, clogging my guts. Battery acid heartburn clawed at the back of my neck. I rummaged in my handbag for a chalky tablet to fix it.
    We were a couple typical of our generation, sucked into the vacuum of a recession caused by others. Happy couple get married and buy house at the height of the boom. He gets made redundant but decides to use redundancy package to set up the company he’d always dreamed of. Then she loses her job and the product he is trying to sell is no longer relevant in this collapsed world. The possibility of losing their home becomes a grim reality.
    But it’s ok I have a plan he told me. I’m going to do something else with the money. It was going to be a surprise he’d said. I’d heard second hand what those plans were. His sister let it slip, presuming I knew all about it. He was keeping himself busy and didn’t want to stress me with the details so I just left him at it. I didn’t imagine anything like this.
    On the journey he described how he envisioned it. A huge fireplace blazing, lots of children, the music of their laughter echoing about the open spaces, room for a piano and all the pets we would want. He was really getting carried away. After the last year’s rollercoaster of ups and downs I was hesitant to step back on and wanted to keep my feet firmly on the ground.
    It was the slate roof I saw first peeping over a verdant clump of trees. I thought of the teeth of a bareknuckle boxer after a brawl. There were as many slates missing as there were intact. He had it all figured out, down to the last penny of the redundancy money. The owners sold it for the cost of the plot rather than allow the place fall into further dereliction. The rest of the money would pay for the renovation. He had hired structural engineers and architects and drawings were made as well as calculations and estimations. He already had the builders on board. Some honest hard working men, glad of the work that would allow them to stay and raise their children in the country they were raised in. The contracts were already drawn up.
    As we pulled around the elbow bend where the overgrown shrubbery stood guard, the house was revealed to me, panes of cracked glass, walls veiled by ivy. It was a far cry from the idyllic country house I had in my mind when he described it.
    We got out of the car. Vertiginous expanses of fields surrounded us. Tiny insects buzzed around our heads. I could feel him scrutinizing my reaction. I felt hot with panic I couldn’t let him think I was disappointed but I wasn’t exactly over the moon. I had to be honest about my reservations without hurting his feelings. Humour was the only way out.
    “I thought you were an atheist?” I said to him turning towards the house.
    “I am?” He stood back and folded his arms puzzled looking. “Why?”
    “Well you must believe in miracles to have bought this place.”
    He raised an eyebrow at me, as if to say don’t be stupid of course I do. Then he smiled eyes wide with enthusiasm.
    With a dart I was suddenly kicked or elbowed in the ribs and after some more wriggling the life inside me settle in to a more comfortable position. I was reminded that my child was made of the same genes as my unrelentingly optimistic husband. Another heart beat pounding away inside my body with grit and determination but above all, an instinct for survival.
    With my perspective adjusted I re-examined the potential of what stood before us. I rubbed the newly positioned shape inside me, sufficiently assured of the existence of miracles.

    • Wonderful! I really enjoyed this. It flowed wonderfully, and the characters were fully rounded and believable. I loved your use of the prompts – particularly ‘atheist’ – and I thought the ending was tied in really well with the story as a whole. Great stuff. Well done!

    • Really well done. I love the ending and how you describe that feeling of pregnancy. The descriptions of the house are very well written too.

    • Thanks Patrick. Delighted it provoked a reaction. Decided to avoid my normal long and dark this week and went for the short and sweet instead! Glad you enjoyed, thanks for the feedback.

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