Wednesday Write-in #50


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.

Prompts

recycled  ::  hindsight  ::  manic  ::  pair  ::  button up

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 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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Any questions? Otherwise, have fun writing!

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40 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #50

  1. Rubbish Holiday
    You could see quite a lot from the window of the apartment, if you counted next-door’s washing line and the weedy, rutted car park with overflowing bins behind the shops on the next street. With hindsight she should have checked more carefully about the outlook before renting the apartment ‘handy for the centre’ over the internet. Still, she was definitely living like a local, drinking Rioja, practising her Spanish at the market, and keeping out of the sun at siesta time. The apartment was right off the tourist trail, which was the whole idea. No Brits allowed.
    The idea of a siesta was great, except she couldn’t sleep. She tried to use the time to study her grammar, but usually ended up staring out of the window. The washing varied from day to day with an interesting range of undergarments, but the rubbish worried her. Accustomed to rigid recycling at home with colour-coded sorting and a diary of collection dates for a year ahead, the plastic bottles and old newspapers spilling out of carrier bags or just blowing lazily over the car park offended her eye. Going native was one thing, but she couldn’t go along with their relaxed attitude to litter.
    She sighed as she watched two empty cans rolling along in the hot breath of breeze that had sprung up. She really wanted to walk round with a few garbage bags and tidy the place up, but it was so hot and if anyone saw her they would think she was a mad foreigner. She went to get a Fanta from the fridge instead.
    The cans had stopped next to a pair of hairy whiter-than-white legs which emerged from socks and Jesus sandals. He was wearing baggy khaki shorts and a long sleeved white shirt buttoned up to the neck and tucked in. No tie, thank God. He had on a pair of gloves and held a bin bag in one hand. He had to be English! A fellow countryman who cared about the environment! She grabbed her keys and a couple of carrier bags and ran out of the flat.
    He was surprised when a tall, tanned girl with long brown hair in a pony-tail came running round the corner into the car park waving empty bags. She looked Spanish, but what would she be doing here, and what would she think he was doing – a strange man picking up rubbish in the heat of the day.
    ‘Hi, hola’ she said as she approached. ‘I’m so glad to see you. Are you English? I do hope you’re English!’
    And that’s the story they tell their kids when they ask how they met. She also tells them she takes credit for improving his dress sense.
    Now when they go to their apartment in Spain she slathers Factor 50 on his and their children’s pale skin. They both embrace the culture with lots of Rioja and lazy siestas which aren’t spent studying grammar. They tend to avoid overcrowded beaches full of foreign tourists, and the children love the game of who can collect most rubbish the fastest.

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  4. Hi. I tried for as many prompts as possible, something I don’t normally do. Look forward to reading.

    Recycled Bride
    In a suit made of plain material, I boarded the bus that took us to the council offices. I was a divorcee at twenty. My mother and father escorted me to the Registrar’s where Mr. Terence Larkin, the man who would make me honest again, was waiting.
    He was 10 years younger than my father and had never been married. He had come round for Sunday dinner on six occasions. The proposal was made in the kitchen-by my mother. My father and suitor were in the front room.
    The ceremony was brief. My father shook my groom’s hand and thanked him. My mother’s coat was buttoned up to her mouth.
    We took the bus to his house, and I set about dusting and cleaning. A cough and a nod indicated the wedding night had commenced.
    I lay in bed, for want of a better idea, waiting for him to come upstairs. The light was already off. His eyes not yet used to the dark, he shuffled his way to the bedside cabinet. He placed his glasses and watch down with precision and folded his pyjama trousers under his pillow.
    Filthy words and a few manic jerks consummated the pairing. I guess he didn’t think me that honest.
    I numbed myself to sleep that night, that week, that year.
    It’s terrible wishing someone dead. But cold-shoulder night, after cold-shoulder night, I dreamt of being alone on my own.
    Then it happened.
    I woke up next to a corpse. I guess his heart couldn’t take the filthy words I had learned from him.
    I buried him in his wedding suit and bought myself a new dress.

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  6. Happy 50th Wednesday write everyone!
    Howl
    We are held in captivity by the full moon. Human corpses now disposed husks within which another form has evolved. With our souls recycled, we claw our way from our graves totally transformed. All the mistakes we’ve made now visible in hindsight. The bitterness of regret glistens and drips in the form of saliva from the sharp tips of our fresh fangs gnashing and gnawing with hunger. Wildness crept back in.
    Our howls resonate along the line of the horizon, meaning resident in the gravity of sound settling on mossed stone, calling the troops. The moon is our general giving the orders. Our sounds hit the surface of things and cores into the essence, a language of longing every living creature understands.
    Darkness, now part of us, is pierced by approaching pairs of eyes, newly recruited, flashing, driven manic with predatory intentions and the frenzy of congregation. Eyes tell me all I need to know. We pack together and button up, closing the gaps between us, lined up in formation, ready to attack.
    Ears alert to a new dialect, we learn the acoustic contour of our hunger as that uncoils an abyss of yearning. The strange chemistry of survival is present in the taste of plasma particles in my mouth when I’ve made afresh kill; it carves out a hollow longing for that rich red dense colour. We hunt blood to avenge our deaths and always devour fresh.
    ***
    “Ah, there’s a good dog.” he brushed his hand over the dog’s head and down her back. She lifted her head to nuzzle against his reassuring hand.
    “Tis windy out there tonight.”
    The dog emitted a whine.
    “You’re worried too aren’t you my old pal? Carol should be here by now, where is she, at all eh?”

    • I love a story that makes me read and then re-read – that’s what this one did! I totally got the wrong meaning from it first time, and when I went over it again I realised how clever you’d been. Love the powerful language of the first part and the implied horror of the second! Well done. 🙂

    • “the frenzy of congregation”, “the acoustic contour of our hunger”, “The strange chemistry of survival” are all totally inspired strings of words. Very poetic, have now read it four times! Lovely.

    • I love the difference between the two parts. A surprise ending. I didn’t see that coming. Your descriptions in the first half are wonderful. Well done!

    • Whew. I was worried for a while. Still am. I shall avoid full moons and dogs from now on. Great writing dense with imagery. I too had to reread it. Great stuff.

      (Had commented earlier but in the wrong place.)

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