Wednesday Write-in #52


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

last man standing  ::  snack  ::  gold  ::  forgotten  ::  community

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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32 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #52

  1. Gold

    The group hacked their way through the jungle, sure they were nearing their goal. Reports of the lost tribe placed them in this area. But these men weren’t interested in discovering a forgotten community, they were in search of gold. The precious metal that men had lost their lives for, fought wars over, since time immemorial. Find the natives and find the gold.

    They pushed on, sweat pouring down their faces, almost too exhausted to engage In futile efforts to fight off the insects that swarmed around their faces, hungry for a bloody snack. They had lost one member of the party to a fever two weeks ago, but there was no turning back. It just meant one less to share in the riches to come. The promise of gold, the burnished ingots which would make them rich beyond belief, beckoned them on. There would be no turning back, they would continue to the last man standing.

    They had crossed the mighty river and the vegetation seemed to be thinning out, the end could be in sight. It was the end. Silent watchers surrounded the expedition and poison-tipped arrows rained down on their targets, felling the foreign robbers where the stood. Their dying eyes were dazzled by the jewellery that bedecked their captors. They had found the gold.
    #####
    Headline in Daily Chronicle, 14 August 1898 – Explorers missing in South American jungle feared dead.

    • Nice use of many of the prompts. I wasn’t sure whether last two lines “Their dying eyes were dazzled by the jewellery that bedecked their captors. They had found the gold.” bitterly humorous and unsympathetic towards the explorers, that’s how they came across to me. Looking back at our history can often reveal murky morals and can question whose side you are one, very nice.

    • Detailed descriptions really paint a vivd picture of the people and the jungle. The last few lines were a wonderful way to end it. Well done!

    • Very economical and succinct. I like the way the last two lines peg it down in time and space. Using words like ‘bedecked’ also adds a 19th century feel to the piece. Very clever!

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  4. Hi everyone bit of a rushed last minute job. Hope it makes sense!

    “Are ya listenin’ to me old man?”
    Like most of his teeth his hearing was almost gone. He was a man who didn’t say much.
    “You owe me.” He whispered fumbling with the top gold buttons of his uniform.
    Shiny eyes glanced around the stone shadows of a forgotten community.
    “As usual I’m the last man standing.”
    As the hues of twilight deepened a stillness settled on the place.
    “I brought us a little snack for the journey.”
    “What a man has to go through to survive around here.” The old man in the uniform muttered as he removed from foil bones dripping with fat juicy freshly cooked chicken. He made himself comfortable despite the inappropriateness and proceeded to eat them all, like a child, licking and slurping and sucking each bone down to the marrow.
    Having savoured the last of it, he seemed prepared.
    “A favour?”
    “Sure,” the wind seemed to whisper through the cherry blossom trees that framed the picture.
    “Come and collect me.”
    The old man in uniform then hunched himself up and lay down in a foetal position on the grave of his old comrade. With a shudder, the cherry blossoms shook out a flurry of snow-white petals to float and descend like silent notes of music from the air. He was blanketed in a dusting of cherry blossom petals and didn’t resist. Laying still waiting the be covered over and merge in, become part of the clay of the place.
    I couldn’t leave him there.

  5. Oooh! What a lovely passionate piece! Scary and shivery, and full of atmosphere.
    The reference to cherry blossom puts me in mind of the end of the battle in ‘The last Samurai’ where the blossoms blow as the two ‘last men standing’ hold each other, dying. With that in my subconscious it really resonated with me.

  6. Morning 🙂 This is my first try here, so I’m a bit excited.

    The Town of Jack o’lantern
    My driving teacher has always told me to check the petrol level before driving off. But I was in a rush to a conference and my best friend was wailing on the phone because her boyfriend was behaving like an asshole and she just talked and talked until I was desperately late. I was driving along the coast line towards the setting sun, listening to some country songs from the radio, and my right hand was frantically looking for some snacks in my bag because I was in such a hurry that I didn’t even have time for dinner. Nah, that is trouble. But there was a bigger trouble coming up; apparently, as I was busy scavenging for food, I drove past a road sign which would have showed me my yellow brick road. Next time when I looked up I was off from the highway driving on a road of dubious quality and was surrounded by a grassy wasteland which glowed like molten gold in the light of the dying sun. I might have pondered at the beauty of the scene but at that moment my car started behaving oddly. As I glanced on the control panel, I immediately realised my mistake; it was not only me leaving home without dinner. I had no choice but to drive on and hope for a miracle. A few minutes later I began to see the silhouettes of a town in front of me. I thanked God that he was so quick in answering my prayer because usually he ignores me or sends the exact opposite of what I was asking for. My happiness started to evaporate as I was drawing nearer to the town. The air became chillier so I closed my windows and locked. There was a clock tower looming over the buildings, like an index finger warning of some lurking danger. The houses were scrutinising me with their faded beauty and it reminded me of the compulsory visits to my grandmother every Sunday. The old lady always looked at me as though she could see right inside me and find my deepest secrets. This town felt like a forgotten dream and now I was driving through it, disturbing the peaceful slumber. My car decided to drew its last breath on a starling square, and as I got out I could feel eyes watching me from the surrounding windows. There was no chance of quietly sneaking away because a door opened and a dark figure stepped out.
    “Welcome to the Town of Jack o’ Lantern.”
    My blood froze and I knew it was not going to be an adventure I would easily forget.

    • How fun was this? I loved it, particularly your description of the houses reminding the narrator of the way her grandmother looks at her, knowing and inscrutable at the same time. Some really great images here, and clever use of the prompts.

    • Great work! I love your original handling of phrases, like ‘it was not only me leaving home without dinner’ when talking about forgetting to fill the car.
      How about breaking it into some paragraphs? The content is great, but looks a bit indigestible as one big slab of text.

    • I like the descriptions of the setting being related to the character’s past. The clock tower as a dark finger of doom was a nice touch! 🙂

    • I thought it worked really well as a single paragraph. (I assume that was your intention and not a WordPress foul-up). And some great phrases as others have pointed out. Not sure what a starling square is??

      • Thank you so much for your comment. 🙂 I am afraid “starling” is an unfortunate typo for “starlit” ( I was typing in a hurry because I started the challenge 50 minutes before the deadline..) although starling has a nice ring to it 🙂

  7. I love your description of the graveyard with the ‘stone shadows of a forgotten community’ and the cherry blossoms ‘like silent notes of music’. I’m glad he enjoyed his chicken, teeth or no teeth!

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