Wednesday Write-in #56

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Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

Does everyone remember which Write-in ‘toasted strumpets’ came from? Well, they’re back!

Prompts

swamp  ::  toasted  ::  strumpets  ::  carnival  ::  artificial

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 have time for (but we won’t shout at you if you don’t).
  • 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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37 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #56

    • Fab! I love that the sight of her turns his mood around. I love that they have bingo wings and varicose veins, but they look great. I feel better having read this story.

  1. The Crobble’s Dinner
    The knobbly crobble woke up hungry. He crawled out of the pit and wiped his muddy feet on the artificial turf which edged his lair.
    ‘I want crumpets!’ he roared, ‘lots and lots of toasted crumpets ooooozing with butter and purple syrup – NOW! And crispy cockroaches on the side.’
    But there were no crumpets. Cockroaches aplenty, but no crumpets. The anxious lizodees ran around frantically trying to find something to satisfy their master.
    ‘We’re sorry, Your Most High Hideousness, but we have no crumpets. Tea cakes, muffins – we are swamped with those. We could put lots of syrup on them, but please, please, don’t cut off our tails!’ they implored.
    ‘Crumpets-strumpets! As long as there’s no shortage of syrup and cockroaches you can keep your tails.’
    ‘Thank you, Oh master.’ The little lizodees scampered around madly, their tails getting tangled up with their feet and falling over each other, but eventually the delicacies were served.
    ‘Mmmmm!’ the crobble devoured the lot in one go then snapped his jaws together, a bit like smacking his lips if he could have done that. He rubbed his scaly belly in rapture and gave a contented burp.
    ‘Fabbally-jabbally, Now I am happy,’ he declared and clapped his fat hands together until all fourteen claws clicked together. ‘Entertain me.’
    Panic over, the lizodees got into carnival spirit and danced and twirled, swishing their tails to the music of the night crickets. The crobble was happy. They were safe until the next meal.

  2. Hi everyone. Struggled with this. This is as good as it’s getting today. Look forward to reading.

    The Good Old Days

    Swamp Woman was her bill.

    ‘Ladies and Gentleman, prepare yourselves for a most hideous sight, an abomination of nature. Hold tight to your young. I warn you, this is not for the faint hearted!’

    A slow hand clap caught on as the accumulated were struck by the primeval beat. The tent plunged into darkness before stage-side of it was lit again:
    A silhouetted creature that pulled on silhouetted chains sent up a cry from the night.

    Gripped. They watched as the wall lifted giving silhouette a form: a being that stood eight feet tall – a beast, that snarled at her captors and pitched ragged teeth against metal chains.

    And when panic attacked the crowd, eight died, trampled to the ground.

  3. Pingback: Wednesday Weekly Write-In | Tessa Sheppard

  4. Hi everyone,
    Here’s mine this week.
    Something new
    When she walked in the three young lads nudged each other, her blonde curls bounced as she walked up to the bar. The old man in the corner behind them was complaining to anyone that’d listen.
    “Carnival in town I see. Any excuse for the strumpets of the place to get their bits out on display. I remember when this part of town was posh.”
    I paid him no attention. He looked like somebody discarded and had it all backwards. This was never posh, not until recently had it become a desirable place to live. Before that it was a slum patch-worked with lost people. The carnival hadn’t exactly come to town either, the people of the town had brought the carnival here themselves. All of this exotic colour and intoxicating energy have always been here. We just hadn’t seen it.
    I watched the spectacle, mesmerised by the colours and proudly presented plumage. There was something about the rhythms of the drumbeat the way they vibrate through your whole body that seemed to shake my soul awake. I was seduced by the freedom it expressed and I felt a deep surge of life. It was a riot of energy. After months of being swamped by draining emotions, I felt alive again and hopeful of a future after Helena. I really wanted to capture this. This was the beginning of something new.
    I ducked into one of the locals for a pint and a nice warm toasted sandwich and wrote it all down in my notebook, the rainbow of colours, the excitement, the air tingling with the electricity of it all.
    When I sat back satisfied that I had poured all of the details onto the pages in front of me I noticed the young woman and how the men were watching her now. The clouds had come over to cover the sunshine on my page and now the air tingled with a different energy. The whole scene has an expectant charged feeling that sounded just like the whine of high-tension electricity lines. I could feel the ring of it in my ear.
    A colourful mask lay on the table in front of her. She was writing into a pink notebook and her outfit wasn’t really revealing but was very colourful and did suggest that she was taking part in the parade. Sucking the end of a pen, she seemed oblivious to the old man staring, with no attempt to conceal his interest. She was lost in thought, twirling a curl into itself, twisting it around her finger. Then she wrote down something; perhaps a personal recollection of a particular experience, a sensation. She too had a desire to find order amid chaos.
    Behind her, with watery eyes fixed, the old man hunched over and beckoned one of the younger fellas over. While whispering in his ear, he sneers. There is some money exchanged. They wink at each other and nod in her direction.
    I tried to alert her, warn her of the dangers lurking in her surroundings. Hoping to diffuse whatever situation was unfolding, I coughed in an obviously artificial way to get her attention. She looked up at me strangely. Her eyes met mine, and held fast. I was too mesmerised to react before she was back in the flow of her sentences spilling over the edges of pages.
    They looked like they were up to something so I wrote the pertinent details down in my notebook, just in case they make good characters for a story someday.
    With a glance at her watch, she packs her stuff away and empties her glass. I notice it’s nearly nine. She’s probably going to see the fireworks. I wonder if she’s meeting someone. I watch her leave and imagine her anticipation of exploding stars.
    Then I notice that the young fella followed her out.
    Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant.
    I had to go. It was clear she was in danger.
    There were no sign of them. The air was full of screaming as fireworks ignited overhead. As I raced up and down the street one scream seemed to call from the alleyway. The cries of distress came from behind a mound of builder’s rubble.
    He had her pinned to the ground and knelt over her leaning his weight on her. He had his back to me so was unaware of my presence. I had to do something. I grabbed a metal pipe from the rubble piled beside me. I had to act quickly and effectively. I was useless in a fight. I hit him with all the force of the fury and frustration of the past few months. As he fell to the ground in what seemed to be slow motion I felt vigorous, clear, all the distress gone.
    I pulled her up and she didn’t let go of my hand. Blood pounded in my ears. She was still unsteady on her feet. She looked to the crumpled form on the ground and backed away. The way he was slumped it was hard to tell if he was still alive.
    When he started to rev back to life with coughs that stopped him from catching his breath she clung onto my hand even tighter. With a swish of her undulating curls she took off running with me beside her. Elbowing our way through the crowds with fingers interlocked we ran and ran and never looked back.

    • I found this really interesting, mainly because I’m not sure whether I like your narrator or not. I got a chill when I read how he made note of the threatening behaviour of the other men, just in case he could use them in a story one day – for some reason, that made me pause and go ‘what just happened?’ I wonder why he (I’m presuming it’s a he!) didn’t make a better effort to warn the woman – was it fear? Or something else? Anyway, as this comment attests, I think you’ve done a great job in sustaining the flow of the story and bringing the reader through your narrative. I love stories that leave me thinking at the end, and trying to figure the characters out, and this is one of those. Well done.

      • Thanks for your comment. It’s really helpful. You reminded me why I put that in in 1st place. I always think of a longer story than I have time to write! My idea was that his character descriptions would help to identify her attackers later- but I ran out of time and didn’t get to write that bit! No wonder you were left wondering! I will finish it properly. I’m sure there’ll be lots more tweaking to be done! Thanks!

      • You know something – I sort of prefer it the way it is! I love the sense of ambiguity around him. I think the way you’ve written it is perfect. I wasn’t looking for extra information, or wondering what you’d ‘left out’; I thought – ‘Wow. Isn’t that interesting. I wonder why the character thinks that way?’ It made your story stick in my mind, and that’s something really wonderful, and a real skill. I wish you luck if you want to expand your story, but for what it’s worth, I think it stands perfectly as it is. 🙂

    • Seems he’s an observer and thinks she is too (‘a desire to find order amid chaos’) then by the end he’s a doer. Interesting characters, the nasty old man, the lads and even the narrator, but a good story well told and beautifully written as always.

    • The atmosphere of the carnival music and colours was wonderful, and I got a great feel of the crowd of people in the streets. Running away together, hand in hand, is a nice ending. Exciting story!

    • The description of the carnival is fantastic. The really sinister part of this for me is the money exchanging hands. Has the old guy set it up? You have created a chilling character and situation there. I couldn’t shake that idea off (in a good way).

  5. Sometimes descriptive writing can be over-wordy and slow, but not in your case. I avidly read the marvellous tapestry you weave with words. Sentences like ‘Before that it was a slum patch-worked with lost people. The carnival hadn’t exactly come to town either, the people of the town had brought the carnival here themselves.’ So clever!

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