Wednesday Write-in #63

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Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in!

Welcome to the Wednesday Write-in. This event runs every week to help any and all writers take control of their productivity and imaginations. Please join in; we’d love to read your work.

Prompts

hideout  ::  transitory  ::  share  ::  full bodied  ::  problem

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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59 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #63

  1. The Journey
    Sitting comfortably in the first class carriage James was reading the financial pages closely, checking share prices and mentally calculating the overnight profit on his latest deal. He was a big man, tall and well built, but prone to putting on weight around the middle. His wife would nag him gently but he’d laugh it off. ‘I’m full bodied,’ he’d say, ‘like a good red wine’. Right now he was drinking coffee with just a couple of those irresistible little biscuits.
    The train gave a jolt and a little hot liquid splashed onto his knee. James cursed roundly but silently. He hoped it would dry out before he got to the bank.
    Back in the supposedly quiet second class carriage Tess huddled in her seat oblivious to the voices of her fellow-passengers holding loud conversations on their mobile phones. She was hungry and thirsty, but after buying the ticket she hadn’t enough in her purse for a drink let alone a meal. She closed her eyes and thought miserably about how she might survive if the bank was uncooperative.
    There was a sudden shudder then a screech of brakes. Sparks flew from the rails and the carriage lights flickered on and off as the train fought to stop. Time froze for an endless second, then there were gasps and nervous laughter from passengers as they realised they hadn’t crashed, they were still alive. Then horror as the news filtered through that they were sorting out ‘the problem’, that there had been a body on the line. Probably just another victim of the recession making his last commute.
    James sat cold and shaking with his briefcase in front of him, but he couldn’t focus on the report of proposed cutbacks and redundancies. He couldn’t stop thinking about the poor bastard in splatters on the line. Did he have a wife and children? Did he like a nice bottle of wine, or beer, or anything? Life was fleeting. He put away his papers and vowed to try his utmost not to cause of this kind of misery.
    Tess got off the train at her stop, hollow-eyed but determined. It was the last throw of the dice. If she couldn’t get the money at least she’d got an idea of another possibility.

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

  3. First Love
    He fell in love with her over and over again: for moments at a time. A dozen gazes professed his new found love now…and now…and now…
    But it was the blanks in-between that broke her heart. Nothing grew there.
    She couldn’t share this love; she remembered too well the love they shared: many faceted, full-bodied.
    Instead.
    She Cared.

  4. Hi all, I kinds of stumbled in here and thought this was really a great idea. This is my first time submitting, so thanks for reading and commenting if you’re so inclined..

    When the Body Leads the Mind

    It’s no big deal. You’ve done this hundreds of times before, I tell myself.

    It’s true. I’d done it so many times before, in fact, that I do think I can literally do it blindfolded. Tonight, though, is different. Tonight, there is a three inch scar along the side of my knee – silently haunting me.

    It’s amazing that something so small – three inches – fills my mind with doubt. If I’m honest with myself, though, it really isn’t doubt at all. It’s fear. Fear of having everything that’s ever mattered torn away. Fear of being less than I once was. Fear of being exposed as nothing more than a washed up, one-dimensional afterthought.

    “You ready big boy?” It’s Granger’s unmistakable rasp.

    “Never effin’ better!” I said, keeping my attention firmly on my shoe laces lest my eyes give my secret away.

    I’m amazed at how easy the lie springs from my lips. Never effin’ better. From my lips to God’s ears I hope.

    It’s what I repeat over and over during team prayer. Never effin’ better.

    It’s what the doctors say, too. They say I’m as healthy now as I’ve ever been. The repair job was so successful, they say, that it means I’m no more likely to be injured than someone who hasn’t undergone the surgery and months of rehab I’ve endured.

    My finger subtly traces the three inch reminder of why I’m not nearly as confident as the medical staff.

    I stare at the floor of my locker where one of the last two pieces of equipment left remains waiting in the corner. I know it fits like a glove because it is custom made just for me. I pick it up and look it over. It’s cool to the touch. The black metal bracing shines bright under the locker room lights. I start to put it on and hesitate ever so slightly. I hope no one notices that my hands are trembling. I quickly resolve that if anyone who comments about it that I’ll just say it’s because I’m that excited to be back. Nobody says anything. I wrap the brace around my leg and cinch every fastener as tight as I can bear. It feels foreign, everything else I’d put on was no more than a second skin. This is a hindrance. Although it weighs next to nothing, I’m afraid it might as well be an anchor.

    The music cuts off abruptly and Mc David storms in.

    He doesn’t say a word. His eyes move over every one of us like they are filters that can determine a man’s heart and guts. He finally gets to me and he stops. Up and down he looks. I’m certain he knows. I’m certain the whole room knows now. It’s almost unbearable and I feel like I’m about to scream out when he levels his gaze and his strong southern drawl breaks the silence.

    “Bellanger, take us out.”

    I nod, strap on my helmet, and make my way to the big, gray, metal door. I reach it close my eyes and take a deep breath. I push it open with as much force as I can. I see the shadows of the field lights and hear the muted rumbling of the crowd.

    As I pass through the door, I scream from the top of my lungs, “Never effin’ better!”

    • I really liked this, particularly because I had no idea where it was going until the very last second! I wondered if the character was in space, or about to go into a war zone, or jump out of a plane… (I’m not a sports fan, in my defence!) Really clever, and you write brilliantly. Well done.

      • I was trying, in a small way, to illustrate that it is the reaction to our inner-conflicts that truly tie us together. It makes me happy, then, that the fact that the character was an athlete wasn’t central to your reaction. It was an exercise in trying to create a connection to the character’s emotional state, for better or worse. Thanks so much for your kind feedback.

    • Great situation. Like SJ, I thought he was going to war, at first. I am not sporty either! I think you have created a very real set of thoughts and feelings that are very engaging. Well done.

      • Thanks, Elaine. I’m generally only interested in act to the extent it reveals something about the actor. My goal was to create an act that, in a variety of situations, would illicit a common reaction in the actor. The fact that you didn’t need to immediately associate this to sport gives me some faith that it worked on some level.

      • It certainly did work. I think you paced it very well. I also think the inner conflict was beautifully handled.

    • This was very effective. Very well evoked inner conflict, building of tension and enough ambiguity about the context so universally people will relate to his emotions. I also like the structure especially how you ended it- it feels like he believes it and therefore we end on an uplifting note of hope! Well done and Welcome to Wed write in!

  5. HI Everyone,
    Here’s mine:
    Jake’s Kite
    When I get angry or frustrated I cry. My husband saw my eyes fill up.
    “Will you take a break? Everything’s fine.”
    “What about Jake?” It didn’t feel right to just abandon everything now.
    “Leave him to me. Where is he?”
    “He’s supposed to be in time-out but he’s gone from the step.”
    We had put so much effort into preparing for Jake’s fourth birthday party that I wanted to make sure that everyone was having a good time.
    I had been worried about what Jake would be like with all of his friends here. He has his own personality now which is great fun when he’s on his own. The only problem is he doesn’t like to share and can get overprotective of his toys.
    We were conscious of his possessive streak so we had practised sharing and taking turns with his cousins, rewarding him when he played nicely, ignoring bad behaviour, all the stuff Super Nanny says. It sort of worked, at least while we were watching, his co-operation could just have been a performance for our benefit, just to get us off his back.
    Today the house is filled with a whole army of comrades for him to play with. Jake is being a little brat.
    “You take a break. I’ll have a chat with Jake.”
    “Take a break? How? There are children everywhere.” The tears started to drip over the edge and leak down my face.
    “Take this and go down and get into Jake’s hideout at the end of the garden.” He handed me a glass of red wine and almost shoved me out the back door.
    I felt a bit silly climbing up the ladder but I was soon seduced by the silence.
    I was only after getting comfortable when my sister Molly arrived out to join me in my new retreat. All the tears were gone by then. She had a bottle in one hand and a glass in the other. She handed them up to me and kicked her shoes off, one of which somersaulted through the air and landed in the blackberry bush. She climbed up and crawled in beside me.
    “You ok? Mark sent me out to you.”
    “Yea. Just a bit stressed is all.”
    “Jake is it?”
    “He’s spent most of the party in time-out which by the way is impossible to do when there are children coming and going from every room in the house.”
    “Oh he’ll grow out of it.” She filled her glass and topped mine up.
    “He freaks out if any of the children touch his toys, especially the new ones. He’s just running around pulling toys off the other children and screaming. I’m spending all day running after him apologising for him and giving out to him but he just won’t stop. The last thing I want is for all the other parents to leave and think what a spoilt brat. Nobody will want to play with him.”
    “They all go through funny little stages like that. It’ll pass.”
    “I know. I know, a transitory phase, it’ll be over before you know it blah blah blah. I just find it so frustrating.”
    “I know what that’s like. Nothing a nice full-bodied glass of wine won’t fix.”
    “It gets the better of me and I want to just scream at him.”
    “All parents feel like that sometimes. It’s normal.”
    “Thanks. I have to say I do feel a bit better.”
    “See I told you.
    “A lot calmer.”
    We stayed in the hideout until we finished the bottle. We had a good old giggle, reminiscing about things that we got up to as children that our parents never found out about. We were still laughing as we hauled our way out of the den. I could feel the world sway a little as I drained the last dribble from the glass while I waited for Molly to find her shoe in the brambles.
    Then she screamed.
    That’s when I saw the sole of the little shoe. Molly froze.
    I pulled back some branches to expose fragile blonde curls tangled with some string. As I lifted more twigs I could see that string was wrapped in a purple ring around a neck. Then I discovered the small blue lips and the contorted features of Jenny Delaney, the little girl who dared to play with Jake’s new kite.

    • Wow, what a shock ending! I was thinking as I was reading – what a great way to spend a child’s party, hiding away with a bottle, then the surprise. Jake isn’t just a brat, he’s a mini sociopath!

    • Wow! Like how you reveal the body. What an ending. I really liked the thoughts and feelings of the mother,too. Good characterisation.

  6. Pingback: Make a decision and own it! | go ask alisa

    • Lots of very strong feelings come through very powerfully. I like the magic pill idea stuck between past and future, nightmare and fairytales. Very good image. (Is a ‘do-over’ maybe a make-over’? )It sounds to me, and I may be wrong, this person tried to reach out, and was told to but when he/she did people around him/her retreated. That’s very sad. A lot to think about.

      • Thank you for your feedback, and I think it is mostly true that when we face something that breaks us, pushes us to the ground we are told that everything will be fine and that we are not the first ones to experience something like that. But it is not what we need. We simply need support, real and honest understanding.
        I am glad that you enjoyed and understood my idea.

    • Very emotional, and clever of you to get the prompts in such a piece. It’s hard for the person suffering, but also hard for outsiders to know how to help.

      • Or maybe sometimes the best help is not to help? 🙂 Sometimes they say that the best cure is to leave it alone. Thank you for your feedback, appreciate it!

  7. A bit late…but it is better than never :3

    My city

    My city lay before me – a sleeping giant, seeming so still it might be dead. The air was filled with the strange electricity typical to the small hours of the night and in the disappearing darkness I had the feeling that anything could happen.
    The skyscrapers were lazily scratching the bellies of clouds,winking with the flicker of an occasional window – a late working employee, no doubt. The ground below was unusually peaceful – the metro cars were resting, gathering strength for the toil of the morning. I bought a coke from a vending machine and the sour taste of fizz rolled down my throat. It was the nectar of gods on damp mornings like this and I left my remaining change in the paper cup of the tramp who was sleeping under a blanket of cardboard in the side of the machine.
    Nothing feels like coming home after a decade – and seeing everything stayed the same. The silence was strengthened by the barely noticeable noises of the night, the wings of birds, the screeching of rats and the coughing of the homeless And my home where was it? There was a rumble from under my feet – the heart of the city was beating with the morning rush and suddenly there was a light appearing at the bottom of the sky . The streets were trembling with people, the city was a crystal of solidified movement. Urbana, the last city-giant walking on Earth was waking up and ready for her daily hunt.

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