Wednesday Write-in #65

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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

first date  ::  prayer  ::  competition  ::  sprint  ::  rats

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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60 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #65

  1. First Date
    The church was chilly but Susan didn’t notice. She was sitting numbly cocooned in her own little world of grief, only dimly aware of the vicar intoning yet another prayer.
    Her mind was wondering. Back she drifted through the decades of their life together then finally settled on their first date. It had not been promising. She’d had him down as a bit of a chancer, just out for a good time, a quick fling. She’d been so wrong.
    A soft smile played on her lips. She might have to survive in the real world, but she still had her memories.

  2. Hi guys, I’m back after a stint in Cumbria where my internet was virtually non existent. Forgive the little bit of fun below, I’ve had no time today.

    Rats! Speed dating was a sprint to the finish! There was so much competition! I sent up a prayer and hoped I’d get a first date.

  3. It seemed like a wonderful idea at the time. What better place to take a horse lover than to the racetrack? He had tried for months to get Jenny to agree to go out with him, and this, Tony thought, could be the best first date ever. He wanted things to be perfect.

    From the start, they were. The weather was remarkably mild for the early Texas summer, the sun cast long shadows all around the grounds, and the wind was so calm that no dust infiltrated the air.

    These county fair races were known more for small town charm than luxury, and they settled on the old wooden bleachers near the finish line. He handed her the lemonade they purchased from the stand and together they studied the racing form.The first race of the day was a six furlong sprint for horses that had never won more than two races.

    “Not much of a looker,” Tony said as the announcer called the horses to the post parade.
    “Excuse me?”

    “The horse. There’s nobody here better looking than you.” He said, looking down at his boots.

    Her turned head hid a coy smile.

    After talking it over, they decided the they would place their bet on the five horse, Midnight Tryst.

    Tony made his way to the betting window, pulled two crisp dollar bills from his shirt pocket, and returned with a ticket that indicated a $2 bet to win on #5.

    The assistants loaded the horses into the starting gate and the doors sprang open with the loud ring of the bell.

    “They’re off and racing,” came the announcer’s voice through the tin-horn speakers.

    “C’mon Midnight Tryst,” Jenny cheered.

    The horses thundered around the turn, and Midnight Tryst was slowly gaining on the leaders.

    “Go! Run faster!” she was jumping up and down now.

    The horses were in the home stretch and Midnight Tryst had almost caught the leader. The crowd’s noise was building with each powerful stride of the pack.

    “He’s gonna do it!” she instinctively slipped her hand into his as she screamed.

    Three horses hit the wire together, one of them was Midnight Tryst. “Too close to call! We’ll have to wait for the photo,” came the muffled call from the announcer’s booth.

    “Do you think he made it?” Jenny asked Tony, her hand still clutching his.

    “It was close, I think so.”

    He dared not move for fear she’d take her hand back.

    The waiting was interminable. The crowd waited for the result. The horses snorted and pawed the dirt.

    Jenny closed her eyes and seemed to offer a quiet prayer. Her hand never flinched.

    “The winner is number two, Ghostly Pleasure.” The announcer informed the crowd.
    A bright yellow 2 flashed on the tote board.

    “Rats!” Jenny said, stomping her foot.

    Tony felt her still holding his hand. It’s perfectly fine, he thought, he’d already won big.

    • Lovely. Beautifully written. I love, ‘Her turned head hid a coy smile.’ Wonder why she had taken so long to agree to a first date!

      • Thanks, Elaine! Your words make me happy. Oh, and to your question… Fear, sometimes we fear being right.

    • This is great. I really felt like I was there- such a great job of evoking atmosphere & nervous excitement. Love the details of the hands: really authentic. I love the end too. Well done!

      • Thank you so much! I was inspired by the feeling I had when this incredible girl reached out and wrapped a finger around mine as we sat on a bench. I was afraid to breath because I didn’t want that moment to end. I don’t know that what it meant to her, but to me it was the world, I am so pleased you picked up on that detail.

    • Aw! How sweet! I love this. It’s wonderful to read a romantic story from a male perspective, and to see excitement and joy and exhilaration and the happiness of a new love from a non-female point of view. Such great descriptions, wonderful building tension as the race draws to an end, and excellent characterisation. Well done, you.

  4. This is rushed, but I thought I’d put it up anyway.

    We were terrible rivals in childhood. I remember even during prayers in church, we would compete to be the more devout . I’d squeeze my eyes closed and enunciate the prayers fiercely knowing that she was squeezing just as hard and being just as fierce. When we came to bow our heads, I was sure that I bowed deeper. We out-warbled one another and held the last note of every hymn until our breath or father’s patience ran out. Each Sunday we were prodded by our mother to rise from genuflection for neither of us would rise first.

    It turned out, later, when I took her husband, she had been the more devout, but I the more desired.

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  6. HI everyone,
    Here’s my take on four of the prompts. Looking forward to reading everyone else’s!
    Escape
    No one was going to come to get me. I knew that.
    Mother would be upstairs kneeling beside her bed, fingers fumbling through the nodes of her rosary beads, head bowed in prayer. That’s what she always did at times like this. None of my sisters would dare try to save me. To do so would be to risk their own safety.
    So I stopped shouting. I allowed myself slide down the wall and sat hunched with my head huddled between my knees, condemned.
    My father would do anything other than love us. We were all girls you see. He’d no time for girls. He wanted a son. All he ever did was preen and pet those racing pigeons of his. He showed them more affection than he ever did us. If he lost a competition he’d come home and beat us for any reason he could find. After we were gone to bed battered and bruised, it was Mother’s turn.
    I hated those pigeons. They were nothing but a bunch of cooing vermin, riddled with diseases and always shitting everywhere. That’s why I let the cat into the cage. His favourite was one of the first to be eaten. The cat had killed three when a guilty feeling overwhelmed any joy I felt about my vengeance. I managed to get her out but it was a struggle. She scratched my arms and hissed viciously.
    If he’d known it was me who let the cat in, when he’d discovered the damage first, he would have killed me on the spot. He had some time to come to terms with his grief before he saw the scratches on my arms and understood exactly what I did. He locked me in the shed at the bottom of the garden, the one that’s infested with rats.
    The world resolves itself in shadows as the sun withdraws its light. Everybody is quiet. I nestle into my absolute solitude. I can hear scratching as the darkness around me deepens. Searching for something to defend myself with, I tentatively feel around the ground. My heart is beating frantically. I find a stone and quickly clutch it to my chest. There is something about the smoothness of this stone that makes it feel exotic and enchanted, like it’s not rough enough to belong in my world.
    Lights of neighbouring houses are extinguished as the rest of the world falls into the numbness of slumber. My obscurity is invaded by menacing scuttling and faint squealing. When I feel something brush off my leg I know it’s time retreat into the corners of my mind.
    I rub the stone with my thumb. It calms me. I close my eyes and allow myself to be somewhere else. Somewhere where there’s no shed and no walls and no doors and no lock. Only brightness and open spaces for me to run and race and sprint and my legs are powerful and strong enough to carry me far far away.

      • The word rats strongly inspired this. I wanted a narrator trapped in a desperate situation, who use their imagination to escape. She is figuring out how to negotiate the world- she tries her father’s destructive ways but it makes her feel bad so she rejects them(& accepts her punishment ). I deliberately end with her rubbing the stone to draw a parallel with her mother fumbling with her rosary beads. This is symbolic of her choosing a more peaceful way of existing in the world. At the end she is not broken but has learned how to access her imagination. Thanks for your feedback.

    • I love your story and the analysis you give, in response to the question you were asked, is very interesting,too. I like that parallel between the stone and the rosary beads. I think she will be alright in the end given her strength of mind.

    • Gosh, this was heartwrenching. What a sad and terrible situation, and what a brave girl your narrator is. Gripping, well-written, tense and utterly ‘real’, I think this was a great piece of writing. Well done, Emmaleene.

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  8. Is she obsessed by celebrity, Alisa? Or does she have a multiple personality? Or perhaps both are related in some way. Powerful image of the white at the end. I also like she prayed on them, with them etc. very interesting.

    • I think she is deeply hurt woman, and she has been holding herself from being who she wanted to be. So she found a way out – red lipstick (part 1 of the story). Partly, with this story I tried to say that it is so easy to loose yourself nowadays dreaming about someone whom you could be. Marilyn is more like a comparison, ’cause she rocked that red lipstick look. She was as well desired and loved.
      All in all, it is a confession of a mentally sick woman :)\
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

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