Wednesday Write-in #69

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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

monkey see  ::  complete  ::  solid  ::  attraction  ::  whisper

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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23 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-in #69

  1. Monkey see. Solid. Attraction. Whisper. Completion.

    I’m having a really tough time with this because I’m struggling with an android tablet. Thus my story is in a comment (don’t laugh) on my site at
    http://brixhamfiction.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/twelve-cats/

    First time for ages. I’ve been busy with my scifi children’s book ‘The black hole in the beetroot ‘.
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Hole-Beetroot-Vicky-Squires-ebook/dp/B00GJVD3D0

  2. Hi, there. Hope you are all well. Just a short one at this busy time of year!

    Secret Santa: The Christmas Parcel

    I think it’s started breathing: I’ve put in the closet.
    I think it’s started whispering: I’m pretty sure I’ve heard it.
    I think it’s started moving: it isn’t where I left it.
    I think it might be angry; that’s why I’m in the driveway.

  3. A Walk in the Park
    Leaves swirled around as walked through the park; brown, red and gold, dry and crunchy underfoot on such a crisp autumn day. But there was a whisper of winter in the chilly breeze that sprung up as she skirted the pond. A promise of snow and of icy winds that would sneak through the cracks in the old sash windows and shudder down the chimney. She sighed. She had to make a decision and walking usually helped.
    How could she sell her late parents’ house, old and draughty as it was? Who would want a house that needed so much work? And she could barely afford the insurance. If only they had moved years ago. If only they had seen the attraction of a modern place, warm and cosy with up-to-date plumbing and lower bills, then she wouldn’t been left saddled with this liability.
    So many problems. She would complete another couple of circuits and give herself more time to think. The evening sky was stained with orange as the sun began to sink. She thought she had never seen such a beautiful sunset.
    More than an hour later, having walked until she could no longer feel her feet or her fingers, she headed back. As she turned the corner into the lane that led to the old house the orange glow intensified and she became aware of the smell of burning. Flames were gushing through the windows and up into the sky through where the roof had been. The solid walls were all that remained.
    Fire engines were already there. She broke into a run but was stopped by one of the crew.
    ‘Sorry, love,’ he said. ‘Do you know who lived here?’
    ‘Me,’ she sobbed. ‘I live here … lived here. What happened? I’d just gone for a walk.’
    ‘I’m sorry, but the fire was already too fierce by the time we got here. I hope you’re well insured.’
    ‘Yes, I am, thank you. Thank God!’
    As she stood and watched her old home burn to the ground she felt an inner glow of excitement. She had got away with it. The fire lit, the window slightly ajar to let in a little breeze to fan the flames, old papers lying around to help things along, then the long walk while the decision was made for her.

  4. HI Everyone,
    Really missed this. Had no writing time over past month as we have to move out of our house for 4-5 months so repairs to pyrite damage can take place, which means basically most of our house will have to be knocked so the foundations can be removed and replaced. A pain to say the least as I’ve had 10 years of feathering of our nest to sort out! But at least it’s getting sorted and we moved closer to family which will be nice for Christmas!
    Anyway this is the first thing I’ve written since so I hope it makes some sort of sense. I just went with what came to me. Just happy to writing again.
    Graffiti
    There’s a new security guard on tonight. I might get in. I slam my fist against the glass.
    “Little pig, little pig, let me in.”
    He scratches at his short beard and takes a few steps towards me, then turns and stares at the phone on his desk. He scratches his head and writes something down in the logbook. They mustn’t have told him about me. He’s not going to let me in. I know.
    Shiny new buildings stand in a line like moored ships, their reflections ripple along the river at their feet. They are ghost citizens waiting for death.
    I pull up my hood and move away from the circle of light that emanates from the glass-fronted atrium of the building. I go to the side. I shake the metal can in my hand and its rattle excites me, entices me. It’s part of the attraction for me, the anticipation. I do this again and again every night with the same relish as the first time. My message will be freed from its metal tower. It is my urban burden to warn them.
    The security guard is watching me. I know because a chain of motion sensor lights flicker on and illuminate his motions. The monkey sees me. He’s watching me. He’s afraid of me. He is the only soul in the huge building. Not enough power to even confront me, let alone attempt to stop me. I release the hiss of colour. The first whisper of my forewarning escapes. I sequester my own florescent flicker. Enveloped in night’s navy obscurity, the shapes of my symbols are vague. I can hear the zoom of the camera to my left as it focuses in on me and the sweep of my letters.
    I must take my chances while the cogs that run these machines sleep. Dizzy from moving precarious numbers from one computer to the next, they construct these cages of success around themselves. They frantically clamour over each other to catch metaphorical snowflakes that melt in the warm skin of their outstretched palms. Each disappearance prompts a more emphatic search for the next. They will keep going like that every day until there’s nothing to catch but ash. Numbers will fade to lines and squiggles and then dots.
    I am an agent of prophecy and I predict ruins. Office shells will stand empty and barren for a long time before its collapse. Emaciated dogs will wander its innards sniffing. There will be nobody to hunt them out.
    I know in the morning they’ll power-wash my work away before most of them rush to their work flustered by their appetite for something else. Before the din of traffic rises, I will complete my message. Why? You might ask if they’ll wash it away before the workers get here.
    Because I know that one morning the cleaners won’t come. My words will stand solid when the snowflake-catching suits are all gone. I’ve seen them.
    WE ALL DIE.

    • I’m so sorry about all your domestic confusion – pyrite is such a pain, but I’m glad you’re getting your house sorted out and fixed. Such a scourge, isn’t it? I hope you’ll all be home again soon.

      And what about that story – I loved the visceral power of it, and the message behind it. It’s like a modern memento mori. I love the final image – that, one day, the message of doom will be the only thing left, when everything else has crumbled. Powerful, and dark, and wonderfully written.

    • Sorry to hear about the house problems. That must have been tough.

      This story is fantastic. I love how threatening he seems, but he’s not the threat, he’s the prophet. The post apocalyptic images of the buildings are fantastic. I especially like the dogs in the innards…wow.

    • This is a man on a mission! ‘Night’s navy obscurity’ – just one of your fabulous phrases. Good luck with your house.

  5. I wrote for the first time in ages yesterday, but it got stuck in the tubes, awaiting moderation. URL I think.
    So here it is again. I’m away right now using my android tablet and hotel hotspot, so it’s all really difficult!
    Here goes :
    Twelve cats
    June sipped her wine slowly. The fire crackled and popped in the massive stone fireplace. Twelve black pottery cats gazed down in a line from the mantelpiece. All the years she had been coming to the hotel she had always wondered about them. Something in her yearned for there to be eleven cats. Or thirteen. That would have indicated some mystery, or whispered a secret story. Twelve seemed too balanced, too complete. ‘Hi. You must be June.’ A slim, neat blonde introduced herself. Well-dressed, she exuded success. June had experienced success herself, but she had always had a sensation of something incomplete in her life. Her childhood had been spent without a father, and with a mother who was never at ease either with herself or with her child. Her father had seemed a one dimensional character to her until now. Father. Just a word. Her mother had always complained that he had never carved a career for himself. ‘Monkey see, monkey do’ she would sneer derisively when explaining how he’d worked for his father’s plumbing business. He never questioned how the business could be run more effectively. When his father died the business foundered. Something that had appeared so solid evaporated in a few months. Although she was less than five years old at the time she could recollect the atmosphere at home, thick with recrimination. She suspected that the marriage would have broken up if her father hadn’t done the decent thing and died. ‘This might explain things.’ The blonde pulled a large note book from her bag. ‘Who?…’ began June. ‘Your father… my father.’ June rapidly searched the pages, trying to glean some meaning there. There were words of passion, a vibrant style, thrilling with vivacity. Surely, this couldn’t be the dull man who her mother had so often disparaged with her acid words. ‘Apparently the affair began when my mother worked at your grandfather’s firm. It went on for years. “True love”, my mother said. It continued until your father’s death.’ The twelve cats looked down, surveying June and her step sister. For once, they seemed complete.

    • I hope the step-sisters will be able to connect as a family now, and help one another build a full picture of their father. I really enjoyed the feeling behind this story, and the plot; I was a little confused about the sudden turn from thinking about cats on a mantelpiece to thinking about her father, and her childhood, though. Of course it all becomes clear later, but I wonder whether that initial transition could be made a little smoother? I love how you evoke such a sense of empathy for your protagonist, and how you suggest that, because of her mother’s actions, June has missed out on having the passionate, alive, happy father her sister knew. Sad, and poignant, and real.

    • It is a scourge but at least it’s getting sorted- unlike lots of others in same situation. We’ll be back in time for me to enjoy preparing my garden for Summer!
      Thanks for feedback- yes it is a type of memento mori. Looking forward to getting stuck back into some writing! Really missed it.

    • This is really intriguing- there’s so much that I’d love to find out more about. That notebook-what’s in it-how they got in touch- the hotel that she’s been coming to for years- was the meeting arranged or did the step-sister track her down. The even/odd numbers of cats is an interesting metaphor- reminded me of some French poetry that deliberately left the lines with 11 syllables instead of 12 to evoke incompletion. Liked the line “if her father hadn’t done the decent thing and died” made me laugh! Well done.

    • Yes, I agree so much I’m intrigued about. The familiarity with the hotel makes me wonder if she is an adult with no real roots. A lot of complication and interest!

    • Many thanks for all the kind words.
      There WERE some paragraphs in here, but they disappeared when I pasted it into the comment box.
      It was so difficult working in ‘Evernote’ on a tablet – like typing ‘War and Peace’ as a text on a mobile phone! I’ll have to try it again. It’s interesting how it changes your style when you have to fight to carve out every sentence!

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