IAWTW: I Always Wanted to Write, is Chris Donner’s relatively new weekly writing challenge. To check out this week’s challenge, go HERE. You can also click on the bubble to see the main page for the IAWTW with a list of previous challenges.
This week we were given a short text with the possibility to fill in some blanks and to get creative as we wanted with it. I like getting creative. 🙂 Since there is no word limit I kind of allowed myself some freedom with this, and ended up with a short tale of over 500 words, I hope you won’t find it too long.
The opening line was: It had been ___ years since I had seen _____ (name), my best friend in ______. There are a few other sentences included, and I switched a couple around. Chris’s challenges are all about getting creative, after all. So without further ado, here is my short tale.
Reunion 545 words
It had been 100 years since I had seen Patrick, my best friend in the Interstellar Space program. Of course, all but 20 of those years had been spent in a hibernation pod aboard the Titanium. The last 20 had been here on Trellex 2.
We hadn’t planned on spending all those years apart from each other. We were both scheduled for the same mission, but Patrick was held back at the last minute, a medical glitch, easily fixable, but not within the time frame.
I still remember the last time we spoke, in a small coffee shop, back on Earth, the day before I set off on the mission. I was devastated by the news, as was Patrick. We had been more than friends, they called it “friends with benefits” back then, but we both knew we weren’t ready for a long term commitment. Yet the mission was to be the test, in a sense. We talked forever in that small café, both of us wanting to put off the moment of goodbyes.
Then he looked me in the eyes, and said what I most feared, “Do you want me to ask you to stay?” I remember thinking what an odd question, as my heartbeat pounded in my chest. Not, “Would you stay if I asked?”, but rather “Do you want me to ask?”. As I stared into his eyes, I knew he was serious, that if I said yes, he would ask me to stay behind, go on the next mission five years down the line. I also knew that if he asked, I would stay.
My throat closed on me, and it was all I could do to whisper the words, “No. Please, don’t.” I knew it was the right decision, as did he, but tears rose in his eyes, mirroring mine. He reached out and held my hand, nodding acceptance. Neither of us could speak for awhile. When we finally hugged, and shared a long kiss goodbye, knowing it was the last made it as sweet as it was sad. That was such a long time ago…
Who would have thought we’d meet by accident like this, in a coffee shop in the middle of Tryton City? What were the chances of this happening? Yet, here we were, strangers, together after all these years. We were both older by 20 years, but I’d have known him anywhere. When our eyes first met across the coffee shop, it was as if no time had passed. All the old feelings rushed in. Patrick lifted me up in a huge bear hug, planting a kiss on my mouth, and then he laughed out loud in delight.
We grabbed our coffee and sat in a small booth across from each other, each of us grinning like Cheshire cats. It was such a wonderful feeling, vivid and scary, and so very impossible. Our hands, drawn like magnets, touched in the middle of the booth. We both looked down at the same time.
On his left hand, as on mine: wedding rings. Our eyes met, a touch of sadness at what might have been. The moment passed and we smiled in harmony. No more benefits. But forever, friends.
I’ve missed a couple of Friday Fictioneers, and I admit I’m not doing my best work, but this one came to me from the picture prompt, so I decided to post it. My mind is going sixty directions, but I tried to focus it for just a moment. Be sure to click on the link for Madison Woods’ fiction response this week. In the comments section you will find links to other Fictioneers and their creative responses.
This weeks picture inspiration (slightly cropped for emphasis) for 100 words:
Wednesday 100 words
Every Monday and Thursday, after his doctor-ordered “health walk” he would come to this quiet place to sit and plan the rest of his day, lazily. No rush now, He’d never thought he’d live out his retirement alone.
On Tuesdays and Fridays, she came here to her favorite place, to sit in the fresh air, letting the sun ease her rheumatism. Sometimes she’d read a book. Mostly she just enjoyed the morning air. No one to rush home to, but she didn’t mind. Not really.
One week it rained heavily on Monday and Tuesday. That Wednesday, they met.
- You find your entry HERE
- You go to the next entry (if you were 6 you go to 7 etc)
- Using the last ten words as the prompt you write your piece. The prompt can be anywhere in the piece but must be complete as it was in the original.
- If you didn’t take part last week, choose any entry to use the last 10 words from.
The link will stay open for two weeks and will close on 16th April.
My prompt for this one came from “Her Father’s Voice” at the blog Even More Bonus Parts. The last ten words for my prompt are these:
“All she needs is the sound of her daddy’s voice.” So, assuming I have 100 words plus the prompt, here is my tale of 108 words.
Daddy’s Girl 108 words
“All she needs is the sound of her daddy’s voice.”
His wife’s voice echoed in his mind. Now, he sat by the hospital bed, looking upon his 15 year old daughter in an alcohol induced coma.
He wanted to cry out his rage. He wanted to yell at her, “What were you thinking?!” Anger and fear closed his throat like a tight fist, blocking all words from escaping.
He took several deep breaths. He cleared his throat, and managed a half choked whisper.
“Honey, it’s me, daddy. I love you.”
No change. He hadn’t expected one.
But the fist had loosened.
His words flowed on into the night.
It’s Celebration time at Jenny Matlock’s place! Why, Because today is the 100th Saturday Centus, a Saturday Centennial!!
To celebrate, Jenny is going back to where it started, the very first ever Saturday Centus, and we are to use that very first ever Prompt for our 100 word Centus. The funniest part is that Jenny, who has taught us to write tight, started out with a very, very, very wordy prompt – 53 words, to be exact! So instead of repeating the prompt twice, I will start with it, and then add a short —- line between the prompt and my continuance. Also, in celebration, I made very very sure that my continuation was exactly 100 words, in honor of this great day.
So, without further ado…
Windfall (153 words)
My untied shoelace changed my life. As I leaned down to re-tie it, I kicked away a few leaves. When I turned my head slightly to look where the leaves had been, I was astonished to see a rubber-banded wad of hundred dollar bills nestled in a little indention in the muddy ground.
Windfall! my heart sang.
“Trouble…” whispered a voice.
I picked up the bills. Maybe I should check it out.
I stopped by the bank. “Someone paid me with this,” I handed the teller a bill, “Can you tell me if it’s counterfeit?”
She took the bill to a man in the back. He examined it, then entered the serial number in a database.
The teller brought it back. “It’s real.”
I left the bank, my heart hammering. Windfall!
“Trouble…” the voice insisted.
“Shut up.” I said.
A van pulled up. Three men jumped out.
“I told you so…”
Quill Shiv has offered us another episode of Flash Fiction Faction. The prompt this week is a quote:
Truly the thing that I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me. –Anonymous
The idea is to use the prompt for inspiration, however it might do so, and write something that it inspires in us. For Quill’s piece as well as the other participants, just click on the link above.
While much of my fiction tends to be dialogue and action, I took a different route this time, more of a telling than a showing. Why? I don’t really know, perhaps it was the nature of the quote itself. Anyway, this is what it inspired in me…
Cheating Death (672 words)
Charles Masters Garrety was a rich man, perhaps one of the richest in the world. He was also an old man, eighty-seven this month. He was in perfect health, all the fitness money could buy; trainers, doctors, dieticians.
But time was catching up with him. He was slowing down, had been for awhile. He had outlived all of his children and even two grandchildren. But his joints were beginning to ache infernally and it took him longer and longer to limber up when he rose in the morning.
Charles Masters Garrety was terrified of dying.
He wasn’t a religious man, he didn’t believe he would suddenly wake up one night and find himself in a pit of fire and brimstone. And he certainly knew he wouldn’t find himself floating amongst the angels – wouldn’t want that anyway, what a boring way to spend eternity.
His terror came from the unknown, the eternal question, does something of us linger after death, or is it just the end? The thought that the body could die, and his spirit might linger in limbo was even worse than it just ending. He hated thinking about it. He still had so much to do, years of unfinished business.
People were living longer and longer now, why in another 50 to 100 years, 87 might still be considered as young. But he didn’t live in the future, he lived now. And all the money in the world couldn’t buy a man any more time.
Or could it?
Ten years before, Charles Masters Garrety had bought out a research facility, fired all but the best scientists, hired some more, and put them to work on a special project. The concept itself wasn’t new, the idea of cryogenics had been around for years now, even some success in early experiments. But most of the research had dried up for lack of funding. Except for Cryo-Futures.
The team had come to him several weeks ago. They had succeeded in preserving a chimpanzee for over 5 years and had recently brought it back to life. No tissue degeneration, no brain damage, in fact, the chimp was in perfect health. They had told him they could suspend him for 50 years, or more, however long it took for genetic research (another of their projects) to find the longevity gene and figure out how to apply it.
Many meetings with lawyers and department heads and technicians and scientists had ensued, and finally everything was ready. Tonight Charles Masters Garrety would be eased into a cold sleep, and awake in the future, able to live many more years.
It was time. Charles Masters Garrety could feel his heart beating steadily in his chest. The doctor had given him a mild sedative. He had almost refused, but now was glad he didn’t. This was his last moment of life in this present time. When next he woke, he would be meeting strangers, new scientists will have taken over for these, many of whom would be long dead. The idea fascinated him.
They helped him into the cryo-chamber, naked as the day he was born. He could feel the cool air circulating around him, getting colder, so slowly, barely even noticeable. He felt his heart slow as his eyes closed, heavy and insistent. Soon he would be asleep, suspended in time, and the next time he opened his eyes, he’d be in a whole new world. His breath slowed along with the heartbeat, and he wondered if he would dream during these long years? His mind drifted, and he observed as if from far away that there was no longer a perceptible heartbeat, no breath moving in and out of his lungs. It was as if his body was gone, no sensation, only thought.
His mind was suspended in darkness, floating in a sea of black. Awake and aware.
Realization drifted in like a dark whisper in the night. No dreams to come, just fifty years of waiting.
Charles Masters Garrety screamed silently into the limbo.
For this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups, Julia has offered up a challenge with a twist. We’ve been given an 8 word prompt, nothing unusual so far, and so we have 100 words, plus the 8 from the prompt, to create our entry. What is different this time is that Julia has decreed, “You have 100 words making a total of 108. However, the last 10 words are going to be used to start a piece by someone else next week!!” Go check it out for yourself, just click the link or the logo.
This week’s prompt:
‘What was the rabbit late for?’ wondered Alice.
Rabbit Hunt (107 words)
‘What was the rabbit late for?’ wondered Alice, peering around the park.
Static in her ear, then, ” Fox-two to Foxy-Lady, do you copy?”
“The rabbit has run.”
“I heard the first time! Where?”
“Out the south gate, must have sensed the trap.”
Weariness washed through Alice as she slumped onto the park bench. It had been a good plan. Her plan. It should have worked, dammit! What had gone wrong?
Now they had to go to plan-B, a much more dangerous option. Alice hated to take the risk, but she had no choice. The little girl’s life was in her hands.
Chris Donner has decided to open up a writing challenge, but not just any kind of challenge, this is an exercise to get us thinking about… Plots. As Chris wrote, “Here’s a little exercise for you… I’ll give you a topic and you write as many plot ideas as you can come up with.” Now that sounds really fun to me, so I am jumping in here. If you think you might enjoy trying it out, go see her post HERE. Go ahead, give it a try, and leave a comment at her place so we can see what you came up with.
The Prompt for a plot: Pat always knew this day would come
My plot ideas:
1) Pat has found out her husband is cheating on her and has to make a difficult decision – difficult because she has young children and no experience in the job force. Emotionally she’s prepared, because she knew something was up when he gave her the diamond earrings for Christmas. But, what about the children?? She will find herself on a journey of self discovery and eventually realize that her husband’s cheating was the best thing that could have happened to her.
2) Pat is a man with a problem. He’s been embezzling money, and replacing it later, for several years now. He knew he was living on the edge, and he really didn’t have to do it, (because he is financially independent) but the risk of it made him feel alive. Now there is an audit coming, something he was more or less prepared for – but he wasn’t prepared for the beautiful auditor who came into his life. Will he learn to lead the straight life? Or is there more to this woman than he realizes?
3) Pat is a forty-something divorced mother of twins who have gone away for college, and suddenly she finds herself at loose ends. She decides to get a job – but not just any job. She wants to join the circus as a magician.
4) Pat is a young man who has been moved from foster home to foster home, then thrown out of the system at age 18. In spite of that, he has managed to find jobs here and there, and is doing okay – but it has been hard and he feels resentful. He decides he wants to find his real parents, let them know what they’ve done. Bitter and angry, he does his own sleuthing for awhile, but gets nowhere against the system. He can’t afford a detective, so he does the next best thing. He sees an announcement in the papers about a PI looking for an assistant, and applies for the job. Neither he nor the PI realize they are father and son, and Pat pours out his anger to this new employer who has become his friend.
5) Pat had gotten top scores at the Police academy. But now the time has come for her to be a rookie cop in a male dominated world. She needs them to accept her as one of their own, but finds herself hazed at every turn, even more so than the other rookies, who are male. Then a serial killer hits town and all bets are off. Every “man” is needed if they are to keep the killer from striking a fourth time. Whats more, Pat fits the profile of his victims…
Okay, that’s all I have for the moment, actually I’m out of time, maybe I’ll add more tomorrow, maybe not.
It was fun, Chris, thanks for this!
I missed the Centus last week, but hope to make up for it this week. Jenny Matlock has given us another great prompt to play with. You really should visit her site, it’s worth the trip. If you just want to check up on this weeks entries to Saturday Centus, click right HERE.
The rules change each week, which is part of the fun. This week, we are given a prompt, to be included in the body of the text, and we have 100 words, exactly 100 words, no more, no less, in which to write our tale. We must include the prompt within that word count. Interesting, yes? Jenny loves to challenge us. I had a little fun with this week, tried to keep it PG, hope I didn’t step beyond, it’s hard to tell these days…
This week’s Prompt:
I’m living the dream, man
Living the Dream (exactly 100 words)
“I’m living the dream, man.” Paul took a drag from the reefer and passed it to Gary.
“So you say.” Gary took a long hit. He was getting tired of Paul’s broken record. Living the dream, far out, big effing deal.
Paul droned on, “Yeah man, I mean lookit this, a cool pad, all the weed I wanna smoke, wide-screen tv, the latest vid games, a music system to die for. I mean I’m living the effing dream man, pinch me if I’m wrong.”
Gary pinched him.
Paul poofed out of sight.
Gary smiled. Now this was living the dream.
This weeks 100 Word Challenge for Grown-ups hosted at Julia’s Place, is a topical prompt, where you can but don’t have to use the words of the prompt. Be sure to go by and see what others have made of this week’s prompt. I openly admit that my idea is not a new one, but i had fun with it nonetheless.
The Prompt: ...the red box…
My entry: Wish Fulfillment, 101 words.
“And behind curtain three is… The Red Box!”
The audience roared.
Sandra, the lucky contestant, jumped up and down, screeching in joy. MC walked her over to the large red box, center stage.
“It’s your choice, Sandra.” he said. “Keep the eight million dollars you’ve won, or trade it all for your Ultimate Wish.”
“My wish!” she squealed. The audience cheered.
“I wish my husband back to life!”
The box fell open. Sandra’s husband stood there, alive! Bits of decomposing flesh dangled from his face with its wide lipless grin.
Sandra screamed. The audience went wild.
Another wish fulfilled.
I’m turning this in a little late, but hey, there are things called Time Zones, so even if it’s not Friday, many of you are still asleep and not yet wakened to your Saturday morning, so I’m sneaking it in. 😉
Madison Woods has again given us a challenging picture for this weeks 100 word flash for Friday Fictioneers. To see what she and others were inspired to write, just click the link.
This week’s picture prompt:
My entry: Kill Shot. 100 words.
A twig snapped under her boot, cracking into the distance. Amanda froze.
Distant voices, coming closer, “This way! Over here!”
The first shot came from behind, hitting her right shoulder, spinning her around with surprising force. The second shot hit square in the chest, She stumbled back, falling to the ground.
They surrounded her. “Kill shot!”
She glanced down at the bright blue paint.
“Game over.” Josh reached down to help her up.
Amanda couldn’t lift her arm. Hot pain stabbed. “I think I may have broken something.”
A dark red stain spread out from under her shoulder.