My Weekly Writing Challenge

So, could you write a story in 20 words? The answer was a definite yes! (With one exception of 22 words but I’ll let that person off!) The results of all your fine efforts are below. For my new weekly challenge, I’m giving you some titles. Hopefully these will spark off all sorts of ideas for stories – long or short, poems, limericks – whatever you like. If they do, post them in the comments box at the bottom and I’ll publish them here next week:

  • The Spectre
  • Nightfall
  • The Race
  • The Guardian
  • Dreamer
  • The Rendezvous
  • Revelation
  • Summer Rain
  • Blue

Now, as promised here are your 20 word stories:

 

Keith Channing was first to take up the challenge last week:

Georgie loves her dog. Georgie loves her job. Work takes her away, away from her dog. How will Georgie cope?

 

Keith was closely followed by Charles Norman with a highly original and very entertaining story:

Wen oy waz et skawl, oy waz tawd oy wownt neva b a ryta beecos mispellin woz weeyk. Wot kan oy doo?

 

Ayo Oboro wrote this emotional story:

Ruth

He looked down from the tenth floor balcony and contemplated jumping but thoughts of leaving little Ruth behind stopped him.

 

Steve brought humour to his story:

He lost final Jeopardy. Asked to define a cricket team number, the entomologist responded, “One male and one female cricket.”

 

Jasdeep Kaur only needed 16 words!: 

Revelation

He stopped staring, came closer, grinned, and whispered in my ears, “Your shirt is inside out!”

 

Eddy was delayed last week but his story was worth the wait:

The morning sun came. The mourning son came. He shone. After ten years he cried. But every sun must set.

 

I’m sure you’ll agree they’re all fantastic. Now get writing and enter this week’s challenge!

 

 

 

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25 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. During the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s I was living on the Arabian Gulf, working on the new port construction at Jebel Ali. At the project’s peak the company that engaged me, which was just one of the companies working on the project, boasted some 400 European and 4000 Asian employees. With those numbers, and being more than 30 km from Dubai, a local police presence was considered essential.

    The police post was led by an Inspector who was proud of his command of English, and a small number of officers. Traffic Police from Dubai also called in regularly. One of them was a tall, large Somali by the name of Mohammed, who was in the habit of popping into my house for a cup of tea. On those occasions, he removed the bullets from his pistol and let my son, then four years old, play with it. But that’s a story for another day; as is his frequent complaint to me that “You are over-speeding too much. One day I will catch you, but you are too clever for me.”

    Too clever, eh? Maybe because I knew the Traffic Ordinance better than he did – he thought that he could only catch me with a radar gun. I regularly passed him whilst doing more than 110kph in an 80kph speed limit. I was in a 1200cc Datsun, he was in a Mercedes Benz. I waved as I passed him, and he waved back. Way too clever.

    My job had me in contact with the police fairly regularly, and I enjoyed a good working relationship with him. He was very helpful when I needed to have my brand new driving licence replaced. The clerk had mis-transcribed my name into Arabic. Twice. Instead of Keith Channing, it said (roughly) Jinnis Keet. I love that name, and shall find a use for it one day. The Inspector sent it back to Dubai with an appropriate note. On its return, I saw that it was better, but still not right. One dot was missing under a letter. Two dots below gives the EE sound, one dot gives B. When he read it, the Inspector confirmed that it said Keith Channbng.

    An interesting character and one I shan’t forget – but a number of whose traits I might one day appropriate.

    What has this to do with the list of titles? Simply this.

    When he first introduced himself to me he said: “My name is Ahmed. I am Spectre for shorta [Arabic for Police] for Jebel Ali.

    As an aside, in 1981, the local newspaper stated that Dubai Police was proud to announce a literacy rate of 40% amongst its officers. I was horrified, until I learned from Spectre Ahmed, that literacy was defined as a good working ability in spoken and written English.

  2. Thanks very much, Esther….kindest regards, Charles Norman

  3. Steve says:

    “The spectre of nightfall made the race for this dreamer to the rendezvous,” said The Guardian, “a revelation that summer rain could cure the blues.”

  4. Ayo Oboro says:

    THE RENDEZVOUS

    Daddy warned last night,
    ‘No more meeting behind the house.’
    Mummy threatened,
    ‘The next time I’ll lock you inside.’
    Yet my heart yearns,
    To see the one,
    That makes my heart beat,
    My smile come alive.

    Trained for obedience.
    To listen to mummy
    And do all the things
    I’d promised to daddy.
    Yet there’s a call,
    It’s louder than daddy’s
    And shriller than mummy’s.
    Come!,Come!
    I hear the call.
    No one else does.
    To mummy a random bark,
    And daddy hears it as a stray’s whine
    Woof! Woof!
    I’m off,
    My love’s waiting.

  5. eddy says:

    Blue

    Songs are like tattoos
    You know I’ve been to sea before
    Crown and anchor me
    Or let me sail away

    Alright, that’s Joni Mitchell
    That’s the poetess herself
    So what? I’ve felt this way too
    I’ve lived and loved this song

    What is plagiarism after all?
    Can’t I use her words
    if they describe my love for the ocean
    better than I could ever do?

    Here is a shell for you
    Inside you’ll hear a sigh
    A foggy lullaby
    There is your song from me

  6. Jasdeep Kaur says:

    The race

    Morning blues; thumping veins;
    yelling horns; congested lanes;
    rising strain; slowing pace.
    They say, “It’s a race!”

    Crafty words; flashy efforts;
    manipulative hikes; lobbying minds;
    corporate culture or ostentatious glace?
    They say, “It’s a race!”

    Stressed brains; confused doctors;
    re-examinations; endless diagnosis;
    wrinkled temples; withered face.
    I ask, “Why this race?”

  7. Monty Lukies says:

    They are some very effective stories for just 20 words 🙂

  8. becando says:

    The Race

    Oaken fingers twist their grip on smooth aluminium
    Back bent, you rock the walker, each step a strain.
    I wait, watching the man I raced to keep pace with each day,
    punctuality your perpetual master,
    savour each slow shuffling movement.
    You pause for breath.
    ‘Take your time,’ I say.
    My young limbed son, your grandson, watches.
    The wind ruffles the trees, petals drift carelessly away.

  9. Sandra says:

    THE RENDEZVOUS

    I met him once on my way to work. He was as expected; tall and thin, his figure bent by age, leaning on a scythe. His face was hidden by the black cloak, greening with age.
    ‘You can’t have come for me!’ I said. It wasn’t a question.
    ‘And why not?’ His was.
    ‘Because I’m too young. I still have much to do!’
    ‘Like what?’
    I stopped and thought for a while. ‘Well, I’m on my way to work. Can’t just leave without notice. How would my boss cope?’
    He paused and didn’t speak for a long while.
    ‘Have it your way then. I’ll take you later.’
    **
    He was waiting for me again on my way from work to home.
    ‘You can’t possible take me now,’ I said.
    ‘And why on earth not?’ I detected a light frustration in his tone.
    ‘I haven’t been home all day. My dog’ll be starving!’
    ‘Can no one else feed your dog?’
    ‘Of course not!’ I replied with a shrill.
    His left shoulder lifted in a shrug. ‘Have it your way then…’ and he vanished with a puff.

    Later that night I packed a bag and was on my way out when he appeared blocking my door.
    ‘What now?’ he asked with a drawl.
    ‘I’m too young, you see…I need to see the world. I have a lot—‘
    ‘No. No. I won’t have that any more. Many I have taken who were half as old as you. It’s your time now, whether you like it or not.’
    ‘But, I haven’t done anything yet. Nothing to be remembered by. Nothing that matters.’
    I saw his left shoulder lift in the now familiar shrug, and in an instant, we were both gone with a puff.


    I thought I’d try this out… 🙂

    • Thank you so much for writing this, Alexandra. Really good to see you writing. I really enjoyed the piece. It makes you think that we have to make the most of now. I’ll publish it on my blog on Thursday. I’m sure other readers and writers will like it very much 🙂

    • Ayo Oboro says:

      I really enjoyed this. Just like Esther wrote, It serves as a reminder to me that time once lost can’t be regained,I need to do things now.

  10. Rachel says:

    NIGHTFALL

    Fire raged through the night sky. Reds and ambers screamed through the blanket of stars. She yelled at him, screeched in his ear to make him let go of her. He picked her up easily and threw her across the soaking lawn. Winded for all of a second, she got back up and hurled herself towards the blazing front door.
    “Let me in! You have to let me back in!”
    “He’s dead now, a long, slow burning death.”
    “No!” With all her might she heaved her shoulder into his chest. The rain hammered profusely saturating her negligee. She let out a roar of frustration, and her panicked voice was taught and high. “You won’t get away with this!” She beat him with her fists, everything she had went into pummelling his chest. He shoved her and grabbed her pounding hands.
    “You can’t save him. I won’t let you.”
    A tapping on glass, feeble and strained. They both looked up. Finn’s face peeked through the bedroom curtains.
    “Finn!” she cried, struggling to her feet again. She ran past him, her legs smaller and lighter than his. As she approached the back door she saw that there was no fire here.

    She fumbled with the door knob. It opened! Thick smoke escaped from within. She threw her hand over her mouth, coughing terribly. Then she took a deep breath in and…
    A dizzying, agonising pain in the back of her head. She saw nothing as she hit the ground.
    Minutes later, when she had come to, she watched as her house burned with the one thing she loved inside. Grief surged through her. In the garden she was distraught. She kneeled on the sodden grass with her hands covering her face. Her negligee was drenched. The rain continued to pour. There was nothing she could do for Finn now.

    She smelt him as he approached. Expensive aftershave lingering on the night air. Anger like she’d never felt before shot through her, blood pulsing, heart thumping. Before she got to her feet he had knocked her over.
    “What did you think you were playing at?” he snarled.
    She didn’t speak for sobs. Her own hysterical cries, the deep noise that was her unnatural breathing, horrified and enraged her.
    “You didn’t expect I’d ever catch you, did you?”

    She turned to look at him. And suddenly she was on her feet, pushing him, hitting him, slapping him. He was taken aback for a moment and she thrust him to the ground. She was kicking and screaming. Blue lights and sirens couldn’t make her stop. Men were shouting, she was terrified and mad. When she paused for a moment, he was suddenly on his feet. He scooped her off the ground, still shrieking and ran with her towards the wood. They were following, not far behind. She kept on hitting and punching him. Finn was dead. He had made sure that Finn was dead. She hadn’t been able to save him and Finn was dead. He dropped her on the ground and pulled her to her feet. Thrust her against a tree trunk. Stared at her, furious. And then his mouth was on hers and she kissed him back with everything the storm inside gave her. In that moment she knew that nothing, not prison or lovers or anything else could save her. She was his forever and she would never escape.

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