My Weekly Writing Challenge

Last week’s ‘last line’ challenge caused a few problems with some writers contacting me to say they’d sit this one out. So I thought I’d keep this week’s new challenge simple and give you a theme:

A ghost story/poem.

I want to feel goosebumps as I read it so the scarier the better!

Huge congratulations to all those who gave last week’s challenge a go. To remind you, the last line was:

Perhaps tomorrow he would look at things a little differently and realise what a lucky escape he’d had.

Keith Channing’s story is highly entertaining, as I’m sure you’ll agree:

It’s A Mug’s Game

It was three o’clock in the morning when he eventually rolled in, drunk as a skunk, with a smell to match. His hair was matted with blood, there was an open wound on his right cheek and his clothes were filthy and torn.

“Hello, love,” he said. “I think I got mugged on the way home.”

“My God, look at the state of you. Don’t take your coat off, let’s get you to hospital and get that face looked at.”

“Why? Wassappened?”

“You have a massive cut, and it’s still bleeding,” I said, as I was putting some clothes on. “Come on.”

I drove him to the local A&E, about twenty minutes away. Unusually, it was quiet, and they had him straight into a cubicle. Within less than half an hour, he was being stitched. Because of the nature of his injuries, the hospital had notified the police, and two constables were waiting to talk to him as soon as the medics had finished.

Of course, he could tell them nothing. He had no recollection of anything beyond meeting a group of people and being hit by one of them. The police asked him if anything had been stolen. He had no idea at all.

“Was I wearing a watch when I went out, love?”

“Yes, you were,” I said.

“Which one?” he asked.

“I don’t bloody know. I just know you looked at it before you left the house.”

“I had a watch on, and it’s not there now,” he said to the policeman.

“Can you describe it, Sir? Make, type, colour or anything?”

Are you having a laugh? Of course he can’t.

“No, sorry.”

“Anything else? Wallet, cash?”

Yeah, right. As if he would have any idea how much cash he had in his pocket after a heavy night drinking.

“Not that I know.”

“Thing is, Sir,” said the other policeman, “there’s been a gang running around the city for a few nights now, jumping people coming out of pubs and clubs, stealing their valuables, and leaving them in a bad state. One man died last night, and one from earlier in the week is still in a coma.”

“Well, I don’t have any valuables on me,” my still-drunk husband replied, “so it wouldn’t have done them any good if they’d tried to get anything off me.”

“Quite, Sir,” the policeman said, “but if you think of anything else, you will let us know, won’t you?”

“Yes, of course.”

Again – yeah, right. If he thinks of anything. Him? Perhaps tomorrow he would look at things a little differently and realise what a lucky escape he’d had.

Jasdeep Kaur’s character has a very lucky escape:

Left Behind

Tim waved good-bye to his team from the window of the room, where he lay with his plastered leg. He was the best player of the team and they had won all the matches till now. It was the final match of the tournament. He had huge hopes to make a record of winning the international championship as debutant. He tried to hide his frustration, but his gloomy eyes were revealing his heart.

The bus roared off. The team was excited as they left for the flight. The fervour in the bus was increasing with each mile they covered.

But there was dire silence in Tim’s room. It was past midnight and he was awake. The clock ticks started making him restless. He shouted, “Shut up!”

The bus was speeding towards the destination in the dark moonless night. The claps suddenly turned into a bang. The glass scattered and blood draped bodies flung all over.

Unaware of the mishap, Tim tossed his bat over and over on the bed. He cursed the moment when he fell breaking the bone of his leg.

Perhaps tomorrow he would look at things a little differently and realise what a lucky escape he’d had.

Jason Moody’s story will make you smile:

Marcus wrestled once again with the front door to his apartment, his body barely carrying him over the threshold.

He threw his case to one side and staggered into his bedroom. It had been a hard day of non-stop meetings all day. Some if the most important figures in the company had been there. He felt he had held himself well.

With eyes closing every second, he removed his clothes. Now stood in only his trousers, he swayed, like a drunked over to the mirror. He looked up, then he looked down.

He felt heart freeze as if cased in ice. He shook his head and peered down at his groin, then at the mirror. He groped near his groin to discover that there was no zip attached to his trousers. He looked himself straight in the eye, as if his reflection would offer some explanation.

He slumped on his bed. He thought of all the people he had spoken to today. All the one to one conversations he had had. He sighed. Only one thought occurred to him.

Has anyone seen my bits?

As it was Friday, he would have to sweat it out until Monday. Great. He tore off his trousers and cursed while he bit his fist.

He climbed into bed, pulled the duvet over his head and closed his eyes. What a nightmare.
Perhaps tomorrow he would look at things a little differently and realise what a lucky escape he’d had.



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15 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. I’ve never written a ghost story before – mind you, until a few months ago, I’d never written anything before.

    Here goes.

    I couldn’t remember typing that line, but I suppose I must have. It couldn’t have typed itself, could it?

    No-one ever enters my study. It’s my private domain. No-one else could have typed it.

    I had just finished my eighth cup of double-espresso, and it was only 10am. Lots of caffeine and a couple of other things keep my mind in its most creative state, but I can’t, in all honesty, say that when it is in that state, I am in complete control of it.

    I wasn’t at all concerned that there were words on my screen that I couldn’t remember putting there. It was the words themselves that concerned me.

    “Julian hasn’t been seen for a very long time,” they said. There is no character in my story called Julian. I deleted the words and carried on writing, vowing to have no more coffee that morning. My mobile phone rang, and I took the call. After the call, I returned my attention to the screen.

    “Julian was not a bad boy, he was just a bit naughty. But he hasn’t been seen since that night.”
    That I didn’t write. I was on my phone. Who is or was Julian? What night? I typed those questions onto the computer.

    Just then, the computer went off. I flipped the light switch. Nothing. Power cuts in the middle of winter aren’t unusual here. I went downstairs to the fuse cupboard, to see if it was something I could fix. It wasn’t. It can’t have been a general power cut, as I could hear the radio coming from downstairs, and the washing machine was on its spin cycle. I went back upstairs.

    On entering the study, it was apparent that something was wrong. For one, it was unusually cold. For another, the computer monitor was glowing. Nothing was showing on the screen, no graphics, no text, just a diffuse light. At first, I dismissed it as the afterglow that is often present on old-style CRT monitors, where the tube retains some charge after shutdown. This was an LED screen, though. And it was pulsing.

    As I sat and looked at it, the words “Thank you for coming back” appeared in the middle of the screen. I typed furiously, “Who are you?”

    The screen cleared, and three words appeared:

    “I AM YOU…”

  2. Phen Weston says:

    It’s not exactly scary, but here is my contribution to your challenge (My first XD). I hope you enjoy:

    • Thank you for taking up the challenge! I really enjoyed this. Very atmospheric and I found myself caught up in the poem. The ending in particular stayed with me after reading. I always publish entries on the following Thursday so I’ll publish this alongside the others if that’s ok. I think readers would love to see it. I read your blog and hope your writing is going well 🙂

      • Phen Weston says:

        I apologies for the late reply. I some how managed to miss the notification for your reply. Thank you very much for the comments and for reading my blog. I really appreciate your support. I’m very glad you enjoyed my contribution 🙂

  3. JasonMoody77 says:

    Hi Esther,
    Scary story eh? Ok, here goes.

    Samantha entered her flat and threw her bag onto the sofa. The Wall of windows let in the orange glow of the streetlights outside.

    It had been another long shift at the hospital. It had been pretty uneventful; but it was tiring all the same.

    She poured herself a glass of water and shuffled into the bedroom. She turned on the bedside lamp, and quickly threw off her scrubs and put on her bed clothes. She threw back the duvet and slipped under the covers.

    She laid her head on the pillow and let her eyelids fall.

    She had no idea what the time was when she awoke. A scratching sound was coming from the foot of her bed.

    She flicked on her bedside light. She sat up and stared straight at the large, oak wardrobe at the foot of the bed.

    The scratching continued.

    Samantha decided it must be a bug, and that it would probably scurry off. She switched the light off and closed her eyes.

    A tickling sensation made her scratch her nose. It persisted. She reached for the light and with heavy eyelids, flicked it on.

    Her eyes shot open. A cold pulse shot through her. Right beside her, inches from her face a black beetle sat, its antenna twitching.

    She shot upright and swiped the insect from her pillow. It hit the wall, and the scurried across the floor towards the wardrobe.

    Samantha reached into the draw of her bedside table and pulled out a book. She wouldn’t sleep until the bug was squished.

    As she climbed out of bed, she saw the bug disappear into the small gap between the doors of the wardrobe.

    The scratching intensified. With book in hand, she edged towards the wardrobe. She reached out with one hand and pulled the door open.

    The base if her wardrobe was covered with beetles, their armoured bodies shining in the dim light. They flowed, in their hundreds into the room.

    Samantha screamed and moved away from the wardrobe. The beetles surrounded her, climbing up her legs.

    She wriggled violently, and batted them off her skin as quick as she could. Her heart was racing, her breathing erratic.

    She edged backwards tiwArds the window. The beetles appeared not to follow in her direction.

    Behind her, the latch in the window clicked. She heard a thud as if something had fallen into the room.

    She froze. A black, scaly, three fingered hand rested on her shoulder. She turned.

    Facing her, draped in a dark, torn robe, stood a thin figure, who’s face was obscured by a draped hood.

    Suddenly, she noticed twisted, yellow teeth form a wicked smile. It raised its bony finger to its mouth.

    “Sssssh.” It whispered.

  4. mihrank says:

    Thank you for sharing, I enjoyed very much.

  5. Jasdeep Kaur says:

    The Shadow

    Murk veiled the luminous sky;
    birds hid in the nest;
    tides pounced to rescue the moon;
    the life prayed for best.

    The owl yelped aloud.
    From the morgue, it rose –
    the shadow of obscurity
    shoving barriers with its blows.

    The door opened, hinges creaked.
    Unaware, she slept.
    The lamp flickered, dog mourned.
    In the corner, the cat wept.

    It entered her body,
    and she was enslaved.
    For endless ruthless murders,
    another era was paved.

  6. Jasdeep Kaur says:

    Thank you for your lovely comments!

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