My themed weekly writing challenge stumped a few last week (the themes were Grotto, Hospital or Isolation) but for others, it clearly inspired. You can read their wonderful pieces below.
Now onto this week and yes, it’s J, K and L and the themes for these letters are: Job, Kill and Love. For some inspiration on what you could write about using those themes, take a look back at my series:
Onto last week’s stories and poems:
Keith Channing brings this tale he was told by an Australian Evangelical Priest 30 years ago to life. Not only will it grip you, it’ll set you thinking:
After the accident, I found myself to be alive and well, although in darkness and silence. Confused and a little frightened, my mind went beck to the lost moments I remembered.
I had been spending an evening in the gambling den at the back of a strip club. I had a lot to celebrate; I had just pushed through a deal that would add a few more millions to my bank balance. Admittedly, a few people; good people, but that means nothing these days; would be sent to the wall, and a few thousand people would turn up on Monday to find there was no job for them. Regrettable, but this is business, and you have to be ruthless to get on. Some of my deals had led to suicides, but these people were weak, and there’s no room in my world for weak people. I was doing rather well in the club, too. Blackjack, we were playing, and I was on a blisteringly strong run, up a couple of hundred thousand pounds on the night.
My mobile buzzed and vibrated. It was a text message from my wife. “Kayleigh just turned up,” it said. “Please explain!” My wife, Joanne, was meticulous about writing texts properly, tweets too. She hated abbreviations and sloppy grammar. Anyway, reading that message, telling me that my secret girlfriend had turned up at the house; the girlfriend I thought I had hidden from Joanne; obviously overloaded something, and I must have blacked out.
But where was I now, what am I supposed to do, and how did I get here? These were just a few of the questions in my head. Others included how much it would cost me to get out and whom should I pay. I decided to take control; it had worked for me all my life so far, and I saw no reason it wouldn’t work now.
“Okay, where the hell am I?” I asked.
A low, quiet voice responded, “Hmmm. Where the Hell? That’s a very appropriate question.”
The voice put me in mind of the menacingly calm voices that used to be attributed to gangsters with Italian accents, in old Chicago and New York.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I demanded.
“Where you are has no name. You may think of it as Hell; you may think of it as Nowhere. How you think of it doesn’t matter; what matters is what it is.”
“And what is it?”
“It is,” replied the enigmatic, disjointed voice.
This place; whatever, wherever it is; seemed totally isolated. The only sound was my voice. The other voice was inside my head; it came from no direction, and although very close, I felt no breath. There was no light, and I realised that I had no sensation. I wasn’t sitting, standing or laying on anything. I think I had worked it out.
“Okay, smart guy, I got you. This is one of those sensory deprivation chambers, isn’t it? Who are you working for and how much does he want to let me out?”
“This is not as you describe it. This is,” the voice said, emphasising the word ‘is’.
It began to dawn on me that I might be in trouble, big trouble. I’d never been in a situation I couldn’t buy or bribe my way out of.
“WHERE AM I?” I yelled.
The voice repeated, “Where you are has no name. You may think of it as Hell; you may think of it as Nowhere. How you think of it doesn’t matter; what matters is that it is.”
“I want to speak to my lawyer.”
“Your lawyer isn’t here.”
“Well, at least let me speak to my business partner.”
“Your business partner isn’t here.”
“Can I at least call my wife, please?” I asked, beginning to panic.
“Your wife isn’t here.”
“Oh my God,” I cried, sensing the seriousness of my situation.
“God isn’t here,” the voice said in even, placid tones, followed by an eternity of silence…
Jason Moody‘s story made me smile all the way through. Prepare to be entertained:
He walked into the bar, hair slicked back, shoes shined within an inch of their lives. He wanted people to notice him.
The truth is, his aftershave had announced his arrival some ten minutes previous to his actual entrance. No matter.
He had the walk of a man who needed urgently to scratch his bottom. Confidence he called it.
He was on the look out for a beautiful woman, for he was a beautiful man, in his own opinion.
Across the bar, something caught his eye. A woman stood at the bar with her back to him. Her red hair was so shiny, it looked like it had been painted. He moved in.
He cleared his throat and tapped her on the shoulder. She turned, slowly.
She was as beautiful as her hair was shiny. She looked at him with her big brown eyes, sitting under the shadow of some very heavy mascara.
The man nodded to himself. This was it.
“If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?”
The woman giggled like a love struck schoolgirl.
“No,” she said softly, biting her lower lip.
He was in here.
“Do you know that you should be a parking ticket?” he said.
The woman smiled coyly and once again bit her shimmering lower lip.
“No,” she purred.
He nodded again. Now for the killer blow.
“‘Cos you’ve got fine written all over you,” he announced, proudly.
The woman grabbed his shirt collar and pulled him close.
“I want you, right now,” she said.
His heart raced. His throat was dry. This wasn’t supposed to happen. This was unfamiliar territory.
She grabbed his hand, drained her drink and pulled him away.
“My flat…now,” she demanded.
They’ve took a taxi to her flat. They wasted no time talking; they headed straight for the bedroom.
Clothes were thrown all over the place. Bottles of perfume tumbled off dressers. Every available space was covered as they grappled with each other like amateur wrestlers.
“You are a very naughty boy,” she purred, throwing him into the bed. He led there, exposed and a little excited.
She made a growling noise, or a close approximation of one and leapt towards him.
The last thing he remembered was agonising pain. She leapt off the bed and he starred at his nether region. Something clearly was not right.
He lay on the hospital bed. Trying very hard not to re-run the night’s antics in his head. Just in case. The curtain was pulled around his bed, giving him the sense of being in isolation. Not that he wanted anyone to see him right now.
She never did call. He never called her.
Shame. He was in there.
Jasdeep Kaur has written this stunning poem:
I don’t know about you, but I’m already looking forward to reading next week’s offerings!