My Weekly Writing Challenge

We’re almost to the end of the alphabet themed writing challenge. This week it’s ‘V‘, ‘W‘ and ‘X‘ that take centre stage, with the themes of ‘Victory‘, ‘Water‘ and ‘X-ray‘. For inspiration, you’ll find some ideas on these themes if you click on the following link:

Last week’s writing challenge invited stories and poems on the themes of ‘Spy‘, ‘Trapped‘ and ‘Uppity‘. Interesting, eh? The stories and poems certainly were:

Keith Channing used all three themes in his story. I think he captures the characters of a teenage boy and his frustrated mother very well:

Before I left John’s house, I knew I’d be in trouble. I was still smarting from last week’s tirade; John had been making ginger beer in his house, and he gave me some of the germ in a bottle, so I could make some, too. I brought it home with me, topped up the bottle, and put it in the airing cupboard to develop. Mum found it the next day.

“What’s this?” she asked.

“Ginger beer,” I said, “John’s making it in his house, and he gave me some of the germ, so I could make some, too. It’s ever so nice.”

“Well, you can take it straight back to him,” she instructed, “I don’t know about his mother, but I don’t want any germs in my house.”

So that had to go back.

I dreaded to think what would happen to me today. It was a Saturday and I’d been playing with John, at his house, all afternoon. Just before tea time, John’s mum asked if I wanted to stay for tea. I told her Mum would worry and be cross if I wasn’t back for tea, so she said she’d send Timmy, John’s little brother, to ask Mum if it would be OK. John’s dad worked for the GPO and they had a phone in their house, but we didn’t, so we wouldn’t call her. It’s only about a hundred yards up the road, so Timmy could be there and back quite quickly and it was still light. When Timmy came back, nobody thought to ask if he had passed the message. It wasn’t until I was ready to leave, well after dark, that we found out that he had forgotten what it was he had to ask, so he didn’t go to my house; he just hung around for a couple of minutes and came back.

“And where do you think you’ve been?” Mum shouted, as I opened the back door to go into the house.

“At John’s,” I replied, in all innocence, “Timmy came to tell you, didn’t he?”

“NO HE DID NOT!” came the reply.

“Well, that’s not my fault, is it?” I asked, “his mum told him to, and he didn’t say he didn’t, so we thought he had. What else were we supposed to do?”

“Your dad’s been worried sick, too; he nearly went to the phone box to call the police.”

“If he’d done that, he would have had to walk past John’s house and he would have seen me playing in their front garden!”

How could parents be so stupid?

“Don’t you get uppity with me, young man,” Mum said, “get to your room.”

I sloped up the stairs to my room, Mum so close behind me I could feel her breath on the back of my neck. I went into my room and pushed the door closed behind me, sulking in that special way only I knew how. When the door closed, I heard the key turn in the lock. I turned to the door, and I could swear I saw Mum’s eye in the spy-hole, as she said, “Get your weekend homework done, then get to bed. I’ll see you in the morning.”

“But what if I need the toilet?” I asked, fearing above all else that I would be trapped there all night.

“You’ll have to hold on to it,” she replied.

“All night?”

“If need be; either that or use the pot that’s under your bed.”

“But pots are for tiny kids; I’m fourteen.”

“Then maybe you should start acting it, and showing some consideration for your parents.”

How was I supposed to make it through the night; more than twelve hours locked in my room. Sure, I could do my homework. That was never a punishment, I enjoyed that, but that would only take me until about nine. That would still leave ten hours. I had no choice but to use the pot. Of course, as soon as I realised that, I needed to go straight away. Would the pot be big enough to last all night? And would I be able to carry it downstairs to the toilet, without spilling any?

This was horrible.

“Best friend’s brother or not, Timmy’s gonna get it next time I see him,” I promised myself.

Ayo Oboro wrote this compelling poem:

He looked down on her.
Obviously seeking attention,
She isn’t very pretty
So he can understand why.
She wants the guys at her beck and call,
And wears the clothes that make them pant.

Now they’re alone.
She’s right in his face.
He tries to pretend she doesn’t exist,
Didn’t want to talk, didn’t want to look.

She speaks a name,
He catches his breath,
It catches his attention
He has to look.
Her eyes are brown.
Brown, beautiful and speaking to him.
He cannot imagine himself with her
He turns away but he can’t let go.
Her eyes draw him and then the name
The name that only he and someone else should know.
She winks at him and says, “I’m the one.”
The one with the message he’d been waiting for.

He’d paid an Agency to do some work
And they send this one to bring his report.
He can’t believe she is an Agency staff,
With dressing like that and such a loud voice.

They spend two hours talking
And another two when she’s showing him where,
Where this and that from her report.

Her eyes won’t let go when he closes his in sleep
And even the next day and the week that follows.
Finally he realizes he’s trapped by the eyes
The eyes of that not so pretty lady
The one he had paid to spy for him.

Jasdeep Kaur brings the challenge to an end with this simply stunning poem:


Plush possessions; alluring affluence;
unmoved uppity; combusting contempt;
envious entreaties; venomous wishes.
Are we trapped?

Prying peeps; nosy neighbourhood;
bleak blether; scrumptious slander;
parching prejudice; ruined relationships.
Are we trapped?

Howling hunger; continuous chase;
broken bonds; spiteful soul;
haltered Humanity; malicious maze.
Aren’t we trapped?

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6 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. Finlay was not a happy camper. I had told him that I had arranged a camping weekend for us and a group of friends; a kind of male bonding weekend; like a stag weekend, but without the wedding afterwards.

    “You told me we would be going camping this weekend,” he complained, “where are our tents, sleeping bags, camping stoves and survival kits? And why on Earth are you dressed like that?”

    “No, silly,” I replied, “not a camping week end; a camping weekend.”

    “What’s the difference?”, he asked.

    “What’s the difference? What’s the difference?” I mocked, “I’ll tell you what the difference is, oh brother of mine. The difference is that on a camping weekend, you go into the smelly countryside, probably next to a river or a lake, ‘cause people like to go into the water, although quite why has always been a mystery to me, it’s not like proper water that you put in your bath, it’s dirty and smelly and things live in it and I’ve even heard that fish do their business in it; you then put up your little tent and you live like a refugee for the weekend and pretend to like it, before rushing home for a bath, some decent food and a proper bed for the night. On a camping weekend, you dress up all glam, hit the best night spots and generally camp it up. See?”

    “And what makes you think that a weekend poncing about like some kind of deviant would possibly appeal to me?”

    “Because you need to let your inner glam queen out occasionally. We all do.”

    Finlay suddenly turned all serious and butch on me. He looked me straight in the eye with that steely gaze he reserves for when he’s really cross. “I do not have an inner glam queen or any other kind of persona that needs to be let out, Julian. And even if I did—”

    “So you admit the possibility that you might?”

    “No, I do not,” he replied, in a measured, even tone. He’s at his most scary when he does that. “And even if I did, Julian, which I don’t, how would it look for a senior officer of Her Majesty’s army to be seen cavorting around, dressed like goodness-only-knows-what, with a bunch of nancy-boys? Tell me that, if you can.”

    “Firstly, let me say that I object to your use of words like poncing, deviants and nancy-boys.”

    “And I object strongly to your entire premise that I would be comfortable carrying on like this with you and your… chums.”

    “And secondly, if it’s alright for senior members of Her Majesty’s Royal Family to dress up occasionally, why is it not for her soldiers to do it just the once? Come to think of it, he was a soldier; an officer; too.”


    “Okay, Fin. Truth be told, I wanted you to be there with us to make sure there wasn’t any trouble. We get a lot of stick from some of the local ruffians, and I don’t think that would happen if you were there; you being all butch and masculine and everything.”

    I wondered if Fin knew how much I was clutching at straws then.

    Finlay had the look about him of a man who was thinking, and thinking hard. Finally, he spoke again, his tone more conciliatory, “Okay, I’ll come with you—”

    I clapped my hands with glee and jumped up and down, “Goodeeeee! Thanks, Fin; you won’t regret it, I promise.”

    “God, I’m regretting it already. Let me finish, Julian,” he interrupted, “I will come with you, and I will keep an eye on you. However, I will not be a part of whatever it is you’re doing. I will sit in the corner of whatever club or restaurant you are using. You will not talk to me or even acknowledge me. As far as anyone is concerned, I will be a man on his own. If there is any trouble, or if you expect trouble, ring my phone. Although I’ll be close by, I’m not going to spend the weekend watching you like some kind of stalker, neither do I have x-ray eyes, so I won’t necessarily see if things heat up. I won’t answer my phone when you ring it, but I will approach your group and assess the situation. If I think my intervention is needed, I will act. Deal?”

    It wasn’t what I wanted; I so wanted to get Fin out of his shell and having some fun. Poor guy, since his Dutch wife Saskia left him for another woman a couple of years ago, his life has consisted only of work and bringing up their daughter Polly. His male ego was badly damaged when he found that his wife of fifteen years had turned, and now he’s over-compensating in all sorts of ways. He desperately needs to get out of himself. That’s why I set up this weekend, and arranged for Polly to stay with Mum. I suppose his coming along at all is a bit of a victory for me; and he will be very useful if there is any trouble. I mean, the man is so buff, so butch, so manly!

    “Deal!” I said, spitting on my hand and offering it to him. He rejected it, of course.

    “One thing you will learn this weekend,” I added, “is that camp and gay are not the same thing. You can’t always assume someone’s sexuality from their behaviour.”

    “I know that,” he said, sadly, “let’s go.”

  2. Jasdeep Kaur says:

    The Ambrosia

    Clear, luscious, and pure,
    the requisite of life,
    an epitome of ambrosia,
    yet cushy and demure.

    The flora, its virtues
    wouldn’t exist, they being deprived.
    The Earth would only be
    a desert, green never revived.

    And the fauna, we included,
    would be just the souls
    wandering about in the sand
    watching our trolls.

    The divine gift, water
    is so subtle and vital.
    When the tongue dries up
    only water’s palatable.

  3. JasonMoody77 says:

    Short on time. So it’s another poem (groan, hiss).

    Poor old Nelson lay a cropper
    Upon his Victory
    A gunshot to the shoulder
    No chance of remedy

    Fast forward to the present
    What would the Doctors say?
    Clean that wound, some morphine nurse
    And him? Off to x-Ray.

  4. Jason, I certainly don’t mind if you’re late and can ‘only manage’ a poem. I love your poems. This brought a big smile to my face. Thank you 🙂

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