My Weekly Writing Challenge

Happy New Year from My Weekly Writing Challenge! It’s had a bit of a break, so now my weekly series is back. So it’s time to put Christmas and New year behind you and to take up the challenge once again. Well…perhaps you oughtn’t to put Christmas and New year behind you just yet, as they’re part of this week’s challenge! For next Thursday, I’d like to see your stories and poems containing the following five words:

  • Christmas
  • Happy
  • New
  • Year
  • Resolutions

Your entry doesn’t actually have to have anything to do with Christmas or the New Year; it just needs to contain those five words somewhere.

Here are all the 100 word stories and poem you’ve been busy sending in over the past three weeks:

Keith Channing sent in a sad story:

Poor little chap

The farmer’s dog, larger than a German Shepherd, hated our small terriers instantly, on first sight, four years ago. Following a few attacks, the farmer shuts his dog in his tractor when he sees us passing.

Earlier this week he didn’t see us. His dog did. We were on the main road, but his dog found a way out and homed in on one of our terriers. There was no snarling or barking, just a very efficient attack, seizing our dog by the neck.

A 200€ vet’s bill later, he is mending. His stitches and staples come out on Monday.

Keith followed this up a week or so later with an uplifting story:

“What makes you think this year will be any better?” he asked. “Are you still, after all we’ve been through, relying on so-called ‘hope’?”

“No, my love,” she replied. “Hope has never worked for us. Neither have resolutions, plans or expectations. Every device we have used in the past to better ourselves has failed. Always.”

“What is going to make this year any different, then?”

“This year we are going to make decisions. Specific, targeted, focussed decisions. No resolutions, no plans, no hopes, no dreams. Decisions.”

“And then?”

“And then, my sweet, we are going to implement those decisions.”

Geoff (not George!) Le Pard sent in this great story – make sure you read on to his comments!:

Dream Home

After Pete and Marie bought number 22, we said we’d help. Everything was a mess – they told us it had been a squat. The smell inside was too awful so we opted for the garden.

When my fork hit the lump I thought ‘broken brick’, but under the plastic and oily cloth was a sawn-off shotgun.
Marie’s scream called us inside; in the attic she’d found a box of bloodied clothes – both women’s and children’s. Pete stared at the rockery. ‘The neighbours told us they built that last month.’ He looked at me. ‘Whoever heard of squatters building a rockery?’

The first part is based on fact; when my brother in law moved house my wife and I said we’d do the garden. Digging in an old bed I found a well wrapped sawn off shotgun. We took it to the police who took it without a word – they didn’t even ask our names!

It was great to see Steven S. Walsky back with a story to make you smile:

It was a cold and windy December day, as I stood in morning formation with my fellow apprehensive soon to start Army Basic Training classmates.  Then, to our amazement, we were informed that we would be sent home for Christmas; Basic Training would start on January 1st.   And so, Steve arrived back in the neighborhood, coincidentally a few days after his friend and, unwed, neighbor had given birth; attention-grabbing.  More than one neighbor ‘knew why’, and nothing I could say would change their minds.  One would remind me that his son “was not sent home from Basic Training for Christmas!”

Ayo Oboro sent in a fun, quirky poem:

I knew a man
Lived by my house
I used to think that he was sane
And then one day he danced.
I craned my neck
And pulled my ears
Thinking that something I could hear.
He changed the steps
He changed the dance
And yet his drums were silent to me.
Butt a-shaking
Waist a-twisting
Doing jigs and sometimes tango
Looking at his face,no expression
But his feet refused to surrender
Thinking that he would soon tire
I waited for him to retire
The steps changed
Becoming hip hop
Arms flying,head rolling
Now I know not what to think.

Jasdeep Kaur understands children well!:

My Colour

“Carla won’t change, neither would Isla. No one’s like me. Will I ever have a friend?” Elle said stamping her foot.

Pamela, her mother, picked up the brush and water colours, “Come Elle, let’s paint your dolls. What’s your favourite colour?”

“Red…you know, Mum. Don’t you?”

“Then, what about a red frock for Barbie,” her brush started never to stop, “a red frock for Disney Princess, for Dora
…and what about red hair…and red cheeks…and red nose…and red eyes…”

“Eeks…what are you doing, Mum? They’re looking so ugly.”

“But isn’t it exactly what you want to do…paint everyone in your colour?”

Pat Hemstock sent in three thoroughly entertaining stories:

1) A case to answer

Their eyes met across the railway carriage. Rick smiled, and she smiled back blushing prettily. He passed his biscuits for her to share. She accepted and blushed again.

‘Can someone pick this up, I can’t lift it.’ Rick looked up to see an elderly lady struggling with a case. In a show of exaggerated gallantry he picked up the case and followed her. Arriving at a taxi, she turned saying, ‘Oh, that’s not my case dear, it was just blocking the passageway.’

Rick turned and ran back into the station to see the train pulling away.

2) A very Nice Man

Becky dragged herself wearily into the cafe. There was one free table; going over she put down her shopping and handbag. At the next table a man was sitting alone.

‘Do you mind keeping an eye on my bags?’ she asked him.

‘How could I say no to such a beautiful lady?’ he winked at her.

‘Thanks.’ She smiled; it was a long time since anyone had called her beautiful.

With excitement she bought extra cake to share with him, but on returning to her table the man was gone and so were her bags.

3) The Confession

‘Father, forgive me for I have sinned.’

‘Bless you, my Son.’

‘Are you sure you can’t see me, and don’t know who I am?’

‘Absolutely.’

‘I’ve always been a joker, but recently I’ve done bad things.’

‘Go on.’

‘I got involved with a street gang, I got into knife crime, I thought nothing of knifing someone, just for fun.’

‘Yes … ‘

‘It gets worse, I killed someone. The Police are after me. I don’t know what to do. But Father, I have done something worse.’

‘Yes, go on.’

‘I’ve told a pack of lies to a Priest.’

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16 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. JasonMoody77 says:

    Ok…

    “Happy New Year, Merry Christmas, what a load of old baloney”

    The old man stood next to me at the bar was never short of opinions. And he certainly wasn’t afraid to voice them. I just look at him and smile, hoping he’ll shut up so I can enjoy my after work pint.

    “What’s your resolution? I’m going to lose weight, I’m going to fight for world peace,” the man snarled.

    I was just about to take a sip. I put the glass back down and turn to him. He looks me up and down, as if inspecting merchandise.

    “Mate.” He wasn’t, but it’s a traditional opening. “if you ain’t got anything good to say, could you…you know?”

    His face immediately screwed up. His face had more lines than the rail network.

    “Who the bloody hell do you think you are?” he said.

    A hundred and one tasty reposts entered my head. Most of them unsavoury. Composure. Don’t rise.

    “Listen. I just wanna enjoy my pint in peace. ain’t there someone else around to enjoy your verbal diarrhoea?”

    I was rather pleased with this response. Witty, sharp. Biting? Well, I thought so.

    His face hadn’t had a chance to un-wrinkle from moments earlier.

    “What’s there to be happy about? New Year, same old, same old. And I ain’t got no job.”

    He certainly had a bee in his bonnet. I was curious now. Don’t do it. leave it.

    “Where did you work? What happened?” I asked. I wish I hadn’t.

    “Shopping Centre Father Christmas.” he groaned.

    I wanted to laugh. I really did.

    “Why did they let you go?” I asked.

    He laughed, ever so lightly. I was gonna like this.

    “I can’t stand children,” he said.

    With that, we both started laughing.

  2. Rajiv says:

    Number of words?

  3. I phoned my Mum last Friday. I always phone her on Fridays. She’s come to expect it now and gets worried if I miss a call. I imagine she thinks something may have happened to me, something that would prevent me from calling her on Friday afternoon. It’s my own fault, really. It suited me to call regularly, to have a set time and day. I get so busy, that without a routine, I’d keep forgetting to call her, then when I do, she goes all Maureen Lipman on me. You remember those BT adverts she did: “Too busy to call your mother”, she’d say, when her son didn’t call for a couple of weeks. Mum’s just like that. I suppose it’s understandable; living on her own in that big house, rarely seeing a soul. It’s hardly what you’d call a happy life.

    She gets very lonely and I know she’d love us to go to see her more often, but it’s nearly five hours each way by car, and that’s not something we can do too often. We so rarely have a day when the two of us and both kids are free together. I tried to get her to use a computer or even an iPad or something, so we could Skype her. I know she’d love to talk with the kids. I offered to buy her one for Christmas, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She said that she doesn’t like all these new-fangled gadgets.

    She was okay with the television we bought her last year, though. When we put it in, I spent a whole day with her, explaining its various functions. It’s a large-screen smart TV that does so much more than just show television programmes. If she would let me, I could show her how she could use it for Skype, if she’d let me have broadband installed for her. She does use some of its smart functions, though. She is using its built-in recorder to save whole series that she can watch when it suits her, rather than when it fits the broadcaster’s schedule.

    I asked her today if there was anything special she was watching.

    “Not yet,” she said, “but I’m getting it to record some stuff for me. I’ll watch it when the series is finished. I hate waiting for a week for the next episode.”

    “Sounds nice, Mum,” I replied, “What’s it about?”

    “Its a hysterical serial about the Industrial Resolution.”

    I knew what she meant…

  4. Jasdeep Kaur says:

    Luring Resolutions

    Merry Christmas is a wish
    not merely to say or give
    but to relish the cosiness
    of the lingering reminiscences
    from the year that’ll be history
    in the life’s story.

    The shining star will bring
    a new hope for heart’s string
    that looks for love and peace
    in every notch or crease
    and reassure with the kindness
    of the merciful divine presence.

    Let’s stand in unison
    with the luring resolutions
    to comfort the trodden,
    make all happy, and strengthen
    brotherhood, love and compassion
    in the new-born year’s expansion.

  5. Kate Loveton says:

    Thanks for highlighting the work of some excellent writers, Esther. A lot of good stuff here.

  6. TanGental says:

    I sort of slightly broke your rules Esther so banish it to the dust bowl of the blogsphere if it fails to cut the mustard
    On the twelfth day of Christmas..
    George ‘Bad Ass’ Potts wanted to be a terrorist. He had weighed up the career options and decided this one suited the mix of his personality (prefers own company, likes fires) and technical skills (good at not being seen, always able to start a fire). At Christmas he had asked for a Kevlar vest, a strong magnifying glass and an easy to use lighter. He got slippers and a book token.
    Frankly George had had enough. He took to his room and refused to come out for six days. On New’s Year Eve his mother banged on the door. “George, what are you doing?”
    “Plotting the overthrow of the hegemonic tyranny you call a Government.”
    Mrs Potts returned to the kitchen. “Well thank goodness.”
    Mr Potts put down the tea cloth. “What’s he up to?”
    “Making his New Year’s Revolutions.”
    Mr Potts poured some tea. “If it makes him happy.”

  7. Ooooh, I’m definitely going to gave to include this so no banishing for you! A great story. Thanks, Geoff. I’m so glad you always send something in. Your tales never fail to entertain 🙂

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