My Weekly Writing Challenge

Last week, I gave you the opening to your story, so this week, for my challenge, I’m going to give you the ending:

She shook her head and smiled. The day hadn’t started well, but it had certainly ended with a bang.

There are no word limits or themes. Why your character shook her head and smiled and what the bang was, is up to you.

Last week, your opening sentence was ‘John knew he’d gone too far this time – and there was no going back’. Here are the entries:

Steve Walsky was quick of the mark with this witty flash fiction story:

John knew he’d gone too far this time – and there was no going back.

“Ahem!” said Elvis, the impatient Los Vegas Wedding Chapel guy, “I said, you may now kiss the bride!”

Later, as he packed his bags for their trip to his apartment in London, John thought, obviously, what happens in Vegas does not always stay in Vegas. It was going to be a long plane ride.

Geoff Le Pard brings his wonderful humour to his poem:

Poor John – a poem

John knew he’d gone to far this time
And there was no going back;
His punishment was sure to follow
For the pants he’d forgot to pack.

Shirts and shorts were missing too;
He’d nothing but his socks.
And cycling two hundred miles
He’d really miss his jocks.

For John was a well-hung man
– his parts were in demand-o;
But nothing could prepare poor John
For biking when commando.

Keith Channing is an expert in building tension in his stories:

John knew he’d gone too far this time – and there was no going back.

He had been over this scenario in his mind a thousand times and the outcome had been different on each occasion. Not only did the result vary, his reaction to it did, too. He had seen the highest highs and the lowest lows, peaks of elation and depths of despair.

Countless times, he had asked himself what he would do; how he would handle it if he found himself forced to make a decision, an irreversible, irrevocable commitment which allowed no ‘get-out clause’, no second chance, no escape route.

And now, here he was. The time he had been planning for, hoping for, working for, and yet dreading, had arrived.

John raised his head from the screen he’d been staring at for what felt like hours but was, in fact, only seconds. His heart in his mouth, his stomach tying itself in indescribable knots, he forced himself to look his inquisitor in the eye as he uttered the words that would make or break him; lift him to glory beyond his dreams or reduce him to misery that went further and deeper than his worst nightmares:

“C – Sodium metabisulphite. Final answer.”

Jason Moody squeezed his entry in  – just as I was about to post the new challenge!

John knew he had gone too far this time – there was no going back. The Tom Tom had once again lied to him.He pulled out a packet of crisps from the glove compartment. It was going to be a long wait.

Jason sent another in and it was so moving, I had to add it in:

John knew he had gone to far this time
There was no going back
What slipped from his lips
Lacked any tact
She recoiled in hurt
As if shot by a gun
John knew that this night
Would not be much fun
She stormed from the party
With tears in her eyes
Ignoring the echo
Of John’s pitiful cries
Into the night
Tears making her blind
She never saw it coming
The car from behind
A second had passed
As she hit the ground
John found her frozen
Not making a sound
He cried and he shook her
His regret was now strong
But with this he must live
As she was now gone
John knew he had gone too far this time
There was no going back
But his one true love
From his life would lack

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9 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. Reluctantly, Jacqui dragged herself out of bed. She hadn’t slept at all well. She had gone to bed the previous evening with a rotten summer cold developing and threatening to overwhelm her; even the brandy and hot milk, her go-to remedy on these occasions, hadn’t helped at all. To cap it all, just before four in the morning, her faithful companion for more than nine years, her little Jack Russell, had decided that whatever he had eaten in the garden during the evening would serve him better all over Jacqui’s bedclothes than inside his stomach.

    As if that wasn’t enough, today was the day she had decided to invite some of her friends around for a crafting session.

    Just before ten, her little dog erupted into a frenzy of yapping, signifying that someone had had the temerity to come to her door. It was Juliette, the first of her friends to arrive. The other three turned up at intervals over the following half-hour or so.

    These were good friends, kind, giving, supportive friends, the sort of friends she could rely on to rally round whenever there was any kind of emergency, and who could rely on her to do the same. After some minutes of oohing and aahing and ’you should have called us to cancel, if you’re not feeling well; we would have understood’-ing, the group settled down to a few hours of making cards, costume jewellery and all manner of trinkets, each bringing her own special set of skills to the table.

    Jacqui was seldom happier than when surrounded by her small clan of friends, and had every expectation that this tight-knit group would go on for ever. They all did. Until, that is, Betty dropped the bombshell that she and her husband were planning to leave the area and return to their roots.

    That news was met with stunned silence. All eyes were fixed on Betty, and they weren’t kindly eyes.

    “Isn’t anyone going to say anything?” Betty finally asked.

    “What is there to say?” Jacqui demanded, “You come in here, in the middle of a really nice day’s crafting, and calmly announce that you’re leaving.”

    “And you don’t even say why,” Juliette added, “and don’t give us that garbage about returning to your roots, ‘cos we don’t buy it. What’s really going on, eh, Betty? What?”

    “It’s true,” Betty said, leaning back in her chair and rubbing the back of her neck, “we want to be closer to our families, so we can see them more often and watch the little ones grow up.”

    Isabelle turned toward her and pointed an accusing finger. “Who was there when you had that trouble last year, eh? Them or us?” she asked, “Where were they when you really needed them? Nowhere to be seen. That’s when you know who your real friends are; but if you’re prepared to turn your back on all that, on everything we have meant to each other, everything we have done for each other, suffering and rejoicing together, then up yours. I want nothing more to do with you.”

    “Steady, Issy,” Jacqui said, “perhaps she has a point. I miss my family, too; we all do.”

    “But we don’t all abandon ship on a sentimental whim like that,” Issy hissed, “we stick together. That’s what friends do. But if you’re going to take her side, then count me out. Anyone else feel the same?”

    Silence. No-one moved.

    “Okay, if that’s how you feel,” Issy said; and with that, she picked up her work and stormed out of the door. Betty started to cry, hiding her face behind her hands with embarrassment. Jacqui, Juliette and Annette comforted her as best they could, but it was clear that no more crafting would happen that day.

    Suddenly, Betty’s face cleared. She looked up, beaming.

    “That worked,” she said.

    “What d’you mean?” Jacqui asked.

    “I’ve seen how Issy has been trying to take over the group for a while, now. I’m not going anywhere, but I had to do something to stop her. Good riddance, I say.”

    “Maybe you’re right, Betty,” Juliette said, “I hadn’t noticed, but now you mention it, Issy is rather controlling, and she does always steer us to doing what she wants, instead of what we had planned. I’m sure we’ve all had enough of her ‘Issy fits’.”

    The three others nodded in agreement.

    Jacqui shook her head and smiled. The day hadn’t started well, but it had certainly ended with a bang.

  2. TanGental says:

    Shopping with mother was a chore, but then anything with mother in the same sentence was a chore. A sentence. Ellie sniggered. Yes, a life sentence.
    She should love the old bag, she thought as she rummaged through the past the sell by date yoghurts distractedly. But she had yet to be beatified so that was beyond a mere mortal such as herself.
    Take the journey here. ‘I’ll be gone soon then you’ll be sorry.’
    ‘Don’t say that, mum. You know…’
    ‘You just don’t care. Well, don’t think I’m leaving you anything. The dog’s home, they’ll get it all.’
    ‘I don’t want…’
    ‘And that person won’t get it either, sod him.’
    She meant Keith. Now there was a saint, to put up with his mother in law. His patience made it worse, really. If only he’d get angry with her.
    She picked up peach yoghurts, two days out of date and moved to the stale bread bin. If mother had so much money, why did she insist on living on left overs and scraps? Ellie plucked a dented ready-sliced tin and put it in her basket.
    And then there was Mr Ahmed’s boys. Lovely lads, so polite. They’d seen her struggling to get mum into her chair and offered to help. ‘Get their greasy hands off me, the darkies.’ Ellie had really wanted to strangle her after that. That’s why she’d left her outside, moaning about the smell as she stared at the boys. ‘Don’t think you can get away with that, my girl.’ Her whinging on repeat had followed Ellie into the store but at least in here it was quiet.
    That was when Ellie was thrown backwards ten feet, ending in the frozen peas. Smoke and debris surrounded her as she was rendered deaf by a humungous explosion.

    Four hours later, Ellie sat on a chair in the hospital, her head bandaged. Several people had sought her out to comfort her. At first she hadn’t understood but gradually it became clear. Her mother, left alone, had wheeled her chair over to where the two Ahmed boys were waiting. Someone had said she had a go at them. Another said she had picked up their bag, after an argument. What was not in doubt was the fact that Ellie’s mother, in seeking to pull something out of the boys’ bag had detonated a huge bomb, destroying some of the shopping centre as well as herself and the two boys. Ellie wanted to feel guilty but all she felt was relief that the only people who had died were the two brothers, apparently suicide bombers and her mother. Funny how things work out.
    She shook her head and smiled. The day hadn’t started well, but it had certainly ended with a bang.

  3. Steve says:

    I plan to use your challenge sentences in my next post, which will unfortunately be after you have probably posted the submissions and the next challenge. Thanks once again for the writing motivation.

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