My Weekly Writing Challenge

This week I’m going to give you two choices:

Option A: I’ll give you a story opening and the challenge is to continue the story from that point.

Option B: For this choice, I have a story ending for you and your challenge is to write story up to the ending. 

Here is your opening and your ending:

Option A:

I look around at my colleagues with envy.

“Are you ok,?” Shirley asks, stopping her filing for a moment and looking straight at me.

I nod my head. Blink a tear away. Force a smile. Shirley starts filing again. How can I tell her? How can I find the words to say how I really feel?

Option B:

I was wrong. I thought finding a ghost would be exciting and fun. At the very least I thought it would be scary. But it was more than that. So much more.

You have until next Thursday to send me your stories. Now, onto last week’s stories. I gave you the following themes for a story or poem:

  • Ghost
  • Horror
  • Crime
  • Romance

I had some excellent responses:

Keith Channing has written an extra episode of Albert and Jarvis. Read and enjoy:  http://channing.info/wp/2015/08/01/albert-and-jarvis-part-19/

Adhin Shamina sent in a powerful romance story:

FADED STEPS

It was just like any other day for Rachel, with the stifled sound of the sand beneath her feet, walking with her hands on her forehead to escape the blinding rays of the sun; she would wait for him because he told her he would be back.

Marc was the hero of the sea, rough-looking , but a child at heart. He learnt the art of fishing from his father who was the most daring of his time. Waves were like their breaths, coming and going. Marc and Rachel fell in love but against her family’s wishes. She belonged to a much more sophisticated background. For that, her parents would have never accepted a fisherman as part of their family. But Rachel had preferred his love to all the luxuries of the world she had seen. She was happy to care for her new home. They hadn’t been together for long but they were the Romeo and Juliet of the village. The life they shared was an example for the other couples.

But life had not been kind. Together, they had braved difficulties too, and with the same determination.

The memories of Marc were not like Rachel’s footprints on the sand. No wave had been able to wash them. It had been a year and Rachel had been doing her duty diligently. Every
morning began with the zeal of his arrival and darkness would leave hope for tomorrow.
Time had halted for Rachel.

“Looks like it’s going to be a great catch today. You know, Harry, my friend, he promised to take me to the city for business. It’s like the lottery going there. ” His hand running through his hair he looked at Rachel. His emotions flowed through his eyes,” I wish to do so many things for you.”

“Don’t ever say that dear. Nothing is more important for me than you. You’ve given the
world’s most priceless thing, love and a peaceful life like I have always wished for after marriage. And I am happy, dear.”

Rachel and Marc had created their own world and story. But unfortunately their story was
not a fairy tale with a happy ending. For the past eleven months, Harry’s wife Elizabeth, had been helping Rachel with her basic needs. In return Rachel offered her help in taking care of Elizabeth’s two children. Life grew hard for Elizabeth with sewing as her only means of income. But she had accepted her fate unlike Rachel. Her mental state was deteriorating day after day.

Standing on the shore her gaze fixed on the stretch before her. Then in just a few minutes the sea looked unfamiliar. The weather went grey. The atmosphere grew sinister. But her gaze did not move. She saw something at the far end, something struggling to reach the shore.

“Marc? Marc…He has come. Somebody help.” She looked around. There was not a
single soul. She believed Marc was in trouble at in other end. She was in pain and ran to her love. The waves took height, engulfing her. And in just a few moments, she was gone. Her never- ending wait ended.

The next morning, the whole village was searching for her. Elizabeth told them she did not
turn home that night. But they could only found Rachel’s slippers on the sand and then the curtain fell.

Adin also sent in a compelling crime poem:

STARVATION

Like forever starving
there are souls hanging around,
at every nook, at every corner,
some since the very beginning
and others till the end of time.
Lust, envy and greed
which, among others,take over their
never-to-be-satisfied desires and need.
At times their pace seems not enough,
at times their space seems not enough,
then reaching becomes tough
and from the above comes the cycle
of push and pull
constantly attempting
to always keep until full.
Then comes their spreading and growing
then comes their snatching and showing
despite to all it is knowing
that here all is owing.
But still like starving souls
they hang around
some since the very beginning
and some till the end of time.

Riley Reed has written an emotive poem:

‘A poem dedicated to my mom’:

https://rileyreedauthor.wordpress.com/2015/08/02/ghost-of-her/

Melissa Barker-Simpson tried something different for her – horror – and very successfully:

https://mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com/2015/08/05/the-flip-side-in-response-to-esther-newtons-writing-challenge/

Geoff Le Pard wrote a sonnet about his wife and their dancing lessons, as well as their on going love affair…

The hand that guides

Your consoling hand sits light on my sleeve,
A Macavity tap to release me on four;
We set sail, in step, gliding with ease
Past blind spots and money pots strewn on the floor.
I fumble to catch that elusive toe-tap
Which, if I could, would allow me my head.
You remind me, by way of a quick finger snap,
Of the dangers where taking that path might lead.
I continually try to do it my way,
To give into weakness of flesh and of soul
But you know how to guide; I cannot stray
And we remain linked; two parts of one whole.
May it always be thus as we gib and we tack;
You looking forward, my hand at your back.

Jane Basil has gone wonderfully dark and gruesome:
https://janebasilblog.wordpress.com/2015/08/01/dead-man-walking/

I hope you all agree – each writer brought something very different to the themes. Highly entertaining and very talented writers.

***

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3 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. Challenge ‘A’ accepted (http://channing.info/wp/2015/08/08/an-error-of-judgement/).

    An error of judgement

    I look around at my colleagues with envy.

    “Are you ok?” Shirley asks, stopping her filing for a moment and looking straight at me.

    I nod my head. Blink a tear away. Force a smile. Shirley starts filing again. How can I tell her? How can I find the words to tell her how I really feel?

    Looking around, no-one else gives any sign that they have noticed. No sense of outrage at the fact that of the eighteen people who make up the complement of this office, only seventeen are present and productive. Seventeen men and women working; heads down, eyes focussed on computer monitors, beavering away like the well-ordered, single-minded corporate drones they are. I envy their uncomplicated little lives, even as I secretly despise them for that very condition.

    I turn my gaze back to Shirley. Still filing as though it were all she lived for; absolute dedication.

    What Shirley and I did last night was wrong. Not legally, not even morally in the accepted sense of the word, but wrong nonetheless. It represented an extreme error of judgement on both our parts. For goodness’ sake, we are mature, responsible adults; at least we are supposed to be. We are both married. To other people. What ever possessed us to do what we did is beyond me. But do it we did, the inevitable; the one thing that could go wrong; did, and now we have to live with the consequences.

    I suppose, in our defence, it was almost inevitable. We spend a lot of time together, and we have become quite close. The mistake was probably not so much what we did, as making the initial decision to visit a bar and down a few drinks on the way home from work. We should have known that it wouldn’t stop there. We should have anticipated that we would do something stupid.

    How stupid? How does driving a dodgem car in the local fairground sound? Not bad? Add in alcohol, and the car becomes a lethal weapon. After a heavy impact, I ended up in hospital with a splinter of something in my eye. At least that sobered me up, but it was supremely awkward to explain to my wife why I was brought home from work four hours late, and by a woman she didn’t know.

    “Yes, Shirley, I’m fine, thanks,” I say, “but I’d prefer if you stop filing your nails and get on with some work!”

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