My Weekly Writing Challenge

It’s challenge time! Here are this week’s new challenges for you:

OPTION ONE: WRITE A 10-WORD STORY STARTING WITH THE WORDS ‘OH NO!

OPTION TWO: WRITE A POEM OR LIMERICK ON THE THEME OF GLORY.

OPTION THREE: WHAT DOES THE WORD DREAM MEAN TO YOU? YOU CAN WRITE A POEM, ARTICLE, STORY; ANYTHING GOES. YOUR DREAM CAN BE TRUE OR A PIECE OF FICTION. 

Last week, your first option was to write a mini story of six words. If there were prizes for the most, then Jason Moody would win hands down! Here are his amazing stories:

Storm grew. Thunder clapped. Pants soiled.

40c heat. No sunscreen. Bloody idiot.

 Curry arrived. No poppadoms! World ended. 

Aliens? Where? You meant the kids!

Dave sulked. Emily fumed. Date over.

Stay? Leave? Just end it already!

Missed bus. Work phoned. Oh poop.

Six words? Ok then. Ta-da!

Play suspended. Strawberry’s overpriced. Tennis anyone?

Forgotten birthday. Unhappy child. Livid wife.

Car crashed. Hit duck. Roadkill anyone?

Went swimming. Caught short. Nobody noticed!

Cameron monologued. Eyes rolled. Newspapers squawked.

On beach. Read books. World dissolved.

She looked. I looked. Bus left.

Out walking. Belly rumbled. Forehead sweating.

We danced. We flirted. She’s gay.

Great date. She’s gorgeous. Where’s wallet?

Got to work. Forgot trousers…again!

Train delayed again. Time for crossword.

Itchy foot. Start scratching. What’s that?

Watched football. Fell asleep. Forgot housework.

Great party. Oh shit. Ex arrived.

Devoured McDonalds. Hour passed. Hungry again.

Missed breakfast. Train late. Curses silently.

I let you in. You lied.

Toast fell. Butter down. screw life.

He said. She said. I’m confused.

I’m gasping. Ooooh…coffee. No milk!

No internet. Sad face. Hopelessly lost.

One more. Another one. Packet gone!

Nice meal. Big strain. Feel empty!

Wake. Rain. Wake. Rain. Summer blows.

Dead battery. Appointment cancelled. Expletives exhausted.

Spectacular hangover. Bed shared. Oh God!

Monday morning. Counting hours. When’s Saturday?

Monday morning. Scrap that. Monday mourning.

Contest entered. Rules broken? Nerves frayed.

Here’s an entry from newbie, Paul:

Warm up. The race. Next time!

Nest Madden’s made me laugh:

Six words! She must be joking.

Bindu joined in with a great story:

Alone. I cry. You stand by!

Keith Channing‘s will bring a smile:

I came, I sawed, I conkered.

Now, it’s over to EDC Writing:

Six word story three with meaning.

Ever tempting the finality of flame.

Counting to six so damn stressful!

Could go on so I won’t!

Did I tell you I lie?

Sarcasm ill advised yet so necessary!

Mirror says old bald move on!

Exposed…I’m a six word junkie!

I was thrilled see an entry from Hugh Roberts:

He left. Never came back. Never!

Pat Garcia sent in this clever story:

Rifle pointing, view clear, she shot.

David Harrison sent in a story which could come true!

Snowing? In June? World’s gone crazy!

Sacha Black‘s is very clever:

Last push. Grunt. Grunt. Perfect cry.

Rajiv Chopra had fun with this:

Ram and Ravana shared a pizza!

Option two was to write a story, poem, limerick or article with the title AFRAID.

Of course, Keith Channing was the first to come up with an entertaining limerick or two or three or four or five:

Afraid?

There once was a humble milkmaid
Who oft in the haystack had played
Though she really was wild
She will not be with child
She was there on her own, I’m afraid

Notwithstanding her tastes were eclectic
Her playmate was purely electric
When he heard a dull buzz
Which is what her toy does
Her father wound up apoplectic

Once his temper had somewhat subdued
Though his daughter was practically nude,
He gave a slight cough
And said “Turn it off,
Don’t you know that it’s just bloody rude?”

He decided to try reverse flattery
And said “This place smells like a cattery.”
She grinned ear to ear
And said, “I’ve no fear,
I carry at least one spare battery.”

“You can rant. you can rail, I’ll not care,
Though I think you are not being fair,
You can stay there all night
I don’t do fight or flight,
And I’m not one you’ll easily scare.”

Bindu has written a poem on the theme:

Afraid?
Fearful thoughts begin to raid,
As the obstacle-mountains begin to grow,
Scary thoughts transform from a trickle to a flow.

Frightened?
Feel the worries and anxieties heighten.
For as your fears become larger than life,
Your troubles increase,sense an internal strife.

So?
Let go of all struggles and cares,
It’s good to let go and stand and stare.
It helps you stay cool and calm,
And bravely weather many a storm.

Here’s Pat Garcia’s harrowing poem:

AFRAID

Barbwire fences rise,

People are afraid.

Soldiers stand stately,

Unmoving, unapproachable.

People are afraid.

A child cries,

A woman mourns,

A man slashes out, behind the fenced-in housing.

People are afraid.

David Harrison entertains with a limerick:

King Henry the eighth was delayed
His queen had been caught in a raid
“Catherine Howard’s been naughty”
Said Cromwell so haughty
Said Henry “She’s toast I’m afraid!”

Rajiv Chopra‘s poem is a lot of fun:

“Let me tell you about The Man on The Moon,
Living alone, he became quite the loon.
For some reason, somehow, afraid of the dark,
He woke up early, like the proverbial lark!

The Man on The Moon, sang quite the tune,
Always afraid he’d fall off the moon.
Scared of his shadow, he always ran fast.
One day he tripped, putting his leg in a cast.

The Man on The Moon was always afraid,
He stuttered with fear, at the sight of the maid.
He pissed in his pants, and made them quite wet,
Has he overcome his fears? Oh, not quite yet!

This was the tale, of The Man on The Moon
Living alone, he became quite the loon.
For some reason, somehow, afraid of the dark;
Finally, poor chap, was eaten by a shark!”

Option three was to write the opening three paragraphs of a novel. The line ‘I vowed I’d never forgive her’ had to appear  in one of the paragraphs.

Jason Moody sent in several super story openings:

I vowed I’d never forgive her. Actually, I promise myself a lot of things. Do I stick to them? No.

I take another sip of Luke warm coffee to wash down the stale croissant and my mind once again drifts.

Like it or not. I will have to face her again soon.

I vowed I’d never forgive her. I told myself that this pain would endure, that I could never forget it.

If I don’t know what it is to hurt, how would I ever know what it was like to find true love?

I see she’s come alone tonight. She looks fabulous. I’m fucking doomed.

I vowed I’d never forgive her, but here I am, stood before her, vulnerable and alone.

She touches my hand and electricity swims through my veins. She makes me feel so alive, and all at once she kills me. I can see that smile reach across her face. Oh, God. Don’t say it.

“Dan. Can you ever forgive me?”

I place the flowers at the headstone. The wind and rain have ravaged those left before. I stand back and close my eyes. I picture her face, her laughter and her heart-melting smile.

“Happy birthday, darling,” I whisper.

My thoughts darken. I am once again brought back to that morning. My mind is crippled with a life-long sadness I will never shift. My heart will never heal. How can it? I will never forget what she did, and I vowed I would never for give her.

I’d never forgive her. But here we are on my wedding day and she’s doing my hair. I catch her looking at me in the mirror and smile. She smiles back, but it feels rehearsed.

How did I ever let myself get into this situation? Why is she here right now? What have I done?

It’s then it starts to become clear. I get a second of clarity. Andy invited her. I didn’t.
Now it all makes sense. Now I know what I have to do. If I don’t, I’ll end up being a laughing stock.

I vowed I’d never forgive her. How could I? I’d had my Optimus Prime since I was six. I loved that toy. So what if his left arm was missing and he had chew marks all over his body?

Marvin loved to chew Optimus. He is a really silly dog. He chews all my toys.

I suppose I’ll write to Father Christmas and get another one. I have been good this year, I’ve even been tidying my room.

Bindu sent in a touching novel opening:

I vowed I’d never forgive her. Or could I? How could I even think of a life without her?

It had been not to long ago when we had met accidentally at the cafe, an accident in more ways than one. The coffee had dabbled a colour on my pristine white shirt as if it were a canvas for modern art. Had she been apologetic? Far from it! She accused me of having blocked her way and the spill – a consequence! That’s what had got me hooked. The attitude!

Well that’s how it had begun and this is how it is now. She has walked over me to reach out to her new partner, Thea. Till today she has dropped no hints, showed no signs of her leaning towards her own kind. She had led me on while I had been sinking deeper and deeper, to a point of no return. Perhaps. I vowed I’d never forgive her. How could I have?

I was pleased to see Keith Channing found time to complete all three challenges. Here’s what he had to say about his story opening:

This may be the opening of A bump in the Knight, the sequel to Knight and Deigh which I am considering for NaNoWriMo this year.

She said yes. Sophie had said that she would marry me. Why, then, was I feeling so deflated? I’ll tell you why. It’s because of the ‘but’. But not until I could walk down the aisle with her. That meant unaided. The hospital rehabilitation physiotherapist, Mrs Fan, had told me that I was doing well, but by her timetable, it would be ages before I’d be able to walk unaided. For goodness’ sake, I’m still at least a month short of walking with a frame. I can only manage a few metres, supporting myself in the training machine. Unaided? It would have to be six months or more.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I should count my blessings; that I should look back at where I was only a few months ago, facing the rest of my life in a wheelchair. Yes, Sophie and I had some good times, scuba diving, sky-diving, speedboating and so on, but through it all, I was the cripple, and Sophie was my carer. We both deserve better than that.

I vowed I’d never forgive her if she left me, but who could blame her if she did? She’s young, fit, attractive, capable, strong… everything I’m not. I depend on her physically, mentally and emotionally, and all I have to offer in return is money and what it can buy. It can’t buy happiness. It can’t buy contentment. It can’t buy love. It can’t buy any of the things that human beings are wont to give freely. Sophie had said yes, but was that enough?

Rajiv Chopra said he may well use this as a story opening and continue it:

This is a tale from long ago. It is a tale of a Pig named Percival, and his band of adventurers. I am tempted to call them merry adventurers, but that might be stretching the truth just a little bit. As tales go, it is a long and complicated one, but isn’t that just a reflection of life?

Percival had married Bessie, lost her, and then found true love in a three eyed wench called Jenna. She came along with her sister Trix, who had married his once arch enemy, Basil.

One morning, as they sat under the shade of a tree in Percival’s garden, sipping the marvellous coffee brewed by his butler, Mortimer, Percival got to reminiscing about the past. Bessie had passed into the shades, and her treachery and betrayal used to rankle Percival. “I never thought I’d forgive her”, he told Jenna, ‘but now I am free of her.’ He rubbed his gently swaying stomach, as he thought longingly of food. The stomach, flattened by his adventures, had re-acquired some of the soft, billowing curves of the earlier days, and he was content.

***

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43 Responses to My Weekly Writing Challenge

  1. Jason Moody says:

    How many did I write? Sheesh. Slow week.

  2. JunkChuck says:

    Does the “oh no” count towards the total of 10?

  3. Jason Moody says:

    “Oh no,” I gasped. “I’ve spilt Mum’s prosecco!”
    I’m grounded.

  4. Jason Moody says:

    “Dad, you know I love you.”
    “Oh no,” he said.

  5. Jason Moody says:

    Britain leaves Europe. Borders tightened. Bieber gig cancelled. Oh no!

  6. Oh no! The X-Factor starts next month. Must be Christmas. 🎅🏻

  7. EDC Writing says:

    “Oh no!” he shouts “scales are broke not my promises!”

  8. Simon says:

    I like the sound of this Esther, I may have a go.
    BTW, saw you at the bash, sorry I didn’t catch up with you!

  9. Jason Moody says:

    Oh no, Britain! No more Bieber I’m afraid. Ah well.

  10. Jason Moody says:

    There once was a Euro referendum
    Off to the polls we did send ’em
    They’ve got their little glory
    And change this lands story
    Too late for the others to mend ’em

  11. Jason Moody says:

    Immigration wasn’t the issue
    I’m sad, please pass me a tissue
    It’s Farage you’re pleasin’
    Votes for the wrong reason
    All the best, begrudgingly I wish you

  12. Jason Moody says:

    One for the nerds…

    I once played New Zealand Story
    I was on the verge of great glory
    Then a power cut struck
    What shitty luck
    I fell feint. Gutted. I’m poorly!

  13. patgarcia says:

    I enjoyed reading all of the ones posted for the weekly challenge last week. Great work to everyone. As for what happened at the polls yesterday in England, I’m not going to comment at the moment. I’ve got my own basket of weeds growing right now in the United States, and it is frightening.
    Have a great Friday, everyone.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

  14. byIndiaBlue says:

    Oh No, she’s in trouble now, she didn’t ask permission

  15. Bindu says:

    10 word story:
    1. A sea of bored, tired young eyes exclaimed,”Oh no!”
    2. I couldn’t have gone back again, another year! Oh no!

  16. Bindu says:

    Limerick….
    “Oh good glory,
    Is that a cooked up story?”
    Asked the teacher with a frown,
    As she gave me a dressing- down.
    But I, the culprit didn’t feel sorry.

  17. Bindu says:

    Dreams I nurture…
    I dream of a beautiful life,
    Wherein there is no strife,
    Amidst people- big or small.

    No worries if they are rich or poor.
    With no care for caste or colour,
    Should this even be something to consider?

    No struggle between nations
    Fighting over petty rations
    When things more valuable lay waste!

    A gossamer dream of camaraderie,
    Of friendship and joyous revelry
    Togetherness and firm bonds of love.

    I dream of this attainable goal,
    Which ambition hath from us stole,
    Is mine a distant, far- fetched hope?

  18. Rajiv says:

    Hi Esther, I have two. This is what happens when I write after having an illicit chai and samosa.
    The 10 word is not what I originally planned. It is a bit of a sarcastic Brexit themed one.

    “Oh No! It’s Brexit Number Two! After 1947, it’s 2016!”

    On Dreams & Dreaming – it is longer than I expected

    “Dreams have held different meanings for me over the years. When I was a teenager, reading about the occult and the Dark Arts, I felt that dreams held the keys to my subconscious. There were three dreams that I had had as a child in Nainital. These were recurring dreams. The first had me standing on a tall cliff, which fell away, leaving me alone on a narrow tower. The world was small and far away from the height at which I stood. I stood there alone, afraid, scared. In the second dream I was again alone on that tower, but now I was reaching my arms up to the sky, feeling the power of Nature coursing through my body, with my arms as the conduit for this power.

    In the third dream, I am alone and standing at the edge of a cliff. I have a beard and shoulder length hair. I am at the end of my life, watching the world far away, and looking over at the life that I have lived. I am alone as I prepare to take the last step of my life, and my first step into the unknown. This is the last great, unsolved mystery of mankind. There is a sense of melancholy in me, and the realisation grows that I must take this last step alone. There is no fear in me, but I feel a twinge of sadness as I leave those behind me, while I prepare to take this last step.

    Later in life, when I was in China, I recalled the immortal line of Martin Luther King – “I have a dream”, and I realised the power of dreams to move Heaven and Earth. In Beijing, where I was staying alone for a while, I would switch off the lights in my service apartment, and listen to Vikor Frankl’s audio book – “Man’s Search For Meaning”.

    Martin and Viktor have danced in my subconscious for many years, and they have danced a beautiful tango together.

    When I sat, looking at the Trishul Mountains in June 2013, Martin and Viktor came together for me. That’s when I knew that if Martin and Viktor can come together for you, it is a blessed thing indeed. While I have often strayed from the path I set out on then, I always try and find my way back.

    If they come together for you then, from that moment on, you need the courage of conviction to pursue your path, your dreams. No matter how long and hard the path may see; there is gold indeed to be found at the end of the rainbow. And, like the hoopoe showed the birds, the gold may very well be inside you.”

  19. Sarah says:

    Oh no! I’ve gone and farted out loud again, darn! 🙂

  20. Sacha Black says:

    My god that was a lot of entries! Cracking show 💖

  21. Sacha Black says:

    SO many entries! 😱😍 fab turn out

  22. TanGental says:

    Stranger than fiction
    Professor Nodrog El Drap, Emeritus Chair of Narco-Selfimaging at Oxford removed the simple headskin. He felt tired and had the beginnings of a migraine, a not unusual occurrence for a dream analyst and especially so, given the subject’s dreams he was reviewing. Adnil Senoj, the first serial killer to murder entirely using light and thought had had her dreams withdrawn as a preliminary to her trial. Nodrog’s task, and one only a handful of people were trained to survive, was to enter the dreams and catalogue them, extracting both meaning and intention from the coded interfaces that underlay repose-rewinding. However, the intensity of the emotions he had to experience meant he needed to compartmentalise his own subconscious to ensure he didn’t acquire assimilated aspirations which a less strong minded analyst might experience. Everyone undertaking the sort of work on which Nodrog was engaged had to have a coping mechanism, a way of distracting himself as he allowed the third party’s dreams to suffuse his conscious mind. Trial and error had proved that being bored, reducing the emotional cortex to a sub-catatonic state was best. Nodrog had found Adnil’s dreams stretching his usual tools of inducing mind numbness. He needed something stronger so headed for the library to seek out a more extreme unstimulus. The librarian pointed to a shelf with locked wire doors on the front. Solemnly he took a key and freed the strong chains. At the end of the row, he pulled out a slim volume, averting his eyes as he did so.
    ‘Try this professor. Careful though. It’s thought any more than 10 pages at a sitting and you may never wake.’
    Nodrog held the book lightly as if he wanted to touch it as little as possible. He had heard about this work, of which there were only three copies, all held precisely for the purposes of such criminal analysis. Slowly he lifted his eyes to the title and read it
    Jeremy Corbyn: My role in Brexit
    Nodrog shuddered. This was going to be rough

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