Is it really Monday again?! Here’s a new writing challenge for you:
Write a story or poem on any of the following themes:
Last week’s themes were:
You certainly sent in a variety of writing:
Please visit Shaun Kellett‘s site to read his super piece on the writing prompts:
Ally Mare has written a thought-provoking poem which can be found by clicking on the following link:
Here is one to make you smile from Geoff Le Pard:
There is a saying, so very old
That down the years has taken hold
‘All that glitters is not gold’
But perhaps I might make so bold
It’s not an idea on which I’m sold
And really, you see, truth be told
The whole trite cliche leaves me cold
… any way I prefer platinum.
It’s great to see Adam Dixon taking up the challenge again:
Kerry, the Writer
Kerry stared at the blinking cursor on her screen, her jaw working and her eyes narrowed. It was taunting her, that cursor, and the half-empty page, too. They knew she was tying her brain into knots over her next paragraph and they just waited, smug and superior. Kerry hated them. She rubbed her temples, groaning with fatigue. She blinked her dull brown eyes rapidly and took a long swallow of the cheap energy drink she had purchased on her way home from work. The too-sweet, slightly chemical flavour rushed down her throat, leaving her grimacing with the bitter aftertaste. The acrid smell of the sweeteners clung to her lips like moss to a cliff face. She didn’t like them, but they worked faster than coffee and she needed to stay awake.
“Kerry? Why are you still up?” Kerry started and twisted in her chair, looking sheepishly at the speaker. Jodie stood bleary-eyed in her pink dressing-gown, her raven-coloured hair in the disarray of sleep and her small hands barely containing an almighty yawn. Her face scrunched up and the glow from the naked lightbulb highlighted her freckles and dimpled cheeks. Kerry loved her when she looked like that.
“Hi, babe,” Kerry said. She frowned and bit her lip. “I, erm, didn’t wake you, did I?”
“No, you didn’t,” Jodie said, leaning against the door frame, and glancing around the spare bedroom. It was a tiny space, but Kerry had quickly claimed it with her desk, chair, laptop, book shelf and stacks upon stacks of notepaper which bore her spidery handwriting. Jodie took it all in with disinterest borne from familiarity.
“It’s gone twelve, Kerry,” Jodie continued, trying to look stern; Kerry refrained from smiling at the attempt. Instead she brushed a wayward blond curl from her eye and tapped the desk three times with two fingers. That was her habit whenever she was stuck with her writing.
“You’ve got an early start again tomorrow,” Jodie continued, folding her arms.
“I know, I know,” Kerry said, wringing her hands in her lap. She tugged at her jogging bottoms and adjusted her hoodie. “I just need to keep on going for a bit, I won’t be much longer. Promise.” Jodie sighed and shook her head in bewilderment. Kerry closed her eyes and held back a long sigh. Jodie didn’t understand, not really. Nobody close to her did; they were all wonderful and supportive in their own way, but they were not creatives. They couldn’t understand what drove her to write, even late at night when the loathsome alarm clock grinned from the wrong side of midnight.
“Alright then,” Jodie said in a resigned voice. “Just don’t wake me up when you do come to bed, ‘kay?”
“’Kay,” Kerry said, turning back to her screen and back to the mockery of the blank page and the cursor. She heard Jodie close the bedroom door and listened for the muffled creaking of their bed. I suppose I could go to bed, Kerry thought with longing. I’m exhausted and some sleepy cuddles sound great right about now… Kerry sat up straight and gritted her teeth, annoyed at her lapse in discipline. No, she needed to write, damn it! She placed her hands above the keyboard, her digits poised and ready. But nothing came. Kerry’s shoulders slumped and she laid her forehead on the desk, feeling defeated.
Why am I even trying? Kerry thought for the umpteenth time. I can’t figure out what to write next and everything I do write is crap anyway! Why do I even bother? She lay there in her silent despair, unmoving, for several minutes. She turned her mind this way and that, considering where next to take her characters and how to put the words on to a page before an idea hit her like a thunderbolt. She sat bolt upright, the straight edge of her desk imprinted across her forehead. It was an angle of her storyline that she hadn’t considered before, but maybe… Hardly daring to breathe, Kerry began to type the first sentence. Then she wrote the next, doing so with care as the idea began to struggle upwards, like a delicate flower moving towards the sunlight. After the third sentence, the idea blossomed.
Just like that, Kerry had it. She smiled a warm, excited smile and began typing with gusto; her second wind was guiding her along and she didn’t dare try to stop it. The wonderful feeling of relief and happiness flowed through her, like liquid gold coursing through her veins; she was more energised than if she had downed five of her cheap cans of pop! She wiggled her toes inside her slippers and an involuntary giggle escaped her pursed lips.
“I did it, babe!” Kerry whispered excitedly, clambering into bed and holding Jodie close half an hour later. “I found my golden words!”
“Mmm!” Jodie protested, wriggling. “I asked you not to wake me up…” Kerry smiled in the darkness, alive with the rush of her success. Jodie didn’t understand, but that didn’t matter. Whatever she had written was bound to be sub-par by that point, but the idea had been captured and fixed in her mind. The flow of gold through her fingertips had revived Kerry’s flagging courage and she felt as if anything were possible. She was a writer, and that is what it was all about!
Robert Griffiths has written another vivid and very sobering true story:
I was falling like a newly plastered piece of wet wallpaper rolling off the wall, going down, no pain, no feeling, then lying on my side. My wife’s frantic voice calling down the phone,
‘I need an ambulance right now!’
The minutes passed without time then a screaming siren. Screeching wheels brake, doors slam open, loud stamping footsteps approach and by my side huge boots appear, big men’s boots. I’m being lifted off the floor, laid onto a stretcher down onto my back. I can sense movements, lifted again. I’m being carried out into the warm dark night.
An ambulance is parked with its back doors gaping open. Lights are flashing. I’m lifted, slid inside and laid down. Machines click loudly and my arm is lifted and tubes are inserted. The engine splutters into life and makes the carriage shake. I shake with it. We jolt forwards. A young lady stares down at me and touches my neck. The men standing behind her look concerned. The whole vehicle rocks from side to side, the men push me against the wall and then off we trundle, moving slowly. The pain starts, along inside and outside my left side. It infiltrates into every fibre of my body and mind, it throbs and aches. I try to call out, nothing comes. The girl looks down at me again, her eyes are sad. She strokes my hair, her lips move. The ambulance sways from side to side picking up speed then going fast eventually tilting upwards. The siren stops screaming. We stop with a jolt and the back doors fly open. I’m lifted out, pushed into a highly illuminated bright white corridor where the air smells of boiled vegetables, coffee and antiseptic and into a cubical. The curtains swish shut and a dark faced man looks down at me while shouting orders. To whom I can’t see. There’s movement around me and my hands are being pierced, a loud clicking noise, the pain gets worse, the confusion thickens. I’m alone, there’s hassle and bustle, more noise. Nurses rushing in, they push, pull me around, pull my trousers down, pull a sheet over me and leave. Two men in white coats appear, lift me onto a trolley and push me out of the cubicle into a passageway and into a lift. The lift goes up then jolts to a halt. The pain stings. The doors open and I’m pushed directly into a white and bright bedroom. The white light is strong. A nurse is taking the men’s place. She is pulling my clothes off; I’m embarrassed. She ties my arms to the bars around the bed, then changes a clear plastic bag above my head, and the pains start racing back. She looks down at me and shakes her head. She is replaced by two men, they whisper, one with authority, the other more subservient.
‘Put a condom on him,’ the elder one orders, ‘then he can urinate freely.’
They fuss, whisper, the pain now choking me. They touch me and push me; their breath smells of coffee. Suddenly they’re finished and their whispering voices start to drift towards the door. They look back at me, one whispers,
‘He will be dead in half an hour.’
An arm goes up to the light switch, a finger flips the switch down, immediate darkness, blackness. I sink down into the bed, no feeling, no light, no thoughts, no sound, a steel sheet of hopelessness is twisting around me. I feel it, there’s no sound, then the end of the steel sheet closes and slams like a prison door. I’m encapsulated in hopelessness. Nothing works, no thoughts, no movement. A coal black murky gloom is descending into me, a blanket of musky deep swirling misery drags me downwards.
Now it’s Rajiv Chopra and his continuing Mary Jane story:
“Let’s put them out of their misery,” said Batman to Poison Ivy. The Joker had put him through all sorts of trouble in the past, and he thought that it was now time that he allowed him to end his miserable life once and for all.
“Let’s have some fun with both, before we dispose of them,” replied Poison Ivy. She tossed her auburn locks, and stretched her body. Yes, she was desirable indeed. She was desirable in a way that Harley had never been. There was too much uncontrolled madness in Harley. This slow, languid, dangerous sexiness was much more to Batman’s taste, and he sometimes wondered why he and Poison Ivy had not hooked up earlier. She was pure, burnished gold, and she set him on fire.
She shone with a golden light. He was dark. Together, they were the perfect duo, and they knew it.
“What shall we do with the little fellas?” she asked.
“We can put them to sleep, and take them with us. Let’s see how this plays out.” His laugh was grim and cold, and sent a wave of desire through Poison’s body.
Later, when their immediate hunger for each other had been satisfied, Poison Ivy walked up to the wriggling, protesting Hobbits, and blew deep into their faces. They looked at her with sudden wide, innocent, baby eyes, and slid into a deep slumber.
‘Sleep, little Hobbits,” said Poison Ivy. “Sleep, and when you wake up, who knows what will be happening. Who knows what would have happened.”
“Let’s get them into the Bat-Van,” said Batman. Soon enough, they were in the van, and about to start. Suddenly, without invitation, a sly voice piped up inside Batman’s head.
“Ah, little Bat, it is I, Loki. Why don’t you leave well enough alone? The Joker, Spiderman, the two girls have their fate to play out. They are dashing towards each other, and who knows what will happen to the four of them. Let them be.”
“You sneaky, little chap,” snarled Batman. “You think you are the ultimate trickster, right? You think you can play with me, right? Well, I am the ultimate game player. I am the kingpin of all tricksters. Don’t try to play with me.”
“Ah, but Batman,” replied Loki. “I am but a well-wisher. I have followed your career with great interest, and approve of your love for Poison Ivy.”
“You approve?” sputtered Batman. His voice was like a hissing roar. “You approve? Who do you think you are to approve, you little rat?”
“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” said Loki. “I would have preferred that you and Poison Ivy continue your path, and carve out a career as the greatest criminal duo in history. You would be the best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be. However, have it your way, my friend.”
He paused, then continued. “Since I am such a nice fellow, I will put you out of your current misery. I shall leave you to your devices.”
There was a sudden silence, and Batman sat there quivering with an impotent rage. He avoided Poison Ivy’s perplexed gaze, and the Bat-Van roared off into the night.