Posts tagged ‘writing prompt’

One Of Those Crazy Days

Based on the five word prompt: bottle, balcony, strawberry, conversation, values

We ran up to the balcony, where we knew she would never come looking for us. At least, we hoped she’d never come here. You hid behind the flower-pot, barely tall enough to hide your large shoulders and I slipped behind the curtains. We waited, trying desperately to quiet our breathing.

It didn’t work.

I kicked the pot, and you jumped, shooting me a glare with your fingers over our lips, shushing me. We heard her footsteps and I fell to my knees, right outside the sliding glass. A shadow passed, and when it was gone, I peeked between the curtains to see if she was still there.

She wasn’t.

You urged me to go out and make sure. I was scared, but I did so anyway.

The mess we made on our way here was gone now, everything put in its place. The sheets fitted perfectly to the bed, the end table right-side-up and the lamp on top where it should be. Even the plates of pizza we had left out in our haste, gone. All that was left was a bottle of soda. Sprite, your favorite.

I motioned for you to come closer, telling you it was safe enough to leave and that she was gone.

You took one step into the room, and she appeared.

My sister slid into the room, raging on and on about how we ate the last of her strawberry jam, the thing she values most above all, and that if we wanted it, we should’ve asked first.

We tried.

She didn’t listen.

And we were hungry.

She pulled my arm, and you shouted at her, telling her to let me go.  I slipped from her grasp, and we giggled, running back down the steps and into the living room as quickly as we could.We didn’t hear her coming after us, so I figured she gave up. She did yell, though. She said that when my parents came home, she’d have to have a conversation with them, but we all knew that conversation wasn’t really the right word. Nag, maybe. But not converse.

You waited for me at the couch, with the T.V. on to our favorite cartoons, and we huddled together so we could whisper funny jokes in each others ears.

And when you finally left later that night, I hoped we’d get to do it all over again tomorrow.

And we did.

Burning Bridges

“You can’t uncross your bridges.”

“I know,” I said.

We sat on the edge of the river, hanging our legs over the edge of the concrete bank. The water glittered a few feet below us.

“So what are you going to do?” Walter asked. He was always so pragmatic.

I looked at him. He’d just found out my deepest secret, the secret that I wasn’t who I said I was, that I had a shady past, and yet he seemed as calm as ever. “Aren’t you even curious?” I asked.

He shrugged and looked at me with those loving brown eyes. When I met him two years ago I had an inkling that we’d become best friends. I was right. “Your past is your past, Emily,” he replied. “If you want to tell me, I’ll listen, but I won’t ask.”

I grinned a little. “It’s Avery. My name’s Avery.” I paused for second. Of course Walter wouldn’t ask about my past, he was too gentlemanly for that, but he still deserved to know. “I witnessed a murder a few years ago. Back when I was a part of a gang.”

He tried to hide his shock, but he’s not that good at pretending.

I chuckled. “Yes, I was part of a gang. I was a newbie, and not comfortable with making hits or really hurting people. I saw something I wasn’t supposed to, they knew that I saw, and I freaked. I ran. I had my name changed. Dyed my hair red – did you know I’m a natural blonde? – and cut my hair short like this. Oh yeah, I got glasses, too. Since I ran I thought it was going to be okay.”

“You never went to the police?”

I shook my head. ” If I did that, I knew the word would get out eventually that I was the snitch, and I didn’t want that. I wanted to live.”

I was silent, and he stared straight ahead, thinking. The whole conversation had started with me telling Walter that my past had caught up with me. My old gang had found me. I saw a couple of them outside my house this morning, and another one while I got my groceries at the General Store. I thought that I was safe here.

He looked at me now. “Back to the original question. What are we going to do?”

“You said ‘we.'”

“I did,” he said, and I managed a tiny grin. “We could go to the police now.”

“But they’d ask why I didn’t go to them before.” All of the accumulated worry from the past couple years swam around in my mind.

“You have nothing to hide.”

“But they’ll be suspicious.”

“Avery, you didn’t do it. You were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” He looked straight into my eyes as he said it. “I’ll go with you to the police station. Tell them what you know, and you can be put in real protective custody, and the real murderers will go away for good.”

I looked out at the river, wishing it would wash away all of my worries. “I thought I’d never have to deal with this. I thought I’d burned my bridges when I ran here.”

“We can’t burn our bridges. Well, we can try, but there are always ashes. There are always the parts and the memories that we can’t hide from. The only thing we can do is acknowledge that bridges cannot be uncrossed and keep walking.”

I nodded. At least I wouldn’t be walking alone.

Hair dye, who am I?

It mattered, I had tried telling myself that it didn’t and I could move on. But the the truth was, I couldn’t hide from the way I felt about my hair.

The blond dye just wasn’t working for me. I used to have a dark brown hair and I had decided to try out this new color one day. I studied myself in the mirror and then went to apply my mascara, thinking that if my makeup looked good maybe no one would notice my weird hair color.

Who was I kidding? I loved the attention I got for a new hair color. I absolutely soaked them up with cutsie little “thank you’s” and a giddy smile.

Of course, it wasn’t really the hair that I was concerned about. I was worried about who I was and who I wanted to be. I was concerned about my appearance and how I wanted to come across. Maybe I was too focused on what other people thought but I didn’t know how to evaluate myself a different way.

I supposed I did know. I knew that my self-approval needed to come from the inside. It needed to come from the fact that Jesus made me in his image and he loved me more than any person on earth could ever love me. Some days this seemed like an easy task. Jesus loved me and that was all I needed.

But other days I just wanted someone to approve of who I was. I wanted someone on earth to show me their love. I wanted to be successful and famous and yet humble and kind.

I wanted it all.

Yet all I had was a new “do” and some fresh shampoo and conditioner for dyed hair. I finished with my makeup and fluffed my hair.

I looked in the mirror and told myself “Jesus loves you” and then left the room. Maybe this dye would help out after all.

Writing Prompt

Hello Everyone,

Here is this week’s writing prompt that we will all be using for our stories. Feel free to give your ideas or write and post your own story in the comments.

Thank you and have a great week.

It mattered, I had tried telling myself that it didn’t and I could move on. But the the truth was, I couldn’t hide from the way I felt about ________________________. 

New Picture Prompt: The View

In reality, this photo was taken from the top of Willis Tower (usually still known as the Sears Tower) in Chicago, IL, USA. If that doesn’t strike a chord with you, write from your own perspective. Happy writing to you! 🙂

Simpler Days

Inspired by this week’s picture prompt

I never felt so alive as when I was with her. Maybe it was the way the sunlight always streamed in, turning everything it touched into gold. Maybe it was just me, since I was such a young thing, and quite impressionable. The first time I saw her, I was sitting, as I always was, in the gazebo at the end of Clover Park. It was always so desolate that time of day, and that’s why I took such notice of her. I noticed her radiant, raven hair, her contagious chuckle. She started to come at the same time of day, always after dinner time but before dark, almost every week night. Some days she’d talk, and I’d just listen, fascinated. “I really enjoy this time with you,” she’d say. I could’ve sworn I blushed. “It’s funny how things work,” she told me one day, her smile sparkling. “When I met you, I didn’t know how wonderful you are. I never thought this would happen.” I never thought so, either. You see, I’m not composed of flesh and bones, like most are. I’m cast iron and wood, and I’ve always let that define me. Until I met her. With her, things were different.

One evening, she stood up, and I thought she was about to leave. I longed to tell her to stay – stay forever. Then she told me something more beautiful than I could’ve imagined. Her voice started soft, and then gained volume as she gained confidence. “I’m telling the world that I’ve found the one.” She grinned from ear to ear. “I’ve found you, and that’s all that matters.”

I thought nothing could ruin our moment. Something did. I saw him, walking towards the gazebo, towards us. She threw her arms around him – not me, but him.

“So you’ll marry me?” He asked.

“Yes,” she cried, “A thousand times yes.”

How could she desert me like that? As she embraced him, I that she grasped something in her hand. A rectangular object. Now that I thought of it, she’d been holding that object to her ear during all or our talks together. I couldn’t believe it. Maybe she’d been talking to it all along. Maybe she didn’t mean any of the things I thought she said to me.

Well, in the ensuing months, I suppose I went through the five stages of grief. It’s rough – unrequited love. I went through a nostalgia phase. Why couldn’t she just come back, so I could hear all her beautiful words again? I longed for simpler days. Then I went through a phase of self-doubt. I was just a cast-iron bench. I sat in the gazebo at the far west end of Clover park, and she never stopped by to see me anymore. No one stopped to see me anymore. Why? It was because I was different. I was not made of flesh and bones, as they are. It’s hard to be discriminated against, especially when I couldn’t change who I was. Then I came to a realization, that just because I was different from them, it didn’t mean I wasn’t important. I had a purpose. Without the gazebo, without me, would the two of them have gotten together the way they did?

It’s been two years. I’ve quite reconciled myself with what happened. Last week, she started coming back – well, it was him, her, and a tiny, sleeping baby. I don’t mind the differences between us. She still has radiating hair, but now her smile radiates too, and with joy.

No, I am not flesh and bones, but I made someone happy. I realize now that bringing joy is the most noble of any accomplishment.

Picture Prompt – The Bench

Where is this bench? Why is it empty now? Was the bench placed in such a place in memorial of anyone or anything?

Stay tuned for this week’s prompt stories, and share your creation in the comments!

If They Could Talk

Inspired from this week’s picture prompt

I suppose my life is average. I’m just a city kid, right out of high school, trying to pay the bills. I work at Bill’s Bikes from 8-4 every day. Then I head to my job as a waitress, get off work around ten, sleep, and repeat. That’s really all there is to it.

The lives of the customers at Bill’s Bikes, on the other hand, are quite interesting. Bill’s Bikes is a bike rental business – and we’re opportunely placed on the edge of a national park with 32 miles of bike trails. We get all kinds of people here. They come to ride, to see the country side, to get away from whatever ails them, to work out, or to spend time with friends. I work at the cash window. People often give me a glimpse of what their lives are like. While they don’t try to, it happens.

Today starts promisingly. I arrive early at the bike shack with a line of costumers already waiting. I love eager bikers. I assemble the cash register and attend to the first couple. They’re both grey haired yet muscular – they’re spry things.

“Two, please,” the man says. He’s tapping his fingers against my counter, but not in a rude way.

“Special day?” I ask, handing him his change.

“Why, how did you know? We’re celebrating 26 years together.”

“Odd number, isn’t it?” The woman chuckles. “But to celebrate all the hard and yet fantastic years, we’re biking a full, private marathon together.”

My inner hopeless romantic heart melts. I point them towards the blue bike rack, hardly twenty feet away from my place behind the window. They walk off, but I can hear them flip between bickering and flirting while they unlock their bikes.

The next customers, a family with three young children, step forward. The father holds a squirming toddler. The mother reaches for her wallet and at the same time tries to keep the two older boys from hitting each other. She apologizes to me when she drops her credit card on the ground. “Rough day,” she offers.

“No problem,” I say. “Adult bikes are on the blue rack.”

They’re the last of the early costumers. A moment passes, and I watch them unlock their bikes. The two boys take turns punching each other’s shoulders, and as soon as their mother turns around, they stand innocently and admire the passing clouds. I chuckled and turn away.

The morning picks up, I help a pouting kid put on a band-aide, and I rent out 217 bikes during my shift. Four o’clock comes around faster than I expected. Suddenly Allie, my co-worker coming to relieve me for the night shift, waltzes in. I take off my Bill’s Bikes hat and leave it on my hook in the back room. I pick up my backpack and head outside.

Though the job keeps me busy, sometimes I can’t help but wonder. This little bike shop sees so much. Often people leave Bill’s Bikes much different than when they arrived. I heard that once a guy proposed to a girl beside the bike rack. They weren’t even dating. Another time a couple broke up there. I was on duty for that one, and I had to hear the whole thing. It turned ugly. Sometimes other things are resolved on the bike rides. I notice that bickering families often return from their ride softer somehow. Perhaps they are simply too exhausted from the rough trails to argue anymore. I grin to myself. If only the bikes could talk.

August Blog Roll – Plus *New* Picture Prompt

It’s hard to believe August is on way out and fall is rolling in. Enjoy our list of favorite blogs from this last month! There were many, many wonderful reads. Also, stay tuned for this week’s picture prompt at the end of the list!

Setting (and how to craft a good one!) by J.E. Tankersley

A wonderful resource for the writer wanting to better their setting descriptions.

WriteOnCon on Take It or Leave It

A post detailing WriteOnCon – a free, online writing conference. That’s right – it’s free!

Why Writing a Book is Like Hiking a Canyon on GoTeenWriters

Author Stephanie Morrill walks readers through the simile as well as her own writing process.

7 Ways to Build Your Writing Confidence on Helping Writers Become Authors

In this post, K.M. Weiland shares ways to boost your writing confidence.

Have we become uncomfortable with uncertainty in writing? on Nathan Bradsford’s blog

The above question is pondered by Bradsford in this particular blog post.

11 Signs You May Be a Writer on Judy Lee Dunn (.com)

Humorous post about writers.

Admit It on Happy Musings

Discusses how admitting it just might give you a breakthrough in your writing.

Finding the Significance in the Ordinary on Meditations of His Love– I liked reading this blog post because it is a reminder to us all that we are all significant, no matter how ordinary or extraordinary the daily tasks we do are.

The Radical Change that Made Me a Super-Productive Writer On Making a Living Writing – One writers experience with having deadlines to meet on a beautiful day. Who says we have to write inside or at our desks all the time? A change of scenery can sometimes make all the difference.

Getting Published on Happy Musings – Have you ever been published? What did it feel like? Were you stunned, excited or scared? Did you jump for joy, send out an e-mail or worry about who would be reading your work?


Writing Prompt

This week our stories will be inspired by the below picture – if you’d like to test your creativity, please join in.

Questions to jumpstart creativity: Why would she be on a beach by herself? Is the beach in some tropical place in South America or closer to the arctic circle? Think from the perspective of the character: what is she thinking while she twirls along the shore?

We’d love it if you left your story in the comments!




Writing Prompt: The Bridge

The Bridge

For the upcoming Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday our posts will be inspired from the above picture.

We’d love to see you join in! Seriously. Just post your story in the comments!

If the picture just isn’t quite getting you into your writing zone, here’s a few possible starting points: To where does the bridge lead? How long as the bridge been there? What season is it outside? What’s happening under the bridge?

Happy writing and reading!

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