Well, I wrote 24 short stories in approximately twenty hours to be exact. It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought. Especially due to the choice to follow the contest guidelines of Gotham Writers writing school.
What did I learn?
That it’s human nature to work better within certain perimeters. I don’t know if I would have finished otherwise.
I also learned that anxiety is a waste of energy. As my good friend Sheila says, “just get on with it”. And eventually that’s what I did. It was my intention to do this challenge last weekend but decided I just wasn’t ‘feeling’ it. So screw that emotion…I will no longer allow it to hold me back in this creative journey I am on. Stamped it! No erasies!
So, although I don’t think any of them will be published beyond this blog, I have exercised my writing muscles and I hope, if nothing else, at least one of them makes you smile. (If you haven’t yet, please read my last blog to get the definition I have kept in mind while writing my short stories and the reason for the size of most of them.)
Topic: Strange Encounter
- One more almost orgasmic scream and a tiny, wrinkled, wriggling creature was thrust in my arms. How long did I have to wait before I could send her back?
- Twelve kilometers in it grabbed onto my foot. Cringing I tried to shake it off but it dug in deeper. So I ignored the bugger and ran my last nine.
- Persistent strange gnawing sound interrupted my sleep for weeks. Finally while using a q-tip the squirming thing revealed itself.
- Another fight with my daughter left me teary eyed hiding in the bathroom. Washed my face and found there staring at me in the mirror; my mother. Shit, it’s finally happened.
- Rushing out the door children screaming and fighting I am slammed in the face with a “God will save you flier”. “For Christ’s sake shut up!” And we push past the suits.
- Running across the yard like a galloping rabbit she barely escapes the claws swooping down above her white curls. The hawk gives up and our family dog jumps into my arms.
- Warm, constricted happiness. Suddenly being forced out of Utopia. Blackness. “Stop! Let me go back!” And then a beautiful crying face coddles me. Happiness again.
- First shift at a bar. Nerves. Platinum hair. Tight shirt. And a drunken man comes in and claims he will marry her one day. Didn’t know it was that kind of bar.
- Street walking in high boots and short skirt, looking for the next ride. She finds herself nose to nose with her soulmate. She demands double the price.
- She walks familiar streets hoping to reminisce. The trash, the crime, the creative vibe tickles her all over, and suddenly he’s there. They fly away together.
- At the foot of his ultimate sacrifice, crown of thorns, beaten body; she is there in sorrow. Still he rises above.
Topic: It Happened in the Shadows
- Green leaves reach upwards searching out the light, struggling for life. If only he would wake up and move that big fat belly.
- She hides her face in the corner. Embarrassed, and afraid of what her friends will say. She had no idea the crayon could go that high up her nose.
- Covering their tiny bodies she protects her furry offspring from the birds of prey overhead. Claws clamp down on her neck and their safety is hijacked.
- Sun blocked by the will of the Lord, he breathes his last breath unforsaken, unashamed.
- Temptations realized. Forbidden secrets are kept. House wives of Orange County are talked about.
Topic: Saying Goodbye
- Velvety, deep, earthy texture fills my mouth with ecstasy. The last morsel slides down my throat and…lent. Yup, so long my friend.
- She nurses her newborn and feels the hole inside her shrink. Literally. Joy of a fat belly is over.
- He didn’t show for their last date. She was moving and he didn’t do goodbyes.(didn’t love this one so I tried again…didn’t realize till after the time was up that these were very similar)
- He knew their end was near. He didn’t show. She shrugged it off and moved on.
- A box was delivered. She panicked. Knew it was time. And the old microwave was sent to the curb.
- Lamenting his life, they bow their heads in respect. Goldie is flushed down the toilet.
He wonders if he’s made the right choices. If he can fit his square self into a circular hole. Never in his wildest dreams had he expected to have so many responsibilities, so may limitations on his daily actions. Some days he considers walking out, leaving it all behind him in a mirage of ‘could haves’. But he knows he would miss out more than he would gain. Perhaps he’s worth more dead to the lot of them. Once on a family vacation he waded out into the stormy waves inviting them to drag him in. He came back to the room late that night soaked, drunk and oblivious of his attempt. What other choice did he have? Perhaps he would settle on buying a new car, redecorating and some jewelry for his wife. Sometimes a temporary smile was better than none at all.
And finally an appropriate little story about a 40 year old woman….
She was afraid of being unacknowledged, of being just another neighbor on a cute little street. She was petrified of being one more mom to become a taxi driver to her kids’ activities; fading into the background in order to support and care for those she loved. Those were her fears in her fortieth year. And so, eager to make a change, she wrote and she drew. She used every extra minute of her time productively, anxious to not squander away any precious time to nonsensical escapes.
She heaved that energy out into the universe, with complete faith and abandonment and waited for the universe to respond.
There it is. I wasn’t sure if I should post every one of them…but I did. Warts and all. Feel free to hate it, to tell me what you think, or maybe do a similar challenge for your own muscles. If you come up with a new challenge though, I would love to hear about. I’ve run out of ideas.