One Love, Forever.

“But Now I must sleep.”

“In the cemetery?” Cara shuttered, whether from the chill in the air or fear she couldn’t tell. Either way she did not want to stop here for any reason.

“It’s as good a place as any.” Peter sighed as he lowered his weary body to the soft earth.

“You can’t rest there. That’s someone’s grave.”

Peter ignored her and stretched out his limbs, lying on his back. Cara looked at the man in front of her, this man she barely knew. The day he walked into her small town was the day nothing else mattered. He was perfect in every way. His long dark hair, his tall stature. His skin seemed to glow in the sun.

Cara jumped from a sudden surge in her toes. Peter’s cool skin brushed hers as he slowly traced his hand over the delicate bones of her foot.

“This is what I want to remember, these moments with you. Uninterrupted by the world and its cruel ways.”

He always seemed to talk as if he was saying goodbye. Was he going to leave her? She sat beside him wanting to close the gap between them. As if reading her mind he pulled her down so that their bodies were as close as they possibly could be. The energy was undeniable, raging yet sad all at once. Why did it feel like an ending every time they were together?

“I will always love you,” He whispered in her ear. She closed her eyes and drifted to sleep with his hands still stroking her hair.

As the sun rose from behind the hill peter rose from his resting place, grimacing as his joints groaned in agony.

“Until later, my Love.”

Peter hobbled away, turning to look at the grave again.

Cara Moreau

1936-1960

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This story got an honorable mention over at Microcosms. A big thanks goes out to the judge, Geoff Holme.

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The Tea Party

CFFC Trophy

 

I woke up this morning to find out that my story WON over at Cracked Flash! Exciting!

Our story had to start with the following sentence:

Sometimes, people really are just useless.

I’ll put the judges comments at the end of the story. I must say, one thing that sets them apart from other competitions is that they are not afraid to point out things that need improvement. They had some very helpful critiques. I appreciate that. While I like hearing that my story was good, I also want to improve as a writer and if there is something I can do to make the story great, I want to know about it.

I must confess I really struggled with the 300 word limit. I had to make some deep cuts which did affect the desperation of the piece as Si pointed out.

So, here is the original story. I will work on it and post the revised version when I am satisfied. (That could take a while.)

*****

The Tea Party

“Sometimes, people really are just useless. Cheese?”

“I’m sorry, what?” Clara stared at the strange man in front of her. A moment ago she was having tea with her boyfriend and listening to him talk about work. But this man was definitely not her boyfriend.

She closed her eyes for a moment.

“Would you like some cheese? It pairs well with your tea.” Reluctantly, she opened her eyes to see a big grin stretch across the stranger’s face farther than a grin should. A large hat dipped over his crazed eyes as they darted from her to the other guests at the table.

“Who are you? The Hatter?”

“Of course not, dear. The Hatter is a copyrighted name. You can call me Mr. Chapeau.”

“I’ll take some cheese,” Clara turned to see a rabbit sitting upright in a white gown.

“Where is Jason?”

“Who?”

“Jason, my boyfriend. Tall, dark hair, dorky tortoise shell glasses.”

“Doesn’t ring a bell. It’s my birthday you know,” the man with the hat said.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” Clara jumped at the exclamation that rang out from a tiny mouse in a tea pot.

Did I fall down a rabbit hole? Where was Jason? He was just here.

“HEY!” She shouted over the loud singing that had commenced around her. “Please! Where is Jason!”

They all stopped and stared. She realized, now, that she was standing with a cheese knife held over her head. A small pinch in her shoulder made her go limp, falling into the arms of a strong woman.

“Take her to the holding cell.” A nurse said as she took a pencil from Clara’s fingers and walked out behind them. “Poor girl just can’t get over his death. Best keep her out of the common room for a while.”

 

 

******

Judges Comments:

Si: I loved the rambling, unexplained craziness of this story. No info dump, just bewildering weirdness until it’s all explained in the end. Of course she’s crazy!
Good clean dialogue and I liked the personalities of all the strange characters we come across. The disjointedness of the dialogue: “Doesn’t ring a bell. It’s my birthday you know,” works very well for setting the atmosphere of confusion that Clara finds herself in. One thing I would recommend is increasing the tension of the story just a little–make us feel not only Clara’s confusion, but also desperation. I liked the Alice in Wonderland references–good connection there!–familiar to the reader, but we don’t know where you’re going with it until the twist ending. Great job giving us just enough dialogue from the Nurse to get what’s going on, quickly setting the REAL scene. Favorite line: “Of course not, dear. The Hatter is a copyrighted name. You can call me Mr. Chapeau.”, very funny. We can really feel Clara’s bewilderment throughout the story! Excellent job!
Mars: “The Hatter is a copyrighted name,” got a chuckle out of me! The Alice-is-insane has been done before (though it’s Clara in this instance), but it’s usually not done with any sort of levity like this piece is. I appreciate the allusion to Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (though I’m going to have “Merry Merry Unbirthday” stuck in my head now); I am very fond of references.
Watch out for how names are juxtaposed next to dialogue–“‘I’ll take some cheese,’ Clara turned to see a rabbit” could infer that either Clara or the rabbit were speaking, particularly with the comma there that runs into her name. The problem occurs once more later, when the mouse yells from the tea pot.
The beginning of the piece was a nice touch; it utilized the prompt in a unique fashion by making it sound like idle small talk, then drew the reader’s (and Clara’s) attention with the question, “Cheese?” Nice job!

And She Does

On Friday everything changed. I was no longer the little girl my father adored. I was a bargaining chip, a promise for a deal.

My view of this world had finally been unveiled, reveling many shades of greed.

I looked at the man smiling in front of me. I could see his plans written in the corners of his mouth, reflected in the dark chocolate windows to his rotting soul.

As I said my vows in the room of silent witnesses, I made a secret one of my own.

One day I would kill this man, setting free the world.

 

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This is the second (read first one here) story I submitted for the Flashverary contest over at Flash! Friday.

Our story requirements:

Must be exactly 100 words

Must start with “On Friday everything changed

A Tribute to Flash! Friday Fiction Competition

Flash!Friday had their Flashversary Competition this past Friday but it was also the very last FF contest…ever. I stumbled upon this site through another Flash Fiction Site  about ten months ago. Once I started competing I was hooked! These weekly competitions have helped me gain confidence in my writing and find my voice. I will be forever grateful.

Our story requirements:

Must be exactly 100 words

Must start with “On Friday everything changed

 

This is one of two ( read the second one here) stories I submitted.

On Friday everything changed. The last notes of a song rang out, beautiful words from stories past floated by in memories so strong that hearts swelled and eyes blurred.

This is not an ending but a transition. One that can be embraced with gusto. Courage was born here. Those who hid behind their words emerged and flourished, finding their true voices.

This is a place that will be forever in our hearts, a stepping stone that got us where we are today. And as we continue to move forward, we know that the friends we’ve gained will come with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poetry/Writing Prompts – #wispwrit

Great news, followers!

Some of you that follow me on twitter may already know this but, I just started a new #poetry/writing prompt twitter account. You can find But A Moment @wispwrit.

I will be posting a one word prompt to inspire you to create something. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 9am EST.  While most people do micropoetry (140 character limit on twitter) you are also welcome to go further and create a longer work on your own blog and tweet the link. Not a writer? Do it in your own creative art or photography. Tag whatever you create with #wispwrit.

Not on twitter? Feel free to post it on your blog. Be sure to tag it with #wispwrit so I can stay conected.

These prompts are just for fun. No judging. They are meant to get you creating in your own unique way.

Each prompt will stay pinned to the top of the But a Moment profile page until the next prompt is posted. Thursday’s is still up so go take a look and be inspired!

Be sure to follow me @wispwrit and @RealMommaRamble

I will post the prompt on here too so that everyone can take part.

You can’t Ignore Me

Don’t go to sleep yet, sweet one.

Silly naive girl. You can’t ignore that nagging feeling you have.

Get out of bed and check the front door.

Again.

Again.

Again.

What about the stove? Go back down and make sure it’s off. You don’t want the house to burn down, do you?

That’s a good girl.

Lift those heavy lids, my darling. You didn’t say your prayers. You know that if you don’t say them just right your family’s deaths will be your fault.

Come on, start over. You drifted off a bit.

Start again.

No! No! No!

You said the names in the wrong order.

Start again.

That’s better.

Check the clock.

3:00am

You have to be up at six.

I’ll see you then.

 

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This story nabbed an Honorable Mention over at Flash! Friday. This excites me not only because there are so many talented writers (who, I can admit, are intimidating to compete with) every week that I consider it a privilege to be among the few chosen ones, but also because of the deeply personal subject I chose to write about. Last week was OCD Awareness Week and I submitted a few pieces to different competitions that had OCD themes, showing what it’s really like to have this disorder. I am elated that our wonderful judges Foy S. Iver and Holly Geely were able to see the true meaning behind this story. They seemed to be able to relate to it , whether it be from personal experience or second hand from a dear loved one (I don’t know for sure).

This disorder is so watered down in many cultures that it has become a joke. I am so glad that I can use my writing as a tool to spread awareness as I continue to fight the stigma attached to OCD.

Here are the judges wonderful comments on my story.

FI: I love a left-fielder! The ‘cost of obsession’ was a popular element but “You Can’t Ignore Me” sucks you in, almost convincing you that the voice is inside your skull. The syntax drives that impulse to heart-root, compelling you to get up and check the stove (did I turn it off?), or the lock (maybe I only thought I turned it). For me, it resurrected dead memories of compulsive prayers whispered in the dark, never good enough for the ears of God. Absolutely gripping, friend.

HG: You…wow…Whether or not it was the writer’s intent, this story captures the essence of Obsessive Compulsive disorder. I had to take a moment after I read this one, it strikes so close to home. Beautifully done.

 

 

 

Micro Bookends FIVE FAMILIES

Photo Credit: Enric Fradera via CC.

Photo Credit: Enric Fradera via CC.

For last week’s Micro Bookends I was inspired twice! That almost never happens. The bookends were FIVE and FAMILIES/FAMILY. Here are my two stories.

 

Less Than One Percent

 

“Five days? But it’s not possible, is it? I had a vasectomy.”

“Hold on…. Google says there is a less than one percent chance. Oh my goodness! Look at all these stories of pregnancies after vasectomies!”

“Did you take a test?”

“No, but I have one in my purse.”

“Well, what are you waiting for?”

“I’m not going to take a pregnancy test in a restaurant bathroom!”

“Why not? Aren’t you dying to know?”

“But knowing will make it real. Six kids, Brett! I do not want six!”

“It could just be stress from moving.”

“Stress. Yes, maybe. I can’t believe I ever wanted a big family.”

 

Mia’s Job

 

“Five, six, seven, eight.”

Wait, that’s not good enough. Go back and start over.

“Again?”

You paused on seven.

“No I didn’t.”

Are you sure?

“Yes…. I think.”

If you didn’t do it right, your sister will die.

“That doesn’t make sense. You’re lying”

Want to chance it? If she dies, it will be your fault. Now start over and DON”T step on a crack.

“But I’ve recounted 6 times, I’m already late, and people are watching.”

It doesn’t feel right though, does it? She will die; deep down you know it.

“You’re right. Ok. One, two, three…”

That’s it. Remember, it’s your job to save your family.

 

 

 

Whale

Mirissa (Sri Lanka), blue whale. CC2.0 photo by Arian Zwegers.

Mirissa (Sri Lanka), blue whale. CC2.0 photo by Arian Zwegers.

 

“Whale.”

“Your name is Whale?”

“No. They call me Whale.”

“Um, why?”

Whale smiled. She loved the look on people’s faces when she told them that. They would always hesitate, their eyes running over her body, making note that she wasn’t a particularly large person. They would open their mouth as if to say something then close it fast, thinking better of it.

Then she’d walk out toward the rising tide, lift her hands up to the setting sun, and fall into the salty bliss that was her home. She was free to swim again in her true form, Whale.

 

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Written for Warmup Wednesday!

This week’s Warmup Wednesday challenge: make the first and last words of your story “whale.”

 

Mother’s Pitch

Photo Credit: Nano Anderson via CC.

Photo Credit: Nano Anderson via CC.

“Perfect, just perfect.”

Sarah could hear the sarcastic undertone in her mother’s voice. The clapping that echoed around the white-washed walls couldn’t hide the disappointment radiating from her skin.

Britany bowed in gratitude toward her audience but the quiver in her legs betrayed her nervousness. She knew their mother noticed the missing note in the ninth measure.

Sarah gave here sister a compassionate look as they passed each other on the stage. Britany’s eyes pleaded for help. Sarah couldn’t let her suffer for being less gifted.

As she poised the bow on the strings she made the decision to test her mother’s perfect pitch.

 

 

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Written for Micro Bookends 1.50

Bookends: Perfect, Pitch

 

 

Discovery – #sixwordstory

Photo from Google Images

Photo from Google Images

Reaches in pocket, ” hey, five dollars!”

If you like this story, please head over to Sometimes Stellar Storyteller Six Word Story Challenge and like my story in the comments. The story with the most likes wins! And, while your at it, enter your story too!