Tag Archives: creativity

Writing Prompt Wednesday


keys

The inspiration for this week’s writing prompt is ‘keys’. Let your imagination take over. What is your story?

I wrote this short story as my mind gazed at the keys above.

Her hand trembled, hesitant to pick up a key. If it were the wrong one, she would be held hostage for another month. Her hand hovered over the tabletop covered in keys. Ever shape and size, old and new, which one would release her?

“Hurry up and take one. I don’t have all day.”

She turned to see him glaring at her the knife in his right hand and the end of the chain in the other. With a silent pray she took one key and gave it to him. He bent down to insert it into the padlock. She willed it to fit with all her might.

There was a click. The padlock sprung open. I’m free? Please let me be free. Is it a trick?

“Well, there’s a surprise, you found the right one.”

He pulled at the chain making her stumble and kneel at his feet. She held her breath waiting for some sort of punishment but he un-linked the chain from the padlock and pulled it away from her ankles.

“Go on then, run.”

Her dazed mind held her still for a moment. He pushed her towards the door. The sunlight was bright, the air fresh. She looked up to see acres of forest before her.

“Find your way and no telling or I’ll bring you back.”

She ran, stumbling over tree roots and rocks. Freedom. She was on her way home. The bullet struck the back of her head. No more fear, no more pain. He dragged the body to the pit and kicked it into the depths.

He would drive eastward tomorrow and pick up another hitchhiker.

I know my mind can be dark but your story will be completely different.

Writing Prompt Wednesday


alleyway

Using this image write about an incident in an old alleyway. It can be a poem or a short story or a list of words that come to mind when you look at the image.

This is my response.

With my back pressed against an old wooden door in the weathered stone wall, I glance back along the alleyway. The early morning light shows the pathway clear of pursuers. I inhale in a bid to calm my beating heart and the fear crawling under my skin. 

Why had I been so stupid? Walking alone at night is a really dumb thing to do. I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing such a thing at home, so why here in this ancient town? My holiday mood had gotten the best of me, obviously. 

The slap of running feet on the stones makes my head snap upward. It isn’t possible to press my body into the door any further. If I run now they will be able to see me. My eyes search the doorways on the opposite wall but all are closed. Praying for a miracle, I knock gently at the door behind me. The warm touch of a hand startles me. I turn to face a hunched old lady in black. Her face is wrinkled and brown from decades of sun exposure but her smile is friendly. 

“Please help me. There are men chasing me.” 

“Non capisco.” 

How do I make her understand? The footsteps are closer now. I don’t have time to explain so take her hand and close the door. With a finger to my lips we face each other in the dimness, listening intently to excitable chatter, halting steps and then running feet fading away. Once silence returns I take her hands and nod hoping this gesture conveys my thankfulness. She nods back and leads me into a kitchen with pots and herbs hanging from the ceiling. Motioning me toward a wooden chair, she places a kettle upon the stove and opens the oven door, releasing the scent of freshly baked bread. 

My stomach grumbles and she smiles as she places cut tomatoes, olives and oil beside the sliced bread. The coffee is strong and makes me wince, my companion signals me to continue drinking whilst patting her chest slowly. So much caffeine may calm her nerves but to a confirmed tea drinker it is only makes my heart beat faster. I dip the warm bread into the oil and lay a tomato slice upon it before taking a satisfying bite. 

I will have to return to my hotel shortly and deal with the ramifications of a police report but for now I am enjoying the peaceful surroundings and kind company after my misadventure of the night.

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


prompts

Today I will give you the prompt  we used at my writing group’s meeting last night. It stirred up some great responses, two of which required more time than 10 minutes. This included mine, so here is the completed story.

Unexpected Tattoo

In your morning shower, you notice a tattoo on your body that you don’t remember getting. What is it? How did you get it? What does it mean?

I trudged to the bathroom, peering through half closed eyes avoiding the bright sunlight flowing through the windows. In my drunken state, I had forgotten to close the curtains. My head thudded in time to my footsteps. My body ached. What had we done last night?

Turning the faucet, I braved a glance at myself in the mirror. Black smudges of mascara gave me the look of a panda. What a state! Pulling the shower curtain across the tub, I let the hot water refresh me, slowly revitalizing my body. With a large amount of shower gel on my hands I began washing. Ouch, my left shoulder smarted as I rubbed with the flannel.

I looked down at my arm to see a multi colored tattoo. What the hell? When did that happen? Oh my God, how drunk was I?

I inspected the new ink – a sword across a shield embossed with a bear head, jaws open, teeth bared. As I gazed at the image a memory emerged. The tavern at the lake has been crowded and my friends and I had joined the locals as they relayed stories of a local legend. A massive bear larger than life, who took pet animals in the dead of night.

One hunter among the group showed us a huge scar across his back, the result of an encounter with this bear. He was lucky to escape with his life. He told us he had been hunting deer and was about to take aim when the bear appeared out of nowhere behind him and struck his back. The force of the blow pushed him tumbling him down an outcrop to the river below. He was convinced he would surely have died if he had not fallen. Spellbound by this tale we raised a glass to his escape.

Now my mind tried to grasp the remainder of the evening but it was hazy to say the least. Once showered, dried and dressed, I forgo breakfast as my stomach rolled unpleasantly at the thought and poured strong hot coffee into a mug. I sat on the window seat and people watched for a while. Thank goodness it was Sunday and I could lazy around all day recovering. I must of dozed off because my cell woke me. The sun was higher and hot through the glass.

“Where are you?”

“At home of course, why?”

“You are so late for work, Gail. Are you coming in today?”

“What? It’s Sunday.”

“Nope, Monday and it’s ten o’clock. So are you coming in?”

I looked around my apartment, at the traffic below my window and then the dried coffee spill on the floor. How could I have slept for so ling?

“Are you still there? Hello?”

“Yes, yes, I’m here. Look I need to sort out a few things, I’ll be in tomorrow.”

“Was it that heavy a night?”

“I was home all night. I’ll see you tomorrow, Sandra.”

I stood but staggered back down my feet throbbed in pain. I looked down – my feet were covered in mud and grass. What the hell is going on? I just showered. That’s when I saw the trail of muddy foot prints and – what is that? Blood!

Clutching my cell I crept toward the bathroom following the tracks. My head swam and then I was in a forest. The cold grass and morning dew chilled my feet and I shivered. This is the most intense dream I have ever had.

“Gailen, get down!”

The shout was just behind me, I froze and two large hands pushed me to the forest floor. I looked in surprise at the hunter who’d relayed his tale of the bear that night.

“What’s going on, this dream is intense.”

“No dream, Gailen, you are returned.”

“Hang on, my name is Gail not Gailen and…”

“No time to talk we must run, the beast will smell us soon enough.”

The hunter pulled me by one hand, all the time I cursed as sharp sticks and stones pierced the soles of my feet. He did not let me stop but pulled with a strength and urgency that scared me. As we approached a steep embankment I hesitated looking both ways for another route, but a sharp tug on my hand sent me flying and tumbling down the steep bank. I cried out several times as my body struck hard objects. At the bottom, the hunter picked me up as easily as a feather and looked intensely into my eyes.

“Gailen, you are returned and must fulfill your destiny. You and only you can defeat the beast. It is foretold. You bare the mark.” He pointed to my new tattoo.

“Hold on. Firstly, my name is Gail, secondly this tattoo appeared out of nowhere yesterday – might have been the day before actually – but I have no destiny and I just wish this dream would stop. It is much too real for me.”

“The Queen of Light hid you in another realm for your own safety but with the beast grown so, she had no choice but to bring you back. You must kill it and save the kingdom.”

“Okay, so now this is a fantasy dream? I’m going to wake up any minute.”

“Gailen, listen to me. Your life in the other realm was temporary, this is your true home. Do you not remember?”

“No, of course I don’t this isn’t real.”

“It is real. You must see the seer and get your memories back as soon as possible. The beast is rampaging villages as we speak, he must be stopped and you are the one who can stop it. Come we will go to the wise one.”

I will stop this story here as it has taken on it’s own momentum! I will carry on the story later.

Why not try this prompt and tell us about an unexpected tattoo?

bear

 

 

 

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


9781608636921

Describe a walk you enjoyed.

I began walking in my short lunchtime break last year and this is a poem I wrote after one particularly enjoyable one. Yesterday was my first lunchtime walk this year, as winter’s grip is slowly easing. (Fingers crossed). My car’s display stated +2 and although the wind was initially cold as I began to walk, on my way back I could feel the warmth of the sun.

Lunchtime Repose

Buffed by the breeze
Dancing above the rippling water
Wings flutter and glide
Darting back and forth
Juicy morsels to eat on the wing
I sit enjoying the show with ease

Sunshine on my face
New leaves jiggle and flash
Branches bend
Pollen releases for some that’s sneezes
Tiny blooms appear above the grass
Bathing in the warm embrace

Opportunist waterfowl spy my bread
Stand with pleading eyes
Grateful for the crumbs given with pleasure
Brown, green and white feathered friends
For this delightful repose
Before enclosed in stale office air instead

13087372_10206263618084644_8830023882714254589_n

My photo from the walk described above, obviously not the current situation as we are still under snow!

Do you take a break from work? What do you do?

Where is your favorite walk?

 

Writing Prompt Wednesday


9781608636921

If you could pack up and leave on vacation today, where would you be off to?

Considering we are in the depths of a freezing winter here in Alberta, anywhere would appeal to it’s inhabitants, that is warmer than -24!

However, it is no secret I have a favorite place, besides ‘home’ – England, that I would happily live. That place is Rome. It is an enthralling mixture of ancient and modern. Daily life is relaxed, the food and wine delicious and that golden Italian light is magical. The countryside with its winding roads, so like England and the iconic trees, vineyards and terracotta roofed buildings draw me to them. My screen saver at work is a view across the Tuscan countryside. Maybe, I was Italian in a past life and that is the reason I have an affinity with Italy.

I traveled to Florence, Rome and Venice many moons ago and Rome resonated within my soul so deeply I have always been pining to go back. I will go back someday, it is on my bucket list.

 

Where would you go?