************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Writing Exercise Submissions: Random Topic Stories

Sorry I didn't get this up yesterday, as promised. Thank you to Desiree and Gail for their really wonderful submissions to this rather difficult writing exercise. For this exercise, we randomly chose from lists of topics which included what would happen to whom, and when, and where the story was to happen. To read the entire exercise, CLICK HERE.

Submission One:

He had just turned 94 years old. His routine was still the same simple tasks; get up, eat, take a crap (hopefully), shower, shave and walk to the corner to wait for the bus. Today was quite muggy but that's to be expected in early summer. He adjusted his red bow tie as he sat in the glass enclosure waiting...

Mrs Jenkins arrived as she always does, with her stockings rolled below her knees, scuffling along in her orthopedic shoes, sporting her bright blue hat with the peacock feather. We nodded and smiled, then she bent own and kissed me on the forehead.

"It's my birthday, Mrs Jenkins."

"Oh Mr Sawyer, Happy Birthday." She kissed me square on the mouth, 'mwah'!!

We waited patiently and then, right on time, the bus arrived. We sauntered over and carefully climbed aboard, stopping to drop our coins in to the slot.

"Oh let me pay Mr Sawyer - it's my birthday gift to you."

"Why thank you Mrs Jenkins, I accept your generosity."

We smiled and found our seats, across the aisle from one another. The bus drove off and I saw Mrs Jenkins close her eyes and surrender to the rhythm of the bus. I did the same. And then I heard a weird sound - like indoor thunder - and I realized it was me, passing gas!! I was so embarassed - and hoped no one noticed although based on what I heard that was probably not the case.

Mrs Jenkins was jolted awake and looked over at me and said, "Mr Sawyer, are you allright?"

"Better now Mrs Jenkins, better now"

We both laughed heartily and Mrs Jenkins sang "Happy Birthday" to me, and the entire bus joined in!


Thank you Gail! That left me with a smile on my face. I can just see the two old dears. :-) I want to say that when I receive these in the comments, there are never any paragraph breaks, so I insert them as I see fit. I hope this hasn't thrown off the pace of your piece.


Submission Two:
It's a perfect, early Summer's morning. The sky is clear and the birds have just set up their chorus to greet Meg as she reaches over to switch off her alarm. Even though she got to bed later than she'd planned last night, she's feeling bright and ready to face the day. She doesn't always feel as enthusiastic on a winter's morning when the weather is cold and bleak at this time.
Being a fire-fighter is a new adventure for her. It was only recently that her local Fire and Rescue Department voted to enlist their first three trainee women. Meg has always been fit, having participated in several of her school's sports' teams. At first, she'd toyed with the idea of being either a physiotherapist or a veterinary surgeon, but mathematics was not her strong point and so her applications for both were tossed out. She took a year off to travel the world, on a hugely confining budget, but came back to her hometown eager to set down her roots and to do something worthwhile for her community. When the option of fire-fighting came up, she jumped at it.
Meg has been in training for six months now and is loving it. Today is going to signal a significant turning point in her career, but she is as yet unaware of this. Cheerfully, she leaps into the shower and emerges feeling refreshed and ready to face the day. She grabs her bag as she hurriedly exits the door, but forgets to pick up her whistle, which she must wear at all times.
She has barely touched base at the Fire Department Headquarters when the alarm bell sounds. Pete has a debilitating migraine and it is decided that novice Meg should take his place with the crew going out now. She excitedly scrambles aboard and before she has even had time to think, they are racing off to the newly opened shopping mall a few blocks away. Apparently, a fire broke out in one of the eateries, presumed to have been caused by a gas leak.
This early in the day, there are fortunately few shoppers about, but they need to make sure the fire does not spread and that no one is trapped. When they arrive at the scene, it's all systems go. Meg is tasked with going through the shops and passageways closest to where the fire errupted, while the longest serving members are assigned the more hazardous task of putting out the fire and ensuring no one is unnecessarily injured. Meg heads straight indoors and follows her prescribed drill, heart pounding with the first surge of adrenalin. This is her first time 'going solo' and, although a little nervous, she's feeling confident in the knowledge that her routines are now well-established habits.
She reaches for her whistle and then suddenly realises her error. It's still hanging on the hook beside the frontdoor! Without her whistle to alert anyone who might be unaware of the fire, she realises she has made a grave error. She cannot run back outside to ask her supervisor for a spare as time is crucial. She has to face the smokey passageways without her trusty whistle. Not only is it crucial in alerting her colleagues of her whereabouts, but it is often the only thing that can save the day when someone is trapped. In a building of this size, shouting at the top of your lungs is ill-advised.
Apart from the real danger of inhaling too much smoke yourself, it uses up vital oxygen supplies. You need to get in and get out as quickly as possible, but having ensured you've covered all areas. This is where the whistle really comes into play.
Thank you Desiree... I want to know what happens next? I hope she makes it out of the fire....


And finally, my submission:
She pulled her ragged shawl tighter around her small shoulders against the early morning chill. A sharp pain sang out on the back of her upper arm. Sitting on the damp ground, she brushed at the thorns and sticks that fairly covered the coarse cloth of her shabby clothes. Having removed as much of the forest from her garments as was possible, she warmed her bare feet, first one and then the other, in her hands. Touching a tender cut on her cheek, she scowled at the memory of the men who’d chased her through the darkness, the night before, forcing her to crawl into thick brambles to hide.
It was a savory scent that had brought her to so much trouble. She’d followed it for a long way, as it wafted on the wind’s waves, the familiar fragrance bringing back lovely memories…. the soft touch of her mother’s hand... a warm fire behind them and a bowl of lamb stew on the table in front of them… she could almost taste the chunks of meat and bits of onion and carrot and - oh potatoes… yes, there had always been potatoes and the yeasty taste of hot rolls, fresh from the oven… the large form of her father smearing slabs of butter across his bread before making it disappear under his dark mustache.
But that was before her father – a distant memory – had gone off to war, and the influenza had taken her mother away. Her throat was clenched with grief, but her endless hunger drove her on towards the wonderful smell of food and a little cottage, at the edge of the woods.
Through an open window, she’d seen a loaf of fresh, hot bread, still steaming, on a table. No thoughts, just an instinctual force had driven her towards the food. She’d tried to grab the bread through the window, but her arm was too short. So, she’d climbed up on the sill, and just before she had the bread in her hands, she’d toppled inside the cottage, landing hard on the wood floor.
She’d wanted to cry out, but voices and movement in the other room filled her with panic. Quickly, she’d found her feet and started towards the window, grabbing the bread almost as an afterthought. Diving out the window, she’d thought she was free until strong hands seized her ankles. The only way free was to squirm out of her shoes and run barefoot into the woods. Her shoes – the lovely red shoes which had belonged to her mother – were gone.
There had not been time to grieve that loss.
Wait! Stop!
She’d run, shoving pieces of the bread into her mouth as she went, ensuring that she would at least get to eat it before she was caught. The brambles had saved her from being caught, and given her cover while she scarfed down the rest of the bread.
It had been delicious, and worth it, and now she would live to see another day. She got up and walked carefully across the leafy ground, towards the edge of the woods. Her feet were bruised, cut, and still chilled to the bone. She peeked out from behind an enormous oak tree. There was the cottage. There was no sign of the men.

Sticking to the edge of the tree-line, she made her way past the cottage, keeping a watchful eye out in case the men returned. The wonderful fullness of the night before was already wearing off. If she’d known she wouldn’t be caught, she’d have saved some of the bread for morning. She began to watch the ground for the signs of morel mushrooms or a wild strawberry. A little bit of red, up ahead, caught her attention and she hurried towards it, and could hardly believe what she saw.
There, at the edge of the woods, were her mother’s red shoes. They’d been cleaned and left there with a note. She put the shoes on, tying them tight as they were too large for her small feet, and then studied the note for a moment before putting it in her pocket and heading towards the cottage.
She wiped her dirty face with her hands, and brushed her fingers through her scraggly hair before knocking on the door. When the door opened, she turned her face up and there he was. His mustache was a little gray, now, but his eyes were exactly the same as they’d been the last time she’d seem him.
Her father swept her up in his arms, sobbing with joy and relief. He told her he’d returned from the war, had found out that his wife had been taken by the influenza and had been searching for his little daughter, ever since. He’d been in the cottage, speaking with the owners, asking if they had seen or heard of an orphaned eight-year-old girl in the area at the exact moment she had fallen onto the kitchen floor.

Thanks  for submitting, you two. If anyone else wants to try it, you can read the original exercise and post your story in the comments. It was fun, and it was a much needed distraction for me this morning.

Now I need to take a shower and head out to my appointment with C. I'm nervous. It's kept me up the last couple of nights. I'll let you know how it goes.


Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.