Julia’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups gives us another picture this week to inspire our short-short stories. Let me know what you think of mine!
The package came on Monday – an inlaid wooden box, locked. On Tuesday, a small envelope. The note inside said only “Rosemary. That’s for remembrance.”
The key lay in the frostbitten herb garden. Her heart hammered as she picked it up. Late at night, she turned the lock. Letters overflowed as she lifted the lid. Taped inside the lid, another note – “Pray you, love, remember – remember how I love you. Love, let me come back.”
She smiled grimly as she fed the letters into the blazing fireplace. What about the box? Pretty, new, no memories left in it. She’d keep it.
This week, Julia’s prompt for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups is …what does it taste like…
To participate, add 100 more words to the prompt and tell us a short-short story. (Don’t forget to post the link over at 100WCGU!) Here’s my version. Please comment – I’d love to know what you think of it!
My Aunt Joan’s hobby is winning cooking contests. Well, entering them. So when I heard her excited voice, I knew what I was in for. I went over anyway.
She waved a dripping spoon at something with lots of multicolored layers. “What is it?” I said.
“Lima Fruit Parfait.” She beamed at me. “For the Lima Bean Festival down in Cape May. It’s got strawberries and oranges and blueberries and, of course, lima beans.”
“Lima. Fruit. Parfait. What does it taste like?”
“Oh, who cares? People eat with their eyes, right? And it’s pretty.”
“But lima beans with strawberries? And stuff?”
“Beans are fruit. Technically. I think.”
* * *
(The Lima Bean Festival in Cape May, New Jersey is real. Aunt Joan and her parfait are not, and the actual festival should not be blamed for them!)
This week, Julia has given us a picture to inspire our stories for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. Let me know what you think of mine –
A Clear View
I was on my honeymoon – our honeymoon – when I found out Mike and I had seriously different tastes in fun. We both like sightseeing, but I like to be awestruck from safety. Mike would like to take me rappelling down the side of Mount Everest and exploring ice caves in Antarctica. As it was, I’d already fallen off a horse, twice, and wrenched my back when the bungee jump cords weren’t adjusted right, before we got to the Grand Canyon.
“I’m not walking out over thin air!”
“Honey, you’ll never get a better view. It’s safe. Don’t you trust me?”
And that’s when I realized: I didn’t.
This week’s story prompt from Julia is “….the extreme weather meant…“, and she asks us to add a hundred words of our own to turn the prompt into a story.
There’s a crumb of reality behind my little fable – years ago, I came across a book about a small valley in New Guinea which, according to the writers, had a nearly perfect climate. Jack, and his story, are straight out of my imagination.
Please tell me what you think of it!
Nobody could fool Jack. To him, the extreme weather meant disaster looming. Time to escape to the world’s best climate – he just had to locate it. No traceable internet research; he read about his refuge in an old book, traveled to New Guinea, hired a driver.
Who loved to talk. “You wouldn’t believe how we’ve changed. My grandpa only ever thought about raising pigs. Now look around – roads, electricity, why, I’ve got my own web site.”
The driver grinned. “Help grandma market the pigs. Where were you going again?” Jack repeated the name of the perfect valley. The road wound higher past a hydroelectric dam. The car stopped. “Hope you can swim.” An expansive gesture toward the lake. “It’s down there, all flooded.”
I haven’t participated in the 100 Word Challenge for a week or two. Time to get back on track! This week, Julia asks us to add 100 words to the prompt “…the notes from the piano…” to make a very small story. Hmmm. Where is that piano? Who’s playing it – and what kind of music are they playing? Here’s my answer – please let me know what you think!
The notes from the piano in the studio downstairs drifted through the floor. Sounds charming, right? Well, no. Scales, G to G, drifted through the floor. Over and over, up and down. And every time, the same wrong note. I burrowed into the pillows, coughed some more, and tried to sleep.
Finally the hour’s lesson was over. Blessed silence. No – footsteps stomping up the old stairs. A fist banging on my door. I pulled on a robe and staggered out to answer.
“Look, I’ve been hearing you cough all afternoon. Are you – no, I can see you’re not okay. Do you need help? What can I get you?”
Here we are in 2013, and Julia at the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups has another seasonal prompt for us to use as the springboard for a hundred (and three) words of fiction:
…as midnight struck…
Please let me know what you think of my take on the prompt!
As midnight struck, I realized I had broken another New Year’s resolution: Get enough sleep. I had such wonderful plans for 2013, too, only a week ago. A whole new me – a complete transformation.
Let’s see, how am I doing so far? New Year’s Day – well, that tray of Christmas cookies was only going to go stale if somebody didn’t eat them, so I did. So much for resolution number 1. Day by day, one resolution after another…broken, all of them, less than a week into the year.
Ahhh. Being the old familiar version of me is so much more comfortable.
This week, Julia gave us a seasonal prompt – “twas the night before Christmas.” As usual, all we have to do is add 100 words to it for a ministory. What I came up with was this tale of a woman who’s feeling overburdened…please tell me what you think of it!
Twas the night before Christmas. Sarah’s house was bursting; she was fuming. “It’s David’s fault,” she told her neighbor Abby-the-gossip. “Invites every no-good who claims to need help to stay.”
“Looks like you’ll have one more soon,” smirked Abby, glancing at a very-pregnant girl.
She was right. Sarah would have liked to order Abby out when the girl’s labor started, but Abby was a good midwife and she needed the help. At last it was over. Abby peered at the newborn. “This one’s a troublemaker. Look how he’s started,” she said happily.
“Oh, nonsense.” Sarah smiled at the weary mother. “He’s a miracle, like all babies.”
Julia has given us a classically seasonal prompt for this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups – a simple “Bah Humbug!” And the director of this production of the Christmas Carol is about ready to join in…
Ho Ho Ho?
“Only time for three more rehearsals, and that’s if they come in tomorrow morning. It’s going to be a disaster.”
“The children sound all right.”
“Oh, the kids know their lines, the singers are fine, the script works. And there’s a hole right in the middle of the production.”
“Instead of a bad guy. Says he likes Christmas. If he’s not loathsome in the first act, nothing’s going to work. Hey, Scrooge! Let’s hear your first line again.”
A cheery “Bah humbug!” Pause. “That wasn’t right, was it?”
“You hear that? You call that a Scrooge? Nick, what’s wrong with you?”
All right, this story is in response to Julia’s real prompt for the 100 Word Challenge for Grownups. And in a few minutes, I’ll find out whether I’ve managed to miss the deadline for this week…
I’m on a mission.
You know the way people put out treats, especially around Christmas, and then leave the plates sitting with just one piece left? It’s cruel, that’s what it is. Tempting people like that. Just think of the poor souls who struggle with their weight. Why, they might eat that last piece!
Someone has to protect them. So from now on, whenever I see a plate full of goodies, I’m going to eat it all, every bite, right away, before anyone else can get at it.
No, no, you don’t have to thank me. Just knowing that I can help is reward enough.
Julia’s keeping her prompt for this week’s 100 Word Challenge for Grownups short, simple, and seasonal – just one word: grey.
And here’s my story about a woman who’s not about to be defeated by November gray. Let me know what you think!
She pulls out one hair, a second, a third, and inspects them carefully. It’s true. They’re all grey. Time to face the facts. She makes an appointment.
The stylist fingers her hair thoughtfully. “You’re naturally dark haired, aren’t you?”
“It’s almost black. Was almost black.”
“We don’t recommend dark brown, for ladies with your situation. A soft brown, or maybe a rich blonde – that will flatter your skin tone more.”
“I don’t want a soft brown,” she says firmly. “Or black. Let’s go for something new.” He produces a small professional smile. “It’s almost Christmas. I want the left half red and the right half green.” She grins back. “Come January, we’ll think of something else.”