Writing Challenge #14

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WEEKLY CHALLENGE #14

  1. WRITE: For this challenge, write a scene where your character verbally says one thing, but shows something totally different through their body language. The maximum length is 150 words.

2. COMMENT: You MUST comment on FOUR other entries to qualify. If you do not, your entry will be disqualified from the challenge. Give and take… Keep the cycle going.

3. IMPORTANT In order to qualify, you MUST vote for your TOP TWO choices. If you don’t vote, you cannot win this challenge (even if you receive the most votes!). To vote, you need to reply to the email that goes out for the Weekly Challenges. In that email, if you scroll to the bottom, you will see all the information you need to vote for this challenge.You must join our mailing list in order to receive the weekly voting email. 

4. DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 28th at 11:59 p.m. PST. Voting booth will open for this challenge on Wednesday, June 29th, and the winners will be announced the following Wednesday, July 6th.

CONGRATULATIONS: To the winners of Challenge #12… Emily Stephens, Stephanie Walker and Marcia Yearwood!

THIS CHALLENGE IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS!

Have fun!

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Author Notes

178 Comments for “Writing Challenge #14”

Paul Forster

says:

Sometimes I’m so nonchalant I appear soporific to others. I’ve been told I look and act stoned a lot of the time, placid to the point of stupor, but I’m not. Externally, in public, I’m calm and accepting. I don’t need or want to worry about anything, except my kids and grand kids.

I’m whimsical, I’m an actor and pull silly, fun characters out and share them with friends at our get togethers. My favorite part was Badger in Wind In The Willows. He was a curmudgeon that the kids loved. I let them coax me into doing it, but I craved that part.

I derive great pleasure from giving and I do not like greedy, brutal or rapacious people. I believe in strong independent women too, someone to stand next to, not in front of. A partner.

I do get very excited at some things, railing and swearing, bellowing my anger at perceived wrongs to me or to others, apoplectic if children are hurt…but silently in my mind while calmly discussing it with others

So, why am I so alone?

says:

An interesting write that goes beyond the task in the creation of an analytical piece opposed to a narrative. Excellent entry Paul, I enjoy its flow and its quiet build up to the overwhelming question at the end. Good work indeed!

Paul Forster

says:

Thank you Annalie, I’ve done a lot of stage acting, I love it, and one directed would lecture his cast at times on energy levels. The tendency for new ones is to come in like they were bulldozing the opponent. SIDS comment was always, “Why start way up there, start way down where you have room to move in. Mor Christ’s sake, you can ALWAYS kill them, just don’t start there.” Story telling is like stage work, if you’re good they suspend their disbelief and believe what you’re telling them.

Words are gods.

Carol Moore

says:

Good Piece we writers tend to be alone 🙂

Paul Forster

says:

HI Carol, that was my wife of 44 years name, she died January 2015. I miss her, but our deal was to keep living so I am. I haven’t been alone since I was 28 and met my wife. She had 4 kids, we had 1 and took in 2 women with kids that became ours. I live with those 2 daughters and their kids. They care for me and help me where I need it and give me so much life it’s hard to describe. I spend 3 days of quiet with walks and cuddles and warm nights. She’s very smart and strong. A civil rights lawyer in east Texas for 20 years strong. We talk a lot and try to learn new things all the time like our cities water system.

Sometimes I’m alone in my mind trying to feel out a comment for a story. I have to do what I did on stage, I have to become the character and a lot are alone. Most have someone to care for and love them because I need that. I’m just learning the craft, Ranker Amateur is my classification. I try hard though and study a lot.

Enjoy life, it’s more fun that way

Mariah Breiner

says:

Personality
Eleanor was sitting on the couch, legs crossed, hands in lap, chatting with friends. Eleanor always admired her friends they were always far more interesting then herself.
Rose was always cracking a joke; her ruby red lips could make anyone laugh.
Dolly’s sweetheart, southern bell charm could melt anyone’s heart.
Allan was always had something interesting to discuss, politics, the news, his wife’s cooking.
Every once in a while her friend, Dr. Jefferson would even stop by for a visit. He always seemed concerned about Eleanor’s friends, but he always gave Eleanor the most attention she found it most flattering. As flattering as the attention was, Eleanor let her friend do most the talking, she tended to keep to herself and enjoy the presence of people.
Eleanor had to admit to herself, she loved Rose but Rose could be a tad bit of an attention hog.

says:

Hi Mariah, a face for the crowd wearing a smile taking it all in, while secretly jealous of their attention. A good take on the prompt. A small nit… the word always is used five times, this jerked the flow of a good piece. You made me feel the gentleness of the woman thank you good luck.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Ah yes, wearing a smile while having not-so-smiley thoughts about others in the room. We do this sometimes at work, because that’s the nature of job.

I’m also very familiar with people like Rose, who use attention and steer topics towards things they’re familiar and comfortable with- lots of people do this, as it’s a way to keep attention away from things they might not want others to know about. Mass Distraction.

Good write here, and a great use of the prompt, Mariah.
If you want to vote in the contest, or have the opportunity to be voted for yourself, don’t forget to comment on at least four other entries below, please.

Welcome to Writer’s Carnival!!
Here’s hoping you find your time rewarding and enjoyable!

Tim

says:

Ah yes, the quietly envious attention seeker. Doesn’t everyone want a share of the conversation, though? I know I do, I’m definitely in the Eleanor’s shoes at times! Reminds me of Jean Louise’s visit to Maycomb County in “Go Set a Watchman” (“Southern ‘belle'” by the way). Ellen pointed out a disruption in the rhythm, and that’s my nit, a change to the repetitive style in the middle of the piece. The excessive use of “friend”, “flattering”, and “attention”, was a bit distracting! Otherwise, I liked this piece a lot. Good luck in the contest, Mariah!

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Nice write, Mariah! I can certainly relate to Eleanor in many ways, sometimes to the point of wondering why my friends keep me around! Haha!

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Old Joe muttered curses as he shuffled along, pushing his cart with a bottle tipped to his lips. The snow and cold contributed to his uneven gait as he stumbled drunkenly into a person. His bottle of gin crashed to the sidewalk. Curses flew as he stared menacingly at the innocent bystander. “Hey, you broke my bottle!” waving his 38 special crazily. The startled person sprinted away; glad to be still alive. Old Joe pocketed his gun, looking around furtively as he continued toward his destination. Finally, he arrived at a partially hidden door and slipped inside. “Ahh, feels good in here” he said in a clear distinct voice; taking off his tattered coat, holey gloves and nasty wig. “Honey, I’m home! What for supper?”

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Nice, Marcia!
I’m wondering now what old Joe does that he needs to go out in disguise.
Great use of the prompt here. I’d love to see more of this story.

Tim

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Thanks so much Tim. I’m wondering what the rest of Old Joe’s story is as well!! Maybe I’ll dive deeper into his story one day soon. I’m so glad you liked it & thanks for your kind encouragement!

Nola Wendross

says:

Andy scooted away from the edge of the bed, bumping into Mark, who was lying next to him.

It was his first sleepover.

Things had been going great, but then it was lights out.

“Oof,” Mark said, “You’re squishing me!”

Andy really wanted to have a sleepover. So much so, that he didn’t tell Mark about the Thing Beneath The Bed.

His mom said It wasn’t real, anyway.

Mark gave him a shove. “Hey! Are you going to move over, or what?”

“Yeah, sure,” Andy said. Be brave. Don’t let him know you’re afraid…

He took a deep breath and inched toward the edge as slow as he could.

“Hey, are you okay?” Mark asked.

“Yeah, sure,” Andy said again. “I’m fine. Everything’s great.”

A tremor passed through the bed.

“Why are you shaking, then? Are you a ‘fraidy cat? Scared of the dark?”

Andy whimpered.

“That wasn’t me.”

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Loved this! (as a fan of all things horror). You did a great job portraying young Andy as trying to be brave in front of his friend while he’s terrified at the same time.

says:

When I was a young kid, somewhere the age under ten, my little brother and I would watch scary movies before bed. On going to bed I was always scared of the monster under the bed, and the scary movies didn’t help! I would open my bedroom door wide and see if i could make it with only one jump and one foot hitting the floor. I would be careful not to dangle a leg or hand over the side of the bed so the monster wouldn’t get me, and shiver in terror until I fell asleep…lol This writing brought back those memories. However, in this case, the monster might be real! Very nice entry, Nola. 🙂

Write On!
Becky

says:

Evening came and went with the sun dipping deep into darkness. It must have taken the light out of my life as it retreated. Dayliight sounds now dead, the din of crickets and toads filled the air making it impossible for me to sleep.
Lonesome thoughts overpowered my eylids and buckets of tears tumbled out.

Brrrring brrrring ” the dead phone startles me and I answered with the sweetest hello.
“Hi Pat. How are you?”
” I am fine Rob”
“Just call to check how you doing”
I sweared to myself.
Why the hell he had to call. It has been over for too long. This barstard!
“I am fine! Iam fine!” as I lick salt from my upper lip.

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Can’t believe the gall of that guy! Some folks just like to rub salt in the wound. Your piece makes me feel: anger toward Rob and sympathy toward Pat. Good write!

says:

You are a master of imagery, Claudine. I feel for Pat and the lonesome thoughts that follow the setting sun. One thing I noticed was the use of the word “dead”. It stands out from among this diction, and therefore I would only use it once here. I suggest eliminating it from the description of the phone, because its addition to the setting is just too savory! People lie about their state of mind all the time, I like this piece!

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Some great writing here, Claudine. Love the line “Lonesome thoughts overpowered my eyelids and buckets of tears tumbled out.” Painfully sad. You did a wonderful job portraying Pat’s raw, emotional wound being torn open again by the sound of the perpetrator’s voice.

says:

My Dalmatian.
I was walking across the lawn when I notice the dog is tethered, I thought this is strange Dad’s never done that before. “Hello Doogie, good boy” I stooped and wriggled my fingers behind his ear. “Good boy” he wagged his tail, I bent to let him lick my cheek.
*Snarl* his teeth sank into my face, he anchored his paws and pulled back growling as he did so. It was over within two minutes, two minutes that changed my face, and my life. Two minutes later and Doogie lay dead on the lawn, the last I saw before sleep was Dad with his gun broken over his arm.

Paul Forster

says:

I liked that. A cute little scene with a twist that appeals to me. I’ve known dogs like that.

I would remove *snarl* and make it read “…lick my cheek (and) his teeth sank…” Also the shotgun, Why didn’t she hear the blast when he shot the dog and I’d change “Sleep” to “passed out from the pain”

Maybe something like:
It took a few seconds for “Sandy” (I’d give the dog a name) to destroy my face and the rest of my life. The last I remember of that dog was the blast of my fathers shotgun and thinking “Good” as I passed out.

My impression is that it’s her fathers dog, she’s a child 6 to 12, liked it and played with it, but had no deep feeling for it. If she did then change the “Good” to a Very hurt “Why did it do that” of some kind.

Thank you for sharing that scene with the world. My daughter writes Steam Punk and has 6 books published. I write extensive reviews for her and make suggestions like this. I hope I didn’t offend you, I did like it.

says:

Hi Paul, pleased to virtually meet. No offence taken that’s what we are here for, to learn. The dogs name is “Doogie ?” The *snarl* was maybe a step too far, but I was trying to say she heard the moment before the bite, and pay attention to the limits of a word count. The girl is a student coming home for a visit, hence not knowing why Doogie is tethered, I agree the ‘sleep’ is too soft. Thank you again I cant rework it here ;-( but may put it into a flash and post it later. have a great weekend.

Paul Forster

says:

Hi Ellen, Thank you, I like that concept, “Virtually Meet,” it’s true in two ways. It’s a virtual world were doing this in and we haven’t met in person, but we “Virtually” have met. I love words, they’re our true gods. You can’t think without words and they control our lives, everything we are and will become are created with words. I write to learn how to effect others (in a good way) with my words, make them laugh then cry, then laugh again. I put it as, “I want to get a hand-full of their guts and twist in both directions. I’m an actor too so I’m after that “Suspension of Disbelief” that makes the audience believe what they see. Good authors can do that and I want to be that.

Keep up the good work.

Nola Wendross

says:

Having the animal as the subject of this prompt was an interesting take. I was a bit confused by the”gun broken over his arm” bit. Be careful with your punctuation. Good luck!

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Vivid write, Ellen. I think you’ve got the breed for it too. Not the first Dalmatian story I’ve heard of ending this way- or some way similar to it. I think you captured the scene well, and the emotion was striking indeed.

Tim

says:

As Nola remarked, having an animal be the subject of this prompt is quite interesting indeed. I like your approach, and feel awfully upset about this whole situation- I love dogs, and would hate for my trust to be betrayed by my own. My only suggestion is to beware of run on sentences! Otherwise, I am emotionally invested in this entry, good work.

L.E. Gibler

says:

“Marcus, now is not a good time,” I said as sharply as possible. One of us had to be the adult here, after all, and his track record was against him.

He smiled at me, his blues glimmering with wicked understanding. “It’s never a good time, Lettie.” Despite my protestations, he pulled me close.

“We could die any second now,” I muttered into his collar. I could feel his laugh, and the vibrations tickled my nose.

“What else is new?” He framed my face in his hands. “Your entire family is watching, I promise to behave.” And so saying, he kissed me. I let the gentle caress go on for several seconds before pushing him back.

“You call that behaving?” I asked archly, before promptly returning the gesture. I decided then and there that I could worry about being an adult if I was still alive tomorrow.

Nola Wendross

says:

This is a good scene, but I feel confused. Like it was pulled from a book I don’t know the plot of. It’s hard to follow without context. Good luck!

Tim Hillebrant

says:

L.E., this was great. I’m reminded of scenes out of books like Harry Potter reading this. Strong write here. Great description and excellent response to the prompt!

Tim

says:

I definitely want to know more about what’s going on. You have me intrigued! I love everything about this situation, I feel all sorts of emotion jumping from the page from between the space of the two lovers. I especially enjoy your diction, “so saying” and “blues” being two notable phrases. This is great, L.E., good luck!

says:

I decided to do something different this time instead of “Words by Heart” characters. The following is a scene involving the teenage narrator, Genesis Johnson and her secret, slightly older crush Omar Brown, who’s an avid writer from my other (3-book planned) series, ‘Hallelujah Praise’.

Here’s my entry:

Omar slipped off his eyeglasses and cleaned them with the hem of his sky blue T-shirt. The gold flecks in his green eyes sparkled in the sun, and I couldn’t help but smile. He had the prettiest eyes I’ve ever seen a boy have, and I longed for him to keep his glasses off.
My face still knew when to frown though, sensing the tension. “Why didn’t your mother want you?”
He dropped his shoulders with a sigh. “Because . . . I wasn’t planned to be here.”
I frowned again. “What are you talking about?”
“My mother . . . she was raped by some white man. “
“Oh.” I sadly lowered my head. “I’m sorry.”
“No, it’s okay, really it is. And I’m not angry at her. Besides, she didn’t ask for me, right?” He gave a lopsided smile, but I could see the hurt in his eyes.

says:

Genesis, what a beautiful name. Great entry, M.L! My mom and I were recently having a discussion about identifying emotion in someone’s eyes… is emotion clear in the eyes, or the body language surrounding them? An interesting discussion, I think.

says:

Well . . . I’ve heard the eyes are the light to the body, so I think emotion can been clear in the eyes. Genesis is a pretty cool character. I can’t wait to share more of her later. Thanks for your remarks, Annalie. 🙂

Paul Forster

says:

I like what Telford said, it is internal and that hurts the most. I liked the story and at the end I wanted to hug him and apologize for stupid white people. I’ve had a couple friends that experienced that, not from rape, but they got little respect from anyone. I was taught EVERYONE deserves respect.

Thank you for sharing that scene with the world.

says:

Beautiful entry, Michaela. You totally paint the picture here of this boy justifying his pain and pretending to be strong, and all right with it. Words can’t cover the hurt in someone’s eyes. Great entry!

Write On!
Becky

Tim Hillebrant

says:

“You okay?” Echo asked Tommy, catching up to him in the hallway.
A group of seniors were walking the other way, laughing. Their words ringing harsh and loud in his ears. Names like Shamu, Walrus, and Porky, weren’t original, but they didn’t hurt any less. Especially when being called those names where his girlfriend could see it happen. She slid her hand into his, as they walked along. Tommy turned a half smile to her, “I’m fine.”
He was glad she couldn’t see the tear running down his other cheek.

says:

Hi Tim,
Whether you’re twenty-eight or sixty eight , I am certain that nearly all can relate to this scene.
All too often cruelly is played like a sport. It is an unfortunate reality that the wounds from this particular game may never fully heal.
You caught the timid emotion perfectly, Tim. Suffered in silence, hid behind a gentle smile. Well done, my friend.
S.R.

L.E. Gibler

says:

So tragic, so quickly. It is one of the cruelest things, and yet I am sure we all have experience hiding what we truly feel. Sad, but beautiful Tim!

Paul Forster

says:

Very well written. I can relate to that having been rather heavy for most of my life, I was built like a barrel. Porky and Gordo were favorites at my high school.

Well done. Thank you for sharing that piece.

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Bullying, a horrible blight on our socierty! It has gone on forever but certainly doesn’t make it any less painful; it is so senseless. I felt the pain with your character: hurt, anger and trying to maintain “face” for his girlfriend. Write on!

says:

Excellent entry, Tim. You totally took me back to high school and the pain so many bullies can dish out with their words. I felt Tommy’s pain, and his strong attempt to cover it. Well done. 🙂

Write On!
Becky

says:

Jeannie had the phone propped between her cheek and shoulder listening to her husband, her muddy, three year old son perched on her right hip while her eleven and twelve year old daughters stood beside her complain about a shirt that one of them was wearing, all while signing a clip board for the UPS driver at the door. When she shut the door to head to the bathroom with tar baby and the two bickering sibling following like ducks, she meets her four year old daughter in the hallway with lipstick smeared from one ear to the other looking like some sort of deranged clown.

The child smiles and says, “Don’t I look boo-tiful, Mommy?”

She grabs the child by the shirt with her free hand and pulls her along to the bathroom as well.

“I’m telling you, dear,” her husband says, “I thought this new job was supposed to be fast paced and exciting, but It’s so boring the day feels like it will never end.”

While In the other ear, Jeannie hears, “Mom, Katie said I could have the shirt,” while the other says, “No, I didn’t. I told Sally she could borrow it!”

Jeannie hears her husband continue, “If I wanted boring, I could have been a stay at home dad.”

Jeannie looks at her clown-faced daughter and replies. “Yeah, your right, honey. No excitement here.”

Tim Hillebrant

says:

And there’s a husband who will spend the rest of the week, trying to figure out why his wife is mad. Been there, done that. Good Write!!

says:

Hello, Miss Michele.
This short story is well framed and plays out really well in my head. It is a fun read that makes you smile at the end. Nicely done.
You might go over the first paragraph and break the run-on sentences into bite size pieces. I believe it might smooth out the beginning.
Still, a well presented, fun read.
S.R.

says:

Oh, working parents never seem to understand the burdens behind stay at home work, I’ve observed that. Talk about saying the wrong thing! I think this is a good write, Michele. I like how your first paragraph is comprised of long sentences, it adds to the chaotic mood surrounding Jeannie’s home life. Hope she is able to forgive her husband and find a way to relax!

Paul Forster

says:

I liked it that, well put and so true. Being the oldest of 3 boys with a single mom I learned that lesson about 10.

I have 4 daughters and 3 sons and ALL children whine when they want something and don’t have good justification, especially the girls. Also I’m not sure what whe felt at the end. Was she disgusted at his unthinking remarks? Angry? Amused? I like the gentler endings so I’d have her “…giggling at her clown faced…”

It brought back many memories of 44 years with her.

Thank you for that scene.

says:

“Mad? No, I’m not mad at all.” Lara set the pot down with a clang. “Why should I be mad?” A facsimile of a smile stretched her lips, her eyes flat and emotionless. Bending, she wiped up the splatter of spaghetti and shards of broken china. Home late and drunk, what’s not to love? she thought wryly. “I’m glad you’re home, honey.” Her hand slapped the lid of the garbage can closed with a loud thump.

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Emily stood in front of room 23 reading Mr. Walker’s care sheet. He’d just arrived last night, a recluse, who lived in an apartment building on the west end of the city. The other nurses warned her, but how bad could it be?

“Good morning, Mr. Walker!” she exclaimed smiling as she walked in.

Then the odor hit her nostrils and she fought to contain the contents of this morning’s breakfast. Her smile faltered but she recovered and remembered her observatory skills. His hair was long and stringy, teeth, the few he had left, blackened and rotted. Fingernails long and jagged probably carried years of filth beneath them.

“Where’s your pain, Mr. Walker?” she asked, after seeing his complaint on his intake sheet.

“My feet,” he said gruffly, removing his holey socks.

Smile pasted on, her first reflex was to vomit after seeing the maggots crawling out of his gangrenes feet.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

I don’t think nurses’ get enough respect. They’re really the front lines of any hospital. The aides help, but it’s the nurses who see and do it all. As evidenced by your captivating piece here.

Tim

says:

Oh, poor thing! I’ve never considered the way in which nurses hide their disgust to injury… more props to them I suppose! Good one, Lisa.

Lisa Doesburg

says:

Thank you, Annalie. While doing home care, one of my very first patients had a colostomy bag. I loved this elderly woman and it took everything in me not to gag in front of her when I accidentally dropped the full bag and the contents went all over the floor and my shoes, while at the same time assuring her it was okay.

says:

This is when my humanity flashes in front of me and I muscle up and get dirty. Nursing is not about getting paid. In these situations no amount of money is enough. Treating is pain and cleaning him up is the only thing that matters now. This was some great sucking it up Lisa!

Marcia Yearwood

says:

Oh my goodness, yucky, yucky! I work PRN doing home health but luckily haven’t experienced anything THIS bad! You painted this picture well, disgusting as it may be. Well done!

says:

It was hardly a moment before screams sounded from the streets, ricocheting off of cold brick walls. Damon took a breath before sprinting from the alley, medical kit in tow. He threw himself down at the side of a gasping woman, a maroon stain spreading her life thickly across her rib cage.
“Keep your eyes open ma’am, you have to fight with me here,” Damon encouraged. His hands worked fluidly with the bandages as his eyes searched the city rooftops. A glinting of light called to him that the squad was ready to move on to the next block. Damon lifted his arms, blood trickling to the pavement, a signal of permission. As Damon finished securing the victim’s bandages, gunshots resumed their song through the streets.

Carol Moore

says:

Tommy’s mom told him to stop jumping on the bed. As he went outside his grandmother asks him if he was okay.
The little boy with a smile told her, he was just fine as he clenched his dirty little fists and dragged his blanket in the dirt through the yard.

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