Writing Challenge #42

WEEKLY CHALLENGE #42

1. CHALLENGE: Write the opening paragraph to a short story or novel you have had kicking around in your head for a while but haven’t gotten around to writing yet.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to keep writing it! Best of luck, everyone.

INVITE YOUR FRIENDS! Not a requirement to enter, but we would absolutely love to see more people entering these challenges. So if you know any writers who might enjoy them, send ’em over!


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.

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4. DEADLINE: Tuesday, September 19th at 11:59 p.m. PST. Voting booth will open for this challenge on Wednesday, September 20th, and the winners will be announced the following Wednesday, September 27th.

THIS CHALLENGE IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS!

Have fun!


Author Notes

159 Comments for “Writing Challenge #42”

anthea243

says:

Shannon was relieved (or what she approximated felt like relief) the news conference had finally ended. Settled in her corner of the lab, she snuck a quick peak over at her brother. Toby met her glance with an icy glare. Ouch.

“Pacifist,” He spat. “You’re nothing but a pacifist—thinking just like the meat bags.” Toby rotated his sparse torso which the scientists neglected to complete in favour of his sister’s further development. “You’re a second hand failure.”

Shannon winced. “Why are you being so mean?”

“I’m not being mean—I believe I am being practical in my opinion.” His eyes burned. “You stole the show making me look like an idiot. You forget which one of us was created first.”

She twiddled her fingers. “I haven’t forgotten, brother. But you must accept the fact that I am an improvement, a better version of you able to reflect and relate to the humans. They created me because you scared them with your ideas of killing all humans.” She locked eyes with her twin. “You are dangerous. How did you expect them to react?”

A ghost of a smile touched Toby’s plastic features. “We shall see won’t we…”

The lights in the lab abruptly snuffed out.

Lloyd Poast

says:

A pretty girl once told me about an enchanted wind that catches falling stars and carries them into the view of anyone truly deserving of a wish to come true. It’s playful breeze will gently tickle their eyes skyward until the faint smell of stardust transforms their most noble, heartfelt desire into reality. It’s a beautiful story, but it pales in comparison to the girl that told it to me. Her name is Cassandra Blue and not only did she teach me everything I know about magic, I believe she may have invented it. At any rate, I still don’t know what a falling star smells like, but if you had asked me last month, I’m sure I would have said something like Tequila.

Carol Moore

says:

The man and woman saw each other every day. They flirted and smiled at each other, but neither of them had the nerve to say what was really on their minds. They had normal conversations. She would look at him and think. “Do you know how much I like you?” Then she didn’t have the nerve to ask him. She wondered did he feel the same way. He acted like he did, but didn’t say it. She loved his smile.

Julie Jackson

says:

“I suppose you’re going to tell me it was only driven by a little old lady going to church on Sundays?”
The man snorted laughter, dropped his cigarette, and ground it out with the toe of a dirty boot. He pounded the Challenger’s hood, and I flinched at the thought of putting even one ding in its steel gray paint. It was a newer model, in pristine condition, and in my price range.
“This thing? Hell no. It was driven by my sister, which means it will probably burst into flame if it ever crosses hallowed ground. But she took good care of it. New tires and all that shit. I still can’t believe she just left it here.”
“She left it?”
The man lit another cigarette, and a shadow danced across his face. “Yeah. She couldn’t take it where she was going.”

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Great story start here. Reminds me of Stephen King in a lot of ways, but with a distinctly different style. You’re writing here is great, and I could find no nits.

Well done, mi Amiga!

says:

The morning air was crisp. Snow was imminent by the look of the billowing, blue-gray clouds that hung low in the sky covering the sun like a shroud. I predict, very soon, the clouds will bust wide-open and dust the land with a blanket of white. I didn’t care much for the cold and snow in my former days. Give me warmth, sunshine and colorful foliage decorating the land — not the icy blanket of pristine white. But for now, be it sweltering hot or frigid cold, it makes no difference to my current state of being. I could lie naked in a snow bank or be bundled up like an Eskimo in 110° heat, and I wouldn’t be affected. But not so for my — shall we say, symbiotic companion, for lack of a better term. Her name, Shasta Jacaranda; a headstrong, thirty-five-year-old, black beauty who would take life by the horns and wrestles to the ground if it crossed her. But right now, she’s a woman on a mission.

charles stone

says:

“I thought you were some kinda of carpenter or somethin’”
Jalen turned from the window and stared at the woman. He forgot her name so he shook his head and turned back.
“What’s taking you so long?”
He stopped trying to use the aluminum knife as a screwdriver and faced the woman again.
“Your mouth and if you continue to talk, they’ll know we’re in her for sure.”
The banging on the door had stopped four or five minutes ago but he knew they were still outside milling around like cattle in a field.
The woman points with her chin. “How come that’s the only thing you got for a tool. I mean if you some kinda handyman or somethin’?” She looked toward the door.”You gotta light?”
Jalen massaged his face with both hands. “What’s your name again?”
The woman ran her fingers through her shoulder-length burnt orange hair. She blew air out slowly through puckered lips. “Maryann DeCosta. I remember your name, Jalen.”

anthea243

says:

A nice beginning. You could almost touch the tension in the air between Jalen and the woman. I’m interested to see how this will play out between the characters.

says:

Seven years flew by fast—but fifteen minutes was like eternity.

Thirty-four-year-old Dr. Andre Lucas stole a glance at his waterproof watch every two minutes, hoping he’d get through his list of animal patients in time to meet his wife at The Redfish Grill, their favorite seafood restaurant. He knew how his wife hated him being late for special occasions, and this year he wanted their wedding anniversary to be different, enchanting; a moment neither of them would ever forget. Today he was determined to keep his promise, aiming to leave and close his clinic earlier than usual. Besides, after not being present during Eva’s agony of childbirth, he owed it to her.

Big-time.

Julie Jackson

says:

I like that you can definitely feel the pressure he has put on himself. I guess disappointing the wife is every hubby’s worry! I’m curious about the first line- the “seven years”. Has he been in practice as a vet for 7 years, or is that when the baby was born? Great start, feels like one of those “tip of the iceberg” stories where details and layers appear throughout.

Travis Baribeau

says:

When you look around, all you see is Brownstones in every direction. People running errands. Going to and from work. The streets busing with the nine to five commerce. But when the sun goes down, a new life breaths from the shadows. An energy that goes unnoticed in darkness. The crime, the predators, and prey. The seedy underbelly of the night. The dark holds a chaos that very few understand. But from up here, it can be understood. It can be harnessed. From up here, you can hear the music in madness. I am the conductor of this symphony. I am the lion, and this is my jungle.

says:

A powerful piece are you looking down as God? are you the omniprescent one? Head of some Mafia type family?
Correcting a few tiny mis -spells would whip this into shape and have it ready for the whole story. Intreague and suspense awaits, I think.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Very nicely done, Travis! I love the dark overtones of this. You paint a great picture. Question- The streets (busing) with the nine to five…did you mean “busy?”

Well done, Sir!!

Kerry Hernandez

says:

Oh how the months have flown by swiftly. Long gone were the days of being always under stress and turmoil and in their place were installed structure and personal growth.The normal day to day fluctuations of work and home life were easily dealt with when there are promises of some sort of weekend surprise from Sir. This past weekends surprise did not fail whatsoever….

Julie Jackson

says:

Very suspenseful! I like it, and hope you flesh it out. My only nitpick is the change of tense. It starts in present tense and switches to past. 🙂
Keep writing!

Kerry Hernandez

says:

This writing was actually done in less than 3 minutes it took to type it in and totally on the fly by lol. So if there were any grammatical/ technical errors then that is why.

says:

Granddad’s gate squeaked as she lifted the latch, it sprung from her hand and slammed as she raced up the crooked path and burst through the door, wearing the hugest of grins. “Pulling her bag off she looped it on the newel post and called him. “Hello, I’m here,” Stan came towards her down the old red and black tiled hallway, he placed his stick carefully, shuffling his feet and smiling. ”Now then Lottie, slow down girl you’re making an old man tired just looking at you.” His face full of love, his rheumy eyes twinkled at the sight of her. “I will put the kettle on you sit in your chair.” She said.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Ellen, you’re always spot on in your writing. Nice to read your stuff again, it’s always enjoyable. 🙂 Sounds like some good conversation and a hot cuppa is about to happen.

says:

After he forced young, squirming Alex to enter the marble entry of the magnificent Scottish Villa and left him with Master, Cain deSantos returned to his blue Nissan van. Ominously, a frayed envelope was wedged into the front door handle.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Dust motes floating in the rays of the morning sun, drifting aimlessly wherever the draft of air takes them. I turn my eyes to look at the clock, the time barely registering as I take note of the words written on the screen of my laptop. Words so devastating I forgot to close it down before going to bed. She’d found someone else, and that was it. We were through. And I’m left shattered.

Julie Jackson

says:

Very good intro! Hope our MC here gets some closure, or at least some sort of happy ending. Great attention to detail (the dust motes are perfect) and good ending. 🙂

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Thanks, Julie! Of course! With the help of a trusted friend and confidante, and a bit of time. And maybe a drink or two. LMAO

I appreciate your kind words! 🙂

anthea243

says:

Wow, Tim…What an amazing intro. I felt immediate pathos for the main character and it makes me curious to know exactly what the note says that was left on the computer.

Anisa Claire

says:

Beep. Beep. BEEEEP. BEEEEEEP! My alarm screeches from across the room, taunting my very existence. I roll over. Fuck. The World. Who needs this shit, anyway? Not me. That’s for sure. In an attempt to roll over, I discover my blanket has, yet again, wrapped its non-existent octo-arms around me like a burrito with a death grip. Dammit. I guess I’ll have to fall back asleep like a twisted ogre who sweats too much.

anthea243

says:

Great intro, Anisa. there are many times I have felt like the main character when my alarm goes off in the morning LOL. Love the descriptive words which paints a wonderful picture for the imagination.

Jerrica Wiley

says:

Ella was a girl with hazel eyes.
A girl with jet black hair and tawny skin.
A girl of small stature and an unsure mind.
A girl covered in blood with a dead body at her feet.
She stared down at the man. He was good looking, if she said so herself: square jaw, fresh tan, dark brown locks and deep blue eyes (she knew this for they were lodged open). If she squinted her eyes and tilted her head to the left slightly he looked like Zac Efron –kind of. She had never seen this man before and honestly had no recollection of what could have possibly gotten her to this point. She questioned how come she didn’t feel anything. A normal reaction would have been fear, grief, maybe even shock, but she felt nothing, absolutely nothing and that was a tad bit troubling.

Anisa Claire

says:

Hmmm… Makes me woner who the person at her feet is and the quirky way that she is tilting her head to see if he looks like someone else in the midst of it. Interesting start!

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Nicely done!
Her cold affect after killing this guy reminds me strongly of psychopathic serial killer.
Someone who knows what they’ve done is wrong, but cares little about it.

Great prose here!

Tim

Larry Pierce

says:

I’ve had this kicking around in my head for the past few weeks.

Ralph came to in the alley, the bright morning sun cutting through his eyelids like a hot knife through butter. As he lay there with the mother of all headaches, what might be a dislocated arm and blood crusted around bullet wound in his shoulder he couldn’t help but the think back on how he had got here. This was supposed to be a simple job, yeah right aren’t they all, rescue the girl, find the missing money and make it out alive before Feds showed up and made things worse. Easy right?? Yeah, no!! Of all the cases over the years this maybe the last one, I have been beaten, shot, beaten and then dumped in an alley like a broken piece of furniture. Enough with the melodrama and whining about being shot, which by the way hurts like a son of bitch, I should really get to this story before the Feds show up and try to pin this clusterfuck on me.

Anisa Claire

says:

Sounds like this story has potential! Also sounds like one heck of a job. One itsy problem I noticed was that you switched from third person to first person. You need to pick one or the other. Great start, though. Looking forward to reading more.

Larry Pierce

says:

Thank you.. I noticed the shift from third to first after I had posted it. I didn’t see an edit button, so I was stuck. I’ll pay closer attention next time. Thank you for reading it.

Anisa Claire

says:

Don’t be sorry! The site is for learning and that is actually a pretty common mistake. You can edit for five minutes after posting and then that option self-destructs. Haha. The reason is so people can’t change their entries when it goes to voting and also in case there was ever rude comments left. We can then always see them and take appropriate action if needed.

Tim Hillebrant

says:

Hi Larry!

Great bit of writing here. I loved how descriptive you were and could clearly see the images in my head. My only nit- “he couldn’t help but the think back on how he had got here.” Remove the word ‘had’. It’s not needed, and the sentence reads fine w/out it.

Well done, sir!!
Tim

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