Writing Challenge #46

WEEKLY CHALLENGE #46

1. CHALLENGE:  Negative traits. We all have ’em! This challenge is all about your character’s negative traits. No person is perfect and your character can’t be, either. Write a scene, no more than 250 words, that highlights one of your character’s main negative traits.

Is your character lazy? Maybe a bit antisocial? Are they reckless or violet? Pick one and show us this negative trait in a short scene using no more than 250 words.

Think you can do it? Of course, you can! Looking forward to reading all of your amazing entries.

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 THREE 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 need to join our mailing list in order to receive the weekly voting email

4. DEADLINE: Tuesday, October 17th at 11:59 p.m. PST. Voting booth will open for this challenge on Wednesday, October 18th, and the winners will be announced the following Wednesday, October 25th.

HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the winners of Writing Challenge #44… Anisa Claire, Karen Holt and Wayne Scheer!

Have fun!

BONUS CHALLENGE: Want to stretch that creative muscle a bit more? Take your two sentence entry and turn it into a short story! Then post it in the ‘Posts for Review’ section on Writer’s Carnival. Remember to review other posts while you’re there, too, to keep that cycle going!

Not sure how to post a full story? Click here and then scroll down to ‘All About Posting’

 


Author Notes

55 Comments for “Writing Challenge #46”

says:

SPEEDY DEMON

A souped-up Ford surged through a paradise for joggers and recreational walkers in Brookhaven, Long Island, scattering a surprised physical fitness group toward the safety of a sidewalk.

The masked driver grinned sardonically as he swerved the madcap vehicle traveling in excessive speed along the Atlantic Concourse.

The peace was shattered by sirens as police gave chase. The ‘Demon’ exited wrongfully down a ‘One Way’ street, causing two cars to collide. The menace escaped into the outskirts of Brookhaven.

After repeated harassments in the peopled area, tragedy struck when the ‘Demon’ knocked an unsuspecting individual to the ground. Witnesses rushed to the victim to give assistance. A priest kneeled down, preparing to give last rites.

Everyone surged backwards, screaming, as the victim arose, brushed himself off and flashed a badge. The stuntman exuded a look of confidence which calmed the anxious masses.

He explained, “the ‘Speedy Demon’ should be coming to a halt with a squad car welcoming committee. I pierced the two left tires with a gun-dart as the vehicle sped past me.”

Melissa Pierce

says:

Good thing the Speedy Demon will be slowing down soon before someone gets hurt! Fast paced and kept me guessing if they would be able to stop him or not. Great write!

reigny dai

says:

“Sister Philips snuck a drink during my sermon last Sunday, and those Thompson twins got suspended for taking creepshots of female teachers.”

“Well, Pastor, no one’s perfect,” said Deacon Gregory.”

Pastor Jameson nodded his head and shuffled the cards. It was his turn to deal.

“You know Trudy Lawson filed for bankruptcy, right?”

“No. I hadn’t heard that,” Brother Bernard said, looking at the hand he’d been dealt.

Once a month the three men played cards together. Brother Bernard hosted, and Deacon Gregory supplied snacks and beverages.

“And get this, Mr. Leon, put his daughter out. Caught her stealing money from his wallet.”

“Good thing they go to church, Pastor,” said Deacon Gregory and he tapped the pastor’s shoulder.

“True. ‘Cause they all need Jesus,” said Pastor Jameson.

The men laughed and continued playing their game.

Gregory Shipman

says:

People in glass houses, Sister reigny… people in glass houses. But I take exception at you using the church I grew up in (*smile*). A most perfect example of negative traits on display… and I don’t mean the church members… gossiping got all kinds of negativity on it and, hopefully, there ain’t a gambling pot in the middle of that table… those brothers need Jesus to sit at that table and help them see the light…

bravo

reigny dai

says:

People in the Lord’s house. People, period. Any similarity to real people, situations, or institutions is coincidental, lol. Don’t tell me you’re a deacon, Gregory, (smile). Trusted people in respected positions let us down often, but it’s not their fault. It’s ours. We forget that before they receive any other titles or designations, they’re human, first. You can bet your bible that they were playing for money. We all need a sit down with Jesus.

Thanks a million!

Melissa Pierce

says:

I love that the gossip in this story was a man as it is usually women portrayed as the gossips. This is an equalizing piece for sure in that it shows that there are flaws no matter a person’s station in life. Wonderful write!

Karen Holt

says:

I swung into a fast power walk that should get me to the station before nine. Please let the train be late. I knew I wouldn’t get there by nine, of course.

My mother’s voice – heavy with disappointment – seeped in-between the thoughts in my head. “You’re always late. Do you not care about anyone but yourself?”

I did care, really I did, but… My words hit a brick wall. I had no ‘buts’. No excuses. The sun clawed it’s way through the web of clouds and made the wet sidewalk glisten like a sheet of ice. It reflected how I felt; I was on slippery ground, lying to myself, again.

There would be no ‘do over’ option for this day. My mother would wear that smile that didn’t reach her eyes – the one that was brittle cos I’d failed, again, and this time, I would be hurting too. You’d be late for your own funeral. The joke had worn spiderweb thin – I can’t be late for dad’s funeral.

I glanced at my watch. 8.50am. The station clock just up ahead agreed. For once, the bodies flowing along the sidewalk seemed to step out of my way instead of throwing themselves into my path like human ‘spanners in the works’.

I glanced up at the muted gold sun with its too bright halo and breathed, “Let me get there in time to catch this train, and I promise, I’ll never be late again.”

reigny dai

says:

This is great. We all replay things said to us by others, and I can imagine her mother’s tone when commenting on her daughter’s habitual tardiness. I liked the connection between being late for her own funeral as she hoped not to be late for her father’s funeral. Then, there’s that famous promise we’ve all made about never doing something again if a current situation turns out favorable. Perfect ending to a realistic story.

Karen Holt

says:

Thank you reigny, I’m so glad you connected with the story. Sometimes, realistic can be hard to make interesting. But being late… I have a few family members who drive me nuts; What can I say.

Gregory Shipman

says:

So here’s what I’m going to comment on first… a beautiful piece of literate detail! I loved the third paragraph… great wordsmithing! As for your habitually late character you give us a full peek inside her head and see that ‘negative trait’ is ingrained but not desired. You ramp up the tension with the play on ‘late for your own funeral’ with the revealing of she might be late for her father’s funeral! and of course the closing sentence says it all… I don’t want to be late but here I am… again! Let’s hope she makes it this time and keeps her promise for the next time!

Karen Holt

says:

Hey Greg, glad you dropped by. Sometimes the easiest ‘negative trait’ to fix, are also the hardest. Life is funny like that. Something about life giving you lemons comes to mind… best intentions never won the race and all the other words of wisdom which don’t seem all that wise when you’ve lost a shoe under the bed and your bus has left without you!!

Gregory Shipman

says:

Not that I’m Misbehavin’, but what if you lost a bus under the bed and your shoe left without you???
On the other hand (which would be the right one since I’m left-handed), maybe I am Misbehavin’!

RissRyker518

says:

Beautiful write, Karen. Love this line: The sun clawed it’s way through the web of clouds and made the wet sidewalk glisten like a sheet of ice.” This poor woman reminded me of the white rabbit from Alice In Wonderful.

Naomi Handsaker

says:

oh! I can picture her tension as she is rushing to get there and the build up to the reason for the urgency leaves you just praying that she can get there on time… because more than a few of us (myself included) have had times that we have prayed as we rushed out the door and on our way to someplace we just have to be on time, yet here we are late. And the parent’s disapproving memories of past infractions helps build the importance for her rush, all leading up to the reveal that breaks the heart that she is grieving the loss of her dad in the process. Really well done.

Karen Holt

says:

Thank you so much, Naomi. Being late is such an innocuous fault, in many ways, but it can sour relationships, too. I’m so glad this built to the ‘moment of truth’ that it was… there would be no forgiveness for being late this time!!

Naomi Handsaker

says:

That would be sad, though yes, I know families that allow such flaws to divide them and miss out on years of happy memories together and instead replace them with bitterness and anger, which is another self destructive trait you portray in the mother very well. I have seen others deal with the late trait by giving the chronically late time frames that are earlier than needed so they actually end up showing up “on time” while thinking they are late especially when things such as this are important they be there… it doesn’t solve the problem, but graceful traits with correction tend to get better results than the combination that you where able to capture.

Karen Holt

says:

My son and one of my daughters find time keeping a challenge, so I do as you say. Sadly, I know other families where they revel in a reason to gripe and point fingers at their children… so sad.

Naomi Handsaker

says:

I agree… I struggled with it myself and the grace showed by someone that taught me that trick of writing down or scheduling in my mind that the appointment is a half hour before it actually is gives me that time for “life” to happen. I know for a bit, I know once I was asked how I handled students coming in late for class. I knew from their attitude they wanted me to give some discipline or something else that I do to “shame” the person into correcting the problem. However, instead what I told them was that I say “welcome and here is where we are in the story”… I planned the activity that we started every morning with an activity that was not graded, and was simply to get everyone settled and ready for the day, And it never failed that they where there within that time. I figured if I was shown grace and it helped me, it was a message I could pass on… and it worked we always got things done during the day.

RissRyker518

says:

Shelly stood in line tapping her foot impatiently her brow furrowed with distain as the woman ahead of her unloaded a full cart of groceries, paying with an EBT card. Glowering at her, Shelly put her own groceries on the conveyor belt making sure the woman saw her take cash out of her wallet. As the other woman walked away, Shelly turned to the cashier.

“Bet she has a slew of kids with no daddy,” she sneered, “Must be nice to get free food.”

The cashier stared at Shelly as she walked out of the store in disbelief, shaking her head at the woman’s ignorance.

Shelly drove past a group of young Hispanics on the street corner downtown, stopping at the red light.

Selling drugs, no doubt, she thought. Look at ’em, can’t even speak English. She locked her doors, just in case they tried to rob her as she sat waiting for the light to change, watching a young black girl cross with a baby stroller.

“Of course she had a baby,” she snorted derisively, “probably got ten more home, too because that’s all they do, right?”

The light changed and Shelly gunned it, getting out of that neighborhood and back to her gated community where she felt safe, and totally alone.

reigny dai

says:

Very well written with a believable voice. Every day, somewhere someone is thinking these things. I wondered though why a person like this would be in that neighborhood. Shelly was clearly out of her preferred element.

Gregory Shipman

says:

I think I saw Shelly at the bank the other day. I’m sure she thought I was going to rob it. Some people bathe in prejudice to the degree that super deodorant can’t mask the smell… but as I finished your last sentence I thought Shelly being alone is a good thing for society…

nice write

RissRyker518

says:

Thanks, Greg. Yes, I see ‘Shelly’s’ everywhere these days and it never fails to amaze me how some people can carry such hate around with them all the time.

Naomi Handsaker

says:

I read this and I saw something different… that last line “back to her gated community where she felt safe, and totally alone.” and I thought how very sad to miss out on all the potential out there of everyone and lock yourself away and feel so totally alone. It is a prison of her own making, but how very sad. Very well written though sad that she chooses to create such a lonely prison for herself and miss out of the wonderful people she could have met.

Gregory Shipman

says:

Coming Clean… A Ricky Roundtree poetic disclosure

I need to find Miss Cragmire,
my first grade teacher,
to tell her I stole those missing cookies
at the Christmas party (1958)

I’d tell my mother, if she were still living,
that my sister didn’t break Aunt June’s lamp
I threw the dodge ball without caring
and lied the same way (1962)

I cheated on my sixth grade essay
that won the school scholastic medal
Ronnie, the drug addict two doors down,
wrote it for two bucks, an orange soda and an oversized joint (1963)

I’ve never worked a day in my life—
never held any of the jobs I made up
I’ve hustled and schemed for every nickel
from every opportune drug corner in Baltimore

And my heart wasn’t broken when I found out
about you and Phillip and that night in Ocean City
I don’t love you, have never loved you
and I have no heart to break

Now that I’m coming clean,
my dear sweet wife,
there’s one more thing
I’d like you to know

Your sister has never said ‘no’ to me
… even on our wedding day

Karen Holt

says:

Yikes, that’s one heavy wagon load of baggage he offloaded right there. Please tell me he sings in the choir, knits hats for old ladies, or leaves cash in charity boxes!

Gregory Shipman

says:

He lost his singing voice in a gang fight, probably steals old ladies walkers but he does leave the coins in the charity box… and just takes the bills… you know my drill, Karen… my characters can’t even spell ‘redeeming’

thanks

Naomi Handsaker

says:

Wow… and yikes… some serious character flaws…. :/ and not sure it was in his best interest to put this in writing… though it makes a great build up to a antagonist to the protagonist in a writing…

Gregory Shipman

says:

Sometimes the bad boys amongst us do what they call ‘Bragging’… some fools gonna just keep on being fools!

Naomi Handsaker

says:

lol so true… because I was reading that and got to the end and thought if the wife’s attorney ever got a hold of that… yeah… bragging is not going to do him any good… Very well written

Naomi Handsaker

says:

Methodically, she typed out a precise list of medications carefully addling lines between each one.. Relieved that she could finally send the email to order the prescriptions, she breathed a sigh. One more thing in a long list of things that must be taken care of, she began the next task. A notification ding told her that she had a reply to her carefully crafted missive. Curiously she opened the response, wondering what could have triggered the reply. Dread filled her, as she read that refills where handled through the refill line. Carefully, she crafted the reply to try once again to explain that the refills where out and calling would not help. Once again she set about tackling the long list of tasks for the day, only to hear the ding of a notification bell. Gritting her teeth, she once more read that refills where handled through the refill line, that they had checked the list and there where no prescriptions listed. With painstaking precise pounding of the individual keys of the key board, she once again, tersely explained that a renewal was needed and the prescription list was already included. Pressing send, she rubbed her forehead with the tension building into a monster headache. Once again the notification bell chimed. Dreading the reply, she slowly opened the email and read the dreaded words once again that she should call the pharmacy refill line… and that is why later that day she was found shopping for a new computer.

Gregory Shipman

says:

I can only imagine the frustration… and being the procrastinator that I am I can only imagine the negative trait is her obsession to continue with this technological torture?

Naomi Handsaker

says:

actually no, in this instance, the character uses the email because the phone system that she is being referred to is much more antiquated and entirely incapable of doing what is needed (renewal of refills). The frustration is in getting the medical professionals to understand that and read it… her negative trait is that even though she knows this system is flawed yet the only way of doing things that she allows the frustration to trigger the anger that makes her have to replace a computer, instead of walking away or taking deep breaths… it does eventually work out for her, but by allowing her own frustrations to get the most of her, she ends up replacing a computer that had been working prior to this.

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