Tag Archives: IndieInk

“Spring”

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge comes from Wendryn. The challenge:

“Vignettes: the difference between ‘in love’ and ‘love'”

I really liked this challenge, and I think this might be a jumping off point for a longer, more intricate piece.

Please feel free to comment or leave feedback. Thanks again to Wendryn for the challenge.

***

I spent the morning decorating the living room, stretching up to spots on the wall that my wife couldn’t reach. We picked out the “Feliz Cumpleanos” and “Happy Birthday” banners. We always sang both songs for birthdays, why not both banners, she said. I tied up matching, bilingual balloons to the chairs lined up against the wall. She walked in and out of the living room, fattening the table with armfuls of chicken, rice and pudding on metal trays. She didn’t need help, she said, just finish decorating the room.

The guests started coming as I placed the last blue streamer across the ceiling. Cousins, co-workers, even women from the park she told me she despised. Las detesto, she said, but she had to try to like them—Joshua would grow up with their children.

Two men showed up.  One was a cousin’s boyfriend, a new guy I only heard about, who preferred art galleries to baseball games. The other I had never met before—he was married to one of the women from the park. He held his blackberry tightly in one hand, a beer in the other. Make conversation, she said, I want you to get to know them.

As the hour passed, I made sure to disappear among the five-year olds and thirty-five year olds that cluttered the designated party area. I thought of sneaking into my bedroom, but that could start an argument later. I ended up in the kitchen, with the extra supply of napkins and paper plates and chips and iced tea. I cracked open a beer, and peered out the window at the cloudy sky that set over the backyard. Leaves had gathered on the empty swing seats. I took a few sips before she walked in, too prematurely for me, and asked me to help her serve the food.

I let her lead the way and she passed the front door when it opened with a screech.

I caught the scent of Eva’s perfume before she ever stepped inside.

They gave each other a kiss hello, and Eva apologized for the traffic. They said things to each other that I can’t remember, and Eva handed her a large plastic-covered tray. She walked away with it, towards the living room. I heard Joshua shout her name, and he ran towards her, grabbing a hold of her legs. He tugged her jacket, asking for a kiss. She bent over and held his face, leaving a red cloud on his forehead. She looked up at me, her voice suddenly quiet.

“Hi Tom.”

I nodded and I think I said hello.  Joshua grabbed her hand and they drifted towards the living room.

I headed back to the kitchen, and grabbed my bottle of beer. I tossed about half of it down my throat in one gulp. I peered out the kitchen window, at the empty swing set and see-saw. They swayed with a creak under that cloudy mid-November sky.

She still smelled like Spring.

  ***

Be sure to check out Mike Wordplay’s response to my challenge. Want to join in on the fun? Click here for more info on the Indie Ink Challenge. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!

Advertisements

“Redline”

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge comes from Catherine at Creative Cat. The challenge:

“Begin your story with, ‘I wish someone told me…'”

This prompt made me think of regrets. I tried to think of a character and scenario in which I could apply this, but found myself looking back at Melissa circa 2008/09. I had loads of regret then. I still regret spending so much money on an education, but I’m trying to make the best out of the experience and grow from it. It’s definitely more of a rant than a story, but hopefully it’ll give some insight as to why I wish someone told me many things before I embarked on the career/job.

Please feel free to comment or leave feedback. Thanks again to Creative Cat for the challenge.

***

I wish someone told me to redline using Workshare instead of Word’s track changes. Apparently, my document with its track changes crashed Partner Asshole’s computer and now he’s pissed. He should be counseling a multi-million dollar client instead of wasting his time telling me what to do. Good job, first-year associate!

I wish someone told Partner Asshole to jerk off before coming to work. That could relieve some tension, possibly add a few years to his life, and maybe – just maybe – make me a little less suicidal or homicidal.

I wish someone told those execs at Company X how to sign documents. Above your name, right next to the sticky arrow that says “Sign Here.” It would save me a lot of time trying to track you down at Nobu at 1 a.m. to get it right.

I wish someone told me what to do about this insomnia.  I could have slept for four hours last night, but kept wondering if I got all those damn signature pages!

I wish someone told me I’d probably need blow at some point. I’ve had two Venti Americanos this morning and am about to crack open a Red Bull. I’ve popped a couple of Excedrin for this incessant migraine; need more.

I wish someone told me that any job requiring you to check your Crackberry every hour is not a job you want to have.

I wish someone told me a Chanel bag, Mackage coat, and pair of Manolos aren’t worth it.

  ***

You can check out A Lil Irish Lass’s response to my challenge. Want to join in on the fun? Click here for more info on the Indie Ink Challenge. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!


“Bully”

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge comes from RunawaySentence. The challenge:

“eggshell skull”

An eggshell skull is a legal doctrine that basically means you take your victim as you find him or her.  As I was brainstorming a response to this prompt, I kept getting tied up in the rules that would apply to an eggshell skull-type scenario. Finally I just decided to write in a stream of consciousness – it was the only way I could forget the rules.

I don’t know how I feel about my response. I do think there would be a lot less bullying if we showed more compassion and paid closer attention to the people around us.

Please feel free to comment or leave feedback. Thanks again to RunawaySentence for the challenge.

***

I didn’t’ kill her. Yeah, I made fun of her, but everyone did. Her clothes were torn and raggedy. She had some fucked up teeth, but she walked around like she was the shit. We put her in her locker once, but that was only for a few seconds. I think maybe Kathy hit her once in the bathroom. She showed up at Amanda’s party last month and tried to kiss Jason. He pushed her away, of course. I mean, who would want to touch her skanky ass anyway? But I wasn’t gonna let her disrespect me. So yeah, I waited for her after school, and I kicked her ass. And then I did it again. But she deserved it, you know. She’d been slutting it up all year and nobody did anything about it. Some of my girls even warned her, but she wouldn’t listen.  And you know what, when she wasn’t whoring, she was just moping around school. Eating by herself, listening to emo shit, fucking feeling sorry for herself. She was a Debbie Downer.  I mean, yeah, I saw her cry a few times, but I wasn’t going to run up to her and be her fucking best friend. She had issues; that’s not my problem. I didn’t push her off that building. She did that.

  ***

You can check out Joelyn‘s blog for her response to my challenge. Want to join in on the fun? Click here for more info on the Indie Ink Challenge. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!


“Two Minutes”

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge comes from Dean. The challenge:

Last two minutes.

Needless to say, I had trouble with how both limiting and limitless this challenge could be. It reminded me of “24” and I decided to write it with the countdown in mind. It’s not the strongest story I’ve written, but with the lack of internet connection and incessant sneezing/coughing, I’m glad I managed to get anything in this week.

Please feel free to comment or leave feedback.

***

Monica sat on the brim of her bathtub, rapidly tapping her fingers.  She started the countdown: 1 minute, 50 seconds to go. She could smoke a cigarette; probably not a good idea.  Maybe watch TV? It’d be about four commercials.  She should call Steve.  No, better wait.

1 minute, 35 seconds.

That afternoon, as Kelly took her lunch break, Monica stepped away from the pharmacy register. Steve was in the front, stacking some bottles of shampoo and conditioner. He didn’t see Monica as she reached for the latest and greatest—guaranteed results in under two minutes. 99% accurate. She had stocked it on the rack herself, right next to the condoms.  The staff always thought that was a good joke.

1 minute, 15 seconds.

One week—that she had dealt with before. Two weeks— it happened once, maybe twice in her 19 years. Three weeks late, though—that had never happened.

1 minute, 2 seconds.

She had promised herself she’d stop seeing him. She was going to move out of her mother’s in August, start school in September.  A new life was on the horizon for her and for Steve.

51 seconds.

Her mother might kick her out. School wasn’t going to happen. Not this year. Maybe she could figure something out for next.

42 seconds.

Or maybe she could get an abortion.

35 seconds.

Or not.

27 seconds.

She’d figure it out.

19 seconds.

Deep breath.

15 seconds.

She looked at her watch, counted down.

4, 3, 2 . . .

She walked over to the white strip sitting on the sink, stared at it for what seemed like another two minutes.

She dug her cell phone out of her pocket.

“Hey, it’s me,” she paused, her heart hammering the inside of her chest. “We need to talk.”  She wiped the sweat off the side of her temple, felt the next words get stuck on her lips. “Peter, I’m pregnant.”

  ***

You can see Dafeenah’s amazing response to my challenge here. Want to join in on the fun? Click here for more info on the Indie Ink Challenge. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!


“A Strand of Hair”

This week’s Indie Ink Challenge comes from MyPlaidPants. The challenge:

“The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” – Henry Miller // Write about one moment where you gave close attention to something and how it became a mysterious, awesome and indescribably magnificent world in itself.

Of course, this wouldn’t be a challenge if it wasn’t hard, and this was definitely hard for me. I couldn’t think of something small that became a world unto itself.  Or at least nothing came to me immediately. When this happens, I usually just pay closer to attention to what the universe has to say. This time, I found inspiration on my Facebook wall. Someone very close to me wrote a beautiful message for my birthday. We’ve loved each other since we were children. Memories came racing back and the following fell on the page.  It’s based on one particular thing that was important to her, and that eventually became something empowering.

Please feel free to comment or leave feedback. Thanks again to MyPlaidPants for the challenge!

***

A strand of hair, thin and brown,
Sits here and there upon her head,
Each fell quickly and quietly.

Strands of hair, thick and black,
You cascade down the length of my back,
Your ends like fingertips tickling my waist.

She gathers you into three chunks,
Twisting one up and over the other,
Tying you below the nape of my neck.

I feel the soft, cold kiss of metal on my skin.
I squish my eyes and press my lips
and with a few snips, you snap off.

I swing around slowly to face her,
Her sunflower hat already in one hand,
You, gripped tightly in the other.

She places you next to the strands she has left,
Turns her head this way and that in the mirror,
And a smile sweeps across her 8-year old face.

  ***

You can see Jan’s response to my challenge here. Want to join in on the fun? Click here for more info on the Indie Ink Challenge. Thanks for reading, and happy writing!


%d bloggers like this: