April’s Prompt

Here is this month’s short story prompt:

The soldiers were tense, waiting for something to happen — like it was a matter of when, not if. For our part, we did our best to steer clear of them, avoiding the main square, where a group of protestors…

If you want to write a story using this prompt, I will feature it on my blog! I post my story on the last day of the month, but you can write one and submit it sooner! I would love to see what someone besides me comes up with for these prompts!

Happy writing and reading this month!

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Galaxy S Class Cruiser

March 2019 Short Story

Harry shuffled the deck of cards and pushed it across the table. “Deal,” he said.

“One more hand,” I agreed. It was a way to pass the time. More importantly, it was a way to avoid talking about the fact we were in a holding cell – again.

When we started on our trip, we’d underestimated how much money we would need to travel across the star system and back home again. To make up for our lack of funds, we’d been stowing away on richee ships to make it home.

The great thing about richees is that they were so consumed with enjoying themselves and spending their money on luxury space ships that they failed to notice things like a couple of stow aways.

The first time we were caught, the owner of the ship had let us off at the next port and not reported us. That time we were lucky.

This time was different though. We thought for sure that a Galaxy Cruiser S Class would be a richee on a lux cruise seeking entertainment – we were wrong.

“On your feet,” a gruff voice yelled at us from the other side of the Nano wall.

Harry and I both stood up quickly, knocking over the cards.

The voice continued giving orders, “Turn and face the wall. Hands above your heads.”

We of course complied. The people of this cruiser were not kidding when they gave orders. We weren’t on a lux cruise; we had inadvertently stowed away on a drug lord’s ship. He was rich, yes, but he was not easily fooled and paid attention when strangers appeared on his property.

And right now, we were getting his attention.

We were dragged down a hallway and into what appeared to be a conference room. There was one person in there, and he was sitting at the head of the table. It didn’t take a genius to figure this was the guy in charge.

He didn’t waste any time. We were still being thrust into the room when he said, “Tell me why I shouldn’t vent you into space and carry on with my business.”

“Because that would be murder.”

Did Harry just say that out loud? Great! Now we really were going to be killed.

“Please,” I said. “We didn’t mean any disrespect. We just need to get home. We don’t have anything of value that we haven’t already pawned, and we have no talents or skills that would be useful to anyone. We’re just dumb kids. Please. Please don’t kill us.” I didn’t look up the entire time I spoke.

The room was absolutely silent.

Finally, after fighting every urge to peek at him and see if I could gauge his reaction, he spoke, “Put them in lock-up. We’ll drop em later.”

We were returned to our cell. I picked up the cards and shuffled them. Harry righted the table. I pushed the deck of cards across the table to him. “Deal,” I said.

“One more hand,” he agreed.

My Freewrite Experience

This month I purchased a Freewrite typewriter. And I am in love!!!!

If you don’t know… here are some things you may be wondering.

  • What is it?
    • It is a typewriter that has a black and white screen much like the original kindle screens. It connects to wi-fi to send the documents to your email or a cloud service.
  • Why would you need this if you have a computer?
    • I get distracted on my computer. My computer has the internet, and my email pop up automatically every time I get a new one. My computer has games, and facebook, and my checkbook, and …. you get the idea. The Freewrite is distraction free from the rabbit holes that exist on my computer.
    • It also does a better job of separating the drafting and editing process for me. Word and many other programs have squiggles or some way of letting you know that you’ve made an error. The Freewrite doesn’t check your grammar or your spelling. For me, I get caught up editing when I should be writing, so further separating the two processes for me has been amazing.

Some other things to love about it — it’s very portable, but they do make a travel version that is even smaller. It’s lightweight.

And my favorite thing — it feels like I am typing on a typewriter. I don’t know why, but typing on something that even looks like an old-fashioned typewriter makes me feel cooler. (I love gadgets disguised as old tech). There is something beautiful about the simplicity of it.

If you aren’t sold, I can’t help you, but I LOVE IT!! It’s one of the best purchases I’ve made in awhile.

Happy reading and writing this month! Short story to come in a few days courtesy of the Freewrite typewriter. 🙂

March’s Prompt

March always starts as a busy month for me; my daughter’s birthday is the first week. And now, she is on spring break from school, so I am trying to keep her busy. (Today she cleaned and organized the toy room).

Without further ado, here is this month’s prompt:

Harry shuffled the deck of cards and pushed it across the table. “Deal,” he said. “One more hand,” I agreed. It was a way to pass the time. More importantly, it was a way to avoid talking about…

Happy reading and writing this month!

Practical Joke

February 2019 short story

Today…

It began as a practical joke. But by the end of the day, nobody was laughing. It seemed innocent enough at first, because Jerry and I have a history of playing practical jokes on one another. He was the one to start the whole thing, if I’m not mistaken. He had pulled a prank on my very first day at the office. It made me like him instantly, and it made the last five years bearable.

Five years ago…

I was escorted to my cubicle by an assistant to someone that I wouldn’t remember the name of after this morning. My cubicle was in a room filled almost wall to wall with rows of more cubicles. Each and every one of them looked exactly the same. The walls of the cubicles even went up high enough to block the view of the windows.

Perhaps they were trying to make it so no one had a better view than anyone else, or maybe they didn’t want their employees contemplating windows too much.

The woman who walked me to my desk asked me a question, but I hadn’t heard her.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did you ask me something?”

“I asked if you needed anything else?”

“No,” I added. “Thanks for showing me in.”

I sat down at my desk and for the next several hours, reviewed and edited chapters for next year’s text books. This is what four years of college and three years of grad school had led up to. I was now an editor for a large textbook company. The job wasn’t glamorous, but I was tired of eating ramen. Too many of my classmates were still working minimum wage jobs and barely getting by, some of them with more education than me.

I didn’t need glamour. I needed money.

I worked steadily until lunch when I followed everyone else down to a cafeteria with grey walls the same color as the grey of the cubicles we’d just left behind.

I ate my packed lunch and didn’t speak to anyone. I was almost finished with my fruit cup when someone moved the chair in front of me and sat down.

I glanced up from my sugary syrupy peaches and looked at a man who reminded me of my brother. He was grinning from ear to ear.

Today…

Everyone spoke in whispers and hushed tones, but I still heard snippets of their conversations.

“Claims it was an accident.”

“They are reviewing the video now.”

“Cops said not to leave.”

They actually thought I killed him. They didn’t understand. I couldn’t kill him. He was my best friend; in fact, he was my only friend.

Every day when I left this place, I went home and read until I fell asleep. I got up the next morning and did everything on repeat. The only deviations to my very routine, mundane life were my interactions with Jerry.

Five years ago…

I went back to my desk after lunch and sat down in my chair.

Pffffffffffft!

Every person in the office broke out into raucous laughter.

WHOMPT!

I actually fell out of my chair and hit the floor. The laughter started over again.

As I righted myself, I noticed there was a well-placed whoopee cushion on my chair that was the same shade of black as the chair fabric.

Jerry came around the corner and helped me up off the floor.

“Welcome. Now you are one of us,” he said.

Today…

The coroner had come and gone. The cops were asking everyone questions.

I was sitting in my cubicle, but I hadn’t done an ounce of work.

Did I kill him? It was just a practical joke. We did things like this all the time. How could it have killed him?

My mind was frantic and I was trying to recount my steps for that whole day. What did I do? I didn’t get much time to dwell.

“Come with us,” a cop said to me barely above a whisper.

I didn’t resist or argue. I gathered my things and went with the police.

Why am I writing a book?

This month, as I am getting closer to finishing my novel, I have been reflecting on why I am writing this book. What do I hope to achieve?

Here are the reasons I want to write a fiction novel:

  • It’s one of my life goals. I don’t know why it’s important to me, but it is. I want to have written a book length story.
  • I want some one else to read and enjoy my story, even if it’s just one person.
  • It might be nice to make money on something I’ve written. Who am I kidding? It’s always nice to make money, but making money doing something you enjoy is even better.

In addition to examining my motivations, I have been thinking about how my own writing will stack up against other novels that are out there. It’s an unfortunate habit of mine. As a writer, I know this is not a good idea because I will just fill my head with doubts. I do it to other writers too though; I compare them to each other. I can’t help it. Even though I have been comparing my writing to what I’ve been reading, I have come to one conclusion:

IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW GOOD IT IS RIGHT NOW.

Right now, I just need to get the first draft done.

Keeping this in mind, happy writing and reading this month!

February’s Prompt

Okay fellow writers! It’s time for February’s short story prompt:

It began as a practical joke. But by the end of the day, nobody was laughing. It seemed innocent enough at first, because Jerry and I have a history of playing practical jokes on one another. He was the one to start the whole thing, if I’m not mistaken. He….

Happy writing and reading this month!