This challenge was really good for me. I used to love writing fiction, but I had not made time for it in many years. I remember why I like it, and I enjoyed the variety of stories the prompts helped me create. Using my imagination felt good. Some friends suggested creating a Shutterfly book. Another said to pick one or two and turn them into a (longer) story or novel. I’m not sure yet, but I am grateful for these stories.
16 – Rose
“Will you accept this rose?” Andy asks her, knowing her obsession with the Bachelor franchise. She smiles, and kisses him as she takes the rose.
“Ouch!” The thorn digging in her thumb interrupts. It reflects the pit in her stomach. Andy is a good time, but he’s not The One.
Bending over, she carefully pulls the pod off the plant. The green of the pod is lighter than the stem or leaf, and she runs her finger along t the seam, feeling the peas inside. She tosses it in the bucket. Soon she will daydream, transporting herself out of the garden.
The small flock of geese gracefully arch as they turn to land on the pond. They swim together, forming another “V” formation. Gliding across, they barely make any ripples. When they reach the shaded shore, the leader speaks. “We will stay here tonight. We’re behind. Be ready at first light.”
The setting sun produced long shadows. It made it easier for him to stay hidden. The side door of the house he was watching opened. There was Mr. Klein, kissing his mistress goodbye. Snapping quickly, the private investigator captured the moment. His boredom hiding in the woods had been worth it.
Louise stares at her reflection. Perfect tendrils frame her pale face, her green-eyed sparkle, and her rosy lips pout. Disgust grows as her eyes follow her silhouette. The dress is gorgeous. Too bad her body is not. She should not have eaten yesterday or today. One more purge?
“Grandma said not to touch it! It’s an antique.”
Billy ignores Lily, as usual, and lifts the small bowl. Everything blurs, turning cold, as he shrinks and falls through a black hole in the bowl.
“Billy! Let go!” Lily’s heart pounds as she too lifts the bowl.
Fear engulfs me and I freeze. The snake flicks its tongue. Does it sense me? I can’t tell what kind it is. Grandpa will be mad if I kill a snake that isn’t poisonous.
“Snakes eat rats, Lulu, not people. You just leave them alone.” I turn and run away.
22 Friend & 23- Willow
“Meet under the willow at 4!” Cara calls over her shoulder to her best friend. Running the whole way, Cara is out of breath when she bursts into the kitchen. Her parents are sitting at the table, and her mom is crying. “wh-what’s wrong?”she stammers.
“Come sit down, dear.”
24 – Dissolve
“It’s Snickers. She got run over,” dad shares quietly. Cara dissolves into a puddle, her entire body shaking with her sobs. Mom moves to hold her, but Cara shakes her off and runs back outside. She doesn’t stop until she hides herself under the willow. It’s safe to cry here.
The office walls are this. She hears her boss lying again. His voice is louder when he is uncomfortable, which he must be now as he tries to explain away his latest mistake to his supervisor. The fury rises until she can taste it. Time to get out of here.
26 – Bury
Lisa pulls into her garage, but stays in the car. She swallows her feelings, burying them deep in her gut. Her family deserves better than the aftermath of work emotions. She opens the vanity mirror, and realizes she needs to erase the evidence of her tears. She forces a smile.
27 – Forgotten
The leaves swirl up into a spiral as they are blown across the sidewalk.Katie runs after them giggling. Her toddler squeals of delight contrast her mother’s mood. There must have been an emergency; he wouldn’t have forgotten again, she had told Katie. Forcing a smile, she takes Katie’s hand.
“Don’t forget your violin! You have your lesson today,” Mom reminds Jack. He returns to his room to get his Instrument, wishing he had practiced at least once. Mr. Snyder will lecture him again. Jack likes playing, but practicing never sounds fun. If only his parents would let him quit.
29 – Storm
Betsy storms out of the room and slams her bedroom door. She jumps into her bed and screams into her pillow. They are so unfair! Why do they always say no? Betsy sobs, holding her stuffed elephant. Mom enters quietly, and wraps Betsy in her arms. “I’m sorry you’re upset.”
“You may begin,” the Proctor says. Sam rips open the booklet and reads the first question. His stomach tightens as he thinks. His brain feels cloudy, and sweat beads on his upper lip. He takes a deep breath, and fills in the bubble. These next two hours will be rough.
31 – Hallows
They enter the Gothic building and walk the hallowed halls.
“I can’t believe we’re here! I have goosebumps!” Jenna exclaims.
“I know. Someone pinch me,” Rachel agrees.
As they walk along the exterior, they marvel at whose tombs they encounter. When they find hers, they hold hands, eyes closed.