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July 2017 Writers' Challenge

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  • 06 Jul 2017 8:57 AM
    Reply # 4935465 on 4927520
    Sherri Hollister (Administrator)

    I am always surprised by the interpretations of the picture prompts.

    Eileen, as always you write a fabulous story, well edited and well done.

  • 05 Jul 2017 9:06 PM
    Reply # 4934833 on 4927520
    E. Lettick

    Randy Olson’s rusted Ford station wagon roared down the dirt road toward the harbor. The weather had changed drastically from a clear Rhode Island day forecasting light winds and sunshine to an ominous dark sky, veins of lightning stretched across the horizon. Island tourists had run for shelter into local taverns and restaurants to ride out the storm over beer and shots.

    Randy’s mother and her new friend, Jim, had set sail that afternoon on his 27 foot sloop, Ginger Snap. The promise of lunch at The Blue Goose and a sail to North Light had intrigued his mother and seemed to be the way this Jim guy was going about impressing her. Thoughts of his mother out in this storm alone with a man she hardly knew made Randy crazy. He didn’t like Jim—too showy and smooth. Randy had warned her she didn’t know him well enough to accept an invitation to go out all afternoon alone on a boat with him. What would she do if he tried anything with her?

    Randy bristled when she had dismissed him so quickly. “Randy, you worry too much. Jim’s a real gentleman and has been sailing for years.”

    An orange light flashed on the road ahead . Randy slowed and read the words “Marina Closed.” He slammed his palms against the steering wheel. He needed to get through to search the docks for signs that his mother was safely in port. And when he knew she was, he’d give Sailor Jim a piece of his mind. What kind of a boater doesn’t check the weather?

    Although the entrance was barred, the departing gate remained open allowing boat owners and restaurant patrons to leave. Seeing no security standing guard, Randy decided the coast was clear and he could risk it. He crossed over the divider, drove through the exit side, and headed down the one way street toward the docks. Through the blinding rain two bright headlights charged into his path. A long angry blast from the oncoming pickup’s horn and a shrill screech of brakes panicked him. He swerved and found himself hydroplaning and headed into a gulley off the side of the road.

    Randy’s pulse quickened and he struggled to gain control, his breath coming in short gasps. For a split second he wondered if this was it. Would he die risking something stupid? The car lurched and came to an abrupt stop.

    The driver of the other car and his passenger jumped out and ran through the downpour to his. Hands banged on his window. “Randy! Are you all right?”

    Through the torrent of rain Randy recognized the alarmed face of his mother. He rolled down the window. “Mom? Yeah.  I guess I’m okay.” He was too embarrassed and angry to even look at the man who stood by her side, concern written across his face.  Jim’s clothes were dripping wet and getting wetter by the minute.

    His mother yanked open the back door and slid into the back seat.  “Randy, you could have been killed. What were you thinking?” She hugged him from behind.

    He shrugged her off. “I was thinking my mother was out in the bay in an ugly storm with a man she just met who I don’t even like.”

    Jim furrowed his brow and turned to his date. “Janice, I’ll move my truck. I’ve got a chain to tow him out.” He walked toward his pickup.

    “Mom, I don’t need him to tow me out. I can get out of this myself.” Randy gunned the engine. The wheels spun and dug deeper into the muddy gulch. He tried rocking the wagon back and forth, pushing it into reverse and then forward, again reverse, then forward. The wheels only dug deeper.

    Jim parked his pickup a few feet in front of Randy’s, and with the chain in his hand, he walked back over to Randy’s car door and leaned in. “Listen, you can calm down and stop acting like a nitwit and let me put this thing on your bumper so I can take your mother home and she can dry off, or you can continue with your tantrum and you can work this out yourself. After all, I’m sure you’ll be able to get a tow truck here in a couple of hours for a mere $200. Now, what’s it gonna be?”

    “Randy. Let Jim tow you out. I want to go home,” ordered his mother.

     Randy pushed Jim aside and stomped out of the car. He stared at the tires swallowed up by mud. How was he going to get out of this?

    His mother rolled down her window. “Stop being so stubborn and let Jim drag you out of here.”

    Randy looked from his mother’s drenched face to Jim’s hard gaze and knew he was defeated.  He sneered at Jim. “Fine. Go ahead and be the hero.”

    He stormed into the car and sulked waiting for Jim to hook up the chain to the front bumper. In fifteen minutes the station wagon was out of the mud and headed in the correct direction.  His mother told him to wait a minute while she thanked Jim.  Randy fumed while he waited.

    His mother finally returned and slid into the front seat. “I have never been so embarrassed. I don’t understand what got into you.”

    Randy ignored the reprimand. “You’re not going to see that guy again are you?”

    “As a matter of fact, I am.  That guy is one of the most interesting, kind people I’ve met on this island since we arrived.Next weekend we’ll take the sail he wisely cancelled today after he checked his weather radar. “ His mother’s  words sank in.

    “By the way,  I just invited him over for dinner to apologize for my son’s outrageous behavior tonight.  And guess who’s  going to help me make the dinner?”

    Randy and his mother rode home in silence.

  • 02 Jul 2017 2:48 PM
    Reply # 4928822 on 4927520

         Violet Moment

    Donner und Blitzen

    I look in the mirror and my hair is frizzed like that guy in the movie, I think I’ve had this thought before.

    Snapcrack, followed by another sharp, ear piercing SNAPCRACK. I have to peel myself off the bedroom ceiling, and fall back into bed. SNAPCRACKS, continuous, without pause or breath. I think of all the storms we’ve had in this place this must be the worst. Our alarm clock isn’t displaying time so there must be a power failure. In the utter dark, I crawl out of bed, guided by the erratic flashes from outside.

    I stare out the old picture window with my pupils dilating and contracting in response to the intense lightning display and I see purple, noooooooooo, my art instructor has been weaning us from that word, violet, that’s it, violet in the totality of its value scale, dark to light. Way west I see a cadmium red sun slipping beneath the storm shelf. There is no movement in the trees, no wind effects heard or seen, just atomic movement in violet hues. My husband is working a swing shift, so I became the daring do.

    I slip shorts over my baby dolls, got into my car to chase the cadmium red with my camera.

    Moisture is suspended in the air, yet my tires make a sizzling sound, reminiscent of frying bacon, I was doing 80 mph, the sun is known to slip quick in its final moments of day. No one else was out and about, so I eased up to 90. The lightning displayed a baudy hootchie cootchie dance beat. The nightclubs of the 1960’s come to mind when strobe lights were atmosphered onto the darkened dance floor, and one’s dance partner was observed in spastic stop/start moves, one millesecond here, the next there. My dashboard reflected like that now, the cadmium red did not seem to come closer.

    Sudden silence surrounds me. The storm continued, yet now it was as though a mute button had been pressed. My scalp tingles, I look into the rear view mirror and see a middle aged woman with haloed hair, perm like, much like that of the scientist in “Back To the Future”. The silence bothers me, I open my mouth to initiate a Carol Burnett Tarzan holler, and nothing, absolutely nothing. The speedometer creeps up without my having initiated it. In fact, I could not feel my foot on the pedal, flash flash, flash, Blitzen with no Donner. What a time to remember sophmore German. I look down, and I’m not there. I can move my eyes up, down, back, forth, but that’s all. Violet, a dense atmosphere, have I sped into outer space. I’m reminded of Hubble pictures. Am I dead? Is this infinity?

    Since I don’t feel my heart racing, I don’t panic. I just watch the Violet Blitzen and wait.

    Slam! My eyes pop, wait, that sounds like the garage door, then the sound of a key followed by footsteps. A voice calls, “With all that noise out there you must be awake.” “Did we lose power?” I look over to there is now a flashing red number, am I in bed, Am I alive?

    “Honey, I would have got come home sooner but traffic lights are out everywhere and the idiots don’t know how to drive”. Steps come into the bedroom. I close my eyes, and then force them open. Overhead lights are turned on and I’m blinded, he kisses me. I respond, I think, “I ain’t dead yet!” My body manuevers, he laughs, “What happened to your hair?. I go to the mirror and the haloed perm is full flush.

  • 01 Jul 2017 7:58 AM
    Message # 4927520

    The road is long. The skies are ominous. Did you take a wrong turn? Why isn't anyone else taking this road? Maybe this could be the end. Keep the keyboard hot and let your imagination roam.

    Happy writing!

    Note: To enter the Writers' Challenge, click the this link: "Writers Challenge", and post your work to the forum labeled "Writers' Challenge" for that month's challenge. Once your work has been posted, you can visit the and view you work on our site. To access your work and the work of others, click on the menu tab, "Open Forum" in the dropdown menu click on the "Writers' Challenge." There you can view your work.

    Last modified: 01 Jul 2017 8:04 AM | Anonymous
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