Thursday, October 31, 2013

Thursday Turmoil~ Something Spooky Passes This Way

Over in Compuserve's Books and Writers Forum (link on the  left) last month, the exercise was to create a story that included certain words in the story line. Five words each week for five weeks. The kicker was a 100 word limit. Each week had a writing theme like Introduction, Developing Conflict, Twists and reversals etc. It was going to be a challenge even to those with undamaged brains.

For anyone that knows how I write, I rarely write under a 1,000 word story, and prefers writing novellas versus short stories. Words are my friends. I've shied away from fiction because it is confusing for me with my stroke and short-term memory loss. Let alone writing it. I just can't keep multiple characters and scenes straight in my mind.

 This was my first venture back into fiction writing and I was terrified. What if I couldn't write fiction anymore or at least not the way I used too? What if I fell flat on my face and couldn't finish what I had started? What if I got overwhelmed in some giant brain fart? The what ifs after a stroke will get you every time.

I didn't join the exercise until the second week but included the first week into the entry when I joined in. It took me three days to write the 200 words with the given ten words and form a fiction story. The third week one day and the rest the same day the words were announced.

When I started, I wasn't sure I would finish the five week exercise.  You couldn't plan the story ahead because you had no idea what words would come up next. It was turning on a dime. Something I haven't been real good at since my stroke. But I knew I had to jump start my writing again and the exercises had always helped in the past.

In retrospect, which is always easier, these were the goals and words you had to work within.

Week 1: Intro of setting and characters and inciting incident.

Words: over, drive, pact, endless, incite
Week 2: Rising action, development of conflict.

Words: astray, blood, toast, cursed, boardinghouse
Week 3 – Twists and reversals

Words: grain, obey, approach, backward, eyetooth
Week 4 – Climax and resolution
Words: bizarre, forgotten, abomination, feast, black
Week 5 – Denouement
Words: inner, pinch, belong, treasure, dove

My mind was in Halloween mode already having gone out to buy cobwebs and  candy for the ghouls and goblins that would be visiting tonight. So wihout further ado this is what I came up with and it's a perfectly good story for Halloween retelling.

Friends to the End


After the endless drive her car loaded with three other people, they were at each other's throats. The first half hour was fun reminiscing about old times, but then that stopped. They led different lives now after years apart. It was now who would incite a riot first. After only driving for 50 miles they were now in deep the Smoky Mountains. They met at Charlotte's International airport. Of course, she'd drive them all. This was her stomping grounds. Whoever thought some stupid pact made back in college would come back and visit just over ten years later.
Now Jeff fidgeted in his seat, Andrea peered through the windshield, and Barry snored irritatingly in back. Candice could barely see the front end of her metallic red, 2012 650i BMW convertible due to the heavy blanket of fog. She wanted to get this done, but safety concerns made her pull into the Boardinghouse Inn. According to local lore it was cursed, but damn the wives tales about children going astray and blood curdling screams in the night. She held up an imaginary glass. A toast to the beasties of the night and given this group, they might scare them.
The elderly woman behind the reception desk must have heard their approach and she beckoned them forward with thin, gnarled fingers. Candice's first reaction was to take a backward step landing squarely on Jeff's foot and he hissed an all too familiar string of curse words into her ear. He shoved her forward to obey the elderly woman's gesture. Candice would have given her right eyetooth or willingly drank wood grain alcohol rather than lead this group towards the skeleton framed woman. Saying she looked like death warmed over would have been an exaggeration. Turning, "Maybe we should keep driving."
Soon as Candice reached the car, she regretted her decision. She could barely make out the black main road. The others had followed her and were chastising her for her childish cowardice. The old woman was too bizarre for words. They continued on towards their destination. It would surely be a feast of death relegated to her nightmares of a forgotten abomination. Andrea next to her let out an eardrum piercing shriek. A deer! She instinctively yanked the wheel to the right not thinking of the mountain road. And then, there was the sensation of falling.
The JAWS made short work of the roof. There honestly wasn't much left of the beautiful convertible and they found the treasure they sought. The inner struts imbedded deep within the chest of one male. A Nomex clad firefighter dove under the dash finding a small raven haired woman underneath like a rag doll thrown where it didn't belong. He pinched the flesh to get a response.
Eyelids fluttered, and then opened wide in fright. An unearthly scream followed, "The old hag is coming for us!"
Candice drew her last breath. The woman had come for all of them.
The End 
 I think I still got it! I'm proud that I put my doubts aside and tried. Not too shoddy result, I might add.
 Happy Halloween Y'all.
Keep writing and loving the Lord. 


  1. You did good! Mixing a little supernatural with a real fear - going over the cliff of a mountain.

  2. Hi Jo .. that was surely good to write - but so scary - and could so easily happen .. loved the way you crafted the tale -

    A great scary read .. cheers Hilary


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