Wednesday, February 28, 2018
HOW WRITING SHORT CAN ADD A SPARK TO YOUR IMAGINATION! by Cheryl Pierson
Growing up, I don’t remember having “cabin fever”—I was always able to entertain myself with indoor activities—coloring, paper dolls, board games, reading, and yes, even writing. This winter I was asked to participate in a little writing exercise that was a lot of fun, and not my “norm” for my writing self.
These sentences had to be used in this exact form—without any modification. The only “change” that was useable was the fact that they could come anywhere in the story, as long as they came together as shown here. And the story must be 500 words long—no longer. Mine came in at 497—and let me tell you, that was not easy for me!
It’s been a long time since I was this excited over something different like this—just something fun to try. There will be 51 other participants as well, using these same two sentences. I’m so curious to see where this leads! The book will be sold, but none of us are anticipating getting rich from it—whatever royalties it garners will go into a scholarship fund for a young writer. For me, the rewards were huge.
I had such fun with this! Here's a sneak peek at the first part of it—but remember, there'll be 51 other "takes" on these same sentences. I can hardly wait!
I Can Wait--Cheryl Pierson
“Let’s see…‘The shot rang out. I heard her scream at the same time the bottle crashed to the floor.’ That’s your story, right, fast gun?” Marshal Ferris smirked as he moved closer to the chair where his prisoner, Johnny Kilgore, was tied.
“Yeah,” Johnny muttered through split lips, blood streaming from the busted nose Ferris had given him. “It’s my story because that’s how it happened, pendejo.”
Ferris shot him a wary glance, unsure if he’d been insulted.
Johnny looked toward the narrow, barred window just in time to see a small hand disappear. Seeing things? Hoping for a miracle… He shook his head to clear it in the stifling air.
Ferris leaned down close, blocking Johnny’s view of the window. “You killed that woman, and you’re gonna admit it, you son of a bitch. We got all night. I can wait.” Ferris cracked his knuckles. Another vicious uppercut rocked Johnny’s head back. “You’re gonna write your confession.”
Who was the kid outside the window? Damn…why even think of that? I’ll be dead before midnight. There’s no help coming. No miracle for me…not this time… Wrong place, wrong time, just once too often…
He’d killed—but he’d never murdered a woman—especially not this one. Maria Lopez had been little more than a girl herself—and her scream from her upstairs room had been one of pure terror. By the time Johnny’d gotten to her, she was already dead. She wasn’t going to tell who did it, but Johnny had a fair idea from the dogged way Ferris kept after him about a confession.
Ferris crossed his arms. “It’s gonna be a long night. I got a powerful hunger. You just sit tight—I’ll be back after dinner. Just in time for you to confess…before you try to escape, and get killed doing it. Think about that while I’m gone,” he chortled as he walked away toward the outer office, banging the door shut like a death knell.
Oh, can't give away the ending, but wouldn't it be fun to do something different like this every so often, just to spice things up a little? I actually love writing prompts--I'd forgotten just how much until I was invited to participate in this collection. It'll be a while before this comes out, so I'll leave you with a link to my latest project, a boxed set called UNDER A WESTERN SKY which includes stories by Celia Yeary, Patti Sherry-Crews, Tracy Garrett, Kaye Spencer, Agnes Alexander and myself. It's a wonderful set and a great price--you can't go wrong!