Sunday Snippet

3-WriterTwitter_cover

 

Professor

Professor Wilder

 

“The highest tribute to the dead is not grief but gratitude.”

Professor Wilder wrote the quote on the board then drew his customary two lines underneath. “You know the drill – fifteen minutes and no Googling. Go.”

He walked the parameter of the classroom, checking for any brats daring to browse the source than writing their response. He’d kicked out three students last week for their foolishness. Satisfied that they were on task, he focused on one of his Core Four.

The svelte scribe hunched over, scratching pen to paper in a standard notebook, never used a computer.  Letters neatly took shape, never once smudged, but usually, all too frequently crossed out with one thin line.

Not this time, Wilder noticed. He’d definitely have to collect the papers to see what was chosen.

“Time,” he said. “Pens down, hands up and two points up for grabs – who said it?”

 

SaD – Word List

2019StoryADayParticipantSidebar500x230

Today’s prompt involved using a list of words. What is wonderfully delightful about this challenge is that it isn’t a new one for me. Our NaNoWriMo region gets together for a ‘Writing on the Road’ and the List Game is part of the midmonth event every year. Our MLs create a monthly theme to motivate the group and the List Game centers on that theme in a number of ways.

All right, still have a few others to transcribe, but decided to at least get this one posted:

“Listed Reasons”

 

Gerald Grant had the distinct advantage of knowing how to pressure or bolster the weak, whether they volunteered a call for help or not. The scales currently tipped too heavily on the first side, so perhaps today would add a bit of weight to the latter.

From behind the sheer curtain, he watched his nephew take a slow turn toward the house, coming back from school. The classmate with him pointed at his leg repeatedly, then made a series of gestured, including ‘phone.’ The teen stole a glance at the time, then shook his head, eyes cast downward. The girl threw her hands in the air, waved goodbye; his nephew continued towards home, a noticeable limp in his stride. Jerry listed half a dozen reasons for what he needed to do next. Well, after this talk, of course.

There were too many barriers to crash, missing bridges to cross and flooding fires to brave through. To confirm imagined nightmares were a certain reality, or that dreams of hope had already burned in hell… It would be the last pain point he’d have to bring to the forefront first.

As the key turned in the lock, Jerry stood to where the door would hide him until it was too late; a practice he had down to perfection.

“Hello, Ashley,” Jerry said, locking the door, then clearing the teen’s hands of everything. “How’ve you been?”

Ashley’s eyes widened. “Uncle Gerald,” he asked, trembling as he backed towards the fireplace.

Up close, Jerry could see so much of Aunt Sharon in his face – blue eyes that should be looking up to the skies, not dancing with fear. Thin face that had a hint of yellow below one cheekbone contrasting the deep purple just above the other, a sliver of a cut on the lower lip, and dark circles under the eyes (concealed with remaining flakes of makeup).

He held up his hands, forcing Ashley to sit down in the armchair that afforded Jerry a clear view of the driveway.

“Look, I know you made that confession under duress. I suspected that it was only a matter of time before your folks would find out. I’m sorry.” Jerry gestured to Ashley’s face. “Want to tell me what happened?”

“Gym class,” the lanky boy whispered.

Jerry gave a quick, painful laugh. “Not always a reliable alibi to shimmy from the truth. Ten minutes until they get here. Want to try again?”

Softly, cautiously, Ashley gave the briefest of explanations and Jerry listened.

 

SaD – Aphorisms

2019StoryADayParticipantSidebar500x230

All right, there’s some serious catching up to do in the converting of the handwriting-to-typing-for-post deal… There’s just something to be said for playing with new pens and journals, though!!

The prompt for today was to use an aphorism and there were different ways it could be done.

 

Hope Against a Hydra

“Going somewhere without telling me or letting me give you a lift,” Evan asked as he stepped in front of Ashley’s bike, grabbing the handlebars with one hand and yanking the backpack off his friend with the other, just trying to be-.

“Down in the valley, the valley so low; hang your head over, hear the wind blow,” the teen sang quickly, softly, pretending not to hear or see him, so skinny and afraid.

The nervous tick was something Evan recognized, despite the soothing tone of the singer hoping to hide behind the notes; the fidgeting of the ring on his right hand, that once had a quote etched on the outer side – now only one word remaining could be-.

“‘Rabbit’ gonna fade away next, if you’re not careful,” Evan warned, “then you’ll be left with imaging the saying, left imagining what could have anchored you and it may just be the very-.”

“Hole in the ground,” Ashley whispered, “doll fell down, I’m afraid.”

SaD – Muddle in the Middle

2019StoryADayParticipantSidebar500x230

Muddled Meddler –

Christine punched Ashley in the arm. “Why?!”

“Why not,” he asked, moving to her other side. “She asked; I said yes. I’m not backing down.”

“Just set yourself to be beaten up, is that it?”

He shrugged. “Not like I’ve not had practice. Would you rather I ask her to ask you, instead?”

Christine shook her head, still sore that her best friend didn’t feel safe enough to confide in her. She wondered if Evan felt the same way sometimes. “They’ll continue to eat you alive.”

“If the idiots didn’t demand she has to attend that location-.”

“I might know someone on the other side of town. It would require a few busses to get there, but-.”

Ashley nodded. “See if she’s open to it. Keep me out of it.”

“Why,” she asked, aware of a few reasons why.

He playfully pushed her with his shoulder. “Why not?”

SaD – Dialogue

2019StoryADayParticipantSidebar500x230

Today’s prompt was to focus on dialogue within a story. Well, with what few remaining brain cells there were, here it is:

 

Centered

The two of them continued their chess game in the library, the midday sun warming them. Evan moved his pawn into position. “I don’t like the idea of manipulating someone; it’s underhanded.”

His grandmother took the pawn with ease, certain there was a fifty-fifty chance he’d move one of three pieces she already had countermoves planned for. “Are you talking about someone you know, or just dissecting current debates in general?”

“Both. For example, the mandatory reporting law…” He moved his knight into position. “Tell me again why we haven’t made the call? What are we waiting for, something worse than what’s happened already?”

“So, law’s worth more than logic?” She positioned her queen for the double-threat.

Evan shook his head. “Doing what’s right, what’s necessary… I hate doing nothing, that’s all. And I can’t continue keeping my hopes…my opinions to myself in terms of what he should be doing to save himself.” He moved the bishop. “It’s so clear!”

She smiled inwardly. Bishop was open, and check was within sight. “He may already know what he needs to do. Maybe, he’s already tried it, too. You’re focused on one option only.”

“That’s not true. And before you say it, no, I’m not like Mom. I’m not trying to save everyone.” One pawn, one square off.

“Honey, you can’t lie to me. You’re my daughter’s child with her grandfather’s soul – bless him.” She took one more piece, chipping away at his options without him realizing it. “What he needs is something you’re already giving him. Keep that path open.”

He frowned as the knight fell. “Tell me again how I ended up between two friends who are complete opposites?”

“Because, you have a way of centering them when their souls are in turmoil. That, and you’re the big brother they need.” She put a weathered hand atop his. “He’s dealing with enough forces that would have torn any other child apart. Think of your uncle, the choices he made.”

“Sometimes, that’s why I’m trying to tell him-.” She moved her queen in for the checkmate. “Nana, that’s not funny. You distracted me.”

“Did I, now?” With that, she gave him a kiss on the cheek, then pointed to the storage bench and bookcase in the corner. “Move those things someplace else. I’ve a feeling you’re going to want to share that with a friend in need very soon.”

SaD – Description

2019StoryADayParticipantSidebar500x230

 

Today’s prompt was to focus on the description in a story. Given that I was ‘trapped’ in a too-long meeting in a big room, what follows is a small snippet (or snip) created with what brain cells remain:

Scribe

Ashley Emery wandered about the large house to escape his parents and better still, escape the crowd.

One of the large oak doors was ajar.

Stepping inside, drawing journal clenched to his chest, he stood in awe. Before him were shelves upon shelves of books, from floor to ceiling. The beautiful mosaic of spines, tall and short, thick and thin, brought a smile to his face. Paperbacks, hardback, and some that appeared to be handcrafted…

Glancing over his shoulder, relieved to see no one behind him, he carefully closed the door, only a click of the latch to possibly give him away.

He started with the books by the large window. Even in the so-called chaos of knickknacks cluttering the corner, there was a certain order to the titles. The last time he saw “The Stars” was on his grandfather’s glass-doored bookcase in the attic, beside the telescope.

Fingers lingering along the lettering, he was tempted to take it from its place.