Tag Archives: creative writing

Day 6

This month I’m doing a Creative Writing challenge! Today’s installment:

6. Family.

I sat back in my seat. The hard back did nothing to help my nerves, as I rested uneasily while I waited. Around me the cafe bustled, as it was at the height of the lunch hour. I glanced ahead of me, to my right. The counter was staffed by three people today, and about twenty high school students were waiting for service. Across from the counter, which housed the deli sandwiches and deserts, the grill side was even more busy. Usually staffed by two cooks, the grill was manned today by three students and their instructor. A good thirty-plus students were waiting to get their burgers and pizza. No wonder the cafeteria was so loud today.

I looked at my bag. In my haste this morning, I’d forgotten to pack the usual lunch. Not that it mattered, anyway; The butterflies in my stomach wouldn’t have permitted me to eat. Not today, not at any lunch break this week. Instead, like I did the day before, I reached over and pulled another chair out from my table. The least I could do was save one for when she arrived. I put my feet up and leaned back in my own uncomfortable seat.

I found my eyes heavy this morning. Driving in had been a bitch, I could hardly stay awake on the half-hour drive. I really needed to go to bed earlier. Otherwise I’d end up killing myself on the road.

“How would she feel about that?” I wondered. My eyelids fell as I pondered this thought. On the canvas of my eyelids, my mind painted images of her falling to her knees, weeping, when she found out that I, her one true love, had perished by driving into a stream on the way to school. The thought of her pain jolted my heart, and I felt immediately defensive of her. I would never let something like that happen to her! My mind shifted, and instead of leaving her alone in the world, I could visualize us meeting on a sidewalk. I put my arm gently around her waist, and we walked together on the school grounds. In the building ahead of us, a door opened and a very small girl burst out. The tiny backpack on her shoulders bounced as she ran toward us. I released my wife’s arm, and she bent down to scoop our daughter up in a warm embrace.

My eyes snapped open. Man, that escalated quickly. If she knew that my mind had generated that, she would definitely think I was weird. Best not to mention it.

I looked around the busy cafeteria. She wasn’t anywhere in sight yet. I let my eyes close again, clearing the canvas. I now could imagine the two of us as a young couple, going places together, exploring beaches and forests, visiting concerts, seeing movies… I imagined us sitting down and talking all the time about our feelings, and how we could improve each others’ lives. Images flashed before my eyes now: A date, a proposal, a wedding, a child, a family, retirement. I could see our entire lives ahead.

If only she could see it, too.

I opened my eyes. The queasy feeling in my stomach had subsided a little, for which I was grateful. Then, I looked up toward the door, and I saw her walk in. The queasiness returned twofold. I saw her glance almost cautiously around the busy room, looking for a familiar face.I raised a palm into the air and held it for a second. She saw it, smiled, and started making her way through the crowd to me.

I took my feet off the seat and waited for her to arrive. I remembered the images my tired mind had conjured up of us starting a family together. No wonder I always felt nervous around her. So much rests on how she thinks of me.

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Day 5

This month I’m doing a Creative Writing challenge! Today’s installment:

5. Something historical.

Harvey looked casually down at his feet, as they carried him past a police officer. His hands were crammed into his pockets, trying to hide the subtle shake that had been with him since daybreak. It was hot out, and his entire body was damp with sweat.
“Damn this hot weather” he muttered to himself.
He ducked down an alleyway, where the shade provided a welcome break from the blistering sun. At least the weather helped to conceal any sweat excreted as a result of his nerves. Despite all of his planning, he simply couldn’t help but feel frightened today.
“Damn that stench” he said, a little louder this time. Yes, the shade was cooler, but it did nothing to conceal the alley’s smell.
Harvey slipped out of the alley and crossed a dead sidestreet. Most of this area had been blocked off to vehicle traffic, and by now most of the pedestrians were lining the route. Just across the street, a tall building loomed into the clear, blue sky. He slipped into the back alley next to it, and turned sharply to his left. From his back pocket he withdrew a tool, and at once set at picking the lock of the door in front of him. The well-practiced technique quickly opened the door, and, with a quick glance over both shoulders, Harvey entered the building. So far, so good.
He climbed a couple flights quickly, attempting to step as lightly as possible. He paused on the second floor to push a ceiling panel away and retrieve a metal suitcase. After a flight or two more, he reached the destination floor. This time, the door was unlocked, and he slipped silently into the room.
The noise of the crowd below drifted up on the breeze that came through the single window left open. A stack of crates near the window sat at the ready, and Harvey took a seat.
“This is it” he said, inhaling deeply, “time to relax.”
He sat, eyes closed, breathing controlled, for a full minute. The sound of the crowd below was growing, and he knew that the time was at hand. He opened the suitcase, and from its padded interior he withdrew the rifle. With swift, sure motions he assembled the weapon, then withdrew a clip from the suitcase and slid it up inside the clip chamber.
The sound of motorcycles below signaled him. A patriotic song was playing from someone’s radio in the distance; a seemingly fitting anthem.
Harvey put his eye to the scope. The crosshairs drifted carefully along the route, seeking their target. Finally, the shiny, black car came into focus. As expected, the top was down, exposing all within. The passengers in the back seat rode proudly, waving at the adoring crowds.
Now is the time.
Harvey inhaled and held his breath. The crosshairs centered on his target, and without a moment’s hesitation he pulled the trigger.
“Shit!” he exclaimed, as the first bullet exploded from his barrell. He chambered a second bullet, and lined up the sights once again.
The gun exploded again, and with a sigh of relief he confirmed his target. Screams sounded below as the joyous procession turned to chaos. He stood up and pulled the gun from the window, backing away into the shadows.
“Congratulations” he said to himself, “Lee Harvey Oswald, you’ve just shot the President of the United States.”

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Note: I’m not sure how historically accurate this is. It’s historical fiction, so please just appreciate it for what it is. Thanks.

Day 4

This month I’m doing a Creative Writing challenge! Today’s installment:

4. A pair of eyeglasses.

Anita pushed the cart slowly down the aisle. Her experienced eyes scanned over rack after rack, but she couldn’t see anything good. She paused for a moment to examine one style, but as soon as she picked it up she knew it was simply too heavy. She carefully put it back, and kept scanning for something to catch her eye.

“Mommy, mommy!” A little voice called out behind her. Anita looked back, and couldn’t help but smile. Her daughter, Lucy, was holding a pair of large, circular frames up to her eyes. The frames were so big that they took up almost half of the 5-year-old’s face.

“Mommy, what about these?”

Anita crouched down to Lucy’s level. “Here, sweetie,” she said, “let me take a look.” She carefully reached out and straightened the frames, then sat back on her heels and put on a pensive expression.

“Hmm,” she leaned from side to side, as Lucy gladly modeled her find, “we should keep looking. They’re just a little too big!”

“Okay!” Lucy removed the frames and handed them to her mother. As Anita put the frames where they belonged, she watched as Lucy bounced around from frame to frame, glancing at each item for only a moment before moving on. A dull sadness pulsed inside, as Anita remembered what this trip meant. Her daughter was so young, almost too young to need glasses. Yet here they were, as a result of the universe’s decision to burden a child with that accessory for the rest of her life. Anita pulled off her own rectangular frames and rubbed her eyes. She was glad this day was almost over.

“How ‘bout this one, mommy?” Lucy held up a pair in her fist.

Anita put her glasses back on and looked. “Oh” she inhaled, as she realized what Lucy had found, “try them on, hun.”

Lucy slid the frames onto her face, and cocked her head inquisitively to the side. This trait she’d picked up from the family dog.

Anita looked around for a mirror, and found one a few feet away.

“Come, look in the mirror.”

Lucy gladly hopped over to the mirror, and peered at her reflection. Anita knelt on one knee beside her.

“Mommy,” Lucy said, “do I look pretty?”

Anita looked at the frames. They were simple, no patterns or designs. Merely black, plastic rectangles with rounded edges. However, there was a familiar look to them that made them a perfect fit for her daughter’s face.

“Yes,” Anita said, “you do look pretty.”

Lucy smiled.

“Then I’m just like you!”

Anita felt the world stop around her. The sadness in her heart melted away, and she saw her daughter looking proudly up into her eyes. The sweet, loving innocence, of a young girl finding a new look. Perhaps this world wasn’t so bad, after all.

“Yes, sweetheart,” Anita said, “just like me. Shall we get them?”

“Yay!” Lucy exclaimed, pulling the frames off and handing them over.

Anita stood up and turned to the optician.

“I think we’ve found the right frames.”

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Day 2

This month I’m doing a Creative Writing challenge! Today’s installment:

2. A couple.

Roger inhaled deeply. The scent of hot pine sap and dusty meadow filled his lungs, as the sun beat down on his face. 

“This is good, I think” he said, setting down the basket in his hands. 

Alice withdrew a blanket from her backpack, and began looking for the perfect spot to put it.

“Too rocky,” she said to herself, “too many weeds… ew, spider! Here we go.”

She spread the blanket out on the thick, grassy patch. A warm breeze drifted through the clearing, but not enough to warrant weighing down the corners of the blanket. 

“Perfect” Roger said, as he moved the basket nearer to the blanket and opened the top, “let’s hurry up and get out the food, I’m starved.”

Together they unpacked the meal; there were turkey and provolone sandwiches with tomatoes and peppers, delicately wrapped in wax paper, and a bowl of fruit salad. Alice brought the utensils out of her backpack, as well as two bowls for the fruit. Roger put down his cooler backpack and brought out the drinks.

“Here” he handed her a 7-Up, then cracked open a Mountain Dew. He took a quick sip, and then set it down on a nearby rock. Alice passed him a sandwich, and together they unwrapped and began to eat.

“Babe,” Alice said “these are awesome! I can’t figure out why though.”

Roger grinned. “It’s the salt and pepper. And the bell peppers. Basically it boils down to pepper.”

Alice laughed, her blue eyes shining in the sunlight. “I’ll have to try that sometime.”

Roger took is fork and stabbed a juicy chunk of watermelon from out of the fruit bowl. “I don’t know why we brought bowls” he said as he ate it. Alice gave him an accusing look as she picked up a bowl and filled it for herself. 

“I suppose we could’ve just brought the one extra” she quipped.

Roger picked out a piece of pineapple, popped it into his mouth, and glanced up at the sky. Three sparrows flew overhead, soaring and swooping through the sky, chasing down any insects who dared to fly in their airspace. The breeze picked up for a moment, tossing his dark, unruly curls of hair.

“It’s so nice out here” he said, softly, “away from the noise of life, just the two of us.”

Alice reached over and put her hand over his free one. “I agree. We should do this more often.”

They finished their sandwiches in silence. Roger crumbled his wrapper into a ball and tossed it into the basket. Alice put the cover back on the bowl of fruit and placed it in the basket as well, clearing the blanket. Roger lay back, his right arm outstretched. Alice shifted her position and lay down alongside him. He wrapped his arm around her, and she took his hand. 

“When do we have to go back?” She asked.

“Not for some time” he said, “We have a couple hours to just relax.”

“Good.” She rested her face on his chest and closed her eyes. “Enough time for a nap?”

Roger pulled his phone from his pocket and set a timer. 

“Plenty of time. That sounds great.”

He stroked her long, auburn hair tenderly. The motion was as calming for him as it was for her, and together they relaxed into an easy, carefree afternoon nap.