Tag Archive | Creative Writing

Jump – A Short Story

Lately I’ve been wanting to write more again. That makes me very happy. I’ve always loved writing, whether poetry or short stories, and the occasional attempt at a novel (I have 2 that are in the process of editing).  But I think short-short stories are my most favorite to write.  They are quick and easy, and a lot of fun.

I hope you enjoy what I share with you.  Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Jump

(by Michelle D. 2018)

One more step and I’d be over the edge. One more step, just this last one, and I’d be done. Goal accomplished. I could still hear the voices egging me on. “Just jump.” “Just do it.” “You should just go ahead and jump.”

I shuffled just the tiniest bit forward, looked over the edge again. My breath caught in my throat, my heart pounded at the sight. Crystal clear water sparkled up at me, seeming even farther away than my previous glance. Such a long drop, such depths.

It shouldn’t be so hard to make this decision. Or maybe it should be. Maybe this hesitation meant I wasn’t ready. I still had other things to accomplish before I made this leap off the cliff. I could cross some other items off my list before I gave in and made this jump.

My children’s faces flashed in front of my eyes. I took a large step back. What was I doing? Was it worth it? Would they understand? They were so young still. They had no idea where I was. They didn’t know the shame I felt. Would they realize I was doing this for them? Could they understand that I had to do this?

It was time. I had stalled long enough. Any longer and I would lose my nerve completely and never do it. And I had to do this. I had to.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, then opened my eyes, ran forward, and jumped. The fall seemed to take forever. Falling, falling, slipping through the humid air, then hitting the water with enough force to shock my body. I sank toward the bottom.

I did it. I jumped. The warm water surrounded my body as I sank toward the bottom. Moments later the urge to fight kicked in and I pushed toward the surface.

“Good job. Next time we’ll try the five-foot depth. And maybe not a belly flop on your landing. Those will steal the breath from your body, and quite frankly, they hurt.”

I smiled up at my instructor. Finally, I was getting over my fear of water and learning to swim.

Midnight Moonlight – A Short Story

One of the Facebook pages I follow is for our local area and its focus is photography from around our county.  We have some amazing photographers in this area.  One of our local guys, DW, posted the following photo. I contacted him and asked for permission to use his photo (with credit to him) with the short story that the photo inspired. I hope you enjoy.

midnight moonlight inspiration photo - DW Harmon - Pure Lapeer

(Photo by DW Harmon – Michigan. Shared with permission)

 Midnight Moonlight

(by Michelle D.)

Unnatural silence surrounded her. The air so still not a single leaf rustled. Missing also were the normal sounds of wildlife. She should be able to hear the croak of the bullfrogs from the misty swamp ahead, the hoot of an owl, or the skittering of little feet through the dry leaves. Instead there was nothing but pure silence.

The woman took a careful step forward. Gravel moved under her foot, grinding together in a loud crunch. She stopped again, her heart racing, her heartbeat audible in the silence of the woods.

She just needed to follow the tracks, she kept telling herself. They would hopefully lead her to safety. The old cabin with the monster of a man was behind her. She hoped he was still unconscious from the blow she gave him to the back of the head.

The moonlight glinted off the rails of the old abandoned railroad track. She studied the rails. Years had passed since childhood, but she should still be able to balance on the narrow beam that the rail presented. She stepped carefully onto the right rail. The light mist made the rail slightly slick, but she should be able to carefully walk silently along it.

A careful glance over her shoulder showed nothing behind her. He wasn’t using the rails to sneak up on her, but she needed to hurry. He could come to at any moment.

Up ahead she saw a break in the woods. It appeared that the railroad tracks created a small bridge to cross a gap in the earth before the next stretch of woods. Maybe she would be able to figure out where she was, orient herself with the surroundings.

A loud snap broke the silence behind her. She gasped and took off running, carefully balancing as she ran. Years of training came back to her, unfortunately her body was not in the same shape as her gymnastics days. Her feet wobbled as she ran.

Low, rolling laughter came from her right. Another loud snap to her left.

“Leave me alone!” she screamed, abandoning the rail to run full tilt on the gravel next to the tracks.

She slid to a stop just before tumbling down the embankment. The tracks continued across the gap; just a couple of rails and rotted boards stretched between her and the other bank. Laughter came from her right again. Another glance around showed her she was still alone. She tested her weight on the rails.

“You can’t escape,” the words from below whispered over her skin.

“Go away,” she sobbed.

A growl came from behind, “Run!”

She took off across the suspended rails, balancing as carefully as she could on the shaking, slick rails. The other bank loomed, coming closer. If she could make it to the other side maybe she’d be safe.

She jumped the last couple of feet, slipping on the gravel and coming down to her knees. Her eyes wide, breath coming in short pants, she looked around. A light glowed ahead of her, just down a path off the tracks.

“Help!” she screamed before standing and running for the light. The woman burst into a clearing. “No,” she whispered, sinking once again to her battered knees. The old cabin, the same cabin she escaped only an hour ago, stood before her.

“I told you, you can’t escape,” a voice whispered just before pain burst across the back of her head. She rolled over, stared up at the monster, her vision fading.

“Until death do us part, my love,” he grinned as he raised an ax. The last thing she saw before the world went black was the light of the midnight moon shining on the gleaming metal head of the ax.

 

NaNoWriMo 2011 Has Begun

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) has officially began as of yesterday. Thousands, or millions, of people worldwide are sitting at their computers or holding a pen and pad of paper, and churning out word after word.

I almost made the decision to not do NaNoWriMo (this was around October 28th) but then November 1st I told myself that I could not give up before I began and I started writing.

Day 1 netted me 2,525 words.

Day 2 so far is another 1793 words, and I’m not done for the day yet.

Hopefully in the next few days I’ll have something to share with you on this NaNo novel.  Don’t worry, I still plan on working on my normal craft of crocheting as well! I need to finish the girly-girl blanket that I started plus the scarf that I have about 1/3 done so far. If I can do more than the ‘recommended’ word count (1,667) every day for the first couple weeks, that’ll open up even more crocheting time for the end of the month. Plus each evening after I hit my personal word goal I can crochet.

I think my personal word goal per day is going to be a minimum of 2,000 words. But more is better for the beginning of the month! Trust me… it’s much easier to be ahead in the beginning and have time to breathe at the end, than it is to be rushing to catch up in the last week of the writing challenge!

 

NaNoWriMo – 7 Days til Kickoff

Earlier this month I mentioned that I would be participating in something called NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. Since that post, I’ve been running various ideas through my mind, trying to decide what I wanted to write. Two main ideas have stuck out in my mind. One would be a new story, a paranormal mystery with a little bit of romance mixed in. The other idea is to take my 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, Dragon Eye, and do a complete re-write on it. That year was my first attempt at writing anything more than a poem or a short story. And while there are some rough gems hidden within those 50,000 words, they are really rough and are surrounded by a lot of dark jagged coal.

So, after bouncing the ideas off a few people, I have decided to attempt the complete rewrite of Dragon Eye. I grabbed the thick binder off the shelf in the Wife Cave and sat down with another notebook to take down notes like names of characters and places, descriptions of various places in the realm, and some key points that I hope to actually develop this time around in the story.

And hopefully, be able to plug the holes that I left in the original version of the story. Such as what happened to the man who left the fortress in search of a breath of wind.

 

Since I don’t have any craft related pictures to share with you right now, I thought I’d share a picture that I took last night of our little Pixie kitty. She was snoring like crazy And take a close look at her face… see what I saw??

 

Writing is a Craft – Nightmare Fuel

Next month, November, is National Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo. For the past three years I have participated in NaNo, joining thousands of others around the world in a challenge to write at least 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days.

I’m planning on doing it again this year, as long as I’m not working 70+ hours a week.

The month of October is normally spent figuring out what I want to write about, figuring out characters, personalities, challenges my characters will go through. With NaNo, you can outline, plan, plot whatever you want before November, but any actual writing for the story cannot be used if it happens before November 1st.

Since I have not written much in the past six months because of work and other crafts, I’m doing another challenge for the month of October to get back into the swing of things.

A woman who is going by the name of Bliss Morgan offered up this challenge: Nightmare Fuel. She posts a new nightmarish picture each morning and then those that wish to participate write a story that goes with the picture. The story could be only a couple of lines long, a few paragraphs, or several pages. There are no word count requirements for each day.

I hope you don’t mind if I mix in some creative writing amid the crafts over the next couple months. Please let me know if you’d rather I stick to crafts only on this blog.

I missed day 1 of Nightmare Fuel, but may go back and do that one as well sometime. For your reading pleasure (hopefully), here is Day #2’s story:

(The picture is of a man’s face coming out of a brick wall)

Nightmare Fuel – Day #2

Hey, you there. Can you hear me? Come closer and listen if you can. Then run away, run fast away from me, after you hear what happened.

Ever have those days where you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall? That’s how the last week had been for me, every day I felt like I was banging my head against that mythical brick wall.

I took a break from my hectic cubical, tired of the phone calls, the tears, the screams. Running outside to the park across from the building I let loose with my own scream. Then it happened. The wall became real. The stress of work, life, kids…all added up until that brick wall appeared before me. In a daze, and thinking it was a hallucination, I started banging my head against the wall.

It didn’t really hurt, this hallucination of mine. A slight headache. Imaginary blood running down my face. Vision blurring.

I didn’t notice the tugging sensation at first, as I took a break from banging my head and just leaned against the brick wall. The sensation almost felt like vines wrapping around my body, but not plant-like; these vines had sharp edges like the bricks of my hallucination wall.

I think I finally noticed what was going on when I tried to step away from the wall so I could head back into the office, to answer a thousand more phone calls from homeowners who couldn’t make their payments. To head back to a thousand more headaches from their screams, accusations, and tears.

But the wall pulled me closer and closer. The more I struggled, the tighter the brick vines held. Slowly, my body was absorbed by the brick wall that I now knew to be real, not a hallucination.

My screams were trapped as the brick wrapped around my face like a mask. I’m still alive. Still trapped with the screams. Do you see me? Or am I a hallucination of yours now? Run away, fast.

If you still can.