642 things to write about – A woman thinks she might be living next to her grandson

From 642 things to write about – A woman thinks she is living next door to her grandson.

He was playing outside again. His features were so familiar, she almost expected that he had jumped out of a family photo. The bright blue eyes and fair, curly hair. Family traits that had been passed onto all three of her children. The one he was most like was her youngest. The daughter she hadn’t seen for so long it was an effort of mathematics to remember the number of years. She watched him through her net curtain. He was so full of energy; darting here and there, never completely still. She’d been like that too, such a live wire. 

It was impossible. That was what she had to keep running through her mind. She knew the couple next door and there was no possible link. They’d moved in with the boy when he’d been six months old. It hadn’t been so obvious then. Just another baby. But now, it was heartbreaking. He turned and was momentarily facing her. He grinned, holding up something in his hand so his mother could see it. He was so much the image of her daughter that she almost ran out and snatched him up. Then he turned away and she made herself repeat again the impossibility of it all.

Perhaps it was just a product of her own longing. She saw her other children and the ones they had produced but the one she really wanted to see would never be coming back. And she knew whose fault that was. She watched as the boy trotted into his house, trying to keep a hold on herself. Why was she so intent on this form of torture? Everyday she came to the window to remind herself how impossible it all was. She couldn’t rest until she had seen the boy and reminded herself that he was nothing to do with her. Her mind would not let go until she was utterly destroyed.

642 things to write about – Write an alphabetical story.

Writing Prompt – Write a story in which each sentence will start with a different letter of the alphabet e.g. start with A, move on to B and so on.

This was quite good fun. And I know I didn’t get all the way through but I couldn’t think of an X word. If you can come up with a sentence starting with X, please let me know.

At this time in the morning, the sky was still dark. Bryan got up anyway. Carefully, he slid out of the covers. Downstairs others were starting to stir. Excitement started to touch him. Fairly soon, he’d be getting his fill. Grabbing a towel and tying it around his waist, he headed for the communal showers.

Hot water stabbed at his shoulders. In no time at all, he was clean and properly awake. Just as quickly, he toweled himself down. Knocking his knee on the sink, he cursed his haste. Likelihood of bruising, high. Muttering to himself, he hurried back to his bedroom.

Now, he was fully dressed. Opening his door, he saw others heading in the same direction. Perhaps he should have hurried even more. Quickly, he tried to get ahead, to be one of the first. Rationally, he knew that there would be enough for all but his growling belly pushed him on.

Still he couldn’t get to the front of the queue. Too many to push out of the way. Unless someone fainted, he’d be stuck where he was. Very soon, he thought, it’ll be me who faints. What would happen then?

642 things to write about – Write two very different love letters

You are a thirteen year old. Write a love letter to your boyfriend.

OMG, you are so beautiful. Your blond hair is all gold like the sun. Your eyes are blue like the sky. When you smile, my heart flutters round like a butterfly. The other day, when you waited for me outside chemistry for you and I saw you there, all handsome and tall, I thought I was having a heart attack, it was pounding so hard. I was tempted to faint. Jen. Lisa and Caro were so jealous. LOL. If I had died right there, it would have been perfect. 

Yesterday, when you held my hand for the first time, I was in heaven. All I can think about, all the time, is when you kiss me for the first time. I am literally dying for that to happen. I hope it will be tomorrow when we go to the pictures but it doesn’t matter how long it takes because I love you forever. 

You are twenty one years old. Write a letter to your girlfriend.

I’m not sure I should write this down. Is this stupid? Perhaps it will scare you away. Don’t get me wrong, I do like you. I like you a lot. But words on a page are very definite, aren’t they? They can’t be unwritten. Does it seem a bit full on?

I would like to have a future with you. I can see it sometimes, like in the morning when I wake up and you are still sleeping. I know then that I wouldn’t be sorry if this was forever. You look so content and peaceful. There is a calmness in my life now and I know that I like that very much. That’s not too scary, is it? You feel it too, don’t you? God, I hope so.  

An Excellent Gift for a Writer – 642 things to write about.

My favourite gift this year was a book called 642 Things to Write About which is full of writing prompts. I could barely wait for guests to leave before I started to write in it.

As I am always looking for things to write in this blog, I shall share what I write. I’m not going to promise to do it everyday as once I am back at work, that will be impossible but I will try to do it regularly.

Here is the first one:

Write a scene that begins “It was the first time I killed a man.”

It was the first time I had killed a man. But not the last.

It didn’t feel as bad as I might have supposed. The distance was the thing. It was the bullet rather than the knife so I didn’t have to witness it eye to eye, as it were. There was no hot blood oozing over my hands. I saw his body drop though, all heavy like lead. Straight for the floor. Like a giant hand had cut all his strings. The wound was to the head so death was probably instant. If not, it would surely have been quick.

Of course, he was one of the bad guys. That was what the Government said. So his death didn’t really trouble me. No more than shooting a rat might have. Vermin. Better off dead. And of more use. 

Now that the Fuel Wars are over and the Government has retained supreme control, it is hard for the young ones to imagine what it was like. The fear we had then was all-consuming. And then there was the cold. That sneaks up sometimes. I’ll wake in the morning and the toes are outside the quilt and they are like ice and I get transported back there. To huddling together with all the people in your building. To having nothing to sit on, nothing to read, nothing at all because it had all been burned. And the thought, what would happen when everything had been burned. 

That had been my reason for going to fight for the Government rather than the rebels. The Government gave you a thermal uniform. You got gloves, socks and regular meals. All the rebels could give you was a sense of moral superiority and that does not really keep you warm. 

I admit I don’t think often of those who died, whether by my hand or one of my fellow soldiers. I think, instead, of how warm it is now. 

 

Day 7 – What is your favorite season? Use vivid details and even include memories you have of that season.

Day 7 of Chrys Fey’s 30 Day Writing Challenge –  What is your favourite season? Use vivid details and even include memories you have of that season.

The colours of autumn are the last gasp of the trees before the death of winter. The reds, browns and yellows are beautiful in a way that the greens of spring just aren’t. The green’s beauty is understandable. It represents birth, renewal, the continuance of life. It shows off the life of the tree. By contrast, the reds and browns are representative of the nearing of the end. There is no need for such beauty. Looking at the glory of colours, the riot for the eyes, you would not necessarily believe that the next step for the leaf will be to crunch under someone’s foot.

The best autumn weather is the low sun, the blue sky and the cool dry day. The blue is not the deep blue of a summer sky. It isn’t brazen and it doesn’t suggest heat. It’s a subtle, gentle blue. You know it will be cold but also crisp, also dry. A time for pulling on the layers. Gloved and scarved, you can keep your warmth while walking in the beautiful sunshine.

The definitive noise of autumn is the leaves under the feet. The last thing the leaves give us, after the glorious fire of their colours, is the wondrous crunch and crack when you run through them.

As my birthday is in November, Autumn is associated with a sense of heightened excitement. As a child, the excitement would start in October and not really lessen until Christmas. I still feel a sense of anticipation at the start of the season which gives the weather and the colours a sense of optimism that they wouldn’t otherwise. It is the start of the season of celebration. 

Chrys Fey’s Writing Challenge Day 5 – Write about a dream or nightmare that you’ve had.

Write about a dream or nightmare that you’ve had. Turn it into a short-short story – Day 5 of Chrys Fey’s 30 Day writing challenge.

I have a recurring dream / nightmare when I’m at a new school (which as I am a supply teacher, happens quite often) and I can’t find the classroom I am supposed to be in. This story is based on that.

How did I end up here? Outside? I don’t remember a door. I’m sure I didn’t go through a door. Ahead of me is only green field. I don’t recognise the view. In my head, I have a vision of the room where I should be, paper flying, noise levels rising as the kids realise there is no teacher. 

As I turn around in panic, I see the school buildings. Running towards them, my heart is pounding. They don’t seem to get any closer. And I am going as fast as I can. My legs are starting to hurt. My breath is coming short and fast. Why won’t the buildings get any closer. 

Suddenly I am inside. Now where is the map they gave me? I begin to pat my pockets. Calmly at first then when it does not appear, frantically, going through pockets again and again. The corridors peel off in different directions. Pick a corridor, any corridor. I shoot off to the left. 

Science. Turn left again. Maths. Right this time. Art. Running again. I pass classrooms for every subject. Food Technology. Drama. R.S. Does this school even have an English department.

And then suddenly, I see it. At the end of this corridor. In large golden letters. The word I have been searching for. English. My classroom must be along here. I look at the doors, 12, 13, 14, yes, 15. This is the one. 

Inside and the class quieten down expectantly. I stare at them in silent alarm. It is then I realise that I have left the work for them to do in the staff room. 

 

30 day writing challenge – Day 4 Create a character off the top of your head and write a short history about him/her.

Day 4 of http://writewithfey.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/chrys-feys-30-day-writing-challenge.html –  Create a character off the top of your head and write a short history about him/her. Looking at this, it is more like the opening scene including the character rather than a biography but here it is anyway.

Matt Murphy was assessing himself in the mirror. He was in a suit which was becoming less unusual but still seemed a little strange. He tugged briefly at his tie. it was his first proper day at Hilltop High  – yesterday had been teachers only – and he was trying to decide exactly which thing it was that the kids would find the most hilarious. He was tall – 6ft 1 – and extremely skinny so it could be that. Or his unruly hair. Or his tendency towards camp exaggeration. Or his broad scouse accent in the middle of South Yorkshire. Or…

He made himself stop. Probably it would be some, as yet, unrealised fault. He thought of the text that had just come and which had prompted the self-assessment. It was from Steph, a teacher already for some ten years. She had tried to talk him out of it. Do something better, she had said. He hadn’t listened. The text had said Good Luck in the lion’s den. Very fucking funny. 

He was thirty three years old. Too old to be starting a career. Not even a new career. The first one. Unless working in a pub counted as a career which he doubted. Maybe that would work in his favour. The fact that he looked older, was starting to go a little grey.

It had been a long road to here. If he failed at this, there was little chance of starting all over again. He wasn’t going to fail though, was he? He realised it would be difficult at first but he imagined that by the end of the term he’d be winning. If he could imagine it, it could happen. That was how it went, wasn’t it?

He didn’t particularly want to remember his own teenage years. He had left home before he was sixteen due to issues with his stepfather. School hadn’t been the easiest of places either. He had just stopped going. GCSEs seemed a minor thing to sacrifice when you were fighting for your life every day. The rest of that year had been spent on whichever floor would have him. He’d got a job at a bar and worked every shift he could. Eventually he had saved enough to get a flat. Then it had been night-school: GCSEs, A-Levels. Working every single second. He hadn’t imagined being a teacher. Just that he wouldn’t always be working in a bar, pulling pints for idiots. No way. 

That was when he had come to Sheffield. University had to be part-time so he could also work. English Literature. Not useful but enjoyable.Then an MA. Then teacher training. All the way up to this present moment.

He wanted it to be over. The first moment. It was like being at the bottom of a steep hill. he couldn’t see what the summit was like from this angle. He needed to be starting to climb. He picked up his briefcase and made for the door. He promptly fell over the corner of the bed. Silently he cursed his clumsiness. That was another possible source of amusement. 

“You look fine. You’ll be fine.” Matt turned towards the bed, towards the voice. He smiled. Mikey had never suffered a moment of nerves in his life. Matt supposed if he looked like that, he wouldn’t be nervous either. He was full of confidence on Matt’s behalf. He had no doubt that Matt would be fine. 

“I didn’t mean to wake you.” In fact, it had been his intention to sneak out quietly. He didn’t want to give Mikey the chance to make a fuss. He was nervous enough already. He didn’t think he could take any of Mikey’s pep-talks at this time in the morning. “I have to go.” He added, hurriedly giving Mikey a kiss on the cheek and then darting out of the door. Miraculously he didn’t collide with any more of the furniture.