Tag Archives: authors

Kathleen Treubig: Chair

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Chair

By Kathleen Treubig

I wanted to come before the sale. Before Uncle Tom’s spirit was left a guest in his house. The room is void now. The empty void that welcomed the silence free of Tom’s barbs. His empty chair in his empty house. Restless spirits wandered my Uncle’s farmhouse. I wondered if Tom’s spirit joined the others or wandered alone.

Uncle Tom did not want to die, but karma caught the tail of his coat. Cancer. The ultimate equalizer. Tom’s bravado was eaten by cancer, along with his eyes. God’s interesting choice to take Tom’s vision; Uncle Tom who thought his view was always correct, efficient. Tom was efficient but not correct. Stop it! Don’t do that in my home! Get off! Clean that! But those were decorations to the biting remarks not made but shouted from his eyes, “You’re less, you’re less, you’re small.” Uncle Tom’s words cut through my spirit like a vicious teenage joke, and I was small.

I didn’t feel his spirit in his room. It was empty of feeling. The chair looked at me. Take me, the chair said. Take me away, cried the chair. I could not. The chair had become one with the house and Uncle Tom. No. I’m not small, Uncle Tom.

No, I don’t want your chair, your karma or memory.

I left.

I heard the chair cry.

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Please visit Kathleen’s blog and follow her! http://www.failingfifty.com/chair/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


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Familia Suarez Jimenez: The Chair

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

The Chair

By Familia Suarez Jimenez

The Chair let out a creak
As she tiptoed down the hall
Expecting to see him there
But there was nothing there at all
Once fires, built, from his chest
As grand as she was tall
But now only ashes covered the hearth
And he wasn’t there at all
She returned to her room
And buried her face in her blanket
Only to hear a scratching
Coming from the room adjacent
So she tiptoed, back, down the hall
Looking to see who came
But still, there was no one there
Only the wind teasing the window pane
As she crept back to her room
Chastising her imagination
She could feel the air change just then
And she began to lose her patience
She turned around, in time to see
Smoke filling the room
Of the fire built from his chest
And The Chair no longer
As empty as his tomb

cj Suarez 2.2.19

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Familia does not have a blog or author page yet but wanted to participate. Please like and comment on her poetry and check back next month for more of her work.

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


Calliope NJO: My inheritance

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

My Inheritance

By Calliope NJO

I never heard of Briarsville. I received a map, key, and a renovation fund in the mail from a lawyer’s office from said place. In short, I got it because the deceased left it to me. The old lady liked me. I had no recollection of ever meeting someone other than in passing. I checked out the lawyer, and he had been practicing law for at least twelve years. So he seemed legit enough for me to believe him.

In between projects, with nothing else to do, I needed to have a look at my new place. Good thing I had my 4×4. The rocky, unpaved road did make things a little bumpy, however. The trees had to be at least ten stories high with massive trunks. My GPS gave me an error message and the map applications sent me someplace else. I wouldn’t have been able to find it if nobody gave me a map.

The old line of being nestled in the woods fit the description of the property. A two-story wooden house with a big stone chimney. The wooden front door still remained in its place. All the shattered windows needed to be replaced.

The front door opened. I called out but nobody answered, so how the H-E-Double hockey sticks did it open. All by itself. I went back to my 4×4 and scrounged for something. It gave me an activity while I figured out if I wanted to go in.

I couldn’t hesitate any longer so I entered. I thought I heard a woman tell me it’s about time you came in. I looked and like before, nobody. My mind drifted off into the unknown. I had to use logic and reasoning or risk losing my mind. If I didn’t already.

Careful steps needed to be taken or risk falling through the Swiss-cheese floor. I stopped in a green room. The green wall contrasted with the red brick fireplace, and chances were some varmints set up house in the unused chimney.

The longer I stood there, the more the chair in the front rocked. An old lady appeared, looked at me, and disappeared. Maybe I should’ve left too but I couldn’t. My feet stayed attached.

Bizarre or mad, either word would best fit me at that moment. Some food would help to fuel my brain and stop the weird experiences.

I got in my truck and started down the long road again. Trees and boulders watched me as I drove past. I got to town and it looked nice. Kids running up and down, some on their bikes. Adults walked back and forth.

The diner on the corner sounded like the spot to refuel. I wandered in and sat down at the bar. Burger and coffee would hit the spot.

A skinny man sat next to me. The unmarked white baseball cap caught my attention. I smiled and nodded.

“Hey there,” he said. “The name’s Oliver. Say, uh…I never saw you around these parts. New?”

“Yeah. Sort of.” I wasn’t sure who this guy was so I tried to keep things short.

“We don’t get much new ones. Where you at?”

“A cabin in the woods.” Not that far from the truth.

“Oh. I know that one. That’s the Kingston cabin. William Kingston was his name. Built it for his family so his younguns had space to grow up. Yeah. Nobody knows what happened, not really, but they say he got shot while out on a huntin’ trip. Yeah. ‘Cause nobody delivered the body, his wife kept on waitin’ for him. Some even say she still waitin’.” He turned around. “I gotta get. Good luck and may the Lord be with you.”

Not quite sure what to think about that bit of info, I mulled it over while I ate. I never believed in the afterlife. Once you’re dead, you’re dead. After what I experienced though, it made me wonder if I should change my views.

After I finished, I went back to the cabin. Maybe I asked for it, but I couldn’t help but remember the story that man told me. I couldn’t get past the idea that someone waited for somebody else all this time. Unbelievable.

I walked in. “Hello? Mrs. Kingston?” What was I saying?

Maybe the floorboards were loose. That wouldn’t surprise me. What surprised me was a young woman appeared in front of me.

“Oh. There you are. You had me worried. I longed for your return.” She held me. “You seem surprised.”

“Uh…” That’s the understatement of the century.

“Come now, William.” She grabbed both my hands and kissed them.

I felt it. I felt her kiss me. Did I need to tell her the name’s Shawn? “Uh…” About the most intelligent thing I could utter.

She took me to a room down the hall. I expected dilapidated furniture and holes in the wall. Instead, a perfect four-poster bed sat in the middle of the room. A clean and shiny window let the light in. OK, somebody had to have put something in my food because none of this could have been real.

She lay me down and stroked me. I had to admit I fell asleep. When I woke up though, I lay on the floor instead, and the once unbroken window didn’t exist. The night sky shone through the framed hole.

I ran out of that house as fast as I could and hightailed it out of town. I got the house for free, yeah, and with a little bit of work, I could’ve made it livable. Not as long as those strange things were in there, I couldn’t do it, renovation fund or no renovation fund.

I made it back to the city. The nice congested, polluted, no trees existed in the backyard if there was a backyard city. I put the key away for safekeeping. Maybe in the future but that would have to be under extreme circumstances.

I took the car keys out of my pocket and put them on the nightstand. Along with it, a gold ring came up. Inside it read: To my only love. Two hearts. One soul.

The End

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Please visit Calliope’s blog and follow her. https://bit.ly/2RJwNrS

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection


Sean Bracken: Danny Finn’s Dream

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Danny Finn’s Dream

by Sean Bracken

Danny Finn reached over in the bed for his wife Ann. Still only half awake, he realised that her side of the bed was empty. He guessed that she had gone down for a glass of water and lay back on his pillow. It was then that the awful truth came back to him. Ann was gone. He was on his own except for the children, Danny Junior, Heather, and little Harry. The never-ending grief and horror washed all over him again and he cried out in his despair, “Why? Why, Ann, Why?” Tears now streaming down his face, he pulled himself up from the bed and made his way downstairs and into the bar.

He reached up to a shelf and pulled down a bottle of “Black Bush” and stumbled back upstairs to what had been Ann’s old study. The room, once vibrant with old furniture lovingly restored by Ann was now sparse and cold. Danny had donated much of it to charity and given the rest away to friends and family. And yet the room still held her essence, her soul, the smell of her. Her perfume lived in the walls. Here, she lived in Danny’s mind. Here he talked with her, night after night.

Her ‘writing’ chair stood solitary guard before the empty hearth, now devoid of warming flames, and her grandmother’s old coffee table lay upside down in the corner, kicked over in a drunken rage the night before. Danny righted the table and set it down beside the chair. He picked up a glass and an ashtray from the floor and placed them on the table along with his whiskey and cigarettes.

He poured a generous measure into the unwashed glass. A Pall Mall in one hand and drink in the other, his tears subsided as he switched on the stereo. It was three o’clock in the morning. God, would he ever know peace again?

The soothing sound of Vivaldi sang to him as the whiskey started to take effect. Danny knew that without his drink and smokes, nothing could prevent him from joining Ann in oblivion. Lord Jesus, how he missed her. Images of her dead body on the bed, one leg on the floor, the empty Prozac bottle beside her, paramedics working frantically to revive her, the God-awful funeral with the children clutching onto him, the condolences from people that were sincere, did nothing to ease the pain conspiring to destroy his soul.

He loved the kids with all his heart, but for the past year he had only been pretending to be alive. He woke them up in the mornings, fed them their meals, helped with homework, and put them to bed at night. It took all he had just to wash and shave in the morning. Then on autopilot behind the bar for the day, until bedtime for the children and time for him to relax with his whiskey and wallow in self-pity.

He barely ate anything at all and lived on coffee, sixty smokes a day and a bottle of Irish every night. Once a healthy twelve stone and full of life, he was now just a fraction over six stone and looked like a survivor from a Nazi concentration camp. His friends, family and the regulars in the pub had all tried to help him, but he preferred the isolation. All he wanted was his bottle and the numbness it brought.

Violins reached towards the climax of The Four Seasons when Danny’s doorbell chimed, rousing him from his memories. He noted that it was a little after three-thirty and wondered who on Earth could be calling at this hour. Probably another poor soul in need of a late night drink. He wanted to ignore the caller but decided to go down to answer the door.

A total stranger stood on the porch, doing his best to shelter from the falling snow. “Mr. Finn? Can I come in, please?” asked the man as he shook snowdrops from his dark hair.

Danny looked the man up and down. He seemed to be quite calm and, other than his rather pale skin, appeared to be unremarkable. “Who are you? What do you want?” Danny asked.

“I’m so sorry,” replied the stranger. “I realise how late it is but I need to talk with you urgently. It’s about Ann and it can’t wait.”

“Come in then, if you must,” mumbled Danny, feeling unsteady from the alcohol. He led the man up to the living room, and after they were both seated across from each other, he asked what was so urgent that it couldn’t wait ’til morning.

“Ann sent me to talk with you, to help you, to guide you,” replied the stranger.

An incredulous Danny was incensed and shouted at the man to get out of the house. “Leave me alone, you bastard! That’s impossible. My wife’s been dead for a year! Get out, get out, get out,” roared Danny, as he struggled to his feet.

“She said you might react like this,” said the stranger quietly. “She told me to show you this. She said it would help to convince you,” he said, holding out a necklace that Danny recognised. He had given it to Ann on the birth of Danny Junior, and it had been buried in her coffin with her. Danny sank back into his chair and, crestfallen, he looked up at the stranger. “How can this be?” he asked.

The stranger replied that Danny would soon understand and started to talk to him about his life. How hard he had worked. How devoted a father and husband he had been. He also explained that Ann was so sorry for taking her life and for the pain it had caused. As the stranger continued with his soothing words, Danny began to calm down, and he realised how selfish he had been for the past year. He felt deep shame for the way he had behaved, for withdrawing himself from his friends and family, and for treating his children as if they were a burden.

He asked the stranger to tell Ann that he would always miss her, and that he was ready to be a decent father to the children and to make a fresh start.

The strange, pale man smiled gently and put his arms tenderly around the grieving husband. “That’s all I wanted to hear, Danny. At last Ann can rest in peace, but never forget that I will be keeping a very close eye on you from now on.”

Danny woke up back in the study, shaken from his dream. It had been so vivid, so real and so intense. It was then that he noticed Ann’s necklace on the coffee table right beside the empty whiskey glass.

The End

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Please visit Sean’s website and check out his other great stories and follow him. https://sean-bracken.site123.me/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Barbra Badger: Did you see…?

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Did You See…?

By Barbra Badger

Ethel reached for Paula’s hand while ducking her head to protect the flowers on her hat. Paula pulled her gently out of the car and Ethel emerged, hat unscathed.

“Ahhhhhh.” Ethel had a musical sigh most of her family enjoyed. Paula had never been to the ‘old farmhouse’ although the stories she had heard convinced her she would know it as soon as she saw it. Stories had been told from the memories of relatives who grew up in the house when everything was fresh and cared for. Their memories were so vivid, Paula could see the fresh curtains and smell the accumulated family dinners with herbs and spices mixed with the charcoal residue in the fireplace.

The sight before her now did not measure up. The porch awning was hanging by a row of nails that could be seen in the space between the eaves and the main support of the roof. Shingles had taken leave of their posts, and paint was down to only a few steadfast patches clinging in scattered array.

Ethel strode confidently on the warped boards which formed the platform of the porch. Paula noticed her aunt’s form was framed by the lace curtain in the window behind her and took a mental picture.

Paula dashed ahead and got the door.

“Wait, Auntie, it may be stuck. I will get it for you.”

Immediately Ethel’s memory replayed the day her beloved Vincent brought her home to ask her parents if he could marry her. Vince’s face was beaming as he leaned in to open the door. She squeezed his solid bicep as she stepped past him to give reassurance—she would stand with him. Their joy was palpable when they went inside, and the room lit up with it. A few years on, this house became their home.

Today the ear-splitting squeak the door made brought her back to the moment. Time had not stood still but had slowly ravaged and besmirched the very air that filled her nostrils.

A reflexive cough squeezed her eyes closed, but when she opened them there sat ‘his’ rocker facing the empty fireplace. Empty chair, empty fireplace, this empty house was a mirror for the emptiness she had not faced since Vince had died. She groped for the chair with tear-filled eyes, overcome.

Paula said nothing but helped her aunt sit in the beloved chair, then went exploring.

So many aunts, uncles, and cousins had passed since the house was built. Though few had passed in this house, the many did not choose to inhabit it in spirit. No ghosts here. The only floors that creaked were the ones she stepped on. The only moaning sounds were the wind slithering through a gap in the window frame.

Ethel sat in Vince’s rocker staring at the cold fireplace and rocked herself into a nap. His rocker was where they read to the children; comforted them after a fall or heartbreak; cradled them to a heavenly sleep.

Emerging from her reverie, he was plainly standing before her holding out his hand to help her rise as he had done when they played music and danced in the night while the children slept. A smile so warm and welcoming she could never resist. Even days when so much washing, cooking, tending animals and children made her bone tired, his smile and gentle hand drew her to her feet.

Paula entered the room just as Ethel let out a laugh and leapt to her feet. Ethel clapped her hands and danced in a circle with more vigor than Paula had at the moment.

“Auntie! What?”

“Did you see? Did you see him? He came and asked me to dance.”

Paula knew who she was speaking of and tossed it off to Ethel’s deep state of denial.

“No, Auntie. I didn’t see him. But I am sure he was here for you.”

Ethel’s face was lit up as though the fireplace was in full glow. She twirled around two more times, nearly fell, and Paula rushed to her side to help her into the chair again.

“We should go now, Auntie. Is there anything else here you wanted to see or do first?”

Still glowing, but perfectly calm now, Ethel sat silently rocking slowly.

“No, child. I have what I came for. Let’s stop by the cemetery on the way home. I haven’t been since he passed.”

On the way out the door, Paula was seriously tempted to take one of the glass knobs or the lace curtain as a memento, but instead she bent down and scooped up some earth with a paper cup.

Ethel smiled a warm, welcoming smile all the way to the cemetery and all the way home.

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Please visit Barbra’s FB page, Barbra Badger’s Writing Tablet and give her a like!

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

LEAH PRYOR: COMING HOME

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Coming Home

By Leah Pryor

The room had been cleaned out. Void of anything that resembled the life they made in it. The pictures that adorned the walls were gone. So were the vases that once held fresh cut roses from the garden, the bookshelves that were filled with the classics and catalogs, even the furniture that had been purchased with the dowry money from their wedding, were all gone. It didn’t matter, she could point out where everything belonged. She saw it in her mind the way it used to be. But it wasn’t that way anymore. The only thing left was the chair that sat in the corner by the small green closet door. Only it wasn’t by the door now. It had been pulled up to the small fireplace that once kept the cold out and the newlyweds warm. The warmth was gone now too. The cold found its way in through the old and dilapidated structure. Gone were the memories but not forgotten.

Martha didn’t want to remember this place as just another bare room. Her best memories were in this room. This was first place she had ever felt comfortable enough to call home. It was the room that she birthed their only child in. It was the place that they celebrated birthdays and holidays in. Just the three of them. Cramped but exceedingly happy. She hadn’t been here in nearly twenty years but could still feel the essence of the home that they made it.

She shook her head as she turned in the middle of the small area. She took in every inch of it. The cradle that never got used for more than storage once stood by the window. Adeline had slept in the bed with her and Frank until she was two. Than the cradle was sold and a small mattress was purchased. The mattress was placed at the foot of their own small mattress. During the day both mattresses were laid up against the wall and the small loveseat was put in the center of the room. The food was prepared in a Dutch oven that hung on a metal bar in the fireplace. She could almost smell the stewed meats, potatoes, and vegetables that would waft from the fireplace. Enticing smells that would bring the neighbors knocking. This was once home. This small green room that once was the cradle of their lives, held nothing now but her memories.

Martha sat in the chair. Her strength was waning. She was an old woman now. Frank had passed away some years back. Adeline was a mother. Her two grandchildren were no longer children, but young adults on their way to universities. They both had lives of their own. “What happened to the time?” she thought out loud. Her voice echoed off the hollow walls. It crackled back at her reminding her of an old phonograph. Reminding her of the fact that she was old enough to have owned a phonograph.

“It seems like yesterday, Frank, you were carrying me through the door of this place. Oh, Frank. If you could see it now. How small it really is. How many years did we spend here? We were happy, weren’t we, my love?”

Her echo was the only answer she got back.

“This place is going to be demolished, Frank. A big fancy motel is going to be put here instead. I don’t know why it bothers me now. I guess I thought it would be here forever. But forever is a long time, isn’t it, Frank? It was too long for you. Hell, it’s too long for me too. So I suppose it’s fitting that it should be torn down. Something new and useful should go here, I guess. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back? Do it all over again? I miss it, Frank. I miss Adeline when she was a wee babe. I miss you. I miss this place. I want to go home, Frank. I’m tired. I have nothing to live for. Nobody to care for. Now they all take care of me. I feel like a… like a… well, like I am an old fart. There, I said it. I feel old. And without you, I feel… I feel like I’m just waiting to die. Frank? Are you even listening to me? No. I suppose you aren’t. You barely listened in life, so why would death be any different. I came here to tell you that I love you. I always loved you. I loved our life. I loved this room.”

The tears were forming in big glops around her eyes. They stuck to her long lashes and dropped down her paper-thin cheeks. She felt as if this room was holding on to the last bit of life she had left. Once it was demolished she was sure she would die shortly after.

When Frank had come back from the war he had purchased a new tract home on the other side of town. They moved out of this room and into the new home when Adeline was nine. But the rent was so cheap on the room, they kept paying it. When Adeline turned sixteen, she and her friend moved in, but soon found the small room too confining for women of their style. They moved out, leaving the place empty. It didn’t stay empty. They were able to supplement their income by subletting to young couples and single people. It had been a godsend during times when money was tight. But it hadn’t been rented in years.

The building creaked and shuddered as the cold seeped in through the old home’s bones. Martha shivered from the cold. She felt it in her bones too. It was time to say goodbye. The space was starting to feel as empty as her heart. It took her awhile to stand up and straighten out. Before she left she would open the small green closet door just to see if anything of value might have been left behind by any of the room’s other occupants. The old bulb flickered as it warmed up and set the small closet ablaze with light.

The light blinded Martha. She put her hands over her eyes until the bright streaks faded from her vision. When she removed them she gasped in awe. She was no longer standing in the small empty closet of the empty room she once loved. She was standing in her home. The room was filled with all their things. The cradle was against the window where it belonged. She could smell the stew cooking in the Dutch oven as the fire crackled. Frank was sitting in the corner rocking their baby girl. Their sweet Adeline asleep in her father’s loving arms. He smiled brightly at Martha and her tears flowed freely.

“We’ve been waiting for you. You’re home now,” he said to her. He held their baby out and she took her child from him. She held her in her arms while she cried tears of joy. Frank stood and kissed her deeply. He welcomed his loving wife back to their happy life and back to her first home.

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Visit Leah’s Facebook for more of her writing and be sure to give her a “Like.” https://www.facebook.com/asentenceaday2019/

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Larry Stephens: My Room of Choice

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

My Room of Choice

By Larry Stephens

How do you like my room?

True, it’s really not much to look at; nor is it well-furnished—not like the dozens of other rooms in this rambling, sprawling mansion where generation after generation piled more rooms on top of older rooms in a crazy, haphazard way that actually gives me a headache when I consider the overall construction of this… monstrosity.

There are older rooms in this place—some dating back to the first construction in the early 1700s, buried in the rolling hills of southwestern Pennsylvania. But I avoid those rooms. They scare me; feels like they’re haunted and they creep me out.

No, this is my Room of Choice, and while it looks old, I actually have not a clue how old it really is. There are no dates scratched in the paneling, no roughly-etched heart shape with two sets of initials bisected with a plus-sign. There’s no evidence that so-and-so was here in 19-something-or-the-other.

But the beat-up paneling tells so many stories, as does the charred fireplace and the worn, spotted floor, so really, it’s pretty easy to get lost in here.

I found a chair—like the most austere chair I could find in this endless cluster of windowless rooms, rooms with doors that open onto brick walls, doors that open to winding tunnels carved out of the raw earth—and brought it to this room. After all, a man’s gotta sit, right?

I come here every day; burn a little weed before I get here and wash it down with some Johnny Walker Blue, then I grab some H2oH, then trundle down some steps, out of the ‘waking world’ of sunlight into this room that time forgot where I take up my super-austere chair and then find a story.

I don’t have a creative bone in my body. You ask, ‘How can that be?’ And the answer is straightforward. Because I don’t. I’m not built that way.

It’s this room. Without this room, I’m nothing. There would be no best sellers with my pen name gracing the spine.

But this room…

There are so many stories that this room commands me to tell. Look here at this panel just to the left of the fireplace. What do you see?

Worn panel. That’s funny. And stupid.

Why is the paint on that panel worn differently than the ones on either side of it? Maybe it has something to do with the fireplace? Maybe that’s the perfect panel to lean against to get just the right amount of heat and light from the fire. The one to the right? Too hot. One to the left? Not hot enough. So why not lounge right there while puffing on a pipe while a lady perches right in front of the fire? Maybe she’s knitting.

Maybe it’s 1902 and she’s asking her man why he has drops of blood on his rough, wool shirt. Again. And perhaps this time he’ll finally tell her why. And then show her.

Understand? No? Okay, let’s look at that fireplace. Now some of these spots on the floor that look to be more worn than the rest of the floor. What’s that stuff telling you?

You’re cracking me up, but it’s good to hear that you’re a little more serious in your answer. ‘Favorite spots where people gathered ’round the fire.’

What if those people consisted of all one family? An entire family’s lives lived in one room. Think about that. Now, what if it were two families? And they were slaves.

But we know there are defectives in every group, right? All sorts of defectives; some with physical deformities and some with mental ‘problems,’ especially if there was inbreeding, which I heard was common in situations like this at the turn of the 19th century.

But folks were not stupid; they knew how to thin the herd no matter the cost in personal, emotional pain.

Doesn’t that just open up all sorts of possibilities? Now, look at that spot right there, right in front of the fireplace. Look at the color of that spot. Kind of looks like the floorboards are… stained.

Don’t look so shocked.

Now please leave me; the Room is calling me and it’s very, very demanding.

You can see yourself out.

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Visit Larry’s FB page for more of his work and ‘Friend him! https://www.facebook.com/Enzo.stephens.5011

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

E. C. Fisher: The Ending Flame

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images used as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

The Ending Flame

by: E.C. Fisher

The seasons pass and winter is here

Alone I sit beside a roaring fire

The wood crackles and pops

The warmth seeps into my bones

As the icy chill blows

The dancing of the flames entice my eyes

Mesmerized by its roaring life

The crackle and pop my only companion

As the icy chill blows

Memories of our life together flash in the flames

The love, the fights, the cries, and the laughter

Only silence fills me now

As the icy chill blows

Behind our bedroom door, you sleep

Now you rest eternal my dearly departed

I sit here watching the flames dance

A mesmerizing tango of rage and fury

As the icy chill blows

Rest now my sweet, for I will be with you shortly

The last flicker of the flame smothers out

Our dance is at its end

The smoke rises through the chimney

Joined with you, together, our eternal sleep

As the icy chill blew out our fire

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Visit E.C.’s Facebook page and check out his work and give him a like. www.facebook.com/ecfisherauthor

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Kelli J Gavin: The House in Maine

Welcome to Write the Story! Each month Writers Unite! will offer a writing prompt for writers to create a story from and share with everyone. WU! wants to help our members and followers to generate more traffic to their platforms. Please check out the authors’ blogs, websites, Facebook pages and show them support. We would love to hear your thoughts about the stories and appreciate your support!

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(Please note: the images we will use as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

The House In Maine

By: Kelli J Gavin

My husband asked if I wanted to take one last look. One last look at the house, the remaining contents, everything I was leaving behind. I wasn’t sure I could. Could I walk back into the home where I grew up and not be blasted by every beautiful, every breathtaking, every heartbreaking occurrence that took place within those walls?

The trailer was packed, and so was the car. Only enough room left for the two of us in the front seat. I sifted through everything in the house as quickly as I could, leaving donate piles, garbage piles and clear instructions of what furniture should be sold and what should be loaded onto the trailer that would return to my home. I carefully packed keepsakes and treasures myself. I located the wooden crate in the back closet next to the fireplace in the living room, which contained my grandmother’s journals which she had begun keeping at the age of ten. That crate would be loaded into the car. I found her beautiful costume jewelry and scarves and handbags, and pulled a special few to be packed away for me. Treasures of which I had used as a child when I liked to play dress up. Such a simple time. When all that mattered was that my diamond earrings sparkled and that my handbag matched my shoes.

My mother and I moved in with my grandmother when I was seven. Mom said cancer in her bones would take her within the year, and she wanted to make sure that I was well taken care of. Where would this cancer in her bones take her? I didn’t understand but also didn’t ask any questions. I had never met my grandmother before. She lived in Maine. What was Maine? I was told it was a state very far away from Chicago where we lived. My mother never spoke of my grandmother and only mentioned her name when I asked my mother if she had a mother. She smirked at me, “Vera, everyone has a mother. Some are just better than others.”

We arrived at the worn-down home in this odd place called Maine that smelled of fish and mold. Everything seemed dirty, and boots were needed just to walk outside as the rains had turned the ground to thick mud that you would sink into if you didn’t keep putting one foot in front of the other. Grandma, or Gran as she requested to be called, was short and thin with beautiful white hair. She wore sweater sets with matching shoes and brooches and pearls. Gran looked exactly like what my seven-year-old mind thought a grandmother should look like.

We were welcomed quickly, ushered in swiftly and tucked into our quarters immediately. I do not believe that Gran was slow at anything. Everything was done in haste as if there were bigger and better things to do next. Always something to be done. Something to be accomplished. Gran never sat still. She polished silver, she organized the china hutch, she folded and re-folded linen napkins. She applied lipstick and smoothed her skirt that didn’t need smoothing. She smiled larger than necessary and poured more tea even when it wasn’t requested or had already been refused. Gran was a nervous force to be reckoned with.

My mother slowed down quickly after we moved in. She began to request meals on a tray be brought to her room two weeks after we arrived in Maine. Gran and I were happy to oblige. Constance, the housekeeper, arrived every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning at 8:00 a.m. sharp. She cleaned and cooked and did the laundry and often left me Butter Rum Life Savers if I helped hang the laundry on the lines. She was kind and sweet to my mother and hummed hymns as she worked.

Mom died six weeks after we arrived in Maine. She passed quietly in her sleep. I lay next to her for half a day before going with Gran to the kitchen. My grandmother arranged everything with her local church and funeral home. The funeral would be in a couple days. I sat with tears in my eyes looking at Gran as Constance poured us both a cup of tea. “What happened with you and my mother? Why didn’t I know about you until now? Why have I never met you?”

“Vera. I loved your mother very much. She was my only daughter. I hurt your mother a number of years ago and she was never able to forgive me. I told her last night that I loved her and how sorry I am that we wasted all of these years away. I told her how enchanting you are and how I was learning to quite enjoy being a Gran. Vera, I am sorry. I will love you like you are my own daughter. You can live here as long as you like. When it is time to go to college, everything will be taken care of. This is where you can call home.” Gran leaned over and gave me an awkward kiss on my forehead.

My young mind couldn’t figure out how Gran had hurt Mom years ago. I thought about it for a number of years but then I eventually stopped caring. Gran and I developed a great relationship. She enrolled me in school, helped with my homework, and encouraged me to get involved with extracurricular activities. She had Constance drop me off at church on Wednesday nights for Youth Group, and a local mom brought me home. I made friends, I enjoyed school, and I learned to like living in Maine.

I always missed my mother. Nothing could fill that void in my heart. I started writing and found that stories of my mother and Gran were what I enjoyed the most. I went to the local college and majored in Creative Writing. I received my Masters in English with a focus in Literature. Gran couldn’t have been more proud. She began to decline in her later years and Constance had passed away when I was an undergrad. Lucille came to clean our home and take care of Gran. I would go home on weekends. To visit and smile and read to Gran. Our time together was nothing short of magical.

When Gran passed, I found it difficult to return home. I should have rented the home out. But I couldn’t stand the thought of anyone else living there. I married the love my life and we enjoyed living in New York City. My husband told me it was time to sell the home as it had fallen into ill repair. We hired a team and it took us three days. The project was complete. And the final clear-out enabled the home to be put on the market as is. I prayed for some amazing home improvement lover of broken homes to come along and restore the home to its original glory.

After walking the perimeter of the home, I went in for one last look. “Are you leaving that chair, ma’am?” one of the movers asked as I was startled.

“Oh yes, just for a few minutes please.” I approached the chair next to the fireplace and gently sat down in Gran’s chair. Gran had always liked this chair. It wasn’t particularly comfortable. But I came to find out it had been her father’s chair. Gran said she felt close to him when she sat in it. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. I could swear that the house still smelled like Gran’s perfume and Constance’s chocolate chip cookies. I savored these smells, these memories, and wasn’t sure I was going to be able to remove myself from the chair anytime soon.

I heard a heavy shuffle of feet behind me and a gentle placement of hands on my shoulders. “I have made a mistake. I need this chair to come with us, honey. Can you find some rope and figure out a way to strap it to the top of the car? This chair can’t be left behind.”

My dear husband. After I finished making my rounds of each room of the house, I found him outside with rope in hand securing Gran’s chair in place on top of our car. I smiled as tears poked the corners of my eyes. Yes. Now I had everything I needed from the house in Maine.

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Visit Kelli’s blog to find more of her writings and be sure to follow her! hehttps://kellijgavin.blogspot.com/2019/02/the-house-in-main.html

Write the Story: February 2019 Collection

Write the Story: February 2019 Prompt

Here’s the plan:

You write a story of 3000 words or less (doesn’t matter, can be 50 words or a poem) and post it on the author site that you want to promote. Please edit these stories. We will do minor editing but if the story is not written well Writers Unite! reserves the right to reject publishing it.

We have chosen not to do full-editing. This project is based on the writer attracting new readers with their work. Therefore other than common grammar error editing, we will not edit content.

Send the story and link to the site via Facebook Messenger to Deborah Ratliff or email daratliff07@gmail.com. Put “Write the Story” in the first line of the message or subject line.

WU! will post your story on our blog and share across our platforms, FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc. WU! will also add the story to the Write the Story page on our blog…where it be for all to read along with the other stories.

We do ask that you share the link to the WU! Write the Story page so that your followers can also read the works of your fellow writers.

The idea is to generate increased traffic for all. May take some time but it will happen if you participate. The other perk of this exercise is that you will also have a blog publishing credit for your work

DO NOT post your story to this prompt. The idea is to have your story or poem published on your site, the WU! blog and shared to gain followers for your writing. We will not accept a one- or two-line caption. For the most part, we are fiction writers and poets…. please write a story or poem, not a caption.

If you have any questions regarding this, you may ask the question in the comments. Please note: you do not need to be a member of the WU! Facebook group or follow the blog to participate. If you want to join us, however, that would be great!

Thank you.

(Please note: the images we will use as prompts are free-use images and do not require attribution.)

Now… go Write the Story!