Tag Archives: non-fiction

Enzo Stephens: Battleground

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! 

Please note: the images used are free-use images and do not require attribution


Enzo Stephens

William and Sue Ann seated themselves on the beautiful red bench overlooking scenic Moraine Lake; a 6,000-acre lake formed from centuries of rain runoff from the Allegheny mountain foothills.

The lake was serene, well, at least it was at this time of the day. Late morning, mid-June; light summery breezes tossing Sue Ann’s thin hair annoyingly over her ears. Annoying in that the hair would eventually find its way to stick in her eye or get caught in her teeth or — worst of all, flutter right into the fantabulous cone of swirled soft-serve that currently occupied both her tongue and her attention.

It was absolutely critical to get every single bit of the sweet wonderfulness, lest it go to waste decorating her “Rock of Ages” tee shirt or her “I Love Pink” shorts with the lace frill on the legs. Simply put, the Best. Shorts. Ever. Sue Ann hoped she wouldn’t ever develop curvy hips like her mommo, but like mommo always says, “You’re just a little colt yet; you’ll bloom into a beautiful woman soon enough.” 

Which would mean the end of the Best. Shorts. Ever. It was a depressing thought, so Sue Ann pushed it out of her mind to focus on the little slice of heaven resting comfortably in her dainty, long-fingered hands. She glanced to her immediate right at William. Sloppy, noisy William.

William slurped at his cone wetly; everything he did was noisy and… obtuse. That was the new word Sue Ann learned this morning during their dictionary lesson. Obtuse. Very cool word. But Sue Ann felt that she might have not used it properly when describing William’s current pig-fest. She resolved to investigate this conundrum further when she could settle before her tablet later this evening.

William was Sue Ann’s twin; younger by a precise 200 seconds (according to mommo who was also known among some circles as ‘Time-Kwon Dork’). The thought brought a smile to Sue Ann, just as William exclaimed loudly in anger.


“William! That’s a Bad Word!”

“Oh fuck-o with your bad words!”

“William!” Sue Ann’s outrage was palpable.

He looked at Sue Ann sheepishly. “I’m sorry, sis. But every time I get one of these, a chunk always breaks free and plops all over me and then I’m a mess, and you know what mommo will do.”

“It’s okay. Let’s see the damage.” Sue Ann scanned William’s black “Eat Me” tee shirt and his denim shorts and yes, sure enough, there was a grand, slobbery mess of soft-serve drippings down the front of his tee and right over that… bad spot where the zipper of his shorts was.

Mommo was gonna be pissed!

Both were ten years old, but Sue Ann felt like William’s mother sometimes, and this was one of them. She reached over, snaring the bottom of his tee, then raised it up to smear at the dappled mess on his tee shirt, exposing his fish-belly white abdomen. “Hey!” he shouted in half-hearted outrage.

“Whatever. Knock that chunk of chocolate off your shorts.” The chunk of chocolate was the hard-shelled ‘dip’ that William absolutely adored, and of course, he had to have the Large. Not something moderate like Sue Ann’s soft-serve.

He looked at Sue Ann with huge, doe-brown eyes. “Don’t you think it’s weird that mommo would let us have Dairy Queen in the morning?”

“Shut up.” He was going to grow up a fat piggy, and that made Sue Ann chuckle. Besides, Sue Ann didn’t want to think about how mad their mommo seemed to be all the time, or where poppo was. 

William swept the slab of melting chocolate hard-shell onto the concrete upon which the bench rested.

Mommo snapped at them from the Moraine bike trail, even though she wasn’t on a bike. “Let’s go, or I’ll leave you here.” That was a tone that was best to not ignore.

Both jumped, and of course, the remainder of William’s ice cream flew out of his cone and plopped on the concrete slab. But before he could start whining about it, Sue Ann snagged his sticky hand and pulled him toward their mother, who was angrily grinding out a cigarette butt with her sandal.


The black queen sensed it almost as soon as it happened. Sugar was in the air and on the ground, and it wasn’t far off. She tapped and flicked, commanding her scouts to set forth, and she gave them approximations as to the location. 

Chitters and taps clicked throughout the black colony, and she knew that a cadre of capable scouts was assembling at the primary point of egress to the colony, and she was pleased. The sugar would feed her young upon hatching and feed them well, and she sensed it was a significant amount of sugar (though she really didn’t identify it as ‘sugar’ per se. To her, it was… nirvana).

“Get it. Get it now!” she commanded, and she felt her quick, powerful scouts gather, then surge forth into the open.

But the black queen was not alone in her sensory ecstasy; the red queen also ‘knew’ almost as soon as the goods hit the ground, that nirvana was at hand. She also tapped and flicked and commanded her scouts to gather and go forth to bring nirvana back to the colony. A red team was ready and waiting for her command to launch, and when she felt there was sufficient number, she commanded them to go forth.

Red scouts poured in a single-threaded stream from the colony out of the main egress point, their focus, the red queen’s coordinates.

Black scouts surged forth from one side of the concrete slab upon which the bench that overlooked the scenic Lake Moraine perched; single-file, well-spaced; tapping, clicking, pushing forward.

Moments later, a single-file emerged from the red colony on the other side of the bench, pushing steadfastly toward the plethora of sugar that littered the concrete slab.

Black scout met red scout.

The blacks were easily three times the size of the reds, and so, individually, there was no contest. The black scout shredded the first of the red scouts in milliseconds. But immediately behind the first of the red scouts was a single-threaded stream of red scouts, all driving toward the sugar-nirvana.

The first black scout tapped a warning of alarm to the black queen. “Reds!”

She tapped back; “Destroy. Establish a beachhead.”

The stream of reds was non-stop, no matter how many the black scouts were wiping out. The carnage of reds was astounding, yet they continued to pour forth. But the numbers were beginning to tell, despite the destruction.

Red scouts tapped back to the red queen. “Blacks!”

Her response? “Engage! Reinforcements on the way.”

And so they engaged. And were promptly destroyed. The blacks were supremely powerful; kings of their domain.


And the stream of reds continued, undaunted, engaging in immediate combat with the massive, powerful blacks, who were slaying reds left and right. But the black scouts were not daft; they knew what was what, and they tapped out an alarm to their queen. “Send warriors!” The stream of reds was relentless.

“On their way now,” she responded, confident in the outrageous power and capability in the mandibles of her warriors, and they gathered at the main egress point, chittering furiously. With a single thunderous tap of her antennae to the ground, she released them, and they surged forth in an angry black, destructive wave.

The warriors met the beleaguered black scouts, then surged past them, decimating the stream of reds, tracking the reds back to the main egress to their hive. Hundreds of reds lay in scattered twitching tatters as the black warriors gathered at the egress point… and waited. 

The black scouts found the nirvana and began plucking pieces of melting chocolate in their powerful mandibles; reversing their original path back to the colony to deliver the goods. Nirvana was on its way; the sweetest, heavenly elixir that enabled the queen to ramp her egg-production into overdrive.

The only trace of the reds were the silently twitching corpses that were not yet aware that their miserable little red lives had been extinguished by the superior species.

The black warriors – strutting and proud, cavorted in front of the main egress to the red colony. They were confident that they would utterly wipe out their opponents. The reds would end up being food for their spawn. One of them tapped to the black queen, “We’re at the door to the reds. Do you want us to take them?”

The black queen held her antennae from the ground, avoiding a response. Should she order her warriors to take the reds? Doubt plagued her and she hesitated in issuing her next command. She remembered how her scouts were being overwhelmed by the reds, and that knowledge gave her pause.

They just didn’t seem to care how badly they were being destroyed. They just kept coming. Maybe that was it from them? But that did not seem likely.

What if she underestimated the numbers of reds? Her cadre of supreme warriors would be overrun, leaving her colony ripe for a red-host takeover; the death and destruction of her colony and her babies, and that would never do.

“Pull back and guard the scouts and workers I am sending to collect the Prize.” There was a bit of anxiety there, but she resigned herself to that being the best move at this point in the proceedings.


The red colony was in an uproar, the red queen pacing her chamber angrily. But not one red ventured beyond the entrance to the main egress, where hundreds of red warriors were clustered.

Her scouts had been slaughtered by the blacks. She knew they were there; knew the approximate location of their colony but had been reticent to engage because of their obvious physical superiority, and yet, she knew in her heart that with her overwhelming numbers, she just might have a chance.

And she wanted that nirvana as badly as the black queen.

The red queen began tapping out commands.

“Set princesses at each egress point. Guard each egress with a contingent of warriors. Be ready to make for new territory in the event of a colony takeover.

“Amass warriors and workers at north and south egress points. Send a contingent of warriors to the forward egress point and wait for my command.”

She had a secret weapon. The sap from the maple tree at the very end of her colony’s reach. The blacks hadn’t discovered it yet, though it was just a matter of time before they did, so this battle was going to happen, one way or the other.

The red queen decided the battle would happen on her terms, and it would happen now. “Send the forward warriors to the Prize and engage the black warriors.

The queen’s Word is Law, so the red warriors erupted from the forward egress point in a seething, purposeful wave, driving inexorably toward the harvesting blacks. In moments blacks and reds engaged in combat, and the battle was savage; blacks shredding red warriors left and right.

Red queen felt the dying chitters of her warriors, but what was happening was a necessary sacrifice. She waited, waited, waited, then whacked her antennae together, commanding north and south contingents to engage.

It was a classic pincer move, and the blacks never saw the pincers close until a red wave of death exploded into the black workers behind the immediate forward battle. Reds swarmed over the black warriors and ripped them to bits, then turned their attention to the scurrying black workers, wiping them out in a brutal onslaught.

Tides had turned. Reds were at the door to the black colony, where they waited for their queen’s command.

The black colony was wiped out in under an hour; the queen the last to be engulfed by swarming red warriors.

By sunset, it was over. Black eggs had been carted off to the red colony as a food source, and they too were a worthy prize. But the real prize; William’s chocolate-covered ice cream, was now the property of the red colony. Let the celebration commence!


The next morning was another beautiful, summery morning with light breezes that carried the scent of Lake Moraine over the beautiful red bench perched about 20 yards up from the bank of the lake. A concrete boat launch angled into the lake just off to the right of the bench, and a couple guys were setting up paddleboards with considerable commotion.

The weather promised to be a scorcher, so hopefully the twins would be able to go swimming later in the day.

Sue Ann slowly, lovingly peeled the wrapper from her NutriGrain bar (blueberry), which was her favorite. No way she’d be slopping soft-serve down her favorite “I Love Pink” shorts.

William was burrowing into another Large, dipped soft-serve, which was already melting and dripping from the pointed bottom of the cone. “Dude?”

He looked up at her, his mouth encircled with melted ice cream. “What?”

“It’s dripping.”


“Bad Words, dick-weed!”

“Leave me alone. I’m not losing this one today.” And he dove into the thing with gusto.

The concrete pad upon which the bench rested looked as though it had been swept clean; there was no residue of yesterday’s accident whatsoever. Sue Ann wondered if there was someone who was paid to come along and hose off stuff like this.

The twins enjoyed their morning, chowing down, the serene lake holding their attention captive, while their mother smoked her smokes on the trail behind them, snarling into her phone as a large black ant tumbled from the top of the back of the bench to land on the concrete pad behind the twins. It righted itself and scurried off into the dirt.

The stench of stale cigarettes wafted over the two pre-teens clad in completely inappropriate tee shirts, and they felt their mother’s hands on their shoulders. “Time to go, guys.”

The two jumped off the bench; William dropped a significant chunk of hard-shell. He tried to snag it with his reaching, questing tongue, but it fell nonetheless, flopping to the concrete. William gazed at it longingly; thought about applying the 5-second rule, but mommo called, and when mommo called, you moved, and so William moved and pushed the lost chocolate from his mind.

As the trio stepped back toward the trail, the woman’s tennis shoe squished the lone black ant that tumbled from the bench earlier. Its dying chitters went unheard.

As soon as the chocolate hit the concrete, a regal pair of antennae twitched in anticipation and excitement, and her entire colony responded.

The brown queen prepared her forces to claim the Prize.

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Please visit Enzo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Enzo.stephens.5011

Kelli J Gavin: Meet Me

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! 

Please note: the images used are free-use images and do not require attribution

Meet Me 

By Kelli J Gavin 

Fondly I remember

When you and I would meet

Both walking from our homes

To somewhere in between

The woods always provided shelter

From the hot summer sun

And from the wind that howled 

But I knew we would always have fun

Fondly I remember

When you and I would meet

Face to face each morning

That bench providing a seat

The hours quickly passed us by

As we spoke of everything 

And then of nothing at all

Once our lips would meet

Fondly I remember

When you and I would meet

You told me of your dreams

And I told you everything 

About joy and hurt and love gone dim

You only smiled and pulled me near

I still love that you were the one

Who could chase away my fear

Fondly I remember

When you and I would meet

Those days that I treasured

Still seem to be so sweet

You moved away yet here I am

Still waiting for you to take a seat

I will always miss you

And wish that we could meet
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Please visit Kelli on her blog: https://kellijgavin.blogspot.com/

Chester Harper: Return to Boggy Creek

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! 

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

Read Chester’s first foray to Boggy Creek here….

Return to Boggy Creek 

By Chester Harper

Blake watched from his hiding place as the sasquatch creature stepped into the opening created when a large tree had fallen. It almost looked like a moss-covered entrance to a cave. He watched as the creature faded into the darkness and became indistinguishable from the enveloping void. He crept up to the opening, being careful not to make a sound that might make his presence known to the creature. He had his stun gun ready for the anticipated attack. He first peered into the darkness and then stepped inside and stood on a large, flat stone that served as a floor. It was empty.

“What the hell…?” 


Samuel stepped out to the lift. “He followed me again. Only this time I didn’t see him until I was already in the lift station. I’m sure he is trying to solve the mystery of my disappearance as we speak.” 

“We have to find a way to stop his investigation without harming him.” Dr. Willow stated the obvious.

“If we could capture him and perform a selective memory wipe, that would be ideal,” a pretty brunette offered. 

“We have not perfected that procedure yet. It is wipe everything or nothing.” Willow waved her hands in exasperation. “Wiping everything leaves large gaps in the memory and causes suspicion. Remember Annette Johnston. The incident with her started all of this mess.” 

Dr. Annette Johnston, bigfoot investigator, had been saved from an alligator attack by Samuel. They had regenerated her missing leg and then wiped her memory, leaving a two-month void. The man stalking Samuel now was her primary assistant. 

“We need a fresh perspective on this.” Dr. Willow massaged her forehead to ease the tension. “Call the Missouri team. Perhaps my niece or her husband can help us resolve this issue.” 


Blake shook his fists and screamed in frustration, startling human and wildlife alike. “I tell you, a sasquatch went into this hole and disappeared. I saw it; you have to believe me.” 

“It’s not that we don’t believe you.” Dr. Johnston touched his shoulder, tentatively, lest she cause another outburst. “We just can’t find any solid evidence.” 

The team had exhausted themselves looking for an opening or escape route large enough for a creature such as Blake had described. They were all beginning to doubt his story. Post-traumatic stress or something related to Dr. Johnston’s attack, disappearance, and reappearance while sasquatch hunting. 

“Are you sure of what you saw?” Annette held up a hand to stop the protest she knew was coming. “The images on your phone are very hazy. They just look like shadows to most of us.” 

“Whatever.” Blake let his shoulders slump and his head drop. “I know what I saw.” 

“Or what you wanted to see,” Annette added. 


Dr. Willow hugged her very pregnant niece and looked into her eyes, “Twins?” 

“They do run in the family — yes, twins.” Adam shook the doctor’s hand. “It is good to see you again, Dr. Willow.” 

“I would say to call me Willow but, since that is your lovely wife’s name, you may call me Auntie.” 

“I would love that — Auntie.” Adam knew he had truly been accepted by the matriarch of the family. 

Later, after the Missouri team had been briefed, they sat in silence contemplating their dilemma.

“There is no way to explain Dr. Johnson’s two-month disappearance so we might as  well let that remain a mystery.” Young Willow was met with nods of agreement. “That just leaves the sighting of Samuel to explain.” 

They all nodded and it grew quiet again. Adam cleared his throat. “I don’t mean to speak out of turn.” Dr. Willow motioned for him to continue. “Has anyone considered the crazy cajun angle?” 

“Go on.”

“We have a dominant male of the society costume himself as a recessive. He needs to speak thick cajun and be at least eight feet tall, with stilts. He can get caught by the scientist and reveal it all as a hoax.” 

“How do you explain my disappearing act?” Samuel asked. 

“The time of day, shadows — you went behind the opening, not into it.” Adam smiled. “We can do this!” His eyes sparkled in anticipation of the ruse. 

“All in favor.” Every hand in the room went up. “Opposed.” None.

Dr. Willow smiled. “Ok, let’s make this happen.” 


Together they made a costume for Terrance, an unusually tall dominant, or human-looking male of the society. He was nearly seven feet tall already, so short stilts were all that was needed to make him over eight feet tall. When they were finished, he looked like a sasquatch or a recessive male, as the society preferred to call them. 

It went off without a hitch and even made the national news. Terrance was a very convincing cajun that was just having a little fun with his northern neighbors. The Boggy Creek monster was finally proven as a hoax that his family had carried on for years. 

Dr. Willow wiped away a tear as she supervised the packing up and moving of both her clinic and her home. The elders had decided that the Boggy Creek settlement had to be abandoned for an indeterminate length of time. Dr. Willow — Auntie — was relocating to be near her namesake niece and her soon-to-be-born great-niece and great-nephew in the Ozark mountains. A new adventure awaited.

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Please visit Chester on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/C-W-Harper-Author-101485477895994/

Enzo Stephens: Perfect Harmony

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.

Perfect Harmony

By Enzo Stephens 

His flesh slaps against mine rhythmically, and bone-jarringly putrid. His pasty, pale, sickly, coarsely-haired blubbery body pokes at me; rubs up against me and it is everything I can do to not puke all over him.

I force my eyes to remain closed, so I do not see him as he nears me to mash his slimy, swollen lips against mine, grinding them into my tender bits while his thick, black stubble rips the skin of my cheeks, chin, and neck with no regard whatsoever. 

I will bear the pain of brush-burns, though not as long as I bear the pain of yet another filthy violation.

His vile worm-of-a-tongue tries to plow through my pressed lips, but I seize on any small victory I can manage against this wretched brute and deny him passage. My mouth shall remain sacrosanct.

He has insisted time and time again that I service him with my mouth, but the threats of castration by my dentifrice earns me a constant, albeit painful, reprieve from that ignominy.

He is a big man; powerful; thickly furred. Reminiscent of a bear, sans the bear’s sensibilities and manners.

He flips me over so that I lie on my stomach. My fists clench in the bed-linens, counting the thrusts until he is finally done and removes himself from my body. My skin crawls at the feel of his perspiration dotting the small of my back, and I cannot wait to get myself into the washroom to… cleanse him from me.

It’s all about Him. His pleasure, and I’m just his toy. His vessel. 

His… concubine.

And I hate him. With every fiber of my being.

The second the fat slug steps away from me, I subject his person to the kinds of torture that perpetuate long past the loss of his vocal cords from screaming in agony.

Depositing fire ants in his rectum. Slathering him in bed bugs. Minute splashes of hydrochloric acid that occur at random times and in random locations, often strategically located.

I yearn to make the swine suffer. 

The water from the shower is hot; steam billows throughout the bright, tiled room as turgid jets of pulsing water thrum against my flesh. Yet, despite my efforts and the constant battering of water hot enough to scald, I am unable to fully cleanse myself, and once again my face is awash in tears.

My hatred is alive, visceral; yet it lies dormant. Cold, slithering throughout my soul, squirming unrequited rage deep into recesses of my plundered mind.

It leaves me weak so that I sink to the gleaming tiles in which the purifying water patters endlessly, curling into myself, my hair fanning across the floor of the shower, and whatever hope I have to escape this horror fades just a little more.

One day there will be no hope left, and I will not know it until that realization hammers me on every conceivable level of myself. And then what?

As that question plunders my heart, it forces more tears and barely muffled sobs.

I want to die.

But there is a small part of me… It is a part made of fire and steel and raw energy and power that will not let me cede this wretched life.

I may be the swine’s toy, his concubine, but I will never be HIS, and one day, when the time is perfect, the vile dog will know.


My hair is a wet mess, bound up in a massive towel that redefines softness. My hair does not care, nor does my ravaged face and neck. The beard-burns on my skin look like a horribly painful yet extremely localized sunburn.

No way am I leaving the house like this.

I will not subject myself to the stares; the pitying looks; the sideways glances and furtive eyes that scream of his abuse of me to everyone I come in contact with; everyone I see and who sees me. No.

They will not hear me. They will not hear the songs in my heart that flow from my very essence. No. They will see a battered, frail little woman. A woman who has been run roughshod by the sheer brutality of…


And they will whisper; they will murmur. The pretty ladies in their finery will gasp to each other at the criminality of it as they gaze upon my face; upon my black, featureless hair; my colorless and utterly bland self, and they will mutter to each other with their pleasingly-scented breath about how I could be oh so pretty if I only tried.

Why would I try? The Monster would only batter the beauty from me.

The tears flow no more, finally. It is everything for me to simply lift my head. I have no strength in my limbs. My neck feels as if it is rubber; pliant; unable to support any weight.

My body sags lifelessly in the dining room chair; its high back providing no support for my torpor, and the need for rest, for sleep; blessed in its relief and escape, simply does not come to me.

It leaves me empty and longing. Self-pity washes over me, and a distant part of my mind wonders how utterly low I can fall…

But then I feel it; a gentle tug at the edge of my wallowing psyche; a tiny, dim candle burning in a vast and depthless pitch blackness. I open my eyes, seeing but not acknowledging the mammoth dining room with the deep rich mahogany table with places for twelve revelers, surrounded by matching (and just as massive) pieces and parts of furniture that are of absolutely no interest to me. Only one piece; a low, mahogany piece fashioned to resemble a Greek column once used to brace a portico, resting before west-facing floor-to-ceiling windows sheathed in diaphanous material that flutters on the whim of minute, indiscernible breezes.

Resting atop the column was my salvation.

Without awareness I crawl across the floor, my robes sprawling about me without a single concern as to my modesty. What point now?

My fingers close over the handle of the simple case and it drops and I am terrified of gravity’s malicious intent to make it suffer the mercy of the unforgiving floor. I pull it to my chest as I spin to lean my back against the curtained wall, my breath rushing in and out of me with tidal cacophony, and my heart threatens to leap from my bruised chest.

Gradually I hear the size of the room; the susurrations of my respiratory labors echo dimly from the high ceilings and the bare walls; and again I feel small, surrounded by the brute and all the brute’s trappings. So alien to me. 

So rough. So… hurtful.

My eyes cease wandering the empty walls and echoing ceiling and fall to the case clutched against my chest and calm begins to wash over me. Calm, with a distant, nudging urgency; the demand of a newly-born kitten mewling for touch; for a caress.

For loving.

The snaps of the case opening jolt me awake and I freeze, afraid that what I’ve done would be heard. By the brute. By Him. My breath freezes in my lungs.

But the silence pervades; the echoes of the opening snaps long faded. I sit cross legged, rest the case on the floor and lift the lid, slowly, reverently; my fingers twitching slightly as I anticipate gripping the instrument’s length.

The pain of before remains, yet the instrument speaks to it, and I am just a bystander in the drama that unfolds in my mind. My rage is a living thing; twisting and writhing; seeking to evade the wash of peace I feel rolling from my salvation; the instrument. And it is a war that can only have one outcome.

My left hand curls tenderly around the stem; the strings imprinting themselves upon my fingerprints like an old friend that offers up a warm greeting after far too much time has gone by, and my soul embraces those strings, wrapping itself around and around the stem.

Without warning my chin is resting upon it; reverence and wonder rushes through my very being; that this truly astonishing… thing can…

And the bow is there, in my hand, and I know not how it got there. It descends, gliding over the fibers, caressing the strings, and my fingers begin moving seemingly of their own volition and…

The raucous turmoil that floods my soul begins to seep out in the way of haunting strands of sound that feed back in on themselves and coax more from both the bow and my fingers, and what began as a mere seepage of musical notes, swells.

First within me. The Music is a burgeoning tsunami yearning for escape, and yet my very being convinces it to stay within while it strives to coerce me to believe that to keep it bound is to destroy it. The Music must be freed, but my soul knows to not let it run unbound, and so I hold it within my velvet grip, and I allow the drama; the warfare in my mind, to grace my ears with its outrageous pain and astounding exuberance, yet all in measured release.

It flows, and I am lost. I know not the tones, the melodies, the chords, the frets.

I know pain. I know hatred. I know a desire for my very own death; an end to the endless torture. And I know the Music, and there lies my unrelenting conundrum. The very brink of hatred-filled death against the unbridled ecstasy of the Music.

The Music spirals out of me and time means nothing to me. My fingers glide and roam, but not of my own sense. The bow strokes and slides, yet I know not how…


The Bentley glides into the governor’s driveway, coming to a stop before the massive mahogany double doors, resplendent in their copious attempt to intimidate men of lesser stature and station.

A liveried driver snaps his door open and hurries around to the rear passenger side of the car, popping that open smartly and assuming a position of readiness to do his employer’s bidding.

The vehicle creaks on vastly expensive shocks as a behemoth of a man, wrapped in fine Italian silk, steps forth from the car and strides with confidence to the door of his manse. Several feet before the door, he stops, cocking his large, anvil-shaped head sideways.


The driver stands three feet from the massive man’s left shoulder, as instructed. “Yes sir?” 

“What is that sound?”

Herman holds silent for a moment, then, “Sir, I believe it is music.”

The large man turns with a hint of surprise notching one corner of his mustachioed mouth downward into a partial frown. “From my house?”

“It appears so, sir.”

“Open it.”

Herman quickly taps a remote from his pocket and the locking mechanism on the mammoth doors springs with an audible click and several subsequent clacks; sounds of deadbolts opening. Caution and security were never far from the well-clad man’s mind. Herman swings the right side door wide and the large man strides into a gleaming front foyer. Herman backs away, softly clicking the heavy door closed upon his exit.

Music fills the manse. The large man stands, listens, absorbs, and is drawn toward it. His briefcase clunks to the floor, forgotten. He utters not a word, his mind filling with both surprise and wonder at the stunning sounds coming from…

He knows not. Nor do his feet and legs, but they push off in one direction moving at a measured pace as he strives to silence the sound of his clacking heels lest it impair the music in any way. In frustration he abruptly kicks his loafers off and continues on his unknown trek.

With each step, something within this monster of a man begins to feel as though it is… relenting, and that surprises him more than this sudden onslaught of glorious sound does. 

Words tumble over his tongue and remain unspoken. The music touches him, but unlike he has ever been touched before. His vision wobbles and wavers in shimmering liquid, yet he presses on, uncaring of his state or of his appearance. The music pulls him, teases him, provokes him, croons to him, caresses him. Moves him.

Through the kitchens with its myriad of arcane accoutrement; past a variety of rooms both right and left which elude his sight and his attention; moving as if in a trance, and yet the music tickles his very soul. It is inexorable and the big man vows to find it; find it, clutch it, possess it, own it and never let it go. He thinks this as his tears dampen his socks.

He comes to a place where he can no farther go; the dining room. And there, sitting on the floor before vast windows that cast her in silhouette she was, and he sees her as he’s never seen her; never imagined seeing her.

She was his toy. She was his vessel. She was his object of pleasure, and a trophy to parade around before his friends. And from her spins this incredible kaleidoscope of haunting music that causes him to draw near to her, now almost afraid to touch her. As if he would break her. As if by him touching her, he would shatter this astonishing, ethereal, fragile force that somehow, someway took hold of his home, his soul and his mind.

He sinks to his knees before her, eyes closed, the music flowing over him and through him and he is filled with an awareness of absolute beauty the likes of which he never conceived, and it washes over him, delivering a heart-wrenching joy that pulls audible sobs from deep within his breast.

And the peace; the sheer, stunning peace; it floods him, his raging hamster-wheel of thoughts is calmed, and for the first time in his brutal, coarse existence, all three elements of his very being flow together in perfect harmony. A soft sigh escapes him…

Just as the razor-thin blade of an Xacto Knife whips ear-to-ear through his throat.

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Please visit Enzo on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Enzo.stephens.5011

Alfred Warren Smith: The Last Lullaby

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 Last Lullaby

By Alfred Warren Smith

The snow was ending, and the moon shone bright, full and high and clear against a sky of black crystal, with shadowy clouds gilded by a silver nimbus. They traipsed across the heavens like gypsy scarves, obscuring and revealing the cold, glittering stars so far away.

On any other night, it was a breathtaking scene, but tonight my hands gripped the cold balustrade of the balcony so tightly that if the moon itself were in them, I would have crushed it to powder.

Her cries reached me through the thick oaken doors, and her screams ripped the winter silence asunder.

They told me this might happen. I prayed that it would not, but now…

The midwives, bless their plucky souls, had been efficient in their ministrations, but now, the rest, being up to Jesika, had taken a turn for the worst.

They sent the youngest of them to tell me. “Mr. Laskin, you’d best come, sir.”

One look at her brimming eyes told me all I needed to know.

They told you…They told you! Be strong, Alexei. Be strong, and see her on her way.

I followed, biting back the sobs that threatened to burst my jaw.

They stepped back from the door like a parting black curtain, faces somber, eyes downcast and full of tears.

On the bed, my Jesika, trembling, the last of her strength fleeing, holding our twins in her thin, shaking arms, and smiling through the sweat that left her spent and sodden on ruined, reddened sheets.


The tears came, and I couldn’t see. “I see, my love. They’re beautiful, like you.”

“My crowning achievement.”


Her breathing hitched, and blood marked her lips as she coughed, reflexes making her hold the strangely silent babes tighter.

The young midwife wiped Jesika’s brow and mouth and poured a sip of water through her lips.

“I’m leaving, Alexei.”

“I know.”

“They’ll be my legacy, too.”

“Yes, Jesika, and a worthy one.”

“You must name them. Take your time with that…” Her coughing racked her.

The babes began to slip from her arms, and one of the midwives took them while the other again cleaned her face.

“Your violin…” Jesika whispered.


“Get it. Play for me, Alexei. One last time.”

I bolted, retrieved it, not bothering to tune it, and ran back.

I heard the midwives crying before I got to the doorway, and stepped aside as they filed out.

The youngest who came to me still held my children.

“Mr. Laskin, her eyes…?”

“I see, child.”

“Her eyes are still open, sir. Would you…do you want me to…?”

“Place the children beside her.”


“Place the children beside her, and attend them.”

One of the midwives came back to the door. “Natalya, we must —”

I shut the door in her face. “Attend them, Natalya. Please.”

Natalya did as I requested, though she was uneasy.

“I’ll not harm you, child. I’m going to play for my family. My wife sleeps in death, and my children in life. I will play them all a lullaby.”

Natalya turned away from me as I tuned the strings, watching the children, not daring to look at Jesika’s frozen smile.

I began an improvisation, slow and in a major key, happy, but not bright.

The children opened their eyes, and looked at me with those sage stares, rapt, as if they knew what I was doing, and why. Brother and sister, bonded in life, already bereft of a greater fealty than I could give.

Natalya sat, trembling, her hands ready to catch them should they list, or cast themselves off the bed.

But they didn’t move except to blink and gurgle, raising their little hands toward me.

And then I played for Jesika, a somber, loving dirge that was a testament to her will and strength and beauty, my fingers as sure of her song as my heart had been of her love.

The twins began to cry, as if they knew what I was doing, and why.

And when Jesika’s eyes closed, Natalya retreated to a corner of the room, her mouth open in a silent scream; her tears wouldn’t stop, and her breathing became hiccoughs. She was but a shadow, and time was lost to me as the song caught me up. In my mind, I danced with them in an open field, all of us smiling and laughing, and time was lost to me as I swooned, and fell.


“…lost them all?”

“…wife and twins, on the same night!”

“…on earth happened?”



“…went insane…”

I hear the whispers, the gossip, and I see the fear as they pass me, when they have occasion to be around me, which is rare. I rarely go out now. Soon, I won’t go out at all.

I don’t remember much, except a song; something in me remembers a song.

A lullaby, it was.

A lullaby for my family, now sleeping all together in the ground.

I kneel in the hard, hoary grass, and place the parchment of our wedding vows before me. Behind me, weeping angels mark the graves of my little ones, Viktor and Irina, placed by Jesika’s side.

And by the ivory light of the winter moon, I tune my violin, and play, and play, and play….

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Please visit Alfred on his website: https://nightshadestories.com/

Cheryl Ann Guido: The Devil’s Dance

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.


By Cheryl Ann Guido

The two boys hid among the overgrown bushes in front of the old, dilapidated mansion. At ten years of age, they were old enough to know right from wrong but young enough not to care. As they peered through the thick leaves, they could see the dim, yellow flicker of candlelight through one of the windows. From somewhere deep inside the surrounding thicket, a wolf howled. The pale light of the full moon bathed the pointed steeples of the enormous structure in a ghostly light that cast ominous shadows on the ground. Shadows that seemingly had a life of their own.

Then it began, just like it had every night for the past three hundred years. The slow, mournful melody coming from inside the house enveloped the youngsters, lulling them into an almost hypnotic state. As the bow slid across the strings of the violin, the melancholy notes emanating from it seemed to call out to the two friends, inviting them to enter the house. One of the youngsters stood up. With glazed eyes, focused directly on the window, he took a step forward. The other boy grabbed his arm and tried to yank him back.

“Billy, no! You can’t go in there! You know what they say about that place.”

But Billy paid no attention and continued to walk in a trancelike state toward the music. Terrified, his comrade turned and fled back into the thick forest that surrounded the ancient stone residence. As far as he was concerned, Billy was on his own now. 

One step in front of the other, Billy slowly made his way down the pebbled walk to the entrance of the house. Upon reaching the rotted wooden door, he stopped and watched with a blank stare as it swung open on its own.

“Come in, child.”

The low raspy voice beckoned him through the cavernous foyer and into a large ballroom lit by hundreds of candles of all shapes and sizes. A blazing fire roared in an old stone hearth but it gave no warmth. The tall, pencil-thin figure stood in front of the mantle, holding a violin in one hand and a bow in the other. 

Fully awakened from his hypnotic state now that the music had stopped, Billy shook his head trying to clear the cobwebs from his mind. Who was this mysterious man? He noted that the musician wore a dark blue pea coat with gold buttons, white trousers and black boots that came up to his knees. His white hair was pulled back into a short curly ponytail that jiggled a bit as he laid the instrument on top of the fireplace mantle and joined his guest. Judging by the violin player’s eighteenth-century attire, Billy figured that he either loved wearing costumes or was some kind of eccentric obsessed with a long-ago time. No matter the reason, the man scared him. There was something about the glimmer in his eyes that chilled the little boy to the bone as he sauntered around Billy’s form, rubbing his chin.

“Yes, yes. You will do nicely.”

“What will I do, sir?”

“Why, you will play, of course.”

“Play what?”

“The violin, child.”

“The viol—” But before Billy could finish his sentence, he was interrupted.

“Yes, my boy, yes, and you will play splendidly! Oh, I have waited for you for such a long time!”

Billy scrunched up his nose. What was this old man talking about? He did not know how to play the violin nor did he want to learn. Then, realization hit hard.

The legend had been passed down from generation to generation for three hundred years. It told of a wicked, selfish squire who would do anything in order to live forever. According to the story, the squire struck a deal with the Devil whereby he would play for him every night in exchange for immortality. At first, the squire’s songs were high spirited, foot-stomping fiddling, which gave the Devil great pleasure. But as time went by, the squire grew weary of his never-ending slave-like existence and the songs became mournful and sad, reflecting his withering spirit. The Devil, unhappy with the outcome of the binding contract, offered to release the squire if he was able to find someone to take his place. However, the replacement could not be just anybody. Since aging stopped upon taking possession of the violin, it had to be someone who was young and energetic, someone who would remain that way forever, a child. When the townsfolk learned of the unholy contract, they stormed the mansion in an attempt to do away with the squire before he could pass on his violin, but to no avail. For each time a sword pierced his heart, he would simply laugh and keep on fiddling. Fearful for their offspring, the squire’s property became forbidden to all, especially to children.

But that was just an old story someone made up a long time ago, wasn’t it? Nobody makes deals with the Devil, right? Right? Heart racing, Billy spun around, intending to flee but found his feet frozen in place, unable to move in any direction. His eyes bulged as they focused on the squire.

“Please sir, I don’t want to learn how to play the violin and I don’t want to live forever. I want to go home.”

The musician placed a bony hand on Billy’s shoulder, then turned, picked up the instrument and placed it in the youngster’s hands.

“Son, you are home.”

Billy watched in horror as his fingers wrapped around the violin of their own volition. In his other palm, the bow rose and began to swipe back and forth across the strings furiously, creating a rousing melody. Grinning, the squire began to clap in time to the music as wisps of smoke escaped the fire, curling their long tendrils up and around until a dark shape emerged from the grey mist. Billy gasped as he beheld the inhuman figure, with its bent-over body, dark fur, and hooved feet. Green, putrid-smelling vapor emerged from the horns on its head and as it turned toward the boy. Its glowing red eyes seemed to sear his heart. Still, Billy continued to play, unable to stop his fingers from sending the bow flying across the strings.

“Well done, squire. You have fulfilled your part of the agreement. I release you.”

The squire bowed as his body slowly disintegrated and turned to dust. 

“See you in Hell,” the Devil snickered. 

He burst into a hearty laugh and grabbed his shaking belly as the guffaws subsided until they became a satisfied sigh. 

“They never learn. I always win.” 

He then turned to his new entertainer.

“I’m in the mood for something … fun. Play a Virginia Reel.”

Billy tried to resist, but the attempt was futile. Once again, he found himself compelled to play. While he fiddled, ghostly figures dressed in colonial garb began to appear around the room, clapping in time to the music. An area cleared and two lines formed, men on one side, women on the other. The men bowed as the women curtsied and the Devil’s dance began.


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Please visit Cheryl on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cherylann.guido

Lynn Miclea: Gift of Life

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.

Gift of Life

By Lynn Miclea

Brooke woke up to the sound of machines beeping, a sound that for some reason was soothing. She was still alive!

Her chest ached. But that was normal for just two days after her heart transplant. It had been agonizing waiting for an appropriate donor, and she was excited when one finally became available. It was her only chance at life.

For two weeks she remained in the hospital, hooked up to tubes, drains, IVs, and monitors. She felt weak and exhausted, and recovery was slow but steady. After following all the nurses’ instructions and doing all the exercises given to her by physical therapy, it was finally time to go home. Although a bit nervous about leaving the safety of the hospital, she couldn’t wait to go back to her own home. And with her husband working from home, it was reassuring to know she would have him there to help her.

The first month home was a vague fog of naps, exhaustion, a few exercises, walking, and a lot of gratitude. Then finally, she began to have more energy and feel better.

“Honey?” Brooke looked at her husband. “I was thinking about this whole experience. I am so grateful to have this new heart — I’m not sure how much longer I would have survived without it. This has really given me a new life.”

Kyle smiled back at her. “It was a long time waiting for it. And I’m so glad you’re still here with me. I was not ready to lose you.”

She nodded. “I’m so glad to still be here. I didn’t know if I would get one in time.” She sighed. “This really changes everything. The young man who donated this heart truly gave me my life back. It’s mind blowing.”

“How are you feeling now?”

“Still weak, but so very happy and grateful.” She thought for a few moments. “You know something? I’d really like to meet the family of the person who donated this heart. Is that possible?”

Kyle sat up straight. “That’s a great idea. I’ll call the hospital and see if it can be arranged.”

“Good, thank you.” She sipped some water. “Hey, you know what I’d really like?”


“A violin.”

Kyle’s eyes opened wide with surprise. “What? You’ve never expressed any interest in the violin before. In fact, you’ve never played any instrument.”

Brooke shrugged. “I know. But for some reason, I’ve been thinking about a violin lately. I don’t know why, but it’s been at the back of my mind for a few weeks now. I’d love to get one.”

Kyle stared at her. “Are you serious?”

She nodded. “Yes, I really want one. It’s all I can think about lately. Do you think we can find one?”

He hesitated. “Okay, I’ll look for a used violin. I’m sure I can find one.”

Two weeks later, he walked in the door. “Honey? I have a surprise for you.”

Brooke looked up from where she sat at the kitchen table. “What is it?”

He placed a black case on the table in front of her. “Open it.”

Fingers trembling, she opened the case and her eyes fell on a beautiful violin sitting in a velvet liner inside the case. She sucked in a breath and her eyes opened wide. “It’s beautiful.” She slowly reached for the violin and reverently took it out of the case.

Kyle watched her as she inspected the instrument. “Do you like it?”

“I love it,” she said, her voice subdued. “Thank you.” Her eyes filled with love, she turned the violin in all directions and looked at every inch of it, running her fingers along the smooth surface. “This is magnificent,” she whispered.

She shifted the violin and positioned it under her chin with her left hand just the way she had pictured it in her mind. Smiling, she reached for the bow and held it in her right hand. Slowly placing the bow over the strings, her hand shaking slightly, she drew the bow across the strings. A scratchy sound came out. She chuckled, held the bow more lightly, and tried again. This time, there was a sweet, pure tone. Her face lit up.

Kyle’s mouth dropped open. “That actually sounded good. Where did this interest come from?”

She shrugged. “I don’t know. I just felt a compelling need to do this.” She glided the bow across the strings a few more times, playing a few more notes and eliciting melodic tones. Then she looked at the instrument. “I love this,” she said softly. “I need to take lessons. I have to learn how to play.”

After researching a few local teachers, she chose one and signed up for a few weeks of lessons. Feeling both nervous and excited, she went to her first lesson. Experienced and patient, the teacher covered all the basics, and Brooke took to it quickly, as though playing the violin was second nature. It filled her with an indescribably joy, and she spent hours practicing.

A few weeks later, she received a phone call from a voice she didn’t recognize. “Hi, my name is Marcie. I’m not sure how to say this, but…” The woman paused and took a deep breath before continuing. “I heard you wanted to meet the family of the donor heart you received.”

Brooke sat up at attention. “Yes, yes, thank you.”

“The heart you received is from my son. Would it be okay if I came to see you?”

“Yes, absolutely.” A thrill went through her. “When can you come? I would love to meet you.”

“How is Friday afternoon? I could be there around 2:00 — is that good for you?”

“Yes, Friday is perfect. I look forward to meeting you.”

Brooke made sure the house looked decent, and she baked some cookies on Friday morning. She couldn’t wait to meet the donor’s family member. Part of her felt nervous. Would this woman resent her for having her son’s heart? She at least wanted the chance to thank her and let her see that she had been given a new life because of what her son had done with such an incredibly giving spirit.

In the afternoon, the doorbell rang, and a jolt of anxiety ran through her. She wasn’t sure what to expect. Opening the door, she saw a middle-aged woman with light brown hair.

The woman smiled and held out her hand. “Hi, it’s so nice to meet you.” She hesitated. “My name is Marcie. My son, Will, was the heart donor.”

Brooke shook her hand and then stepped back. “Come in, please. Let’s sit down and talk.” She led the way into the living room where a platter of her freshly baked cookies sat on the coffee table along with a pitcher of water. “Please make yourself comfortable and help yourself to some cookies.”

Marcie gave a weak smile. “Thank you, you are so kind.” She suddenly choked back a sob. “My son was … killed…” She cleared her throat and took a deep breath before she could continue. “He was killed in a car accident. He was only twenty-three years old. You have his heart.” Tears filled her eyes and she quickly looked away and then back at Brooke.

Brooke bit her lower lip. “I’m so sorry for your loss. But from the depths of my heart, I thank you for the gift he gave me. I appreciate it more than you know. You raised a wonderful son, and he gave me my life back.” She looked into Marcie’s eyes. “Would you like to hear his heart beating?”

Marcie gasped and stared at Brooke, and then she nodded. “I’d love to.” Brooke moved closer, and Marcie leaned in, placing her ear on Brooke’s chest. With tears in her eyes, she listened to the sound of her son’s heart beating in this woman’s chest. She finally pulled back and gazed at Brooke. “That’s the most beautiful thing I’ve heard. Thank you for that.”

“Thank you,” Brooke responded. “I wouldn’t be here today if not for the wonderful gift that your son gave me. His heart beats on in me.”

Marcie nodded, tears spilling down her cheeks. “This makes me so happy.”

Brooke sat back. “Please tell me about your son.”

Marcie smiled. “Will was the kindest person I’ve ever known. He would help anyone, and he wanted to make everyone happy.” She thought for a few moments. “And he was a professional musician.”

Brooke’s eyes opened wide. “He was?”

“Oh yes, he played the violin in concerts and at various charitable events. He was really good. The violin meant so much to him. The music he played was straight from the heavens. You could hear the music crying and feel the loving touch of angels. It deeply touched my soul when he played.”

Brooke stared at the woman. “This is too much of a coincidence.”

Marcie looked confused. “What do you mean?”

Brooke glanced at her husband and then back at Marcie. “I’ve never played a musical instrument in my life. And then after receiving your son’s heart, I had such a powerful urge to play the violin.” She heard Marcie gasp. “I’ve taken some lessons. Would you like to hear?”

Marcie nodded, her face pale.

Kyle brought the violin to Brooke, and she positioned the instrument under her chin, reached for the bow, and slowly began to play. After she finished her song, she lowered the violin and looked at Will’s mother.

Marcie’s eyes were wide, her face wet with tears. “Amazing Grace. That was one of Will’s favorite pieces.”

Brooke took a deep breath. “Mine too. I can’t play it enough.”

Marcie stared at her. “But how is this possible? You say you’ve never played before?”

Brooke shook her head. “No, I’ve never played any instrument until I received Will’s heart.” She paused and held Marcie’s gaze. “It’s as though your son is using the violin to speak through me.” She blinked a few times. “And I am deeply humbled and grateful to both of you.”

Marcie broke down in sobs for a few minutes. After she collected herself, she looked up. “Will…” she whispered.

“Yes,” Brooke said softly. “He lives on in me.”


Copyright © 2020 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.

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Please also visit Lynn’s blog, like the story there, and follow her at – https://wp.me/p4htbd-sa
Please also visit Lynn’s website for more information on her books – https://www.lynnmiclea.com/


WU! On “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” Podcast!

If you missed Writers Unite! on “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” on Friday here is the podcast of the segment. Join host Paul W. Reeves and WU! Admin Deborah Ratliff as they discuss the topic, “”The Hook”.

The Hook

If you would like to listen to the show in its entirety (and it’s a lot of fun), you listen to this podcast of Friday’s show.

Dr. Paul’s Family Talk Friday September 27,2019
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WU! On “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” Podcast!

If you missed Writers Unite! on “Dr. Paul’s Family Talk” on Friday here is the podcast of the segment. Join host Paul W. Reeves and WU! Admin Deborah Ratliff as they discuss the topic, “Pantser or Not to Pantser”.

Pantser or Not to Pantser

If you would like to listen to the show in its entirety (and it’s a lot of fun), you listen to this podcast of Friday’s show.

Dr. Paul’s Family Talk Friday September 19,2019
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