Friday, February 24, 2012


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-HoodThis week we’d like you to stir up some conflict, using the following quote as inspiration.
It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.
Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)
The word limit is 300.  Come back Friday to link up and let us see those sparks fly.
(this is some more of my nano story, the other bits are here and here )

Jonah entered the hall, as he tried to remember the way to the bathroom, he heard Missy McKay’s voice, raised in anger.

“You ain't been here in five days!  You ain’t paid your rent in two weeks!  I don’t give a hoot who you daddy is, you’re out!”

A male voice yelled back, “Look you old bitch, I signed a lease, you cant throw me out!  My daddy’ll pay up my rent.  I gotta get ready for work.  So, you…”

Missy cut him off, “work where boy?  You find a new job these last five days?  Cause if you think you still gotta job at the Kitchen, you are mistaken!”

“Shit”, Jonah headed down the stairs.  “Missy McKay!  You need help?”  He turned to the younger man, “You have a problem, kid?”

The boy glared at him, “What the fuck do you care?”

‘I care that you are threatening my land lady.  I’m pretty sure I heard her tell you, you’ve been evicted.”

“Then you heard me tell her I signed a fucking lease and she can’t throw me out”

“Yes she can.  You broke your lease by not paying your rent on time.”  Jonah watched Missy back into the room behind her, he hoped she was going for a phone.

“Who the hell are you anyway?”

“Why, I’m the new dish washer at Katrina’s Kitchen.”  Jonah continued to bait the boy,  “Seems her help isn’t responsible enough to show up, and you’re going to make me late for work, kid.”

This took the boy by surprise.  “Like hell you are!  That’s my job!  Do you know who I am, asshole?  I’m Ben Marshall, my daddy owns the grocery in this this town!”

Missy returned with a phone at her ear, “Denny Clark, you get yourself over to my place!  Benny is back and in a bad mood.”  She turned to Ben, “the sheriff is on his way, boy.  We’ll see how impressed with your daddy he is.”

Thursday, February 9, 2012


Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood
 Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
Write them down so you remember.
The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation.
Then take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.     

He looked through the large front window, a faint glow from behind the counter told him someone was getting started. As he lingered on the sidewalk, debating his next move, the door unlocked behind him. He jumped at the loud click of the thumb key. The door swept open, odors of brewing coffee, frying bacon, and oven fresh biscuits caressed him on their way out.

     "Good morning, sweetie! C'mon in, you’re just in time for breakfast." He stood a moment, assessing the owner of the invitation. Average in height, not chubby, but not thin either. He judged her to be about forty. Her light brown eyes lit by the first rays of winter sunlight. She smelled of flour and butter and soap.

     "Don't just stand there, son, get inside. Welcome to Katrina's Kitchen. I'm Katrina Crowe. But, don't you call me Katrina!  You call me Katie." She snagged one of his elbows and steered him through the door. She walked him to the counter where he sat hesitantly on a stool.  He'd been told he could find help at the restaurant in Renewal.  

     "What'll it be for breakfast, sweetie? Omelet, biscuits and gravy. Pancakes?" She danced around the dining area, flipping switches, filling the room with light. On her return to the counter she filled a mug with fresh, hot coffee and set it in front of him. "Don't talk much, huh?"

     "I guess I've just gotten out of the habit. Been traveling alone." He sipped the coffee, the mug pleasantly warm in his hand after the chill outside.  “Actually, I’m looking for someone. I guess a relative of yours. Caroline Crowe. A…friend told me to look her up.”

Katie raised her eyebrows, “A friend? Caroline was my grandmother. She’s passed 25 years ago.” She thought to herself, “who could possibly have sent this troubled man to see Gram."

 He looked startled. “I'm sorry, I had no idea…” he trailed off, looking confused.

“Well, Gram left me the diner, amongst other things. Maybe I can help you.”

“What? Oh, no he just said to tell her hello.” He looked around the room, anywhere but at Katie.

She took a leap, “ No one ever came to see Gram just to say hello. They came to Gram for help. I didn’t only inherit the diner.” She looked directly into his face, hoping he’d understand what she meant.

         Instead he changed the subject.  "You know, breakfast sounds good, but I'm short on cash. I can probably just buy my coffee." Sometimes that admission got him a free meal. Sometimes it got him an invitation to leave.

        Katie took the hint, “Down on your luck, huh?” She continued moving about the dining room, an unconscious routine playing out as she spoke. “I can spare a meal now and then, for someone I know. What’s your name, son?”

“Uh, Jonah. Pierson.”

“OK, I know you now. What sounds wonderful this morning?”

This is a piece of my Nano project.  Jonah was first introduced here I picked numbers 6, 4, 1, and 2.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What Do You Drink?

Write on Edge: RemembeREDThis week, we asked you to write, in 400 words or less, a memoir in which dialect or colloquialisms feature prominently

We grew up drinking "pop". No brand names, not cola, or root beer, or orange drink. Just "pop".

"Mom!  Can I have "pop"?"The answer from my mother, captain of the grammar police, was "sure you CAN, but you MAY not."

When company came by, "Would you like a "pop"?" It was easy, universal to my thinking.

Then I went to work in a restaurant that offered free refills.  It became awkward to guess which "pop" the customer was drinking. I was never comfortable with "would like more "pop?" I felt liking I was offering them a slap upside the head. Offering by brand name was great, if I'd brought them their first glass and had even the first clue what that was.

So I have found the best answer has been "would you like more "soda?" Which makes me self conscious every time I ask. I don't drink "soda". I drink "pop". I feel like I'm pretending sophistication. I mean, it's Indiana, don't we all drink "pop" here?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Hunt

Write On Edge: Red-Writing-Hood
We’ve asked you to show us in 400 words or less how your character reacts to a piece of music. Did music advance a story line or flesh out a character–or both?

The door was locked and the blinds drawn. Anne Marie contemplated the gear laid out on the old chest. How many years had it been since she done a real hunt? Too many?

“Look at the way we gotta hide what we’re doin’…”

She reached for the hilt of her hunting blade. It nestled comfortably into her hand, eroded to her fingers by heavy use over countless years. It bled confidence into her, she was still fit, still trained daily. She was still the best.

“Cause what would they say if they ever knew…”

She could feel it behind her, stalking. The beast that was also a man. But this wasn't a man afflicted with a curse. This was a monster reveling it’s blood rage. This one didn't want to learn control. This one embraced the beast and lusted for the kill.

“And so, we’re running just as fast as we can…”

The black leotard she wore moved like a second skin, the soft boots nearly soundless in the leaf litter of the woods. Her hand reached to softly touch the hilt again, reassuring her with its presence.

“Holdin’ on to one another’s hand…”

She shifted direction, made a few turns. Soon she was behind the beast. Anne Marie could smell the animal odor, mingled with sweat and dirty human. She was close now. She drew the ancient blade from its sheath.

“I think we’re alone now, there doesn’t seem to be anyone around…”

Closer now, she could hear its breath huffing as it tracked its prey. Or rather what it thought was its prey. She stepped from behind a tree, blade at the ready. It realized its mistake and turned.

“I think we’re alone now, the beating of our hearts is the only sound.”

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Crime Scene

Detective Gina Walder stood in the doorway of the apartment taking a mental snapshot of the living room. An overturned chair. Magazines and knick knacks, were scattered on the floor, along with an HP laptop, probably from the coffee table. One couch cushion askew and a bright green throw pillow tossed haphazardly to one side. The Price is Right was screaming from the television.

Her experience told her the scene was staged.

Her partner had a different thought. “Looks like the perp was searching for something.” They stepped further into the room, careful to not disturb anything. The crime scene geeks were already busy taking pictures and cataloging evidence.

“I don’t think so, Charlie, its pretty neat for a ransack. The shelves are all intact. None of the books or Cd’s are out of place. Her purse is emptied, but cash and cards are still there.”

“Nah. He just ran outta time before bing surprised by the vic.” Gina shook her head. Charlie was a nice guy, but he didn’t always put forth a lot of effort during investigations. Just a quick look was enough for him. “Besides, Gina, the kitchen is where the action took place, come on.”

The kitchen was definitely where the action was. Breakfast dishes had been swept from the table. Soggy cereal was topped with blood spatter. A puddle of coffee was mingling with red from the head wounds suffered by the once pretty blond lying on the floor.

“There was no surprise, the vic was already here,” Gina said, “whoever it was, was after her.”

Charlie shrugged, “we’ll have to wait for the ME before we can move her, but I’d say the COD was blunt force trauma to the head. What d’ya think Gina?”

Gina looked at what was left of the woman’s face. “What do I think? I think this is a crime of passion. Overkill for sure. The perp was pissed off at this woman.” She turned to Charlie, “that’s what I think.”

“Or just robbery gone bad. The living room’s a mess, remember.”

“That room was set-up. And if it was robbery, why not steal the TV, laptop, or at least her credit cards?”

“Neighbors say she was a nice quiet type. No male visitors. Home at a reasonable time in the evening. Everyone liked her.” Charlie spied a glint around the woman’s neck. “Some bling here, Gina.” He gently lifted a pendant with his pen. A golden heart with a single diamond.

“She had a man in her life then. Women don’t often buy that kind of thing for themselves.” Gina unconsciously touched the pendant she wore.

Charlie switched gears, “anyway, the guy across the hall is a maybe. About her age, I’d guess. Maybe he was more interested in her than she was in him.”

“Possible. Check him for priors. Ask him downtown for more info, then push him to see how well he knew her. Or wanted to know her. I’ll go see her employer and talk to her co-workers. See what they have to say.” Gina made her way to the entry door. She’d wait for the forensics team to tell her more.

Charlie watched Gina leave. Before he got away himself, one of the crime geeks brought him the vics cell phone is a clear evidence bag.

“Your body just got a text, detective.”

Charlie held the bag up, he had his perp. The message was on the screen.

She knows

Write a piece in which your character catches that dramatic break in the case and is on the verge of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together. Help us solve a classic “who-dunnit” but don’t tell us who it is! Let’s see if we can guess for ourselves in your comments!  (yes, I failed.  But I tried!)

Story Dam