Six Sentence Stories – Losing Ground

Categories Writing

Jack padded barefoot into the kitchen, still wearing the jeans and flannel shirt he had on three days ago, and poured himself a second cup of steaming motivation – or what he hoped would be, at least. He took a long slug of the black stuff, letting it burn his throat as it slid down, warming him from the inside but failing to take away the chill left by her absence.

A drag on a cigarette is probably what I need, he thought as he looked out the window over the sink, or a good stiff drink to start the day – hair of the dog and all. But Jack wasn’t a smoker or a drinker; never could get the hang of the damn things and besides, he was too focused on his long-range plans to give in to any kind of addiction, not even her.

The image reflected in the window told a different story, though, as the man in the dirty shirt stared back at Jack with bloodshot eyes, yawned as he ran a hand through his hair, then scratched at the growth on his face that threatened to become a beard. “Jesus,” Jack said out loud, as he realized for the second time in as many months just how far down the hole he had fallen and how desperately he needed her back.


Want to know more about Jack? Read the beginning of his story, “The Lie” here


Each week, the lovely and talented Ivy Walker hosts a link-up challenging writers to spin a tale in six sentences – no more, no less. 

This week’s cue is SECOND.

Click on the link right here to link your own post and read more Six Sentence Stories from some wonderful storytellers.


Lisa A. Listwa is a self-employed writer with experience in education, publishing, and the martial arts. Believing there was more to life than punching someone else’s time clock and inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau, she traded her life as a high school educator for a life as a writer and hasn’t looked back. She is mother to one glorious handful of a daughter, wife to the nicest guy on the planet, and reluctant but devoted owner of three Rotten Cats. You can find her adventures and thoughts on living life deliberately here on the blog.

21 thoughts on “Six Sentence Stories – Losing Ground

  1. Jack’s definitely letting himself wallow in the loss of this woman. If he has a long range plan, let’s hope he can pull himself together and focus on that instead of what he’s lost. What’s gone is gone, if it’s not repairable or retrievable, it’s time to move on. Great visual writing, I can see him standing there.

    1. Jack is definitely wallowing in it and I promise that he does (eventually) pull himself together. Right now, though, he’s a total mess because he can’t get out of his own way.
      This is our buddy Jack from my story “The Lie” that I ran a while back. It’s amazing, really, but the story is taking shape in fragments and I think will eventually end up bigger than a string of six sentence stories. Not sure how big yet…but the story has life. The woman here is Andie and Jack will move on, but…perhaps they meet again.
      Glad you found it strong visually – was hoping for that.

  2. This was such a visual piece of writing Lisa! I could practically taste the warmth of the coffee and feel his stubble. Beautiful! I do hope Jack finds his way and look forward to reading more of his adventures 🙂

  3. I am in this time. This prompt word fits perfectly for me to imagine what the future could be. Fictional so I think it will still count.

    This was great though. His state of appearance shows exactly what his mental state is. I will read more, as I am completely unfamiliar with Jack’s story. Thanks.

    Hope you don’t mind if I link to one of these you wrote a few weeks back. It really spoke to me.

    1. I’m glad you’re joining us! I’ll be over to check yours out in just a bit.
      I love Jack and his story is really evolving for me – some bits and pieces are here on the blog in this piece and my “The Lie” series and some in other things I’ve been working on offline. Trying to decide what I ultimately want to do with it.
      I hope you do read “The Lie” and definitely would love to hear what you think. And yes, of course you may link to anything here. I appreciate the mention.

  4. funny thing, self-assessment. the level of how personal reality can be (for each of us) should never (and, in fact, probably cannot be) underestimated. It isn’t just a case of ‘seeing what we want to see’, although that is a true statement. But it’s just that so much of who we are is the result of being taught about the world and life by those around us from before the time we knew we were ourselves.
    Good Six

    1. And our self-assessment, our perception not only colors, but in fact IS our reality. No matter what anyone else may say or think, what we believe to be true about ourselves at any moment is absolute truth. It’s a powerful thing.

    1. You’re so funny. There are twelve parts with the title “The Lie” – some are combined though. Like 9 to 12 are in one post, I think. Then I have “Losing Ground” and “Fighting Spirits.” They are not necessarily in chronological order. Just the order I wrote them.

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