Six Sentence Stories – Beneath the Surface

She stretched herself out and waited to feel herself floating, noticing the fading light and the chill of the light breeze skipping across her skin.

She began to sink slowly, the breeze and all sound disappeared as the surface broke, then closed again overhead.

Darkness grew ever closer, rushing up from below to meet her even as she could still see the light above slipping further and further away. Her arms felt light at her sides and her hair floated in delicate tentacles in the space around her head while fragments of scenes from her memory drifted through her mind.

The images passed by and disappeared with the waning light. No longer able to reach the conscious world, she stopped trying, then turned over and welcomed the dark.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 SINK.

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

So I Did a Thing…

I did it.

I entered a short story writing competition. Yes. I. Did.

I’m not sure what I was thinking, exactly, other than maybe “why the hell not?” And so I did it. At the last possible second, of course, right up against the deadline. But anyone who knows me at all will not be surprised in the least. I’ve always claimed that I work better under pressure. (Whether that is true or not remains to be seen.)

So what was it like?

Excruciating.

Of course I drew the genre that I absolutely did not want – political satire. Yes, I’ve read it. Yes, I know what it is. Heck, I’ve even dragged students through it in my other life as a high school English teacher. No, I do not particularly enjoy reading it and no, I most assuredly did not want that to be my first foray into competition writing. But whatever. I sure as hell wasn’t going to waste the entry fee and submit nothing. Even if I get knocked out of the game right away, at least I did it.

The process of writing was…difficult. Seriously. Trying to fit my story into a neat little package of assigned genre/topic/character in 2500 words or less was no easy task. But I wasn’t completely intimidated – except by the satire genre. That just sucked.

I’ve been writing Six Sentence Stories and other short fiction – mostly to a prompt – for a number of months. I’d like to think the experience of doing that helped me to feel at least somewhat prepared to tackle this contest. I don’t think I really got nervous until I realized I was hyper-tinkering with some edits at 20 minutes out from deadline and started to get worried that I’d miss the deadline. I had to finish title and synopsis 1-2-6 and get that baby uploaded. I made it in with literally less than five minutes to spare. So if it stinks, too bad! It is what it is now…

And now we wait to hear the results of the first round. Until March 20th. (I know – forever.) In the meantime, I plan to do a whole lot more writing and hopefully some of it will actually make it onto the blog here.

What about you – have you ventured into the world of writing competitions? Share your experience with us here? I’d love to know your thoughts. 

 

Reveille – A Six Sentence Story

There would be no battle today.

Try as he might to muster the troops, they were slow to form this morning and did not show face; they knew there was no real penalty for showing up late, aside from the steep one he would impose upon himself for failing to make them comply. But that was his problem, not theirs.

Minute after hour he coaxed, forced, and cajoled until finally they assembled, falling into haphazard ranks and files, letters becoming words, sentences, paragraphs, working in concert and flowing freely from his pen.

Still, they were in no condition for battle. The only battle fought today would be the one to save himself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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 RANK.

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

Six Sentence Stories – An Unkindness

It was the grayest kind of day.

It was the kind of day when the sky presses low upon the earth, urging its denizens into attentiveness – every sound just a bit louder, a bit closer, the outlines of the everyday carved into distinctly sharper focus against the backdrop of something…unfamiliar.

trees-1406760_1920

A ceiling of clouds hung close and heavy, locked in the restless wind so it had no escape, the tortured air twisting, wrapping, weaving its witchcraft around the physical world, drawing life and breath in closer…closer…until that darkest cloud of anticipation fell.

The peal of a bell forced its way through the choking thickness. Neither the happy expectation of a doorbell nor the warm beckon of a church carillon, its song a strong and persistent welcome home nonetheless.

One lone raven streaked silently across the sky.

bird-1630795_1920

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Six Sentence

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 HOME. Last week’s cue was CRAFT.

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

 

 

 

Six Sentence Stories – First Draft

A half-balled wad of paper sailed across the room – whoosh – into the can.

The sun moved with purpose past the windows of the room and as the light waned, so did his confidence and page by page, chapter by chapter, words sailed across the room, the tightening wads a clear indicator of his mounting frustration.

paper-1484048_1920

He looked at the clock; bloody hell, I’ve only got an hour.

He rolled his chair across the room and began reclaiming the discarded prose from the trash can page by page, chapter by chapter, lovingly smoothing and stacking each one in its proper place and collecting them with a black shoelace.

A sharp knock and a voice at the door: “Sir? I’m here to pick up your draft, sir.”

He opened the door, thrust the wrinkled stack at the messenger and sighed, “Here – tell them to start with this.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Six SentenceEach 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 DRAFT.

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

 

 

 

Six Sentence Stories – The Secret

“This is all your fault!” she screamed.

The demon smirked quietly to himself; maybe if she didn’t find it so thrilling to keep feeding me, she wouldn’t be in this position. But he liked her here – needy, never satisfied, desperate for the next volume and the next to feed this gorgeous compulsion he embedded in her brain.

old-books-436498_1920

He was always near, his breath in her ear sometimes the faint rustling of pages sliding smoothly against one another as they are turned, sometimes the staccatoed slap slap slapping against one another as they are hurriedly thumbed and flipped, his scent a familiar heady mixture of vanilla-anise-fruit-almond-wood, redolent of long-forgotten secrets tucked away behind eyes that still sparkled from out of a leathery face.

It began with a simple experiment: to keep a list of all the books she read in her lifetime, something that could be passed on to her children and later on to theirs so they might share her literary experiences and add their own.

When she discovered the empty leather notebook on one of her used book store digs, she knew it was the perfect vehicle for her legacy. Little did she know that within those fine papery leaves and scarred leather cover lived a demon, born of words and waiting for just the right soul to free him.

book-466730_1920

Soon her simple experiment became an obsession with reading all of the words ever written and with each dollar she spent on more books, she lost another friend, another loved one, another moment of her life.

You’re in so deep and you’ve lost everything, she felt him whisper, but none of it matters. You have your books now and you have me and we never have to leave this room again. Keep buying…keep reading…

Stick with me, my darling angel girl, and we’ll go everywhere… 

mortality-401222_1280

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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. 

I never posted last week’s Six, so I’m at it again with a two-fer in a twelve sentence offering. I know – it’s totally cheating. 

Last week’s word was STICK and this week’s is FAULT.

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

 

 

Six Sentence Stories – The Lie, Parts 8 – 11

Jack had always loved the stars.

From the time he was old enough to look up at the evening sky through an empty toilet paper roll clutched in his hands, all he could imagine was being up there among them and not stuck here on Earth. The night skies offered Jack a place to focus his attention, to imagine and dream, and to escape from his sometimes miserable life.

stars-1245902_1280

It wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone when he decided to study astronomy, but after a while, Jack realized it would never be enough. Although he loved his studies, he just couldn’t see himself stuck in a planetarium or a classroom for the rest of his life. Jack decided the theory and standard career was fine for now and immersed himself in learning everything he could about his beloved stars, but what he really wanted was to get in the cockpit of something – anything – that would fly and get him up there among them and away from all of the bullshit he knew down here.

~~~~~

When he applied for the Academy, Jack never dreamed he’d actually be accepted, but somewhere along the line, when he was concentrating on being anywhere but home, Jack somehow managed to become a serious student and get his act together. Hours spent on homework and at the library were the excuses he made to spend as little time as possible with his so-called family, and they paid off big time when that acceptance letter showed up – his ticket out of there.

He threw himself into his education and training with a genuine excitement that would send him hurtling at top speed through the next few years. No more making excuses just to get away – this was for real, for him, and he needed to make the most of it to compensate for the years of disappointment and failure that characterized his childhood. Jack flew through the ranks to become the youngest astronaut on record and signed on to help manage one of America’s earliest space station living communities.

“There’s a surprise for you, Dad,” he thought. “I managed to accomplish something great and find a way to get as far away from you as possible.”

~~~~~

Life on the station was exciting and busy and Jack had worked so hard and waited so long to get here. He was motivated, determined, and successful. He was a top scholar, a seasoned pilot, and an eager adventurer. He had won honors and accolades for so many things, was appreciated by so many people, except for one…the only one he had ever wanted to notice and the only one who never did. But that was part of another time, another season of his life and Jack had to shake that off and leave it behind; he was ready to join one of the permanent space communities and get as far away from his past as possible.

Then it all fell apart.

A freak accident left him with two broken legs, a pile of broken dreams, and a severely broken spirit.

~~~~~

After a long period of physical and mental recovery, he was finally living out the dream he had cultivated. Life on the station was exciting and busy and Jack had plenty to occupy his mind between acclimating to life in space and helping to manage the community.

human-1215160_1920He never thought about how much he missed Andie, never thought about all the time they had spent dreaming and planning, dancing under the stars with the sounds of the night their only music. He still couldn’t understand how or why she loved him after the way he treated her when she showed up dripping wet for his first physical therapy session; he definitely did not deserve her.

But this…now…this was nothing like life on the station and nothing like the life he imagined all those years ago when he stared up at the twinkling stars from his tent in the backyard. This was the aftermath of broken dreams and a broken world and for the first time in a long time Jack had no idea how to fix any of it.

star-clusters-67616_1920

*****

Want more? Catch up here.

The Lie, Part 1

The Lie, Part 2

The Lie, Part 3

The Lie, Part 4

The Lie, Part 5

The Lie, Part 6

The Lie, Part 7

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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. 

As you can see, this week’s post is far from six sentences. I wanted to play a little catch-up and see if I could incorporate the last several prompts that I’ve missed. I believe I have 24 sentences here, drawn from the last four prompts: 

RANK, STAR, SEASON, and FIX. 

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

 

 

Six Sentence Stories – The Lie, Part 7

Jack’s mind rocketed back and forth through time grasping at fragments of memory as he lay trapped inside his own pain, half hoping for death. His only escape was to linger in moments when he was happy, when he held Andie close and breathed her deeply as though he could draw her inside of him. The fire in his lungs reminded him of his present; he saw her beside him, head bent in her hands, but remembered her a different way.

 

sun-11030_640

 

He remembered her head resting against him as they listened for hours to a scratched old Meat Loaf album while waves crashed on the beach. Lyrics floated up to his consciousness, replaying the soundtrack of that summer when it seemed they had nothing but time…”time until the end of time…”

And now here they were at what must be the end, but he couldn’t lose her again; heaven can wait, he thought, even if it means being with her here in this hell.

 

~~~~~

Want more? Catch up here…

The Lie, Part 1

The Lie, Part 2

The Lie, Part 3

The Lie, Part 4

The Lie, Part 5

The Lie, Part 6

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This has been a Six Sentence Story.

Six Sentence

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. 

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

This week’s prompt was BACK.

Six Sentence Stories – A Bark in the Night

“Does that damn dog ever stop barking?” Tim grumbled as he threw back the covers and stuffed his feet into the moccasins sitting at the ready beside his bed.

The neighbors bought the dog back in the spring and for some reason, it hated the husband – not that anyone else on the block could stand him – and barked at him constantly. Tim thought for sure that after the jackass moved out the dog would finally shut up.  But no – it barked every single night even after he was gone. He stormed down the stairs, tired of being ripped from sleep every night, and caught a glimpse of the hall clock…was it always at the same time?

It was only as he yanked open the front door that he saw the lights, blue and red flashing in an eerie silence that was oddly juxtaposed next to the dog’s insistent barking while responders pulled a white sheet over something in the driveway and led a man in cuffs to a waiting cruiser.

 

police-850054_1920

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This has been a Six Sentence Story.

Six Sentence

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. Click on the link right here to find out more and link your own post. While you’re there, click on the blue frog button to read more stories from some wonderful storytellers.

This week’s prompt was BARK.

 

Six Sentence Stories – The Lie, Part 6

Andie sat next to the makeshift cot listening to Jack’s labored breathing as her thoughts wandered to their first meeting…

She stood on the stoop looking from the address on the paper in her hands to the number on the door, her hair sticking in wet strands of what used to be ringlets around her face, her green raincoat untied and hanging open such that it provided little to no real protection from the falling rain. This had better be the right place, she thought as she dropped the knocker against the door. 

sun-11030_640

Continue reading “Six Sentence Stories – The Lie, Part 6”