Writers 750 Short Story Contest discussion

Monthly Short Story Contest > May Fantasy Island

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message 1: by Glenda (last edited May 04, 2018 08:08AM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
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May 2018 Short Story Challenge (up to 1000 words)
Deadline is Saturday, May 26, 2016.

• A talking parrot
• Lost and found
• bitter silence
• A heartfelt apology

Theme: Fantasy Island

Setting – tropical

Plot – your choice

Variations and Options

• Your family has missed "De plane"! Your spouse gives you the silent treatment until you discover another mode of transportation home.
• You have lost a keepsake from a loved you; it was found after his/her's passing.
• There are no humans on the island, but there's annoying dialogue from a parrot that follows you.
• After years of bitter silence, you give your loved one a heartfelt apology.
• You are lost on an island only to be found by the natives who try to force you to marry an ugly islander.
• You are lost at sea with many days & nights of silence, but a parrot has found you.
• You finally made it to Fantasy Island where your dreams come true only to find there's no place like home, to be with the ones that love you.

Length: 750 to 1,000 Words

Voting will take place between May 27, 2018 to May 31st. Winners will be posted in this thread on June 1st.

Challenge Guidelines – Skip over this comment section if you are familiar with the Writers 750 Challenge.

Genre: Fantasy, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Crime, Comedy, Romance, or a mixture (BASICALLY, anything but erotica)

Purpose -
Some fiction writers are looking to win a short story contest, keeping in touch with making deadlines, and/or simply sharpening the skill of writing fiction. The main purpose of this contest is to sharpen plot and character skills, collect your own short stories, receive good feedback, make a good connection with other writers, and take a short break from your current novel to get a fresh view when you return to it.

Rules and Directions -
* Type in English - a minimum of 750 words; a maximum of 1,000 words; no erotica, no profanity.

* Post your title, by line, and word count total in the first line of your story posting.


* ONE entry per person, must be writer's original work, a final revision, and a new piece of writing. If you need to edit your submission, click "edit" and do not repost elsewhere in the thread. Try to post your final revision.

Judging: The story will be judged on the use of the above story prompts, creativity, proper grammar, good punctuation, and overall good quality for story.

Voting: Please vote for first, second, and third place. You are not allowed to vote for yourself. If posting this month, you MUST vote in order for your story to remain eligible.

message 2: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Glenda: Must the story have the four components and also setting of Fantasy Island/tropical?

message 3: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
I've added a 4th story prompt instead of the regular 3. Add as many as possible. Sometimes the voters do take in account if you've included them all. You do not necessarily have to use THE Fantasy Island from the TV sitcom as your background.

message 4: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 343 comments Hi Writers, I need to turn in a different direction for the next few months so as to work on other stuff. No worries, I will chime in from time-to-time and read your wonderful stories.


message 5: by Gene (new)

Gene Hilgreen | 39 comments 05/04/18

Back in Time:

By Gene Hilgreen

Jules hacked and chopped as she cleared away the brush incased in her electromagnetic drive bubble. She then began a path through the dark and dense jungle to civilization. The machete was the latest item to join the ever growing list of necessities she carried in her Go Bag.

She knew she would eventual create an electromagnetic drive that would bend spacetime. The math was there and so was the meta-material found on K2 after an avalanche. By creating a controllable CTC—Closed Time-like Curve, essentially a time travel loop, she would create a time warp that would carry her from point A to point B, and back.

The letter from Nikola Tesla in her rear pocket was proof that she had travelled back in time. She just didn’t know when she did.
But her R-CAT—a programmable communication device that kept time in multiple time zones and Quantum-Time paradoxes told her she missed her mark by a month and two years.

She left Aspen, Colorado at eight a.m. on January 7th, 2021 and landed in the forests of Palolo on O’ahu Island, at five a.m., give or take a nano-second on December 7th, 1941.
Sunrise was two hours away. The attack on Pearl Harbor would occur in less than three. Two hours after the attack, all of Hawaii would be under Martial Law. Jules needed rest, a canoe, parts, and help.

“Strike two,” she said, as she continued to hack through the jungle.

“Strike two,” echoed from above and behind her.

She pulled her Glock from her waist band and pointed. “Who’s there?”

“Who’s there,” echoed again, as a double yellow head dropped down claws first, and landed on her out-stretched arm holding the Glock. “Who’s there?” repeated the parrot.

“Well—I’m not alone,” Jules said. To have it repeated back at her, once again. “Hello. What’s your name?” Jules said. Hoping for a different response.

“Hello . . . Pretty Bird,” said the parrot. “Hello . . . Pretty Bird.”
Jules dropped the machete and reached out to pet the parrot. The parrot flew off and circled Jules and landed on her arm again. She dropped her Glock and kicked it, as she reached out for the parrot.

“Pretty bird go. Pretty Bird go,” the parrot said, and flew off for good.

“Don’t go,” Jules yelled. “I need help.”

The bird was gone, and so was Jules’ Glock. “Shit,” she yelled, and headed toward a path that was now visible. She keyed University of Hawaii into her R-CAT and received the direction to Manoa and the university, which was a mile and a half away. “Shit. Shit,” Jules yelled.

Two Japanese men, dressed in US military camos appeared from nowhere. “I believe you lost this,” said the man who had Pretty Bird propped on his shoulder, and was holding Jules Pink Glock. He started to hand it to Jules and stopped. “Interesting weapon. Do you have a permit for this?”


“You’re not going to shoot me, are you?”

“No,” Jules said. “But I could sure use a ride to the university.”

The university had a physics lab, and although the formulas were decades from becoming reality. The materials Jules needed were available.

The man whistled and handed Jules the Glock. A few seconds later a jeep appeared.

It was seven a.m. when Jules arrived at the university. Jules swapped names with the soldiers, and searched her database. The soldiers were due at the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor by seven-thirty. Their names were among those onboard when the ship exploded and sank.

Jules looked them both in the eyes and shook their hands. “Thank you for your service,” she said, and cried. “I am so sorry.”

The men smiled. “No sorry . . . Glad to be of service,” they said in unison, and then left.

Jules cried some more as they drove off. She got what she needed from the lab, and caught a ride back to Palolo with the relative who drove them.

By seven-forty-five Jules had the electromagnetic drive bubble fixed and fired up. She exited the machine for one last look. She bowed her head and stood in silence for a minute.

“At least I didn’t cause a grandfather paradox,” she said, as planes hummed in the distance.

“De planes,” Pretty Bird said, as it flew up and landed on her shoulder. “De planes.”

“Oh no,” Jules said.

“Hello . . . Pretty Bird,” The parrot said, and pecked Jules on the cheek.

“How would you like to go with me back to the future?”

“Pretty Bird go. Pretty Bird go.”

And that they did—back to January 2021.

message 6: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
Excellent, Gene! We've been watching back to back Hawaii 5-0 episodes on Netflix. They certainly pay homage to the fallen at Pearl Harbor. This is a good start for May.

message 7: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
Interesting story Gene. I see you cleverly weaved in all four highlights. I liked the part where Jules thanked the Navy mates for their service. Including the Pear Harbor attack gave a sense of realism to the story.

message 8: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 383 comments A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW…
© By Mirta Oliva
"What have you been watching all day, Billy?"
"Mom, you must remember the 1970s episodes of Fantasy Island… They were awesome! Mr. Rourke had such an imagination. He or whoever wrote the scripts could think of the weirdest things. May I stay up another half an hour?"
"Of course I remember, and yes, you can go to bed at ten thirty."
Thanks, mom!


This must be the building. I've never been to a luxurious place like this with marble everywhere. I wonder if they will take a kid my age seriously. I am afraid to touch anything and leave my fingerprints everywhere…
"Eleventh floor, please."
Billy quickly stepped out. Comfortable chairs seemed to invite him to rest in them to gain the necessary courage. The young boy was not afraid to face the consequences of a journey to the unknown; however, he was not too sure his mother would approve of his daring adventure. Too late now to go back so he began looking for Room 2211.
"You must be Collinsway, Mr. R's agent? I am Billy and I have an appointment to see you.
"Okay, kid, come in and relax. I will be explaining to you all the risks involved in this adventure--if you decide to go through with it."
Shivering a little, Billy sat in front of Collinsway's desk.
"Your letter states you have heard that your father's killer went to this Island of Fantasies pursuing a beautiful girl. Normally, we would not entertain three different guests at the same time, but we are considering the first two as one since they may end up together. And you… what do you plan to do with John Sadface if you ever find him?"
"I don't know… I'll probably tell him to turn himself to the police."
"That's exactly what I thought, that you had no real plans and perhaps were counting on Mr. R to do everything for you. I am right, kid?"
"I would not put it that way, sir, but I am sure Mr. R will take sides with me and help me find justice for my father."
"I guess you are ready to begin this journey in our special air transport. May I remind you not to tell anyone about this since Mr. R values his privacy greatly?"
"No, Collinsway, no one will know."
"All right, Billy, bring your suitcase. I have heard there is bad weather coming our way so we must catch our air transport right away. In a short while, we will have landed on the Island of Fantasies in search for Sadface."

Once on the flying machine, Billy sat by himself while Collinsway sat with the pilot. The young boy was not scared anymore… He was sure he could accomplish his mission despite all the dangers. Suddenly the vessel began to shake violently, the emergency door opened and he saw himself out the door, tied to his chair. The plane kept on flying while he landed on a copious tree. His body ached but he could move his arms and legs and he could even move his neck around. Now he had to think of a way to remove his seatbelt and go down the tree safely. Thirty minutes later, Billy had done just that, landing a couple of yards from his suitcase.
"Well… Oh well… I was not counting on this," thought a discouraged Billy.
"Are you looking for Sadface?"
"What in the world…? Not only a parrot is talking to me but it even knows what I am here for… I guess I will have to tell the truth or I may never meet Sadface."
"Yes, Mr. Parrot. Can you take me to him?"
Billy waited a minute and then five more and the parrot was not saying a word.
"Did you hear me, pretty bird?"
Silence was the answer. Another five agonizing minutes passed and still no answer. Billy was about to lose his patience when the parrot began talking.
"My honest apologies, Billy. I wanted to be sure you were alone. Now, follow me."
The parrot went on flying and soon Billy had lost any sight of it. He grabbed his suitcase and began walking, looking for an array of colors in the air.

"Are you looking for me, kid?" Now it appeared the bird was making fun of him. But Billy was in no condition to get mad at the only thing that could help him.
"Yes, but do not fly away, let me follow you."
"Look boy, nothing easy is any good. Find me if you can and I will take you to Sadface."
Surprisingly, about twenty colorful parrots began flying ahead of him. So he followed them bumping on tree limbs and stones amidst the most beautiful tropical forest. A few minutes later, the birds began forming a circle around something he could not distinguish. As he approached, he heard loud screams. The parrots were landing on a man's head not allowing him to escape the colorful embrace. While Billy watched from a few feet away, he heard another man's voice saying,
"Tie him up and take him away. Mr. Sadface will have to deal with his justice system. He will pay for what he did!"
"Billy, you accomplished your mission. Walk toward the clearing and you will see a helicopter there waiting for you. It will take you to the hangar where you can catch my flying machine. Soon you will be home to tell your mom she can now smile. By the way, I am Mr. R."
"Very pleased to meet you, sir. My mother and I will keep this incredulous experience to ourselves. I cannot thank you enough. Bye now, Mr. R…!"

"Billy, what were you dreaming about? Parrots, Sadface, a flying machine…? "
"It was just a silly dream… That's all!"

message 9: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 383 comments Gene, a nice story indeed! I usually write the first one so as not to be influenced by others. After I posted my story, I read yours and found you had "Pretty bird" on it. I used it once where I needed to adulate the parrot. I was going to change it but realized that there may be other pretty parrots later on (the universal way to butter up these birds).
Now back to my projects.

message 10: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
Mirta wrote: "A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW…
© By Mirta Oliva..."

If only there was a Fantasy Island where we could right the wrongs, that would be great! No politics, only justice served! Thanks, Mirta :)

message 11: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
Mirta, I took note that you said you like to post first so as not to be influenced. I have my story ready but am thinking about one paragraph I might change. Enjoyed your fantasy Island story.

message 12: by Mirta (last edited May 07, 2018 04:06PM) (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 383 comments Glenda wrote: "Mirta wrote: "A BIRD'S-EYE VIEW…
© By Mirta Oliva..."

If only there was a Fantasy Island where we could right the wrongs, that would be great! No politics, only justice served! Thanks, Mirta :)"
Right, right, and right, Glenda! Thanks!

message 13: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 383 comments TERRY wrote: "Mirta, I took note that you said you like to post first so as not to be influenced. I have my story ready but am thinking about one paragraph I might change. Enjoyed your fantasy Island story." Thank you Terry. Now I can read them all as they get posted.

message 14: by Rebecca (last edited May 11, 2018 09:27AM) (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Aubrey’s Choice

As the plane touched down, Aubrey could hardly sit still in anticipation of what was awaiting her on Fantasy Island. However, an annoying pang of guilt tugged at her. Even after months of preparation, she still hadn’t figured out how to tell Brian and the kids she was going on her own adventure while they spent the next 10 days at Hogwarts. No matter how she said it, it always sounded selfish.

“Welcome Bingham family. I am Mr. Rourke, your host,” said the dapper man awaiting their arrival. “Are you ready to begin your fantasies? Mr. Bingham and children, the Ford Anglia will transport you to Diagon Alley where you can purchase the supplies you’ll need. Aubrey, the limousine will take you to yours.”

Turning to Brian, Aubrey gave him a quick peck on the cheek, saying, “I’ll explain everything later.” Then, she made a cowardly dash.

A short ride and three flights of stairs took her from a tropical paradise to a tiny New York apartment exactly like the place she had lived after graduating from college. There was a momentary connection with the past before a slow regret began to form.

“What have I done? I can’t turn back time.”

“But I can.”

“Who said that?”

“I,” replied the disembodied voice.

Aubrey turned around, looking for a possible weapon and the source of the voice. Finally, she saw a macaw perched above the window. “Well, aren’t you beautiful.”

“Yes, but we were talking about you.”

“Is this some kind of joke?”

“I’m the angel assigned to your case.”

“An angel?”

“Indeed. I’ll be showing you what your life would be like if you had pursued your career. We begin today, September 21st, 2001,” said the bird, whose name Aubrey learned was Pedro.”

“That was the day Brian and I had our first date.”

“Instead, you are going to a party where there will be important theater people. Let’s see what happens? Put on something nice. And don’t forget, you’re 22 again.”

Aubrey mingled among some of Broadway’s biggest names, but she was having difficulty striking up a conversation. Pedro, who no one else could see, took care of that by knocking a cocktail out of Ken Williams hand, causing it to spill on Aubrey.

“Good gracious, look what I’ve done! I’ve ruined you lovely frock. You have my permission to sue me, or, I don’t know, flog me.”

“No worries. It’ll come out with a little soda water,” she replied.

“Oh, I think I like you. Tell me who you are.”

Aubrey and the producer proceeded to have a delightful conversation. When the host interrupted to drag Ken away to meet another guest, he gave Aubrey his card. “Call me. This is the most fun I’ve had in eons.”

Aubrey and Pedro proceeded to their next stop. After working for Ken for two years, he was entrusting her to direct her first play. Granted it was off, off Broadway, but she knew this was the beginning.

As the curtain fell to enthusiastic applause, Aubrey was overtaken by emotion, as the cast called her to take a bow.

She was then transported five years into the future where they were standing outside a theatre on Broadway. “This is your second play on the Great White Way. The first had a decent run of six months.”

Aubrey nervously watched the production with Ken, who whispered “Easy Sunshine. It’s going to be fine. Remember what a disaster dress was? That’s always a good omen for opening night.”
The play was a sensation. At the after-party she was lauded as brilliant.

After the party she retired to her opulent apartment on the upper east side. She walked through, taking in the details. It was exactly as she had imagined. She knew she should be ecstatic, but the silence seemed to taunt her.

“Maybe this was a mistake,” she said looking out on her magnificent New York view.

“Why?” asked Pedro.

“Because I may never be content going back to my old life, but this one passed me by.”

“Do you have any less talent than that girl who got her first job with Mr. Williams?”

“No. Actually, I have more. I’ve directed community theatre numerous times, but when would I ever get a chance like that in my real life?”

“You never can tell,” said the bird.

The next morning, Aubrey awoke to find she was back in the studio apartment where her adventure had begun, the limousine parked outside waiting to take her back to her family.

She was overcome with dread about how Brian would greet her. Much to her surprise, he grinned at her and ran to embrace her.
“Ah, Honey, Mr. Rourke told me what you did. That was just great.”

“You mean you aren’t mad?”

“Mad? How could I possibly be mad? I’m lucky to have a wife who would give me my fantasy of being a pirate. Arr!”

“A pirate.”

“It was awesome!”

“Brian, I’m so sorry, but I had my own fantasy, too. I wanted to see what my life would have been like if I had pursued my career instead of getting married so young.”

“I don’t understand. Don’t you want to be in this family?”

“Of course I do!” As she said the words, Aubrey realized she couldn’t envision life without her big galoot of a husband or three kids. “But lately, I’ve wanted more. I want success.”

Brian brushed away the tear rolling down her cheek. “And you should have that chance.”

On the plane, Aubrey found herself seated next to a man who looked familiar. Giving him furtive sideways glances, she realized it was an older Ken Williams. Pedro appeared, sitting on the seat back in front of her. “Opportunity knocks. Will you answer?” With that he took flight neatly knocking the cocktail out of the man’s hands.

“Good gracious, look what I’ve done! I’ve ruined your lovely frock. You have my permission to sue me, or, I don’t know, flog me”

message 15: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
Very good Rebecca. Made me smile. I have often wondered "What if" but happy my path worked out the way it did.

message 16: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments This was a fun challenge, but I knew I was in trouble when I had over 600 words and she wasn't even off the plane.

message 17: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Thank you, Terry. I think we all wonder at some point. I wonder what life would have been like if I hadn't been so corporate, and had kept the creative spark for writing alive. LOL...

message 18: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
Rebecca, nice story! It was unique and made me chuckle in the end.

message 19: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Thank you, Glenda. I'm glad it made you chuckle.

message 20: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Gene!!! It seems like old times. It's so good to have you and Jules here. Hugs!

message 21: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Rebecca, I wondered how you were going to weave that much story in 1000 words. You did it beautifully. Story was a pleasure to read. Shelly

message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Thank you Shelly. I'm glad you liked it. There is a lot more story to be told. I think I'll have to revisit this family.

message 23: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 343 comments Great story Rebecca. Most enjoyable and light-hearted. Rebecca wrote: "Aubrey’s Choice

As the plane touched down, Aubrey could hardly sit still in anticipation of what was awaiting her on Fantasy Island. However, an annoying pang of guilt tugged at her. Even after mo..."

message 24: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Thank you Patricia.

message 25: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
Tturner 996 words

I suppose I should tell you right off the bat that I am a reformed alcoholic. If you have never been addicted to anything then you will not understand my problem. We probably will not connect. Have you heard of hitting rock bottom? I have been there.

The liquor had always been around in some small way. But at some point; a point that I can not quite put my finger on, I became devoted to it. My drink of choice was the martini. It became my mistress. She was my secret love for quite a while until I could not conceal her any longer. Everyone around me began to take notice. I tried a couple of times to make the break from her; my love, my beautiful martini but I was too weak. Then my world fell apart. I lost my job, the house and car. My wife left me. My children distanced themselves. My friends turned their backs. I was lost with on one to talk to. The bitter silence was painful but at the time I cared only for the booze.

I left rehab six months ago and haven’t touched a drop since. I truly believe I have found myself.

Today I am reinventing my life. I am walking this island beach hoping one day I can reconnect with my children. One day soon I will apologize for ruining their lives and beg their forgiveness. The house is gone and my ex-wife has remarried. I hope she is happy and I wish the best for her. She deserves happiness for all I put her through.

It will take time for me to move on but today is a start. A new beginning. The job I got after rehab is demanding and consumes me. I came here today to think and re-examine the past. To sort out what went wrong and hopefully never let it happen again.

The sugar white sand under my feet filters through my toes as I walk barefoot along this beautiful coastline on the Gulf of Mexico. In passing I see husbands and wives with children enjoying themselves; a painful reminder of what I have lost. A mild breeze sweeps across my face carrying a damp scent of salt and sea weed giving me a sense of renewed life and that is why I am here. The search for a new beginning has begun.

The afternoon hour is late; the day is passing away, fleeting like vapor. The sun is slipping below the horizon reflecting colors of red, orange, and yellow across the wet sand like a tapestry before me. Like magic, the outside lanterns of the taverns and condos start to come to life.

Up ahead I see a beach hut with a sign that purports to have the best sandwiches in the Keys. My stomach suddenly gnaws with hunger pangs so I enter with reckless abandon.

All the tables are taken but there is, luckily, one stool empty at the bar.
The bartender comes over with a Green Parrot on his shoulder.
“What you having,” the parrot ask?

I am amused. I stare at the parrot; the parrot turns one eye to me. I look at the bartender. The bartender smiles and defers to the parrot.

Clearing my voice, “a menu please.”

When the bartender returns for my order I point to a picture of a turkey club sandwich with bacon hanging off the sides and I say “I’ll have that.”

“I’ll have that,” the parrot repeats.

While waiting for my dinner I swivel around to see what the roar of laughter coming from the table behind me is all about. Apparently, the fellow in the seat next to me is also curious because he turns too.

I am surprised to see two men and three attractive ladies lifting their glasses in toast to either me or the man in the seat next to me. I could swear the single red head at the table is smiling directly at me.

I have no glass so all I can do is smile and turn back to the bar.

I know that scene well. How many times in the past had I lifted a glass in a toast to something. Anything. It did not matter for it was just another excuse to take a drink.
Toasting a friend’s job promotion, a secretary’s new stilettos, the new baby. It was an endless list. Toast and drink, toast and drink.

It happens in a flash while I am preoccupied with my thoughts. The bartender smiles, the parrot whistles and there she is. Appearing before me teasing and bubbly. It is a long time since I have known the love of one like her.

I pretend not to be interested at first. But she knows how to get to me. My heart is racing and my face flushed. I have an urge to reach out and pull her to me.

But then I realize she is there for him; the guy on the stool beside me. All I can do is watch with desire.

I know him well; the fellow sitting on the next stool. I was like him before the fall. The five hundred dollar suit, great job, nice house and car; the smell of success.

He looks at her intently and I think he will take her but stops. Swiveling his stool around, he abruptly stands, momentarily scans the crowd and walks out of the bar.

She is left all alone and more beautiful now than when I first set eyes on her. The bartender is at the other end of the bar with two patrons in heavy conversation.

A quick look around the room I notice no one is watching. I reach over and take her in my grasp. The condensation of the glass fills the palm of my hand, cold and wet, while I lift her to my lips and drink the entire Martini in one gulp.

message 26: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments That is powerful, Terry. Excellent job!!

message 27: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 343 comments Good story, Terry. I knew it. I knew it. But I was still hoping that he would not put the glass up to his lips. Great tension and suspense.TERRY wrote: "NEW BEGINNING
Tturner 996 words

I suppose I should tell you right off the bat that I am a reformed alcoholic. If you have never been addicted to anything then you will not understand my problem. W..."

message 28: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
Terry, buddy, I smell a novel there somewhere. I truly enjoyed that.

message 29: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Poor weak-willed man. If he had never gone into the bar, however, he would not have been tempted. Excellent story. Sad but too often true.
Well done, Terry.

message 30: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Invisible - Elaine Faber 980 words

I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting on this bench, watching the tourists pass by. Women carrying Fantasy Island shopping bags, young women pushing strollers, absentee fathers with weekend children in tow. They dash from one attraction to another, jeering at the monkeys, throwing peanuts at the exotic birds. The teenagers travel in packs, continuously thumbing their cell phones, unable for a moment to be separated from someone on the other end.

Consumed with their delight in the activities in the amusement park attractions, no one notices me, sitting alone. As far as they’re concerned, I’m invisible. I have no friends, no cell phone, or for that matter, no one who would want to talk to me on the other end if I called. I sit alone on this bench with peeling paint and wonder...

How did this happen. In another lifetime, I had friends, things to do, and places to go. In another lifetime, I breathed and ate and slept and played and did all sort of things I don’t do now. Then, I have to remind myself. That was then…and this is now.

I wonder if I’m dead.

When you die, they promised, there would be streets of gold, traveling on angel’s wings, glorying in the presence of God. Music, art, nature, love, all rolled into a package tied with a ribbon. Just pull off the ribbon, open the package and there you are…Heaven.

Nope, not like that at all. The truth is, dead is sitting on a bench in an amusement park, without friends or family, alone and invisible.

I could be sitting on the couch beside my daughter and I’d speak to her and maybe she’d answer, or maybe she’d just sit there. Either way, she’d look right through me, because I’m invisible.

A park attendant is coming down the sidewalk with a parrot jabbering nonsense on his shoulder. If I speak to him, would he stop and talk to me? Why waste my time asking? He’s probably on his way somewhere. He has no time for the likes of me.

I spoke to a teenager a few minutes ago, but he kept on walking. Didn’t even turn his head. But then, why should he? He has his own life. Probably has a girlfriend, maybe a job at McDonald’s, and for sure, a cell phone. He had it stuck to his ear. Literally, stuck to his ear, like a hearing aid. He was talking to someone. Or maybe not. Maybe he was talking to himself.

I could understand if he was talking to himself. I do that a lot lately, because if I speak to someone, they don’t seem to hear a word I say.

It’s nearly 5:00PM. This bench is so hard and cold. I should walk back to the bus and go home. The bus will be crowded and I need to find a seat near the back. Of course I’ll sit alone.

I should go, but my feet hurt. I walked too far this morning. Walked all the way to the amusement park, past Macy’s and the shoe store where once I bought a pair of shoes. Good shoes, too. On sale even. I remember. I bought them years ago when I still went to church and volunteered at the Discovery Shop and ...before my wife died. Whatever happened to those shoes? Maybe they’re in the back of the closet with my golf clubs and fishing poles.

My wife and I used to golf and fish. Did some traveling, too. But that was before …before my world turned dark and hopeless, without meaning. Before I sold my motor home and turned my back on everyone. Before I stopped returning my friends' calls and I dropped out of the church choir. Before I chose to stop living….and chose to be…dead.

“What? What did you say?” I look up and see a man smiling down at me.

“I said, do you play chess? There’s a chessboard over there on that table. Would you like to come over and play a game?” The man is elderly, like me, with gray hair and a mustache.

“I…I…haven’t played for years,” I mumble, staring at my hands. I look up. “Are you sure you want…me?”

“Said so, didn’t I? But, if you’d rather not, I’ll ask someone else.” He starts to turn away.

“No. No.… Thanks. I mean, yeah, I’d love to play.” I stand. Surprisingly, my feet don’t hurt at all.

He’s reaching to shake my hand. “Name’s Walter. What’s yours?”

My fingers tingle at his touch. We walk to the chess table. “Mine’s Derwin. Nice to meet you.”

“You come here often, Derwin?” He says. “My friend and I used to come every afternoon, but his wife died and he’s moved to a nursing home across town.” Walter sits at the table and opens a box of chess pieces. “Want to’ meet me here tomorrow?”

“That sounds nice. I’d like that,” I say, taking a seat opposite Walter.

He carefully places the pieces on the board. “Maybe we could have a bite to eat over at Denny’s after a couple games. What do ya say?” He turns the white pieces toward me.

There’s a crushing feeling in my chest, almost painful, and wonderful, all at the same time. I guess I was wrong. I must not be totally invisible. Maybe I’m not even dead. Maybe I just felt that way because I turned my back on all that was good in my life and gave up. After my wife died, I think I chose to believe I didn’t have anything more to live for.

“You go first, Derwin. Let’s see if you have game.” Walter grins at me, like a friend.

I feel the muscles in my jaw twitch. It’s a smile, I think. I haven’t smiled for a long time.

message 31: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
Nice, Elaine! This took me back to the Ocean City, MD boardwalk that the hubby & I went to in the summer. Glad for the happy ending.

message 32: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
Orson Welles said, “We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” Glad Derwin found a friend.

message 33: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments That is heart-wrenching, Elaine, but so good. Very well-written.

message 34: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments This started out as 'I have no idea what to write' and let your fingers do the walking. Words appear on the paper and sooner or later, a theme emerges and a story follows close behind. With a bit of editing, you can take it any direction. i.e. Fantasy Island, a parrot, lost and found, a secret and an apology...There, you have it, young grasshoppers. That's the way I write. LOL!

message 35: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 343 comments Nice story, Elaine.Elaine wrote: "Invisible - Elaine Faber 980 words

I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting on this bench, watching the tourists pass by. Women carrying Fantasy Island shopping bags, young women pushing strollers,..."

message 36: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments The month is zooming by. I look forward to more stories.

message 37: by S. (new)

S. Willett (swillett) | 96 comments Home by Sharon Willett 813 Words

“Free? You want to be free? Can you say that? Free. I know you don’t want to be locked up in that cage. You want to be free to fly around this room. Can you fly? Can you say free?”

The parrot clung to the inside of the cage inching toward the door as the strange lady spoke.

“Polly want a cracker? I know you can talk. Tori said you could talk. Free?” I reached for the door hoping the bird wouldn’t peck at me. “Your momma brought you on vacation with her so she should make sure it’s a vacation for you too. She’s at the pool waiting for me, but you look like you want out.”

I opened the door just a crack and that big bird stretched its face toward the door. I jumped back, it used its beak to finish opening the cage door and then flew to perch on the back of the couch.
“Free,” the parrot squawked.

“See, I knew you’d like being free. Your mom won’t care if you fly around in here while we’re out catching the rays.”

The bird flew around the room and I laughed with joy at giving this small taste of freedom. That’s when I saw the open slider door. How could I be so stupid? I made a dash for the balcony door and so did the bird. He won. I crumpled to the floor.

Oh no, oh no, how can I go down there and tell Tori I let her beloved bird fly out of the hotel. Worst vacation ever and it just started. It would be useless to go to Lost and Found.

I made my way to the elevator, pushed the down button, stared at my key card, and read Fantasy Island Resort your adventure awaits. I saw Tori relaxing in a lounge chair next to the pool. How would I tell her?

She looked up at me and smiled. “Vanna, you’re not going to believe this. I hardly believe it, but a parrot just dove close to my head. It sounded like it said, “weeee.” I didn’t think wild birds talked. What’s wrong?”

“It didn’t say weee. I’m pretty sure it said free.” I stayed standing in case I had to make a quick getaway. “You are probably right that wild birds don’t talk. That was your parrot.” I waited for lightning to strike, but she just stared up at me.

Finally, she said, “What?”

Now I have to spell it out to her.

“I forgot the balcony door was open when I let your bird out of its cage to have a little freedom.”

Tori jumped out of the chair. “Are you kidding me? That was my Baby?” She turned her attention to the tops of the palm trees. “Baby?” She called.

We heard the bird in the distance call back, “Free. Baby free.”

“You shouldn’t have brought a bird with you on a girls’ vacation.”

She spun around to face me and with fury burning from her eyes she said, “You left the door open. You let my bird out and now you’re blaming me.” Tori turned to look up at the trees and then back to me. “Get away from me.”

She turned, but I saw tears streaking down her cheek. I went back to the room and flopped on the couch. The slider was partial opened. I got up and closed it. There would be no chance that Baby could find its way back. The street was one hotel after another with thousands of balconies. I returned to the couch.

I heard the entrance door click. My stomach tightened.

Tori burst in and rushed over to sit beside me. “Vanna, I’m so sorry. But you have to know how much Baby means to me.” She looked at the slider and brushed away a tear. “I love you, too. You’re my best friend and I know you didn’t mean that to happen.”

I reached over and gave Tori a hug. We both broke down. At the same moment, that crazy bird flew into the slider hitting it hard and making a very loud bang. It dropped onto the balcony floor.

Seconds of bitter silence filled the room as the realization of what had just happened became real. We both screamed and ran out. Tori knelt by her Baby. My body shook. She picked it up and cradled it in her hands. How would she ever forgive me now? How could I forgive myself?

Tori looked up at me with a smile. “Go open the cage.”

Confused, I did as she said.

“It’s still breathing. I think Baby knocked herself out.” She gently laid the bird on the floor of the cage. It moved a little.

I hoped that nothing was broken.

The bird stood, glanced around and said, “Home.”

message 38: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 343 comments What a well-woven story. Light-hearted, entertaining and an unpredictable ending. Welcome back, Baby. ndfc S. wrote: "Home by Sharon Willett 813 Words

“Free? You want to be free? Can you say that? Free. I know you don’t want to be locked up in that cage. You want to be free to fly around this room. Can you fly?..."

message 39: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
Sharon. Liked how the story flowed with drama and finished with "all is well".

message 40: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments So glad Baby made it home safely. Nice job, Sharon.

message 41: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Enjoyable story. and with a moral. Well done

message 42: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Elaine, you brought your story to it's conclusion very efficiently.
well written.

message 43: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Rebecca, Fun story, enjoyable read.

message 44: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Gene, Nice story. Easy read and visualize. I like that.

message 45: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
Sharon, if that were my dad's parrot, he would've made a much bigger scene. His bird would've likely used foreign curse words too :)

message 46: by S. (new)

S. Willett (swillett) | 96 comments Hi Glenda! I will rewrite if you'd like. I might be banned after that, but I could try. ;)

Rebecca, Terry, and Patricia, thank you for your compliments.

message 47: by Glenda (last edited May 25, 2018 12:54PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1077 comments Mod
No, Sharon, I was just making a silly stupid remark. I liked your story. My dad's parrot Luke bit my finger really bad, crazy bird. And my dad could be just as cantakerous.

message 48: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 172 comments Strange Island of Fantasy by F. F. Burwick 1000 words

My friends Malcolm and Rhonda were there on the island for two days already. They had booked a suite in a small resort inn near the ocean. The staff showed the suite to them when they first came, and they felt right away that it left much to be desired. It was a shelter of simplicity, with a bed large enough for them to sleep in, a couple of cabinets on each side, a bare floor for an otherwise empty room, with one small closet, one window facing the shore, and a small simple bathroom with small stall for a shower. But they didn't see the staff after that, and a few individuals that were seen when they went out from the suite were completely silent, and they couldn't seek to engage anyone there without feeling they were being treated with bitter silence.

There was a canteen stand on the grounds nearby, where Malcolm and Rhonda found they needed to go to for supplying themselves with items of food and drink and small necessities. The attendant there was a small man of some other nationality who showed clearly he spoke "No Eyeenglays".

There was little to do right there, but the two finally realized they could settle with strolls along the attractive shore line looking out on the ocean, and eventually think of going inland to explore more of that part of the island.

When they felt they had enough right then of the sun and the sea, running through the waves and then walking along soft sand, Malcolm and Rhonda turned to go to the small road just past the small hill along the beach front. As they came to it they found they were looking at a few small wood and grass-walled huts along the other side, spaced at wide distances from each other.

"Do you think we can find souvenirs sold at these small booths?" Rhonda asked Malcolm.

"Let's go see," Malcolm said agreeably.

They crossed over, for there was no traffic then to worry about, and came up to the nearest one on that other side.

"Hello?" Malcolm called out at the door there. It was open wide, seeming to be an invitation to visitors, as would be a souvenir booth that the two took this to be. They went in and their eyes adjusted to what could be seen within. There was no other person in there, and though some items were seen on tables there, nothing seemed to be displayed for sale. "Does this place seem like a lost and found to you?" Rhonda asked. But there on a stand for a perch was a large gray parrot they saw then.

Rhonda said, "Oh look! Do you think this parrot is native here?"

"No," Malcolm answered, "see it is a gray parrot? It would not be native to a tropical island like this. It is a domesticated bird acquired for a pet."

"You are newcomers here, aren't you?" said the gray parrot.

"That is impressive, it is like the parrot can converse with us!" Rhonda said.

"Why don't you just answer me?" said the parrot.

The two looked at each other, and then Malcolm looking at the parrot asked, "Can you understand what we are saying?"

"Certainly yes. Can you answer? Are you newcomers?"

Astounded, Rhonda answered, "Yes, we came here because this island, Cleansing, is known by some as the island of fantasy. We were very interested. But why ask?"

"Because the humans who live in this land do not just enter here. They approach any of us other creatures only if they are called to do so."

"Don't you have a human person taking care of you here?" Malcolm asked.

"Why would I need that? I can find food for myself if I had need, but people of this land know to bring appropriate food to the designated spots, like on the stump just outside of this home."

"I see people care about you to be feeding you. But I don't know why they wouldn't just approach you. Doesn't anyone?" Malcolm asked.

"Why should any? They respect their place, they know they depend on our good will."

"You are benefiting from those who feed you. How are any of them depending on you? And who else do you mean by saying 'our', anyway?"

"It is all of us, the ones you know of as birds. We bring fantastic luck to those we favor, those who serve us well."

Malcolm gave Rhonda another look. They understood they had come to an island where the people had strange beliefs. But this bird was still quite special, that it talked such that they could communicate with it.

Malcolm, seeing the value, and there being no owner here, said to the bird, "You are treated well here, but why not come with us. We can give you much better care, you don't know what you're missing." He started to approach the parrot.

"Take care, stop!" said the parrot. "You being a newcomer don't understand. Just as we can bring fantastic luck to whom we favor, we can call ill fortune on any. No human is to come to close to me, or else!"

Malcolm stopped, wondering. And he realized that he shouldn't even be having a conversation with a bird, yet he was. It was all too strange.

There was a roll of thunder they heard just then. "You don't realize who I am. Birds like me were appointed to this place by the Most High, to govern where there had been terrible chaos among the original people here. We brought immediate ill fortune on those who wouldn't listen to us, at first. To those that did, we were enabled to show fantastic luck coming to them for incentive to them."

"Oh, we're very sorry," Malcolm said quickly. Not knowing if there was anything to this, he didn't like taking a chance. He would have coaxed the talking parrot to take it, traveling home with the valuable bird.

message 49: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 638 comments Mod
F.F. Very creative and interesting story. Nice read with my morning coffee.

message 50: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Glad we don't have such birds in my neighborhood. Just cats...whom we wait on hand foot. Hummm... Do you think there might be something to this plot?

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