Writers 750 Short Story Contest discussion

Monthly Short Story Contest > July Summertime Memories

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message 1: by Rebecca (last edited Jun 26, 2018 01:18PM) (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments July 2018 Contest: Summertime Memories

Short Story Challenge (750 to 1000 words)
Deadline is midnight (mst) Friday July 27, 2018
Voting will take place between July 28 and July 31. Winners will be posted in this thread on August 1st.

• A blanket
• A fruit
• A toy

Theme: A memory of summer from childhood.

Setting – any

Plot – your choice

Ideas to get you started.

Watching fireworks at the lake with family
The tastes of summer.

Looking forward to school finally being out only to be bored.

Visiting crazy relatives

What I did on my summer vacation – except it is unbelievable (journey to the past/future, trip aboard a space ship, etc)

The first time I ever saw _________________.

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 Rejoice (new)

Rejoice Denhere | 235 comments Nice theme. I am looking forward to working on this one Rebecca!

message 3: by Mirta (new)

Mirta Oliva (mirtaoliva) | 385 comments Lots of possibilities here, Rebecca!

message 4: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments I'm looking forward to the stories! Have fun.

message 5: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments I am looking forward to this. Have the thinking cap on to stir the creative juices.

message 6: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments And I'm sure you'll come up with something wonderful.

message 7: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments The Dollar Dolly - 1000 words

My brother walked me to and from school when I was in the first grade.

We walked past the church and crossed to the other side of the street when we passed the four beer joints, where men gathered on the sidewalk, drinking from paper bags. My brother found a bottle in the bushes and we redeemed it at the General Store for two cents.

Pressing our noses to the glass candy case, we discussed the merits of candy cigarettes versus wax coke bottles filled with cool-aid. Two cents worth of wax coke bottles were carefully weighed on a little scale.

Inside the glass case, the clever storeowner also displayed various dolls and other tempting toys. One of the Storybook dolls had a fuchsia dress. She had beautiful brown wavy hair and movable arms. Her eyes opened and closed. Never in my life had my five-year-old eyes beheld anything so beautiful. She cost a dollar, a considerable amount of money in 1948.

What was the likelihood of me getting a beautiful doll that cost a whole dollar, even at Christmas? We were lucky to get one small toy, maybe some new clothes and a bag of candy and an orange at the church Christmas program. I took my request to Mama, cried and begged, promised to go to bed without a fuss, eat all my Brussels sprouts and brush my teeth five times a day if she would buy me the dolly, but my alligator tears fell on deaf ears. “Go talk to your daddy.”

Daddy was not impressed with my offer, either. “Furthermore,” he said, “Mama works in the apple packing plant and earns less than a dollar an hour. You can buy three pounds of hamburger for a dollar and several loaves of bread for a dollar or three gallons of gas for a dollar. I will not pay a dollar for a doll.”

I left Daddy with a better understanding of the value of a dollar, but no closer to obtaining my impossible dream. Every day on the way home from school, we stopped at the General Store where I stood by the glass case for ten minutes, dreaming of owning that dolly.

I shook out all the coins from my piggy bank onto my pink Snow White blanket, and counted twenty-four cents. If I had twenty-four cents and needed a dollar, how much did I still need? My brother said I needed seventy-six cents and, somehow, if Mama wouldn’t give it to me, I’d need to earn it.

That night I dreamed about the dolly. I could feel her soft, wavy hair. I sat her up and laid her down and watched her eyes blink open and closed. My fingers tingled from the smooth texture of her satiny fuchsia skirt and the rough lace on the edges of the hem.

Wait! What about the men standing by the beer joint, drinking from paper bags? I remembered how they tossed the bags into the bushes and how each bottle inside was worth two cents!

Daddy had said, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” If I walked around the beer joints, I could pick up the bottles, and cash them in for money.

For several weeks, on the way home from school, I dragged dirty beer bottles out of the bushes and cashed them in. Each night a few more pennies went in the piggy bank.

When I had saved a dollar, I rushed to the store. My dolly was still in the glass case. Mine at last! The store lady rang up the sale.
“That will be $1.03.”

I had exactly one dollar. Tears sprang to my eyes. “Why is it $1.03,” I asked.

She explained that the government didn’t have enough money to pay all the relief checks to lazy men who squatted on the sidewalk outside beer joints, drinking beer out of paper bags, so that’s why a little girl had to pay three cents more to buy a dolly.

I bargained with the store lady. She agreed to let me take the dolly home for the dollar today. If I couldn’t bring back three cents by tomorrow, I’d return the dolly. She could keep the dollar and sell the dolly to another little girl. I was the one gambling, not her.

They say a con man is born every minute. She fell for it, hook, line, and sinker. I figured if I couldn’t find two more beer bottles on the way home, mama would be so embarrassed by my gambling, she would give me the three cents. I’d probably get a spanking, but it was a chance I was willing to take.

I walked home, clutching my dolly to my heart, scanning the ditches. It seemed as if someone had gleaned every single bottle. I scoured the bushes and searched the garbage cans outside the beer joints. Near my house, I found two beer bottles under the rose bushes. With the four cents from those bottles, I was able to pay off my debt, and buy another wax coke bottle with cool-aid to boot.

Mama was mad when she heard where I got the money for the doll. She forbade me to do it again and said, “If you ever want something that bad, you should ask me for the money.”

Now isn’t that what I had done in the first place?

She went on to say, “Hanging around beer joints is a bad influence on a little girl. You mustn’t go near one ever again. The government should never have repealed Prohibition back in 1933. It’s a shame you have to raise kids in a town where there are four beer joints and only one church.” She didn’t count the Chinese church outside of town, but she always said they were heathens.

At that point, I stopped listening.

I still have that dolly with the fuchsia dress, brown wavy hair and the eyes that open and close…open and close.

message 8: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
Cute story of days of yesteryear. You made me think it was a true story. Maybe it was.

message 9: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
by terry turner 993 words

Amy Cantrell sat on the front porch of her aging beach cottage watching the Seagulls frolic in the misty morning air as she waited for her daughter’s daily visit. Today she would be celebrating her 84th birthday. Sitting on the porch with a cup of tea was Amy’s normal routine while awaiting her daughter’s arrival but this day seemed different. She could not quite put her finger on it, but the air seemed to have a different smell; the sunlight a little off color; the ocean a little more disturbed. She sensed something was going to happen. The first thing she thought of was ‘earthquake’. It had been predicted for years that a strong quake would send part of California sliding into the Pacific Ocean. ‘Had that day finally come,’ she wondered? Her next thought was wildfires. Brush fires takes it’s toll on California almost every year but most of those fires happen in the southern part of the state. ‘Could it happen here,’ she mused.

‘Oh, this is ridiculous. This day is no different from any other,’ Amy told herself. But deep down she could not shake the feeling that something was amiss.

Julie visited her mother everyday but on Wednesdays she stopped by the main post office to retrieve the mail. As she slowly turned the combination lock on her mother’s p.o. box, junk mail and the occasional utility statement was all she expected to find. Because there was hardly ever any important correspondence to be found she elected to collect the mail only once every week. She locked the now empty box and poked the mail into a plastic grocery bag to deliver to her mom. But as she dropped in the assortment of coupons and papers, a white envelop caught her eye. Running her hand into the bag and sorting through the contents she fished out the item for which she sought; a plain white envelop of a personal nature with no return address. However, the postmark indicated it was mailed from Yazoo Mississippi. She held it up to the light and she could see the letter was not typed. Someone had written it in their own hand. Julie’s curiosity was piqued but she dutifully dropped the letter again into the bag with the rest of the mail. ‘I am sure I will find out when mother opens it,’ she thought to herself.

“Good morning,” Julie called out as she walked up the sandy pathway to her mother’s house. “It is a bit chilly this morning. Are you warm enough? I can fetch a blanket if you like?”

“No, no, I am warm enough thank you,” her mother replied. “Anything in that pile of junk other than bills and ads?”

“Actually, yes. There is a personal letter here for you which seems odd to me. No one writes letters anymore and sends them snail mail. Texting or email is much faster. Who could be sending you a letter? Looks like it was sent from Yazoo Mississippi. Isn’t that where you were born?”

“Yes, but I can not imagine who would be writing me from Yazoo. My family moved to California when I was fourteen years old.” Amy curiously examined the letter as she took the plain white envelop from Julie’s hand and placed it on her lap.

“Well, aren’t you going to read it,” asked Julie?

“Yes but I need my reading glasses. I think I left them on the kitchen table. Could you get them please?”

When Julie returned with the glasses, Amy picked up the envelop, extracted the letter and began reading silently to herself. When she had finished, she slowly laid the letter down on the table next to her, rose up from the chair and went into the house.

Julie, saw the solemn look on her mother’s face as she left the porch but said nothing. When her mother did not return straight away, Julie picked up the letter and began to read:

Dear Amy,

Do you recall the day you and your family moved away from Yazoo? I ran to your house just as the family car was pulling out of the driveway. I wanted to say something to you then but it was too late.

A few years later I was so disappointed when I heard you had married. I always hoped I would be that special one in your life but it was not to be. So many times I wanted to write these words to you but I heard you were happy and had a lovely family so I have waited.

The doctors told me my time has come. But I can not go without telling you what I have kept in my heart for 70 years.

I was thinking about that time so long ago when you and I were kids. We had spread a blanket on the ground pretending to have a picnic under grandpa’s old apple tree. You had your toy kitchen set and I my racing cars.

I stole my first kiss that day, do you remember? You were eight and I was nine. Your cheeks were flushed, smile shy and your deep blue eyes captured my heart. For me all other kisses in life would be judged by that one kiss. 

I felt like a knight in shining armor and you my princess under that apple tree. I had hoped we would always be together but wishing could not make it so. As children moments like those brought such joy and we believed it to be our magical place. Then everyone grows up, youth is left behind and hearts often break in two but I would not have missed a minute of it Amy; not for all the world.

Since that memorable day our lives took different paths but I shall never forget
and I will always cherish that kiss so long ago on a bright sunlit day under the old apple tree.

Love forever yours,

Mark Lawson

message 10: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments TERRY wrote: "Cute story of days of yesteryear. You made me think it was a true story. Maybe it was."

Yes, Terry. It was completely true.

message 11: by Glenda (last edited Jul 08, 2018 02:30PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1082 comments Mod
Both of those stories are precious! Thank you for writing them.

Elaine, it amazes me to compare what a dollar could buy back then. I am old enough to remember the wax bottles of liquid in the candy section. In the early 70's I use to be crazy for "Now & Later" salt water taffy watermelon candy which is still sold today.

message 12: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
Elaine, I am enjoying watching reruns of Alfred Hitchcock shows from the 50's. In one episode a couple had a water leak in the basement. The husband told the wife to get an estimate before letting the plumber do in work. He said, "if it is more than $10 tell him to hit the road." lol

message 13: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments The part I cut out from the original story was store lady telling me that the govt owed five hundred eight three billion dollars in national debt and that was part of why I had to pay 3 cents tax on the dollar.(today 21 trillion!) If only!

message 14: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Elaine wrote: "The Dollar Dolly - 1000 words

My brother walked me to and from school when I was in the first grade.

We walked past the church and crossed to the other side of the street when we passed the fo..."

Great start to the month Elaine. You have me believing it is a true story.

message 15: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Another great story, Terry. Thank you for sharing.

message 16: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Rebecca wrote: "Elaine wrote: "The Dollar Dolly - 1000 words

My brother walked me to and from school when I was in the first grade.

We walked past the church and crossed to the other side of the street when w..."

Rebecca. Yes. It is a true story.

message 17: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Glenda: I was re-reading some of the old threads from this group some months ago. Wonder how/if the planned anthologies worked out. Particularly got interested in the stories and comments for the planned Biblical anthology surrounding Jesus' birth. Or the superhero anthology? Or Angels? Can you bring us up to date on these issues?

message 18: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1082 comments Mod
Here is an update on the anthologies. David recently emailed me to say he is disappointed at the sales that Waiting for Messiah has been doing. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view... As with any self published ebook, if you don't continue to market it or follow up with another book, sales will drop off. I did a broadcast about the Superhero anthology not long ago. About half of the submissions did not fit the guidelines established by Stephanie. Some were if-y. As far as the angel anthology, I emailed Heather about it a few months ago. She had no definite answer. I believe that she spends a lot of time at college (?) and with her family/ kids. I think it would be neat to rally behind an angel anthology. That is a subject that would be dear to a lot of people's hearts. Sorry that i don't have anything positive to report.

message 19: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments I just watched your post on the super-hero anthology. I honestly thought that was a done deal. So is Stephanie taking new submissions or is the project scrapped?

I am not familiar with the "angel anthology". What was that one about?

message 20: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Anthologies are very difficult to sell, even face to face with customers. I just did my 21 cat stories, All Things Cat, but have been disappointed in results. I think anthologies in general probably aren't the best way to go. I would be interested to know how folks are doing with Amazon sales for a single short story for 99 cents. Ladies and gents: Anyone have any info on this subject?

message 21: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments David: Just checked out your book on Amazon. For a book of only 14,000 words, I think you're overpriced. Recommend you drop the price to $1.99 and see if your sales are better. Just a thought.

message 22: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1082 comments Mod
re: Superhero anthology - Stephanie wants people to rewrite their stories or submit new ones & use this email address superheroanthology2018@gmail.com View this trailer I did which also contains the book cover for it https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OO-xwae...

message 23: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1082 comments Mod
Lynette, Heather did not post the angel anthology to the group here. You should email her about it.

message 24: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (furyanhound) | 89 comments Lynette wrote: "I just watched your post on the super-hero anthology. I honestly thought that was a done deal. So is Stephanie taking new submissions or is the project scrapped?

I am not familiar with the "angel ..."

Hi Lynette,
Sorry, I've been kind of incommunicado on this for the past few months - been going through some family issues that I needed to work through.

Although the stories I received in the initial submission phase were wonderfully written and showed some really cool ideas, most of them did not fit with the "Heroes and Rebels" title that Glenda and I had chosen. So, because of that, I have re-opened submissions for the superhero anthology - the new close deadline will be August 31st to either re-write or re-submit your story. I can't remember off the top of my head if you submitted one, but if you didn't, please feel free to do so. :)

You can find the thread about the anthology here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 25: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments This month is flying by. I'm looking forward to many more stories.

message 26: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Carlson (sandycarl) | 89 comments Rebecca wrote: "July 2018 Contest: Summertime Memories

Sadly the last couple months my started-stories for her never got finished. Too bad. This month I have more time because our 40th anniversary cruise to Alaska had to be cancelled because of hubby’s sudden illness (and no trip insurance). I also started a new fantasy blog this week with my fantasy penname, with lots of giveaways – BECAUSE I was going to give away books and candy during our cruise. Even with all that I was able to manage this story. Thanks, Rebecca, for making me remember.

Apple Tree World by S. L. Carlson (aka, Sandy), 808 words

I was raised a free-range kid. Thinking back on it, I’m not sure my mother liked having me underfoot in the house, so a common direction from her was, “Go outside and play.” My older brother had kids his own age who lived a block away, lots of boys from his grade. My sister had a friend her own age who lived behind us and down a few houses. Me? No one my age for nearly two long (twenty-house) blocks, so I often played alone. But the outside became my world. My siblings were off playing in houses of their friends. Mom didn’t want me inside. So there I was, me and the world. We didn’t have many toys for either inside or out. I do remember writing my first books in that backyard, even before I knew the alphabet. They were scratches on lilac leaves. They were perfect books. But with all the grass and dirt and bushes and flowers, my all-time favorite place to be was in our apple tree.
Getting my bare foot high enough to reach that first Y in our apple tree trunk was the hardest. Although the tree was only in our backyard, when I passed up and beyond that secret entrance door, the whole of the apple tree became my secret, private world. I don’t remember falling out of that tree but my knees and elbows and arms did get scraped up enough to prove that I had been traveling in the woodsy wilderness.

Once while playing neighborhood kick the can at our house with about fifteen kids, I was suddenly in my own territory. Kick-the-can was usually played up the street, closer to where all the kids lived. Our house was a block away. But this time, our house, my territory. The first few kicks and hides, kids would follow me into the bushes or behind a wall post. I had the best places, and I was giving them all away. Then the next time, when no one was around, I slipped up there in my tree and remained still and silent in the leaves. I watched as “It” searched for me, and couldn’t find me. When everyone was found except for me, they wandered the front and back yard calling for me. I stayed in my tree tower watching the minions pass through the dusk below me, back-and-forth like little rats. When overheard someone say “she’s probably gone inside” I decided to come down, but I waited until they had retreated to the front. I did not want to give away my very best of all hiding places. It was too good and too secret and too special to reveal to the minions. When they asked where I’d hidden, I wouldn’t say. They decided I had “hid” inside, which was not fair. I denied it. I felt bad being called a liar, but I still wouldn’t give away my Apple Tree World.

If there were times when I wanted some adventure in danger all I had to do was to go higher up or further out where the branches would get weaker and weaker and weaker. But I was never that stupid to go that far, up or too far out. I think my apple tree was taking care of me, watching out for me, making sure its companion, a little tomboy girl never fell.
My daddy found an old scaffolding platform deck which someone was going to throw away. He brought home one day to stick high in the tree for me. It made my tree quite civilized. If I had a blanket or sleeping bag I would’ve slept there. Or rather, I would have lay away all night, listening to the wind through the leaves being vigilant not to roll off.

I spent hours in the green forest of my backyard tree. I even made toy dolls out of the twigs. I had no string nor tape, so sometimes the dolls were just sticks with another one laid across it for the arms. In the fall, when the apples were red enough to eat, my twig companions and I would share an apple “pie” together. They never ate very much of it, which was awfully polite of them. And they were very good listeners, too, for none of them ate the apples when they were green because, as we all know, green apples mean they aren’t ripe, and eating unripe apples means belly aches. Good twig dolls. Even twigs would feel uncomfortable with belly aches.

As an adult, I’m not sure that I have happy place for there are so many wonderful places where I have been, things I have seen, and people I have known. But remembering my secret Apple Tree World, so full of adventures and companions, makes me feel very warm and happy inside.

message 27: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Carlson (sandycarl) | 89 comments Sorry about your family issues, Stephanie. I relate. We had to cancel our 2nd ever cruise because of hubby's sudden illness. Cruise gone, but he is still dealing with this mysterious whatever which baffles doctors. I hope you, Stephanie, can sort out the family issues. Life! Right?

message 28: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
This story Sandy brought back many memories for me. I too had a tree (Big Oak) where as far as I know, I was the only one who knew (or cared) how to access the branches. I never talked to anyone about my Oak tree probably because I figured they would not be interested or I thought it just a small thing. But now, thinking back, doesn't it feel good to share with others the small things that meant so much?

message 29: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Carlson (sandycarl) | 89 comments So agree, Terry. And an oak! My! They don’t have low branches, either.

message 30: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
Sandy wrote: "So agree, Terry. And an oak! My! They don’t have low branches, either."

I thought of telling about the high branches but didn't want to go on and on. But since you mentioned..... The oak was in my grandfathers/mother's back yard and it would take two kids holding hands to reach around the base. There was one lower branch that grew down and back up to form a "hook shape". I could jump just high enough to grab the hook and pull myself up.

message 31: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Nice story, Sandy. I hope your husband is back to 100% soon. I had a tree friend growing up too. In my best friend's yard. A fruitless mulberry. It was a the best place to be on a summer day, although I wasn't exactly a great tree climber.

message 32: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Lovely story, Rebecca. Such wonderful memories and a special place where you felt safe and could let your imagination run free.

message 33: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Tuesday is a great day to write a short story!! That way you can do your editing on Weds, reread it on Thursday and make a few more changes and still get it posted in plenty of time for the July 27th deadline. You've got this! Happy writing.

message 34: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Carlson (sandycarl) | 89 comments Wednesday is a great day to write a story!

message 35: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Today is great day to write a story. Man, why do I always wait until the final hours? I swear.

message 36: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments You both made me smile. Looking forward to your contributions.

message 37: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Stephanie wrote: "Lynette wrote: "I just watched your post on the super-hero anthology. I honestly thought that was a done deal. So is Stephanie taking new submissions or is the project scrapped?

I am not familiar ..."

Thanks Stephanie for the info. I will seriously look into it.

I totally relate to family issues. I hope yours gets better soon.

I am dragging into the third year of them myself. Some days I wish I could just disappear for awhile to focus on me. But alas, real life doesn't work that way anymore. Oh to be like Ernest Hemingway, Agatha Cristie, and so many others who were blessed with solitary hideouts.

message 38: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Ok, story is written. It is going to be a Kleenex one. I was tearing up writing it.

message 39: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 172 comments That Strange Day of Summer by F. F. Burwick, 801 words

Pattie brought the lincoln logs, that her friends among those residential buildings liked building things with. Her mother, who gave her a bag with sliced apples and pears which Pattie could share with her friends, cautioned her to use an open spot in the play area where no pieces would be lost. So she was not to take them to the sandbox. She had the shiny cotton blanket laid out on the ground, and everything done with the logs were to be just on that blanket, along with Pattie's little doll. The friends all gathered around, and between them they all eventually finished what resembled a large impressive house. It was still quite a large set of logs, so they discussed what more could be built with those.

After some time, Terry and Pattie had a high tower that they had wanted constructed, while Todd and Sherman, who wanted a tank built, watched them cheerlessly. But the tank would not go along with the impressive house they had built, so the tower was more sensible. When it was completed, Terry and Patty carefully maneuvered the tower to be close to their constructed house. Terry then said, "Did you see that, Patty? There was a little face that peaked out from the door in our house!"

"Who do you think you're kidding, Terry? You can't fool us, we know better."

"I am not making it up! I saw it, the face looked at me, and then drew back inside where I couldn't see it."

"We just built the house!" Pattie responded more assertively. "It isn't possible."

Terry didn't give up. "I know what I saw, it was real."

Todd said, "It would have been Pattie's doll. It has to be. There wouldn't be another face possible!"

"I didn't put the doll in the house," Pattie told him.

"But one of us did then." Todd looked around at each of the kids there. "One of us, who isn't saying anything. See, the doll isn't out here."

Indeed, Pattie saw the doll was not there where she could see it.

"Well, I really saw a face there" Terry went on. "I didn't touch the doll, to just claim that. Pattie didn't know if the doll could be in it, she had no reason to do that, she just didn't believe me. That leaves you, if you are such a great deceiver, talking like someone else did something that you did, or it leaves Sherman, and you would know he did it if it wasn't you. But besides all that, I saw the face move, it moved quickly back in, where I couldn't see it still. But that little face was looking at me."

"Well, Todd was the first to say it must have been the doll that one of us put in there. Why would he say that right away if he did it?" Pattie reasoned. "You and I were working on the tower, it was the time whoever did it could have put the doll in the house without us noticing, and we were both busy. That leaves Sherman."

Pattie and Todd both gave Sherman a stern look. "It wasn't me," Sherman protested, "I just sat here with Todd watching you both making the tower."

"You are not paying attention to me! I said the face moved, I saw it. It can't be the doll!"

"Is that what this is about? You want attention?" Pattie looked quizzically at Terry.

Terry then just scowled at her. "No! You know what I mean. I said it moved, and you each go on talking about the doll like I didn't say that. The doll can't move!"

"No, it can't," Pattie agreed. "Well, I have had enough of our talking about it. I am looking in it. If a face is in there, I will see the face." And Pattie crouched low, and then she went on her knees, and then bending low to look into the door of the log house. She looked in carefully, and then with a surprised voice, she said, "Hello!"

The other friends there looked carefully at the door of that house they had all constructed. There was a movement within. And then suddenly, they saw running out from it there was a manic mouse, a large brained rodent similar to a jerboa. That creature hurried quickly away.

The friends were startled, and at the time they didn't know what the animal was which they saw. They watched the creature hurry on to quickly reach the trees which were well off from them, where they lost sight of it. Pattie looked still then, and reached in. She brought her hand again while holding her little doll.

"That's who put the doll in, and why you saw the moving face, Terry," she said.

message 40: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
FF - Interesting which held my attention and very creative. Oh, the mysteries we encountered as children causing our imaginations to run wild.

message 41: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
Lynette wrote: "Ok, story is written. It is going to be a Kleenex one. I was tearing up writing it." CAN'T WAIT TO READ IT.

message 42: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments True to my nature of waiting until the final hours. It is complete. Hope you enjoy A Blanket, a Truck, and a Legacy. WARNING: Grab some Kleenex.

message 43: by Lynette (last edited Jul 27, 2018 02:38PM) (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments A Blanket, a Truck, and a Legacy

Word count 998

Jessie Reichman kicked the dorm room closed behind him, dropped his text books on his build in desk, and collapsed onto the twin bed. In one week, he knocked out eight finals and four term papers. He was feeling pretty accomplished on one hand, but utterly exhausted on the other.

“I can’t believe it is finally over. I actually survived my first year of pre-med and maintained a 3.75 gpa to boot,” he congratulated himself. “I am one year closer to being a trauma Surgeon, dad. But first, I am taking a nap.”

Two hours later his well deserved nap was interrupted by a knock on the door. He squeezed his eyes tighter, hoping they would just go away. But no. The first knock was followed by a more urgent one.

“What the hell.” Jessie cursed as he pushed himself off the bed. “The stupid dorm better be on fire.” He growled as he walked to the door.

Yanking it open, “What…” he started but the words froze to back of his throat. Standing there were the last two people he expected. “Uncle Mike, Aunt Carol. What are you doing here?”

“Surprise.” His aunt greeted him, but it lacked the usual enthusiasm. Alarms started buzzing in Jessie’s exhausted mind.

Mike gestured toward the room. “May we?”

Jessie stepped aside. “Oh yea, sure, come in. Sorry the place is such a mess. Just finished up the week from hell.”

Aunt Carol smiled as she followed her husband in. Mike took the chair at the desk and Carol took the one by the window. With the only two chairs occupied, Jessie sat down on his unmade bed.

An awkward silence fell over the room. The words of one Jessie’s professors suddenly flashed in his mind. “Look for what your patient isn’t telling you.”

Jessie focused on Mike first. Michel Reichman was the oldest of four boys and one of the best prosecuting lawyers in the business. Jessie’s father David was the youngest. His uncle’s temples were beginning to gray and his dark black hair was visibly thinning. Today Michel looked more serious than usual.

Jessie’s attention moved to his aunt. She was the polar opposite of her husband. Her bubbly personality was contagious and would often loosen up the studious Michel. That bubbly personality was subdued today and he noticed she had been crying, recently. The alarms were getting louder.

Jessie broke the awkward silence. “So, since Rochester Minnesota is a long way from Oakland California what brings you here to the Mayo Clinic?”

Their eyes both dropped to the floor. Michel finally looked up, but Carol refused to. Then her hand went to her eyes. She was crying again. The alarms were blaring now.

His Uncle took a moment to answer. “Jessie, there is no easy way to say this so I am just going to get it over with. We flew out from California yesterday to be with your mom. I wanted to come get you last night but she demanded we wait until this morning so that you could concentrate on your last final.”

Jessie was finding it hard to breathe. “What is wrong?” He heard himself ask.

“Jessie, your dad was killed early yesterday morning in a head on collision. He had stayed late at the station to do some paper work and just got off the exit by your house when a drunk driver raced up the off ramp.”

Jessie’s world suddenly collapsed around him. “Noooo,” he screamed.

Jessie barely remembered the flight home, his sister meeting them at the airport, his mother bursting into tears as he walked into the house, or a single face that was in the crowded living room. He couldn’t bring himself to accept that the conversation about the funeral arrangements was real.

Finally everyone left and he was able to escape to his room. He was supposed to be home in a few days. His whole summer was all planned out already. None of those plans included burying his father. As he flipped on the light his attention locked onto his bed. Laying in the middle of it was the battered, cotton blend, tied, blanket his mother made for him before he was born. The top was a black and red checkered pattern and the bottom was solid red. His mother claimed that for the first four years of his life Jessie spent countless hours curled up in his dad‘s lap with that blanket. Sitting beside the blanket was the old hook and ladder truck he received on his fifth birthday.

It was a perfect summer day and Jessie and he playmates were just finishing up their watermelon wedges when his parents came out of the house with all the presents. The boys quickly deserted the fruit on their dishes and gathered at the end of the table. His dad insisted that Jessie open their gift first. Jessie still could not remember any other present he received that day.

The next day David took Jessie to the firehouse where he worked as a paramedic. Jessie vowed that very day to one up his dad and become a doctor. Just like his dad saved lives every day, that toy hook and ladder truck would spend the next six years rescuing every Barbie doll in the neighborhood.

His mother appeared behind him. Pointing towards his bed he asked, “Mom, where did you find those? I thought they disappeared years ago.”

“We were cleaning up the attic a couple of weeks ago and your dad wanted…,” she tried to explain but broke down into tears.
Jessie pulled his distraught mother close to comfort her. “It is alright, mom. We will get through this. I am home now. Shhhh.”

Before leaving the house Jessie tucked that old battered blanket in a inside pocket of his suit. When it came time to close the casket he gently placed that blanket next to his father’s cheek as if to provide comfort. The hook and ladder truck will go back to college with him.

message 44: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Now it is time to read some stories.

message 45: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
Lynette wrote: "A Blanket, a Truck, and a Legacy

Wow! So well written Lynette. Easy read. The "title" was creative.

message 46: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 642 comments Mod
Rebecca wrote: "I'm looking forward to the stories! Have fun." I have not found a way to message you with my votes on this site. Do you have an email address? Thanks.

message 47: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments Voting is open. Please submit your votes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. You can send them to me at rebecca.a.lacy@gmail.com.

Remember, you can't win if you don't vote.

The stories are:

The Dollar Dolly
by Elaine Faber

Under the Old Apple Tree by Terry Turner

Apple Tree World
by Sandy Carlson

That Strange Day of Summer
by F.F. Berwick

A Blanket, a Truck and a Legacy
by Lynette White.

message 48: by Shelly (new)

Shelly Heskett | 181 comments Lynette, SUCH A CLEVER ENDING. i COULD NOT [dang was on caps] think how you could get it in 1000 words. Good job. it is well written. the first wasn't as strong as the rest of it to me. Not as dramatic, or as emotional. Maybe stronger emphasis how tired he is. Just an idea.

You want to keep contrast between normal day and life changing day, I know.

message 49: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca (rlacy) | 152 comments We have votes from 2 people now. Take a few minutes to send me your votes. Tuesday is the last day. My email is rebecca.a.lacy@gmail.com

message 50: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Dear All,

Sorry to parachute into this thread but I have just received copies of my new book - the one I left to finish - it is called 'Being Spirit' and the new website is http://beingspirit.uk
While the subject may not be of interest to everyone as fellow writers you may find the website structure and content of help to promote your own work.
Best wishes to you all!
Steve Bridger

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