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Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company!
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> Week 416 (June 28-July 4) Stories Topic: Never Go Back
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, Cool yet firm like ice
Jun 28, 2018 10:16AM
You have until the 4th of July to post a story and from the 5th to around the 9th of July, we’ll vote for which one we thought was best!
Please post directly into the topic and not a link. Please don’t use a story previously used in this group. Only one submission per person is allowed.
Your story should be between 300 and 3,500 words long.
REMEMBER! A short story is not merely a scene. It must have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
This week’s topic is:
Never Go Back
Thanks goes to
for suggesting the topic!
The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject/photo but it must relate to the topic somehow.
Most of all have fun!
(last edited Jul 03, 2018 01:13AM)
Jul 03, 2018 01:05AM
AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Things That Empower Me
GENRE: Nonfiction Blog
WORD COUNT: 1,305
RATING: PG-13 for swearing
***THINGS THAT EMPOWER ME***
I had a look at my most recent blog entry about things that scare me. Goddamn, did I sound like a sad sap. It could have been that the month of June was a weird one for me and I was still grieving. But July is finally here and it’s time to start over again. No going back this time around! Instead of talking about things that scare the shit out of me, I’m going to talk about things that empower me, thus turning a negative thought into a positive one. Positive thinking has been at the forefront of my happiness since December 2014, when I vacationed at Lego Land in San Diego and when I had the best goddamn Christmas I could ask for. I lost sight of that positivity somewhere in early 2018, but I’m working on bringing that shit back and it begins with this blog entry. Let’s start the list off with…
Dr. Phil can be full of more shit than a cow pasture sometimes, but the one thing he got right on the nose was that the words we tell ourselves are very powerful, for better or worse. When you tell yourself you’re too fat, too ugly, or not good enough, you believe those things like they’re the word of god. But what if you start sending yourself positive messages instead of negative ones? Let’s say I, for instance, repeat the mental phrase, “If you step outside your comfort zone, good things will happen.” Or what if I just imagine a good-looking version of myself with a skinny body and a sexy haircut like the one I had in my senior year of high school? Or what if I tell myself that I can afford anything I want to buy? What if I tell myself that the world loves me? You say these things often enough, you believe them and you become a happier person because of it. You know what? I’m going to have these thoughts more often, especially the one where I look like a sexy stud with a sweet ass haircut….not an ass haircut, that’s different. Hehe!
Some people call it “just noise”, but to me it’s more intoxicating and enchanting than the world’s most powerful drug. I remember being a little kid and listening to my dad’s CD’s from The Police, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, and Toto. I loved my Pink Floyd CD’s so much that I spent the entire late 90’s listening to the shit out of them. Then the 2000’s came along and I started listening to alternative metal like Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Three Days Grace, Korn, and Papa Roach. My musical library expanded tenfold since then and I wouldn’t trade any of those bands for the world. My current favorite bands include Soulfly, Nightwish, Five Finger Death Punch, Pantera, and Halestorm among others. I love music so much that I refer to concerts as “one-day vacations” and “pilgrimages” rather than “just shows”. I went to a Roger Waters concert in 2000 and my dad referred to at as “taking us to heaven to see god”. There will be many more concerts in the future, which means more opportunities to get high on my drug of choice…which if you haven’t figured it out already is music.
***HAVING AN AUDIENCE***
I know I said in my “Things That Scare Me” blog that being in front of large amounts of people makes me want to swallow Xanax. But make no mistake about it: the fact that there are people out there who are willing to listen to me is a blessing. Whether you’re complimenting my writing or critiquing it (hopefully not trolling), I’m grateful to have you as a member of my audience. I know writing is supposed to be a business, but you can’t put a price tag on having someone’s attention and never letting go. Whether writing becomes my main source of income or not is irrelevant, because some things in life are more important than money, like love, friendship, good advice, creative fuel, and the power of a good story or poem. To everybody who has supported me throughout my career, thank you so very much. To everybody that doubts me, your creative fuel is every bit as welcome. There’s another thing to be positive about: creative fuel can literally come from anywhere, whether it’s a news story, a personal experience, or the pencil sharpener sitting on my desk, which I once used in a toy photograph of Razor Ramon doing elevated pushups.
***SPENDING MONEY ON OTHER PEOPLE***
This goes hand-in-hand with my self-talk about being able to afford anything I want. When you believe you’re good with money, you can probably afford to shell out some of it on other people. That’s why I buy birthday and Christmas gifts months in advance for the ones I love: because I can and love them…that, and buying gifts ahead of schedule is a good way to avoid the stress of things like Black Friday. I also donate some of my money to various charities whether it’s the ASPCA, Extra Life, or St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Spending money on other people, whether in a big or small way, will actually make you happy in the long-term, because you’re strengthening your relationship with that person. You don’t have to clean out your life savings just to make one person happy, but having that kind of confidence with your money and that kind of love for the one you’re spending it on, that says a lot about your mindset.
To paraphrase Cenk Uygur from The Young Turks, OF COURSE this was going to be a list item! Writing stories and poems gives me a sense of purpose in an economy where English majors and Millennials are frowned upon. I don’t write for the money or the fame. I do it because I fucking love it. I do it because it’s hard work that I can be proud of. I do it because having a legacy is important to me. Do I have lazy days occasionally? All the time. But lazy days are temporary while legacies are forever. I realize that not everybody will like what I have to write, but that’s the nature of subjectivity. There are people who love the shit out of Fifty Shades of Grey and despise Winnie the Pooh. Yes! People actually hate Winnie the Pooh! But if I denied my audience the right to hate my works, I’d come off as a dictator rather than a role model for individuality. Life doesn’t end because of a bad review, or even ten of them. Your career isn’t over until you say it is.
Goddamn, I’m taking a long time to write this blog entry. Then again, it’s nearly one o’clock in the morning and I spent most of my day in a mental fog. If you can’t concentrate, you can’t write…at least not very well. Here’s hoping my messages of empowerment are well-received by you, my lovely audience. If not, well, at least I tried. I’m Garrison Kelly! Even when you feel like dying, keep climbing the mountain!
***DOMESTIC DIALOGUE OF THE DAY***
(In the summer of 2017…)
JAMES: Hey Garrison, what was in the Amazon package you got in the mail today?
GARRISON: Duct tape and a CD.
JAMES: Those two things do not go together! What are you going to do, bind and gag one of your Face Book women and torture her with your music?
GARRISON: That’s not what the duct tape is for!
JAMES: Uh-huh. Sure! The only thing more disturbing than that was that it came in a long and narrow package. I thought it was another one of your corporate pop metal posters.
GARRISON: Goddamn it, James!
Jul 04, 2018 10:06PM
Title : Listing Persisting (Helen Singer, Chapter 20, Part 1)
Author : Edward Davies
Word Count : 1071
Rating : PG13
“A cop’s badge?” Fran stared at the item as I held it between us, “Can you tell whose it is?”
“No,” I sighed, “for some reason there’s no identifying name or number.”
“I don’t think they bother with that sort of thing in small towns and villages,” Fran mused.
“Which makes it next to useless,” I sighed.
“But it does narrow things down,” Fran smiled, “whoever this Pied Piper is must be a cop.”
“It’s possible they’re a police officer,” I agreed, “but it might also be a coincidence. Don’t forget my brother is one of those who was taken – he might have had my mum’s badge for some reason.”
Fran was about to say something when her eyes suddenly widened behind her glasses and her jaw fell slack, “Wait a minute,” she said, “what if the Pied Piper is your mum?”
“My mum?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“That doesn’t make any sense at all,” I told her, “it would mean that me seeing the book for itself had no bearing on me being cursed in an unusual way – it would mean it was something… genetic, I guess.”
“Maybe it is,” Fran said.
I sighed loudly at this, “I wish you’d come up with something a bit more certain for once,” I groaned, “all this guess work is really starting to get on my nerves.”
“Well, the one sure fire way of finding out who this Pied Piper is would be to follow them through that wall,” Fran said, pointing at the now closed off doorway that had just recently been open onto a place we could only guess at, “but now they’ve gone, we probably won’t ever get through.”
“Good guess,” I said sarcastically.
“Anyway,” Fran continued, ignoring my tone, “if our calculations have been correct so far, we’ve got until tomorrow night to stop this kidnapper before the curse comes to an end.”
“Well, we need to find out who they are,” I said, “and the best way, if you ask me, isn’t to try and follow them through a solid brick wall. For all we know, once we go through, we might never get back again.”
“Then what do you suggest?” Fran asked.
“We go to the station and ask my mum the name of all the officers that work there,” I beamed, “this is only a small village, there’ can’t be more than a handful of officers working here.”
“They have brought in a few more in recent months,” Fran said, “including your mum, but you’re right, there aren’t that many to get through.”
“Then what are we waiting for,” I asked, “let’s get out of this dump and get back to the station.”
We began to climb back through the window, and I couldn’t help wondering how the Pied Piper as we were calling him could have missed that we’d broken in. Once we were back on the street we were relieved to see that the rain was easing up, and we began the short walk back to the police station.
Nothing much had changed in the handful of minutes since we’d left; the rubble at the back of the building was still smouldering and smoking, the police were still milling around checking that they hadn’t missed anything when the supposed bomb had gone off, and my mum was still at the main desk following her interrogation of Basil Iskander and his subsequent transportation to a local motel.
“Hey mum,” I waved as Fran and I walked back up to the desk. My mum stopped what she was doing and looked at us angrily.
“I thought I told you to go home,” she said, frowning heavily.
“You actually told us not to stay out too late,” Fran corrected.
My mum smiled weakly, “That was me being polite and trying not to embarrass Helen in front of you,” she told Fran. I could feel my cheeks blushing, “When I say ‘Don’t stay out too late’, what I mean is “Go home now’. Does that make sense to either of you?”
I nodded mutely, and I could tell Fran was embarrassed for both of us.
“We only came back because we wanted to ask you a few questions,” I finally said.
“More questions?” my mum said, “For me? What about?”
“We were just curious if you had the names of all the officers that work in the area,” I asked.
“It’s for a school project,” Fran added. I glared at her.
“You haven’t started back at college yet,” my mum pointed out to the pair of us, “and you already have homework?”
“It’s extra credit,” I smiled, though I could have killed Fran. Considering how intelligent she was supposed to be, she really didn’t know how to make her lies simple, “Fran told me it was set over the holidays.”
“And what are you supposed to do with this list of names?” my mum asked, “I can’t imagine it would be a very interesting project.”
“It’s a long story,” I lied, “we can’t really get into it right now. Do you have a list though? Or can you make one?”
“If you really want to know the names of the officers that work here, it’s no secret,” my mum told me, gesturing to a whiteboard behind her, “all the names are listed up here, with what they’re supposed to be doing for the day.”
I looked over my mum’s shoulder and noticed the board for the first time. There were about a dozen surnames listed on the board, including my mum’s, Singer.
“Thanks mum,” I said, taking out my phone and taking a few pictures of the board, “this will really help me get in good with my teachers when I start classes.”
“Glad I can help,” my mum sighed as Fran and I left the station.
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