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Monthly Short Story Contest > for December 2018

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message 1: by Donna B. (new)

Donna B. Comeaux (dcomeaux) | 20 comments Theme: (Discovering) Joy Amid A Painful Loss

Setting: An old abandoned house (your own; or that of a loved one)

Writers must use all of the story prompts listed below:

*An old door knocker covered in cobwebs
*A four-foot dead Christmas tree
*A familiar home
*Past tragedy

Plot Suggestions:

The only other thing required is for you to “show” strong emotions. Don’t tell us he or she is sad. “Show” us their pain and have that pain lead us through a gradual change toward joy and understanding. Sudden changes in the person’s emotions will only end up being unbelievable. This story can be a complete narrative. It’s up to you. However, the pressure will be on you to “show” movement, action, in order to hold your reader’s interest.

The story should be at least 750 words, and can be as much as 1,500.

Deadline: Entries must be submitted by midnight EST on Thursday, December 21, 2018.

Voting period will be Wednesday, December 26th to Saturday, December 29th.
Winners will be announced on January 2nd, 2019.
Send your votes for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place to Donna Comeaux at creativefiction@hotmail.com.

Genre: Anything but erotica.

Purpose: Our purpose here is to sharpen our ability to write an emotionally-driven piece of art.

Rules and Directions:

* Type in English - a minimum of 750 words; a maximum of 1,500 words; no erotica, no profanity.

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


*ONE* entry per person and your submission must be your original work, and a new piece of writing. No re-postings allowed, so make sure your story reads like you intended before you post.


Stories are judged on creativity, grammar, word choice, punctuation, and overall quality of the story. I will be looking for a tug on my emotions and if you’ve brought me (and the readers) through a smooth transition of pain to joy.

AVOID repetitive words such as: that, just, only, could, would, maybe, etc. Be definitive. A thing is or it isn’t. Don’t make your readers guess. “Maybe” makes the reader guess and keeps them in limbo, so try to avoid using “maybe.” Use strong active verbs. Move your character through the abandoned house. Have the house be thought of as a “house” and later have it become a “home.” Make everything she/he touches spark a memory; have the memories be painful; but later have that pain graduate to joy and understanding and thanksgiving.

Voting: Please vote for First, Second, and Third Place.

You’re not allowed to vote for yourself. If posting this month, you MUST vote, in order for your story to remain eligible.

message 2: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Do we want to continue the November ruling on the number of prompts? We used 2 or more of given prompts. Thanks.

message 3: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
It's up to you, Donna. Using all prompts just makes writers work harder which isn't a bad thing really.

message 4: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie looks fun. Thank you.

message 5: by Donna B. (new)

Donna B. Comeaux (dcomeaux) | 20 comments Please use ALL prompts. -- Donna

message 6: by TERRY (last edited Dec 20, 2018 08:29AM) (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
written by Terry Turner 1490 words

An Angel dressed in a blue gown stood before me smiling and beckoning me to take her hand. I felt warm and safe in her presence as soft light surrounded us. But just as our hands touched, a loud pop sounded and the Angel tumbled backwards, flipping over and over, as I watched her disappear into the darkness.

That nightmarish dream had always been a part of my nights for as long as I can remember. I was always left with a sense of great loss afterwards. Then one day I had a nervous breakdown in the office at work.

After several months of weekly sessions with a Psychiatrist, my doctor said to me, “Carol, I think you need to revisit the house where you were born.” I was less than enthusiastic about the idea, but my doctor had done some background research and found out about the tragic killing of my mother by my father in a drunken rage and then turned the gun on himself. I was the only witness to the murder-suicide when I was four years old while my older brothers and sisters were away at school.

My doctor believed returning to the scene might resolve some issues that lay hidden in my subconscious. All I could remember about that terrible day was being very scared, crying and being taken away in the arms of a policeman. With no parents to raise us, my siblings and I were placed in a orphanage.

I don't remember much about the orphanage because being the youngest, I was the first to be adopted by a young Jewish couple. I was happy in my new home but the nightmares haunted me. I lost contact with my siblings and after starting to school, I immersed myself in my studies and graduated from high school with honors. My adopted father got a job for me through a colleague at a prominent law firm. Months later my life came apart when a young woman was killed by gunfire outside our office.

My Psychiatrist, Doctor Ben Gray, said I should trust him and we would go together to visit the old home place. Riding in the car, the next day, on the way to the house, Ben asked a question that shocked me. I just stared at him with a blank look. When he saw my reaction, he didn't press for an answer.

“It's okay Carol, we can talk about it later.”

After arriving at the house, we came upon a metal gate coated with rust and peeling yellow paint. Inside the gate stood the old house with it's rotting wood and faded siding.

I noticed two vehicles parked in the driveway. “Someone is living here,” I said to Ben.

“No. The house is abandoned. I have a surprise for you,” he said giving me a sideways smile.

“What is it?”

“You shall see. Trust me.”

When we got to the porch, I noticed the doorknocker was encased with spiderwebs. Ben was telling the truth when he said the house was abandoned. I could hear voices on the other side of the door but I stood frozen, unable to turn the knob.

“Go ahead. Open the door, Carol. I am right behind you.”

The door suddenly opened on its own, vibrating noisily with creaks and pops from the resisting hinges. A little girl about six years old was standing there staring at me.

“Hello. My name is Angela,” she said. “What's yours?”

The door opened up wider and I could see two women and two men standing awkwardly across the room watching me intently. As I stood there gazing about the four corners of the room I felt a grip around my throat that took my breath away. Luckily, Ben put his arm around my shoulders at that moment or else I would have bolted and ran.

“Carol, meet your brothers, Roger and Fredrick and your sisters, Ruth and Grace,” Ben said.

I covered my mouth with both hands in disbelief as hot tears welled up in my eyes. We all rushed together in one big hug crying and laughing at the same time. Ben stood quietly near the door taking in every emotion of joy and relief as he watched the years of sadness, depression, fear, and anguish rising like vapors and slipping away through the aging rafters of the rooftop.

I hugged my two sisters at the same time as we cried and uttered low prolonged sounds of pain and grief of the lost years spent apart. I turned then to my brothers who were standing close. I could feel my hands tremble as I ran them down the sides of Roger's wet face. Fredrick moved closer so I pulled his head forward until our foreheads touched together. No one spoke. There was no need. We all knew what the other was feeling.

After a long moment, Brenda said, “Carol, we all love you and we need to thank Dr Gray for his effort in bringing us all together again.”

I looked at Ben with a quizzical face and mouthed, “how did you....?” But he cut me off and whispered, “I will explain later.”

It was then I noticed a four foot skeleton of a Christmas tree whose needles had long ago withered and dropped to the floor. There were ornaments still attached to the branches. Some looked cheap store-bought but most seemed to be handmade.

I wanted to walk over to examine the ornaments closer but Angela, Brenda's six year old daughter, garnered our attention as she sat on the floor playing with some metal star shaped pieces and bouncing a small rubber ball. I heard Ruth gasp and laugh out loud as she rushed over to have a closer look. Those pieces were called Jacks. A simple game we all played by bouncing the ball and picking up a Jack before the ball touched the floor again. I remembered the fun times I had playing with those Jacks with my sisters.

The five of us sat on the floor with Angela, watching her play the game, as though we were children regressed. I was elated to be with my family again but my mind kept wandering over to the dismal looking Christmas tree.

Roger opened a closet door and found an old air rifle which belonged to him when he was a child. He excitedly pumped it up but time had taken its toll on the rubber gaskets preventing air from being compressed. He seemed not to care that it wouldn't shoot as he smiled and pointed the muzzle towards the window as though reliving a lost moment in time. The rest of us gathered around him, touching the gun and smiling, sharing in his joy, as though we were all children again. Just being together, after all those years, made it seem that way.

Finally, I walked over to take a closer look at the handmade ornaments hanging silently on the branches. Each one still in its place where it was left, untouched over the years. Except for one which left an obvious blank spot in the tree. I looked on the floor beneath the tree and saw the ornament covered with fallen cedar needles.

The flashback exploded in my mind after I shook the needles off and saw the Blue Angel in my hand. I was a little girl again rearranging the ornaments just the way I wanted them to be on the most beautiful Evergreen tree. I was about to hang the Angel on the tree when I heard a loud pop, followed seconds later by another loud pop. I dropped the Blue Angel and ran to the bedroom door and saw my mother and father lying dead in pools of blood. I ran outside crying as a neighbor from down the road was passing by. Then all went dark.

Everyone rushed to my side when the sound of my body landed hard on the floor. Ben lifted my head in his arms as I began to regain consciousness. “The Blue Angel,” I mumbled as I held the now crumpled ornament in my hand. Then I began to cry hysterically.

“Let it all out, Carol. This is the reason for your nightmares. Everything is going to be alright now.”

We all agreed to meet again soon at either Ruth's or Grace's home before departing in our respective vehicles. Grace pulled me aside and asked if I had a boy friend and why I had never married. I briefly told her about my mental problems which made relationships difficult. I then added that Ben had proposed marriage to me while driving down to the old house.

“Did you say yes,” she asked?

“I didn't give him an answer. But now that I will no longer be his patient, you will likely see a ring on my finger soon.”

message 7: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Strong start Terry - Well done.

message 8: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
I loved it, Terry, and you provided so much detail.

message 9: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Monochrome World Steve Bridger 1,137 Words

Eliza lived in a monochrome world.

Her mind banned all colour. Brightness and joy had been leached away like a soaking watercolour painting fading back to nothingness, empty and alone. She’d shut herself away. The front door was securely closed with the old door knocker fastened shut. It was now the hunting ground of spiders, thick come-hither cobwebs spun like fishing nets to trap unwary morsels.
No one came to call. Mail lay on the step. Their inpatient demands to be opened and actioned were totally ignored. The soggy pile built a pathetically impotent pile of distrain and rejection.

Bing was on the radio; still dreaming of a white Christmas after all these years. Her hand was halfway to the off button when she forced herself to stop. Her forearm trembled with the effort of ignoring and overriding the muscular effort. It had been almost a year. It was now early morning on Christmas Eve. The house stood still. Remember Miss Havisham’s wedding breakfast in Great Expectations as the domain of decay and one hopeless broken heart? Eliza had left everything the same for a whole year. The tablecloth had been spread for its once in a year appearance. Dirty plates empty bottles and broken wine glasses kept company with unfunny jokes from pulled Christmas crackers. The four foot balsam fir tree with its nose tingling pine once lit with sparkling, blinking lights stood abandoned in the corner surrounded by torn boxes and ripped wrapping paper.

The sad picture was a stark and a painful reminder of a forgettable Christmas past and a worrying portent of Christmas present.

Eliza was in her early fifties. On a good day she looked slim stunningly elegant and much younger than her earth years. Today she wore a dirty stained house coat, no make-up, straggly hair unwashed, a worn pair of slippers and a vacant expression. The phone rang. It rang and rang. Someone somewhere refused to give up.

‘Mum? Please don’t put the phone down. It’s me, only me. We need to talk, everyone’s worried about you. It’s nearly Christmas can I come and see you. Can we put things right?’

As she silently listened, the image of Beth in her kitchen with the kids screaming in the background came into her mind. How did it get to this? Why did she do it?

Everything was going so well. Beth and Jared were there on Christmas morning with little Lucy and baby Ben. Her sister Tracy had already hit the bottle but was in a great mood. Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were on a loop feeding the sugary intake of seasonal tunes. The tree looked great, despite Lucy trying to devour all the chocolate decorations from the lower branches in double quick time. Kisses, smiles and hugs were everywhere. Delicious smells escaped from the oven. A ham basted with honey replaced the Thanksgiving Turkey. Santa had done a great job overnight with presents by the tree and there was clear evidence that he’d eaten half a mince pie and sipped his brandy. Rudolf had taken a bite out of his carrot too. Santa’s sleigh lit with flashing lights sat on a bed of snow in the front yard. It was all so perfect.

Then there was a knock at the door.

‘Miss Monroe? Miss Eliza Monroe?’ The state trooper’s massive body filled the door. Eliza had time to nod before he continued. ‘Are you the felon charged as a confidence trickster under Nevada State Law in 1997 but were later cleared of the offence?’

‘Yes’ Eliza’s dry mouth whispered the word.

‘Your husband and partner in crime Gareth Monroe, has been released from the State Penitentiary after serving his time, he’s outside in the cruiser. Happy Christmas Mam.’ Daylight filled the space where the uniform had stood.

Sinatra sang ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas ‘in the background. Frank would have loved the irony. Gareth dressed in a faded suit that was two sizes too large nervously walked up the path. A ragged shoulder bag held all he had in the world.

‘Beth, meet your father.’ Eliza stared in a trance-like state. Her eyes tried and failed to blink away the approaching reality of her life sliding into slow motion disintegration.

‘Hiya kid.’ Gareth smiled his George Clooney smile and hoped it would work its magic. Mistake. Eliza’s clenched fist swung and rattled his back teeth. In that second, time leapt into superfast forward drive. Beth, Jared and Tracy surrounded Eliza like a protective phalanx against the intruder. This created the diversion Lucy needed to smear chocolate all over her face and stain her no longer pretty Christmas Day dress. Little girls are devious, but you know that.

‘Stop! We can’t change, what we can’t change.’ Eliza proffered a Kleenex to dab blood from Gareth’s split lip. After all it was Christmas and goodwill to all men could stretch to Gareth for at least one plate of roast ham before he was thrown out into the snow.

Tempers cooled. Gareth took a shower to wash away the prison smell. Mulled wine tickled the nostrils and soothed the throat. All waited for the stories to follow. Beth needed an extra shot of Tequila. Jared couldn’t wait for the drama to unfold. Tracy was past caring. She was enjoying the entertainment from the bottom of a glass hic! Eliza was in the kitchen, stirring and mixing. Lucy was in the naughty corner, but planning her escape with make-believe tears and shoulder jerking snuffles. She knew hearts would soften just in time for her to rip into her stack of presents.

Eliza had other thoughts at the end of the meal. Not telling stories but bringing one old tale to a rapid close. She put a finishing touch to the plum pudding with a specially added ingredient. One slice was different from the rest. Gareth was more than content. He hadn’t expected such a warm welcome. He was relaxed; his guard was down. He smiled and poured custard over his portion of homemade comfort. He choked. His throat constricted. His eyes bulged. He fell from his chair. The ground nuts had been crushed and mixed especially for him.

‘My God! Eliza ran to the phone and dialled 911. Spasm after spasm curled Gareth’s body in jerking distress. Will he make it?

‘Mum you’ve gone silent. Are you still there?’ Eliza was still holding the phone Beth’s voice pleaded as she came back to the present day.

‘I’m still here baby, see you tomorrow and bring Gareth with you. I know he’s forgiven me. I must forgive myself. Tell him there’s no plum pudding on the menu. Eliza put the phone down, walked across the room and switched on the Christmas Tree lights. They fused.

message 10: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Interesting story Steve. Made me think. Thanks for posting.

message 11: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments It was great to get back into this again - a lovely change from writing a book over 18 months! What did the story make you think about? I wrote it as it came out of my head - a had a rough idea of the direction but filled in the 'dots' as the idea unfolded. For me the idea that made me smile was the 'flashback' to last Christmas while Eliza and Beth were talking on the phone.

message 12: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
I read it twice and slower the second time to work it all out in my head. I had a question as to why Eliza hit Gareth in the mouth. I was thinking there may not have been enough evidence to convict Eliza or Gareth told the cops she was not involved or she really did know nothing about the scam. Came to the conclusion that she knew nothing and was the reason she hit Gareth. Don't know what Ground Nuts are but thought it to be some kind of posion and wondered why she put it in his food. Apparently, it did not kill him but if I were Gareth.... fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

message 13: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments About Eliza - she was accused but cleared of the offence. Her husband turns up without warning on Christmas Day and deserves a whack. Peanuts are the most common cause of allergic reactions in food - sometimes fatal. The idea of the brief I was to 'show' rather than 'tell' with the flow of the story and description to help the reader create the vision in their minds. I apologise if I missed the mark.

message 14: by TERRY (last edited Dec 15, 2018 11:07AM) (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Steve wrote: "About Eliza - You did not miss. I had to use my mind's eye to see the story which was more interesting than having it told to me. I am sure everyone that reads it will see it their way.

message 15: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Thanks Terry, I wanted to start the video rolling in people's head. I could have gone on forever having started the 'condifence trickster' angle but would have gone way past the limit.

We've - because the venture was a collaboration - been shortlisted for a Book of the Year Award here in the UK in the Mind Body Spirit genre.

This is the link to the book website: http://beingspirit.uk

message 16: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie hi all. broke mt arm badly tuesday and surgery thursday, so one armed and woozy from meds, enjoyed both stories a lot, won't be participating this month,

message 17: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Bonnie wrote: "hi all. broke mt arm
Bad news. Sorry to hear about the arm - GET WELL SOON. Will miss your story for December.

message 18: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
The Guest House
by Glenda Reynolds – 1094 words

The guest house was bone cold that I found myself banished to. It had stayed empty for years since no one ever came to visit. It had seen better days and needed tender loving care, just like me. These were my thoughts as I brushed the cobwebs from the door knocker with one hand and carried my suitcase with the other. When the door creaked open, I was disappointed to see that a leak in the roof had caused ugly brown stains on the white ceiling. Dead flies littered the window sills. Faded curtains framed the glass patio doors that provided a view of an overgrown and weedy garden. Was I really here of my own free will or that of my husband’s? That day seemed like a life time ago, but it was only a year ago.

I’ll never forget that day when my doctor called me and asked me to come into his office with my husband Steven. Dr. Hopkins gave us the news that I had breast cancer. The doctor explained my options for care which included an operation, chemo and prescription drugs. Luckily I had health coverage through my husband’s employer. After my mastectomy, I began the difficult journey of chemotherapy as we monitored my digestive system. During this time, my relationship with Steven changed for the worse. He spent less and less time with me; he also worked longer hours. He treated me like something that couldn’t be fixed. Did thirty years of marriage mean nothing to him? Did he have his eyes on a younger, healthier woman?

I came home from a doctor’s visit to find an envelope on the kitchen counter with $400.00 in it. There was a note that read, “Here’s money for gas and groceries”. There was no signature, but I knew it was from Steven. How generous of him – not really – since he makes over $50,000.00 a year. He also set up a four foot Christmas tree near the fireplace.

“Ya, thanks a lot!” I said to myself sarcastically. I ignored the tree for days since I wasn’t in the Christmas mood at all. The little pine tree eventually died.

So was I inside and out.

How could something so good – my life and my marriage – just fall apart now? I was supposed to grow old with my husband. I was like a ghost who peered out of the windows from a forgotten guest house. Hopelessness gripped me in her ugly claws. I cried myself to sleep many nights. My mother left me voicemails that I didn’t return.

As I laid in bed under a mountain of blankets, I stared at the bottles of pills on the night stand as I contemplated taking them all and ending my existence. I wasn’t quite to that point yet for whatever reason. Was it because I was afraid of what lay in store for me when my heart stopped beating? Could I end up in a darker place than I was in now? The truth was I still clung to the notion that I still loved my husband and perhaps he still loved me.

Dr. Hopkins finally asked me why Steven stopped coming with me on my doctor’s visits. I told him that Steven and I were separated. Dr. Hopkins knew that an important key to defeating cancer was to have hope and a positive mental outlook. He introduced me to a patient of his. Carrie was a cancer survivor and had since had two children. She also had a mastectomy and had undergone the same treatment as I was having. Yes, this planted a seed of hope in me. Carrie’s smile was vibrant and her red hair framed her beautiful face. She was living in her piece of heaven. A slight emotion of envy came over me.

My cancer treatments were taking their toll on me. I seemed to be dizzy a lot and I didn’t have much of an appetite. The guest house stayed dark for days with only nightlights on throughout. I had nothing but the four walls of the bedroom as I laid in a weakened condition. One bitter cold evening, I heard the front door creak open. My eyes flew open as I cursed softly for forgetting to lock the door. I raised myself up against the headboard. Heavy footprints could be heard making their way to the bedroom. The light from flashlight shown as it settled on me.

So it won’t be the pills that put an end to me, I thought in my fog of fear.

“Beth, I was worried about you. I haven’t seen you in days,” Steven said.

“I’m okay. Just leave me alone.”

“No, honey. There’s something I have to say.” He fell to his knees beside the bed. I flipped on the lamp on my night stand. Emotion gripped Steven as he struggled to find the words. “I want to say that I’m sorry for not being here when you’ve needed me the most. I’ve been a terrible husband.” There was a long pause. Tears streamed down both of our faces. “Can you find it in your heart to forgive me?”

I was stubborn.

Was I willing to forgive and go back to the familiar home that we shared for the past thirty years? And here I was, an old lady with graying, messy hair, yesterday’s mascara smudging my eyes, and wearing a T-shirt with holes.

And fighting cancer.

“I don’t feel like I’m worth anything.”

“You are the world to me. You are my life and my love.”

“You don’t have a pretty little thing on the side that you’re spending time with?” I asked as I studied his face.

“Woman, my heart has always belonged to you. I admit that I was afraid of losing you. But I think that you can beat this thing. If you’ll let me, and by the grace of God, I want to be by your side through this journey.”

Without waiting for an answer, he gathered me in his arms and carried me back to our house, to the familiar warm bed. He lay beside me with his arm around me all night long. It was like a spring thaw on the ice of my heart.

I made a full recovery of my health and my marriage. As for the guest house, we decided to make repairs to it and save the back garden. After all, it was a project of love. It was where we found each other again to continue the journey of life.

God is good.

message 19: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Steve wrote: "... I wanted to start the video rolling in people's head. I could have gone on forever having started the 'condifence trickster' angle but would have gone way past the limit..."

Steve, you gave us a picture or mental video with all of your description & Christmas music. I could indeed envision the "George Clooney" smile. And he probably deserved the knuckle sandwich. I always enjoy your stories.

message 20: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Bonnie wrote: "hi all. broke mt arm badly tuesday and surgery thursday, so one armed and woozy from meds, enjoyed both stories a lot, won't be participating this month,"

Miss Bonnie, I'm sorry to hear that you broke your arm. We will miss your story this month. I hope that it mends quickly.

message 21: by Steve (last edited Dec 17, 2018 12:49AM) (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Thanks Glenda - youi've given me such a lift this morning! Rushing round like a mad person will read your story and get back to you later.

message 22: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Glenda, I really really like how you described the guest house with the flies in the window. It was like I was there because I have experienced an abandoned house like that. Left me wondering "why" Steve acted the way he did.

message 23: by David (new)

David (drussell52) Hello Writers,

I also hope the best for Bonnie concerning her mending arm.

Steve, Terry, and Glenda, you each wrote stories where people have to face themselves or something and decide whether or not to change. In Steve's story I liked the first three or four paragraphs, and then got lost in the detail. Glenda, my favorite scene in your story is the reconciliation between husband and wife. You pace it well.
Terry, I like the reunion scene at the old abandoned house. Your ending had a nice twist, Carol and Ben engaged.

See all of you in the new year.

David Russell

message 24: by Steve (last edited Dec 17, 2018 08:19AM) (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Well done Glenda - totally heart wrenching. You know someone when the going gets tough. Forgiveness lightens your load even if someone does not deserve it.

message 25: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Thanks for your feedback. I took my inspiration from 2 different sources and merged them in with my own feelings that developed for the characters. The husband (Steven ) gave up hope for his wife's recovery which eroded the marriage to the point that they were living separately but on the same property. You all gave me warm and fuzzy feelings. I hope we get more stories for the month.

message 26: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments David sorry that you got lost in the detail. It may have been that you did not pick up on Beth's phone call - when the memory came flooding back about what happened that Christmas morning a year ago. Eliza went into 'flashback' and relived the trauma. Then was brought back into the present day at the end of the call.

message 27: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Submissions for December:

THE BLUE ANGEL by Terry Turner

Monochrome World Steve Bridger

The Guest House by Glenda Reynolds

Donna Comeaux posted to send votes to creativefiction@hotmail.com Thank you, Donna for hosting this month. I really liked the challenge. (Psssss - if you want to host a month in 2019, spots are still open.)

message 28: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments When the prompts and requirements are so precise, there will be fewer submissions, like this month. To gain more participation, and for the writers to come up with more diversified stories, you need 'looser, more vague' prompts. January sounds very complicated as well. Just sayin... my opinion..

message 29: by Elaine (new)

Elaine Faber (elainefabergoodreadscom) | 142 comments Glenda wrote: "The Guest House
by Glenda Reynolds – 1094 words

The guest house was bone cold that I found myself banished to. It had stayed empty for years since no one ever came to visit. It had seen better day..."
He should never have left in the first place. At the end, you made it too easy to forgive his despicable behavior.

message 30: by Slytherpuff (new)

Slytherpuff | 9 comments Is there any way I would be able to vote if I'm not comfortable sharing my email?

message 31: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Slytherpuff wrote: "Is there any way I would be able to vote if I'm not comfortable sharing my email?"

You could create a new temporary email address with gmail or yahoo which are free to use solely on this site.

message 32: by Rejoice (new)

Rejoice Denhere | 227 comments I have not been able to participate lately but enjoyed reading the stories. I have submitted my votes. Best wishes for the new year everyone. Bonnie I hope your arm heals soon!

message 33: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Elaine: I have heard of real life stories of cats/dogs traveling hundreds, even thousands of miles to return home. I can imagine a story of a cat trying to find it's way back home, roaming for months, maybe years, overcoming obstacles, only to find the house abandoned, encased in webs, finding familiar object scattered about the premises to jog memories, the old Christmas tree, etc. Just a thought.

message 34: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Terry & Elaine, sounds like a story to me :)

message 35: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
I sent my votes in just now.

message 36: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
I emailed Donna reminding her to post the winners. I know this is a busy time of the year. Blessings, prosperity, and good health to you all in the new year - 2019!

message 37: by Donna B. (new)

Donna B. Comeaux (dcomeaux) | 20 comments WINNERS OF DECEMBER CONTEST:

First Place - Monochrome World by Steve Bridger

Second Place -Guest House by Glenda Reynolds

Third Place - Blue Angel by Terry Trainer

Thanks to all of you for your participation. Sorry this posting comes so late, but my family just left this morning and I was exhausted. I must say that Steve Bridger's descriptive depiction of his character moved me the most. I felt the dread on the opening of the story. Thanks to all of you, and have a Happy New Year. -- Donna Comeaux

message 38: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Congrats to Steve and Terry for your great submissions, and thank you for your votes and for reading my story.

message 39: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
It was a fun challenge. Congrats Steve and Glenda. Happy New Year.

message 40: by Steve (new)

Steve Bridger (dooch) | 131 comments Huge respect for my fellow writers Glenda and Terry for managing to pen their involving stories in the madness that was December. I am thrilled at the result and it has put a bounce in my step!

Also Happiest 2019 to everyone!

message 41: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 1002 comments Mod
Side note: the January contest has been posted: Famous First Lines. I hope that straying from the normal writing prompts and theme doesn't keep writers from participating.

message 42: by TERRY (new)

TERRY | 580 comments Mod
Glenda wrote: "Side note: the January contest has been posted: Famous First Lines. I hope that straying from the normal writing prompts and theme doesn't keep writers from participating."

Already started but not sure I am going to be happy with what I am writing. lol

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