Weekly Short Stories Contest and Company! discussion

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Weekly Short Story Contests > Week 235 (October 29-November 5). Stories. Topic: Bad Luck.

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

You have until November 5 to post a story, and November 6-8 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.

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: Bad Luck

The rules are pretty loose. You could write a story about anything that has to do with the subject. I do not care, but it must relate to the story somehow.

Have fun!

Thank you to Angie for suggesting the topic!


message 2: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments In honor of being quick yet again, here's my synopsis for this week's story, which is titled "Ambush Alert". It goes like this:

CHARACTERS:

Elizabeth Beery, Midnight Sleeper
Calvin Michaels, Burglar

PROMPT COMFORMITY: Tonight isn’t Elizabeth’s lucky night.

SYNOPSIS: Elizabeth is trying to get some sleep after a long day of work and uses her TV’s music channels to help her do that. She keeps getting woken up by the screeching sounds of the Emergency Alert System. She’s startled, but ultimately doesn’t pay attention to the screens and thinks nothing of them. That all changes when Calvin breaks into her house in the dark hours of the night.


message 3: by M (new)

M | 11073 comments Great topic! Thank you, Leslie.


message 4: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Ambush Alert
GENRE: Crime Thriller
WORD COUNT: 1,599
RATING: PG-13 for mild language, police brutality, and political ideology




Elizabeth Beery’s day at work was hectic to say the least. Since she worked as an editor for a publishing company, the kind of stress she was subjected to included an endless stream of authors’ whiny complaints and an overbearing boss’s crushing thumb. This was not the way she envisioned her English degree being used. One day she would tell everybody to shove it and walk away once she found something else.

All she wanted for this evening was to lay in bed and let the soothing sounds of new age music haunt her dreams. Elizabeth was more than prepared for an evening of relaxation with her plain white T-shirt and gray athletic shorts. As soon as she crawled under the covers in her bedroom, she reached for the TV remote on the nightstand and changed the channel to a new age music station. As a subscriber to satellite TV, she was entitled to at least a hundred of these music channels.

Elizabeth Beery closed her eyes and let the night shadows and peaceful tunes wash over her. The stress was melting away and all that remained was a whisper of sweetness. She couldn’t be more relaxed. And then her nerves were jolted at the sudden sound of loud chalkboard screeching. She quickly opened her eyes and gasped for breath as the new age channel was replaced with a gray screen and black digital letters, which could only mean one thing: the dreaded Emergency Alert System.

After a few more screeches and grinding noises, a robotic voice boomed over the sound system. It said, “The following is a message from the Paulson City Government. A BOLO is being put out as police are searching for a suspect named Calvin Edward Michaels, who is accused of murdering six police officers. He is considered to be armed and dangerous. Mr. Michaels is a white male in his mid to late 30’s with a shaved head and blue eyes. He was last seen wearing an army surplus jacket and pants that were several sizes too big for him along with a black T-shirt and black combat boots. If you see a man fitting this description, please contact the Paulson City Police Department. We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.”

Elizabeth had a lump in her throat the size of a cannonball and her heart was beating so quickly it might have exploded. A few more screeches on the TV sounded off before it flickered back to the new age station. Even with the peaceful sounds of harps, pianos, and angelic singing, Elizabeth couldn’t find the relaxation she needed to go back to sleep. She stared at the ceiling with her eyes wide open and her blood pulsing.

Fifteen minutes of restlessness later and once again the screeches came on TV along with the gray screen and black lettering. The robotic voice returned with, “We have an update on the whereabouts of Calvin Edward Michaels…” The voice didn’t get a chance to finish as Elizabeth turned off her TV with the remote and yelled, “For God’s sake!”

She would have even more reason to be afraid as the lights came on in her bedroom and the cop killer fitting Calvin Michaels’s description was standing in her doorway with his arms folded. He said, “I wouldn’t get out of bed if I were you.”

Elizabeth’s breathing was deep and hasty as she tried to calm herself down. Through a shaky voice, she said to her intruder, “Take whatever you want, just don’t hurt or rape me.”

“I didn’t come here for free nookie. I don’t even want that sweet flat screen TV you’ve got there. I need a place to hide and this seems like the perfect spot. And as far as hurting you goes, you don’t need to worry about that either. Police say that I’m armed and dangerous, yet they refuse to look in the mirror.”

“Wha…what are you talking about?”

Calvin took a seat at the edge of Elizabeth’s bed, which caused her to curl up and scream in terror. He warned her, “No more screams out of you or else I might change my mind about not hurting you!” Just as he requested, there were no more screams, just heavy breathing and shaky moans.

The intruder continued with, “Do you still want to know what I’m talking about or are you just going to sit there and cry?” Elizabeth was too terrified to answer, so Calvin said, “I’ll take that as a yes. I’ll take that as you wanting to learn the ultimate truth about your lovely Paulson City Police Department. You really think they’re here for your protection? I’ll tell you right now that’s a bunch of bullshit. You know who else thinks it’s bullshit? My autistic younger brother. Of course, he can’t be here to tell you that because he’s dead from a police beating. He did nothing wrong, by the way. The police just felt like beating him to death.”

“I’m…sorry for your loss, Mr. Michaels. But there’s nothing here for you to use. I’m just an editor for a publishing company. I don’t have any weapons or anything like that. I’m not a gun person.”

“Did I ever say I wanted weapons? I specifically said I needed a place to hide from the police. But now that you say you’re an editor for a publishing company, you’ve got my interest. I’ve got a nonfiction memoir at my house detailing the whole beating that happened to my brother. If it were to get out on the streets, people would wise up to the crap that’s going on around them. They wouldn’t be stuck in the matrix all the time. They can swallow that red pill with pride. What do you say? Will you be my publisher?”

A burst of courage flowed through Elizabeth’s veins as she lowered her eyebrows and said, “So let me see if I have this straight: you break into my house and threaten to beat me if I don’t stop screaming. And now you want me to help you publish a book? Usually, I have my authors get me an agent. If you’re as dangerous as the Emergency Alert System says you are, then you deserve to be captured by the police.”

Calvin Michaels tilted his head in dejection and said, “I’m sorry I wasted your time, ma’am. But if you ever feel like waking up without waiting for the morning, then I’m not hard to find.”

The police weren’t hard to find either. A cacophony of gruff voices demanding Calvin and Elizabeth to get down on the floor filled the room as police officers descended upon the latter’s humble abode. They easily got Calvin to the ground and handcuffed him. The big surprise came in the form of the cops pulling Elizabeth off the bed, punching her in the back of the head several times, and then cuffing her as well. No matter how many times she insisted innocence, her pleas fell on deaf ears. Calvin and Elizabeth were dragged across the rough ground on their way to the jailhouse.

By the time the two “criminals” were placed in a holding cell together, they showed their battle scars. Calvin had a huge scrape across his face as well as scabs on his bald head. Elizabeth had to hold a gigantic ice pack of the back of hers, all while sporting black eyes and cuts of her own. The two arrestees sat on benches across from each other and glared for a lengthy period of time.

Calvin broke the angry silence with, “Are you happy now? You got what you wanted. You wanted the police to capture me and they did. The worst that will happen to me is I’ll get lethal injection. But if I’m lucky, I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison. My future isn’t looking very bright right now.”

“Don’t give me that self-righteous crap. You think I’m any better off? I didn’t do a damn thing wrong and now they want to put me in jail and beat the shit out of me. Where’s the fairness in that?! Where’s your justice now, Calvin Edward Michaels?!” yelled Elizabeth. The intense screaming aggravated her injuries, but she didn’t care. She was played by the system.

Calvin was about to give Elizabeth a reason to wake up. He said, “You’re right: you didn’t do anything wrong. Chances are good you’ll be released in a few hours after the pigs find out nothing happened. You’ll have to pay for your own medical treatment, though. Those bruises look like they’ll get infected if you don’t get to a hospital soon.”

He took a deep breath and said, “But you can afford it. If you publish my memoir, then the money will flow in quicker than you think and you’ll be able to pay off your hospital bills. Trust me, you have a better chance of making it big with my book than you do suing the police department for their sins. When you go to court, your lawyers will get most of the money. But if you go to Barnes & Noble, you get to keep all of it and more people will be educated. Which road sounds better to you?”

Elizabeth slowly stood up and limped her way to where Calvin was sitting. She gave him a deafening slap across the face and created silence between the two “criminals”. But then she said, “Let’s do this!” and offered her hand for a shake. And a firm shake it was.


message 5: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments I've got a story! Yay.


message 6: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Happy writing, CJ!


message 7: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Don't know if this one will be "happy" but here goes! :P


message 8: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (last edited May 08, 2016 11:15PM) (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Title: The Old Ways
Author: CJ
Length: About 1,688 words.

She had finally gotten away from it all. The tension, the mystery of the disappearances, and now it had become time for the old woman to relax. All of the police investigations and television coverage that poured into the heart of her old town was too much for her waning heart to take.

It was a month that she had found a new location. It was a different house and thanks to a kind and gentle soul who was so gracious in helping the 82 year old, she had wanted to ask him in; he had refused dripping with sweat and glad for her settling in her new place. She figured it was for the best, after all he didn't care for such an old bat such as she.

And like an old dog she was set in her ways. Moving there in the new place she would finally be able to leave her old self behind. Maybe even make new pals.

She slowly sauntered up the stairs, taking each step at two feet at a time. When it was the afternoon, she was standing as straight as she could in front of the mirror. She could see all her old flaws, the horror to her sunken eyes, she was a wreck as far as she saw. She was having a lovely day until she had to check herself in the mirror again. The looking-glass of evil; she wished there were some kind of "better" person on the other side. She waddled out of the bathroom and then noticed her pack of scented soaps were still unopened.

Such delicate frail fingers she would not be able to grasp the strong, plastic bag that contained the pack she bought at a store just five years before. In that time she felt she had officially washed her hands of the terrible nights she fought and tried not to cry. Such feelings she kept deep inside like a satin coin purse.

Then with wicked hatred she thought of her new "friend" Sonia. Some wonderful old bat she felt she was. Younger than her by just a handful of years one would think she would be grateful of what she had.

Hyacinthe Black was as barren as long as her two long marriages, both ending in divorce, their fates far and unknown to her. Sonia "What'shername" was 76, four kids and seven grandkids (plus one, she would repeat when Hyacinthe came by "along the way" with pure pride over happiness).

Maybe Sonia wasn't that bad. Hyacinthe wondered for a moment if she would call the supposed "sweet old lady" that was universal to apparently every female of the 65 year up range.

Tenderly she grasped the old black phone that the nice young man hooked up and called her phone company for her. She with tender, soft digits slid her finger around for each number. It was miraculous she didn't wait too long but her desperation for kind souls left her frazzled.

After two and a half rings, Hyacinthe was about to give up when a familiar voice spoke out. "Hello...?"

"Oh, Sonia."

"Who is this?"

"It's Hie."

"Oh... hello."

"Remember me?"

"The one who moved in about two houses down. Am I right?"

"Yes!" her mouth began a smile.

"What has been happening?"

"What is going on? Oh. Not much."

"You're calling me to say there's nothing going on."

With a twisted thought, Hyacinthe wondered this old lady's bitterness. Is she pessimist, ungrateful? Does she murder people on her spare time? Hie tried not to laugh at such a terrible thought.

"Ppppft."

"What was that? Hie?"

"Nothing."

"Well I've got to go..."

"Wait." Hyacinthe felt like this old woman, as batty and rude as she were, was her last ditch hope, her last string to humanity. A person to speak to, to have help her, to encourage her to seek council. Something!

She could hear Sonia breathe on the line. Hearing the air, Hyacinthe felt if she said nothing now it would have been like the phone ending as the last bit of air closing up in a lonely box of death.

"I just want ... to talk." Hie felt ludicrous saying such a thing.

"Okay? What is it?"

"I don't have much going on. I wish I had a child, a future, some form of a life. Instead I have been living off of the government, no husband, not even a generation to teach, nothing."

"Yeah?"

"And now I've got you. My one and only friend. The only person in the world who I could share my life with. If I ever struggle with anything I know where to turn."

"What do those wacky fundamentalists say? Put off the old man? You looking for help about that?"

"Yeah! I think so."

"Hmm."

"I just don't get why every day I wonder why I live. You have wonderful people in your life, I don't even have a dog to keep me company."

Hyacinthe poured out everything and felt for just a moment like a regular, non-isolated human being. If she had hung up she would have avoided the dread, the horrible feelings that would have followed it. If only the old bat Sonia had avoided saying the phrase she made as if she were a rude senile old coot.

It was then Sonia breathed: "Oh... bad luck."

Hie would not believe the terrible saying. The rudeness, the mean comment was like a spider that had climbed up her withering back just to come around and strangle her with piercing pincers.

That door was shut. The one person in her life made her feel mad, like she didn't deserve to live one moment longer. After Sonia hung up the phone without a word, Hyacinthe thought of suicide.

Suicide when she felt there was nowhere to turn, no place to speak her mind. She wasn't Catholic so there wasn't even a confessional to say what her struggles were.

Even when the disappearances were going on she had a feeling of dread. Such fears had haunted her about that town. Such a lovely place and there was no one during that fifteen years ago to talk to because people were only careful toward themselves.

She even felt bad for the victims while she struggled. She noticed people of the town didn't try very hard to search for them as if they had all been alone all along as well. The police said that they looked everywhere and no one would worry but the search went with no leads, not even any bodies.

She wanted to tell them with desperation they could look everywhere by everywhere. With horrid thought she knew they hadn't checked the well that was miles deep into the earth. They didn't check out any deep mud pits where the rain and wet seasons made things virtually undetectable.

The three people were at heart good people. Though the first victim was a drinker, Hyacinthe could see his point of view looking back. No place to turn his only friend the bottle.

She also remembered the next door neighbor. A thirty year old woman. She had a kind heart though she was flawed. Hie could see she cheated on her husband and did not want the man who provided for the family with limited sources to find out a word about it all.

Then there was the little boy. Such sweetness. Such kindness. Like chocolate chip cookies he was a regular "treat" but was not so good on the street when it came to being bad for others. Namely Hie. The kid would raucously ride his bike over her front lawn, tearing through any astroturf or grass and bringing up the harsh smell of mud and dirt.

And Hyacinthe as good as she was at getting away from them was finally really away.

A couple of months had passed. By "luck" she heard from a relative of Sonia that there was a conversation over the phone and the old bat had finally got a medical issue. The woman was talking with her daughter when a blood vessel in her brain burst and she had a stroke.

The relative told Hyacinthe all the details and said "She's at St. Mary's Methodist. Please, visit her when you can."

Hie arrived possibly after gracious people went to see Sonia. After filling out a visitor form which probably took a half-hour if Hie had timed it she swore she was ushered into a wondrous room.

"Please." the volunteer said. "Take your time. Visiting hours end in fifteen minutes but I will let you stay an hour if you want..." and then left as quick as she spoke.

Hie didn't know what to say looking at the miserable creature before her. She kept her speech short. "Hi. I came here to say you should be a better friend."

She let that hang in the air and then knowing it did not register she followed it with, "I also want to keep my stay very brief. I want to leave soon." She scoffed. "Woman said I could stay as long as I liked. Yeah, if you were more than a wretch I'd stay as long as you'd want."

Her eyes almost became heavy but Hie fought to keep them back. A new thought arose. "So guess what? I will stay about fourteen more minutes."

One would have thought that Hie had the most patience in the world. People would say that Hie was the kindest rose or lily in their life if they got to know her. They would have thought that if only cruelty and the cling to isolation that was more fate than anything she wanted hadn't kept coming her way.

Also Hie learned it took only fourteen long minutes to go to the cord for the machine that was barely keeping Miss Sonia alive. With evil glee she pulled it. By chance the room didn't have a connection with Sonia's vitals to give medical teams a call to get to the room in a flash.

Hie took a simple ten minutes to leave the room a little disappointed, maybe grieved but also tired. Tired because she thought she had finally not resorted back to her old ways. She was wrong.


message 9: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments CJ, you knew how to pull the rug out from under your audience and I commend you for that. Hie started out as a sweet old lady who was lonely and sympathetic. By the end, she reverted back to her “old ways” and it suddenly became clear why people in her old town were disappearing. I didn’t see this transition coming for miles. I like surprises, especially when I’m reading. I guess this short story is your special way of saying “Happy Halloween” to the rest of the group, because the ending is definitely spooky. Great job! And by the way, your short story has 1,688 words in it. You made the limit in convincing fashion.


message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Here is my short story submission for the topic: Bad Luck. Feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

BAD TO WORSE by: Melissa Andres
Word Count: 739

Standing on the top rung of the rickety old ladder, Beatrice nailed the rusted horseshoe above the front door to her new home. Straightening her arthritic spine, she admired her handiwork.

"Very nice," she announced to the light breeze. "No bad luck shall enter this place." As she waved her hand with a flourish, the ladder began to teeter.

Trying to correct her balance, Beatrice leaned forward; despite her best efforts, she toppled heavily head over heels onto the concrete porch.

She lay on the ground for several minutes, pain emanating through her right hip, then she began to smile. "Very nice," she snickered. "No bad luck shall enter this place." She slowly rose from her prone position as a slight moan escaped her trembling lips. "I guess it got me because I'm still outside."

Looking up, she realized she was standing directly beneath the ladder that had caused her to fall.

"Oh, Lord! No!" she gasped and lurched toward the white-washed porch railing. Her lungs clamoring for air, Beatrice, gulped down the lump in her throat. Her stomach rumbled as she stared with frightened emerald eyes into the unkempt boxwood. As the woman's heart rate decreased and breathing began to return to normal, Beatrice heard a sound coming from the bushes. She watched curiously as the waxy green leaves vibrated softly.

Suddenly, a black behemoth pounced from the foliage, clawing and scratching at the woman's face and hair.

The cat hissed and screeched. Beatrice flung her hands to her cheeks for protection but the gesture did little to deter the animal.

Screaming until she was thoroughly hoarse, Beatrice was finally able to wrap her long fingers around the feline's collar. She ripped the red leather from its neck, the golden tag glinting in the sunlight sported the name, LUCKY.

A long, mournful mewl rumbled in the cat's throat, his yellow eyes dialated ominously and he turned, slinking from the porch, into the boxwood and up into the massive oak tree just feet away.

Beatrice raised a finger to her aching forehead. Bright red blood streamed down her wrinkled features.

Fumbling her way into the house, she ambled her way down the hallway and into the master bedroom. Plucking the antique hand mirror from her nightstand, she stared at the claw marks; two deep gashes on her forehead, a smaller one across the bridge of her nose and her bottom lip was horrendously disfigured. The front of her pale blue shirt was soaked a dark crimson.

Salty tears intermingled amongst the red trails and embedded themselves within the cuts and scrapes. Beatrice howled in pain, dropping the antique mirror at her sneakered feet.

"Oh Lord! No!" she wailed as blood droplets fell onto silvery shards of glass.

Sitting and rocking back and forth for several agonizing moments, Beatrice looked around the room. She still had boxes to unpack, pictures to hang; there were so many things yet to do.

Shuffling to the gleaming white bathroom, the injured woman doctored and dressed her wounds gingerly. Thank goodness she had alcohol and Band-Aids. Changing into a comfortable old t-shirt, Beatrice made the long journey to the kitchen, throwing her soiled blouse into the trash.

Winded and weak, she decided a short nap was in order. She needed a little energy to continue her day. Settling into her recliner, Beatrice shifted her weight from one side to the other. Picking up a magazine, she flipped through a few shiny pages, only to put it down again.

Hearing thunder, she glanced out the large picture window to see flashes of lightening. It began to rain lightly, getting steadily heavier as the minutes ticked slowly.

Beatrice became uneasy; fidgety. She could not get comfortable. Removing a rabbit's foot from her pants pocket, she rubbed the length of its softness absentmindedly with a scratched thumb as she hit the television remote Power button with the other.

An old rerun of Hee-Haw filled the wide, flat screen. Closing her eyes lazily, a smile played across her lips at the familiarity.

Roy Clark and Buck Owens sang: "Gloom, despair, and agony on me. Deep, dark depression, excessive misery.
If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all.
Gloom, despair, and agony on me!"

Brows furrowed and her reddening, scratched nose wrinkled as water drip, drip, dripped into her dark blonde, gray-streaked hair.

"Oh, Lord! No!" Beatrice grumbled at the leaking roof.


message 11: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Melissa, you took full advantage of the bad luck prompt and created a wonderful story out of it. Judging from the blood, the Picklebee-like cat, and the hard fall, this is your way of saying Happy Halloween to the rest of the WSS crew, much like CJ did with his story. If that’s the case, then you’ve got it made. It’s a spooky story about random occurrences that only serve to make Bea’s day more miserable. Great job this week!


message 12: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Garrison wrote: "CJ, you knew how to pull the rug out from under your audience and I commend you for that. Hie started out as a sweet old lady who was lonely and sympathetic. By the end, she reverted back to her “o..."

Thanks Garrison. I have been heavily inspired by Christie and the way she would create surprises and twists even before the final rung of the story. I am glad you liked this, I wanted to type this up and put it out at the earliest the day before Halloween.

Boo! :D


message 13: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Oh yeah and Garrison, me and my partial OCD thank you, haha! :D

I only put "About" after what you said because my first post on here I made official. Then I read the story to a family member and caught a lot of mistakes so now there is a slight revision to parts and a new change to word count. Thanks a lot for being my eyes when it comes to that. I never want to go over 3,500 not just because it's the rules but as moderators have said if it goes beyond that, members will not feel they can read it and pass it on to look at other stories.

I hope now to look at what anyone (and eventually) everyone has written by the deadline. I hope for a huge variance and I'm excited!


message 14: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Happy reading, CJ! Well, I don't know how happy it really is. Melissa's story is about a lonely old lady and mine is about police brutality. Not the happiest topics, but you'll love the stories nonetheless. I guarantee it. :)


message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you, Garrison! I have not read your story yet but I am about to. Beatrice is a very superstitious person, hence the horseshoe over the door, finding herself scared when she was beneath the ladder (you aren't supposed to walk under a ladder!) the black cat, the broken mirror and the rabbit's foot. Things just went from bad to worse! Poor, poor dear!


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Garrison, With my sister being a Sheriff's Deputy and having been one for over 20 years now, I don't know what to say about your story. Yes, there are good and bad cops and the bad ones give the good ones a really bad name. My sister is one of the good ones. She has been harassed by criminals, even pistol whipped by one many years ago. She was treated at a hospital and told to take a week off but she was back on the job the very next day. Not all cops beat and then ask questions. They must protect themselves but they, for the most part, protect the innocent as well. Your story was well written but I believe a good light needs to be shed on law enforcement too.
Just my opinion, for what it's worth!


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

CJ - How very sad that this demented woman hasn't been caught and dealt with severely. Strange that no one suspects her.


message 18: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Melissa, I’m sorry you were offended by my story. For whatever it’s worth, my story wasn’t meant to be a strike against all cops, just the bad ones. If there were no cops, life would be a lot like the movie “The Purge”.


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Garrison, Maybe I didn't word everything properly. I wasn't "offended" by your story .. just feel that there should be more good-cop stories. I KNOW there are bad cops out there .. just like there are bad teachers, bad preachers and bad bank managers, etc. Some people are just bad in general. Like I said, your story was well-written. I guess with my sister being in law enforcement, I see a different side to that story. I didn't mean to upset you at all.


message 20: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments How about a hug, Melissa? ^_^


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Sure! But, I am perfectly fine! Could've used one a few weeks ago though! Go check out my poem when you get a chance and you'll know what I mean. Really, I didn't mean to upset you with my comment. I guess I do okay with stories and poetry but need to "think" more. Gotta run for now ... Hope you have a great Halloween!


message 22: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Happy Halloween to you as well, Melissa! Lots of hugs for you! ^_^


message 23: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Melissa wrote: "CJ - How very sad that this demented woman hasn't been caught and dealt with severely. Strange that no one suspects her."

It's funny to say that. Originally I wanted the tale to end on a brighter note. I wanted the last line be a man in grayish-brown hair walks up to her and says, "Good afternoon, ma'am. The name is Detective Mallard." While working the story in my head I decided he not be in this but rather end it on a certain note. I am actually, in a twisted way, glad of this conclusion than the original idea.

Hehehe... just kidding.


message 24: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments I just had a demented thought. What if Detective Mallard and Calvin Michaels (the intruder from my story this week) had dinner together? Oh my god, such chaos! If such a dinner were to take place between the two, perhaps it would be wise to keep the knives and forks off the table. Just order clam chowder since that only requires a spoon. Happy Halloween! (Laughs like Mark Hamill’s version of The Joker.)


message 25: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments I don't know what kind of chaos would ensue... would probably be interesting though. :)


message 26: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Indeed it would be. It's just a thought that came to me after a long night of wandering the streets as Alice Cooper's evil twin in search of candy with my niece Reina. :)


message 27: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments That's cool. I got the chance to spend this time with friends that have become family. I brought over an "awful" horror flick and we just all sat back, ate a lot of snacks and chatted. It was great.


message 28: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Friends are very important to have and I'm glad you got to be with them. :)


message 29: by Anne (last edited Nov 03, 2014 02:52PM) (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments It must be Garrison's influence, cuz I don't know how else a cat ended up in my story! :)

Sometimes bad luck for some is good luck for others.

Title: Bad luck or good?
Words: 1325

Seven year-old Debbie hop-scotched her way down the street, each step emphatically matching her chant, “Good LUCK, Bad LUCK, No LUCK at-all LUCK”.

She slowly worked her way to the end of the block. “GOOD Luck, BAD Luck…” She was focused on the task at hand and almost lost her balance when she heard the voice.

“Why do you say that?” A young Hispanic boy sat on the step of the greystone building.

“It’s what my dad always says. He says, ‘If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all’. Then he says another word that rhymes with luck, but if I say it, I’ll get my mouth slapped.”

The little girl twirled in place, her light brown pigtails swinging out. She stopped and looked at the boy. He was dressed like her, old faded jeans and a t-shirt; where hers was pink with sparkles, his showed Spiderman leaping, ready to jump right out of the t-shirt at her.

The boy blew a big bubble with his gum, his black eyes narrowed as he thought about her words. “Why’s he say that?,” he finally said.

She studied him, her large green eyes round and serious, and shrugged.

“I dunno. He always says it when he comes home. He has to go to Vegas to get money cuz he can’t get a job here. But he never has any when he comes home and my mom gets mad at him and then she tells me to go play outside. But I know it’s so she can yell at my dad.”

The little girl started hopping, making a circle with one leg, then with the other. “I ain’t seen you here before.”

The boy nudged his head behind him. “We just moved in. Me and my brother Ramon and my mom and dad. I gotta wait out here til they get stuff unpacked. They don’ want me under their feet.”

“How come you moved here?”

The boy shrugged his shoulders. “I think my dad’s got bad luck, too. Someone came to the house yesterday and told him he gotta get out by today, or else. My mom started cryin’, so we come here to stay with my gramma.”

“So you don’ got any friends yet.”

“Nope.”

“Me either.”

“How come?” The boy frowned as he looked at her.

“There aren’t any kids my age around here. You’re the first one.”

She came over and sat down beside him. What’s your name? What do you have?” Debbie pointed at the black object in his hand.

“I’m Miguel, but everybody calls me Mike. This is my Game boy,” Mike showed her what he’d been holding.

“But the battery’s dead, or maybe my brother broke it.” Mike looked down and sniffed.

The rattling noise from the back yard broke up their conversation.

Debbie and Mike looked at each other and got up as one. Racing into the large square back yard, they watched empty boxes come flying out of the upstairs porch.
A large black cat screeched as one of the boxes landed on him, open side down.

"Hey look, there's Tabasco, my gramma's cat!" Mike said.

Mike and Debbie laughed as they watched the box scurry around the yard with a life of its own, the cat desperately trying to escape its cardboard prison, snarling and yowling. The box butted up against the fence and the box tilted enough for Tabasco to make its escape.

Debbie and Mike grabbed the box along with others that had landed in the yard and started piling them up and side by side on the grassy ground along the back fence. Some of the boxes were filled with wrinkled newspapers that apparently had been used for padding.

“Hey, let’s make a fort and we can pretend these are snowballs,” Mike’s eyes gleamed with excitement.

They made paper balls and airplanes and threw them at each other. Then they used some of the used tape to secure the boxes together to create a fort.
Laughing, they started lobbing the paper balls towards Tabasco, who hid under the porch when the boxes started flying. Although the paper balls missed by a wide margin, the cat still hissed and spit.

Debbie and Mike spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the yard, creating complex additions to their fort with each new box and the debris that was left.

Tabasco periodically approached, then scampered off.
Mike said, “Wait here a minute. I got an idea.”
He ran upstairs, returning a few minutes later with a ball of thick green yarn.

“My gramma uses this to play with her cat.“

He showed her what he meant, the yarn ribboning out from the ball in his hand; twirling and twisting as he ran around the yard. The cat went crazy.

After a while, Mike had another idea. “Let’s tie one end to the post over there.”

He walked to the porch post and secured the yarn several inches above the cement. He unspooled the end as he backed his way to the fort. The largest box had an opening for lifting. This had torn and now was big enough for both of them to peer through when sitting inside. Mike threaded the spool of yarn through the opening, sat down and began jerking on the yarn. It would lift up off the ground as he pulled it close to his chest, and rested on the ground when he relaxed his hold.

Tabasco started running back and forth, jumping on the yarn as Mike alternated his hold, first pulling, then relaxing.

Giggling, Debbie said, “Let me!”

He handed her the ball of yarn as she repeated his actions, both children laughing hysterically at the antics of the cat.

They stopped when they heard yelling. It sounded urgent, coming from the street. Someone was yelling “Stop, stop.”

The voices were getting closer. Mike and Debbie sat in their fort, quiet now, looking through the opening, the ball of yarn held tightly in Debbie’s hands.

They saw a young man entering the yard from their left, running towards the fence leading to the alley, to their right. He was holding a gun. Stunned, Debbie jerked back, her face frozen in fear.

The yarn jerked up, the cat leaped in front of the running man, who tripped over first the cat, then the yarn, and crashed onto the ground. The blast of the gun made the two children shudder and the young man’s screams brought out the adults on the third floor landing. They rushed down the stairs as a policeman flew into the yard.

The officer stood over the young man, pistol drawn and told him, ”Don’t move. You’re under arrest.”

He was joined a moment later by his partner who stopped and surveyed the scene. He held up his hands to keep the adults under the porch, and looked around. The officer noticed the cat hiding under the porch and followed the trail of yarn to the boxes in the back of the yard. Two pairs of eyes stared back at him from a hole. He started laughing as he pulled out his handcuffs and secured the prisoner.

“You kids okay in there? ” He asked.

He saw the eyes bob up and down. As the prisoner was taken away to an ambulance with a flesh wound in his calf, the adults ran over and grabbed both children, holding them tightly, crying and muttering in Spanish.

“And they say black cats are bad luck. “ the children heard one officer say to the other.

“It certainly was for him.”

When it was all over, Debbie said to Mike, “I better go home now. My mom’s probably done yelling.”

She stopped and thought a minute. “Maybe you can come to my house tomorrow?” she asked eagerly.

Mike’s eyes sparkled as he grinned and nodded.

Debbie started skipping back up the street to her house, chanting, “GOOD luck, BAD luck, NO luck AT-ALL luck.”


message 30: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Garrison wrote: "AUTHOR: Garrison Kelly
TITLE: Ambush Alert
GENRE: Crime Thriller
WORD COUNT: 1,599
RATING: PG-13 for mild language, police brutality, and political ideology

Another strong story, Garrison! I liked that the "bad" guy wasn't really such a bad guy after all - we don't always know who's good and who's bad.


Elizabeth Beery’s day at work was he..."



message 31: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments CJ wrote: "Title: The Old Ways
Author: CJ
Length: About 1,688 words.

She was finally away from it all. The tension, the mystery of the disappearances, and now the old lady would finally relax. All that polic..."


Wow, CJ! That was a real twist at the end! I really like that, though -- it gave the story a whole different feel and explained so much of her earlier thoughts.


message 32: by Anne (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Melissa wrote: "Here is my short story submission for the topic: Bad Luck. Feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

BAD TO WORSE by: Melissa Andres
Word Count: 739

Standing on the top rung of the rickety old ladder, Beatr..."


Melissa, I smiled all the way through your story. Poor Beatrice! But, I have to say, honestly, I did NOT read your story before I wrote mine! (I didn't read any of them until after I posted today) So please forgive me for using the same line you did! It was totally unintentional. :)


message 33: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Aww! Thanks, Anne! Playing with my audience's minds is one of my favorite pastimes. :)


message 34: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments Anne, that was by far the cutest story I’ve read in a long time. Seeing Mike and Debbie play happily with the black kitty made me warm and fuzzy inside. I used to have a playful black kitty named Pete, so this moment has a special place in my heart. I’m glad when the bad luck moment came, it happened to the right person and not the little kids or the baby kitty. Everything fell into place perfectly for you and your entry this week. Congratulations on a beautiful story!

Garrison, since you’ve mentioned little Pete, you absolutely must share him with the rest of the Good Reads community. You can either post a picture in the photo album or you can write a story about him. It’s what Petey the Sweetie would have wanted, may he rest in peace. But if you are going to make him into a short story character, what role will he take? Will he be a badass pirate like you originally planned or a slick ninja assassin? It’s something to think about in case next week’s prompt fits in with your plans.


message 35: by Anne (last edited Nov 02, 2014 05:49PM) (new)

Anne (annefrn) | 916 comments Garrison wrote: "Anne, that was by far the cutest story I’ve read in a long time. Seeing Mike and Debbie play happily with the black kitty made me warm and fuzzy inside. I used to have a playful black kitty named P..."
Thanks, Garrison! :)
P.S. I was going to name the cat, but I couldn't remember if this was a name you had in one of your stories - Does Tabasco ring a bell?

P.P.S: I think you should definitely write a story about Pete the Sweetie -- A one-eyed pirate cat with a parrot as sidekick sounds good to me. :)


message 36: by Garrison (new)

Garrison Kelly (cybador) | 9090 comments You're very welcome. Anything for a fellow struggling writer. :)

PS: I don't have a cat named Tabasco. It's all yours. :)

PPS: I think if Pete was given a parrot, he'd eat it. Hehe! But yeah, I'm going to try and form a synopsis out of Pete being a pirate kitty. ^_^

PPPS: There are pictures of Pete in the "Photos" section of the Totally Random thread group.


message 37: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Can't wait to read more stories! I have so far read a couple but will not say my personal views until I read them all!

Or at least read a bunch more before the deadline and maybe say what I think.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

Anne, No problem at all! It is funny that we used the same line though. Great minds think alike! :) I really enjoyed your story! It was cute the way the kids were playing. Kids can make friends so quickly. And, extending the invitation for a play date showed that seeing the shooting and the police in front of them didn't seem to bother them at all. Dunno if that is a good thing or a bad thing in their neighborhood! Very well written! Excellent job!


message 39: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Anne wrote: "Wow, CJ! That was a real twist at the end! I really like that, though -- it gave the story a whole different feel and explained so much of her earlier thoughts."

Thanks, Anne! I am glad you noticed that. I hoped this would be significant to people if they felt it warranted a re-read.


message 40: by Adrian (new)

Adrian G Hilder (adrianghilder) | 51 comments CJ,
Great twist in the plot towards the end, just the thing for Halloween ;) I did go back and read yours twice!
Now you know how picky I am about writing "flow" - but I found this weeks story flowed very well and was an easy read. Great stuff!

I'm off to vote now...


message 41: by C. J., Atm Seeker in the "Lin Kuei" (new)

C. J. Scurria (goodreadscomcj_scurria) | 4215 comments Adrian wrote: "CJ,
Great twist in the plot towards the end, just the thing for Halloween ;) I did go back and read yours twice!
Now you know how picky I am about writing "flow" - but I found this weeks story flo..."



Thanks, Adrian! I am glad you got to read the story.

I voted yesterday. Liked again the variety which is always good.


message 42: by M (new)

M | 11073 comments The results are in for Week 235. In the short story contest, the race chairman fired the blunderbuss as Anne, CJ, and Melissa crossed the finish line in a tie for first, their rowboats pitching in the waves.

In the Poetry Stuffage, as the crew shouted from the railing, Billie Jo crossed the finish line with no one else in sight. The mice snickered and money changed hands, then a cry went up as Storm, Guy, and M battled to get ahead of each other, then tied for second. The wind had picked up, and the water flung by the oars glowed in the late-afternoon sunlight as Mark and Melissa tied for third, followed closely by December.

Thus ended Week 235. Thank you to all who participated!


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