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Short Story Contest > Week 1 August 16-23rd

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Heyla! This is our first contest!

Prompt: Shattered memories

message 2: by Isaac (new)

Isaac There was nothing left but the frame. I took a shuddering breath as I stepped inside what remained of my house. Everything had been scorched by the flames. The tears trickled down my face as I drowned in despair. Of course, I was the only one who survived. I had disobeyed my parents' orders and snuck out anyways. My sisters, my brother, my parents, my house... gone.

The dirt and debris crunched under my feet as I glanced around for something to keep. I stopped suddenly as something flashed by my eye. I turned around and bent down towards a picture frame. My mother and father with my three siblings and I. Our family portrait, scorches blotching some of it out from where the fire got it. I felt the tears grow stronging as I hugged the frame to my body. There was a sharp pain in my chest as I yanked the picture frame away. The glass covering the picture was broken; shattered. Oh, no.

"Hey, look at this!" I ran over to the voice of a man escorting me back to see if there was anything that survived. He held out his hand to a burnt wooden flap. The basement! I thought enthusicastically as I yanked it open and clammered down.

The fire had mysteriously missed here. The room was empty, though; we had used it as a storage room instead. Rummaging through boxes, I found certain special things that had been locked away with no more use for them. I held back sobs as I held them all close to me.

But then there was the chest. A chest I had never seen. After a struggle, I successfully opened it up and eagerly looked inside. A porcelian (spelling?) doll with a crack running around it's eye; a picture of my parents' first date; a baseball glove. More miscellanous items were cluttered inside, but then I found something. A video tape.

I took it to where I was staying and put it into the TV. I was on the screen. "How's my big seven-year-old doing?" my father asked.

"Great!" I cheered back.

"What are you doing?"

"Playing fashion model who's also a doctor who's also an astronaut who's also--"

He laughed. "You're a lot of things, aren't you?"

"Yeah!" I chimed back.

"Will you always believe in your dreams?"

"Well, duh!"

He laughed again. "Will you always love your daddy and mommy and brother and baby sister?"

"Yeah!" I remembered that my other sister wasn't born yet.

"Say goodbye to the camera!" Dad told me.

"Goodbye! I love you!"

The video clicked off. I took a shuddering sigh. I had grown very depressed since I started high school two years ago. I got into drugs, always thought badly of myself; my grades started falling, and I belived in nothing. The only family I have left don't want me.

I didn't love my family.

I always felt suicidal.

And I realized I was like all those things in that chest.

Like that picture frame on the ground.

I was a shattered memory.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

YAY! An entry!
Thank you thank you thank you!

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

*cries* is anyone else going to comment or enter?

message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura (xmagical) | 31 comments I'm going to enter, I'm just too much of a lazy butt...Plus I need to find the right ending. T.T I hate endings. They're so..final. It suckkksssssss.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

ha ha really? I love endings for the same reason

message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura (xmagical) | 31 comments Lol, I hate them because I can never just content myself with tying something off; writing it off as final. Which is why most of my short stories turn into semi-completed, then abandoned, novels.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

ha a so are most of mine. Te problem with me is the part just before the ending

message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura (xmagical) | 31 comments I tried writing a novel backwards once...it was actually pretty fun. But complicated. D: I love doing all these writing prompt contests because I springboard off of these into another story idea, ya know? :P

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

yeah, that happens to me sometimes too.
And writing a novel backwards? sounds fun, i ought to try it sometime

message 11: by Laura (new)

Laura (xmagical) | 31 comments Haha it totally is! It gets complicated really quickly; or at least, it did for me, but it was really... interesting. Sadly, I never got around to finishing it. Or, well, starting it. Technically.

message 12: by Laura (last edited Aug 20, 2010 10:09AM) (new)

Laura (xmagical) | 31 comments 27 words over. Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap.

1:42 AM
She called me.
I didn’t answer. I ignored her. I abandoned her when she needed me most.

1:58 AM
…all alone…
I should have been there. I could have stopped her. I should have stopped her.

3:37 AM
This is no use. I can’t sleep. Sleep brings nothing, only nightmares, and memories I wished to be long forgotten. Sleep doesn’t bring rest: it brings terror.

5:20 AM
My dad’s awake now, probably making an omelet in the kitchen or adjusting and readjusting his tie again. I hear the sound of footsteps in the hallway: good. He’s about to leave. Then the door slams, and the house is quiet again.

6:04 AM
Someone yawns, and then there’s a creaking noise as they walk down the stairs. Holly and I used to always jump over that step, trying to smother our giggles at how clever we were. We’d raid the kitchen, grabbing whatever we could find, and then hiding it behind our backs as we tip-toed up the stairs aga – no. No no no no. I can’t think about her, I won’t. It’s not as if I could have saved her. I have my own problems to deal with. What she does with her life isn’t my concern anymore. Did, a spiteful voice inside me whispers.

8:29 AM
Holly’s sitting on the edge of my bed, and I’m laying on my back, staring up at the ceiling and hugging a blue throw pillow. “I just don’t understand, Èlody.” She sounds sad, even though she’s smiling. “Why didn’t you answer my calls? Why didn’t you look at my texts?”

“You have to understand, I didn’t know, how could I have known you were going t – to…”

Her smile is more of a smirk now. “To what, Elle?” she asks, using her nickname for me.

“Suicide.” I whisper the word, swallowing the lump in my throat.

“You could have given me a chance. You could have listened. I listened to you, all those years. Poor wittle Èlody, with the perfect life. Poor, poor Èlody. ‘Everyone expects so much of me.’” She mimics my voice, her face twisted into a grimace.

“No, Holly! Please, please…it was never like that.”

“There where were you?” she demands. “Where were you when I needed you most?”

My face burns with shame, and I’m sure she can see the tears glistening on my cheeks.

But it seems to be answer enough for her, because she doesn’t pursue the subject.

“Do you know what they’re saying? That I died in a car accident; I was drunk, I shouldn’t have been driving, all the usual crap. Oh, no, they never mention the sleeping pills found in the cupholder, or even the words ‘drug overdose.’ Never believe what you see in the news, Sam. It’s all lies, designed to make us look better than we really are, or worse – depending on the situation. Of course, it would
never ever do for people to find out there was another suicide…” She feigns a shocked face. “After all, let’s face cold harsh reality. I was on school grounds: people will blame the school. And then, oh no, concerned parents will pull their kids out. Which means less money. Because that’s all it really comes down to, Elle: money. It’s all that matters in this world.”

“You can’t be here, Holly!” My voice is rising in hysteria, but she doesn’t seem to notice. I sit up suddenly, the tears falling faster now. “You’re dead! Dead! Why won’t you just leave me alone?! It’s not my fault! Do you hear? It’s
not my fault!” I sit up, grabbing a picture from my desk and throwing it at her, and then she – she smiles at me. But there’s no happiness in her smile; she looks disconnected, absent from th -

“Èlody! Counseling, half-hour – we can’t be late again!” I jerk awake, breathing heavily. My hair is sticking to my forehead, but Holly isn’t there. Standing up, I realize how stiff I am. “I’ll be down in a few minutes, Mom!” I yell, yanking the door shut. Something sharp pierces my foot, and I stifle a yelp as I hobble to my bed again: it’s a piece of glass.

The wooden picture frame is broken, the picture inside torn into pieces, in a neat pile besides the picture. It isn’t recognizable, but I still know what it is: me and Holly, two years ago. We’re both grinning from ear to ear, and I have a crown on my head: that was the year I was homecoming queen. Holly doesn’t look envious, though, just happy for me. There’s glitter stuck in our hair and all over our dresses, but I can’t remember caring at the time. And then – on both of our right wrists, there’s a small silver bracelet, with half of a heart on it.

I look involuntarily at my wrist, but the bracelet is where I left it, in the bottom of my pajama drawer. Closing my eyes, I fall back on my bed with a sigh, pulling the pony tail out of my hair. The picture is burned into my memory. Even when I close my eyes, even when I tell myself it was all just a dream, it doesn’t mean anything, I still know it means more than that. So much more.

Memories. In the end, that's all we really are. One girl, one accident, one packet of sleeping pills. A single boy, a pack of cigarettes – and the next thing you know, the house has burned to the ground. All the smiles we fake, all the tears we hold back. It all comes back someday, more painful than ever. Images flash through my mind, as if I’m looking through a photo album. There don’t seem to be any similarities; every picture looks different from the next. But in each picture, people are happy. They’re smiling, laughing, or crying with joy. And every picture is torn, right down the middle, with broken glass falling down like rain around them.

And that’s when I realize: this isn’t real. Nothing really is.

In the end, we’re all just memories. Just shattered memories.

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

ooh awesome!
Thanks for the submission!

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks for entering!

message 15: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 24, 2010 10:35AM) (new)

And the winner is . . .Emily! Congrats!

message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Congrats Emily! :)

I'll make sure to enter this week.

message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura (xmagical) | 31 comments 'Gratz Emily! :))

message 18: by Isaac (last edited Aug 27, 2010 05:56PM) (new)

Isaac I won? Yay! Thank you!

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