Archive for the ‘#WeekendWritercize’ Category

The following story was written for #WeekendWritercize competition.  This week, the challenge was to “Write the opening to a novel with the following title: Five O’Clock Shadows.”  Given the specifications of the competition, this story also appears as a comment at that site.


The opening I wrote is as follows:

It was the end of his shift and Dan stepped out of the building.  Streaks of darkness fell from the telephone poles onto the ground behind them.  The city had a five o’clock shadow and so did Dan, but what he was about to do, was far darker than any shadow – on the sidewalk or on his face.  Dan was a detective, but tonight he would not be wearing his badge.


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The following story was written for #WeekendWritercize competition.  This week, the challenge was to “Use the published poem of your choice to inspire original prose.”  Given the specifications of the competition, this story also appears as a comment at that site.


The poem that I chose to use was the following:

Das Glück ist eine leichte Dirne
By Heinrich Heine

Good Fortune is a fickle hussy,
And can’t stay put long in one place;
She smoothes your hair back if it’s mussy,
A kiss – she’s gone without a trace

Dame Grief is quite the contrary:
She hugs you till you call it quits;
She says that she is in no hurry,
Sits by your bed, and knits and knits.

Here is the story:

“Fifty THOUSAND dollars!  That’s what I’m saying!  I am NOT just going to pump this back into the slots.  Time for me to go home.”

With that said, Kevin cashed in his tokens at the cashier and left the casino.  Fifty thou was a lot of money and he didn’t want to blow it all by hanging around any longer.  He checked out, got into his car and got onto the Atlantic City Expressway.

At the toll booth, there was only one car in front of him, but it was taking forever to go through.

“People never plan ahead,” he sighed.  “Can’t imagine what a mess this will be when the tolls go completely electronic.  Besides, that guy has a Mercedes!  Why does he have to fish for change?  Let me guess: he probably doesn’t carry anything that small.”

The car ahead began inching forward.  Kevin took his foot off the brake, but the other driver was still having trouble with the toll and hadn’t really moved.  The resulting “SMACK!” both maddened and sickened him.

“Hey, Buddy!” he shouted out through the window.  “Don’t you know how to use a toll booth?”

The driver of the Mercedes squeezed out of his door, walked around back and assessed the damage.  At the same time, Kevin got out of his Chevy to have a look.  By the time he got around front to see what had happened and to talk to the other driver, he had already calmed down.

The collision had dented the bumpers of each car, but it wasn’t anything major and there wasn’t any body damage.  Even so, Mercedes replacement parts aren’t cheap, so Kevin still seethed a bit, inside.

After taking pictures and exchanging phone numbers, license-plate numbers and insurance information, the two returned to their cars and drove off.  Kevin was still angry, but at least nobody was injured and it hadn’t been any worse.

By the time he reached his house, Kevin was just glad to get home, but something didn’t look right as he approached it.  Something was different about his house.  At first, it was so shocking that he hadn’t even noticed, but there were police card blocking off part of the street so that a large truck could back up.

That truck was backing up to HIS house to remove a large limb that had fallen from an overhanging tree and plummeted straight through his roof.

Kevin ran over to one of the officers.  “What happened to my house?”

“You’re Kevin Sanderson?”


“It’s a good thing you weren’t home.  Do you know if anyone else may have been inside?”

“No.  My wife and I just separated and she’s living with her folks.  It hasn’t been going well.”

“Well, I’m sorry to hear about your wife,” replied the officer.  “From what your neighbours have been saying, that tree had some pretty bad rot and it seems it just couldn’t hold up that big branch up any more.”

“Yeah, I have, uh, had someone scheduled to cut it down tomorrow.  Looks like I need a roofer now, instead.”

“I’ll say.  Do you have any idea how much those branches weigh?”

“Well, thank you for your help, officer.”

After finishing his conversation with the policeman, Kevin opened his car door and sat back down to watch the massive piece of wood be lifted off of his house.

“What a day,” he thought to himself.  “Good thing nothing else can happen, I’ll probably need to stay in a hotel until this has been fixed.”

As he sat there, helplessly taking in the scene, someone else came over to see him.

“Kevin Sanderson?” said the newcomer.


The newcomer presented Kevin with an envelope.

“You’ve been served.”

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The following story was written for the inaugural #WeekendWritercize competition, which asked people to “Pick a familiar fairy tale, throw out the happily ever after, and tell us what really happened!” but to “avoid violence and profanity.”  Given the specifications of the competition, this story also appears as a comment at that site.


Once upon a time, there was a man who made shoes.  Although he didn’t sell a lot of shoes, he usually did well enough to keep his family fed.  After a while, however, the economy became very bad and people stopped buying his shoes

Soon, the shoemaker was so poor that he had nothing left but just enough leather to make a single pair of shoes.  He cut out the leather, but it was getting late, so he went to bed, hoping that when he would make the shoes in the morning, someone would buy them.

In the morning, the shoemaker awoke to find a brand-new pair of shoes on his workbench, and they had been made from the leather that he had cut the night before.  He had no idea how it had happened, but before he could think about it for very long, a man walked into his shop, was very pleased with the quality of the shoes and even paid more than what the shoemaker normally would have asked.

With the money from the sale, the shoemaker was able to get a little something for his family to eat and just enough leather to make two pairs of shoes.  After dinner, he cut the leather and, as he had done the night before, grew sleepy and went to bed.

The next morning, as with the previous morning, he found that the leather he had cut had been made into perfectly crafted shoes.  Again, people came in and bought the shoes and he earned enough money to buy even more leather.

This process continued for quite some time.  The shoemaker would painstakingly cut all the leather as needed for the shoes, and then the shoes would, magically, be fully assembled by morning.  It went well enough that the shoemaker was no longer poor, but had done very well with his business.

Then, curious as to how the shoes were so mysteriously made, the shoemaker installed a security camera in his shop and watched what happened after he had cut out the leather at night.

When it was midnight, two small, homeless men, wearing what could only loosely be called clothing, entered the shop, sat down at the workbench and sewed, stitched and hammered all of the pieces into perfect shoes as the shoemaker watched them on his monitor.  As soon as they were done, they didn’t bother to tarry, but immediately ran out of the shop.

When the shoemaker and his wife saw the shoes, the next morning, knowing that the homeless little men had worked so hard to produce them, they decided that they would reward their workers by buying them clothing.  They also helped them rent an apartment with some of the money the sale of the shoes had brought in.

Over time, the shoemaker and his wife became very wealthy and their little helpers made a good living, as well, but things were about to change.  The rest of the country went through another bad economic period and the hard work the shoemaker and his helpers had put in was no longer a thing that people valued.

Instead, the rest of the people, calling themselves “the ninety-nine percent” and calling the shoemaker and others like him “the one percent,” began shouting and carrying signs that said, “Occupy Shoemaker Street.”

Ultimately, the shop had to shut down, the helpers became homeless again, and the shoemaker and his wife lost all that they had struggled so hard to save.  Thus, all lived miserably ever after.

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