Showing posts with label CreativeCorner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CreativeCorner. Show all posts

11 January 2023

Creative Corner - Writing Prompt 1

Writing prompt for today - 

You are looking down through the skylight as chefs prepare dinner for your ex-fiance’s wedding.

I am sat here, on the roof of the hotel where my ex love is getting married, peering through the skylight.  There are a million questions running through my head right now.  How did I get here?  How did it come to this?  Why has the bastard got the same cake design that we chose for our wedding?

Mark always used to tell me that I was too organised.  So organised it seems that I have helped him plan his wedding, to someone else.  How can it be that only nine months ago we were planning our own wedding yet here I am today, staring down at everything we had planned, but I’m not invited.

The kitchen is busy with waiters running around, chefs shouting to get the first course out; I see Mark stayed with the prawn and mango salsa starter that we had decided on. 

I only meant to take a peek around the door of the venue, how did I end up on the roof?  Now I am here, I’m not sure if I'm insulted or if I just want to laugh.  The menu looks to be exactly the one that we chose, the bespoke wedding cake that I had designed is there; I have no doubt that if I could see into the reception room, the place settings and decorations would be the same too.

Where is the bride in all this?  Where is Sarah?  When Mark left me, he told me that he wanted someone who wasn’t so fiercely independent.  Someone who would stay at home, have the children, become the perfect wife that he always wanted.  That has never been me. 

I always used to notice the way my friend Sarah looked at Mark.  The look of longing that she thought I didn’t notice.  Well I did, but never thought anything of it, until a week after he broke our engagement and I saw the two of them strolling hand in hand down the street.

I wonder what life she has chosen for herself.  Her own wedding, chosen down to the napkin holders by someone else, by me, the friend that she betrayed.  Not the best start to married life.  I thought I was over all of that, yet here I am, sat on the roof like some deranged stalker.

Ashamed, I move back to the edge of the building, looking round to make sure I won’t be seen as I descend the fire escape.  I wonder, have I made a lucky escape or has he?  He is the one in the wedding suit and I am crawling around on a roof.

I made it back down to street level and start walking around the building, anxious to get away.  I spy the wedding car pulling up to the front entrance in the distance and my heart starts to beat faster.  Do I hide, do I walk past; do I turn back?  Instead I linger at the corner, unnoticed by the people now crowding at the entrance.

Sarah looks happy, but also a little nervous (perhaps she thinks I am going to jump out of the bushes?).  Mark looks smug.  His loud voice carries down the street.  I hear him telling people that they are going to be amazed by the reception.  All his own work and planning.  He's taking credit for everything, as he always used to.

I smile to myself.  My heart stops it's relentless pounding.  I'm done with this man.  I wait for them to enter the hotel and then walk away, entering my own new life.

10 February 2014

Creative Corner 7

It has been a long while since I have done anything in the Creative Corner series.

I find myself happiest when I write an opinion piece but somehow the creative writing draws me back in now and again.  

This is actually a rewrite of one of my earlier stories, which had been taken from a writing prompt of "The First Step".  

So here is "The Second Step".  
They say all you have to do in life is take that first step. One step and you can change your direction, your purpose and it can take you somewhere you only could dream of before.
I disagree.
I have taken many first steps in my life and I can tell you that it isn’t the first step that counts at all. It’s the second. The first step is tentative, non committal and still uncertain. The second step is your decision.
My marriage has been a series of first steps. In the beginning, the first steps were always taken with excitement as to what was to come. Our first date, getting engaged; buying a house.
As time moved on however these first steps changed. The first time he hit me, the first time he used my body without my consent; the first time I threatened to leave him; my first hospital visit. None of these steps were taken with my permission but they definitely took me to places I had never been before, nor wished to be.
There is another first step, sitting hidden away at the back of the wardrobe in the guest bedroom. A step of my own making. A bag, packed with clothes, some money, my passport. My bid for freedom.
The problem is, I have taken so many first steps, do I have the courage to take the second?  The one that takes me out of the door and to a new life. My hesitant first step has been sitting there, whispering to me in the black of night to escape.  Fear is my constant companion.
You need mettle for the second step.
So why I am I telling you this?  It is merely to tell you what you already know; that the second step is harder than the first?  No.  I tell you because you can waste your life away debating on that second step.  I tell you because I've taken mine, and you can too.  
I have left him.

23 September 2013

Creative Corner 6

Writing Prompt:

The Locked Room

Summer vacations in my family weren’t the usual kind.  My parents always rented a house in a different part of the country each year in order to experience what they called “a wider aspect” of society.

I was always an introverted child, much more interested in inside of the house than out of it and I preferred reading a book to touring around the local sights.  When my parents made their vacation decisions I championed the older looking houses, hoping to find something interesting in the attic or an old family story I could investigate.

In 2006 we made the 1200 mile journey from our home in New York to a small town in Louisana.

The house was huge and at least a hundred years ago.  The realtor had said that the property was permanently on let to vacationers, but somehow the place had still retained a certain charm that countless visitors hadn’t spoiled.  I immediately loved it.

After making a tour of the house, from cellar to attic, I came across a locked door to what appeared to be quite a large room.  This was unusual given that the house was on permanent let.  What could be the reason to lock it?

After much Googling I found out that the house had not had a permanent resident for the past thirty years.  The last residents had been a Glenn and Jessica Cartwright in 1976.  They were still listed as the owners today, now living in the Florida Keys.  Curious.  Why would you uproot and leave your house, never to return?  I had to find out what was behind that locked door as I felt sure that that would provide me with the answers.

I was confident after years of watching people do it on the television that I could easily pick a lock with a bobby pin.  I was wrong.  Day after day I tried, but the damn thing just wouldn’t open.  Eventually I gave up on the door and found other pursuits to amuse me.

The day before we were due to return to New York I passed the door again.  The bobby pin that I had been using was still nearby on the floor, where I had thrown it after my last failed attempt.  I decided on one last go.

This time though, with barely a wiggle of the pin, the lock on the door opened and I hesitantly opened the door and peeked around the side.

Unlike the rest of the house which had a modern, clean lines feel to it, this room was decorated in a distinct 1970’s style, the time when the owners had last lived at the property.  Moving my eyes away from the desk in the corner and the brightly coloured wallpaper, I noticed a small child’s bed in the corner with a huge teddy sitting on the pillowcase.  The name “Kimberly” was embroidered onto a picture over the fireplace.  This was a child’s room. 

Moving further into the room I saw that the linen was still on the bed, the toys were on the floor; everything appeared as though someone had walked out of the room one day and never came back, simply locking the door on it.  It was a room preserved in history.

Realisation flooded into my mind.  I now understood why the Cartwright’s had left this house, never to return.  I went back to the computer and found what I was looking for.  An article in July of 1976 about a little girl called Kimberly Cartwright, drowned in the local creek at the age of 8.

I went back to the room and carefully locked the door again with my fashioned bobby pin key.  My entry into the room had gone unnoticed by my parents and I never told them what I found inside.  It was a reminder that not every locked door should be opened.

The next day we flew back to New York.

16 September 2013

Creative Corner 5

Today's theme I found to be an interesting one, here is what I did with it.

Write about a witch’s curse:

The woods next to the village of St Aubrens were dark and oppressive.  Somehow sadness and pain seem to radiate out from the branches and whether it was summer or winter, the leaves on the trees were always black.

The village itself was also a strange place.   There was a section in the village with rows of cottages that no one wanted to pass.  Misery seemed to hang in the air like an ever present cloud and the residents always looked like the weight of the world rested on their shoulders.

Whenever there was a celebration within the village, the festivities never reached those cottages.  Decorations were never hung, the brightly coloured lanterns were never lit, the people never seemed to smile.

Newcomers to the village never stayed long.  People were actively discouraged from buying in the area and the children who lived there moved away as soon as could.  This was not a happy town.  Because decades earlier, the village people had made a mistake, they had crossed a witch.

The villagers had always known about the witch who lived alone, or so they thought, in a tiny cottage in the woods.  Uneasy at the thought of a witch in their midst, the unspoken rule was that they left her alone and in turn, she would stay away from the village. 

After several years particularly bad harvests, the villagers started to mutter about the witch and about how she was bringing them bad luck.  One night, fuelled after a night at the local tavern, those mutterings turned to anger, and the anger turned to fury.  The men of the village tore through the woods with torches alight, intent of burning the witch out of her home and getting her well away from their village.

It was only when they had set fire to the witch’s cottage that the villagers heard screams of “My children! My children!” coming from behind them.  The witch raced through the trees towards the cottage which was now fully ablaze.  There was no way anyone, even the witch could have saved anyone inside.

The men had raced back to village, horrified at what had just occurred. 

The next day, the witch had appeared in the village square, stricken with grief at the loss of her children.  The smell of the fire was all around her and black smoke seemed to follow in her wake.   She proclaimed that every man who had entered the woods that night would suffer, that he would never know happiness again without pain.

The witch was never seen again.  Too afraid now to pursue her, the villagers never entered the woods again, and with good reason.  All the men who had entered the woods that night soon felt the consequences of her curse. 

Any feeling of happiness was followed by strong physical pain.  The sensation was described as having your heart pulled from your chest.  From a chuckle from a joke to a feeling of love or happiness caused hours of excruciating agony. 

The men soon realised that in order to survive the curse, they had to cut all happiness from their lives.  Their loved ones were sent away, they chose their food from the scraps left by others and they now eached lived alone, on the same street in the village.

No one in the village knew exactly how long the cursed men had actually lived.  The years and decades passed and yet they still lived on.  Some said that they would die when the witch did. When her pain had died, so to could theirs.  

No one ever entered the St Aubrens Woods again.

11 September 2013

The Tea Cup - Creative Corner 4

Writing Prompt from "642 Things to Write About" book.

Write a Short Story That Is Set In Argentina in 1932, In Which a Teacup Plays a Crucial Role

Julia stared fondly at the white porcelain teacup in her hands as she dried it off with a cloth from the sink.  The original set had been given to her some fifty years ago by her mother and had been passed down from generation to generation.

Dark red roses were randomly scattered across the glossy white of the porcelain, looking as beautiful now as the first time she had seen them.  Back in 1882 when her mother had given her the tea set on the eve of her marriage, there were eight cups and six saucers but time, travel and numerous grandchildren had whittled her collection down to this single cup and saucer, with a small chip on the side of the cup.

As the bright Argentinian morning sunshine streamed through the windows of her small balcony in her first floor apartment, Julia let her mind wander back over the decades, thinking of her children and her grandchildren, all of whom had loved the tea set and had played with it since they were children.

Now they all had their lives of their own.  Grandma’s rose tea set was a fond memory to them all and on family get-togethers they would all squabble about who would inherit the last cup.

Julia was now 80 years old.  In their later years Julia and her husband Charles had moved to Argentina to enjoy the winter years of their lives but now, in 1932, some 5 years after Charles had passed away, Julia suddenly felt very lonely, standing in her kitchen holding on to the small tea cup.

Maybe it was time the tea cup, and she, moved back to home, to her family in Devon.       

4 September 2013

Creative Corner 3

The creative writing prompt was very short this time - just two words:

A Step

You know that saying "Every journey starts with a single step" ?  Well not to be disagreeable, but I believe that every true journey starts with the second step.

The first step is done hesitantly, with caution.  You can, and frequently do take the step back.  From the simplest thing of reading the synopsis of a book before you start reading it to choosing a different path that your life will take, that first step is always an exploratory one.

You may make hundreds, if not thousands of those first steps in your life.  A quick decision that you instantly change your mind on, an idea that you want to carry out but are still unsure; the new direction you want to take, but don't yet have the courage for.

The second step however, that is decisive.  You have made the choice, committed to it and you are going forward.  The second step is the one that is the hardest to take.  It shows that you are resolute in what you want, and you are going after it.

No one remembers the first step.  But the second, where the real action takes place, that is where the interesting things happen.