100 Word Challenge for grown ups
I do enjoy finding new challenges to keep my writing brain thinking. I came across the 100 word challenge on a blog called Julia’s Place.
I liked the idea of writing a story in 100 words or fewer prompted by an image.
This week’s image was three wise monkeys.
This is my response. I hope you enjoy it. The other responses can be found here.
I stood next to him and pointed. ‘My father used to bring me and my sisters here. He would re-tell the story of the three wise monkeys every Saturday. It became a ritual, a shared experience between us. I learned it was better to keep quiet, not to speak out, to look away from evil and block my ears to what was happening.’
He stared. ‘Sometimes you have to watch, listen and scream the truth.’
‘I just needed you to understand what it was like.’
He lowered his head. ‘Shall we return to the station and begin?’
On Thursday, I followed David Buchan on Twitter (@Buchan_David_) who suggested I get involved with Friday Phrases (@FridayPhrases).
The idea is to “Tweet & RT 140-character stories, poems, story prompts, chain stories & other microfiction gems.”
It seemed like a good idea so I wrote several short pieces just for #FP. I would recommend it. The Tweeps involved were friendly and supportive and it was good fun.
As Twitter is a medium where writing gets lost, I have copied some of my #FPs here:
He danced with her in the dark. She snuggled into his neck.
He carried her upstairs and lowered her into the cot.
He wasn’t sure of the Pleasure-Pain principle, until now. The pain was excruciating but the pleasure! He died with a smile on his face.
The last Centaur! He admired the elegant creature; such grace, such poise, so much wisdom. He wanted to study it forever. He fired.
‘Dad, I hear banging, it’s scary!’
‘Back to bed! Mum & I are playing.’
His son went. He dragged the corpse further downstairs.
The full archive of the #FP I took part in can be found here.
‘Oh no, not him. That can’t be the name, it can’t be.’
He started blankly at the paper. He read it again. The name called to him. It taunted him.
He had spent years hunting for the name. He had to know. He had pleaded and begged his mother to tell him the name but all she revealed were the briefest of details, nothing more. On her death-bed, she had given him a place, a time, a vague description.
It had been difficult to follow the clues, tracing his mother’s history. Who had she known? Where had she lived? He had spoken to hundreds of people. Followed clues, backtracked from myriad dead ends but always he persisted, driven by his need to know the name. He had read people’s intimate writing, their diaries and memoirs hoping to discover the name, somewhere. It had always been just one more clue away. Tantalisingly close yet unreachable.
The man who lay dying at his feet had been his last hope, driven mad by the frustration of not knowing, he had tortured him until he had revealed all.
Now he stood over him, reading the one diary that contained the name.
Staring down at the man, he realised what a monster he had become. His desire had consumed him.
As he closed the book, he heard the man’s final, dying breath. He looked down and spoke directly to him.
‘I’m sorry, father,’ was all he could say.