Writing Prompts: Thinking about Time [Scene Stealers]

    Scene Stealer: Thinking about Time

    Welcome to Scene Stealers, our series of writing prompts designed to flex your creative muscles.

    We’re thrilled that so many of you are participating in our writing prompt series. (Read the other Scene Stealers here and add one of your own.)

    If you’re not familiar with Scene Stealers, 

    here’s how it works:

    • We set the scene
    • You steal it, make it your own, and,
    • Share your creation in the comments section of this post

    Of course, it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to share your work, but we hope you’ll do the exercise anyway.

    We occasionally use Scene Stealer ideas submitted by our reader. If you’d like to submit a Scene Stealer idea, please look at the information at the end of this post—it’s easy to participate.

     Now for the ground rules:

    • You must use the exact wording we provide—in this case it must appear in the beginning of your story.
    • Your story must be 350 words or less.
    • Your work must be original and not previously published.
    • WTD provides an encouraging and safe environment for writers to grow and learn from each other. We’d love you to comment on other people’s submissions in a friendly and supportive manner.
    • We reserve the right to delete any comments or entries we deem inappropriate and those that do not meet the specifications above.

    This week’s installment is designed to get you comfortable with moving back and forth in time. The protagonist is in the present but thinking about the past. How you juxtapose the present and past is up to you.

     Scene Stealer #4

     She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

    Now steal this line and make it your own.

    We can’t wait to see what develops.

    About the author:
    Mary Jaksch is Editor-in-Chief at Write to Done. Grab her FREE report How to Write Like an A-List Blogger. Mary has helped thousands of students successfully create outstanding and profitable blogs at  A-List Blogging and is the blogger behind Goodlife ZEN.

    Photo courtesy of:  eyesogreen

    About the author

      Mary Jaksch

      Mary Jaksch is best known for her exceptional training for writers at WritetoDone.com and for her cutting-edge book, Youthful Aging Secrets. In her “spare” time, Mary is also the brains behind GoodlifeZEN.com, a Zen Master, a mother, and a 5th Degree Black Belt.

    • caroleen says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. And that thought scared her immensely.

      It was a poorly isolated shed, where the walls displayed an impressive array of medieval looking tools. The old wooden bench onto which she had been tied to felt damp and cold.

      The brute placed his hands on her trembling skin.

      His dark eyes traced the contour of her beautiful silhouette with admiration.

      ”Such incredible creature…” he marveled.

      ” This is better than any other catch. I could get a lot of money for you on the black market. ”

      She remained silent.

      ” But with so much beauty… I’d rather keep you and make you my wife.”

      The rugged man stared back, like waiting to see if she understood.

      His words had sent shivers down her spine, but still she said nothing.

      The man reached in his back pocket for a long pair of pliers.

      Out of fear, she thrashed her body in vain.

      ”I’ll be gentle. I promise.”

      A tear appeared in her eye.

      ‘’Stop moving.’’

      With one rapid motion of his hand, the man extracted a single, large, shiny scale.

      ”You’ll need a souvenir from your old life.’’ he said with gravity.

      The extraction had been painful, but deep inside, she knew the fisherman wouldn’t inflict more pain then he had to.

      He turned around and dropped her beautiful pearly scale in a glass before taking grabbing a leather gourd.

      He walked up to her once more and proceeded in prompting her head up to make her drink.

      A foul-smelling odor reached her nostrils as she nearly fainted

      ”Don’t worry it doesn’t taste as bad as it smells.”

      She drank the potion despite her will.

      Instants later, her whole body shook uncontrollably, like possessed. The convulsions continued for at least a minute but suddenly stopped just as abruptly as they had started.

      It was all over but instead of her magnificent scaled tail was now a pair of long feminine pale legs.

      And Leila knew she would never again be a creature of the sea.

    • Hi! This is my first time! *NERVOUS *

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.
      It started with a squiggle. A slight ripple, like a breath. Were Laila’s aged eyes playing tricks on her? The Vet had seen the movement too.
      ‘It’s the pups,’ she whispered. Her eyes shone. ‘They are alive! I’ll have to cut the stomach open.’

      What? Laila’s mind screamed out. See her precious doggie cut up? No, no, this was all wrong. Images of the beautiful Tiffany flooded her numbed mind. Her black, insistent nose nudging Laila to get up and walk, her expressive, charcoal eyes, the comfort of her fur against Laila’s pain ridden feet…
      Tiffany was all she had left…

      The Vet’s instructions fell in a jumble upon Laila’s weary ears. It had been a long, emotion filled night, watching her best friend of twelve years struggle against the rat poison. With her gone, Laila’s life was over…

      ‘The movement is slowing down,’ the Vet said. ‘Ok, look away now. You all right?’
      Laila nodded. She shuddered as she heard the ‘scrunch’ which cut apart Tiffany’s soft, pink tummy. She had tickled it often. But then she had no more time for reminences.
      Little blobs of bloody flesh were handed to her faster than Laila could hold them.
      ‘Fourteen,’ the Vet said, after what seemed like the whole night. Laila’s arthritic fingers were stiff and slow and her neck was locked at a painful angle.
      ‘They all survived the poison.’ The Vet sounded amazed.

      Laila’s hands shook. And as she washed and placed the pups in their soft basket, a symbiotic bond communicated itself from the new life warming beneath her fingers. Tired as she was, the weight began to lift from Laila’s heart. The breathing of fresh existence, still wrapped up in magical dreams behind tightly shut eyes, insinuated itself on her grieving mind. And as the first rays of the new day streaked into the room, Laila knew it was time for renewal, a reason to go on.

    • Missaralee says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

      Doctor Strange supervised the robots slicing the ice sheet with precision lasers. It only took a few hours to free the time machine submersible from the ice. She could never have predicted that the melting ice would also free a dreadful ice monster whose tentacles were wrapped tightly around her prize.
      The maniacal, demon squid, refreshed from its long slumber overturned the ice breaking vessels and coast guard ships. It up-ended the nearby drilling rigs, spilling crude oil into the arctic sea. The laser robots could do nothing to halt the demon.
      “There is only one solution! I must use the time machine to undo this terrible catastrophe” said Dr. Strange.
      Even with her considerable genius bent upon it, she could not calibrate the time machine to travel to a specific date or time. She would have to risk being dragged back to the birth of glaciers. Her only chance was to bail out at just the right point in time to avoid being lost along with the submersible time machine. It would be a great blow to her career.
      “It is a sacrifice that I must make for the greater good” she said to no one in particular.
      Just as Doctor Strange fired the boosters, the maniacal squid monster wrapped its tentacles of evil around the sub. She abandoned ship and landed one year in the past. The ship and its cargo of squid were carried onward into the darkness of time.
      “I hope this doesn’t come back to haunt me” she thought.
      Some months later, Doctor Strange received a request from the University of Science to join the expedition to retrieve a machine encased in ice. She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

    • Eugene Matthews says:

      so iv never posted anything like this before just a few articles on D&D so here you go ( i know my grammar is bad im working on it )

      Most people think Blood is a bright candy apple red, right now in the dark room only the moon lets me see the glossy crimson reflection of the curtains in the pool surrounding the body on the floor. Moving my Hand to the light switch, flicking it Back and forth the power is out. What is going on here.

      “Sara” I called out in to the dark room My brain not yet ready to accept what my eyes see “Sara ?” I said it louder. Before I know it I’m standing at the edge. Looking down I see my face only, its distorted like a fun house mirror. In the dark even, with the moon laying its light over the seen it wasn’t real. Later I’ll fall down, I’ll cry, I’ll morn. Right now I need to figure out what happened.

      Standing there I cast my eyes around the Moonlit room looking for the signs of cause. Paper on the floor a chair on its side the window Open the Curtin Moving in the nights breeze. so far all I’ve looked at is the room now the Hardest part I need to look at Sara, No the body yes ill call Her the Body any other way and ill become a writhing mass of tears and Pain after who knows how long I looked down at her and I lost my breath her eyes were milky her lips Blue the capillary’s in her cheeks had burst so the left side was splotchy shed have hated that she was so conscientious of her looks before I know it I had brushed her cheek with the back of my hand dear god I’m going to miss her, the word love doesn’t Consider moments like this. Someone will bleed for this, things flash in my mind and I settled almost humorlessly on a cheese grader. Yes Sara would like that I’ll use hers even.

      • Eugene Matthews says:

        wow i forgot the beginning sentence im such a newbie at this

    • She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. When he walked out of her life, he left the front door open. She stepped outside and looked up the street. He was turning the corner with that purposeful stride she hated so much because whenever he walked like that he always stayed two steps ahead of her.

      A flash of blonde hair and he was gone. And now, my life, she thought. She sat down on the front stoop. The air was crisp and smelled like recent rain. She put her bare feet on the damp concrete to feel the slippery red leaves plastered to the ground. There was nothing of his left in the apartment, not even a sock or CD. That meant two and a half empty bookshelves, the three bottom drawers of the bedroom dresser, and the hook in the kitchen where the big cast iron pan used to hang. She could hang something there that didn’t necessitate special instructions on how to clean it. She could put books on the shelf that didn’t spark impromptu lectures or political rants.

      Why did her relationships always feel like she was auditing a class at a community college?

      From around the same corner up the street, the cat appeared. He walked up to her without making eye contact and took a few experimental sniffs of her ankles. Satisfied that his competition was indeed gone, he settled down next to her and wrapped himself in his tail. The cat hated him from the start but she had refused to consider his opinion.

      He left early in the morning so she had the whole day ahead of her. How considerate of him. It was like firing someone on a Friday. She stood and stretched her arms up, her hands open to hug the sky.

      “I’m going to buy a big potted plant and a boxful of mystery novels,” she said to the cat. The cat unrolled and flopped over on his back, eyeing her upside down.

      “Yes,” she said, “it’s just like that.”

    • She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. The bracelet the doctor had given her, she’d seen it before. Her mother, she could see the bracelet on her mother wrist. She recalled what the doctor had told her before she left for Trinidad. Was it that she was discovering a plot, which had not been seen before? The doctor was always sketchy. But why would he send her to Trinidad if it wasn’t to dissolve all ties between her and the incident.

      She’d done what the doctor asked. She killed the minister. But as she stare down the corridor at the man in black, the words he spoke to her echoed in her ear, “Be mindful of those who conspire against you.” She’d made a deal with the man in black to protect her. Give her a place to live and hideout until the assassination of the minister was no longer primetime news.

      Was the man in black there to protect her? She thought she had dealt with the worst and now her mind was getting the best of her. She had to move; she could not let him suspect her distrust in him.

      She walked toward the man in black, in and out of shadows, until she could visibly see his face. It was the minister. But she had killed the minister. She hid her face, wondering if he knew she was his attacker. She thought maybe she could make a run for it. But if the minister could survive a shot to the head; she thought to herself how this could be.

      With nowhere to run, she approached the man in black. He said nothing, not even an acknowledgement that she had arrived. “The man you shot was my double.” She could not speak. Her hands trembled, her forehead moistened with sweat, and her legs shifty, as she stared at the man saying nothing. “A precise and effective kill,” he continued. She tried to hide her smile, even though she feared for her life, she couldn’t help but accept a compliment even if it was from a supposedly dead man.

      He handed her a package. “Your room is upstairs. Make yourself comfortable.” She finally felt her words coming together, “Why am I here? How did you know I was going to kill you? Who are you?” He smiled and walked away. She followed. “You were tested and you passed. Now begins your next assignment.”

      Doubt filled her soul. Had she been tested by the doctor and the minister? What would be next? She couldn’t help to think that if her first mission was to kill a minister, who would be next?

      *First Timer, Hope you like. Thank you for reading.

    • Steven Stehle says:

      As the first notes of “Thus Spake Zarathustra” blared through the god’s audio system, she knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

      “Dear God!” she said, “It’s full of bars!” as they rattled unrestrainedly in front of her.

      She reached forth tentatively, grasping the metal and pulling it toward herself. It moved easily and slid forward and down, forward and down, forward and down, faster and faster and faster. She was giddy with the joy of it, the motion and the free ease of her muscles at play again after such long confinement and sloth. She was running unrestrictedly and it filled her heart.

      The god was in the larger enclosure holding some object up to the side of his head and making noises to it, as if reassuring an infant. The cardboard container was gone from the table. She had not been sure how long she was trapped in there, but it could have been several days or just an hour. The loneliness might have been the worst part if not for the box’s motion. The box had tipped back and forth rhythmically for a while, and then it was placed inside another, larger box.

      This enormous metal box growled like a crazed hunting beast while doing subtle magic with the floor. From time to time the wall temporarily became the floor for a moment. She would fall into this new floor, usually just in time for the old floor to regain its “flooriness”. However, not before the wall/temporary floor knocked the ever-loving kibbles out of her. The god had sat inside the growling metal box next to her cardboard one. He was playing with a series of toys mounted in front of his chair and having a great time from what she could tell. The gravity fluctuations seemed to have no effect on him. It was then she decided to name the god “Alien Life” or maybe “Hairless Alien Life” suited it better. “Hal,” she had said to herself.

      Satisfied, she said it again now as she ran the wheel, “Hal.”

    • She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.
      As she was looking at the sun setting over the desert that stretched out in front of her, Dana thought back at the events of the last hours that had turned her life upside down.

      “We need to go, now”, her friend Carol had whispered only an hour ago, as she was handing her wedding ring to the man with the bleak face. “OK.”, Dana said to him, “I will add the iPad. I won’t need it anyway.” He responded casually: “I want the knife as well.” “No”, she said panicky, “I won’t survive without the knife.” “Then go to someone else”, he mumbled and started to turn away. Carol was pulling her sleeve, anxiously looking at the two men standing in back of the shed.

      She flinched as she remembered the frantic flight this morning. Her lying, betraying, criminal bastard of a husband yelling after her, handcuffed to the heating pipe: “You will never make it on your own! You’ll die alone and miserable!”
      Barefooted, she fled to the only person in the village she knew would not turn her over to the taliban. Carol had not been surprised and had acted quickly. She provided her with all the clothing she could spare without raising suspicion. Then she joined Dana to the pawnshop to trade the stuff she had grabbed in a rush from the house.

      “Wait!” she yelled at the bleak man, “OK, you can also have the binoculars, but that’s it!” “Fine”, said the bleak man, and handed her a key. “The desert cruiser is just outside that door. Now get out.”
      Outside Carol grabbed her in a desperate hug. She had tears in her eyes. “Go quickly. They will be looking for you by now. Think of me sometimes in your new life.”

      Dana woke from her thoughts. The sun was almost gone.
      She started the desert cruiser. She needed to make the most of the cool desert night.
      Yes, a new beginning. She would make it on her own.

    • She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. As her mind raced back to that special day she could remember that both their ‘intuition’ had placed them together but her failing to join him on the return coach journey had shattered that wonderful close connection between them. As she looked at his sad, disappointed face as he waved to her slowly, his shoulders indicating how puzzled he was she thought to herself ‘If only I had not left my purse behind my lovely Mr. X and I would be together again. Stupid me!!!

      Over the months which followed she decided to use what information about him she could remember to trace him and apologise but where would she start? On a wild wet and windy day she set off to traverse five counties but no success. Soaking wet she returned to Glasgow remembering that perhaps it was the County name he gave her and not the village. This would narrow it down as she now remembered his surname thanks to another driver who happened to chat to Mr.X when he was traversing down my way one day whilst I was looking for Mr.X in the opposite direction.

      She began to think it was the end of a beautiful friendship which never got off the ground but there standing right in front of her alighting the coach which would be taking her back home was her Mr.X. She could hear him ask the driver about a woman called Miss X who wore ponchos, caps and large tinted bi-focols with a foreign surname .. Her ‘intuition’ to leave for home early had paid off big time. As she gently touched his arm he turned round and gave her a huge hug whispering quietly in her ear ‘Where did you get to that day?’ I have been wondering about you for so long and knew I just had to come to try trace you as I remembered your name and that you lived near the joiner’s yard next to the big house.

      They sat together in that same seat which had cosmically connected them so many months ago; holding hands, smiling into each other’s eyes so happily and began planning their next date! She would make him a dinner of his own choice then take him to visit the mysterious walled garden up country where she used to live and play as a child. So that fleeting end to their friendship magically turned into a wonderful new beginning due to one simple fact. The both followed their ‘intuition’.

    • Slim says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. She had come full circle without ever knowing she was on this journey, starting at the end of her thoughts from some other place in the future.

      Circles inside of circles, how could this have happened without her knowing, without her friends or family seeing it coming?

      David would see it soon and then all would be out, the truth would be known to everyone. She thought on this, imagined the pain it would bring her and Jewel but the thought was washed away from her mind quickly, it was too painful to visualize.

      She walked down the path her feet naked to the ground, tinny pricks of pain from the forest litter telling her to step softly. She would be there soon it’s not far now she told herself, old friends meeting in old ways, memories mixing with the moment, the now.

      The lake is just ahead she says to herself, just around that corner and I’ll be there, but the trail goes on instead. She wonders how she could have mistaken it; she had been here so many times before.
      I don’t recall this from before she thinks; a chill runs up the back of her legs to neck. Stopping to look around now the forest is unfamiliar to her. The feel the smells it’s all so strange. She should go back but not to worry how could she be lost all she need do is just follow the trail back the way she came right? No she will go on to meeting place at the lake side everything will be alright then.

      Hours pass on the trail, she begins to think about home and how to get back but she knows that home is gone; all that is left to her is the path she follows now. Jully, David, friends, family, home all gone.

      A little smile crosses her face as she wonders; how is it that after all of my life’s journey I have ended exactly at the place I started.

    • Donovan Manley says:

      I can feel the pull of attraction the she is trying to resist. It reminds me of a scene from “Atlas Shrugged” between Daphne and Francisco when he returns and she is all grown up–in a complementary way. Well done!

    • My very first Scene Stealer! Woo! Looking forward to reading, leaving some comment love on others and reading comments here on mine. Happy Reading & Writing!

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning…Janet sat at her desk reviewing emails when his name appeared in the “sender” line, “Lance Ruman.” It had been over four years since they last spoke and this time he was coming to town for business and to see her once again.

      When they saw each other for the first time, Janet was more reserved than the college girl he was used to. He yelled, “Janiii!” his pet name for her as he ran in to give her a hug. She turned slightly sideways to avoid getting too close, and returned the hello. They walked and talked along the sidewalk as Janet pointed out her favorite places to grab lunch and the buildings she visited each day. She wanted to warm up him, but those days were over, choices had been made.

      Janet had different goals now, she focused on her faith and her career. He had goals too, but wanted to know this new Janet, who he felt in his own right, that “Jani” was still there, waiting to be let free. “Jani, what you been up to?” he said, eager to squeeze as much information from her as possible. She kept it simple, “I’ve been doing a lot of work in the community, I enjoy the people I work with and I get home often to see my family.”

      “Jani…” this time, his tone was low and clear. “What are your dreams?” was his follow up, this time soliciting a pause and relaxation in her face. Janet didn’t know the power he still held, to reach into her, to open her up. “Lance, I want to go back to school for my PhD, to become a Psychologist. I need to be somewhere that’s green with more trees than concrete and city traffic. I want to get back to writing and start my own consulting business.” There were pigeons cooing nearby and she felt the need to look up, away from the familiar hazel eyes she remembered

    • Elizabeth L says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end really was just the beginning. She didn’t, however have a clue where to start. As Allison walked through her mother’s house she was flooded with memories, some of them good, most of them not.

      Despite her disappointment with her childhood and her deep distrust of and anger at her mother, Allison had spent most of the past two years caring for her as the cancer slowly ate the life out of her.

      Illness had not softened her mother. Irene had been her given name, but she had insisted on being called Renie by everyone since the age of two, even by her daughter. She had been critical and sarcastic right up to the moment the morphine had taken over and shut her up. The manner in which Renie had said, “A prom dress? You don’t need no prom dress. You really think a boy’s gonna ask you,” had sounded pretty much the same as when she had said, in a lucid moment, “Why you still here? You think I want you sittin’ here watchin’ me die?”

      Allison began to fold her mother’s clothing into a moving box, sorting as she went. Goodwill, trash, trash, more trash. She picked up a marker and wrote TRASH on one box after another and began filling them with the contents of Renie’s bedroom. It was all trash anyway. “Nobody’s poor enough to want any of your crap,” she told her mother. “I wouldn’t wish your darkness into anyone’s life.” This suddenly seemed like an excellent place to begin.

      • Donovan Manley says:

        Good emotional build-up. The example of the prom dress was great for setting the emotional scene. Is it the beginning of her catharsis to throw away all her mother’s belongings?

    • Donovan Manley says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. It was the beginning of a long detour from the life she had lived in her dreams, the life that travelled with him. Was it her that had detoured, or had he chosen a different road?
      She exhaled slowly and searched through the Marlboro smoke for his face. She could still see the wind in the trees behind him when he kissed her goodbye. The highway stretched out in front of the Camaro beneath her, but she would have to leave the highway…and with it, him.
      Had his road been as smooth as the highway he taken away from her? She had tried to find him when the potholes had jarred her life, shaking his name from her memory. With each turn, she wondered if the her path led closer to him or farther still. Each time she tried to imagine what she would say if she found him, or if she stumbled upon him in some familiar place. Would his face look the same as it had that day? She couldn’t see the face buried in her heart, but knew she would feel it when he saw her.
      How many times had she tried? It must have been many; the bumps had been many. The hope that he was there, somewhere, and that he may also be looking for her, helped her overcome the rough road, propelled her up the steep hills. But the dreams were vivid Technicolor, and her life was faded earth-tones. Would finding him shatter the illusion, take away the dream that led her on, she had asked herself each time. When she looked, he was never there, and she never had to answer the question.
      She took another drag and stared through the smoke at his face on the computer screen. Her heart braced for the oncoming collision.

    • Carl Vaughan says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. The spreading pool of life she first saw in her vision now reached across the kitchen linoleum, crawling with red tendrils towards her feet. She was too late to save Jared from the fate her vision predicted. A bullet from an unknown gun made sure of that. Hot tears ran down Amy’s face as the bile, bitter and foul, came up. Amy sank, her bare knees inches from the blood from her late fiance.
      When the tears stopped, Amy stood on unsure legs and walked into Jared’s bedroom, a room she’d shared with a very alive Jared the night before. Having the premonition, seeing Jared’s lifeless body contorted on the kitchen floor should have prepared her. Instead, Amy was reeling, the finality of walking in Jared’s bedroom making her feel like throwing up again. She kept it down with a fight and opened Jared’s closet.
      Jared was a habitual neat freak and his time as an Army Ranger gave him an impeccable sense of organization. So Amy knew exactly where to look to find Jared’s Colt Python Revolver. Just behind the Nike boxes above the suit jackets, in an oak case with five speed loaders of ammunition. Amy tucked the box under her arm, snatched a tissue from the box on the nightstand, and stalked out of the house.
      The mid-afternoon sun was hatefully hot and Amy rushed to her car to escape it and turn on the air conditioner. After she’d cooled off again, Amy made a mental checklist. She had to find Jared’s killer. The only way to do that would be to make a circle. An enclosure of will in which Amy could call on the knowledge of any number of forces. In this case, one of her totem animals; a fox.

    • trierden says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. As she lay in the cold, colorless half-light of the nascent dawn, dew dripped from the dense canopy of trees as if to shed tears over her ordeal. The trees, the lush underbrush would be her tomb. The wildlife cowering in the shadows would bare the only witness to her plight.

      She had run, and run, and run. The soles of her bare feet were in tatters, her nails broken or ripped from her feet and hands. Her naked legs were punctured and scraped by the dead fall she had coursed through. Blood smeared her face from the ugly gash she had opened over her left eye in the last tumble to the forest floor. The forest floor, where she had collapsed clad only in a shredded, torn tee-shirt. It was soaked with the forest’s tears, her blood and their fluids.

      The end had come. She was spent. Four sleepless days and nights of constant torture and assault had drained her of everything – taken everything – left her with nothing. She wanted it to end here and now before they found her. She prayed for death. The leaves rustled. Splashes of light stole through the thick arbor above her. The boughs parted as if they were a magnificent curtain. From her verdant nest her brilliant green eyes peered upward. The craft appeared. She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

    • Diane says:

      Alyssa pondered the reflection facing her in the full length mirror. Her critical gaze analyzed every curve, wrinkle, and bump from the top of her head down to her bright pink painted toes.

      Tilting her head to the side, Alyssa gently traced the surgical scar that ran down the center of her body. What was once a set of six-pack abs now resembled an open faced sandwich with cheese oozing out of the sides. Frowning, she understood that what once was may never again return. All of that hard work undone because of a split-second decision.

      Turning to the side, her once muscular legs were still shapely, just a bit flabbier. It wouldn’t disturb Alyssa so much if it wasn’t for the six-inch scar on her thigh. She was lucky the nerve damage wasn’t as severe as the doctors first diagnosed; although it still took several months of physical therapy to walk with a normal gait.

      Alyssa turned a little more to take a peek at her back. She appreciated its strength, both physically and literally, because she wouldn’t be standing here today without it. Fortunately, there were no telling scars except for two small incisions towards the lower curve by her hips.

      There was a gently knock on the door and Alyssa’s mother, Mariko, entered the room.

      “It’s time, sweetheart.”

      The women shared a knowing look as Mariko helped Alyssa with her dress.

      The reflection in the full length mirror now revealed a beautiful young woman, who was about to marry her knight in shining armor.

      “Thank goodness Hiro found you when he did that night,” said Mariko.

      “Otherwise, we wouldn’t be standing here right now,” said Alyssa finishing her mother’s thought.

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

    • Marla says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

      She thought that after she got married, finished her degree, and landed the plush job in the sky that everything would slowly come together, but it didn’t. It only got harder.

      The economy worsened. Jobs became harder than ever to get. Even at the pinnacle of her career and the apex of her destiny, she realized her occupation had plateaued way before she had ever started.

      She started to get comfortable with the idea of a bad economy. She’d read history books about past hard economic times and she tried to believe this was the reason for her hardship.

      She read the secret, reading it over and over until she tried to truly believe that she could order everything out of the universe’s catalog. All she simply had to do was let the words pass her lips. It worked for Rhonda Byrne at least.

      But no, there was something more strident and scary in the atmosphere now. A lost cause or hope amongst the rest of the Americans? Another politician on the stage throwing confetti in the air like the money she handed to them in taxes every day of her life.

      She didn’t like going to the movies anymore. Even the completely fictional, fantastic, imaginative movies like “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Killer” or “The Hunger Games” reminded her too much of the realities in her own dystopian world.

      “Pure evil does exist,” she thought sometimes when she could escape far away from the retail voices in her office job. “But I still have to keep living.”

      So, she kept living with weary eyes, always looking behind her shoulder, wondering. She read up on books about Nazis, learned more about the state of affairs, allowed herself to find a second home at the local library, one of the few saving graces of all the taxes her government forced her to pay now.

      And she wondered why and when and how this all happened. She remembered looking at the census record of her great grandmother Wilma. She remembered learning she worked in the stockyards and had nine sons.
      She tried to remember that life goes on, no matter how poor we become. She tried to forget the American lifestyle she had grown accustomed to in the last few years, and instead, conquer, resurrect, and memorialize her Great-Grandmother Wilma who immigrated from Lithuania and Germany and had nine sons. “Life is still possible,” she thought, “even if we are poor in bad jobs for the rest of our life.”

      • Tim says:

        Great voice! I want to know if she’s a writer, and what happened to her world? It’s weird because I know someone named Rhonda Byrne. Does your Rhonda ride horses? I sense some real darkness here.

        Thanks, Tim

    • This is my first time too. Excuse any typos. I was typing this in a rush during my lunch hour.


      She knew now that what she thought was the end was just the beginning.

      It had seemed like the end when she received her last rejection letter. She had let it drop at her feet and brush the bottom of the mailbox. No college wold take her. None. Her grades were lukewarm, she had no scholarships, and she had lost her swimming metals after testing positive. Not to mention she almost landed a classmate in the hospital.

      At the same time though, another letter hung in her fingers. A red, small one, unlike all the others.

      She didn’t bother restraining her tears as she opened the last letter. What was it? Did it even have an address? But when she opened it, her eyes widened. A seal, the same one on her late father’s metal, adorned the top of the page.

      Now, she was holding another red envelope, with the letter in her other hand. this time, she overlooked the city from her penthouse. So man people down there. So many lives.

      So many that had to die.

      She took out a lighter and ignited the letter. She watched as the ashes fell gracefully to the carpet, like dark dried flacks of blood.

      She now had her next target.

      • Marla says:

        Oh! I am kind of confused. Her father died in the war and now she is going to become a serial killer! Help, need help figuring this out. But I like the suspense!

    • Chioma Anozie says:

      I am also a newbie at this. thought i did give it a try and see where it spins me to

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.. As she stared at her mobile phone, tears threatened to blind her vision and destroy the shred of composure she was desperately clinging to. I would not cry! she reminded herself. i can’t let anybody see me crumble. it’s my graduation for God’s sake.

      Relax Izzy, calm down, take a deep breath, she told herself. she took a deep shaky breath and exhaled through opened lips. it didn’t calm her raw nerves. she closed her eyes. Big mistake. because then she saw his brown laughing eyes that made her toes curl, his sexy smiling lips that made her long for a kiss and those long dreadlocks her hands had teased a million times. she saw the perfect face of her imperfect love. Eyes still closed, his name escaped from her parted lips. Peter. Her one and only obsession. Her throbbing weakness.

      Lost in time, she remembered their first date, the fun times they had shared together: on the beach, the streets, the cafe and then their first night. A tear escaped through closed eyes. He had been tender, had promised to cherish and never hurt her. A promise he broke countless times later as he cheated on her like an insatiable dog on heat. Previously he let his infidelity break them up but they always came back together. However, only two days ago, on bended knees he had promised never to cheat on her again. Never to cause her heart pain. And she had cuddled to bed with the warm thoughts that this was the end of her heartache and the beginning of a honey-filled future together.

      she had been dead wrong. T was her graduation and Peter was nowhere in sight. Worried, she had tried contacting him so many times. He hadn’t picked any of her calls. she opened her eyes and stared at her phone again.Her last call had been answered though. By a woman saucy enough to tell her that dear Peter was not only engaged to her but was vacationing with her in some exotic island. She swallowed past the lump in her throat, tears now spilling down her face.

      she turned to meet the questioning eyes of her best friend, Chichi “What’s the matter? it’s not Peter again, is it?
      Izzy tried to put up a bold front by wiping her eyes and acting like her eyes were reacting to wind-blown dust particles. Her hands made it half-way to her face before she completely crumbled. Into her friend’s open arms.
      “Its okay.” soothed Chichi. Izzy cried some more, her whole body quaking. Moments later, a different Izzy emerged from her friend’s embrace.”No it’s not. I will not rest for till i have wrecked havoc on that fool’s heart.” she spat.

    • I stumbled across this on Twitter. Fun stuff. Here’s my attempt.

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

      She had planned everything so carefully. Faking his travel schedule. Buying the rat poison at different stores to avoid looking suspicious. Cooking a good-bye dinner that he loved so much he couldn’t resist taking second helpings.

      She had chuckled at the double meaning of “good-bye” dinner that only she understood. But she wasn’t laughing now.

      Gingerly, she touched the bruise on her cheek. Yeah, she’d planned it all out so beautifully. Mark would never hit her again. She’d make an end of this life and move on to something better.

      Staring down at the contorted body, she scowled. Then she kicked it for good measure. How on earth had she forgotten to plan a way to get rid of the body? How was it possible that this bastard could make her life difficult even in death?

      The doorbell rang, making her jump. Who could possibly be calling at this hour? She glanced at the calendar. Shit, it was Sunday night. Of course, it was the neighbor kid coming to ask what needed to be done with the lawn this week. Shit.

      She hastily dragged the body into the living room and propped it against the sofa. Then she closed Mark’s eyes, and flopped his arm across his stomach. Hopefully it would look as though he were asleep, at least from the front door.

      She smoothed her hair. “Coming,” she said as the bell rang again. She opened the door. “Hi, Matthew.”

      “Hey, Miz Tyler. I just wanted to know what you’ll need me to do with the lawn this week,” Matthew said. “Mr. Tyler fall asleep in front of the TV again?”

      “Yeah, nothing good on TV on Sundays,” she said, leaning against the door to obscure Matthew’s view. “I don’t think we’ll need anything this week. Not much rain lately, so the grass hasn’t grown.”

      Matthew shrugged. “Okay. See you ‘round.”

      She shut the door. It was a beginning all right. The beginning of a cover up.

      • Marla says:

        Nice!!!!!! I love mystery stuff like this. I like how there is already a witness. good movvee

      • What a great scene. The introduction of the body and how she forgot to make a plan to deal with made me laugh, which I wasn’t expecting to do given the subject matter…

        • Thanks. Nobody said death couldn’t be humorous, right? =)

      • Steven Stehle says:

        “She had planned everything so carefully.”

        If this is true, why did she not plan how she would get rid of the body?

        • Steven Stehle says:

          Oops, didn’t realize you were going for funny. My bad.

    • Wes Morgan says:

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning. She couldn’t help thinking she’d been here before. Everything was so very familiar and comfortable. Perhaps it was this very fact that made here so uneasy about sitting in the desk that once belonged to her mentor at the agency. Her departure just five years ago was much celebrated in Advertising Age, Adweek and a host of other publications. The most embarrassing headline appeared in her hometown newspaper, The Cleveland Plain Dealer, on page two of the business section, “Julie Di Suvero Quits”.

      How could any editor allow such a misleading statement? she thought at the time. Her digital group helped earn a national reputation for the firm and the partners knew she was going to be tempted by offers from but they never expected her to leave for a start up. Even all these years later it irritated her that the Ad Club and local business community regarded here departure as a slap in the face on the order of LeBron James decision to take his talents to South Beach. It only took five years for her new venture to go public and here she was, now the CEO of the biggest agency in Cleveland. Now she had a chance at redemption, but was it really worth it?

      Her celebrity would be sure to attract high profile accounts. The agency struggled in her absence but the infusion of Di Suvero energy and innovation energized everyone in the shop which now had more than 50 employees. Julie knew she didn’t need to work at all but at just 35 years of age she still felt she had something to prove. This agency had a history of being fiercely independent and was blessed with a handful of loyal clients in automotive and healthcare segments. The circumstances that allowed her to take the helm and invest her own money just seemed like fate. David Ginnever’s unexpected and premature passing ironically accelerated the negotiation and here she was at the beginning again.

    • Taryn says:

      This is my first time doing Scene Stealers and my story’s a bit short, but I thought I’d give it a try!

      She knew now that what she thought was the end was really just the beginning.

      As she looked at all the upturned faces around her, she knew she couldn’t leave. What would Amanda do without someone to help her tiny self up the stairs? Who would little Sara turn to for help getting her last button buttoned? What about Bobby who couldn’t talk, but could somehow communicate with her and her alone? Who would comfort Suzanne when the nightmares of being lost and alone woke her up screaming and inconsolable in the middle of the night?

      She looked around at Joanne, Sylvia and Corinne. Worthy workers all of them. But… She looked down at the children gathered around her, clutching her, love mixed with fear of the unknown in their eyes. And she knew she couldn’t leave.

      Yesterday, today was going to be the end of this time at the orphanage. Today was going to be the end and she was going to move on to something else. But that was yesterday.

      Today, she realized this wasn’t the end, this was the beginning. The beginning of the rest of her life.

      She put down her bags and swallowed the little ones around her in a sweeping hug. The little ones pressed closer to her, sensing something had changed. She gave a sigh of relief. She wasn’t going anywhere. She was home.

      • Donovan Manley says:

        “Yesterday, today was going to be the end of this time at the orphanage. Today was going to be the end and she was going to move on to something else. But that was yesterday.”

        What a great paragraph! Wonderful way to transition from ending to beginning.

    • Tatjana says:

      Hi Everybody!
      I would like to say that I have been participating in scene stealers twice, but I am not posting anything because I am writing in Serbian. My English is not bad, but I am not feeling comfortable writing short stories in English. It is said because I would love to see your comments and suggestions.

      Best regards to all,


      • Cheryl says:

        Hi Tatjana–

        Please consider posting your stories…you’ll find the people here supportive and interested in what you have to say.

        Keeping writing ….


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