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    Flex Your Creative Muscles with Writing Prompts [Scene Stealer]

    If you want to try a fun way to flex your creative muscles, please read on.

    Welcome to Scene Stealers.

    Here’s how Scene Stealers writing prompts work:

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

    It’s as simple as that!

    Of course, it’s perfectly fine if you don’t want to share your work, but we hope you’ll do the exercise anyway. As they say, practice makes perfect ….

    Now for the ground rules:

    • You must use the exact wording we provide.
    • Your scene/story must be 300 words or less.
    • Your work must be original and not previously published.
    • WTD provides an encouraging and safe environment for writers to learn. When commenting on someone else’s work, please list everything you like first. Only then offer careful suggestions.
    • We reserve the right to delete any comments or entries that we deem inappropriate and those that do not meet the specifications above.

    This is not a contest, so we’re not asking you to vote for your favorite and we’re not awarding any prizes.

    At least not yet …

    But we do want your opinion of this idea. So please let us know in the comment section.

    We’ll see how this goes and, if  the feedback is positive after we do a few of these, we just might turn Scene Stealers into a friendly competition down the road.

    Here’s the first Scene Stealer for you:

    Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

    Now, steal this and take this story wherever you want …

    We can’t wait to see what happens.

    By Cheryl Craigie, Contributing Editor at Write to Done. Cheryl also blogs at The Manageable Life.

    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.

    • Ann says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She was so grateful to be alive, but felt guilty that she was here and her dear friend Jane had died. It was to be a night of fun they had been looking forward to the works party for weeks. Jane had her eye on John from sales for a while, and this was her opportunity to get dolled up and show him how well she scrubbed up outside work. Anna drove to the venue to save a taxi fare she would leave her car there overnight and get a taxi home. Jane would drive her out the next day to collect it.
      They arrived looking like two glamour models. Jane caught John’s eye pretty quickly he sat with them chatting and throwing compliments at the girls. They were delighted with the attention. Anna was happy for Jane she knew how much she fancied him. As the night wore on and the drink was flowing it became clear that John has his eye on Anna and constantly flirted with her. Anna tried not to encourage him and walked away a few times to leave them together, but John insisted on following her. Jane soon got the message and became very drunk and upset. Anna followed her to the toilet she was crying. She told Anna John had asked her what she thought his chances were with Anna. She was gutted and just wanted to go home. Anna told her she wasn’t interested in him, but she was hurt and went back to get her coat to leave. Anna went after her she had gone running up the road Anna jumped into her car and caught up with her. She insisted Jane got into the car they would leave the car back and get a cab home together. Jane got in Anna turned the car around to drive back she didn’t see the car come up alongside her and ploughed into it. Jane lost her life.

    • purnima singh says:

      I’ve been working here for over thirty years and have never seen anything like this. The gruesome sight before my eyes had me transfixed. There was not a single muscle which I could move. My face froze, and I was taken aback with disgust. I wanted to lower my gaze and shield myself from the horror. I felt dizzy; cold sweat ran down my neck. I wanted to run but my legs were rooted to the spot. I wanted to scream but felt a heavy weight stifling my throat. I could feel the hatred, the revulsion, the disgust in every breath I took. My lungs choked with the putrid smell of decayed flesh. Nothing could have prepared me for a sight like this.
      The blue walls of the dilapidated room, where I had spent hours with my typewriter now had a cold, gloomy look. The termite infested wall, was now streaked with blood which had trickled down along the edge of the wall and stained the cream colored carpet on the floor. The old Venetian clock, which had adorned the wooden wall for years, now lay in the corner of the room as if someone had flung it carelessly. The room was the only witness to the heinous crime….

      • Ann says:

        Great story really enjoyed reading it

    • My apologies when I posted I was unaware that the FREE CD of T’ai Chi exercise would come up..please ignore.

    • Memo to self..remember to erase the word count!!!

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. A tiny shaft of light coming through the trees was the only indication that the morning had come again. One more night without sleep, without the luxury of closing her eyes, even the dire consequences of moving had started to slip from her mind.
      “How can that be?”
      “How can I think of moving?”
      The pain was still with her, she felt it in her mind not her body but it was there.
      “It’s screaming at me, taunting me.”
      “You’ll never move again,never get that feeling of elation again.”
      If Anna closed her eyes the pictures came back, rolling, tumbling through the undergrowth and then the stop. Suddenly the whole world went black and her life was to change.138

      The training called for these runs along the trail, where the paths cut between the trees and along the escarpment above the valley. The camp below seemed tiny to her as she ran along the well trodden trail, she felt free and in her own environment. Up here she ran at her own pace, she flowed easily as she always did away from her rigid coaching schedules. 205

      “Anne.”
      “Where are You?”
      Her coaches voice shattered the moment. She had been up on the trails where putting on foot in front of the other was as natural as breathing. It’s where she had always been at her best, why she had been selected for the Olympic squad. It was why she had won the trials.261
      In front of her the white board was a box of squares with three names marked in different colors, Anne’s in blue and underlined as a first time Olympian. In each box the whole day had been marked from breakfast to the time to sleep. The food, the time at track, the warm up, the repetitions and the warm down, everything to
      order. Anna knew this was the routine, but it wasn’t how she had trained.She knew she would take an evening run on her own…

    • Irene says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. One hundred and twenty hours, seven thousand two hundred minutes, four hundred thirty two thousand second. She followed the hands of the clock with her eyes, the dim lighting forcing her to squint. Her once flawless skin had begun to form hard, irreversibly deep fractures. How appropriate she thought, fractures for the fractured. She continued to count. He had come in with the doctor today, stood at the far end of the room and watched. He looked tired. No, he looked sad. She looked towards him, through him, repeating his name in her mind, David, David, David… as though without doing so she would not recognize him, and he would blur into the stark white padding of the room. After a few minutes he excused himself and left without so much as a nod in her direction. She opened her mouth to ask the doctor how much longer she would be here, and when would David be back, but before she could, the doctor glanced at her watch, packed her belonging, and briskly strode out the door. Alone again. One hundred and twenty hours, seven thousand two hundred minutes, four hundred thirty two thousand second. That cant be right… She looked at the clock, the hands did not move, the numbers began to bleed into one another. Oh no! Not again! She tried to move, to rush to the door, call or help, but the binding on the jacket was too tight, the belts wound around her body, immobile. Her mind began to wander; she tried her hardest to stop it, she thought of her childhood, the swing in the yard, her dog, and then suddenly a train. That was the last thing she remembered before she blacked out. She woke to the sound of a newspaper being thrown in her cell, the headline read, “HUNDREDS KILLED IN MYSTERIOUS TRAIN DERAILMENT” She looked up at the clock, the hands moved methodically, and she followed them, one, two, three, four…

    • Diane says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She hated the feeling of not beig in control. One minute everything in your world seems fine, then suddenly a deer runs in front of your car and the next thing you know a tow truck is removing your car from a ditch.
      She had just made her first payment on her new silver Honda Civic. Working at The Green Leaf was a lot of fun, but it barely paid her car payment and insurance. Now she would be back at square one.

    • What a great exercise. Thanks!!

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.
      Or so she thought.
      The sunlight seeped through the slit in the wall, illuminating the space. She had two minutes and seventeen seconds.
      She knew.
      She had timed it. One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…
      Using the only material at hand, she suppressed her disgust and quickly painted a horizontal line across the four vertical ones. It was part of her sanity routine.
      Or so she thought.
      By the third day, she had stopped screaming and started her study of the space. Last night she had felt cracks in the otherwise featureless back wall. Two of them, straight and even, starting at floor level and rising to a height above her reach. They were wide enough for the insertion of a fingernail.
      In the feeble light she was able to see them. Yes! At their upper extremity, they were connected by a third, horizontal crack. A door. No handle, no hinges, but a door; she was sure of it.
      Anna used every ounce of willpower to suppress the urge to try and pry it open. She had less than two minutes of precious light in which to pursue her investigations. Today she would examine the right hand brick wall. Be methodical she told herself. Top left to bottom right. The bricks were old and uneven, in contrast to the smooth, new sheetrock of the back wall. She forced herself to examine each brick and its surrounding mortar. Each brick was subtly different, in color, in texture.
      The seventeenth brick in the fourth row down. Four digits stamped into the surface. 1859. She stared at the number until the thin line of sunlight dwindled and died. Tomorrow she would examine more.
      Now for the door.
      She prayed for the strength to—
      Wait. Strength? For strength one needs sustenance.
      Why was she functioning? Why was she even alive? She had neither eaten nor drunk in five days.
      Or so she thought.

    • Cheryl says:

      Hi Tessa–

      Glad you’re enjoying Scene Stealers. Mary and I are thrilled with the response so far. WTD writers are definitely a creative bunch and I love reading all the stories.

      Take care,

      Cheryl

      • Holly says:

        Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.
        The accident.
        By this stage Anna was fully convinced in her mind and gut that it had not been an accident. What had at first been a slight suspicion had crept up out of the darkness a little more each sleepless night. And now she knew, she believed, that something so random and unexplained could not have come about by chance.
        Sleepless night one. The soft whisperings in her ear. The recommendation to go left instead of right, that was strange enough. I mean why would an experienced hill-walker knowingly choose the dangerous route over the safe one? For thrills perhaps. But not Larry. No, that didn’t make any sense.
        Sleepless night two. The tapping in her brain. To walk, or run or whatever Larry was doing, (he was prone to sudden bursts of uncontrolled sprinting) so close to the edge was a no no nowadays with all the health and safety regulations of organized hill-walking tours.
        Sleepless night three. The rising in her throat. To separate oneself from the rest of the group. For no-one to notice he was present until it was too late. Until his body was smashed to bits on the rocks below.
        Sleepless night four. Nothing. There was nothing else Anna needed to know. As the sun began to spill in through her window so did thoughts of revenge and retribution. Larry’s life was brutally ended by someone. And she would find them and they would either rot in jail or she would organize her own little walking tour.

    • Tessa says:

      Wow, Scenestealers has really taken off and I see enormous potential and imagination from entries here for ideas for books. All of you are great, and this has really given us all a chance to think off the cuff, out of our comfort zone. Great work Mary and Cheryl, love your ideas!

    • Skye says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Each night was a prison of tangled sheets, stifling darkness and cold sweats, followed by a day that provided no release. Even her waking mind couldn’t keep the nightmares away. So instead of sleeping, she watched the sun. She found the image of honey coloured sky, huge and omnipotent, was the only thing that could block out the memories, if only for a while. It was a distraction.

      That’s all he had been at first, a distraction. Her life, even before the tragedy, had been black. Parents who refused to keep in touch, church folks pounding on the door and a dead-end job made for a deadly cocktail. He had been a way to. .. Forget. Allistor his name was. With a wicked smile but innocent eyes, how could she think about anything else? In his arms everything else was trivial. And at first, there relationship had been too. Then Anna made a stupid mistake. She began to care. She fell fast and deep for him, she was completely in love.

      Then the accident happened. She and Allistor were attacked; she got away, but he wasn’t so lucky. The quick flash of silver, the way his eyes widened, the scream that didn’t quite reach his lips, all of it stayed with her. The love of her life was gone. It made her think how futile everything was; in the end there was no time to waste.

      So it was without regret that she exited Georges room that night, taking money from his wallet as she did so. He was a distraction, the latest in a long line. She blew him a kiss, then left to watch the sun come up.

    • Dee Martin says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. One day bled into the next and all she could do was lie frozen in time, wishing death would arrive and end the waiting. The soft hissing of the respirator. the dryness of her nostrils where the cannula rested, feeding her oxygen she did not want. The occasional beep of the machine that monitored vital signs.

      That was a laugh. There was nothing vital left of her.

      “Hello, Beautiful!”

      Close your eyes, close your eyes, ohmygod he’s back!

      Anna closed her eyes. Maybe he would think she was sleeping. She should have known better.

      He pulled the drapes open. Even with her eyes shut she felt the change in the light. The bright sun made the inside of her eyelids look orange. She could feel the warmth on her face.

      “It’s a beautiful day sleepyhead. Let me see those pretty eyes. I have brought you some fresh flowers. I’ll put them in front of the window so you can see them.”

      She could hear him moving about the room. The sound of his shoes on the tiles. He was closer. She wanted to sink into the bed.

      There it was. The smell of his aftershave. His breath on her face. She squeezed her eyes shut tighter. He chuckled and pressed his lips to her cheek. “I know you’re awake, you know. Why must we always play this game?

      He smoothed her hair and leaned in next to her ear to whisper. “Your mine now and always. I will be here every day to take care of you.”

      He stood and reached his hand down to wipe the tear that ran down the side of her face. Maybe he wouldn’t stay long this time. She just wanted to go back to day-dreaming about before. Jeff. She couldn’t bear to think about him and couldn’t bear not to. His smile, he had been holding her hand when the car came speeding out of the intersection. There was nothing he could do. It plowed into his side. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion. She remembered the crunching, screaming sound of metal as it bent, thinking how it might as well have been tin foil. There was glass breaking and she and Jeff were flung around like rag dolls.

      So much was just images, broken and disjointed. The one memory that was very clear, that would never fade, was the face of the driver in the other car. Just before it hit, she saw that face so clear. She was screaming Jeff’s name as she watched that face, smiling, determined. She could have sworn he accelerated.

      He reached down and gently brushed his hand down the side of her face. “Let it go Anna. Yes, I can see it in your eyes.”

      He would never let her go. She would hear the nurses talking about how sweet he was, and how he came every day, Such devotion, they said. What a shame they said, that she would never walk. Never speak. They talked about how he loved her.

      Death was the only escape.

      • Dee Martin says:

        so sorry – I didn’t notice the word constraint and there are some typos in this – I can’t figure out how to edit now that it is posted.

    • I love this “scene stealers” exercise. I was going to write something, but got consumed by reading the responses. Thank you for WTD.

    • jay c says:

      Typos…

      Until last week Anna had

      …no place in polite company…

    • jay c says:

      A little late, but…

      Until last week had Anna worked at a plant that brewed and bottled coffee. She knew the ingredients for each of a dozen varieties. She could even tell you the precise name for each shade of brown and whether any particular batch was wrong just by looking at it. Twelve years she spent studying ratios of sodium bicarbonate to carrageenan to skim milk. Artificial sweeteners have no place polite company, let alone in coffee. Now Anna had no place in coffee, either.

      After six years for a masters in chemistry and three years as a barista in a chain coffeehouse, her big break came when she unknowingly served a better-than-usual grande to an upwardly mobile new products manager. Then twelve more years of making coffee in much, much larger batches, and now five days of unemployment.

      Everything has safeguards: nuclear power plants, railroad crossings, escalators, proximity alarms in cars. Even electrical outlets have those little plastic plugs you can slip in to keep children from sticking things into them. So why didn’t anyone think to put a bumper or a caution sign or just a dab of bright yellow paint on that valve?

      It could have happened to anyone. The valve was placed too close to the walkway, a welder hadn’t done his job properly, and someone had allowed the pressure to rise dangerously high. Just a little bump from a heavy cart was all it took for the valve to snap off, stainless steel seems to rip open, and to send Anna swimming in fifty thousand gallons of coffee.

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      • Steve says:

        Nice Twist.

    • Betsy Borchardt says:

      I would like Scene Stealers repeated fortnightly. I’ll have fun with the first prompt this afternoon. Need to stimulate my creativity.

    • Enigma

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. The sun seemed to hover just above the horizon, just like it did last Friday. The day her life changed.
      Once more she doubted her ability to be there for Jordan.
      She wanted to wish it all away. Jordan in the hospital with a broken back, contusions to his face and arm, missing his left hand.
      So, now what? Dr. Rice had said Jordan would be recovering full consciousness today. He would learn of his loss.
      They don’t give you an instruction manual for this. Anna didn’t even know how to cope with it herself—her future husband without a hand. How could she help him cope with it? How do people get through these things? She wiped a tear from her cheek.
      She remembered seeing a one-handed man at church. He did the sound production. It always awed her how he could go on. Kept living. Kept doing things. Used his arm to push buttons, set controls.
      Would Jordan ever be like that? Would he move past this tragic moment in time?
      She got up, mechanically going to the shower, taking her things off. She pretended she didn’t have her left hand. Adjusting the faucet was doubly hard with hot and cold controls. Better to have a single lever.
      Maybe this is how it’s done. One little task at a time. Encounter a hurdle, get past it. Like a Sudoku puzzle.
      Anna put a little more into her make-up. She wanted to be extra pretty for him today.
      Something caught in her throat as she realized that she wasn’t born to this, but she would adjust. They both would. They would have to adjust—and be better for it.

    • Tessa says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      She rubbed her strained eyes from the bright glare of the sun streaming through the window as it spread golden rays across her bed and highlighted the white cast on her legs. Her throat felt parched and she coughed. Her skin prickled and itched under the bandages which covered her from head to foot. Reaching for the water bottle on the cabinet next to the bed was agony and as her damaged hand reached the bottle she knocked it off and it went clattering onto the floor, way out of her reach. She fell back onto the bed, exhausted. She tried to move her head to look at the door, thinking she heard footsteps, but no, no one was there, she was so desperately tired even this small movement seemed too much.

      What day was it? How had she ended up in this dump? This infernal question had been going around and around in her aching head keeping her awake. Anna closed her eyes for a minute willing herself to remember. She remembered snatches – the skidding out of control, a man’s voice shouting, being flung from her car and then nothing. Why could she not remember how the accident had happened? She pushed her mind to remember. Past the pain and the throbbing, past the bandages and the last five days.

      It was coming back to her now. She remembered the call from her husband, Carl to meet him at Beans Unplugged, their favorite coffee bar as he had something important to tell her, which he could not do over the phone, so could she see that John and Carrie, their children did not come with. Luckily as it was a Friday and John was out with friends for the evening and Carrie was staying over with her friend Kiley for the week-end.
      The throbbing in her head and the thirst distracted her, but she willed herself to go back, back to last Friday night.

      Anna had locked up the house, climbed into her Mercedes sports and headed into the peak hour traffic taking her usual route, into the valley, stopping to return a video at ETracks. When she returned to her car she climbed in, not checking the backseat as she normally did. As she put the key in the ignition she felt a gun pressed to the back of her head. She could not turn around to see who was holding it and she froze. Was she being hijacked or robbed? A gravelly voice asked her for her cellphone which she handed back to the waiting hand, a mans hand with a small tattoo of an eagle on the back. She remembered the hand vividly, she could still see the dark hairs around the edge of the eagle tattoo.

      She was told to drive and he, the man, would tell her where to turn. Anna remembers having two choices, listen to him and never see her family again, or play along until she could safely crash hopefully with enough people around who could help her. The man told her that Carl, her husband had set her up to disappear or be killed in a car accident, so he could take control of her business and claim her life insurance. He was planning to leave her for his girl-friend, and had paid him, Marco to see to the details.

      Anna remembers crashing into the edge of the bridge on hearing this, with Marco shouting at her to stop, and then flying through the windscreen. She landed on the road about 50 metres along the bridge, while the car went over the edge. She was rescued and brought to this desert retreat to recuperate and decide how she would cope with the news. How she survived she does not question, she just knows she has unfinished business to see to, but first she needs to heal.

    • Barbi Walker says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. At night the memories would come to her in 3-D and she would struggle to free herself from the clutches of the dream only to wake to a more nightmarish reality.

      Staring at her lifeless body, Anne felt hot tears stream down her cheeks. She couldn’t find the words to define her emotions. But what did it matter, no emotion would change her situation. The vivid memories made sleep impossible, reality depressed Anna and despite her immobility she was exhausted. If she could only go back in time.

      She let out along and angry sigh, a “flat tire” is what her boyfriend used to call it when she did that. All the air rushing out of her lungs with a trade wind like force. Great now she was light headed too! Well at least she didn’t have to worry about falling down or passing out. And even if she did there were more positives than negatives. Just as Anna was trying to wrestle up another deep, long inhale the door opened and in walked her doctor.

      His sparkling eyes hid behind dark grey clouds of anguish as he looked over Anna’s limp body and charts, tubes and machines. For a brief moment Anna had a reprieve. Quietly she watched him, did he even notice her watching him? Did he even think of her more than just patient; Bed C – Ward 615?

      “It doesn’t look good Mrs. Kane….” Anna had stopped listening. She hated being called that, especially by him. She didn’t care what he had to say about her prognosis, his refusal to call her Anna infuriated her. Just then she felt a deep pain in her leg, startled….

    • Bonnita Davidtsz says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      She heard the shriek of the two fish eagles. This is the last time she would, on the farm.

      Last week’s descaling of the kettle, a task she routinely performed by boiling diluted vinegar in it, had resulted in his overreaction, and her decision to leave. Reasoning that it was simply frustration, that he would revert to his own gentle self within days, did not wash anymore.

      ‘You’re trying to poison me!’

      That accusation was the worst ever. She felt like a kicked mongrel.

      The loose folds of his face had ratcheted up in confused anger. It always made him look so different, almost a stranger. His dark eyes different as well: their pupils, tiny pinpricks floating in a bizarre light magma. Their colour quite green in those moments. In retrospect all quite eerie.

      ‘Sorry. So sorry’, she’d stifled the urge to lash out as well. ‘I’ll leave a note, next time.’

      He’d pointed at his tea mug, its contents curdling steadily. Repeating the accusation with greater emphasis, he’d walked across to the modern white basin under the window – another interest devised for him, their joint-renovation of the old house. The tea splashed as he threw his mug into it. Ochre streaks defaced the floor’s new checkerboard tiles and obliterated the image of the plowed fields beyond the windowpane. The bush tea’s smell of damp cardboard nauseated her.

      Anna watched now as his slow hunched shape struggled uphill from the fields. The dark swoops of the fish eagles far below.

      He hesitated at the open door. She noticed the apologetic mouth.

      ‘You look knackered, dad.’

      She resolved to write those notes, in time.

      @^@^@

      (300)

      • Bee says:

        Oh – the cry of the fish eagle – how I miss that sound – and bush tea – you made me feel homesick! I loved this take on the subject- very original and I would love to read more!

    • girish says:

      Hi. am new to the Dreamteam WTD.

      As a writer, I am a newbie too. 😀

      I am working on my first novel, but as an amateur writer, I know it won’t be that good. 🙂

      Noting this ‘Scene Stealer’, I have attempted it too.

      Please help me improve by listing down my errors and faluts. 🙂
      Would be really thankful for the same. 🙂

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. I couldn’t see her suffering because of my mistakes. I love her, but if she gets up, she will tell-it-all. Although the doctors said that she was suffering from Amnesia, she would recollect, what happened that night.
      The night, when we went to the party together. She already had a quarrel with me, and our difference of opinion was quite noticeable in the crowd. I was really angry with her behavior, and the anguish had taken hold on me.
      I stopped the car and moved out. Anna came out too. She was a bit nervous this time, but didn’t say anything.
      I saw a truck speeding down the lane, and said, “Anna, do you want to end our relationship?”
      She looked the other way, and then said, “You think I am fighting over this for no reason? Don’t I care for you?”
      I could hear the truck coming our way.
      I moved closer to her and said, “If you do, then why can’t you stop nagging?”
      The truck was just a few meters from us.
      She said, “Yesterday, your mom came to me and said…”
      “Why is my mom is this conversation?”
      “Because she said…aaaaahhhh”
      She scremt as I pushed her on the road and with no recovery time, the truck was over her.
      I stood there heartless, watching her die.
      I heard Anna say something. A broken sentence.
      “your friends… drug case… police… I… can’t live without you.”
      I froze. I turned and rushed her to the hospital, when she was almost lifeless.
      Now, I have realized that it was all my mistake, that got her in this situation.
      I wanted to apologize.
      I went near her bed. She looked at me, and said, “Doctor, can you call my husband please?”

    • Steve Olson says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. As she gazed out from her perch on the ridge, over the valley which descended to the hidden forest and river below, the sun began to filter across the rocky outcroppings of the peak across the chasm, the light descending slowly across the open snowfields to touch the tops of the trees that clung to a barren existence at the tree line and then eventually to bathe the solid forests lower along the slopes with a yellow wash. Of course there were places even deeper in the valley where the sun would struggle to enter, where lush green sword ferns and salmon berry bushes staked a hold in the shadows of the same towering evergreens who’s heads were now being crowned with the first morning light. She sat back against the fallen tree that furnished her living space. Her thoughts turned again to the numerous times she had come here with her father. The first time when she was barely five, gamely leading the way under his watchful eye with her bright blue backpack bouncing behind her. There would be nothing pink and girly for her, so her dad had scoured the REI catalogue to find her a mini replica of his own backpack and helped her stow the necessary gear the night before that first outing. She had carried only her own stores of GORP and her pj’s and a couple of her picture books, dad had the tent and the sleeping bags and the rest of their provisions. He always carried the tent when they went; it was just part of the tradition. How many times had they hiked these mountains and this particular trail, how many times had she had her heart broken or she was facing a difficult decision and dad simply said pack up, we’re going hiking. And now….

    • Sarah says:

      Anne watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. If Tomas hadn’t taken the rocky trail with a lick and a promise, she might not be so alone right now. Though sayin’ she was alone seemed a bit like a lie. The Injuns woke up early, earlier than any person she’d ever known.

      The small one, the one that liked to follow her ‘round, sat besides her. His hair was blacker than the grizzle on the corn they ate. She liked to touch it – but only when no one was watchin’.

      The tallest one, who had hair longer than hers, was ace-high. Probably the one most in charge, a down right big bug. When the gatherun folks got back from their searches each one placed their wares in front of him. After the briefest of inspections some of the food got thrown into one pile and the others in another. Their funny language left Anne at sea so she had to decide for herself which pile meant ‘good’ and which meant ‘bad’.

      The small one was trying to talk to her again. He pulled on her sleeve and pointed across the fields. All Anne saw was the sun, coming up brighter and brighter, pinker and pinker. She looked down to gather a guess but he just smiled and smiled at her. Anne, havin’ nothin’ better to do, smiled back.

      “You. Come here. Now.” The tallest one shouted. It took a minute before Anne knew he was talkin’ to her.

      “Yes, Sir.” She said, getting up from the ground. Her knees ached from sitting so crossed-legged all the time.

      The tallest one glanced her up and down. Then he did a head nod, not unlike her Uncle James’ ‘that’ll do’ nod.

      A pang o’ fear shot through her heart as she remembered the last she saw of Uncle James. Poor man, gone up the flume with a spike o’ wood through his head. Them stories she’d heard before they left Carolina were scuttlebutt, folks more like to die by a wagon accident than an Injun arrow.

      “Strong.” The tallest one said, knockin’ her outta her reverie. “And able. Just reached birthin’ age, yes?” Anne nodded. The tallest one smiled a deep smile, “You think on stayin’.”

      Anne just stared. Stayin’?

      A younger man came up to her, he gently took her hand and brought her to a group clumped around a fire. They were shellin’ corn. He pointed at the group, then looked at her. She nodded a twig and set to work.

      Havin’ work helped keep her mind away from erthing that happened. The rain comin’ down in heaps. The delay makin’ the food all bad. The lack o’ game. Mama coming down with the consumption. And that damn sudden rock let fly the entire wagon. Everyone she knew, everyone she loved, pitched over that rock ridden hill.

      The big woman next to her touched her arm. Concern must be a universal thing. Anne wiped her tears and nodded her okay. The woman returned the nod but kept her look o’ worry. Anne shuddered a sigh and went back to work.

      The day didn’t last long. Winter was on it’s way. Anne looked back at the purple sky as the sun started fallin’. These Injuns were nice enough to her, and if she hadn’t a family no more, seemed like a safe place to stay. As she entered her new home she found the small one asleep in her blanket. After all, she’d already made a friend.

      A/N: Definitely like to do more research on the subject. But that’s what I thought of right off the bat.

      • Sarah says:

        and stupidly mispelled Anna. oh well.

    • Romana says:

      For the first time Anna owned her life. She had money. She was free. Free to do anything she wanted regardless of consequences, regardless of what others might think.
      Enough was expectations projected upon her by those who did offer little in return.
      This was her frame of mind that night of drinking and taking cocaine with an impotent client called Charlie.
      In the wee hours she got the idea to call her married lover and announce: “I want to see you. Now. Let’s see if I can be there in less than 45 minutes.” She felt exhilarated because her anxieties vanished along with fear of driving.
      It went smoothly until she decided to combat her feeling of inadequacy by overtaking a van. All of sudden a car appeared from behind the hill. She pulled the steering wheel too fast.
      In less than 45 minutes, she did arrive – into a side ditch. The moments before the vehicle ceased rolling were clear as if time stopped. She didn’t want to die. She thought of the tremendous pain to come.
      Instead, she found herself hanging upside down. Thinking was clear. Unhook the belt. Get out. Drivers door won’t open. Crawling across the ceiling. Door opened. Crawling out on all fours. Several people were watching.
      “I’m ok! I just need to pee.” Anna was shouting while stumbling behind the car.
      Someone called the police.

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.
      She locked herself in her flat and didn’t want to see anyone. She felt alone and disgusted with what she have done. All she could think of is how people would hate her if someone died because of her. How she would hate herself.
      She experienced three new things. Cocaine, car crash and that everything one does, comes with responsibility in the effect it may have on others.

    • Szramiakje says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. So did her memory. Reaching up to touch the heavy bandage that was wrapped around her head and was covering the bullet wound, Anna tried to remember what had happened. She screwed her eyes shut and tried to make her brain work but all she could recollect was the sound of a gunshot and a hot stinging pain on the side of her head. The doctors had told her that despite the damage and the pain, the bullet had merely grazed her. They had also said that she was lucky to be alive. Anna wasn’t sure she agreed.

      The entirety of the sun was now breaking free of the horizon, spewing blood-red rays of light across the sky. The residents of the San Fernando Valley below Anna’s window were beginning to awaken. Anna watched on and wished that they wouldn’t for somewhere in the city the person who had tried to murder her would also be waking up. Some say that ignorance is bliss but Anna disagreed. She knew that her shooter could return at any time to finish the job and her amnesia made each moment that passed exponentially more agonizing than the pain she felt in her head.

      Anna got up and leaned her head on the windowpane, looking down at the ground below her. She was currently on the seventh floor of her apartment building which rested on top of a cliff that dropped at least 100 feet lower. If she jumped from the window the fall to the bottom would certainly kill her and end both pain from the wound and the torment of her amnesia.

      And then it came to her. The thought of jumping from the window clicked on a part of her brain that made her remember that her would-be-murderer was not waking up right now. In fact, the person was already awake for the shooter was she. Anna looked back out the window and contemplated whether a second attempt at suicide was worth it.

    • Szramiakje says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. So did her memory. Reaching up to touch the heavy bandage that was wrapped around her head and was covering the bullet wound, Anna tried to remember what had happened. She screwed her eyes shut and tried to make her brain work but all she could recollect was the sound of a gunshot and a hot stinging pain on the side of her head. The doctors had told her that despite the damage and the pain, the bullet had merely grazed her. They had also said that she was lucky to be alive. Anna wasn’t sure she agreed.
      The entirety of the sun was now breaking free of the horizon, spewing blood-red rays of light across the sky. The residents of the San Fernando Valley below Anna’s window were beginning to awaken. Anna watched on and wished that they wouldn’t for somewhere in the city the person who had tried to murder her would also be waking up. Some say that ignorance is bliss but Anna disagreed. She knew that her shooter could return at any time to finish the job and her amnesia made each moment that passed exponentially more agonizing than the pain she felt in her head.
      Anna got up and leaned her head on the windowpane, looking down at the ground below her. She was currently on the seventh floor of her apartment building which rested on top of a cliff that dropped at least 100 feet lower. If she jumped from the window the fall to the bottom would certainly kill her and end both pain from the wound and the torment of her amnesia.
      And then it came to her. The thought of jumping from the window clicked on a part of her brain that made her remember that her would-be-murderer was not waking up right now. In fact, the person was already awake for the shooter was she. Anna looked back out the window and contemplated whether a second attempt at suicide was worth it.

    • Leila Wilson says:

      What a good idea and a worthy challenge to occupy my afternoon. I would love to try more of these. Thank you.

    • Leila Wilson says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Her mind and body were exhausted but every time she closed her eyes the sight of her husband lying there in a hospital bed so white and still…. devastated her all over again.
      Her thoughts went back through a relentless replay of the events leading up to the crash. They had been so looking forward to this long awaited winter holiday in Finland and with the car packed up to the gunnels they had left their home for the airport with John driving and she chattering excitedly as they bowled along.
      The other car had seemed to come from nowhere! One minute everything was normal with the sound of Chris Rea’s popular “Driving Home for Christmas” echoing from the radio then seconds later….a deafening sideways crash and their car was turning over and over. Anna had heard screams which she realised with a shock were coming from her, then a sickening thud followed by total blackness.
      “Anna, Anna….. Hello Anna” She had been drifting through a grey mist when she heard the far away voice calling to her. Struggling to open her eyes she had seen a nurse smiling down at her. Memories had come tumbling back to her….the car, the crash then nothing. “John? Oh my God! Where is John? She had cried, struggling to sit up in bed and staring around her frantically.
      The nurse had gently tried to calm her. “You’re alright” she had reassured her, “Just a bad knock to the head. You can see him shortly”. “Where’s John?” she had cried again. “How is he?”
      Anna stared out numbly at the dawn. They had let her see him briefly. Three hours later he had died.

    • Looking at all the great responses so far, I would say that this idea is going over quite well – count me in, as well! I’m going to be looking forward to the next Scene Stealer and plan to participate in these great sprints! What a great idea!

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      It was a strange feeling and a new one at that… She couldn’t get used to spending her mornings alone… It felt so inappropriate and at the same time so unreal, like it wasn’t really happening.

      Anna sipped her coffee and took a deep breath. Not that she needed the coffee now for staying awake. It was a ritual they both adopted many years ago and they haven’t missed a morning since, not even when they were separated for two weeks when he was on a business trip to London. Even then they had their coffee together, while talking on the phone; they actually had it twice then, his morning and hers.

      The cup was still warm and the coffee was mildly strong, just the way she always liked it. As she made another sip, a tear fell right into her cup. And then another one, and then she couldn’t stop crying. But something was different this time. For the first time since the accident Anna cried not because of how lonely she felt, but because that warm feeling of love that accompanied her through all these years, washed all over her. She no longer felt alone, for now, as she let go of her grief and pain, she could feel his loving presence with her. She didn’t need to see or touch him, she just needed to open her heart to feel that he’ll always be there.

      That day Anna could sleep again.

      • I like your story. I like that you kept it (I didn’t count, but it looks like 300 words) at the asked-for word count. I like your description of the coffee moments. I relate to this.
        I think you have a sweet way of writing, and your pacing seems to fit with the mood of the time frame.
        I like that it has an uplift at the end. It’s true, things in real life don’t always end on a positive note, but that’s one of the reasons I like happy endings–life is often very sad.
        The only thing that I might possibly suggest is that in your closing, I felt that it was too soon for her to not “need to see or touch him”. Perhaps a slight change might be more believable (for me at least), “She still wanted to see him, to touch him, but there was this: she could open her heart to the knowledge that he would always be with her.”
        All in all, well done.

    • Bonnie House says:

      It Could Have Been Me
      Bonnie J. House

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Anna remembered how excited her best friend Shelly was when Anna asked her if she wanted to go to Camp Woodland. Anna knew that Shelly had never been to a camp because her family could not afford to send her. So Anna decided that she would let Shelly go instead.

      The day arrived and the bus load of teenagers and two sets of parents climbed unto the bus. Shelly got a window seat and opened it and yelled out to Anna, “Thanks again, Anna. Your are the best friend ever!” Then she waved as the bus pulled out.

      The week went fast and the best part of camp for Shelly was when she learned about Jesus. How He had died for her sins. Shelly went forward to accept Jesus into her life. She received a new Bible. When she opened it up she saw Psalm 27:14: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” She underlined the verse with her blue pencil so she could find it again.

      It was raining hard the next day when they left. By the time they were near home it was raining so hard that the bus driver could not see out the window. Because of this he crashed into the back of an eighteen-wheeler truck which was stopped. Shelly was killed instantly because of where she was seated on the bus.

      The director told everyone Shelly had accepted the Lord. Anna knew that she would see Shelly again. Anna thought, “It could have been me on the bus.”

    • Kate says:

      This is a great idea! Thanks for putting it together! Here’s my story –

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Accident was what they were calling it. John snored beside her, his wound running the length of his cheek, still red and angry, weeping in spots. It would be a thick pulpy scar when it eventually healed. She still hadn’t looked at her own wounds. She could feel the contraption, all springs and wires on her face and knew its ugliness without having to see it for herself. Her left eye was still covered, and they were doubtful it would ever see again. She could still see from the right, though everything was blurred in a constant well of tears streaming her cheeks. Some of them were from her own crying. They said when the synthetic lid was ready, no one, not even her would be able to tell the difference. They had also said she wouldn’t have any trouble sleeping until then, suggesting it was the drugs that would send her into sleep. But they sent her into other, darker places too and she hadn’t taken a tablet in five days. It was not the constant pain keeping her awake. She could barely even register that feeling as pain any longer. Five nights without sleep. Five days and they were still running. And with every sunrise they would be off again.
      “Just keep looking forward,” John said. It was all she could do, stuck in a fixed and unblinking stare.

    • Mark Crabtree says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.  Small wonder. Any attempt forced her to relive those horrible moments again. They said she should have died… That the drunk pilot had sheered her wing right off. She should have plummeted to her death.  They were amazed she’d been spared — more amazed she’d suffered only mildly. Yeah right, she thought bitterly, looking down at her bruised body, wondering if she’d ever fly again. “Get back on the horse.”. Her father had demanded in his usual way. Just like him to deny she had feelings. How could she when the horror of it all wouldn’t stop playing in her mind. The terrified look on the man’s face as he tried to alter corse, the blood — so much blood. It was her fault. She had killed him. Not directly, but it was her propellor that splattered him. He’d tried to kill her with carelessness, but she had succeeded instead, trying to save her own skin. Only now the scum was safe… dead. And she’d have to live with the pain. Pain that she’d taken another’s life, even if it was an accident.  Even if he had been the one drinking… Not paying attention. 

    • Susan Shirley says:

      For me, anything that gives me chance to improve my writing is a definite YES PLEASE.

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Dleep had eluded her since the accident. Every day, every night, every moment was a vivid reliving of that moment. Her mind was a mangling of innocent and pleading faces, blood, screams, metal, and tears. She could not forget it – the screams, the desperate cries for help, the feeling of helplessness at not being able to help them… at all. Fate had brought them to this. Her training and her moment of glory brought them all together. This was the sacrifice that was demanded of her. The tears would not stop flowing down her face. Tears of regret. Tears of despair. Tear of a deep and abiding loss that the most important people in her life were lost to her, and it was her doing to brought it upon them. For this she would never forgive herself. For this the Brotherhood would pay. The glory of the Black Sun be damned.

      The five days of mourning passed like a torturous eternity which was a sacrifice upon the altar of the Black Sun. The Black Sun likewise mourned for 5 days for the loss of his family as the disastrous result of his own plotting and intrigue. All true initiates into the Ebon Way walked this same scarring and ritualistic path. She had completed her initiation into the Brotherhood. She was now officially one of them – a Sorrowess of the Black Sun. A priestess of the highest order whose path was forged in fear, loss, blood, and tears. To truly be one with the Black Sun’s teachings you had to experience it. You had to live it. You true faith and piety was forged in it so that you would know. So that you would understand.

      • Please for give the lack of editing….

        Dleep?.. seriously… =(
        Tear should be tears. =(

      • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Every day, every night, every moment was a vivid reliving of that moment. Her mind was a mangling of innocent and pleading faces, blood, screams, metal, and tears. She could not forget it – the screams, the desperate cries for help, the feeling of helplessness at not being able to help them… at all. Fate had brought them to this. Her training and her moment of glory brought them all together. This was the sacrifice that was demanded of her. The tears would not stop flowing down her face. Tears of regret. Tears of despair. Tears of a deep and abiding loss that the most important people in her life were lost to her, and it was her doing that brought it upon them. For this she would never forgive herself. For this the Brotherhood would pay. The glory of the Black Sun be damned.

        The five days of mourning passed like a torturous eternity which was a sacrifice upon the altar of the Black Sun. The Black Sun likewise mourned for five days for the loss of his family as the disastrous result of his own plotting and intrigue. All true initiates into the Ebon Way walked this same scarring and ritualistic path. She had completed her initiation into the Brotherhood. She was now officially one of them – a Sorrowess of the Black Sun. A priestess of the highest order whose path was forged in fear, loss, blood, and tears. To truly be one with the Black Sun’s teachings you had to experience it. You had to live it. Your true faith and piety was forged in it so that you would know. So that you would understand.

        • Good job! Your story draws the reader in. Hard to do in such a short story. The Black Sun is a horror. Anna is changed forever.
          One thing I might alter: In the first paragraph, I thought it was a modern-day story–and who knows? Maybe it is. But the second paragraph seems to be a different time or place. I think maybe it was the metal which had me thinking: a car accident. So it put me off track a bit when I saw that something else had happened.
          Other than that, you have all the signs of a good storyteller and a good word-handler.

          • Yea, I kept it sort of nebulous to leave it open to the reader’s imagination.This could be in the present time. I did sort of envision it In the spirit of secret societies and priesthoods of the Dan Brown genre. Contemporary times revealing dark rites, elder paths, and powerful people. I have done a bit of reading on ancient mystery cults and the divine feminine and all that.

            Thanks for kind words. =)

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. For the first time ever, her skin craved the opportunity to be enveloped in the Houston humid heat. Every day in the hospital was another day it took all she had to not go crazy in confinement. Only 6 days prior Anna seemed to have it all as she drove down highway 290 in her purple Mini Cooper with her friends Rebecca and Sable. As the sun shined through the car window the music blared and the girls sang and danced along to “Single Ladies”. How typical this was for the 20 something year old friends who first met while still in the womb. At 6 months pregnant their mothers who were also best friends began greeting each other by standing close enough for their bellies to touch. And, it is there Anna, Rebecca, and Sable began their friendship. As they made their way towards downtown to start their weekend the girls talked boyfriends, clothes, and celebrity gossip. 10 minutes from their destination the purple Mini Cooper looked as if it had gone through a trash compactor. Slowly struggling to open her eyes, Anna became frantic as she realized the car was sitting on its roof and she could not move. Pain came with every beat of her heart and confusion filled her mind. “What happened? Where am I?” Anna thought. The distant sounds of sirens and fear suffocated her thoughts. With blurry vision and a numb body Anna tried to replay the events that led her here. Her eyes closed as she whispered for her friends, desperately seeking the comfort of their voices. The last thing she heard was complete silence…

    • kate says:

      I am filled with gratitude. I’ve not written creatively since childhood. I was amazed how my imagination could take two sentences and write about the relationship between a daughter and her parents. Full of regrets, unrealised dreams, shame and anger.
      My last two sentences…Anna turned against the sun and drawing the blankets up over her five day unwashed hair wept in to the darkness. The tears of a lifetime.
      A great idea. Thank you.
      Kate

    • DJ Galo says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident, and while she had been made aware of the side effects of this new drug Kozaxapan, assumedly this couldn’t be healthy. Anna had noticed the influx of different doctors, lawyers, and police asking her a million questions and making her sign a million more forms during her hospital stay. Most didn’t say a word besides the usual questions or a point to a dotted line and the occasional turn of the head while leaving, and quietly expressing their condolences for the loss of her entire family. Her head had swelled and throbbed at that time trying to digest what had happened, but having 120 hours straight to think, something was very wrong.
      Anna was sitting up in bed in what she was told was a hospital room “downstairs” for her original one. She didn’t know for sure because she didn’t remember how she got there and never saw any doctors or nurses since the first night, only police in camouflage. Even closing her eyes and thinking about sleep caused her heart to race. Her legs had felt like a hippo was laying on them for decades, and now they had been getting progressively less numb, and as the sun spread its rays across her body, she realized she could feel its warmth on her them. It couldn’t be possible. Everyone had told her she’d never feel them again. Jumping out of bed, the steel bar protecting her window she was holding onto, snapped as she stood up. She looked at it and couldn’t believe what was currently in her hand and under her feet. Anna quickly knew Kozaxapan couldn’t be what the doctors convinced her it was.

    • Kirsten says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Accident? Yes, it was better to call it that. Shove the doubt away, curse God and Fate for their heartlessness. Ethereal beings, drifting along, they could not feel the physical pain of a heart beating emptily, beating for no one and no thing. Better to curse those without hearts than to try to understand – because she did have a heart – and he too, and they – but how could they then? How could she, how could he, be so unkind? Understanding as they did what it meant to a beating heart to have the soul ripped to pieces?

      The sun yawned its glow across a hazy morning sky, having made its way above the horizon with no fanfare. A thoroughly colourless journey, just going through the motions, one might say. She sat alone in a second-hand wicker chair inside the large bay window of her sister-in-laws run-down Victorian house. A stupendously unspectacular show, she thought. But then, she was overly critical these days. Nothing seemed to hold any beauty. She remembered when her aunt had first bought this house, when she was thirteen. Back then, it had seemed so romantic. An avid reader then, she had likened the house to stories of old New England, with spirits and witches hidden in every corner, along with despairing young men and women oppressed by a rigid society. Now, she could only see the holes which let the insects in, the unmowed lawn, the scratched floors and the windows clouded with soot from traffic the original house had never expected. She felt as if the house that had been built here had once been a living breathing thing, but had died as the heartlessness of modernity forget to pay homage to its humble graces and haunted corners. Once a living breathing thing. Her breath caught.

      A dead house, then. But why should that matter, when houses built today never lived in the first place? At least it had had life, that was what mattered, was it not? Yes, the life it had once had had been beautiful.

      Her aunt had grown hazy these past years. Fifty years old when she bought the house. Had declared it her home for the second half of her century. Even if she didn’t live each year, she had declared, there was one century of years that belonged to her. She had fifty of them left and if she died too early, they should leave her life to her to haunt for the remainder. What if she died too late? Anna’s brother had asked, munching on the first and only chocolate cookies she baked to bless her new house. Well, then, she had said, you may take the house from me and all my belongings and shuck me off to the street for I will have lived more than my share.

      The aunt had never worried too much about that, though. She always preferred to lose a little sleep for one more brandy with an old friend and always played poke on Sundays. Neither her health nor any God would keep her around longer than what was normal. Anna had her doubts, however. Her aunt had always been one of the most active, vibrant people she’d known. Never brooded over things. Always on the run. Even though she, too, had experienced the loss of a child.

      In any case, the aunt was determined to live now and not later. She was sleeping now, planning on attending the New Year’s party downtown and dancing to the oldies band that played every year. Hazy in attention, but focused in intent. Fifty years then, how old must she be now? Anna was nearing thirty-eight.

      The loss … Anna squinted at the risen sun. Yes, seventy five. She’d had no other children, the aunt. Her husband had been gone a long time, where had he gone? Anna couldn’t remember. Divorce, early – before or after? She thought it had been after.

      Enough of these thoughts. A new day was beginning, it should not be poisoned by thoughts of yesterday.

      Anna yawned and thought of napping. She could not sleep at night, but perhaps, in the forgiveness of day … No, no forgiveness would come. She picked up the book that had fallen in her lap hours before. She read the second paragraph five times. The first one she’d gotten after the third day. Perhaps tomorrow she would be able to comprehend the second.

      She’d only had five years with him after all. Aunt Viola had had fifteen with her child. A girl that died before Anna had ever been born. It was an accident, of course. The girl had died in a car accident. They had not meant – They should have been watching, she should have been there. The girl was fifteen. She tried to remember pictures she had seen, tried to focus on the stories she had heard. An artist, she’d been told, in hushed whispers by her parents and grandparents. The aunt must never hear them talk of it. She wondered how many times he’d gone under the water before he finally drowned. The aunt spent five years after, not talking to any of them about anything. When she came back, they were not to mention it. She was vivacious, funny, and strange. Only now and again would the emptiness pass before her eyes – She imagined how they’d seen his little body floating. Had it been her husband who saw it first? Or the little girl new wife? He’d always been a child. She hadn’t trusted him before, why did she trust him then? And yet if she had trusted him, let him know he was responsible … And if she hadn’t trusted them … If she hadn’t trusted anyone she could have locked him up forever like those mothers afraid of dirt and he might never live but at least he would never …

      The grass was far too long, she decided, and even if this decrepit old house didn’t deserve it, she would go and buy a lawnmower and hack it down to proper suburban size.

      • Kirsten says:

        Oops … was undecided at first between sister-in-law and aunt and decided on aunt, but first reference is wrong. sorry. Clearly I didn’t make any decisions before the writing.

    • John Mohrman says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. It was hard to get away from the guilt and sadness that enveloped her entire being now. Pauly and Frankie had succeeded in talking her into letting Frankie stay over to play video games and watch movies while Sam, Anna’s boyfriend and Anna went to dinner.

      Why didn’t I call Karen or she me?, just to make sure it was okay she thought.
      Pauly’s mom stared vacantly but sadly at the horizon as her eyes filled with guilty, burning tears of sorrow, Pauly would never see. Pauly was at his aunts, his best friend Frankie was dead. They had found the gun Anna hid under her bed.
      She shared her thoughts with the Lord Thy God now and prayed that Frankie at this very second was with him. The memories were going to hurt everyone especially her son. Oh, Pauly she cried, her heart instantly dropping.

      ”I’ve got to get to sleep God;” she said aloud and rose from the kitchen table from which the haunting memories engulfed her heart . Anna entered the master bathroom found the vial of valium in the medicine cabinet and with a large glass of water sat at the foot of her bed.
      She prayed for her son and Frankie, that the bullet didn’t hurt.
      Anna said a hail Mary, an Our Father and The Act of Contrition, then she swallowed the pills and went to sleep!

    • Cheryl says:

      Thanks to everyone who took up the challenge–and keep those stories coming in. It looks as though we have a winning idea. so stay tuned for more Scene Stealers.

      • john mohrman says:

        Cheryl, I’m sorry i’m late with this but I would like to post my prompt. Is there still time?

        • Cheryl says:

          Hi John–

          Absolutely! There is no deadline, so please submit your story. If anyone else wants to participate, please continue to do so.

    • Lilla says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She watched a deer make its way tentatively across the fresh snow. A few small animal tracks glistened. Dreaming of a hot bowl of cheese grits, she could almost smell the biscuits coming out of the oven crying for a slathering of sweet butter and some of that strawberry jam she had put up last summer. What the hell was she doing in this kind of weather? She pulled open the wrapper on her last bite of granola bar, dreaming of a cup of coffee and a cell phone signal as the car settled deeper into the drifts.

      • Lilla says:

        I don’t write fiction but this was fun. It made a nice change.

    • Wolferiver says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She was weary, and longed for the dark, black, void of sleep. Despite the sun, she shivered, and ran her hands down the front of her gown. It was all wet. She must have spent the night tossing and turning, and working up a sweat.

      How nice to have another sunny day. She was laying on grass, too. She could feel the blades tickle the inside of her elbows. But what was she doing outside? Not another night of sleepwalking! The thought made her stand up. This wasn’t her yard. There was a big house in the distance with a shining white terrace. She remembered being here the previous mornings, but she knew she didn’t recognize this place.

      She turned around and saw a road snake along the edge of the lawn, and beyond that was the shimmer of a stream. She’d better get down to the road before the people in the house noticed her.

      As she walked, her wet gown clung to her limbs. She looked down at it, puzzled. She was wearing her new gown. The one she had purchased last week. She must have mistaken it for a nightgown. How dumb. No one sleeps in a $2000 dollar dress.

      As she reached the road, she saw that it went along a deep stream. A flash of red in the stream caught her eye. She walked closer, and saw that it was the rear end of a car that had gone nose first into the water. She could see the skid marks on the road showing its trajectory.

      She recognized her own license plates on the car. But who was inside, slumped up against the side window?

      “Why, it’s me!” she gasped.

    • Anne James says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Drinking coffee in the hospital parking lot, still flashing back on Thursday’s nightmare when her daughter’s boyfriend staggered through the house and tried to give us bad news.
      “Samantha’s been hit, Samantha’s been hit!” Vince sobbeb raggedly.
      My flight or fight response electrified me and I grabbed Vince’s face asking, “Where, Vince, where?”
      “Down the hill, at the Chevron, a lady hit her, oh God,” and he looked as panicked as I was clear-headed.
      “Vince, Vince, is she alive?”
      Sobs, from Vince. I slapped his face, “Is she dead,” I shouted shaking him.
      “I don’t know!”
      My husband and I jumped in the Expedition with Vince in the back, headed down the main road, Colima, and at the 300 feet were blocked by police cars.
      I jumped out and as a policeman tried to stop me; he wordlessly recognized me as the victim’s mother.
      “They’ve taken her by heliocopter to the high school football field.” he said, “You need to go up there.”
      They flew my daughter to County USC and operated on her skinless leg and three breaks for seven hours. A baseball size lump from her head hitting the windshield of the hapless woman in the ‘clear’ right-hand turn lane came with a siezure upon impact and she hit the ground foaming at the mouth. A siezure. My beautiful healthy equestrian-jumping daughter had a seizure, almost died and now she has an aluminum rod in her leg from thigh to ankle with screws protruding in an open splint.
      Every ambulance siren or loud heliocopter brought a new round of panic to me and I relived the accident over and over.

    • WOW! What fun these micro stories are! I loved reading each one.

    • Prosper says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She took a lazy drag of her cigarette, before flicking it to the ground. She had given up smoking years ago, but the urge had come back hard. Her dirty blonde hair fell in front of her eyes and she pushed it back. It was greasy to her touch. She would need to clean up before going back to the hospital.

      Going back to that place was the last thing Anne wanted to do, but what choice did she have? She would spend another long day sitting by her mother’s side, waiting for her to wake up. Another day of trying desperately not to dwell on the accident. Dwell on it or not, an insidious voice whispered, it was your fault. You just had to pick a fight. Anne escaped to the shower, hoping the water would rinse away her thoughts.

      Her sister had come in a few days before. Theresa was the elder sister and lived across the country. She had asked what happened and Anna could only mutter, “Mom got distracted. She didn’t see the other car coming.” The Camry had plowed into the driver’s side, landing her mother in the ER. Anna had walked away from the wreck. This only added to her shame. Maybe if she had bled, had hurt somehow, the guilt wouldn’t be so consuming. For now, keeping vigil as the truth festered inside would have to be her punishment.

    • DiscoveredJoys says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      The sheeting radiation of the solar flare had overloaded all the ship’s life support systems. She could only work when the sunlight flooded the control room allowing her to switch dead modules and replace damaged circuitry. Work would go much faster if she could only get the lighting back on but that would take more time she had – the life systems were failing.

      Her life was now reduced to zebra days. Two hours of blinding brightness and frantic work followed by four hours of silent blackness. She could not sleep. She dare not miss the sunrise.

      The air in the control room left a sour tang on Anna’s tongue. She knew that if she couldn’t get the air scrubbers working in this next couple of hours of sunlight, she would probably die in the following dark.

      The ship would continue rolling every six hours, bright, dark, bright, dark. But she would be no more..

    • Sorry, can’t do it. The wording puts me off: it reads. to me, as though the sun coming up five days in a row was unusual. What would have got me writing is: For five days in a row Anna was still awake when the sun came up.
      Picky, I know, but that’s me.

      • Darn it! That should be a comma after reads, not a full stop *~*

      • Kirsten says:

        I think that’s what’s striking about it – to this character – it seems odd that the sun is coming up five days in a row. It’s an insight into how the character feels. If she just happened to still be awake, it wouldn’t imply such a powerful feeling.

    • Alan C says:

      Great exercise! What’s next?

    • Alan C says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She knew she wasn’t the only one. None of her comrades aboard the Vesuvius had slept much either. Not that they had much choice.

      Commander Jarl had ordered an investigation into the ‘accident’ to determine its cause, and little rest would be permitted until it was found. He reported to the Council that a minor system malfunction was responsible for the accident and would be repaired within a few days. This time of course has already passed and the State’s flagship vessel still sits in a geostationary orbit around a small unobtrusive planet that doesn’t appear on most charts.

      The tension in the air is palatable. As the lead technician in this investigation, Anna has done her part to help allay the worries of the crew, Commander Jarl, and the Council.

      “We’ll have a fix soon.” she would say, with a quick and confident smile.

      And a repair is under way. But it is taking longer to complete due to the extensive damage. When the accident occurred, the whole ship shuddered violently and there was an odd sound of a metallic tearing of fabric ripping through the ship. In the end three navigators were dead and the neural network they were connected to was fried.

      “How? It’s not possible.” Anna thought.

      There are so many redundancies built into the system and the Vesuvius has been patrolling the galaxy for over a century. Even the worst power surges never caused such damage. There have also been no encounters with enemy ships for weeks. But, the newly heightened security requested by Commander Jarl confirmed that he suspected what she sensed all along. This was no accident or malfunction.

      This was sabotage…

    • Marieca says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She can only remember bits and pieces. Just then, a flash of her gloved hands around the gun flashed in her mind. Another flash of someone walking behind her and hitting her in the head then things went black.

      The next thing she remembered is waking up to a paramedic asking her if she was okay, and looking over to see her husband dead. The police said it was a botched robbery and she was lucky to be alive, but she knew different. Someone out there knew what really happened and she was determined to find out who.

      Just then, the phone rang startling her out of her sleep “Yeah,” she answered groggily still a bit tired from the pain killers she had been taking for her headaches.

      “I know what you did and I understand why that’s why I had to protect you. I hope you like the flowers” then the call disconnected.

      Flowers? Anna didn’t remember getting any flowers. She looked over at the coffee table and there they were, a beautiful bouquet of lillies, they were her favorite. The card read 3196 MAGAZINE ST 7PM.

    • Shirley says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She looked up at the man who’d been her constant companion since that night five nights ago.

      “You really should try to get some sleep.” He told her as he handed her a hot mug cocoa.

      She shook her head, “I can’t. I keep seeing that headlights of the truck…” Anna sighed, “The squeal of tires, the crash, the…” Anna struggled against the pounding in her head and the image of her sister lying in a pool of blood.

      When she agreed to testify against the Verlettii family, she knew the chance she was taking. The only stipulation she made with the US Marshals was that her younger sister go into witness protection with her.

      Now Rebecca was dead, and the Marshals were telling her the wreck was no accident.

    • Korryn says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. She sat outside the motorhome, within the protective shelter of its elongated awning. Rain plunked into the growing puddle overhead, and the awning sagged as the hours passed. Anna patted the belly of the awning. It was like an enormous silver fish. Anna looked up at it every few minutes. The awning creaked patiently downwards until the puddle’s weight bore down upon the weakest corner of the awning, and it all washed out and into the gravel pit below.
      It was only at this point that Anna shivered. She opened the screen door and climbed inside, where the tiny electric heater buzzed in earnest. All of her things lay on the bed, untouched since she removed them from her purse five days ago. Since she had realized what she’d lost. She gathered the lipsticks and the swiss army knife and put those away in the cabinet. The rest she swept into her purse and left it beside the pillow.
      “What a waste,” she said. She lay down on the bed and gazed out at the dim-lit interior. The cupboards, flung open. The trash can, overturned.
      “I might as well go home,” she said. She looked down where the band should have been. The tan lines would fade, and she would have to tell David what had happened. He might never forgive her.

    • guest says:

      I love the idea. That concept (e.g a starting sentence) was used in elementary school a lot (not an insult) I loved making up stories based on a beginning scene..I think it’s a really good way to be creative.

    • Idea has been found. I’m not a robot just becuz I said that

    • Jean says:

      opps that was supposed to be

      every curtain

      not

      ever curtain

    • Jean says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      Thoughts spiraled in her head. She had dropped the baby. She Dropped the Baby. SHE DROPPED THE BABY. She had looked down, whirled and ran out of the room, and bolted for home.

      Once there, she had bolted every lock and drawn ever curtain. She retreated to her room and curled into a ball on the bed. She had rocked back and forth for days.

      What was she going to do? What could she do? It didn’t matter that the baby boy wasn’t hurt, no hospital administrator in their right mind or even their left mind would ever let her near a patient again, and yet nursing was all she had ever wanted from life.

      She pinched her right hand. She still couldn’t it. She pinched her forearm. Now she couldn’t feel that either.

      What was wrong with her? She was a nurse and a damn good one and she had no idea. What on earth was she going to do?

    • Sherilyn says:

      Great idea! I’ll definitely be back for more!

    • Sherilyn says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Every time she closed her eyes, she saw chunks of broken concrete flying toward her. The bridge’s collapse hadn’t been totally unexpected; inspectors had been warning of its weakness for years. The state transportation department had scheduled it to be closed starting the next week. Anna and Charlie, her husband, had been passing under the Eighth Street Bridge when the weight of one more semi became the straw that broke the camel’s back. Charlie had been skewered by rebar embedded in a chunk of concrete. He had, according to the doctors, died instantly, probably never knowing what hit him. Anna had been hurt, but not as badly as she could have been. The concrete had fallen on the engine compartment. The engine itself had not collapsed, holding the concrete off her side of the car. Both her feet and her ankles were crushed, her left one badly enough that she might lose it. Certainly, she would not be dancing soon, if ever again.
      So now, five days later and still in the hospital, she watched the sun rise over a world she hardly recognized. She and Charlie had been a couple since their junior year in high school. She found it inconceivable that he wouldn’t be there for her, that he wouldn’t even be there to fuss with. She couldn’t imagine not dancing. She had always danced in some fashion; ballet since her earliest memory, any other kind since. The councilor they had sent her, an overly cheery young woman with a huge engagement ring on her left hand, had said this was a chance for her to start fresh, to reinvent herself. Anna had no idea why or how.

    • RoYHR says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. 

      She had been on the underground and had noticed a passenger clutching his backpack. It was the whiteness of his knuckles when she recalled it all later. She thought no more of it until, on exiting the train, she was knocked over. The passenger had barged past her before being wrestled to the ground. She next saw him run free before jumping off the platform. The screech and thud was followed by the sight of his head, staring straight at her, despite the arcing trajectory.

      The news later reported that he was carrying explosives and had left a confessional video explaining his planned actions.

      The thought that he could have exploded his bag on the train disturbed Anna. But what stopped her sleeping was his direct stare. He didn’t look angry or shocked, but his fixed stare confused her. Was he trying to communicate? Was it a sadness on realising his mission’s failure. Or was his stare nothing more than a final imprint of electrical impulses that had already ceased.

      Each time she closed her eyes she saw his face.

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Even though it wasn’t their bed, laying in a bed alone after spending two years with Thomas beside her made the space feel too big.

      The only sleep she’d caught in the last week had snuck up on her when she sat in the waiting room at the hospital in those uncomfortable wooden chairs and when she’d tried to read, laying out on the couch, waiting for a phone call from Thomas’ sister that something had changed.

      But nothing had changed; not in 5 days. Thomas still lay in the stark white room with all of those terrible tubes going in and out of him. She hadn’t seen his eyes open, let alone the look of mischief that was often sparkled in them. The man who never sat still had done nothing but lay there, unmoving, for the last 5 days. It was unbearable.

      But what was worse was the way no one acknowledged her right to be there. After all, she was only the girlfriend, not a wife not someone with a recognized role in an emergency. His sister still had the right of attorney—never mind that Anna had been the one Thomas talked to about his dislike of life support. Never mind that she’d found the engagement ring he had hidden in his sock drawer while putting together somethings for the hospital.

      Beth’s name popped up on the screen of Anna’s cell phone a moment before the device began to ring. She snatched it up. “Hello?” she said hopefully into the mouthpiece. Then, “I’ll be there right away.”

      Thomas was awake and asking for her.

      • Holly says:

        Really enjoyed that Melissa especially the ending

    • Brinda says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Getting hit by a truck while crossing the street wasn’t exactly the easiest thing to forget—or maybe it was. Maybe she just refused to let it go. The mystery behind the incident kept her awake, more than that, it kept her cozily annoyed. How could she have been hit by a truck there, and woken up here?
      When she had been struck, she was riding her bike across the street—looking back, she realized she should have walked. The event had somehow transported her to the middle of the desert. She was pretty sure it wasn’t a desert in the middle of Michigan, in fact, she was certain she was no longer in the United States at all.
      There were lots of smelly goats, and horses, and cows, and there was also a significant omission of cars. The people, who were all sporting a fine coating of dust and grime, also wore home-spun clothes with bright, flashy colours. It was an eclectic bunch who lived there, nothing to hint at anyplace Anna knew.
      Anna watched now, as the desert people started waking and opening their market shops—all made of wood and cloth. Reluctantly, she stretched and yawned and made her way back to the inn. Ben, who had rescued her from frying in the desert, would be upset if he knew she had been out of her room. Apparently, it wasn’t safe for her to be out without him—especially not at night. He was kind of a twitchy guy, though it was sometimes hard to catch. He had this cool exterior, but Anna could see through it. Ben was afraid of something.

      • Isobel says:

        Oh, I really want to know what happens here! Great job 🙂

        • Holly says:

          Wow Isobel I felt like I was Anna straight away. Very comedic too. 😀

    • Jewels says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. At least that’s what everyone else called it. She wasn’t foolish enough to call it that. It was a failure. The sun shone through her cell window as a constant reminder of that.
      “They will see you now,” the guard led me to the courtroom to face my punishment. My former teachers and role models stared down at my from their high pedestal with unsure eyes as my crimes were read aloud.
      “Anna Busaw Kawh, you have been charged with three counts of treason, murder of one of our kind, and risked exposure to the humans.” They had no idea what I had done with this planet. While they sat back in fear of the Earthlings, I acted. I tried to protect our species. I should have succeed. “You have failed to uphold our greatest goal: peace across the universe.”
      Peace was a dead idea. There would never be peace while the Earthlings tried to poke and prode our kind for answers. The Earthlings always wanted answers, and they kill what they didn’t understand. They would kill innocents like my brother for being different. The Earthlings saw being different as wrong. They are wrong.
      I did not say any of this. Instead I stood there and stared each of my accusers in the eyes while they convicted me of my crimes.
      One of my father’s friends came up to lead me back to my cell.“Anna, why? You held so much promise.”
      I turned to face the entire court. “The sun should have burned out. All the great stars do, don’t they comrades?”
      My mission had failed, but their mission had also failed. I was not like them. I was different.

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.

      Suddenly, Anna recalled what had happened; what had brought her to this sorry impasse…

      After all, a woman is an intuitive creature and instinctively knows when her partner cheats on her.

      Fred had been spending an unusual amount of time at the office. Fred had paid no attention to what Anna said; nor did Fred care about Anna’s feeling. Fred had suddenly acquired an urge to work out and had joined a local gym. Fred had become preoccupied about the way he looked and wanted to lose pounds and gain muscles. Fred had adopted a new died and his protein consumption had increased.

      Anna knew these were the signs of infidelity, but she wanted to make sure.

      So, one day, on an impulse, Anna decided to follow Fred. What was Fred upto so early in the morning?

      Fred had alluded to his new secretary, so she must be the culprit. Sure enough, Fred kissed her in the parking lot after parking his car. The kiss was not just a peck on the cheek, but a lover’s long kiss on the lips.

      Men.

      Fred had fallen for a younger woman, the kind that has a bod to die for and steals other women’s husbands.
      Anna was so furious and beside herself with confusion that she swerved into a car.

      But instead waking up in a hospital–or lying in wait at a funeral home–suddenly, Anna woke up from her nightmare. Thank the good Lord: it has just been a bad dream.

      And Fred was safe and sound, lying (no pun intended) beside her in bed, wrapped up in his pajamas and sleeping like a baby.

      • Bee says:

        An interesting take on the theme. I liked the imaginative way you treated the task. Instead of using ‘Fred’ so many times, maybe you could have used ‘he’ once or twice? It would help the sentences blend together better. I liked the ending!

    • Sinea Pies says:

      Thanks, Mary, for a really fun exercise! I think I ran out of room. That’s what I get for adding white space. The last lines are:

      Anna’s only hope, now, was to go straight to the FBI for witness protection. She packed her few belongings and ran for help.

      ….Sinea

      • I really like your take on the story. Very cleaver and well written – now I want to know what happens next!

    • Sinea Pies says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. It wasn’t the accident itself that robbed her of much-needed rest. It was WHY the accident occurred. Or, not knowing why.

      Why hadn’t Brandon been at the bridge to meet her as planned? It’s not like him. And where was he now? He was the only one who had worked on her car, or at least she thought. And his work was impeccable. How could the brakes fail? But they did.

      She should have been killed but the car hit the water in a way that gave her time to escape. And escape she did, barely. And now? They were trolling the bay for a body they would never find. She was in hiding, filled with questions and no answers. She had to find Brandon.

      It was way past breakfast but she hadn’t had much of an appetite. The Hostess donuts she’d bought at the convenience store were less than satisfying, anyway. Needing a diversion, Anna turned on some mindless TV.

      As the screen came on and she scrolled through the channels a familiar face stopped her in her tracks. She was shaking. Brandon! Missing? His parents had called in a missing person’s report just one day after the accident.

      That was not the way it was supposed to happen. She was the one who was going to disappear, not him. They must have found him. If they did, nobody else would—ever. And, if they didn’t buy the drowning story, she’d be next. No more handling things on her own. Anna’s only hope, now

    • I usually write inspirationally but this has helped me use my imaginative mind which is SLOW to create when asked so this is GREAT idea…I would never win at this but it’s a wonderful virtual helper. Even though I checked my spelling, I can see now that I have repeated myself with the VOICE word so I’ve learned something…I’ll NEVER be perfect…Ha.Ha. I had stopped most of that with the aid of your past notes and links so this is good for seeing our mistakes..Now will watch for this more…This is good for older people like me with concentration problems(hopefully I am not alone here)..

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Every day as our precious sun arose early in the morning she had to pinch herself to make sure that she was indeed still alive in the flesh. Rather than look back in awe she recalled how an unseen hand had pulled her out of danger. Why had she been so privileged? That strong tight grip of the invisible hand was always first and foremost in her mind as she remembered the voice from within her vocal chords saying ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ behind her own voice just as the lightning had struck the taxi. The power of that voice which seemed to be keeping her breathing was foremost in her mind each day the Sun came up. Sleep was the last thing on her mind…Her thoughts rolled back to when her niece through marriage had dreamed about the late Jim Morrison wearing his trademark black leather jacket and trousers sitting in a ‘Taxi’ with both of us…So what? Well, I was wearing a black leather jacket and trousers returning from a Recording Studio in London when lightning struck causing the vehicle to topple over a bridge seconds from our homes! Oyez, oyez ; now listen to this! This same taxi had been followed by a white light or huge white star-like mass which looked much much like the Star of Bethlehem(not a UFO) before the accident. The taxi had lightning conductors fitted only that day!

    • Good post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon on a daily basis.
      It will always be helpful to read content from other writers and practice something from their web sites.

    • trudy says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. Of course, it was easier for her to think of it as an accident then the blur of horror followed by an incredible sense of bliss. One moment, she existed, self-consciously inhabiting her body. The next sensation had her floating above her limp form. Anna looked down at her arms, and in the morning light her skin glowed, almost translucent.
      She glanced toward the figure standing next to her, not sure she wanted to spend eternity with him. Or near him. Or hunt with him. He’d given no thought to how she would go on. No, he’d bitten her neck and drained her so quickly, greedy, hungry and destructive, leaving her nothing. When she awoke, she, too, wanted nothing more than to drink and he forced her to suck from him, filling her with a whispering dark tune of hunger.
      “I shall be your king,” he murmured, holding the back of my neck, his bony fingers pressing hard. I pulled away, blood trickling down my chin, “No. I shall be your queen.” How had she known to be firm with him? But if this was the life she was now to live, it would be on her terms, not his. Live. Life. she thought, laughing to herself. What curious words.
      Anna turned back into the dark cellar, preparing to rest. She’d discovered quickly that even while in repose, she wasn’t asleep. She knew all that was happening in the natural world, every fall, every cry, and every sigh. Before she knew only what she could see or hear or smell. Now, every nuance, every crackle, every bloody flutter meant something. And would mean something for eternity. She sighed. Her eternity.

    • Ryan B says:

      Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident.
      Though she tried not to let her mind recap the incident, it kept replaying in her mind’s eye—she bitterly wept and tangled her hands in the cotton sheets of her once-shared bed.
      Images flashed: A kiss on her hand, a step off the curb, a mangled thud as a bus collided with a body.
      She’d yet to remove the band off her left ring finger. And wouldn’t, for some time.
      Dully, she pulled the curtains to again after shutting the window and, sniffling as she went, crawled back into the bed where the form of her fiancée had slept beside her night after night. His scent, a low-undertone of mint, had faded evanescently into nonbeing, but the old mattress still conformed more to his hard body’s shape than hers.
      Anna tugged the sheets over her body, curled up tightly in a ball. What was she going to do without him? Before she’d met him, she’d been introverted and disliked speaking to people; now, she made her living as a secretary for a high-dollar law firm. She hadn’t even showed up for work in the last five days, not even made contact with the firm.
      She didn’t even know whether or not she’d have a job to come back to. Did she still want the job, though? The only reason she’d ever worked there was because he’d used his connections for her, him being one of the executive lawyers of the firm.
      Obviously, she didn’t know, and she didn’t think she would know for several days yet. She buried her head under his pillow, breathing in slowly; she passed into an exhausted rest forced by her body’s need for sleep.

    • Carol says:

      Love these kind of challenges and ideas are swirling around in my brain. Jennifer Woodard, enjoyed your story, you were fast getting this out:))

    • Anna watched the sun come up for the fifth day in a row. Sleep had eluded her since the accident. The thought of sleeping made her shiver. The horrible images of mangled bodies and blood caused the bile in her stomach to rise to her throat. The thought that she was the cause of the accident made her head swim. Why couldn’t she remember what happened that awful night. She remembered leaving the restaurant; she only drank two glasses of wine. Two glasses had never impaired her driving before. There had to be another reason for her to cross the lane and drive head on into the minivan full of people.

      She had heard what they said about the accident. How there were no other cars involved. No other tire tracks, but there had to be another explanation, she just couldn’t believe it.

      She laid back and rested her eyes, even though she didn’t want to. She didn’t want to see those horrific scenes again. She laid there breathing softly, drifting off to sleep.

      The scene flashed before her eyes. She bounced and sang in her car, doing seventy-five, when the truck in front of her suddenly stopped. Panic raced through her body as she swerved to the left trying not to run into the back of the truck, the imagine of being decapitated crossing her mind. The last thing she saw before waking up in the hospital was the blinding headlights of the vehicle in the lane before they collided.

      • Bonnita Davidtsz says:

        Greetings Mary. Great idea. Rarin to go.

        • Bonnie House says:

          Good storyMary.

      • Kirsten says:

        Wow, I’d love to see where this goes … hope you’ve continued it!

      • Bee says:

        Good stuff. I like the way the ideas seem to flow together, bringing the reader with them to the conclusion. I think you meant to write ‘image’ rather than ‘imagine’ in the second last line. I look forward to reading more.

      • George says:

        That’s very good but now that you have my undivided attention, what happens next ? Your scene is thought provoking…..great job.


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