First Short Story

Dawson takes the stage, the microphone screeches. The sound test, begins for the night. “Welcome to Dawson’s pub.” He says. Heat from the lights bring out the sweat. Wire strings tighten, his fingers twist the knobs, and the pick is in his mouth. Acoustic guitar is his favorite instrument.

“Hey buddy. What is up tonight?” Lucy puffs. Smoke rolls from her cigarette into his hazel eyes. She writes with a black marker on his shoulder, “Have your cake and eat it too.”

Dawson pretends he didn’t notice the seven words. Love is such a big deal to her. He unwinds the chords to the speaker and hooks them up. “Why don’t you stand by the back door and wait for Georgia.” He says. He hands her a big yellow envelope. “Give it to her.”

Lacy hands Dawson a frosted mug of beer. “Best stuff on the house.” She says. “Made it myself, fermented, poured right from the tap, and watched it foam up.

Dawson laughs with a slick smile. “Fermenting a beer takes more than a back-up singer drooling over a spout.” He says. “Takes a few months, and you were at the tap for three minutes.”

“A woman can dream.” Georgia steals the yellow envelope from Lucy’s hand. “This is for me and there’s no more wasting time.” She says. “Let’s see. Did he choose you, the high-pitched back-up singer, or me the awesome lead vocalist?”

Dawson steps between them. “Neither.” He rolls his shirt up. “Have your cake and eat it too.”

Short story two

“Hi. This is Jade. I saw you in the window last night. I was wondering if we could talk.” Samantha watches the digital number change to the second message on the answering machine. It’s been eight days since his death.

“This is Jade again. I wanted you to stop downtown and pick up my vinyl records. Melony saved them for me at the antique shop.” The red blinking light signals the third message.

“Jade here. Where are you? I’m on my way. Smack. Bang. Shots echo through the phone. Sam? Heavy breathing. Silence.”

Samantha bursts into tears, sirens flash in front of her house in the darkness, gun shots fire, and she rushes over to the tall Victorian window facing the street. Car 94 has a man handcuffed, the officer grabs his arms, the crowd stands by and watches from the curb.

Samantha searches the sidewalk for a sign of Jade. Eight days ago she was told he didn’t survive. The same place another man smashed into his car. The phone rings. Samantha waits for the answering machine to pick up. “This is Jade. Pick me up at the hospital on Fifth Avenue. The ambulance driver took me to the wrong hospital.”

Short story three

“Love forgets you when you’re sleeping.” Roses wilt on the side of the vase. Louisa breathes hard through the oxygen mask. Eyes closed, her silence bothers Frank.

“How long you been married?” Julia asks.

Julia’s brunette hair is clipped to the side with a silver barrette shaped in a heart.

“We’ve been married eight months.” He says.

 Louisa’s hands fold nicely over her chest.

“She’s a sleeping beauty. Been in this coma for two months.”

Louisa never moves, stiff as a board, and there is no response.

“Heaven is a state of mind. Didn’t know we’d be living in hell this early in our marriage.” He says.

“What would you do different?” Julia asks.

Frank wrestles with the wedding ring on Louisa’s finger. Slides it off and hands it to Julia.

“I would have never married her.” He says.

Julia slides it back on Louisa’s finger. “Why would you say such a thing?” She combs out Louisa’s hair, kisses her on the cheek. “That’s awful.” She says.

Frank kisses Louisa’s forehead. “When you’re sleeping you miss the love.” He says. He rests his head on her chest. “She took all these sleeping pills and wanted to escape to a safer place.”

“You mean when she was awake, she was sleeping. Missed your love, even though you were giving it to her.” She says.

“That’s right if I never married her, she’d be thriving, and she would have never swallowed those pills.” He said.

Louisa starts coughing, the ventilator needs to be pulled out. The nurse rushes in, and removes the tube. A few minutes pass bye. She sips a glass of water and Louisa reaches for Frank. She kisses him on the cheek, and whispers “I love you.”

Short story four

Melanie sits on the stool watching Albert dance. It has been a year since they met, the lights flash, the speakers blare with the latest indie songs, and beer is on the house.

Albert the playboy, the millionaire sweetheart, this is the man everyone adores. Gentle with the touch of his hand, smooth, sly with his words, and the art of seduction. He moves after his prey, hunts her in the midnight hours, watches and observes her every move.

“Bought this vinyl record for you.” He says. “Have you changed your mind about giving me a chance?”

His brown eyes dig deep in hers, she swerves her head, darts her eyes across the room to Soldier Boy Adams. “No thanks. I’m one of those angels that might shine, I’m a flashlight in your darkness.” She says.

“Why Adams? He’s an army guy with a broken down dodge. I could buy you anything in the world.” He says. His wallet shows how much dough he has. Hundred dollar bills. He flashes his watch, he orders the next round of drinks for everyone in the house.

“Sure you can buy me anything in the world and drive me around in your fast Lamborghini. The one thing money doesn’t buy is love. You’re fast, but never driving in the slow lane. She hands him back the vinyl record. “I don’t need this speeding ticket. Thanks anyway.” She says.

“Fast enough babes, Slow enough to give you’re a ride to heaven.”

Short story five

Tulips wilt over the vase, lack of water, lack of sunshine, the dark room would smother anything alive. Mice run around in circles searching for crumbs of cheese. Crackers are broken on the floor, the television blares, and the radio displays the digital time.

Lara slumps over the arm of the sofa passed out from the night before. Curlers in her, caked on make-up, and crimson smeared lips. Whiskey bottles line up on the coffee table, ashes are dumped on the floor, and the mice well they got out of her son’s cage.

Clara and Hubert were Robert’s pet mice. Pink beady eyes navigate her nostrils.

Lara smacks her nose, wakes up and stares right at Clara. “Oh My God. Get away from me, you dirty rodent, who let you out?” she says.

“Robert! Get out here and get rid of this.” She says. Lara stands on the table with the fly swatter gripped in her hand. “You come near me you’re dead. You hear me?”

Robert rushes around the room trying to capture Clara and Hubert. “I swear I didn’t let them out Mama, the tube is broken.” He says.

Lara jumps off the table. “You got them critters, those things were chewing on my nose hairs.” She touches the scratch marks on her face. “See here.” She says.

“Yes, Mama. If you didn’t get drunk all the time, they would have never bothered you.” He says. He holds Clara and Hubert in his hands.

Short story six

“I was wondering if you could tell me something. Why did you do it?” The psychiatrist asks. He looks over to Jesse on the sofa. The DSM V rests on the end table.

“I did it because I thought I could scare him. I wanted Jackson out of the house.” Margaret says. She bites her nails, crosses her legs, and stares out the window. “Nice bird feeder you have Mr. Walker.”

The golden finch dips his small head up and down, and picks up the small pieces of bird seed. Leaves dance on the thin branches. Spring time is always a good season for new beginnings.

“This is your last session today. You haven’t drank for a year until yesterday.” He says. “Jackson is out of the house now, but will you drink again?”

Jesse holds up a handful of sobriety tokens. “No sir. I slipped. I worked too hard for all these, but he hit me. He hit me so hard. I was dying inside when he took my baby son away, and told me I’d never see him again.” She says.

“We’ve talked about this before. You have to keep your boundaries and you must never drink. Stay away from him, will you? If you listen to me, you don’t have to worry about losing your son.” He says.  “This is a new beginning for your life. Make a fresh start and leave the booze behind.”

“Yes, I can fly.” She says.

Instructor Response

First Short Story

Dawson takes the stage, the microphone screeches. The sound test, begins for the night. “Welcome to Dawson’s pub.” He says. Heat from the lights bring out the sweat. Wire strings tighten, his fingers twist the knobs, and the pick is in his mouth. Acoustic guitar is his favorite instrument. This is already known by the quality writing preceding it, and it is purely narrator distant POV when you’re nicely in scene at close range.

“Hey buddy. What is up tonight?” Lucy puffs. Smoke rolls from her cigarette into his hazel eyes. She writes with a black marker on his shoulder, “Have your cake and eat it too.”

Dawson pretends he didn’t notice the seven words. Love is such a big deal to her. He unwinds the chords to the speaker and hooks them up. “Why don’t you stand by the back door and wait for Georgia.” He says. He hands her a big yellow envelope. “Give it to her.”

Lacy hands Dawson a frosted mug of beer. “Best stuff on the house.” She says. “Made it myself, fermented, poured right from the tap, and watched it foam up.

Dawson laughs with a slick smile. “Fermenting a beer takes more than a back-up singer drooling over a spout.” He says. “Takes a few months, and you were at the tap for three minutes.”

“A woman can dream.” Georgia steals the yellow envelope from Lucy’s hand. “This is for me and there’s no more wasting time.” She says. “Let’s see. Did he choose you, the high-pitched back-up singer, or me the awesome lead vocalist?”

Dawson steps between them. “Neither.” He rolls his shirt up. “Have your cake and eat it too.”  Good. :-)

Short story two

“Hi. This is Jade. I saw you in the window last night. I was wondering if we could talk.” Samantha watches the digital number change to the second message on the answering machine. It’s been eight days since his death.

“This is Jade again. I wanted you to stop downtown and pick up my vinyl records. Melony saved them for me at the antique shop.” The red blinking light signals the third message.

“Jade here. Where are you? I’m on my way. Smack. Bang. Shots echo through the phone. Sam? Heavy breathing. Silence.”

Samantha bursts into tears, sirens flash in front of her house in the darkness, gun shots fire, and she rushes over to the tall Victorian window facing the street. Car 94 has a man handcuffed, the officer grabs his arms, the crowd stands by and watches from the curb.

Samantha searches the sidewalk for a sign of Jade. Eight days ago she was told he didn’t survive. The same place another man smashed into his car. The phone rings. Samantha waits for the answering machine to pick up. “This is Jade. Pick me up at the hospital on Fifth Avenue. The ambulance driver took me to the wrong hospital.”

This is difficult to pull off easily when the presentation is shifting in time, and the time is not easily established. The surprise could be maintained by telling the events without the recording and seeing how it goes. For me, I need a solid time line for every sentence to get engaged in a story and enjoy it without having to try to figure out what’s going on when.

Short story three

“Love forgets you when you’re sleeping.” Roses wilt on the side of the vase. Louisa breathes hard through the oxygen mask. Eyes closed, her silence bothers Frank.

“How long you been married?” Julia asks.

Julia’s brunette hair is clipped to the side with a silver barrette shaped in a heart.

“We’ve been married eight months.” He says.

 Louisa’s hands fold nicely over her chest.

“She’s a sleeping beauty. Been in this coma for two months.”

Louisa never moves, stiff as a board, cliche, avoid  and there is no response.

“Heaven is a state of mind. Didn’t know we’d be living in hell this early in our marriage.” He says.

“What would you do different?” Julia asks.

Frank wrestles with the wedding ring on Louisa’s finger. Slides it off and hands it to Julia.

“I would have never married her.” He says.

Julia slides it back on Louisa’s finger. “Why would you say such a thing?” She combs out Louisa’s hair, kisses her on the cheek. “That’s awful.” She says.

Frank kisses Louisa’s forehead. “When you’re sleeping you miss the love.” He says. He rests his head on her chest. “She took all these sleeping pills and wanted to escape to a safer place.”

“You mean when she was awake, she was sleeping. Missed your love, even though you were giving it to her.” She says.

“That’s right if I never married her, she’d be thriving, and she would have never swallowed those pills.” He said.

Louisa starts coughing, the ventilator needs to be pulled out. The nurse rushes in, and removes the tube. A few minutes pass bye. She sips a glass of water and Louisa reaches for Frank. She kisses him on the cheek, and whispers “I love you.”

Short story 4

Melanie sits on the stool watching Albert dance. It has been a year since they met, the lights flash, the speakers blare with the latest indie songs, and beer is on the house.

Albert the playboy, the millionaire sweetheart, this is the man everyone adores. Gentle with the touch of his hand, smooth, sly with his words, and the art of seduction. He moves after his prey, hunts her in the midnight hours, watches and observes her every move.

“Bought this vinyl record for you.” He says. “Have you changed your mind about giving me a chance?”

His brown eyes dig deep in hers, she swerves her head, darts her eyes across the room to Soldier Boy Adams. “No thanks. I’m one of those angels that might shine, I’m a flashlight in your darkness.” She says.  :-))

“Why Adams? He’s an army guy with a broken down dodge. I could buy you anything in the world.” He says. His wallet shows how much dough he has. Hundred dollar bills. He flashes his watch, he orders the next round of drinks for everyone in the house.

“Sure you can buy me anything in the world and drive me around in your fast Lamborghini. The one thing money doesn’t buy is love. You’re fast, but never driving in the slow lane. She hands him back the vinyl record. “I don’t need this speeding ticket. Thanks anyway.” She says.

“Fast enough babes, Slow enough to give you’re a ride to heaven.”

Good dialogue.

Short story five

Tulips wilt over the vase, lack of water, lack of sunshine, the dark room would smother anything alive. Mice run around in circles searching for crumbs of cheese. Crackers are broken on the floor, the television blares, and the radio displays the digital time.

Lara slumps over the arm of the sofa passed out from the night before. Curlers in her, caked on make-up, and crimson smeared lips. Whiskey bottles line up on the coffee table, ashes are dumped on the floor, and the mice well they got out of her son’s cage.

Clara and Hubert were Robert’s pet mice. Pink beady eyes navigate her nostrils.

Lara smacks her nose, wakes up and stares right at Clara. “Oh My God. Get away from me, you dirty rodent, who let you out?” she says.

“Robert! Get out here and get rid of this.” She says. Lara stands on the table with the fly swatter gripped in her hand. “You come near me you’re dead. You hear me?”

Robert rushes around the room trying to capture Clara and Hubert. “I swear I didn’t let them out Mama, the tube is broken.” He says.

Lara jumps off the table. “You got them critters, those things were chewing on my nose hairs.” She touches the scratch marks on her face. “See here.” She says.

“Yes, Mama. If you didn’t get drunk all the time, they would have never bothered you.” He says. He holds Clara and Hubert in his hands.  Ha!

Short story six

“I was wondering if you could tell me something. Why did you do it?” The psychiatrist asks. He looks over to Jesse on the sofa. The DSM V rests on the end table.

“I did it because I thought I could scare him. I wanted Jackson out of the house.” Margaret says. She bites her nails, crosses her legs, and stares out the window. “Nice bird feeder you have Mr. Walker.”

The golden finch dips his small head up and down, and picks up the small pieces of bird seed. Leaves dance on the thin branches. Spring time is always a good season for new beginnings.

“This is your last session today. You haven’t drank for a year until yesterday.” He says. “Jackson is out of the house now, but will you drink again?”

Jesse holds up a handful of sobriety tokens. “No sir. I slipped. I worked too hard for all these, but he hit me. He hit me so hard. I was dying inside when he took my baby son away, and told me I’d never see him again.” She says.

“We’ve talked about this before. You have to keep your boundaries and you must never drink. Stay away from him, will you? If you listen to me, you don’t have to worry about losing your son.” He says.  “This is a new beginning for your life. Make a fresh start and leave the booze behind.”

“Yes, I can fly.” She says.

Great. I’m impressed with the imagination you show. Keep developing conflict in your writing. And very good imagery. 

All the best, WHC

  1. Thank you appreciate all your help. It does point out what I need to work on.

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