View Full Version : Short Writing Challenge #3

10-02-2006, 11:41 PM
As previously: 100-500 words.

For some variation, use THREE of the following lines.

- There's a time and a place for everything and this was not it.

- I told her to stop, but she went and did it anyway. It's the only reason she's still alive today.

- There was a time when people made that journey all the time, back before they came.

- It's a good thing it ended when it did. If it hadn't, the grass would never have grown back.

- The river overflowed it's banks every year at this time. Problem was, this year, the river was gone.

- Of course, I am the King of Queens.

- Try realism, it works pretty well.

- There are a million ways to say "I love you." That was not one of them.

- Suddenly, the idea seemed like a really bad one. This is where it gets really interesting.

- You can't win them all. Mostly because I do.

- Janice had been dead for a week. I was just on my way to tell her that when the car died. Of all the luck.

To make it a little harder, you must also use TWO of the following words:

10-06-2006, 11:01 AM
I found him in the corridor with another young artist, this one in dreadlocks and sagging pants.
“Try realism, it works really well,” he was advising the lad. “People need something fresh, like this piece here,“ Larry was gesturing to the imposing oil work towering behind and above them, “and realism would serve as a retardant to all the redundant abstract crap that’s usually submitted to us.”
The student turned to Larry and frowned. Obviously it was some sort of jab. I already knew Larry was no fan of modern art.
When Larry turned my way and I waved, he tilted his head to me and patted the gloomy youth on the shoulder, apparently telling him something that made the kid nod and walk away with his hands in his pocket.

Moving along and trying to maneuver around a giant sphere made of insulating copper wire covered with paper cutouts of giant flies, I made my way over to my irregular acquaintance.

As I approached him I got a closer look at the painting above, which I had not noticed the last time I visited the Manchester gallery.

It was a swooning and porcelain masked woman, draped in classical Greek shrouding, as might be worn by a matriarch of that era. A bloodless and red veined blue umbilical cord ran from her to the gut of some sort of indecipherable black and blue phantasmagoric entity which appeared to levitate over a chained goat with compound eyes like a spider’s, who in turn was lying on a giant snail shell. Not my sort of thing, but the ghastly scene was so well composed it looked like photographic. A part of me had to admire the artist’s skill, whatever his issues.
“Like it?”
Tearing my gaze from the huge portrait looming over him, I shook his pro-offered hand. I had business to attend to and didn’t want to spend much time talking about art with someone so impassioned.
“Well, it has something. Larry, is Madame Claynor still working here, I need to tell her about Janice Feltzer.” Janice had been dead for a week. I was just on my to tell her that when the car died. Of all the luck. Mrs. Claymore had been a big fan of my student’s work, I didn‘t have the museum‘s number and she didn‘t know Janice would not be at the unveiling of her latest and favorite, a surrealist watercolor of a chess game being played by two giant blocky chess bishops.

“Oh! I heard. I'm very sorry. I think…I think she might be in her office actually. I heard typing going on in there when I passed it. Her or her secretary. Visitors aren’t allowed upstairs but I have to go up there anyway to check on an invoice. I’ll go get ‘er if she’s home and come right back.”

I thanked him and watched him stroll briskly away to the stairs hidden behind the public restrooms, his black leather shoes clacking over the large, veiny marble floor. The vaulted white gallery had no shortage of empty space.
I sat down on a black marble bench opposite and waited. It was so silent it was making me uncomfortable.
What was taking him so long?

Out of some perverse curiosity my gaze was pulled back to the painting. It was then I noticed the silver trimmed plaque identifying the strange demonic scene. It was titled “Of course, I am the King of Queens.”
I shuddered for reasons I could not articulate until I finally decided to get up to read the name of the artist.

10-07-2006, 06:04 PM
I saw her walking just ahead of me.

Something about the way she moved made me want to swoon. I’m not much one for passing out, though – but she was the exception.

She crossed the street at Abbey’s Lane, and maneuvered herself between two automobiles at rest. I watched from a short distance away, wondering if I could somehow approach her. I’d seen her in the market the day before and she’d smiled at me, so perhaps now I could get the courage up to smile back at her, ask her how the outing had been – anything. Before she disappeared entirely from view around a corner, I hastily caught up with her. I was so very nervous. I wanted to say something.

“I love you, you’re gorgeous, and I want to know you” would have more than sufficed.

She heard me behind her, stopped, and twisted her body.
“Hello,” she offered. “Can I help you?”
“Yesterday – at the market – your peaches looked so juicy.” I burbled.

There are a million ways to say “I love you.” That was not one of them.

She stared, amused. She tossed her hair to the side, and raised an eyebrow.

“Oh, really.”

Was she mocking me?

“Well… ah, I appreciate the sentiment and all,” she began, “but there’s a time and place for everything, and this was not it. Not by a long shot. In fact, I’d suspect that you probably aren’t very good with the ladies at all, are you.”

She was mocking me. I shook my head, miserably.

She started walking again. I trailed after her, rather like a lost puppy. Just ahead of us, in a field, sat a man with a picnic spread out before him – two place settings. It was obvious he was expecting her. She glanced over her shoulder at me.

“Are you STILL here? How annoying. Look, do I have to spell it out for you?”

The man overheard her. “What seems to be the trouble, love?”

“This little BOY,” she spat, “has followed me all the way down the lane making silly comments and goggle eyes at me. It’s quite alright, I’m not offended, but he seems to have forgotten his manners. Any words of advice, sweetheart?”

The fellow stood up, brushed himself off, and strolled over. He clapped a hand on my shoulder.

“Listen, son,” he grinned. “You can't win them all. Mostly because I do. And this one’s mine. All mine, not yours. Better luck another time.”

He spoke about her like she was a prize. A thing he owned. Something not human, not loveable, not beautiful. It horrified me.

I took a step back. He nodded, misinterpreting my intentions. As he turned to join the woman who was now seated on the blanket, I threw my body weight back, and punched him as hard as I could.

I walked away as he started screaming about his nose.
I felt strangely satisfied.
Maybe I’d go to the market later.

10-13-2006, 08:04 AM
That was good Quill, if sad :cry: