Wednesday March 16th, 2011

The exercise:

Write the final few paragraphs of a story.

I suspect you lot are about to make me want to know the rest of the story, but that's my own fault, isn't it. Ah well.

Speaking of you fine peoples, it was good to see so many of you sharing your take on yesterday's prompt. I fully understand and appreciate that life gets in the way of commenting on blogs, but it still made me happy.


We stood on the peak of Miller's Hill and watched smoke rise from the wreckage of our childhood home. Sarah shed a few tears and I suppose I did as well, but you'll not hear me admit that to a damned soul. So keep that between us, all right?

I know we both should have just been happy to still be breathing. And to be glad that he was dead. But there had been so memories tied up and tucked away in the corners of that house. Happier ones than those that had been created in the last terror-filled week.

After a few minutes had passed in silence, we turned away and began to walk. Sarah limped heavily and I supported her as best I could, though I was already certain my left arm was broken in two places.

But we were alive, and that was more than what could be said about dad.


morganna said...

Hi Marc. Sorry I haven't been posting lately. I just wrote an end to the continuation prompt ( and blogger lost the whole thing. Bleh.

David said...

You asked for it Marc, well here you go.

“This is it, brother,” said the Barber.

“Yes, I see that now,” replied the Beard.

Shell casings dotted the floor, amidst the pools of blood. Sirens blared. A voice, garbled by megaphone, implored them to come out. The Barber coughed and fell to his knees, the pain too much even for him. The Beard held him by the elbow.

“Shall we?” asked the Beard.

“Let’s” answered the Barber.

The brothers reloaded their guns and walked outside, into the light.

Heather said...

Marc- Burning Bed? Misery? A clever combination? You're not still ill and watching movies are you? As always, well done. I've missed reading your posts.

David- I'll have to go back and see what else you have written about these characters. Until then, I am not sure if I should be dismayed or thrilled at the ending.

Sitting on the edge of the deck with a mug of hot tea in her hands, she smiled into the chill breeze of approaching autumn. Birds sang parting songs in the trees and an occasional car rumbled by. Otherwise it was quiet. Jillene felt at ease with the silence for the first time in six years. She was more than at ease if she was being honest with herself, she was appreciative for the moment.

In the quiet sunlight, she closed her eyes and let her mind wander back over the last six years. She saw Mark's face in the garage shadows as he stormed off for the last time. She felt the heat of panic rise steadily as she checked each of the rooms the next morning. Anguish flooded her soul every time a news report said a body had been found. The hope and dread of the phone ringing. Gratitude for her mother's strength, the obsessive detective, and all the outpouring from anonymous supporters.

A bell rang in the distance and she called her mind back to the present. Warmth and joy flooded her as she walked into the house and placed her mug on the counter. Shirley was at her feet before she picked up the leash, excited for her daily walk to the school where they would collect her best friends. Patting the pup on top of her head, Jillene ushered her out of the house and toward the school.

Greg said...

@Marc: I had a longer post, but I think Heather and I tried to post at the same time and mine was lost. I've not got time now to comment much, so I'll just say that yours has a lot of pathos in it; the climax must have been something powerful!

As Martín let go of the memory the church and Father José faded like an old photograph. The priest lunged, desperately grabbing for Gabriella's arm but his fingers were already shadowy by the time he reached her, and passed through with as much substance as a ghost. Gabriella recoiled, and then her hand flew to her hair, checking to see if it was wet.
Martín shuddered and a light in his eyes went out. He slumped a little, leaning against the madam, and she put her hand on his shoulder to steady him, but no more. Already he was the stranger in her eyes that he hadn't been when he'd walked into town three years earlier and asked for a job. She searched his face; some lines had smoothed away, the stubble seemed more raw, dark shadows threatened to submerge his eyes, but they were all familiar features on an unfamiliar face.
"I think," she said slowly, as though talking to a wounded animal, "that we won't be needing your services any more."
And so it was that Martín Felix walked out of the town that evening as unnoticed as he'd arrived, leaving behind him only memories that could not be remembered.

Aaron said...

I want to read all the stories. I feel like if I write here long enough you will get a good idea of who I am just like I am getting to see who you all are. I love that to create is to reveal yourself.

“He gave his life so that we could live,” The mayor said, “We don’t know his name or his reason. We don’t know so many things. But I know this to be true; without that nameless stranger the Ascension would not have been stopped. Let us remember good people still exist. Let us remember always that today evil was stopped by one person who we will never be able to thank properly. The only gratitude we can show is to learn the lesson his death taught, Evil will only end if good people are willing to give everything to stop it.”
The crowd listened to the words of the mayor. The mayor believed the words he spoke. And the Evil that had been stopped laughed in his eternal cell. His minions already whispered in the peoples ears. They turned on their televisions that stole their spirit power. They ate the processed food that made their souls weak. They chased the money that meant nothing. The sacrifices power would fail again, it always would in a world this corrupt. And so Evil laughed at them all.

summerfield said...

well, somehow this prompt is good. i had a story that i didn't know how to end. i guess you just kill somebody and then tie some nice ribbon at the end and voila!


"...from dust thou cometh, to dust thou returneth..." the priest sprinkled the casket with the holy water, muttered a prayer in Latin, then made the sign of the cross. It signaled the end of the rite and as the few people shook each other's hands and parted, Deanna remained standing at the foot of the casket.

"Deanna, come, please." Harvey Brownstein tenderly nudged his niece by the elbow. When Deanna didn't move, he placed his arm around her shoulders and pulled her towards him. She started to cry.

"I feel so alone," she said. "I lost the woman who wasn't really my mother, I have never known my real mother, I found my real father but I lost my husband. Or is it my father that I lost?" She balled her hands into fists and wedged them between herself and Harvey and continued to cry.

"Deanna, I am here. We are family." His palm rubbed the top of her shoulders but his grief was also undeniable.

It seemed that when Ruth died three years ago, the proverbial can of worms opened and revealed all the nasty secrets of a family that was a lie from the very beginning.

Watermark said...

Hmm found this one a bit tricky... here's my attempt :\


Sam died silently last night. It was painless and peaceful. There were no tears and no goodbyes, just an understanding. The silence that followed had been unexpectedly eerie. It threatened to envelope me and break my defenses. And the only way that I could stop myself from falling apart was to make my way towards this spot of the house.

I have been sitting here ever since, watching the fish swim aimlessly around the tank. Sam had always loved this fish tank. It was one of the first things we had brought into the house. And it would be one of the last things that I would leave behind, along with the chandeliers and the rest of the memorabilia. That was what Sam wanted. Take nothing. Leave everything. Now all I had to do was make that one phone call that would further change my life forever. Sam wanted that and I had no choice but to respect his final wish. But for now and until that moment, all I wanted was to watch the fish, alone, one last time; the fish that Sam loved.

Marc said...

Morganna - no worries at all! I hope you're able to give that another try, and that Blogger behaves itself when you do.

David - oh, man. I did, didn't I? I should have known better. You know you have to get the story to that point now, right? Haha.

Heather - I've not seen either of those movies, actually. But now I kind of what to.

Thank you! I've missed reading your takes on them. That's a wonderfully serene mood you created there.

Greg - ugh, that sucks. I'm glad you still had time to post it again though (I assume it's the same one, anyway).

That's an excellent conclusion. Makes me feel for poor Martin.

Aaron - I'm a big fan of that as well. I hope you stick around long enough for us to get to know you :)

That's a very good speech, and the conclusion is wonderfully sinister. Nice!

Summer - yup, killing someone off is a damn fine way to end a story :)

I really like your final paragraph. It feels like a very good spot to end a story.

Watermark - well I think you pulled the trick off very nicely! I definitely want to know what lead up to that scene, and particularly why the narrator had to leave everything. And the phone call!

Gah, I did this to myself :P