Sonia G. Medeiros’ April-May Writing Challenge: First Impressions and Famous Last Words


This month’s challenge asks participants “to write either the opening or closing lines of a story.”  Sonia mentions one of the most famous opening lines (and personally one of my favorite) from Stephen King’sGunslinger“:

“The man in Black fled across the Desert, and the Gunslinger followed.”

I do a fair amount of free writing that borders on ranting, so during my daily exercise I decided to focus on possible opening/closing lines.  Here is the opener that Zeus-ed me this afternoon:

The first time I clawed my way out of heaven I had to go back because I forgot my watch.  The second time someone clocked me, and whispered, “you’re late.”

Sonia G Medeiros’ “March Writing Challenge: Make a Wish”


The past two months I have partaken in Sonia’s writing challenge, and March’s challenge is no exception.  I have never taken the leap and written a Western tale of any kind, so on this particular go I decided to run with the genre.  I was influenced by Bill Willingham’s “Fables” and its newest spinoff “Fairest” making my “Make a Wish” attempt one-part Aladdin and one-part wild west.

Overall, I had fun with the piece, but I did over shoot my word count mark by almost fifty-words but like King’s novels sometimes it is what is and it’s done when it’s done.

Abacus

Gunslinger by Kevin Jackson

Abacus gracefully rippled past the wind as she picked up momentum across the dusty badlands.  Dry shrubbery and various cacti dotted the landscape, but to William “Bat” Matterson they were barely discernible blurs as he hung low on his steed—just a small misshapen shadow upon the back of a valiant beast.  His left hand clutched a single burlap sack–it contained a small brass lamp with splotches of sand and deep engravings that spiraled ad infinitum around the curvature of its spout.

Bill had scavenged and piecemealed his way into surviving over the years, but his existence had not been an easy one.  If it hadn’t been for Abacus he would have surely thrown himself into the nearest quarry, but as irony would have it he had found a powerful disembodied voice buried in a quarry out by Rock Cliff.

His heart pounded as he made his first wish–it was the one thing Bill dreamed about as he slumbered beneath the desert lights. Bat wished to go home.  He remembered his wish vividly, because the mystical voice had chuckled first and then calmly replied, “Ride home.  You will be welcomed.”

He had immediately snatched up his newly acquired bobble and hopped upon his only saving grace, Abacus, to finally begin his venture homeward.

What Bill had not realized was that through it all–through the bungled poker games, through the liquor, through the leeches who called themselves friends, through thick and thin Abacus had always been there for him.  Abacus had saved his life on more than one occasion, and had become his best friend and by extension his home.

William “Bat” Matterson would ride Abacus for eternity as his graceful companion sped along the desert’s highway to a destination that would never come.  Bill was home at last, whether he knew it or not.  The genie chuckled.

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Sonia G Medeiros’ “February Writing Challenge: Of Love and Leap Years”


Last month I participated in Sonia Medeiros’ writing challenge, which consisted of creating a fifty-word blip using a specific word from a predetermined list.  It was the first challenge of Sonia’s that I had the pleasure of partaking in and all-in-all I had a terrific time.  I loved throwing my hat in, but what I really enjoyed was reading everyone else’s take on the task.

This month she is holding a new challenge that asks readers to compose a 250-word short about ‘Love’ and/or ‘Leap Years.’  Within the confines of the piece the writer needs to include five-words from a new predetermined list and upon completing the challenge the writer is then required to add their own word to the list in order to mix it up a bit and vary the posts.

I completed a rough draft of my entry yesterday and this morning I polished it off.  Hopefully everyone like it!  My word to be added to the challenge will be ‘idiosyncratic’ and here is my take on Sonia’s February writing challenge:

A Defective Year

Today was his sixth birthday—technically he was twenty-four, but who was counting?  After all, Leap Year was a variance—an aberration; it didn’t need to exist; yet it did.

In his book lethargy was top priority for the day.  He showered, threw on some clothes, popped open a Guinness, but just as he was about to take sip—he let out a slight cough.  It was minute, but he could feel another building.  Suddenly, he dropped his Guinness and before the can could strike the white-checkered linoleum and the second cough had commenced–he was gone.

Vanished.  Poof.  Non-existent.

For a nanosecond he felt as if he were underwater, but when he opened his eyes he was kissing a beautiful woman.  Blonde-hair, fair skinned, blue eyes, and his heart skipped forward and proceeded directly past ‘Go!’  He blushed, but the kiss was so tender and intense he fell into it like Skywalker tumbling into the Sarlacc.

As the two parted, he smiled and, in return, a smile escaped her lips.  He didn’t know where he was or how he had gotten here, but he knew he wanted to stay.  Love at first sight had never been in his paradigm, but in his heart he—poof.

He was gone.

He was back in his apartment with a Guinness bubbling at his feet.  He immediately grabbed his coat and was out the door before the can could stop spinning.  He would find the girl—that was the magic of Leap Year.