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Old 04-02-2014, 04:03 PM   #1
Britwitch
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Writing Challenge ~ April 2014

WRITING CHALLENGE ~ APRIL 2014


New month, new challenge! This challenge will run for the whole month and thank you to all those who took part last month! There were some stunning pieces and I’d recommend anyone who hasn’t had chance to check them out to do so!
But, for now, on with the April challenge.

And here are your prompts.






You can involve the prompts themselves in your piece and make your link to the prompts as obvious or as subtle as you like or use them simply as inspiration for something else. You can use part of the prompts, just one aspect of the images, or use them in their entirety.

As there are several prompts you can of course chose to use all of them in one piece or write one for each…again, it’s your writing, your challenge. You write whatever you’re inspired to write!

The word limit for this challenge is 2,000 words and your submission can take whatever form you desire – poetry or prose, complete story or a vignette. Erotic or not, serious or light hearted, it’s whatever you want it to be!!

Post only your submissions in this thread, constructive comments and reviews are to be posted in the appropriately named – Comment and Review Thread

The deadline for this month’s challenge is Wednesday 30th April 2014, with May’s challenge hopefully going live a few days later!

Previous challenges and reviews can be found here.

Happy writing!
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Nothing Like Old Times with marauder13, Welcome to Etham, Alabama with Scuttle Buttin', IvoryTigress, thestruggle and LeChatNoir,
The Right One with Scuttle Buttin', Getting Away with Scuttle Buttin', Changing Fortunes with Scuttle Buttin', Night and Fog with Scuttle Buttin', thestruggle and saysalice,
Infiltrating the Feminist Resistance with BornYesterday, Free & Easy with LitShark, Out of Sight with Niceandbrutal


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Old 04-03-2014, 03:48 AM   #2
DeliciousMaiden
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Sonnet to a Spring Woodland:




The woodland scene of bloom and sun
Bears witness that harsh winter’s past.
A chaotic carpet has begun
To claim those dreary dells at last.





Symbol of hope, against decay
Such fragile strength to stave off strife
Each garland gathered, each bright bouquet
A living talisman for life.



And yet, once plucked from woodland place
Or grown in artificial climes
Each bloom’s life span will pass apace
And fail and fade before their times.


Then let us to the woodland go, where no human hand besmirched by soil
Has contrived to control good nature’s plan and ruined perfection with fruitless toil.



[A meagre 106 word count and a simple contribution, but I thought I'd be brave and put something out there to kick us off this month. For some reason I felt poetical this morning.
Mari x ]




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Old 04-05-2014, 07:36 AM   #3
marauder13
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Better Left...




Audry opened the back door to the rundown home that had been hers for more years that she cared to acknowledge to even herself. The sun bleached auburn hair refused to remain in place, the lightened wisps of hair drifting across her hazel eyes to be caught by an eyelash or eyebrow. The freckled face screwed up momentarily while she tried to blow the errant strands from her her face, but gave up with a huff and took the three ever creaking steps down to the yard.

There, she paused, hands resting on her hips as she surveyed the yard. Grass that had been mowed at different times made the property look more unkempt than if she just let everything go rather than try to keep it down herself. But since it was only her, she did her best to keep it neat, no matter how bad the end result looked. To the back of the yard, the garden beds seem to once more fall to the never ending attempts of the grass to invade that place of neatness and control.

"Well, if there is one thing I know, I can keep the damned garden looking neat."

With a tug of her sundress, Audry headed off for the shed when all the gardening tools were kept. It was in a state similar to the lawn; partially controlled yet looked like a complete mess. Yet, in under a minute, she had what she needed to deal with the grass where it wasn't meant to be.

But as she left the shed, something caught her eye behind it. The bare patch of ground wasn't so bare. In the middle of the patch, a small orange bloom had poked itself out of the earth, proudly demonstrating that it had what it took to make it in the world. The gloves and other tools succumbed to gravity as she almost aimlessly wandered over to the lone flower. Squatted, Audry took her time to examine the bloom without touching it, craning her neck and body to give her the desired angles.

It took little effort for her to removed the budding plant gently, including some of the soil that formed its bed. Cupped in her hand was an example of how life would flourish anywhere, and example that she herself empathized with strongly.

"So beautiful." The words were soft and full of adoration for the flower in her hands. Tears welled in her eyes at the beauty, followed by a rather unladylike sniffle.

Without any thought, she slammed the plant down into the hole, upside down, ramming the ball of her palm into the loose dirt until it would not compact any more. Audry stood, snarling, to let her booted feet continue to compact the soil.

With a scream of rage, she stormed back into the weather worn house, to return with a large, hessian bag. She punctured the bag, the white crystals spilling out over the soil. She walked the section, spilling the contents all over the ground. The emptied bag was thrown aside, the pitch fork was found and the earth was viciously turned.

"There, you fucked up excuse for a husband, nothing's going to grow here. You were an ugly prick in life, and God damn it, you'll be an ugly prick in death too. Nothing, not even the most noxious weed will cover you, or make you any more than what you are."

It took Audry nearly and hour to calm down, during which she cursed the man that murdered their child, and had tried to murder her. But once her composure returned, Audry dealt with the garden as she planned, and decided to go visit her son's grave. Everyone thought that her ex husband had left her, and in a way he had. But not in the way everyone thought.

"Let them think what they want. As the old saying goes, some things are better left..."
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Old 04-12-2014, 01:39 AM   #4
Scuttle Buttin'
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Spring had finally, as they say, sprung. Winter held on as long as possible, a cold fist that had seemed to only gain strength as time wore on, but to those that persevered, freedom came eventually. Flowers began to bloom, grass returned to life, green and tall, weeds reaching for the sky. Leaves returned, filling in the woods, coloring in the lines between trees and blotting out the ground beneath with shadow.

She had endured the winter much as the land had, laid dormant in the grip of cold. Biding her time. Waiting to come back to life. The sun had come out eventually, melted the ice, and she found her opportunity.

Escape.

She had a head start before he'd discover she was gone, and she took that time to run as far and as fast as she could. It's not enough, that little voice in her head told her, It'll never be enough, he'll find you and then you're fucked. She used it as motivation, running until her lungs burned, until the muscles in her thighs ached and demanded rest.

Against the rough bark of a tree, she leaned over, hands on knees, pulling in oxygen hard, her breasts heaving. The air had warmed considerably, even with the little early-morning sunlight that made it's way to her she could tell the day would be warmer than the few that had come before it, but her skin was hot and the air cool against it. Goose bumps stood out on her naked flesh, a connect-the-dots done in reverse, creating abstract children's pictures out of her scars and the fresh bruises from the night before. A constellation of pain.

She spat on the ground by her bare feet, flexed her dirty toes in the soil, straightened to look around her. She was itching to get moving again, always needing more distance from him, but she knew her body needed rest. She would have to find water soon, somehow find something for her feet, but she knew the last of those was unlikely out here. She'd been wearing a bag on her head when she was brought here, her world darkness until it was torn away and his face filled her vision. Became her world. His taste filled her mouth, and she spat on the ground again, banishing the memory and focusing on her current freedom and how to keep it.

Water.

Her breathing was slowing, but her throat was dry, and she knew the water couldn't wait if she wanted to keep up any kind of pace. But how to find it? She was a city girl, the wooded countryside like this a place she went to visit, and never without supplies. Without fucking clothes. Her eyes scanned the area, as best she could, the woods seemed to grow more dense as she went deeper, and for the first time she wondered if she was wandering into wilderness, away from civilization. Running to her eventual death. But it was better than where she'd been for all those months.

Wasn't it?

Water, goddammit.

There was a subtle slope to the ground, and the dark soil falling away gradually to her left, and she decided to go with it until she came across a better idea. Her toes flexed in the dirt again, wincing as more soil worked it's way into the broken skin of her soles. With nothing to be done but bear it until she found help, she started off away from her resting spot, taking things for the moment at a brisk walk. The downhill slope helped her pace, made things easier, and after a few minutes she was jogging, the pain in her feet forgotten as she focused on her breathing and picking out obstacles on the ground before they could trip her up. If she broke her ankle out here, or fell and hit her head, she really would die. Whether out here, of eventual exposure, or by him finding her and

Focus.

Breathe.


The slope gradually became more pronounced, and still the woods grew more dense around her, the trees closer together, branches reaching lower, forcing her to duck and weave around them. She knew she was beginning to run laterally more and more, time and energy eaten up trying to avoid branches. Still, the slope increased, her feet pointed downward each time they planted on the ground, her pace becoming harder to control. Branches seemed to reach for her, trying to grab her, hold her back. Keep her there until he came to retrieve what was his.

She gritted her teeth, bit back a yelp as a cut was opened on her thigh, a trickle of blood creating another line on her body where one had not been before. A twist of her body came too late, another grasping branch taking a piece of her, the new scar left just under her right breast this time.

Too fast, her legs felt like they weren't entirely under her control anymore, and she felt the pain of more scratches and cuts left on her body from the encroaching fingers of the trees. She wouldn't let them stop her, had to push through no matter the pain, and in this her time with him had given her a skill she hadn't known even existed before: pushing herself through pain. Not giving it permission to win. It had many times, he had broken her so many times, her tears, her sobs and pleas only seemed to make his fucking prick harder, make his invasion of her more violent, but she knew once the flood gates were opened they couldn't be closed again. Over time, she learned not to let them open. He didn't even seem to notice that she no longer gave him tears unless she was forced to gag on him, and it made them even easier to keep inside. If he couldn't break her anymore, the goddamned trees had no chan-

Her eyes widened as she glimpsed the cluster of trees in front of her, the tangle of fallen branches that left no clear path through them. She was a human wrecking ball now, momentum made into the naked shape of a scared girl, and she knew that there would be no avoiding it.

Throwing her hands up in front of her face, she collided with the restrictive wall with more force than anticipated, and couldn't help but cry out as her body was assaulted anew by rough wood. But no tears escaped her still, none were allowed, and it was only once she'd come to a stop that she realized her eyes were squeezed shut. Opening them, she found herself sprawled across a bed of branches, her hair tangled in more that hovered above her. But nothing was broken or sprained, and though it hurt, she could still move.

SNAP!

The sound of a breaking branch from somewhere up the hill sent ice water through her veins, and she twisted as best she could, wide and frightened eyes scanning the woods above her. Little but trees could be seen, and some small but rational part of her mind told her that there was no way he'd caught up to her already. Judging by the low rise of the sun, he may not have even discovered her yet, much less caught up to her. It was probably an animal. A falling branch that she'd knocked loose. The natural sound of a living ecosystem. A thousand things that were not him. It was not him.

It's him.

Her breathing had increased, a third scan of the area following the second
it's him
and still, she saw nothing out of the ordinary. She had to get herself free, get out of the area. Get herself under control. And find
it's him
water.

First, she had to free her hair. It had grown quite long, he didn't exactly allow the girl he kept locked in the bare stone-walled room to have scissors, and more than a couple branches had taken hold of it.

CRACK!

She whined low in her throat, a sound that escaped her
It's him
before she even realized she was making it, and began yanking on strands of hair with frantic
It's him
fingers. The branches fought her, not wanting to give up their new prize easily, and she felt the precious moments slipping away with each heart beat.

It's him it's him oh God it's him

She just had to get to the other side of this, an obstacle she knew he'd have more trouble with given how much bigger he was. She just had to

Hair free, crawl through, it's him it's him it's him it's him him him him

She began to scramble, jagged edges of dead wood cutting into her, her hands and knees raw, scars of freedom received escaping her scars of captivity.

Shaking hands closed around smaller pieces of wood, pushing, shoving, tossing them aside, uncoordinated and desperate scrambling to get through the blockage, to get to the freedom that lay beyond, she knew this was the final obstacle between her and freedom, between her and rescue, the comfort of medics, the authoritative confidence of the police as she told them her tale, their reassuring words that they'd get him, that he'd never hurt her again, just this tangle of wood discarded by the tree like so much dead skin, and in time she'd look back on this and marvel that she had the strength to escape him, and she'd know that nothing could ever stop her again, she simply had to make it through, a blockage of fallen wood was nothing compared to slipping away from him, she made it this far and she could make it all the way to






A hand closed around her ankle.
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Old 04-12-2014, 11:38 PM   #5
thestruggle
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Song.

I walk down the path and she follows me. The day is in the gloaming and the light is soft, so soft. Summer sighs and we've just started. I walk down the path and she follows me. My dress swings and catches shadows – small patterns, dappled spots of dark and light.

Is she smiling? I can feel her smiling.
Is she watching me? I can feel her watching me.
I'm always watching her.

In my mind's eye, she takes my shoulders cupped in her hands – warm and gentle urgency. In my mind's eye, my hair is slipping out of its braid and into her fingers. In my mind's eye, her nails find all the secret lines of my collarbone and my neck. In my mind's eye I turn around and take her mouth. In my mind's eye, she's enough and yet I can never get enough. In my mind's eye, she's freeing something from my chest – something I didn't know I had. In my mind's eye, I curl around her and violence shrinks to tenderness; tenderness grows to blood. In my mind's eye, she smiles.

I walk down the path and she follows me. I look over my shoulder and her eyes light on me, even in the dark, even in the start of evening. My hand runs over the bark of the tree and I can feel shapes of lifetimes in its traversing grooves. I walk past the tree, and still she follows me.

Does she walk to make sure I'm not alone? I'm never alone; she's all around.
Does she walk apace to be my predator? I give up my neck, but I bare my teeth in exchange.
Does she walk to make sure she's not alone? I'll never let her be alone.

In my mind's eye, I want her against the roughness of the tree's protection. In my mind's eye, I push my hands inside her collar – inside her safety, inside any barrier. In my mind's eye, my tongue captures any sweat and remembers the shape of her mouth. In my mind's eye, my fingertips follow the planes of her hips and stomach like faithful map markers. In my mind's eye, she laughs into my ear and I run my teeth down her body. In my mind's eye, I stop following the trail and blaze ahead with instinct. In my mind's eye, she burns something into me that I couldn't find before – something that keeps a living coal inside.

If I looked over my shoulder, would she be gone? I test her, I pluck wildflowers, I trail them behind me. When she laughs, it pours over me in the twilight – it is balm to my questions and all I have to do is smile. Her footsteps thrill me, comfort me. Her presence spurs me, feeds me. If I take her, she takes me. If I conquer, she builds a rebellion. My teeth free my lip and I tremble.

The footsteps stop.
I turn around with the crickets singing in the dusk.

She stands, calm and waiting, with her arms up in front of her. Her hands are cupped, cradling. I move to her, my head only slightly tilted. We're both smiling – I'm curious, she's expectant. Patient. My sandals crack a twig, and I hear a bird fly away – flushed from its observational hiding place. What does she have for me? Kiss her or peek?

I come abreast to her, and my breathing matches hers. One finger, just one finger. I lift it, slide it down in between the valley that her hands make. She laughs at me, and my fingers brush tiny pieces of silk. Petals.

I laugh back at her, plucking one up from the warmth of her palm. I hold its delicate violet next to her cheek, next to her eyes, tuck it behind her ear. I scoop up the flowers from her hands – she pours them into mine. I can feel the crush of their petals and the elegance of their fragrance, all over our hands and blending into her skin. I can't stop now, and she won't stop me. Heedless of the blossoms and their trailing scent I kiss her, I part her mouth with my own greed. I feel my teeth, just barely, on her lips and then harder. I cannot pretend to be a tender bloom, I cannot pretend to gentleness – she doesn't want it from me. Just here, in the end of the daylight, as I covet her hands on me and her skin soft and her lips rough.

Is she smiling?

“Are you smiling?” she gasps, laughing.

Is she watching me?

“Are your eyes open?” as her tongue touches the hollow of my throat and I stifle a whimper.

“Yes,” she promises.

“Yes,” I breathe, as we grapple with clothes and unnecessaries and the blessedly soft ground.

In my mind's eye, I want to keep her.

It's only as I pull my hair free, and her belt away, that I allow my words to tumble over her. That I want to spill over her, and over.

“Will you be my wildflower?”

And then she takes me into the night.
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Old 04-15-2014, 11:19 PM   #6
havinfun50
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Reflections on a Seasonal Ditty

The seasons are changing, Oh no,
I just got used to the one with snow,
Although I’m happy to see the green trees,
I just bought a pair of brand new skis.

I know, it's a simple silly little ditty that a young mind filled with the illusions of life, love and hope created. They were simpler times. Well, to be fair they really weren't, but they certainly seem that way. Back then, wondering if Julie would say “Yes” if you asked her to the Spring Dance, was the beginning and end of the worst stress ever endured by any person, ever, in the history of the world.

Back then there was no real stress, not like stress is understood now. Not like the crushing pressures that are faced every day knowing that your decisions affect not only you, but the handful of lives and livings that you are directly responsible for in one way or another.

Back then, spring was the end of a season of endless days and nights on a ski slope, and spring was the beginning of Baseball. Back then spring was a short window opening into summer, and all of the mayhem that season brought, in what some could call a misspent youth.

Today, spring is chores to be completed after the snows had been shoveled. Spring is hours of backbreaking labor pruning, mulching and cleaning up. Spring is the season that reminds you that the knees you had when you spent hour after hour on the slopes, fields and beaches of youth are not the knees you have now.

But this year is a little different. This year, there is a seed of welcome to spring’s arrival. This year, there is a feeling that a rebirth could be returning in many different ways. This year, spring isn’t ‘Julie’ in a pink dress. This year spring, is teasing awake a field of emotions that have lain dormant over a very long winter.

The work is still there, the lifting, hauling and cutting. The daily sisyphean tasks that must be completed remain, but this year the weight seems a little lighter. This year, you are truly happy to see the green trees. This year, you don’t regret buying those skis.
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Old 04-27-2014, 08:48 PM   #7
marauder13
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Dreams

Sandy sat on the top step to the front porch, her small tin lunchbox sitting at her side, wearing what her mother would have called her Sunday Best. As a child, she would sit on the same spot, watching and waiting for her Prince Charming to come and take her away to the better life she knew awaited her. Ever since her mamma had told her the tale of sleeping beauty, Sandy waited patiently just about every day for him to turn up.

But the young woman sat with a bouquet of pink roses in her lap. Her mamma had smiled with tears in her eyes as her 'little girl' made ready. Everything was packed and in suitcases behind her. Everything in her entire life that had value to her was in one of those bags.

In the distance, the faint rumble of the pickup truck grew louder, along with the pace of her heart. The excitement drowned out her doubts and light sorrows about leaving her mamma alone like she was. But mamma knew that day would come, and she would move on with the pride of all successful parents who see their children start to live their own lives.

Off white, lightly covered with a layer of dirt and dust, her 'carriage' arrived at the end of the driveway. Sandy's breath caught a little in her throat as Richard stepped out. Just a little taller than she was, carrying a little more weight than he needed, what he lacked in physical looks he made up with in personality. He was the first man to actually talk to her, and more importantly, listen to her. he made her feel special, and was always polite. She never knew when it actually happened, but one day he had won her heart. When she knew, she also knew she had won his.

Sandy stood up, her smile radiant as he approached her, leaving a tender kiss on her lips as he went to gather her suitcases and load them into the back of the truck. Her gaze never left him as he moved from where the cases waited to the back of his truck. He was not the most handsome man in the world, but in her eyes, there was no one who looked better.

With the last suitcase placed in the back of the truck, Sandy bent down to pick up the tin lunch box. Unlike every other time, it was not full of food. That time, it was full of letters, small gifts and little tokens of their time together leading up to that moment.

Sandy laughed joyfully as Richard scooped her into his arms. She felt the muscles labour to hold her up, and she felt the tremble of the effort Richard was putting in as he made his way purposely to the passenger side of the truck. He had opened the door partially on one of his earlier trips, and with some fumbled effort, he opened the door and placed Sandy in with an audible grunt of relief.

Sandy looked back to the place where for many years she sat waiting for this moment. Not once did she imagine the reality of that moment. Her Prince Charming was unearthly handsome, riding a steed that was the God of Horses and she would be taken away to a magnificent castle. But the reality was different yet so similar. Her Prince was charming, they loved each other deeply, and they were going to live happily ever after, for the most part. So he wasn't as handsome as in her dreams, he drove a truck rather than rode a horse and his castle was a small house in town.

None of that mattered, because her dream came true. She was going to be Richard's Princess, just as Richard was going to be her Prince.
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