He wrote, she wrote.

Category: she wrote

The Next Level (She Wrote, Week 6)

by Christine Hawks

For at least the third time that morning, I reminded myself of why I was out in this asphalt desert plastering flyers to windshields already pre-heated from summer’s extended morning sun.  Old-timers say that you wear summer in the south.  I now understood what they meant.  I adjusted my brother’s ball cap I’d borrowed and felt a few tendrils of my sweaty hair attempt to escape from underneath.  Hastily, I pushed them back up under the hat and decided that now was a good time to rehydrate.

I made my way back to the mall and entered into the food court.  My best friend, Connor, worked at the Diary Queen and was at the register today. Thankfully, I didn’t have to apologize for my appearance or give any details about why I was at the mall looking like that.  On a Sunday morning, the mall was definitely not the place to see and be seen.

“Hey, Ellie!  How’s it going?” Connor was full of his usual brand of morning chipper.

“Hey, Connor!  Same as you, I suppose.  Working through another weekend.”

“I take it that it’s break time?  What kind of cool and wet can I get you?”

Though tempted by the thought of my favorite Blizzard or even a brain-freeze inducing shake,    I was committed to the responsible choice. “Just a water with lots of ice and a to-go cup, please.”  I dug into my jean shorts pocket for the $.25 to pay for the cup.

Connor waived the change away.  “Every little bit counts, right?  Just don’t tell anybody,” he winked. “You’ll owe me a ride to school when you finally buy that car.”

“Fair enough,” I grinned.  “Thanks!”

I took a seat on a bench in the shade outside the food court entrance to savor a few sips before finishing up with the last stack of flyers.  I picked up one of the flyers, noting that it was printed in color.  Someone had spent more money than the norm.  I scanned the ad.  It was a call for video game testers.  Paid video game testers.

I weighed the potential opportunity in my mind.  It probably paid at least as much as papering car windshields.  And, it would be air conditioned.  But, I knew nothing about video games.  My little brother, on the other hand, was probably just the right type.  He had done odd jobs for neighbors, finally earning enough to buy his Xbox after a year and a half of saving. Between school, homework and filling every other available hour with trying to earn money to buy my own car, I never had the time to spend with him in front of the TV.   I likely wasn’t who they were looking for, but, still, how hard could it be? Read the rest of this entry »

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Here Kitty, Kitty (She Wrote, Week 5)

by Christine Hawks

She kept a firm grip on the warm, now lifeless body of her victim while digging what would serve as its final resting place.  The hole wasn’t very deep, but should sufficiently cover the remains, hiding what she had done.  Time was of the essence and if she didn’t finish soon, she knew she would be discovered.  She tossed the carcass in the slash in the ground she’d just made and then hastily covered the body with loose dirt and leaves.  Just then, she heard her name being called and hustled up to the porch.  Momma greeted her, as usual, so she allowed herself to relax a little.  Momma hadn’t seen what she had done.

Contrary to how it might appear, she was not a killer.  Stalking her prey was innate, though truth be told, it was just a game for her; one in which she was always the victor.  Well, almost always.  One summer evening, her keen eyes spotted a flick of a tail in the darkness.  She sprinted in that direction and when she was upon it, her victim had already expired.  Puzzled, she nudged it, trying to coax life back into the creature.  By that time, Daddy had come up beside her and saw what she had done.  She fixed her eyes on his, pleading with him to understand that she didn’t kill it.  She found it this way.  Daddy gently patted her head and led her back to the house.

She watched as he retrieved a shovel to bury the body.  She saw him approach the corpse and then stop and look around, shining his flashlight in all directions.  With each sweep of the beam of light, she peered into the briefly illuminated darkness, searching for the body.  It was gone!  Read the rest of this entry »

Ticket to Ride (She Wrote, Week 4)

by Christine Hawks

As David, who always beats me to publishing, mentioned earlier, this week we added a twist to our usual challenge.  Still two short stories, still using prompts to build our tales, but this week, we participated in Chuck Wendig’s Flash Fiction Challenge over at terribleminds.com.  Out of a list of 10 possible random items, contenders pick 4 to feature in their short story of about 1,000 words.  Ironically, David and I both picked the same 4 items – the unopened envelope, the rocking chair, the horseshoe and the child’s toy.  Really!  We did not plan that and, as usual, neither of us knew what the other was writing about until the big reveal here.  Great minds…?  Polls will be opened shortly and new prompts selected on Sunday.

He thrust he walker out in front of him, then shuffled his feet two steps to catch up with the contraption before repeating the awkward two-step all over again.  The going wasn’t easy; not only due to his handicap, but also because Sam Daily was traveling on a subtle incline of packed dirt that was his driveway. He made the quarter mile round-trip six days a week to retrieve the mail delivered at the intersection of his driveway and the farm road.  Though the exertion left him needing a nap most days, he was grateful that he was still able to get around on his own two legs, even if it was a struggle. He knew that one day he’d require full-time use of the Gator that he reserved for days when the driveway was mired in mud or covered in snow.

When he had reached his destination, Sam noted that the stray mutt he’d befriended was already waiting there, as usual.  He reached into his trousers and pulled out a few liver treats for the dog.  Despite his apparent homelessness, the dog was always respectful in taking whatever Sam offered him.  Sam reached down to scratch behind the dog’s floppy ear and predictably, after his snack and some attention, the dog continued up the road.  “Same time tomorrow, old boy!”

Sam, now recovered from his journey to the mailbox reached in and retrieved the day’s delivery.  He flipped through, though he already knew what to expect: the current issue of The Farm Journal, the sales circular for the local co-op grocery and the utility bill.  But, there was an addition today that he didn’t expect.  The envelope, addressed to him was accompanied by a return address from the American Planetary Tourism Board.

“What the hell?” he asked, aloud. Read the rest of this entry »

A Hairy Tale for Grown-Ups (She Wrote, Week 2)

by Christine Hawks

He checked his reflection once more in the mirrored panel of the elevator as the floor indicator moved upward towards his destination.  He pushed a stubborn dark curl, back into place.  “Perfect”, he said with a wink to his reflection just as the “ding” of the elevator signaled his arrival at floor 33 1/2.  He took a deep breath before stepping out of the elevator.

“You can still back out of this,” he thought to himself.  “No one has seen you, yet.  Just turn right back around and head out of here.”  He shook his head, dislodging that curl he had moved back into place.  “No,” he chastised.  “The truth must be told.”

With one smooth glide of his hand, the curl was back in place and he strode into the double glass doors of MFGN – Entertainment News Division.  He approached the cluttered receptionist’s desk.  Amongst the reams of paper strewn about, he spotted a name plate indicating that this desk belonged to, “Agatha”.  As he cleared his throat to announce his presence, up she popped from whatever she had been busy with under her desk.

Flustered, she asked, “And, just who might you be?” Read the rest of this entry »

The Road to Ordinary (She Wrote, Week 1)

by Christine Hawks

I bid my farewell to I-40 after 3 days, 7 states and nearly 2,000 miles.  Life, as I had known it, was making a gradual retreat, disappearing into the horizon like the dashed yellow lines of the highway in my cracked rearview mirror.  A fresh start lay somewhere ahead, I thought, as I passed the sign proclaiming I had entered the Golden State.  And, with miles of the Mojave Desert bathed in the glow of a late August sunset, California appeared every bit as golden as its motto promised.

With road weariness settling in like the prolonged summer dusk and nothing but unwaveringly straight highway ahead, my thoughts drifted.  I had never aspired to fame or fortune.  Both states brought with them more trouble than I imagined either of them could be worth.  Fate would cruelly award me with both conditions and then as a final insult, infamous would be added to my list of unwanted attributes.  I needed to shed my former self, bury my history and fashion a “do over”, as I envisioned how my life should have been. Read the rest of this entry »