I had some short stories, poems and photographs to share ... and so here I am

Writing Challenge

I do love a nice little creative writing challenge, especially when it involves a gorgeous image. Jason over at The Clarity Of Night is running a flash fiction contest. He gave us the above photo as inspiration for a piece of no more than 250 words. Here's what I came up with:

This Lonely Hour

I suddenly notice how tightly my hands grip the wheel, and how my foot feels as if it might actually push through and touch the road. My body and mind are saying, ‘How could you be so dumb again?’

The word then changes to numb. That’s what I feel as the wind comes in through the windows and tries to cleanse me on my long journey home.

My body and mind don’t understand the hope I refuse to let go of, that some day I might not have to drive home through the pain of these red early mornings, the remains of nights cut open and left to bleed.

It’s often my own fault. Hell, the one last night even told me before we left the bar that I shouldn’t expect breakfast. I asked if I had to go before his kids got up. Before his wife returned. He stopped laughing.

I did end up slipping out before he stirred, to avoid any painful silences.

So, exactly how many times have I driven home at this lonely hour, having failed to actually pass over into someone else’s daytime? As always, I tell myself it’s over. Never again. No matter how charming. No matter how much I see in the eyes.

But later, after sleep has repaired me, I know there will no doubt be more red dawns. After all, it’s the heart that’s carrying all this hope, that’s leading me in all of this.


Do go and check out all the other great entries over at Jason's site. I've entered some of his contests before and find them great fun.

By the way, I'm also working on a project that Minx has come up with: she's asking for some fairytales, no more than 900 words. Ouch! I've never written a fairytale before. But I'm going to have a go.

I'm also working on another short story that I've had in my head for a few years, and then there's that book that's appealing for attention! Tap tap tap is all I can say, especially now it's getting colder outside!


Vesper said...

Good story, Seamus, I like it.
"the remains of the nights cut open and left to bleed" - what a strong image.

Shameless Words said...

Thanks, Vesper, I love writing pieces based on images! :-)

Vesper said...

I've tagged you for Seven Random Things.(I hope you don't mind!) :-)

Anonymous said...

Seamus, how bittersweet. I agree with Vesper. That description is so vivid and apt. Wonderful piece. You need to write that book :)

Anonymous said...

this was one of my favs, Seamus! well-written indeed!

i've just tagged you for a meme. no obligations. :)

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

That is incredible!
I just had to read it twice!

Very nice work! Best of luck.

Scarlett & Viaggiatore

S. Kearney said...

Hi Vesper,
Thanks, I will check out the meme. :-)

Thanks. I have six days off work now - after awful nightshifts! - and I've promised myself time to take my new novel forward. I'm really keen to get into it. :-)

Thank you for your kind words. Another meme? Wow, these are coming out of our ears!

Thank you. You've made my day! I'm in amongst a list of really good stuff. It was fun to have a challenge to hone the restless mind. :-)

Kay Cooke said...

This is a superb piece of writing Seamus. Well done.

S. Kearney said...

Thanks CB. I wanted this to be a longer piece ... except I was being held down by the 250 word limit. :-)

Abhinav said...

Just in case I forgot to tell you at Jason's site, this a very well-crafted story. It captures anguish imperceptibly but perfectly... And yes it could have been done better without the 250-word limit. But then you can always do that. Would love to read a longer version in case you decide to write one...

S. Kearney said...

Hi Abhinav, and welcome! Thanks for your kind words. Maybe one day I will do a longer version of this ... there was something I liked about the tension and dynamics of this situation! :-) I look forward to checking out your blog this weekend. :-) Feel free to call by again.