Apr 16, 2014

Weekly Wednesday Writing Challenge 4.16.14

Set your timer to 10 minutes and start writing. Your opening sentence or the start for your piece should be

"Something seemed amiss..."

Remember you can write in any style or format. When you are finished cut and paste your 10 min piece in the comment thread below OR put a link to your own blog or area where you write online.


  1. Anonymous9:51:00 PM

    Something seemed amiss.
    Lately, something always seemed amiss.
    And lately she spent more and more
    time checking that the clock was wound
    and the table cleared and the dishes dried,
    and that under none of the ornaments and vases
    was lurking a rift in the fabric of space and time.

    Something seemed amiss.
    Time was out of joint.
    These days even leaving the house
    took days, and when she did,
    people stared, like she had
    gone to the right place,
    but years too soon.

    Something seemed amiss.
    The distances were all wrong.
    It had never been so far,
    before, from bed to bedroom door,
    or from stair to stair such a precipice.
    Everything broke so easily,
    and its shards lay everywhere.

  2. Something seemed amiss. The tingling at the back of her throat and the warmth rising in her ears had become signs that Anika new she should not ignore. She hesitated halfway between here and there, knowing she had to take the next step but not sure how to do it. She bit her bottom lip and then readjusted the black pack hanging loosely at her side, pulling it closer to her body. She slowly moved her body so one eye could peer around the corner of the wooden wall. Ahead of her she could see them. Stainless fridges against a start white wall a contrast to the wooden stairs and hallway she had just come from. Four huge doors with combination locks - looking more like bank vaults than cold cases. Each of these silver monoliths would contain hundreds of bulbs- some mundane but most so rare that the sale of one of them would pay her rent for, well... she was not sure how long. She only had the combination to one of them but then again that was all she needed. The bulb she was after was extraordinary the silver tulip. By now her client's obsession had become her own. She had dreamed of the tall slender green stalks and the never before seen silver-grey petals with black and yellow stamen. Not yet seen by the general public as only three plants and perhaps four bulbs exist on the planet. She was about to steal this one- stored behind one of these cold steel doors. She had been planning for this for weeks, and the run through had gone perfectly. But now that she was here something felt different, out of place. Something had definitely changed since last week when she finished her reconnaissance.

  3. "Something seemed amiss...", an odd name, that one. But nothing said 'try me' more than an odd name. Or at least, that is how Beatrice's luck rolled it. She flicked the bottle with a wavy, yellow nail, the only memoir of her latest spat with Per.

    The glass rang with dull, satisfying reverb; dust fell from her diseased finger. Inside, the liquid tossed and bubbled, and finally stilled. Both spectacles were for her and her alone. The craziness of the LCBO around her was epic in its Christmasness: bottles literally flying from hand to hand, while salty, hundreds snowy boots and shoes squeaked on the linoleum, frantic.

    The wine section was almost gone. Even the piss Molson section showed the farthest white stocking walls.

    _It's like they're robbing the place_ thought Beatrice as the liquid in "Something seemed amiss..." settled. She glanced over her shoulder at the queue, a the shoe mud now spattering the walls, at the hateful eyes of the clerks, their funny Santa hats, and the grey, misty outside. _This place really needs Christmas, it does. Really._ she thought as he tucked the bottle under her overbig parka and shuffled to the exit.

    1. I feel thrown into some sort of intriguing chaos.

  4. Something seemed amiss around me.

    I noticed that while having a breakfast at my kitchen table; the chair, table, TV set, taste of cereals, which I supposed to eat every morning, and even the face of my cat…everything seemed to have become stranger over a night. My cat, being remembered by the name of Thomas, appeared from the shadow of the sink and found himself a place on the corner of the table, next to the box of cereals. He was much bigger than I remembered from the last night, but I gave him a good morning greeting anyway. “Good morning, Thomas. You have grown up a lot for a night. What’s going on with you?” In a minute, I realized that my voice sounded so much higher and younger from yesterday. Now that I looked at my legs and realized that my legs are shorter than the legs of chair I was sitting. “I didn’t grow, you just got smaller, that’s all,” said Thomas.

    1. I like this one! feels like a fairy tale!

  5. Something seemed amiss among the commoners. Thomas Garrett Ward observed from the front porch of the town's alehouse, cup in one hand, pistol in the other under the flap of his coat. He expected them to go about their daily business without intervention, that was after all what he was there for. And most of them did - put out their washed linens, empty chamberpots into the streets with short warning cries followed by splashing sounds and clouds of questionable smells drifting over to where Thomas stood. The manufacturers loaded the wagons with brushes, buttons, spoons they had made that night and set for the market. The children played tag in the mud, their legs splattered with dirt up to their knees. The mayor took his obligatory morning strut, followed by his right-hand-man, who was just called "the Snail" by the townsfolk. Thomas couldn't hear what he was saying, but imagined to see him leaving a trail of slime on the woodwalk, scurrying around the mayor's coattail. Everything was as it should be, and yet -
    he could not shake the feeling that something was out of place, someone was out of place, doing things they had no business doing. He adjusted his tricorn, then drained his ale, looking over the rim of the cup with narrowed eyes. He set the cup down on the balustrade and tightened the grip on his pistol. Better to be safe than sorry.
    A second later, a gunshot tore through the morning clamour. Thomas Garrett Ward was never wrong.

    1. I think the last part is especially strong! and I want to know what happens next.

  6. Anonymous3:15:00 PM

    (Took the prompt as more "something IS amiss")

    I gaze out the window and watch the rain pour down hard outside, blurring everything into a single shade of dreary gray. It seems never-ending, once it starts. I remember the last time I was caught in the rain. I thought I was going to drown in it. It made me cold. Made me numb. I hate the rain.

    “Rachel, did you hear me?”

    I turn from the window to look at the back of Mom’s head. “Sorry, what?” I say.

    Mom peers at me through the rear view mirror. “Are you all right?”

    “Apparently not,” I mutter. “Why else would you be taking me to a ‘Dr. Wilson’?” Mom didn’t tell me where we were going until we were already on the road. I suppose I could have jumped out of the car, but it had already started to rain.

    “I’m just worried about you, dear. You said yourself you weren’t feeling well.”

    “Not feeling well and being mentally messed up are two different things,” I snap.

    “No one’s saying you’re ‘mentally messed up’,” replies Mom. “But you’ve been staying home from school for weeks, Rachel. And you can call me stupid but I find that worrisome, dear.”

    “Yeah, you’re right, Mom.” I glare at her blue eyes through the mirror. “You ARE stupid.” I turn my eyes back to the window. I hear Mom sigh, and I imagine her shaking her head. For a long moment, the only sounds that can be heard are those of the pelting rain.

    Mom clears her throat. “I know I’ve already said this before,” she says, “but if you’re having problems at school you can always-”

    “No,” I say firmly. “For the last time, Mom, there’s nothing wrong with school. I’m going to go back once I feel better.”

    “I’m just trying to say it’s an option if you choose to take it. We can work it out.”

    I grit my teeth, but say nothing.

  7. Something Seemed Amiss
    It was a light blue envelope of tissue-thin paper edged in the familiar red and blue banding and imprinted with correo aereo lettering on its right side. The cramped handwriting was unknown to me. It held within it, I hoped, my entry into a greater world. This would be my gateway to getting my first true passport; that beautifully sober navy blue booklet that would open my life in ways beyond my book-bound world. I unfolded this precious document promising freedom and read it carefully. I read it again and then again unable to believe what was written. What I held before me was the birth certificate of a stranger. I knew I was just a memory to those still living on the island, but was I so easily forgotten that they couldn’t even get my name correct? This certificate was for someone named Luz Celenia De Jesús whose name traveled softly over my tongue and glided gently from one sound to the other. My name was Lucy De Jesus (yes, Lucy Duh JEEzus) which always caught in my throat as it lurched its way out.
    I was Lucy De Jesus, and though I hated that name for as long as I had heard it, I was resigned to being whomever that name had made me. I rushed to my mother and sadly told her of the mistake. She shrugged her shoulders and smiled indulgently as she checked the certificate. “That is you, Lucy. That is your real name, querida” , she said. My real name was Luz Celenia De Jesús. Lucy was just a nickname, an endearment that everyone called me and it was what Puerto Ricans commonly did. “But why”, I asked, “ did you never tell me my real name? Do you have any idea how much I’ve hated being someone called Lucy. Did you not know how I wished I were anyone else every time someone called me by that name?”
    My family had no idea of how confused I felt to find that I had lived 17 years without knowing who I really was. They had no idea how much faith my 17-year-old self had lost in them. How the name they thought affectionate had made me shrink and become less with each use. It had shaped me in ways they would never know. Even as I felt a sense of betrayal, I felt my spirit lightening as I shed the person they knew and it began to fill the wonderful space this new name had created. With all due respect, Mr. Shakespeare, but “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” never quite resonated with me.