CW: A Girl from the Apple Orchard. (1/12)

Sometime last year, when I wrote yet another part to a story inspired by the BlogBattle (BB) prompt, I got to thinking.

“What if, in response to those prompts, I was to write 12 CW pieces that, when combined, would create a single story?”

This is not an original idea. Some of the other participants did that last year. Admittedly, I do not know whether they were happy with their choices or if they regretted them, but that is a risk I am willing to take. Last year I did not participate in all of the prompts, which I plan to change this year. Of course, plenty of things can happen in the meantime, but I shall try. With the goal being: 12 prompts, 12 chapters, 1 story, it serves as great motivator.

To sum it up, the idea is to write one chapter every month (the first half of the month, to be precise), and pray that they all create a cohesive storyline by the end of the year. I invite you to join me on this journey! Who knows, maybe we will have some sort of a contest by the end of the year with prizes and stuff. If you want to join my challenge, you can always wait for me to post my response and the monthly prompt, or follow the prompts live directly at BBPrompts.

***

On a Spring Saturday morning, Laura sat at her desk, gazing out the window into the garden. The apple tree branches swayed gently to the rhythm of a light breeze. Even though the sun was shining and the sky was blue, there was still a hint of winter in the cool April air. It danced through the cracked open window and around Laura as if casting a spell on her.

She didn’t feel the chill, and her stare was blank. Although to an outside observer it appeared as if she was staring at something right in front of her, the truth was that her mind was focused on something totally different, miles and miles away from her backyard.

A sudden gust of wind smacked the window shut, snapping Laura back to reality. Jumping up in her seat, she quickly turned around in her office chair to see if there was someone standing in the doorway.

There was no one at the entrance to the room, and the house was silent.

How much time had passed?” Laura glanced at the clock. 2.14 P.M. “Could he be back already?” she pondered, her heart beating faster. “Or am I about to get murdered?” ran through Laura’s mind, who inched towards the exit of the room.

False alarm,” Laura exhaled after finding nothing out of the ordinary in the other rooms of the house.

Having returned to her room, with relief, Laura realized that the previously open window was now closed and that the loud noise that scared her just a moment ago was no omen of impending doom. She laughed at her jumpiness, secured the window shut, and looked down at her desk. A blank sheet of paper lay in front of her. It was copy paper, devoid of any stationery-like design or even lines, which made it look more serious. The occasion called for serious.

During the week, as Laura browsed through her writing supplies, she found all sorts of loose pieces of paper – ruled, dotted, with balloons, dogs, cats, flowers, and more. She told Roy she had been trying to get organized before embarking on a journey of writing her next book. Laura scoffed at those who scribbled their ideas on paper napkins. After all, every writer knows how the pages you write on have to be as perfect as the words you write on them.

Roy was in his late 30s, four years older than Laura. They met at a company Christmas party six years ago and had been together ever since. Roy was out of the house, as per usual, on a Saturday.

“I hope you have a fruitful day, Darling,” he said, kissing her ‘Goodbye’ before leaving that day.

He thought she would be writing the first chapters of her new book. What he did not know was that she had planned on writing the last one, instead.

I can’t just leave without saying anything. He deserves an explanation,” Laura thought to herself as she put pen to paper. “THEY deserve an explanation,” she corrected herself as she leaned back in her chair.

The moment the pen touched the sheet, a black dot appeared on an otherwise unblemished parchment. Laura stared at it for a moment before convicting it of being imperfect and then sentencing it to death by crumpling. She formed a ball and tossed it into the bin underneath the desk. The imperfect page bounced off of the rim and landed on the floor, next to a few other paper balls. Laura sighed, wondering if she should have used the stationery with colorful balloons around its edges after all. Then, the pressure for absolute perfection might have been less crippling.

***

Roy returned home around 4 P.M., just in time to prepare dinner.

“Honey, I’m home,” he shouted the moment he entered the house. Laura looked at the scribbles in front of her. The sentences were erratic, crossed out words and doodles of nothingness adorned the page. Having made no real progress, Laura was furious with herself. But there was no time to cry over spilled milk. It was time to put on a smile and greet your husband. She grabbed the piece of paper she had been working on an entire day, and shoved it in one of the desk drawers, underneath a notebook.

“So, how did it go?” Roy asked the moment Laura entered the kitchen. He was unloading the groceries from a paper bag.

“Let’s not talk about it,” Laura shook her head and then opened the fridge. “Here, hand them over,” she said, motioning at the milk, eggs, and yogurt that sat on the kitchen counter.

“Was it the writer’s block? It’s alright. I’m sure that next time you will write that much more.” Roy put the pantry items away and then neatly folded the paper bag.

“Uhum. I’m sure you’re right.”

***

“Write a story inspired by the word ‘blank.'”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: BlogBattle]

***

P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!

Stay golden,

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***

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Stay golden,

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***

Did you enjoy reading this post?
Hit LIKE.
Have some thoughts on the topic?
Share in the COMMENTS.
Do you regularly enjoy my blog?
Be sure to FOLLOW.
Are my posts getting lost in your busy Reader?
Try SUBSCRIBING.
Want to get to know me better?
Check me out on TWITTER @SamGoldieKirk.

65 thoughts on “CW: A Girl from the Apple Orchard. (1/12)

Add yours

  1. Interesting idea love it… I have a similar work in progress well not exactly but somewhere along the line I realised all the “short” stories I have written are somewhat set in the same “world” so I am going through all of them and figuring out how to start connecting the dots so they all become one epic story and have everyone how I managed such an intricate story hahahaha

    I totally relate to the anguish for perfection I have a writing pad an old birthday gift which I havent written in because I cant find the perfect thing to write in it

    ~B

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Reading this short story/prompt got me to think if this destresses this person out maybe that’s why writing for fun in my spare time destresses me. I do think there something to it. Even a short story or prompt can destress a person and it works.
    Thanks for your short story/prompt

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Interesting idea, what with the twelve interlacing stories. And as for this one, I know the feeling, being afraid to disturb the perfection of a blank page. Especially when you know what you’re writing ought to reflect its importance, but you can’t quite get there.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Intriguing, leaves you wanting to know more. Twelve stories will be a challenge to interleave. Love it when stories have interwoven characters, some of them minor or incidental in each others’ lives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You said it so well. I like figuring out whether a character will have a bigger or smaller role to play in the future.

      It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but I am excited to give it a try! Have you ever done anything like that?

      Like

  5. I’d call this a great start to your new endeavor! An intriguing groundwork has been laid here: The details raise questions we want to find answers to. Laura’s obsession with perfection is obviously at play in her ‘decision’ to leave Roy (and whoever all of THEY are), but what exactly is motivating her? Roy seems like a great guy in this intro, but is there a darker side we’ll discover? Looking forward to finding the answers to these and other questions. Excellent start!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A great start of something, Sam. I look forward to reading the chapters that follow! I tried a similar idea last year, but it fell apart halfway through. I hope you have better luck! One little thing that I picked up on was the overuse of adverbs — the worst offender being: ““How much time had passed?” Laura glanced quickly at the clock. 2.14 P.M. “Could he be back already?” she pondered nervously, her heart beating faster. “Or am I about to get murdered?” ran through Laura’s mind, who carefully inched towards the exit of the room.” It would be much stronger if you took out ‘quickly’ and ‘nervously’ and so on. By themselves, they’re not too bad, but when clustered together, they stick out! As King said, “The road to hell is paved with adverbs.” Didn’t stop the story from being enjoyable, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Also, I’m very aware of things not working out with the “series.” I’m worried I will reveal too little or too much before the end, and or that I will run out of ideas. Hopefully, it will just work out perfectly. LOL

      Why do you think your attempt fell apart? (Oh, yes, I also worry about outside factors like lack of time, etc.)

      Like

      1. I’m not sure — probably multiple factors. I think I didn’t plan ahead enough, then wrote myself into a corner. I also got a bit bored with the same old stuff, and wanted to get some fresh air — back to the one-off short stories. I think the big thing is to have fun with it and to not worry about the end thing!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I can totally see me having the same issues/experience. Someone else told me in the comments to plan the story ahead of time. It sounds like great advice, but I see this as somewhat limiting myself. Do I go the reasonable route or the spontaneous one? And 12 chapters of the same random story is frightening. I will try to combine the two approaches and hope for the best.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Well, you’re off to a moving start. I hope the other installments work out. You might up your odds of success by coming up with a rough outline of how you want your story to go now, and then fit the prompt words and episodes into that. It’s a lot easier than trying to reverse engineer a story at the end. Your mileage may vary, of course, just a thought I had. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Talk about Uber optimism…part 1/12. I call that proper predetermination. I so got the staring into space part at the start. Here’s my writing ready to go…then time slips in that staring into realm and hours flood by. Still, prevents blemishing the pages with gibberish. Mind you, when I am writing the word zones out too. Except words appear then and zoning back into reality takes a while.

    I digress. Intriguing start. Can’t leave without saying something is ominous…not to mention the use of “them.” Of course “him” or “them” might have nothing to do with grocery Roy. It could be characters real or imagined, a lover, a toxic friend base, house ghosts or all manner of oddities. Even if the obvious one is Roy… although he’s singular…unless he has schizophrenic tendencies in which case it may satisfy “them.”

    I also write off the cuff too. If King does it then who am I to argue ha ha

    Great start Sam!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I absolutely loved this story—looking forward to the next chapter. Twelve stories for the whole of 2021 sounds like a great idea and challenge. I hope you manage to pull it off. I don’t know if I can write twelve cohesive chapters on the go like you want to. (I think pansters can achieve this more easily than plotters, like me.) But I love the idea of one story every month so much that I’m willing to give it a try next month and beyond. Though I’m know the stories won’t be related in any way.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. “After all, every writer knows how the pages you write on have to be as perfect as the words you write on them.” And I’d say vice versa! 😀 To damage the beauty of a beautiful blank page is words less than deserved is a travesty of writing. But really, I agree with everyone that you’re off to a great start here, and I’m confident you’ll be able to pull off this 12 chapter 2021 story. It’ll be so fun to see how the prompt words inspire circumstances that arise in the chapters. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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