CW: Golden Shovel and Bloody Fingers.

Yet another twofer! Two prompts, two responses. If we are all lucky enough, next week’s CW might include three prompts. (It does not necessarily mean that there will be three separate pieces, but it might.)

‘There’s no time,’
she says.
I reply and just walk on by.
Because what is more important than the
things I want? Then – a gong.
‘What was that?’ I ask of
her. ‘You’re out of time.
I tried to warn you.’
‘But I want to liiiiiiiiiive!’

The above piece was penned in response to a new challenge – called ‘Get Your Golden Shovel’ – that Monty decided to run throughout February. ‘A Golden Shovel?’ It only took me about two seconds to decide that it sounds… well golden, and that I should give it a try. You can read more about the challenge on his blog, but the bottom line is to use every word (in order) from a quote he provides as the last word in each line of your poem. This week’s prompt:

“Time says hush. By the gong of time you live.”

“The Gong of Time” by Carl Sandburg (Honey and Salt)


In disgust, Anne looked at her bloodied fingers, wondering what her parents would say. She recalled the days when they would scold her for biting her nails when she got worried. In a way, she missed it.

The sheer recollection of her being nervous made her anxious, and so her fingers met her teeth again. No one seemed to understand that it helped her think. It helped her focus, and she needed to focus then more than ever.

She had to figure out what to do with Janet who lay in front of her in a pool of blood.


“In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story that includes anxiety. “
– prompt used for this CW piece.
[Source: Carrot Ranch]


P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use these prompts 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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42 thoughts on “CW: Golden Shovel and Bloody Fingers.

Add yours

  1. Both little pieces of brilliance. The poem reminded me of the Sandman graphic novels by Neal Gaiman where the female is death, who comes to claim the living when their time is up. I love the style you’ve used for this poem.
    The short story is another example of just how much story you can pack into very few words, where the reader fills the gaps with their imagination and expands the story outwards into something much bigger. You’ve been on a real roll this year so far!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The poem was fun. Then I read the prompt: I’m fully impressed. To start a line with a word is one thing, to end it seems like a much bigger challenge: very well done 😊

    Janets. They’re always a problem – what’re you gonna do? 😅 I loved the tone here. So matter of fact, and introspective. Dead Janet was a surprise. Nicely done, again.

    I get emails about your posts, so I knew the title before I opened the post. I tried to figure out what the CW would be. I was far too literal, picturing severed fingers in a hole. Though that is one of Janet’s options…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I don’t feel comfortable with poetry at all. However, I was quite pleased with my pieces many years back. So, whenever I get a viable chance, I give it a try.

      Oh, so you have a Janet story or two?

      Whenever I post more than a single piece in a post, I struggle with titling it. The pieces don’t always have something in common, but this time around, I figured it just might work and give a hint but not spoil everything.


  3. Cool!!!! I re-read the poem looking at the last words. That must have been quite a challenge! And I liked the story. Yes, that would cause anxiety. But CSI would discover the nail bits and the blood and get the DNA that would place her at the scene.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A super twofer, Goldie!

    … oh, you know me, I can stop myself offering ‘suggestions’…

    On the gong

    Because what is more important than the
    things I want? A gong.

    I stumbled there, as I wondered why you’d want a gong. If it were me, I’d want to add something to make it clearer; perhaps:

    Because what is more important than the
    things I want? Then: a gong.

    On the white space

    Nice use of colour to distinguish between the two pieces. But I found the white space between the paragraphs distracting. If it were me, I’d be tempted to try grouping the paragraphs of each piece, apply colour to each of the group blocks (as opposed to the individual paragraphs), and see whether that works better. I’ve used that technique on several posts on Wibble in recent months… unfortunately Something Has Changed lately. A while back such groups were rendering (for me) with some padding between the text and the edge – as indeed your coloured paragraphs have here – but that has now disappeared (again, for me), and I think the result is poorer for that. (I intend to investigate that, but I’m all out of round tuits at present.) As I only have a ‘personal plan’, I can’t adjust the CSS code; I’m stuck with’s defaults :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Adding ‘then’ makes sense. Thanks for the suggestion.

      As far as the white space is concerned… I think I prefer those being separate for the time being. But thank you for the grouping tip. I might have to try it some day.


      1. I found a spare round tuit: sought help from the Happiness Engineers, and on this occasion they’ve come through in exemplary style. The solution is:

        In the editor, select the group (from the list view), then, in the ‘Block’ controls, select ‘Advanced > HTML element’, and select <section> from the drop-down list. It’s a bit of a palaver, but: it works! For an example, see this recent post of mine.

        Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, I thought we were talking about white space and grouping paragraphs and adding color background, but then your comment directed me towards a drop down menu that was for anchors, so….

              Sometimes you have to use something repeatedly for it to lodge itself in your brain.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh, absolutely. One of my pet peeves is the configuration-option-that-one-only-needs-to-resort-to-once-every-six-months-and-so-when-you-need-to-do-it-again-you’ve-forgotten-how-to-do-it. Totally infuriating!

                Liked by 1 person

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