Let's fall right into our September edition of 300 Words with this creative roundup of responses! (Want to see your original work published in the next installment? Sign up for our Just Write enewsletter and email your paragraph prompt to Amy by the end of October!) There are so many ways you can play around with prompts -- for example, check out Mary Jo's sweet twist at the end and how Harvey promises to the continue his story next month. Any other ways you could make this project your own, friends?
Now without further aideu, here's how this month's writers wrote the ending to this sentence:
"The little girl stood on tiptoe and leaned over the stone wall..."
from Mary Jo (at maryjoartist.com):
The little girl stood on tiptoe and leaned over the stonewall, even though she was told not to.
“Go near there and you’re dead,” the tall curly haired boy said. The shorter black haired boy said, “Right.”
All summer she was terrified to look. They told her they planned to beat her up if she tried to see over their wall. And she believed them.
Well summer was over. In a full act of defiance she walked down the street where the empty lots were and headed for the stonewall.
They couldn’t keep their fort hidden from her forever. Boy’s Only wasn’t in her vocabulary. She was going to lean over the wall and take a quick peek.
They had forgotten a skateboard by a giant redwood tree a few yards from her destination. It was either a temptation or an invitation. She didn’t know. She pushed her hair back and stood more determined than ever to take a look. She knew the minute she saw the skateboard that they had built a skateboard park. Since she could outshine them both with her hard flips and heel flips, they kept her out of their boys’ only game. She figured that behind that wall was an empty old swimming pool, where they practiced their tricks, crashing down and down and then zooming up and up, the wind straightening out the biggest boy’s curls and pulling back the dark hair of the shorter one.
So the little girl stood on tiptoe and leaned over the stonewall….and then she saw the beautiful garden. Rows of dahlias and daisies on one side, zucchini and tomatoes on the other. They had worked hard.
They didn’t want her to know. She would never think of them the same again. Now she had a secret too.
The little girl stood on tiptoe and leaned over the stone wall. The shining object that caught her eye practically pulled her over the edifice as if there was no sign that said Enter at Your Own Risk. She raced there and picked it up but another object about twenty yards away begged her to bound over aligned stones through a pond that seemed a perfectly safe pathway. And on and on and on. By the fifteenth shiny object she realized that she was hungry and sat down to consider what to do. She ignored the imploring call of the next shiny object that all but pleaded for her to come forward.
She took stock. There was a field of tall green grass that moved like waves in the warm breeze. There were about twenty plump sheep being herded by a sheep dog towards a distant farmhouse. And that was the source of the next shiny beckoning object. Everywhere else was deep forest with no visible pathways.
Sarah considered her options. She could go back. She turned around and thought she remembered where the last object had been. Just to check – she walked toward it but was quickly lost in confusion. Was it that boulder to her right? No, wait, maybe the object before kind of looked that way. She sat down and cried at the realization that she could never remember all the steps that got her to where she was. There was no option but to follow the shine and the pull, which now had almost gravity like attraction. And maybe there would be food waiting there.
Some of us have lives reminiscent of Sarah’s adventure. I suppose you want to know what waited at the farmhouse. You’ll have to wait until next month’s story for the answer.
From Bob Hamilton:
The little girl stood on tiptoe and leaned over the stone wall feeling the fear of four weeks ago when the awful men had invaded her village. Painfully reminded of the destructive forces shattering her family’s peace, she slowly opened her eyes to scan the nearby land. Many familiar sights came into view despite being littered with scars of the earlier nightmarish event. She told herself that her older sister, Dauda, would be safe in school on this beautiful April day.
Still feeling the warmth of Dauda’s hug, Yohanna watched Dauda slowly walking the path to school. Yohanna already felt the void of her sister’s home tutoring in recent weeks and hoped that Dauda would pause, look back and return home. Feeling disappointment, Yohanna saw Dauda’s pace pick up to be with her classmates on the path. Yohanna turned and sadly walked into her house.
Dauda’s renewed comfort of being with classmates again, while wonderful, didn’t help to put the horrible events she witnessed into her words to share with those beyond her family. After weeks apart, Dauda walked silently, smiling once again together with her friends. Would she ever be safe again? After all the horrible events she witnessed, she only heard bits and pieces of her mother’s words loudly replaying in her mind, “it will be safe … school is important … for girls, it’s essential … you must go”.
Upon entering the school, Dauda saw her familiar classroom, just as she remembered, before they were suddenly told to leave. Her teacher walked into the room and closed the door. Dauda’s teacher’s gentle voice and smiling face welcomed them to take their final physics exams. Feeling slightly nervous, yet, well prepared, she felt comfort being with her classmates all together again. Yohanna began reading the first question.
Did you catch that amazing full blood moon and lunar eclipse last night? Talk about natural inspiration! Use it to finish off October's 300 Words with this spooky starting line:
"A flashing light streaked across the black night sky, following by an eerie sound..."
Thank you for reading (and/or participating in) this month's 300 Words! Hope to see you back next month and, if you haven't already, sign up for the Just Write enews so you can always know about our writer groups, resources, classes, activities, and the like. Tell your friends and write on!
Questions? Comments? Ready to submit your 300 Words? Email Amy@villagebooks.com!