Welcome to the August edition of 300 Words! In case you are new to all this, all interested parties can join in the fun by writing an original 300 Words (maximum - less is fine) in response to a sentence prompt posted in our monthly Just Write enewsletter. Now let's see what our creative juices produced from the starting line:
"There was no turning back now ... "
I had given up everything extraordinary. Not running faster or jumping higher than any human before me, but longer lasting than an emergency flare. You don’t sell everything you own except underwear and a toothbrush to be a little more than ordinary. My plans hinged on a flimsy piece of paper. By appearances I could have been a victim of bankruptcy or drug induced mania. “I hope you know what you’re doing,” my underwhelmed mother stated. She offered me my old room, but I wanted unobstructed sunsets and a library card to be my companions until the letter came. Then, and only then would I know that I wasn’t indeed crazy to believe that destiny would put my name in the books. Austerity and risk catalyzed the equation, thrusting back the curtains of status quo.
One more from Kathy:
She had “received the pie”, with both hands on the china plate and a silver fork shivering on the side till it reached safety on the table. Every insufferably hideous monologue she had ever castrated this woman’s character with, would be tossed into the abyss. Her smile, no longer insincere now pleaded for forgiveness from the gracious host who knew nothing of the sins against her. It didn’t matter, the lack of customary alamode for mellowing the tang of fruit and insufficient sugar. It became her penance meal, sweet and sour. She ate her words and became, better. Pie woman, by the oddest twists of human fate, was to become protector and benefactor, her means of survival.I had given up everything extraordinary. Not running faster or jumping higher than any human before me, but longer lasting than an emergency flare. You don’t sell everything you own except underwear and a toothbrush to be a little more than ordinary. My plans hinged on a flimsy piece of paper. By appearances I could have been a victim of bankruptcy or drug induced mania. “I hope you know what you’re doing,” my underwhelmed mother stated. She offered me my old room, but I wanted un obstructed sunsets and a library card to be my companions until the letter came. Then, and only then would I know that I wasn’t indeed crazy to believe that destiny would put my name in the books. Austerity and risk catalyzed the equation, thrusting back the curtains of status quo.
There was no turning back now...
Four years of words, feelings, emotions, and memories erased with one click of a mouse. All those selfies of us on our favorite park bench with the lake in the background? Gone. Same with those iPhone videos shot of us at parties with friends, the special artsy heart designs she'd make with the milk foam for my grande peppermint latte, the special necklace I gave her for our third anniversary of our first date. Over seven gigabytes of data eliminated from my laptop in about 15 seconds.
It was a highly impulsive move; one that I would normally never consider doing. But after what she did to me, I wasn't thinking straight. The half-drunk bottle of whiskey didn't help my rational sensibilities much, either.
The anger and betrayal flowing through me spilled over to her online life. I logged into her Instagram from my phone and deleted her account. Bad decision on her part sharing her password with me. Even worse was she used lululemon6 for her facebook account, too. And her twitter. And her google mail. Gone, gone, and gone.
Once I got the text from her last night that said "I love you Stevie," I knew that was the end. You see, my name's Chris. And Stevie, or Steve, is a barista in the same Starbucks where she works downtown.
from Mary Jo (at maryjoartist.com):
There was no turning back now. The roast chicken done, the table set, candles and daisies. Joe had found religion and the pastor and his wife were walking up the driveway to bless their house. It all happened fast “I have reckoning with god to do darling, before the second coming comes.” Becky was okay with that. It was better than chasing girls in tights and swigging down booze. She was Catholic and every day was a reckoning. Joe was entitled to his redemption too. Her closest relationship to ministerial events was in the confessional whispering secrets and receiving forgiveness with a few extra Hail Mary’s. Ah, the blessings from telling her dirty little business to the priest behind the smelly screen.
The doorbell rang like church bells. The dining room was bathed in candlelight and the fragrance of rosemary chicken was a temptation of its own. Buttered zucchini would be served in her mother’s crockery along with homemade crusty bread and simple vanilla ice cream and Girl Scout cookies for dessert. Sweet and easy, the four would break bread together.
Joe’s heavy breathing at her neck, Becky opened the door. The pastor stood close to his kindergarten-teacher wife. They were a unit.
Then Becky saw that he was the same man she had been meeting at the Sunshine Motel. He was a stranger to her except for the rolling around between the motel sheets, the two of them, this holy man and this restless wife, gasping and grasping for a little spark to relieve the boredom.
She was blessed just a week ago.
There was no turning back now. “Come in Pastor Dotson. And Mrs. Dotson,” Becky said.
And Joe threw his arms around them both and tears filled his eyes.
“Welcome to our home, dear ones,” Joe said.
Please don’t tell anyone, but sometimes when things feel a little overwhelming I yearn for the old days. Mostly I like being able to think and reason and feel things. But being numb has its advantages too.
At the end of that pathway the professor added a microchip for thought and emotions that he’s always tinkering with.
Today I put on my suit and jumped onto the twenty-eight train and it really ticked me off when someone was sitting in my seat. You would have punched him too, wouldn’t you?
Anyhow, the professor had to come and bail me out again. He put an updated chip in my intake mechanism and apologized to the cops. He’s always mumbling something about almost having it right. Notice the word almost there.
That makes me feel bad. Do you think it’s fair? I think that I feel like real people do but I can’t seem to get how you’re supposed to act. I do exactly what the professor says. I switch on my programming device every two weeks for an hour and let it subtly mimic the behavior I witness.
Please don’t tell the professor! I kind of cheat. Instead of going to a park like he says, I just turn on Fox News on TV. I feel like I can think like real people, even though I’m a little different after each new programming. I think of it as my way of going to college. What do you think?
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