#My52 “The Price of a Life”

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#My52: Week 2

Word prompt: wheelchair

Word count – 503

Reading time – 2 mins, 4 secs

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Part I

A thick layer of dust covered the piano his mother forced him to practice thirteen years ago.

Dex ran his hand over the keys.

I hated this piano. I hated practicing.

His shoulders slumped as he plunked a key.

The stiffness of the key and the angry tone of the chord spoke to the years of disuse.

Like him, the piano sat, waiting for concern and interest from anyone.

Dexter Morgan wandered into the kitchen and felt like he’d traveled back in time.

Everything was the same… the linoleum, countertops, cabinets… even the toaster. The only thing missing was the thirteen-inch television he watched cartoons on while shoveling down spoonfuls of Malt-o-Meal.

Dex pushed through the swinging café doors and took in the once bright and sunny dining room.

Heavy, dark green drapes hung on the far wall of glass, blocking out any hint of daylight. A worn, wooden rocking chair sat in the corner, covered in as much dust as the piano.

A hospital bed sat in the room’s center, stripped and unplugged.

He was ready to leave this room… to leave this house, but the bed called to him like a siren luring him closer.

He grazed his hand over the plastic mattress, and it felt as cold and empty as his heart.

His mother told him his father had died eleven years old—two years after she dragged him from this house. They were going away with Simon; the man Verna Morgan started an affair with after his father deployed again to the middle-east.

But she lied.

Verna lied about everything and made him endure a hellish childhood, all for money.

His father’s money. The price he’d put on his own life.

Dex remembered the last time he saw Proctor Morgan—sitting in his wheelchair in the front doorway.

Father and son exchanged one last glance, both their faces wet with tears, before Verna shoved the twelve-year-old into the back seat of Simon’s Ford Explorer.

“Dexter, please stop crying. This is for the best. Your father will be fine.”

“We’re leaving him all alone, mom–”

“He has nurses and caregivers to help–”

“I don’t want to leave him–”

“Enough! Your father will spend the rest of his life in that wheelchair and he can barely use his hands. Am I just supposed to sacrifice the rest of my life to feed him and wipe his ass?”

She’d leaned in close to her son, speaking low and slow.

“I deserve a life, Dexter. I deserve nice things and traveling to new places. I deserve a man who’s a man. Simon will give me that life. Now, I don’t want to hear any more about it.”

Dex winced and leaned on the bed, the memories still fresh and painful.

Simon’s good life had been a new address every six months. The wannabe-gangster ran cons, scams, and lost big playing poker.

Every time he lost, Simon took it out on Verna, and she would pass the bruises on to Dex.

To be continued

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©2019 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

 

#My52 Writing Challenge 2019

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It’s a brand new year… are you ready for a new writing challenge?

In 2017, I participated in the 52-Week Writing Challenge (and was the randomly chosen winner) and in 2018, I did the #52weeks52stories Writing Challenge.

When I asked around about a writing challenge for 2019, none popped up, so I decided to go my own way, and you’re invited to join me!

If you’ve participated in any type of writing challenge, you’re already aware of what a useful writing tool they can be. If you’ve come to an impasse in your current WIP, stepping away for a moment to focus on something else can sort through the cobwebs, flick on the light, or move the forest so you can see the trees.

Parts of a current WIP can also be used in a writing challenge. The difficulty of character profiles, scenes, world building, and even book blurbs can disappear when task are tackled as flash fiction.

As the Queen of Many Wurdz and champion of the run-on sentence, I took part in challenges to focus on short stories.  I needed to focus on telling a complete story in as few words as possible. I’m partial to longer standalone books, but not everyone wants to read a 180K epic psychological family saga.

Okay, I lied. I don’t either.

So, after 70+ short stories, how am I doing? It’s an ongoing process. 🙂

What I enjoy most about writing challenges is the accountability. Someone is watching, keeping me honest, cheering me on during the good weeks, and talking me off the ledge during the bad ones. Writing is a solitary endeavor, but many times it helps to get out of your own head.

What are the rules for #My52? That’s the best part—there aren’t any.

  • Writing in any form counts. Haiku, Poetry, Drabble, Flash, short story… they’re all welcome.
  • Genres are also limitless. Suspense, Mystery, Romance, LGBT, Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA… it’s your choice.
  • The writing week is Monday through Friday with postings on Saturday and Sunday. (Posting earlier in the current week is acceptable too.)
  • Tweet a link to your post with the hashtag #My52 for retweets and likes

OR

  • Grab the banner at the top and link back to this page and I’ll feature your post during the challenge.

Don’t let the word challenge stress you. It’s not a contest and the challenge is only against yourself… to keep you writing-focused.

Life gets crazy and cluttered, so do not beat yourself up if you miss a week. Keep writing!

Word counts can be anywhere from a 17-syllable Haiku to a multi-week short story.

Have fun with it. Write outside your form or genre—I’m not a paranormal writer and I wrote paranormal stories last year and enjoyed doing it.

If you have questions, leave them in the comments or find me on Twitter – @MsFelicia, or Instagram – @fle_d.

Happy 2019… and happy writing!

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#52weeks52stories The Problem Princess

princess

I’m having another one of those weeks. It will pass soon. 😉

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#52weeks52stories: Week 34

Word prompt: queen

Word count – 235

Reading time – 58 secs.

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In a kingdom far away there lived a Queen

Who had a troublesome daughter just out of her teens

On her tasks, she did tarry

And she vowed never to marry

And she thought her mother quite mean.

 

The Queen blamed the girl for her migraines

And the lines on her face showing the strain

“This brat of mine

Must get in line

Or I’ll be in court tomorrow getting arraigned.”

 

She got an idea – a Ball!

“Invite a few men, no, invite them all

And make sure this royal order

Gets to my hard-headed daughter

Her time is up, she no longer can stall!”

 

The Princess was tired of the stress

And thought, “I’ll wear a horrid dress!”

“The men will think me quite strange

And maybe a bit deranged

And then I’ll be free of this mess!”

 

When the Queen saw the dress, she moaned

The royal court was filled with giggles and groans

Except for Prince Luke

Who thought she was cute

And wanted to take her home.

 

The Princess considered the crown-Prince guest

Who didn’t mind her wretched dress

“Hmm? Live at home with the Queen

Or marry this man of means

Are you mad? I won’t fail this test!”

 

And that’s how this story ends

A royal wedding with family and friends

As they raised a toast

Her mom couldn’t help but boast

“I’m the Queen, I always win!”

 

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Image from Pixabay

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

#52weeks52stories “John & Stella – A Limerick”

theives

Weird week. Hard to concentrate. Too many personal things to deal with, especially with the mister’s and my mom’s health.

Didn’t want to give this week a pass though, so this is my brain under stress. 😀

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#52weeks52stories: Week 32

Word prompt: triplet

Word count – 125

Reading time – 30 sec

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There once was a man named John

Who was always working a con

On the day he met Stella

John became her fella

And the two began life on the run.

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They grifted in Boise

They scammed in Poughkeepsie

With the law on their trail

John and Stella decided to bail

And spent four days in Reno getting tipsy.

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The duo hid in a cabin in Truckee

And John just knew he’d get lucky

But they weren’t very cautious

Now Stella is nauseous

Looks like these two are having a baby.

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Nine months later the triplets came

John knew he had to up his game

So he taught them the ropes

Raised them not to be dopes

And they’re still bringing fame to his name.

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©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved