They’re coming

For this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt, we’re inviting you to truly scare us.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Compose a post in the form of a text160 characters.

Your text must elicit or express fear.

Though this initially looks like more of a fiction prompt, we challenge our non-fiction writers to take a stab at it as well. (Stab! Scary!)

Around 1am October 21, 2011

Text from an unknown number

Help me. The voices… Make them stop. Help. They’re here now. Scratching….clawing…at the window. Please. They can see me. They’ll kill me. They see you now. They’ll kill you too.




The One

Let’s have fun this week. We want you to write a personal ad for your character, like one you would find on a dating site. The ad should tell us about your character, but should not be a laundry list – and no cliches about walks on the beach.

Make it interesting, unexpected. Is there something your character is trying to hide that you can tell by reading between the lines? Would we know which character it was (if you have a recurring one) by reading the ad? Will something be revealed?

That tall, thin, flirty blond you see ever day? That’s not me. Actually… that’s so far from me that it isn’t funny.

I’m the one walking down the sidewalk, the one you pass by without a second glance. I’m the one you see sitting at the table, tea in hand and a book in front of me while I take notes in another next to me.

I’m the one that buys the organic produce, chai tea, and Diet Coke at the grocery store.

I’m the one that sits in the movie theater alone enjoying the movie and my buttered popcorn.

Lifelong student, book reader, wine lover, and slightly introverted.

I’m the one you’ll find sipping a glass of wine at a local restaurant while eating dinner with my closest friends.

You’ll find me sitting in the book store or library all day perusing the rows upon rows of books.

Or maybe window shopping the whimsical stores along the street of a small town.

How will you know me? How will you know that I’m the right one?

You’ll know because I’m the tall one with long dark hair and piercing blue eyes.  On occasion you’ll see me in glasses… but only when I read.

Always in heels.

Always dressed well.

Never full of my self.

Not high maintenance.


I’m the one.

Come find me.


It is a time of transition: summer to fall, kids back to school, no more wearing white..

For this week’s prompt, write about a season of change for your character or you. It can be literal or metaphorical.

This is another installment of my Memoir story. I really should give this guy a name soon!

I’d love to hear your concrit on this and what you think I can do to make it better. I like writing this story and while it’s easy to hear the southern accent of him in my head it’s hard to get it written…. especially for someone who isn’t from the south!

Let’s see.. it musta been around 1902 when I fell in with the wrong group, but at the time they welcomed me as one of their own and didn’t think twice about me being from the south and all.

My goal of gettin’ lost in the crowd didn’t last to long with them boys. Nope… not at all. What did happen was a lot of attention and none of the good kind. The law was always gettin’ after us for one thing or another.

You see we were a bunch of low life’s who had no family other then each other and no real home to call our own. So ya see we did a bit stealing here and there to make ends meet. Nothing all that bad.

It wasn’t till one day that Joey came up with this grand scheme. He was planning for us to rob a bank! At first we was all scared… not one of us wanted to do it but Joey… he’s a sweet talker and soon enough we calmed down and were seeing things his way. After that all I could think about was that money and all the things I was gonna do with it.

I was gonna buy me one of them fancy suits and have me a fine dinner at one of them hotels downtown. Yup, that was the plan.

Joey was the smartest one of the group… or so I thought at the time. What he really was was conniving, manipulative and subtle. He could talk a bee out of his honey! But I was still young and wanted to believe he was right so I went along with it.

That night it was raining so hard you couldn’t see nothin’ but it wasn’t stopping us. We wanted that money and outta the city before we got caught, ain’t one of us that wanted to go to jail. The stories we heard… well, I can’t be repeating them.

We knew all the in’s and outs of the bank and how many guards was there so we was careful and watched for the flicker of the flashlights as we made our way inside.

I was getting nervous….real scared like. It was like all of a sudden things were gettin’ real clear to me, this wasn’t the life I wanted and it sure as hell what I ran away for. So I walked over to Joey and told him straight that I was out and man he got angry fast. I’d never seen someone turn that fast… not even my daddy. I told him the way it was and that I wasn’t gonna risk it anymore.

Joey grabbed me by the collar, he was a big guy, and pulled me hard against him so we was face to face. I wasn’t lettin’ on that I was scared because that woulda’ made him happy.

He just stared me in the eye as he shoved me against the building hard. I crumpled to the ground and was just barely able to get outta his way before he grabbed me again. The other guys was getting loud and Joey yelled at ’em to shut up or we’d get caught… course they stopped since they didn’t want to get beat up either.

While he was yelling at the others I made my escape. I ran and ran for I don’t know how long, but I finally made it back to where we was staying and was there long enough to grab my stuff and a few other things and then take off.

I was lucky enough to hop a train headed north. I was gonna get a job and do things proper.



This week’s prompt is based on the picture below. It’s one that when I saw it I wasn’t going to take part because it didn’t fit the story lines that I had already started. But I decided to push myself since it wasn’t a very good reason to not write.

I don’t want to say I struggled with what I wrote but it’s more that I feel like something is missing and I don’t know what it is. So please read and give me your feedback. Good, bad, or otherwise!


cameraShe had to get out from behind the camera, she knew that but it was more difficult that one would think.

Her life was her cameras, film, and her dark room. They brought her comfort like nothing else in the world could. With her camera she was part of everything that she took a picture of without having to actually interact with people.

Introvert. That was one way to put it. Shy, reserved, or wallflower were a few more but whatever you called it what it came down to was that she wasn’t comfortable with people.

She’d always been this way, for as long as she could remember. Playing the park as a little girl she’d always find the swing that was furthest from all the other kids or go sit under a tree and read a book.

It wasn’t until her parents bought her a camera for her 14th birthday that she started to get out more. Still alone and still not mingling too much with others, but they were happy that it was a start.

Pictures became her life. She took her camera everywhere and took pictures of virtually everything and everyone. Most people didn’t realize that they were her subjects as she captured their smiles, their laughter, their games, families, and picnics in the park.

She captured the little things in life that she was missing out on and lived through her photos.

She’d sort through her best pictures, lay them out on the table, and just look at them. Why couldn’t she be the girl in the picture having a picnic with her boyfriend? Why couldn’t she be the young mother pushing the carriage through the park? Why couldn’t she be the one eating lunch with friends and laughing?

She surrounded herself with pictures, instead of people, wanting to be part of it all. She wanted to step outside herself and be a different person.

She wanted to change. But how?

For now she had her cameras and the world was her canvas. The world through pictures was her only friend.

Pictures – The Rewrite

Based on some great feedback and the fact that this post just bothered me I decided to rewrite it but put it with the original so you could compare the two.

Looking down at the glossy photo as her tears started to slowly dissolve the image she became more angry. Why! The paper crumpled easily in her hands as the edges of the thick paper poked her palm as she crushed it. Pictures were supposed to evoke feelings from remembering a beautiful moment in life… not pain from the paper.

She had to get out from behind the camera, she knew that but it was more difficult than anyone imagined.

This was her life and she’d always been this way, for as long as she could remember.

Pictures became her life. With her camera slung over her shoulder or around her neck it everywhere with her and she took pictures of virtually everything and everyone. People didn’t realize that they were her subjects as she captured their smiles, their laughter, their games, families, and picnics in the park.

With every click of the shutter she captured the little things in life that she was missing out on and lived through her photos.

She sorted through her best pictures; laid them out on the table, and just looked at them. Why couldn’t she be the girl in the picture having a picnic with her boyfriend? Why couldn’t she be the young mother pushing the carriage through the park? Why couldn’t she be the one eating lunch with friends and laughing?

Playing in the park as a little girl she’d always find the swing that was furthest from all the other kids wishing that she wasn’t so afraid to talk to the other kids. Fear kept her from living life.

She surrounded herself with pictures, instead of people, wanting to be part of it all. She wanted to step outside herself and be a different person.

Change. Change is really what she wanted in her life. But how?

But for now she had her cameras and the world was her canvas. The world through pictures was her only friend.

The Perfect Shoes

One of my favorite parts of summer is THE SHOES. So for your prompt this week I’d like you to write about your character (or yourself) and a pair of his or her shoes.

Those shoes can be real or symbolic, they can hurt or be super comfy but I want to see what they say about the life of the person wearing them. It’s a chance to use all those descriptive words I love reading.

She had the dress. She had the jewelry. She had the headpiece, the flowers, the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. What she didn’t have was the shoes. Shoes… she’d look at damn near a hundred pair and still nothing stuck out as the right ones.

Jimmy Choo, Manolo Blahnik, Ferragamo, Vivienne Westwood…. She’d looked at those and didn’t like any of them. She went to Payless…the shoe store in the mall, and Macy’s but couldn’t find the perfect pair.

Why? Why was it so difficult to find something stylish, comfortable, and fit her personality? Everything else was perfect except for the shoes. They… were missing.

Until one day Becca was wandering through the city and stumbled upon a small, out of the way shop and something about the quaint window displays beckoned her to come in.

As she walked in the old fashioned bell chimed signaling to the clerk that someone had entered. She started looking around at the unique and odd mix of stuff that was in the store… books, home décor, clothing, jewelry, and shoes. Some new, some vintage but all very beautiful.

A small old woman entered curtained doorway that came from the back of the store. She was adorable, very much like a fairie godmother sort of way. She was short and round with silver gray hair that was curled around her cheery face.

She smiled at Becca and it filled her with warmth. “Is there something I can help you with, my dear?” She asked as she walked towards Becca.

“No,” she said returning her smile. “I’m just looking right now.”

“Ah ha.” The woman said like she knew something. “You’re missing something… looking for something special. Aren’t you?

Becca stopped and looked at her with confusion. “Umm.. no… well, yes. Yes, I am.”

Again the woman smiled at her and moved towards the curtained doorway. “I have exactly what you’re looking for.” And she disappeared into the back.

Becca felt like a giddy schoolgirl and had no idea why. She knew that something special was about to happen and that she had made a smart choice walking into the shop.

Almost as quickly as she went through the curtain the woman returned with two unmarked boxes.

“Sit…sit. My dear,” she said as she motioned towards a large, upholstered chair against the far wall. Becca did as she was asked and the woman came close and sat the boxes down on the table near.

“Here,” she said handing her the first box. “I think this is exactly what you want.”

Hesitantly, Becca took the box from the woman and set it on her lap. Slowly she opened it to see what was inside. Shoes. The most perfect, beautiful shoes she’d ever seen. Shoes the color of the water. They were the shoes.

The shoes were a smooth & shiny patent leather with a stacked heel that wasn’t too high but wasn’t to low either and a buckle at the peep toe. Perfect to show off her new pedicure. Perfect as a stunning addition to her dress.

“How?” She stammered looking at the woman. “How did you know?”

A warm smile again. “Ah… I always know.”

Peering down into the box Becca wondered if they’d fit and gently she lifted one out and it easily slipped onto her foot as if they were made just for her. In no time she had the both on and was admiring them with her legs stretched out in front of her. Perfect, she thought, absolutely perfect!

“Aren’t you going to check the other box, my dear?” The woman asked her.

As if coming out of a dream Becca looked at the other box. “Oh, yes. But I think these are the ones.” She opened the box and looked inside and there was another pair of shoes. This time they were a snowy, white satin gathered at the toe with a pretty organza flower. Again they were perfect.

“You’re feet may get tired of being in heels all day,” the woman explained. “These are as comfortable as walking on a cloud.”

And they were. Becca was overjoyed and couldn’t believe her luck.

She put her old shoes back on and moved towards the counter with the boxes. “How can I ever thank you?” She asked.

“Be happy. Love your husband. Cherish the time you have together.”

Becca walked out the door having paid very little for her wedding shoes but couldn’t have been happier no matter what the cost.


Want to read more on Becca & Jake’s story? Click here.

A Memoir: Part One

The most frequent advice I come across for amateur writers is, “Write what you know.”

“What you know” doesn’t necessarily always mean “your comfort zone.” For this week, take what you know out of your comfort zone. Try a new genre, a new time period, a geography you’ve only dreamed of, fantasy or historical instead of contemporary fiction, try the male POV if you usually write women. Or vice versa.

Switch it up. See where it takes you.

I figure that since I have some time on my hands now I’d try to write the journey I’ve made to where I’m at now. It’s been a long road full of pit stops and holes, but there have been some sweet spots as well. It’s probably best to start out when I ran away in 1898 since that’s when life for me really started. Let’s just hope that my memory doesn’t fail me!

I rode fast & hard down the long, winding dirt road, although thinking about it now it wasn’t much of a road. It was more like a trail that cut through the deep woods and being in the shade of those trees was the only thing that helped keep my horse and me from heat exhaustion. I ‘member it was so hot and sticky out that I had to hold on tight or I’d slip off the horse ‘cause of all the sweat.

As I road on into the night I kept thinking will they miss me? Will they even know that I’m gone? The answers didn’t matter to me anymore because the only thing that mattered was my freedom.

Freedom. It sure did mean a lot to me. It was something that I had never experienced in my life… I bet that it had a taste so sweet that nothing could compare to it. Not even one of mama’s prize pies!

The only thing I knew was hard work and the back of my daddy’s hand and while I can work hard and sometimes didn’t mind it I hated my daddy. He’s a mean son of a bitch that couldn’t handle his whisky. He drank every day, even on Sunday as soon as we got back from church.

My mama was gone. She’d been gone for a couple of years seeing as she died while trying to give birth to my baby brother. It was hard on me and I think it was on daddy too because it was the only time I’d seen him show some sort of emotion, but he got more mean after that. It’s sad to say but it was a happy time for me because daddy didn’t come after me with the belt all that much for a while.

I think that if it weren’t for my mama he’d a killed me. I miss her a lot.

He got over mama fast & started bringing women ‘round. Not the good kind either and he drank more and beat me more. You can only take so much, right? So I took off on my horse with everything that I could and left our farm in Mississippi. North. That’s where I was gonna go… somewhere I could get lost in the crowd, where people didn’t know me, and where I could find freedom.

I never got lost since I didn’t know where I was most of the time and nobody seemed to pay attention to me. Guess it wasn’t odd to see a boy my age riding alone. I was happy though and eventually stopped looking over my shoulder.

I think it took me damn near two weeks to get outta the south and by time I made it to Michigan I knew I’d be safe.

That first week there was one I can’t forget. There was a huge lake… bigger than the Mississippi River and cold as all get out. Man… it was beautiful I just sat there in the warm sand for hours staring out at that water and all the different shades of blue.

It wasn’t long before I knew I was home.

The Letter

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life–whether good or bad. What does it say? How does it affect you or your character? What is done with it?

red writing hood

Becca had finally brought the last box into her new apartment and fell into the couch with a sigh.

She looked around at her new home and the four walls seemed a lot closer and emptier than the house she left recently. The windows overlooked the vast city where she decided to settle… far from the water. Far from the memories.

It was a new start and exactly what she needed. Looking over at the last couple of boxes she decided that she may as well unpack them before exhaustion set in.

The boxes were small and wouldn’t take much time at all. The first one was full of some silly knick knacks that she had started collecting when she was a little girl, but they were all special reminders of the places she’d visited with her grandparents and couldn’t stand to let them go.

By the time she got half way through the second box she had finished her first glass of wine and was about to grab another until she saw the envelope with her name on it.

She knew the handwriting immediately and her heart fluttered slightly as she picked up the sealed envelope. She was confused and curious since she had never seen it before and wasn’t sure how it got in the box.

She held it for a several long moments before opening it slowly. It was Jake’s writing and it looked like he had written some, erased, and then wrote some more several times throughout the letter as she glanced over it.

She finally read it.


I’ve gone over this in my head time and time again and I’ve wanted to tell you so many times but the time was never right or I was to scared.
I wish that it never happened but at the same time I’m happy.
I wish that it were you.
I wish that I could take back the mistake I made.
I wish that stop the hurt that you will feel.
I wish that you will find it in your heart to forgive me.
This isn’t how I planned to tell you. Actually, this letter is like a practice round before I actually tell you.
I have a son and he is 2 years old.

Becca put the letter down. She could barely breath but picked it back up to finish.

I made a mistake and had an affair and out of that brief encounter he came. I’m sorry. I don’t know what else I can say. He’s beautiful and looks like me. Please forgive me and know that you hold my heart.


She dropped the letter in her lap not know what to think or what to do. She was confused… she just found out that her late husband had an affair with another woman and a child.

The tears threatened to fall but didn’t. The shock was to strong as thoughts flew through her mind… all the times he seemed to have something to say… the times he was late coming home from work… the weekends he had to work….. the look on his face when they talked of starting their own family.

The tears fell slowly leaving spots on the letter.

Want to know more about the story? Go here!

The Funeral

Flash Fiction can be fun and a real challenge. This week focus on the words and the strength of each to contribute to your story. Write a 300 word piece using the following word for inspiration: LIFE.


It was the day that Becca had been dreading since she heard that echoing knock on her front door. It seemed like that was ages ago when in all reality it was less than a week. It’s funny how time passes when something significant in your life happens.

Was it really only 5 days ago?,  she thought to herself as she sat in the front pew. Emotions once again took hold and she fought the tears that seemed endless, but they burned her eyes and she finally gave in and let them stream down her cheeks again.

This wasn’t how their life was supposed to be. They had made so many plans together for their future and they had only recently able to check one of the items off of their list.

The house. It was their love of the water & that little house that led her to where she was now. She couldn’t go back there. Ever.

The music stopped and there was shuffling of feet, a cough here and there, and the rustling of paper. The sounds seemed so loud in her head until he started to speak and then they dimmed as his voice rose and carried through the sanctuary.

The words were meaningless to her and she barely heard them. She didn’t want to hear them because it meant that he was really gone and she wasn’t ready to accept that yet.

Her sister squeezed her hand as she wiped her eyes again with a damp, mascara-covered tissue. She took a slow, deep breath and forced herself to look up towards the minister and at her husbands’ coffin.

She felt her heart clutch at the site of the dark wood with the white, fragrant flowers on top and she kept hoping that she’d wake up from this nightmare and turn to see his face on the pillow next to her again.

The music started again and her sister helped her walk out of the church.

There is more to the story of Becca and Jake! Read it here.

The tables turned

Physical beauty.

It can open doors – and can also shut them.

Write a scene in which a physically beautiful character is somehow impacted by that trait. If you are doing non-fiction, you can write about yourself or someone you know.

She was beautiful. She knew it and she used to get ahead in life no matter whom she stepped on along the way. Hers was the kind of beauty that caused people from all walks of life to stop and look… classic, elegant, and timeless all at once.

She was ugly. On the inside she was manipulative, conniving, cold, and calculating. It was the kind of ugliness that was well hidden or masked by the fake laughter & smiles that she handed out like it was nothing at all. But every thing done was well thought out.

She was two sides of the same coin. Good and bad. Night and day. Ying and Yang.

She was able to get any man that she wanted and of course she used her looks to that advantage. She had set her sights on a specific man and wasn’t going to let him slip through her clutches. Her sights were set much higher than she’d ever had them before, but this time it was for life… or until she got bored with being married.

She had her work cut out for him since he had just recently broken up with a long time girlfriend and didn’t want to be a rebound girlfriend or a one-night stand. To her that would be the ultimate insult after all the work she was planning. Yes, she had done her homework and she’d done it well. She knew exactly what to do and how to get it done.

She joined various groups in the city and went to charity functions that his mother & sister attended. She made friends with the right people (the ones he knew of course) and his family. It wasn’t all that difficult for her given beauty and charm.

Eventually, his mother introduced her to him in an official manner. She was sweet, charming, and more than beautiful and he was enamored with her.

Time passed quickly and she was able to wrap him around her finger without any trouble at all and almost in the same amount of time she was able to piss off his sister and show her true colors.
She became jealous. Worried. Because like her he was an incredibly good-looking man and was able to garner the attention of many women and he used his looks in many of the same ways she did.

It didn’t take long for her to realize that his feelings for her were just as shallow as hers once were, but it was to late because she was truly in love with him.

The tables had turned. She found herself in a position that she was unprepared for and it was a position that she usually left her boyfriend of the moment in. She had to create a new plan, one that would cement her place in life by his side. Something more than just a pretty girl on his arm.

The situation pissed her off and more than that his attitude towards her in recent weeks. He’d started acting aloof, distant, and often flirting back with the women who caught his attention.

The day finally came when he dumped her and she felt her world crash down around her in a million pieces. This is what they felt like… this is what she did… this is when she knew that she had to change.

I am perfect

Is there someone who drives you crazy?

Someone who really gets under your skin.

It doesn’t have to be someone you know (although it certainly can be). It could be someone famous. Or even a character in a book.

Now, write a first-person piece – as if YOU are this individual. Write from his or her perspective and include the things that really bother you. For instance, maybe there’s a good reason why they eat with their mouths open, or why they use sarcasm as a weapon.

I’ve been told that I can be annoying at times. I have no idea what people are talking about though because from what I see I’m doing things pretty damn well.

I’m still wondering what it was that caused my co-workers to speak with my boss. He seems to think that my work is pretty good. He doesn’t complain.

My work is better quality than my colleague if I say so myself. Obviously they don’t see that.

I realize that my boss might have spoken me to on occasion about my behavior, how I seem to act superior with my co-workers, how I think that everything I do is perfect, and can’t take constructive criticism. I listened to what he had to say, responded that I was sorry for my behavior and would work on it, and then carried on with my day. But seriously, I am right! It’s them who need to change.

I went to college and have a degree so I know a lot. I’ve worked in different places around the country (unlike most of my co-workers who have never left the state). I have met a lot of people and learned a great deal. I know what I’m talking about people. So I have no idea why you even question me or the work that I do.

I meet with people who are professionals in my line of work on a regular basis, yea they don’t see the work I produce but that doesn’t matter. What does is that I can talk the talk, right? Of course, I can walk the walk too…. It’s just a curvy line sometimes.

All that doesn’t matter really because when it comes down to it I’m right and I know that I am. My work is perfect and there is absolutely no reason to question it because it’s me in this position not you.

I know… I know. It annoys people that I’m perfect damn near perfect. I am sort of starting to see that I have a couple flaws. I’ll work on it. I promise.

I love comments and constructive criticism. What do you think?

This is a work of fiction!