An Unfinished Story ( A Blog Contest From Readful Things)

Time for another contest. This has really become one of the best things about blogging.

What’s on the line this time: My respect (I know right whoopadeedoo) and “The Marks of Cain”  by Tom Knox. It’s a brand new, spiffy paperback copy and it can be yours if you enter the contest and your response is picked. So come on good people, give it a go. Leave me a comment below with your entry.

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Here is what you do: I have written the beginning of a story below. Finish the story for me. I have tried to leave it pretty open so you can pick your genre. Please limit your response to 300 words or less. Have fun and I look forward to your creativity.

It wasn’t like that before, Andrea thought to herself. The previous night’s storm had caused the tree to topple over like it had never been rooted to the ground. The hole it left in the wake of the storm-induced tragedy was enormous, bigger than she could possibly fill in on her own, especially with nothing but a broken shovel. Andrea walked to the large pit that was now the center of her front yard a peered in. What was that she was seeing? It looked like a

 

Published by: Ionia Froment

Blogger, reviewer, theology/philosophy major. I'm a mother and a writer and a supporter of free speech and freedom in general. My favourite author is Albert Camus, and I listen to a bit of everything. I've been too busy (LAZY) to blog in the last few years, but I'm giving it another shot.

Categories contestsTags, 25 Comments

25 thoughts on “An Unfinished Story ( A Blog Contest From Readful Things)”

  1. …star, shining down there in all that black as if to say “Hey, down here! Notice me!”, and she did. Andrea wet her lips, too afraid to hope but too poor not to, and made the perilous descent to the bottom of the hole.
    It was muddy and the broken roots still trapped in the earth barely gave her enough to hold on to, but she made it to the bottom with her body, if not her nerves, intact. Close up the thing was more dirty than shiny and a bit bigger than a star, though most of it was still covered in mud and roots. Fearful she would break it (and who else but she could do so, though time and a great oak sitting on top of it had not?), she abandoned her broken shovel to squat down beside it.
    Vainly, foolishly, she worried for her clothes, down here in the wet and earth, but blushed it all away as quick as she’d thought it. She was none too clean when she went in the hole, and as bad as things were at home no one would notice. Except the mirror.
    For a mirror was what it was, down there in the dark and dirt, but it wasn’t like any mirror in the shops. As long as she and twice as wide, with a frame covered in gold, and there, smiling back at her, was Andrea and yet NOT Andrea. She was clean and well-fed and well-dressed, and her hair was long and full and shining, and the Andrea-that-was-not laughed and held out her hand to the Andrea-that-was.
    She waited only a moment, long enough to shed her tears and leave them behind in this world that had so disappointed her, and then she crawled into the mirror.

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  2. …shining, orb with a molten, shifting surface. Andrea leaned down as far as she could, stretched out her arms, but could not reach the orb. She dashed into her house and returned with a long pair of tongs. With their aid, she grabbed the golden object and brought it back to the surface, laying it gently on the ground. “What are you?” she wondered. She was almost fearful now to touch the glowing surface, but just as a child cannot help but touch a candle flame, Andrea touched the orb.
    All at once she was whisked away into a dream-like world. She saw herself as a child, climbing the once-beautiful tree that had been torn down last night. Her mother, who’d passed away six years ago, was standing on the ground, smiling up at her. And her father, looking as jolly and youthful as Andrea had ever seen him, was sitting on the porch, cheering, “Higher, you can do it!”
    Then everything changed. The world was dull and grey; it was the day her mother had been laid to rest. Andrea clung to her father’s hand, but after that day, he was just never the same. Not a fortnight later, he disappeared, leaving Andrea all alone.
    With all the strength that was left in her drained body, Andrea pried her fingers off the orb. Shaking, body wracked with bitter sobs, Andrea cursed whoever had left this wretched thing for her to find and bring back the memories she’d tried to forget. With all her might, Andrea threw the ball as far away as possible. Dragging her feet, she walked back towards the house, a broken and empty shell of her once dignified self. It would take her many weeks, if not years, to hide today’s events from her well-like mind.

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  3. It wasn’t like that before, Andrea thought to herself. The previous night’s storm had caused the tree to topple over like it had never been rooted to the ground. The hole it left in the wake of the storm-induced tragedy was enormous, bigger than she could possibly fill in on her own, especially with nothing but a broken shovel. Andrea walked to the large pit that was now the center of her front yard a peered in. What was that she was seeing? It looked like a tunnel.

    Reinforced with old timber and covered with cobwebs, it invited exploration, but Andrea had to get to work. Kevin Connor was visiting from Atlanta. If she made the right impression, she might get the transfer that would bring her home.

    She turned and headed for the driveway. As she did, the tunnel groaned. Was this possible? She froze, straining her ears, but heard nothing. Shaking her head, she tiptoed across the grass, careful to not sink her spiked heels into the wet earth.

    At her car, she paused when another groan issued from the open hole. The voice, deep and feminine, was a drum in her belly. Andrea hesitated, her hand on the door. She glanced at her watch and frowned. She had half an hour to get through traffic, ride the elevator to the seventh floor, and be hard at work when Connor arrived.

    There was no time. She wedged her long legs into the cute convertible and turned the key in the ignition, but nothing happened. “Damn,” she swore, trying it again. Her efforts were futile. The car wouldn’t start. She pulled her cell phone from her purse and cursed again at the lack of signal.

    She threw it on the seat and opened the door, just as the ground began to tremble. Gripping the frame, she tried to stand. The ground tilted and she tumbled toward the hole. It was singing now, its rich voice thick and lyrical. What was happening? She clawed her fingers into the grass, desperate for purchase, but found none.

    Hurtling toward the tunnel entrance, she screamed. When it swallowed her, there was silence. The earth stilled and a bird, unconcerned, landed on the toppled tree.

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  4. It wasn’t like that before, Andrea thought to herself. The previous night’s storm had caused the tree to topple over like it had never been rooted to the ground. The hole it left in the wake of the storm-induced tragedy was enormous, bigger than she could possibly fill in on her own, especially with nothing but a broken shovel. Andrea walked to the large pit that was now the center of her front yard and peered in. What was that she was seeing? It looked like a —
    shimmering blue pool of water. She gasped and her broken shovel thudded onto the wet grass. She slowly pulled herself up to the pool and gazed down into it. Her fair hands pushed themselves forwards and then she started making circles in the water. The surface seemed glass-like; quite undisturbed. Andrea peered deeper into the water. It felt weird. There was no reflection in it. Nothing at all…but a blue pool which refused to ripple…
    She sat thus for the next fifteen minutes and decided that there was nothing much to see. The frowns on her forehead decreased and she sighed. What a mess her front yard was. She got up and stretched. And as she stretched, her feet slipped upon the wet grass and she toppled over into the shimmering blue water…head first!

    But the water was warm. As warm as fresh cooked bread… Andrea was going far below. Moving rapidly. She suddenly remembered Alice’s story from Alice in Wonderland and could not but stop feeling that she really was Alice. But then, she suddenly came to a stop on a soft surface and looking around, she saw that she was not in a place she knew. A little boy whizzed past her, shouting “Climb, climb”. Before she could fully understand the meaning, she was tugged along by the boy and before she knew it, she was climbing a ladder (which had made it’s way out of the “blue”) upwards!

    The boy was leading her. A few minutes later, they both collapsed on the wet grass and the shimmering pool just seemed to disappear leaving behind an ugly dark hole.
    “What was that?” she gasped, looking at the boy, around her little brother’s age.
    “It’s the curse of the the skies.”
    “What?” she asked, quite unable to follow.
    “The devil has many pathways for the living to follow. This was one of them. I managed to climb up just in time, all thanks to you!”
    “You are welcome!” she said. Her heart was beating fast. The devil? This was scary.
    “Are you hungry? Where do you live?” she asked, not forgetting her manners.
    “It is alright” he said. “I live nearby. I will leave soon.”
    Andrea turned around abruptly. She started walking back to her house to get the little boy something to eat. Little did she realize as she turned around that the boy had turned into the devil himself and was now slowly walking towards her.

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  5. Reblogged this on Gwen Bristol and commented:
    Looks like I have missed a few contests recently! Ionia Martin always has something fun going on. 🙂

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  6. It wasn’t like that before, Andrea thought to herself. The previous night’s storm had caused the tree to topple over like it had never been rooted to the ground. The hole it left in the wake of the storm-induced tragedy was enormous, bigger than she could possibly fill in on her own, especially with nothing but a broken shovel. Andrea walked to the large pit that was now the center of her front yard and peered in. What was that she was seeing? It looked like a…

    skeletal hand pointing upwards. Andrea turned her head as she vomited on the grass. Wiping the back of her hand across her mouth she looked down again. Bile rose but she managed to swallow it. A body under the old tree? How long had it been there? Who was it? The shock of her discovery numbed her mind. What should she do first? Call the police? Call Dan?
    A cloud moved away from the sun brightening the scene, a sparkle caught Andrea’s eye. There on one finger was a jeweled ring. Could she manage to climb down and get it? Wasn’t there a ‘finders keepers’ thing for buried treasure? Determined to reach the ring Andrea used her shovel to steady herself into the hole. Gritting her teeth she gripped the ring and pulled, it came off the bone easily. The gem was a large sapphire in a gold setting. There were words engraved on the inside. Andrea read them and everything was dark.
    Dan called out as he entered the house. Andrea did not respond. He searched the house, the garage and the garden – no Andrea. A missing person’s report was filed. Andrea was never found. Underneath the tree roots the darkness slithered over the new body – a welcomed feast.

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  7. It wasn’t like that before, Andrea thought to herself. The previous night’s storm had caused the tree to topple over like it had never been rooted to the ground. The hole it left in the wake of the storm-induced tragedy was enormous, bigger than she could possibly fill in on her own, especially with nothing but a broken shovel. Andrea walked to the large pit that was now the center of her front yard a peered in. What was that she was seeing? It looked like a
    milk can—the old fashioned kind, made out of metal that was still in surprisingly good condition. Shiny, even.
    Andrea’s hand slapped over her mouth, but her words slipped through her fingers.

    “The magic milk jug!”

    All her life, Andrea thought the stories about a magic milk jug appearing around town now and then were nothing more than local mania.

    Old Mrs. Whitecoat from the other side of town said she found it when she was a poor little girl with only a rag doll to play with. She hid it in her closet and the next day, she found her closet full of creepy porcelain dolls, and the milk jug was gone. Jackson Hower claimed it was the reason he never ran out of drink, and Clive Barnwood said he had never had trouble with molting chickens since he found the milk jug inside his chicken house.
    Andrea couldn’t resist edging her way down into the immense hole. The milk jug was surprisingly light. She was in and out of the hole in two minutes.

    “I guess I’d better get this hole taken care of, and then I’m going to make a wish on you,” she told the milk jug. She set it carefully in her pantry, half-hoping it would generate several brownie mixes while she was gone.

    As Andrea picked up her telephone to call a local contractor about filling in the hole, she happened to glance out the window. Her tree still lay sideways across her lawn, but thick, soft grass spread across the entire yard.

    The hole was gone.

    So was the milk jug.

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