Friday, May 1, 2009

Call For Shorts!

Okay, people. Here's the deal. Several of the awesome blog chainers and I have teamed up to write a short story according to a prompt. We're doing something similar to this post. I'm going to pick the topic this time, and the goal is to get this, write! This is a call for writing from anyone, anywhere, any time this month.

May's topic: flowers. You know, that whole April-showers-bring-May-flowers thing. Well, where I live, the weather in April has been uber-crazy. Snow, rain, sunny, cloudy, you name it, we had it. And holy wind, Batman. So I don't have many flowers as of yet, but that's the topic none-the-less.

Rules: It's a short story. 100 words, 500, whatev. Post it on your own blog sometime this month (inviting others to write according to the prompt) and come back here and let me know when you post so I can read yours. Your story has to have flowers in it somehow. Any which way.

Here's mine to get you started. (<600 words)

There's no link salad, but if you want to link to mine, that would be awesome. I'll collect the links and post them at the end of the time frame.


I see the rose from down the hall. A red rose. Of course. Xan always gives me a red rose on Fridays. It used to be sweet, but now it’s just old. At least if it was yellow or pink it would show that he’s given it some thought. As it is, it’s just Xan stealing from his dad’s florist shop once a week.

“Thanks,” I say, taking the rose by the thorny stem. I twirl it, wondering how I’m supposed to put my backpack on while holding the flower.

“Where do you want to go?” Xan asks.

I shrug, imagining stabbing myself with the pointed stem. “Wherever.”

He smiles and lifts my chin so I’m forced to look into his dark eyes. “I hate deciding.” That’s Xan-code for hurry-up-and-pick-somewhere-or-I’m-not-taking-you-out-tonight.

“Olive Garden?” I say it like it’s a question.

“Sure. Let’s go.” Xan walks down the empty hall. I guess it is sweet that he waits after school while I go to my debate meetings.

In Xan’s car, I lower my window in the April evening. Reds and oranges color the sky as the sun sinks behind the mountain. Xan rolls down his window and turns up the music until it blasts above the rushing air. He puts his hand on my leg just as I set the rose on the floor in the car.

He asks me something I can’t hear above the music and wind. I glance at him. See something silver just before it slams into the car.

Something electric buzzes around my head. Allergic to bees, I jerk away. A hot pain shoots through my neck, making my throat burn. I try to lift my hand to swat the bee away, but it only gets louder, and I can’t move my arm. Something very heavy weighs it down.

The heat mixes with the floral scent of the rose, radiating off the ground in waves. New smells mingle with the fear and sweat and dust.

Blood. And smoke.

Flashes of light beam through the darkness. Red then blue. Red then blue. White light stays still, focusing on one spot. Sounds exist far away, shouts and cries. I feel the ground beneath my back. Hard and sharp, with lots of little bumps. Warm. Too warm. And sticky.

The white light shines on me, blinding me, even though my eyes are closed. I feel nothing else.

Red then blue. Red then blue.

A white, hot poker enters my head.

Voices argue around me.

The pain recedes as I stand up. Everything is black and white or shades of gray. Xan’s on the ground, his beautiful skin pale, deathly white against the black asphalt. He doesn’t look solid.

Two very solid men work around him, plunging tubes and checking vital signs. Pools of blood flow in black, oily puddles. Smoke still wafts from the demolished front end of Xan’s car.

I look for myself, but my body is already gone. Dark stains litter the road. I look up, wondering if the sky is always this black after death. The sun hangs just above the mountains, an orb of bright white. There is no color here.

I am dead.

I turn, and there stands Xan. His dark hair falls across his transparent forehead in inky streaks.

He’s holding the red rose. The crimson of it stands out against his alabaster skin and black clothes.


And go!


Anonymous said...

Awesome story Elana. And for the record, I love the name Xan. I'll get my short up this weekend...

Eric said...

Wow, nice job Elana. I'll get mine worked up in a bit.

Amanda Bonilla said...

What a great short! You are so talented! You've really challenged me to step up my short game!

Rebecca Knight said...

Cool idea! I love the story, too. A great way to start the day ;).

I'm in! I'll have mine up soon. Woo hoo!

lisa and laura said...

This is so fun! I already have an idea of what I want ours to be about. Yay! Something productive to do today. Thanks Elana!

Eric said...

Okay, mine is located at Enjoy.

lisa and laura said...

Ok, here's ours:

Thanks for the fab idea Elana!

Danyelle L. said...

Here's mine:

Very fun! Thanks, E. :D

Unknown said...

Oh man! That's sad! I actually didn't want it to end there. *sigh* I always want more though, don't I? I love the name Xan! (Of course! Ha ha!)

Author Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, I totally didn't see all that coming. Interesting that the color of the rose remained, when all the other color was gone.

I saw your face on my sidebar but when I clicked on you to come visit, it wouldn't pull up your blog. I finally realized I might find you on another follower's site. :-)

So, I'm prety much just stopping by to say hi. You have a very cool looking blog.

Elana Johnson said...

Thanks guys! I've loved reading these short stories over the past day! You guys are made of writing win!

Abby Annis said...

Thanks, Elana, for that awesome story! And for inspiring me to write something new. You can check it out here.

Rebecca Knight said...

Hi, Elana,

Here's mine:

This was too much fun!

Unknown said...

Nice story, Elana : ) Mine is up.

XiXi said...

This sounds really fun! I'll do it and link to you for sure!

ali cross said...

How macabre of you. Very cool. So it sounds like she's in hell. No color, no beauty--only Xan the boyfriend who sounds like a control freak?

I'm only a little miffed that you (prob) got the name from me and my son, Xan (didn't you say you thought the name was cool and you'd have to use it some day?) and then made him out to be (to my mind) a bad guy, lol?

It's okay. I can deal with that. Hmm ... I think my story will feature a crazy woman named Elana who's a serial killer, lol. ;)

Great start Elana!

Elana Johnson said...

Xan's a nice guy. He works really hard to please his girlfriend. And I totally forgot your son's name was Xan, Ali! I wanted to use an X, for whatever reason that I can't remember now. That's it. :D

Anonymous said...

Here's mine:

Thanks for the fun!

Melissa said...

First, I enjoyed your story Elana! It was a fun read.

Second, I couldn't resist participating and have posted my story on my blog. You can check it out here:

Thanks for thinking up such a fun writing treat!

Unknown said...

Okay, mine is up, sort of... I just did an excerpt of some lyrics. Does that still even count? lol

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