Escape Plan (A Six-Sentence Story)

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He shoved her hard and she stumbled backward, nearly falling; standing inches from here face, he dared her to push him back. But she knew how quickly things would escalate, so she spoke to him in quiet tones as she always did to calm his raging fury, while deep inside her heart told her that he’d crossed the line and there could be no turning back; it was time to hatch a plan for her survival.

As soon as he left the house to set up for his band gig that night she began making calls, first to her daughter in a nearby state to ask if she could come and stay with her for awhile, then to her boss to ask for time off to take care of personal business.

Quickly she put her plan into action, packing a suitcase and stowing it in trunk of her car, and putting a few personal treasures in a box in the back of a closet under quilts where they would be safe if he started smashing things when he discovered she was gone.

She played it cool when he came home to shower and dress before returning to the club where he would be playing, pretending to read a book though the words escaped her; she knew she needed to wait until the gig began so she would have enough time to get many miles away.

No sooner was he gone than he was back for a piece of sound equipment he’d forgotten, and she trembled inside to realize how easily he might have caught her; as his tail lights disappeared once again into the darkness she left a note for him on the counter, tossed her cats into their carriers, and drove away into the night.

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Join us for
with Denise at 
where the cue this week is “hatch“
 

 

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After the Storm (A Six-Sentence Story)

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My mother was terrified of tornadoes; my sisters and I spent many stormy summer nights huddled with her under the laundry table in our basement as my father, refusing to be stirred, slept soundly in his bed.

She told a story of seeing the devastation left in a tornado’s wake as a young child on the South Dakota prairie.  A big farmhouse down the road from theirs had one wall completely missing, as if it had been neatly sliced off with a butcher’s knife, furniture still in place on the opposite side of the open rooms, curtains still hanging in the windows.

I never thought to ask about the family who lived there, but now I can envision them, probably hunkered down in the root cellar hoping that the old wooden door would hold, hearing the roar like a freight rain above them and praying for their lives.

Imagine the terror of a little girl huddled there in the darkness with her brother and her parents in the deafening noise of the wind, things being torn apart, and debris being hurled against the cellar door.

An eerie silence follows, and they slowly climb the stairs and push aside the door to find an alien landscape – trees uprooted, barn flattened, smashed truck that had apparently been picked up and dropped beside what remained of the smokehouse, and their big two-story farmhouse sitting there with one side wide open like a dollhouse; nothing would ever be the same.

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Join us for
with Denise at 
where the cue this week is “wake“
 

 

Twisted (A Six-Sentence Story)

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I will spare you the actual images, you can search for them on Google if you want.  I think that the above monument at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site speaks for itself; I don’t need to tell you what it represents.

In 1977, while living as a military family in what was then West Germany, we decided to tour the Dachau Concentration Camp; something we felt we needed to do.  It left an impression that I will never forget as long as I live; the epitome of evil, the embodiment of man’s inhumanity to man.

While the grounds and remaining buildings, including the crematorium, have been sanitized and made presentable for public viewing, the horror of what happened there has not been whitewashed or lost.

The museum contains many haunting photos, but the ones that remain burned into my heart and mind are the piles of twisted limbs, emaciated corpses awaiting cremation… men, women, and children treated worse than any animal, their only “crime” being born a Jew.

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Join us for
at 
where the cue this week is “limb
 

Hidden (A Six-Sentence Story)

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“Hurry, they are coming; we have to leave right now!”

The young girl quickly bent down and shoved a folded piece of paper through the slats of the heating vent in the room where she’d been staying.

Ten years later, as a demolition crew was tearing down the old farm house to make way for a new development, they made an amazing discovery… a yellowed piece of  folded paper fell at their feet as they pried an old heating vent cover from the wall with a crowbar.

“My name is Kara Willams and I am nine years old. My daddy took me from my mama and we are hiding and I am scared,” was written on the note in a child’s scrawl.

Mac, the demolition crew supervisor, had no idea who this little girl was or what had become of her after she left the farmhouse, but he knew that he had to find out.

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Join us for
at 
where the cue this week is “vent
 

Where There’s Smoke (A Six Sentence Story)

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“Don’t you be messin’ with no Ouija board,” Grandma admonished them, “those things are the Devil’s playground.”

Judith and her friends rolled their eyes at each other as they headed up to the attic of the old house in their pajamas for a slumber party, the Ouija board already hidden away in the rafters.

Judith wondered how her grandmother could possibly take a board game so seriously; all the kids were doing it, and it was all in good fun.

Soon they were sitting in a circle on the floor, Ouija board and planchette in the center, candles at each corner, inviting spirits to come and join them and asking questions about a classmate who had disappeared and was rumored to be dead.

At first they were nervous and giggly, not taking the movement of the planchette too seriously; then the air got heavy, and it slowly spelled out, “I have taken him, and if you seek him I will come for you as well.”

The girls looked at each other in terror as sulfurous smoke began to fill the attic, activating the smoke detector in the hallway below.

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Join us for
at 
where the cue this week is “activate
 

 

Behind the Curtain (A Six Sentence Story)

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Behind the curtain a young single mother suckles her newborn son.

Behind the curtain a young man fights for his life after a losing control of his car while texting on his phone.

Behind the curtain color returns to a working man’s face, and hope lights his wife’s eyes, as his body begins to accept the newly transplanted heart.

Behind the curtain nurses struggle to calm the homeless addict, a repeat patient trying once again to obtain the pain medication her body craves.

Behind the curtain family gathers around the bedside to whisper last goodbyes.

As a nurse she’s seen it all, life and death behind the curtain.

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This week we’re moving
to
where the cue this week is “curtain
COME AND JOIN US AT OUR NEW SSS HOME!

 

1000 Cranes (A Six Sentence Story)

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Her  husband walked in the door after work to find supper not yet started, and the table covered with piles of brightly colored squares of paper.

He stood there watching as her stiff fingers clumsily folded a bright yellow square turn by turn until a small paper crane took shape, matching dozens of others in a rainbow of colors that were filling the cardboard box sitting near her feet.

“What’s for supper?” he asked quizzically, eyeing the clean kitchen counter and unused stove behind her.

“It’s make your own night,” she replied, noting that there was sandwich fixings and leftover chicken in the fridge.

“Ok…. what are you doing, and how long have you been at it?”

“Since early this morning,” she mumbled, intently focused on the task at hand, “I have to finish them tonight, the doctor doesn’t think she’s going to make it to the morning.”

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Japanese tradition holds that anyone who folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. 
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I’m joining the incredibly awesome Zoe at “Uncharted
The cue this week is “crane“.