Submitted another story recently to the weekly Reedsy Prompts contest. I was pretty satisfied with most of it, but the ending was a little weak. I’m enjoying the occasional prompt contest as it seems to engage my creativity and give me energy to work on my other stories. And who knows, maybe I’ll win one of these weeks if I keep at it. Fifty bucks ain’t much, but I’m not playing this game for the money.
In years past, Julia’s family would bring the holidays to her and Carlton. Quarantine orders, lockdowns, and social distancing precluded such visits in 2020. Even carolers, routine in her neighborhood each December, had been prohibited.
But nothing was going to stop Julia from celebrating Christmas.
“Perhaps we shouldn’t put the lights around the front door,” Carlton suggested. “Why draw attention to an outside world that’s been shut down?”
“Oh I’ve a plan,” Julia replied. “Small LED screens over the windows, coordinated to show holiday images.”
“You really are determined to celebrate Christmas?” Carlton asked.
It’s the activity I miss most, the students’ energy between classes, shuttling books between their lockers and backpacks, the student voices a chorus of youthful grievances, earnest braggadocio, and conspiratorial whispers.
An energy not replicable over Zoom.
I return to the school building weekly, more out of longing than necessity. Walking through the long empty and now dusty corridors today, I remembered my dream from last weekend. Students at their lockers, gathering their books in the black-and-white of all my dreams.
“Where are you going?” my dream-self asked.
A nameless teen looked up at me. “We’re not here,” she said.
Tried something different last week and submitted a story for a Reedsy Prompts contest. It’s called The Field, and while it didn’t earn any prize I’m pretty satisfied at having produced a complete story in less than a week. There will be more contest entries in the future.
Getting a surveillance warrant was the first of Detective Warren’s challenges. Finding the optimum location for the listening device was the next big hurdle.
Prior investigative work had identified the suspect’s basement as the headquarters of the multi-state narcotics operation. Warren’s device needed to be close enough to the suspect to pick up clear audio but distant enough to avoid detection.
Warren’s mole in the operation identified the solution. The basement was also used for drying herbs. Hiding the bug among hanging garlic cloves worked perfectly.
Warren chuckled, remembering that vampires didn’t like garlic, making this a perfect stake out.