What Happened at the Mill? [Weekly Writing Challenge: The Setting’s the Thing]

Today, we challenge you to create a compelling setting for your story.

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There were many theories as to what happened to Erik inside the rundown mill in the outskirts of the quaint little town on the island in the middle of Lake Isu, but the theories seemed to contrast with everything I saw when I came down there to investigate. The town was small, and when I say that I mean it’s really small. The houses are painted in dull colors like brown and gray; they are huddled so close together like sardines in a can, and a couple can barely argue about anything before the next door neighbors decide to come over and see what’s wrong. It seemed odd that such kinds of people living in a town so archaic-they still had working primitive hand pumps for drawing water from like, the past centuries-would miss the presence of an archaeologist roaming around the narrow dirt roads with his tool belt, eating in the lone diner with the red and white tiles, and talking to local folk of the town’s history.

I decided to head to the abandoned water mill where Erik was found lying in a pool of dried blood. I paused at the doorway, expecting it to be full of cobwebs and such, but it was fairly okay. Traces of the blood were still left on the creaky hardwood floor, and the scent hung in the air like none of it was ever wiped away. I looked up and saw that half the roof had already given way, and I saw the rising moon look down at me. I continued to observe the surroundings. The wheel on one side of the mill was already in pitiful condition, and the mayor said it has been abandoned for almost twenty years. The lake had shrunk for the water no longer flowed in and out, and mosquitoes breed in the green, moss-filled water. Some of the beams inside the structure are no longer stable. Erik would never have come out here for any reason. The floorboards creaked, though I was not moving.

 

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I had fun with this week’s challenge. It’s been so long since I worked on one. It’s not as elaborate as I want it, but I can still work on that.

Four notes was all it took [Weekly Writing Challenge: Moved by Music]

Music is powerful: it conjures memories, emotions, and people and things of the past. It’s not only a trigger, but an outlet to express who we are. For this challenge, pick one song and write about it — or use it as inspiration for a post. The track may be personally meaningful, or remind you of something, someone, or some event you can look back on.

Remember that girl Katniss Everdeen teamed up with in the 74th Hunger Games? Well, this post is about her four-note song (and its full orchestra version below). I suggest you listen to the music first before you proceed.

 The song has no words; it need not have words. The music alone evokes so much sadness, so much grief that most Tributes (Hunger Games fans, that is) like myself would shed tears or stop whatever they’re doing when they hear the whistle. The development of this full version of a short whistle song, for me, served as a moment of glory for RUE. She died in such a disturbing way; whenever I hear the song, it’s almost as though I relive the moment again and again.

Despite this, it also relaxes me and soothes my nerves. I don’t know why, but maybe because it is a reminder that some things are worth..not dying for, that’s too grave and serious, but rather some things are worth making an effort for. It is a reminder that even the best plans have loopholes, that we can lose even the best people in the blink of an eye. It is a reminder that we should make the most out of life while we still have it. Or maybe it just reminds me of that innocent little girl. I can never tell.

They got nothing on you, baby [Daily Prompt: Can’t Drive 55]

Take the third line of the last song you heard, make it your post title, and write for a maximum of 15 minutes. GO!

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You’re the only one on my mind when I wake up in the morning. You’re still the one I think about even as I am drifting off to sleep. It’s you, always. You don’t know me, and I don’t think I know you well, but I want to. I hope that one day, I will get that chance. I am looking forward to it. Don’t worry about the other people who try to put you down. Smile at them and let them do as they please. To be honest, smile at everyone. You don’t know how much that smile can brighten my day. And whatever happens, just remember: They got nothing on you, baby.

Broken Carousel [Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words]

Image

I was there, in the playground, just yesterday. I was walking towards the swings when a little girl sitting on the broken carousel caught my attention. The carousel had been there for a long time; I think someone said it was already broken. Just like me, broken beyond repair. But this girl, she’s breaking fast too.  I don’t know how I knew this. I just did. There’s still hope for her though because she’s still young. She has a lot more to learn from life. She’s struggling to understand many things; time’s forcing her to grow up quickly. I approached her but I dare not speak. She must have heard my heavy footsteps because she turned to me.

“Hello little girl.” I said to her.

“Hi Jean.” She replied.

“How do you know my name?” I wondered.

“Don’t you recognize me?” the little girl looked up at me.

Then it dawned on me. The little girl on the carousel was the girl who’d just lost her mother ten years ago. She was the one who always felt alone, despite everything. She was the girl who always had to assure herself that she was just overthinking things. The little girl on the broken carousel…was me.

***

 

Click the picture or this link for more of this week’s challenge! 🙂

Just wait. [Daily Prompt : Everything Changes]

Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

 

You know that feeling when everything just falls into place? That moment when you realize everything you knew about the world was unreal? Well, for me it happened last semester. It was the last day of school and I was heading home when I saw a neatly folded paper on the pavement. I picked it up, opened it and started reading it. “Something good is about to happen. Just wait.” , I said out loud. I was about to read more, but a gust of wind blew making me lose my hold on the tiny parchment. I ran after it, as I saw it land a few meters away. Yet as I was about to get a hold of it, a pair of hands snatched it up from the ground. I looked up, and saw the upperclassman I’d had a crush on for quite a time. He looked at me for like the first time, and smiled at me. “This must be yours.” he said and handed the paper to me. “Yeah. Thanks.” I replied. “It must be so important that you ran after it.” “It is.” I answered automatically. “I’ll get going now. See you around!” he said and headed toward school. “Thanks again! See you!” I shouted back. I have the paper to this day; my crush didn’t know how much that meeting changed me. I was on the verge of suicide at the time, and that tiny bit of parchment literally saved me.

***

Okay. I was thinking about my crush while writing this, and this is some sort of thing I wish would happen. Haha. So much for the daily prompt. =)

My Earliest Memory [Weekly Writing Challenge : I Remember]

I thought about writing my most painful experience, but then I realized I already did that. So I’m going for my first memory. Or the one I remember anyways.

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Our scene takes us to a beach in Subic, Zambales. I was almost one year old, I think. Everyone was having fun in the water and me? I was on the foldable bed made of banig. It was under the shade of some tree in the sand. Wearing nothing but a black swimsuit with yellow and orange ribbons on it, I sat there contented. Until, the bed folded on its own, that is. The bed folded up to its original position and I went tumbling on the sand. I don’t remember the exact feeling, but I was pretty sure it hurt. I don’t know how it happened even now and I think that’s weird.

Well, the time’s up. Bye now.

***

This is a response to this week’s writing challenge. Click the link for more! 🙂

To the insanely beautiful girl in my class

green monsterDear classmate,

I never really knew you, or connected with you (and I have a feeling that I will never, although we have four years to go with each other). But in the short time that I have interacted with you, I never really liked you. It would be much later though, that I would admit why. And you know why? You were beautiful. Not that I wasn’t (at least that’s what I do believe), it’s just that you were. And it’s not like you tried either; it just seemed so natural on you.

I was jealous. I wasn’t normally jealous. Maybe it had something to do with the crush I had on ********* at the time. Was he interested in you? I thought he was but I never found out, ’cause my crush on him lasted for about a week and I got over it. HAHA. :)) And that’s a topic for a later post too, cause he was really weird after that. But the insecurity with you is another thing. It’s one of those things that, when you start noticing you can’t help it. Twitter didn’t help (I’m not saying why); all I’m gonna say is this: DMs exist honey. Use ’em. 🙂

Anyway, I’ve kind of accepted that you can’t have everything. But it’s never bad to dream. Thanks for teaching me that, albeit unknowingly.

Lots of love,

slightly jealous and super insecure classmate

***

This is a response to the daily prompt for Aug. 3, which you can view here.

Definitely Printed! (Weekly Writing Challenge-Mind The Gap)

**This is a very short post. I could not express myself in complete sentences so…

 

There is nothing that can replace

The excitement of making a trip

To the nearest bookshop around

And buying a book you’ve always wanted.

 

There is nothing that can replace

The joy of opening the casing

And flipping through the pages

Of your newfound treasure.

 

There is nothing that can replace

The delight that in reading you can get

A simple pleasure everyone can enjoy

Whether for study or for leisure.

 

There is nothing that can replace

The feeling of a printed book in your hands.

Even though eBooks are more convenient,

Few things are more superior to the good ol’ paperback.

 

***

This post is a response to: Weekly Writing Challenge-Mind The Gap #

At the Desk

Light comes from the large, rectangular sliding windows behind the computer. The Roman shades, in a wonderful pattern of alternating light blue and lavender with gold tassels at the ends, help in limiting the amount of light that enters the room. Through the windows one can see a mix of metal fencing, green vegetation and cloudy skies.

At the computer, a girl in her teenage years is busy typing away. At the computer desk are a few things she has been trying to accomplish in the past hours. An unedited survey questionnaire printed on brown, vintage-style paper. A half-finished Filipino homework on El Filibusterismo.  A trusty black pen from Japan. These items are all sprawled over the limited space made of laminated wood.  The computer speakers are on, as evident in the glowing blue light coming from it. On one side of the desk are two boxes placed upon one another. The one on top is an empty bow of Gap Chocolate biscuit sticks, and the box looks just as delicious as its contents. The box underneath is a box of playing cards which her parents often occupy themselves with after eating.

The girl is still typing away, her face emotionless as she presses the keys and checks the outcome in the 20-inch monitor. She is not yet satisfied; she must do more. All the comforts of home surround her as she continues to reach for her dreams.

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I had fun making this! For more descriptive articles, go to this week’s writing challenge.

The bells are tolling (Weekly Writing Challenge: Starting Over)

“You can never go home again.”

 

That’s probably the most depressing news I have heard in my whole life. The thought of having to stay in this small room with its white walls and melancholy atmosphere is almost too much to bear. I am dying, for saying out loud. I would at least appreciate the comfort of home. Then I realize the carillon of the nearby church is tolling, announcing yet another death. Who is it? The baker from Rose St. who makes delicious apple pies? The owner of the bed and breakfast on Foxglove Avenue who let me sleep there once for free? The real estate agent of my house on Daisy St.? Perhaps the bells aren’t tolling at all, perhaps it is all in my head. They ring too often these days that I couldn’t tell the difference. The ringing of the bells are probably coming from my own mind-a premonition-telling me that soon, the bells will toll for me.

 

I started to remember my first day in this town. Blossom had seemed appealing especially after spending almost ten years in the city. I had begun to get tired of all the cars and buildings and people. I wanted a change in atmosphere, a streak of light in an otherwise boring life. I wanted to start over. A friend told me about Blossom and not long after, I found myself walking through the town’s dirt roads. It was raining and the puddles on the road were beginning to fill with water. That was the night I slept in the bed and breakfast and as I walked on the next morning, I passed by the bakery and the smell of freshly-baked apple pie filled the air. I bought two pies, one for myself and one for my real estate agent.

 

She went through all the things I should know about the town when I bought the house, and as time went by, I realized she was right. The people here always had time for simple pleasures like reading, singing and dancing, those things I rarely saw in the city that seem so important here. They were busy, but they always had time for a good conversation. Families always went out to the local diner or to the park and children enjoyed the cool, fresh air. Lovers would often watch the sunset at the harbor, which glows at night because of its little twinkling lights.

 

I started over in Blossom and rebuilt my old self, who seemed to be buried deep in the ground. I had a lot of amazing experiences and made happy memories here. I learned many things about life, met many great people, and had a wonderful time. It was more than everything I ever hoped for.

 

I feel the numbness slowly creeping in on me. I start to see the light coming from the other side.

 

“You can never go home again.” the nurse repeated.

 

“I know.” I whisper. “But I will take home with me.”

 

The bells are tolling again, and I hear them calling my name. I am not afraid, I shall come…

 

 

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For more of Starting Over, check out Weekly Writing Challenge: Starting Over.