Weekly Writing Challenge 03/31/2021


As is normally the case when doing this I only uncover the title for a story as I near the end of it. This week the title presented itself to me as I was writing the last segment. Permit me to introduce you to ‘The Line’. As noted before I knew this would be brief as was its nature that you will become aware of momentarily.

The Line

Part 3

Chastised I returned to my work, but thoughts of what I wanted to do to Simon, and his wife, never strayed far from my mind. I threw myself into my job, working twice as hard to regain the respect I lost over my earlier failures. It wasn’t long before the line was humming along as it should, and my welds improved to their former beauty.

There’s something spectacular about a good weld that those who have never welded would understand. Like Rembrandt, Picasso, Steinbeck, and Dickens. Artists in their own right who understood the medium they worked in, just as I understood my chosen medium. I was meant to weld, and I had the talent to be the best, but that didn’t mean a damned thing on the line. On the line the only thing that mattered was keeping to the schedule, and the schedule was brutal. There was little time for anything other than hitting your welds and moving onto the next piece, and on to the next, and the next. A never-ending line of steel stretching beyond forever.

Walking the line was Simon, always watching over our shoulder, never letting up. Push, push, push, that was all he did. Meet that quota. Beat that deadline. Give yourself to the line only to make him look good. He got all the credit, and rest of us got nothing. No recognition, no praise, just more work slammed down our throats until it felt like we were going to choke.

I couldn’t take it anymore. The line was my world, my life, and my nemesis. I felt him behind me, Simon, always checking always watching what we were doing, and I felt myself coming apart at the seams. It wasn’t fair he should get all the credit for our hard work. The life we worked for and deserved. He stepped around to my side, inspecting my work and I responded.

It was an accident really, my response to his presence was mostly reflex. I shifted and spun around. When I did, I inadvertently knocked him into the line. The line was no place for soft flesh and fragile bone. Blood sprayed the base of the pillar I operated from, alarms sounded, and for the first time in my memory, the line stopped.

Voices and footsteps raced to my position. One of the technicians knelt down and grabbed my power cord. I tried to stop him, but he was too fast. He yanked the cord before I could intervene and the power supplying my brain was interrupted. A system wide shut down went into effect and the world around me dimmed as electronic circuitry stopped functioning.

The last thing I saw was Simon’s lifeless body trapped in the mechanism of the line. The carrier after the one I’d been working nearly decapitated him and for the first time in my miserable life I felt a moment’s joy. Then I felt no more.

The End

I know, it needs some extensive editing. I’ll let it rest for a few weeks before I tackle it again. So what do you think?

Weekly Writing Challenge 03/03/2021


I suspected I knew where the story was headed when I first started. In that lonely elevator, but at the time I did not have a firm handle on my character. Now I do. When I do the rewrite, I’ll cast Nick as the overly possessive, extremely jealous type who happens to be rich. An untouchable character who believes the legal system is powerless against him. Who discovers in the end that some legal systems exist beyond the mortal plane.

Next week we’ll start a new story. I’ll share the roll of the dice at that time. Anyone who wants to participate is welcome, I’d be delighted to see what you come up with. Without further adieu I give you, the conclusion of,

Third Times a Charm

After being cuffed and stuffed into the back seat of a patrol car Nick was taken downtown and left alone in one of the interrogation rooms. He called his lawyer from the patrol room and was waiting for his arrival. No one had told him what was going on and his thoughts were a whirlwind of questions spinning endlessly around one another.

The wall opposite from where he sat was a mirror that he knew from past experience hid several detectives who could watch his every move while they remained undetected. Inside he was seething at the injustice he felt at what was going on yet outwardly he remained silent, his hand folded before him, his unwavering gaze fixed on the mirror. He knew it wasn’t doing him much good to act as he was, but what else was there for him to do?

Detective Martin stepped through the door, closing it behind him before he crossed to the only other seat directly across from Nick.

“Would you mind telling me why I’m here?”

Detective Martin settled into his seat without a word, opened a manila folder, and slid several photos across the table to him.

Nick was shocked by what the photos contained. Denise lay face down on the kitchen floor, a pool of blood around her body, the handle of his butcher’s knife protruding from the center of her back.

“I didn’t do that,” Nick said.

Detective Martin slammed the table with his open hand. “Bullshit. Your fingerprints are on handle of the knife. You were seen rushing from the apartment shortly before she was found by your neighbor. I have numerous witnesses who place you at the scene of the crime when it occurred.”

“But it wasn’t me.”

“Then who was it?”

Nick almost said his dead wife’s name but stopped at the last moment. “I don’t know,” he answered instead.

Detective Martin scowled at the knock at the door. “Come in.”

“His lawyer’s here.” Someone at the door said as Nick’s lawyer stepped into the room.

“Don’t say another word Mr. Morton, we’ll take care of this. Were you questioning my client without me being present?” Nick’s lawyer turned on Detective Martin.

“We were just chatting, passing the time until you arrived.”

“I see,” Nick’s lawyer glanced at the photos on the table, “I do hope you read him his rights.”

“Crossing my t’s and dotting my I’s is all part of the job.”

“Come along, Mr. Morton, let’s get you out of here.”

“Now wait one minute, your client is the prime suspect in a woman’s murder.”

“And I’ve already spoken to Judge Timmons who had released Mr. Morton to my custody, now if there’s nothing else?” Nick’s Lawyer motioned to the handcuffs holding Nick.

Detective Martin shook his head as he released the handcuffs binding Nick to the table. “Don’t leave town.”

“Or course not detective, now if you’ll excuse us,” Nick’s lawyer led him from the room.

His lawyer had agreed to wait in his car while Nick ran up to retrieve a few things. The officer on duty had been informed of his arrival and was waiting for him. In the elevator car Nick watched the screen indicating the floor when he realized it had gotten so cold he could see his breath. He was rubbing his hands together when he became aware of a presence behind him. A chilled hand rested on his shoulder as an icy breath enveloped his ear.

“Third times a charm,” Mona whispered behind him as a cold blade slid between his third and forth rib and his earthly worries came to an end.