Two for Tuesday Challenge #12 – June 11 – 17

Flash fiction challenges such as Five Sentence Fiction has kept me writing and improved my craft, so I serve up some here every Tuesday. Since every one likes choices I’m providing you with two weekly writing prompts.  You can participate in either one, or double your pleasure by trying your hand at both. Submit your efforts any time between now and next Tuesday.

The Standard Prompt will always consist of a two-word prompt to be used as inspiration. The Non-Standard Prompt will change from week to week. Sometimes it will be a visual prompt, sometimes a first sentence or phrase, sometimes a scenario, etc.  The limit for the Two for Tuesday Standard Prompts is 200 words and the Non Standard Prompt has a minimum of 200 words but no limit allowing for more in depth explorations. Use the little blue link thing below to submit your link or leave an entry in the comments section.

Don’t forget to check out the other entries.

Here is this week’s two-fer:

Standard Prompt:
dirty laundry

You have lots of creative leeway. The limit is 200 words. The words can be used:

  • simply as a point of inspiration and do not have to be used directly
  • they can be included exactly as provided
  • or each word can be used independently of each other (for example if Death Row was the prompt instead of crafting a story about an inmate on the way to the gallows, you might write something like: Despite feeling like death from an excess of cheap vodka consumed the night before, Evelyn moved on to planting her next row of spinach).

Non-Standard Prompt:
This week’s alternative prompt is a visual one, write a story using the photo below. As per usual with the Non-Standard Prompt there is no word limit (to allow for more in depth explorations) but there is a minimum of 200 words.

Write on!

For those who like to write first and read later, be forewarned, my effort follows.

The debris crunched beneath his feet and the smell of years—dust, mildew, gypsum, rot—even after all these years could not quite cover the aroma of sweaty boys (all dirty laundry, hormones and cheap aftershave) mixed with a still detectable whiff of paste wax and disinfectant. The jeers and taunts echoed through the halls of his mind alongside the phantom squeak of tennis shoes and the rhythmic poom-poom-poom of a basketball on hardwood. This room still gave him shivers. There were more than memories haunting these four walls.

“Debakey! Blue team.” At the beginning of the of the basketball unit he was usually greeted with enthusiasm because of his height, but once they had become aware of his shortcomings in the skills department his name usually elicited a chorus of groans. The whole strategy and fast pace of the game had always eluded him and despite his close proximity to the rim he had been a lousy shot. In school he had towered over most of the others, a gawky and insect-like teenager. To make things worse he was shy and introverted, making him a perfect target.

The abuse began with simple name calling. Bug. Frankenstein. Freak. Sasquatch. Then the intimidation began. Tripping in the hallway, shoving in the cafeteria.  From there things had gone from bad to worse. And that is what brought him back all these years later.  The school had sat dormant—abandoned. It was about time someone took the initiative to completely erase the painful memories and so he clicked the lighter open, touched the flame to the gas soaked rag, tossed the bottle, turned and walked away without looking back.


24 comments on “Two for Tuesday Challenge #12 – June 11 – 17

  1. The inside of the old building looked like hell but he could live with that it was the human decay outside that made his blood boil. He watched from dilapidated room as his beautiful black sisters sold there soul on the street,thier bodies barely covered , wearing wigs the texture of white women’s hair. His brothers pushing poison to other brothers, killing one another to wear some white designers overpriced clothes. Maybe some plaster and paint could fix this old room up but it was going to take a hell of a lot more to expose the lies fed to his people. It hurt him to the depths of his heart to be back in this dump he had struggled so hard to get away from. For five years he had lived in the Motherland , where everyone from the street sweeper to the chief of police were black. There he didn’t feel like an outsider and even though he wasn’t born there he felt at home . No time to think about that now there was work to be done, he found a clean spot to open the leather bound case he had brought with him. Yes, there was much work to be done and inside this case was tools of his trade…….

  2. I don’t consider myself a great writer but I love to write. I’ve participated in your challenge many times but would never post it because I didn’t think it was good enough. Anyway I’m posting this time not because I think it’s my best but I have to start stepping out and taking chances or ill never get better. Thanks for providing this forum.

    • Thanks for sharing your story! Made me think of inner city and struggling to create a light in darkness.

    • Freddiejay– I’m really glad that you took the plunge. Writing can be a very solitary craft— just you and your ideas. Some feel that writing for the joy of writing is what it is all about and there is no denying that to a point, but sharing your ideas with the rest of us, while frightening at times, can also be liberating. I think you have done great job of creating a tense mood and your character exhibits a justified anger towards the injustice of inequality and I like how the protagonist is looking to improve the digs, clean the place up, help himself or herself. And then you leave us with this uneasy feeling that his/her tools of the trade might not improve the situation. Keep writing. I enjoyed what you came up with.

    • You’re writing is good! It feels like you’ve been writing for a long time. Your participation in the challenge has definitely helped your craft. I hope you will continue to write and post!

  3. […] Order up on Andy’s weekly prompt. […]

  4. Pretty powerful stuff. Did an excellent job of resurrecting the “memories”. Definitely made me feel for the kid… Man? Either way, a well written piece, Andy.

  5. […] Two for Tuesday Challenge #12 – June 11 – 17 (andyswordsandpictures.wordpress.com) […]

  6. […] following Two For Tuesday entry is a piece of backstory to a project I’m working on. Right now it’s just ideas in […]

  7. Good work, Andy. I went for the non-standard prompt this week:

    Arguably, it could fit the bill for the standard-prompt as well in a metaphorical manner if you ignore the word limit.

    Anyway… School, right? Glad the one in your story got what was coming to it!

  8. I was afraid to look back at this post I guess it was a fear of rejection from my peers but I did and I’m glad I did . Thanks for your helpful words and again thanks for providing this forum I will participate more often.

  9. And thanks to everyone for cheering me on , it makes me feel at home here!

  10. […] story for Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday prompt and another entry in my undead detective series, Queen of Hearts. Check it out from the […]

  11. Nicely done, Andy – sparks flying, literally! I went with the first prompt and kept my undead detective story going:


    Welcome Freddiejay!

  12. […] was written for the Two for Tuesday Challenge #12. Prompt: Dirty […]

  13. […] week Andy Black’s Two for Tuesday Challenge had the […]

  14. That photo has pushed us to some dark places this week. I really felt for your protagonist. Great description as ever – all those smells in that first para making my nose tingle.

  15. I haven’t written in a while 😦 is this one okay?

    For the past few hours, Stephanie had been busy running around the house like a rat lost in a maze. There were still so many preparations to be made before her boyfriend, Alex, finally returned from the military. Just as Stephanie finished the last few tasks that needed to be done, she heard the sound of the front door being opened. As Alex walked into their apartment, Stephanie ran to him and jumped into his arms. Alex sighed with relief, “It’s good to be home.”

    • Welcome back! This is great. The mood of nervous anticipation is well captured. I hope you had fun with it, and that like riding a bicycle it came to you easily! Say hello to your Dad for me.

  16. […] wrote this in June based on a prompt from Andy’s Words & Pictures. I didn’t know how to end the story (this is always an issue) so put it aside intending to go […]

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