Writing Challenge (Booking Through Thursday)

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  • Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
  • Turn to page 123.
  • What is the first sentence on the page?
  • The last sentence on the page?
  • connect them together.(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that&’s cheating!)

From The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith:

“That is, if there’s some reason to hide it and there usually is if a man’s been murdered.”

“Murdered? Who said anything about that?” Carole paced up and down the length of the small apartment hallway. She could no more tell Jensen the truth than she could gouge out her own eyes. Then again, King Lear had always been her favorite Shakespeare play. “Ah, to play Cordelia again!”

“You never were very good, you know.” Jensen snapped his book shut. “And I’m sick to God of hearing about your thespian aspirations. You and I were never meant for anything other than the ordinary.”

A rage filled Carole, startling her with its ferocity. Jensen never took her seriously, not in ten years of marriage, five of which she spent in audition after audition, only ever “good enough,” never hired, never relieved from the pressure of the dream she’d carried since she was a little girl. And then, the babies started coming, and who cared about Carole’s dreams anymore? Not Jensen, the man whose face she used to see before her eyes when she closed them at night. Her mouth tasted of metal as she allowed herself to feel the full measure of her fury towards the sloppy, careless life he’d given to her. She would tell him the truth, and demand the respect that should have been hers from the moment he first said, “I love you.”

“I’m not joking. She said she came by to play with the babies, but you know her idea of playing is to light up a cigarette and turn on Dr. Phil. She started in on the house. Dirty baseboards. Cereal bowls still in the sink at ten in the morning. And all the while I started to see something I’d never seen before. And that’s how much she looks like you. So I put drain cleaner in her coffee. She keeled over right in front of me and her body is in the trunk of my car. I killed your mother and I’m not sorry. I’d kill you, too, if we didn’t need your paycheck.” Carole waited, breathless, even gleeful. “Do you believe me, darling?”

“Yes, sure,” Jensen said attentively, as if waiting for the rest.

9 thoughts on “Writing Challenge (Booking Through Thursday)”

  1. This was really good… have you thought about submitting to one of the flash fiction sites? I really liked the images here.

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