Wednesday, April 20, 2011

writers' group challenge: 10 words

We were given the following 10 words and 30 minutes to create a story in 10 sentences or less.

1. What
2. Trees
3. Bathing
4. Style
5. Gatsby
6. Shimmering
7. Seductive
8. Axe
9. Photo
10. Fire

Here's mine.

Gatsby was all she had left, after the fire. He reclined on the inn's dark wood floor in an elegant heap, silently judging her with shimmering, yellow eyes. No matter what she did, how many doors she closed in the suite, the cat was there beside her, posing against bookshelf or sunbeam like a black-and-white photo from Vanity Fair. Bathing himself with one elegant paw, running it over and over his black fur in the style of a panther hidden in the jungle trees, waiting to strike from the darkness. Reminding her of the pretentious impotence of the life she'd left behind. She had thought herself so seductive and manipulative, winning the heart of a rich man's son. And she had thought herself so clever and strong, winning her freedom and fortune with one twist of a stove knob and the flick of a match. If not for her dead husband's cat, the damnable, accusing, purebred, thinks-his-shit-don't-stink cat, she could finally be happy. That's what she told herself as she picked up the axe again. That's what she told herself as she hacked and hacked and hacked at the empty space on the scarred wooden floor, just like yesterday, just like the day before, trying to kill something that was already gone yet would never leave her.