Beginning … answering a challenge

Can I even do this?

A fellow blogger has issued a writing challenge . Check it out maybe you would like to join too. Anyway, he wanted to know who was in with the idea. Several weeks ago I produced my first small attempt at fiction writing (also part of a writing prompt suggestion). It turned out better than I expected and now I’m feeling somewhat encouraged to try again. The problem is, I have no stories rattling around in my head. How do I even come up with an idea never mind a whole story? To answer him, I said I might try.

My hope flew right out the window at the sight of his one word prompt. It seemed pretty impossible and I was ready to take a pass on this one. The thing is … as the days went by I figured I needed to at least put a little effort into it before giving up completely.

After rejecting a few ideas on where to go with a story there was one that seemed feasible. I had the germ of an idea, that’s all, no real details. With only this small bit to go on, I learned something about myself as I worked through this exercise. It’s giving me hope to think, maybe I’m not a lost cause after all.

It turns out I’m a pantser, not a plotter. I fly by the seat of my pants. I started writing with what I did have, and amazingly, I ended up with a little story. Albeit, one without a neat and tidy conclusion. It could be chapter one someday. Probably not, but it could be.

So here is my second small story, this one in answer to Peckapalooza: The Confusing Middle’s challenge. Beginning


Carly opened her eyes to sunlight peaking through the slats of the window blinds. A promising start to the day. Nice weather always improves her outlook on life. The thought of a good cup of coffee and a bagel at her favorite breakfast stop doesn’t hurt either.

She couldn’t help but smile as she went about getting ready for the day. This job was working out well, much better than expected. It’s not easy taking on a new career with no prior training or experience. Who knew she could actually do it.

The prospect of a sunny day was disappearing quickly as she stepped off the elevator. Something was up. The tension in the office was palpable and she had no idea why. The first thought to cross her mind was to wonder if it had anything to do with her. She hadn’t been there very long and her entry into the company did not follow the usual advancement track. Some toes were stepped on to make it all possible. There had to be at least one, maybe two, holding a grudge for being passed over by a newbie.

It wasn’t like she had little education or experience. She did in fact hold several degrees and enjoyed success in a field unrelated to this one. It wasn’t the same but it did qualify her, in a backward kind of way, to be successful here. There had been much thought put into this placement and all expectations were that she would excel. If this morning’s stress couldn’t be related to her performance, what else was going on?

As she powered up her computer an email flashed on the screen. Her team was ordered to the board room in ten minutes. They were about to find out what was going on and it couldn’t be anything good. Not with the harsh tone of the summons.

It didn’t lessen the team’s sense of apprehension any to see the large management representation seated at the head of the table. At least her mind was eased on one aspect. This couldn’t be about her.

Opening remarks verified that thought. This was much bigger. Someone’s job could be on the line, maybe even more than one someone. Management was out for blood. The company stands to lose millions unless they can come up with a fast solution for a project that has gone terribly wrong. The client is screaming law suit and they intend to deliver unless this is made right and made-right now.

The meeting was short. It doesn’t take much time to deliver this heavy ultimatum. Finding an acceptable solution will not be accomplished as quickly.

Carly is not part of the lead on this project, so there’s not much she can do until someone gives her instructions. Heading back to the office while the rest brainstorm, her mind is on clearing her desk. She can do her best if she’s ready to run the minute they call.

The sight of newly delivered mail is distracting. There’s an envelope leaning against her keyboard where it can’t be missed. A big padded envelope with no return address. Who would be sending her something like this? Warning bells began sounding in her head. The room started spinning as she glanced at the contents.

Pictures. Pictures of her leaving the house. Pictures of her entering this office building. The nightmare is beginning all over again. How had they found her? With trembling hands she placed a call to her contact in the Marshall’s office, the company dilemma completely forgotten.


I hope you enjoyed reading this story as much as I did writing it.

Today is a slow day for the usual offerings of Free and Bargain book suggestions. Tomorrow could be better but if it’s not I have a good list of read-and-enjoyed to share with you.

As always,

Happy Reading!

4 thoughts on “Beginning … answering a challenge

  1. Pingback: Beginning | The Confusing Middle

  2. Pingback: Chapter two Signal | For the Love of Books

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