I am excited to be nominated by my friend and excellent blogger Ray NotBradbury for the Spin a Story Challenge. Ray notes that: “It is also called ‘the wheel’ (the original name) and have been used even by Benjamin Franklin.”
1. Pick any book, newspaper, or magazine.
2. Choose 3 random words (best if with your eyes closed).
3. Create a story by using those 3 words or combinations of words. Give the name to your story, poem, flash fiction – if you like (not obligatory).
4. The style and the genre of the writing – any.
5. Pingback to my post (any post), so I can read and comment.
6. Nominate up to 5 blogs. Have fun!
I’m excited, but definitely challenged because I usually write non-fiction. In fact, fiction is something I’ve always wanted to try, and I give fiction writers great credit. It’s hard for me to imagine inventing characters and themes and locations and describing them with excellent detail like that.
So to pick the words, I grabbed three magazines I have and pulled a phrase from each of them to use. I might as well as been blindfolded because I made my choices without my reading glasses on and by flipping through the pages and pointing randomly.
“In the community” – from the state bar journal.
“Families at morgues” – from Life magazine – the issue on dogs.
“Was almost immediate” – from Preservation – a magazine about preserving and restoring historical buildings.
The sun had already set and twilight had faded into darkness by the time they arrived. She was nervously pacing back and forth. After all, she was a pillar in the community. How could this have happened?
Jennifer Longbow was born and raised in this tiny sea-side village. It didn’t take long to become a big fish in this small pond. But it might only take an instant to be dethroned. Especially when that instant involved . . .
“Jennifer!” “Are you alright?” Called out Sam. The maid had let him and the entourage in. Sam Elliot was the town sheriff. He had graduated high school with Jennifer. Their classmates now filled all of the “prominent” positions in this seedy backwater. The county seat of nowhere land.
Yes, the mayor, minister, sheriff, judge, physician and coroner, and the district attorney all had last names that never seemed to change. A half-dozen families that passed titles and control from generation to generation for the past 90 some odd years.
The “super-six” also locked-up the city council. This was more of an aristocracy than anything resembling a democracy. The “Council” was more like the “Star Chamber,” deciding the fate of anyone within the town’s borders.
Jennifer’s family owned the lumber mill, grocery store, hardware store, and the only restaurant in town. Most of the land to start with for that matter. They owned it all, and the Council was beholding to the Longbows. With their wealth and ability to share it, the Longbows owned the Council too.
Jennifer stood to inherit it all, if she could right herself with her father. One night’s bad judgment, passion over logic, had left her with a child not suitable to be an heir. Not in his eyes anyway.
But that might not matter now. Her father had groomed her to be the ruthless business mogul he was. To never let anyone stand in her way, not even him. And now he laid a lifeless mass at the bottom of the wine cellar stairs.
“Not really Sam,” she finally answered, with no hint of emotion.
And now the Council was assembled.
The reaction was almost immediate. “Clearly an accident,” said the doctor. “Nothing for a grand jury here,” said the DA. “There’s always reasonable doubt for the Longbows in my court,” said the Judge. “God bless him,” said the minister. “Business will continue as usual, right Jennifer?” Said the mayor, more of a statement than a question.
“Well, let’s get about our business,” said the sheriff. “But one thing Jennifer.” “No more bodies for a while.” “There’ve been too many families at morgues in this county lately.”
Well, I hope you like my first crack at fiction writing. I liked playing with this so much, I might have to keep doing this – I need the practice 😊
And I like what Ray said – anyone who wants to participate may. Nominate yourself. This is fun 😊
The Photo: A bottle of wine at an eclectic little shop somewhere in Oregon. And “Sleight of Hand Cellars” kind of fits with the story 🙂