Robin Hawke

Friday’s Voice
September 30, 2011, 2:26 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags:

There are many of us, volunteers for this detail. I recognize a few: Ambrose in First Class; Diona on pilot duty. I almost stop to soothe the crying infant, but I slip behind Charity, her given name.

Richard’s preflight duties wrap up; Nigella waits for him in back.  The passengers’ blood pressure drops when the baby latches to Rosalie’s breast. She hums, all the while relieving Laura’s earache. “London Bridge is…”  I feel a tight impulse to abandon my mission.

I know what’s coming. I’m resigned. The white noise, the chime of the bell, the captain speaking, all these noises lull the passengers into thinking this is like every other ride in the sky.

Passengers scream; the women are always louder than the men. Several times, Richard yells, “Keep Calm,”  a bass beat attempting to deter fear.

Seconds later, we catch each soul in tight embrace. Charity hugs me back. Her eyes shine with regret. I know she wants to eat her mother’s chicken and pick from her husband’s necktie collection one more time.

Voice Week 2011

Click to read more voices.

The Good Heart
September 30, 2011, 1:39 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

“What a good heart he has. He laughs at all my jokes, did you notice? Maybe I love him.”

Thursday’s Voice
September 29, 2011, 6:44 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags:

The flight attendant helps me to my seat. I try to catch a young mama’s eye, let her know I notice how she’s managing, but she’s watching out the window.

I don’t like crowds, don’t like my shoes or shuffling in line. I find myself holding that nice-looking boy, I mean man. He fastens a seat belt for me, even puts a blanket round my knees. Such an important job—I was in customer relations. They called me a Queen of Courtesy.

I never felt any desire to go visit, but, when sis died, Ruthie started hounding me with invites. My nails in my palms, I’m thinking I won’t fly again. I’m sweltering, waiting for take-off. I miss Birdie; he’s a right beautiful singer, a lovely heliotrope color.

Voice Week 2011

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Dream Wedding
September 29, 2011, 2:22 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Lindsay was promised the wedding of her dreams. In the morning, the doctor called with results. Adapting, she chose paper plates and tablecloths.

Wednesday’s Voice
September 28, 2011, 3:41 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags:

Men notice her. She gets a big smile with her seat directions. He doesn’t look to someone like me, right behind her.

“No, no, no,” Brianna’s loud. “Can’t this move?” Here we go—our drama queen about to go off. The girl’s a natural actress; she’s louder than the screaming baby. I seen our bags get put overhead and what was there before are pushed on the steward. I hang back even if I’m appreciative of her, she’s something to be reckoned with.

We sit. I know she’s hanging fearful on every word that comes out the loudspeaker. I hold my girl’s hand. She was at fright, didn’t notice who walking by. I squeeze back. She needs to get a grip of herself. Ali is my daddy—here we go.

Voice Week 2011

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September 28, 2011, 1:39 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

He gives me a snowglobe. It’s supposed to be a memory keepsake, something I’m suppose to turn and watch and remember him by. He gives me the whole love but not in love speech and all I do is whisper, “Rosebud.”

Tuesday’s Voice
September 27, 2011, 5:17 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags:

Please take off on time. The steward barely helps me. That’s all right, get everyone else settled. I’ll manage with two arms, always do.

Oh, please be on time. I  look out the window while the rest of the passengers take their seats. They wish I wasn’t on board, as if I’m not doing my best.  All I hear is the baby screaming.  It hurts, how it hurts. The tingling pressure drives me to distraction.

Please, please finish up the safety talk; make your walk down the aisle, put on your own seatbelt. I just want to open my blouse and nurse.

Voice Week 2011

Click to read more voices.

A Week of Six Word Stories, September 20-26
September 27, 2011, 3:05 PM
Filed under: Six Word Stories

Late nights, scrambled mornings, afternoon delights.

Bouquets of dried roses filled room.

A failure to connect. The nerve.

Fifty grand ring. Two dollar steak.

The proposal stayed on Mike’s tongue.

Lori still does his dirty laundry.

The soldier home; it wasn’t over.


Link to related posts.

(These stories were posted, one by one, on DIY Romance, where you will find more six word stories. Feel free to submit your own.)

September 27, 2011, 2:59 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Susan smoothed her skirt, tucked hair behind her ear and fiddled with the cuff of her suit. Finally the woman called her in to be interviewed, appraised, passed over, dismissed.


Monday’s Voice
September 26, 2011, 11:03 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags:

I can’t read? The numbers are in the exact same place. I hand the teabag my boarding pass anyway. He points straight ahead. Great, the baby’s screaming.

A million years go by before I get my seat. I look up and see him flapping his arms around in some kind of super-sized sign language. Next he’ll check my seat belt. I should cover myself with a blanket and pretend I’m asleep.

I pull out some gum and he’s there, telling me I have to put my bag under the seat in front of me. It’s not like it’ll go anywhere else.

I’ll make sure to ask him where the bathroom is.   =barfmoron I tweet.

Voice Week 2011

Click to read more voices.

September 26, 2011, 1:09 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

John was cool. John was smart. A grabber, Kate mistook him for something great.

Three Pigs, Recast
September 25, 2011, 8:45 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges

True fairy tales are horror stories that come right. This one never comes right.

They roamed the halls of the venerable institution, answering questions, smiling with waxy lips on balding heads. They taught: French, Literature, Liberal Arts. They went home to wives, returned to give another brilliant lecture. Respected, they were entrusted to give one of the finest educations in the country.

The school was home to hundreds of boarding girls. In Victorian hallways, these girls flirted with mischief. They made prank calls, smoked in the dark, short-sheeted beds.

Tamara’s mischief went further; she slept with the Language Arts teacher.

Meagan issued invitations to a celebratory dance to be held graduation eve. Naughty, risky—no boys were ever allowed in the dorms. Ever.

Pammie loved to dance. It was her graduation evening too. The music drummed at the end of the hall, calling her to hurry up with that curling iron. Tonight, bells would forget curfew. They’d dance as long as they wanted, stay up until morning—when they’d wear long white dresses and carry blood red roses to receive the diplomas that marked the end of their lives together.

She stopped in the doorway of Meagan’s room, surprised to see faculty, fascinated with a spectacle. Couples swayed, kissed. The kisses went on and on, until the music stopped. Dancers exchanged partners. The music and kisses started again. Meagan was opening her mouth, so were the others. The tall men closed their eyes, licked their lips. Pammie held her ground, didn’t cross the threshold, wouldn’t dance, never spoke.

Read entries to this month's "Fairy Tale" challenge.

September 25, 2011, 1:57 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags: , ,

I hope that one day you will have the experience of doing something you do not understand for someone you love.

—Jonathan Safran Foer, from Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

September 25, 2011, 1:20 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

“I would have done anything for you, anything.” Frank walked away from the crying, opened the door to leave her. “I would have forgiven you,” she sobbed into her pillow.

September 24, 2011, 2:16 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: ,

Three men took their places: Inside, Saunders crouched next to paint cans and drop cloths, his weapon ready. Outside, his associates remained on alert,  a crackerjack driver and—Saunders always had a backup plan—a sniper on the roof.

Saunders shifted his weight. With little but thoughts of his job to occupy him, he stacked cans to make more room. He waited, stretching fingers when necessary.

The body crumpled. Death was quick if merciless, quiet if untimely.

At a predetermined time, the dream team left their posts. Saunders stayed in the closet for the next nine hours, a bloody failure.

Entries -- "occupy" prompt.

September 24, 2011, 1:33 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

It hung in a place of honor. Marnie dusted it devotedly. The ink faded–the sun was too strong against that wall–but her sight that of a mole, she didn’t notice.

Clear Water
September 23, 2011, 4:10 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Her companions jumped; she dove into the rocky pool. The water was clean enough to see every rock and pebble. She surfaced immediately, suddenly realizing she still wore contacts.

First Home
September 22, 2011, 7:00 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Large enough for children, small enough to care for, the house was brick. They made plans to paint it, furnish it, hang shutters, live in its shelter. Each grabbed a broom to sweep away the dust bunnies left by prior occupants.

The 100th Post

For years, I’ve wanted to challenge myself to do something, anything, for 365 consecutive days–besides breathing, feeding and dreaming.

Imagine 365 six word stories. How will they distinguish themselves?

I’ve never identified myself as a blogger, but here I am, 100 posts here, almost 50 posts on DIY Romance, with a grand ambition: a six word story, a three sentence story, writing challenges–writing daily stories for a year, and, if I manage that, an ambitious five years of storytelling. Well, at least three, if the power stays on, there aren’t any earthquakes or hurricanes, and I keep my appendix.

Imagine the stories. Thousands of stories. Simply put stories. Stories I’ve written. Every darn day.

I’m familiar with the creative process. I understand pushing addled I’ll-refine-it-later and regurgitating it-worked-then ideas. These always precede another stage of creation—the one I wish would visit me every day—the stage where I crack my limitations to drop something of value.

Imagine 365 days of telling stories, all the fits and starts, the mental pounding I’ll take, the mirific, stopdrous, pleajorvous eurekas.

I’ve lived my life striving to be a better person. Every darn day. If stories renew our love for life, realign our priorities, or help us feel more compassion for others—then my daily posts will stand as celebrations of that quest.

The Bundle
September 21, 2011, 2:29 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: ,

Fear grew. Each time, the doctor reassured her, “All babies develop at different rates. He’ll catch up. You’ll see.”

She carried him everywhere, sang to him all day. He could hear her, but, except for the crying, oh the crying, that incessant yowling, didn’t say a word.

Moira began to avoid her play group, appointments. Her sweet songs turned shrill.

“They say you’ll be so cute with words…out of the mouths of babes, they say. I don’t care. Just say one word, one. Please, for mama?”

The round eyes didn’t blink; the narrow ears quivered; the ugly mouth sneered.

100 Words for Grown Ups

The prompt this week is: …out of the mouths of babes….Click to read entries.

September 21, 2011, 1:50 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

She decided to approach him, see if he was as interested. He pulled out a cigarette. She veered away.

Where Does Love Reside?
September 20, 2011, 6:31 PM
Filed under: Love and Romance | Tags:

Americans tend to believe it resides in a (single-chambered) heart. Thump. Thumpety Thump.

Elizabethans believed love sprang from livers. Perhaps they were all soused.

A few religions assign the seat of love to one’s will. Greek poets thought passions originated in the bowels. College students blame alcohol. Or imagination.

Then there’s the amygdala, the choreographer of feeling, the brainy part of the group.

Somehow, the genitals eyes communicate with all these innards.

A Week of Six Word Stories, September 13-19
September 20, 2011, 2:06 PM
Filed under: Six Word Stories

She walked dog. He pushed baby.

Pairs, couples. The search was vain.

Mocking whistle. Hasty retreat home.

Carpaccio. Ballet. Dubonnet. Then civility disappeared.

Second date. Postponed. Again. Quiet phone.

Broken glass on weed-free lawn.

Honey-do list: Milk. Wine. Find lawyer.

Link to posts like this one.

(These stories were posted, one by one, on DIY Romance, where you will find more six word stories. Feel free to be inspired and add your own.)

Single Men
September 20, 2011, 1:31 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

The single men looked out of place. They kept bumping into her. She couldn’t decide if they were undercover cops or pickpockets.

September 19, 2011, 12:17 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

“He’s interesting,” Rhonda giggled.

“I could tell you liked him—what did you talk about?”

“Plumbing, guns, nailheads, football…”

September 18, 2011, 12:51 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Dazed, the bride wandered out of the church, down the steps. She looked up and down the street. “Taxi!”

September 17, 2011, 5:54 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

Looked her up. Not to be, she was involved…said she was about to get married. A year later, she looked me up.

September 17, 2011, 3:51 PM
Filed under: Quotations | Tags:

Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.

—Albert Schweitzer

September 16, 2011, 1:30 PM
Filed under: All Writing Challenges | Tags: ,

Sam looked contented with the long table and never-ending spread.

He fought a desire to tear bread apart, smear it with honey. He resisted shoving a neighbor’s hand away. Roasted figs, braised spinach, succulent roast beef, ten types of wine. He put a napkin in his lap.

Before he ate, he watched the revelers. They were gluttons: juices ran down chins; fingers crammed food into overstuffed cheeks.

The thought of scooping crabmeat into his mouth caused a shiver of delight.

No. He would let his manners inhibit him, for now—a wealth of time remained, here in the underworld.


More entries to "inhibit" prompt.

September 16, 2011, 12:42 PM
Filed under: Three Sentence Stories

He tossed the barricade of pillows onto the floor.

“They’re silk–from Thailand.”

“I’m American tired.”