To join and / or meet the wizard behind this challenge click below:
- 1000 words max
- fictional tale (or true if you really want)
- PG (no more than PG-13) Content – let’s keep this family friendly!
- Your story must contain the word(s) from the theme and/or be centered around the theme in a way that shows it is clearly related
- Go for the entertainment value!
- State the Genre of your story at the top of your post.
- Post your story on Tuesday, by 11:59 PM PST
- Use the hashtag #BlogBattle when tweeting your story, put a linkback to your #BlogBattle Short Story in the comments section of this page, and/orinclude a link to this page in your own blog post(it creates a “ping-back” which will alert me and our friends to your #BlogBattle post)
- Have fun!
Each winner will receive this awesome #BlogBattle Winner Badge to display with their winning story on their webpage:
“What’s going on?” Carol hovered at the top of the stairs.
Steve slipped both hands into his pant pockets. “Seems the neighbor can’t open her door.” His wife tore down the stairs and peered over his shoulder.
“Victoria. What’s wrong?” She grabbed the doorknob.
“Let me.” Her husband’s hand covered hers. He shouldered his way past.
“Can you fix it?” She grabbed his sleeve.
“Don’t know the problem yet.”
Straightening her shoulders, Victoria spun round, lips like a hyphen. Will this night never end? She punched numbers into her phone. “I’m calling a locksmith. Thanks anyway.”
“A locksmith at this time of night? Maybe Steve can help.” Carol stepped outside. Steve was already turning up the adjoining driveway.
“Hello. For some reason, my key doesn’t work.” She raised a forefinger, then changed it to an open palm. “Yes, it’s a deadbolt.” She turned from her waist as if to shield her conversation from the man standing two feet from her. “I see. I did hear a loud clunk on my way out earlier.” She nodded and gave her address. “Thanks.”
Since the rain had dissipated, the night air seemed warm, the of scent fall’s leaves pungent, a reminder winter hung in the background. Carol lingered behind the privet. “Come over for coffee till they get here.”
“Thank you. It’ll be only fifteen or twenty minutes. The locksmith lives close by.” She studied her shoes a moment till Steve turned to leave.
His wife safe in the house making preparations, Steve paused at the bottom of the driveway. Victoria stumbled, reached out a hand to prevent a full body collision. “What’s your problem? Why do you hate me?”
His jaw set in a hard line, he stared her down, eyes cold and steadfast. “You don’t remember me.”
Her head shot up. “Remember you? I know nothing about you. I’m new in town, remember?”
“You best think on it.” He gave an ugly laugh. “Let’s go or the wife will think we’re up to no good.” He snorted and jogged up his drive leaving Victoria on the sidewalk, mouth dropped wide enough to catch fireflies.
“Honey, I’m ho-ome.” He yanked the door open wide. “You coming?”
“What are you two up to out there?” Carol gazed down from the kitchen landing
“Don’t lurk, Carol. It doesn’t become you. We were discussing the problem with her door.”
Victoria rushed in and squeezed past Steve. “Sorry, dear neighbor. My brain’s sawdust. I’m dying for a coffee. The baby’s doing well. Still sleeping?”
Carol nodded. “So far, so good. Sit.” She pointed to the set table.
“Thank you. Nice. Can you believe it’s after 10:00 already? I hope the locksmith is as good as his word.”
Steve hung back, shoving hands into pockets and removing them again. He slumped into the chair next to his wife, across from Victoria, who buried her nose in her mug sipping the hot liquid.
“How long have you lovebirds been married?”
Carol beamed and reached out to caress her husband’s forearm. “One and a half years.”
Victoria blinked to cover her surprise. “I see.”
“My first husband and I divorced. Enough said. What about you?”
“Divorced. Do you mind a nosey question about Sylvie?”
“You mean why doesn’t she talk? She’s always been a quiet child—like her father—she talked around age three, then less when Sarah started talking. By the time Ryan arrived, she’d stopped completely.”
Wide-eyed, Victoria searched the girls’ mother’s face across the table. She clamped her mouth shut, but couldn’t break eye contact.
“We had her checked. Physically she’s fine and has no hearing problems. The doctor wants to send her to a therapist, but feels she’ll talk when she’s ready.”
“Must be the locksmith. Thanks. Talk later. Bye.” She sprang out of the chair, grabbed her belongings and flew out the door, slamming the wood and storm doors harder than necessary. An A to Z Locksmith Please van glowed white next to her house. A short male with thinning hair nodded in her direction. “Take your time.”
Breathless she explained about the clunk when she’d slammed her door earlier.
“Could be the key cylinder fell inside the door.”
* * *
The next morning, mousey brown hair gathered in a ponytail, Victoria lugged groceries through her now fixed side door. Steve slipped outside as she ran out for another load. “You almost gave me heart seizure.” Jaw clenched she ignored him and proceeded with her task.
Leaning against the house, he glanced over his shoulder. “We need to talk.”
“Let me ask you one thing. Is your father’s name Stephen Hackett?”
She flinched, tightening her grip on the groceries. “He died five years ago. What’s it to you?” She lowered the bag back into the trunk. “What do you want?”
“Didn’t your mama never tell ya to look the person you’re talking to in the eye? Look at me when I’m talking. Think. Better go inside.”
Victoria gaped like a baby bird working its beak, waiting to be fed.
* * *
Little did Victoria know what lay in store when Carol invited her to dinner a week later. The food was delicious, the company pleasant, yet an electric tension crackled in the air.
Over Spanish coffee, Steve cleared his throat and dropped the bomb. “We played as children a handful of times. You were twelve and I nine. Do you remember me?”
Victoria strained to read his face. “No-o.”
“My mom delivered Avon and saved old samples for you?”
“Vaguely.” She squirmed in her seat, hands clutched in her lap.
“We were poor and I hated you who had everything. I couldn’t believe when you moved here. Small world.”
Carol stroked his arm.
Victoria frowned. “Why…?”
“Stephen Hackett was my father. Ditched us like yesterday’s leftovers when I came along. Didn’t give us one crummy dime in support. Went back to his real family. You got it all, and me—nothing—not even him.
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