FF - Broken window blinds

Fast Fiction is fiction written fast. The object is to get your brain thinking about a given subject without interference from “reason”. Go for the 30 minute time limit.

Moderator: Metaphor Makers

User avatar
JillStar
Moderator+
Posts: 12824
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2004 8:36 pm
Location: The land of Pensive Reflection

FF - Broken window blinds

Postby JillStar » Fri Feb 17, 2006 9:46 pm

jillstar wrote: Fast Fiction is just that... fiction written fast. Please visit What is FAST FICTION for more information.

Look at the subject for today's Fast Fiction at the end of this post... once you have the slightest beginning to your story… begin to write. Don't stop to ponder the meaning behind your writing or try to "fix" it so it's perfect... just write.

If you want to include your Fast Fiction finished product on WordTrip, simply add it to this thread. We would love it!

REMINDER: Please keep your stories PG13 if posted on the site. If you want a critique after you are complete, please consider using your writing group for help in that area or send a PM to one of us.

... try to stick to the 30 minutes time limit... ready, set... WRITE!

SUBJECT: Broken window blinds.
Last edited by JillStar on Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fast Fiction Friday Blog 2011-2018: Additional FFF Prompts
User avatar
timberline
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Back home in south Jersey
Contact:

Postby timberline » Thu Mar 02, 2006 3:53 pm

In Manassas, Va., the old housing code defined “family” as pretty much any group of people defined by blood or marriage. In December 2005 the new definition limited it to immediate relatives of the homeowners. Parents, children and siblings were family; uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews were not. This definition was repealed in January 2006. (998 words)

Broken Window Blinds

None of the problem would have happened if the window blinds hadn’t been broken. That’s why the neighbor, Juliet Beignet, saw not one or two family members, but all of them passing and repassing through the house.

“Six, I counted on Monday at the Gibson house,” she shouted at Tom Carson, the town’s zoning commissioner, when she accosted him at Billie’s Diner & Gas Fillup. “That was just the first day. Then I saw another three the next day. And the children? Too many to count. This is a residential neighborhood, and I think it’s a darned crime having all those people living in one shotgun bungalow.

“Juliet, that’s a three bedroom house,” Carson said wiping up the last piece of pie with his thumb. “There can’t be—what?—nine people living there?”

“Yeah, well, I saw them,” she brayed in his face.

Juliet had a way of charging into a conversation, like a terrier with a bad attitude, and she didn’t let go till something happened.

In this case, Carson felt compelled as zoning commissioner to drive over to the Gibson’s house that afternoon and park. Nothing looked out of place, except there were enough cars in the driveway and on the yard and in the street that it looked like a meeting of fundamentalists wrapping up business before the last rapture.

He counted seven cars, none younger than a decade and some having become classics. He finished his donut, which had been his take-out dessert from Billie’s, and went up to the front door.

“Mrs. Gibson,” he said introducing himself, “I’m the zoning commissioner and I gotta ask you how many people living in this house?”

There was the sound of children shrieking and running around in the living room. Someone was playing a guitar—amplified electric—in the kitchen, and he could see four men playing cards on the deck through the rear doorway.

“Living here?” she asked. “What do you mean, people. This is our family.”

“Well, under the town code,” he cleared his throat, “you’re only allowed to have two or more persons related to the second degree of collateral consanguinity by blood, marriage, adopted or guardianship, or otherwise duly authorized custodial relationship, as verified by official public records such as driver’s licenses, birth or marriage certificates, living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit, exclusive of not more than one additional non-related person.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“That means you can have a mom and a dad and your own kids—as authorized and verified.”

“Baloney! My dad is my dad. He didn’t have anybody to authorize him to be my dad. My husband’s brother Al is here just till he finds work and then he’ll probably move somewhere.” She added quietly, “I hope.”

“Well, there you are. These aren’t proper family members. They are unauthorized residents in your domicile.”

“And my uncle is here because he has a terrible case of phlebitis and my nephew Fred takes him to the doctor every day. The kids, well, kids just happen. They call it biology.”

“No,” Gibson said, “your kids are all right.”

“That’s what I told my nephew. Kids are all right until they start getting out of hand. I have five but I don’t know about Al and Joanie’s four young ‘uns. They’re a handful.”

Tom Carson rose to his full height and stated, “You have a three-bedroom house if it’s anything like the neighboring houses. How many people do you think should live in a house like this? Ten? Twelve people?” This rhetorical question seemed to pass over Mrs. Gibson’s head.

“I think ten might be about right. It’s called extended family. Didn’t your grandparents come from somewhere, like in Europe? Didn’t they have large families?” she said sarcastically. “What makes you think you can only have standard government-issue families? How about Heather Has Two Mommies? My kids brought that book home from school. Or how about all the divorced guys who have a serial dating service coming in and out of their house every night?”

“You have five children and your brother has four.” He squinted, “Wouldn’t you say you and your sister are sexually active?”

Mrs. Gibson snorted, “No, we just lie there.”

Tom Carson had tried taking notes and then, feeling flummoxed, he put his pen back in his pocket. “This is not a normal household, Mrs. Gibson. There are rules about how many people you can put into a domicile and call them family. We have to have rules or else why do we have a zoning commission? I mean, the whole thing could get out of hand and then where would I be?”

“I agree entirely and totally. It has gotten out of hand.”

“Then—we agree there are too many people to call this a family?” He wondered if his point was really being taken. Was he missing something?

“Well, when Jason knocked on my door, I said it might be too much.”

“Who’s Jason.”

“Jason and I were…,” her voice trailed off and then, quietly, she said “we were having an affair. See, my husband has a prostate condition, so we kind of agreed Jason could come and see me now and then.”

“Jason is not family!” Carson exploded.

“That’s what I told him, but he just said it was just a degree of separation. I was wife, in a matter of speaking, to him and George, and he said there was only one degree of separation between George and him so it was natural if he put his sleeping bag in the garage. He does put a little money into the household, and we’re closer than second cousins.”

Carson put his hands over his eyes and rubbed hard. “Mrs. Gibson, I’m going to go now, but I’d advise you to get your window blinds fixed—and keep them closed.” He turned and wove unsteadily out to his car, before turning and shouting at her, “And don’t talk to your neighbor Juliet!”
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
User avatar
timberline
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Back home in south Jersey
Contact:

Postby timberline » Thu Nov 05, 2009 10:22 am

"Broken Window Blinds," much shortened to meet a 500-word max, is now up at The Short Humour Site.

Go to http://www.short-humour.org.uk/3writers ... blinds.htm. This link doesn't seem to work on Wordtrip, so try http://www.short-humour.org.uk
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
User avatar
Writingmom
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 827
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:07 pm
Location: Utah

Postby Writingmom » Wed Nov 11, 2009 8:44 am

Oh my heck, Timberline!!! That was too funny. I kept expecting you to throw something in about plural wives...and then you kind of did at the end. tooo funny!! 8)
http://ldspaz.blogspot.com
~*~ Writing is life ~*~
User avatar
mae
Wordtrip Grand Master
Posts: 2492
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 11:54 am
Location: Northwest corner of Washington state, snuggled up next to Canada

Postby mae » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:19 pm

Loved it, Timberline. I got so thoroughly lost! mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.

Give me a crit! I can take it!

CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
User avatar
Saphyre
Wordtripper Extraordinaire
Posts: 368
Joined: Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:29 pm
Location: At a perpetual crossroads, as are we all.

Postby Saphyre » Tue Aug 17, 2010 12:08 am

The Broken Window Blinds

Every day she had to walk past that window, past the broken window blinds. And every day she was reminded of that night. That horrific night.

It was 2:37 am. Matthew had finally fallen asleep and Sharron could find comfort with the quiet of her book. Of course, as soon as Matthew went down, Jacob woke up. So much for peace. Luckily, it was just a glass of water, not that horrible reoccurring nightmare that had woken her eldest son so often. She got him settled down easily enough.

It was 3:13 am. She patted Jacob’s head a final time, watching him already drift back to sleep. Across the house, Sharron heard Matthew toss in his sleep. She frowned- he shouldn’t need feeding yet. Then the hairs on her arm stood up. What was that? The garage? Sharron fetched a flashlight, but there was nothing. What was that? A silhouette in the shower? No, just the half-closed curtain. She yanked it back to be certain. Nothing was there.

It was 3:16 am. She slowly made her way through the living room, sidestepping the laundry and leaned close to the window, looking through the blinds. Nothing was there. Sharron turned away.

It was 3:17 am. Something slammed into the window, leaving a spider-web crack and further damaging the screen that had suffered in the summer storm. Matthew began to scream. Sharron froze a moment. The window, or her baby? The flashlight revealed nothing- no one outside to throw the… whatever it was. And no trace of what it had been, whether rock or brick or… had she imaged that it looked like a face?

It was 3:18 am by the time she got to Matthew and lifted him. He was sticky. Sticky? She reached for the light switch, freaked when it didn’t come on, then remembered the power outage. Across the street, she suddenly saw her neighbor’s porch lamp flicker to life. Power was back. But… hers wasn’t. she reached for the flashlight. Hadn’t she set it on the nightstand? It hadn’t fallen- it wasn’t on the floor. Matthew was quiet. Too quiet. How was he sticky? She went to the window. By her neighbor’s porch light, she saw the red.

It was 3:24 am. The porch light was turned off. Blood. Matthew was covered in blood. Sharron screamed. And then, she didn’t. No one answered.

It was 3:26 am on Thursday the 12 of August.

---

My friend and I wrote this together, late at night, on sugar. But I like it. So here you go, 28 minutes and 409 words later, we aren't sure how to end this. Hope you enjoyed.
~Saphyre
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus…
For by grace you have been saved through faith… it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Please always feel free to critique anything I write as I am by no means perfect!
User avatar
timberline
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Back home in south Jersey
Contact:

Postby timberline » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:54 am

Glad to see you're posting--even digging up some old prompts. Keep up the good stuff.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
User avatar
mae
Wordtrip Grand Master
Posts: 2492
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 11:54 am
Location: Northwest corner of Washington state, snuggled up next to Canada

Postby mae » Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:12 pm

Ack!!!! What happened!!!!

mae
My heart beats in poetry. I think in rhythm and dream in rhyme.



Give me a crit! I can take it!



CELTIC QUEEN, an Epic Poem, Cynthia M. Bateman, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore ... +Epic+Poem at Tate Publishing
User avatar
timberline
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Back home in south Jersey
Contact:

Postby timberline » Fri Sep 10, 2010 9:00 am

"Ack"? Sounds like one of those aliens in Mars Attacks.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
User avatar
Writingmom
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 827
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 5:07 pm
Location: Utah

Postby Writingmom » Fri Aug 12, 2011 12:25 am

The house sat empty and still. Just like the day she'd moved in. Heart sore and empty, she stared around at the blank walls, covered with old wall paper holding outlines of previous framed items. It was an old house. Her grandmother's house.

Sighing she leaned forward onto the palms of her hands, elbows on the old formica table. Funny how she'd been numb that day, and felt numb now. It had been, what, 4 years ago? And not much had changed in life. Only the date.

Things had looked so much better back then. The amazement that Grandma had left her the house when she'd lost the lease on her apartment -- true karma come back to her for all the good times with grandma. But once she'd moved in, stripped most of the old wallpaper off and decorated it with her own taste, life had seemed to stop.

Oh sure, she still worked, still went through the motions of living. But there was nothing there. No one else was with her.

Not since the broken blinds.

She'd thought that people would move on, forget things like that. What was such a big deal about broken blinds? So she finally replaced the things her grandmother had left forever. She'd never understood those blinds, and how they hung in the back door of the kitchen, hanging crazy with broken slats.

"Grandma," she'd ask, almost every time she visited. "Why don't you ever get rid of those blinds? They don't even cover the window!"

"Oh, that old thing? It's no bother," she'd say, with a shrug. "I like them there."

How could she? It always bothered her. It was the first thing she took down, that broken blind. She took it down and tossed it in the garbage and taken a big deep breath, realizing she'd finally acknowledged that the house was hers.

Nothing had ever been the same. It was almost as if those blinds had closed the door to reality and shifted her to another dimension where no one else existed. How did it work? She rubbed at her aching temples, wondering how she'd gone on for so long without realizing the correlation.

But it had been 14 years...surely the blinds were gone now, the garbage truck had to have picked them up soon after she'd moved in and taken them down. There was no way to replace them. Could she buy new ones and break them like the old ones? Would that even work?

It was stupid!! she told herself, closing her eyes. So crazy. She was really loosing it.

Unable to fight the impulse, she stood and went to the garbage can that was on the back porch where she'd tossed the blinds. It was the first time she'd gone out that door in ages. Possibly since she'd taken the blinds and tossed them there. She stared at the garbage can where the broken blinds remained.

It couldn't be!

She gulped and slowly reached in to pull them out, realizing that the world seemed to stop as if holding it's breath. I really have lost my mind, she thought, taking the dilapidated blinds back into the house and shutting the door.

The minute the door shut it was as if time resumed. Color seemed to return to the room, and she heard sounds from the neighborhood. "no," she whispered, looking at the blinds in her hand. "that's crazy!"

She took a trembling breath and slowly reattached them at the top of the door to the hooks that she'd left there to hang the new blind from. After hanging it, she stepped back and fell into the chair she'd been sitting in.

It was ridiculous to think that something that simple could have paused her life for so long. What was the deal? Had her grandmother had some kind of magic? Before she could wrap her mind around the way her house seemed to come to life around her, her cell phone rang.

It hadn't rung in years.

"Hello?" she said hesitantly, wondering who was calling her out of the blue.

"Hey, is this Becky?" a somewhat familiar male voice said into her ear.

"Um, yeah," she replied. "Who's this?"

"My name is Mike," he said. "I work with a friend of yours and he gave me your number. I hear you live in that cool old house on Ewe turn."

She blinked and looked at the blinds again. It was like they...winked at her.

"Okay."

"Anyway, I was wondering if you were doing anything tomorrow night."

"Who is it you know that I work with?" she asked, feeling like the world had tilted a little off axis.

"oh, yeah, um her name is Alexis? She says she's worked with you for years."

She gulped and looked over at the portrait of her grandmother that she'd hung on the kitchen wall since her grandmother had spent most of her time in the room. Grandma Alexis. She didn't know any other Alexis.

"How long have you known her?" she asked, feeling the hair stand up on her arms.

"Oh, um, about 4 years or so," came the dry chuckle. "She just moved, crazy thing. I was going to try and do a lunch with both of you to introduce us."

She shook her head and looked at the blinds again. "What time did you want to pick me up?"




kind of lame...but what rambled through my thoughts. Time to hit the sack... 8)
Last edited by Writingmom on Fri Aug 12, 2011 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
http://ldspaz.blogspot.com

~*~ Writing is life ~*~
User avatar
timberline
Wordtrip Junkie
Posts: 1468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 9:54 am
Location: Back home in south Jersey
Contact:

Postby timberline » Fri Aug 12, 2011 9:12 am

Hey, Mom, good story. Glad you (re)discovered this thread after all these years.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com

Return to “Fast Fiction Friday”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest