FF - 237 Miles and Counting

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.

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FF - 237 Miles and Counting

Postby JillStar » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:39 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: 237 Miles and Counting.
Fast Fiction Friday Blog 2011-2018: Additional FFF Prompts
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Postby LizGrayson » Mon Apr 09, 2012 12:25 pm

The trail ahead of me looked exactly the same as what lay behind me. It was narrow and muddy, covered over with a bower of evergreen trees which scented the air with the coming of winter. The only difference between forward and back was that back was where my horse had died the day before. The poor beast hadn’t had it in him to continue, even though we’d only traveled 237 miles. Two weeks of heavy exertion had destroyed his heart, although I think it was an emotional, rather than physical, collapse. At least the lucky bastard had enough to eat in those two weeks I bitterly thought. Why couldn’t I subsist on grass and pond water? I had packed enough dried meat and bread for 300 miles of travel, but what I really missed was a hot meal beside a warm fireplace.

The only good thing about being in the woods was that I was completely alone, far away from all the troubles of my old life. I didn’t have to depend on anyone but myself, although that wasn’t looking possible at the moment considering how my food supply was starting to dwindle. I had never listened to my father when he tried to teach me the art of hunting. I had always thought it cruel to take another creature’s life, even if it was to benefit your own. Now I wish I had listened. Trudging onward, I took small comfort in knowing I was heading in the right direction. Keeping the sun at my back this time of year meant I was walking north, and most of the villages beyond my own lay in that direction, though I couldn’t say the exact distance I was from any of them. Never mind that, I would run into someone eventually. I couldn’t be the only person in this part of the world.

How had things gotten this bad? Most women on the run would have been fleeing their sacrificial role as dragon fodder, or the abusive husband they hadn’t wanted to marry in the first place. I hadn’t exactly had a bad life, but I wasn’t married, wasn’t allowed to work (it wasn’t seemly for women in my village to do anything outside the home). All I did every day was the chores my parents could no longer handle. I loved my parents but caring for an aging, brain-addled father and physically fragile mother wasn’t what I wanted for myself. I wanted my own voice and nobody would know me if I stayed there. I wanted my presence to be important to the universe, and how could it be when the only things I could do well were the laundry, housekeeping and tilling in the garden? I felt incredibly selfish for leaving them and more than a little guilty, but even if I turned back now, trod the same path I had already walked upon, I wouldn’t be welcome back. My betrayal was too complete for that. Abandonment had to be complete if it was to be had at all.

237 miles and counting. Where would it all end?
Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free! ~ Billy Mack (aka the lovely Bill Nighy), Love Actually
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Postby timberline » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:23 pm

Very nice, Liz. Nice to see your writing and byline again.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby LizGrayson » Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:25 pm

Thanks it's good to be back!

:o
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Postby timberline » Tue May 29, 2012 8:38 pm

So here’s a draft of “Backpacking in Jersey” that touches on backpacking and 237 Miles prompts. Comments welcome. 1,132 words.Backpacking in Jersey


It was just an idle thought that killing Margo would be the way to shut her up. Who knew she could talk for three miles walking through the Pine Barrens? Joey told me her old boyfriend drowned in the lake. Probably quieter there. No yak yak except from the ducks.

“If she would’ve come, I would’ve found the stuff, but she di’n’t so I di’n’t. She probably coulda gave me, like, some advice. I think the sand is soft, but it’s a lotta work. Know what I’m sayin’?”

“What’s that mean?” Maybe she couldn’t hear me back down the trail, but I didn’t care. Quarter mile to go to find Joey and Carol who had already taken the car up to the campground. I chose to backpack. They had the beer. I had Margo. I really needed that beer.

“I mean, I thought me and her were pals.”

“Margo, what are you yakking about!” See, that wasn’t a question, and I punctuated it by turning around.

“I’m talkin’ about when I get done my work, I told Brianna, I was goin’ to dig up the treasure. Like, did she want to help me.”

“A f#$%ing treasure?” She had my interest.

“Don’t talk like that. It i’n’t nice.” She held her hands, palm out, to me. “That campground you’re takin’ me to is where the pirates used to hang out and like bury stuff. Why’d you think I come along today?”
I couldn’t believe my ears. “Are you nuts? There’s no pirates in Jersey.”

“Oh, yeah? I seen it. I think it was with Johnnie Depp. Maybe that other guy. The one who said that thing, you know, that time with Angelina Jolie.”

“Keep walking, Margo. We’re almost there and I’m exhausted.”

“See, Brianna and me were at the 7-Eleven last week. Knew we should of gone home early, but Tuesday was kickin her butt so bad she said it was like Monday was gangin’ up. So I seen this old man on the curb with his head slumped. Said I’d give him ten bucks if he’d get her a pint of vodka. And, he said twenty and I’ll give you a king’s ransom. And Brianna says, ‘What’s a king’s ransom?’ and he says it’s on the map.”

I put my hands on her little chicken-bone shoulders. She’s a hot-lookin high school senior just a couple years younger’n me, but thoughts go around in her head like ice cubes in a blender. “You were hitting on a geriatric creep to buy you…? And,” I finished my own line of thought, “you gave him twenty and he gave you a pirate map? Think, Margo!”

“So, why’re you askin’ all these questions if you, like, know the answers?”

Margo was Mother Nature’s mistake when she forgot to issue a brain to this girl with an angel’s body. Carol said Margo hadn’t read a book all senior year. Carol was a Methodist like the rest of the cheerleaders. My folks were Congregationalists, but everyone looked at Margo like she was a piece of chocolate cake. Carol said Margo once told the class that Marshall Field in Chicago might be where the Cubs played. And she prayed to Harold, like “Our Father who art in Heaven, Harold be thy name.”

Maybe I should have said something in Margo’s defense, but I figured she could take care of herself. Or it wouldn’t matter once we were together in a sleeping bag.

“You’re always thinking of stuff, Sam. Why do I have to be thinking? What makes you think I know where the geezer got this pirate map? I don’t have ideas. You’re the college boy. You got enough brains for a whole block of people.”

I insisted something must be going on in her brain. “A person doesn’t just turn out the lights upstairs when they’re not talking or doing something. I took Intro to Psych and our professor said the brain is never idling in neutral. Freud also said….”

“Sam! Shut the hell up. I gave the old guy forty bucks ‘cause he was dyin’ of cancer.”

“You’re shitting me, Margo. Are you out of your mind?”

“And he give me this Spanish coin. Said he liked my eyes. And I was polite and respectful. And you shou’n’t talk dirty. It’s in the Ten Commandments.”

Margo got a cagey look and reached in her bra. She pulled out a slug of metal that looked like those chocolate candies in gold tinfoil you get at Christmas. A very small candy. “When I find the treasure I’m gonna give it to the poor people. Hungry people.”

“Let me see it. Give it to me.”

“I don’t think so, Sam. You been snotty all the time you had me walkin’ up this dirt trail. You think I’m stupid, and Carol says you told Joey I was trailer park trash but I had a body just drippin’ sex. So how much of this do I gotta put up with to have you be nice to me? Whatta I gotta do to get any respect?”

“Start by letting me see the map.”

“You know I like you mostly, but if I give you the map then you’d know as much as me, and then where’d I be if you decided maybe I wasn’t so smart as you.

“I’m not going to steal your map, Margo.”

“No, it’s not that, Sam. How long have you known me?” she asked. “Seventh grade? All that time you ever wonder what my life was like? About my folks? Why I am and who I am? Nobody here ever looks beyond the obvious stuff, like what’re you wearin’ or what you’d you said or….”
I looked at her standing kind of defiant in the trail, so totally unequipped to deal with life, and yet she was ready to kick the world in the ass to help others.

“I’m walkin’ up to see Joey and tell him to take me back home, or to the highway,” she said. “I’ll hitch if I gotta. You’re a loser, Sam.”

One of my professors said a math genius in Darfur hasn’t a chance of looking a theorem in the eye when his concern is staying alive one more day. But a slacker in the U.S. has a chance to win the lottery and live on Easy Street.

Margo had balls like that kid in Darfur. There was a difference between us greater than her being a born-again Christian out to dig up pirate treasure for poor people and me just another kid drifting through college. We were from different planets.

I suddenly realized my folks would say that’s sad.

“Well,” I told her, “okay. Why couldn’t there be treasure? There were a lot of pirates and we have the whole weekend.”
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby LizGrayson » Wed May 30, 2012 9:08 am

Wow, I almost hoped he killed her at first. But then as I read and realized she had a good heart despite her lack of brains, I wanted her to find the treasure. Hopefully somewhere beyond this story she does. Thanks for sharing it with us:)
Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free! ~ Billy Mack (aka the lovely Bill Nighy), Love Actually
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Postby timberline » Wed May 30, 2012 10:03 am

Thanks, Liz. Just felt I had to write something on the holiday, not that I didn't do my share of partying.

Bunch of things were conflated in this piece: funny Jersey idioms and grammar, dumb girlfriends young people pick up (who introduce me to zombie facts I never knew), and the tension between educated and non-educated people in my life.

p.s. Like your post script, and saw Bill Nighy in "Marigold" yesterday.

p.p.s. You might wander over to Jill's FFF group on Facebook, where's she's been reincarnated as Phenix Jira.
 Cruising the Green of Second Avenue is available at Barnes & Noble and other online book sellers. More good stuff at http://allotropiclucubrations.blogspot.com
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Postby LizGrayson » Wed May 30, 2012 4:56 pm

Thanks, I'm already on Facebook - I'm the one in the football jersey and the foam finger tricorner hat:)

Yeah Bill Nighy is a great actor. First saw him in Blow Dry and then Love Actually, which is where the quote came from.

I'm just working on "exhausted she let her head slump" and hopefully someday I'll have something to post on FB.
Don't buy drugs. Become a pop star and they give you them for free! ~ Billy Mack (aka the lovely Bill Nighy), Love Actually

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