Wednesday, April 25, 2007

3 Word Wednesday #33

Each week, I will post three (or more) random words. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to write something using all of those words. It can be a few lines, a story, a poem, anything. This is a writing exercise. It doesn't have to be perfect. The idea is to let your mind wander and write what it will. I'll also attempt to write something using the same three words.

Leave a comment if you participate. Many fun and interesting people might visit your blog.

This week's words are:

The park was completely empty when Ray arrived. The wind off the water made the day seem colder, lonelier. Picnic tables, the walking trail, and playground equipment, normally alive with kids and families and couples, looked especially empty today against the gray background of the January sky.

Ray sat on a park bench facing the water. Pulling his collar up to try and cover his ears, he bowed his head and closed his eyes. Not to pray, just to think. He had not prayed in a long time.

Though he hid it well from family and friends, Ray was deeply depressed. And being laid off from his job had left him feeling he was at the end of his proverbial rope. That's why he had come here. While it would sound crazy to most, it was easy for Ray to believe the deep, frigid waters could wash away his worries and problems.

The wind picked up, then calmed quickly, almost eerily. Ray's thought process was broken by the sound of someone sobbing. He turned to see a young lady sitting on one of the swings, her head down, her hands up by her shoulders, wrapped tightly around the metal chains. He had not even heard her come up.

Without thinking, he got up and approached the girl. She failed to acknowledge his presence as he stopped a little to the right and in front of the swing.

"What's the matter?" Ray inquired in his most comforting voice.

"Nothing. Please.... go away. I don't want anyone to see me like this," the girl kept her head down, now turning it slightly away as she spoke.

"Please tell me," Ray persisted. He noticed the girl shivering and took off his coat and put around her.

"It's my beloved Walter. He... he died in the war," she replied, her voice breaking as she spoke.

Ray would have been speechless, except he felt he had to say something. "I'm so sorry. The whole Iraq War is terrible. It's just terrible."

"Oh no, sir," she said, appearing slightly confused as she looked Ray in the face for the first time. "My Walter was killed in The Great War. And now I haven't anyone to live for. I haven't a reason to go on."

"You shouldn't talk about such things. You're a beautiful young lady. You have your whole life yet to live," Ray tried his best to console the young girl, his own confusion taking a backseat to her situation. But it didn't seem to be helping. She started crying again, even harder than before.

"Ma'am, please. It's too cold for you to be out here. You should go home. Where do you live?"

The girl pointed as she spoke thru tears, "I used to live in those apartments right over there. But now I no longer have a home."

Ray turned to look in the direction the girl was pointing and saw only a strip mall. He looked in every direction. There were no apartments to be seen anywhere. While he was turned away, the girl continued, "Please don't tell my father you saw me here."

The wind picked back up and Ray found himself back on the park bench. He looked towards the playground. The swings were empty. As quickly as she had appeared, the girl was gone.

Ray began to shiver almost uncontrollably, and realized he was holding his coat rather than wearing it. He put it on, turned up the collar, and bowed his head again.

This time he prayed.

"Wherever it may take me, I know that life won't break me. When I come to call, she won't forsake me. I'm loving angels instead..."


  1. Fabulous. Now I have at least 15 hours to stew and come up with what I'm going to write.

    And I owe it all to you.


  2. LOL wow, if I would have realized that you had this up so early this morning I could have done this before class. :) Mines up, just one this week...TC, do you remember seeing this place?

  3. ...and she swings!

  4. Three weeks in a row now. Maybe I haven't lost my memory after all.

  5. Mine's up. And this week I didn't do a haiku.

  6. where do you get these words anyway?

  7. I published with something like 15 minutes to spare on Wednesday. O:)

    Tag... I should know it. I totally should. I'll see if I can get it tomorrow.

  8. In an otherwise happy peaceful picture, if you look in the background, you can see me throwing a hammer against the wall because the swings on the swing set broke off, cauesed by the bolts being made {poorly} in china....Uh, The End.

  9. ooooooh a ghost story. cool!

  10. Wow.

    Seriously Bone, you shouldn't dream of writing until Thursday. I think it's your day. (You stole that from Pia, didn't you??)

    I totally got chills reading this. I've thought about writing a "ghost" (spirit, whichever) story, but there is simply no way I could do it justice like you did.

    I love the foreshadowing of him saying he hadn't prayed in a long time to the end.

    (Can I just say "Wow" again or does that make me a total loser??)

  11. Tag: Yes, I've been trying to post the words before I go to bed here lately.

    Gay: Thanks for participating.

    Pia: I hope you wrote yours. Could you write mine, too? ;)

    Shelby: Thanks for playing. I'll be by shortly.

    Carlos: Three in a row? I think we can consider you a "regular" now.

    Xinher: Wow. I can't wait to read it. (May I still write a haiku in your comments?)

    GirlFPS: Wow, sounds like a temper tantrum :)

    Renee: Perhaps :)

    Oh, and I usually have someone email the words to me. Although I've thought about just randomly pointing to words in the dictionary some week.

    TC: Well, mine's up with ten hours to spare... on Thursday. So you did better than me. And yes, I totally learned that from Pia :)

    Thank you. Yes, you're allowed at least two "wow's" per comment ;)

  12. This was a switch, I liked the foreshadowing. I loved that he pulled himself back to help...

  13. Excellent! Enjoyed your story very much.

  14. Bone you have the most vivid imagination--The Great War--have you ever read "portrait of Jenny" Robert Nathan--read it

    While it would sound crazy to most, it was easy for Ray to believe the deep, frigid waters could wash away his worries and problems.

    I totally related to that.

    I loved the atmosphere--sort of picked up that she wasn't going to say Iraq, but really didn't expect how the story played out or anything

  15. I didn't get around to writing one this week--but like Pia, I too thought of the novella "Portrait of Jenny" which I first read in the 9th grade. Good writing.

  16. The twists and turns surprised me, Sir Bone. Very Hitchcock-esque.

    My favorite passage was this:

    Ray sat on a park bench facing the water. Pulling his collar up to try and cover his ears, he bowed his head and closed his eyes. Not to pray, just to think. He had not prayed in a long time.

    With the echoing in the end of "This time he prayed."

    Worth the wait and then some.

  17. ATag: Yes, it was. It was good to write something serious that wasn't relationshippy.

    Actonbell: Why, thank you :)

    Pia Savage: Thank you. I first had Vietnam in mind, then WWII. But "The Great War"... that phrase just sounds so poetic to me.

    Sage: Sounds like a book I need to check out. Thank you both for the recommendation.

    Avery: Thanks, Miss Laine. Usually, I have some idea of an ending in mind when I begin. But this time, I didn't. Maybe that's why it turned out twisty and surprising, as even I didn't know where it was going.

  18. So at least two "wow's" really means I can say more than that, right???

    Whew. :)

    I swear I've read this story at least six times now and I think I like it better each time I read it.


  19. Bone, I'm awarding you my thinking blogger award... come see...

    :) and happy Friday too!


  20. I guess today wasn't a good day for me to read this, 'cause it made me sad :-( Only because it's so well written though! You rock!!
    Oh, and you've been tagged!

  21. I knew the phrase "The Great War" would appeal to you.

    This is probably my favorite of your 3WW's. Like TC I have read it many times.

    Would make a great expanded story :)

  22. re: microwave. Yeah, I'm kinda used to appliances lasting forever. Our previous microwave was used when we got it and lasted 10 years before we sold it to someone else.

  23. I didn't participate... as usual... but I loved yours... as usual.

    This one made me sad, though. But that's what good writing is like... it allows the reader to actually FEEL.

    Well done, my friend.

  24. Very nice. I'll just keep reading yours though, I just can't handle homework right now.

  25. Carlos: Why, thank ya.

    TC: OK, you're about to make me blush.

    Shelby: Aww, thank you!!! That is so thoughtful. I am very appreciative :)

    Arlene: Thanks. I seem to be getting tagged more lately. Do I have a sign on my back or something? :)

    Pia: Thank you so much. I can't stress enough how much I appreciate feedback such as this.

    Renee: If only everything lasted as long as my microwave and VCR...

    Blondie: Making someone smile or laugh or feel is one of the best things about writing to me. Thanks for letting me know :)

    Brookelina: I understand. You're probably quite busy with pie charts and such, huh? :)

  26. i wrote mine! this is very interesting!..

  27. Insomniac: Welcome to Three Word Wednesday and thanks for participating.