#SSC 10/May 14-20th


For a limited run of six weeks only, the challenge you love is back!


fhfdhrsfd.pngIt starts with a writing prompt issued every Sunday. The responses need only be short and sweet. Or short and scary. Or, short and funny. The point is, the challenge will always require short replies on purpose . . . so YOU have no excuses. Many of the challenges will limit submissions to a simple paragraph. Some, to ONE SENTENCE.

The challenge is meant for writers at every stage–newbies and old hats alike. Writing can be a solitary endeavor; this challenge is specifically designed to lure writers out of their comfort zone for figurative a drink by the water cooler. Participants are encouraged to COMMENT and VOTE on each other’s submissions.

The prize?


Each week a challenge winner will be invited to write a GUEST POST on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins with LINKS to their own work.


Last year on Mother’s Day, scribblers were challenged to Show a Mother’s Love. This year? We’re going to change things up.

Earlier this week I saw something I can’t get out of my mind. I was in the mall when I heard shouting. A woman was leading a man toward the exit screaming obscenities. At first, I assumed the man to be her husband. In between the open doors she stopped to yell, “You’re fucking useless. You can’t do anything right.” It was raining. The man stopped to place his coffee on the floor so he could zip his coat, and the woman yelled again and kicked it against the wall.

three-monkeys-1212616_960_720I am a person who doesn’t sit back and watch this kind of thing, for better or worse. My husband knows it all too well.

So, I marched to the exit to stare the woman down, who was likely twice my age. “What’s going on here?”

She stared right back, seething. She motioned to the man between the doors. “That’s my son!”

She said it as if it justified her tirade. She said it as if she expected me to sympathize with her. She said it as if I would understand how she could treat this human being how I wouldn’t treat a dog.

I asked him if he was all right. He was close to middle age, but he couldn’t meet my eye. And then, he apologized. To me. For her.

They left.

It was heartbreaking. It was one of those scenes you watch unfold only to replay twenty times over in your mind.  Since it happened, I thought of a million things I SHOULD have said. I couldn’t believe the man apologized to me.

ukycluycIt led me to think about the lasting impact a mother can have on the psyche of her child. It’s a mother’s job to love; to make her child grow up feeling confident, and prepare them for the world. But sometimes, a mother does the opposite. Sometimes, a mother can raise a child totally unequipped for life outside her door, who is eternally dependent, and who apologetically endures scenes like the one I just witnessed in between the double doors of a mall.

All the things I should have said aside, what does this encounter mean in context to your challenge?

Well, this week on the RETURN of the Sunday Scribble Challenge, your mission is to show:quotescover-JPG-47.jpg

Your response to the prompt can be as long or short as you like. Do what you have to do. Take any approach you like. Your response could be written in the form of a diary entry, a poem, a random snippet of conversation,  or a simple sentence. Pull some heartstrings. Raise some hair along the back of your reader’s neck. Voters will be asked to select a winner based on the response that resonates best with them.

Take your time. There are five days to ruminate . . .  IF you need them. If you’re stuck, try checking out some of the entries to last year’s challenge


RULES:

  1. Participants have until Saturday, May 20th at noon, Eastern standard time to post ONE response to the prompt in the comment section of THIS POST.
  2. ENCOURAGE other scribblers. Try to comment (reply) to at least three other submissions during the week.
  3. After the Saturday deadline, players have a week to VOTE for their favorite submission by emailing: Sundayscribblechallenge@gmail.com. Place the lucky author’s name in the HEADER of your email.

And, as always:


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155 thoughts on “#SSC 10/May 14-20th

  1. I didn’t know my mother was trying to kill me. It wasn’t as if she came at me with a knife. No, she was much more crafty, that one.

    So I’m like seven-years-old at the time and its the middle of summer, hot as hell with like one-hundred percent humidity. I’m exploring the backyard with no shoes and no shirt, giving absolutely zero fucks. I was only allowed to go so far into the back woods so my dog Bullet began growling and pushing me back with his abnormally huge head. Killjoy.

    That was when my mom calls me in. She was afraid I’d get heatstroke, it was that hot.

    Once inside I sat at the kitchen table, red-faced and sweaty. Mom served me watered-down sweet tea over ice and began to prepare my lunch.

    And what I now know to be her master plan went into action.

    She takes some pinto beans left over from last night’s dinner and smashes them in a fury. I’m thinking she’s mad at me, maybe she heard Bullet growling, but her silence tells me otherwise. My mother never hit me for misbehaving but her words, man! They cut.

    She then takes a pan and tosses a fair amount of the bacon grease she’d saved from breakfast. In go the beans with an unhealthy amount of salt. For taste? As if the bacon grease wasn’t enough? She fries those beans to one sizzle short of burning.

    She then takes a tortilla and heats it up on the comal – a cast iron grill. This time she does let the tortilla brown a little. If the tortilla doesn’t have a few burns, it’s not a real tortilla. That’s what my dad always says. While that is going on, I spot another pan with more bacon grease on the stove. The tortilla is then stuffed with beans, folded like a taco, and dropped into the second pan where its fried to a crisp.

    My mother serves me the heart-stopping concoction with a warning, “Wait before taking a bite. It’s hot.” she says. As if that is the issue! So, of course, I touch it cause that is what stupid little boys do. But once it was cool enough, I devoured it.

    Now that I’m old and have to guard my health I think, what the hell was she thinking serving that crap to a child?

    I know what she was thinking, she was gonna kill me.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. The smell of her freshly applied perfume was as sickly sweet as her voice as she pushed open the door, the daylight from the sunny hallway blinding my dazed eyes.
    ‘Look, I’ve brought your favourite dinner’ she chirped, as she crouched down beside me and started spooning the slimy cold spaghetti hoops into my ravenous mouth, her icy blue eyes searching vainly for some sign of gratitude in mine.
    When I’d finished dribbling the tasteless red sauce down my chin, she left, turning the key twice in the lock behind her. Painfully I tried to reposition myself on the cold tiled floor, the chafing of the thick ropes around my wrists and ankles almost as unbearable as the stench from my own faeces. A putrid stench she mistook for the whole of me, her fifth and final child.
    The laughter of the others rang out clearly over my head, as they raced upstairs to their rooms, each shriek of joy yet another dagger through my wailing heart.

    By Juliet Young

    Liked by 3 people

  3. A third son frustrated Mom. His antics sent her over the edge so she called him Dummy whenever she spoke to him. His self-image still suffers at the age of sixty as head of computer analysis for a major corporation..

    Liked by 2 people

  4. (Let me start by saying this in not my normal subject matter, but you said creep it up, so I wrote something that makes my skin crawl.)

    Tess jumped out of bed. She threw on her robe and raced for the stairs as the house shook from the music that was pouring out the stereo.

    At the top of the stairs Tess looked down to the living room where her daughter Jamie sat next to a boy on the large wrap around couch. They were laughing as they discussed the music that was playing.

    Tess raced down the steps and made a beeline for the stereo. She picked up a metal figurine that was resting on the top of the outdated equipment and began pounding the plastic as if it had personally offended her.

    When the music stopped Tess turned toward her daughter and dropped the trinket to the ground as a sneer formed on her lips. “What did I tell you about bringing boys into this house?”

    Jamie gave her boyfriend a pained smile before pushing a strand on blond hair away from her pink cheeks. “I . . . it’s just Steve from across the street. You know Steven and his family.” Jamie jumped up and took a step toward her mother. “Ma, we weren’t hurting anyone.”

    Tess reared back her arm before letting the full weight of her hand connect with her daughter’s face.

    “What’s going on momma?” A deep voice came from the top of the stairs and all eyes shifted to a teenage boy with shaggy black hair and a frown.

    “Your sister is a whore and thought she could bring a man in my home without me noticing.”

    Chad was halfway down the stairs when his mother’s words stopped him. He ran his hand along the row of hickeys that lined his neck and lowered his head. “Oh, are you going to hurt her again?”

    Tess look up at him and smiled. “Don’t worry about it son. Go on back to our bed and I’ll be there soon.”

    “Yes, momma.” Chad turned away from the scene and slowly climbed the stairs.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have only two absolute truths in my life: I shouldn’t call a gambler’s bluff and I should never, ever try to bullshit a bullshitter.

    When I was 12 years old, I was helping my mother unload the dishwasher. That isn’t true. I was unloading it while she was telling me how to do it as if I hadn’t done it a thousand times before. I rolled my eyes and said, “You might as well tell me the truth. I’m adopted, right?” It seemed like a funny joke to my pre-teen self – and I looked like her, so I thought it was doubly amusing. Without missing a beat, she said, “Yes, but we aren’t going to tell you until you’re 21 and can handle it.” Wait. What? For about a year, I actually wondered if it might be true.

    When I turned 21, I still hadn’t learned my lesson. I said, “I’m 21. Who is my real mother?” She smiled and said, “We decided to wait until you’re 25.” I tried again at 25 and again at 30. It was a running joke until the day she passed away. She remained one step ahead of me my entire life and I never did get the best of her in a verbal sparring match.

    Liked by 5 people

    • I like this entry, but this is my favourite part:
      When I was 12 years old, I was helping my mother unload the dishwasher. That isn’t true. I was unloading it while she was telling me how to do it as if I hadn’t done it a thousand times before.
      I feel like this part of the story was a real glimpse into the kind of mother your character is dealing with.

      Like

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the day after on Sunday, May 29th.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Like

  6. Trips wished but not taken
    Late nights not to be
    Wear this shirt not that one
    Park by light, not by tree

    Grandpa’s not a safe driver
    Who cares if he’s mad
    Don’t you dare drive at rush hour
    Or if weather is bad

    Check in every hour
    Until you are here
    It’s because I have made you
    That you live by my fear

    Liked by 5 people

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the following day.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Like

  7. When she came out of the operating room in the wheelchair, the mother stood from her seat and smiled. It was clear that the brain surgery was a complete success. The mother looked down towards her drooling daughter with the satisfaction of knowing that she would never leave or disobey her mother ever again.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. “I wish I never had you!” Shrieked Marcell at her child, “I wish you were dead!” she continued in her rage. “I hate you!” Kimmy hadn’t meant to make her mother angry, she was playing with her dolls and making noises. Bewildered and scared, Kimmy tried to shrink deep-down inside herself and wait for her mother’s tirade to pass. She wished she could disappear and maybe if she made herself really, really small she could become invisible…? Perhaps she could crawl into the closet, shut herself inside and her mother could forget all about her…?

    Although she said she loved her daughter, Marcell just didn’t want to be reminded every second that she was the one charged with the care of this child who seemed to rob her of everything that was good in life. No matter how much she wanted a new dress or to have her hair done or some other pretty thing, this demanding child always seemed to need something or other and was never satisfied. Even a few minutes of peace and quiet were too much to ask these days. It was bad enough that everyone she knew paid more attention to the child than they did to her but worse than that, she was forced to share her husband. The injustice of it was more than she could bear. As if she hadn’t sacrificed enough, it appeared as though her life was over.
    .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Interesting how you adopted the child’s point of view in the first paragraph and the mother’s in the second. It added another dimension to the response that would not have been there otherwise.
      Thank you for participating in the response and sharing something so close to your heart.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the following day.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Like

  9. She finally found the courage to do what she had only imagined. Peering into the porcelain bowl, counting each swirl to match the scars on her heart, she knew watching her mother drown would bring such satisfaction. Tomorrow they would take their walk on the beach.

    Liked by 4 people

  10. I have a lisp. I didn’t used to have one when I was a child but that’s because back then, I had other speech impediments. Bad ones. Even worse than the one I have now and the treatment I received for them was… well, I guess I should be grateful all I’ve been left with is a lisp…

    You see, my mother loved me dearly, but her love was the kind too tough to take any prisoners. She’d been brought up not to suffer any weaknesses, be them within herself or in others, so she couldn’t bear to see any weaknesses in me. She knew the other kids were picking on me at school because I had trouble making myself understood. I’d mangle my vowels and twist all the words up in my mouth. That sort of thing.

    So that’s why, on my eighth birthday, she gave me a mangler, instead of the racing bike I’d been hoping for. She said she knew I’d be disappointed but it was the only way to straighten out my tongue. She told me that I’d thank her in the long run.

    Turns out she was right, ’cause no one picks on me now. Not even the guards…

    Liked by 5 people

    • Oh now THIS is dark.
      I find the best stories are often the ones where the villains are humanized enough to bring out a bit of sympathy from the readers. You have done this both for the mother, who wanted her son to socialize the way she saw fit in school, and for the main character.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the following day.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Like

  11. The itch of the stitches at his wrists were a constant reminder that he had failed just as his mother said he would. Lost in his thoughts he almost missed her shouting from the living room to use the shotgun in his mouth outside this time so she didn’t have to clean the grouting in the bathroom, again. He could be considerate if it was the last thing he did.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the following day.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Like

  12. When she was 7, her mother told her it was dangerous to go to the park – so she stayed at home instead. When she was 14, her mother told her it was dangerous to go out with the kids from school – so she stayed at home instead. When she was 18, her mother told her it was dangerous to move away for college – so she stayed at home instead.

    When she was 28, her mother told her to go out and make more friends – she said it was too dangerous and swallowed her meds instead.

    Liked by 5 people

  13. “Pain”

    She believed she has been doing a good job, of mothering that is. Walking my way, on a sunny afternoon, where people just sat in outdoor cafes and contemplated the Sunday peace, she paused by the traffic lights and waited to cross to the other side, keeping an eager eye on her young daughter, a girl of about six years old, and a sturdy hand to punish her as she liked. It was called guidance, but it seemed something was wrong with both of them.

    The lady wore a black pair of trousers and a loosely wore sweater, meaning that some people believed she had been abused because she is the woman in black, and the long winded rant she gave to her daughter, scolding her to move this way and that, to not do this (the law of the mother), in a high pitched growl (the punishing mother), was evidence enough she really had been abused. To this mother, loving correction came with a deafening flood. I looked over and poured forth my judgment that had risen in my eyes and felt bad about it later on when I got back home to my land of plenty inside the protective walls of a $700,000 fully furnished abode. Her unusual noise on a Sunday was a cursed nuisance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “and the long winded rant she gave to her daughter, scolding her to move this way and that, to not do this (the law of the mother), in a high pitched growl (the punishing mother), was evidence enough she really had been abused. To this mother, loving correction came with a deafening flood.”
      Enjoyed this section of the response especially. Well done!

      Like

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the following day.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Like

  14. Mom never openly offers help or says what she thinks aloud, but you knew that “If you think that’s best, well then what do I know” meant you damn well better ask for her opinion.
    “Okay Mom, what acid do you think I should use to melt the body?” I ask.
    She smiles smugly, as she does every time, then answers, “Well honey, everyone knows that sulfuric is best!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Voting polls for the 10th Sunday Scribble Challenge are now open.

      *Due to a minor WordPress glitch, two versions of this week’s rules were posted, one through email and another on the web. As such, this week voters will be asked to choose TWO winners for the opportunity to guest blog on Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins.

      Please choose one entry at the length of the author’s choosing, and one THREE SENTENCE entry. Name the authors of your favorite submissions in an email addressed to:

      SundayScribbleChallenge@gmail.com

      Voting polls close Saturday, May 28th and the winner will be announced the following day.

      Thank you for participating. Hope to see you back for next week’s challenge!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Her mother was dead yet she shed buckets of tears the entire trip home from the funeral. Six hours drive time, six hours of non-stop tears. Why? she asked herself between sniffles. Her mother had hated her, tried to give her away to every relative passing by told her repeatedly she was the unhappiest child in the world, followed by the inevitable – when was she moving out? Why didn’t she move in with her friends? Why didn’t she just go??
    She’d stayed to protect her brothers from the ongoing unending emotional abuse even when it earned her a slap across the face that sent her crashing to the floor even when it meant jumping between her mother and then receiving the blows intended for them. Not that she was any bigger in size, comparatively she was far more fragile, but she was the oldest by 5 minutes, therefore it had somehow inexplicably become her duty her responsibility.
    Suddenly although a married woman with children of her own, it was over, she was gone. Left to determine the impact it would have on her.
    Her mother taught her one thing, what she didn’t want! Perhaps she owed her for that. For she was a better mother, one who cherished and nurtured her children from the moment of their existence and would, until she was no longer on earth.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. I stand quietly outside the door and listen to her words. Words that I have heard too many times to count, words that I knew were coming before she cracked open the first beer.
    “Worse thing that ever happened…ruined my life…should have had an abortion.”
    I fight the urge to charge through the door, grab the drink from her hand, force her to look at me and scream at her the one question that has been burning in me for as long as I can remember,
    “Mom, why don’t you love me???”

    Liked by 3 people

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