#SSC 11/ May 21- 28th


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


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It 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 prompts 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.


network-2155198_960_720THIS WEEK’S prompt is inspired by last night’s triple birthday celebration with my niece and stepdaughters.

Charlottetown is largely a tourist destination in summer. That means many restaurants in the city are only open from April to October. Last night we went to one of our favorite spots, having recently re-opened after the winter hiatus. My niece ordered a fishbowl, a massive drink with gummy worms swimming along the bottom. Stepdaughter #1 ordered a murky concoction similar to a Mexican Bulldog. Stepdaughter #2 shared a pitcher of Sangria with yours truly. And, in standard form, my husband ordered a beer.

After my niece excused herself to use the washroom we noticed the table was unsteady. She had been leaning on the corner, holding the top in place. Likely, the table had been put together haphazardly after its stint in storage, so I felt around for some screws to tighten underneath.

I didn’t find any screws.

But I did get a giant fistful of spider webs.

And yes, I am an arachnophobe.


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Luckily we had only planned to stay at the restaurant for one drink before moving on. I couldn’t get comfortable after that. Visions of what had become of the building after business had closed for winter ran amok in my mind. Had the interior been completely overrun by spiders? Were they in the floorboards? Were they nesting inside the table legs, waiting to crawl up my pants and into my nose to lay tiny baby spider eggs inside my brain the VERY MOMENT I STOPPED PAYING ATTENTION?

And yes, I am aware these thoughts are slightly outrageous. But, I can’t stop myself from having them. As I said: arachnophobe.


If you’re waiting on bated breath to find out how the story ended, we successfully moved on to another restaurant. As far as I know, none of us have tiny spider babies developing in our brains. It doesn’t really matter though, because as I write this, I’ve convinced myself I can feel them crawling in my hair.


So what does this mean in context to your prompt?


The 11th Sunday Scribble Challenge is all about:

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Your character is trying unsuccessfully to HIDE their PHOBIA.

You have one paragraph to show it.

When the challenge closes on Saturday, May 28th, voters will be asked to select a winner based on the response that resonates best with them.


RULES:

  1. Participants have until Saturday, May 27th 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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The responses to last week’s challenge were amazing! Thanks to everyone who participated. The Sunday Scribbles Challenge’s primary focus is helping authors forge connections in the writing community. So, if you decide to dive in to this week’s challenge, please remember to comment (reply) to at least three other entries before voting opens on Saturday, May 27.


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96 thoughts on “#SSC 11/ May 21- 28th

  1. He was staring at me, waiting for an answer. Arms crossed, eyes narrowed, the man I loved seemed furious. He thought it was his fault. Sweat dripped down my back. I couldn’t be who he wanted, what he needed, or what he deserved. Because somehow, I always ended up disappointing the people I loved most. “I’m sorry,” I said, regretting the words even before they left my lips, knowing they were leading to the biggest regret of my life. “I can’t marry you.”

    Gamophobia, the fear of commitment.

    Liked by 6 people

  2. Trying not to think about what he has to do today as he woke up, instead focusing on coming home later and walking the dog. ‘That thought will keep me going’ he thinks, as he leaves the house. He walks through the town, avoiding eye contact with others in the street. His skin slowly getting goosebumps, a cold sweat down his back. His gut churning as he arrived at the bank, waiting in line his leg started shaking. When finally he reached the teller, his voice froze and he started to panic.

    Social anxiety (phobia)

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Lucy gave Buck a cautious look and said, “I should like to have strawberry shortcake made with my grandmother’s preserves receipt at our wedding reception.”
    “Oh, no, that won’t do,” Margaret said as if the most horribly distasteful thing had been uttered. “Buck is unable to eat strawberries–he breaks out in rash and his nose drips and oh, it’s ghastly.”
    Lucy glanced at Buck and Graham, both looking decidedly uncomfortable.
    “All right, then . . .” Lucy continued.
    Buck coughed excusing himself. Margaret waited until the door was shut and spoke in a secret way. “Lucy, he’s not really sensitive to strawberries.”
    “What do you mean?” Lucy asked.
    Graham came closer. “Buck is afraid of strawberries and as a child he was just so awkward about everything, you see. He suggested that he was quite unable to eat them and would itch all over. We decided it was best to go along with it–until this day.”
    “But you all know it’s a silly lie?” Lucy asked.
    “Well, of course, but it’s never been addressed,” Graham explained. “Is it that important to you about the preserves?” Graham asked in a pained sort of way. “Some things are better left unresolved.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: Going Up | Blood, Fire & Grit

  5. I adore Jim. His good opinion matters more to me than breath itself. If he laughs at me it crushes my heart. He lets me walk with him in the Missouri woods and I strive to keep up in all ways. He loves everything Nature. Me, not so much, but I love Jim. I walk, skip fast, trying to catch up, my eyes darting in all directions, constantly scanning for Things I Fear. Something slithers across the ground just ahead of me, moving like a black flash.
    Trying to sound mildly, scarcely interested, I yell, “What’s that?”
    Jim glances back and tosses off, “Oh, that’s just an Eastern Yellow-bellied Racer. Non-venomous.”
    I stare after the hideous, slithery Satan creature and run up to hang on Jim’s arm as we proceed. I’ve engraved a smile, or a rictus maybe, on my face, desperate to hide my terror because he mustn’t find out I’m a coward. I may pull it off as he whistles happily and we tramp on..

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I heard it before I saw it – a tight, high, whining hum – a sound I have feared forever, since the days when I would see the shape of them in every shadow in my attic bedroom. None of the others seemed to notice or care, too busy spooning up the last of the whipped cream from their strawberry-flavoured plates. My fiancé even laughed as he swiped it away from his ear towards mine, unaware that every inch of my body was silently screeching, the buzzing from its ugly black and yellow stripes matching the deafening ringing going on inside my head. When it landed on my plate to begin its sweet greedy feast I tried hard to sit still, but was shaking so much that I dropped my spoon, disturbing the wasp as it guzzled on the creamy pink juice. It rose towards my face in a blur, and the scream which had settled at the back of my throat erupted violently into the peaceful garden air. His family looked over at me in surprise, their shocked eyes seeing the depth of pure terror in mine. But how could they have known I was stung to death in my last life? Nobody knows.

    Juliet

    Liked by 9 people

  7. Dangling from a tree by a skinny rope isn’t my idea for how to spend a Saturday. Team building, my ass. Like ziplining has any damn thing to do with accounting. My throat tightens and my stomach rolls – why is the ground getting farther away? I close my eyes. Don’t throw up don’t throw up don’t throw up. I have to release the branch eventually or everyone will know what a pansy I am. Ohhhhhh God. Here goes.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. I felt my heart start to race as he walked towards me. My palms became sweaty and I started “triangular breathing” – a coping strategy taught to me for high stress situations. I try my best to count the seconds of my breath, yet each count is interrupted by the demon in my head. ‘Inhalation 1… he is still walking towards you. 2… do you hear his shoes squeaking? 3… what is he reaching in his jacket for?; hold breath 1… look at his hair, red like blood. 2… oh look, you caught his eye. 3…. he’s smiling at you, he is definitely going to stop and say hi; exhale breath 1… he’s coming. 2… white, blue, yellow. white, blue, yellow. don’t you love his makeup? 3… he’s here, look at his ….’ My eyes fill with tears and I hide my face as the clown passes. His target? The group of children behind me.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. The smile on my face froze as I opened the envelop and pulled out a brightly colored children’s party invitation. Unaware of my growing sense of dread, my son rambled on about his school day. “The entire class is invited,” Jake added. “But Henry told me I’m his bestest, best friend, and wants me there most of all.” He grabbed the invitation out of my hands. “This is going to be awesome,” he exclaimed. “It says there’s going to be an arcade. And a ball-pit.” I bought Purell by the gallon, but it would never be enough. “I can go, right Mommy?”

    Liked by 5 people

  10. As if mimicking the crisped leaves of late Third Season, chittering in all their hollow frailty in the lone treetop above his frosted silhouette, Eddun trembled in the light snow. *RUN!* He fought against the increasing shakes; fought against every instinct in his body it seemed in this place – his desperate, wheezing breath, his incessant repositioning on this wretched ice, the encroaching pangs for another cigarette. *RUN!* His entire body ached from the journey North, and his head pounded with such ferocity he felt he might faint any second. But he couldn’t shut his eyes. “That’s when they get you!” That’s the instant they’d charge, or so he’d been told, seething in unknown numbers from the very landscape to kill and… consume… everything with red blood. “Cannibals! Savages, the lot!” He shuddered all over again as he outstretched a hand in peace, waiting to become one of a thousand piles of forgotten bones and belongings on these horrid, arid plains.

    – Xenophobia

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Out of work. I wonder at what point it stopped being a casual description and turned into a label for my desperation. Was it at the six-month mark? Eight? A year? When I had to re-home the dogs? Sell my car? Could Mr. Douglas smell it on me?
    “You are the perfect candidate, I have to say.”
    Relief floods my veins.
    “Of-course your main task will be caring for the animals.
    Even better. I love animals.
    “Luckily for you they’re all stuffed.” He chuckles.
    “Stuffed?”
    “Taxidermy was my father’s hobby. We still have quite a collection. Over a hundred bodies.”
    My breath freezes in my throat. I dig my nails into the soft flesh on the inside of my wrist. All those sightless eyes, all those frozen faces. All that death. Surrounded by death. Every. Single. Day.
    “Are you all right Ms Richards? You’ve gone quite pale. So, will you take the job?”

    Liked by 6 people

  12. So after the challenge with The Controlling Cabins had gone so well, I thought this would be easy. But then in front of me, there was a tiny, narrow pipe that tuned right after about a meter. If I went down it, I would have to go headfirst, right down the dark hole and keep feeling myself forward until I reached the end of the room. I just knew I could never do that. Ian, the slightly fat, blond boy I was telling you about before, was standing next to me and he was already half-way in, all I could see of him were his legs. I dared to look around the room and saw that everyone else was doing the same and I knew that I couldn’t fail the course. So I crawled in and as I pulled myself forward, the pipe got narrower and I had to move my arms closer together. Then I fully realized that I was stuck in a pitch-black tunnel with no way out unless I slithered through the whole room and that was impossible.

    Claustrophobia (fear of small, narrow, confined spaces)

    Liked by 2 people

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