100 Word Story: A Different Perspective

Tom milled around the prison yard with the other inmates, waiting for the sound of death. There would be no stay of execution for their condemned friend, who would die in a most barbaric way.

“They don’t care that he’s innocent,” Tom said. “As are we all. The system is guilty, but no one wants to buck tradition.”

The thud of the axe made him flinch. He bowed his head out of respect for the dead.

In the silence, he heard the executioner’s voice drifting through the chicken wire fence. “It’s a big turkey. We’ll have a grand Thanksgiving feast.”

***

Pat Bertram is the author of Grief: The Inside Story – A Guide to Surviving the Loss of a Loved One. “Grief: The Inside Story is perfect and that is not hyperbole! It is exactly what folk who are grieving need to read.” –Leesa Healy, RN, GDAS GDAT, Emotional/Mental Health Therapist & Educator.

Murder in 100 Words by Pat Bertram

Tom milled around the prison yard with the other inmates, waiting for the sound of death. There would be no stay of execution for their condemned mate, who would die in a most barbaric way.

“They don’t care that he’s innocent,” Tom said. “As are we all. The system is guilty, but no one wants to buck tradition.”

The thud of the axe made him flinch. He bowed his head out of respect for the dead.

In the silence, he heard the executioner’s voice drifting through the chicken wire fence. “It’s a big turkey. We’ll have a grand Thanksgiving feast.”

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Season’s Creepings — A Halloween Story in Miniature

A drabble is a short story of exactly one hundred words with a beginning, a middle, and an end. I have been experimenting with this story form as a way of improving my writing, trying to get as strong an image as possible in just a few words. Here is a miniature story for Halloween:

       Cuddling her baby, Cassie went to answer the door.

       Anna, eyes bright beneath hooded lids, smiled at her. “I came to see my newest neighbor.” She bent forward and peered into the baby’s face. “Oooh, he’s so sweet I could just eat him up.” She held out her arms. “May I?”

       Pride welled up in Cassie’s chest. “Sure.”

       With a sudden sinuous motion, Anna took the baby, popped him in her mouth, and swallowed him whole.

       Unable even to scream, Cassie stared at the bulge in the woman’s midsection.

       “What?” Anna gave her a puzzled look. “You said I could.” 

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.   

I’ve Been Published in Urdu!

Well, I myself haven’t been published in Urdu — three of my 100-word stories were.

In February, Mubashir Zaidi, a Pakistani writer and journalist, contacted me and said he was planning on publishing a book of 100-word stories. He selected one hundred such stories from different sources and books to convert into Urdu, and asked permission to use a few of mine. I told him that as long as he listed me as the author, he could use the stories. He promised me he’d send me a couple of copies of the finished book, and on May 2nd, he sent them. It took one day to get from Dubai to New York and an entire month to finally get to me. (Don’t know what the problem was, but it took many phone calls to “speed” the books on their way.)

The book is called “Namak Paaray” after  a crunchy salty snack of Pakistan and India, indicating that you can finish reading a story in the time it takes to finish a ‘Namak Para.’ (The snack is featured on the cover.)

So, here it is, “The Kiss” by Pat Bertram in Urdu. (According to Mubashir, Urdu is written from right to left. It has same alphabets as Arabic and Persian but all three languages have different words. Hindi, on the other hand, has a different script but same words as Urdu.)

Since I’m sure you’re no more able to read Urdu than I am, here is a translation:

The Kiss

When Jack entered her flower shop, all Jen could do was stare. It had been years since she’d seen him, years she’d spent regretting their final quarrel, yet she still felt the same attraction. His heavy-lidded gaze told her he felt it, too.

He held out a hand, and she let him draw her close for a kiss that spanned the years. She snuggled into his embrace. Everything would be perfect now that they were together again.

“How did you know I was here?” she asked.

“I didn’t. I just came in to buy flowers.”

“For me?”

“For my wife.”

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

Bloody Valentine Blog Hop

A. F. Stewart is hosting this blog hop to celebratate heartbreak, love gone wrong, romantic mayhem and tragedy, hopefully with that little splash of humour and blood. There is no blood in the following short story of mine, but there is plenty of hearbreak in only 100 words.

The Kiss (100-Word Story) by Pat Bertram

When Jack entered her flower shop, all Jen could do was stare. It had been years since she’d seen him, years she’d spent regretting their final quarrel, yet she still felt the same attraction. His heavy-lidded gaze told her he felt it, too.

He held out a hand, and she let him draw her close for a kiss that spanned the years. She snuggled into his embrace. Everything would be perfect now that they were together again.

“How did you know I was here?” she asked.

“I didn’t. I just came in to buy flowers.”

“For me?”

“For my wife.”

***

“The Kiss” and five more of my 100-word stories were published in the Second Wind Publishing anthology Love is on the Wind, which you can download free from Kindle or Smashwords today.

I hope you will check out these other blogs participating in today’s Bloody Valentine Blog Hop. There should be plenty of mayhem to satisfy your both your romantic and unromantic desires.

Valentine Logo

A Diamond In The Dark

GetYourBookNoticed

A Bloody Kind of Lust

Keith Pyeatts Horror with Heart Blog

Musings of Papa Zen

The Cult of Me

Bestiary Parlor: The Musings of a Zoologist

Sheila Deeth’s Blog

Ash Kraftons Demimonde

GMTA UK

Yours in Storytelling

Author JCooper

Laughing for a Living

Lift You Up

Spoiler Princess

The Curse Books

Worldbinding

Pagan Spirits book blog

Random Babble

Exile on Peachtree Street

A. F. Stewarts Blog

Writing Discussion: Beverages

I know that everyone prefers general discussions about writing, but I like to mix things up at times and get specific. So today we’re going to be talking about beverages. What your characters drink, how they drink, how the drink personifies them, how it propels the plot forward, how it helps create atmosphere and setting.

An obvious use for a beverage is the poisoned drink. That certainly propels a plot! Another use of beverage (which I hope you’re all staying away from because it’s been done to death) is the cop with a drinking problem. As soon as I see that in a book now, I don’t even bother to read it. Unless of course, the drinking problem is more along the lines of Robert Hays’ drinking problem in the movie Airplane!. But even that has become stale.

Think of the feelings, the characterizations, the mood these drinks invoke:

Hot buttered rum
Mulled cider
Hot chocolate
Ice cold beer
Brandy
Champagne
Coffee
Herb tea
Fruit punch
Well water
Orange juice
Ratafia

I could list hundreds of drinks, and every one would remind you of something. Like every other element in a story, what your characters drink (or don’t drink — mine seldom drink coffee) needs to be more than simple window dressing.

Here’s an example of how a drink becomes significant. It’s a 100-word story called “Colorized”:

The drab little man in the gray suit entered the bar at five o’clock as usual, huddled on the same bar stool he always did, and waited to order his usual martini.

An almost pretty woman perched on the next stool smiled at him as if they were going to be good friends. Then a fellow wearing a loud shirt approached and handed her a rose. As she got up to follow him, a single petal fluttered to the floor.

“Your usual?” the bartender asked.

The man glanced at the rose petal, straightened his shoulders. “I’ll have red wine today.”

So, what do your characters drink? How does the drink aid in characterization? Does the drink have a greater significance in the story than simply something for the characters to do? Where do your characters drink? Most stories, especially those with a mythic twist, make use of the “watering hole,” a place where the characters gather to drink, talk, plan. Does this place have any significance to your story?

Grab your drink of choice and join the group No Whine, Just Champagne on Thursday, February 12 at 9:00pm ET for a live chat about beverages. Hope to see you there, but if you can’t make it, we can discuss beverages here.

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