Have you ever reached a place where you can’t see beyond? Maybe you wonder what’s around the bend or over the hedge. Maybe it’s a point in life that you can’t imagine what’s beyond. What if, you wonder.
What if is the potter’s wheel of writing. It’s where we explore setting, plot twists, character motivation, and truths about humanity. This week writers went beyond to find their stories.
The following is based on the the December 22, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story that steps beyond.
Beyond by Ann Edall-Robson
Beyond. Where the grey matter travels. A setting. A situation. Nowhere. Reluctant to share. Hiding what’s explosive and mind boggling. The journey traverses the escarpment of the imaginary. Sliding nonchalantly through a dimension of jumbled thoughts looking for facts. Solidify. Scrutinize. Throwing away the mindless crap simmering below the surface. Teetering on the edge of lies and truth. Lacking the gumption to make it happen. Pushed to the precipice. Daring to jump with reckless abandonment. First a single line forms. Soon joined by others. A flourish of impulsive thoughts. A plethora of words. Ink. Paper. A story is born.
Beyond by Lady Lee Manila
autumn cry out
dark clouds on the sky
blood and tears
men fighting for our freedom
the falling rain
echoes of autumn
fields of men
sheaves of pain
in their bravery and nerve
falling one by one
war or peace?
and life’s so complicated
talk instead of fight
in this life
nothing is perfect
and that’s good
it’s all the limitation
that makes life thrilling
life is short
enjoy while we can
if we don’t do things now, when?
death comes to us all
Why I Meditate by Florida Borne
“Why meditation?” I asked.
In lotus position, she responded, “Oohm.”
“Jane!” I yelled.
She smiled with a peace I hadn’t felt in years. “Lie on that mat. I’ll take you through a meditation.”
I must’ve been tired. Down…down, I traveled into darkness, floating…immersed in love. One word said it all, “home.”
A soft, gentle voice whispered, “It’s not yet your time.”
I blinked at a white ceiling, wondering why an IV drained into my arm.
“I had to call 911,” Jane said.
I smiled with a peace I hadn’t felt in years, replying, “Now I know why you meditate.”
The Summit by Allison Maruska
I force my legs to keep moving. I’ve already climbed a million steps. Can’t quit now.
Dad twists around. “You doing okay, bud?”
I ignore the frustration in my belly. “I just wanna get there.”
“Come on!” My brother darts past me. “It’s not that hard!”
“You have more energy than I do!” I bury the urge to cry.
Dad keeps going. “Let’s go. You can do it.”
Sighing, I take another step.
Finally, I reach the top, where Dad and Silas wait for me. Beyond this peak is . . . more incline to climb.
Stupid false summit.
Beyond the Waterfall by Liz Husebye Hartmann
He looked away from the waterfall, and rubbed his hands over his face. “I’m not ready. I don’t understand.”
The water tumbled and flashed, as if laughing at him.
Glancing from the corner of his eye, he spied fiddles and fairies behind the splash. Was his missing heritage just beyond this veil?
Reaching a hand into the flow, he felt it wrap around his fingers, gently pull. His heartbeat shifted, matching the scratch of gypsy fiddle, the steady pound bodhran beat.
Yet the music was not quite right.
“Not this place, nor this time,” he drew back and away.
Beyond Rock Creek (from Rock Creek) by Charli Mills
Denver. Many who rode the stages were headed to Denver or back from the mining camps. Denver illuminated Sarah’s hope, a growing city by western standards. Respectable but not exclusive to those who were different. A woman could be an accountant there, run her own business. Nancy Jane always thought so. Sarah dreamed it could be so. Cobb had mocked her. Now she had the money he had owed her and none of the ties. Beyond Rock Creek was Denver.
If she’d known life awaited her with bitter disappointment Sarah would have stayed on the prairie and died young.
Beyond, She Learned to Save the Only One She Could: Herself by Anne Goodwin
Each year she pushed a little more to meet the magic she’d been told was there for all
It teased her like a dancing butterfly she could not capture in her tiny net
She courted it with turkey, tinsel, bells and baubles, carols but without success
Until she turned her back on mock constraints to shape a Yuletide worthy of her truth
Beyond illusion, rule or etiquette she found the sparkle hitherto denied
Within herself; she’d be her own messiah sent to save the only one she could.
Beyond Surface Features by Norah Colvin
The registrar ushered him to the doorway and promptly disappeared. He stared blankly: hair askew, face dotted with remnants of meals past, shirt lopsided and collar awry, shoes scruffy. Another needy child. You name it, he had it: split family, mother in jail, successive foster homes, sixth school in two years, learning difficulties, generally unresponsive, prone to aggressive outbursts …
No magic ball, just a futures optimism, she saw beyond the exterior to the potential within. In a moment, she was there, smiling, taking his hand, reassuring. “Everyone, say good morning to Zane. Let’s welcome him into our class.”
Man in the Moon by Geoff Le Pard
Penny closed the book. Her sister, Charlotte slept. Penny went and found her mum, Mary. ‘When did I stop believing in the Man in the Moon, mum?’
‘Course. Don’t be silly.’
Mary smiled. ‘You’re sure, are you?’
Penny frowned. ‘There’s no air.’
‘I know but can you be sure? That there’s no life there?’
Penny sighed. ‘It’s like Santa, and the tooth fairy. You want me to believe because it’s cute. But I’m 14.’
‘So you know, for sure?’
‘Stop it, mum.’ Penny turned away. ‘You’re being ridiculous.’
‘It’s worth holding onto a little doubt, sometimes, love.’
Trying by Michael
I never knew real love until I met you. You opened a door I thought well hidden within me.
I was faced with a love I couldn’t get over. Why me I thought? What have I done to deserve this?
Years of trauma and abuse were pushed to one side. You allowed me to love you and you loved me in return in ways I never knew I could experience.
Just be you you’d say. You’ve nothing to prove. I’m impressed already so just stay as you are.
Nothing is easy is it? But every day we try again.
Flash Fiction by Pensitivity
We were told we weren’t allowed beyond the curtain that led upstairs.
Women only they said, but one Man, bespectacled, bald, and dressed in black was permitted access.
Curious five year olds, we strained to hear what was going on, what it all meant.
We didn’t understand why we were constantly told to shush, to occupy ourselves and keep out of the way.
Why so many visitors, and not us? Why couldn’t we play and join in?
Suddenly quiet when everyone had left, we sneaked upstairs.
Mama lay sleeping, as did the new babe in the cot beside her.
Holy Moly by Bill Engleson
It’s there, waiting to be open. There is no light squeaking through from the other side. If there is, I am blind to it. Such a simple gesture, the turning of the handle, the will to take the next step, to pull the door towards me and step on through.
“Are you going to take all day, Sweetie?”
She is all sweetness and light, this one.
Bags are packed. Car is at the ready. Ferry reservations confirmed.
“Get a move on, big fella,” she insists, and offers a gentle shove.
Save me, I think.
Christmas with her relatives!
“It Is Time, Yossef” by Roger Shipp
She haltingly reached to grasp my hand. Her hand was cold. Her grasp was gentle. But the look in her eyes was bold and unwavering.
“It is time.”
“Time?” I mimicked back. I knew what she meant.
Grandmama was a fighter. She had held on. Unbelievably, in the last three months, she had witnessed her youngest granddaughter graduate university, had been blessed with one more Christmas, and had attended her favorite grandson’s wedding.
I smiled at the thought… I was her only grandson.
“Yossef, you promised.” Grandmama’s eyes did not leave mine.
“I promise,” I replied. It was time.
Disrupted Dreams by Kerry E.B. Black
The phone rang at 3:45AM as it did every night since Lawrence’s death. I knew the pointlessness of answering. My sleepy inquiries met silence, eerie, unresolved silence.
Together we dreamed of beginning a life together. After exploring the world, we’d build a house in suburbia and start a family. Lawrence’s inventions would garner acclaim, while my photography would wow.
I’d done nothing artistic since his death. No travel. No house or family, my only connection with such dreams interrupted by mysterious calls in the wee hours, perhaps a plea from beyond to recapture zeal buried within Lawrence’s coffin.
Getting Beyond the Past (from Miracle of Ducks) by Charli Mills
“Ever study the old missionary graves?” asked Michael.
“No. I respect your elders who closed the burial ground,” said Danni.
“Why do you like cemeteries anyhow?” Michael stood by the gate, talking to Danni as she noted names on headstones.
“It’s a way to read history. I’ll show you. Come in.”
“Hmm, no thanks.”
“We’re not far from Tom’s. Want a drink for old time’s sake?”
“Old time’s sake? Like back when we hated each other?”
“I never hated you, Michael.”
“You hated me?”
“We both love Ike. That’s what matters.”
“Time to get beyond the past, then.”
Bridging the Gap? by Jules Paige
Perhaps at one time the covered bridge was a tunnel
to somewhere important. Now it existed as a back road
way to get from the mall to the apartments on either
side of busy highway. Now if you didn’t know it was
there You’d flat out miss it.
I’m not sure if the tourists stumbled upon the bridge.
I don’t think they took their car through it. I know they
weren’t locals. I offered through pointing and smiles
to take their photo by the old Amish Bridge. And
They stepped back through time hearing horse
Working Beyond the Grounds by Elliott Lyngreen
My shoes ruined -thee instant I stepped into March mush; but distortions alternating static, ears still ripped in frisson rifts; warmed scents worming nostrils; flowing purls, finite crevices creating themselves as they vanished.
Approached the work area. Salamanders poured, kerosene lingered from the remaining garage portions.
Tilted, trying to dig beyond lasting frozen ground, the excavator clunk. Steel, motor jaggedly hurtled rears.
Yelled, “should have saved the jack-hammer for this ground too!!” so loud Garry only knows I said something; unplugs one ear and shifts echoes relieved. “Heh?!” -“said, we should have saved the jack-hammer.”–“Right?!”