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Is the phrase "Once upon a time..."
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Monthly Writing Prompt
For this month's writing prompt write a scene using the following sentence to start;

The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?

Writing Tip
Our monthly writing tips are written by our very own TerishD. You can read more in Terish's Blog located in "The Abstractions" area of the forum.

Look Back

When not able to write ahead, it helps to look back. In my case I had written a paragraph ahead of the story. What I needed to do was add a section of exposition (talking) presenting some facts. In going back, I realized that I could insert a section where a 'tour' of the surroundings could be done. This allowed for character interaction, story development, and other things that enabled me to present the facts in an entertaining manner.

One should not face a writer's block with the mentality of bursting through it. I have found in my own experience that a writer's block is usually due to my mind indicating that it has a problem in 'channeling' the story. One reason might be a re-imagining of certain story points. Another reason however is that there is a problem in where you are at in the story, so you need to look back and find out the problem with the 'journey' that prevents the tale from advancing.

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 Found ( Work in Progress)

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Number of posts : 2
Age : 38
Location : Alabama
Current Mood :
Registration date : 2011-08-11

PostSubject: Found ( Work in Progress)   August 12th 2011, 10:11 am

This is a story I just started working on. I just sat down and started typing. Once I got to Victor's story, however, I lost my mojo Crying or Very sad I would love to get some opinions on what I have so far.


I must be crazy, Lily thought to herself as she filled her car up with gas. The sun was barely up, turning the sky that lovely grayish-pink color right before it shone full. She replaced the nozzle and walked quickly around the front of the car, anxious to put as many miles as possible between herself, this tiny town and the man she hoped to never see again. She took a deep breath to calm her nerves and leaned her forehead against the wheel.

I can’t do this. I need to just turn around and go home. He’ll find me and then there’ll be hell to pay, she thought. Her cheek began to throb in time with her frantic heartbeat, like her body wanted to remind her why she couldn’t go back. She thought back to the night before. Larry had come home like he normally did; a bit on the wrong side of drunk since he’d stopped at The Spirit, a bar he and his crew liked to visit before heading home after a day on the job. She’d been upstairs putting some laundry away.

“Lily! Get your pretty little ass down here!” He shouted.
She rolled her eyes, knowing she had to tolerate him groping her like some hormone infested teenager, eager to get her pants off.
“Coming, Honey, just puttin’ some clothes away. Your dinner is on the table if you’re hungry.” God, she hoped he was hungry. Maybe he would just eat and pass out. But she wouldn’t get a break.
“I said, COME HERE!! I need you to fulfill your wifely duties.” He said, a sarcastic tone in his voice.

She exhaled and started out of the room, resigned to the fact that her day would end just as horribly as it had started, no, worse. She went downstairs to find Larry sprawled on the couch with his pants around his ankles.
“Larry, really? What makes you think I want to do anything with you when you smell like a sweaty horse that’s been bathed in beer?”
“I didn’t ask if you wanted to, I said I needed you to. Now get over here.”

She walked over to him, knowing full well she would have a far worse night if she didn’t do as he’d asked. She began to unbutton her pants but he stopped her.
“No, darlin’, use your mouth this time.”
Lily didn’t know what was wrong with her but she had this overwhelming urge to scratch his eyes out. The power of that feeling took her breath for an instant.
“I don’t think so, Larry. That would be entirely too disgusting, even for someone as useless as me.” She turned and started back toward the stairs. He was up and on her in the blink of an eye. He twisted his hand in her hair and yanked her backwards.

“You WILL do it and you’ll like it, bitch!” He screamed this at her as he rubbed his crotch in her face. She placed both hands on his hips and shoved hard. The pants around his ankles helped her as they caused him to lose his balance and fall backwards. She ripped her hair out of his hand and turned toward the door. If she could get to the door, she would be okay.
She heard the table by the couch crash to the floor and Larry shout “FUCK!” as she focused on the front door. Almost there, she thought, just before her world went black.

She woke to find herself on their bed, naked and sore, with Larry passed out beside her. He was under the blanket; she had been lying on top. She sat up and the room began to spin. She looked at the clock; 10pm. She swung her legs off the side of the bed and tried to stand. She hurt in places she didn’t even know were there. She walked slowly into the bathroom and looked in the mirror. She stared, shocked, at her own face. The right side was a nasty black color from her temple at the hairline, to her lower jaw bone. Even her ear was black. There were faint bruises around her throat and her eyes had the same look as those of a trapped animal that knows it is going to die.
One tear escaped her eye and as she reached to brush it away, realized there was a small amount of blood on her arm. It took Lily a minute to realize it was her own blood and to also realize it must’ve been caused by the fact that Larry had brutally sodomized her while she was unconscious.
It was in that instant that she had decided to leave. Enough was enough and he just kept getting meaner every day. If she didn’t get out, he would kill her. He would beat her to death. He had never done anything this bad to her and he wouldn’t do it again. Lily got in the shower to wash his filth from her body and began to plan her escape from hell.

A horn sounded behind her and Lily snapped her head up and grimaced. Her neck was still sore from the last beating she took from Larry. She started the engine and pulled out onto the highway. Because she didn’t want to be predictable; she picked a direction at random…West.
She had managed to scrape and scrounge over the last five years and had saved a paltry seven thousand dollars. It would have to be enough to get her a place to stay, food to eat, and gas to find a job, once she got where she was going. At the moment, she was scared and unsure about a lot of things but she knew for certain she could, and would, make herself a new home and life somewhere far from Larry and Winston, Alabama.


Victor Sanchez pounded the last nail into the brace for the staircase and dropped the hammer on the plywood floor. He tugged the red bandana out of his front pocket and wiped the sweat from his face. It was hot as hell today in Cold Stone, Colorado and he had put in a good hard day of back breaking physical labor. He loved that his crew treated him just like any other hand on the job even though he owned Sanchez Building. Chris Johnson, the Site-Superintendent for this project came across the lot toward him at a slow and easy pace. Chris was tall and lanky but had well defined muscles as did all the guys on Victor’s crews. You couldn’t work outside doing what these guys did for a living without being muscled up.

Victor chose Chris as one of his Supers because, while Chris worked fast and hard, he had an easy going manner with the rest of the guys in the crew. He didn’t blow up at the first sign of trouble; he simply approached it with patience, analyzed it and fixed it.
“Hey, boss, got a minute?” Chris asked.
“Sure. What’s up?”
“I was hoping that at the end of next month, somewhere around the 20th, I could get a couple of days off. Sara’s parents are having some sort of camping trip and family get-together up at Lake Guff and she really wants me to go since this will be the first trip for the family since we got married.”
“That’s no problem, Chris. Just let me know exactly when and I can cover those days for you.”
“Thanks, Victor, I really appreciate it.” Chris said with a smile as he shook Victor’s hand.

Victor caught himself feeling a little jealous of Chris and his happiness. When Chris left work, he went home to his beautiful wife and cozy little house while Victor went home to an unearthly silent and empty house in the middle of nowhere. It hadn’t always been that way, though. He had had it all once upon a time. He’d had a beautiful wife and the world had seemed to be theirs for the taking. They had been lovers and best friends, had shared everything together. They’d had plenty of arguments and disagreements but nothing serious…until Marie had decided she wanted to have a baby.

That had been the biggest argument they’d had. Victor just wasn’t sure how he would handle being a father. Sure, he loved other people’s children but they weren’t with him 24/7 either. His own father had walked away from him and his mom when Victor was only eight years old. He had vague memories of the man and of course his mother had kept pictures for Victor. What he remembered the most, however, was what his father’s back had looked like walking away from him. After his father had left, Maxine Sanchez, Victor’s mom had become an alcoholic. She had worked as a waitress at Charley’s Café only because Charley and his wife Karen felt sorry for the young Victor. But not even Charley could excuse Maxine coming in for her shift still drunk from the night before and after four years, he had let her go.
Victor had taken a job as a paperboy for the Cold Stone Advertiser by the time he was thirteen and cut grass during the summer.

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Location : Ringgold, Louisiana
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Registration date : 2008-07-21

PostSubject: Reply   August 12th 2011, 1:53 pm

It is actually good. I have personal feelings about some things, but from an objective setting the story is working. Glad to find a story that I don't have to get all abusive on grammar about.

----- Opinion -----
I don't like it when the battered member of a relationship just walks away. The one doing the abuse needs to face some issues, and definitely needs some official help. It actually puts Lily in a bad light when it is mentioned that she saved up a good sum of money, because it means that she had been putting up with the situation for a long time. That is not good for her, actually not good for him, and probably has had secondary effects on others who are aware of the relationship.-----
Anyway, glad to see someone else writing something. Keep at it.

Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market.  "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.
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Location : Stuck in Michigan
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Registration date : 2008-07-17

PostSubject: Re: Found ( Work in Progress)   August 13th 2011, 12:38 am

I really liked what I read so far and hope there's more coming soon. Abusive relationships are always a hard subject, but I like how you described it. The fact that Lily did save up some money shows that she planned on leaving him for quite some time and maybe you could even go back a bit and tell us what exactly happened. Is the alcohol the reason he's abusive or is there another reason? I agree with Terish that it's not good for either of them to put up with this abusive relationship but I think it makes for a pretty good part in your story .

After I started reading Victor's story I actually had me confused for a second and I had to scroll up and check if you said STORY or STORIES. But since it's the first one I just assume that we'll get the connection later in the story, correct?

Well anyway, I enjoyed it very much and hope you'll continue working on it.

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Age : 38
Location : Alabama
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Registration date : 2011-08-11

PostSubject: Re: Found ( Work in Progress)   August 13th 2011, 1:12 pm

Victor will actually be someone Lily meets later in the story. He is also the polar opposite of Larry. I guess he will kind of be the one who restores Lily's faith in men, so to speak. The lady I based this on was married to a man exactly the way I described Larry but once she left him and spent about 4 years hiding from him, she got up the courage, Thanks in part to some of her friends support to find and divorce him. It's really a terrifically sad and happy story. Just is just a little bit that I needed to get out of my head....before I lost it lol! Thanks for the critique. I need to know what others will think of it. I would like to finish it just to tell the story.
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