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Apples to Apples to Words: Weekly Writing Challenge

Since it’s the weekend, we want you to have a little fun with your writing* so we’re bringing back the Apples to Apples Challenge!

This is *not* a contest, we’re just playing with words today, but here are the rules:

  1. Incorporate the words in large text from the cards below into a short piece of writing – 250 words or less – and post it in the comments for us all to enjoy.
  2. Please keep it family friendly! We want to show off your well-crafted work but we can’t keep it on our site if it goes against our family-friendly policy. You can explore dark topics but you have to handle them with finesse – minimum gore, no explicit content, and no foul language. If your usual work is loaded with that stuff, this will be a good way to explore how to write for a different audience.
  3. Be sure to read other people’s work and give them some encouragement.

*I put in asterisk on Saturday and forgot to actually put this comment at the bottom! The point of the asterisk is to tell you that we ALWAYS want you to have fun with your writing. 🙂

Go on, have some fun with it!

23 Comments

  • Dana Kumerow

    Elaine slipped out of bed and eased her way out into the hall hoping she didn’t step on a squeaky dog toy or Lego in the dark. She really needed to implement that routine she’d seen posted on that parenting website about having a “10 minute Pick Up” time just before bed. She felt her way to the bathroom and got a drink of water. Her mouth was dry from the too many beers she’d guzzled last night.

    At this moment Elaine envied her sister, Jess, who was such a dainty wine sipper she could make a glass last all evening. No cotton -mouth for her. “But what’s the point in that?” she muttered to her shadowed reflection. One drink didn’t t take the edge off enough. Being an undercover investigator was a whole lot more stressful than Jess’ accounting job. While she was prowling in dark alleys in sketchy neighborhoods in all kinds of weather, Jess sat in a well-lit , climate controlled office.

    Still, Elaine couldn’t imagine the boredom of that kind of work. She liked the adrenaline rush she got when pursuing a perp or arresting a high-value suspect.
    No, she’d keep her job and her beer habit, thanks all the same.

    Her stomach growled so she headed for the kitchen for a slice of cold pizza. As she switched on the hall light, her phone buzzed. Jess’ number. What could she want at this hour?

    “ Laney”, Jess’ whispered, “I’m in trouble. I need your help.”

  • Jeff Greene

    Corners

    By Jeff Greene

    This wasn’t the first time Jimmy Walker woke up some place he didn’t know. But somehow this felt different. It was much colder and darker then the usually floor or couch of somebody’s house. Then again as he rolled over onto his back the familiar was also present. The heartbeat thumping inside his head, the smell of alcohol infused vomit, and what was this plastered to the side of his face? Jimmy peeled it away. Great, cold pizza.

    He laid a minute on his back waiting for his eyes to focus and his head to clear. As the fuzziness rolled back, Jimmy looked around trying to get his bearing, that’s when he realized his was outside. Not a problem really, he had woke one morning in someone’s garden before. But this was some dark alley in the city. What city? The night started nowhere near a city.

    Jimmy closed his eyes wondering like always how he was going to get home. He searched through his pockets looking for his keys with its dainty charm hanging from the ring. Not there.

    He slowly pushed himself up off the ground and brushed his hands against his jeans.

    As he started walking he vowed to himself this would be the last time he played bingo.

  • Heather B

    “Seriously Lexie,” I called into the cavernous darkness of brick and asphalt. “Disappearing into dark alleys seems like an almost certain way of ending up in your very own horror movie.” I leaned against the sharp corner of brick wall as I attempted to watch both the bustling street in front of me and the dank uneasiness of the alley behind me.

    “I’m fine!” returned the breathy call of my inebriated friend. My stomach lurched in an involuntary response to the stench of 5 day old restaurant garbage and what vaguely reminded me of my 24 hour stint working at the morgue.

    “I can’t believe you are doing this. There is zero reason you could not have managed waiting for the ten minutes it would take to walk to my apartment.” Passersby were purposefully crossing the street to avoid the crazy shouting lady clad in her holiday themed llama pajamas.

    “Sorry.” she chuckled as she materialized from seemingly nowhere. “When you gotta go, you gotta go. And it isn’t like our urinary equipment allows for it to be a dainty process.”

    She linked her arm through mine and squeezed her apology.

    “Come on. My cold pizza and crappy wine is your cold pizza and crappy wine.” I said wearily. “But you have to get started on what made this date so awful that I had to run down here in my pajamas to rescue you instead of using a fake emergency phone call like a normal person.”

  • Maria Mojica

    I stared into the dark alley of Judgement.
    It was where they had taken him and where mama said never to venture out all alone. Never the less I was going in after Roger. He was my best friend my only friend.
    We would take walks together and play behind the vineyard making sure to keep from the dainty stocks of Violets mama had planted in the garden.
    I swallowed back that chunk of cold pizza I had for lunch and bucked up. I was going in after roger.
    I was going into Judgment after my dog.

  • Chantel Reese

    After seven months of infrequent, mildly flirtatious texts, he had finally offered to take her to her favorite dinner spot.
    “Mino’s Pizza,” she had promptly suggested.
    “Wouldn’t you like to go somewhere a bit more… upscale?” But she had been adamant. Mino’s was sketchy in its clientele, but they made the best pizza in 20 miles. He had said nothing until they approached her shortcut to Mino’s: a rather dark back alley.
    “But there could be anything down there! Who knows who could be in those shadows waiting to…”
    “Attack me? Rape me? Steal my wallet?” She waved her hands in his face and put on her best spooky voice. “Take my innocence? Ooooooh…”
    “That’s not funny.”
    She pulled at his arm. “I do this all the time. The worst thing to ever attack me was a family of cockroaches. And the one time I fought off the giant sewer rat with my house keys.” She almost died laughing at the look on his face. “I’ll protect you.”
    Back home, she had invited him in. The next half hour was mildly pleasurable, if predictable. Then, the text had come at 4 am. Thanks but no thanks.
    It burned, but it was not unexpected. She wasn’t dainty and helpless- she ate cold pizza for breakfast in her underwear. Which, by the way, was particularly good this morning. Such a shame. He had no idea what he was missing.

  • Elizabeth Houseman

    Brandon’s life was heading for the dumps, and boy, did he know it.

    Rain, cold and vicious, poured from the sky as he walked towards the bus stop. The icy droplets slid down the collar of his shirt. He shivered, zipped his tattered jacket to his neck, and looked for shelter.

    With no money for food, he found himself going hungry. College tuition was due the week before, and, yeah, he paid it off. He was a good student. But a rich one? Those were a rare and dying breed, and he was not among them.

    A dry place offered itself to Brandon in the form of Bruno’s Pizza & Subs. He meandered into the back alley underneath the red, white, and green overhang. It protected him from the rain, but not from the delicious scent of an Italian dinner.

    Brandon’s stomach gurgled. Then, something caught his eye.

    Sauce. Pepperoni. Cheese. Perfectly good pizza, except it was sitting in the trash.

    His stomach growled again, threatening him, daring him not to take that food.

    With a dainty finesse, so he didn’t touch any of the trash around the slice, he pinched the cold pizza between his fingers and inspected it.

    Good enough for him.

    In three bites, he devoured it. Soggy bread, cold pepperoni slices, and one stray olive.

    And to that starving student, it was delicious. As he thought to himself, “That garbage pizza was so good,” he knew he finally hit the rock bottom of broke college kids.

  • Judith Robl

    Dirk Smart lunged through the door of his studio apartment and crashed on the ratty sofa. He needed a shower and a shave. The fur on his tongue didn’t relish the thought of the cold pizza that would become his breakfast/supper. After a night crawling through dark alleys following his quarry, perhaps he needed a change of occupation.

    Remembering the summer he had spent in the kitchens of a youth camp, he allowed himself to recall other smells and tastes. Onion, garlic, and peppers in the sauces, vanilla and citrus in the dainty desserts. Suddenly he was hungry – not from fatigue but from longing.
    His adventurous side had thought being a “recovery professional” would be exciting. Most of it was boring, and some of it was even nasty and harrowing. He was tired.

    Pushing off the sofa, he discarded pieces of clothing, letting them fall where they were, as he headed toward the shower.

    Thirty minutes later, scrubbed and shaved, he donned a pair of Levis and a v-neck t-shirt, black with lime-green and royal blue stripes. Pushing aside the cold pizza, he searched the fridge for something else to eat. No eggs, no milk, no meat. Oh, well. Cold pizza it was.

    Resolving to do some grocery shopping, he headed out the door with his camera. Surely there would be something interesting to snap today. Something saleable. Something that would let him change careers.

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