Freestyle Writing Challenge

The remarkable Hannah Givens, comic-book savant and all-round awesome person, has done me the honor of including me in a Freestyle Writing Challenge.  The rules are below.  My prompt was as follows:

Write a scene of inconvenient emotion

Here is my response:

Mirth In Funeral

 It was perfect funeral weather. The sky dripped, almost oozed, down rain. The wind, though not powerful, carried with it a deep chill that seeped through the mourners’ sodden clothes. The ground of the graveyard at The Church of St. Wilgefortis, Virgin and Martyr was churned mud. Everyone who stood upon it was being buried, though the action would only be completed for the woman in the coffin.

It was, in short, a dismal and depressing scene.

And I stood among the mourners, full of a strange joy.

Mrs. Cormorant, the woman whose mortal coil was about to go into the pit prepared for it, had been, you see, my worst enemy. She had also been my mother. I was, in fact, in the position of chief mourner, and I had no tears to shed. It was all I could do to stop from giggling. If I did, I planned to claim hysteria, possibly corroborating this by throwing myself down unto the muddy ground and having some sort of fit. The mental image of me doing this almost made this action necessary, but I swallowed my laughter at the last possible second.

“Lawrence, my poor boy!” Mr. Gripe had me by the shoulders and was staring sadly into my eyes. “I can’t tell you how sorry. You know, the wife and I will do whatever. You know what I mean.” And, delivering a manly squeeze, he drifted off.

“She was a wonderful woman,” said Mrs. Viscous, wife of the minister who was even now preparing to say some few words of comfort over the grave.

“Yes,” I said, my voice shaking, “she sure was. Thank you- for everything.” Simple, manly, and frank- but with that underlying tremor betraying deep feeling. That is how I saw her taking me.

“We’ve gathered here,” said the minister, “to bury our beloved Grace Cormorant, wife, mother, and active member of our community. How does one bury a woman so vital?”

It was a real question. I had to concede that. How, indeed?   I could barely believe that she was dead, could barely believe that I was that lucky.

“How does one say goodbye to one who was ever at the heart of our community?”

Like heart disease, I thought, and – laughed.

Frozen silence.

Silent except my laughter. It kept happening.

I did the only possible thing.

“Mother!” I cried, and threw myself down upon the coffin.


I wrote 402 words in 15 minutes, and, when I saw my time was almost up, I decided to slap on a kind of ending.  It was a fun prompt (thank you, Hannah!) and I enjoyed myself.  I blush to display my unedited work to The Internet, and my fingers itch to re-structure some of the more awkward sentences, but… I refrain.

And now I must nominate 5 bloggers to respond to a new prompt which I will contrive.  This prompt will be displayed at the very bottom of this post, to decrease the risk of accidental peeking before the appointed hour.  For, you see, there are Time Restrictions set for this challenge, and… well, the rules will lay all of that out.  For now, here are my five selections for this mission, should they choose to accept it.  There is, by the way, no pressure to accept this challenge.

Lori L. MacLaughlin

Sara Snider

Sarah Zama

C.D. Gallant-King

Ayesha Hamid

And now, the rules of this particular writing challenge:

1. Open a new document.

2. Set a stopwatch or your mobile phone timer to 5, 10, or 15 minutes, whichever challenge you think you can beat.

3. Your topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH YOUR TIMER!!!

4. Fill the word doc with as many words as you want. Once you start writing do not stop.

5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spelling and grammar using spell check (it’s only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules).

6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation or capitals. However, if you do, it would be best.

7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. of words = ____” so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.

8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nomination (at least five (5) bloggers).

Your Prompt:

An old Dictaphone is found in a swamp.  The tape inside this Dictaphone has a few moments of recorded material on it.  Write that recorded material.

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  1. I love it! Your prompt for your nominees is pretty awesome, too. 😀

    • Melanie Atherton Allen

      Glad you like it, Hannah! And please feel free to respond to the prompt, too- I’d love to see what you do with it!

  2. Hey, Melanie, thanks for tagging me 🙂

    I’ll tell you the truth, I’m a bit scared, because I don’t normally fari well with this kind fo things. I don’t promise I’ll post the result on my blog (it will probably be a mess), but I promise I will try 🙂

    I haven’t read the promt yet, so I don’t know what to expect. Kind of scary…

  3. I liked your little story! Mirth during a funeral is definitely a moment of inconvenient emotion hehe. I’ve delayed in commenting here because I didn’t want to see your prompt for the challenge before I was ready. I’ll be posting my result in a day or two. Thanks for tagging me, Melanie!

  4. Pingback: Various Blogging Challenges and An Award | Sara C. Snider

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