Saturday, October 28, 2006


Here is my entry, in response to wordsmiths November challenge. This photo was the inspiration.

I give you Hindsight.

Walking with resolute sedulity for days, no, only a few hours, Trace came upon what appeared to be an old church. There was a steeple, now fallen. Stepping inside what might have been a sanctuary, Trace was taken aback.

This space, filled with overgrown sedum, ferns and other unidentifiable plant life was instantly scary. In that instant she regretted the decision to leave the car. In that instant she wanted to turn and run. But she couldn’t. She wouldn’t.

Trace was tired. She was hungry. As scary as this place was, here she would stay, at least until she could regain some strength, recover some insight, try to understand why Jamie reacted with such hysterics. Jamie’s response to Trace’s news about wanting to move to Massachusetts was bizarre, to say the least. Trace had no idea that Jamie would become so agitated. She had no idea that she would become, homicidal. Yes, homicidal, Trace believed that Jamie was trying to kill her. The fight was more than a fight, Jamie was out of control. She was unstable. She was strong.

Trace got enough leverage to break Jamie’s grip. She pushed Jamie hard enough, to give herself time to run. Trace put some space between them and was able to make it to the door before Jamie recovered. Luckily, her keys were in her pocket. Trace got to the car just as Jamie appeared on the stoop. The car started on the first try, thanking God, Trace took off tires spinning, rubber squealing.

Driving with no destination in queue, Trace’s mind spun as fast as the tires. A million questions riddled her brain; the whats and whys bouncing around with fervor. She discovered she was driving out of town, now on a single lane road. She’d not been lucid enough to take note of signs nor the tank. Running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, she got out and started to walk.

Finding herself in this sanctuary, which she’s decided isn’t so scary anymore. Trace decides it is an old church, but it doesn’t appear it was being used as a church. The furniture suggests some other purpose. Trace decided this place would serve as her sanctuary. She would rest and get her bearings. Trace fashioned a bench out of some of the broken furniture, patting herself on the back for having the foresight to bring some provisions from the car, primarily the blanket.

Thinking about the ads she’d answered which eventually led her to Jamie, Trace thought, oh, Jamie! What happened? Why had the mention of Massachusetts triggered such vitriolic responses? Such violence? Trace slowed her breathing trying to relax. Putting the episode aside, Trace would sleep thinking onward to the hike toward the next town and how the solitude of this sanctuary was giving her strength.

There was company on Trace's road. The company knew Trace would sleep and how she slept.

The company hovered, crowding Trace’s fleeing thought


  1. I love the transition from real-life scary to supernatural scary, it was a surprise there at the end, I was kind of expecting Jaime to show up.

    Nice stuff.

    I am wildly curious as to what's wrong with Massachusetts that could set of such a tizzy? Fear of commitment, maybe?

  2. Nice misdirection. I expected Jamie show up, either as the antagonist, or through Trace's discovery of some unknown horror in which she was involved. I kept wondering about their relationship? Sisters? Friends? Lovers? In the end it didn't matter, and I was icked out.

    Now the hard part: critique.

    I have no idea what sedulity is.

    If you name sedum and ferns, I think the plants are no longer "unidentifiable."

    At the paragraph "Finding herself..." the tense shifts from past to present. Ordinarily this is justifiable, but with only 500 words even the most skilled writer has a hard time making the transition without confusing the reader.

    I think something needs to set up the ending a little more, it's a tad vague for my taste.

    Sorry if I hurt your feelings, but Wordsmiths is about honest criticism.

    That said, Nice job! I enjoyed it!

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  5. this girl: Many Thanks.

    kingfisher: No my feelings are not hurt, as you say, tis the point.


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