This week ends the Prompts from Carry on Tuesday as presented by Kieth Hillman of the UK. I have wrote to Keith's prompts since 2010. I have always found them interesting and challenging. I am not here to say that what I write is good or bad. I call my writing "Just Is". Sometimes I get good comments and sometimes I get ...well a little less that good or none at all and I am okay with that because I am trying to learn about the world of writing.
Keith put a lot of effort into the prompts and if you used his prompts there was a good chance that you might also learn something about some good poetry, literature or music. But, like all of us I think he hoped for a little more appreciation of what he was doing then he was getting.
It's not really anyone's fault. Keith had a great place to write and some great prompts.
However, I believe that most bloggers of today do not want to write stories or prose but only poetry. Then they want to read others poetry and do not have the time to comment on short stories. There is no crime here. It is like my writing it "just is".
I only find it strange because if anyone wants to write and sell something there is more opportunity in the world of story writing than poetry.
I decided to go back to one of the first prompts that wrote to on COT - December 2010
With the New Year fast approaching, our prompt this week is the opening line
from Helen Hunt-Jackson’s poem
New Year’s Morning
Only a night from old to new!
"Only a night from old to new," the old hag cackled.
"Sleep tonight and the morning sun will wash away your sins."
"Not a chance in hell," I smiled. "Some sins are not washable."
A thoughtful frown surrounded her wart. She lit her corn cob pipe and took a deep suck on some nasty smelling concoction.
"Damn," I winced. "If anything could wash my sins away the smell of that crap would surely do it. What the hell are you smoking?"
"Peyote, mixed with some cedar bark," she smiled. "And, yes it does seem to make my sins disappear. At least it makes them go someplace that I don't worry about. Wanna puff?"
"Maybe a slug of whiskey or something. Something real strong."
"I got a jug made by old Joe about five years ago. I use it when ever I get the grippe. I don't know if it helps but after a swig or two I could care less."
She gave me a jug of Carolina 'White Litenin' and said, "This might ease your pain."
I took the jug and a big swallow. It damned near set my throat on fire and oh sweet Jesus, when it hit the bottom of my gut I was sure I was burning in hell.
When I caught my breath, I gasped, "Hells fire, lady, I should have smoked the pipe."
"No sonny boy," she cackled. "You chose the right potion. This peyote and cedar bark ain't for boys. It would really send you on a trip to hell"
"Come on son," the preacher said. "It's time."
I sat up. Sweat was dripping from my face. My unfinished meal was staring at me. I shook my head and decided that they had drugged me to make it easier.
What the hell, what would I be able to do? Beg like a coward?
No, let them kill me and get it over.
As I walked to the chamber I thought about the dream. Or, was it a dream?
Maybe the old hag was my first meeting with the devil.
Maybe the fire in my throat and gut was just a taste of what was coming.
Maybe the smell was my flesh frying in the chair.
One thing was for sure, the old hag had been right when she said,
"Only a night from old to new."
written for Carry on Tuesday December 2010