AAWC: Challenge #2

Today it’s time for the second in a series of writing prompts in the Ardent Author’s Writing Challenge, hosted by the lovely Zielle at My Homeschool Notebook.

Like other writing challenges which I have participated inI will be posting my entries on this blog, and … I may not always stick to the schedule. Like today. *coughs* *grins*

And, just in case you were wondering … YES. THERE SHALL BE A POST ON WEDNESDAY.

(Also: TEAM FOREST IS AHEAD.)

Team Forest

|Getting Extra Points|

  • You can take photos or draw pictures to illustrate your story. You will get 2 points per photo and illustration.
  • Creativity. This is how creatively you use the prompts. At the end of each round I’ll select my favorite story and that person will earn more points for their team.
  • If you use the name of you team in your story, you can earn a point for your team.
  • You’ll get a point for each prompt you use, and a point for submitting your story/poem.

|Challenge Two Prompts|

The nearest star is 4.37 light years away from Earth. Which is why most wishes take at least 9 years to come true.

“Oh my, this would look so cute on you!”

“Be quiet! I’m trying to crack this safe.”

(For Zielle: I used one one of the three prompts as well as my team name (because … I ended up being a story-serving writer instead of a prompt-serving one? Sorry …). I also illustrated it. And I was creative and am an awesome writer, sooo … a zillion points?)


The Marvelous Machine, Part 2

The Marvelous Machine

Peter slipped and slid as he followed Riley to his hideout in the middle of the forest once again. About six inches of snow had fallen since last evening, and though it was quite beautiful, it was still cold and difficult to walk through, especially with the layer of ice underneath.

Not that he wasn’t used to worse winters in Philadelphia. But still. Walking through the woods was considerably different than walking through the streets of a city. Still, the late afternoon sun made the snow glisten with colors from pink to blue, and he was in awe of the majesty.

IMG_20180108_111025.jpg
I had no idea how to draw snow on white paper … 😛

They soon reached the shed and entered. Riley lit a lamp he’d brought along, hung it from a peg, and ripped the tarp off his creation.

“You see? I’ve attached the wings and done a little more work with the boiler. It needed to be resealed, and I had to recalibrate.” Riley seemed very excited, practically bouncing on his toes, and Peter had to smile at his exuberance.

“Were you up all night?” Peter asked. Though the outward appearance of the machine wasn’t greatly changed, he could tell that Riley had put a lot of work into the inward mechanisms.

“Ah, well. I don’t need sleep.”

“Everyone needs sleep,” Peter replied.

“Says the man who stays up all night writing, of all things,” Riley said, tossing a grin at him. He replaced the tarp and reached for the lantern.

“Am I going to be dragged out here daily for status updates?” Peter asked as they trudged back up towards the hill. His pants were soaked to the knee, and he wasn’t looking forward to doing this for every day of his Christmas break – especially since he was still fighting that cough.

“Of course! This is the most marvelous invention I’ve ever come up with, Peter!” Riley exclaimed. “It’s going to bring me fame and fortune and … and … well, it’s going to change my life.”

IMG_20180108_114529.jpg
Reality vs. Expectation

Peter just smiled. It wasn’t his job to help Riley find out what he wanted to do with his life. He’d figure it out himself, undoubtedly; until then, Peter would just be the best friend he could possibly be.

***

Later that evening, the night before Christmas Eve, the whole crowd of young people went for a walk until the clear, crystal sky. There was no moon, but the stars were bright and the snow glowed softly under their light.

Other than Peter and his three siblings – Andrew, Carole, and Dahlia – there was Riley, Essie – Riley’s younger sister – and, of course, Maddie. They laughed and talked and threw snowballs and sang Christmas songs. It was all so magical, and Peter enjoyed himself more than he thought he would when he’d originally learned he’d have to trek out into the cold once again.

IMG_20180108_140503
I am not a very good drawer of persons ….

Peter eased his way over to Maddie, who was standing slightly apart from the group, very quiet and thoughtful. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”

She smiled and nodded. “Yes. It’s lovely.” Her voice held a slight quaver.

His grin faded. “Are you all right?”

She shrugged and shook her head. “It’s nothing. It’s just … my parents and I always went on walks like this one when I was small near Christmas. Forgive me. I don’t mean to bring gloom, especially during this season.”

“No. It’s all right.” Peter placed a hand on her arm and smiled gently. “I understand. It must be difficult for you. But you know what? You have a new family now. And, though there’s nothing wrong with remembering, you don’t have to look to the past for your joy. There’s a present, here, with us.” With me.

Maddie took his hand and squeezed it. “Thank you, Peter. I can get caught up in the past, I know, but … I truly believe that God is in control and that He wouldn’t want me to remain in my grief forever.”

Peter nodded. “Of course.”

Riley jogged up behind them and slammed into Peter. They tumbled into the snow.

IMG_20180108_184805
Peter hates the cold. Especially when he already has a cold.

Peter sat up and wiped the snow from his face. “Hey, what was that for?”

“For fun! Want to start a snowball fight?” Riley asked.

“How about tomorrow when it’s a little less chilly?” Peter suggested, jumping up and dusting snow off his clothes before it had a chance to melt.

“Oh, all right.” Instead of rising, Riley lay on his back, gazing up at the stars. “You know,” he said slowly, “The nearest star is 4.37 light years away from Earth. Which is why most wishes take at least 9 years to come true.”

Peter laughed. “Is that so?”

“Yes, it is. So … care to make a wish for 1882, my friends?” Riley asked, glancing between Peter and Maddie.

Maddie shrugged. “I don’t know what I’ll want them. I haven’t decided what I want to do, and I don’t know what God has planned for me. Not even a hint.”

“Well, what about you, Peter?”

Peter turned his face up to the heavens and smiled. “I don’t know either, Riley. December 1882, eh? Hmm. Perhaps I’ll publish my first book.”

“Oh, really, Peter, I don’t think it will be that long!” Maddie protested. “Why not say you’ll publish your second or third or tenth book?”

Peter shook his head. “I don’t know about that, but seeing as we’re just dreaming … all right. But let’s say second book, if you insist it can’t be first. What about you, Riley?”

Riley didn’t answer for a long moment, then he slowly stood. “I want to be having my second child. At least on the way if not arrived already.”

IMG_20180108_185622.jpg
Awww … *sobs*

Peter was surprised. He’d expected Riley to wish for his inventions to work or something like that. Even though he had no idea if Riley would meet the right woman and settle down with her in the next nine years, he found it sweet and strangely out-of-character for Riley to be wishing for a home and fatherhood.

“That’s nice,” Maddie whispered.

It felt as if, somehow, Peter had made the wrong choice.

IMG_20180108_185631.jpg


Go Team Forest!

~Kellyn Roth~

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