Friday, September 30, 2011

Fall 2011 Challenge Entry #4

From Whitney Zeigler (member, Westside Writers)

She just had to know.

No, she didn’t, she told herself. She couldn’t click on his profile because the temptation to contact him would be too great.

Her hand clutched the mouse in a death grip; her finger hovered over the right click button.

“Gah!” she groaned and rested her forehead against the cool LED screen. I’m an idiot for even considering it! What am I thinking? Her right index finger dipped ever so slightly toward the button, then jerked away as if seared.

She was dying to know what he looked like now and whether he was married. Paranoid, she wondered if he’d already checked out her profile and knew everything about her, even the name of her cat, Fluffers. She would just peek, she told herself.

No, you are happily married, she scolded herself. But it doesn’t hurt to look…see what you’re not missing out on. Her face turned fuchsia as she recalled their last night together. They’d eaten dinner at their favorite restaurant, a French bistro called The Swan. After imbibing a bottle of cheap wine, fortified with only appetizers because they couldn’t afford an entrĂ©e, they’d lurched around the corner to his apartment.

She closed her eyes and sighed, remembering his tickling touch that raised goose bumps on her arms. Their bodies illuminated by moonlight from the skylight above. The slow, awkward start to their love making spiraling into a desperate grab for flesh. The need to consume one another after years of tortured friendship.

Afterward, she had counted the number of stars in the Big Dipper to ease her feelings of giddiness. Crushing her fist to her mouth, she had smothered a giggle. And then with a few words, he had smashed her bliss to bits.

Her finger trembled over the mouse.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Fall 2011 Challenge Entry #3

The Swan and the Lake - By April Whidden (member, Westside Writers)

Carlton took one final glance at the fog-covered lake, screening his chest against the wind with one hand and tossing his partly smoked Winston into the water with the other. The lake was dead. Not a single life form took refuge there. Haunted, some said. Most likely by the ghosts of loose women, he thought. A rare smile snaked its away across his gaunt face, pulling at his jaws so tightly it hurt.
“Penelope will feel right at home here.” Carlton shivered as he remembered her perfect body turning from alabaster, to fuchsia, and finally blue as she succumbed to the smothering. “Good bye, darling.” he said, fingering the flask in his pocket that would soon erase her memory.
As he turned he was startled by a sound: a wailing, low and sweet as a baby’s coo. Carlton turned back to see something emerge from the waters, a small, white image against the murky backdrop. It slithered, winding its way forward yet causing no ripples, until it rested at his feet.
Is that a…? Carlton blinked and looked again. Sure enough, perched by his bare toes was a beautiful swan.
Where had it come from? Carlton raised his eyes above him, then lowered them to the ground for a hint as to its origin. His teeth chattered but the wind had subsided.
The swan stood, shaking water from its feet and Carlton heard the jingling of a collar around its neck. It was a pet. Of course! He had only been paranoid. Carlton wiped the sweat from his brow and stooped to give the bird a pat.
The soft wailing returned, blanketing Carlton. It was the last thing he heard. Both his hand and his heart stopped cold as he read the lone word etched into the swan’s collar:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall 2011 Challenge

Westside Writers, a writing critique group that meets in the Reedville area of Hillsboro issues the following challenge to other Washington County writers. Create a piece of flash fiction, post it on your blog or ours, and read some other local writers' work.

UPDATE: Here is an easy way to view challenge submissions: just click here. Don't forget to leave the author a comment letting her know you read the piece and what you thought of it! Enjoy!

Here are the details:

What: Create a piece of flash fiction (200 words minimum, 300 maximum) that incorporates the following six words in the text: SWAN, FUCHSIA, PARANOID, SMOTHER, SCREEN, and BODY. Any part of speech, usage, or tense of the word is acceptable. NO, the words do not need to be used in a single paragraph or sentence; just somewhere in the body of the story.

When: The deadline will be 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on Wednesday 12 Oct 2011

Who: Any resident of Washington County, Oregon or participant of a writers group that meets in Washington County, Oregon

Why: To have a bit of fun and share some of your writing with other Washington County writers and visitors to our blog (

How: Submissions can be made either by: 1) adding your story to your blog or website, then sending a link to that post or page to Please include a statement that you either live in Washington Co or attend a writers group in Washington Co, Oregon. OR 2) Email your submission to with a statement that it may be included on our blog (, include any identifying and copyright information you wish to have included on the blog post with your submission (name, web address or Twitter/Facebook/etc profile/name).

NOTE: Westside Writers may decide not to include your link or story if it doesn't meet any criteria listed in this post or if it violates our Taboo Topics as discussed on

If you have any questions, please comment or email

Friday, September 9, 2011

Upcoming Meetings

Our next regular meetings are scheduled for 22 Sept, 13 & 27 Oct -- all Thursdays and starting at 6:30pm.

On 10 Nov we will have our annual meeting and will NOT meet on 24 Nov since it is Thanksgiving.