Sunday Wordle: June 10

Here’s my Wordle exercise for this week, words courtesy of The Sunday Whirl. Maybe this is the beginning of a short story . . .

Here are the words: bluffs, willow, corona, brush,  trembled, mud, crawl, vessels, nail, stain, shadows, stones

All Fall Down

Shelly and Hank had planned the camping trip as an attempt at getting back together. It wasn’t working. He’d been late picking her up, the traffic had been terrible, and when they finally found a space to camp, they’d argued over where to set up the tent.

She’d walked off and left him. “All right, fine. You deal with it,” she’d said and headed for the bluffs.

The bluffs dropped steeply away to the river, maybe fifty feet. Willows clung to the banks and leaned out into the sky like filmy, green parachutes. Shelly walked as near the edge as she dared and considered climbing down. She had always wanted to do it; why not now? She looked for a place that wasn’t such a sheer drop, where there was brush or outcroppings of stones. She eased over the edge, grabbed a sapling, then another, until one snapped and she slipped and slid, clutching at mud and rocks and branches, and fell headlong to the bottom. She landed in the shallows and caught hold of a branch that kept her out of the rushing river. She lay there, stunned and trembling. She took stock: the knees of her jeans stained with blood and her nails torn and caked with mud where she’d clawed her way down.

Falls, Hambidge, north Georgia

Her ankle hurt. She didn’t think she could stand. “Hello?” she yelled. “Hank? Anybody?” But it was late in the day. The bluff cast deep shadows on her and on the river. She crawled toward a sandbar that extended out into the water. She’d be more visible from there. But there were no signs of life above or on the river. The picnickers would long since have packed up and gone home. No vessels—an old-fashioned word her father, a retired Navy man, would have used—this time of day, no kayaks or canoes. Everybody with any sense would be camping downriver by now, or docked and sunburned and on their way home. She looked up at the rising moon and its corona of light. That was supposed to mean something: a sign of rain? Bad luck?

This wouldn’t do. She had to get up and move. She stood, tried her weight on the throbbing ankle, and knew she couldn’t climb. She crawled back to the shelter at the base of the bluffs and leaned against the bank.

She fought panic. She’d be fine, she told herself, just a little banged up and wet, nothing a good bath wouldn’t fix, and hadn’t she gotten herself into this anyway?

Hank would come looking for her. All she had to do was wait.  ###

29 thoughts on “Sunday Wordle: June 10

    1. Thanks, Walt. I’m not used to writing flash fiction, but I’ve always wanted to try it. I have trouble deciding whether I have a complete story or not. For example, I’m not sure this is really an ending. Maybe in flash fiction, it qualifies!

  1. Gerry, I love this for exactly what you said in a reply, above — it feels like something stirred up and unexpected! I love how well your language fits the piece: the sentence describing the willows is lovely, and fits perfectly.

    1. Thanks, Elissa. It’s fun, and as I’ve said before–freeing! I’m hoping some of the spontaneity will translate into working on the novel. BTW, I just commented on your post about internal/external conflict. Very valuable info. Thanks so much for sharing your workshop experience.

  2. Gerry, you can’t leave us in suspense! We need to know what happens next.

    Great story and terrific use of the wordle. Poems tend to be the norm among wordlers, so the occasional flash flctions are a fantastic change of pace, and yours left us all wanting more.

  3. Just discovered that the link to The Sunday Whirl wasn’t working. I’ve fixed it now, I hope! Please go over and have a look at the Wordles. They stay up for a while. Sorry about that.

  4. so we are left hanging, sitting, mouth open, next installment please – Gerry, when I go to Wordle site, i can do it, but i don’t know how to transfer it to my stuff? this is main wordle site; is this what you connect to? Lordy, i hope that question makes sense or forms some sort of logic in your brain.

    1. Hi, E B-T: I compose/write it as a post on MY site, then post the link at The Sunday Whirl. Look for “Mr. Linky”; don’t you love it? Click on it, and there’s a space to put your own link. Then it’s accessible both places. Lots of good writing (many poets, too) going on over there.

  5. Gerry, This is great. If you do continue it, let me know. Yikes, indeed, about someone else finding her. Goodness, perhaps Hank could save the day. Or maybe she’d fall for her assailant. LoL

    Thanks for writing with us at The Whirl. This is a great diversion. Again, if you keep going, drop me a link. 🙂

    1. I do think there are possibilities for a longer story here, although I LOVE the Wordles for the way they stir things up and make me write the unexpected. I have no idea where this came from, except for remembering the high bluffs along the Tennessee River and the gully behind a little house I used to live in. Thanks, Brenda, for the encouragement. I’ll let you know if anything else happens!

  6. Beautifully crafted story! How does the wordle work? Write a short story with all of the words in sequence? Do you mind if I try with these words too on my blog?

    1. Hoping you won’t object, I did make an attempt. But with a totally different style / subject than your one.

      1. Tiny Fiction–

        The words are “free” at The Sunday Whirl (see the link in my post, above). This was only my second attempt; I find the exercise challenging but lots of fun. Freeing, actually. Look for “Mr. Linky” on the Whirl where you can post a link to your own story. I said in an earlier comment that posting something “raw” is new for me, and it feels a little risky. I’m used to revising and revising . . . I’m also not used to writing very short pieces, which the Wordles lend themselves to, so that’s opening up the whole flash fiction thing for me. So give The Sunday Whirl a visit; Brenda posts news words weekly (as a “Wordle,” a graphic image of the words which is in itself interesting). I’m going over now to read your different take. (There are many poets on board, too.)

    1. Funny! I suppose she might. I haven’t gone there with her yet, but maybe I will. I love the Wordles for their ability to stir up something new and totally unplanned.

  7. Oh, nightmare. Nights must be the worst to get thru. Very well written Gerry, I keep imagining scenarios where she’s safely found.

      1. It’s true Gerry, I did a little free verse and linked to you as thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

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