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Random Sentence Writing Challenge - by Elsie Hagley

Updated on October 14, 2016
Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie has started writing short stories, hopefully one day she will write a book in her later years.

Random Sentence Writing Challenge

A short story in response to Jodah's challenge to write a stories or poem using a randomly selected sentence as a prompt, it's not quite the same as was suggested, using each word at the beginning of a paragraph.

Being my first writing challenge using a random sentence I have used the first part of the phase and then my short story changed in the second chapter using the whole end of the phase at the start of it.

This short story has used all the words, not quite the same as Jodah's challenge, but ending up with what I think is a reasonable short story for a beginner.

I have bolded the words so you can still see the words of the sentence I used.

It is very important when selecting a writing prompt that you stop and think how you can use the words to make a nice story, as I found out when it came to writing the second part of my short story.

Writing Tips: Short Stories

My Random Sentence for the Writing Prompt

"Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and it's all over much too soon".

Great one liners - This one was written by Woody Allen.

Who is Woody Allen?

He was born Allan Stewart Konigsberg on December 1, 1935, he is an American actor, writer, director, comedian, musician, and playwright whose career spans more than 50 years.

Woody Allen 2006

Life is Full of Misery, Loneliness and Suffering. Part -1

Now for my Story.

Life is unbearable for Jack since the death of his wife, he has found himself walking around in circles, achieving nothing, he had become very forgetful, didn't care about body hygiene or shaving, lost track of the days and felt as though nobody cared about him, even his own son never came near him since the disagreement after the funeral, his existence was all loathing and hatred, especially for himself, because he felt that he had never taken enough time to notice his wife was ill, had he, she may still be alive today.

He said to himself aloud "I was so wrapped up in myself and busy planning the future, that I did neglect my wife and I feel terrible, why does everything I do now have no feelings"?

Then his thoughts started wandering, I'm living in a body that feels as though it no longer belongs to me.

Why is everything so bad?

Winter has already set in and I haven't even lit a fire, just sitting here freezing and feeling sorry for myself.

I'm so sorry for letting Jenny (my ex-wife name) down, I cared for her right to her last breath as she passed away in my arms, never stopped showing my love for her when I found out see was so sick, why didn't I take more time when she was well to let her know how much she meant to me.

Why was she taken away from me right when our life was so full of plans, a trip around the world, after having saved all those years, now I'm on my own with tickets for two and no wife (the love of my life) to share it with.

Why all the whys?

I'm full of guilt. We were so happy making plans. I can still see those tickets sitting on the table, as she broke the news to me about the results from a blood test, that she had less than six months to live, as she had cancer and it was too late for treatment.

I can't forget the misery I felt that day, I tried to hide it from my wife, but I knew see could see the sadness in my eyes even though I kept trying to smile on the outside with my heart feeling as though it was broken in half.

What a brave women I had, she had known for a while that she wasn't well, never said the words to me, as I was finishing my last few months working before I retired, she didn't want to get me worried even while making arrangements for our world trip, she had a feeling that she wasn't going to go.

The loneliness she must have felt not talking about how she was feeling.

I feel even worst now as I realise the suffering she must have been going through keeping it away from me, I can't understand why I didn't see the signs that all wasn't right with Julie, the times she must have been visiting specialist and doctors, and never showed any signs that things weren't right with her and how unwell she was.

Footsteps in the snow.
Footsteps in the snow.

And it's all over much too soon. Part - 2

And it's was all over much too soon, Jenny never lived six months, now I realise the shock I have been in since that day see told me she had only six months to live, it had just hit me, I had been living in a dream, now I really I'm on my own, and no loving wife to care for, time something was done about this situation, I can not longer go on living like this.

Strange things were starting to enter my brain, time to end my misery.

Just then there was a knock on the door, (right when I was feeling at my lowest), It's far too cold out there with all that snow.

I thought to myself I won't answer the door if I don't make a noise they will go away, and they did, most likely looking for help with all the snow, but that didn't motivate me to move and answer the door.

Now why did I do that?

It was clear, even to me, if I had been in the right frame of mind, that I needed someone to talk to, someone to help me get out of this dreaded feeling of it's not worth continuing like this, all I needed to do was answer the door and ask for help, but in my broken frame of life I was over thinking logically about much else, than what a lonely person I was, full of hate for myself, for not taking more notice of my wife, she may be still alive if I had not been so wrapped up in myself and planning our trip overseas to see she was not well.

So I when to bed it was too much to cope with in my muddled mind, my brain had stopped working and all I felt was guilt, I had lost my appetite, I knew the way I felt that it was better to retire and hope I wake up a renewed man, as I was exhausted.

I sleep for what seemed like days and it might have been because I lost track of time and days, as I went in and out of dreaming and part waking up, feeling very cold with no warmth in the house, seeing my wife was no longer beside me, drifting off into trouble sleep again, it was too much for me, I knew I had to get help or make a change in my life and it had better be soon as I didn't want to go through another day feeling like this, I roused myself and made an effort to get up and sit on the side of the bed. I started thinking, then I stopped and said aloud "Come on man what would Julie think about you, she will be watching in heaven, acting like this, get up and start this new day that has been given to you.

Once I had got up and had a shave and shower, I felt a different man, I had some breakfast, then I was on the phone to my son and asked him to visit me as I need someone to talk to and help sort out what I was going to do with those tickets as I didn't want to go on a trip around the world by myself. At least, I was on track again asking for help and not trying to cope with my misery by myself.

Maybe a walk with my son in the fresh crisp air would help as I didn't extend to go through that feeling again, I nearly ended my life. I need to remember I have family that loves me and my wife would have been shocked if she could have seen what I nearly did to myself if I hadn't gone to bed and slept that bad feeling away, what would my life have been like, or maybe there could have been no waking up, it wasn't worth going on like that, I owed my son some respect for his father.

When Anthony (my son) rang the doorbell I didn't sit there hoping he would go away, I was up in a second answering the door, as soon as I set my eyes on him, my arms were around him hugging him so tight "Welcome son we have some talking to do" I said.

He had a smile on his face,"So glad you have worked your way through the misery you felt" said Anthony.

Now, what are we going to do with those tickets? If you like I will come with you I have some time off from work, it can be extended if needed".

I didn't need to reply he could see by the smile on my face, that I had sorted myself out and was ready to move on.

Happy father and son.
Happy father and son.

Do you think Jack was at fault why Jenny never told him she was ill?

See results

How to Write Short Stories: Writing Lesson & Tips, George Wier

© 2015 Elsie Hagley

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    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 6 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Elsie, I just read this again. I was really impressed by the emotions that this story generated. Even better the second time.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 21 months ago from New Zealand

      maggs224: Happy you enjoyed my short story.

      I didn't think I would be able to write one either, it is very important that you select the right random sentence, as I had trouble finding the right words for the second chapter as you have seen.

      I enjoy this type of writing and would do it again.

      It challenges the mind.

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 21 months ago from Sunny Spain

      I am not sure that I could do this, but I have thoroughly enjoyed your short story. :D voting up and hitting the relevant buttons on my way out

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Jo Goldsmith11: Yes writing a short story by a random sentence is very rewarding once you get started.

      I found the hardest bit was picking the sentence, as you reviewing ideas for the short story, you think you have found a good sentence, but once you start writing the story I planned it wasn't working out.

      That's why part 2 had all the words at the beginning.

      I'm planning to write another one but this time I won't show the sentence.

      Thanks for the visit, comment, also sharing it, appreciate the vote up.

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 2 years ago

      This was a really good read from start to finish! While I was reading this, you made it look so easy! I like the sentence prompt you chose.

      And the story was just so creative! cheers! Shared and voted up! :-)

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      peachpurple: Funny you said that, I have been thinking about that also now, after reading it a couple days after writing it.

      I wonder what my next short story outcome will be, since writing this one I have had a very active mind about writing another one, just need to find the right quote.

      Thanks for the visit and comment, all the best to you.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great story, you sound like you are in the story itself, great job

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Lorelei Cohen: I appreciate your visit and comment, you made my heart swell just about to tears by your comment.

      Thanks for always being around reading my articles over the last three or four years you are a true friend.

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 2 years ago from Canada

      You really put yourself into character in this short story. Excellent writing my friend.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Elsie, I am so glad this prompt idea gave you inspiration to write more stories. I can't wait to read them.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Jodah: Thanks for commenting. I'm ready to write more stories now by using the random sentence idea but not acknowledge it, just picking a longer quote or sentence and let the ideas and words flow.

      Thanks for your help with such a nice way to start writing short stories.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Thanks DDE glad you enjoyed reading it, as I did writing it.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Elsie, thank you for having the courage to take up my challenge. You did well, especially as you haven't had much experience writing short stories. Your story was sad but touching with a good outcome at the end. Well done.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Interesting and greatly told.

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      Jackie Lynnley:Appreciate your comment, you give me courage to try another short story in my endeavour to become a writer of a book eventually.

      All the best for 2015.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Your story was great and really thorough! Don't think I could compete with this! ^+

    • Elsie Hagley profile image
      Author

      Elsie Hagley 2 years ago from New Zealand

      bigi1969: Thanks for stopping by and commenting, first of many more stories I hope.

    • bigj1969 profile image

      John Marshall 2 years ago from glasgow

      Wonderfull story,great read.would love to read some more.

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