Thanksgiving Intervention

You’ve been invited to attend a Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s house, but when you walk in you notice there’s no turkey and, instead, a giant “Intervention” sign hanging across the mantle. Your friend, who is surrounded by many of your other friends and family, sits you down and explains that you have a problem: you spend too much time writing! Write this scene and how you handle it.

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227 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Intervention

  1. Sweet Gum Life

    Shelby’s Thanksgiving Intervention
    By: Stephanie L. Robertson

    Thanksgiving is my favorite time of the year with its beautiful fall leaves and sumptuous feasting. I was looking forward to another Thanksgiving feast à la Mom.

    “We’ll just go ahead,” said my husband, Ben. He grabbed the hands of my two younger kids.
    “Ouch, Dad, that hurts,” cried my seven-year-old, Wendy.

    “Sh!” said Ben as he let go Wendy’s hand and pushed her and Pete inside Mom and Dad’s house without the usual courtesy of knocking.

    “Now that was just weird,” I said to my older son, Jesse. “Do you want to help me carry in one of the casseroles? Looks like Dad isn’t going to help.”

    Jesse looked at me from the corner of his eyes. His voice shook a little. “Uh, Mom, I’ve got to go!”
    Then he sprinted toward large brick house without a second glance.

    I shrugged and juggled all three casserole dishes, shutting the hatch of our SUV with my left foot.
    With the assortment of cars and trucks parked in the driveway, it looked as though all the family was there.

    I teetered up the steps of the house and yelled through my parents’ heavy mahogany door, “Hey! Can someone lend a hand?”

    The door swung open.

    The entire family was sitting in the living room, all eyes were on me.

    But instead of a Thanksgiving turkey, there was a giant “Intervention” sign hanging across the mantle.
    “Shelby,” said my mother quietly, “We’ve got to talk.”

    I felt all three casserole dishes fall to the hardwood floor as I stared back in shock.

    “Shelby, you have spent entirely too much time writing for that NANOWRIMO, to the detriment of your family,” said Ben.

    “Instead of having Thanksgiving this year, we’re asking that you admit yourself to Writer’s Recovery in Tucson, Arizona,” said Dad.

    “Shelby, we want you to come back to us—the way you used to be!” sobbed my sister, Jane.
    “You’ll take a flight to Tucson and spend two weeks at the Three Points Resort and Spa for the duration of your recovery,” said my cousin Fred. “The brochure says the resort features pool-side light therapy, Jungian horseback-riding counseling, and massage transaction analysis.”

    “Please, Shelby, we want you to come home completely intervened. No work for two weeks, dear. We’re begging you.”

    Shelby didn’t think twice. “Okay. I’m in!”

  2. lori k

    I stood silently, staring at the familiar faces that filled the room. I wanted to run away, to escape back to my keyboard. It understood me. It knew how to comfort me when I was in pain.

    “Stephanie,” a stranger said as she walked toward me, ” My name is Pauline and I am a counsellor for those who need help with obsessive behaviors.”

    “I’m not obsessed,” I started to say, “And my name is Marsha, not Stephanie.”

    Several of my friends and family rolled their eyes at the mention of my name.

    The problem that they all had with my writing wasn’t that I wrote too often or that some of my work wasn’t worth publishing. They had a problem with the fact that I wrote only about the Brady Bunch family.

    I loved them. I just couldn’t get enough and when the shows producers decided to take the show off the
    air I just had to keep writing more stories so that show would go on.

    “Stephanie,” my mother said as she walked toward me through the sea of onlookers. “We are worried about you, all of us. You don’t answer your phone, you call yourself a fictional name and you have started to dress like Marsha, for the love of God.”

    I stood before my mother and flung my gorgeous blond hair off of my shoulder. Looking down, I smiled at the ’70’s attire that I had chosen to wear. Platform shoes and an adorable mini skirt that was topped off with a poncho that I crocheted myself. The real Marsha Brady would’ve been proud.

    “Look, if you can’t call me Marsha, I have nothing else to say,” I said to my mother, almost on the verge of calling her Carol. “If that is the only reason that I was called to this “party” I will take my leave. Greg is waiting.” I said as I turned toward the door.

    As I approached the door Pauline called out from behind.

    “Marsha wait,” she said, “Take me with you. I’ve always wanted to be Jan Brady and now I’ve finally met someone that understands me. Marsha. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha.” she said as a smile spread across her face.

    The rest of the group stood cemented to their spot as they watched the two woman grab hands and head out the door.

  3. Amyithist

    I felt my face drain of color as I read the banner above the mantle. My friends and family stared back at me as I walked into the middle of the room. A chair sat in the middle, lonely and foreboding. Dad crossed the room and pulled me into a hug. “Abby, it’s so good to see you,” he said gently.
    I pulled myself out of my dingy jacket and set it on the back of the chair. It didn’t escape me that Mom was gripping a box of tissues as tears streamed down her face. I sighed as I sank down into the chair. I have to admit the invitation to Thanksgiving had taken me by surprise. I should have known that there would be ulterior motives.
    I sighed and ran my hands through my hair. “What’s going on,” I asked. My voice was small and agitated.
    “We think you need help,” Dad replied.
    “We haven’t seen you in months,” Mom sobbed. “You’ve completely submersed yourself in your writing and we’re worried about you,” she finished.
    “Where are you living,” Dad asked.
    I shrugged and closed my eyes. “Does it matter,” I droned. “I’m living. And one day I’m going to write about everything I’ve experienced. It’s who I am,” I said.
    Heavy quiet stacked over us like bricks on a wall. Finally, Dad said, “We miss you, kiddo. You’re gone so far away from us, it’s like you don’t exist anymore.”
    “I’m not giving up my writing,” I said through grit teeth. “I’m going to make it one day.”
    “We don’t doubt that for a second,” Mom said. She set the box of tissues on the couch and leaned forward. Her face was wild and intent. “Abby, we want you to come back home and limit your writing. We would never dream of asking you to give it up,” she whispered.
    I shook my head at her. “I’m sorry, but I’m not going to compromise myself for anyone, Mom.” I stood up and shimmied back into my jacket. “If you all can’t accept me for who I am, then I don’t need to be here,” I said lowly.
    I made my way toward the door. Dad called after me. Mom began to sob uncontrollably. Dad began to walk toward me but I managed to escape through the door quickly. The freezing rain pelted my head as I jogged down the walk and out to the road.
    “Abby,” Dad called. His voice fell against the push of the wind as it whipped between us.
    I stopped and turned. Dad looked back at me from the sidewalk, his face pleading. The storm was so loud I couldn’t hear what he was saying. I stepped closer. His face became contorted with sudden dismay. I didn’t see the truck until it had barreled into me, sending me flying feet down the road. I landed against the cold wet pavement, gasping as pain seared through my body.
    I heard the pounding of footsteps coming closer and closer. Then Mom and Dads’ faces came into view and I felt a surge of regret run over me. So much wasted time…so much that would be left unsaid. I winced as the pain intensified. Mom and Dad were both screaming, shouting for someone to call 9-1-1.
    Quiet roared into my head. Everything became distant; like I was moving back into a tunnel. The light grew dimmer and dimmer… The voices were disappearing behind a veil of black. I remember the last thought I had and the reality of it broke my heart. Their attempt at taking away something I loved…killed me.

  4. NoBlock

    “He’s just sitting out there in his car.” Joel said to Hanna looking out of the window to the driveway where Chris sat in his car with his head pointed down.

    “Hey buddy, come on in!” yelled Joel.

    “Be right in, just jotting something down real quick!” and Chris began scribbling furiously to get his idea on paper before any further interruption broke his train of thought. He would type it up on the laptop at home later.

    “Of course he is! What else would he be doing? This intervention could not happen soon enough.” Joel said to Hanna as they both rolled their eyes.

    “Poor guy, he has really become quite the hermit.” Hanna said to the group of family and friends as they all waited in the living room, some sitting quietly on the couch while a couple of others paced the floor anxiously.

    “Okay, here he comes. Now just like we rehearsed everybody. It’ll be fine; we are all here for Chris because we love him.” Said Hanna as she opened the front door with a warm smile then took Chris by the arm and ushered him inside.

    As soon as he entered the foyer, Chris knew something wasn’t quite right, you could usually here this bunch of people from down the block they were so rambunctious. It was silent enough in the house Chris could hear dust settling on the carpet.

    When Hanna led Chris left into the living room, he promptly halted as if his shoes had been flash frozen to the floor. His body prickled from head to toe, his face got hot because he just remembered; he was supposed to bring the dessert.

    “What’s up everybody, hey I’m sorry I forgot the deser-“, then he saw the 8”x11” sheets of paper taped together spelling out I-N-T-E-R-V-E-N-S-I-O-N across the mantel.

    Chris said with a nervous laugh and a bit of waiver in his voice, “Intervention? For me? Wh-Why? I don’t do drugs.” Hanna was now tugging him by the hand and sitting him down on the couch in between herself and his mother.

    “Chris we all brought you here today, because we love you and we want what is truly best for you. See Chris we have noticed a change in you lately…..” As Hanna trailed off in Chris’s mind, all he could think about was how he’d rather be at home right now with a hot cocoa and his laptop.

    Chris came back to the conversation just as it was ending and Hanna was asking him, “So Chris what do you think?”

    “Well”, he paused a bit and looked up at the mantel. “Someone misspelled intervention.”

    “Chris! Please we are trying to help you. Now lets talk about this.” His mother now imploring him.

    “Okay, okay. Just one second.” He said as he darted quickly out of the front door with people reaching out to grab him, trying to keep him from leaving. “You guys have given me a great idea for a short story!” He yelled over his shoulder as he ran to his car to jot down his idea down on paper.

  5. Critique

    Malory opened the door and ushered me in without a word. The living room was crowded with folks I knew well. They stared at me silently. A fluorescent banner with the word “INTERVENTION” was taped to the mantle.
    “You sure tricked us Malory.” Dudley long time drinking buddy of my deceased step-father looked ready for a fight. “We was invited for Thanksgiving dinner.”
    A loud belch broke the silence and someone snickered.
    “Oh simmer down and get a beer.” Malory said.
    My Mother sat in her recliner sipping a martini, looking spaced out.
    “Yeah, we’re so worried Jack– like we think you’ve gone too far with this writing stuff.” Big Monty – aptly named for his 350 pound frame – sloshed beer down the front of his t-shirt. “Like you’re out of touch with stuff, like all of us for instance.”
    Malory clapped her hands to get everyone’s attention. With a spiritual know-it-all tone in her voice she said. “Jack. First and foremost we want you to know we love you. That’s why I”- someone coughed loudly – “okay, we decided to call a meeting.” She drained her wine glass in one gulp.
    Aunt Martha sat on the couch with her third husband Cliff what’s-his-name and looked at me with unfocused boozy eyes.
    Cousin Matt sprawled on a chair, two empty bottles on the carpet next to him. “Yeah. You’re such a loser.” He belched. “No one gives a rip about your stupid writing.” He picked his nose. “You think you’re better’n us. Always have.”
    “Be nice okay.” Malory said.
    “You’ve been doing this for years Jack.” Aunt Vera frowned. “There’s no money in it. You’re skinny and tired. Why don’t you give it up. Get a real job.”
    Every head nodded in agreement.
    Not one of them believed that I could write. Just then the doorbell rang.
    “I’ll get it.” Cliff got up and returned carrying two boxes.
    “Has your name on them.” Cliff handed them to me.
    I decided to go through with it.
    They watched as I opened the first box. I looked up at them.
    “I want you to know it really sucks not getting a turkey dinner” I held up a newly bound novel. “And I was excited for today to show you this.” I held up a newly bound novel. “There’s one for each of you.”
    On the front cover at the top was my name: Jack Stoughton. Underneath was the title in bold lettering: A Cosmic Pandemic.

  6. mimipii

    Journal entry Five Days Ago
    We’re celebrating mom and dads 30th anniversary today. The whole neighborhood has shown up. Provides great writing material for my blog. Uh oh, Mrs. Smith just gave me and my mini tablet a dirty look. Gotta go to restroom to write. That’s the only place I can write in peace…
    I’m late again. I know. My family hates when I’m late to get-togethers and I am eagerly anticipating a rebuke. NOT. Especially after the stressful trip over to mom and dads, all I’m in the mood for is a nice thanksgiving dinner without complaints or criticism for my tardiness.
    I find a parking spot a couple blocks away and dash through the empty streets. Man, I must be later than the last latecomer. I enter through the side door, hoping to blend into the crowd as if I was there all along. The silence is deafening. Have I come so late that everyone has already gone? Come to think of it, I don’t smell…
    I make my way through the den to the dining room catching small bits of conversation. Ah, the house is not completely empty. People are here. Just about one tenth of the usual crowd. As I walk in, I notice its family and my close friends only. Sarah, my oldest BFF looks up at me with concern etched on her face as do mom, dad, Rachel, Hannah, Rebecca –
    “Wait, is everyone okay?” I ask, nervously looking around. That’s when I notice a sign that doesn’t belong there. “Intervention”, I read aloud. “Huh? What’s this all about?”
    “Have a seat, Deb,” dad says, pointing to the only available spot across from him. It seems everyone had appointed him as foreman to do all the talking. “You know, you’re over two hours late. We’ve been calling your cell nonstop and Mom’s already called all the hospitals in the state as well as the police. Do you care to explain?”
    “Computer trouble, again”, I begin. “I was writing and editing an article for my blog in Word and forgot to save it. Next thing I know my computer crashes! Damn thing is crashing every day now. I know, I know, I have to replace it. I just never got around to it. I must’ve been so engrossed in rewriting my article that I didn’t hear you ringing me. Sorry, guys.” I smile apologetically to the small crowd. No one smiles back. Looks like I’m gonna have to beg forgiveness.
    “It’s not only about today”, Dad counters. “You haven’t been taking care of your appearance lately. You haven’t bought yourself new clothes in years, your hair can grease the door hinges and is six months overdue for a trim. Every time we call you, you’re preoccupied with writing your blog. And to top it all off, Mrs. Smith said she found you under the table typing away at our anniversary party. We think this has gotten out of control and we let it go for too long. But I’m putting my foot down now. We think you’ll benefit tremendously from this retreat.” Dad passes me a brochure which reads, “Write-Aholics: We can help you get over it and back into society. See if you are eligible for our rehab program. Call today for an appointment.”
    “There’s nothing wrong with me,” I defend myself forcefully.“I have a hobby, that’s all. You’re blowing this way out of proportion.” I look around to see 20 heads shaking back at me.
    “You have an addiction and need help, Deb. And we want to help you help yourself. I didn’t think you’d go willingly so we arranged a placement without an appointment. After all, this is an emergency. They are sending someone to come pick you up in ten minutes,” Dad informs me.
    Out of the corner of my eye, I can see my older brother, Dave, picking up my handbag. He removes my mini tablet and my backup: trusty old pencil and paper which cant crash on me. I feel like I’m being stripped of my most precious possessions. For once, I experience a lack of words. My brain cant formulate a single protest. I’m absolutely dumbfounded that they conspired this behind my back. If only this were a dream, I could post it on my blog…
    “It’s for your best, Deb, you’ll thank me later,” Dad calls after me as two burly guys hoist me away moments later. Finally my thought process kicks into gear and I yell back sarcastically, “Yeah, thanks loads Dad for a wonderful Thanksgiving!”

    1. flackmrs47

      Thanksgiving Dinner
      By six-thirty a.m., Jarvis Cochran was awake and on his lap top computer, working on his forthcoming novel. His children were still asleep, but his wife, Pam, was baking pumpkin pies for the dinner at Herb and Bettye Prescotts.
      Pam brought him coffee in the den. “Hopefully, you will be ready to go by nine.”
      “I will be ready—or you and the kids can go without me,” he sighed.
      “That would be rude, Jarvis.” She relented. “They invited all of us!”
      “Okay, Pam, we all are going.”
      Upon their arrival, at eight-forty, they were surprised to see so many other friends. Their host greeted them. “Glad you could make it. Come on in,” he smiled. “Pam, you didn’t have to bring pies!”
      “Oh, it was no problem,” she sighed. “I’ll take them to the kitchen. Maybe I can help Bettye.” “Look, Herb, thanks for the invite,” said Jarvis, “but we were planning to stay home. “
      Herb shook his head. “Jarvis, you can’t go on this way, only thinking of yourself.”
      “Oh, you worry too much.” The aspiring author shrugged. “Pam is fine and so are the kids.”
      “That is not what she has been telling Bettye—and all your friends are troubled, Jarvis.”
      “Hey, Herb, I am a writer! Writing is what makes me tick.” He reflected, very animated.
      As they entered the living room, Toby Hepburn, a burly man, ambled over to them. “Well, Herb, did you talk some sense into our writing fanatic?”
      The congested living room was buzzing with other guests. But they suddenly were silent, waiting for Herb’s reply, but Jarvis responded. “I am afraid he failed miserably.”
      Toby relented. “Jarvis, we all are uneasy about you— Just lighten up— enjoy life, buddy.”
      “Okay, Toby, you’ve made your point,” shrugged Jarvis. “I will promise to be more considerate, but you must promise to curtail your golf techniques.”
      “All right you have a deal,” conceded the big man, “so let’s enjoy our holiday.”
      Every one loudly affirmed his proposal; Herb motioned to be heard. “Guys, you have lots of football games to watch, so get comfortable. Snacks are coming!”
      The men scurried for a good seat for the games. However, Jarvis went over to a youth, working on a larger poster. “Can I help you, sonny?”
      “You sure can, Mister Jarvis,” beamed the boy. “My Dad wanted me to make this poster for you—but I am having problems spelling a word: intervention. What does it mean anyway?”
      Jarvis chuckled. “Well, it means—when a group of friends get together—to help another friend, who has a problem.”
      “But what is your problem, Mister Jarvis?”
      “Actually I don’t have a problem— I am dedicated to being the best possible writer.” He reflected. “But my friends don’t understand that—still, I am thankful for their concern.”
      “Do I still need to make a poster for you, huh?”
      “No—but thanks for the offer, Sonny. Just go and enjoy your holiday.”
      “Gee! Thanks!”

    2. flackmrs47

      Mimipii, I liked your story, especially the use of journal format. Also being forced to go to rehab camp is a unique approach. It has the surreal feel of the old Twilight Zone tv-series. Keep up the good work. Happy Thanksgiving

    3. flackmrs47

      Mimipii, I liked your story, especially the use of journal format. Also being forced to go to rehab camp is a unique approach. It has the surreal feel of the old Twilight Zone tv-series. Keep up the good work. Happy Thanksgiving

  7. skipfree

    car horn repeatedly blares out front of a small townhouse. ‘Hold your horses, what’s the rush?” Malcolm screams from his second story bedroom window. “We cannot be late we cannot be late” Rosie mutters to herself before blaring the horn again. “We are going to be late” she screams from the car. Malcolm races down the steps and through the front door. “what’s your issue?” Malcolm says, jogging towards the car. He gets in slamming the door. “Its not like there going to start without us you know” Malcolm uttered. “That’s not the point Malcolm!,”Today Just needs to go smoothly” Rosie remarks. “Let’s just get there”. So who’s all coming”? Malcolm asks. “Well Everyone” Rosie says. “Like who”? Malcolm asks. “Like everyone” Rosie responds. Nearly to their destination Rosie looks up at the rear view mirror, “How we doing back there” She inquires. “Fine” I say quickly before putting my head back down, “You’ve been working on that all morning, its suppose to be a holiday you know”. “It is a holiday Love” I say “just some light read through before editing that all” I try to assure her. “Yea just some light bullshi* to go with that too huh”? Malcolm says softly.

    “We’re here” Rosie announces. I close my laptop, attempt to readjust my eyes to the world ahead and open the door. Rosie is already at the steps, Malcolm rushes in behind her. “What’s the big rush” I say to myself, “Were all going to the same place”. After Making my way inside im enthusiastically greeted by pseudo friends and quasi family. Why does everyone keep saying they’re “happy to see me” I wonder. I look around; No spread? Confused I signal Rosie, “what’s going on I motion with my mouth”. She says nothing, just holding up her figure as to tell me to wait a moment. “OK,OK” “it seems we’re all here, “can everyone please take their seat”. We all sit myself farthest from the group, something I didn’t plan. Malcolm why don’t you began someone says. “but we didn’t bring any food” I say, looking at Malcolm. We are all here because we love someone else chatters. “What does that supposed to mean”? I ponder.

  8. Kylero

    I parked the car. Turning it off, silencing the rumbling motor, I removed my seatbelt and took a step out onto the pavement. Then relented, dropping back onto my seat and digging through my bag that laid across the passenger seat, removed my black notebook.

    Walking up the stained, wood steps I tried desperately to remember the creaking sound it made and the differences of the sound from stepping down and lifting up, hoping to use it later in one of the stories I’d started.

    I opened the door, twisting the rusting, gold painted doorknob and stepped in. Taking an end of a scarf, I unwrapped it around my head, and began to take off my jacket, walking into the living room.

    “Hi,” I said before the jolt. My immediate family sat, circling the coffee table, in chairs and the sofa. “Whaaat’s going on?”

    “Hi Kyle,” said a voice turning into the room from behind me; some sweater wearing guy who reminded me of Mr. Rogers with Anderson Cooper’s hair.

    “Who the hell are you?”

    “My name’s Mr. Rogers -”

    “Shut up, no it’s not.”

    “- And we,” he said motioning – ala Vanna White – around the room, “are here because we care about you.”

    “Well that’s cool, I care about you all too – except him,” pointing to ‘Mr. Rogers,’ “I don’t know him. But what’s this all a -”

    That’s when I saw the sign above the mantle: INTERVENTION


    “Kyle,” my sister started, she was wearing some poke-dotted sweater that hung below a shoulder and black leggings. “First of all, we all love you. And we all want you to be happy, but it seems like writing has really taken over your life.”

    I stood silent at first as my eyes subconsciously peeled and leered at her, until they shot open and everything became clear.

    “Oh, I get it. You want to help me,” I said with a wink. I sat down in the chair beside me, at the room’s corner. “Go on, Klaiyr,” unwrapping the elastic band from my notebook and opening it up to an empty page. “Tell me more,” I continued, digging in my back pocket for my pen.

    She looked over at Anderson Rogers quizzically before opening a folded paper she’d been holding and began reading.

    “Kyle, you never visit me anymore. It used to be you’d swing by after work and we’d talk about everything that was going on, but now you -”

    “Wait,” I said, turning her attention from the paper to me, “Can you start that over?”


    “I missed the second part there,” I said, pen in hand.

    “No,” she said with contempt. “But now you -”

    “That’s okay. I’ll just copy it afterwards.”

    “But now,” she nearly yelled. “You go straight home and write through the entire night. You come into work looking so haggard and worn out and I know you haven’t slept a wink because of it. I know it’s your dream and all, but I really just want to have my brother back. I miss him.”

    At the end she wiped her eyes, sweeping away a trickle of tears.

    “Damn Klaiyr, those acting lessons really paid off! Well done.” I said, giving her a smatter of golf-claps. She looked at me with that look only a sister could give, which made me think her panties really were in a twist about something, but whatever. I had to write down the way she moved from side to side, the way her lips quivered as she talked, and her reactions to my reactions. I needed to get it down. All of it down, because you never know when something will be useful.

    1. skipfree

      A car horn repeatedly blares out front of a small townhouse. ‘Hold your horses, what’s the rush?” A voice screams from his second story bedroom window. “We cannot be late we cannot be late” Rosie mutters to herself before blaring the horn again. “We are going to be late” she screams from the car. Malcolm races down the steps and through the front door. “what’s your issue?” Malcolm says, jogging towards the car. He gets in slamming the door. “Its not like there going to start without us you know” Malcolm uttered. “That’s not the point Malcolm!,”Today Just needs to go smoothly” Rosie remarks. “Let’s just get there”. So who’s all coming”? Malcolm asks. “Well Everyone” Rosie says. “Like who”? Malcolm asks. “Like everyone” Rosie responds. Nearly to their destination Rosie looks up at the rear view mirror, “How we doing back there” she inquires. “Fine” I say quickly before putting my head back down, “You’ve been working on that all morning, its suppose to be a holiday you know” says Rosie. “It is a holiday Love” I say “just some light read through before editing that all” I try to assure her. “Yea just some light bullshi* to go with that too huh”? Malcolm says softly.

      “We’re here” Rosie announces. I close my laptop, attempt to readjust my eyes to the world ahead and open the door. Rosie is already at the steps, Malcolm rushes in behind her. “What’s the big rush” I say to myself, “Were all going to the same place”. After Making my way inside i’m enthusiastically greeted by pseudo friends and quasi family. Why does everyone keep saying they’re “happy to see me” I wonder? I look around; No spread? Confused I signal Rosie, “what’s going on” I silently motion with my mouth. She says nothing, just holding up her figure as to tell me to wait a moment. “OK,OK” “it seems we’re all here, “can everyone please take their seat”. We all sit, myself farthest from the group, something I didn’t plan. Malcolm why don’t you began someone says. “but we didn’t bring any food” I say, looking at Malcolm. We are all here because we love you someone chatters.”What does that supposed to mean”? I say. No response, everyone seems uneasy even more so than usual for this holiday affair. Rosie comes and sits next me, she kisses at the side of my brow before placing her head on my shoulder and clutching my hand quite tightly.

      “Please just listen” she whispers. Everyone looks around at one another, each searching for bravery and to what I haven’t an idea in the slightest. The room grows even more quiet and one by one a gaze towards Malcolm. He stands, “Everyone came today not just to celebrate thanks but also to encourage and support you” he says to me. “Support me in what I respond”. He replies, “support you in seeking more from your life, the simple and the finer” he eloquently states. “Im here to support you to” he adds. “You always have been a bit disconnected from what’s going around you”. “Honestly” He continues “I think for the most part we’ve all pretty much accepted over the years that’s just who you are”. “But we cannot”, “No! I cannot continue to watch you continue to wither away in some character’s life you created when you are missing out on the joys of your own”. “Malcolm stop” I try to bargain. “No I wont stop” he interrupts, “I’ve always been on your side always, when you missed this or didn’t show up for that and when you would show up to support me in anything it was half hearted”. “I mean you would be there but you’re not really there, and I hate it!” “i’ve always hated it and you don’t even realize because you don’t care”. He rants. “I’m not interesting enough to hold your attention, not even for moment anymore!’ “This sucks, it always has and I can’t stay quiet about it any longer”. “We all feel the same, all of us! Including Rosie”. I turn my head towards Rosie, all I see his the top of her head, I pull away, she raises her head to my dismay her eyes are full of tears, “I’m not against you love, there’s nothing wrong with taking a break you know, just to change things up a bit”. Offended I released her hand, now out of my seat looking around at these loved ones whom gathered inform me of my ill manner. “So this is what it’s all about” I say raising my laptop. “You guys pick today of all days to f*ck with me!?” “I dont need this sh”t” I say making my way towards the front door. Everyone jumps out of the chairs, I hair murmurs from my so called loved ones. Malcolm jumps in front of me pushing at my chest. “NO, NO, you’re not leaving!” He begins yelling, now feeling crowded by everyone all want to do is escape. “You’re always gone” he continues “You’re always leaving me! What do I have to do to get through to you?” He pulls the laptop from my hands and quickly backs up, enraged I lunge towards him limited however being held back by everyone even my Rosie.

      Malcolm raises the laptop above his head, “you better not!” I threaten. “Is this it?” He ask, “is this what needs to happen?” Still struggling to get free I see tears begin to run down Malcolm’s face. “All I ever wanted you to do was pay attention to me” he mumbles, “to be as proud of me as you are of your stupid stories! “Where is my DAD for God sake? Where is he” He rants. At first I’m stunned, “why are you embarrassing me like this” I ask? “Embarrassing you? Embarrassing you? He anwsers back, “Man, F*uck you!” With that defiant outburst went the smashing and complete destruction of the works of my life. the thousands of hours, hundreds of cartons of cigarettes Carpal Tunnel inducing lifes work now spewn across the floor barely recognizable in it’s computer chipped graveyard. Staring at Malcolm I hold back the urges to vomit, finding it hard to breathe as I’m sprawled on the floor with the weight of these traitors on my back. looking at my son standing there, the bringer of my destruction I bellow out the first real emotional I’ve felt in the longest. Blinded now I am, Resentment mistakenly of courage now perches at the top of my throat, with so much unintended conviction i say it. “I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU” “I HATE YOU”

  9. garett_k

    “That’s what this is about… writing… HA!”
    I laughed, as the rest of the room exchanged nervous glances to one another.
    “What did you think this was about,” asked my brother, who hadn’t said anything up until this point.
    “I’m not sure. Cigarettes. Possibly drinking. Hell, for a second I thought you guys heard Alyce was pregnant.”
    The room fell quiet, and stayed that way for what seemed like minutes.
    “She’s only 19. And your student.”
    “She dropped out,” I remarked, unsure of whether that made it better or worse.
    The tension in the room was more than I could handle.
    “I’m kidding guys. She’s not pregnant. But goddamn, this will make a good story later.”
    She was, in fact, pregnant. She did, in fact, drop out. But I starved myself all day for a feast, and a feast I would have. I thanked the room for their consideration, but informed them I couldn’t be staying any longer. I walked out before they could get back onto the original subject.
    Alyce was waiting for me in the car.
    “Did you tell them? Can I come in now,” she asked impatiently.
    “No. We better go to your parents.”

  10. rapidbutterly

    Solemn faces sat around the dinner table, a box of tissues sat where the turkey should have been. You could have never guessed that it was Thanksgiving but there would be no food or laughter or that one inevitable drunken fight between siblings.

    No they were here to talk about Alyssia and her so called writing problem. With all the vices in thr world, out of all the possible problems she could have it was her writing that bothered them the most. Forget the drinking problem she had that was more then apparent or the fact that she never cried for the husband that left her , it was the writing.

    Alyssia’s brothers thought she was losing touch with the world, living in a fantasy, her mother said it was obsessive and wrong . A normal women her age would be trying to restart their life, how could she not want another man after “you know who” walked away from the marriage.

    They were all sitting there, staring like they were trying to will an answer out of her. She could see it in their eyes, the desperation to understand but Alyssia couldn’t give them what they wanted, she couldn’t even begin to explain what had been going on why she wrote the way she did. They would never understand.

    Alyssia closed her eyes, creating a whole scenario in her head, a perfectly simple excuse that would calm their worries, they’d all relax and forget about her little intervention and out would come the food and the drinks and their stupid drunken arguments but it was pointless. Her family, they weren’t like him. She couldn’t control them the same way she controlled him, so she had no choice but to sit staring idiotically back at their tear streaked faces and choke out a half-hearted apology.

    Alyssia clutched her purse closer all the while taking some small comfort in knowing that he was so close to her, there for her like he had never been before. She needed time to think, away from all of the questioning eyes, she needed to talk to him. Pointing to her drink she went upstairs locking the bathroom door behind her.

    She sat on the floor pulling a small black leather journal with silver embellishments on its cover out of her purse. Alyssia brought it close to her face almost caressing it with her lips whispering ” mane apud me est semper” softly to it before opening it. She sat for a moment eyes closed, thinking before she feverishly began to write.
    “Smiling she turned, her husband sat next to her, warmth radiating off of him in waves. His arms snaked around her, comforting her in ways he couldn’t imagine.
    “What should I do I don’t know what to tell them”

    “Tell them whatever you want, just leave me and the book out of it. They wont understand they’ll think you trapped me in here. They wont be able to see how much I want to be here with you.

    “Are you sure you want to be with me, you don’t want to be with that girl anymore, cause I don’t want to do this anymore if you still care about her.

    “Why would I, I was never really going to leave you she could never be you. Go talk to your family, tell them what ever you need to to make them happy, I’ll be here waiting for you.”

    Alyssia closed the journal making her husband disappear between its pages. She stood in front of the mirror studying her reflection. He was right her family wouldn’t understand, her husband would have left her if she hadn’t learned the journals secrets, trapping him within the pages, forcing him to enact what ever was written on them.

    She took a deep breath before opening the door she knew what she would tell her family. Things were so much easier this way, keeping him in the journal and she wasn’t about to let them take that from her. If only she could get the rest of her little world within its beautifully bound pages things would be so much better.

  11. Kid Kthulhu

    I’m sorry this ended up being almost twice as long. I just started and had to finish when it was over.

    As Morgan walked through the door he first saw there were no places set at the long wooden table that was the keystone of holiday gatherings. Second, he realized there were no smells. Sure the fireplace gave off its usual pleasant burning aroma and the slightly unpleasant yet familiar and there was the comforting musty smell of the old place but the turkey, the stuffing, the biscuits, none of that set off his holiday appetite. That’s when he noticed the “Intervention” sign over the mantle, the beleaguered, apprehensive but loving faces of those few closest to him.

    “Damn, no potatoes then…” he sighed with a lopsided grin.

    A chuckle ran through the group, easing up the tension that had begun to make the room still. Everyone knew how much Morgan loved his taters. Half his plate would be devoted to them. His mother walked up to him first.

    “I promise I’ll make mashed potatoes later. Morgan we’re worried about you. We know the past few years have been rough but you can’t spend the rest of your life typing away in that dark room ignoring the rest of the world. I love you but you’re drifting to far away from life”

    His father came up next.

    “Son, I’ve always supported every decision you’ve made, regardless of my agreement with them. I know it can take a long time to figure out what to do but you don’t even try to get published anymore. You’ve suffered losses I won’t pretend to understand but you are withering away at that computer. I love you but like your mother said, we feel like we are losing you.”

    Morgan understood but they didn’t. There was no way to make them. He didn’t want to. His pain was his own and he did not want others to suffer likewise.

    His wife finally glided up behind him. She put her arms around him and he felt her lips kiss the back of his neck. Morgan turned around.

    “I’ve missed you so much.” Tears welled up in his eyes. He saw her beautiful face, a face he can never forget. A love he will take to the end of time.

    “I’ve missed you too Sweety but you know they’re right. You have to get back out and live life. You think all you can do is write. You’ve forgotten how to live, I know you’re scared. I know you’re lost. I also know you’ll find a way, you always find a way.”

    It was then that he felt his children tugging on his pant legs. His son to his left and his daughter to his right.

    “We miss you Daddy, please come back to us.”

    “When will you play with us again Daddy”

    The weight of his emotions became to heavy to handle. He staggered to his favorite chair. The soft plushy chair that you just sank into. His grandfathers chair. Deep down inside he knew they were right but he was a weak man. He always struggled with some kind of addiction and writing had more of an iron grip on him than any narcotic could. He looked down at his hands gripping the oversized arms of the chair. The hands of a young man who could not grasp anymore.
    “I have to write. It’s the only way, the only way I can save you. It’s the only way I won’t lose you again”

    A sharp pain seared through his hand. The hand of a tired man who had given up. He snapped to attention. The cigarette he had started burned down to his fingers. He threw it to the ashen floor. The drafts from the holes where the windows were dripped chills down his back. He looked at the fireplace. Cold, empty except for a mass of dust, ash and cobwebs.

    Fifteen years ago to the day, his house had burned down in the middle of the night. Morgan had a habit of taking a drive when he was stuck on a portion of his writing. He mostly wrote at night and he had been having quite a block for sometime. It was a warm summer night and he decided to take a cruise. He left his wife and children sleeping. He was getting a great many ideas from the sweet forest air that drifted on the nights currents, the brilliant tapestry of the stars that dotted the black night sky. He didn’t realize he had driven for a few hours until he happened to glance at the clock on the radio. He made his way home.

    As he got closer he noticed an unfamiliar glow in the woods leading to his residence. A cold feeling began to pass through him. He pulled up to a blazing inferno which sent tendrils of smoke and fire out the doors and windows and held his house in Death’s grip.

    An electrical circuit had sparked and caused the blaze. Morgan could never forgive himself for not being there. If he had been home, writing, he could have saved his family. He has never had writers block since. He has never stopped writing. His life, his future, his possibilities are chronicled in numerous texts scattered around his house. For Morgan, he could keep his family alive, he could watch his children grow up and help them start their own families. He could spend everyday with his wife, the only woman he could and would ever love. To the mundane world, Morgan may be an eccentric man living alone. To Morgan, he keeps the memories of his loved ones alive, preserves their love, their spirits, in his work.

  12. Leanderdias

    Thanksgiving Intervention

    The story was unfolding in my mind as I walked toward Carl’s front door. My fingers moved vigorously upon an imaginary keyboard, eyes staring vacantly at the porch, whilst my muscles moved to memory. Carl and I have been next door neighbors since the moments we were both squeezed out of our mothers’ wombs. On holidays like thanksgiving, in order to keep it all square in books of propriety and warm friendship, we would alternate venues thus sharing the burden of the aftermath of holiday dinners. Pot bellies, drunken relatives and whole pile of dirty dishes were the main causes for ingratitude during thanksgiving; but the system we kept in place seemed to be working just fine. It’s quite convenient to have a friend who knows you well enough to understand you. The writing and reading bug i caught when i was but eight years old, which hasn’t left since, was one of the many obstacles that kept me away from the so called ‘meaningful’ relationships. But Carl seemed just to slide right into my life. I suppose its because of the fact that he’s always there when i take my short writing breaks- which must be said, isn’t very often. Being the social animal that he is, i sometimes find it hard to comprehend how he always manages to find time for me. I often hear the whispers of other people who have the same incomprehension. I always knew i was lucky to have him, but i’m not too good at expressing those feelings.

    The worlds i am most concerned with, are the ones that exist in my head. I create them, set them to paper and then transform them. It’s what i do; I’m a writer. I think the only times i am truly approachable are those in-between world evolutions wherein i open up to absorb every new life experience, every event and every character. I think it was during one of these very moments that i was able to form a bond with young Carlisle; a bond too precious to Carl for him to break. We were four years old then, on a play date under the desultory surveillance of our mothers. Carl was playing with his new set of building blocks and I sat watching the newest episode of Barney on television. Out of nowhere Carl began to cry bitterly for the missing block that would complete the little hut he so ardently worked on for the duration of that day. The mothers rushed in to console him but to no avail; his cries grew louder. I got off my perch on top of father’s favorite sofa and stumbled towards the boy wailing across the room. I hadn’t noticed him much before then. We always stuck to ourselves and kept quiet about it so as to keep our parents happy and under the delusion that we were best buds. On my way to Carl, i found the missing block hiding within a fold of carpet and nonchalantly returned it to the bleary eyed boy. But the reaction was not nonchalant in the least. Carl embraced me with all the love and affection he could muster and made me feel, for the first time, real friendship.

    The story shaping up as i walked through the Graysons’s front door too was about friendship. The smile that was painted on my face as i entered the cramped living room, faded as the severe eyes of those inside bore holes in my rampant imagination. My fingers decelerated and finally came to a halt, resting lifelessly to the sides of my torso. The intimidating amalgamation of both mine and Carl’s family, stood in family photo formation watching me from across the room. The usual smell of roasted turkey accompanied by the medley of succulent side dishes was peculiarly absent. My discombobulation was intensified by the large “Intervention” sign that hung above the mantle. Was i late for somebodies intervention? Why wasn’t I told? Maybe they did tell me and i hadn’t caught it.

    “What’s all this for?” I said, with flummoxed intonation.

    “Sit down Gordon…”Carl said, sitting uncomfortably on the sofa. His usual easy going manner seemed to have left with the Thanksgiving turkey. I did as i was told and waited for some one to break the tense silence. For a perceptive young man i had no idea what i was in for.

    “Gordon…darling,” Mother hesitated, looking towards her husband for support, “We’ve gathered here, today of all days, to talk to you about your addiction.”

    “What addiction? I have no idea what you’re talking about.” I quickly interposed.

    “Sure you do!” Carl retorted,”Your writing Gordo! You’re incessant writing!”

    He was standing now, fist clenched in an unyielding ball and his expression speaking volumes about a person who’s had enough. Carl’s father placed a heavy arm on to his son’s shoulder and slowly forced him back into the sofa.

    “You need help Gordon. We all think you do.”

    In times like these, when i was in some kind of trouble, Carl was always there to back me up. But this time, no support was waiting for me no matter where i looked. A variety of expressions beamed at me. The Graysons showered me with pitiful smiles, Carl seemed particularly indignant and my parents seemed on the verge of tears.

    “Son!” Erupted Father, “Your writing has possessed you like one of those exorcised demons at church. We don’t know who you are Gordon and you’re our only son. You’re my boy!” A solitary tear trundled down his muscular face. A face that did not shed many tears in its lifetime.

    I watched them vacantly as each of them said their piece. But suddenly, I felt an urgency to document this event in my head. It occurred to me that the unexpectedness of the event was worth swift documentation. So i did what i always did. I shut out the noise, turned on my inner laptop and began to type in the air.

    Before i tuned out i heard a Carl shout in the distance, ” OH NO! HE’S DOING IT AGAIN”

    Arms reached for me, voiced called and pelted at my ears but i was long gone by then.

    No matter what they did, the story about a writer’s intervention was too valuable to pass up.

    1. jhowe

      Nice one Leanderdias. The inner laptop was a great touch as Carl I think, needs an intervention. To me, the crying father sealed the deal that Carl was too obsessed.

  13. snuzcook


    Little did I know that even the WD website’s WordPress brain would have an opinion on my writing.
    I was minding my own business, enjoying everyone’s prompts and making comments, being a good participant in the threads. I was on a roll!
    Just as I was about to post a clever comment, my screen goes white, and in the center a box with the words:
    “You’re posting comments to quickly. Slow down!”
    Now I ask you, wasn’t that a perfect set up for this prompt?

    1. snuzcook

      Then I have to ask myself, did I really see it, or was it some manifestation of my alter ego created as a result of reading so many intervention scenarios in a short time? I think I better go have a cup of tea–good, strong sweet tea.

      1. swatchcat

        You are all sadly mistaken, it is a personal attack but not by our wonderful creator of this community. It is our writing apparatus screaming for air. We sit, lay, or crouch tapping away on our laptops, ideas spewing end to end with no break in site. The cogs of our machines desperately wishing the vent holes could come up from our knee caps until finely possessed like a drowning scuba diver its only last resort is to tell you..”Hey slow the f–k down!” And do you know what we do? We cuss and bitch at this site retrying time after time…Enter, Enter, ENTER!
        “This is your laptop speaking. I am intervening, please stop writing for just 2 seconds so I can breath.”

  14. john godfrey

    A Write-ly Emotional Thanksgiving

    The blank eyes, staring at me. The blank faces, unsure what to say. The large banner hanging over the prepared holiday feast, with a large “INTERVENTION” banner sprawled on it. It looked hastily done, probably the work of Jakx, the absentminded scribe…
    “Steve? Are you even listening to us?” my wife said crossly.
    I snapped out of whatever had taken control of me. Of course, whatever was taking me over had become much more unforgiving these days.
    “What?” I replied. “Yes, dear, of course. Why wouldn’t I be listening to you?”
    “We,” she said, grabbed the hands of the two people sitting on either side of her, which happened to be Kraal Ghaquee and Victoria Osiris, respectively, “We just think that you may spend too much time writing.”
    “Since when? Karen, you know writing is my life! How can someone spend so much time trying to force me out of something that I love so much?”
    “The problem, Steven,” Kraal said, his remaining purple eye glowing, “is that you fantasize about your writing. You mix the world of your writing and the world you live in together too often.”
    “How can you, of all people, say that, Kraal? I guided you through the Caves of the Dark Elves without any major harm, and not only did you fight the Dragon Queen, but your killed her in mortal combat! Her entire kingdom is rightfully yours! I mean, yes, losing your vision in your left eye was a minor setback, but I’m not a God.”
    Everyone was silent. After a moment, Kraal spoke again.
    “What did you call me?” he asked, seemingly confused.
    I was confused, too. “Your name, Kraal Ghaquee?”
    He just stared at me like the others.
    “Maybe that journey through the Frozen Forest didn’t run as smoothly as I thought, your memory seems clouded.” I said. I turned to Iator, the wizard. I walked towards him. “Iator, do you have anything to help Kraal? He’s the best warrior we have to battle Trytan the Destroyer. You must have something to counter the potion Drad gave him.”
    Iator looked slowly to where my wife sat.
    “Uh, Karen? What do I do?” he asked quietly, looking back to me slowly after, when my wife said nothing. “Lionel? It’s Jim from work. Listen buddy, I know Crawl is busy fighting the Dragon Queen or whatever, but we need you to…”
    I stood and grabbed him, this time in anger.
    “Foolish wizard! The Soothsayer spoke of this in her prophecy: ‘One you love shall become no more’. I should have seen it sooner, but I was blinded by your lies, Iator! The greatest warrior this land has ever seen will soon be dead, and it is your fault!” I yelled at him. I drew my blade from its sheath and prepared to attack.
    Someone yelled something about a kitchen knife, and trolls tried to tackle me, but it was no use. The land of Valdonia had called me, and I had answered.

    1. snuzcook

      Your story had lots of fun twists, John. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
      (Note to self for Thanksgivning: Keep the carving knife off the table until everyone is seated and confirmed sane.)

  15. agnesjack

    Bert’s ritual of passing out copies of the newest chapters of his book on Thanksgiving Day had reached absurdity. The book, which he had been writing for eight years, was now over 1500 pages long. Like Ahab, Bert had become obsessed with his white paper whale, and his wife, Josephine, had had enough. Bert’s writing, quite frankly, was God awful, and Josephine and his siblings had decided that this Thanksgiving they would finally tell him so.

    They sat in a semi-circle in sister Joan’s living room, facing the chair where they had placed Bert. It had been decided that Joan would start the conversation.

    “Bert,” Joan said, “We love you and want the best for you, but your book has become a ravenous monster and we want to save you from being devoured by it.”

    “What?” Bert said

    “Just listen to Joan,” his brother Charlie said. “She’s going to read passages from your book.”

    “For the last time, I hope,” Joan’s husband, Bob, interjected.

    “We want you to hear for yourself what you have managed to, uh, create,” Charlie said. “Ready, Joan?”

    Joan put her reading glasses on and lifted the piece of paper that she had been holding on her lap. She cleared her throat and read:

    Raphaella’s luscious loins lingered lazily on the luxurious chaise lounge.

    There was silence.

    “That’s called illiteration,” Bert chimed in.

    “I’ll say!” Bob snorted.

    “He meant alliteration, Bob, I’m sure,” Josephine said as her face flushed with embarrassment for her husband. “Try a longer one, Joan.”

    Fresh from his triumph of mind over matter, or brains versus brawn, if you will, Jordy loosed his $500 tie and poured himself a tall one. He deserved it. After all he had gone the whole nine yards, hell, the whole ninety-nine yards to get that home run, and by God he was going to celebrate like there was no tomorrow.

    Another awkward silence.

    “I need a drink,” Bob, said, and got up to pour himself a scotch.

    “What’s wrong with that?” Bert said with a little less certainty.

    “I don’t quite know where to begin,” Joan said looking to the others for help.

    “Just read the last one, Joan,” Josephine said.

    Raphaella grew impatient, her breasts heaving voluptuously under her cashmere sweater whilst her expensive iridescent manicure drummed the stem of the cocktail glass that Jordy had given her before slipping through the French doors to the patio to talk to Julia, with whom he claimed to have no relationship.

    Joan had read it in one breath to emphasize the point.

    “Well, if you’re going to read it like THAT,” Bert said sheepishly.

    “Bert, honey,” Josephine said. “The book just isn’t any good. That’s all. We’ve wanted to tell you this for a long time. Don’t be mad.”

    Bert sat quietly for a moment.

    “To tell you the truth,” he said finally, “I’m kind of relieved. I didn’t know how to end the damn thing anyway. I just kept writing because you all seemed to like it so much.”

    “Praise the Lord,” Bob said, slapping Bert on the back. “Now, let’s eat!”

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Oh Lord, how embarassing for Bert. You’ve done such a great job of writing awful as part of Bert’s book, it’s magnifico bad. It’s a good thing they got ahold of Bert before he bacame a porn writer.
      Was there any script to Deep Throat? I wonder. Bert would have perfect to write the dialogue for it.
      Poor Bert, Poor Bert. Wonderfully funny story you,ve written and nobody got killed in it. Bravo!

      1. agnesjack

        Thanks, Kerry. I had a lot of fun writing Bert’s excerpts, but I was concerned that they would come off as just bad, rather than humorously bad. I wanted to include more elements of bad writing but had to settle for only a few because of the word limit.

        (The thought of Bert writing porn is frightening.)

      1. agnesjack

        I doubt very much, Don, that your early writing was anywhere near as bad as Bert’s.

        When I was young (teens, early 20s), I used to write poetry. It was very earnest, and therefore not very good. I’ve learned a lot over the years, mostly by reading other writers. That’s why I love this site. Week after week I get to see writers writing.

    2. snuzcook

      This was very clever, agnesjack. Poor Bert. At least he’s been persistent. I shudder to think how many times have I imposed my writing on poor, unsuspecting friends and relatives. I, for one, am positive my writing has at some point struggled to achieve a level with Bert’s.
      Good story!

      1. agnesjack

        No one on this site is in Bert’s category. Certainly not you, snuzcook.

        I, too, have subjected friends, family and co-workers to drafts of my writing. I like to get feedback when finalizing a story. I think they are telling me the truth when they say they like them, but perhaps …. well, Thanksgiving is right around the corner. 😉

        1. Susan

          I’m sure they’re telling you the truth, agnesjack – this was very good, very witty. I especially loved the “illiteration” – brilliant. Thanks for making me smile all the way through 🙂

          1. agnesjack

            I’m glad it made you smile, Susan. I was partial to the “illiteration” comment, too. It was the first thing I came up with and the rest just fell into place from there.

    3. wohisme

      Oh stop I think you are being too hard on Bert – I for one would love to know what’s going on with, “Raphaella’s luscious loins lingered lazily on the luxurious chaise lounge.” I think Bert may have another 50 Shades of Gray on his hands (eew – sounds messy when I think about it that way, you know on his hands). Anyway it was a fun, well written story. Maybe all Bert needs is a good editor.

      1. agnesjack

        A good editor or a ghost writer :D.

        I’ve never read the infamous “50 Shades of Gray” and now I’m certain I won’t. I’m glad you found the story fun, wohisme, and I suspect that Raphaella’s luscious loins were about to be replaced by Julia’s jaunty gams… no, not quite right, Julia’s jaunty….?

  16. thejim


    Tim’s head dropped softly into his hand. His fingers began to massage his scalp trying to work out the throbbing migraine. He opened his eyes and the brown tile floor came into focus. He slowly sat upright, and wished he had a glass of vodka.

    “Okay let me get this straight, Tim said clearing his throat, you all are here for an intervention because I write too much? Not because of the 7 or so bottles of Grey Goose I drink a week, not because of the marijuana, not because of the cocaine, but for writing too much.” Tim tried to hold back a chuckle but it escaped.

    Tim looked around the room as everyone sat staring at him without a sound. The blank stares bore holes into his heart; he felt sad. He knew that the hours turned to days the days into weeks and then months. He sat endlessly working on a novel that would propel him to the top of the best sellers list.

    Now instead of focusing on his work he was stuck here. There were promises of friendship, turkey and wine. Once again he was let down. He had to think clearly, he had to get back to his work, what was needed was a plan to escape.

    He causally stood up and walked over to the window and stared out at the well-manicured lawn.
    How to get out of here he thought, I need to find a way out. I need to work; there are words that needed to be written. The migraine moved to the front of his head. He turned and said in a force full, “I don’t have time for this I have to go!” Tim turned back to the window; the afternoon sun streamed in and exposed all the dust floating in the air. “I need to leave now.” Tim quickly turned away from the window and started to make a break to the door. “Words, too many words, I need them out.”

    Two men grabbed him and ushered him back to his chair.

    “What’s his problem?” said the lanky orderly.

    “Every year about this time he gets a bit crazy. It was at Thanksgiving when he was committed by his family. Apparently for several months he was locked in his apartment. When they found him he was nude, typing gibberish on his computer. They brought him to his sister’s house telling him there was a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner waiting but instead it was an intervention. That same day they brought him in. Even now when he types there are no words just letters and it never makes any sense. I feel sorry for him.”

    Tim turned and looked at all the people in the room. “This is an intervention because I write too much?” he looked down and let out a soft chuckle.

    1. agnesjack

      Poor Tim. His “novel that would propel him to the top of the best sellers list” was literally, not metaphorically, nothing but gibberish.

      This was nicely realized story, thejim. The migraine’s hinted at what was to come, but I was still surprised at the reveal of his deluded state at the end.

    2. don potter

      Loved your take on the prompt. We may call Tim crazy, but he is content for most of the year to write to do his thing without worrying what the critics say.

  17. Kerry Charlton


    I’ll never forget the Thanksgiving in the fall of 1957. I was in my last semester at the University of Miami. The draft board was breathing down my neck because I had failed the flight physical for the Air Force ROTC program. A bum ear they said but they told me it was good enough for the Army ROTC if I wanted to transfer. I said no and crammed two years of classes into three semesters plus a course in Business Statistics in five weeks that past summer.

    I was exhaugsted and depressed the week of Thanksgiving when my family took off to Mexice for a vacation.
    Planned on eating bar-be-que at Shorty’s restaurant on the Dixie Highway and hitting the books that weekend.

    And then I received an invitation from Jim Ajac’s family for Thanksgiving, which I happily accepted. My high school buddy had shunned college and was an airplane mechanic at Eastern Airlines and rolling in dough. His mom was a fabulous cook but as I walked into their home, no turkey smells were evident.

    His family was around all right, having drinks in the Florida room. Jim’s dad, Chief of Radiology at Mercy Hospital, took me to his study and beckened for me to sit down. A no nonsence Colonel from WW2, I was in awe of him.

    “You’re killing yourself, you know,” he said.

    “What are you talking about, Dr. Ajac?”

    ‘I can tell exhaustion when I see it. Jim says you’re burning the candle at both ends and one in the middle.”

    “I can handle the stress okay.”

    “But why Kerry?”

    “I really don’t know why doctor.”

    “That’s my point. How many hours are you taking?”

    “Nineteen, five courses in graduate school, one in business communications and a one hour in Music Appreciation to reach 120 hours.”

    “I thought you were working on your undergraduate degree.”

    “I am but I completed all my requirements last semester and the Dean of Business allowed me to take five graduate courses to complete the hours. Those are pushovers but the course in writing is a nightmare.”

    “Why is that?”

    “The professor is Dr. B. Karloff and he’s a monster just like his name.”

    “Maybe you’re over reacting and just tired.”

    ” ‘Rewrite, rewrite, rewrite,’ he keeps saying. ‘Drop the damn adverbs, the stupid adjectives, the fu***** dangling participles and the frigging commas,’ he tells me. It’s always the commas that get me in trouble.”

    “Anything else?”

    “My SOB spelling is a disaster.”

    “What kind of grade are you carrying?”

    “An A+.”

    “How are you managing that?”

    “Rewrite doctor. Rewrite, rewrite and damn rewrite.”

    “Enough Kerry. Are you hungry?”

    “I’m starving but I don’t smell anything.”

    “Of course not, the caterer isn’t here yet. We’re having New England Turkey.”

    “Would it be rude to ask you, what in the world is that?”

    “Of course not. It’s Maine Lobster and it’s coming from the Fountainbleau in Miami Beach.”

    “Bless you doctor.”

    “Thank you. Now slow down a bit and take better care of yourself.”

    “You got it, doc.”

    We walked back into his living room. Jim’s mother gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. I thought about his advice.

    ‘Good thing I didn’t tell the doctor I was working thirty hours a week at a drug company’s warehouse in the billing department.’

    1. Susan

      LOL – nice one, Kerry. Very amusing dialogue, which just flowed like honey. The commas get me into trouble too 🙂 Great closing punch with the final line – loved it.

    2. agnesjack

      Oh boy, Kerry — I finished my undergraduate degree in middle age while working a full-time job, so I can relate to this story. And, my husband used to write in the margins of my papers, “death to all commas!”

      I liked this a lot. The dialogue really worked.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you, agnesjack. The story brought back a lot of memories I hadn’t thought about in so many years, I enjoyed writing it as anybody who might read it.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks Don, I appreciate your thoughts especially since you’re the at top on writing dialogue. And by the way, It wasn’t all work. There were 4000 coeds at Miami. And although it was small, I had my own boat to take the girls for a spin across Biscayne Bay and up the coast to look at the hotels on Miami Beach.

        And I thought all that was normal, That’s why my autobiography is titled, ‘Living In Paradise And Not Knowing It”

    3. wohisme

      Story’s terrific as are your replies to other comments –

      Also, thank God for Spell Check anyway spelling is overrated – at least I am trying to convince myself it is.

      PS I, too, love, commas!

  18. wohisme

    “Oh, silly me, I seemed to have wondered into the wrong intervention. I was looking for the one about being a lazy, undisciplined, dreamer who fantasizes about being an author.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Double smile wohisme. I’m still a dreamer who fantasizes about being an author. The rest of me? I wonder sometimes, I might be circling my own wagon train.

        1. wohisme

          Hi Kerry – It’s so daunting and there are so many talented, as evidenced by this site alone, writers including, as an aside, you. I have to assume the rest of you is great too, so keep your wagon train of words and stories moving forward!

          Thanks for the replying to my melancholy post.

          1. Kerry Charlton

            Thank you, I appreciate the compliment. I’m just starting my first novel. I’ve written chapter one and the thought of actually completing a complex, gangster mystery is realing daunting to me. Don’t worry about my prompts. They’re the most fun thing I’ve done in a long time.

      2. wohisme

        Thanks smiley agnesjack – I was feeling a little maudlin when I posted. When I read the prompt I thought, “yeah that should be my problem.”

        Thanks again!

        1. agnesjack

          I didn’t see your comment as maudlin. I saw it as humorously honest. I think we’ve all felt that way at one time or another. I’ve always enjoyed your stories and your wit, wohisme. All we can do is keep plugging away.

  19. sierrac

    Yippeee!!! I try the jump up and clap my heels in midair dance move. The professional dancers sure make that look simple as I ignore a twinge in my lower back. I am looking forward to Thanks Giving dinner with my friends and family. I have been working very hard and have spent little time away from my computer except for my early morning walks to get my blood flowing and ideas swirling.

    As I enter the house with my small briefcase in my hand which contains my surprise for each of them, I see everyone looking at me. I see the addition of someone I don’t know and notice the distinct absence of wafting holiday dinner smells from the kitchen. I feel as if I walked into the wrong house, perhaps a wake and not a holiday celebration.

    The unfamiliar person steps aside to give me a view of the intervention sign. I am in a state of bewilderment to say the least. As I look around the room I see my aunt puffing on her cigarette, my uncle has started on his Scotch already (it was after noon after all), my little sister must have “allergies” since her eyes are blood shot and the white powder trace on her nostril or I can assume she still hasn’t kicked the cocaine habit. Everyone else in the room is a bit twitchy and looks ill at ease except my Mom who is very relaxed, too relaxed, Valium like relaxed! I guess she still had some of that prescription “left over” from last year’s panic attacks. With so many candidates for the intervention in the room I was still trying to figure out who when I heard “honey, we are all worried about you because you have replaced everything and everyone in your life with writing. You need some balance in your life and we are here to help you!” My mom continues on with a slight slur in her words “my friend Evelyn is a psychotherapist and she is her to guide us in helping you through this problem”. I am left speechless for a moment as I digest what I see and hear.

    Now it is my turn. I look around the room with a resolve and confidence no one there had expected and opened my small briefcase to reveal my contract with a major publisher and a check for $250,000 as a first payment for my new novel and first in a series of seven. I also showed them the checks I had written to each of my ten friends and family members for $5,000 each as my gift to them. I fanned the checks and told them since they had thought so little of my efforts and life dream I would give their gifts to a deserving charity in each of their names. Perhaps they should all learn to communicate before planning an ambush. I suggested perhaps Evelyn; the psychotherapist could spend the afternoon teaching them such important social skills.

    As I shut the front door I attempted my clapping heels dance move. Success!! I must have looked fabulous because I felt wonderful and no pain in my back this time. The crisp air smelled wonderful and was exhilarating as I headed to the mid-town soup kitchen with $50,000 to make sure that there would be plenty of fixings for their holiday meals.

    1. agnesjack

      This was terrific, sierrac. You managed to tell a full story about the whole family with so few words. People is glass houses, as they say…

      The ending was just perfect, too.

      1. sierrac

        Thank you for the feedback. I am discovering as I write from these prompts that my life gives me so much material from all of my experiences. It is true that everyone brings something into our lives.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Oh and think of all the envy from your family and their uncomfortable feeling trying to cram turkey in their mouth while the foot was still there. Imagine that scene. A biting, great story. My guess would be that you really did this!

        The only one I wouldn’t have done this to would have been my Mother. In the 53 years I had the privilege to be her son, I never talked back to her, not because I was a wise son, but rather she was a giving, caring Mother.

  20. oneluckylady

    Thanksgiving Intervention

    The wing back chair, favored among all its counterparts, is the only available seat in the room. I am immediately suspicious. As my good friend Mona guides me to it, I notice above it the hand-scripted sign, like sacred text from an ancient illuminated manuscript: Intervention.

    I sit on the edge of the chair, still holding my Jumbo Jellied Pear and Marshmallow salad. Diabetes-In-A-Bowl, Mona calls it, as if she hadn’t taught me how to make it.

    “This is an intervention, Arlene,” Mona says.

    “Oh. You’re finally admitting to your new health craze addiction?” I hold out my bowl for her to take from me. Laughter tells me the assembly thinks I was offering her a cure. I just want someone to take this cold, heavy pot of luck out of my hands.

    “Honey, you need to focus now,” Mona says.

    “Okay,” I say. “As of this minute, I solemnly swear to give up marshmallows.” I set the bowl securely on the floor at my feet.

    Mona’s lips disappear in exasperation. Her delectable brother Brady stands up and gestures for her to sit.

    “You haven’t actually told her what we’re intervening in,” he says. “Arlene, you have become obsessed with your writing. We think you’re losing touch with reality.”

    “Obsessed? You’re the one who told me that I needed to be more disciplined about—”

    “We love you and don’t want to see you become a burrow-dwelling creature. You spend all your time holed up alone. We haven’t seen you do anything productive in months.”

    I breathe deeply. I take it the others are supposed to jump in now and overwhelm me with reasons (if not reason) to come out and look for my shadow. But they seem engrossed in lint picking and lip chewing.

    “Brady, how long did it take you to create that amazing sign?” I say. “What is that; gold leaf?”

    “Oh yeah,” Brady’s face lights up. “Intense, isn’t it? I spent a good ten hours on that piece.”

    “Ten hours. On an intervention flag. How terribly productive.” Brady stiffens. “And you love me? Really? Then why do you never ask me out? If you’re so worried that I’m not getting out enough to stay in touch with reality, how about inviting me to join your Middle Earth role playing game? You’re Aragorn, right? I’m sure I would be much more productive if I could just be Arwen.” Brady flushes and sits on the floor.

    “Listen, everyone,” I say, “I appreciate your concern. Really, I do. It’s good to have friends who care. But I came out to Thanksgiving dinner so that I could make an announcement. I’m about to be incommunicado for a month. I will be staying in a hermitage so that I can finish my manuscript.”

    Jaws drop and incredulous looks are exchanged.

    “Oh, and I lied. I’m bringing marshmallows.”

    1. agnesjack

      This was great, oneluckylady. I love how she threw their obsessions back at them. And the “Jumbo Jellied Pear and Marshmallow salad” sounded perfectly horrible. It reminded me of a jello and vegetable salad that my mother used to make. I kid you not.

      Nice job.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        And you really survived that salad, agnes? How about scrapple and ketchup in the mornings for breakfast. Pennsylvania Dutch style. Talk about clogged arteries!

  21. calicocat88


    Betrayal is a strong word, but I used it anyway. Deep in the grips of my gut, I knew—I just knew this would happen. They would turn on me. Like those stupid pictures of massive lions licking on innocent fleecy white lambs, all of their mouths were gaping, sharped-toothed and salivating, waiting for the moment I turned my back so they could slurp me up into their mucosal jowls.

    With a creek and some sort of sickening crunch the apartment door glided open and I felt the silent laughter building and crawling through the chipped floorboards and throughout all the bones in my feet. The joke was always on me.

    My eyes scanned the naked table, devoid of all the gorgeous dressings, cobblers, and meats.
    Where the hell was the turkey?

    Like marionette puppets on speed my family (those bastards) all turned in their self-righteous thrones, blinding white grins plastered on their faces. Synchronization is a colorful word and I swallowed bile when my brain sparked the connection—their eyes, glassy and peaked were all aimed and awaiting me.

    If I could have dug my fingernails into the crusty door molding I would have been like that cat hanging for dear life over a pot of boiling water. I could feel the heat burning my behind regardless.

    “Oh, sweet child,” My Aunt? Possibly. She stood from her seat in perfect, fluid movement. “You mean so much to us.”

    “We need you,” Uncle? Yes. I could tell by the Pharisaic quiver to his eyes as he raked them up and down my shoddy outfit. “You are important to us.”

    Somehow in the murky despair my voice found its way up my throat. “I think we may have underestimated the food this year.” My laugh was glue and dangled like stuck stray hairs on my uvula.

    My friend, the woman with whom I had shared my secrets, my tales, my fictional dreams and fantasies, was lingering far away off in a darkened corner. Shame, gelatinous and rancid held either sides of her fat face. I could say that now. Once you’re betrayed, the line that keeps you from contracting diarrhea of the mouth seems to…sl…ow…ly… wash away like sidewalk chalk after sweaty summer rain.

    “Please forgive me,” she said.

    “Oh, I bet your heart just bled,” If my eyes shot laser beams they’d all be vaporized.

    “It’s sick, it’s disgusting!” She was bending, bracing her blubber-elbows on her knees. Was she crying? None of them had a right—I was the one who had fought the fight.

    My mother was beside me, materialized, stroking my hair. I wasn’t a cat.

    “They’re not real,” she stifled a sob and I repressed a gag. “These people, these worlds, it’s worse than playing with the dead. It’s not reality.”

    When there is a wound, deep and feverous, the only way to stop the bleeding is to cauterize the vessels so no matter how many times the wound is cut open, it will always be hollow on the inside.

    I channeled my stagnant wound and looked at my mother. Her plea was as raw and selfish as a new born baby’s squall. And it was dry as the bare floor of the parted Res Sea. I said, “I’m a writer. I create reality.”

    Later as they tied me to a chair and force-fed me tales of deception and loss that didn’t—would never apply to me, I found myself counting heads and taking names. One day, when I had escaped all their stale expectations of what I should be, I would get my revenge. With every word, every crude description and detail I would pick them apart on crisp white pages of literature. A writer’s revenge is insidious.

    1. Susan

      I think you have your revenge, calicocatt – this is a really powerful portrayal of someone’s grim determination to break free of their family’s “stale expectations” and conflicting views of what constitutes “reality”. The descriptions and images are visceral and vivid. A very compelling piece.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I couldn’t agree more with Susan’s thoughts, Calicocatt. The words are like bright, shiny gems strung together in a gritty and biting analysis of a sefish and borrish family who tries to hold talent from the realm of the family, not only because they fear the success but are insanely jealous of any of their so called loved ones that manage to break from the folds of their mendacity.

        My Mother was a late-in-life writer who wrote a weekly column for a Miami newspaper at the age of sixty. Her column was titled ‘Elva’s Corner.’ When my Father pushed her to her limits, she wrote of him. His golf buddies would call in gales of laughter and ask him.
        “What’d you piss off Ellie with this week?” The power of the written work, finally taught him to behave himself, at least with my Mother.

    2. agnesjack

      Ditto, from me calicocat. Beautifully descriptive in a way that hearkens back to the title. I liked this very much. You have a very distinct writing style.

  22. jj3ffr3y

    Great stories. OK, I want to give this a whirl, so here goes…

    Jackie was smiling when she opened the door and said, “Come in, everyone’s here.” She seemed a bit tense; holiday stress I figured. The house had a somber, un-holiday air, though, and I heard low voices and whispers from the living room as I shed my coat and gloves. My apprehension grew and I tried to relax, be cool. Somebody made an ass of himself, no doubt, but who? Tommy, yeah, his car was out front. He never failed to disappoint. I could hear him in my mind’s ear, a little drunk and mouthing off to…oh shit, Joey’s here too, isn’t he? Yep, Tommy pissed off our brother again and then dad had to holler at both of ‘em to “set down ‘n shut-up.” I felt embarrassed for Jacks because it was her first big holiday dinner in the new place and we were all invited over to celebrate with her. My mind played out the old familiar scene as we made our way to the living room, just off the entry hall. I made a note to tune-up Tommy later, if need be.

    I was part-way right; someone made an ass of himself: me. Turns out I was the guest of honor but we weren’t there to carve turkey. The living room became an intervention session, complete with a banner across the mantle proclaiming INTERVENTION so we wouldn’t forget why we were all there, I guessed. Yep, everyone’s here, all my friends and family I thought to myself, echoing Jackie’s words at the door. I was busted, no getting around it now. Good. I was tired of the deceit, the sneaking around, the lame excuses. I could start fresh, a do-over. I couldn’t wait to unload and get it all out. How much did they know? My mind began to spin up again, figuring who knew what first, who talked to who…

    No, it didn’t matter. Whatever they didn’t know about my gambling habit I would fill them in. That’s what intervention is, right? A support system, right? I looked into each face and saw concern. Hell yeah. Self-confidence washed over me and I was already starting to feel like a new man. I was proud of my friends for stepping up, dad and my brothers right there for me. A tough road lay ahead but I knew that as long as these fine people believed in me, I could face anything. They all stepped up and I swore an oath to myself right then and there that I would not let them down, never again. Besides, the money from the farm was all but gone now, so it was probably best I get some help with this addiction.

    Dad spoke first: “Son, we all feel that this writin’ hobby’s took over your life, and we think you should step away from it fer awhile. Ever since you moved back home we never see you ‘cept for meals ‘n such. Yore up all hours on the computer and it just ain’t healthy.”


      1. jj3ffr3y

        Yes! I was trying to place him at a crossroad, but I have a feeling his conniving mind would come up with a way for him to escape detection once again and head to the casino….

  23. peetaweet

    I haven’t left the house in weeks, so it takes great effort to peel away from my laptop, forgo a shave, and leave for dinner.

    I stop by the grocery store for a bottle of wine. It’s Thanksgiving day, and although my head is pounding I know it will do me some good to see old friends. The sky is a dull gray and the air is heavy. Snow is in the forecast. I pull my old pea coat tight and I knock on the door.

    Ashley greets me with weak smile. Her voice is dripping with sympathy. Gerald appears behind her and the door opens to reveal the rest of the players.

    Chris nods and takes a nervous sip of beer. Julie, my ex walks in from the kitchen wearing a clinging cashmere sweater and stands beside Brandon. Brandon’s here?

    “What’s going on?”

    Gerald takes the bottle and my coat. I smell only pine sol and glade. The room has all the cheer of a wake. I laugh out loud when I see the INTERVENTION banner strung over the mantle. Oh boy, happy intervention to me.

    “Look guys, I brought the wine for you. Sure, I have a beer occasionally but…”

    Gerald glances down at the bottle. “Jared, it’s not about drinking.”

    All eyes are on the floor, somber.

    “It’s the writing.”

    They’re gathered around the cedar coffee table and between the sweaters and the skinny jeans they look like they’re filming an Acura Christmas commercial.


    Okay, jeans and button-down. And Chris is black.

    Ashley looks at me like I’m a puppy. A deep red wine is swirling around in her glass, threatening do some serious damage to the ivory rug at her feet. “It isn’t healthy, what you’re doing Jared.”

    Gerald squeezes her shoulder and sends a ripple of wine from her glass, droplets hit the rug like purplish tears, spreading splotches that meet and double in size and deepen in color.


    Backspace backspace backspace.

    Gerald merely hovers over his wife. Ashley sips her golden and less harmful chardonnay. Sunlight streams through the bay window and a football game is grinding out in the background.

    “We’re worried about you Jared.“

    I glance at Julie. She sniffles, holding Brandon’s hand.


    Backspace. Delete.

    I glance at Julie—whose hands are squeezed into her pockets. She gives me that smile, the one that holds our secrets and promises new ones. Gerald is staring at the game. Ashley nudges him in the ribs and he recites his lines.

    “We just want to know if there’s anything we can do? Anything at all.”

    I would like to leave. Maybe taking Julie with me, but only if she can remain quiet, not her strong suit. I’m close to finishing a first draft. I need alone time. How come nobody understands this?

    “No I’m good,” I manage.

    Brandon reaches for Julie’s hand again. That’s enough of that.

    Highlight, delete.

    Brandon has an unfortunate and highly contagious wart collection on his face. It’s really is tragic. Hopefully his surgery will go well.

    “So there’s no turkey?” I ask, eying my coat when I hear the ding of the microwave.

    I look out my kitchen window, it is snowing after all. I open the microwave and pull out a cardboard plate topped with rubbery turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Sitting at my table I laugh to myself, reading over my “break from novel-writing exercise.”

    Who ever heard of an Intervention sign anyway?

    1. Susan

      Hilarious, Peetaweet – just loved all those re-writes (editing as you go along, eh?) Hope you enjoyed the break 🙂

      Especially loved your last line, because I’ve never heard of one, either 😉

      1. PromptPrincess13

        I also liked the direction of this prompt- the edits were a really neat touch. I think it was so great because it was true… I, for one, am guilty of using prompts as a break from writing first drafts!

    2. don potter

      Imagine editing life as it unfolds in front of us. I enjoy conversations with people that are edit-free and save the re-write for my fictional escapades. Your story was a fun read.

    3. AuraPositiva

      I really enjoyed your story. It kept me interested the whole way through. 🙂

      I also laughed when I read about the “Intervention” sign. Who does that? And “No Turkey?” haha, it’s Thanksgiving there should always be turkey! Real turkey, not microwavable turkey.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Wonderful ride courtesy of an imaginative and ‘uproaresly’ funny writer. I don’t even know if that’s a word or not but I had such fun reading your story I could care less. You made me happy just reading it and I want to know where life’s rewind button is. I want to go back in time and change my boring degree in Marketing to one in journalism. Thanks for the trip, peetaweet!

  24. don potter

    I spent most of this year sitting in front of my computer. When I started my latest novel my personal commitment was to have the final manuscript to the agent before Christmas. Unfortunately, this has put a strain on my home and social life. Or one might ask, “What home and social life?”

    A close friend invited me to Thanksgiving dinner. I reluctantly agreed to attend, thinking the time could have been better spent making tweaks to my story. What the hell, I have to eat and maybe a few hours off to enjoy a football game and a nap on the couch will recharge my batteries. God knows I need a break from my obsession.

    My wife left before me to help with the preparations, so I worked until it was time to leave. The few block walk was a pleasant change of pace from crouching over the keyboard in our dimly lit bedroom. It was a clear crisp day in Manhattan and the trek across the Upper Westside was invigorating. Maybe my New Year’s resolutions ought to include more exercise. I’ll be finished with the book by then, but I have a new one on the drawing board.

    My thoughts quickly moved to the next project. The concept is intriguing and the outline is taking form even as the finishing touches are being applied to my current book. I feel as if the story I’ve been working on won’t ever be finished, but there’s no question that I’m ready to abandon it. I’m looking for the thrill of the next challenge. And this is going to be a good one.

    The story line is simple. Friends and family gather to perform an intervention on an unsuspecting addict living in denial of the thing that has kept him from the reality of life. The addict is coaxed out of the solitude of his apartment to attend a special occasion dinner. Once assembled, each participant tells the addict how much they love him and why they believe treatment is needed.

    Then the story focuses on the interaction between each participant and the addict. It follows their past relationship and how the addiction has affected the status of this. After treatment, the tale will track the relationship between the recovering addict and each of the individuals as they work to rebuild their relationship. I can’t help but smile at the thought of what a great human interest story this will be.

    When I walked into my friend’s apartment, there was no turkey or any of the other fixings. Instead I was greeted by a giant “Intervention” sign hanging across the mantle, with my friends and family waiting there to speak with me about my addiction to writing.

    “How could this be?” I protested. “All writers are addicted to their work. I’m no different. Writing is my life.”

    “But we all want you to be part of our lives too,” my wife cried.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          I felt I was right along side with you, Don. I too am obsessed with writing. My wife thinks differently and so does my contruction business. So I get up up at five every morning. No one bothers me but Miss Kitty and I can write with one hand and scratch her ears with the other.

          After seven in the moring it’s here and there. I loved you prose. I too like the dialogue prompt but this one I treat a little differently.

          Writing is a no win situation . If you hit the mark, no one seems to give a hoot. If you stumble, smirks arrive. Your on top of the game and I’m sure the better you write, the more is expected of you. So what is the real answer here?

          1. don potter

            We must keep writing, no matter what. I found the more I wrote the better I got; and, here’s the real benefit, greater personal satisfaction was achieved. How can you beat that? By the way, our cat, Angel, loves to sit in my reading chair in the study and keep me company while I write – it’s an almost spiritual feeling.

    1. calicocat88

      Isn’t that just it with us writers? We think we’re writing about our characters’ lives when really it’s our own 😉 I’m waiting for the day my family ships me off to the nut house. They say all writers are some-what insane. Maybe it’s true, maybe it’s not. Either way you got a good story here 🙂

    2. Mike Crowl

      For those of us who live in our “story” worlds, I have to say I like the “reality of life” line. I also liked that the writer knows he has an obsession, but his MC is an addict. You did a great job of showing the two sides of the same coin.

    3. agnesjack

      I agree with all the above. Excellent narrative (I liked the reference to napping on the couch following the football game) and a nice concise ending.

      p.s. My cats like to sit on my lap when I write, too. Writing is such a solitary activity, it’s always nice to have the warm company.

  25. Susan

    I’m in no mood for Thanksgiving – I’ve far too much to do. The deadline’s looming like an express train coming down the tracks. I need to be at my desk. If I don’t get it finished……. Well, that doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

    But my long-time best friend Sally wasn’t taking no for an answer when she came round yesterday to invite me. As soon as I said I couldn’t make it, she snatched my Mac off the desk, waved it aloft and threatened to throw it out the window if I didn’t promise to put in an appearance. She was in deadly earnest and I reckoned she’d have done it, too, if I hadn’t relented.

    So here I am. Unlike some people, I keep my promises. And as soon as I walk in the door, I smell a big fat rat. Because what I can’t smell is any roast turkey – not that I’ve much of an appetite. No turkey, but a roomful of friends and relations I really don’t want to see right now. And a big lopsided banner suspended over the fireplace, saying “INTERVENTION”.

    “What’s going on, Sal – you told me there was just going to be five of us – just a small party. You promised.”

    “Yeh, well – I knew you’d never come otherwise. Sorry, Sophie – I hated lying to you, but I thought the end justified the means, y’know?”

    “No – I don’t know. I thought you were my friend. I’m going home…”

    But as I turn to walk back out the door, my brother Josh rushes forward and grabs hold of my arm.

    “Oh, no you don’t,” he says. “We haven’t gone to all this trouble for nothing.”

    “You didn’t need to go to any trouble on my account,” I say.

    “Well, we think you’re worth it, sis,” he replies, “C’mon – sit down with me for a minute. We just want to talk to you – that’s all.” And he pulls me down beside him on the sofa.

    “It’s a lot of fuss for a bit of a chat. Why couldn’t you just come round to my flat?”

    “We’re all sick with worry about you, Sophie,” says Josh. “We think you’re making yourself ill. This book – look, we know it’s important to you, first novel and all that. But not at the expense of your health. Just look at you – you’re wasting away. And you’re white as a sheet. You might as well be on death row for all the fresh air you get. Come to think of it, we’d probably see more of you if you were banged up – at least we’d have visiting rights. We’re all here because we care about you, and we miss you, Sophie.”

    “I’ve got to finish it,” I whisper.

    “The book’s fucking killing you, Sophie!”

    I can’t look at him. I can’t tell them yet. It’s not the book that’s killing me. It’s the cancer. The book’s what’s keeping me going. It’s all I have to leave behind.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A wonderful, heart felt story Susan. You illustrate the problems when people think thy’re helping when they’re really not. When I’m with someone who is troubled, I listen, not talk. If they pour out their soul to you, you know yor’re being the kind of friend they need.

        You brought that home in a powerful, wonderful manner.

    1. calicocat88

      You nailed me with the ending. Writing gets people through so many horrible things that they couldn’t face otherwise. Personally, I’d have jumped off a bridge a long time ago if I didn’t have my worlds and characters to melt into out of reality. This was a crisp and sharp story. The dialogue was smooth and natural–I don’t usually like the “f-word” in stories, but for the first time ever I really believe it fits perfectly in this bit of dialogue. I wouldn’t change a thing. Passionate story here, Susan 🙂

  26. rainiemills

    Okay, here goes – my second prompt… this is fun 🙂 All critiques and comments welcome and appreciated!

    What a nice gesture I thought as I approached the steps of Caroline’s house, my homemade (from the grocery store) pumpkin pie in hand. Memories of the last Thanksgiving dinner I had five years ago flooded my mind. The aroma of the turkey filling the house, the kids around chasing one another, the laughter…a sense of grief washed over me. I stare at the ornate door wondering if I can do this. Suck it up, it’s only a few hours I tell myself as I ring the doorbell.

    “Come in” Caroline smiled, taking the pie from my hands. I smelled no turkey, I heard no laughter, as a matter of fact I heard nothing but silence.

    “What is this?” I ask as the room full of family and friends glare at me silently. Then I see it, the giant intervention sign strung across the mantle. “An intervention? Really?” My god what is wrong with these people. Have they nothing better to do than to meddle in my life? Besides, what’s so wrong with my life that I need an intervention?

    Caroline guided me to an empty seat in the center of the room, “Don’t be mad, we were all just concerned about you.” The pity gleaming in her eyes gave her away, she is not concerned, she thinks I’m nuts. And she calls herself my best friend. Humph.

    “What is there to be concerned about? I’m fine. In fact I would be even better if I just left you group of meddling fools and went home.” I stood, ready to get as far away from them as possible.

    My brothers voice stopped me in my tracks. “Renee, you have to stop. You locked yourself in that room of yours and all you do is write. You’re a mess. Look at yourself. Geez, when was the last time you ate? You’re a bag of bones.”

    They don’t understand, none of them. They don’t know what it’s like to have something you love ripped away from you. They think I’m crazy, but this is the only way I know how to stay sane. I write. I write my feelings – my fears, my hopes, my desperation. And sometimes I just sit in that room and cry. They have their families, their kids and spouses. But me, I’m all alone with a vast void that happiness and laughter used to fill. That’s what happens when your family is murdered and you’re the only one they left alive.

    1. snuzcook

      Nice response to the prompt, rainiemills.
      A very believable look at how a family might respond to someone immersed in a grief beyond their ability to share.
      On a technical note: Reread aloud for tenses. They are bouncing from past to present like ping pong balls.

      1. jhowe

        I also liked the story but I agree with snuzcook about the tense shifts. The ping pong ball analogy was a nice buffer. I liked how you gave us a little hint in the first paragraph about the kids and the grief and the Thanksgiving five years ago. It tied in well with the murders at the end.

    2. don potter

      Her brother is alive. Does that mean the MC was married and lost her husband and children, or what? In spite of this question, I understand and appreciate how cathartic the writing process can be. I enjoyed the story.

    3. gaia1

      Beautiful,really. I particularly like how you keep everything in mystery and just before finishing you reveal something as shocking and life-changing as a murder.

    4. agnesjack

      rainiemills – I could relate to writing as a way of keeping it together. Also, you’ve touched on something that is quite true: most people really do not know how to deal with someone who is grieving. Especially someone who has had such a terrible tragedy (losing her spouse and child(ren)).

  27. jhowe

    This would be the first time since we started dating that Erica and I would not make a bee line for the bedroom as soon as I arrived, clothes strewn at will as we made our way. Instead there would be Thanksgiving dinner with a few friends and the two members of my family that I still tolerated. This would be interesting, yes, but I had things to do.

    Erica’s house did not smell of turkey or mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie or cranberry sauce. I took out my notebook and made a reminder note to pursue this at a later time. An odorless Thanksgiving, perhaps a topic for a short story.

    “What gives?” I said as I walked in through the foyer, people milling around the bare dining table.

    “Dwight, please don’t get mad but we are all concerned about you,” Erica said.

    “Concerned about me? Where’s the food?”

    “Dwight, there is no dinner tonight. This is kind of like an intervention.”

    “That’s right me Bucko,” said Gary, my older brother. “You spend too much time writing and we think you need to tone it down.”

    “But I’m a goddamned writer. What else am I supposed to do?” I made a mental note to cast Gary as my next villain in a future story.

    “Dwight,” Erica said. “You are writing constantly. We never go out. You only come over for one thing and frankly, I think you write about it afterwards.”

    Of course I did. Research is research. “No I don’t.”

    “Dwight, please keep an open mind,” said Karen, Erica’s hot blond friend. I had cast her in several steamy scenes in some recent stories. She looked ravishing in her V-neck beige sweater and black stretch pants.

    “Oh please,” I said. “I write when I write. What’s it to you.”

    “You’re obsessed,” said my sister Gwen.

    “Some would say I possess a certain prolificacy.”

    “You sometimes forget to eat,” said Erica.

    “The hazards of the highly productive.”

    “I googled you,” said Gary. “You’ve never had a single word published.”

    “That’s because I haven’t submitted anything yet. The world is not ready.”

    “Why won’t you let any of us read your work?” said Gwen.

    “My work is very sophisticated. A certain amount of editing is needed.”

    “Maybe you suck as a writer,” said Gary. Perhaps he’d be the villain who dies from the bite of a rabid possum, writhing in agony.

    “You are now officially off my list of tolerable family members,” I said.

    “Dwight please,” said Karen. “Maybe writing isn’t for you.”

    “I am now officially an only child,” I said as I rose from my chair reaching into my satchel.

    The Uzi was dull gray and ominous to look at. Everyone gasped as I pointed it. Gary stood up, yelling; he was the first to go. The others scattered but there was no place to hide. As the smoke cleared I pulled out my notebook and noted the recent events.

    At his desk, Jhowe paused with his finger over the submit button. He felt this story would not crack into his top five but the weekend loomed and he had things to do.

    1. snuzcook

      …This holiday,the olfactory senses would have to be satisfied with the metalic tang of iron and lead…
      What fun!
      Effortless dialogue, engaging, and a satisfying fantasy ending. I am right, fantasy? Yes?
      Just in case, I recommend you leave your satchel at home next week.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        A riveting story, jhowe. And a very powerful ending. I loved it, methodical executions and calm, quiet notes afterward. If you’re ever in San Antonio, don’t expect me to invite you over for dinner; we’ll go out to the Three-Legged Monkey and mix it with the pool playing bikers for a while.

    2. agnesjack

      When Dwight started killing everyone, I thought “Oh no,” but then your last line just nailed it and I laughed out loud. I really enjoy your stories, jhowe.

  28. Observer Tim

    Dear Ms. Smith;

    Thank you for your enquiry. I regret to inform you that your brother’s condition has not improved. He remains in an unresponsive state and has not reacted to medicinal treatment.

    I do not believe it is fair for you or your family to blame the onset of this condition on your intervention attempt to reduce the time the patient spent writing in the form of a thanksgiving dinner. The severity of the reaction is strongly indicative of a pre-existing undaignosed condition.

    We shall inform you if your brother’s condition improves.


    Dr. L. Bergmeir, M.D., Psy.D.
    Ponoka Hospital and Care Centre

    1. snuzcook

      What a tragic commentary. They never knew the patient had been holding it together with his writing, all the time with one foot on the proverbial banana peel. A concise condemnation of meddling families, but playfully done.

    2. don potter

      This short and sweet – maybe not so sweet – take on the prompt is terrific. I loved how the doc let the family off the hook for pushing the poor guy over the edge.

        1. Observer Tim

          Ponoka is a little town of about 7,000 people about 100 km (60 mi) south of Edmonton. It is home to the largest mental health facility in Alberta. To be “sent to Ponoka” is Alberta slang for being locked up in the funny farm.

  29. Reaper

    My Thanks

    I have never liked Thanksgiving. Bland food and boring company make me want to open a vein and end

    it all in a way that only the fights surrounding Christmas can compare to. I used to give in to convention and

    spend it with my family, then one year my mom gave me a typewriter, we were poor so no word processor or

    anything like that, and I fell in love. It became my tradition that once the drudgery was over I would slip away

    and write what I was thankful for and share it with no one. Over time my life became about writing and the

    dead end jobs that I worked to allow myself to get by until I am discovered.

    Now there is some grey in my beard and I live life on my own terms, sort of. Six years ago I decided I

    wasn’t doing Thanksgiving with the family anymore. I spent the night alone, writing and eating turkey curry

    from an Indian place down the street. This year I gave in though, I gave in when Joe and his new wife invited

    me over. Joe is my best friend, and a friend of the family so I knew at least my mom would be there. I was

    not expecting an ambush.

    Joe’s wife let me in, I always think of her as Joan because she’s a curvy redhead, and in a pun on my

    friend’s name. I didn’t smell any food, but then Joe wasn’t much of a cook. When I was led into the living

    room I saw Joe, Frank, Bobbi-Jo, my mom, my grandmother and a handful of other friends. Over their heads

    hung the Intervention sign above the mantle. I sighed, it was going to be one of those nights.

    “Getting right to the point you spend too much time writing.” That was Joe, scrawny little punk always

    has something to say. “If you were to make a living at it we might be able to accept that.”

    “I always have money.” My only possible response.

    “That isn’t from writing. I wish I’d never given you that typewriter! You ignore your family and friends for

    your fantasy worlds.” That was my mom of course.

    “I just don’t like most of you that much.” Time to be honest I guess.

    “You never go out, and you don’t have a girlfriend.” That was Frank, he should shut up more.

    “I have women when I want them.”

    “They aren’t real sugarplum.”

    That last was my grandma, god I hate her. What I said was true. I’m never broke, and I have women

    when I want them. You see, what I write always comes true. Six years ago I wrote how thankful I was that I

    wouldn’t spend Thanksgiving with friends or family for five years. It wasn’t enough. This year I’m going to have

    to write how thankful I am for the tragic chain of events that killed all my nearest and dearest.

    1. snuzcook

      That was fun! Especially grandma’s spoiler, ‘they aren’t real, sugarplum.t”
      Nice twist toward the ending.
      Don’t we all just write what we want to happen, at some level?

    2. don potter

      Grandma sounds like a real kick in the ass. I would like to have heard more from her, but I guess she’s dead along with the rest of the family. Great tale.

    3. agnesjack

      Holidays with relatives can often be more stressful than joyful — an honest point that you make very well. I liked the twist in the story and the exasperated, though chilling, ending.

      Just a helpful hint on formatting for posting. It looks as if you had a return after every line, which created the odd wrapping of the text. Word (if that’s what you use) converts better to HTML if paragraphs are whole with two returns between them.

  30. Mike Crowl

    Thanksgiving Intervention

    I could smell the turkey and pumpkin pie from the moment I got out of my car. All the guys would be huddled around a giant bowl of nachos watching the game, and all the women would be gibbering loudly around the kitchen island. To my surprise, when I went through the front door, there was none of that. Instead, a sad looking banner hung over the mantle announcing, “Intervention.” What the hell?

    “Ray, we just can’t take it. The frantic writing is killing us all,” said Jacob.

    “We are just not used to all this writing, and writing, and editing, and whatever else you do on that computer. It’s just too much!” Sarah chimed in.

    The funny thing is, they were all there. All of them. Who the hell do they think they are? Ungrateful, unappreciative jerks! “You all know why I write so much, don’t you? Don’t you Robert? Where would you be without me? Did you ever stop to think that you people wouldn’t even exist without my writing?”

    The blank faces all sadly tilted toward the floor, ashamed. “We, well…” Henry could hardly get the words out of his mouth. “We just can’t take this pace. Think about what you are doing to us for a minute Ray. Fifteen hundred words every, single, day. We don’t even have time to relax before you are writing our next scene, changing what we’ve already done, or introducing new characters and plot twists every couple of hours.”

    Elizabeth rang in, “I can only clean up and prepare meals for so long Ray. Ordinarily, you work on another chapter for a while and some of us have time to rejuvenate, but you’ve been writing so much, and so fast, I…” She burst into tears and collapsed into the chair exhausted.

    Then Sarah spoke up again, then Robert, and Jacob, and James. It was unanimous. Even my own characters thought I wrote too much. Is it really that horrible? “Guys, listen. I know I’ve put you through a lot lately. It’s been hard on me too. I never actually stopped to think what I was doing to you. I’m sorry, okay? Really sorry. I promise, I only have a little more writing to do, and then I’ll slow down. You’ll get some rest for a while.”

    “Really, Ray? Just a little more writing? I’ve heard it all before. You need to take it easy,” said Henry. “Moderation is key.”

    “That’s great advice Henry. I promise.” All of my friends nodded in agreement, and they seemed genuinely grateful for even a few days’ rest.”

    Satisfied, I went through the door into my friend Dave’s house. I was very happy to smell a turkey cooking, and hear the restful sounds of my buddies all screaming at the “roughing the passer” call that was totally crap. Now with my laptop safely tucked away at home, I can enjoy a little time with my real friends. Just for a day though, right?

    1. jhowe

      Nice one Mike. It’s amazing how many different takes people think about for these prompts. I was wondering about the smell of the food and you revealed at the end where it came from. I enjoyed it.

  31. snuzcook


    “You’ve got to be kidding!” The butcher paper banner, “INTERVENTION,” hanging across the mantle hit me like an ice water facial.

    “Lainie, we want you to know…” Aunt Louise spoke in the caring, calming tone she had perfected as a preschool teacher.

    “What, that you all care about me? That you think I have a problem?” I glared at the assembled faces of my betrayers.

    “Lainie, honey, you do have a problem.” It was my Uncle Joe. The warm molasses of his voice could normally melt my fits of pique. Today, it clotted in my ear, just an empty manipulation.

    “I don’t believe this,” I muttered. It was like Michael’s birthday party all over again. My sister’s husband had been ambushed this way three years ago over his gambling. As a result, Michael had experienced some kind of emotional breakthrough, and he never gambled again, right up until their divorce.

    “Sit down, Sis, and shut up. We have a script we want to use, and it will be easier if you just listen.”

    I took my assigned seat, the banner drooping overhead. A cup of chamomile tea was forced into my hand, part of the printed procedure that they were following.

    Ginny, one of my oldest friends, started it off. “We are concerned about your welfare. Your writing has taken over your life. You forgot our lunch together last week, and you said we couldn’t go shopping because you had to stay home and write. You’ve lost touch with your priorities.”

    My sister was next. “You even refused to babysit the twins last Tuesday when I told you I had a massage appointment,” she said. “I really needed that massage. Now I’ve had a headache for two days. Whose fault do you think that is?”

    My mother chimed in. “I know you don’t mean it to hurt us, Sweetheart. But it does. You don’t return phone calls and you shut yourself off for days and weeks at a time. You’re not sleeping. You’re living on those energy drinks. It’s not like you.” She put a tissue to the corner of her eye. I could hear someone else sniff sympathetically.

    “That’s what this is all about? My writing? Come on! I told you!” I pointed to the ‘Nanowrimo’ logo on my t-shirt. “It’s November, National Novel Writing Month. I have an entire 50,000-word novel to write in just 30 days.” Everyone looked at me blankly. “I’ve only got 2500 words left and I’m done.” Slowly realization dawned.

    “You mean, after 2500 more words, you’ll be done writing? You’ll be back to normal?”

    “Yes! I just came tonight because I haven’t had a decent meal in three weeks and I was looking forward to being fed.” There was a pause as everyone caught up. Then they disbursed in a flurry of activity, their energies redirected.

    “Louise! What are we waiting for?” Uncle Joe called to his wife who was already clattering pans in the kitchen. “Let’s get that dinner on the table!”

      1. PromptPrincess13

        This was an awesome take on the prompt. I didn’t see the NaNoWrMo reference coming and it was really clever…especially the logo on the MC’s T-shirt. “Yes! I just came tonight because I haven’t had a decent meal in three weeks and I was looking forward to being fed.” This was my favorite line, sounds like something I would say if I was in the MC’s shoes.

  32. nelleg

    “What is this?” I turn and ask Mary Jo. She tries to look tough but after 30 years of being my best friend I can she right through her.

    “Dana, we had to take action. Your writing has gotten out of control. Jeff told us about you staying up late writing and then again first thing in the morning. He also told us about how you go showerless for days because you fall asleep at your computer.” Mary Jo attempts again to assert some authority. Poor thing never could be commanding.

    “Honey, it has gone too far! All I hear is that obsessive typing until 3 or 4 in the morning. I tried to hide your laptop but you grabbed a pencil and some paper. At least that was quieter except for the whirring of the pencil sharpener. Please, Dana, if care for my sleep deprived being, you will stop.” Jeff is much more convincing than Mary Jo when it comes to being demanding. Of course he is a very grumpy bear when hasn’t got enough sleep.

    “My dear daughter, look what you are doing to those who love you. How can you be so self-centered to put your little hobby above your man? Mary Jo and your sister Whitney have tried to spend time with you and you just blow them off. I raised you not to be rude. Of course it is hard for me to remind you of this when you won’t take my calls.” Tears run down mom’s cheek as she hams it up. Mom has always had the flare for the dramatic but right now she is going for an Oscar.

    “Danaroo, I’m your big sis and I love your passion but you can’t let it over take everything else. Your life must have balance. I’m not going to tell you to stop with your writing; I know what it means to you. I’m just saying stick to a set schedule and then give it a rest.” Whitney has always tried to give me advice throughout the years, most of which I probably should have taken. This time is different; it is something she just can’t grasp.

    “Hey Dana, I haven’t known you for very long but what I have noticed is that you really like writing. I guess your pretty good at it because Whit says your always at it. I also know she really misses you. I hope you can work this out.” Ted is a kind man, probably a little too kind to be Whitney’s boyfriend. I love my sister but she is a man eater.

    “What do you have to say?” Mary Jo stands in front of me with her arms crossed. It is obvious that being the one in charge is foreign to her.

    “Thank you.” Smiles and looks of shock cross their faces as those words come out of my mouth. Unfortunately they won’t last long. “You guys have given me great material for the chapter I’m working on.”

    1. PromptPrincess13

      I really enjoyed this prompt. Whitney’s response was my favorite. “Mom has always had the flare for the dramatic but right now she is going for an Oscar.” This line made me laugh. It all seemed so natural and the humor was easy, not forced, which I though was great.

      1. swatchcat

        Your MC nailed it. These people were definitely material to be filed away for some story. You did well with the conversation and how it can sound to someone who doesn’t see that they have the problem family and friends think they have. I could almost see the MC’s eye’s roll in exasperation. Good job

  33. PeterW

    Intervention of the novelist Terry.

    Let me relate a little episode in Terry’s life for him, cause he ain’t gonna tell you himself.

    So, he walks into the kitchen one Thanksgiving and there is no turkey. Instead there was a big banner over the dinner room table that said, “Intervention.” It was all made from crayon by his youngest, Mily. And Mily’s there, teary eyed and clinging to her momma, Josie. And so is slightly older Terry Jr, sullen faced, unable to eye dad Terry Sr.

    “Guys…” says Terry Sr., thinking he knows what this is all about, thinking it’s sort of a joke.

    Poor little Mily starts crying freely then.

    “Mily…” says Terry Sr. approaching the table, hands out, palms up, but Josie stops him, “Sit down, Terry.”
    And Terry sits ‘cross from um’ with a little smile, thinking again it’s a joke. Josie says, “Terry, enough is enough, we are intervening. This can’t go on.”

    Terry sighs, “Look Josie, I’m almost done. My novel is almost finished. I know I’ve been in my study a lot and have been a bit neglectful, but November is almost over,” then he smiles at his daughter, nods to his Terry Jr.

    Josie’s voice breaks here, “Terry, for godsakes, please!!!! Stop talking about a novel. We know doesn’t exist.”

    Terry eyebrows ‘V’, “Josie, wooh, Josie, its NaNoWriMo. The novel is on my computer. I can show you.”
    Josie, “Terry!!! This is about your addiction!!!! Your addiction to masturbation. It’s tearing us apart.”

    Terry here is somewhat stunned, “Huh?”

    Josie, “Your addiction to masturbation.”

    Mily wails, “Daddy, stoppit.”

    Terry glances left to right, and says silently, “You know I’ve been writing a novel in the study right, not um…”
    Josie says, “Just face it Terry. Call it what it is called: Masturbation addiction.”
    “Josie, the kids are in the room right now…”

    “Terry Jr. read your letter.”

    Solemnly: “Dad, your addiction to masturbation,” (here ol’ Terry Sr. tries to interrupt, but is shushed harshly), “has affected me in the following ways. First, I’m afraid of what the kids at school think. Do they call me a hand-fiend, a stroker-choker, behind my back? And what do they call you. Maybe a snake-flayer or a double-dribbler? Second, your mas-mas-sturbation makes me think you don’t love, mommy,” and here Terry Jr. let’s tears loose, “or me or Mily.”

    Terry obviously been trying to interrupt at certain phrases, but Josie says, “Terry, let us speak.”
    Mily then says, “I just want you be my Daddy again,” and it’s obviously very cute, yet tragic.
    Terry Sr. says, “Guys, its NaNoWriMo…”

    Josie loses some control here, “Don’t even say the name of that whore-porn-bitch. I don’t even care who it is. I don’t…” but then Jeff Van Vonderen from A&E’s hit-show Intervention comes in and consoles her and she sort of latches on to him.

    Then Jeff Van Vonderen from A&E’s Intervention turns his deep, truthful eyes onto Terry and says, “Every time you take your wang in your hand you’re affecting your family.”

    Terry Sr. loses some control here, “I have not been fucking masturbating in my study all month!”
    Jeff Van Vonderen from Intervention says, “The first step, Terry, is to admit you have a problem. Your whole family is here,” and at this point Terry’s mother and father come in to the room, followed in short order by his sister, his brother w/ down syndrome, his inlaws, two uncles, three aunts, the priest who baptized him, fourteen or so cousins, all of his friends including me, and the camera crew plus all their equipment.

    Terry is all of a sudden over lots of eyes and bright lights. Jeff Van Vonderen says softly, “The lies must stop now, Terry, every time you grasp your five inch whinge in your sweaty…”

    “Ok, ok, I masturbated once while writing my novel, but I was mostly writing my novel, ok.”

    “Terry, the lies must stop.”

    “One time.”

    Lots of people shake their heads in disappointed cause he won’t admit it. Then we start what the Intervention producers told us to do. Which is all pointing and chanting in unison, “Addict, Addict, Addict” (emphasis on “dict” or “dick”) along with Jeff Van Vonderen who is harmonizing in double-time over the rhythm with the phrase, “Motherfucker, Motherfucker, Motherfucker,” while making the classic jack-off hand-motion with one hand. A grandma’s got palms on Terry Jr’s ears. Mily is ensconced in Josie, who is pointing and yelling the “f-word,” but not the one that ends in “-uck.” Terry Sr. tries to escape, but his brother with down-syndrome gets him in a sleeper hold and the inlaws hold open his eyelids so he can see how he has affected all of us. People read letters in a microphone over the chanting and humiliation required for a good intervention. At some point Terry’s clothes are removed.

    After about fifteen minutes of serious intervening, Terry Sr. accepted treatment for his masturbation addiction and was whisked away to a facility in California.

    After that all the interveners had a splendid Thanksgiving meal. Jeff Van Vonderen of A&E’s Intervention sliced the turkey. It’s all on film.


    So it’s a bit understandable why Terry doesn’t want this life episode to be related. But I think it was necessary. Oh, and did Terry finished his novel in California. Sort of, they had to put him on a lot of methadone to control his urges, so it didn’t exactly turn out. Oh well.

    Oops 🙂 other prompt in bad taste!!!

    1. snuzcook

      Okay, PeterW, seriously f-ing sad and hilarious. Sorry my Nano overlapped with yours. Yours is in a pew way up front. You always succeed in dragging me places I don’t want to go, but this time I went willingly and enjoyed it.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Embarassing, Peter W. Brilliant, insane, weird, amusing. Like being hit with a Hickery stick over and over until the reader get’s so tickled with the absurdity, it becomes addictive. How do you manage to write with restraints and hand cuffs?

  34. tigermoon

    Everyone was scattered around the living room. Mom and Dad shared the love seat with my sister Elise perched on the arm of the sofa, and my brother Gary sat back in a lounge chair, with the footrest up and out. Other friends and relatives stood awkwardly, trying to fit themselves in the spaces between the furniture. I whipped out my smartphone and quickly wrote down the scene in my notes app. Maybe I could use this in one of my stories later.

    “See?” Angela said from her spot between the couch and the easy chair. “You’re always writing. You never pay attention to what’s going on around you.” Some best friend she was. She probably staged this intervention.

    “I do it to help me remember,” I said. “I always forget things, you know.”

    “You do it so you can use them in your stories later.” Gary used his weight to push the footrest back down and sat up. “I’ll bet you’re planning to use this intervention in one of your books later.

    “Of course not,” I lied. I glanced down at my phone, still in my hand and tried to type out “Gary is on to me” while trying to move my thumb as little as possible over the keyboard.

    “Dad, she’s doing it again.” Elise glared at me.

    “Okay, hand over the phone.” Dad held out his hand toward me.

    I glanced to my left. The door was still open. Maybe I could make a break for it. Angela saw my look and said, “Don’t even think about it. Give your dad the phone.” She took a step in my direction.

    Then Gary stood up and moved towards me. “The phone. Give it up.”

    Elise, Mom, and Dad got up too. Everyone else started closing in.

    I hit the emergency button on my phone.

    “911. What is your emergency?” a nasally operator’s voice asked.

    “Help! They’re surrounding me!”

    “Caller, please tell me your location and I’ll send help.”

    “I don’t know if I can hold them off!”

    “Caller, what is your location? Caller, are you still there? Caller?”

    1. swatchcat

      A little between humor and scary. If your MC is a full grown adult they cant force her to do anything, unless there is a more deep seeded reason for such extremes. I suddenly got a feeling of occult kidnapping, interesting but left with a few questions but this is good.

    2. agnesjack

      You did an excellent job, tigermoon, in describing the scene.

      I agree with swatchcat that the MC would only be intimidated if she were young — a teen, perhaps? Also, the intervention does seem to take a dark turn at the end, but it is not clear why.

  35. Victor


    I wiped my mouth as I returned from the toilet.

    Every wadded face was looking straight at me. Bit embarrassment.

    “Sorry, guys,” I grinned. “I always get a bit nervous before gobbling the big bird.”

    Doug cleared his throat. Dowdy Doug Brown. Sitting on the couch like the undisputed master of all things brown. A friend and confidante, he says to me like a brownout pressing: “Sam, we need to talk.”

    “Did I forget to flush?” I asked. “I can nip back, light a match…”

    Cheryl, sitting beside Doug, her perm tightening in the rising tension, pointed at a somber crepe paper banner above the mantelpiece.

    In big bold brown letters was written I N V E N T I O N. And hastily scrawled in blue biro, wedged between the N and V: ter.

    “Guys,” I said, a little choked up. “You didn’t have to gather here to tell me how stupid you are. I know it. I treasure it. It’s something that keeps me going.”

    Paul, a tall sour-puss standing just behind Cheryl, pulled some papers from a tight waistcoat pocket. He read with a slight quaver: “Dear Pull, Really enjoyed taking a pot-shot at your lickety-split last night. Hope you learn how to clot sometime soon. Love, Sam.”

    “Hey, hey, hey!” I cried. “That was personal, Paul. What the hell do mean by – ”

    Standing just to the left of Paul was big Tess. On a signal from Doug, she pulled a fattish sheaf from her snap-mouthed handbag. Selecting a page at random, she said in a fattish whisper: “Dear Mess, Sorry about spilling the beans on your lime-spider this morning. Mary says a hairy dog sometimes whelps. Love, Sam.”

    “Tessie,” I said, shaking my head. “Do you really want people to know that about you?”

    I addressed the whole rum lot of ’em. “Please, friends, consider very carefully before going on. I know your stupidity hurts, makes you want to cry out and express the ache deep in your dumb arse bones, but seriously, I don’t think this is the way – ”

    Enormous blimp Chuck, standing at the back of the room in a baseball cap, began to move on his moorings like a Hindenburg. Reading straight from his deeply encased memory, he said, “Dear Charles, The love I bear you has no name. For its size, let us truly give thanks. Fuck me gently, Sam.”

    “We’ve given the matter a lot of thought,” said Doug after a long silence.

    I tried to speak but had run out of puff.

    Doug said, “We don’t think you write enough, Sam. It’s embarrassing.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Are you a first cousin of PeterW, Victor? Your descriptions of characters are way over the top. I loved the line,

        “Enormous blimp Chuck, standing at the back of the room in a bareball cap,
        began to move on his moorings like a Hindenburg.”

    1. agnesjack

      I loved the “ter” hand-written on the banner. Sam’s insufferable attitude was so well done, Victor. Very funny.

      Perhaps I’m dense, but I didn’t get the last line. Are they being sarcastic?

  36. PromptPrincess13

    “She’s doing it again.” Said Monica’s voice and I snapped into focus, eyelids fluttering up from the notebook I always carried with me. Everyone was staring at the unintelligible words and marks on the white linen cloth in front of me, shaking their heads at the words that had gone off paper. I hadn’t even noticed. My gaze drifted up higher, sliding away from my messy handwriting and catching sight of the word INTERVENTION.

    All eyes were on me, watching, sadly calculating the expression on my face. I wondered what they were seeing.

    I combed through my memories of the past hour, trying to figure out how everything had gotten so confusing so fast. Was I angry? Yes. Was I amused? A little. Was I hungry, cold, and annoyed? Very.

    It had all seemed innocuous enough in the beginning, when I’d received a golden-ribbon wrapped invitation to Thanksgiving dinner. The thin letters were slanted, written in a shiny ink that looked like liquefied sun-light. The stippled, soft white material of the card had grazed against my fingers so gently as I held it. I hadn’t been able to help writing a story about the way the pictured turkey lay fully on the silver platter. The way the tufts of lettuce cushioned its deliciousness, the skin looking almost coppery. I couldn’t help it but still, my best friend, Carrie, was wrong, I did not have a problem. Writing about a turkey is a completely rational, non-obsessive thing to do.

    I sighed, coming back to the present, to my surroundings and to the word that was weaving its way through my drifting subconscious. Addicted? Was I really addicted to writing? Was that even possible?

    “Sandy, I’m sorry but we all care about you, and this is unhealthy. When was the last time you went out on a date? Or saw a movie? Or did anything but…write?” Carrie sounded flustered but I didn’t know how to answer her. She was right, but it stung a little to hear. We’d always been like sisters.

    “A month?” I half-asked.

    Carrie shook her head. “More than that. Too long.” She took a breath that sounded like a sob, like my isolation from her hurt her enough to make even speaking, or looking at me, hard. Then something took over. A hard chill altered the previously gentle look in her eyes as she stared at me. Carrie was angry. That took root in my mind and I could feel myself growing taller in my seat. I knew that the words that were coming were going to be biting, and sour, but I made myself wait.

    “You’re so selfish you don’t even think of others. You could’ve seen so much, done so much, Sandy, but you had to prove a point. You had to prove that you could make it as a writer. But guess what? You haven’t and you won’t, not now and not ever. You are not a writer, and no matter how many hours you spend trying to be you will never, ever be a true writer.” A snarl I knew could have only come from deep-seated pain, deformed her face. Tears were sledding down her cheeks as she choked out: “True writers have talent.”

    I lifted out of the chair, calm but fierce, and slid a stack of papers out of my purse. A contract, with my signature firmly written across its dotted lines. I slammed it on the table. “Well apparently, Random House thinks differently.”

    1. don potter

      Those who don’t write have no idea how it feels to be a writer. Putting someone down for working on their craft, and improving with every word we write, is cruel at best. Thank God I have support from those close to me. Their support spurs me to pursue what I do and give me the freedom to do it. The contract from Random House, described in your story, is frosting on the cake.

      1. PromptPrincess13

        Thank you all for the comments! @agnesjack, that’s exactly right – she’s jealous that Sandy prefers spending time to write instead of hanging out with her. @don potter, being a writer is something hard to understand if you’re not one yourself, and I have to agree with you… without family support most of us probably wouldn’t even be writing- I know I wouldn’t be.

  37. Scribess

    “What’s going on?” I asked as I closed the front door behind me, confusion taking over my formerly festive expression as I walked into my dearest friend Becky’s house on Thanksgiving Day. The autumn chill on my face suddenly spread throughout my entire body, but I didn’t know exactly why. I just knew something was wrong.

    “This is an intervention,” Becky said solemnly. She stood in the center of her living room, framed by the fireplace behind her. Our mutual friends were gathered around on sofas and chairs, all staring in my direction.

    “An intervention? Oh my God!” I turned around, expecting to see one of our friends behind me, a friend I didn’t know had a problem.

    There was no one there. When I turned back toward the crowd, I noticed a banner over the mantle reading “Intervention”. All eyes were on me, tears flowed from some. Fingers played nervously with tissues, legs bounced in chaotic rhythm.

    “Me?” I asked incredulously. They all nodded. I stood frozen in place, absently holding the special green leaf-shaped dish filled with brightly-colored cabbage salad I’d made for what I thought was going to be a reunion Thanksgiving dinner.

    But I didn’t smell any turkey roasting, no warm apple pie aroma filled the air, no crackling fire in the fireplace. Just a stark, cold atmosphere and the sound of a dog barking in the distance.

    “Elise,” Becky began gently but seriously, “we need to talk to you.” She walked over to me, her hands extended. I automatically handed her the salad bowl. She rolled her eyes, took it and placed it on the server in one deft, fluid movement, then turned back to me and took hold of my hands.

    “You really don’t know, do you?” she said sadly, almost condescendingly. I shook my head slowly, my brow furrowing deeply, my eyes squinting as if trying to comprehend this strange universe I seemed to have entered.

    She led me into the center of the assembled group, seating me in a specially-reserved straight-backed chair. I shifted my large purse onto my lap, holding it like comforting shield.

    “It’s your writing,” Becky said. “It’s taken over your life. It’s all you think about, and it’s turning you into a hermit; we never see you anymore. And when you’re going at it hot and heavy, you don’t even return calls.” Everyone nodded in agreement.

    I snickered. “But that’s the writing life! It’s not unusual.” I flashed my best smile at everyone, hoping to normalize their frustratingly sympathetic expressions of concern.

    “It’s not normal,” Becky countered. “You can’t just sequester yourself and ignore your friends for weeks at a time. You need balance in your life. We’re here to see that happens.”

    I felt a smile creep across my face as I reached into my purse. “Hold on,” I said, rummaging around, “I need to write this down. It’ll make a great story.”

        1. Kerry Charlton

          This is a heartfelt response to the prompt. I actually felt myself slip into the shadows of the room, watching Elise’s friends attach her lifestyle as gnats circling a sweaty dog.

          And she shooed them away from her like a nasty nuisance, Hooray for Elise!

  38. swatchcat

    She pulled out her Am pad, flipped the cover back and started jotting notes. All around her there was no sign of festivities or pending Christmas. It was warm and somber, Jeb looked up from mid -conversation with Faith and other familiar faces turn from a huddle by the fireplace.

    Jackie hustled into the kitchen and from the living room everyone could hear, “Shhh, she’s here. Uncle John, what do we do?”

    She turned and back to the huddle and noticed it. A sign, from her old printer stretched across the mantle, it read, “Intervention.” She flipped another page and scribbled every emotion that came to mind. Her hand writing was like Egyptian hieroglyphics homemade shorthand only she could decipher.

    “I see you came up for air,” her brother John entered the room. “Drink?”

    “Sure, what’s this?” She was intrigued. She was oblivious.

    “This is for you honey, have a seat.” He moved her toward the sofa, they sat and her friends encircled her.

    “Ha! That’s a good one. I really have to get this down, hold on a sec.” Flipping another page she wrote, “Angry, shocked, want to leave.”

    Her daughter Jackie sat on the coffee table in front of her. “Mom, give me that.” A small tug of war played out but the mom relinguished the pad and pencil.

    “Why are you all here? Why do I need an intervention?” She squirmed in her seat.

    “Mom, we need you to stop writing. You addicted. You don’t do anything else. You’re a wreck.” Jackie paused and looked and her uncle for help.

    She followed her daughters gaze to her brother. “Honey, when was the last time you showered? Got out, cleaned your house?” He gave her a condescending look.

    She raised her right index finger in his face and dragged it through the air to include her whole audience. “I showered this morning. My housekeeper just swept through the house and everything if fine. What’s going on?” She was very agitated.

    “Mom, you don’t pay attention to us or the outside world like a normal person.” Jackie was clearly upset about something.

    “Look, I don’t know what you people think your doing but, I am paying more attention then I ever have before. See, look at my notes. You people are my life. You are my stories and my peace of mind. I write because I don’t want to forget. Believe me, someday, real soon, I will forget.” They all listened. “See, I’m not going to be around much longer. I need to write it all down before I forget all of it. For good.”

    Her family, friends, and loved ones all look confused. Then with deep concern, her brother asked, “What do you mean?”

    She paused, “May I please have my pad back?” Limp in her daughters hands, her mom reached and took it. She took in a deep breath…”I have Alzheimer’s.”

      1. swatchcat

        Thank you, I was hoping for that type of ending however, I totally apologize for several errors. I feel so elementary, I count at least 6 problems and they are all stupid. Extra “and”, if instead of is, I think a “was” tense thing where there should be “were”, among others. I should know better. I think in trying to get closer to first entry for hopeful better responses, I sabotaged myself with crappy proofing. Hope it’s still likable.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          IT IS EXTREMELY LIKEABLE. And heartbreaking at the same time. Forget the crappy proofing, I didn’t notice it, but the ending was like having your feet slide out from under you. Such a brutal disease.

          Very powerful, frightening and so realistic, Ihave an aluminum taste in my mouth.

    1. agnesjack

      A very surprising ending, swatchcat, and so sad. Excellent take on the prompt.

      Don’t worry about the crappy proofreading. It’s better to catch it after the fact than not at all.

    2. Victor

      I agree with Kerry and agnesjack – a good story – unfolds in a way that both surprises and seems natural.

      But I have to say I disagree about the proofreading. As a writer you NEVER want anything you write going public with a single error in it. I just noticed a missing word in my own story. Last night, on another blog I do, I noticed an “if” instead of an “it”. I HATE those things, and I think I should. If you don’t hate ’em, and constantly hunt ’em down, they’ll multiply and white-ant your castle in the air and it’ll come crashing down to earth in a muddy heap.

      Of course, I’m not claiming my personal view is in any way sane.:)


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