Writer's Circle

Submitted for Contest #46 in response to: Write a story that takes place in a writer's circle.... view prompt

19 comments

We met at the same date, venue and time, yet everything went so differently that time. That one time. I wish I had helped John on his assignment that day after school that I would never have to see horrors unfold that certain day of my existence I shall never forget. The Writer’s Circle was something I had been going every two weeks, for myself, of course, but also for Melinda. I saw something in her the first time I saw her sit around the semi-circle opposite of me. She gave me an eye, hinting, “well, let’s get this over with”. I responded with a similar look, hinting I can’t wait to get home. It was nervousness. It was obvious we were attracted to each other. It wasn’t just a fun flirty attraction. It was fatal attraction. Her ex-boyfriend, one of a junkie kind, came into the classes too, just to keep an eye on her. Total crackhead, always high and reeking of pills. One day, Melinda came to class embodying perfection in a cute pink tank top where I could see her nipples. We ended up hooking up in the bathroom during break and he followed us there. He broke the neck of the beer bottle he was gulping and threatened to kill me. I reported him and back to rehab he was.

When he entered the room that particular day, I was shocked. Our mentor Phillip said, “Hey, let him go. We have a special reunion today, all alumni are welcome, we’re playing a little game, his idea, a bright one I should add.” he said to me while filling in some paperwork without meeting my eye, as if this wasn’t breaking news, let alone letting a dangerous junkie on the loose. There was nothing I could do. He had never written a word in his life, what game did he create? As we gathered around in a circle, took our seats and attendance, Writer’s Circle began. Phillip said in an eerie tone, “Today, friends, we play a game. Invented by none other than out infamous, Homie.” A few whispers and sighs. Guess we really had to go through the night.  Melinda and I exchanged worried looks. She looked white as a ghost. Her chubby face with Chinese eyes and dead skinned lips made her look even more frightening. Her hair was greasy and messy. It looked like somebody had a bad day. 

“Everyone is assigned a pen, but there will be only one paper. Starting from number 1, Linda and ending with Carl”, he pointed at me. “Write, everyone will write bits, and we will have a full story in Carlos’s hands once we are finished.” he shared.  I was in no mood to play this rookie game. Jesus, we are all adults here. I was getting more and more worried about Melinda. 

About some time after, as I saw the script on my hands. The ground swept away from my feet. “The Eloquent Murder of Melinda Chu” was the title of the story under ugly handwritings of all of the individuals at Writer’s Circle. As I looked up, every single person was staring at me with a ghastly face on. Their eyes wide open with a frozen physique. Melinda! She was missing. Relief. But NO!!! She could be in danger. I slowly got up; I could hear my heart beat out of my chest. “Guys, drop the act now.” I screamed out for my sanity. Not a single air molecule moved, let alone the rest of the Writer’s Circle. As I ran for my life towards the hallway to the exit, I saw the lights blinker. I screamed for Melinda. I searched every corner of the building and came back to our gathering room. A room full of people frozen in a circle. Probably dead, I wondered. As I entered the male washroom and washed my face hoping to kick back in reality amongst the evening of terror, I smelled something familiar. The sweat of old shirts. Beer. Melinda. Yes, it was the scent of Melinda. My adrenaline surged as I turned every bathroom door hoping to see her face. With utter disappointment as Melinda was nowhere to be found, I felt a shadow of evil fall before me. Homer. He looked like a different person, squeaky clean and no alcohol… he never smelled this clean before. With the smirk on his face, I felt fear. Pure fear, so alive and hearty I felt like all the answers were in front of me yet I understood nothing. “You look like wreck. How the tables have turned.” he mocked in a tune. I grabbed him by the collar pushing him forward. “You asshole, where is she, what have you done?” was all I could bark out. 

In his striped dad shirt and bearded face, he looked sane and started to preach. There goes the villain’s speech. “You see…Melinda and I met---” I cut him off, I remembered all too good. “In some weird cult where you used to fake hypnotize people, cut the bullshit” I blurted out. He looked at me like a teacher who is silently using facial expression to encourage the kid to reach the right answer. The answer was right in front of me. “So you don’t believe in it?” he laughed. “What, that you can hypnotize people ?” I joked. He made a bare face. Oops, I wasn’t really serious. But I was right regardless. He went on to explain how he had inherited “things’ from his late grandma and the sad story of the evil world that led to his depression. I didn’t know what to believe and what not to. This junkie scum was telling me he could actually hypnotize people. If it was a movie, I would have believed him but then I realized the occurring of the evening was more or less like a movie. “Just tell me where Melinda is, and we can both go” I gasped for air now, my search for a much like-kidnapper had left me breathless, no less. The silence that followed provided more than what a simple conversation would provide. The silence was mundane, inevitable. The junkie ex-boyfriend, no matter how messed up, but still very much in love, like a boy, who never grew up, or didn’t want to…

As I went home and was able to gather my thoughts sanely, I look at the photo frame on my coffee table, Melinda and I, love above all, and yet nothing left but fragments of memories. Homie had wanted Melinda back in exchange for letting those hypnotized souls go freely, but dead. She was dead . As a lover, I would have made the sacrifice in a heartbeat, but as a human, unlike Homie, I chose to be a better man, I chose something better, for humanity, myself omitted. The silence exchanged between me and Homie answered that.  The day of 15th June, 2016, the last gathering of Writer’s Circle, something, a creative writer like myself would have never imagined, was the worst day of my life and the beautiful downfall of Carlos Jean. I had found myself become the better version of Homie, my lovers’ ex. If only, I wondered, that I had missed Writer’s Circle that hot afternoon and had stayed in school to help my student, full of innocence and life, would I be starting my day off with cocaine smacked on my face? I guess I’ll never know.

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19 comments

Deborah Angevin
09:49 Jun 28, 2020

Hi Sophia, you followed me so I decided to check out your story. This is a really well-written story! I enjoyed reading it. Would you mind checking my recent story out too? Thank you :)

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Matt Strempel
21:29 Jun 25, 2020

Hey, Sophia. I've been sent here via the Critique Circle, so here's my critique. Please don't take this criticism as anything but constructive advice. I have always found people finding problems in my stories to be far more helpful than comments that say 'Great job! Please read my story' and offer no actual feedback. Firstly, great premise for a story. The concept has great potential if you cleaned this up and it was clearer about what actually happens. I admit I'm a bit tired but I got pretty lost. Can you paraphrase what happened? Is the ...

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Sophia Sandy
10:16 Jun 27, 2020

are u joking I am glad for the response, ok so basically the story is talking about the not so prevalent love story happening in a writer's circle but the girl has a junkie ex who is obsessed with the girl and so it happens one day on such unfortunate event that the junkie wants to kill the writer , he is obsessed with his ex, so he comes up with this plan to kill him by hypnotising all members of the writer's circle and aiming for a one on one man fight for the female, she dies. So the writer ends up in depression, doing coke, becoming just...

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Matt Strempel
20:54 Jun 28, 2020

OK, great. I thought that was it but wasn't 100% on a couple of things. So, with that in mind, my comments still stand. Love the premise for the story, I just think it could be a little clearer. And all my comments regarding readability would help with that. All the best with your future submissions. And, again, feel free to let me know your thoughts on any of mine. –Matt

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Sophia Sandy
07:49 Jun 25, 2020

I loved the comments thanks so much

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Pranav Natarajan
21:25 Jun 23, 2020

Hi Sophia your writing is getting great was very good let me see ok you have done a great job keep up the great work Sophia Mr Pranav

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Tvisha Yerra
19:20 Jun 23, 2020

Nice story! Just one thing, the length of your paragraphs make it less enticing, no offense. But love the story anyway!

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A. y. R
12:19 Jun 23, 2020

Woah! So many twists and turns to this story! And so griping too! You do get your tenses jumbled up here and there a lot so watch out for that when editing

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Arthur Tiberio
16:11 Jun 22, 2020

I've got to be honest; when I first read this prompt, it seemed inordinately bland, and I awaited with curiosity what people may be able to make of it. You've managed to rustle up a cast of believable, structured characters, complete with fascinating dialogue and a plot that keeps me reading. Well done! I look forward to reading more.

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Sophia Sandy
08:41 Jun 23, 2020

all love and a million thanks

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17:17 Jun 21, 2020

This was a enjoyable read! It was written perfectly. I love the way you started it off. It pulled me right in. Great job!!

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13:24 Jun 21, 2020

This is beautifully constructed Sandy!The adjectival phrases that you used really drew me into the story. It is a pity that the word limit for this story is 3000 words, as I would love to see this expand and become a full blown novel. I would suggest you expand it on your own using this beginning and this end. It has great potential!

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Kathleen March
13:18 Jun 21, 2020

This was interesting. If there is something about drugs I needed to know, that might be why it was confusing at times. The names vary - Carl/Carlos, Homer/Homie. I think you meant lover's (lovers' would mean the narrator has more than one lover), but the disoriented view of the narrator leaves that open to debate. There is a definite haze to the narrative. Hmmm... not bad!

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Sophia Sandy
03:13 Jun 22, 2020

Wow great advice, I never really pay attention to my trashy grammar, clearly I am an amateur.

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Kathleen March
14:21 Jun 22, 2020

Well, here is some friendly advice from me (an educator). I mean it in a funny but serious way: If you want to be a writer, a serious writer, you will need to throw the trashy grammar ... in the trash. It's like wanting to be an airplane pilot and saying you forgot where some of the controls are. So... no way out.

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Sophia Sandy
08:42 Jun 23, 2020

all love and a million thanks, its just like Stephen King, I want my writing to be little rowdy, haha, will definitely take care of the grammar

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Kathleen March
15:24 Jun 23, 2020

Stephen King! I have learned so much from him. He really is a master. Rowdy grammar is not bad, as long as it knows when to behave.

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Heissell Ramirez
17:47 Aug 05, 2020

Your story was interesting but the many commas and long sentences made it a little hard to follow at times. Thank you for sharing your creativity, keep going!

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00:11 Jul 26, 2020

Awesome job, Sophia! Oh, would you mind checking out my story ‘The World Is Your Playground’ if you have a chance? Thanks so much! ~Aerin!

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