Day 26- Like a Wrecking Ball by Brenda Rech

Choose a character to observe this scenario

StoryADay Prompt Illustration

The Prompt

A wrecking ball is parked in front of a 100-year old building. You are an architect, the wrecking ball operator, or a homeless person? What are your best memories and deepest regrets?

Brenda Rech

Brenda is happily married with two beautiful daughters, three dogs, two cats and a bird named Amy Farrah Fowler. Her flower gardens are forever at the beginner’s stages as she would rather hike with her husband and dogs or explore her writing. Her favorite breakfast is crispy bacon and strawberry jam on white toast. She is currently working on her first novel and has a monthly newsletter ‘Thru the Window’

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14 thoughts on “Day 26- Like a Wrecking Ball by Brenda Rech”

  1. I wrote about an old nurses’ residence, and the ghost of a nurse appears from above. An old retired nurse sees her in the room, but her care aide just squeezes her hand and tries to comfort her, and wonders about a med review. The crane and wrecking ball approach and the ghost is riding on the ball, diverting it. Repeated attempts won’t result in any damage to the building. Then, the ghost decides to wreck the wrecking ball, making it fall straight down. She chides herself for this poltergeist stunt, but the audience bearing placards saying Save Our Heritage cheers. Demo Day means different things to different people. The demolition crew has to apply for a permit to use dynamite. The ghost in the meantime has studied the blueprints for the planned building and she has already claimed her new room, widening the square footage on the print.

  2. I wrote a story titled “A House To Die For” about a luxurious historical house being torn down. Visits to the house shaped the life of a man from the time he was eight; now he’s old and he doesn’t want the house demolished. 1000 words, third person, past tense.

  3. I actually did it through the POV of all three characters. Each has a story to tell about the building. One of my favorite prompts this month.

  4. We like to take the backroads, driving through the countryside and small towns. In the town center, we often find vacant, deteriorating buildings, the mom and pop shops replaced by supermarkets and chain stores. I wrote 854 words about two sisters watching the building being torn down where their grandparents once owned a bakery. They have different memories of working in the bakery. The older loving the times spent with her grandparents and the younger bitter about having to work instead of spending time with her friends. As they watch and reminisce about working at the shop, the younger one realizes it wasn’t so terrible and the older one realizes it wasn’t perfect either.

  5. I’m checking in because I need to declare that I’ve not fallen entirely of the map!

    I’ve looked at every prompt (each has activated creative salivation) and I’ve treated the ones I’ve been able to treat. Three graduations, a death, the travel involved with those events and work have kept the treatment from being proper, but I’m writing more this May than last (because I knew nothing of the challenge). I’m recklessly abandoning perfectionism and it feels great.

    I just wanted to give a thankful shout out for the awesome prompts.
    Still here. 🙂

  6. I picked the wrecking ball operator for my POV character. She has a couple personal memories about the building, and seems ambivalent toward the job. There’s also a hint of a conflict with the demolition supervisor, an older man who doesn’t like women knocking down buildings. The original ending was a bit flat. I put the draft aside for a couple hours, then came back and saw a way to punch it up. Now the end has the best line in the story.

  7. I stole a thought from my friend and wrote a prose-poem themed around a wrecking ball. Miley Cyrus might’ve played a part too. 😁

  8. Another great prompt. People from Cardiff (where I live) spend a lot of time complaining about all the old buildings that the council allow to be knocked down and I’ve recently been watching a documentary series called Vanished Wales about buildings that no longer exist and are forgotten. So this sparked lots of ideas for me that I’d like to return to. I wrote a micro fiction from the point of view of a wrecking ball that is being retired. This causes the wrecking ball to think about all the things it has destroyed over the years. And now it is being replaced by newer techniques of demolition. I didn’t exactly stick to the prompt but it was fun and I got a reference to Miley Cyrus’ song in there.

    1. Sounds like a great point of view, Katie. I think many Americans believe that people in the UK and on the continent of Europe never demolish anything old. Americans, on the other hand, do. The truth is somewhere in between, it seems.
      I grew up in Elmhurst, Queens, New York City, where there were a few buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. In the middle of Broadway, near the Elmhurst Public Library (a historic building now demolished!) there was a tiny house on a concrete island. The little building was locked, and I remember looking in the window and seeing nothing. A plaque on the outside said it had belonged to Clement Clarke Moore, author of A Visit from St. Nicholas, aka The Night Before Christmas. That little house is not there anymore. I decided to write a memoir today about the contrast between the old, somewhat attractive buildings and the newer ugly edifices in my neighborhood.

  9. I was so inspired to write a story by “Dancing in The Dark” that perhaps the song ” Wrecking Ball” crept into this one as a result!
    I must admit another thing in this regard. Social Media is full of the suicide of a leading Bengali actress and I might have been influenced by her story to some extent.
    Here is my story. To comment, feel free.
    When Life Is A Cinema, Not A Song
    Standing in front of “Lovers’ Paradise”, the skyscraper, Seema, finds the wrecking ball hanging loose from the crane and heaves a sigh. She got the message just on the previous night that the building was going to be demolished.
    In a way this is poetic justice, she thinks and strange as it may sound, the lines from one of her favourite scores by Miley Cyrus come to her mind :

    I will always want you
    I came in like a wrecking ball
    I never hit so hard in love
    All I wanted was to break your walls
    All you ever did was wreck me.

    In her case, how true to life the song has turned out to be!

    Sorry, I forgot to introduce Seema Sen to you. She was a rising actress when she met Anik Bose, one of the top-notch producers of Tollywood. Seema fell head over heels in love with the hunk at first sight.

    The grapevine has it that when she met Anik in the Studio, he had a strikingly attractive actress, one Rhea Ganguli sitting beside him. He or – should I say? – both of them were interviewing for the cast of his next, untitled film. Seema moved in with him at his house “Lovers’ Paradise” within days of her meeting him. If you think that she was the cheap type, you are mistaken, dear reader. It was like what Seema told her raging mother :

    “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, Mom. I guess, it’s his hypnotic persona, his charisma that girls find hard to resist. You’re right about his previous marriages, I don’t know though if he was married thrice earlier before pairing up with this whore, Rhea, but know if you must, I can’t live without him….”

    Her mother was distraught, to say the least, but that was nothing in contrast to what Seema was to experience a couple of months later. It was Anik who invited her to stay with him at his ancestral home. His diseased, widowed father was a Colonel in the Navy and left him an unbelievably rich man.
    Anik got rid of the old nameplate of the house and had it replaced with the present name. He also divorced his first wife soon after his father’s demise. He was said to have lost all interest in her long before but kept the relationship going to be in his father’s good book.

    The night Seema had moved in, Anik told Rhea that she (Seema) would be staying with them for a fortnight or so while hunting for a job. Out from Rhea’s sight, Anik told her not to worry about Rhea as the girl was quite dumb. She proved more than a match for Anik though by claiming more than half of his properties as alimony at the time of their divorce.

    It all started with Seema trying to get bold at the new place, even in front of Rhea. Things came to a standstill the night Rhea burst into the Guest Room to catch the lovers making love, red-handed.

    Seema was oblivious of the rest of the world as long as she thought she had Anik. So, blissfully in love with him was she!

    The first hint of the impending storm came when one late night, after his return home, Anik told Seema that the idea of a movie starring her in the lead role, was being shelved for the time being.

    “Why, sweetheart? What’s happened?”

    Anik looked at the open door and whispered,” Because I’m broke, Seema. I’m in such a muck, such heavy debts that I had to mortgage the house…”

    “What? You didn’t even feel the need to tell me, Love?” Seema was more hurt than stunned by his unexpected disclosure.

    “Don’t you ever say I just walked away / I will always want you.”

    That line from the past come to haunt her again.

    “He should have been an actor! The way he played with my emotions that night with tears in his eyes ….” Seema heaves a sigh again. How naive she was in trying to comfort him at that time! Hugging him, kissing him, rubbing the tears out of his eyes, and insanely uttering those silly words :

    “We’ll get through this difficult phase together. We will, you’ll see. As long as I have your love, nothing matters to me.”

    Anik must have been laughing then in his sleeves at her naivety!

    Now, standing in front of the house covered from top to bottom in blue plastic sheets with that 500 tons demolition ball kept just a few yards away, a series of flashbacks passes through her mind.

    Anik asked her to move back at her parents’, a proposal that Seema turned down. Truth to tell, she lost her mother the day she moved in with Anik. She called Seema once to warn her about Anik’s character. That she had heard a lot about his past history. Seema was beside herself as she hung up the line.

    It was Anik again, who asked her to stay with a friend ‘just for a couple of days’. What followed next was nightmarish! Seema, was kicked out on the street on the false allegation that she was two-timing Anik with that simple friend of his!

    As she got back to her feet, she knew that without her parents, a place to stay in, and a zero bank balance (she spent her all on him!), she was doomed.
    “I’ll see to it that you live to regret this day.” She screamed as she tried to pull herself together.

    She moved in with Shubham, a promoter, in due course. “Lovers’ Paradise” got auctioned off. At Seema’s request, the new owner, Shubham, decided to have the old building ravaged to the ground and a skyscraper raised in its place.

    Seema, coveres her face with the edge of her sari as she finds the Wrecking Ball Operator with a few co-workers coming back.

    She hurries away from the street and in passing, notices a tea-stall. Her steps slow down when a familiar face along with the words “BREAKING NEWS” across, pops up on the TV screen facing the door of that dingy room.

    The announcer is heard saying : We’ve just received the news that the body of the noted Film Producer, Anik Bose, was found dead last night hanging from the ceiling of a flat in Central Kolkata… ”

    Seema hurries her steps as the lines from the song keep coming back to her mind :

    I never meant to start a war
    I just wanted you to let me in
    I guess I should’ve let you win… .

    The end

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