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Day 31 – Hope

I hope you’ve had a brilliant May! Leave a comment and let me know your hopes for the future.

Day 13

The Prompt

Write A Story of Hope

You can use this prompt to write about your hopes for your (writing) future or you can write a fictional story that revolves around hope.

The fun thing about playing with hope is that it raises the stakes so very high, and allows for the possibility of some real dark nights of the soul. What does it do to your character when they think all hope is lost? How do they act?

And what does it do to your reader when you whiplash their emotions all over the place and grant your character’s wish, after all?

(Can you tell I’m hoping for happy endings? You should feel free to disappoint me if you’re more of the ‘everybody dies a meaningless death at the end’ type)

Leave a comment letting me know how your month has gone, what you’ve achieved and what you hope that means for the future.

It has been an absolute privilege to spend this time with you creative souls. I hope you’ll stick around for the rest of the year and most of all,

Keep writing,

Julie

10 thoughts on “Day 31 – Hope”

  1. Story A Day May taught me some valuable lessons. I learned that I could stick with a plan and finish! I have 25 short stories or summaries of stories that I can use in my work in progress or for new material. The other six have a couple of notes that I can come back to later. I also realized that I was carrying around a core belief that I couldn’t actually write enough material for a full length work. Somehow, working on the daily prompts changed that! Thank you so much, Julie, for putting this together and all the hard work it takes to keep it going. You helped me find hope in my writing future this month!

  2. Thank you Julie for this wonderful month!
    I have learned more about myself and my writing in the last 31 days, than I ever could have imagined. Participating in this challenge has to be one of the best decisions I have made in a while! It made me fall back in love with writing and short stories as a whole, a genre I hadn’t written in since my early teenage years.

    I wish you all the best, and keep writing!

  3. Phew! Day 31! I’ve written 12 stories, 11 personal essays, 4 poems, and 3 scenes for my WIP. My hope for the future is to continue writing my WIP, write 2 short stories per week, and to begin submitting short stories for publication in July.

    Today I wrote about a vessel called the Last Hope carrying 50,000 people from a doomed earth toward a beacon in deep space. It wasn’t your happy ending, Julie. The title is “Dark Night of the Fish,” 570 words, past tense, third person.

    It’s been a joy working with you all! Write on!

  4. Another great prompt. Wrote a 717 word scene from a longer story about a sister looking for her younger sister who ran away three years earlier and her hope to find sister.

    Thank you, Julie, for this Challenge and all your hard work. Thank you to all who provided prompts and shared stories. It’s been a great May.

    I’ve tried prompts before but gave up after a day or two. I used all these prompts in one way or another. I discovered a great deal about my writing and myself. I’ve written more in the last 30 days than I have in the last 10+ years.

    Every morning while waiting for the coffee to brew, I’d look at the day’s prompt. I will really miss that tomorrow morning.

  5. 2022 has been rough for me so far. This year’s May Challenge meant more than I can express. It was a lifeline keeping me connected to my writing life and proof that I can keep showing up, even through the most turbulent of personal situations. Reading the prompts meant having a special little treat waiting for me even on the days I wanted to ignore the world.
    So thank you Julie, thank you “prompters”, and thank you writer friends. You lift me up.

  6. Thank you, Julie, for a solid month of prompts and encouragement! I completed 35 short stories in May, although 31 were drabbles (100 words) and one was a micro-fiction of 50 words. I wrote three longer complete stories, and a couple fragments that may go somewhere. In terms of words, I have written many more in some other months of my life. But in terms of complete works of fiction (stories with a sense of completion about them, even if they need more revision), it has been by far the most productive month of my life. One thing I’ve learned about myself is that I need that rush from getting projects done. I’ve noticed this in a couple other contexts. I also like beginnings and endings, and being able to produce both in one sitting is hugely satisfying.

    It only took me 50 years to get here as a fiction writer.

    Best wishes to everyone!

  7. I wrote a drabble that will come sometime after yesterday’s story(and the other almost 5000 words I added to Baseball Boys yesterday. Yeah, it was a good writing day). They’ve broken up, so now it’s time to get them back together.

    Brock wiped his hands on his pants before knocking on the door. His heart was hammering, his throat dry. He wasn’t sure if he could do this. But, he had to try.
    The door swung open, and Caleb scowled at him. “What are you doing here?”
    Brock wet his lips. “Can I come in?”
    “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
    “I have some things to say.”
    “I think we’ve both said enough.”
    Except they hadn’t. “Please. I don’t want to give up on us. Not yet.”
    Caleb closed his eyes but took a step back. And Brock went inside.

    I’ve definitely done some digging into my characters’ heads this month, which was my goal. So, I’d say it’s been successful. 🙂

  8. My heartfelt thanks go to that dear lady, Julie for letting me enjoy every single one of the prompts for the last month. To all my fellow participants, au revoir. Take care and stay happy. Love you all.
    My last story for StoryADay :
    31st

    THE PROSPECT OF A REUNION

    Having squeezed into the taxi, Alaska cast a longing look back at the house where she spent almost all of her waking life. She lowered the glass to thank Gudduda, a local brother, for lending them a hand in keeping the bundles and stuff in the dicky. The loaded, half-raised hood of the cab strangely looked like the bulging belly of a woman about to deliver. She pulled the door shut and asked the driver to move on.

    Alaska could never imagine that one day she would leave the ancestral home in this way. She wiped away the teardrop from her eye and tried to focus on the road ahead. It was going to be a long ride to the rented apartment. She rested her head at the back of her seat and closed her eyes.

    How did things go from bad to worse between them and Baba? What made him take that extreme step? What made her do what she did in the heat of the moment? It was not so long ago that they lived like a happy family. Their house was full of laughter, joy, love and peace. Then, as if in the blink of an eye, it all ended after his retirement. Alaska had a feeling that having been confined to the walls of his room, did a lot of damage to the self-belief of a man like Baba.

    What a gem of a human he was! His students loved him like it was hard to believe! He spent most of his time in their company, chatting with them animatedly, solving doubts, checking papers, teaching and learning at the same time. Life couldn’t have been more kind to anyone!

    For the first few months, post retirement, he looked for a job. He was not even 60 and felt that he had still a lot more to offer. But reality is a different ball game altogether. It was well neigh impossible for a man like him to be employed again. He realised that for the rest of his life he had to rely on the little savings in the bank. The transformation in his character was rapid. He became khitkhite, like a person who finds faults with everything and everyone in this world!

    One day, Alaska came back home from university to find Baba pinning Ankita down to bed! He was yelling like mad :

    “You think I’m a fool? Who were you talking
    to?”

    “Baba, I’m being honest in saying that I was talking to Priya, the topper of our class.”

    Baba did something strange then. Picking up Anki’s phone, he called Priya. But he wasn’t satisfied when she told him that Anki had indeed called her and talked to her a few minutes earlier.

    Ankita had to promise to give her best to the oncoming board exam that day. When Ma came back from office and tried siding with a teary Anki, Baba literally went berserk.

    “It’s due to your excessive indulgence and pampering that she has turned out the way she is… .!”

    That was the beginning of the nightmare. The scene started getting enacted more frequently in the following months with the difference that it wasn’t about the same issue any more. Ma had been quite upset lately when Baba humiliated her in front of his relatives. Things came to such a pass that her parents nearly fought with one another.

    “It’s all due to your upbringing.” Baba was playing out his last cards now, trying to poke Ma into doing something drastic. Ma fell for the trap and called him ‘a son of a bitch’.

    The next moment, Baba, his hand on her throat, was pushing Ma towards the wall! Alaska, scared for Ma’s safety, heard a voice threatening him:

    “Let go of Ma, you swine. Try putting your filthy hand on her again and I’ll call the police.”She found herself quaking and panting after saying this to him.

    Next moment, he was standing in front of her with a murderous look in his eyes. The stinging smack across her face, left a mark as she cried out in pain.

    “Why do you stay with this monster, Ma? He’ll kill us all. Can’t you see that?” It was Anki whimperimg.

    Meera, her mother left soon afterwards. She told her daughters to wait for her call. She called them late in the evening to inform that she was staying with a relative and she would pick them up the first thing in the next morning.

    She kept the taxi waiting outside while she came in to ask them to do the packing. They opened their almirahs, thrust the dresses and other clothes into the suitcases and bags. The utensils she bought, went in another bag next. She asked him if she could borrow the gas cylinder.

    He stood leaning on the door, arms folded near his chest, with a non-descriptive look on his face, shaking his head all along. Alaska was terrified with the look of vengeance on Ma’s face and hurriedly forced her out of the house.

    Now, they had left that house for ever or so it seemed to Alaska in the taxi. She had the sob that was choking in her throat, swallowed before raising her head from the headrest and looking back at Ma and Anki both with a far away look on their faces! Neither Baba nor Ma called one another after they had left their ancestral home, huffing and puffing.

    Three months and four days into the rented house, one scorched afternoon, Anki was brought home by a few strangers. She, at 21, had suffered a stroke on the way to college! Had she fallen down on the street, it could have been fatal, one of them remarked.

    After the Doc had left, Ma sat on a stool near Anki’s bed like a statue. It was on the same evening that Alaska called Baba from outside. She called him as she knew how much Anki loved and missed him.

    Baba picked up, listened to her patiently before finally questioning about his her. He sounded a lot more like her father of yore as he hung up.
    Alaska thought that he would call on them at the rented house the next day, but he didn’t. He called her the same evening though to enquire about Anki’s current status.

    When Ankita fell down again on the road a week later and was rushed to the nearby nursing home, Baba finally let go of his ego.

    It is said the old sparks flare up faster. With Anki lying unconscious in the intensive care unit, her parents, waiting outside, got to talking like in good, old days!

    It was almost 10 at night, when they had the first piece of good news. Anki’s breathing was back to normal and all her all medical conditions were stable.

    As Alaska was coming out of the ICU, she heard Ma telling Baba, “Promise me that you’ll never be mean to my daughters ever again…”

    Looking like sedated, he kept nodding his head.

    “I want you back at our ancestral as soon as Anki gets better. Not a day later. Is that clear?”

    And after a long time, since she left that dear home, Alaska felt like thanking God again.

    The end

  9. “Take one step at a time, and the future will unfold before me, sometimes brimming with joy, other times with tears. For now, my energy ascends, and I am ready to face what comes next because I know it is good, as long as I believe it is and as long as I believe in myself.”

    Thank you, Julie, for this last glorious prompt that allowed me to chart a short journey I have recently taken back towards optimism, of which the above is a short excerpt. I have loved all the story prompts this month, especially the flexibility and possibilities they have, meaning I can return to them many times to write new and varied stories into the future.

    I step towards more writing, more creativity and more ideas. Keep well, and keep going, fellow writers.

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