Extreme Writing Challenge #57: “Of Gin and Bravery”

I swear, the first and last sentences of a story are the WORST to write.  To make matters worse, I put off writing the last sentence of today’s story until returning home from running a 10K–plus walking two or three extra miles.  My brain is a little unhappy with me.

Today’s challenge is that one word in every sentence contains two sets of double letters, and none of these words are duplicated.

Now, did someone say “nap time”?


Tom tried desperately not to embarrass his new lover. He saw himself as another of her dazzling accessories. A man of success, Tom was as well-dressed as the president and didn’t look a day over 40. Yet his thirst for gin appalled even the thirstiest of the town’s drunks.

Tom’s motto was, “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy gin.” Raised in Tennessee by two redneck uncles, Tom believed the answers to any of life’s questions rested at the bottom of a gin and tonic. He and his uncles would drink until one of them passed out in a wheelbarrow in the middle of singing a television jingle.

Lucky for Tom, Melinda had no access to the details of Tom’s past. His uncles were both long dead, one from cancer and the other from a woodchipper incident. As long as he controlled his sloppiness, Melinda saw him only as a businessman who unwound at the end of the day with a few drinks.

Tom was thankful that the pizzazz of their lifestyle served as the perfect distraction. He accommodated Melinda’s every desire, from their monthly cruises to their reserved seats at the opera. Tom pitied the penniless drunks who couldn’t compensate for their nature. Before Melinda, he was plagued by aggression and self-loathing. He could snap like a frightened raccoon, mope like a disappointed toddler. He was on his way to becoming his own assassin, before Melinda.

As they lie on his four thousand dollar mattress, looking out over the mountains, Tom feared it was only a matter of time before Melinda opened her eyes. He sipped at his homemade cappuccino and stroked her hair as she slept. The moment was bittersweet.

Tom had always assumed it was the gin that made him bulletproof. Now the blurriness of reality was sharpening, and he knew it was not the liquor, but Melinda. In the stillness of the morning, he whispered for the first time that he loved her. A buffoon he was, for she didn’t hear it, and he would drive her away before he was brave enough to say it again.

Extreme Writing Challenge #15: “Sequoia”

Don’t you just love the days that involve an unexpected burst of creativity?!

I had a lot of fun with the challenge for today’s post (see above).  Can you figure out what it is?


The first time Charles and I kissed was against the cool, knobby trunk of a sequoia.  It was so quiet that our swirling saliva echoed against the air.  The time I had spent curious about which direction his tongue would move or what he would taste like was now nothing but an abstract memory.

We had been at a plateau for so long that I wanted our kiss to answer all of my questions.  Would this become more serious than just a kiss against a tree?  I forced myself to stay in our harmonious bubble, where I lingered in each second as if time had stopped.

When we stopped to catch our breath, it was as if I was seeing Charles for the first time.  I reflected his infectious, goofy smile as we interlaced our fingers.

“Are you anxious?” I asked him.

“Is it obvious?” Charles asked.

“I’m nervous, too,” I said, “and a little queasy, but not in a bad way.”

“You’re as beautiful as this forest,” Charles said.

I felt rebellious standing with Charles under a thick, cypress umbrella.  When once he had graded my thesis paper, I had finally wooed him with a kind of charm he’d never find in a double-spaced dissertation.

“You’re so wonderful, you seem fictitious,” I told him.

“I’m just a liaison between a charming gentleman and a scared little boy,” Charles joked.

I asked if he still wanted to go canoeing.  We had agreed to be cautious and to take things slow, but even a whole day spent with him didn’t feel like enough.

“Normally, I’m impervious to romance,” Charles pondered.  “I shield myself from precious moments like an umbrella stops the rain.  But with you, every moment leaves me feeling vivacious.”

Our fingers still entwined, we headed toward the river with the delicious flavor of new love in our mouths.


This was the challenge:  in each sentence is at least one unique word containing three consecutive vowels.  As it turns out, the list of such words is rather arduous to work with (but not impossible!).

Before you go:  if you use Facebook, Impossible Words now has a Facebook page!  You can “Like” me by clicking the button to your right.  😀