Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Life of Discontent, A Saturday Centus

Jenny Matlock

Here I go again, back at it again for what I will call Saturday Centus plus a day!  Yes, I am a little bit tardy this week, but at least I made it while it is still week 39!  I couldn't let my buddy Judie down after she did such a bang-up job on this week's prompt!   Thanks Judie!

One of the wonderful things about this writing exercise is that our host lets you have a whole week to post a story, so even if you post your Saturday Centus on Sunday, that doesn't make you a total dweeb.  (Well, not total, anyway.) 

So if you have other urgent matters, such as a school paper you need to write for example, you can go ahead and take care of that before submitting your story and the kindly, understanding Centusians who follow and contribute to this meme will not think any less of you. 

Generally speaking.

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with this fun and challenging literary meme from the endlessly creative mind of Jenny Matlock at her blog, off on my tangent, here are some other things that probably haven’t reached you there at the rock you've been living under:

Dubya is no longer President of the United States. (Yes, the long national nightmare is finally over.)

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series. (Seriously, I kid you not!)

Martha Stewart was arrested and sent to prison. (Dick Cheney, on the other hand, was not.)

Avatar, a movie about tall, ugly phonies trying to fit in with an alien culture, became the highest grossing movie of all time. (In related news, Paris Hilton is still irrelevant.)

The most popular reality television show is currently “So You Think You Can Fart.” (Okay, I admit it. That’s not true. It would be an interesting concept though.)

Succinctly put, as that is the Centusian way, the rules of Saturday Centus are that participants must write a very short story using a supplied prompt and no more than 100 extra words.  These stories must not include any vulgarity or photos and must use the prompt as written.  After writing your story, you must link it back to Jenny’s meme post so that others can share in your creative endeavors.

Special thanks again to guest prompt-giver-outer Judie from the blog, Rogue Artists, for supplying this week’s wonderfully challenging prompt.   The prompt is “She lifted the stack of letters from the ancient chest...”  I admit the first time I read it I pictured scrabble tiles stacked precariously on some mummified Egyptian queen’s boobage, but I decided to go in a different direction anyway.  (Oh, like you didn’t think of that too!)

Here is my latest 100-word effort.  I have entitled it:

A Life of Discontent

Aunt Eugenia was a nasty, old crone.  Mean-spirited and always ready with a harsh word or criticism, the family rejoiced when she finally died.  Her niece Sarah always thought it sad that the family shunned her, but after meeting her for the first time and being told she was fat and ugly, she thought better of it.

Cleaning out Eugenia’s cluttered hall closet, Sarah spied what looked like piles of envelopes sitting atop an old oak chest.  She lifted the stack of letters from the ancient chest and was astounded to find they were all rejection letters from publishers.

At last, Sarah had discovered the source of Eugenia’s bitterness.

Jenny Matlock

The difference between the right word and almost the right word
 is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug.

--  Mark Twain



  1. Damn publishers! This was a particularly apt use of the prompt Tom. And it probably struck a little too close to home for some! Loved the Twain quote. You sir, are always the lightening, never the lightening bug! Kat

  2. someone is always making someone elses life rotten. Great job.

  3. Well, now... There's something we can all relate to. I suspect Aunt Eugenia was heavily into the booze, as well. Good job, my friend.

  4. Hahaha! I love it!! I have only gotten one rejection letter, and that was over 40 years ago!
    Just as I expected, you did a wonderful job! Bravo, and thanks!!

  5. Well, that would do it for sure! Good one! :)

  6. What's life with out rejection? Pleasant, I would imagine!

  7. Ah, poor Eugenia.

    About that farting show....I think I could win.


  8. LOVE it, Tom.

    I feel her pain...


  9. We had Aunt Ginnie in our family but I'm pretty sure she never got a rejection letter from a publisher; she was just rotten that way. Even on her deathbed - I was but a youngun when she passed on and didn't know her too well but my grandmother always visited her even when she had nothing nice to say - which was all the time. I love how some guys have jumped in on the writing too - and I totally could see you writing the ancient Egyptian thing - I think you should still do it -the rules don't say you can't do more than one. I say do the Egyptian one and post it too - lol - thanks for sharing - E :)

    Elysabeth Eldering
    Author of the Junior Geography Detective Squad, 50-state, mystery, trivia series

    Where will the adventure take you next?

  10. Those fat and ugly publishers cause so much disdain! Great way to pull this together and explain everything in your last line, Tom.

  11. Oh this is good, I actually had to scroll up and make sure it was current, when I read the Martha going to prison, or could she have gone again! ha ha...great info, and Sarah is such a sweetie and poor old auntie and her words never sold! Great stuff! I just adore seeing how everyone runs with their prompt and we travel in so many twists and turns, it's a good day opener!

  12. Lovely short story Tom, reminds me of some relatives.

    I'd watch that reality show !!

  13. I guess a bunch of rejection letters could turn a person's soul, ha. Excellent take on this although I would like to have heard more about the mummy queen. Perhaps another time LOL.

  14. A heart hardened by rejection, so sad. As usual, your twist is just right!


  15. Great take on the prompt. It makes all the difference when you know the reason why. Isn't it true?

  16. I think I have an Aunt Eugenia.

    I just don't think her nastiness was because of publisher rejection.

    I think she was just a witch.


    But thanks for the possibility that maybe there was a reason driving her horrible attitude.

    Thank you for making me a better person with this post.

    I am forever in your debt.

  17. Great job...I think every family has an Aunt like that and no one ever finds out "Why?"

  18. Well done, Tom!
    I like this one!
    Best wishes,
    I'm sorry that I am commenting so late. I am going back to older posts that I have missed.
    Here is my SC-text:
    'Infrequent visitor' SC week 39


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