Wednesday, August 17, 2022

WEP August 2022 Short Story Challenge: Moonglow by J.Q. Rose #WEP #shortstory #writeeditpublishnow #WEP2022challenge


The challenge writing prompt for August is Moonlight Sonata.

Welcome to the Focused on Story Blog!

This week I am participating in the Write-Edit-Publish (WEP) Challenge to create a story of less than 1000 words! This is the first time I have stretched my short storytelling muscles with this group.  

The August Challenge is scheduled for Wednesday, August 17- Thursday, August 19.  But I will leave the short story up until next Tuesday.

The prompt is Moonlight Sonata. 

The Write Edit Publish Now Site offers participants a few ideas to spark their muse---

There are a million potential ways to interpret this challenge - use the title to define your setting, a water body, a full moon, a floating craft, a romantic evening...

Use it to devise your character - a werewolf, a vampire, a modern-day witch/wizard...

Use the backstory to create your flash about circumstances scuppering a relationship...or a nickname coming to define something/someone...

Beethoven's life itself can inspire a thousand stories - listen to his music composed 200+ years ago and go where the muse takes you. And take us right along with you for the ride.

Click here to find out more about WEP and the challenges.

 I'm looking forward to reading tales of humor, romance, mystery, paranormal, historical and more.

Click here for a list of participating bloggers. Click on the name to take you to their story submissions.

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Moonglow Tagline: Romance and danger on a moonlight stroll through a college campus.


Wham! What felt like a load of bricks smashed into my back, slamming me into the shelves of library books. Sprawled on the hardwood floor showered by books from above, I rolled over on my back. A gorgeous man stood over me. Bright, green eyes registered his surprise. He was the clumsy idiot who knocked me over?

Mr. Green Eyes bent his tall frame down to my level and searched my face. “Are you hurt?” His hoarse whisper evidence he had remembered we were in a library where loud conversations are not allowed.

I didn’t care about conversations or that everyone in the room was watching us. I wanted to connect with the handsome guy with thick, black hair pulled back in a ponytail. A black t-shirt stretched across his broad shoulders. His left arm, circled with a sleeve of tattoos, clutched a pile of books to his chest.

I offered him my hand and he tugged me back to my feet. Smiling sweetly, I fluttered my lashes to hold his gaze. My expression transitioned from awe to distress as if I were in a lot of pain. I rubbed my shoulder to keep his attention.

“I think I fell into the entire series of Harry Potter books.”

Ignoring my silly remark,  he reached the reading table behind us in one stride and unloaded his books, then pulled out a chair. “Here. Sit here a minute.”

“Okay. Don’t worry. I’m fine.”  I stopped massaging my “hurt” shoulder and gave up the injured girl charade. His concern was real.

He grabbed the chair next to me and folded his body onto the seat. Jerking an eyeglass case from his front jean pocket, he slipped on thick glasses that magnified his green eyes. Adorable.

He lifted my chin with a gentle touch. Mesmerizing me with those green eyes, he said, “I am. so. sorry.”

Heat flushed my face. I stammered, “No problem. I’m feeling better now.”

He grinned. “I should’ve had these glasses on so I could see the call numbers on the books instead of squinting so hard and not paying attention to where I was going.”

“Yes, you should have.” Leaning my elbows on the table, I flashed a gentle smile to signal I had forgiven him.

“Let me take you for coffee tonight as an apology for crashing into you. It’s a great evening to stroll across the campus in the moonlight.”

I straightened up at that idea. Handsome guys asking me to go to coffee was not an everyday occurrence for this girl.

Evidently, he liked me with my auburn hair loosely piled on top of my head and my freckles dotting my nose and cheeks. Or was the reason for the invitation because he felt guilty for mashing me against the bookshelves?

“Thanks for the invite, but I have a paper due tomorrow.” This was a test, offering him a chance to get out of buying me coffee.

“Hey, you need to take a break after that fall. I bet you can  write better with some caffeine in your system.” His wink caught my heart. How could I refuse?

An hour later, we sat at a small table in the campus café. I sipped the cappuccino slowly to extend our time together.

“Thanks so much for the coffee. I do feel a bit perkier now and ready to get that paper done.” I slapped my hand on the table demonstrating my determination.

“I believe it!” He removed the large, framed glasses and returned them to the case in his pocket.

Taking a breath, he said, “I really enjoyed spending the time with you. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’m glad I bumped into ya’.” I watched his smile roll across his face.

“Nooo.” I grimaced. “They say a groan’s as good as a laugh, and that is definitely a groaner.”

His eyes sparkled with amusement. “Sorry,” he said with an exaggerated shrug of his shoulders.

He covered my hand with his. The tingling sensation lasted for only a few seconds, but it was powerful as it raced from my toes to the top of my head.

A bit flustered, I checked my watch. “Well, all good things must come to an end. And that paper is not going to write itself.” I stood and grabbed my backpack.

 “Hey, do you have a car? If not, can I walk you to your dorm?”

Was he asking me because he liked me enough to make this sweet evening together continue? Or because the university required students to be with someone after dark because the occurrence of crime and rapes had increased this fall.

“I’d appreciate that. My house is off campus, just a short walk from here.”

“Great. I’d be happy to accompany you, milady.” He bowed dramatically and allowed me to lead the way. I couldn’t help but laugh at his impish smile when he caught up with me.

We left the illuminated campus to take the shortcut to my house through the woods that edged the perimeter of the grounds. The radiant moonbeams lighted our way, the evening alive with romance.

With no one else on the path, we stopped. I breathed in the crisp fall air and rejoiced in the silence of the autumn night. Truly a special night together. He took my hands in his and pulled me close. His musky scent filled my senses. I stepped back to study his face.

Desire flooded through me. I couldn’t resist any longer.

I snarled and leaped, my fangs glowing in the moonlight.

* * * *

Word count: 930 words, NCCO

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Please leave your comments below. Do you write/short stories? What genres do you like to read? Feel free to leave feedback about this story. Have fun!!

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Pat Garcia said...

You really caught me by surprise with the ending. My heart was prepared for him to make a pass at her but I never thought that she was a vampire. WOW!
A well-develop story. Good job.
Shalom aleichem

Debbie D. said...

Welcome to the WEP Challenge. ☺ You caught me off-guard at the end! I was expecting a love story, but the twist was so clever. Good one!

Olga Godim said...

Oh-oh! I thought he would have those fangs, not her. That was a really surprising turnabout.

N. R. Williams said...

Haha, I didn't see that one coming. Poor green eyed guy. Well done.

Damyanti Biswas said...

Oh no! That ending... I did not see that coming! Kudos to this wonderful post.

J.Q. Rose said...

@Pat, @Debbie, @Olga--LOL...Loving it that I surprised you!! Thanks for reading!

@Nancy and Damyanti--Glad you enjoyed the story. Thank you.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Great buildup. I was expecting something dark, BUT NOT THAT. Nice twist~

Lenny Lee said...

The onset of a potential romance foiled by the attack of a lovely vanpirette. What could be better than that? Well written, captivating story. I love twist endings and for sure this has a big one. Thanks for a good read.

Elephant's Child said...

TOTALLY unexpected. I am smiling widely. Welcome to WEP.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Ha! Love the twist. Such a great and realistic romance and then boom. Too fun.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi JQ - I thought it was going to be him ... so great surprise - and very well written - cheers Hilary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Did not see that coming! I'm guessing she doesn't get many second dates.

Michelle Wallace said...

Wow - the element of surprise! I didn't see that one coming.
Well done!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Ah! The surprise ending. Excellent. I was completely pulled into this piece. Great entry for this prompt.

Mary at Play off the Page

L.G. Keltner said...

Talk about a twist ending! I did not see that coming. The two of them clearly had very differet ideas about how their evening was going to end.

Denise Covey said...

Hi there JQ. Welcome to WEP! So happy you joined us this time.

I commented the other day. I'm here for my second read through and didn't see it. Oh well. I LOVED this as I like to write vampires, too. Having her as the vampire, not him, added intrigue to your story. Great for the prompt.

Sonia dogra said...

The end was a huge surprise. I liked the build-up too. Absolutely unassuming and then Wham! There you go. Well done!

Nilanjana Bose said...

That was a brilliant surprise ending. And a great, tight, enjoyable flash. Well done! And welcome to WEP! Look forward to reading more.

Christopher Scott said...

Definitely, an unexpected ending to the flash fiction piece. Well done.

J.Q. Rose said...

What a delight to come back home after our trip to Illinois for a family wedding and discover so many wonderful comments. I appreciate every one of them!!

@Michael--Thank you.
@Lenny--You're welcome! and thank you for expanding my vocabulary to include vampirette...did you make that up yourself?
@Elephant's Chil--The story was fun to write. Thanks for the welcome.
@Sharon--Boom! Yes. That describes the ending for sure. LOL
@Alex--Hmmm. That may be the next short story. What about a second date with a vampire?
@Michelle--Surprise! Than you
@Mary Thanks so much
@LG--Yes, I love reading and writing stories with a twist.
@Denise--Thanks so much and for returning to write a comment.
@Sonia--Wham. Love it. Thanks.
@Nilanjana--Thank you for the welcome and for your kind words.
@Christopher--Thank you.

Ornery Owl of Naughty Netherworld Press and Readers Roost said...

Ah-ha, that is not what I was expecting! A marvelous surprise!

Sandra Cox said...

OMG. What an ending. Loved it. Totally surprised me.

Bernadette said...

Was dreading the ending expecting it to go a certain way. Loved the twist!

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