Writing Challenge – Inspired by the Stars

This is my second endeavor in the Sentry project. These stories are written alongside Bryan and Strubberg as independent endeavors. Today’s endeavor was fueled by cheap coffee and music provided by Lindsey Stirling (check out her stuff here). Check back every third Saturday for new Sentry Stories and feel free to join the process! Members pick a random “anything” to inspire our writing (this one’s was a photo of the galaxy from the Hubble Telescope) and we start writing at 12:00pm CST. The only rules are 1) the “anything” must inspire the writing 2) we can’t take longer than one hour and 3) the post must be less than 500 words. Bryan’s can be found here, Strubberg’s here. Comment on this post to learn more.

stars

Looking Up at the Stars

Not a single cloud obstructed the view. The hill was high enough that the city’s noise did not interfere either. Richard did not mind the city’s distractions so much, but the occasional silence was always appreciated, particularly for certain events. The trek up the hill was harder than Richard remembered. He had done it only the year before with little exertion. Granted the added weight of his satchel did not help. Still after staggered steps and a few needed breaks, he reached the top. The perfect spot as always, thought Richard as he began to empty the contents of his bag.

He spread the blanket on the ground flattening it out to ensure no corner curled or turned getting as much space as possible covered. Finesse was never Richard’s strong point, but he tried to arrange the chocolates, fruits, and cheeses he had brought as best as possible. The wine was cold enough to stay out next to the simple platter for a while. His arrangement would never make a section of the local paper, much less a national magazine, but he made it as appealing as possible. It was a special night after all.

Setting up the telescope was no trouble. He had done it a hundred times. It was essentially muscle memory at this point. Unlike, his childhood friends, Richard had never really had any interest in the stars. He never wanted to be an astronaut nor travel in space. He was content to examine the mysteries and pleasures of the ground he stood on. Of course, that all changed, as with most things, when she came into the picture. Lucy, the starry eyed girl, from astronomy class. He had taken the class for an easy A and had found her. To think that he had chickened out of talking to her. Thankfully, she was not as timid as he was concerning the opposite sex.

They became inseparable. Her fascination with the stars became theirs and what was originally a cheap first date looking at the stars became a ritual of their relationship. Which is why everything has to be perfect, thought Richard returning from his haze of fond memories. The telescope was perfectly aligned. Finding a few flowers nearby to enhance his arrangement, Richard sat down and waited for a specter that would never show. He could hear church bells from below start to chime. He checked his watch, 9:00 p.m. on the dot. “Happy Anniversary, Lucy, my star.” The words felt ripped out of him as he spoke. The ring from his pocket was heavy as he placed it in his palm. Five years married. Five years of holding hands and looking at the constellations were all he had before she was taken from him. Richard could no longer hold back his tears. He laid back on the blanket and looked up at the stars praying that one day he would be able to see them once again with Lucy’s hand clasped in his.

***

So that was my submission. Hopefully some of you like it and others can provide suggestions for improvement in the comments or want to learn more about this crazy experiment.

The Sentry Gathers…

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4 thoughts on “Writing Challenge – Inspired by the Stars

  1. I hadn’t considered the Up! parallel but definitely can see it here. I like that you’ve created a dynamic character with a range of emotions in the space of only 500 words.

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