Writespiration #82.5 Opening and Closing Lines

Worst Open and CloseIt’s all been a bit serious lately, with heart break, discrimination and cliff edges, so this week something different.

Oh and my math might be bad, but I haven’t spontaneously jumped into decimal numbers for no reason. I’m cheating. I’d already scheduled 83 this week and changed my mind because tomorrow is my birthday and I wanted to play a fun game instead.

So what is this riotous affair I speak of? I’ve done worst opening lines, and worst closing lines before. But this time, I want both.

Your challenge is to write the WORST opening line to a story you can, and then write the WORST closing line to the same story.

The badder it is, the better, if I see even a hint of  good quality writing I’ll disqualify you faster than I can eat a family sized bar of chocolate, and don’t be fooled, that’s fast. Post both lines in the comments, or on your own blog with a ping back here so I know you’ve entered.

First in Marina, who hasn’t participated before, with this beautiful tale, and if you click her name you can read the full story behind it, so heart wrenching,

When you are thirteen, your cousin’s best friend is the knight from fairy tales: tall, dark, handsome, blue-eyed. How could he walk, talk, breathe amongst us mere mortals? And yet he looked at you, kissed you,  so you wrote to each other for two years. You lived for your brief meetings. No cross word ever passed between you.

You parted as good friends, moved on to other lives, other people, marriage, children, divorce, remarriage. You studied and worked in different countries, met again on LinkedIn. Grey hair, little paunch, wrinkles – and that’s just the flattering pictures. Older yet not much wiser, you knew he had been The One, but you were both too young to understand or to need each other all those years ago. No going back, no proof of discontent with your present life, but you wanted to let him know how you felt about him back then.

You let him in through a gap in your armour. You held out the shivering pulp of raw heart. You try to be fair, not see disgust or hasty retreat where none was intended. But the silence was thunderous.

abomination_scaled_finalNext in Jane, with a piece of full of loss and bitter sweet memories it is sure to choke you up. Stunning piece that reminded me of my own impassable bend. Oh and by the way, (she didn’t ask me to do this, but I figured I would anyway) Jane has just published her new book through Finch Books. I am reading it now, and you really ought to check it out… here.


You have both gone now, both buried in a corner of a churchyard that had never been yours. Beneath a tree, because trees don’t mind if you were Catholic or Protestant. Or foreign. Or if your living heart had always ached for a place not so far away, but unattainable. Trees understand and bow and bend and whisper in sympathy. You had both put down roots here, children, a scattering of friends, too much to let you pack up and leave when you retired. Too much, too late. The furthest you moved was to a small house down in the town to be close to the shops and the buses, pretending it was only temporary. But you stayed and you sighed, and eventually you died, and the setting sun carried all your longings away into the west.

We dry our tears, we children left behind, and walk up the steep hill out of the town, the road that curves and uncoils as it rises up to the moor. The house of our childhood is beyond the bend after the bridge over the disused railway, that peaceful, tree-filled gulf that has been silent since before we were born. We walk, remembering the way we poked our fingers in the holes of the millstone grit walls, remembering long-dead dogs that ran barking behind garden fences. We cross the bridge and remark how tall and dense the birch and hazels have grown, obscuring the valley bottom and the stream that runs there instead of railway tracks.

We fall silent when the road curves again. Beyond the last sharp rise we will be able to see the tiny hamlet and the house where our childhood ghosts still play. I hear the foxes playing on the lawn, see the dewy morning rabbits, the banks of opium poppies and broom, roses and laburnum, stone flags and apple trees. I hear the songs of bees and swallows and see white clouds scudding overhead in the summer breeze.

Soon, in a moment, the gentle barrier of time will fall, and harsh, brash reality will jackboot its way across tender memories. I will see what the new owners have done to the house in the ten years since you both moved out. I know, without ever having seen it, that there will be a garage now and a fitted kitchen, and your Victorian scavengings from junk shops, Dad, will have been replaced by furniture from Ikea. There will be a sterile lawn and a trampoline and begonias instead of the savage mass of vegetation you loved so much, Mum. I will feel the imprint of these unconscious Philistines like a physical violation.

I stop, we all stop, we grown-up tiny children. I shake my head and my siblings too hang back. I turn back down the hill, the last bend in the road impassable, like the entrance to a lost domain, my precious dreams, your dreams, clutched tight against my heart, safe from the shredding claws of disillusion.

Next up Geoffle, with a post and pictures that speak a thousand words. I really think you ought to have a look, instead of cutting all the paragraphs and piecing them together, I have copy just one paragraph of the moving post:

“Parents lie; but however consummate their lying they can’t hide their own hurt. It might be in the timbre of their voice, in the shape of their shoulders, in the stiff way they stir something as mundane as porridge.”

Go. Read.


Next up Judy, with a really amazing, but emotionally charged poem, prepare to be choked up

I thought my life was over

The day I walked away

Ten years down the drain

Nothing left to say

I gave you everything I had

My heart, my love, my soul

But, you had never loved me

Just wanted to be in control

The day that we got married

You said that I was fat

Just two guests at our wedding

It was over in 10 minutes flat!

Then you became possessive

And wracked with jealousy

Stupidly I was pleased

Thought it meant you cared for me

I always wanted children

You said you wanted none

Yet an affair I found out later

Had produced your eldest son

I really tried to make it work

But I became so trodden down

The final straw was knowing

That your wife had come to town.

I left your life with nothing

But a few clothes that I packed

And the freedom to be me again

And to never, ever look back!

Next in Jade, with her first entry to writespiration, and what a beautifully emotional piece.

I know it’s only been three weeks, but I swear I can still feel you kicking inside me. The doctor said writing in a journal would help, but it doesn’t. It doesn’t help knowing that my own body rejected you. You were my precious baby girl, who was supposed to grow up with springy little curls, curious hazel eyes, and all the energy of a small tornado.

The doctor said it was a tragic accident, but there are no accidents. The doctor said time would make it easier, but that’s a lie too.

I miss you so much baby girl. Some nights, I swear I’m hugging you, only to wake up in the middle of the night and feel the emptiness flooding back. Some mornings, I swear I hear you running lightly behind me, giggling in that innocence that you would have, only to turn and hear the silence mocking me.

I wanted you so much, baby girl. So much. But I wasn’t strong enough. I wasn’t strong enough to take care of you and bring you into this world, and now…now I don’t know if I’m strong enough to keep missing you.

Next in Lori, with this emotional rollercoaster of a true story

I met my someone playing an internet vampire game called Vampires: A Dark Alleyway back in the mid-2000s. We met in a chat room set up on a proboard site for the game. For the longest time, probably a couple of years, we remained in character only. My character and her character became lovers in the game. After roll-playing them for those two years, our “humans” (a term used to described the creators behind the characters in the game) became good friends. A romance struck up between us. So you can imagine my excitement when she made plans to come down from Canada to visit me.

Shortly after our plans were made, but before she could come for her visit, she lost her residence. She was homeless and living out of her van. I talked it over with my then-husband and we agreed. She would still come down to visit and could stay as long as she wanted. The moment we met, I knew she was my perfect someone, the one I had longed for all of my life. She was beautiful, witty and uber intelligent.

She became my saving grace as things with the then-husband progressed to a horrid state. He became increasingly jealous of my friend, even though he knew I was bisexual from the get-go. He also knew that she was a lesbian and that there was no way she would have a relationship with him too, which ultimately was what all the fighting was over. He and I had talked it all over before she came down from Canada, but by the time she arrived, he got it all twisted up in his head (or his dick) and decided if we didn’t share with him, he would make our lives miserable and then proceeded to do just that. After one horrible physical altercation where he threw me into a heavy wooden bookcase and injured my back, my new friend and I moved out and into an apartment of our own.

I hadn’t had a real home since I left my childhood home at the age of 17. I’d always lived in shitty apartments with barely enough furniture and even the house I lived in with the then-husband was a wreck since he was such a pack-rat. This wonderful woman created such a space for me. Believe it or not, all of our nice furniture was a result of curb-side finds and dumpster dives except the bed and the kitchen table. She cooked for me and kept the house clean since I was the only one working at the time. We lived in bliss this way for six months. Then I had a mishap at my job, got fired and we lost it all.

We ended up living back with the then-husband, but things between she and I worsened. She didn’t like him and she didn’t like the way he treated me. She also knew that she couldn’t keep living on no income and couldn’t find a job in the US. On my birthday that year, she got on a bus and went back home to Canada. I was devastated and slipped into a deep depression, so deep that it would take the next three years to get me out of it.

We managed an internet and phone relationship for a couple more years. During that time, we both ended up with uterine cancer, both had surgery, and both underwent chemo. Near the end of the chemo treatments, she stopped contacting me. For seven months, I heard absolutely nothing from her. I kept emailing her, sending her messages on Facebook, and even tried calling a few times. No response. She’d made new friends in Canada, was living with her mother and working in her mother’s shop. She didn’t need me anymore. By the time she finally contacted me again on Christmas Eve in 2013, I had already worked her out of my system through therapy and writing. I was still in love with her, but done waiting. She claimed that she wasn’t over me though and wanted us to pick up where we left off, but I just couldn’t. I treasured my growing sanity too much. I broke off all contact with her. She was the one who got away and will always remain one of the truest loves of my life.

Ladylee has joined in for the first time with this heart wrenching poem that you can find here.

Her heart is hard enough as it is
Her voice softens and opens up
Threading a tremulous quaver
Through its tranquil melody
As she wanders through the city
With all its baroque architecture
Customs and traditions they adhere
She remembers the times in their lives
When they used to wander together
When they were happy and inseparable
But then that love didn’t hold them together
There was something missing she can’t identify
Perhaps forgotten reveries and visualisations
They were not destined to be together

If it’s goodbye
Then they should do it right
She has no regrets
Thanking him for being part of her life
He made her happy, he made her sad
He made her care, he made her cry
But let him listen, can he hear that?
It’s her heart, smashing into pieces
She knows it will take some time
For everything to be alright
But one day, it will be fine
For now, let them part as friends
And leave some beautiful memories
Perhaps one day they’ll meet again

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  1. Wonderful writings from everyone here last week. Wow, some really talented writers are joining in 🙂 Thank you, Sacha, for the link up. Bad lines.. hmmm.. I will see what I can come up with. This may prove to be harder than it looks *laughs*

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My pleasure, Sacha. I am going to give it a try… I am such a perfectionist and majored in English in college.. I am sure it is going to be quite difficult.. but yes, maybe fun to just let loose for a change 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this challenge.
    Opening line…Ann sighed, she looked out of the window at the dreary, damp wet clouds, they were heavy with fat droplets of rain, she stopped listening to the teacher who was droning on about someone famous in another lifetime, and somehow let her mind drift to last year when her life changed forever.

    Closing line…the thing was gaining on them, they ran faster, jumping over dropped branches, Ann looked back to see how close it was, she glanced at Paul and caught her breath as he began to glow, she smiled, could they really make it in time? ….continued in book 2

    Liked by 3 people

  3. First thoughts

    In the beginning, the earth was void and without form, darkness was on the face of the deep, but after twenty-four hours somebody got the lights working.

    “I think that bloody darkness is coming b—”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Or perhaps the interpretation of the story…. Personally I prefer Zacharia Sitchen’s interpretation…. Of course even thinking that is blasphemous :p


  4. Couldn’t resist having another go.
    King Tron settled his crown straight, frowning at the ladder in his tights and sent his squire for a bottle of nail varnish.

    The battle was won, but King Tron frowned at the menacing darkness that still hung on the horizon, and the ladder that had started up the other leg of his tights.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. oh my days, this is abysmal! The repetition, the lengthy sentences, the utter chaos. I simply adore it. This is seriously cheering me up today. You, Madame Dougherty are on fire. ❤


      1. But no, but no! It’s awful because King Tron would have been stomping around his palace in golden full plate armour and he wouldn’t have SEEN that he’d laddered his tights. Apart from that, it’s beautiful, gripping prose. Isn’t it?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I mean yeah…. of course…. basically shakespeare. *cough* but a tights ladder….. OMG, sweating at the thought…. do you know whats worse? I don’t even own a pair of tights!!!!


  5. Happy Birthday!

    The day started out exactly as the day had before and the day before that. Nancy sighed as she looked out her bedroom window. The story of her life lacked a hook.

    “Good morning Nancy,” her mother called from the hall. “It’s another perfect day in paradise!”

    Oh yes, perfect, Nancy thought with a snort. If by perfect, you meant nothing ever happened and everyone was content.

    “You are going to sleep the day away,” Nancy heard her mom shout as Nancy pulled the covers back over her head.

    The day ended exactly as the day had before and the day before that.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. A dark, stormy day proceeding the hunt, wagging tails, beating hooves thundering the ground, the readying of guns.

    who outfoxed who?

    Gosh that is some sad writing, but honestly, I couldn’t think of what to write or how to write it… damn perfectionist grammar whore that I am

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Little Mrs Grandison, who was always known as such to distinguish her from big Mrs Grandison who wasn’t really that big, but always wore her hair in a beehive which was a very popular style then, crossed the Church behind a huge bouquet that dropped petals, leaves and water over her feet.

    Little Mrs Grandison tucked the secateurs into the font where, what with dropping numbers and so few baptisms no one would find them for an eon or two, and crossed herself before the altar in a defiant gesture that spoke more of ticking all the boxes than of religious observance before she left by the side entrance as it was furthest from that gruesome sight under its old-fashioned beehive.

    Anne Stenhouse (who’s just spent an eon selecting flowers for Sunday’s service.)

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you, Sacha, I enjoyed the challenge and it got rid of the frustration associated with doing the flowers. They didn’t fall over which is always my big worry as I’m an amateur flower-arranger. Anne

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this idea, and had a fun, yet surprisingly challenging time thinking these up. Ended up writing more on my recent post.

    But, to add to the topic:
    My mind raced like a speeding NASCAR driver rocketing down the road turning unsuspecting animals into gooey road pizza.

    And as I wrote “c=sin1” on question 50 of the exam, I looked back and felt supremely confident that the only question I answered on the test was correct. Maybe.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Once upon a time I wished upon an alien star to give my blogger bestie beastly inspirations, you know, like reptilian googly-eyed characters or maybe hot-mama androgynous Viking Argonauts to the cosmos, but I never dreamed in a million years it would bring me dark and stormy nights.

    Now I’m terrified to go to church or trust the government because aliens are real and aliens live in Idaho and screw it all, I thought I only had to worry about grizzlies.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oh, I LOVE this. ❤ I wrote a post two years ago about this — writing badly. It's not easy! (But it's fun.) So I'm sort of cheating because the first line is from that post but I'll make up a last line for you, too. Okay, here goes nothing…

    First Line:

    The waiting room smelled like cheap air freshener, fake rose and sickly sweet vanilla, mixed with the lingering scent of hopelessness as Tiffany and Pierce sat separated by loathing and distrust on a blue, faded couch.

    Last Line:

    And, as they walked home, holding hands, they knew they would be one of the lucky couples people envy as they gaze at each other over their half-full glasses of white zinfandel.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh, such lovely sad stories, all of them full of nostalgia – great writing as usual for your challenge, Sacha! Now, this week’s challenge – let’s see…

    It was a dark and stormy knight who rode in on a white horse to delicately scoop her up like ice cream onto a cone, skirts a fluttering as they rode into the sunrise.

    ‘I never liked ice cream anyway,’ he said, closing his visor with a snap as he rode stormily into the sunset, skirts still fluttering, leaving her there alone, or should I say, a cone.

    Not even sure if it makes sense 😀 Quite sure it’s awful though…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Here goes:

    The beginning:

    Princess Fluffy Wuffy Woos gazed adoringly into Prince Hunky Dunky Doos’ eyes and felt herself drowning, dripping deeper down into his soft, shiny, whiny, choccy, woccy eyes: it was love at first sight.

    The ending:

    Princess Fluffy Wuffy Woos gazed adoringly into Prince Hunky Dunky Doos’ eyes and felt herself drowning, dripping deeper down into his soft, shiny, whiny, choccy, woccy eyes – again.

    There’s nothing like taking a story full-circle back to the beginning 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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