Sunday, August 12, 2012

Six Sentence Sunday: Mothballs and Bourbon

Posted by M.L. Falconer on 10:26 AM

Hello everyone! 

Thank you for stopping by this week. I've been on hiatus for a while. Lots of overtime hours at the “paying” job has kept me busy and exhausted, so writing and blog hopping has been nil. I have missed out on L.J. Kentowski’s wonderful “What’s Your Take Wednesdays”, that one however is due, as much or more, to the challenge of it. Some really amazing writers over there can take a writing prompt and create a scene in moments off the seat of their pants. I wish I had that talent. I could percolate for a few days on a prompt and only come up with a meager attempt at something clever. However, L.J. I will try to do better in the future.

Because I didn’t get my name on the Six Sentence Sunday Linky list this week, I’m going to cheat. This is much longer than six sentences. This scene from Squishing Whistle Pigs comes after Rachael, Ben and the kids reach the church. My favorite scene from Squishing Whistle Pigs, which appears just prior to the one I'm about to post, I’ve already posted many weeks ago and it can be found here. It can give you a bit more build up. It’s also more than six sentences, though quite short and very funny!

In this scene, Ben enters the church for the first time. I have drawn from a variety of personal experiences with my visits to several different churches and created this scene, so all this stuff actually happened to me at some point in my personal, spiritual search.

“Ben?” Rachael stands by the double doors. She motions with her head that I should join her. A staunch gentleman stands on her left. Nice shirt, tie and Dockers. “This is Pastor Hinckley and his wife,” she says.
            I shake his hand. His wife is elegant, and drop dead beautiful. She winks at me through seductive eyes. I feel like a schoolboy and step on my tongue when I move forward to greet her. Her name is Secret. I wonder how many she had and if she’d be willing to tell me.
            The people inside didn’t resemble my anticipated church going fare.
            We meet Billy Thomas in the foyer just outside the Chapel. Afterwards, he staggers into his pew reaching out for it as if to stop it from moving. He smelled of mothballs and bourbon.
            Sue Swanson meets us in the aisle and introduces herself. She shakes my hand and won’t let go. Her eyes rape me. It felt appropriate to offer her a cigarette when she finally let loose. Her husband takes her by the hand. He smiles at me and then leads her away.
            I enter the pew after Rachael and the girls, squirm against the black cherry wood, and then settle in. I can’t beat away thoughts of overdraft fees, and repo notices. Troubles had piled up like cold Hoary Marmots. They wouldn’t stop popping in and out of the holes in my brain. I imagine the little boy stomping on them.

I hope you enjoy this short passage. Thank you again, so much for your visit here. Please visit the official Six Sentence Sunday site for more great writers who actually follow the rules, and click on some of my favorite Sixer’s here: Wendy S. Russo, L.J. Kentowski, Loni Flowers, Kelly SeguinMae Clair, Daniela Renelt, Karen de Lange, Mackenzie Crowne, and Steven Montano.  

Your comments are very welcome. I'm very fond of them so please leave a word or two. 


I love the description you give from the way the women look at Ben. This one in particular stands out to me.
"Her eyes rape me. It felt appropriate to offer her a cigarette when she finally let loose."
Excellent job Mel.
I do have a question. What is the meaning of this title, Squishing Whistle Pigs. It feels like a tongue twister to me when I try to say it LOL. It's very unique.

Awesome excerpt M.L.! I loved the descriptions of the feelings he got from the greetings! The cigarette comment was hilarious! And thanks for the shoutout about WYTW! You're takes are better than you think they are :)

Amazing, the way you spin the threads in the scene prior to this, and then reel it all in at the end of this one - "running in and out of the holes." "cold Hoary Marmots" I'm speechless. I feel like I know exactly what your character is experiencing - Sue: the certain lewdness that often comes with piety. I feel the intense need to wash my hands now. Seriously.

Head spinning. I loved this excerpt, M.L. A beautifully descriptive laundry list from Peyton Place, I think. I normally copy/paste my favorite line or two here in the comments, but--there are so many! Schoolboy stepping on tongue, her eyes rape me, and offering a many!

I think you have a gift. :-) Nice six!

I will have to make a note to go to L.J.'s blog on a Wednesday. I have had the best intentions, but mid-workweek gets so crazy. :-)

Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I'm very worried about this one. It didn't go over in my critique groups at all due to the religious nature of it. It's so great to get unbiased opinions on the writing and the story with out the religious vices getting into it. It really isn't about bashing religion, just a commentary on how, through my search for spirituality, I've discovered that I believe God is within us much more so than in organized church buildings.

Loni: thank you so much for saying so. Those descriptions gave me a lot of grief from critique readers, but they really happened to me. I wanted to show that church going women are not all holy and righteous. As far as the meaning of the title, it will reveal itself throughout the story … There was a quote I read once, though I can't remember it word for word or who said it, but the jest of it was that troubles are just annoyances that we need to squash and move on. Whistle Pigs are about as annoying as any little creature you can find. It's about, not sweating the small stuff, and trying to come to terms with the idea that everything is really small stuff in the bigger picture.

L.J.: you're very welcome L.J. I love your WYTW's. They kick my butt though. And now I’m a huge fan of Dana's “Shorts!” where you write a very short story beginning as close to the end as possible. I would never be able to attain her level of amazingness at it though.

Dana: I'm so glad you get me. I put those little clues all through this story and many people miss them all together. At least the readers in my critique group missed them. Maybe I needed a better critique group. Lol …. and if I made you “feel” the need to wash your hands because of our friend Sue, in an odd writerly way, that is a major compliment and I'm grateful for it. ;)

Teresa: I've not seen Peyton Place but now I’m curious. Thank you so much for the wonderful words. Writing is really feeling like a gift to me again. ;)

I'm late checking in, but I had to tell you what an amazing excerpt this was. Seriously. Just jaw-dropping descriptions and insights that are razor sharp. They make me want to wallow around in your prose and soak it up like a sponge. Bravo, M.L!

Hey M.L. Missed you this week. How are things? :-)

Thank you so much, Mae for the wonderful comment. That really means a lot to me.

Hi Teresa. I went for a weekend get away this week. Had an amazing time. I'll be back to posting next week. Thank you for checking in. I'll browse through all the great SSS posts this week.

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