January Writing Challenge: Honorable Mentions — Haley Duncan and Alison

These entries from January's challenge were selected as Honorable Mentions. Those who completed  this challenge are now encouraged to share their stories in the comments section of the "January Writing Challenge."

Haley Duncan


To say the least, the life of David Mitchell was rather monotonous. As a high school English teacher, his days consisted of teaching the same material repeatedly. Then his nights brought him new frustrations as he struggled to write a novel. To be rather frank with you, he was growing increasingly tired of his life. He felt like a hamster running on a wheel: staying busy but not getting anywhere.

His dull adult life was nothing like he had once imagined it would be. Though we all have big dreams as a child, David’s were extraordinary. His younger self would be so disappointed if he could see himself now. But there wasn’t much he could do. His need for an income was larger than his need for adventure. So, he forced himself to work tirelessly doing things that he didn’t enjoy.

Every now and then, though, the world works in our favor. One ordinary day at David’s workplace, a spectacular elderly lady named Mabel arrived to serve as the school’s new librarian. Being the literature lover that he is, David always makes friends with librarians. Thus, whenever she entered her new library that afternoon, he was right behind her, making her feel welcome and loved.

“What made you want to come to this small town?” David asked Mabel. He had lived in the area all his life, but he had never seen her before.

“Something just drew me to it. Must have been destiny.”

David wasn’t one to believe in destiny. Therefore, he laughed briefly under his breath as Mabel straightened up her new office.

“I’m always looking for new things to read,” David said. “Do you have any suggestions?” He loved getting book recommendations from librarians. Their knowledge fascinated him.

“Actually, I do! But I’m afraid they probably don’t have it on these shelves. It’s quite rare,” Mabel replied enthusiastically. “But I always have a copy of it with me. It’s the best thing I’ve ever read, so I naturally keep it with me at all times.”

“Splendid.” David beamed as Mabel reached into a bag she had brought and pulled out the book.

“Be careful with it. It’s precious,” she said as she handed him the book.

“Well, I’ll catch up with you later then. I better get home. See you tomorrow!” David smiled as he exited the library.

Later that night, he sat down in his favorite chair to begin the book. But he noticed something peculiar about the cover. It had no title. The only thing on the front of it was the author’s name, who he noticed also had the name Mabel. He didn’t question it, though. He started reading the book like normal.

Halfway through it, he already felt like a changed man. In the beginning, the book had just seemed like a simple tale about a princess and a prince. But he soon figured out that it was so much more than that. It transported him back to his youth in a way that he hadn’t expected.

It took him almost all night, but he finished the book. After doing so, he felt like his life had changed. That next morning, instead of going to work, he called in sick. He no longer wanted to waste his life doing a job he hated.

So, he decided to do something spontaneous. Without even putting on shoes, he grabbed this amazing book, his favorite chair, and his incomplete mess of a novel and headed towards a forest trail near his home. When he reached the middle of this trail, he took a seat in his chair. Then he took his novel and threw it everywhere, letting the pages follow the breeze. Holding Mabel’s book above his head to avoid falling pages, he sat there feeling so much elation that he felt like he was in a dream. It was at that moment when David began to believe in destiny.





Words & Memories

one word
SO much meaning
A life
A summer
A new
One for you
and one for me
no one else
could see
the love
oh the love
it grew
so big
too big to contain
it burst
leaving no one
or alive
at sea
I breathed
I smiled
I had
been alive
but that
was just one summer
now it’s gone
just like you
just like
the words
the memories
with each day
running away
your memory
to me
just a boy
in love


Leave a Reply