Friday, November 12, 2021


Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:

persevere ~ pebble ~ swamp ~ steps ~ annoying ~ foreshadowing

It was submitted by: 

She woke up from a nightmare that morning and the leftover anxiety from being jerked from sleep with her heart racing in a cold sweat had been eating away at her all day like an annoying pebble in her shoe digging in harder the more steps she took. Her work day drug on, and the more she tried to fight back that nagging feeling of dread the nightmare left behind the more it stuck.

And now she was sure, SURE, something bad had happened. Or would happen. There was simply no way to shake it off and persevere.

To be quite honest she didn't even remember what the dream was actually about which just made it worse. How are you supposed to understand the things you're feeling if you can't even remember what caused them? How do you prepare for The Bad Thing™ if you don't know what it could be about?

So with each minute bringing her closer to losing the battle with a panic attack, she told her boss she had a migraine and went home for the day determined to figure out what was going on with her brain. Maybe she could take a nap and reset.

The drive was uneventful. Mostly she didn't even remember how she got to her street, but the moment she made the turn into her driveway she got a flash of her nightmare. A swamp. At night.

As she turned off the engine and reached for the door handle, she heard a scream and jumped so hard she nearly hit her head on the roof of the car. Her heart raced and that panic attack felt closer than ever, but when she looked around looking for the source of the sound, all she saw were some of the kids in the neighborhood chasing each other from the bus stop.

This better not be any be kind of foreshadowing, she thought. "I can't take this shit. Not here. Not again."

With her bag in hand, she made her way in the house and grabbed a cold soda from the fridge putting it against her forehead for a minute to help ease the ache that had suddenly hit. She popped the drink open and grabbed a couple Excedrin from the medicine cabinet.

She wasn't going to have a fun night. On the plus side, though, she actually hadn't lied to her boss....

Which meant... Which meant she was seeing or sensing things that were going to happen.


Tiredness and ache hit her like a freight train, and she pretty much collapsed on the couch. She had no memory of the time that passed until a forceful knock woke her from her nap.

Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, she passed over to the door still in her clothes from work looking a hot mess and peeked through the peep hole.

A neighbor.

Before she could open the door, the man on the other side starting knocking again and begging for someone to answer him.

"Yes?" she called. "Can I help you?"

"Please. Please open the door or just tell me if you've seen my daughter? Her name is Megan, and she never made it home from school today. I have a photo."

She opened the door and took a peek at the photo. One of the girls running from the bus stop earlier. She heard the scream again inside her head. A whiff of swamp. Red. Swirling. A man. A stranger. Help me. Her thoughts melded together until she collapsed against the man in her doorway.

She looked up at him, frantic.

"We have to hurry."

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado

On the Border

Wandering Web Designer

What TF Sarah

Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. I hate that feeling of dread, knowing something's going to happen but not knowing what.
    I don't know if you intend to continue this story, but in my mind they found her in time.

  2. That is terrifying! I hate dreams that feel like they have meaning that I just don't understand!