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Tag Archives: 3 words 1 story

Learn | Window | Brussels

One window remained. The only window un-shattered. Our last window to freedom.

“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” I asked, as skepticism settled.

“We’re almost there,” Marie answered – too confidently for someone without a map.

“I think we’re lost,” I stated.

“We’re not.”

Marie tapped on her compass, signalling we were still heading north. North was what we were told to follow – go north and you’ll find the castle. But after three hours of trekking the Hallerbos, my doubts could no longer be silence. What was I thinking? Could we be walking into a German trap? Should we turn back? I hesitated to suggest.

“Marie…”

Marie hissed. “Believe, Camille. We cannot lose hope now.”

Hope – hope started this mad venture. It had us believing the whispers of a butcher, whose family had successfully fled to the United Kingdom. He claimed that they escaped through a magical window of an ancient castle, nestled within the Halle Forest. But as fictitious as it sounded, many believed him. And to add truth to his fairy-tale, those who left for Hallerbos never returned.

The skeptics theorised that the Germans had caught those who attempted escape. But the believers clutched at the promise of freedom. As Marie and I hoped to flee the war, we believed the story too. So, we packed our bags and traveled from Brussels to Hallerbos.

To some of the older Belgian folks, Hallerbos was known as a mystical forest. During a specific time of the year, bluebell flowers would carpet the terrain. In such great numbers, the deep blue and purple flora was said to be magical – it could bring forth or shadow what lay on the forest ground. But before the seasonal bluebells could lead us to the castle, it brought us the soldiers.  

“Down,” I whispered, tugging Marie to her knees.

I couldn’t see the armed men in their field-grey uniforms, but I could hear them. Their foreign chatter traveled between the tall, scrawny trees. And as their voices rose in decibels, my heart pounded deafeningly in competition.

“Where are they?” Marie mouthed.

In reply to her question, I snapped my head in all cardinal directions. But in hope of glimpsing the enemy first, I saw no one – not even a silhouette. With the disembodied voices and the trudging of footsteps growing louder every second, I froze in fear. And then, as though they had heard my racing heart, the soldiers halted their conversations.

Instantly, I lay flat on my stomach. I cupped my hands over my mouth and lowered my head. I prayed to be unseen. I wished for peaceful silence. Unfortunately, the crunching of dry leaves and broken twigs persisted. They drew nearer until eventually, I could sense the enemy’s presence. I could feel their movement. And I knew, they would soon find me. But like a child, I believed that if I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me too. What a naive notion it was, until the encircling bluebells rustled.

The flowers shifted, as though someone was moving through them. Stiff as a log, the bluebells brushed against my body. At that moment, I expected a painful jab from the end of a rifle. But as I waited, nothing happened. Did they not see me? With courageous curiosity, I turned my head to peek. And to my surprise, there was no soldier hovering above me. Cautiously pushing myself into a seated position, while I scanned the dense timberland, I heard no voice and saw no man.

Still, something odd was occurring. The bluebells continued to rustle with the sound of heavy footsteps. The flora parted, creating multiple trails that slithered away from where I sat. Then, after what felt like an eternity of the strange phenomenon, silence cloaked the Hallerbos.

“Marie,” I whispered.

Marie remained on her stomach, stifling what sounded like sobs.

Marie,” I repeated.

As I moved in to comfort her, a peculiar shadow caught my eye. It had emerged up ahead, veiled by a ghostly fog. It didn’t outline a castle, but was large enough to be what we were looking for.

“Marie,” I said. “I think… we found it.”

Marie peered up – cheeks wet with tears. As I pointed toward the silhouette, she turned her head and gasped.

“We… we found it,” Marie chimed. “Let’s go – the window is on the first floor.”

Without hesitation, Marie rushed ahead. Staying on her tail, I kept the silhouette in sight. As the fog around the structure began to thin, I squinted my eyes in search of the window. How it could take us to safety was no longer a question. All I hoped for, was the sight of the window itself. For if I saw it – the only un-shattered window – I would learn that the story is true… and that my faith had finally saved me.

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Learn, window, and Brussels were words given by iamvickiroberts. I chose to build this story around the location, because I don’t think I’ve done something like this before. I guess… it didn’t turn out so bad. And, I discovered the existence of Hallerbos – yes, it’s real, I didn’t make it up.

Now, it’s your turn. You have until the end of January to write a story of your own with the three words given. Oh, and if you’d like me to write a tale set in your country, leave 3 words (one of which being your country) in the comment section below!

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2018 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Original Works

 

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When Does Fiction Begin?

I know, for the last series of posts, there has been little fiction. I also know, that most of you, love fiction. So before I start writing fiction, I just thought I should set the tone for the year – to hold myself accountable to a new year of writing. And in order to do so, I’ve decided to share my blogging plans with you! But if I’m being honest, I simply don’t have anything else to write today – the holidays made me a little lazy – so this is a ‘cheat’ post. Nevertheless…

Based on the polls I ran a few weeks back, I’ll be producing two fictional pieces per month this year. One of which would be 3 Words 1 Story season 3, and the other would be 12 Genre Months. 12 Genre Months is another platform for me to challenge my writing and creative abilities – pushing past familiar settings to hopefully produce decent stories. You are invited to join me on this endeavour, as it’s always less daunting to embark on a new adventure with a friend. With two fictional posts a month, I’ll balance the remaining two weeks with my writing experiences (especially with a new book on the way) and inspirational posts.

As usual, when I retreat from reality for a vacation, there won’t be posts. Though, I will prioritise fictional content during those months. If life gets a little too hectic – which I hope it does when The Slave Prince launches – I might tap out for a while too. Those who’ve been around for years know I don’t miss a blog post unless I really have to – I don’t go absent without reason. But I’ll try… I’ll always try to give you something.

With that being said, I apologise for my laziness this week. After a slow, year end season, it takes a while to pick up momentum. But by next week, it’ll be full throttle. Thanks for sticking around last year, my dear reader! I’m looking forward to seeing more of you this year.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2018 in Others

 

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Freezing | Selfish | Shanghai

For the past forty years, I’ve been searching for the light – a radiant, almost blinding otherworldly light, that settled in the starry sky on a freezing Sunday night. I was nine when it appeared. It illuminated the moment I dashed into the cold outdoors – ignoring the hollering nurses on my tail – as I threw my gaze at the sky. With cheeks wet with tears – vision blurred in the concoction of anger and grief – I saw it. In my clouded and shattered world, it shone.

The light wasn’t man-made. It wasn’t the Christmas’ twinkling decorations, reflecting off the hospital’s glass panels. It wasn’t the glowing street lamps, nor the headlights of the passing cars. Those lights brightened the wintry evening, but were of no comfort to my broken heart. Except for the strange glow, reaching past the moon and the stars. It calmed my racing heart. It stopped the shaking of my hands. It cloaked me in overwhelming peace. And the impression it left, set me on a quest.

On the search for the brilliance of the unknown star, I ventured around the world. From the bustling city of Shanghai to the glass-like waters of Christchurch – I followed the trail of those before me. In my years of research, I’d learned I wasn’t alone – many others, from across the continents, have encountered it. So, I journeyed to where they all once stood – hoping to drown in the celestial radiance once more. But unfortunately, it has yet to shine.

The balcony where a man stood in Tokyo gave no view to the star. On camel back, along a Sahara desert trail – where a great gathering of incandescent bodies rested overhead – I didn’t catch its glimmer. Where, when, why, how – what was behind its appearance? I had no idea. I had countless questions, with no star to give me the answers. But the most unsettling of all – to those around me – wasn’t the star’s supposed existence. It was the reason for my obsession – why was I desperate to see it again?

It has come to a point where my pursuit seems selfish. It has consumed my thoughts, filled the pages of my many journals, and covered my bedroom wall. With years spent on this crusade, I’ve been told to stop – to live life like a normal human being. So perhaps it’s time I do so. Perhaps it’s time I live in the shadows of reality, embracing the hollow within. Perhaps, just like everyone else, I can embrace the turmoil of the world all by my self. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps so. But no. It’s not something I want to do. I won’t give up the light.

There’s an ethereal nature to light. The joy it brings when it brightens a tree in red, green, and yellow. The assurance it offers when it shines from the end of a dark tunnel. The warmth it produces in a deadened and cold room. The life it breathes to a broken and soulless place. Light comforts and secures. It gives sight – it gives hope. So, my dear Lector, don’t stop looking.

You’ve seen the light. And though you may not see it again, you know of the magic it holds. So don’t give up. Don’t let go of your belief. Because this world – this place we call home – is dark. It will always be dark – it will only get darker. And the only thing that can beat its darkness is light. So believe – believe and there’ll always be hope. Search and there’ll always be peace. Embrace and there’ll always be love.

Yours truly,
A Fellow Seeker Of Light

 

“He’s right,” I said, handing the delicate, moldy letter to my comrade.

“I don’t know – no one else has seen the light in centuries,” my comrade replied. “We don’t even know if this person ever found it.”

“We can’t give up. We’ve seen it.”

“We’ve seen a lot of lights this past few months.” My comrade gestured out the only window in the rented room.

Night had arrived in the foreign city. As day came to an end, its people rushed to the comforts of their homes. Vehicles streaked neon as they zoomed past. Buildings illuminated in gaudy colours. It was as bright as day, except for the darkness in the unknown below and the emptiness in the blackness above.

“Those are poor imitations of what we’ve seen,” I said.

“Imitations of what – reality?”

“Yes. What we’ve seen is real. We wouldn’t have found the letter if it isn’t.”

My comrade sighed. He retreated from the conversation and headed toward the bunk beds against the metallic wall.

“What time do we leave this godforsaken city?” my comrade asked, climbing onto the upper deck.

“Twelve noon.”

“Great. Wake me at eleven.”

“Eleven? I don’t want us to rush.”

“Rush?” My comrade chuckled. “We have plenty of time. I have a feeling… we’re going to be doing this for a while.”

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Freezing, selfish, and Shanghai were words given by Doreen. And since it’s the season of ‘lights’, I decided to steer the three words in that direction. Though, in all honesty, I didn’t see that ending coming.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. And… if you’d like to help plan for a new year of 3 Words 1 Story, head over here to leave 3 random words of your own.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Original Works

 

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[VOTE] 3 Questions For A Better 2018

I’ve been blogging for over 6 years now and truthfully, planning for the new year is always a challenge. With every blogging year being an experiment – attempting to balance fictional stories with relatable content, while juggling day job writing and personal book projects – I’m constantly hoping each of my blog post is of value. But to be honest, I don’t know.

I don’t know if you enjoy reading my posts. I don’t know if I’m boring you more frequently than I used to. I don’t know if you simply ignore the email notifications – classifying me as one of those people you used to read but not anymore. I don’t know if my words are impacting you positively. And with a diversity of readers, I don’t know how to appeal to all of you.

Back in 2016, 3 Words 1 Story was well received. There were comments, and many of you left 3-word suggestions. But this year, the engagement has dropped. I plan to continue the challenge because it helps me with my writing, but even then… I don’t know if you would continue to read them. It’s safe to say, blogging is tricky. And planning for the new year is even trickier. So here I am, again, asking for your assistance to help device my new year plan. How? With the 3 polls below.

To be able to create better and more relatable content in 2018, I need to know you better. I need to know what kind of reader you are and the type of posts you enjoy. If you’d like to share any further thoughts, please do so by leaving me a comment or dropping me an email. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love hearing from you. Your thoughts and comments matter to me, because you matter to me. So cast your votes below!

 

 

 

Thank you for ticking off your choices! They may seem like simple questions, but your answers make a difference. If you’d love to help me further, head over and contribute to 2018’s 3 Words 1 Story challenge prompts – I could use your creativity on this one too.

P.S Don’t you just LOVE how it snows on the blog every December? I sure do!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in Others

 

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3 Words 1 Story (Season 3)

I started the 3 Words 1 Story challenge in 2016, writing a total of 10 stories from the random words you provided. This year, I continued with the challenge – I’ve written 11 stories so far, and I plan to end the year with a final piece in December. Knowing how much the writing challenge has helped me – in my creativity and skill – I intend to go for a third season. But before I enter the new year, I require your assistance.

Truthfully, there’s no fun or challenge when I give myself a writing prompt. In fact, it defeats the purpose of the writing challenge. So while I plan for a new year of blogging and storytelling, I’m rallying you – in this rather random and boring blog post – to leave a collection of three random words in the comment section below.

Here are some prompts to help you choose three random words:

1. What did you eat for dinner?
2. Look up the synonym of a common adjective.
3. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
4. A word you heard that you’re too lazy to Google for its definition.
5. What is one thing you’d hate to receive as a gift?
6. An obscure word you found while flipping through the dictionary.
7. The first thing you see when you look to your left.
8. A place where you can be yourself.
9. How are you feeling today?

Do you have three words in mind? Leave a comment! No, leave two comments! Or, if you’re feeling it, answer all nine questions and leave three comments! I thank you in advance for your helpful and totally ‘random’ words. Hopefully, with your assistance, there’ll be enough comments to choose 12 sets of words before 2018 begins. Then, we can run this challenge together in the coming year. That would be way more fun, don’t you think? So let’s do this!

If you’d like to read the stories in the 3 Words 1 Story challenge, you can visit its dedicated blog page. But if you prefer a ‘book’ format, head over to Wattpad – the 2016 stories were published as a collection, and the 2017 collection will be released once the final story is written.

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Others

 

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Nightmare | Lantern | Murder

The three-headed monstrosity, with emerald green scales, wide bat-like wings, thick murderous whipping tail, and six pairs of black beady eyes, rose from its slumber. It shattered the still night – bursting through the glistening waters into the starry canvas above. Screeching in fury, it lowered its gaze at the sailing party that boldly awakened it.

“What do we do?”

“Cast the invisibility spell!”

“What? We didn’t summon it to hide.”

Beep, beep, beep.

“Use the lightning spell!”

Beep, beep, beep.

“Whose is that?” I asked.

Beep, beep, beep.

“It’s mine. Sorry guys, we have to end the game.”

“You gotta be kidding me.”

“I’m sorry. You know how my parents are like.”

I peered out the window of our wooden treehouse. The night was young – families still roamed the streets – with boisterous excitement in the air.

“The kids are still out. And your house is ten feet away,” I stated.

“It’s late. And I don’t want to die.”

“Your house is just there,” I repeated.

“I have to go.” He maneuvered past me – careful not to knock over our game pieces – toward the rope ladder. “I’ll see you guys at school, alright,” he added. And with that, he left.

“Buzzkill,” I murmured, rising to my feet.

The twins followed suit and we grudgingly descended, what we called, our ‘Adventure Fort’.

“See you guys on Monday,” I said, jogging to my bicycle.

“See you,” the twins replied in unison. “And don’t let the Jack-O-Lantern get you!” the twins added, cycling off in the opposite direction.

The murder had ruined a promising weekend. And honestly, I couldn’t understand the paranoia. People died all the time. Crazy people existed. To me, the commotion was exaggerated. Whether it was the Jack-O-Lantern or the Serial Santa, learning about another death by another killer was plain old news. I didn’t gasp, question, or cry. I was nonchalant – never a victim, but so was the majority. It baffled me that half the town wanted to cancel the weekend.

As I sped down the street, where parents ushered their children for their final ‘trick-or-treat’, I decided to ring a few doorbells. Knowing my parents didn’t mind if I stayed out late, I cycled into one, then two, and then three more driveways until my backpack brimmed with treats. After which, I headed home – it was almost midnight and my street had gone to bed.

That night, I expected nothing out of the ordinary. Strolling into my house, I shuffled straight to the dining room and emptied the contents of my backpack on the table. But it was then, I heard a noise. It was a series of thuds, alike a banging on the wall – muffled and periodic. It didn’t come from above, but below.

“Dad?” I called.

The thudding stopped. I shrugged it off and returned to separating my treats. The night was still for five minutes. Then, I heard another sound. This time, it didn’t come from below. As though something heavy was being dragged, my curiosity spurred my feet into action.

“Mum?”

I strode to the back of the house. Arriving in the kitchen, I fumbled for the light switch. But just before I made the flip, I caught sight of a figure in my backyard through a window.

The figure donned a red check shirt beneath a blue denim jumper. With a large pumpkin head resting on its shoulders, it hovered over a lifeless creature. Inching closer for a better look, the dead creature’s form came into view. It wasn’t a large animal, as I’d previously assumed – it was a person.

I gasped – hands cupped over my mouth. I didn’t know what to do. Should I run, hide, or call the police? Was the dead person one of my parents? No, it was merely a trick – an elaborate trick my father occasionally played on me. But, I hesitated. I didn’t dare to face the figure outside.

Backing away from the darkness, the kitchen lights flicked on. I jumped startled and spun toward the doorway. My heart pounded in my chest, as I stared at the person before me.

“You’re home early,” my mother said.

“It’s… it’s midnight,” I replied. Then snapping my head toward the window, I said, “There was someone outside.” Gesturing at the now vacant backyard, I stuttered, “I-I-it-it looked like the Jack-O. It wasn’t you, was it?”

“No,” my mother replied.

“We need to call the police,” I said. But just as I headed for the phone, my father stepped into my path. “Dad! Someone’s outside. You have to call the police.”

“There’s no one outside,” my father said. “I just came from outside.”

“So it was you?” I asked. Then gazing at him from head to toe, I noticed his brown-stained shoes and sweat-covered shirt. “What… what were you dragging?”

“Happy Halloween!” my father replied, with a childish grin. “I got you, didn’t I?”

“That was a trick?” I frowned – it was a horrible trick with no pay off. “But-”

“It’s late,” my mother interrupted. “You should go to bed.”

Before I could respond, my mother led me to my room. She didn’t answer any of my questions. And it became obvious. As the clocked ticked into the night, I laid still and awake in my feathered bed. I couldn’t sleep – not with the haunting sound of dragging bodies below. How many were there? I didn’t want to know. All I hoped for was day to arrive – the end of this nightmare. That’s right, it was simply a nightmare – a figment of my imagination, just like my three-headed dragon.

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Nightmare, lantern, and murder were words given by Kurotsuba. You might have noticed I drew inspiration from Stranger Things and the classic Goosebumps stories. As I didn’t have much time to work on this piece, I just went with the theme of the season. Hopefully, it isn’t too weak of a tale from being rushed.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. The real challenge is writing out of theme. I wish I had more time to do so, but perhaps you could give it a go.

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2017 in Original Works

 

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Bottle | Page | Mindful

My story began many years ago, when my people fled from civilization. They boarded great single-masted ships with a hundred oars, rowing themselves to an island I called home. As part of the nescient youth, I didn’t know the reason for their departure. The real cause of history skewed through generations, with many echoing old wives’ tales. However, I did know one thing. Constantly reminded by my mother and grandmothers, I knew to never leave the island.

The island was a beautiful place. We had lush greens, tall shady trees, and peachy beaches. The surrounding prodigious ocean unveiled the sun in the morning, shimmered at noon, and mirrored the universe by night. Our kingdom was magnificent, with wooden walls bound by flowering vines. It stretched across a valley and reached toward the peak of Gloria – the tallest of the three mounts. I loved the island and the sun-kissed people. It was home – a perfect abode. So, I embraced my ignorance. I wasn’t mindful of the past, until I found a glass bottle at the north beach.

I was on my return from a night’s work at sea. The sky was in its traditional hue of grey, gracefully transitioning to blue upon day’s arrival. Hauling my catch, I passed the bedrock by the narrow, sanded pathway leading toward the kingdom. It was there I found a corked, clear glass bottle secured in a crevice. Inside was a crisps, rolled piece of parchment. Mildly curious, I yanked the bottle free and carried on with my day.

As a fisher, my days often ended a couple of hours past noon. I would usually retreat to my wooden house – absent of my family, as their day had only just begun – to sleep till the moon clocked in. That evening however, I decided to stay up past my bedtime. Uncorking the bottle and retrieving the parchment within, I was alike a child eager for an adventure. But to my dismay, there was no treasure map. The parchment was merely a page, seemingly torn from an old diary. And though the writing was in my language, it was nonsensical. There was no message – nothing about it worth my initial excitement. Did someone lodge the bottle in the bedrock as a joke? If it was gifted from across the sea, did a child toss it in a game of make belief? Those were my thoughts.

We ate from the mouths of beasts. ran On fire. from Which the creatures of the sea have not birth. nothing We did meant anything. tangible They said it was. but Not without illusion. the Sky was more real than dreams. fear More elusive than hope. of Those who were ignorant. change Came for mankind.

We found the nest in the west. couldn’t See the light beyond. embrace The hidden jewels within. unity Of the people – we Found our treasure. secluded However, were the many souls. ourselves Beings of detached nature. from Then till now. the Creature ruled. world Was his.

We couldn’t grasps our freedom. didn’t Find the star. believe They kept saying. in Time the creature would free us. acceptance Of fate was reality. so Loss and lost and lose. we Died a many years. indoctrinated Through the imaginations of the truth. our Eyes can no longer see. young And fearless in obscurity.

We cannot live anymore. must Is only a word. arise From darkness is no man’s call. now A broken race without spirit. Leave no one ever said. the Ravings of madness in those words. ways Of the past is the future. of Many, many more. discrimination Is faith. and Acceptance is weakness. learn Not from the creature. to Live is not in light. love, Love, love only the night.

For two days, I left the page crumpled at the corner of my room. Then on the third day, I picked it up. I planned to toss it among the logs, set ablaze in the chilly weather. But before I did, I read it once more. And upon that read, I noticed something odd. The writing remained senseless – a poor attempt at a poetic adventure – but so was the structure. I was no writer, let alone poet, but I was educated. Calling out the repeated errors, I unintentionally uncovered the message in the bottle. It was a message I’ve heard before – a message that costed a young farmer his head.

That very night itself, I returned to the north beach. Along with my fishing nets, I brought the page – nestled in its glass home. I couldn’t share the truth, but I could pass it on. Perhaps another would find it in the bedrock. Perhaps more would uncover history. Perhaps then, we could change the future. But before such a time arrived, I was going to search. There was more to the farmer’s declaration. And I knew, I could never leave the island – not until I’ve read the entire book.

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Bottle, page, and mindful were words given by Vela June. There’s some ‘reading between the lines’ for this one, so do share what you’ve discovered – I hope this story isn’t as nonsensical as the message in the bottle.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. Also, to complete this year’s 3 Words 1 Story collection, I need two more sets of random words. I know, throwing the oddest collection of words into a comment can be quite a challenge. But don’t think too hard – just leave whatever comes to mind. Thank you in advance!

*To download the banner, left-click then right-click to save.

3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2017 in Original Works

 

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