The Jumbled Mess Blog Tag


I’ve been tagged! (And this is my kind of tag.😎) Thanks, Vonnie!

THE RULES

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post. (Because you’re supposed to be grateful and nice!!)
  • Link back to the tag-creator, A.Y. Daniels @ The Journey to Write, and add the tag graphic somewhere in your post. 
  • List the rules near the top of the post.
  • Include the Follow the instructions.
  • Tag at least 5 bloggers. (This tag works for those who only run newsletters, too! Whoever you tag will need to be notified by some means outside of the newsletter.)
  • Share a clean copy of the edited instructions (you’ll edit Step One) at the bottom of the post.
  • You can participate in this tag multiple times or without being tagged! If you weren’t officially tagged, thank and link back to the blogger you heard about this tag from. 😁

THE INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Write a poem (100-300 words) using the five words that you’re given.
    It was a lovely summer’s…
  2. Include three prompts, each structured like so: FOUR random words, TWO dialogue lines, and ONE “must-include” item. Now write a flash fiction (500-800 words).
  3. Pick up the book that is closest to you (digital doesn’t count) and put the first FIVE words as the prompt in Step One, and let your readers know which book you pulled them from.

It was a lovely summer’s morning

Sunlight flamed across the clouds

The leaves were green, the flowers blooming

Quiet birdsong filled the air.

It was a sunny summer’s midday 

Clouds were gone, the blue sky out

Sunglasses shielding from blinding rays

The squirrels chattered and sought shade.

It was a busy summer’s afternoon 

Filled with swimming, walks, and laughs

The coolers fast running out of room

Bursting with fresh treats and ice.

It was a peaceful summer’s evening 

The wind whispered through the trees 

The crickets played hide and seek and sang

Crimson sun sunk out of view.

It was a quiet summer’s night

Stars twinkled in velvet sky

The owls hooted softly in their flight

And so, the day starts over.


My prompt:

Siblings, Lost, Assurance, Quilt

“I…” “I just… I wanted…”

And must mention a water bottle.

(This went waayyyy over the 500-800 word count. 🫣Whoops. 😂)

The people in stories make it seem so easy. 

They always get right back up with a grin. They make the worst things in life seem easy. The same as before.

I can’t figure out how they do it.

Ever since the accident, nothing has been the same. A simple task now takes me up to an hour to accomplish—if I can even do it. I can’t even tie my shoes without having to try again.

A black curtain now hangs over my vision where there once was color and life. Light. 

Ironic, isn’t it. 

The last thing I ever saw was light. The reason I’m now stuck in this lightless life. 

I pull my legs up against my stomach, picking at the rough cloth of the quilt under me. An ever-familiar lump clogs up my throat, and I swallow hard.

Even worse than my sight… the accident stole something else away from me. It stole my parents. It shredded my life apart.

A few short seconds. A patch of ice, a horn, and a flash of light. They stole everything from me, twisting my life up faster than I can blink.

Leaving me lost and alone. 

Not alone, a little voice whispers inside me, but I push it away. 

Steven doesn’t count. 

I scrub my hands across my face, trying to stop the flow of warm tears.

My big brother hasn’t counted as anyone for a long time. Not when he didn’t even care to visit once in the four years since he left.

I barely remember what he looks like. I hadn’t seen him since my eleventh birthday, the day he moved away to college and forgot about us.

And then he had suddenly shown up in the hospital, his quiet voice exactly the same as when it used to have me rolling laughter.

I suck in a shuddering breath, leaning my chin against my folded arms. 

He had never wanted to see me before. So why did that all change after the accident? 

Did he feel guilty that he hadn’t spent more time with us? Was he trying to make up for all things he had missed?

Because it isn’t working.

“Micheal!”

Speaking of older brothers…

I quickly clear my throat, dashing my sleeve across my face. “I’m in here!” I call, standing up and reaching for the doorknob that was supposed to be somewhere nearby. 

No need. 

The hinges of the old door creak loudly as it opens and sends a blast of cold air in my face. I step back involuntarily.

“Mikey?”

Something twists inside me when he calls me that. The nickname he had used unendingly when I was little. Before I suddenly wasn’t important to him. 

“You need anything?”

I turn my head away from the sound of his voice, trying to hide the sudden burning in my eyes. 

The floorboards creak in front of me, and suddenly there’s a hand on my arm. I can’t help but jump. 

The grip tightens and Steven’s voice speak softly.

“Is something wrong?”

I want to say yes. I want to be able to talk to him. To be his little brother again. But something holds my tongue and makes my words grow cold.  

“No. I… I’m fine.” 

Suddenly, all I want to do is leave. I jerk my arm out of his grasp and push past him, nearly smacking into the doorframe before I can orientate myself. 

I make my way down the hallway as fast as I could, tripping over the rug I somehow forgot was there. Not even bothering to grab the cane Steven makes me use, I reach through the empty dark for the front door. My fingers brush against the doorknob and I yank the door open.

“Mikey! W-what… Wait!”

I let the door slam closed on his words.

Stumbling down the front steps, I reach for my house’s smooth siding and let it guide me around the building to the large field that forms our backyard. 

I brake into a run, stumbling through the empty dark and over tufts of long grass. I may not be able to see where I’m going, but I know the field is free of trees, and for the moment it is as alone as I can possibly get. 

I sprint on, stumbling, tripping, and picking myself back up again. Over and over. As if I can outrun these past few months and outdistance the shadows clouding my gaze.

For a split second, with the wind rushing against my face and the rough sensation of grass and dirt under my bare feet, it almost feels like things are how they used to be.

Like I can still see if I opened my eyes.

Like Mom and Dad are still alive, and I don’t have to try and figure out what happened with Steven.

I trip over a rough stone, twisting my ankle sharply and falling to the ground. 

Except… there is no ground beneath me.

I fall through empty air, tumbling and tripping down a steep incline. Sharp stones stab my back, my shoulders, then my back again. A cry escapes me as I tumble through the dark. 

I land with a crunch in an empty black void. 

For a minute I just lay there, all thoughts fading away, gasping to try and get air back into my frozen lungs. I blink hard, the world spinning somewhere beyond the curtain blocking my vision.

Finally, I’m able to push myself up onto my elbows, sucking in a huge breath with a wince.

Where did that come from? 

There are no gullies in the back-field. Not even the slightest bit of a hill. But I didn’t even go far enough to leave our property. Did I?

The realization hits me with a jolt that sucks the air from my lungs.

I’m lost. Completely lost.

Panic rushes through me, and I try to scramble to my feet. But as soon as my weight hits my ankle, a deep burning pain shoots up my leg. 

I cry out, crumpling back to the ground. 

Sweat beads across my forehead and I grimace, squeezing my eyes shut. I take a deep breath, waiting for the pain to subside before I try again. But the moment I shift it, the burning fills it once again.

Another wave of panic flows through me, even stronger than the last. I’m stuck.

No, no, no. 

I feel around me frantically, trying to figure out where I am. To find a way to get home. To… to… I drop my head in my hands with a choked sob.

Steven probably won’t even come looking for me. It’s not like he cares. 

That’s when a crackling noise fills my ears. Followed by the sharp sent of smoke drifting through the breeze.

Fire.

The crackling noise grows, popping and snapping, filling my ears. There’s… there’s a fire. Somewhere close by. Making it’s way towards me. 

Smoke fills my panicked gasp, sending me into a fit of coughing.

I’m trapped. Alone. Surround by a wild blaze. With no one to save me.

“Micheal?” 

A shout rings through the trees, breaking through the blurred haze of my frantic thoughts.

I lift my head and open my eyes, forgetting for a moment that nothing will meet my gaze but emptiness. 

“S-Steven?” I manage, my breath catching as the crackle of the flames grows louder.

“Micheal!” Footsteps crunch towards me, my brother’s voice filling my ears.

I try to turn towards his sounds, but my foot strikes a stone and pain shoots through it again. Panic overwhelms me and I can no longer keep myself calm as another smoky breeze rushes by.

A voice cuts through my panic. “Mikey, it’s okay.” Strong hands grab my shoulders, and the grass rustles as someone kneels beside me. “You’re safe. They’re burnings some old brush, that’s all. A controlled burn.”

“S-Steven,” I manage, clenching my fists. 

I shudder, and he pulls me into a hug. He must have felt the way I stiffened, because a small shudder runs through him as well. “You’re safe,” he repeats softly, “it’s far from here.”

I nod jerkily, and he squeezes my arm. “I promise I won’t let you near it,” he whispers, his voice slowly calming my jagged fear. “And I didn’t even bring a water bottle.”

Something about his quite assurance—and his mention of what used to be my absolute least-favorite prank of his—breaks the last of the walls I had built up against my brother.

I collapse against him, all the fear, the pain, the awfulness of these past few months bursting out of me at once.

Steven tightens his grip on me, rocking me back and forth like he used to when I would sneak into his room after a nightmare.

I can’t even begin to tell him how much I missed this.

“I’m sorry,” I whisper, choking on a hiccup. “I just… I wanted…”

“Shhh. It’s okay,” Steven stops me, his hands gripping my arms. “If anyone should be sorry, it’s me. I’ve been a horrible brother. And… I’m sorry that it took Mom and Dad… leaving… for me to realize that.” He wraps his arms around me again, and this time I return the hug.

“Come on, Mikey,” he whispers, looping my arm around his shoulders and helping me stand. “Let’s go home.”


Well, that’s it! Thanks again, Vonnie!

I’ve got no one to nominate, so if you see this and want to try it out, feel free!

THE INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Write a poem (100-300 words) using the five words that you’re given.
    It is a truth universally (From Pride and Prejudice)
  2. Pick up the book that is closest to you (digital doesn’t count) and put the first FIVE words as the prompt in Step One, and let your readers know which book you pulled them from.
  3. Include three prompts, each structured like so: FOUR random words, TWO dialogue lines, and ONE “must-include” item. Now write a flash fiction (500-800 words).

5 responses to “The Jumbled Mess Blog Tag”

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