Someone was Watching Her – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 13 December 2017, these three words were chosen:

  • Candle
  • Black
  • Wax

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



She made her way down to the tavern. The streets were rapidly emptying as everyone scurried to their homes. She adjusted the basket of bread on her shoulder, and went through the wide doors. Warm golden light and the smell of ale greeted her, and she relaxed. Walking up to the counter, it was several moments before she realized someone was watching her. It was several more before she found him, sitting in the darkest corner, his eyes glittering like gems. A single candle flickered in front of him, the wax oozing down the sides. She was disconcerted when she saw it writing and looping on itself to form the likeness of a beautiful flowering vine.

“Do you like my work?” a voice issued from the shadows.

She averted her eyes, and dropped into a shallow curtsy more as a reaction rather than a gesture of any respect.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean, sir,” she murmured, and though she was no longer looking in his direction, she could plainly see the wax dripping into a perfectly normal puddle in the saucer.

“I’m sure you don’t,” the voice agreed.

She turned to continue to the bar to drop off the bread for dinner, and found herself confronted with a massive black wolf, its golden eyes level with hers and a pink tongue lolling from its mouth.

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Carson’s love interest reached deep into her bag and pulled out a black candle. I couldn’t help but raise a brow. Where I’m from, that it not generally a good indicator. But since we were on Earth’s plane, I found it hard to believe that the pretty dark girl could do much more than stink up the quaint coffee shop we were situated in with random herbs and scents of burning waxed. I wondered if the proprietor would even allow for burning candles. I took a sip of my coffee and realized that it had gotten cold while I drooled over the pink girl. In a lovely accent, she kept chatting away at her dark-haired friend who seemed bored really, as she set the candle on a napkin between her and Pink and lit it. She leaned in to the candle whispered some words tossed an herb on, saw that coming, and then smiled at Pink who kept talking. I realized that there was now no sound coming out of her mouth. I sat straight and took a better look at Carson’s girl. She nodded and smiled at Pink but I knew damn well she couldn’t hear anything. I glanced around but no one else seemed to notice that lack of noise. Well, hell.

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Mari realized talking Cara down from this euphoric high she had from Brad’s spell wouldn’t happen without real proof. Brad was presently in the part of Man-of-her-dreams after-all so breaking the spell before he broke here was going to be tricky.


Mari picked up her phone and texted Brad: Can we meet?


She thought about being more subtle, but again, time was of the essence. 


Although Brad had told Cara he was busy with work and that is why he couldn’t see or talk to her now, Brad replied almost immediately: What were you thinking?


Mari looked at Cara and then responded: I will be at your apartment in an hour. Be ready.


He replied with a thumbs up emoji. Boys are dumb.


Making a bad excuse, Mari left Cara at the bar and headed home. She needed to grab one thing to be ready for the encounter.


She made it to his door with exactly five minutes to spare and when he opened the door his apartment was lit with only candles and he was wearing a black robe. She looked down as it was hanging open and asked “Did you wax for me?”

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“Like a candle in the wind!” I was singing along to Elton John, sitting in my office, staring at the computer, lines of words streaking across the screen, wishing that finals week was over and I could just listen to music without using it as crutch to get me through the day. “Never knowing who to cling to…” I continued, bopping my head in time and leaning forward, trying to find a thesis statement amid the seemingly random words of the student essay I was grading.

            “Uh, miss?”

            I jerked upright, words falling silent as I looked at the door. A student stood there–well, I thought she must be a student. She had the right look for this time of the semester–harried, uncertain, nervous but desperate enough to venture into the professor’s office for one last chance to plead her case. She ran her hands through her black hair, a nervous gesture, and I swung my chair around to face her while reaching out to lower my soundtrack.


            “Are you Dr. Paquette?” She looked around the office, back to the door with the nameplate on it, then down at the stack of papers on my desk, my name clearly printed on the upper left hand corner of the top one.

            “I am,” I admitted, waiting for her to lay into her plea.

            “Oh,” she said, standing there nervously.

            “You can sit down,” I gestured at the chair opposite my desk, and slid the stack of papers away from the edge so she could lay down her notepad.

            She stood there for another long moment, and I wondered if she was expecting an engraved invitation, complete with a wax seal. “What can I help you with?”

            She sat, shoulders slumping heavily, eyes wet with desperation. “Well, you probably know that I never came to class this semester but…”

            I leaned back to listen to her story.


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“But, truly, you do not understand,” Henry said, again managing to push his will into the world and standing up to his full height. He was taller than Kyle by a good foot, and Kyle took a step back in alarm. A child was upset, but he did not want to be decked for defending him.

“Okay, then…explain it to me.”

Kyle regretted this almost immediately as a gleam came into Henry’s eyes. Something not wholesome in the slightest. Something almost dark in him, or at least shaded.

“Well, it’s like this…” he began, his face more and more animated. “The wax—the smell of it. That’s what goes for me to do it, okay? I can smell the heat and—”

“Okay. Stop,” Kyle said, looking a tad green. “That’s enough—I did not want to know. It’s a candle though. Like, it’s not like we are talking about even ears or feet here. Don’t you see it’s just wrong…”?

“Wrong?” came Henry’s question. “It’s a burden, yes—and I am sorry for Timmy. But it’s not like it’s morally an issue.”

“That’s not the point. You stole a child’s wish.”

“Oh, like that’s real,” came the snappy retort.

Off in the corner, quiet and sulking, Timmy began to sob uncontrollably.

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Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

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