Guest Authors

Write By the Rails Blog Spot- A Collaborative Short Story with Cindy Brookshire!

Cindy 2013 - Hughes Book 1

Cindy Brookshire is a freelance writer and a member of Write by the Rails. This is the beginning of a short story that she and fellow writer Yvette Soliz are working on. Yvette moved several states away last summer. Cindy and Yvette write a little on the story then email it back and forth. Here are the first 600 words:

Working Title: The Brookshire Inn

By Yvette Soliz and Cindy Brookshire

Katrina parked her used car in the “quick park only” space at Harris Teeter in Manassas, Virginia, and headed to the sliding glass entrance doors. She held a mason jar so heavy with coins she had to cradle it like a baby, and kept her eyes down, trying not to make eye contact with those around her.  She bumped into a muscular businessman, sipping coffee at a Starbucks station.

“’Scuse me,” she murmured.

He pushed the cup out at arm’s length, checking to make sure nothing had spilled on his crisp blue dress shirt and tie. The look he gave her flushed her very existence, launching her beyond that place scientists decided was no longer a planet: Pluto.

“C—-,” he muttered under his breath. She felt the sting of his distain wash over her. She pulled her faded and stained jacket closer about her too thin body. Her t-shirt and hair were rumpled and stale from sleeping in the back seat again.

To the left she passed a display of shiny fat red apples in white paper bags with handles, ready to be plucked. Katrina veered right and tried to ignore the familiar rumbling of her empty stomach. She stopped in front of the bright green Coinstar Center.

Quickly, she unscrewed the lid of the mason jar and poured the unsorted coins in, making enough of a racket that cashiers and customers turned her way. The center lit up and blinked like a slot machine, and in seconds, three twenties, two tens, three fives and three one dollar bills shot out in a neat upside down stack in a little metal slot. She counted ninety-eight dollars, minus a ten dollar processing fee. She folded the bills into her jeans pocket and dashed out without a look back. Food would have to wait. She needed to fill up on gas and hit the road, with miles to go before darkness set in.

Her fingers trembled as she tried to open the car door, and then she remembered she left the mason jar and lid on the floor by the Coinstar machine. She paused for a moment and then shut her eyes tightly.

“I can’t go back in there,” she softly said to herself.

“Miss, are you alright?”

A little old woman with curly white hair was staring at her. She was like a character out of a nursery rhyme, with “fleece as white as snow.”

“I’m fine,” Katrina replied. She opened the car door and jumped inside. She could feel her heart beating wildly in her chest. “What else can they do to me?” she mumbled, turning the key. The engine hummed. She put the car in gear and pulled out of the parking lot.

It was going to be another long drive home. Home. Thoughts and pictures of old faded memories plagued her mind: the neat little twin bed with the patchwork quilt. Her wooden desk and chair by the screened window. A two-shelf bookcase that held her few treasured books. She knew there was no such thing as going home again, or a happy ending. Where was my prince who was supposed to rescue me? Goddamn fairy tales and romance books!

It was going to be a long drive to Texas. No time to think so much about regrets. She checked herself in her rear view mirror.

“What happened to you?” she asked herself. “You had a life. You were happy. You had a job and a way to support yourself. This was not supposed to happen…again!” Her complexion was beyond pale: an unnatural pallor. Her eyes were dull. Who was this stranger?


* * *

You can visit Cindy Brookshire’s blog, the next stop of the Write by the Rails’ Endless Possibilities Blog Tour, at


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  1. Great snippet Cindy! Totally makes me want to know what has happened and what will. More! More! More!!!

  2. That’s a great setup. The emotion just leaps right out at you. What a cool start. I can’t wait to read more!

    Nick Kelly recently posted…“Human Nature” with Guest Blogger Nancy KymeMy Profile

  3. Pingback: Write By the Rails Blog Tour Recap!

  4. Pingback: Write by the Rails Endless Possibilities Tour Recap | cookies 4 nataka

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