A to Z Blogging Challenge: H


For the fifth time this shift, Betty Jean knocked on Room 12, back of the building, far fromH the freeway. Do Not Disturb dangled from the doorknob, but it was near seven o’clock in the evening and the room hadn’t been cleaned yet. Ominous, was that the word people use?

Gloria, motel manager on night shift, said Betty Jean couldn’t go home until she finished up Room 12 in case they needed it for tonight.

Her hand shook as she pulled the passkey from her pocket and snaked it into the handle, her tongue slipping inside Billy Ray’s lips was how she always thought of it.

Then, all at once – “Surprise!” – the motel staff, her brother, her best friends, Billy Ray and a cold Pabst Blue Ribbon welcomed Betty Jean into Room 12 for her twenty-first birthday.


We’ve had so many light stories that turned dark at the end, I thought it was time to try a reversal. I don’t think it works as well, but Betty Jean is probably happy with the results.

Today’s six-sentence story was brought to you by Hemingway who created the six-word story. And by Hallmark, when you care enough to send the very best. And by Hawaiian Punch, Hey, how about a nice Hawaiian Punch? And by Huggies, we’re behind you every step of the way.

Tomorrow, thank goodness, we get a day off. Come back Monday for the letter “I.”

19 thoughts on “A to Z Blogging Challenge: H

    1. I’m not sure what cake goes with a cold PBR, but it’s NEVER too early for cake, right? The editor nixed my headless corpse. Said I was getting too gruesome in six sentences. Next year we do seven, and EVERY story ends with a headless corpse.

      Okay, maybe not.


      1. I’m fascinated by the difference between a six SENTENCE story limit, as opposed to the 100 WORD limit in contests like Janet’s. In the first sentence I immediately thought: “A two-word name! There’s an easy place to trim a word.” But, of course, you don’t need to trim words. You have to pack a whole story into six sentences that read well. No stringing clauses together endlessly! I admire your ability to pull this off.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Omigosh, Celia, you are SO right. It’s a different mindset. Yes, no way would you get away with a Betty Jean in a 100-word contest (unless you cheated and hyphenated Betty-Jean or ran them together as BettyJean). I went back and the entries have been 73 words to 122 words. But it’s a different challenge having to cut an entire sentence. Fun, though. Good comment!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. She’s lucky this wasn’t an 8-sentence story or she’d have been in trouble when she left the party without Billy Ray. Like the Hotel California, she can check out anytime she wants, but she can never leave…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Six days a week is definitely a lot to keep up with…and if nothing else, it sounds like Betty Jean had a good night. Which is great for her, given that it sounds like foreshadowing and the next time probably won’t turn out so well. 😉

    A Bit to Read


      1. It’s funny you called it that, I just finished a tv series called Fortitude, which was both the fitting name of the place and what you needed to watch it.


  2. I was expecting a corpse on the bed and Billy Ray cleaning up in the bathroom. Or something like that. Good surprise ending, John. You must be a nicer person than both EM and me! 🙂


    1. Haha, that’s funny. I’m not used to making a twist in a good direction. Threw me off too. I just finished refereeing a playoff basketball game. NOBODY called me nice for the last two hours. And by gosh, I don’t know what I was thinking when I used Carpenter for my C instead of knocking off a Coach or two. Live and learn…


  3. Well, praise God and pass the taters. No corpses. This was a great little story. I loved it. You have a fan.


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