Friday, September 2, 2016

Who Wrote It Challenge #2

Below are our responses to a fifteen minute writing prompt: 

The old house, with its wildly overgrown garden, was silent, secretive.

Can you match the writing sample to the author?

Katie Drake bio

Solange Hommel bio 

J. Rae Moore bio

Lan H. Lee bio


 The old house, with its wildly overgrown garden, was silent, secretive. Annalise 

remembered when her mother had carefully tended the garden. The trellises, now broken 

and dangling, had once dripped with glorious yellow roses. She pictured the fresh coat of 

crisp, white paint that her father had painstakingly applied over the course of a summer, 

using the limited time available each evening between bank closing and nightfall. Over the 

years, the dust and smog had left its mark, turning the siding a dingy gray. She could 

remember the days when Hart Manor regularly appeared on the covers of gardening and 

housekeeping magazines; when locals walked their out-of-town visitors past the matching 

white picket fence with vicarious pride; when her family represented all that was good and 

strong and right in the community. Annalise stood on the cracked sidewalk leading to the 

sagging front door and remembered the old house as the shining beacon it had been 

before the secrets took over.


          "I bet you five seeds he will only go 25 feet," Eddie says to me, his scavenging partner.
          "You are on, my friend," I reply.
          We both watch as this little boy of about eight takes a tentative step into the overgrown garden. One step, two steps and he stops. The patio of the old house creaks as if on cue, and the little boy turns and runs away.
          "Pay up Eddie, you owe me five seeds," I say as I wait for him to gather the seeds from the sunflower plant.
          "Yeah, yeah, I'm getting them." He hops all the way up to the top of the stem and begrudgingly throws down each seed, one by one.
          "Hey. Watch it." I dodge the seeds being thrown at me.
          "Sorry," Eddie yells down as he peeks his head over the tip of a yellow petal. But, I don't think he's sorry as I hear laughter.
          I wait for him to hop down to help me put the seeds into the cart. My little red wings are too small to carry the seeds.
          "What do you say we go over to Tully's and throw back some nectar when we're done," he say's when he finally makes it down.
          "Yeah, that's sounds great, the quicker we are done here, the sooner we can meet up with the other guys," I say as I nudge a seed his way.
          "Ah, I see what you are doing, and I get it. The first one's on you." Being a grasshopper, he makes quick of the work and we are on our way to the drop off shoot.
         On the way to there as I ignore Eddie's ever constant buzzing, I look around the overgrown garden that I call my home.

Twice I'd been to the town my mother grew up in. I can still picture the endless wheat fields, and of course, my great grandfather Rudy's house. White, with a wrap-around porch and oak trees out front. Even then I new it was a bit shabby, maintained but not cared for.

One Easter I wore a frilly dress with patent leather shoes. All the cousins hunted for eggs and I got my first Easter basket. For Rudy's ninety-fifth birthday there was a parade. I was seven and thought the celebration was just for him. I didn't know it was for Oktoberfest. All the grand kids wore matching yellow outfits made by an aunt. I still have the little matching purse. We piled in the car with Rudy. I remember it was a convertible. I don't remember the actual drive. 

I can picture the table in the kitchen and mother helping make the fresh sausage. I would climb the dark, creaky stairs to the second floor and play with my mother's old barbies. The ones stored there from when she was a little girl. There were only two.

       The back yard was like a strange forest; part junk yard for old tractor and irrigation supplies, and part retreat from too many people. Sometimes there was an odd man out there. He never spoke to me and the others rarely spoke to him. But he belonged there. Once I saw him coating the picket fence with white paint. He also kept an eye on a bird feeder and would sit and watch the birds for hours while he polished little stones with a scrap of felt. I would see him slip through a small door at the back of the house that led to what I thought was the cellar. I was not allowed in. I never saw anyone follow him. They never even told me his name.

       They should have. He was my grandfather, my mother's father, son to Rudy. Now they are all gone and I've come back to the old house. The garden has run wild, covering the rusted metal of the farm equipment. The old picket fence is no longer white, but grey and leaning. The birds are gone. I found the polished rocks lined up from the bird feeder to the little cellar door.

                    16 August 2016
To the Dark Forest Code Compliance Office,
I am sending this letter in reference to the numerous notices and fees I have received from your office about the overgrown condition of my yard.
Firstly, let me remind you of the past accolades my yard and home have earned.
·         The Yummiest Yard Award presented in May 2013, 2014, and 2015 by the Little Gnomes Society.

·         The Delectable Décor Honor presented in August 2013 and April 2015 by The Munchkin League of Fairytale Land

·         The Stripes are Scrumptious Medal presented in June 2013, 2014, and March 2016 by The Fairies for Equality Foundation.

·         The Editable Construction Certificate presented for the year of 2014 by King Phillip –himself!     
As you can see, I am not in the habit of letting my property fall into ruin. Maintaining a gingerbread house is a full time investment. However, because of the debilitating injuries I suffered in an unfortunate incident earlier this year, I’ve had no choice but to fall behind on the maintenance of my estate.
Surely, you read about the incident in the Princess Daily Press. Although the article was extremely one-sided, making me out to be some kind of monster, I’m sure you’ll be reassured once you hear my side of it.
It was in early May when I caught two children nibbling away at the siding on my house. Of course, I felt sorry for the poor dears. They were obviously very hungry, so I invited them inside. If only I knew what was to come.
Once inside my home, the boy, Hansel, went into a frenzy, eating and licking everything in sight. I thought the boy foolish with hunger so I placed him in an enclosure to save my home. I had his sister, Gretel, help me whip together a batch of my famous chocolate chip butter cookies. Sure, the children ate the cookies with no complaint, but when I insisted Gretel help tidy up the preparation mess, she threw a huge temper tantrum. I explained the concept of cleaning up after oneself but there was no calming the child. – I blame the parents –
Seeing I would get no help from the children, I went about cleaning the oven myself. It wasn’t until I felt the firm push that I realized my mistake. Those horrible, ungrateful, evil children had pushed me in and closed the door. Consequently, I suffered major injuries. I spent weeks in the hospital and am still in the process of returning to full health. Thus, all of this has hindered me from keeping up my home.
I should hope you understand. I am asking for the full dismissal of the accumulated warnings and fees your code compliance officer has nailed to my front door. And, compensation for the damage said officer has caused to my door with said nails. Thank you.
Awaiting Action,
The Witch in the Gingerbread House on Canetree Lane
P.S. I was sorry to hear of Hansel and Gretel’s recent disappearances in the paper. I’m sure they’ll turn up.
P.P.S. Please extend an invitation to Code Compliance Officer, Miss Priss. I invite her to come to my house for milk and cookies. She knows where I live.

Thanks for reading! Please, take a second to introduce yourself in the comments below. Don't forget to make your guesses about the authorship of each sample. Even better: set a timer for 15 minutes and share what you've written! 

We'll let you know who wrote which sample next week. Good luck!


  1. Loved all the stories. Some of you can write a lot in 15 minutes. ;)
    My guesses are A.Katie, B.Lan, C.J.Rae, and D. Solange. Look forward to see if I got any of them right. Keep up the good work. Can't wait till next Fridays prompt.

  2. Guessing: A) Solange B) Lan C) Katie D) J. Rae