This 8 sentence blog hop is hosted by The Weekend Writing Warriors. (Click the link for the list of participants, or rules if you want to join!)

Last lines: Becca is running down the stairs, late for lunch, and almost runs into a man with a toddler coming up the stairs. Becca: “Do I know you?”


“You’re one of Lily’s co-workers, right? I’m her husband, Jason, and this is Daniel.”

“Is he your second child?” Becca recalled the pictures taped to the wall above Lily’s desk.

“No, he’s my first,” he offered a polite smile, opened the door, and disappeared up the stairs.

How rude. Becca shoved her way through the crowd leaving the building. Later, when she was eating, she wondered why Jason had married Lily, instead of a prettier girl like Becca.

*   *   *   *   *   *

“Lily Wasn’t There” is a short story I can’t quite get right. I’m hoping the feedback from WeWriWa will help.

Becca’s life hasn’t gone how she planned. Stuck in an accounting job she despises, she scrapes by with a paycheck that doesn’t buy her half of what she deserves. She wants to find a man before she’s thirty, get married, and never work another day in her life. While at work, she people-watches, and one particular coworker is often the focus of her attention–Lily. Lily is everything Becca hates–buttoned-up, bland, and overly dedicated to her job–or so Becca thinks.

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

24 responses »

  1. Frank Fisher says:

    He’s Lily’s husband? Wouldn’t have expected him there. Nice how she wonders why he married Lily.

  2. S. J. Maylee says:

    I’m thinking she’s got Lily pegged all wrong. Interesting.

  3. This story has me thinking. One minute I think Lily is the bad guy and next I’m wondering about Becca and her sanity. LOL. great teasing snippet

  4. His first child but not hers maybe? Mysterious story here. I don’t know what to make of Lilly. Which is good. Becca ya, got her number. Enjoying your story. 🙂
    History Sleuth’s Milk Carton Murders

    • caitlinstern says:

      He’s got no reason to lie about the random, personal question asked by a stranger. Your guess is spot on. 🙂

      All you’ll get is Lily hints–hopefully enough to form a picture.

  5. Oh I SO have worked with people like Becca in the past LOL. you get her pretty spot on. Another great snippet.

    • caitlinstern says:

      No one deserves a Becca coworker. There ought to be some way to protect yourself from them.. like saying ‘this lighting makes you look jaundiced’ and then running while they’re looking for a mirror.

  6. Becca, thinking someone else is rude?

  7. Sarah Cass says:

    Wow…Becca really does have some…strong opinions. She gets under my skin, not sure if that’s the intention, but she really does. lol. Nice 8

  8. Very interesting about the “first child” comment and as others said above – Becca is a real treat (I mean that in the most sarcastic way). Nice 8.

    • caitlinstern says:

      I’m glad people are putting together the pieces–how Lily can have two kids, and her husband only has one. This is where I lost my audience last time, because I didn’t want to just give away the answer.

  9. Mixed thoughts about first or second. Interesting eight.


  10. Sarah W says:

    Becca is such an interesting choice of POV character—I want to smack her one, but I’m actually enjoying that feeling. How do you do that? 😀

    • caitlinstern says:

      Some characters are easy to write–Becca just click-clacked onto the page, fussing with her hair and sneering at the other characters.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying reading about her–she’s pretty fun to write.

  11. Lynn Crain says:

    Not to be the voice of dissent or anything and in my defense I read back over 2 months of Weekend Warriors. You also said that this is a story that doesn’t work. So, here goes. I find nothing sympathetic about Becca’s character. She is the woman I’d least want to know in an office setting because she thinks very highly of herself and very little of others. She needs some sort of redeeming quality compels us to want to read more about her. So far, I don’t. Maybe people aren’t getting past her ugly demeanor to get into the story.

    That said, I immediately got the two kid reference thing but the fact Lily has the picture in plain sight shows she’s not trying to hid anything. Becca makes everything about her and since she’s our POV character, it’s understandable. And this is shown in her thoughts about Lily’s husband when he really didn’t do anything rude.

    Interesting snippet. Thanks for sharing.

    • caitlinstern says:

      This story is one of those ‘clever ideas’ you get sometimes… which often don’t work as more than an idea.

      A POV exercise: What if the narrator was tangential to the main character? And fairly unreliable? In this case, a self-centered co-worker.

      The story is actually about Lily, and I don’t mean for Becca to be likable or redeemable–she’s just telling the story. The problem lies in slipping the story through her filter so it makes sense.

      Maybe the idea is too complicated to make a good story–we’ll see, the story is more than halfway done.

  12. Becca is so incredible. She thinks so high of herself as well. She was the rude one asking his Daniel was the second child too. So typical of her.

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