21 Feb

Well, it’s week two of the IndieInk Writing Challenge and I have to say, things are about to get all kinds of crazy up in here. We’ve expanded the challenge to not only include our own lovely editors, but we also opened up the challenge to the internets.

So, what does this all mean?


We have some of the best writers around challenging each other from across the world-wide webs to weekly writing duels. If last week was a geeky writer’s version of You Got Served, then this week has to be more on the level of The Fast and the Furious. Well, without Vin Diesel. And without cars. And without…aw, fuck it. It’s nothing like The Fast and the Furious. I give up.

Anyway, this week’s challenge comes to me from San Diego Momma (@SanDiegoMomma on the Twitter machine). I love her challenge because it’s just a single word. I totally appreciate and admire this dark and twisted word in so many ways.


With that said, this word also scares the shit out of me. Don’t get me wrong, I love that one word can take me down so many different paths. But my tiny brain is a flurry with memories, thoughts, and ideas based on just this single eight letter noun. This is definitely going to be a tough one. I guess that’s why it’s called a challenge, huh?


The look in her eyes that night will forever be seared into my soul. As each tear streamed down her cheeks, they amplified every single emotion you could ever imagine as they danced their way past her nose and trickled slowly onto the pillow that cradled her weary head.

This time, her tears were because of me. A direct result of the words that struggled past my tongue just moments before. Even though we were inches from each other in the same bed, we were miles apart in our minds.

This time, an explanation of the thoughts rolling around in her mind would not be necessary.

This time, there would be no guessing, no map or key.

This time, I knew.

I could read the hurt, the shock, and the blatant betrayal written on her face as if someone had tattooed those very words in large black letters across her pale skin.

Then again, I knew the tattoo artist all too well.

As painful as the silence was, nothing could have prepared me for the words she spoke next.

“I would have never expected this from you. Not in a million years.”

Her words were delivered with such a softness that you’d never expect just how heavy, how razor sharp they actually were.

But she was right.

Nobody in their right mind would have expected anything like this out of me.

Not her.

Not me.

Not a soul.

As dawn neared, I knew things would never be the same. Life would go on, but not in the capacity we both had become so accustomed to.

You see, with a few words I changed everything.

My failure was out in the open.

And with just a few words, my betrayal was hers to live.





26 Responses to “Betrayal”

  1. Random Girl February 21, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Ouch. That is gonna leave a mark. Bastard!
    Seriously though, striking work. Glad I’m not on the receiving end of that hypothetical conversation.
    Random Girl

    • TJ February 21, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

      These are always hard to write. Nobody ever wants to be in this position. If they do, there is something wrong with them!

  2. flutter February 21, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    This was hard for you, I know. But, truth isnt a betrayal. There will be forgiveness on the other side. Beautifully written

  3. Deb @ San Diego Momma February 21, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    You did “Betrayal” lovely justice.
    And this?
    “Her words were delivered with such a softness that you’d never expect just how heavy, how razor sharp they actually were.”
    Sublimity. (Like if that were a word.)

    Wonderful stuff. Thank you.

    • TJ February 21, 2011 at 10:41 pm #

      Thank you for such an awesome writing prompt!

  4. TwoBusy February 21, 2011 at 7:32 pm #

    Ties me into knots, just reading that.

    • TJ February 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

      Why did I think of your little blue claws with rubber bands on them when you wrote that?

  5. cabocalla February 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    While you were vague, I know exactly what you said. In fact I lived this moment almost exactly. Sometimes living true is the most painful thing you can do. It was so hard to get those words out.

    • TJ February 21, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

      I wish I could say this was fiction, but as you know, that would be a bold faced lie. This was one of the hardest things for me to write lately. I am glad you could relate, my friend.

  6. Wendryn February 21, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    Very well done. Been on both sides of that conversation, and this rings very true.

  7. Future4Fina February 21, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    The truth can, sometimes, create disasters. In this case, the disaster was a broken heart. But no matter how awful that was, you were set free on this day. Which also makes the situation beautiful. I love you for your honesty. Man, I love this challenge. Bravo, friend.

  8. andygirl February 22, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    oh man. been there. been that girl with those tears saying those words feeling like my world was crashing down. I never want to be that girl again.

    you captured it so simply yet perfectly. bravo, you! well, not for what you did (despite your vaguery), but for the writing. you get what I mean.

  9. Tabatha February 22, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    Oh, just yes.
    Now if only my husband could understand it this way …

  10. Jason Hughes February 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    That was so lovely and dark, TJ! Thoroughly enjoyed reading!

    • TJ February 22, 2011 at 10:20 pm #

      Thank you, Jason. Comments like yours make me want to write more and more.

  11. anastasia mcdonnellism February 23, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    That was brutal and raw and perfectly honest. You nailed that prompt, TJ. Good for you for telling the truth, both then & now.

    • TJ February 23, 2011 at 9:49 am #

      The prompt itself was perfect. But man, that was a tough one to write!

  12. Frelle February 23, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    I commented at Schmutzie’s today, and decided to see who some of the other commenters were, just wanted to tell you how I found your blog. This was totally brutal. And makes me want to go write a post about the word Betrayal. Vivid, heartbreaking, and inspiring all at the same time. that’s quite a trick.

    • TJ February 23, 2011 at 11:08 am #

      Thank you. Really. From the bottom of my heart. And how awesome was Schmutzie’s post today? I love that woman.

  13. Marian February 23, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    ah, now my tummy hurts.

  14. Kerri Anne February 23, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

    “Even though we were inches from each other in the same bed, we were miles apart in our minds.”

    That line hit me in the face with its (super rad) imagery.

    Very well played, sir.

  15. Jules February 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    So powerful. I know this was difficult for you to write. But it was worth reading! I love that Indie Ink is doing this! I can’t believe how much reading I’ve done over the past two days! Thank you!

  16. You can call me, 'Sir' February 24, 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Very well done. I like to think that I’m a man of few words because of an understanding that it only takes one wrong one to destroy everything.

    • TJ February 24, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

      Thank you, Sir.


  1. Tweets that mention Betrayal « StudioEightOneSix -- - February 21, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by TJ Johnson, TJ Johnson. TJ Johnson said: Betrayal […]

  2. Calla Lily » The Adventures of Supermaren - February 22, 2011

    […] already read some of the challenge responses here and here and especially here (my challenger), all of which make this challenge seem more daunting to me. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: