The Word


[ moil ]


  1. Work hard.
  2. Move around in confusion or agitation.

Let’s Write…

** Either a story beginning, a story ending, a piece of flash-fiction, a poem–inspired by the word, where does it take me? Where does it take you?

Time had made me into a fool, or rather routine had. I never thought a cracked skull would be a blessing but thank god for it! The crazy part is I absolutely mean it.

The hamster wheel I was on is probably typical, and I was on it for ten years. Nothing was going to stop me, period.

Numbers consumed me day and night, swimming around in my mind like flies. Never leaving me alone. Accountant, Stock Market, Financial Advisor. Any job to do with numbers and making money with them, I had at least a hand in the game. Sometimes a hand and two feet.

I don’t really have any memories from those ten years, and it’s not because of the brain injury either. There’s just nothing to remember. Even successes from amazing returns on investments were celebrated with the usual glass of wine as I’d return to my computer. Did I celebrate my birthdays? I can’t think of a single experience in those ten years that would count as a birthday party. So, no.

Anyway… Saturday, three years ago now, my head was split open. Literally and I guess metaphorically too. How do you crack a skull open?–you might ask. With immense force–is my answer.

My morning run, a blur of repetition, took me past a construction site. I was halted by a man with a stop sign, and I was pissed. Things were happening, and I couldn’t run through the sidewalk. A crane lifted an I-beam over us, and then, somehow, it slipped through its grip and plummeted to the ground.

I leaned back when something slammed into my head, and that was lights out. Turns out, the falling I-beam saved my life. It made me lean back and away as an air-conditioning unit fell from an apartment window three stories up. If I was standing straight, it would’ve crushed my spine, and I would be no more. The slight lean in my posture let the brunt force to be absorbed by my skull, cracking and slicing it open down the middle.

My new life had just begun.


 This one took me a minute to settle on an idea. My first thought was of a man placed in slavery, but that’s because of a book I’m reading: The Way of Kings. I could tell a different version of the same idea (which is what most stories are anyway), but I wanted to give it another thought. 

 I liked making this character. His speech is sort of blunt, which itself complements the blunt cracking of his skull. 

 Also, I wanted to make the crack happen out of nowhere like he would’ve felt it. Focusing all on the I-beam, and then bam! Something else comes and becomes our instrument of cranium cracking.

 Another idea I played with was going with the opposite meaning of “moil.” Writing about being lazy. Always another direction and another perspective. 

What do you think?

Leave your thoughts, your own story beginning/ending, flash-fiction, or whatever in the comments! Where did moil or my story take you?

If you want a story of some working people, check out my short story The Missing Sheriff. A story about a very mall town and their face-off against menacing bandits.

Today’s word is from Word Genius.

Let Your Thoughts Fly!