Sunday writing chat prompts for 12 Dec 2021

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    • #8265
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      The Sunday Brunch Prompted Writing Chat is an opportunity each week to test your skills at writing under pressure — or to have some fun without the need to be brilliant — or both!

      The prompts are intended as both as a challenge and a starting point, open to creative interpretation. You can use these as an excuse to write anything that comes to mind, whether it’s fiction or creative non-fiction or a mixture of both. You can write a separate piece for each prompt, or try to link them all together in a single story.

      If you join in the chat, you can add “an excuse to complain about unfair prompts” to the entertainment, too. But even if you can’t attend the chat session, feel free to give the prompts a try anyway (and leave your responses, comments, or complaints in this thread if you like).

      This week’s prompts are posted below.

      1. Use the following five words: detector, variety, directory, light, corn. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “justify the expense.” (10 min)

      3. Write about an expected surprise. (10 min)

    • #8266
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      Sam left right behind Jim, promising to follow to his house. Jim had insisted on figuring out how to send the address to Sam’s phone, so Sam was alternately trying to figure out which nondescript sedan was Jim’s and listening to the phone’s directions.

      “I gotta get a clip or a stand or something so I can attach the phone to the dash somehow,” Sam said, when he had stopped for a light and lost sight of Jim.

      The phone seemed to have a motion detector in it… Sam knew it did because there was a funky Star Wars app that made light saber noises when he swung it around. Anyway, Jim called as soon as Sam left the stop light. He had to stop the car to figure out how to answer, but he made it just before it went to voice mail.

      “Great,” he said. “Just peachy,” he said, “Lost, but otherwise fine.”

      “Your phone isn’t telling you where to go?” Jim asked.

      “I was trying to split the difference between what you did and what she seems to want.”

      “She?”

      “The lady in the phone. Mechanical voice, British accent, you know her.”

      “I guess my phone comes from a different vendor,” said Jim. “There’s like a directory of voices to choose from.”

      “All that’s not getting me to your house, where we can, like, y’know, or whatever,” said Sam.

      “I forget you’re an efficiency expert now,” said Jim, chuckling. “If I just go home and let you follow the phone, maybe that’s the best thing.”

      “Could work. I’ll call if I’m lost,” said Sam. “Which, just for variety’s sake, could be now, but I’m already talking to you.”

      “My cornball. See ya in a bit,” said Jim. The line went dead.

      With one less distraction, Sam trusted himself on the street driving a moving vehicle again.

      “Recalculating,” said Cilla, again.

      “You keep saying that,” said Sam. He hoped the phone wasn’t listening to his voice.

      Several turns later, his phone rang again, so he pulled over.

      “Hey,” he said.

      “Heeeey!” said Vicky. “It was good running into you at Jim’s house. Well, Jim’s parents’ house,” she said. “How the heck are you?”

      “Gay,” said Sam. “At the moment I’m trying to figure out how to get to Jim’s house.”

      Vicky laughed. “There was one exercise in Business school, in Anderson’s advertising class?”

      Sam was duly annoyed at the upspeak, but kept his mouth shut.

      “Anyway, it was about actual word meanings as opposed to what they mean in context. Somebody pointed out that ‘Butt dial’ and ‘Booty call’ have the same literal meanings.”

      “So you’re saying you butt dialed me?” Sam said. He pulled the car gently back out into traffic, hoping Cilla, the directions app voice, would feel free to interrupt Vicky.

      “I’m saying Jim booty called you,” said Vicky.

      Sam remembered that shrieking way Vicky laughed, from this one time in school when she kissed Miranda in front of everybody in the hallway. He… knew where that line of thought led so he quickly abandoned it.

      “Well, I was hoping my phone would interrupt to give me directions, but it thinks you’re more important that getting butt dialed,” said Sam.

      “Booty calls,” said Vicky. “Laters.”

      Sam missed her, being alone with his direction finder and his booty call. But as he had already noticed, talking to Vicky tended to lead to thinking about Miranda which…

      Well, someday he’d have to deal with all of that. Perhaps that day was not today. He had places to go, people to see. Well, one of each. “Just get me to Jim’s house,” he told the phone, but it was not listening.

      “Take the third left turn,” said Cilla.

      “Yes’m,” said Sam.

      “Turn left,” said Cilla, at a time that would have been slightly too late if he hadn’t been warned.

      “Thanks for the warning,” said Sam.

      “Arrive,” said Cilla.

      It was difficult to read the street numbers on the houses, but there was Jim, standing next to one driveway. Sam pulled in beside Jim’s car, which turned out to be blue, not white like the one he’d been trying to follow.

      Jim hugged him, so Sam hugged back. He paused to lock the car and followed Jim inside.

      “Return to the route,” said Cilla, from Sam’s front pocket.

      Jim laughed. “You heard her,” he said.

      Sam pulled the phone out, figured out how to stop the direction finder app, and then reactivated it so he could save Jim’s address for another time.

      “The route didn’t involve petting your phone,” Jim teased. “Beer?”

      “Beer good,” Sam grunted.

      “And, um,” said Jim. “Now that the phone’s deactivated, it’s pretty obvious we have too many pockets.”

      Sam tried relating Vicky’s joke about booty calls and butt dialing, but it was hopelessly confusing, given everything else that was going on.

      “I’ll just shut up now,” said Sam. “Otherwise trying to tell that story is going to become part of our… what would you call it… pillow talk.”

      “I hope you’ll have many opportunities to get it right,” said Jim. “Or at least coherent. Vicky’s not so much the random-walk conversationalist as…”

      “Miranda,” said Sam. “Can we not talk about her? She’s not here.”

      “Deal,” said Jim. “Sorry.”

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