Sunday writing chat prompts for 12 June, 2022

Home Forums Just the Place for a Snark Sunday writing chat prompts for 12 June, 2022

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    • #8610

      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: leave, rule, sand, particular, extort. (10 min)

      2. Fill in the blank, “coming up on time to _________.” (10 min)

      3. Write about an unidentified clomping noise. (10 min)

    • #8611

      I stood out on my deck again, sipping my tea, listening to the waves break over the sand on the beach below. It felt so strange to be home for good. I wouldn’t be leaving on a flight out west in a week like I had every other time I’d come home to visit.
      Sure, I’d be heading into the office on Monday, but it was for my new job. I didn’t particularly need to work. The difference in real estate between Vancouver and here meant that once my house sold, I’d be debt free. I’d be bored if I didn’t work, so I found a job that I thought would fall on the funner side of employment. I didn’t need to be stressed out from nine to five anymore.
      That had been the only rule my old boss and friend had insisted on. She didn’t want me to let work continue to be an excuse for not enjoying my life to the fullest. Especially now that I didn’t need a huge salary to pay my bills.
      She seemed to be extremely satisfied once she extorted my promise to slack off for at least the next twelve months. She wanted me to be sure I’d given myself time to take stock of my life and re-evaluate my goals.
      My wrist buzzed. My Fitbit warned me that it was coming up on time to head to bed. It was still on Vancouver time, which meant that it was almost two in the morning here.
      Reluctantly, I stood and poured out the dregs of my cold tea before closing up my new house for the night. Knowing my darling brother, he’d be here bright and early to welcome me home… brat.
      Even though it was the wee hours of the morning and I’d had a long day of traveling, my mind refused to slow. Seeing Curt again was the best homecoming I could have. Out of all the friends I’d had in school, I hated losing touch with him the most. He’d left and made it hard for me to contact him. If he’d been around, I doubted I would have married my ex.
      It seemed like I’d barely closed my eyes when loud clomping sounded on the back deck just below my bedroom window.
      “C’mon, lazy bones. Get your butt out of bed.”
      I groaned and covered my ears with my pillow. “Go away, I’m still on Pacific Time.”
      “Pacific Smacific. It’s almost noon. Dad wanted you to come up to the house for lunch.”
      I glanced at the clock; certain he was lying. “Gimme half an hour and I’ll be there.”

    • #8612

      Olivia let Josh pay the check. She had the larger income, but it seemed important to play the parts in the performance of gender that Joey had insisted on. Follow the rule, the lines in the sand. At the other table, Joey and Eck split the tab. “Introverts on a first date,” Joey said, with a firm head-nod.

      Eck smiled, nodded, and relaxed a bit.

      “We want to get to know you folks better,” said Josh.

      “Is there someplace more… I dunno, private?” said Eck. “I’m new around here. I’m sure they’d like us to leave instead of hanging around all evening. Besides, the folks at the next table might overhear.” Eck nodded at Josh and Olivia.

      “There’s a bar two blocks from here with a roof garden, if that suits,” said Olivia. And it’s not quite as private as it seems. Oliver had followed suspects there and overheard their conspiratorial chatter. Plotting to extort some funding from an unofficial (and unwilling) donor, in that particular case. “Or maybe somewhere noisier would be better?”

      “I’m not picky,” said Josh. So they started walking in that direction. “Where is it?” Josh asked after they had walked a bit.

      “Seventeenth and Walnut,” said Olivia, resisting the urge to rattle off the address, dispatcher-style: Sixteen Eighty Walnut, cross street Seventeenth.

      “Um, huh,” said Josh, “Wonder if my officemate Steve gave up yet.”

      “Gave up…” Joey prompted.

      “He saw me texting Olivia and wanted an introduction, based on nothing but her name,” said Josh. “So I told him to meet us at what seemed a random location, never intending to actually show up.”

      “Dot, dot, dot, in drag,” said Olivia.

      Joey and Eck stopped and looked at Olivia. “Wait, what?” said Joey,

      “Seemed like it was coming up time to be a little less vague,” said Olivia.

      “De-reference those dangling metaphors or whatever,” said Eck.

      “Steve’s not here, at least not standing on the street corner,” said Josh. “I kind of don’t think he’d recognize me without the legs.” Josh pulled up one denim leg enough to show a skuzzy sock coming out of the running shoe.

      Olivia chuckled. “I’m buying, name your poisons.” They ordered and went single file up the stairway, through the high ceiling, and out onto the roof deck. There was a vacant table in the alcove between the stairway and the corner overlooking the street. The parapet was high enough to mostly obscure any view of them if they were sitting down.

      “Right, so,” said Josh. I guess I’ll go first? I’m living a double life, assigned female at birth, preferring to identify as male, but not out at work. Not yet. So for tonight, he/him pronouns.”

      “Other way around,” said Olivia. “In some ways I guess two closeted trans people were made for each other. We kind of sort of traded. She/her, for the here and now.”

      “I’m kinda nonbinary? I guess?” said Joey. “And I just upspoke like the girl I’m not, not anymore. Maybe it’s time for a more ambiguous haircut or something.”

      “Aaaaand now it’s time for the Who is Eck? show. I used to be a guy but I’m more fluid? Like my gender changes while I’m experiencing it. I’m thinking it’s gonna be confusing for a partner, if I ever have one.”

      “Your friend Ann seemed to kind of roll with it pretty well,” said Joey.

      “It’s true, she did,” said Eck.

      “Oh, and,” said Joey, laughing at the memory. “When the pronouns thing went around the table, Eck said… I’m gonna get this wrong, aren’t I? Eck said she wanted us to call him by their favorite pronouns.”

      “Ann said that, using the she/him/theirs answer I gave to what is, for me at least, one really complicated question.”

      “Ann sounds pretty with it,” said Josh. “Maybe we should invite her to our next little five-some.”

      There was a clomping sound. Josh popped up to his feet and looked over the parapet at the street. Joey looked around to see if there was a new helicopter flying over. Olivia stood up, facing the roof deck door, groping for a service revolver under the suit jacket she wasn’t wearing.

      “Is this Steve guy likely to be aggressive?” Eck asked.

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