Sunday writing chat prompts for 14 Mar 2021

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    • #7189

      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: glare, clerk, feign, conclusion, aloof. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “It’s not a good place.” (10 min)

      3. Write about remorse or regret. (10 min)

    • #7190

      …this is Broker’s entry… forgot to log out and in again before posting…

      “Lobby,” Jim texted, so she grabbed her bag and went down the elevator.

      To find Jim, grinning, next to a pile of luggage, between two other people, one of whom was wearing a dress.

      “Oh, Em, Gee, it’s Vicky!” said Miranda.

      “Miranda?” said Vicky. “What a surprise.”

      “I know, right?” said Jim. “And you know Sam.”

      Miranda did indeed know Sam. She suppressed the fight or flight reflex and put out a hand to him, trying to be civil. “Sam,” she said.

      “Miranda,” he said. “I, uh, right. We need to talk? Is that what I say here?”

      “I can listen,” said Miranda, trying not to glare at him.

      Vicky interrupted to say, “Jim invited us up here to watch his latest bridge go in.”

      Miranda turned to her, almost surprised she was still standing there. “There’s a great view out the window of Jim’s… room… upstairs…” she said, slowing down as she got to the end and realized, well, so many things. Always late to the party scrolled through Miranda’s mind. That she was sleeping with Jim who in turn was in a relationship with… both of these folks? Maybe?

      Jim hustled the luggage into the elevator and eventually the other three joined him. “I don’t have a lot of time,” he said, trying to at least feign nonchalance. “I’d love to mediate, but it’s a work day.”

      “I brought some carryout from the Thai place.” They scooted the table up next to one of the beds, so four people could sit, two on the bed, two in chairs.

      Jim hurried through his share of the food and excused himself. “Look for the yellow hard hat,” he said, putting it on his head. “I’ll stop by whenever I can.”

      Vicky came back to the table and sat beside Miranda. “We’ve had this conversation before, let me help.”

      “Okay,” said Miranda.

      “Turns out Sam’s gay,” said Vicky.

      Sam nodded. There was a tear at the corner of one eye when Miranda glanced at him.

      “Jim found him someplace, and in the process of setting up a relationship, convinced him that…” said Vicky.

      “That being gay is just something you are,” said Sam. “It’s not, like, the end of the world or whatever. Like my dad seemed to think. He tossed me out of his house, by the way.”

      “Ouch,” said Miranda.

      “But back to the point, he also screwed with my head. There’s so much hate… So it took me a long time to figure out it’s his problem and I don’t have to… I dunno, play along or whatever.”

      Miranda nodded, not trusting herself to speak.

      “So what I’m trying to say,” said Sam, looking at the hands in his lap, “is that I’m really sorry. It’s not enough; it’ll never be enough.”

      “It’s hard, being a gay kid growing up in so much poisonous hate,” said Vicky. “It’s really not a good place to be.”

      “I imagine,” said Miranda, very quietly. “And I don’t really remember the accident itself.”

      “Can we be civil then?” said Vicky. “And before you say anything about Jim, I’m totally okay with you… doing stuff… with him. He’s a grown up, he’s allowed.”

      Sam snorted and nodded agreement.

      Miranda popped up and went into the bathroom to retrieve the tissue box for Sam.

      Sam smiled, crookedly. “Jim’s done me worlds of good,” Sam said, after a while. “I’d like to say I’m a whole different person, but I still remember.”

      “Yeah, well, not remembering isn’t that much fun either,” said Miranda.

      People looked at their hands for a while. Vicky stirred, tried an egg roll. “It’s cold.”

      “I wonder if microwaving them would help,” said Miranda. She put the uneaten food back into the carry out box and nuked it a little.

      “Welp,” said Vicky, after she had blown a lot of air through her mouth around a bite. “Now it’s hot and soggy.

      “Let’s have another look at the view out the window,” Sam suggested. “And, um, thanks for trying to understand,” he added, to Miranda. “I’d totally understand if you hated me. I do, sometimes.”

      “Hate doesn’t fix anything,” said Miranda. “Figuring out what to do next might.”

      “You can control the future. You can’t change the past,” said Vicky. “They taught us that in Business School,” she added, gently elbowing Sam in the ribs.

      Sam nodded. “So how d’you figure they balance all that weight?” he asked.

      This triggered Miranda’s engineering lecture-mode, so she explained the conclusions she’d come to, pondering that very question. “Sorry,” she said, coming to a pause. “I didn’t mean to be aloof. Your eyes have glazed over.”

      Sam chuckled.

    • #7191

      My phone buzzed at my elbow as I caught up on some of my administrative clerk-work now that Joey was in bed. I frowned at the name. Why was Arif calling me?

      “Hey, what’s up?”

      “Hi Allison.” He had a rueful laugh to his voice. “I need to tell you something, just so you and Dave don’t waste time misunderstanding each other.” He let out a huge breath. “And yes, I know I’m pulling a Gail right now. But I like both of you and I think you could be great together.”

      I started laughing, not even trying to feign my amusement. “Arif, are you… matchmaking? I thought you hated that bullshit.”

      “Trust me, I do. But, in my defense, Dave has misunderstood something about you and it’s a fifty-fifty crapshoot whether he pisses you off before he can get himself straightened out.”

      “Seriously?” My phone and computer dinged with a notification of a private message on the SPA forum.

      “You told him you were on the same parenting forum.” I nodded as I opened the message and then realized Arif couldn’t see me. “Yeah. He knows.”

      “And then you made a comment about going all se*y mama bear on his butt.”

      “Yeah. It was funny. He and I have talked about how over the top she is.” I read Dave’s message and then glared at the screen. “What the absolute f***?” almost missing what Arif was saying.

      “Dave has mistakenly come to the conclusion you are SMB.”

      “Wait. What!?” I was pissed. “How could he possibly think I’m her? And why is he talking to me about it?”

      “He doesn’t know you are ALVIE. He thinks Alvie is a guy.” Arif was already laughing. “He hasn’t clued in that Al-Vie is short for Alison Vietz. Then you made the crack about SMB. Remember, you’d just had your hair and nails done on the day you met him and the girls made a fuss. You couldn’t get together with him because you had to go to Joey’s school the same day that SMB ranted about her kid’s teacher. The pieces fit.” Arif sobered. “He’ll figure it our but he wasn’t in a good place when we met up for a drink. I was hoping to get ahead of the misunderstanding by suggesting he talk to ALVIE before he did anything else.”

      “Oh. My. God.” I couldn’t help it, this was hysterical. “Arif?”

      “Yeah?” he said cautiously.

      “Thank You?” I was still laughing. “This could have gone sideways really fast. He’s already emailed me.”

      “What did he say? Please, I have to know.” Then it sounded like a slap on the other end of the phone. “Damn It. Now I sound like one of the girls.”
      “Did you just facepalm yourself?” I asked. Not even bothering to hide my snicker.

      “Yes.” He said. “It is with much regret I have assimilated to the matchmakers.”

      Still laughing, I read from my screen. “Hey Alvie, Need your advice. I’ve sort of started seeing SMB and think I need to dump her now that I realize she and SMB are the same person. Any advice?”

      “Thank God I called and didn’t try to remain stoic and aloof and let the chips fall as they may.”

      “Thank You Arif. I have no idea how I would have responded.” This was true.

      “It never occurred to me that Dave didn’t realize I was Alvie. I would have assumed he’d been dating Naomi too.”

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Sue.
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