Sunday writing chat prompts for 14 May 2023

Home Forums Just the Place for a Snark Sunday writing chat prompts for 14 May 2023

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    • #9717

      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: timetable, arrest, ant, draft, shallow. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “It’s a mystery.” (10 min)

      3. Write about someone else’s holiday. (10 min)

    • #9718

      “Would you like to meet the rest of us?” said Eck. “Also, thanks to you and your friends. I feel safer now.”

      “I’m, uh, someone who operates in the shadows,” said Mo. “Didn’t you say one of your friends is a cop?”

      “It’s true. How can I contact you, then?”

      “Dropbox. I’ll set up some kind of a timetable for getting it checked.” She handed Eck what looked like a business card, but when he came to a streetlight it was a map on one side and a photo on the other. An old-style letter box, painted in non-standard colors.

      “Thanks,” said Eck, but Mo was gone. He hurried to catch up with his friends.

      When Eck arrived at a stop light, the others were just leaving the far side of the intersection. He thought maybe he didn’t want to risk involving Olivia, with her double identity, one of which was a detective. It could be awkward for her, giving evidence to her colleagues who thought she was Oliver. Maybe he was being shallow, making that decision for a friend without asking her. But Eck was beginning to appreciate life as an ant: someone who can be stepped on for no reason. And besides all that, if the guy was Peter and he got arrested, it could blow both his life in the lab, and everyone’s identities.

      While he was considering, Olivia and Josh said good night, and Joey and Deb started up the hill toward the campus. Eck finally caught up with them.

      “What happened to you?” Deb wanted to know.

      “It’s cute, seeing the two of you with arms around each other,” said Eck.

      “You’re not jealous,” said Joey, and she was right about that. Her spare arm drew Eck in for a kiss.

      “You didn’t answer the question,” said Deb, with a smile.

      “It’s not a tale for the street,” said Eck. “It’s kind of scary, and the more I think about it, the less I understand it. It’s a mystery.”

      “I like a good mystery,” said Joey.

      “I like them better if I’m not one of the characters,” said Eck.

      “Oh. That kind of mystery,” said Deb. “I think I’m with you. Everybody want to come to my place tonight? I have a bottle of wine and…” She trailed off before specifying what else might be on offer.”

      Deb unlocked, the others swished into her place and waited for her to turn on lights, bump up the thermostat, collect coats, offer seats. Then she went around closing curtains, finding glasses and the promised bottle of wine.

      “Talk,” she said to Eck. “I seem to tell you that a lot.”

      “We were being stalked, apparently. I never got a good look at the guy, but a bunch of street people surrounded him, broke beer bottles around him, took his shoes and flipped them up over the telephone wires.”

      “Woh,” said Deb. “And I can imagine Peter doing that. I really need to stop dating creeps.”

      “Present company excluded?” said Joey.

      “You folks are not creepy,” said Deb. “Weird, yes, I’ll grant you that. But a lot of the best people are weird.”

      “Thank you, I think?” said Eck. “Anyway, our benefactor, someone named Mo, didn’t want to get involved in cop business, so I didn’t catch up with you until Olivia and Josh went home. It’s like she has an army of homeless vets on the streets or something.”

      “Woh,” said Deb again. “And she’s using it to intercept stalkers?”

      “That’s the impression I got,” said Eck.

      “Can we, like, talk about something else?” said Joey. “This is making me feel weird.”

      “Because you are weird,” said Deb, and the laughter broke the tension. “Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day, isn’t it? I don’t imagine those guys get much recognition.”

      “I suppose not,” said Eck. “But Mo at least seems to like it that way. The whole ‘Thank you for your service’ thing is kind of shallow. Some of them were drafted, and didn’t have any choice. But I think it’s good for them to be together.”

      “And to do stuff together, using the skills they learned, I imagine,” said Deb.

      “I’m glad they’re on our side, at least for tonight,” said Joey, with a shudder.

    • #9719

      “It seems we have our timetables more aligned than I thought. I didn’t want to appear shallow and lunge for you as soon as we were alone.” It was true, there was more than once that I had to stop a natural movement toward her as we chatted with our families.

      “It seems this whole scenario has arrested the development of what’s happening between us.”

      “I wouldn’t say arrested.” I argued. “Nothing has stopped on my end. It just went underground while I healed from my concussion.”

      “Same here. I needed you to heal so I could tell you I didn’t want to wait any longer. Why I was hesitant to begin with is a mystery. Seeing you get hurt made me realize that time is short. I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life and it’s obvious our kids all approve.”

      “I think they would have drafted me into the family without this happening between us.” I said as I pulled her into my arms. I’m sure she could feel the heavy thud of my heart as her hands wound around my waist and she leaned into my embrace.

      “Yes, one of the kids told me you were as strong as an ant.”

      “That was a compliment, right?”

      “Definitely.” She chuckled. “They are fascinated by bugs and ants are super cool because they can lift five-thousand times their body weight.”

      “I feel honored.”

      “You should. She was going to wait until July twenty-third to tell me, but she couldn’t hold it in.”

      “What’s so special about July twenty-third?”
      “World Ant Day.”

      I could feel her laughter, even though she was keeping an excellent poker face.

      “She’s so excited about it this year because she didn’t find out about it until September last year and she missed it.”

    • #9720

      This is Ude’s contribution:

      Yes, I expected them to let Tom take the fall. You’re too much like me Tom, too kind and helpful. In this situation it won’t do you any good. Give them hell. Tell Mum it was their idea.

      When your soul is in limbo, floating above those it needs to connect with, while your physical body stays motionless, just waiting; it can be hard for us in-limbo souls.

      “So, Tom will tell Mother, it was his idea. His plan to keep her body – “

      He couldn’t even say my name.

      “In her flat, in that chair” Ajay pointed to the chair, my favourite seat, where I liked to watch the park after work. Sit on the chair that rocked ever so slightly and stare out at the park, trees, the shallow pond that hid the odd frog and where snails liked to gather in summer.

      “Tom may face an arrest” continued Ajay in a matter of-fact tone. “That isn’t our concern”

      Like hell it is. I screamed from the ceiling but of course none of them could hear me.

      “So, what is the timetable? We should draft out our plan of action” Maya always liked order, neatness. I let my body flip so my face was pointing downwards and hovering above Meena’s head.

      It’s a mystery how these four partners in crime (not including Tom of course) managed to keep my sudden disappearance away from Mum’s probing questioning.

      “Any of you heard from Cilee? She hasn’t called for a while. Ajay have you heard from her?”

      “Er no Mum. You know what Cilee is like. Always busy. Never know what she’s up to unless one of us calls her”

      “Isn’t that true Maya!”

      I imagined the faint whine in Ajay’s voice.

      I shouted soundlessly to my brother.

      “Come on, be a man, be the head of the household and tell it as it is. You’ve got balls so use them”.

      “I’m not going to have anything to do with this. You’ve got to tell your Mother” Tom stood up his body like a rigid plank of wood.

      “Don’t bother calling me” he shouted and stormed out of the flat.

      Ooooh, Tom this is why I love you so much. This is why you are my greatest friend. Let them be smothered by their evil deed, like Macbeth and his Lady love were smothered by their betrayal of their great friend. I don’t mean that my lovely siblings should meet a harsh end just that Mother will know the truth.

      So, I am on a holiday of sorts. I can float onto ceilings, drift through cracks and holes. My shape can be a thread of smoke, a cloud of dust, a rope like trail. I hang out (literally) with myself. I haven’t seen any other in limbo souls. What I do notice is how bright everything is. If I slip through the slightly raised window and just hover by the balcony, I see all the colour of the park that I loved to look at whilst sitting on my favourite chair. The array of shades of green – leaves, grass, stems of flowers.

      The rainbow colours of the children’s play area. I smell the air. Even though I am in the heart of the city, I can feel a sense of happiness. I can touch and play with nature.

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