Sunday writing chat prompts for 17 July 2022

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    • #8671

      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: capital, belief, statement, overeat, stab. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “This won’t take very long.” (10 min)

      3. Write about feeling chilled on a hot day. (10 min)

    • #8672

      After a few false starts, and a nick-of-time rescue from Eck’s pants before they went in the wash, the doily that had been under Joey’s water glass at the restaurant and now bore their phone number gave up that information under heavy interrogation. Eck dialed.

      The call went to voice mail.

      “Uhhh…” the recording began. “Eck here. I wanted to, like, say I had a good time last night. And, uh, maybe take a stab at figuring out how nonbinary people date. If you’re feeling it or whatever. Call me.” It ended with a flustered attempt at reciting the cell phone number. The phone knew it, of course, but Eck was unsure whether he could ask it nicely while he was using the voice feature.

      Eck leaned back in his chair and began to shake again. It might have been ninety seconds later, it might have been ninety days, Eck couldn’t tell, but the phone rang. The shaking stopped, finger found the answer button no problem, and they were connected.

      “Thanks for calling,” said Joey. “Your message sounded like, I dunno, trying to hammer out a press statement or something.”

      “Yeah, sorry. Dunno why I wasn’t expecting to talk to your machine.”

      “I think it’s a capital idea,” said Joey, “Trying to figure out what we want to do with this… is it a relationship we have?”

      “Is this a relationship I see before me?” Eck declaimed in a Shakespearian manner. “So this won’t take very long… just a couple lifetimes, if we do it together.”

      Joey giggled. “Sorry. I should, like guffaw or something instead of giggling like a schoolgirl.”

      “I guess we could be called schoolenbies,” said Eck. “So giggling is allowed. I hope you enjoyed last night.”

      “Like, totally,” said Joey. “I always overeat in nice restaurants, but otherwise, the company was wonderful, and meeting Olivia and Josh was great. I mean, what are the odds that the couple at the next table would be…”

      Eck considered. “Well depends on your belief about how many gender-variant people there are out there. But really? Still not very likely.”

      “Perhaps star-crossed, then. I hope you slept well.”

      “Likewise.” It was just occurring to Eck that going from a date with Joey (if that’s what it was) to Ann’s apartment (for the night) might not be exactly polite. Though Ann had a wonderful way of slicing through the clouds of cotton candy spun sugar Eck wove around understandings of gender.

      “What is it you want?” she had asked him. “At some level this is about desire, which is what, like, makes me…” and she had gestured in an unmistakeable way, connecting their desires. “Or whatever.”

      “Or whatever,” Eck echoed into a different conversation the following afternoon.

      “OK, so this is where I go, um, what?” said Joey.

      “Sorry, just kinda drifted off into coming up with something to say about sleeping last night,” said Eck.

      “Seriously, though, your friend Ann?”

      Eck broke out in a cold sweat.

      “She had interesting things to say last night… was it just last night?”

      “I know, right?” Eck said, trying to speak despite the wobble.

      “…about gender, and maybe even how to live with… how shall I say… unusual answers to the pronoun question,” Joey finished.

      “She’s kinda the shrink for our labbies,” said Eck, glad to be sitting down.

      “Handy, since all grad students are depressed,” said Joey.

      “It’s true,” said Eck. “Maybe we should ask her to dinner or something and get her to expound.”

      “Whatever she’s saying, I wanna hear,” said Joey.

      Ann had a way of being blunt that Eck hoped wouldn’t be hurtful. “Yeah, me too,” said Eck. “I’m still kinda figuring all this stuff out.”

      “Given the considered pronoun response, you’ve been figuring for a while,” said Joey. “Me, too, but probably in different ways. But the linguist in me feels that having new words to talk about this stuff is like having a new soul, or a new gender or something.”

      “Maybe that’s why I’ve been shaky off an on ever since it tumbled out of my mouth,” said Eck. “A sense of impending… I dunno, enlightenment or something. Like, what I say in the next sentence will be completely different from anything I’ve known. You know what I mean? I dunno what I mean.”

      Joey laughed.

    • #8673

      My statement was true. I didn’t want to make life difficult for my newfound brother. Especially if he was up for a promotion. I had a strong belief that you start as you mean to go on, and I didn’t want to stab my brother in the back before I got to know him, or after. In an attempt to change the subject, I asked. “Do you want anything else to eat?”

      “No thank you.” Abby said. “I don’t dare overeat after my surgery.”

      “How did that go?” I asked. “I’m a candidate for a bone marrow transplant and they say the recovery is long.”

      “Yeah, well they have to suppress your immunity system. They didn’t have to do that for me. So far, my biggest lingering affect is being chilled on a hot day like today.” Abby Laughed. “I feel like a little old lady, because I have to wear a cardigan when everyone else is in a skimpy tank top.”

      “Fair enough. I have to make a salad but that won’t take very long. I have food coming soon.

      Abby helped me make the salad before we went back into the living room with the guys, and I hoped the subject of Chris’s Hot boss would be dropped. And when I say hot, I mean hot with a capital H.”

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