Sunday writing chat prompts for 19 Dec 2021

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    • #8272
      Broker
      Participant

      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: district, cottage, relation, steel, genuine. (10 min)

      2. Fill in the blank, “Cheap _____ is not worth the money.” (10 min)

      3. Write about intentionally violating rules. (10 min)

    • #8273
      Broker
      Participant

      When the pandemic clouds cleared away, we figured getting to know the neighbors again would be a good idea. There were some large happy hour kinds of gatherings, but at least when they’re indoors they’re too noisy to actually talk to anybody very much.

      So we had smaller parties. One popular item was “stack parties” where all five or whatever people with the same two last numbers in their unit number would gather. They live stacked one on top of the next, so maybe figuring out whose footsteps you’re hearing tap tap tapping on your cottage roof would be useful?

      There were a couple cases we heard of where it wasn’t. Well, wasn’t pleasant, at least. To hear Ms. Downstairs tell it, Mr. Upstairs has steel-heeled boots. We found out our downstairs neighbor likes using a hammer to crack nuts.

      And then there were name parties. All the Susans in the building, for example. We did one with Anns, Annas, Anas, Anitas, Anetas, various H+ names based on the theme, and ended up with about fifteen ladies in one of the restaurant back rooms.

      The self-appointed emcee stood up and introduced the person to her left. “This is Anna. She’s the only one. Everybody else is ah-na.” We all laughed. It’s a thing, trying to get people to pronounce it that way. Lots of folks were immigrants, and the English A sound is pretty much unique to our language, so you’d think…

      There were two Anita Smiths, no relation.

      When it was her turn Anita Smith the First related the tale of checking into a motel once. The harried clerk said to her partner, “Let me guess, your name is Jim Smith.”

      “Nope. John Smith,” he said. It turned out there was a Jim Smith Convention at the motel that evening and the clerk could not keep people straight.

      I… brought my significant other. She’d thought of calling herself Jane, but somehow being the Annes was more genuine or something. She did spell it without the E which I found… interesting. I guess it’s important to be different, at least a little. When we played games she would write E at the top of my column on the score card, and J on her own. Could have used our last names I suppose. I’m still the Anne Compton she met when I visited her in the men’s dorm in college.

      It turned out there was at least one other pair of roommates at that gathering who were both women. And our stack party had another one. And we knew, at the stack party, that everybody had the same floor plan, so there’s just the one bedroom. Ann and I exchanged a raised eyebrow at the obviously identical twin sisters upstairs. Everybody here is old enough to know better, and do it anyway.

      “So how many of you are called Annie?” the hostess wanted to know. Ann and I call each other that, so we raised our hands. A few others allowed as how their partners do that. Did that, in some cases, past tense. Somehow cheap nicknames are not worth the money. But a little private teasing can be useful, keeping things interesting.

      We went through a few months where we called each other Rex. It made for some interesting looks around if we had visitors.

      Once we’d met other couples, we’d often have dinner together. The eateries have tables for four, and it’s good to bring your own friends. Though both Annie and I met interesting people over dinner.

      Anyway, the upstairs neighbors invited us to their place for cognac or something after dinner. Maybe over a friendly card game. We all four of us admitted that our grandmothers had taught us Canasta, so after a little negotiation over house rules, we had a grand time. The first hand was As vs. Rs.

      “I think you guys are telepathically exchanging information,” said Annie.

      “Nuh-uh!” both sisters said together. And then they laughed, together.

      “We always used to tease each other with stuff like ‘My boobs are bigger than yours.’ The retort was always ‘Nuh-uh!’ Whether it was true or even made any sense.”

      Annie and I sat across the table looking at each others’ boobs. Great.

      “We’re swapping partners for the next game,” I told Ravyn.

      “OooooOOooooo,” she said in reply. And then to her sister, “My partner is cuter than yours.”

      Renee looked Annie up and down and gave the required response. “Nuh-uh!”

      Annie was pleased. She’s still self-conscious after all these years.

      After a couple hands punctuated only by talk of cards and cognac, Ravyn allowed as how this was a much lower-scoring game than it was when the sisters were partners.

      “See? Toldya,” Annie crowed.

    • #8274
      Sue
      Participant

      As soon as the lunch rush was done, I left my second in command in charge and drove off to my favourite spot to do some planning. Sure I had an office at the back of the store with everything at my fingertips but I always thought better away from the noise and distractions that came with running a restaurant. Especially one as busy as mine was going to be over the next few weeks.

      Despite customer complaints, about closing, even if it was just temporary. I was stripping the dining down to it’s steel girders and redoing everything, plumbing, electrical, if it’s there, it’s going to be replaced. This was an old building. Not quite old enough to be historical, but old enough that like most buildings in the district, were designed by a local son, who was more popular than he ever should have been.

      The relationship between quaint cottage and retail space was poorly thought out and badly executed. Even though the location was perfect I had a genuine hatred of the layout.

      Now, we were established enough that the restaurant could handle a short closure without losing our customer base. It was a slower season for the local area, which made it the best time to undertake the renovations.
      My only true competition right now was the lunch place down the street who seemed to have more than one review stating it was cheap ingredients and poor service. Not worth the money.

      I bade my crew goodbye and took off for the beach out at Blackey Spit. My thinking spot.

      It was a crappy day outside, the air was heavy with moisture, ready to pour down with the right gust of wind. Which was brisk as it seemed to find every crevice in my car’s frame. It was challenging my desire to be a responsible car owner and not idle my car too long with the heat on. Technically it was against city by-laws and was more important here because the sandbar called Blackey Spit was a wildlife conservation area.

      The RCMP came through here frequently, checking for all kinds of offenders. Car idlers included.

      Ultimately, the muscle car three spots down from me was the deciding factor. Despite the cold, they had their stereo blasting and arms out the windows, flicking ashes to the ground.

      “Dudes. The seventies called, they want their attitude back.”

      Decision made, I clicked off my engine like a good little girl and grabbed my car blanket from the back seat. In less than an minute my legs were encased in a cozy wool cocoon.

      Next I hauled out my tablet and started to review my summer plans for decor and add to them where necessary.

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