Sunday writing chat prompts for 21 Feb 2021

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      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: mean, overall, circumstance, progressive, grind. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “You never listen.” (10 min)

      3. Write about putting something in the wrong place. (10 min)

    • #7126
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      The alarm klaxon sounded when Jun was fast asleep, arms around Gin in a shared sleeping bag, which was tethered to the ceiling of their pod by its toes. Before Jun had come around enough to know what was happening, Gin had unzipped the bag and was falling slowly to the floor. Being awake, she flipped and landed on her feet. Jun landed in a heap.

      Gin had her jumpsuit on, zipped it up, popped open the hatch and dropped through it, while Jun was still wondering where her clothes were. She went into the storage chest and came up with a long-sleeved t-shirt and some denim overalls she had brought along for… reasons… mostly sentimental ones. Slippers would have to do, never mind hair, it’d settle eventually, and she followed.

      Rather than dump everybody into the control room, each team had a meeting point, and the Prop group had one side of the Engineering conference room on deck six, which meant six tenths G. Flight suit optional, so Jun didn’t need to take the time to find hers, put it on properly, and then show up yet another couple minutes late. The Systems group of course was right off the control room, so it was good that Gin managed to find her flight suit quickly.

      Still, she was musing to herself when the lift door opened on six, aught point six boobs were… annoying, and the bib of the overalls wasn’t helping. Flight suits are also annoying, but she’d learned to live with them, and their allegedly smart logic that kind of creeped her out after Gin had likened the experience to being groped.

      Jon was having trouble keeping his eyes on the problem at hand.

      Jun rearranged her hair, which she hoped would help with that circumstance. She wore it up on duty, and Jon seemed to expect that as part of the daily grind. She had found only half the usual number of pins to stick in it, so it was coming down progressively anyway. “Trade places?” Jun asked him, so that he wouldn’t have to look past/at her to see the group leader.

      They all tuned in to both the Systems group channel, and the private Prop channel. Gwen was down in the control room. They also all brought up the pages of data they normally monitored, showing the state of all the valves in the attitude control system, temperatures of tanks and valves and thrusters, pressures, telltales from the computer that ran the whole thing. Everything was green, as far as Jun could tell.

      “All stations on the Systems loop, I’m going to poll for status.”

      Jun found the short list of stuff to check in emergencies, which included the computer’s opinion of the system’s health, plus a few double-checks done manually.

      Somewhere down the list, the Systems person said, “Prop.”

      Gwen should respond, and she wasn’t.

      “Prop, Systems, status?”

      “Uh, sorry,” Gwen said, with the telltale clickety noise that came from tuning in to the correct channel before pressing the speak button. “Prop’s green.”

      “You never listen to me,” said Systems, in a rare excursion from professional protocol. “Attitude?”

      “This is Mona on the Prop channel,” the group leader announced. “You doing okay down there, Gwen?”

      Gwen should respond, and she wasn’t.

      Jun’s eyes met Mona’s, and she tilted her head toward the door, offering to go check on Gwen. Mona put up one finger and waited.

      But the channel went clickety and she came on. “Sorry. Bathroom break. Muuuuch better now,” said Gwen. “Note to self, don’t put off your bathroom break till after the general alarm goes off.

      Mona laughed on the channel. “So now we wait for the Systems briefing to figure out what’s going on. Bathroom breaks encouraged.”

      Off the channel, Jun asked if there was time to go back to her pod and put on her flight suit.

      “Let’s see what Systems says about when the briefing will be,” said Mona.

      “I’m not entirely sure where I put it when I got off shift,” said Jun.

      Jon checked her out again, with just a hint of a smile on his lips, telling Jun that he was imagining what bedtime in the Jun-n-Gin pod might be like.

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