Sunday writing chat prompts for 21 Mar 2021

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    • #7200

      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: disorder, performer, waste, tropical, grief. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “What are you feeling?” (10 min)

      3. Write about picky food preferences. (10 min)

    • #7201

      Disorder in the court.

      Yeah, I know the phrase makes no sense, yet it keeps repeating itself in my brain, which incidentally is full of disorder. I know I’m here, in the chair beside Max, my lawyer with a judge staring down at me from her perch above the rest of us. But, I still can’t believe I’m sitting here and this all isn’t a bad dream caused by late night television and a bad batch of clams.

      I sit still, taking it all in without hearing a single word. I’m like a performer acting solid, sure and calm while inside I’m wasting away with grief. There is no way I’m coming out of this. Sunny has manipulated this entire affair to ruin every aspect of my life, just because I dared to break-up with her mother.

      I want to be anywhere but here. It doesn’t have to be a tropical paradise, hell forty-below in my underwear sounds like heaven right now.

      Every minute ticks by in slow motion as the lawyers cross-examine Lana, Lillian, Jackson and Lillian’s mother Renee. Finally, after what feels like several lifetimes later, day one of my trial comes to a close.

      Gail lingers as the prosecutor leaves the courtroom. Now it’s just the three of us. She asks the question I’m afraid of. “What are you feeling about Rick’s chances to beat these lies?”

      Max doesn’t seem surprised at all by her bluntness. He’s met Gail several times over the past few months and is glad I’m not going through this alone. He’s told me a few times that if the rest of my friends are like her. I should have them all here with me for support.

      “Honestly, I think Lillian helped us.”

      My head jerked up from where I’d been picking at the edge of the defendant’s desk. “How?” I didn’t hear her say she thought I was innocent.

      Max turned to Gail, “If you thought Rick had harmed your daughter, what would you have said about him on the stand?”

      “I would have torn him a new one?” Gail said. “I would make sure the judge knew what an SOB he was.”

      “Yes. Exactly.” Max pointed his finger at her. “You wouldn’t tell the court how he was a nice guy and a good provider. You wouldn’t let me distract you with questions about how he looked after you and your kids. You’d be champing at the bit to nail his ass, not telling the court how worried you were about him losing his job and going to jail.”

    • #7202

      “Oh, hi,” said Jun, when she recognized Sam.

      Sam finished decanting herself from the hatch in the lowG ceiling, dropped to the floor in front of Jun, waited for her hair to catch up, and then looked to see who it was. “Jun! I lost track of where you ended up.”

      “About twenty meters aft of you, apparently,” said Jun.

      Sam’s hair was the color of sunshine through autumn leaves, and just curly enough to show the disorder that came from being upside down and then suddenly righted.

      “I still remember the Jun Jong Memorial Hangover,” said Sam.

      “Yeah, I try not to waste good alcohol like that nowadays,” said Jun. “It was a pretty good way to absorb the new grief of losing our families, though.”

      “I guess?” said Sam. “I did learn how to order Korean whiskey, so apparently some brain cells survived the experience.”

      “It was just… so unfair,” said Jun. “I mean, I worked hard, we both did, got a very competitive assignment. I’d think my grandmother would be proud.”

      “But noooooo,” said Sam. “Apparently shuttling settlers to Mars is women’s work or some damn thing.”

      “Or they think… like, the acrobatic performer I was as a kid is up in Zero Deck getting it on with the girls all day,” said Jun.

      “Are you, like, seeing anybody?” said Sam.

      “My pod mate?” said Jun. “Did the heating outage we had in Engineering get you guys, too?”

      “We had some majorly miffed passengers, yeah,” said Sam.

      “Snuggling with my podmate helped keep us both warm,” said Jun. “Now we’re back to tropical climes, it’s still easier to sleep together than apart. Until there’s an anomaly and we both have to go do something about it.”

      “So maybe your grandmother was right?” said Sam. She was grinning sort of side-eyed at Jun. “At least a little.”

      “She doesn’t think women should love women, no,” said Jun. “So we just, like hang out, or whatever. Since she’s not answering my messages any more, though, it hardly matters what she thinks, right?”

      “Right,” said Sam. She nodded firmly which sent a really interesting wave all the way to the ends of her hair. The curls took their time snapping back.

      Jun watched all this, and only then realized her mouth was open. She closed it.

      Sam was grinning. “I have an appointment at the salon later,” she said, trying to tame some of the excess motion.

      “I just got out of the salon,” said Jun. “And my hair is still lifeless spaghetti.”

      “Better than having it alive, like Medusa’s snakes or something,” said Sam. She captured another lock that wanted to be between their faces.

      Jun watched.

      “What are you feeling right now?” Sam asked.

      “I’m… uh… not sure,” said Jun. “Maybe comparing my mental notes about your hair that night in Annapolis to… this.” She gestured at the chaos.

      “You have a thing about hair,” said Sam. “And the girls it belongs to,” she added.

      “Maaaaaaybe,” said Jun, trying to be evasive.

      “You wanna go up to Zero Deck with me sometime and…” said Sam.

      “They do have a Korean whiskey up there,” said Jun. Then she realized she’d headed off a potential date situation that might end up exactly where her grandmother had predicted.

      “With my luck it’s the one of those I hated,” said Sam. “I should check out their Scotch.”

      “I don’t have time for another epic hangover,” said Jun. “Besides, I’m done feeling sorry for myself.”

      “Well, you can feel sorry for me, then,” said Sam. “My job is a lot like being the mayor of a small town. Town manager or something. Since I’m not landing with them, I’m an outsider, but I still have to fix their problems while they’re our guests.”

      “Mine’s more like auto mechanics,” said Jun, “Only it’s way better documented, and I spend most of my time contributing to the mountain of documentation as I learn stuff.”

      “Somebody’s gotta peddle the rickshaw,” said Sam. “Oh, sorry, that’s probably a racial slur.”

      “Meh,” said Jun. “Don’t worry about it. You have an appointment, I believe?”

      Sam nodded.

      Jun tried not to watch her hair. “What shift are you on?” she asked.

      “Night,” said Sam.

      “Zero Deck at oh two hundred is a hopping place,” said Jun, and she pushed off toward the aft end of the ship and her quarters.

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