Sunday writing chat prompts for 22 Aug 2022

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    • #8730

      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: palm, ad-lt, mixture, trouble, aisle. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “closer to the track.” (10 min)

      3. Write about an event that cannot be rescheduled. (10 min)

    • #8731

      Josh pushed down the aisle between tables to the one at the far end of the dining room. Eck was sitting, back to the wall, talking to two other people. Huh. One of them might be Joey… Josh had trouble imagining who the other might be.

      But he sat down in the empty seat and said, “Hi everybody. It’s good to see you.”

      “I’m Ann,” said Ann.

      “She’d be the third consenting aduult in our little…” said Eck.

      “Mixture,” Joey suggested.

      “Pod,” said Ann. “Beer?”

      “You-all are a beer?” Josh asked, grinning. “Sure.”

      “Maybe trouble is the right collective noun for, uh, whatever we are,” said Eck.

      Josh looked at his hands for a long moment. “Maybe so. I hope not.”

      “Olivia is…” Joey said. “Doing okay, I hope?”

      “I hope so,” said Josh. “He… uh, she… is away on business for a while. Seems to be going well; the office called to say it’ll be another week or two.”

      “You’re upset,” said Ann.

      Josh nodded.

      “And you can’t really talk about the trouble,” said Ann.

      “You’re good,” said Josh. “Olivia would like you, I think.”

      Ann smiled, but continued looking right through Josh.

      “Yeah, I didn’t know what to think after… Well, that Friday, so I did what the rest of the guys in our research group do when they can’t figure out which way’s up,” said Eck. “I dumped everything on Ann.”

      “And somehow we came up with a relationship-like thing involving three of us,” said Joey. “Joey (they, them, theirs), Ann (she, her, hers) and Eck, who in a moment of revelatory whimsey claimed she, him, theirs as, uh, their pronouns.”

      “Creativity is as important as the consenting aduults thing,” said Ann.

      “I’m…” Josh sighed. “I’m Josh, he, him, his, here with you, and with Olivia. I’m Sandra, she, her, hers, at work. What I really am is confused.”

      “And Olivia is the other way around,” said Joey. “I liked her.”

      “And she likes you,” said Josh.

      “Somehow this is more honest,” said Ann. “All that hanging out with the guys was… Well, and sleeping with them when… And screwing their heads on straight when they had figured themselves into a blind alley. I mean, sheesh, those guys couldn’t, like…”

      Ann paused for a mouthful of beer and a refill from the pitcher.

      “If it’s not on the right track, at least it feels closer to the track,” she said at last.

      “Close enough that your teeth rattle when the trains go by?” said Josh, with a grin.

      “Yeah, exactly. Somehow it feels like I was the proverbial maiden in distress, lashed to the tracks over that way somewhere,” said Ann. She flung out an arm that narrowly missed Josh’s ear.

      “Did we rescue you?” Joey asked.

      “As much as I rescued you,” said Ann, looking at Eck.

      “It’s… both obvious and really strange, once Annie pointed out that being queer means a lot of the cis-het conventions just don’t apply,” said Eck.

      “I mean, you’re not either a woman or a man,” said Ann.

      Eck nodded.

      “And neither are you,” she said to Joey.

      Joey also nodded.

      “And you’re both,” she said to Josh.

      “So even if you insist on one-woman-one-man, uh, pods was the word we settled on,” said Eck. “This is a case where one plus one can be three. Or four halves making two, for you folks,” they added with a nod to Josh.

      “I hope my better half (and her other half) come back soon, and in one piece,” said Josh. “There was some kind of grand meeting coming that couldn’t be rescheduled, and she had to stay for that. He did. Business, she’s a he. At home together, he’s a she. Or something. I don’t really know how I feel about myself, and I usually see similar things in her eyes but it’s probably not the same.”

      “There was this movie once called Different for Girls,” said Joey. “And even though nobody is a girl, really…”

      Ann moved but didn’t object.

      “…it applies. And besides, why are we buying the one-woman-one-man thing anyway?” said Joey.

      “Thinking about gender identities is like learning a foreign language,” said Joey. “It takes a while before you can dream in French or whatever, except maybe about being unable to communicate.”

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