Sunday writing chat prompts for 23 Jan 2022

Home Forums Just the Place for a Snark Sunday writing chat prompts for 23 Jan 2022

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    • #8329
      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: merchant, hall, goalkeeper, depart, slippery. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “supposedly ancient.” (10 min)

      3. Write about the final issue of a magazine. (10 min)

    • #8330
      Broker
      Participant

      “Shall we deal another? And should we swap partners this time?” Ann asked.

      “What time is it?” said Bill.

      “3:30-ish,” said Annie, checking her phone. “We have dinner reservations at five. If you’d like to join us…”

      “I would, actually,” said Bill. “Is your dear, departed sister Renee coming back sometime? And should we make ourselves scarce when she does?”

      “I dunno,” said Ravyn, “and she can close the bedroom door if she, ahem, wants to freshen up. Though I’m thinkin’ she’s likely pretty fresh already.”

      “I just don’t want to be the hall’s goalkeeper, is all,” said Bill. “Stopping my neighbors from… I was gonna say scoring but that’s really crude.”

      “We are the very merchants of crude, inappropriate humor,” said Ravyn, laughing. “Besides, she’s, how should I put it? Slippery when wet? She might slide right by.”

      “I like the layout of your apartment,” said Bill.

      “You picked up on the singular bedroom door,” said Ravyn, “with the singular bedroom behind it. Not to mention the guest bathroom that’s currently functioning as a bicycle garage.”

      “There are bike racks downstairs, but they always seem to be full,” said Annie.

      “And we don’t use our bikes enough that we felt good hogging space on the racks,” said Ravyn. “Renee figured out how to get them both in there and still close the door.”

      “You probably should run water and flush the john now and then,” said Ann. “Just to keep the drain traps full.”

      “Yeah, Renee thought of that,” said Ravyn. “She read something about the original SARS virus spreading through plumbing in an apartment house in China.”

      “With, let me guess, less-than-full plumbing traps,” said Annie. “Ugh.”

      “For a supposedly ancient civilization…” said Bill.

      “Yeah, why doesn’t this surprise me,” said Ravyn. It wasn’t a question.

      Partway through the next hand the door opened and a slightly disheveled Renee came in, grinning.

      “You seem happy,” said Ravyn. “I guess Eric was…”

      Renee walked over behind Ravyn’s chair and put her hands on her sister’s body, as a kind of awkward embrace, what with Ravyn remaining seated.

      “… in good working order,” Ravyn finished, with a sly grin.

      “All your cards look like tiny valentines,” said Renee, with exactly the same expression on her face. “Shower. See you in a flash.”

      The singular bedroom door closed and they could hear water running in the pipes.

      “I was about to retort that if somebody around here was seen flashing it’d probably be me,” said Ravyn. “But that’s probably too much information.” She smiled.

      “Yeah, I don’t know if I could share a bedroom with…” said Bill.

      Ravyn continued to smile, though much less innocently.

      “You just discarded something you could have put down on the table,” Annie pointed out. “You’re distracted.”

      “Sometimes a girl has to throw away valuable things,” said Ravyn. “It’s your turn, Bill.”

      Bill drew cards and considered. “When I was downsizing I regrettably discarded the final issue of my college’s lit magazine,” he said. “I haven’t really missed anything else, yet. I wonder if the editorial office has some extra copies.”

      “You should discard,” said Ravyn. “I’m not the only one who’s distracted.”

      As forecast, Renee reappeared, wearing a nice dress that would have been long enough for her forty years earlier. “I think I saw my sandals in here,” she said. Her hair was wound around her head, though she was removing hairpins as she found them, putting them between her lips for safe keeping. She was also feeling the floor under the coffee table with a foot, and then extracting the sandals in question and pushing her feet into them. Her hair fell, freed of all but one of the pins, which Renee quickly found and extracted. A vigorous twist of the head erased most of its memory of having been confined, and it ran free about her body while the other four gawked.

      “Who’s distracted now?” Renee asked, smiling sweetly.

    • #8331
      Sue
      Participant

      It took everything I had to walk back down the hall toward the server room. The need to drag Fay outside now, instead of waiting for lunch, so we could talk was overwhelming.
      As the morning progressed, Eli was an effective goalkeeper to keep me focused on the job.
      We deployed the new system, which had enough moving parts to keep my thoughts from departing down that slippery slope of ‘what-ifs’. Haythen was a good sized merchant account that required all my concentration, one missed piece of programming would make us need to abandon the process and start over.
      Despite the busywork, the morning seemed to drag.
      Noon came and went while we were knuckle deep in avoiding a crisis because something was configured wrong in the database we were in the middle of converting. It was well past two in the afternoon before either Eli or I raised our heads from our monitors.
      I’d missed lunch with Fay.
      The realization sunk to the pit of my stomach like a lump of lead. Yet again, I let her down.
      I excused myself to go apologize. I know we were supposedly ancient history but I felt just as connected to her now as I did back then.
      “You finally came up for air.” She said with a smile as I walked toward her. “I put your lunch in the fridge.”
      I jerked to a stop. The shock flooded my veins as if I’d grabbed a live wire. “My lunch?”
      “I came to see if you were ready but you and Eli was busy tossing acronyms back and forth like alphabetic flamethrowers. I picked something up in case you were done by the time I got back.” She pointed at the kitchen, “No food allowed in the server room so I put it in the fridge for you. There is some for Eli too.”
      “Thank you?” My voice went up at the end making it sound like a question. “You didn’t have to do that.”
      “Not a problem, I’ll expense the cost.” She shrugged and looked away, far too casually to be anything but deliberately casual. “Can’t have the hired help going hungry now, can we?”
      I nodded. Not really sure what to say. Especially since her co-workers seemed to be paying a lot of attention to our conversation.
      “Follow me.” She stood from her desk. “I’ll get it for you.”
      Trailing behind her to the kitchen, I laughed when she pulled the bang marked with my name out of the refrigerator. She got me sushi. It had been a running joke between us back East, long before we got together and I ruined everything. We poured over copies of our favourite magazine that had gone out of print. In it were numerous ads for sushi. It grossed her out even though I’d told her that sushi was fantastic.
      Thirty years later, it’s what she bought me for lunch.

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