Sunday writing chat prompts for 23 May 2021

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    • #7354
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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: bind, corruption, distinct, deficit, passion. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “There was a time when I believed…” (10 min)

      3. Write about putting on fancy clothes. (10 min)

    • #7355
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      After not nearly enough sleep, the alarm woke Jun. She struggled into a jumpsuit to make herself decent, grabbed the web bag of this and that, and launched herself out the pod hatch in the floor and around the pod way widdershins so she could float most of the way instead of having to walk. In the head, the airflow shower booth was empty, so she secured her duds and snapped the door shut behind her. Waiting til the air flow was stable, she turned on the water. Not for space flight is the practice of turning on the water and waiting for the temperature deficit to stabilize before getting in.

      There wasn’t anyone else around to hear her shriek, or at least they weren’t in the lowG bathroom. Surely a nice warm shower would help her wake up? There were snippets corrupted from the engine restart procedure competing in her head with the stuff she normally did to clean her body, so she couldn’t remember whether or not she’d washed her back. Sometimes she forced a shoulder a little farther than it wanted to go in a passion for cleanliness, but it wasn’t sore now, so maybe she hadn’t. No worry; wash it again for the first time.

      There’s that bit in the restart procedure where if it doesn’t work the first time, you send the commanding again, up to three distinct times. The thing about systems involving fluid flow is they have their own timelines and seasons and can’t be rushed, so you have to time your wishes so that commanding the sun to rise happens in synch with when it would have done that anyway.

      Right. Enough of that. Off with the water, on with the air heater that would help dry her skin and her hair, as well as scavenging the leftover water for recycling. She put her face into the air jet and let it run through her hair longer than having hot air blowing in her face was comfortable. But it mostly got the job done. Bind the stuff every ten centimeters or so to keep it out of trouble. On with the jumpsuit that was the closest thing to a bathrobe that would work in lowG, and on around widdershins to the pod, where she could put on her work jumpsuit.

      There was a certain satisfaction, even on a busy and important day, to getting the lowG gymnastics exactly right, so that the daily commute to the head didn’t involve actually stepping on the floor on Deck One.

      And thinking about that while she dressed created yet another thread in her multitasking brain: how much faster would you have to go on Deck Two, with twice the centrifugal force and, um, the same Coriolis force? Right? It’s the same, isn’t it? She hadn’t often had occasion to visit Deck Two.

      “There was a time when I figured I’d be down there a lot, visiting…” And that line of thought spawned yet another pondering… What did I see in him then, and how on earth (or halfway to Mars) did I ever imagine it would be worth the hassle of trading roommates every now and then. Gin is the ideal roommate, unassuming, hardworking, on the same shift most of the time, and willing to snuggle to conserve body heat when environmentals can’t get the thermo regulation right.

      Without, you know, all the complications. That come with, um, Deck Two, shall we say.

      She kicked a little too hard coming out of the hatch, bounced off the floor and then the ceiling, and arrived at the lift just after the door closed, so she turned feet down, settling herself to the deck to wait for the next one. She tugged down on the jumpsuit so that it wouldn’t still be actively massaging her when the lift door opened on Deck Ten, where Jon would be staring at what it did to her body while it figured out how much gravity to compensate for.

      Speaking of Deck Two. And a certain Prop team member who bunked there. Podded there. Whatever you’d call it. Not to mention the complexity of different shifts.

      Lift door opened on Deck Ten. There was Jon, looking up, startled, checking her out, checking out the clock, and just before he was about to open his mouth to remark on her being early, she remembered she hadn’t had breakfast yet.

      “Oh,” she said. “Back in a bit.”

      Poke Deck Six on the panel, and let the suit deal with six-tenths gravity for a half hour, before coming back to one full standard grav. All the fancy logic and actuators and stuff (“gropery” is what Gin called it) reminded her of an experience of ineptness with a certain denizen of Deck Two who would remain nameless.

      “I mean I guess it’s nice not being light-headed when you try to get off the lift on Deck Ten,” Jun said aloud.

      “You still whining about gropery and flight suits?” Gin asked from the other side of the table.

      “Yes, I am,” said Jun. She smiled. “I dunno why my head is so full of extraneous nonsense on a day when I have actual important work to do.”

      “Yeah, there’s something about averted vision making it easier to see things sometimes,” said Gin. “When I can’t quite remember how the sequencing all works out on some procedure, if I think about something else sometimes it comes to me.”

      Jun sipped tea and considered this. MidG was enough to keep the tea in an actual cup if you’re careful, and Jun was. Somebody… was it Jon? had remarked on the Japanese Tea Ceremony from that seat where Gin was eating her breakfast. Jun had pointedly reminded him that Japan and Korea are as different as Germany and Poland. “It’s all the same at this distance,” he said. Was that when she stopped dreaming of visits to Deck Two? She couldn’t remember.

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