Sunday writing chat prompts for 26 June 2022

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    • #8622

      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: undermine, product, column, dozen, quota. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “That puts things in a different light.” (10 min)

      3. Write about reading between the lines. (10 min)

    • #8623

      “I guess we get the promenade down the pedestrian mall anyway,” said Olivia.

      The four of them, a drink or two apiece under their respective belts, sashes, what have you, emerged from the corner door, looked around, and saw nothing more threatening than a cloud or two.

      “I guess Steve gave up,” said Josh. “If he was ever here at all. We go that way.” He pointed west.

      “And I’m imagining Peter has forgotten the trauma from this afternoon. While it seems really earth-shattering to me, he’s probably had his quota of a dozen random things today and since it was just confusing, like, meh. Or whatever. But I met you,” said Eck, putting an arm around Joey.

      “It’s cool, meeting somebody else who wonders about undermining the binary as much as I do. Forming a fifth column in the culture wars.” said Joey. “Which way are we going?”

      “I could go up Broadway,” said Eck. “We can walk with Josh and Olivia for a while.”

      “Works for me,” said Joey. “Just, remind me to peel off before we get to your place.”

      “First awkward date between two introverts, right,” said Josh. “Been there, done that. But I got to keep the partner, so that’s something. What we call a productive meeting, at work.”

      “How long have you been together?” said Eck.

      “Couple years now? I think?” said Olivia. “Did I get the upspeak right?”

      “Totally,” said Joey, laughing. “I want to hang out with all of you again.”

      “So I have this work thing that’s going to take probably a couple weeks,” said Olivia. “After that, I’m totally there for whatever kind of unwinding things you want to do.”

      “Uh, lessee,” said Josh. “There’s an audit we have to do sometime. One of those living in a hotel things, working whatever hours, figuring out what the client did with the stockholders’ money.”

      “Midterms are in March,” said Eck.

      “Ugh. Midterms. At least I’m the perpetrator and not the victim,” said Joey.

      “I guess that’d put things in a different light,” said Eck. “I’m hoping this is my last year of course work.”

      “Anyway, contact info,” said Josh. Everyone got out their phones and got them to share. “Maybe we can say, oh, how about Mayday, same venue? Just to have a plan to change.”

      “Ooookaaaay,” said Eck, petting a phone. “It’s even a Friday.”

      “I’ve electric penciled you in,” said Joey.

      “I’ll have to see,” said Olivia. “Oh and don’t take it amiss if my personal phone is off for days at a time,” she added. “Things get… intense sometimes.”

      “Broadway,” said Eck. “We’re going up the hill. It’s really cool to meet you both. And thanks for helping with the two introverts on an awkward first date thing.”

      Joey took Eck’s elbow, and said, “Totally.”

      “Likewise,” said Josh.

      They watched Eck and Joey walk away, crossed the street headed west, and moved over to the middle of the pedestrian mall. “I feel a little safer if I can see in all directions,” said Olivia.

      “I had fun tonight,” said Josh.

      “Me, too,” said Olivia. “Could have done with less excitement, though. All of us are jumpy, for various different reasons.”

      “I can’t remember the last time we were out in public, met interesting people, and didn’t get misgendered all evening,” said Josh.

      “And so we’re going home to…” said Olivia.

      “Exactly,” said Josh, with a grin. “Reading between the lines… your work-thing is another undercover thing, isn’t it?”

      “…get under the covers,” Olivia continued, ignoring Josh. Or maybe engaging in misdirection by using a different definition of Josh’s words.

      “I’m a professional auditor. I know when I’m being misconstrued,” said Josh.

      “And I’m a cop,” Olivia sighed. “I pretty much know when I’m being lied to. What’s your point?”

      “You’re not going to tell me, are you?”

      “I shouldn’t. Slip-ups in these situations can have dire consequences. I’ll give you a contact in the department you can use in emergencies. But I really should be off the grid for a couple weeks or so.”

      “Gotcha. I’ll miss you,” said Josh.

      “I’ll make it up to you,” said Olivia. “Before and after. We could, like, go upstairs and get started on the before part. But first I want Josh Saunders, hunk, to kiss Olivia Carter, party girl, right out here on the street in public.”

      “And then we’ll go upstairs and…”


      “…each others’ stuff.” Olivia giggled.

    • #8624

      When she was finished, she continued to scold me about undermining all the hard work they did and put my sister’s gift of a kidney in danger. When it was clear I met my quota of reprimand she put her hand over mine. “Abby, I know you’re tired of being sick, but you have to look after yourself.”

      “I know. Chris already yelled at me on the way here.”

      “Why is he not here with you now?”

      “I don’t know. I would have thought he’d be here by now. He stopped at the desk to give them my information.”

      “I’ll go check on him.”

      Alone again I cursed my stupidity. I should have told Chris as soon as I started feeling pain instead of just discomfort. At the very least I should have said something when we were leaving. There were a dozen opportunities for me to have lessened the severity of the infection. I was a product of my out stubbornness.

      Soon I heard voices coming down the hall. I groaned. Cameron’s irate tones echoed over the softer tones of the doctor.

      As they entered the room, Becca warned my brother. “Stop being such a jerk.”
      Chris held back, his back as straight and rigid as a column. It didn’t take much to read between the lines to see that he and Cameron already had words. At least, he hadn’t been scared away by my overprotective neanderthal of a brother.

      “I don’t understand why he’s allowed to be here.” Cameron grumbled.

      “If he wasn’t with me, I probably would have passed out be fore I could get to the hospital. Plus, after figuring out I was in pain he put some antiseptic on it and a clean pad to help keep it from getting worst while he got me here with a police escort.”

      “There,” Becca said. “That puts things in a different light now doesn’t it.”

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