Sunday writing chat prompts for 28 Mar 2021

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    • #7207

      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: medium, hard, unpleasant, care, orgy. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “mended feelings.” (10 min)

      3. Write about an uncanny feeling. (10 min)

    • #7208

      Jun let herself through the pressure door on the ventral passageway on Deck One. The pressure doors are a precaution, in case a leak develops somewhere, the other compartments are still secure. It was unpleasant to think about such a casualty, so except for drills, people didn’t, mostly.

      Most of Jun’s life happened in the same vicinity along the axis, just aft of the pressure bulkhead. Engineering was on Deck Ten, with 10 of 10 earth normal gravity. Her pod was on Deck One, with 1/10 gravity. The engines and tanking and plumbing the prop group were responsible for were elsewhere, of course, but hands-on work was unusual, except, again, for drills and taking care to be vigilant, knowing what’s where by actually tracing some of the propellant piping system.

      And so Jun found it hard to use the fore-and-aft passageway, because the coriolis forces were weird and not at all like they were in the perpendicular rings where the pods were. It came as no surprise that Gin was flying around their ring just as Jun floated into the intersection, trying to remember how the acrobatic maneuver worked that would turn her toward home. It wasn’t a hard collision, more like medium, and they’d certainly had enough mishaps trying to do things in lowG to just kind of relax and go with it, trying not to bump anything vulnerable on the corners or handles.

      “Why are you coming from Up Forward?” Gin wanted to know.

      “I took a detour past the salon,” said Jun. “And now you’ve messed up my hair again.”

      This provoked an orgy of giggles, which they mostly contained until they were safely in their pod with the hatch closed. Jun’s hair would to absolutely nothing but seek local gravity’s down direction, unless it was charged with static. Static was dangerous because it could zap electronics. But the notion that the hair dressers could somehow fix Jun’s hair, give it some personality, was funny to both of them.

      “Oh, and you remember Sam?” said Jun. “I ran into her, not quite as literally but almost, in One Forward. She’s, like, wrangling settlers or something.”

      “I remember nursing you through the hangover she gave you,” said Gin. “You’re not going to do that again, are you?”

      “Nope,” said Jun. “A girl can only be disowned once. At least for joining a predominantly female service everybody back home thinks is stuffed with lesbians.”

      “Yeah, I remember that, too,” said Gin. “As good an excuse for getting smashed as any I’ve heard. I’m glad your feelings are mended, at least. How’s Sam doing?”

      “Carefully sober,” said Jun. “I told her about Deck Zero at two in the morning.”

      “Uh-oh,” said Gin, and she giggled again.

      What with the mid-sleep-shift alarm, both pod-mates needed more sleep, so they changed and got into their sleeping bag. There was something safe about being in Gin’s arms, even though Jun knew that people’s arms just kind of do that in lowG when they’re relaxed. But somewhere on the way to sleep she felt a tingly sensation in her scalp. Gin hadn’t twitched, so Jun thought she wasn’t sleeping yet.

      “Are you feeling that?” she murmured quietly.

      “A kind of hair on end feeling?” said Gin.

      “My hair’s always on end when we’re dangling from the ceiling,” said Jun.

      Gin chuckled. “Besides that,” she said. “I dunno if it’s, like, the really low pitched groaning of the ship that’s changed, or something in the ventilation system, or what.”

      “Aaaaand we’re not going to get any more sleep before we go back on shift, are we?” said Jun.

      “It’s probably not prop related? I think?” said Gin.

      “It’s good to have a systems engineer really nearby to tell me these things,” said Jun. She squeezed Gin.

      “Leggo,” said Gin. “I can’t sleep till I figure it out, I guess.” She unzipped the sleeping bag and dropped out of it, neatly flipping over and landing on her feet beside the hatch.

      Jun had to struggle not to fall on Gin’s head, after being unexpectedly released from the ceiling.

    • #7209

      It’s been a week since my court dates and three more until they deliver the verdict. I’m going stir crazy.

      Perhaps, I should have forced myself to go into the office and be around people instead of wallowing in self pity and fear for the future while attempting to work from home. Thank God the initial set-up rush for this project was over. My foremen and project assistant are handling the day to day while I coordinate the over-reaching details.

      Finally, my cabin fever grew to be harder to cope with than the risk of an unpleasant encounter with one of Lillian’s friends.

      Over the past months since the accusation and separation, I’ve taken great care to shop in areas where she wasn’t likely to be. The last thing I wanted was to run into Lana. There was nothing moderate about her. She didn’t have a medium setting, Lana was loud, opinionated, and seemed to be much more offended about this whole situation than even Sunny.

      But, I needed groceries and I needed to get out of the house. So I drove from my place in Burnaby over to a grocery store just over in Coquitlam. It was far enough away from Lillian’s parent’s place that I hoped I would be safe.

      Up and down the aisles I went, loading whatever caught my eye into my cart. There was nothing like the comfort of food that mended feelings. Gooey cheese, chocolate, ice cream, they all worked. Hey, don’t judge, chocolate isn’t just for women. My cart was like an orgy of goodness, waiting to happen.

      I was in the cookie section when I heard someone say, “Oh Shit.”

      I looked up and there stood Tamera, halfway down the aisle. Damn, she looked good. Her cheeks were flushed and her hair was a bit wild. I smiled. “Hi Tamera. Good workout?”

      She looked down at her yoga pants and oversized hoodie and smirked. “Hot yoga, good guess.”

      The image in my head when she said hot yoga was definitely X-rated. I put more of my shopping cart between us to make sure she didn’t see my physical reaction to my mental image. Not only was it inappropriate, it wouldn’t help convince her of my innocence regarding the court case. I should be old enough to control an errant woody.

      “We probably shouldn’t be seen talking, even though the hearing is finished.” She said as she backed away.

      “Yeah, that’s probably wise.” I nodded. “I can’t afford to have anything go wrong.”

      “I was nice seeing you again.” she said and then immediately grimaced. “Well, at least this time was under better circumstances.”

      “Yeah, that’s for sure. Have a great rest of your day, Tamera.”

      “You too, Rick.” She turned and walked back up the aisle.

      And yes, I watched. At least, until the hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I had an uncanny feeling that someone was watching me. I turned around to see but there was no one there. Unease settled into my stomach. I finished shopping as quickly as I could. Equally sad and relieved that I didn’t ruin into Tamera again.

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