Sunday writing chat prompts for 29 May 2022

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    • #8567

      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: reduce, trade, station, snack. gift. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “the duck problem.” (10 min)

      3. Write about struggling with technology. (10 min)

    • #8568


      “Later,” said Steve, locking up his desk.

      Josh sincerely hoped not to meet Steve later that evening. It was date night, and that meant Olivia, and Steve didn’t need to know… anything, really, about their relationship. After the elevator closed behind Steve, Josh visited the bathroom.

      It was a place of transformation, from business casual to dive bar, from the conservative black dress and hose into a shapeless t-shirt and jeans. Silly shoes into comfortable ones. Ruffed up the hair to look more casual. Sandra Jackson walked into the ladies’ room, and Josh Saunders walked out.

      “On my way,” Josh texted to Olivia.

      A mile away, Olivia left the office for the bathroom, removed jacket and tie, rolled up a pair of trousers and exchanged it for a party dress. Oliver Cartwright, detective, traded in for Olivia Carter, for tonight at least, party girl.

      Olivia texted a grin emoji to Josh.

      “Oh, so avoid 16th and Walnut,” Josh replied. “God’s gift to women, Steve from my office, might try to pick you up.”

      They met half a block from the grill in Chinatown, around the corner from the subway station. “Under the sign of the Duck Problem,” said Olivia when Josh appeared. “So tell me about Steve.”

      “He saw your text. Wanted to know who Josh is. And whether he could get an introduction to this Olivia person.”

      Olivia smirked. Josh did a theatrical eye-roll.

      “Could be entertaining,” said Olivia. “I love the smell of heads exploding in the evening.”

      “Cispeople,” said Josh. “Can’t live with them, can’t seem to get away from them.”

      “He’s not here now,” said Olivia. “You want an appetizer? While we wait for them to… I dunno, go find a duck to cook or whatever.”

      “I like dumplings,” said Josh, so Olivia ordered some.

      When they arrived, Olivia expertly picked up one with chop sticks, dunked it in the hot mustard, and placed it gently into Josh’s mouth.

      Josh’s eyes went shut, the face turned redder than a blush, and Olivia, by way of apologizing for the spiciness of the mustard, slipped foot from sandal to stroke Josh’s foot under the table. “Oh. You’re not wearing sandals.”

      “Whooooo,” Josh said, having finished with the bite-size snack. “And no, I was wearing stupid sandals all day. Grungy runners for the win.”

      “Sorry about the mustard,” said Olivia. “I forget you…”

      “Hold that thought,” said Josh, fumbling with another pair of chop sticks. Somehow they scissored, dropping a dumpling completely into the hot mustard. “Fuck it,” said Josh, spearing it with a fork. “You’re sure? It’s… well, let’s just say it’ll grow hair on your tits.”

      They both laughed self-consciously, wanting certain features of the other’s body.

      Olivia nodded, and Josh provided.

      “You’re smiling,” said Josh. “I guess you really do like hot food.”

      “Thank you for trying it,” said Olivia. “It’ll make the kissy stuff later more pleasant.”

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