Sunday writing chat prompts for 31 July 2022

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    • #8681

      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: summer, freckle, expand, preference, steward. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “Let me show you.” (10 min)

      3. Write about pulling a wine cork from the bottle. (10 min)

    • #8682

      “So. Talk,” said Ann, after filling everyone’s glass from the bottle.

      “I, uh…” said Eck.

      “The deer in the headlights look doesn’t work for you,” said Joey. “Soooo I thought I was being brave using singular they pronouns and this person I’d never met…”

      “…who had been playing with things for a while now,” said Ann.

      “…came right out and expanded my universe, both linguistically, and as to the possibilities of, like, performing genders in the real world. I read all the theory and it didn’t make that much sense except as theory, until.”

      “Well, until we met another couple at the next table over, out and about, like, swapped or whatever,” said Eck. “I didn’t know that was a thing.”

      “You didn’t know a lot of things were things that are things,” said Ann. She grinned in Joey’s general direction.

      Joey cooed and laughed at the way she’d said it.

      “Hence my need for the biochem lab shrink-in-residence,” said Eck.

      “Yeah, so Eck phoned me up and came over Friday night,” said Ann. “People do that when something happens they have trouble wrapping their minds around. The guys are so clueless. So I’m the de-facto steward of their mental health. Or something. I get some companionship or whatever.”

      “And loyal friends,” said Eck. “The labbies chipped in and bought her an espresso machine.”

      “Which you sampled,” said Joey. “These genders are more complicated than I knew. Now! Hyped up on Caffeine!”

      “And then we went across the street to the pride festival, weirding out in the summer sun, popping a freckle or two. Mingling with all types and preferences of folk,” said Ann.

      “So in, what, twelve hours, our friend Eck here…” Joey said.

      “Went from…” said Ann.

      “Dunno, kinda brown, kinda don’t look at me too hard and I’ll fit in, kinda alien under the floorboards,” said Eck.

      “…to…” Ann prompted.

      “Still figuring that part out,” said Eck.

      “Hyper-caffeinated non-binary gender-fluid…” Joey suggested.

      “Person sprouting rainbows from every orifice,” said Eck. “It’s amazing. It’s really totally not-brown. My true colors, let me show you them.”

      “And schnuggled and unable to stop grinning,” said Ann. “It… happens to me, maybe more than it should.”

      “Grounding the rainbows,” said Joey, and patted her hand.

      Eck was, in fact, grinning. “Sorry, I… It’s kinda like popping a champagne cork where everything comes out of solution at once.”

      “And Ann’s there and it makes sense,” said Joey.

      “Not like that,” said Eck. “Like being in the wine cellar for a few decades too long and being brought to a glittering party and…”

      “And the person next to you, watching the spectacle after venturing just a tiny bit by changing a pronoun in front of friends, kinda missed the boat. Train.”

      “Whitewater rafting trip. It’s actually safer with more than two people in the boat,” said Ann.

      “Interesting metaphor,” said Joey.

      “Yeah, it is. I want you along on the ride,” said Eck, taking Joey’s hand. “Even if I kinda screwed up the first rapids.”

      “Nobody drowned, so it’s a success?” Joey suggested.

      “And this is why Ann is the person to talk to while you sort out your metaphors,” said Eck, offering the other hand to her.

      Ever so tentatively, Joey pushed a free hand across the table to Ann, who took it to complete the triangle.

      “I’m, like, having a special on metaphors this weekend,” said Ann. “Get ’em while they’re … uh… glistering.”

      “Glistering,” Joey echoed. “I like you already.”

    • #8683

      I was grateful Maggie Garrison, who kept her maiden name for business, gave me a week to get myself situated before requesting a meeting. As much as I admired her, I also didn’t know how much she knew of my history with her son.

      Like her, I had kept my maiden name. Perhaps because I knew I was acting in haste when I got married. Alec was a great guy, but I never should have married my rebound. We lasted five years, most of that was spent living as roommates instead of a couple.

      I glanced at my reflection before heading up to the executive floor. My time in the summer sun left a tan and a light dusting of freckles on my nose and shoulders. Beauty spots, my grandmother used to tell me. Even though, I knew they were no such thing, I appreciated her preference to make things better instead of using them as a point to criticize like her sister, my great aunt.

      I sighed to the mirror before allowing my mind to expand on all the dour statements coming from Aunt Shirley and putting me in the wrong frame of mind to meet my new boss’s boss.

      The woman who at one time could have become my mother-in-law.


      I was ushered into a plush office as soon as I exited the elevator on the building’s top floor. Maggie’s assistant acted as steward offering me tea, coffee or something cold to drink while I waited for her to finish with a meeting that was running long.

      I’m not ashamed to say I was relieved when he closed the office door behind him so people passing by in the hall couldn’t see me. I wasn’t close to being ready to see Dwayne yet and I definitely didn’t want our reunion to be in his mother’s office with her looking on.

      A few minutes later, a door partially hidden within the woodwork behind the desk that dominated the room opened and the woman I’d idolized for years slipped into the room. Despite her short stature, she commanded the space.
      Her smile was genuine as she stepped around the corner of her desk to greet me. “Kaitlyn, thank you so much for letting us steal you away.”

      “Thank you for not giving up on me after I refused you.” I shook her hand. Pleased that there was no show of strength or other hint of trying to put me in my place that so often happens with other executives, both male and female.

      Rightfully so, seemed secure in her role.

      She gestured for me to sit as she moved to her chair in front of her computer. “Let me show you what I had in mind for you when I sent out the head-hunters again.”

      Eager to get started, I leaned forward in my seat to better see the dual screens she swiveled in my direction.

      An hour late, I was even more excited about this job than I had been all week. Maggie, yes, she asked me to use her first name as she preferred a casual culture amongst her staff, had a doozy of a project for me to sink my teeth into.

      “I’m not going to lie.” She told me. “I popped the cork on a bottle of champagne when we landed this account.”

      It. Was. Huge.

      And she gave it to me.

      We were so focussed on making plans and timelines to accomplish everything that needed to be done that I’d almost forgotten the elephant in the room. It wasn’t until I was grabbing my purse to leave that she seemed uncertain.
      “Kaitlyn, I feel the need to talk to you about something more personal.” She sighed. “It needs to be addressed but I also don’t want you to misunderstand. But, I feel I also need to know where your head is at regarding my son.”

      And there it was, the elephant crashed down between us. The dust and debris suffocating in its intensity.

      “You know about me?” I tried to still the panic growing in my chest. I’d knew I’d eventually have to deal with Dwayne, but never imagined his mother knew and possibly condoned his actions.

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