Sunday writing chat prompts for 8 Nov 2020

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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: worry, hero, range, infect, corner. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “What can we do?” (10 min)

      3. Write about not understanding. (10 min)

    • #6274
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      Mo clanked her knife against her wineglass, and a hush fell around the table. “Merry Christmas!” she said.

      People murmured various holiday greetings around the table. Sometimes it’s the ritual that counts.

      “Also who’s responsible for the fairy dust?” Mo asked. “Lia, is there something you’d like to share with the class?”

      “Me??” Lia said, from her corner of the greatly expanded dining room table.

      “Whatever else you may be, innocent ingenue is not one of them,” said Mo.

      “Welllll, a certain somebody I’ve been rubbing elbows…” Lia started.

      “And other things…” said Sarah.

      “…with,” Lia continued, “Seems to have engineered some kind of a love philtre…”

      “What’s she filtering out?” Skud wanted to know. “Folks like me, I’m betting.”

      “That’s philtre with a P,” said Lia.

      “Puh-Filter,” said Susie.

      “Potion, if you’d rather,” said Lia. “Except in this case you don’t drink it, it’s airborne.” She sipped from her wine glass and inhaled deeply with her nose mostly inside the glass. “Thing about genetic engineering is that the code is all open source,” she added. “Anybody can read it nowadays. And I figured out how to make the stuff in some very cooperative microbes. Yeasts, actually. Took up winemaking. It’s quite astonishing how much more I can accomplish without all the guilt and craziness.”

      “You… did what, now?” Sarah asked.

      “I had the best mentor,” said Lia. “My hero. There’s a certain pheromone she programmed into some of the kids at the clinic…”

      “Jim,” said Susie.

      “That’ll drive certain other kids from the clinic absolutely… I was gonna say batty. Did Shakespeare’s fairies have a word for it?”

      “Lord what foods these morsels be,” said Cris. “Misquoting. You remember our English class, way back when.” A forkful of pie disappeared into Chris’ mouth.

      There was one of those creeping guffaws infecting the extended family around the table, as people figured it out.

      “What can we do about it?” asked Susie.

      “Enjoy the ride,” said Lia. “It works on Sarah, too.”

      “It certainly does,” said Sarah. “Why did we ever drift apart?”

      “It took me thirty years to catch up with you,” said Lia.

      “How much of this wine did you make?” asked Sarah.

      “Learning from the master, about a hundred fifty gallons,” said Lia.

      “Water into wine,” said Miranda, “Which would be where you got that.”

      “With the help of a few grapes and some very special yeast,” said Lia.

      “Wait, so…” said Susan. Not Susie, this was Vicky’s younger sister, of the same age as Susie, who was Miranda’s younger sister. Susan seemed to be the most popular name that year. “So is that why I kinda wanna, um, do things, with, like, I was gonna say Jim, but he’s taken six ways til Sunday…”

      “Three,” said Jim.

      “Four,” said Susie.

      “…Pretty much anybody here,” Susan finished when she could interrupt the bidding.

      “Huh,” said Lia. “I didn’t think it’d work on just anybody.”

      “Lemme just get a saliva sample,” said Susie. “I travel everywhere with test tubes and stuff. Which is kinda odd for a mathematician, I’ll grant you.” She fumbled around in her bag. “Suck that for a bit,” she told Susan. Then she put the swab into the test tube, screwed down the lid and pushed it across the table to Miranda.

      “You seem to have this down to a system,” said Sarah. “I’m impressed.”

      “You were the one who spawned a family of very smart young women,” said Lia. “It’s hardly a surprise they can do things.”

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