Sunday Writing Chat Prompts for November 22

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    • #6466
      TC Editors

      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: favour, west, invasion, referral, neck. (10 min)

      2. Use the phrase, “Why are we doing this?” (10 min)

      3. Write about an apology. (10 min)

    • #6467

      I saw her head upstairs to her room around midnight and didn’t see her lights come back on until almost eight this morning so hopefully she had a decent night’s sleep. Tossing and turning wouldn’t do her any favours.

      Especially on Christmas day when emotions always seem to run high. I wanted to feel guilty about my stalker-like invasion of privacy but she looked so lost last night. It brought out my protective instincts.

      “So, what made you decide to move to this neighbourhood?” she asked.

      I rubbed the back of my neck as tension spasmed. “I needed a change. I was living in the West End but it was becoming too crowded and noisy.” Plus, my ex wouldn’t leave me the hell alone. Although I didn’t voice that part out loud. I took a sip of my coffee. “You make a great cup of coffee.”

      “Thanks, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. It’s nice to share with someone who appreciates a quality roast.”

      “I’ll need to get a referral from you about where to buy the best beans in this part of town.”

      She smiled and was about to answer when there was a thud outside and then her door burst open.

      “Why are we doing this?” an angry female voice asked to whoever was still out on the step.

      “Because you broke your promise to your mother last night and you are going to make it up to her now.” Said the man who’d just come into view behind a teenage girl.

      “Who are you?” the girl said to me.

      I stood. “I’m Brian, I moved in across the street last week and came over to introduce myself.”

      The girl looked from me to Sarah, who was obviously her mother. “Just came over this morning. With you looking like that. I highly doubt it.” She gave her mother a disgusted look and grabbed the bag at her feet and pushed past Sarah and stomped up the stairs.

      Sarah looked mortified. “Brian, that was my daughter, Amanda and this is my ex-husband, Jeremy.”

      Jeremy looked at me as if he was trying to place me. “Dr. Sullivan?”
      I’m sure the surprise showed on my face. “Yes.”

      “I’m Dr. Harrison. We met briefly last year at the symposium on General Practice – Early Alzheimer’s Detection.”

      I paused for a moment. “I’m sorry, there were so many people there.”

      “Not to worry. You were in high demand.” I was just one of many asking the same half dozen questions over and over again I’m sure.” He looked over at Sarah. “I didn’t know Amanda hadn’t discussed spending Christmas Eve with me. She told me that you told her you had something else come up. I found out this morning when I overhead her talking to one of her friends on the phone.”

      Ah. I though to myself. That explains the outburst I witnessed last night. “I should go and give you time with your family.”

      Sarah looked like she wanted to argue but then glanced at the stairs. “It was lovely to meet you.”

      “I’ll walk you out now that my part is done.” Jeremy, err Dr. Harrison said. “Sorry for the upset Sarah. Merry Christmas.”

      “Merry Christmas, Jeremy and give Samuel a hug for me too.” Sarah bit her lip as if to keep herself in check.

      “I will.” He said as he led the way out her front door.

      “Thanks for the coffee Sarah.” I turned to follow her ex-husband. “Merry Christmas.”

      “Merry Christmas Brian.”

    • #6468

      The sun had gone from the west windows by the time dessert was finished. Vicky drafted her sister and Miranda to do the washing up and shooed everyone else away. There was more wine, and before she knew it, Susie had a half a glass of it in her hand, sitting on the floor at Skud’s feet.

      The dishwasher began to make swishing noises, and the kitchen crew squeezed in. The only spot left on the floor was next to Susie, so Susan, being the youngest, took it.

      “This is… amazing,” she said.

      “A little too amazing,” Skud volunteered.

      Susie had another sip, and bent her neck to put her head on Susan’s shoulder. “Where have you been all my life?” she murmured.

      “Making mistakes,” said Susan. “How about you?”

      “Seems sometimes like I’m in the middle of an invasion of mistakes,” said Susie. “Whirlwind. Something.”

      “Still single?” said Susan. “And it feels weird calling you Susie.”

      “Yeah, I know,” said Susie. “We were in the same class in first grade, I think?”

      “Kindergarten,” said Susan.

      “And given the name collision, the teacher pretty much insisted I’d be Susie and you’d be Susan, so we called each other Zee and Zunn.”

      “Yup,” said Susan. “Anyway. Graduated from Marshall, married my boyfriend, wow was that ever a mistake. As a favor, with a referral from my folks, I think it was? Anyway, we got that fixed. Unfixed. Something. Came back to visit because I’m between things.”

      “And Vicky dragged you over here,” said Susie. “It’s good to see you again, Zunn.”

      “You too, Zee,” said Susan.

      Mo interrupted to point out that it was starting to snow. “And all the Boston folks are staying here anyway. Given how icy things get, you might want to think about going home,” she said. “I mean, you’re welcome to stay as long as you want, and we might even be able to find space for a few of you to sleep over if it comes to that…”

      “I’m thinkin,” said Miranda, baby on one hip and her other hand through Jim’s elbow, “I’ll be at Jim’s.”

      “That’ll be chummy,” Susan murmured into Susie’s ear. “You’re drooling at them,” she added.

      “What?” said Susie. She swigged the rest of her wine.

      It was a major undertaking to gather up all the kid accessories and get them packed and loaded into Vicky’s car. There was some snowy merriment in the driveway, and when the car doors were closed, there was Susan in the back seat of Webb’s car, right beside Susie.

      “Why are we doing this?” she asked.

      “Beeeeecause I don’t have anywhere else to go?” Susan suggested.

      “I mean, you’re welcome to crash at our place,” said Susie, remembering her manners. The wine hadn’t totally fogged her wits.

      Apparently Susan had the presence of mind to load her overnight bag into the same car she left in, because there she was in the living room of the apartment Susie shared with Skud and Webb, bag in hand. “Oh,” she said. “I snagged another bottle.” She unzipped the bag and set it on the kitchen counter.

      “Heady stuff,” said Skud. “C’mere,” they added, to Webb. “Let’s let the Soozes get reacquainted.” The two of them retired to Skud’s bedroom and closed the door.

      “I like your roommates,” said Susan. “And the apartment is cute.”

      “And stuffed with math books,” said Susie. “Sorry, I’ll pick some up and make a place for you…”

      Not only, as it turned out, in the living room, but the ones she’d been using on her bed before they had gone to Sarah’s for dinner.

      “Why are we doing this?” flitted through Susie’s head several times, but, she thought, went unspoken, at least most of those times.

      At some point Susan was crying on her shoulder. “I mean, apparently people expect divorcees to be… I dunno, pushy or whatever,” she said. “It’s not like there are rules any more.”

      “There were rules?” Susie said. The door was shut. She was aware of being tipsy, that Susan was upset and needed hugs. That there were snowflakes whispering against the window screens.

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