Sunday writing chat prompts for 8 November 2020

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)

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2 thoughts on “Sunday writing chat prompts for 8 November 2020

  1. 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.”

  2. GAIL: Call us!!
    “Damn it.” I said as I looked out at the view Kamila and I were just texting about. I wanted to stay in this quiet headspace while getting to know more about her but I knew Gail would be relentless until I called them.
    ME: I hate to say good-bye but Gail is pestering me for an update.
    ME: Time to go twirl my hair and swoon over my crush like a teenage girl.
    KAMILA: Sounds like fun. Can I join in?
    ME: If you joined in, I can’t talk about my crush!
    KAMILA: She sounds awesome.
    ME: So far so good. 😊
    KAMILA: tell the girls I said hi
    ME: I will, have a great night. Sweet Dreams.
    KAMILA: You too
    I scrolled through my contacts and pressed the group call icon. “Cockblock much” I said when they all answered.
    There was a chorus of “Oh no”s and “Oops sorry”s that didn’t sound very sorry amidst the giggles.
    “You didn’t have to call us.” Leah said.
    “Yeah, you could have ignored us.” This from Gail.
    “Not to worry.” Viv said. “Our resident hunky hero will still get the girl whether we cockblock him or not.”
    “Thanks for your faith in me.” I said. As irritated as I am right now, I love these women.
    “So, enough of the whining. How’d dinner go?”
    “It was good.” I said. “She’d just come from a meeting where she landed a new client.”
    “Nice.” Leah said. “I really love that you both work for yourselves.”
    “We, she’s a lot farther along than I am. She’s been on her own for a few years and has several employees under her. I’m going to be a one man show for a while.”
    “Still.” Leah persisted. “Owning a small business means you are always at work. You’ll both be more tolerant of the other’s schedules.”
    “Yeah, but that could also mean that we never see each other.” I said.
    “Don’t let doubt infect your mindset. She seems great and we’re definitely in your corner for seeing where this could go. We really like her.” Gail said.
    “Yeah.” Leah said. “We were a little off-range in our selections of potential mates for you.” She giggled again. “You nailed it. So, what can we do to help this along?”
    “Nothing.” I warned them. “Absolutely nothing. Let Kamila and I figure out if there is enough to build on before you start interfering.”
    “Fine.” The three of them said in unison.
    I could never understand how they did that. No one said ‘okay’ or ‘do we have to’. Nope, it was the word ‘fine’ in a chorus of resignation.
    “Thank you.” I repled. “If it’s any consolation, I really like her so far.”
    Gail whoops. “Score for me. You only met her because I dragged your sorry butt to the fundraiser.”
    “It’s not a contest.” I sighed sounding like a cross between a teenager and a frustrated parent. “but thank you Gail for inviting me to help you at the fundraiser. Without you I would never have met Kamila.”
    “Okay ladies.” Viv Said. “I think we’re done here. Goodnight Arif.
    There was a chorus of good-byes and I was left again in the silence of my condo. Shaking my head at the antics of my friends and wondering how long it will be before I can see Kamila again.

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