Posted in drafts/jewelsintherough, life and reflection, Prompts for Writers, Writer's Prompts

Prompt 500, Inspired by: Lost the Plot? 500 Writing Prompts and How to Use Them

Prompt 500:
Please Let Me Get What I Want, I’m Begging You

 

“Please let me get what I want, I’m begging you.”

No doubt this is what nurses and doctors witness every day—frantic, desperate people, with their plea bargains and threats, people who want nothing more than to spend eternity with those behind the doors of this facility. But this guy could never understand, never know what it feels like to love someone and have to let go, because if he did he’d relent. 

“Fine.” The man in navy scrubs says as he removes his gloves. His voice is weary, his eyes are bloodshot.

I take a step forward, relieved he’s finally softened, that he realizes how important this time is, even though visiting hours ended at 8:30 and it’s 8:36. But as I attempt to go around him, he stops me and suggest I sit. I don’t want to sit. He needs me. Paul needs me.

A wail erupts from someone’s throat. The sound echoes down the hall as a hand squeezes my shoulder, or possibly my chest. So many hands—on me, on Paul. Pushing and pushing.

*

“Paul?”

A grief counselor? Is that who the guy in the navy scrubs said he was sending? Have I really been here that long, in this lobby?

“How are you feeling?”

I’ve never understood that question, never understood time for that matter. Like, how we think we have forever when we barely have today. Or how it feels as though my heart has broken in two.

sms/whatevertheyaint
4/5/17

This super short story came from prompt #500 in the book, Lost the Plot? 500 Writing Prompts and How to Use Them, by Adam Maxwell.

Posted in drafts/jewelsintherough, Prompts for Writers, Writer's Prompts, Writing, Writing and all its cousins

Flash Fiction, Week One

The following exercise is inspired by a writing prompt from, Flash 52: 52 Writing Prompts for a Year of Writing by Jamie DeBree

Richard pours tea and we raise our cups in a celebratory manner. This is our quintet—well, sextet considering Richard. Basically, it’s a group of stressed out writers looking to profit more than gas money from words.

“How’s it going? Any new ideas, progress?” Richard asks.

Sheila’s hand shoots up first. “I don’t know how I did it,” she beams, “but this week,  I managed 50k in between the twins’ naps.”

Another hand goes up. 10K. 6K. More cheers and tea.

“Karen?”

That’s me; it’s my turn. I clutch my yellow notebook to my chest. The notepad is as blank as when I opened it to its first college-ruled page, two weeks ago. How would they know if I did 50K or zero? It isn’t as though we inspect each other’s drafts, at least not during the first part of the month.

“I’m still outlining,” I say, which is neither truth nor lie.

An uncomfortable silence ensues. And then a collective murmur of well, that’s a start.

Sheila’s eyes scan the group. “I’ve been hiding something,” she says.

Let me guess, she isn’t human? She hired a ghostwriter? She hasn’t typed one alphabet but instead fibbed to make herself feel better?

As if sensing my skepticism, she plops a copy of her manuscript onto the table and then retrieves a small, plastic bag from her purse.

Are those…poppy seeds? No, poppy seeds are smaller. And darker.

“Okay, I know certain things improve brain function, and that’s why we drink  tea and  meet twice a month and share our thoughts. But these babies,” she continues, grabbing a handful of the seeds and dropping them into a cup, “are like…bees to flowers, bubbles to baths, syrup to waffles. This is brain food!”

Within minutes of sipping from a teacup, she’s reciting passages of Spoon River Anthology.

“Amazing!” Richard says.

“I’ve retained four plays, three anthologies, every word of Ethan Frome and created my draft in two weeks—all with the help of these Z seeds.”

Suddenly, I’m reminded of a time I came home sporting a nose ring and red hair. Ma took one look and admonished, “If the entire class jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?”

Would I?  Am I seriously considering Sheila’s claim?

I imagine four to five completed novels a year, a new car, a full-tank of gas instead of the fumes I’ve driven on the majority of the day. Surely similar thoughts are running through the other’s mind.

Would you be silly enough to do it, too?

And so it begins…

*

Shonte Sanders aka Whatevertheyaint

1/27/17

* I didn’t follow the premise to a fault, but I did keep the basics as far as setting and characters. The original prompt calls for a man in his thirties, a folding table in a huge parking lot, an electric kettle, a teapot and teacups, and five women approaching. Feel free to continue to add to this piece by sharing (300 words or less) in the comments section. Ready? Let’s Go! Have fun 🙂