I had a dream to start a writing group. And I did it. I convinced some people to come sit around with me a write, every Friday night. Well, I invited them, and as sure as I was that they wouldn't come, they did. And I was proud of myself. And I was proud of them. And it seemed that they were proud of themselves. So, to celebrate we had a few drinks. And as we got talking, getting to know each other before we exposed ourselves to each other (on paper you gutterbug), we had more drinks, and got to laughing, and that glee lead to further libations. It was liberating. And fun. Very, very fun. But, amidst all that fun, we didn't get any work done, save for coming up with something to call ourselves: the Bitter Enemies. The name lost out to a gambit of other monikers (the list included Lit Bizkit, we got kind of insane).
In the end, we decided that we were satisfied with how our initial meeting went, but solemnly swore a blood oath that we would each have something written by our next meeting. To facilitate this, we decided that a prompt would be best.
I thought that for this week's blog it might be fun to present you all with the prompts, and (not for fame and glory or anything) see what you come up with. Well, if you so choose to share what you write with us in the comments section.
Submitted for your approval are our three prompt options:
A photo prompt. I personally have never had luck with photo prompts, but some people do. And it's something that LitDrift does all the time.
Two written prompts, both courtesy of the Random Sentence Generator
1: Beneath the substitute towers the terrifying process.
2: The complicate anguish nests beside an offensive animal.
The sentences that the Random Sentence Generator, um, generates don't always make sense, but they can spark a feeling. There's no need to use either of them word for word (especially
because they don't really make sense), or in tandem.
And, I guess that I'll share with you (typos and all) a draft of a story I wrote the first time I used the RSG, where I made the mistake of using the sentence word for word (and a million semicolons for no reason).
Westward We Went
Right at the end he said, “The blow smashes the legendary ocean throughout the present.” I know it sounds strange, but those are the words of a dying man. So, it stands to reason that they seem strange. None of us living will ever know what one sees upon that threshold. It’s like addressing a sleep talker, or trying hard to reconnect with a past version of your self in order to remember that elusive detail of the moment; the one thing that could have won the fight, or cured the sick, or saved a dying man.
Tom hated the ocean because he had a sweet tooth, and it was leagues of salty. And he really hated the wind; claimed it had ruined his marriage from the start. I was there, and there is some truth to that thought. I remember the day was clear and mild, right up to the moment Clara was meant to say “I do.” But, right as her mouth opened to let out the two words Tom had been dreaming of since the night she roller skated over to take his order, a gust of wind came and stole those words away; off into the wide and wild west, where just about everything is stolen. Tom tried to get her to say it again, reckoning that if he didn’t hear it, well the action wasn’t complete. The deal wasn’t legitimate, and they were still just two separate souls connected by hands and beds. Or, at the very least it meant that she wasn’t married to him. But, his stammering was lost in the applause of family, and the rustling sound of her veil in his ears as she drowned him in her arms, squeals, tears and light. Tom stood limply in his tight tuxedo, simply unable to squeeze back.
A year passed before Clara started coming home after midnight, wearing other men’s shirts, and wobbling full of liquor; but Tom never really got upset, figuring that Clara had never really agreed to anything. Yup, that next year was rough on Tom, but that’s not why he died. No, Clara was selfish, that’s a truth that’ll stop a breeze, but didn’t have the heart to kill a man. He didn’t put up a fight for her to stay when she said she was leaving, because Tom knew it was just a lease that was ending. After that she didn’t give him any hassle; she just packed up and moved, following her voice to the open west…
No, what killed Tom was time.
He wasn’t old. He wasn’t a kid, but he wasn’t old. No, it was just his time, and all men have a time. Probably why they sometimes call it an appointment. It’s just about where and when you can get scheduled, that upsets most folks- some get better days and ways. Fighting in a battle, or the day before a terrible storm hits. I even heard of a man who died while sleeping with a woman. Toes still curled and everything. Some just get lucky.
But Tom, like I said, it was just his time. We were watching the news, and the lady said something about the May-an’s predicting a hero, who’s story was remarkably similar to the life and death of Babe Ruth, when all of the sudden Tom just started breathing real slow and loud. I moved aside my dinner tray and went over to him. That’s when he said it, “The blow smashes the legendary ocean through the present.”
Then that was it. He just stopped, like someone who lays a finger on a ringing guitar string.
And I swear to God I wish I’d written it down, because I didn’t think of the words again until later, when I signed for his things at the morgue. To be honest it’s probable that he said something different, something more honest and true. Something about his life, or maybe something about the Sultan like, hell, I don’t know, “The show watches the legendary motion without reason,” or, well, who knows. Maybe it didn’t sound like that at all. But it’s all I can remember. I’ll never really know, I guess. I can’t help but to feel, though, that I’ve let good Tom down, again; the words that could have meant so much, lost and never recovered.
Courtney Davison is the Editorial Intern for Paper Darts. She loves getting mail, eating snacks and wants to be remembered as (a) part(y) animal. Feel free to stalk her, but never judge her.