Writing Prompt: What happens when you take your movie obsession too far?

Two Thumbs Up

free to take the following prompt home or post your
response (500
words or fewer, funny, sad or stirring) in the Comments section below.
By posting, you’ll be automatically entered in our
occasional around-the-office swag drawings.
If you’re having trouble with the
captcha code sticking, e-mail it to me at
writersdigest@fwmedia.com, with “Promptly” in the subject line, and I’ll
make sure it gets up.

Your character takes his or her obsession with a hit movie one step too far.

Salvatore Vuono)

How do you generate freelance article ideas? How do you sell your work to newspapers, magazines and websites? How do you craft a winning query? For all things freelance—and to have your own query critiqued—check out the Sell Freelance Articles live webinar WD editor Chuck Sambuchino and I are teaching Thursday.

You might also like:

  • No Related Posts

4 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: What happens when you take your movie obsession too far?

  1. Angela Compton

    "Drive! Drive!"  Anna shouted at her partner as she jumped in the car, throwing the bag over the back seat in one swift movement.  Marie drove off, wide-eyed glancing in the rear view mirror, as she sped away.  In the distance she saw the security guard on his walkie looking her direction, probably taking down the tags.  "What now?! What now?!" she screamed, tearfully, confused at what had just happened.
         "To the desert!"  Anna giggled.  Exhilerated by the stunt they just pulled, she began to finger the money, pleased with the feat she and her friend had just pulled off. 
         "What the hell?  What did you do??"  Marie cried out.  Girls’ night out two weeks ago entailed a bottle of gin and a promise to stick together no matter what.  Marie, the level headed one, knew Anna was going through a lot with the divorce and custody battle, so obviously she said yes.  Wrapping their pinkies they promised friendship to the death, just like Thelma and Louise. The movie left them in stitches, and then in tears. Drunk on gin, Anna promised her friend, stroking her hair in a comforting, motherly way.  Now, it seems, Anna was going to force her commitment.
         "Just like we promised!  Thelma and Louise!  Two amigos, inseperable for life!" Anna exclaimed in victory.  A sick, hollow feeling filled the pit of Marie’s stomach.  She had not signed up for this.
         "Anna, what did you do?  We did not discuss….I can’t believe…are you serious????"  Coherency evaded Marie with each attempt to speak.  All the warnings of childhood came flooding back in her mother’s voice inside her head.  So often Marie had a knack for befriending the outcasts of society, which brought much concern for her mother throughout the years. Marie, however, always chided, "Mom, you just don’t know her like I do." 
        Wanting to do the right thing and be a friend, Marie turned the car around and stopped at a gas station.  Conflicted between running and staying, she stared out the windshield.  Wild-eyed Anna screamed to her soul mate, "What are you doing?! They are going to catch us!  We have to go to the desert!" 
         Tearfully, Marie handed the keys over to her friend.  "You’re on your own, friend.  This is real life.  I am calling the police."  Marie walked into the service station, wincing as Anna’s cursed floated on the air.  On the television was the report that the woman had killed one security guard, but the other escaped harm.  "Damn! This is just down the street!" the attendant said to the visibly bereft stranger, wandering in.  "Can I help you?" 
         "Can I use your phone."

  2. Martha W

    And wow. I have to follow you two? Those are awesome.

    Great prompt, Zac. I enjoyed this one.


    The long black cloak swished around his heels, only allowing glimpses of the shiny dress leathers squeaking with each quick step. He looked over his shoulder, the feeling of being stalked pushing him faster.

    A bead of sweat formed at his temple, rolled down his hairline on an already damp path to drop unnoticed to his shoulder. His pulse quickened, his breathing rasped, his muscles burned.

    The dark alley behind the church seemed no refuge tonight. No one was about, not even Jack the mouser cat who rummaged the bins of rubbish. Just a few more steps and he would find solace inside the rectory.

    Questions raced through his mind, chased by a blinding fear. He stumbled over something in road, just managed to right himself when a shuffle from the right warned him a second too late he was no longer alone.

    He felt the tug of his skin as it gave way to the knife, felt the warmth as the fatal wound soaked his collar. Turning the brilliant white cloth scarlet with spilt blood.

    Barely able to see the thin man standing over him, chest heaving, the priest clutched his throat, spoke but only a whisper. "Why?"

    "Sshh… Father." The soft voice was pious, reverent.

    The priest fell to his knees before his attacker, trembling fingers slipping away from his neck to hang limp at his sides. He could feel his life slipping away in much the same fashion. "Why?"

    Slow movements, no urgency, no remorse. The attacker stepped to the side, affording the priest a bare look at who thought to end his life. Blond hair, pale skin, lean to the point of gauntness. "I have a confession. I am searching for something. A… marker, of sorts. A great man, Dan Brown, wrote of it."

    Oh God. This man would murder for something from a work of fiction? The priest dropped his head forward, stamping down the flash of rage. "You should worry over things that are real, my son."

    "This is real." The man spat at him, contorting his angelic face into something foul.

    As his heart beat slowed to nothing, the priest felt that piece of himself he so carefully concealed win the struggle for supremacy, for the right to live. He had no will left to fight it. One final prayer. May God have mercy on his soul.

    The priest raised his head, his eyes dark and bottomless. His neck showed only a mere line where the wound gaped wide only moments before. The smile he gave the frail man staring agape at him spoke of who was now the predator standing here in the alley.

    Threading his fingers through the short hair of his would-be killer, the priest wrenched his head back to expose the long pale neck throbbing with its deliciously racing pulse. He nuzzled the whimpering man’s ear, scraped his teeth along the vein hidden there, spoke but only a whisper.

    "I have a confession, too."

  3. Mark James

    “How come you won’t help me?”

    “Help you turn your sword into a light saber?” Raphael said.

    Michael pulled his flaming sword from its sheath on his back and whirled it over his head a few times. “Yeah. Then I’d be like Luke Skywalker.”

    Raphael took the tack he always took when his brother became unreasonable; he went along. “Who would play Darth Vader?”

    “I’ve got it all figured out,” Michael said. “You could be Obi Wan, Lucifer could be Vader and I’d be Skywalker.”

    “You think he’d wear black? I think red is more his color.”

    Michael jumped off the top of Chartres cathedral where they’d stopped. He flew in between the spires, then landed beside his brother with a warrior’s grace. “You’re right. He could be one of those red guards, you know? And Thanatos could be Vader. He always wears black.”

    Immortals rarely have regrets but Raphael felt a deep, deep sorrow at having taken Michael to see Star Wars for his first movie experience. “It’s not real,” he said. “We talked about that, remember?”

    “So? It’s a war, the best one I ever saw. They’re in the stars, fighting a whole empire. And they’re not even done yet. When are we seeing part two?”

    “That wasn’t the point, Michael.”

    But Raphael saw that it was no use. His brother was trying to change the appearance of his sword again. It looked like rays of eternal light caught in a bunch at the hilt.

    “I keep getting lots of lights. How come?”

    “You’re an archangel,” Raphael said quietly. “It’s your nature.”

    “It’s a good day to fly down to Hell. You think Lucifer’s busy?”

    “He’ll find time,” the archangel of healing said. “He always does for you.”

    “Maybe we should go see Thanatos first.” Michael’s voice was strained. The muscles in his arms bulged with his effort to squeeze the rays of light into one. “He likes wars and fighting.”

    “I think he likes the outcome.” Raphael floated to his feet. “Michael?”

    He gave up on struggling with his sword and slid it back into its sheath. “What?”

    “There are other ways besides fighting.”

    “Like what? Peace on Earth?”

    “Like good overcoming evil.”

    “Would Thanatos would wear a Darth Vader mask?”

    Raphael, possibly the most patient immortal in the wide universe, rolled his eyes. “I’m sure we won’t know until we ask.”

    They both tucked in their wings, let themselves fall through the centuries old stone of the cathedral, past the foundation, past Hell, until they found themselves in their brother’s Realm of Shades. In the perpetual shadows, both angels were surrounded with light, but Michael’s gold armor gleamed.

    Thanatos came out of the dark. “I’ve just come from a last confession, and here you both are. A pleasant surprise. I get so few visitors. Have I missed a war?”

    “No,” Michael said, “but you missed a really good movie. How do you feel about masks?”

  4. pd

    Here goes….

    "Arrr," Steve said.
    "Are what?" Inty asked him. She hadn’t caught on yet. Inty was usually fast on the uptake but it had never occurred to her that Steve was trying to play a role. The pirate hat, eyepatch, and maroon breeches would have tipped her off if she hadn’t been on the Internet.
    "No," Steve said. He sounded frustrated. "I be a pirate, and I be wantin’ yer scurvy bottom to come with me on my quest for the Fountain of Youth. Arrr!"
    Inty let her chair swivel around very, very slowly. The squeaking left an almost perceptible trail of grating sound behind it. She stood up and walked right up to Steve, sticking her long nose into his face.
    "No one in that movie was from Yorkshire," she hissed.
    Steve refused to deflate. "Arr, ye wenches just don’t be appreciatin’ the ways of a trrrue pirate."
    Inty froze. "No one calls me a wench," she said, and ran out of the room.
    She came back a moment later dressed in a ninja costume.
    "Bring it on, Steve."


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.