Extraordinarily Ordinary

I find that one of the greatest challenges I face in my own writing is finding new ways to describe settings. It’s easy to fall into clichéd diction and metaphors … which is why the exercise below helped me re-frame my worldview and work through a challenging spot in my WIP.

Writing Prompt

Describe something ordinary in an unrelated genre style. For instance, you could describe your living room in the style of an epic fantasy, a pigeon in the style of a western, your breakfast in the style of a steamy romance, or an office building in the style of a sci-fi thriller.


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136 thoughts on “Extraordinarily Ordinary

  1. facelessone

    The desk is made of some of the finest stone this side of the world, carved to perfection. Sliced and diced like a kitchen knife, BAM! Emeril would throw pepper on my desk it is so sizzling. Nicknamed Fajita plate. Damn it is so dang spicy. Thing looked like J-LO kind of spicy. The desk is the most beautiful shades of grey. 50 Shades of Grey cannot compete with its sensuality. The stones so smooth, butter would be jealous. Oh yes, this desk was something made for a King. Stoic, not overly eccentric, built for sturdiness, power and conservative beauty. The kind of beauty where the craftsmanship is just perfect, not overly glamorous. Ah yes, this is the kind of desk that is timeless. It is considered great all around the world for it does not feed to one appeal. No, this desk appeals to the masses, for all can love and appreciate true beauty. Which is my desk.

  2. Jennifer

    Panic-stricken, I stared at the TV. The remote dug into my palm. I ignored the pain and clicked again and again. Images flashed in front of me: Car wrecks. Bombing raids. Black guys in handcuffs.
    Two days before, I had dropped the flat screen. Now, the right corner was a bunch of ragged stripes. The channel number, the call letters, all were obscured. I was lost and clicking randomly.
    Mash, Laugh-in, and Bob Newhart popped up in rapid succession. What decade was I in? Who’s the president? Where is Fox News? I felt dizzy with confusion.
    My desperate clicking brought me back to the black guys in handcuffs. Lots of cops. Flashing lights. A riot? Another school massacre? Opioid pushers? Nah, too black for that. I might not know what year it is, but I know that rich white pharmaceutical execs aren’t going to jail for lying about their addictive painkillers so they could make millions selling them to the unsuspecting public. Must be something else. Must be a bombing conspiracy. Maybe I’m in 1972 and Angela Davis is about to go on trial.
    I choked. My heart raced. I flipped my recliner upright. What? What?
    “Two men were arrested today after they sat down in a cafe and failed to order coffee. The manager waited two minutes before calling police. The officers handcuffed the pair and took them to jail, just as their friend arrived for a planned business meeting…”
    What? What? Where did this happen? Kabul? Tehran? Stinking Pyongyang?
    “…at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.”

  3. Beebles

    Been reading and enjoying. I know this is more of a film style that literary…
    —————
    ‘I don’t know, Brad. It’s kinda late? I ain’t never been to the superstore after dark.’

    ‘We’re only gonna get some Doctor Pepper and some Doritos, Janine,’ Brad replied leading them across the deserted car park.

    Alicia turned from Brad’s side and made the Loser sign. ‘What’s s’matter, Janine? Afraid of a little sugar?’ Alicia laughed and fell back into step with Brad.

    ‘Afraid of a little diabetes is all,’ Janine mumbled. ‘Anyhow, it ain’t just sugar they got in them drinks. I’ve heard stories…’

    ‘Ignore them,’ Chuck said, hand on his stomach; his nerves were giving him gas. ‘I’m sure Brad knows what he’s doing. You stay with me, if your nervous.’

    ‘I ain’t nervous, Chuck, just not a big fan of additives.’

    The four teenagers arrived at the supermarket entrance. It was eerily quiet this late in the evening.

    ‘I think we should split up,’ Brad said. ‘Chuck, you go check out the chips, I’ll go to Aisle 7 and get the drinks.’

    ‘I’ll go with you, Brad.’ Alicia glued herself to the blond captain of the soccer team. She grinned back in triumph at Janine who scowled back as the two trotted off past the vegetables.

    Chuck shuffled next to her. ‘Looks like it’s just me and you then. I wonder if that security guard with the squeaky shoe works here?’

    ‘What security guard?’

    ‘Well, I heard this story about a supermarket security guard in a store hereabouts, got a real thing against teenagers in his shop. He sneaks up behind ‘em and… and…’

    ‘And what?’

    ‘Dunno, never heard the rest. Maybe he doesn’t call their parents, just goes straight for the cops?’

    ‘Yeah, right.’ Janine grabbed Chuck by the sleeve. ‘C’mon. Let’s find those Doritos and get outta here.’

    ———–

    Brad looked along Aisle 7. ‘Wow, so many sodas.’ He jumped as a bottle was stuffed up his jumper.

    ‘Er… what ya doin’ Alicia?’

    She pressed against him, the bottle held in place between their bodies. ‘Just getting some free soda, Brad. C’mon, no one’ s looking.’

    ‘Er… I dunno, what if someone sees us?’

    ‘Who cares?’ She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him hard.

    She exulted as he shut his eyes and pulled her close. Then he lifted his head.

    ‘D’you hear something? Like a squeak?’

    ‘No!’ Alicia said impatiently and pulled him back to her lips.

    —————-

    ‘Well, that was easy.’ Chuck clasped the bags of Doritos to his chest. ‘C’mon let’s go. Janine?’

    ‘Look at all this dead meat, Chuck.’ She was staring mournfully at the shelves of packaged steaks.

    ‘These were animals once. They should pass a law against eating meat. It’s horrible.’

    Chuck felt his gas rising, the beef burger he’d had for tea. He tried to suppress it. If Janine smelt it, it would ruin any chance he had with her.

    ‘What was that?’

    ‘What was what?’ Chuck cringed. Had she heard his stomach?

    Janine held up a finger. ‘Listen.’ They waited. All Chuck could hear was the rising and falling of the Doritos against his chest.

    Then he heard it, a squeak, squeak, squeak. It was coming closer.

    ‘Where’s it coming from?’

    ‘I can’t tell!’

    The squeaking was almost on them now. Fear pinned them to the fresh meat aisle. Chuck felt Janine take his hand and squeeze.

    Then round the corner came an old woman with a trolley; one of it’s wheels in desperate need of oiling.

    ‘Oh, thank god for that. I thought it was-’

    There was a piercing scream from another part of the shop and the sound of breaking glass. The squeaking wheel stopped and chips were crushed as the two teenagers held each other. A voice filled the retail outlet.

    ‘Aisle 7, wet spillage. Wet spillage Aisle 7.’

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Who’s worried about additivers when you can steal a kiss you write about. A little horny for early morning but I’d be the last to object. Nice writing Beebles

    1. ReathaThomasOakley

      Ah, Beebles, as soon as I read that classic line, I think we should split up, I was prepared for horror. Wet spillage is rather horrible. Great piece.

  4. jayak20

    He finished talking on his cellphone and hung up. Now there was no turning back. She wished if he could think again, just one last time before parting ways. She enjoyed being with him and that was all she ever wished for. But with time, he has changed. She remembered her earlier days with him when he could take very good care of her. He would lavishly spend money on her to ensure she was comfortable and looking bright and shiny. His friends too adored her. She had accompanied them to their various excursions and loved being a part of their group.

    But his marriage changed everything. At their very first meeting, his wife disliked her. It was clear that she had to go away. She knew she was growing old and could not compete anymore. Once she was beautiful and widely admired but now, there are others that people ogled. She could not help feeling miserable. She was faithful to him and had never caused any trouble. She wondered if he felt the same way or had he forgotten all the memories they had shared together.

    Finally, the doorbell rang. A young college student entered and smiled at her before taking the car keys from him and driving her off.

  5. Denise G. Monello

    Alone she sat. Her body rigid, angst flooded her thoughts. She sipped her hot coffee. The hot liquid eased down her throat and regenerated her insides. She gazed at the portal that held her future. It waited for her to resuscitate it.

    Her eyes watered as he stared through the blackness and then slowly moved peripherally, focusing on the friend of her past. The past–simpicity at its finest. Gathering dust, her friend longed for her–wanting to be part of her life again. She felt remorse over this. Things have changed–at times beyond her comprehension. She had been filling her days attempting to learn the new ways–leaving him behind.

    She must muster up her courage despite being daunted and perplexed. She took the first step. She could feel the sweat under her arms, shaking legs. Her hands rested on the controls–any movement would initiate the process. She moved one digit at a time. In an instant, the contraption came alive. They welcomed her. She was dumbstruck.

    Her cheeks, flustered with excitement. “How do they know my name,” she asked the vacant room. She gulped her coffee in wonderment.

    She slowly put her hand on her dusty, lifeless friend–guilt and betrayal overwhelmed her. She saw the new world before her, felt the old world beneath her touch.

    Without warning the instructions came to her. Her gaze turned from her friend to the colorful boxes. Too many to comprehend at once.

    “Oh, my gosh, this can’t be happening–why are they telling me so many things? How am I suppose to do all this?”

    She opened and closed her sweaty hands. She maneuvered her mind to take the challenge. She had to be slow and precise–her future depended on it. She answered each question. Every movement of a finger brought her to another unnerving place. They rapidly set choices before her.

    She cautiously made her way from one area to another. In between journeys, she wiped her damp hands on her thighs. She would not let the confoundedness of what her eyes beheld prevent her from achieving success. She would not allow the power contained within the minuscule fragments of its building blocks overwhelm her. She knew its belly held more information than she could ever need. She would plant herself firmly like a tree planted by a stream. She would not allow the heat of fear take over when the glitches showed up. She would be the master. She would enrich the brain of the terminal. She watched in awe as each selection brought her closer to her dream. She scrutinized the countdown of her choices, taking a mouthful of coffee at the completion each process.

    After a grueling operation, she completed the first part of her mission. She arose from her chair. The air in the room cooled her perspired body. She poured herself fresh coffee in preparation for the unpleasant part of her final task.

    She gently touched her old friend. In her mind she could hear him begging not to abandon him. She sat once again and tenderly opened him using as much caution and care as would a skilled surgeon. For two hours she kept her eyes on his contents as her digits rapidly dissected him. It pained her to think his use will wane.

    At last, her hands came to a stop. With a deep sigh, she rubbed her tired eyes. It was over. She had transplanted her tales from her leatherbound journal and entered them into her Microsoft Word.

    1. JosephFazzone

      This was great, the work involved to transfer everything that I have down on paper is just too daunting I have an 180 page journal I wrote through my European Vacation. That was 11 years ago. Will I ever get back. This was an amazing piece, great descriptions, but also it really struck a cord about the guilt we feel when we feel like we’re abandoning one practice for another, it’s like losing an old friend. I do a little of both, but admittedly, everything I typed onto the computer has a better chance of surviving.

  6. ReathaThomasOakley

    Into the Unknown

    “Rookie.”

    Sadie heard the hated word, even though it was whispered. But this time she didn’t slump in her chair, the same chair her father had once used. She forced her spine into a more upright position even though every vertebrae seemed to resist. She silently vowed she’d never again let them see what that word did to her.

    As she touched the controls and focused on the screen in front of her, she replayed the conversation from thirty minutes before.

    “Sir,” she’d tried to keep her voice calm as she stood in front of Jake, the old timer, the commander of this “crew,” her mentor. “Why’d you pull me out, force me away from the console?”

    “Sadie,” Jake’s eyes were kind, wise, “I knew your father, know the story, know he’s drinking.”

    “What?” She’d clinched her fists. “How?” She closed her eyes, in her mind’s eye saw
    her dad, slumped in a rusting lawn chair in the back yard, glass in hand, her mother standing in the doorway, weeping.

    She opened her eyes, “I’m not my father!”

    “I know you’re not, but you are almost to the point where he’d. . . ”

    “What? Flamed out? Failed? Where his second in command had to take over?” She was seeing that back yard scene again.

    “Sadie,” Jake hesitated, “I was the one, I was his second in command. But, I have faith in you, you’re gonna make it. Just wanted you to know that.”

    At the console Sadie thought, And, if I don’t you’ll be here to rescue me.

    Almost there, she thought as the temperature seemed to rise from the bodies crowding around for a better look at her screen. Her hands steady on the controls, her mind focused on the pulsing light of the camera illuminating the pitch black, then. . .

    “Jake, Jake,” behind her all conversation ceased. “I’m there, I’m. . . Jake, I’m through.” She took a quick second to wipe the sweat from her forehead, then. . .

    “Jake, oh no, Jake! I’m going dark!” In her panicked state she was horrified to hear laughter.

    “Oh, Sadie,” Jake put his hands on her shoulders. “Look at the clock! You just lost track of time. It’s over, the camera stopped. You did it! You guided the latest test model of the capsule endoscopy right through the colon mucosa like a champ. That small intestine was a piece of cake for you.”

    “Yeah, I guess.” Sadie smiled. “Don’t you kinda wish we could keep taping right on through the flush? Maybe even through the whole sewer system.”

    “Hey, Sadie,” Jim, the tall, blonde technician called to her. “Guess we can’t call you Rookie anymore.” Then he winked as she blushed.

    “Ah,” she stammered, “you can call me whatever and whenever you’d like.” The room erupted in giggles and high-fives.

    “Now, Sadie,” Jake shook her hand, “you get on home. And, tell that father of yours to lay off the iced tea. At our age we need to think about our prostate.”

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      Then again, my father says that iced tea has caffeine and that caffeine makes you nervous easily. I’d lay off of that if I were Sadie’s dad.
      But not coffee. I love coffee.
      Wonderfully written Reatha. The Jim and Sadie moment was a nice touch.

    2. Bushkill

      Nailed It!

      way to go, Reatha, you really put the screws to the prompt with this piece. I was totally buying into the SF angle. Then you went and shifted gears and dropped me into the middle of a colonoscopy.
      Awesome!
      And I am with Raf … go for the coffee.

    3. Beebles

      I am not my father, as classic as lets split up. Throw in some B celebrities and you’ve got yourself a straight to DVD movie. I don’t think we can call you Rookie any more Reatha.

  7. Kerry Charlton

    MEMORIES OF A SENTIMENTAL OLD FOOL

    My living room is a trip through life. As you enter the room on the left wall, stands an ancient Chinese cabinet, hand carved somewhere in the seventeenth or eighteenth century by artisans that don’t exist anymore. But I can not verify the age. My Mother used to describe it’s age as the time of Christ. I used to hunt Easter eggs she placed each spring. That’s my idea of treasure.

    Standing behind the sofa is an art deco mirror sofa table, step down style, we bought or stole at a garage sale in the 70’s. Beside the sofa stands a seven foot tall lamp of bronze and champleve enamel on metal, the base of which is made of five elephant heads in a circle, their trunks holding the lamp up. The middle of the lamp is occupied by a fierce dragon , circled around the center. Travel further up, a money sits holding up the top part of the lamp. I have voted it the ugliest lamp ever and would move it if I had the strength to lift it.

    The end of the room is occupied by a Texas Centennial Baby Grand, we bought from a minister who retired from his church. 1939 issue. Then on to a large built in bookcase and TV in the center. Eight hundred record albums live here, my very favorite. Twelve hundred more are scatted through the house. Cross to the other corner occupied by a French desk, there sits a ceremonial pair of wedding shoes set with ivory from India with eight inch platforms, then next to the desk on the floor, a small plaster giraffe from a hobby shop, my wife hand painted for me some forty years ago. Then a faux bronze vase with a broken handle we bought for ten dollars and repaired. O.n top of the mantle, a pair of champleve vases surround a bronze woman with a gold dress who’s sitting on a piece of black marble along with her dog It’s not signed but who cares?

    Over in the far corner, a 1912 Victrola occupies. You crank, it plays with sound control, open or close the door in front of the speaker. Lastly in the fourth corner a floe blue vase and stand bought at auction the same day the fiesta parade was shot up by a mad man with a gun in 1978 and we were in the crowd.

    I hope you enjoyed the tour. I asked myself once…. Suppose the house were on fire, your wife and two cats were safe, and you could choose only one item to save from the fire, what would it be?

    You know already, don’t you, of course, the small plaster giraffe.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks for your wonderful thoughts, Bushkill. There are so many memories about the house, and what’s in it and so very many stories. I wasn’t sure this was going to work, I am much relieved. Can’t wait to read everyone else.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Reatha and bless you. I consider you a friend I have known for a long time and I have through all your stories and writing. In many ways, I believe we think alike even though I started a lot earlier. I am a true fifties child and so proud of what they now call the golden age. I’m not so sure about gofden but what a lot of fun. And golly, the girls were so very pretty then and washed behind the ears, so to speak.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Thank you Denise. I have no idea where this response is headed but anyway, I am so happy you enjoyed it. The elephant, dragon and monkey lamp thanks you also.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks Moirai It’s not a hard decision when you know who made it. Some things are more valuable then others but the key is who made it and for what reason.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you jayak. Something funny I missed in that room, why I have no idea. An old carousel hand carved horse. They had traveling carnivals and carousels in the old days, carousels and the horses were about three quarter size, as mine is.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Love giraffes.myself,especially new born. Happy you enjoyed the story.but.missed one thing.i had planned.on
        An.old three quarters size carousel horse.all the paint was stripped so you can see.how it was carved and fitted together. The movers broke the head off and one hoof, they didn’t see a gun when they. Moved us. I put it back together myself.and it’s no worse for wear
        Anyway. I find stuff usually more interesting than people, at least some of them.

    1. Beebles

      What an excellent idea kery. Should be a prompt idea all of its own. All writing is personal but you are the most giving of us all. Thanks for another snippet of demesne Charlton.

  8. Bushkill

    An unreal allure

    I delight in your curves. They are smooth and well-formed. None of this showy, over-the-top and too top heavy modernism. More of a pleasant and perky presentation, as are you. Too, they entice me, your curves. They sing to me in melody fair.

    Dance with me, our morning dance. Delight with me. In me. Every sunrise brings us together and together is where we thrive.

    Survive.

    You are sultry, and the lure of you pulls me forward.

    We share an unbridled passion.

    We manifest an unfettered desire.

    We consecrate a need, a thirst quenching, mind-altering drive that unites us.

    And yet, if I am late, you are cool toward me. If I dally and delay, you offer up staleness, saddened in your state of loneliness. I should tarry not, then, and relish in your vitality. I should wrap you in an embrace impassioned and fueled by every fiber of my being.

    The scent of you,

    from you,

    around you,

    by you,

    envelopes me. It is everywhere and the feral beating of my heart quickens in expectation. The hammer fall of my pulse seems loud enough to drown out all other sound.

    And there you rest. Pious and prim and perfect. As I move closer, I can feel the heat of you and your scent becomes a mind altering intoxicant. I am undone in your presence. I quake in anticipation and I strain with your need to make me wait until you are ready. I am made low in your absence and am diminished at such delays. I am always thankful they are short, that our moment is now.

    Sudden.

    Blissful.

    When I hold you,

    gently,

    delicately

    and share our first kiss of the morning, the electricity of the perfect moment unleashed rushes through me like unchained lightening.

    Every fiber of my soul leaps at your touch. You awaken in me such consuming need and desire I feel I may burst in orgasmic release. I close my eyes and breathe deep, pulling you in further, rolling my fingers around your blessed shape.

    It is sublime, this passion, this joy.

    It is unmistakably us, together, sharing, that pours forth with such force, such carnal yearning.

    And yet, in the end, it never lasts. You grow cold to me. Your scent fades. The impassioned moment draws close.

    And I, I am left to refill and restart your morning song.

    Oh, Coffee! I am so in love with thee!

    1. Kerry Charlton

      It took me almost.to end before I realized it was coffee. Turning cold was the clue. Verp poetic and sing song, steeped in mystery. Why not send to Starbucks advertising director
      It’s good enough for me and perfect for Starbucks
      A rap song using your lyrics..I am dead serious in.my suggestion.

    2. RafTriesToWrite

      I enjoy this style of writing, and I envy people who can do this.
      I just wish my mind would conform to this kind of writing.
      I yearn to learn more, perhaps with time I could be one.
      Maybe one day.
      But hopefully soon.
      I loved this Bushkill, it was definitely a pleasure to read.

    3. Moirai-TQ

      I was fighting the obvious in the beginning. Until you mentioned that the aroma was wonderful, I imagined it was a toilet bowl!

      I knew it was coffee when you mentioned sharing the first morning kiss. Just like Reatha, coffee is sacred.

      Perfect fit for the prompt.

    4. Beebles

      Perfect. You extrapolated and stretched the sensation of that first sip. Now the tea mycmissuss just brought me tastes insipid by comparison. Hope she doesnt read this.

  9. Moirai-TQ

    It was light brown and waiting. Waiting for the coming of the new age. It was always patient. It had no other choice. One day, It was less light brown. There were spots of green. It was also nubby.

    “Ahh, it has started.”

    Later on that night, It heard muffled screams. The screams were always there and not very loud. It was still patient. It disliked this part of the new age. It felt some pain, or some itching. It was never sure. This continued for several more days. Then the screaming got louder, almost a cacophony. The itching, yes, It had determined it was an itch, was almost intolerable. Luckily the wind helped with the itch as the wind moved It around.

    After about ten days, the screaming and itching was so bad It just wanted to keel over and die. It knew the beginning of the new age was almost over.

    The next morning all was quiet and itch-free. It was still light brown, but also in full bloom of green. Spring had sprung.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      You are not going to believe what I thought you were writing about, I started to wiggle and scratch with memories of poison ivy as a child at our summer home in Avalon. I never screamed tjough, just suffered. God Bless calamine lotion. Ask some old Geezer what that is.

    2. Moirai-TQ

      I have a non-fruit bearing cherry bush outside my kitchen window. I stand there at my kitchen sink looking at the winter branches. Then the early spring branches. Blam! red leaves and very light pink flowers filled the branches. That was my muse for this prompt.

  10. ShamelessHack

    “Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy. He hath borne me on his back a thousand times, and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! My gorge rises at it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know not how oft. —Where be your gibes now? Your gambols? Your songs? Your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one now to mock your own grinning? Quite chapfallen? Now get you to my lady’s chamber and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favor she must come. Make her laugh at that.—Prithee, Horatio, tell me one thing.”
    “Pray tell, Prince Hamlet? What’s that you’re holding in your hand and talking to? A skull?”
    “Alas, no, Gravedigger. It is an Idaho potato.”
    “What’s Idaho?”

    See? This is what a classical education leaves you with. And people wonder why I drink…

    1. Bushkill

      I had to read it twice. The classics are wasted on the youth (I manage a HS ENglish department where shakespeare is a mainstay) who haven’t the patience to appreciate their beauty. Such elegance.

      great write and clever last line.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          I’d like to open thy skull and see your brain ticking. Is it Okay with you? I took a correspondence course in intricate brain surgery. Alas, and whoa, I got a C- for a grade. Now to the writing, damn it’s beautiful, can you teach me how?

  11. JosephFazzone

    These Infinite screams of echoes of choruses of choruses of cacophonous melancholy, oh woe is me, indeed.

    We happen upon a merry way, on a merry day to delight and frolic.

    For Naught!

    Forsooth we speak of demons and devils who sneak into our calendars and give us pause to our aims.
    Give us our goals, our ambitions, our…slaves of endless toil as the ticking ticks.

    Never stop for the tock to pop, as the hypnotic droning sirens lure the listener to their drowning deaths!

    For Naught!

    I will shake these cantankerous bastards and their desire to laden their lethargic meander from points heretofore to none too far.

    Where art thou going? What demands have thine on my patience that thou shall shear it from my skin as the wool of the sheep?

    For Naught!

    Nay! I say, demon, from whence you came, take leave of thy acoustics, and give me back the sweet lady who spoke of the opportunity to I wish to correct.

    Was there ever a more improper hour to sit and idly dream about the day consuming the sumptuous brunch currently being held not a spitting distance from where I sit? As I lay in agony, chained to this drudgery, this desire to rip off my skin and scream out into the abyss to forever embrace me in darkness.

    Oh, darkness take me! Take me away from this purgatory.

    You sodden cur, gangly daughter of an unkempt hairdresser! I bet those lofty aspirations of you relishing in the delight of something of such grandeur as the savior of my poor soul. Surely these were the herculean accomplishments of your whimsical albeit dull existence. Crack the whip, time to break bones to make bread, or words to the productive. Get thine arse in gear!

    We lapse into a reprieve, a crackle, a ray of hope?

    For Naught!

    Merely a drip in the drop drop drop of the sands through the hourglass. Was I not, a moment ago, the epitome of blithe and bonny? Yet now am I the incredulous babe lamenting for the teat my mother denied me at the age before canine ever saw the sun.

    Will a thousand moons passed since I’ve seen the light of day?

    For Naught!

    The crackle again. Alas, she is returned!

    Am I now this weeping mass before you?

    “Hi Melinda. Yes, you can help me with my phone service.”

    Zounds but she sings like a harpy! Still any light is a path through the dark. There is hope.

    1. RafTriesToWrite

      Very old timey. Yet another classical writing.
      It’s always fun to read these but I dare not decipher everything (or else my head would explode). I just like how the words are placed to actually mean something in a whimsically, sophisticated, clever way.
      Refreshing is the word I would use.

      1. JosephFazzone

        Thanks Reatha! I have been trying to get in more writing. My time has been stretched thin, but I’m trying to fit it in. I love writing, and miss it. I will try to come more often. I also feel bad just putting up a prompt and not reading anything past that. So I try and come here only when I can make time to read what my fellow writers have been working on. It’s a great place, and I will try and visit more.

    2. snuzcook

      “Was there ever a more improper hour to sit and idly dream about the day consuming the sumptuous brunch currently being held not a spitting distance from where I sit? As I lay in agony, chained to this drudgery, this desire to rip off my skin and scream out into the abyss to forever embrace me in darkness.” That paragraph particularly resonated for me.

      You did this so well, and with such apparent ease. I am in awe!

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Joseph, this sentence could launch a thouaand ships or at leadt two or three hundred,,,, “You sodden cur, gangley daughter of an unkempt hair dresser.” Beautiful.

  12. RafTriesToWrite

    Lava had finally started pouring from the sky after an hour of shaded bliss. This time, it was undeniably intolerable. I knew it was too good to be true.

    I don’t know if I can keep on going with this. What would my wife think? What would my kids think? Perhaps…

    Perhaps I should continue going, for them.

    The ground continued to sink right before my very eyes, it was eating everything! Even itself. It may be alive for all I know.

    The wind hasn’t been forgiving either, all it does is concentrate the heavy heat of lava towards our way and it’s making my time here miserable.

    Henry doesn’t seem fazed at all. He’s always been the optimistic one, but then again, he’d been here only a week. It’s too soon to tell the horrors of this hazardous endeavour.

    The master crafters grabbed their mighty weapons again, pounding the gaping opening. Maybe making our lives easier as we speak.

    The sound resonating from their weapons overwhelms my ears sometimes, but it gets the job done faster. If only more people had weapons then we’d be done sooner.

    I guess I really should get those battle grade ear protectors that my wife keeps insisting I buy. Sometimes she screams at me just so I can hear her perfectly well.

    The center of the earth couldn’t come faster, but we’re getting there, it’s just a matter of days before another set of lava comes spewing underground.

    Unless we hit the gas pipes first. Or worse, water pipes.

    “Another hot day huh Bob?” Henry asked removing his ear muffs. He sat next to me, then started eating his packed lunch of quesadillas.

    “Another hot day at the construction Henry.” I replied as I ate my tuna sandwich and watched the other guys drill the area for a rich man’s swimming pool.

      1. Denise G. Monello

        Great take on the prompt. I could see the extremely sweaty man jackhammering into the ground on a sweltering day–the swimming pool capped it off.

        1. Kerry Charlton

          Does this noice sound familiar? Poof,bamn, thud, rumble. In south Florida where i grew up, under the sand lay twenty solid feet of coral rock. Swing a pick at it and it will give to the pick like oak. and wedge tight, You can count the hours trying to unwedge the pick. They drill sbout three feet throughdsolid rock, drop a full stick of dynanite and cover with a six inch thick mat. Poof! bamn! thud, rumble. I thought this a neat story brough back lots of construction whoas in the 50’s.

  13. cosi van tutte

    Jack Jilhouse had a bad dream.

    He stood in his living room, but everything was all wrong. The couch was too short and too low to the floor. The ceiling scraped the top of his head. The walls were too close. The throw carpets kept getting caught in his toenails.

    And no matter which way he turned, the light fixture kept walloping him in the face. Finally, he just couldn’t take it anymore. He grabbed the fixture.

    That’s when he saw it.

    His skin was gray-furred and mottled with black spots.

    His hands were too big.

    His fingers too long.

    His fingernails…His claws.

    He had claws.

    Jack gasped and woke up.

    He examined his hands.

    Familiar skin.

    Familiar hands.

    Familiar fingers and fingernails.

    It had all been just a dream.

    Yet.

    There was something naggingly familiar about it.

    It had felt like a memory.

      1. cosi van tutte

        Thank you, Reatha!

        Sorry I’ve been such a slacker over here. It’s been a bad case of busy at work and busy with my on-line Ambrose and Elsie story.

        This one was based on my Lord Deama stories that I posted over here (was it a couple of years ago?). I’ve been thinking about Lord Deama, Asree, and company lately. I want to expand those stories into one full-length novel as soon as I finish with Ambrose and Elsie. I’m kind of nervous and excited about it all at the same time.

    1. Bushkill

      every word caught me. A fine job painting a picture and then ramping up the connections from dream to reality and then blurring the line entirely.

  14. snuzcook

    It was a hot afternoon for April. I was hanging around nosing through a newspaper someone left at the bus stop while I kept an eye on the shop across the street. Finally, I spotted my target coming out. It was clear she had the goods on her. Before I could close in, she caught sight of me shadowing her. She grabbed her bag closer and picked up her pace, her heels clicking fast against the spit-stained sidewalk and her skirt fanning the fragrance of dryer sheets and lavender body spray in clouds behind her.

    There was no sense finessing the tail; I’d been made and I had to get to her before she could reach her destination. I dashed down an alley to cut her off. She anticipated me, and stepped into a bookstore to lose me. When she came out, I was already waiting on the stoop of her building. She’d have to go past me to get inside.

    “Look, I’m really tired of this,” she said, but there was fear in her voice. I knew I’d already won. I stepped closer.

    “All right, all right. Here, you filthy animal.” She pulled a paper-wrapped object from her bundle and tossed it at me. She quickly unlocked the door and slipped inside. I let her go and turned my attention to the loot. It was exactly what I knew it would be. Warm and fragrant and buttery, with a hint of mustard and sage. The roast pork was slightly underdone, just the way I liked it.

    I licked the wrapping paper clean, then stepped back as a playful breeze snatched it away and sailed it along the side of the building with other bits of paper and old leaves. I saw her looking out from her third floor window. I grinned up at her and wagged my tail. I knew we’d meet again, real soon.

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