Lost Journal

Photo by Dariusz Sankowski on Unsplash

Do you keep a journal? I keep a notebook by my side at all times, but not for any specific purpose. My notebooks collect extraneous thoughts—thoughts about work projects, notes from meetings, ideas for new articles and events and writing prompts, and of course, snippets of scenes from my work-in-progress. As a result, I have a veritable truckload of wildly disorganized not-particularly-helpful journals in the drawers of my desk; but their very existence helps me refine and focus the thoughts I need to utilize at any given moment. Others  have different (probably better) techniques for leveraging journaling as a writing tool, but we all have our quirks.

Writing Prompt: Lost Journal

While cleaning out a closet, you stumble upon a journal you don’t recognize. As you flip through the pages, it becomes apparent that this journal belongs to a fictional character (either an original character you’ve written about before, or a character from one of your favorite books). Share one of the entries.

Post your response in 500 words or fewer in the comments below.

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59 thoughts on “Lost Journal

  1. tornesor

    January 18
    I had the strangest dream. I was walking through Father Demo Square and the sight of a girl in a red dress standing in front of the fountain stopped me dead in my tracks. The sight of her alone was hypnotizing. I’m not sure how it happened, but I ended up standing just inches in front of her. I could smell her breath. It was sweet. I went in closer, but she disappeared and I woke up.

    April 28
    I dreamt about her again. The sweet-smelling girl in red. I was walking through the square again and she was sitting on a bench this time. Her hair reminded me of fire and her eyes were greener than the green side of the grass. Her name is Andrea. I know because some guy came out of the bushes calling for her and she left after him. I’m disappointed, but I’m not sure why when she’s not a real person – just a dream.

    July 5
    I saw her again in the square. In a dream, I mean. She touched my hand and we were in a forested area, chasing after some old guy for some reason. I just followed her, I couldn’t help it. We got to the top of a hill and he disappeared behind some bushes. She stopped before the bushes and I caught up, then she started back down the hill. I followed her and then the guy was coming after us. You’d think the guy had a gun or something the way she ran. I thought we were chasing him. My dreams make no sense.

    August 27
    I’m a little freaked out. I dreamt about her, but I wasn’t asleep. It was day time. I was in class and there she was, sitting beside me. I tried to ignore her, but she started talking to me. The first thing she said was, “You’re not dreaming, but no one else can see me. Tell me you can hear me, just with your thoughts.” When I ignored her and kept taking notes, her voice got louder, “TELL ME YOU CAN HEAR ME!”
    So I turned towards her and thought to myself, “You’re not real.”
    Her face got as red as her dress and her hair, she looked aflame except her bright, green eyes. My head started hurting. I yelped in pain and the class stared at me. The pain stopped just as suddenly as it had come and the professor asked me if I was ok. I said yes, but excused myself. On my way to the restroom, there she was in the middle of the hallway. It felt like a dream, but it wasn’t. A throbbing pain hit my head, stronger than the first time and I heard her from across the hall, in my head, “Don’t you EVER ignore me. It’s for your own good.”
    I think I’m losing it. She left after that and the pain left with her.

  2. SeraphicFire

    Log date: 13 Tridecember 5676
    I can feel something different in the air as of late. Heavier, less organized. I would be normally be used to this as it is towards the end of the year, but with the way Edan has been behaving recently, it’s… different. It affects all people like me, but for some reason, this time, it’s not the same; not even remotely. Something’s changing. Whether the gods are having a hand in this or not, it’s hard to tell. My own Matron is silent when I try to speak with Her, especially when it comes to Edan. They’re becoming restless. They sleep less during the day. The moment the sun begins to set in the horizon, they’re awake, roused almost it seems with sweat on their brow. I ask Edan every evening what’s causing this early rise in their sleep but remains silent, looking at me with a… wildness that I haven’t seen since they first came into my life. They say it’s nothing, but I know that not only Edan but my Matron is keeping something from me. Why else would they be silent? Why else would both of them be mute upon my inquiring? Something’s happening: I can feel it. But the ones that do know refuse to tell me. Why?

    1. snuzcook

      You’ve introduced some really fascinating elements here, SeraphicFire, and I find myself wanting to fill in the blanks because you’ve really piqued my interest. Lots of tension, and I have a feeling our narrator is in big trouble.

  3. PhillyKat33

    September 2010 Honolulu, HI

    Who does this man think he is? Taking over my case? His dad was killed, I feel for the guy, I really do. All the more reason to leave this to the professional, namely me. There is a reason we do not allow family members to investigate. There is too much at stake. They get too emotionally involved.

    But, no, MR. Navy SEAL has to go and involve the governor! The governor of all people! Right there in his dad’s garage! He has some nerve.

    I knew the day was going to suck right from the start. I argue with Rachel, always a fun time, let me tell you. Then I lose a witness and my captain dumps this murder case in my lap.

    Step-Stan just had to one-up me with a live bunny for Grace’s show and tell. Seriously, who buys their seven-year-old stepdaughter an actual living rabbit? Who? Rich wife-stealing bastards, that’s who!

    And then I meet Steve. The case-robbing maniac. Who got me shot! Shot! On our first day together! Yes, it was a graze along the arm but it still hurt!

    God, it felt good to punch him! Serves him right, going on how I shot his only lead to finding the man who shot his father. What was I supposed to do, let the man get shot?

    At least he has a nice house, even if it does back onto a beach. Or will have, once his dad’s last wishes are sorted and the living room cleaned out. This place is technically still a crime scene. And the waves are crashing over and over again. How is one supposed to get any peace and quiet with the racket of the ocean right outside?!

    Now we await word from Steve’s friend Chin Ho. He’s setting up a meet between his cousin and a human-trafficker who may have brought John McGarrett’s murderer to this pineapple-infested hellhole.

    Steve’s bringing beer and changing his shirt.

    Danny W.

    1. snuzcook

      The ultimate meet cute: your new partner steals your case and then gets you shot! Sounds like the start to a perfect relationship! I wish I was more familiar with McGarrett et al, either the classic or the new series. but I recognize where you’re going. Fun response to the prompt.

  4. cosi van tutte

    I held the book in my hand.

    It wasn’t familiar to my touch of my hand or the touch of my memory. It was brown leather with a red ribbon binding it closed. It smelled faintly of old rose perfume mixed with honeysuckle. Its pages were yellowed old.

    I had a strong feeling that if anything was written inside, it was none of my business. So, I untied the ribbon and set it aside.

    I raised the cover.

    Someone had drawn a woman in an old fashioned bustle dress on the first page. She had fine features. A soft bouffant.

    Her eyes were downcast.

    Her mouth a sad shape.

    Flowered vines arched around her with the slight hint of columns underneath the flowers and the vines.

    I turned the page.

    ***
    January 1.

    I am well.

    There is nothing to report.

    James Arden

    ***

    January 5

    Three more chickens have died.

    This winter is unbearable.

    It is difficult to keep the house warm, but I do what I must.

    I do what is expected of me.

    I keep them warm. My family – the Farlingtons.

    They are happy. They are well.

    That is enough to make me happy.

    James Arden.

    ***

    January 10

    Mae Rose.

    No. No, I shan’t speak of her. But I am not speaking here. Only writing.

    These are my own thoughts meant for only my eyes. No one will know. No one will ever see what I write in this book.

    So…

    The maid broke another crystal goblet. I suspect she is doing it on purpose. I will speak to her and tell her to take more care.

    So.

    So…

    I will speak of her. Here in this book that none but I shall read.

    Mae Rose Farlington.

    She is lovely.

    She is grace. She is beauty.

    I have attempted a drawing of her, but it is insufficient. I fear I lack the talent to draw her beauty as it is.

    But it is naught.

    It cannot be.

    She and I cannot be.

    She is the Farlingtons’ eldest daughter. I am naught but their butler.

    She is high above me.

    We are not meant to be.

    James Arden

    ***

    I stopped.

    James Arden…

    James…

    WHAT??

    “No. No! This can’t be real. It must be the heat. It must be the beginnings of heatstroke or something.”

    James Arden isn’t a real person. I mean, he’s real enough in my imagination. But that doesn’t count.

    He’s fictional.

    He’s one of my characters from my story. So, what?

    What?

    WHAT?

    How the heck am I holding his journal?

    What does this mean?

    I set the book on the floor.

    What should I do?

    Do I keep writing about him and the Farlingtons?

    Or should I stop?

    “I don’t know.”

    I looked down at the book on the floor and thought about it.

    I thought about what I should do.

    I thought about what I wanted to do.

    I picked up the book and kept reading the diary of James Arden, a man who doesn’t really exist.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        I also Cosi. Perhaps he is reading about his Al ter-ego. Dreaming about a woman.he can not have except perhaps in his private journal.only there can he live a life impossible in reality. This is a mighty serious answer to the prompt.

        My ticker is running fast. A journal such as this can take a person anythere to accomplish any thing he wants or more portantly, any woman he desires.

  5. brookesmith

    ALWAYS, BELLA

    January 1st

    Hello, diary.

    I just recieved you yesterday as a late Christmas and early birthday present from Mom. To clear things up, I’m sure I won’t be using you as often as you think, because I hate this sort of thing. My name is Bella. Anyways, in other news, I turn 15 tomorrow. Catch you later.
    -bella


    January 2nd

    Hello again,

    I’m 15, which gives me even more of a reason to not write in you. I’m far too old for this sort of thing. But Mom wants me to, so I’ll pretend I’m writing important things in here.
    Send help. I’m being bored out of my mind. I’m at school, where no one remembered my birthday, not even Lilly, my best friend. Maybe because I act “too young” for her. Her words, not mine.
    -sadly, bella

    January 15th

    Diary,

    It’s been a while since I last wrote in you. Since then, I aced a math test but failed an english. Mom and Dad are still yelling at me for it. Lilly found a new best friend, Jeanine. I wore pink shoes to school the other day, and now no one will talk to me because of it, haha. I’m sure the joke will end soon and people will be my friends again.
    -adios, bella

    January 19th

    Hi,

    So, whatever joke the world is playing on me hasn’t stopped yet. Things at school are still bad and things at home are worse. I spend all my time thinking about my social life that I don’t study, prompting me to fail all my classes, causing my parents to yell at me. It helps to have you to talk to, though, even though I hate to say it. Also, I tried a cucumber today for the first time at lunch. Hated it.
    -xoxo, bella

    February 1st

    Hola,

    I wore my makeup like Lilly does today at school, and wore black shoes instead of pink. She let me sit with her. Somehow, I wasn’t happy.
    -bella 🙁
    February 6th

    Ugh,

    Mom read what I wrote in you. She’s mad about what I said about her. She’s taking you away. I guess this is goodbye, for now. Before I go, I wanted to let you know that I made a new friend, Francis. She’s nice, and complimented me on the pink shoes I wore the other day. She geniunely liked them. That’s good, because I did too. I think she’s way nicer than Lilly ever was to me.
    I wanted to thank you, even though you’re an inanimate object. Thank you for being there, for listening, for helping.
    Because I wrote in you I figured out what a true friend is.
    -always, bella

  6. jwismann

    Ray Kinsella’s (Shoeless Joe, 1982) last journal entry:

    December 12, 2005

    The last time I saw him play.

    It was down to Joe in left field again, just how it had started. Life had moved on for Annie and me and I had not watched a full game in some time. Karin was married, living in Iowa City. Her husband worked for some medical equipment company in the IT department. She brought the grand kids out almost every weekend to play on the farm, in the ball field, and to take in a game or two. Her husband was cynical and questioned everything about the field and the players. He did not see them and did not want to see them. He hated baseball. Every day I asked myself how my daughter, of all people, could marry someone who hates baseball. God sure has a sense of humor that I will never understand.

    People still visited, more randomly now than in the beginning, but they still came enough on some weekend evenings to turn the lights on. Since it was just Joe and the shadowy other figures, unrecognizable in their ghostly appearance, people had stopped coming in droves.

    It was October 26 and the White Sox won the World Series with Bobby Jenks retiring Orlando Palmeiro on a ground-out to shortstop Juan Uribe. Thus ended an 88-year World Series Championship drought and brought some credibility back to south Chicago baseball.

    Joe and I talked late into the night after his game with the ghost players. He told me that it was time for him to go. He joked that since the White Sox finally won a series, he could be at peace, but I knew there was something else making him go. He thanked me for giving them a place to play baseball for a few more years. He even said that he hoped to be back one day. I told him through my tears that he was always welcome and that I was sorry that I did not have the time to spend watching him as much as I had in the early days. He just smiled and turned to go.

    I suspect that the magic was all gone. People quit believing in magic and ghosts and baseball. People had given up hope that they would get to play in the great Polo Grounds in the sky. Hell, most people did not even know what the Polo Grounds was. It was 1979 all over again. There was no God and baseball was too slow for the modern age. I sat there watching Joe leave for the last time through the right field door in my broken down stadium, alone on the night the White Sox won their first series in 90 years, wondering if all of this was just a dream.

    Then Annie came out of the house as she always did when I needed her most. She wrapped her arms around my waist as I sat on the bleachers in left field and I knew that nothing else mattered. I had done what was asked of me and I silently prayed that Shoeless Joe found peace.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        You write about one of the greatest movies I have ever seen . I do remenber when I was a young boy, my dad took me to a double A stadium in Miami and even at the age of 60. The pitcher burned the ball across the plate, for it wasn’t a ghost, it was far better, Sachel Paige.

        1. jwismann

          It is a great movie and an even better book. We need more imaginative baseball books and movies in my opinion.

          On seeing Satchel Paige, all I can say is, “What an honor that must have been.” Guys like him made the game great.

  7. RafTriesToWrite

    April 1, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    April Fools’ Day, yet everyone is mourning. I hope it’s all one big hoax and that my little brother would soon jump out underneath my bed and yell April fools’.

    He likes playing jokes on me.

    ============

    April 8, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    It was buried today, thank goodness. Finally got rid of it. Nothing new today, same old same old. Time to find the next one I suppose. Now the question is, what and where?

    ============

    April 19, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    I found the next one! Time to plan again. This is exciting! Height, 5 foot 8, weight, 173 lbs. Perfect! I’ll be needing some supplies, I wonder if my brother has some things that I need.

    I’ll ask him tomorrow.

    ============

    April 28, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    It was my birthday yesterday! And as my present, I did it. It wasn’t pretty, but it was definitely worth it. I’d show my little brother but, I don’t think he’ll understand.

    At least, not yet anyway.

    ============

    May 10, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    Someone was trailing me yesterday, maybe that can be my new target. I’ll have to be vigilant the next few days. Hope he’ll give a good fight though, I’m getting excited again.

    ============

    May 24, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    He’s dead. In the best way possible. I was a little disappointed. He didn’t give me the satisfaction that I wanted.

    Maybe I’ll find something to play with.

    =============

    June 14, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    My brother got beat up yesterday. Bunch of crazy men picking on my little brother. I’ll show them. I’ll show them all!

    =============

    June 29, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    I finally hunted the last one. The first was… how do I put it? Challenging. But, after word got around that he died, the rest were easy to find.

    Like little rats, cowering on the glue mouse trap. All vulnerable, crying, pleading for forgiveness. Disgusting things.

    =============

    July 4, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    Happy 4th of July! I still don’t know why people go crazy with fireworks, but it makes it much easier for me to kill some targets in the night. They won’t even see it coming.

    Glorious!

    Happy Independence Day to them!

    ==============

    July 14, 2004

    He told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to, he told me to.

    ==============

    July 19, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    Death Death DEath DeAth DEath DeaTh Death Death DeaTh DeatH DeAth Death Death DeaTh Death DeatH Death Death DeaTh Death DeAth Death Death DeatH Death DeAth DEath Death Death Death DeaTh Death Death Death DEath DeAth DeaTh Death Death DEath DeAth Death DeaTh Death DeatH Death DeatH Death DEath DeatH Death Death DEath DeaTh Death Death Death DEath Death Death DEath DeAth Death DeatH Death Death DeaTh Death Death Death DEath Death DeAth Death DEath Death Death Death DEath Death Death DeaTh Death Death Death Death Death Death DeatH Death

    ===============

    August 1, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    Pain. Hurt. Self. Brother. Bad. Hard. Kill. DEATH.

    ===============

    August 3, 2004

    Dear Diary,

    Death is the only cure for all sickness.

    This will be my last entry.

    I’ll miss you. Farewell.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      This is deadly scary to read and so realistic, it gives one the shivers. We are going to have to talk, you write stories like this without scaring the bohooses out of me. Promise? No? Well try anyway

  8. ShamelessHack

    Journal…

    Day 27: They’ve all ganged up on me, and I know why: I’m smarter than they are, and certainly better looking, and I have a hot girlfriend who everyone wants. Well, to hell with them. The situation is bad and getting worse. When I got up this morning I found a banana peel on the floor next to my bed. What’s that all about?

    Day 28: Word on the Street is that the Count has put out a contract on me. Hmph! Not surprised, that bloodsucking bastard. I’m headed downtown to buy a gun from that touchy guy who does business out of a garbage can. I know what I’m doing.

    Day 29: The two gay guys who live across the hall, Ernest and Bertrand, have been spying on me again. They seem harmless, but you never know. I found a rubber duck near the dumpster outside. Related?

    Day 30: At work, Elmo, the guy in the next cubicle, was eyeing me suspiciously. He keeps whispering things into his telephone. Something’s going down. I can feel it. I leave work early just get out on the Street and get clear in case trouble comes calling.

    Day 31: The Count makes his move, sending his henchman, a veritable giant, after me as I’m riding my bike to work. I’m able to nail the blue monster and he goes down in a hail of cookies. Close call. I beat it before the cops can get there along with that damned giant bird.

    Day 32: My girlfriend has had it. She left me this morning. It wasn’t the tension or the paranoia. It was the fact that I stopped taking her to fancy restaurants so she could stuff her piggy face.

    It’s not easy being green.

    1. Kerry Charlton

      Well, I don’t know what to tell you. I liked the rhythm of the writing, it’s excellent i’ m not so sure this whole scene wasn’t set in an HEB.grocety store. I’m not sure but perhaps this is a battle between produce. I loved the style to the point I don’t care where it happened.
      Or who wins if there is such an event. Right now, I’m sitting at a friend:s house totally loaded, waiting for a boiled egg to save me.

    2. jhowe

      I always wondered about Bert and Ernie. Thanks for clearing that up. Really clever, Hack. You certainly have the inanimate character market cornered with your offerings.

  9. Kerry Charlton

    THE DEATH OF CHIVALRY

    The trip to England in early spring was a total disappointment until the day before we were to return to the states. One more tour of an ancient castle which was scheduled for that day was suddenly canceled due to the weather, so LNour and I put on heavy raincoats and Pea Jackets, rented a small car and took off on our own discovery.

    Thirty miles or so, we ran into a white out and looked for the nearest cover. An indescribable building of crumbled architecture, presented itself as a rescue haven. We struggled through the snow and driving cold and hit the ancient iron ring against the splintered door. A candle light flickered in a small window beside the door and a small lady of many years of toil answered the call and let us in. Her age was unable to hide the magnificent beauty she once was

    “I’ve been waiting so many years to talk to you Dr. Hamilton.”

    “ You have me at a disadvantage miss, please go on.”

    “Oh I’m sorry doctor, you are the chair of history at Harvard, aren’t you.?”

    “Yes and who might you be.?.”

    “I am the keeper sir and have been for seven hundred years. And those before me for over four hundred more.”

    “Your name miss?”

    “Elizabeth Masterson doctor.”

    “Impossible miss, Elizabeth Masterson was born in the fifteenth century. She was rumored to be the keeper of Guinevere’s Diary.”

    “The Guinevere, Paul?”

    ‘Yes LNoir.. King Arthur’s Queen.”

    LNoir collapsed in the nearest chair.

    “Oh, I’m sorry miss, the both of you please come this way. There’s a roaring fire and I’ll fix some tea.”

    They entered a massive room and fireplace, the like of which neither Paul or LNoir had ever seen. Elizabeth had gone into an adjoining room to fix tea as they huddled in soft conversation.

    “Honey, do you think this is real or some massive joke?”LNoir asked/

    “For some uncanny reason, I do believe her. Guinevere’s notes to a history professor are similar to “The Holy Grail.”

    At that moment, the frail Elizabeth returned with a tray of tea and some sort of bread like biscuits Under her arm, a tattered book -like journal, was wedged between her body and arm. She handed it to Paul,

    “Be very careful how you turn the leaves in this journal. It is very precious to us and you have been picked by us to read it and do with what you think is proper I must leave now professor. Please place the journal on this small table when you leave for should it be taken, it shall turn to dust.

    She left the room, Paul emerged himself in the journal he started to read the script and LNoir looked on in silence/ Tears started to assemble in Paul’s eyes as he progressed to the end of the journal. LNoir knew not to disturb him at this time and they walked toward the ancient door which opened for them.

    Outside, the earth was still, the snow friendly

    “Look back Paul, the castle has disappeared.”

    I know honey but I can;t look that way. The story of Guinevere is so disturbing, my first thoughts are never to release the journal. It is in my brain word by word. Who could forget it?”

    “Not even to your own wife?”

    “Yes, not even to you. Let this love affair rest in antiquity.”

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you Hack, when I read the first sentence, I knew what to write. I could have done better with a free reign but maybe I’ll just do it on.my own. Thanks for the read and your generous comments.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Dang your self buddy. You write this way all the time , maybe I hit one once in a while. This was just up my alley. I wanted to write about five to ten thousand more.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thanks for getting me on the right road. I need all the help I can get. You really are a clever master of words. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a round table with all of us?

    1. snuzcook

      Loved it! As I read it your story, I saw all of the characters and the set as a classic black and white film in the very best 30s-40s style.

      1. Kerry Charlton

        Thank you snuz. I am going to start over, do some research and let it go until I figure where to stop. I am so encouraged by the responses here.

  10. BBwrites

    hmmm.. i started writing for the prompt a little too quickly and missed a part of the prompt. i have another entry i am working on that will be more relevant, but wanted to share this one first!
    .

    You can love your in-law’s, but you don’t have to like them.

    Lydia and George married young, in their early twenties. Within the first few years of their marriage, Katherine’s own marriage to George’s father, Stuart, ended abruptly. Katherine moved out quickly; the family discovered she had already signed a lease on a new property of her own. She barely had any time to gather all her belongings, and there was no way it was all going to fit in her original 1994 Figaro.
    After Katherine had called George for the third time an early evening, a few glasses of Pinot deep and sounding rather teary about leaving something at the house, George had somehow agreed to himself and Lydia to sort through some of her belongings and that they would bring them over for her the next day. Lydia tried to hide the look of annoyance on her face but couldn’t hide the slight flare of her nostrils. ‘She needs our help. They both need our help,’ George said softly.
    Your help, Lydia thought, they need your help.
    Lydia shrugged and snapped close the book she was reading. ‘We should get started then. She has a lot of cr4p.’

    Lydia stood in Stuart and Katherine’s – now just Stuart’s – bedroom, leafing through Katherine’s belongings. She could hear Stuart and George’s muffled voices downstairs as they made some coffee. Lydia noticed the framed photo of Katherine and Stuart on their wedding day on the windowsill, Katherine’s icy blue eyes piercing through her. She quickly turned her focus to a large box of Katherine’s belongings on the floor of the wardrobe. She started going through the box, finding nothing but old knick-knacks; photographs, a tangle of gold necklaces, a tiny trinket box, a small rusting frame holding an even grainer photo of her and Stuart, in their prime. Lydia’s mouth twitched into a small smile as she couldn’t help noticing the resemblance between Stuart and George.
    Lydia’s eyes dropped to a beautiful, leather bound notebook on the floor. It had been tucked between the box and the wardrobe. She flicked through it nosily, unexpecting anything exciting to be written between the lines in Katherine’s italic scrawl, when she noticed her name written in black, bold letters.

    He brought her round the house today. LYDIA. Very, very pretty, much prettier than his other girlfriends, but not much going on between the ears.

    Lydia frowned at this.

    She seems to be a bit of an air head and looks at herself too often in the mirror. I don’t think it will last. She’s too loud for my George.

    Lydia turned the pages, slightly appalled, her mother in-law’s words.

    G and L came over for dinner again. I cannot express my disapproval of her, flaunting her body the way she does in those tight skinny jeans and revealing dresses. She dresses like she should be stood on a corner downtown!!!

    He PROPOSED. HE HAS PROPOSED TO HER.
    Oh my George. I thought we had raised you well. What do you see in her??
    It’s not that I’m jealous or that I think she is no good for him. It’s that I know she is no good for him.

    G won’t take me seriously or listen to what I have to say about L. He thinks – KNOWS – she is the one, but I refuse. The wedding might go ahead, and I guess you can love your in-laws, but you certainly don’t have to like them.

    Lydia sat on the bed, shocked at Katherine’s harshness. What was wrong with wearing skinny jeans?

    1. jhowe

      Creative piece indeed. I think Lydia deserves some of the press she gets from Katherine, and maybe she kind of knows, deep down, it may be true. And I see nothing wrong with skinny jeans, as long as I’m not wearing them.

    2. snuzcook

      I foresee some sleepless nights for George in the future, perhaps a couch and afghan with his name on it. At some point, we all wish we knew what people really think, but it is a blessing we don’t know.

  11. Jennifer Park

    53. The Diary

    [Follows “52. The Straw” under “Idiomatic!”. You can see a listing of the Darth Barbara saga chapters—all of which are posted under WD prompts—by clicking on my name above.]

    Auntie, I thought you might be interested in this bit from Grandmother’s journal that I found. With Earth now gone, and the Union in tatters, it’s interesting to see what people were thinking about in the “good old days”. This was when she was working for some ambassador, and I think you will find it as disturbing as I do.

    ========

    July 3, 2990

    Dear Diary,

    Sorry I haven’t spoken to you a while. Ever since we got word that the last of the Elements were apprehended, it’s been one celebration after another at the embassy. The amount of alcohol I’ve consumed will boggle your mind.

    Even the Kryzlamei are celebrating. We’ve decimated their economy with this “back to the old ways” c**p, but they don’t blame us for it at all, those losers. They think we did them a favor! Ambassador B is a genius. She has saved the Union with, what, 13 logs? 14 logs? That’s less than the cost of bringing the Death Star over from Hmmshmm! I don’t even know, my diary, how much it costs to shoot that thing; never had to use it, so never got billed for it.

    Not that it would have done any good. The Elements were not on Kryzlak. Still, I’d have loved to see it in action.

    Nothing is going to stop the Union now.

    Man, I’m so drunk!

    ========

    August 13, 2990

    Dear Diary,

    We just got back from Homli. Had to execute, what, two million? Three? Who knows. The whole planet had thrown themselves in with the Elements, so they say, wink-wink. Ambassador B did not think it was necessary, but the Council felt that they had to make some example of someone. Don’t tell anyone, but the executees were not actually members of the Elements. They were your garden variety criminals. What kind of planet incarcerates 30% of their population? Well, it came in handy for this charade.

    ========

    September 2, 2990

    Dear Diary,

    Turns out it is true what they say: Embassador B will sleep with ANYONE! I mean, you have to be cute… and human, but you know what I mean. You know that troll of a Ligand Officer I’ve been complaining about? He is her new toy now. I don’t believe it!

    Man, she’s good in bed, though. I miss that. Too bad she reassigned me so that I can be more “useful to me later”, whatever that means. I mean, she has ex-lovers in every planet in the galaxy. Literally.

    No, I’m exaggerating. Just the ones with Earth embassies on it.

    Sometimes I wonder what she’s planning. Whatever it is, I will be up for it, I’m sure.

    ========

    January 1, 2991

    Happy New Year, my dear Diary!

    Empire Forever! (Shhhh….)

    ========

    March 3, 2991

    Hey, Diary,

    I am heading to Kaka with Ambassador B for a big emergency meeting. Looks like she will be in charge of that octant, too. Four octants, one-third of Union planets.

    Exciting times.

  12. naynay83

    I woke up fully clothed in my bathtub. My jeans and shirt are wet, my is head throbbing, my mouth dry, a billion bricks feel like they are on my chest. I gasped for air several times before I felt like I could breathe. Once again, I just don’t remember. When will I ever learn? Yes, I have images, but nothing coherent. Nothing logical. How did I get from here to there to here? I’m so tired of this. I remember getting ready. I put on extra mascara and pink lipstick, the color Lauren says looks good on me. I wore my new skinny jeans and a yellow tank top, my pink heels. I listened to Mumford and Sons while I dried my hair. Straightened it. I remember driving there and seeing him and thinking he didn’t look at all like his pictures, but I didn’t really care. He asked questions, and I tried to focus, I really did. I tried to answer his questions. He asked about my work I think. I told him I love my work. We ate something, shrimp cocktail maybe? Nachos? Then we danced and I remember thinking I was dancing so good and I looked so good, which was probably just in my head. I have no rhythm whatsoever, and I make it a rule not to make a fool of myself. I just went through my phone and I have no messages from him. I must have deleted them last night, but why would I do that? What happened after the dancing? What did I say? What did I do? How did I get home? Why was in my bathtub? My mind is completely blank.
    ***
    I just texted him “good morning.” I wonder if he will reply. I hope I didn’t make a fool of myself. Oh no. He just replied, “I would rather not talk to you or see you again.” What the hell? I wish I could remember what I want to forget.

    1. jhowe

      Pretty cool, naynay. I’d say she ventured into the rabbit hole, a place where many have been and vowed never to return… but sometimes we still do. Well done. Really great final sentence.

    1. Jennifer Park

      Same here. This happens quite often, and I think most of us are used to it. Some kind of editing/canceling feature on this site would be nice, but there is also something useful about not being able to edit things we’ve posted.

      Very cool use of the prompt, @snuzcook! Would love to see more of your novels!

  13. jhowe

    May 19, 2017: I feel like such a ditz. I knew cats weren’t amphibians. I was almost positive. We’ll see what happens next time Jimmy Fallon’s people call after that fiasco. But as they say, there is no bad press.

    May 23, 2017: They called it a wardrobe malfunction. I called it creative use of Velcro.

    May 26, 2017: I swear on my mother’s grave, I thought he was Zach Efron.

    May, 27, 2017: Sorry mom.

    May 28, 2017: That Zach Efron wannabe is relentless. Goddamn Instagram.

    June 1, 2017: To go on Howard Stern or not to go on Howard Stern… how bad can it be?

    June 3, 2017: It was freaking bad. I’m rethinking the no bad press thing.

    June 11, 2017: Now everybody wants me. I’m booked solid for the next three weeks. Thanks Howard. I may have to get one of those Sybians.

    June 12, 2017: Apparently Kanye has something against Zach Efron. As if it really was Zach Efron. And why would he object to me riding the Sybian? I mean, where would he be without me?

    June 21, 2017: Does my ass look big in this dress?

    June 22, 2107: I told Vanity Fair, no side angles. My lawyer said they could publish it since I signed the release. I thought it was the lunch order, I swear.

    June 25, 2017: I love shopping.

    June 30, 2017: The Saturday Night Live impression was terrible. She made me sound so dumb. Since when is Hollywood not the capital of California?

    July 1, 2017: Where the hell is Sacramento?

    July 4, 2017: Kanye’s getting that look again. He hates it when I make him wait for the show to air. My fans love it when I turn him down.

    July 8, 2017: I hate the ‘occupation’ blank on a questionnaire.

    July 12, 2017: I got stuck in a doorway today. When my publicist suggested using butter, I had no choice but to fire her.

    July 14, 2017: The photo of me wedged in a doorway went viral. My hair though, looked fabulous.

    July 16, 2017: Apparently, my ass is getting a little out of control. The cement truck in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater was just plain mean. I thought they wanted my hand print.

    July 18, 2017: I’m through with social media and all things related to the press. I want to settle down with Kanye and raise my family.

    July 18, 2017: Ooh, Us Magazine is here. Where’s the Velcro?

    Kim

    1. snuzcook

      **This story brings two different novels from my working files together…cool prompt!**

      A Journal in Stone

      “What are you doing up here in this mess?” Jessica Ann plopped down in an old wrap-around armchair covered in a white sheet. “Ugh!” Dust rose into the beam of light from the attic window, glistening, like a flock of fairies suddenly disturbed.

      Her sister, accustomed to Jessica Ann’s nosy ways, did not look up from the broad scrapbook that lay open across her lap. Anywhere in the old house that she might be, her older sister would eventually show up and try to take charge.

      “Grandma Spencer says we have to weed Nanda’s roses before it rains.”

      “What does Mom say?”

      “Mom says mind Grandma, what do you expect? She left to go see a client.” Jessica Ann turned her attention to the book in her younger sister’s lap. “You should take that downstairs where you can see it better.”

      “I’m fine.”

      “Old pictures? Nanda’s travels, I suppose. Safari to the deepest jungles? Hiking in the Himalayas?”

      “This one is mostly just around here. The labels are all places in Washington and Oregon.”

      “Postcard shots of Mt. Rainier? Or was she there when Mt. St. Helens blew up?” Jessica Ann, for all her eleven-year-old superiority, was deeply jealous of their free spirit grandmother whom everyone called Nanda; so different from their mother’s mother Grandma Spencer who lived by the rules and expected everyone else to do the same. It was an irony that they were all living together in Nanda’s house for three months while Nanda was on trip to the other side of the world.

      Jessica Ann leaned over the arm of the chair until she was suspended like a construction crane over 9-year-old Joanie cross-legged on the floor.

      “Boring!” the older girl snorted. “Just piles of rocks and bushes.”

      “Yeah, but the rocks have drawings on them. I think these are archaeology sites.” Joanie flipped back a page. “See, ‘Fort Rock, Oregon 1985’.’ She flipped forward. “‘Glacial till below Mount Hood 1986’” Flip again, “Basalt cave, Columbia River near Vantage, Washington, 1988.”

      Small feet stomped up the wooden steps approaching the attic. “Go away, Jillie,” the older sister called. A head of short blonde curls peeked through the doorway. Their six-year-old sister threaded her way through the piled boxes and furniture to join them: three girls, a book, and a beam of sunlight in the dark attic.

      “I think there’s something about the pictures on these rocks,’ Joanie continued, ignoring the newcomer. “See, they’re the same.”

      “That’s stupid.” Jessica Ann replied in her standard, knee-jerk comment. But she looked closer. Joanie was right. There were figures in each of the pictures that appeared to be very similar. Two stick figures, and a mark that looked like a ‘plus’ sign with a tail.

      Jillie suddenly put her small hand on the page to stop Joanie from turning it. “Hey, cut it out, Jillie!”

      The younger girl kept one hand on the book and jabbed a finger at one of the pictures excitedly.

      “What? What is it, Jillie?”

      The little girl mutely turned and ran out of the attic and clomped down the wooden stairs.

      “What was that about?” Jessica Ann asked.

      “Just Jillie.” Joanie had little patience for her younger sister’s histrionics. The six-year-old didn’t speak, and as far as Joanie was concerned, it was just her way of getting attention. Joanie was determined not to play that game.
      The small footsteps again tromped up the stairs, and Jillie came running into the room, something heavy in her hands. She placed it carefully on the open book, startling her sisters.

      It was an angular piece of rock, about six inch across. Clearly etched on the surface were the same two stick figures and what looked like part of the same tailed-plus sign at one broken edge.

      The weight of the stone tipped the book, and a piece of folded paper dropped to the floor, unnoticed.

      All three girls reached out to touch the stone’s incised lines. As their fingertips brushed the cold surface, the attic became suddenly very still. The dust motes ceased to move in the beam of light. The girls froze in place, statues among the discarded treasures of generations.

      Joanie became suddenly aware that the air had become bitterly cold, like standing in front of an open freezer. An abrupt bright light blinded her, and she was disoriented. Then she was able to look around her. She was alone, standing on a rocky slope. Tall columns of stone formed cliffs above her. Below, a wide river shouldered its way past a brush-lined bank. On the other side of the river a wide low place was covered in grass and shrubs, and beyond it more cliffs. Brown shapes moved among the bushes. As she focused, she could see they had long legs and long necks, and they looked familiar. Finally one of them raised its head and turned toward her—llama? Camel? Neither, or both. But there was snow clinging to the shadows along the cliffs, and the wind following the river was icy in the shadows where she stood.

      Panic and wonder fought within her. “What the crap?!” she whispered.

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