642 Things to Write About: Writing Prompt #1

For graduation, I acquired a lovely book called 642 Things to Write About, which was compiled by the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto.  As a direct result of this, I have now challenged my fellow Word Nerds to respond to each prompt as they are posted on a weekly basis.  I will respond in the body of this post, while I ask everyone else to respond in the comments.  This week, the prompt is the following:

What can happen in a second

A breath—In.

A finger on a cold metal trigger.  Gun pointed straight.

The finger squeezes the trigger.

Bang.

Her brother falls.  Dead.

Scream.

Cara Kennaway

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9 thoughts on “642 Things to Write About: Writing Prompt #1

  1. She reads books. She knows all about love at first sight, love at first touch. She knows there’s no such thing.

    Love isn’t something that just happens. She’s not even sure love exists.

    So what is she so afraid of? You can look at him, she tells herself. Nothing’s going to happen to you. You’re fine.

    She doesn’t look at him. She just reaches forward to pick up her book and move away.

    He moves too. In the same direction. At the same second.

    Their hands awkwardly collide. She pulls hers away.

    “Oh, I beg your pardon,” he says considerately. She has no choice but to look at him, acknowledge his apology.

    Their eyes meet.

    Whoops.

    ~Pearl

    1. P.S. I know I just went with the most obvious possible setup, but I tried to make it somewhat original. Ish.

      Cara, yours is amazing. You should be, like, a writer or something.

    2. Ooooooo!!! This is awesome, Pearl! I like the “Whoops” at the end; that was hilarious.
      One question I wasn’t totally clear on: did she drop her book & he was trying to help her, or what happened there?

      1. Well, I’m glad you liked it.

        I was leaving it somewhat open to the imagination. The way I was picturing it, they were in some sort of lecture or school class, and he was some guy who’d never sat by her in class before, and he’d set his textbook right next to hers, so when the class was over and they were getting ready to go, they just happened to reach for roughly the same place at the same time.

        Your version works too, though.

  2. Both you ladies did a lovely job. Frankly though I feel that you two took the easy ones. Love and death. (No, I’m not about to do life… I’m not that much of an optimist.) Well… here goes nothing.

    ‘A Thought That Came And Went In A Second’

    Have you ever thought about the smell of dust? That particular odor that when struck with that particular chord in your nose, sends you into spasms and fits of nonsensical sneezing. That musty, old sort of smell that graces the halls of great places almost too familiar to be accident. The faint scent of burning satisfaction you can almost catch a whiff of before you set to dusting an old room.

    I guess you probably haven’t.

    1. Well, you’re supportive. And hey, at least I acknowledged that I was taking the easy road.

      Yours is fantastic, of course. It sounds like it should be the opening paragraphs of a mystery novel. There’s a young girl, working odd jobs like cleaning old mansions inhabited by creepy old people to pay her college tuition. And one day, while dusting in a century-old library, she stumbles across…

      Etc., etc.

    2. This was a really, really cool idea, Aloisa! I love seeing how different people’s brains work in relation to prompts! To me, though, the ending was a little bit abrupt. It almost felt…self-conscious, I guess? Like, I was just starting to get in to it, and I was really appreciating the description and everything, and then it just…stopped. Like I said, I love the idea, the writing was good, but just as I was starting to think about the smell of dust, you just kind of…dismissed it, you know? Now I’m going to be thinking about the smell of dust whenever I clean my room, though, haha. :-D

      And, just for the record, I see nothing easy about writing about two of the most philosophically challenging topics in the world. :-D Just sayin’.

      1. Very very true. Perhaps I did not give enough credit to the topics of Love and Death. After all there is a reason that people are still trying to figure them out after all this time. :D

        And thanks for the input you two. Pearl: Hm…. I may have to do that now. :D

        Cara: That’s the way you were supposed to feel. Success. ;D

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