Day 24, way off prompt
“You smell like you want to be alone.”
“It’s my hat.”
She bowed her head
to her notebook and pen.
I bent my head down
to sniff the cowboy hat
pushed tightly down
onto her forehead.
My belief was that it was not true.
I leaned back in my chair.
Her mousy scribbling
scratched the paper.
I watched the fog
roll down the mountain
into the valley.
I yearned for rain.
made a good argument for it.
I wanted to be enveloped
in their soft dark hands,
keeping me safe from
childhood monsters under the bed.
There was hope.
I smelled the lemon
in the carafe sitting on the table.
Pouring the last bit into my glass,
I made a note to ask for a refill
the next time I saw the waiter.
She would finish soon.
Wondering if we would be able to leave
in the thick gray curtain
I saw from the front window,
mist hiding the shops
across the road,
I watched the woman with her poodle
in her bag
stepping out the door
off the curb
into the gray abyss.
Water poured down the windows and flowed into the curb down the street passing the sewer not wanting to leave its path I imagined it flowing into the houses filling up the basements to the top of the stairs where bottles of homemade beer floated like dinghies lost at sea.
“More water, please,”
she ordered him, and
returned to her notebook.
A swift hand
grabbed the carafe,
almost in the same space and time
placed another down.
He was practiced.
I bent my head closer to hers.
My belief was that it was not true.
She must be getting close
I leaned over to see her scribbling.
I could never read it,
even if it wasn’t upside down.
But she would read it to me.
I never knew
if she was reading
what she wrote.
Or changed the words
as she read along.
Or was just
telling me another story
she thought I wanted to hear.
the scent of rain,
and gray clouds eating the sun,
I really couldn’t smell if she wanted to be alone.
Maybe it was just hope. Or the rain.
I haven’t been able to keep up with daily writing. However, our writing group met yesterday and I decided to devise a prompt pulled from several different sources. The group was none too pleased and I was a bit of a whip cracker a few times. But in the end as we finished, the group broke out into a self applause. That has never happened in the ten plus years we have been meeting. We felt good about our writing.
Here is the long and complex prompt. And below it are the prompts I used. There were parts that everyone in the group used and then ones that we each individually chose and used. And, of course, as always, one can write what they wish to write sans prompt. We are a delightful group!
- Name a type of hat – group shout out – cowboy hat
- A childhood monster – our own
- Name an object in this room – group shout out – carafe
- Choose one and no FOMO. I only read the list once. From NaPoWriMo.
5. Construct a sentence with one of the above words – our own
6. During the twenty minute writing period, I instructed the group to use this sentence in the first seven minutes.
Then I stopped the group once at seven minutes and once again at fourteen minutes and instructed the group to end whatever sentence we were writing, even if it wasn’t the end of the sentence, and to place a period and end it.
I then instructed the group to write down the above sentence we each constructed with the word we chose.
At the final bell, I asked everyone to write a contradiction of something they wrote earlier.
Opening line: “You smell like you want to be alone.”
- cowboy hat
- monster under the bed
- My belief was that it was not true.
- I really couldn’t smell if she wanted to be alone.
- Opening line: “You smell like you want to be alone.”
Your writing is cinematic, dreamlike but palpable too. It happens, it flows, it lives. Thank you.