Writing Prompt: Day 59

59.jpgDay 59 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character finding a stray dog.

Erin: The day I found Skip changed the course of my life forever. He became such an integral part of my life that nothing was ever the same. When I went to local ball games he initiated meeting new people. He introduced me to many of my friends. They came for Skip, but they soon fell for me too.

When I was nervous about moving out on my own, he cuddled up with me and helped me fall asleep. Then when my mother was no longer there to wake me and I just turned my alarm off he filled her role of sitting on me until I woke.

Not to mention the fact that from day one he changed the course or my life. Or extended the course of my life. Without Skip I would have died on the side of the road and the neighbor a few blocks down wouldn’t have called an ambulance until it was too late. I didn’t just save a stray dog, a stray dog saved me too, and saved me first.

Shannon: Hey little buddy, it’s ok,” I tried to bribe a stray dog who was hiding under my porch by holding out a piece of sandwich meat. He kept panting and looking around, like he thought he was invisible, but then his nose caught wind of the smell. He started to slowly crawling forward, but he was very hesitant, clearly struggling internally, making it look like this was the most difficult decision of his life.

“There you go,” he finally got close enough to lick it from my hand. I pet the back of his neck. He was definitely a mutt with his course gray fur and no disguisable traits. No collar either. The touch didn’t bug him and when I ran out of food he didn’t walk away. He just started licking my face, weakly, but thankfully.

“Aww,” I smiled, and eventually had to break away from the dog kisses. “You want to come inside,” I questioned, at the same time waking up to the fact that I was speaking to an animal. It was better than the silent, confused look he was giving me.

I held the door open a little while and he followed me inside. I didn’t own pets, so I had no dog food to give him. I started tearing up some bread and he followed me over to the couch. I patted the cushion, but he wouldn’t jump up. He just rested his head on the seat, with adorable begging eyes.

When I was about to go to bed I pilled a few blankets and pillows together for him on the floor, but he didn’t seem to understand. Instead he just kept following me, and I didn’t encourage it but he hopped onto the bed without hesitation. “So couch is bad, but bed is okay. I hope I eventually get to meet your owner,” I rubbed his head.

Write about your character’s best friend, man or woman.

Writing Prompt: Day 58

58.jpgDay 58 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character who has amnesia.

Shannon: “Amber,” a girl came up to me in shock. “I heard about your accident. Why didn’t you tell me?”

She might as well have been a stranger. Memory is a tricky thing. You don’t realize how much you’ve relied on this power you have never seen, never felt, and never genuinely thanked until it’s gone. Like a pyramid of cans, I’m quickly witnessing what happens when you pick from the bottom row first. Everything comes crashing down. “I’m so sorry, but I had memory loss after the accident. I don’t remember you. I actually can’t remember anyone I met in the last five years.”

“Oh wow,” she took a step back. “That would explain it. Are you ok?”

“I’m getting there,” I shrugged, “But it would be easier if I didn’t feel like I traveled to the future and woke up in a hospital bed. How do I know you,” I questioned, wanting to know who else knew me better than I knew myself.

“We were college roommates, we’ve been pretty close ever since. Well, until you disappeared,” she gave me a sad smirk. “My name is Kim.”

I’d seen her name in my phone a few times while I was in physical therapy. I tried so hard right away to gain everything back, but eventually had to give myself a break. It was draining. No one could seem to help. Not in a way that made it clear. It was only a fake fix. You can’t pass on memories. They don’t feel the same.

Erin: “Why do you keep acting like you have the hardest life in the world,” my brother asked asking to be slapped.

“I never said I had the hardest life, but my life has gotten harder,” I pointed out.

“Yeah right,” he cackled stealing the remote from me.

“What’s that supposed to mean. I’ve lost memories asshole. I’ve lost some of the best years of my life,” I stood up just about ready to strangle him.

“Lucky for you, I know what some of those best years entailed. The good and the bad. I’ll help you recapture the good without all of the tears,” he smiled.

“That’ll take time,” I reminded.

“Yes, it will, but it’ll be fun,” he smiled at his DVD collection. “We’ll start by watching your favorite movie for the,” he air-quoted, “first time.”

You remembered to write today, good for you. Write about someone forgetting.

Writing Prompt: Day 57

57.jpgDay 57 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character winning an award.

Erin: “You should have been at the awards show today,” I told Lark as I came in with Lincoln. “Tell your daddy what happened,” I squatted down and ruffled his curls.

“I won a trophy,” he beamed up at his father.

“Yeah sport,” he grabbed the plastic from his hand and studied the engraving.

“Best snacks,” he read out loud and I could see him fighting back a laugh. “Congrats bud,” he wrapped him up tight in his arms. “Go find a nice place for it in your room,” he suggested and patted him on the back.

As Lincoln ran off giggling Lark smiled up at me. “Yeah everyone got an award,” I confirmed.

“This one seems more like a win for you,” he hugged me and kissed my forehead. “Congratulations on your major award sweetheart!”

Shannon: My boyfriend and I were competing against each other in a dessert competition, and the crowds were voting on their favorites now. We could have worked together, but we couldn’t agree on what dish we wanted to serve and ended up entering separately. We didn’t mind, because we both agreed to be civil no matter who won. We also made a pact to complain together, if neither of won anything.

We got up to the stage to hear the results and neither of are names were called for second, third, or fourth place. My hopes started to dim, believing both of us must have odd taste buds, because our skill levels couldn’t be that different from each other. Then suddenly my name was called, and they were handing me a trophy and a t-shirt. I felt spark of joy running through my whole body and the crowd applauded, a little in shock, but then I looked over to Dan and the spark was scared away. I didn’t want to beat him by so much. This wasn’t as I pictured it would be.

After we got off the stage he put out his arms to give me a hug. “Go ahead, say I told you so,” he pouted.

“No, the crowd was just in my favor today,” I shook my head.

“So now you get to make the desserts for the town ceremony,” he questioned a little disappointed. I knew how much he wanted people to love his food, and the ceremony was the perfect place to show off his talents.

“Well I can’t do it alone, and I don’t trust anyone else to help, so if you’d be interested maybe it could be a team effort,” I asked.

“If you missed cooking with me, you just had to tell me,” he joked, trying to act like he was the one doing me a favor.

“Yes, I missed cooking with you,” I rolled my eyes.

“Ok then, if you insist,” he cheered.

What is your character the champion of?

Writing Prompt: Day 56

56.pngDay 56 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character is experiencing one emotion very intensely.

Shannon: Karen was excited. She didn’t know why. She wasn’t doing anything particularly different today than she did any other day, yet she felt the buzz of a spark running through her veins. Maybe she was sensing something that was about to happen, maybe it just couldn’t be explained. Either way she couldn’t calm herself.

Erin: When I walked into the door Ronald’s head spun 365 degrees. “What is wrong with you,” I questioned.

“I thought you were someone else,” his hands literally shook.

“Who did you think I was,” I asked placing a hand on his shoulder, he jerked away from my touch.

“There’s been a strange man following me around all day,” his eyes were frozen out the window.

“Where,” I asked trying to touch him again before he would try to run.

“At the doctor’s office, the man in the waiting room was staring at me,” he explained. “He looked like he was possessed.”

“He was probably sick I reminded,” he immediately shook his head violently.

“I saw a bald-headed man, which mind you was what the man at the doctor had, rushing away from me at the store,” he seemed to be replaying the incident in his head.

“Was he just trying to get out of the cereal aisle quickly,” I offered.

“Then a SUV with tinted windows followed me for 50% of my commute home,” he added.

“You’re acting a little paranoid,” I underexaggerated as I looked at my husband who was picking at his already bleeding finger.

“Paranoia is an exaggeration. Someone is seriously trying to kill me,” he took out his phone, but dropped it on the floor in the process.

“Now he’s trying to kill you?”

Your character is overwhelmed in an emotion, what’s your pick?

Writing Prompt: Day 55

55.pngDay 55 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a person that embodies an animal.

Erin: Goldie never felt very special. She knew that everyone in the band was unique. Compared to the lead singer who was always so colorful, she was. But the thing about Goldie was, compared to all of the fans she wasn’t. They reminded her of that every day. She wasn’t exotic enough, she wasn’t flamboyant enough and she surely wasn’t Beta. Goldie had no more of a right to be the pianist in the band than the other redhead in seat Y45. No one cared or wanted to look at someone like Goldie, they just had to because she was swimming in the same tank as her beautiful and unique friends.

Shannon: My grandpa was a gentle giant. When I was little he stood so tall over the top of me I knew he could have easily crushed me, but instead he would reach one of his long arms down and pick me up to give me the best hugs. He had dark gray hair, and wrinkles around his eyes whenever he would smile at me.

When he babysat me he would bring me along to the restaurant where he played the trumpet in a jazz band. The music and the atmosphere memorized me. It was the best place in the world and grandpa had become my role model. I wanted to be just like him. I suppose that’s why I took up the trumpet in school and tried to convince my friends that jazz was the best music in the world. The beautiful sound always made me feel closer to him.

Animal or person or animal or person? How will you make us ask that question?

Writing Prompt: Day 54

54.jpgDay 54 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about how your character cleans.

Shannon: Becca put on her headphones and got to work picking up and organizing every piece of mail. Then she threw all of the clothes into the wash basket, and carried all the dirty dishes to the kitchen. The cat watched from his thrown on the backrest of couch as she picked up the toys he’s scattered across the living room. She imagined him whispering peasant as he curled his tail back and forth, so she squinted her eyes and shook her head at him.

Next it was on to her favorite part: vacuuming. She loved how loudly the apparatus roared, drowning out the rest of the world. Her headphones could trick her into believing she was surrounded by a sound barrier, but a vacuum cleaner was the real deal. She found peace in the activity, but her cat only saw his arch nemesis. He immediately pounced in front of its path and hissed. “Not this again,” she scolded.

Erin: Mary cleaning was a show. The house was her stage and the supplies where her fellow performers. In the bathroom, she painted the mirror with glass cleaner. The broom was her enthusiastic tap partner. She waved the duster around like a flag. She strutted behind the vacuum like the hallway was her runway. When she made the bed, she floated the blankets like she was flying a kite. I loved watching Mary as she pranced around leaving a sparkling house in her wake, almost as radiant as herself.

Characters cleaning, readers learning about them.

Writing Prompt: Day 53

53.jpgDay 53 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a story with a mermaid.

Shannon: “I don’t feel right about this,” I spoke out loud as I stared at the tank.

“We’re not hurting her,” Mark argued. “We’re just studying her like you would any other abnormal human or animal, or in this case both.”

“But it’s against her will, and she’s not sick.”

“How do you know that? We could be saving her life, and it’s going to make us rich in the process. We’ve been given a permit. She’s lucky she ended up in the hand of scientists. Imagine what other people could have done with her,” he tried to downplay his role in the situation. “Why do you want to ruin this? Do you want her to go to another team, and let them get all the glory?”

“I don’t know. She just looks so unhappy,” I watched her lying motionless at the bottom of the small tank, with her face buried beneath her arms. It was a position we’d come to expect from her when we weren’t picking at her for some other reason.

“She’s sleeping,” he slapped the tank and she didn’t move. “See.”

I shook my head, frustrated. “So that’s the problem, she’s just always sleeping?”

“When you’re closing up tonight just remember we have cameras. Don’t let her go. It’s coming out of you’re pocket if you do, and I know you don’t have that kind of money. You’ll paying for it for the rest of you’re life, and I won’t be able to save you,” he put his hand on my shoulder.

I breathed out. Why’d he have to remind me? “Don’t worry I won’t let her go. Have a good night,” I assured him and soon after he left the building.

After I was sure I was alone I grabbed the sack of seashells I’d collect by the ocean for her, my best attempt at peace offering. I when up to the top of the tank and tried to get her attention, but she wouldn’t look up. I didn’t blame her. Instead I started dropping them all in the water, hoping to gain her interest. There was movement, and then she swam up to me, and let her head float above the water. “What are you doing,” she questioned.

I never heard her speak before, so I was a bit in shock. “I’m sorry,” I held out the huge conch shell I didn’t want to drop on her. She took it from my hand immediately and the rough scales on her skin brushed my fingers.

“Why did you get me this?” She took it over to the edge to examine it.

“It’s stupid.”

“Tell me the truth and I’ll forgive you for what you’ve done,” she looked back at me with her piercing blue eyes.

“My grandma used to tell me you could hear the ocean if you held it up to your ear. I know it’s not true, but I didn’t know how to bring the ocean to you, and I can’t bring you to the ocean,” I explained, defeated.

“Hmm,” she furrowed her brow, and glided back against the glass. She then held the shell like a telephone. She listened silently.

“Do you hear it,” I questioned.

She stuck her hand up and pushed it to the side to silence me, and I listened. “Mom,” she smiled with genuine relief. “No, no everything is fine. My shell just broke, and I had a hard time finding a new one. I’ll call more often, I promise,” she flashed her eyes up to me with hope in her gaze. “Don’t worry I just need to stay up here a little longer. I’ll be back when I’m ready. Yes I’ve made some really great friends. Okay,” she listened for a while and pressed her lips together. “Yeah of course go. I love you too,” tears fell from her face. “Goodbye,” her voice cracked.

“You ok?”

She nodded. “Yeah,” she dunked her head to clear her eyes and I heard a noise from the water. I think she might have been screaming. She resurfaced and swam to me. “Can you hide this? Can you bring it to me whenever you’re alone?”

I nodded, taking it from her. “Why did you tell her you were okay?”

She shrugged. “Because I will be. Why worry her over something she can’t fix?”

“Well I’ll bring her to you every night,” I held up the shell. “And I promise I’ll get you out of here. I just haven’t figured out how yet.”

Erin: “Wannera,” I said her name as I dangled my feet over the edge of the dock. I made sure to flash my rainbow toes toward the bottom of the water.

I felt a tickle on them and I knew my favorite company was just beneath me. “You’re here,” she squealed shooting her head and upper body out of the water.

“Nice to see you,” I bent down and she raised enough to embrace me.

“I’ve missed you,” her smile gave the summer days sun a run for its money.

“Me too,” I assured. “You’re not going to believe what happened at school.”

“I’m sure it was amazing. I’ve always wanted to go to school,” her tail flipped out of the water as she did a little twirl.

“Calm down Wan,” I splashed at her and that only caused more giggling. “School is not fun,” I tried to burst her bubble.

“Yes, it is,” somehow her smile grew.

“No, it is not,” I tried to be stern.

“You’re there right,” she asked.

“Yes,” I answered.

“Then school is the most wonderful place in the world,” her eyes turned to glitter.

“That’s a little dramatic,” I started giggling as well.

“No, it’s not,” she sighed. Then swam over so she could prop her elbows on the dock. “You are my favorite person. I wish I had someone who understood my insides as much as you do down here,” she plopped her hand into the water.

“Well I wish I had someone who gets me like you do up here,” I tried not to let my frown show.

“Our worlds are lonely, aren’t they,” she added as a tear dropped from her eye. I didn’t know mermaids could cry.

“I don’t know if I’m supposed to be with you or if you’re supposed to be with me. All I know is we were created to be in the same world,” I kicked the water some more.

How about we bring our stories down under, the water that is?