Writing Prompt: Day 80

80.jpgDay 80 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about two worlds colliding.

Shannon: “You’ve been messing with the book again, haven’t you,” my brother stormed up to me with pure rage in his eyes as he slammed the leather manuscript folder down on the table in front of me.

“I think we should meet them. I know you tried to trap them because you were afraid of what they could do, but I think they could help us. Maybe even save us,” I defended my actions.

“You don’t know what you’ve done. You’ve really screwed up this time, and if you don’t tell me where you hid the typewriter everyone is in danger.” He didn’t doubt his belief for a second. “I’m sending them back.”

“I’m not telling you where it is,” I shook my head, and I, on the other hand, absolutely doubted whether or not I was making the right decision. “And if you’re scared you should go, because they’ll be here soon.”

“Here,” he spoke as if he had gotten the wind knocked out of him, “Now?”

I nodded, starting to feel a little bad.

“I can’t leave you alone with them,” it pained him to say it, but he wasn’t going anywhere.

“You told me yourself that you weren’t trying to create monsters. You know what they are. You know their purpose. They just need to be understood,” I explained.

He breathed out and I could tell he was processing the idea, until a scream from outside distracted both of us. “They’re here,” he raised an eyebrow, showing a spark of confidence.

Erin: “Back in your grandma’s day there was a large wall. The elected had created the barrier many, many years before even I was born. The bricks served to separate the elite from the undesirables. The day of sorting came not long after we could talk. Unsurprisingly, with the sorting came separation from family members and homes. Those who lost their own in the sorting ceremony would be expected to take in the other separated.

The east was for the people who were charismatic, outgoing, and constantly wanted to be surrounded by people. The west was for those of us who would spend more time alone, and could speed too much time thinking and not enough talking.

It didn’t take long for the East’s infrastructure to wear down. By pressing an ear to the wall, you could hear the pulse of the others. There rumbling must have been the cause for the demise of their buildings, The sound of them through the brick could still drown out us in the west. While our government and city became more and more organized and effective, all of our bars had closed down and there could be a tendency for many to lose sight of a work life balance.

It wasn’t until the wall collapsed that we learned the beauty of the others. My mother was an east resident. When we met she talked for days and I listened. When she was fully finished, I gave her my observations of the great separation and she listened. Our societies brought art and ideas to each other that beautified both of our lands.

The sorting was a terrible idea. Most of us that grew up in the time can agree on that much. There was one good thing that came of the experience though. The easterners did realize the equality of the westerners. We may not always be as flashy, but they need us just as much as we need them.”

Put some different things together and see what happens.

Writing Prompt: Day 79

79.jpgDay 79 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about what a character did to be immortalized in some way.

Erin: Here stands the gumball sculpture of dear Mrs. Lancer. She was an inspiration to us all. More than an art teacher, she was a challenge. Mrs. L pushed us into trying different mediums and different themes. Her moving on to bigger and better thing only inspired us to do the same. This piece of art serves to honor her and inspire those who have not had the pleasure of studying under her teaching.

Shannon: “Mom where did you get that? It’s beautiful,” My teenage daughter questioned, sneaking up on me, something she was very good at.

I figured she was old enough to hear the truth. “A friend painted it for me when were both about your age.”

“What,” she was in shock. “Why have I never seen it before? How is this hiding in the attic, it should be in a place where everyone can see it. Does she still paint? She’s amazing,” she gawked from over my shoulder, already getting herself a little worked up over it.

“I’m sure she would if she could. She passed away the same year she made it. She had cancer, and I was so afraid of destroying it, so I’ve hid it to keep it safe ever since her death,” I looked at the cardboard casing, and then back to Cecilia to make sure she wasn’t upset.

“I’m sorry mom. I didn’t know,” the tone in her voice revealed she wasn’t expecting that answer.

“If she knew where I’ve keeping it she’d be so upset too. The whole point of her art was so that she could make her mark on this world with the little time she had left. She said she’d live forever on her friends’ walls, and then they could pass it down to their children, and continue to passed down until there was nothing left but a blank scrap,” I smiled as I was transported back to that moment.

“She sounds like she knew what she was talking about,” Cecilia spoke up after a short silence.

“I guess she did,” I smiled.

Writing someone can immortalize them, but how about you write about another way someone can be immortalized.

Writing Prompt: Day 78

78.jpgDay 78 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character is reunited with a childhood neighbor years after the family moved away.

Shannon: “Abigail,” a guy I didn’t recognize stood in front of me with a questioning look.

“Yes,” I nodded, not sure how he knew my name.

“I thought so, you still look so much like you did when we were kids. Do you recognize me?”

He gave me a familiar goofy face and suddenly it hit me, “Daniel? No way,” I exclaimed a little too loud for being in a library, and I immediately regretted the slip-up as I looked around at the annoyed faces.

He laughed, “You want to go outside, so we can actually talk.”

“Good idea,” I nodded and we headed to park bench outside the building. Once we sat down I couldn’t hold in my curiosity any longer, “So are you going to school here now, or are you just visiting someone?”

“I’m a student. I transferred here for my second year, because I change my major to Film Production, and the program here is amazing. What’s your major?”

“Fashion and Apparel Design. I always knew you’d want to do something with videos. Remember when you used to film those home videos and make me and my siblings act in them? That was so much fun,” I smiled, reminiscing.

“How could I forget, and you always wanted full control over putting together the costumes. You’re major is perfect for you too. Also, I still have those videos by the way,” he raised his eyebrows.

“Noooo,” I half-giggled, half-moaned. “Never show them to anyone please,” I begged.

“Too late, but they’re not as bad as you think, and admit that you’re a little curious. Even if watching involves a little torture,” he pinched his fingers together.

I rolled my eyes. He still had the same persuasive gift that he could always use against me in the past. “Ok, a little. And I’m even more interested in what you’ve done since then. I imagine the videos didn’t end when you moved.”

“Not a chance, so I guess we’ve got a lot a catching up to do this year. That is if you’re not just humoring me right now,” he shrugged.

“No, that would be great,” I agreed.

Erin: “Kat is that you,” I hear a random woman’s voice that sounded overly excited.

I turned around and my brain took a second to process what I was seeing. “DG,” I said once I realized the little girl hidden under the woman I was looking at.

“Yes, it’s been forever. Are you in the intern program too,” she was practically squealing. The little fireball I knew was not stolen from her with age.

“Yes,” I stammered not knowing what to say to someone who was such a big part of my childhood but then disappeared out of nowhere.

“It’s been too long, we’re going out. But first I have this meeting,” she ran off. And we did. She moved out at 10, but 10 years later it was like nothing had changed. We shaped each other’s childhood and we would shape each other’s adulthood. We learned our lesson, ten years of distance didn’t have to mean we couldn’t be neighbors. Closeness had nothing to do with miles, and we never forgot that.

Reuniting your characters could be fun?

Writing Prompt: Day 77

77.jpgDay 77 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character won the lottery. What does he/she do after the first day.

Erin: When he won the lottery, he thought the news would be his ticket to freedom. But it wasn’t, it was his ticket to isolation. He shut out everyone the days following the win. He was worrying people and starting to lose friendships because of his secrecy. The only thing scarier than loosing those friendships though was word getting out and him loosing even more.

Shannon: I had enough money to buy anything I could possibly long for, but I wanted the first purchase to be significant. Sure, I would eventually use the money to pay off my loans, fix my car, and pay for all the other boring life necessities, but for right now I needed a good memory.

I didn’t want to screw it up, so I did what I always do and started looking up ideas online. Not to copy, but to be inspired. Also, to see if anyone had found a way to cheat the system and turn money into happiness. I found a lot of ecstatic people with their new purchases and some theories on how money can lead to happiness, but I decided to give up my search and go out to stumble upon it on my own.

I ended up going to the beach, which was kind of exciting because if I hadn’t won, I would have been working in an office instead. I was a little afraid to go out in public after being featured in so many top news stories, but out of the few people there no one seemed to recognize me. It was nice. I started out by lying on my towel, letting my body rest to soak in sun and watch the peaceful waves. Soon enough my mind was relaxing too, and for once I wasn’t thinking about what I needed to do next. I was actually living in the moment, and I came to the conclusion that I didn’t have to worry about my “grand” first purchase. It had already been made. I bought my time back, and I couldn’t think of a more valuable choice.

What can money buy your character?

Writing Prompt: Day 76

76.jpgDay 76 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character getting an offer that involves a difficult choice.

Shannon: By next year your dog is going to be a star. He is exactly what we need for the TV show. That cute face is one of a kind, and to top it off he’s trained. He’s got the part.“ the casting director was ecstatic as she gave me the good news.

I couldn’t hold back my own excitement. “That’s great,” I started rubbing Oliver’s chest as he continued to pant heavily.

“Yes, your little star is going to make you a lot of money. I’ll have you talk with Rebecca to discuss the process for handing over your ownership rights, and some other legal agreements, so we can pay you,” she explained as she guided I woman carrying a few stack of booklets forward.

“Handing over ownership rights,” I questioned, certain it couldn’t possibly be what it sounded like. Oliver sat down as I took my hand away. It was like he sensed my concern too.

“You do want to sell your dog, don’t you? Didn’t you read the job expectations? This is a full-time gig.”

“Yeah, full-time on set, but can’t I have him during filming breaks and maybe after he’s done for the day?”

“It’s reality TV. It’s all or nothing. He would become their real dog. If you give him up you can never be seen with him again. That could ruin our creditability. Do really need time to think about this? We’re offering you a lot of money,” she was looking at me as if I was crazy.

I secretly wanted to give her the same face, because she was already starting out this “real” show by casting a fake pet, but instead I looked back at Oliver’s sweet face. “Can I sleep on it,” I rubbed the back of his neck.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Make your decision,” she turned stern.

I started thinking about how the money could change my life, but then some memories stated replaying in my head, and I realized Oliver already had. “I’m sorry, but I can’t give him up. You’ll have to find someone else.”

Erin: My whole life was leading up to the opportunity I was getting DataHouse. The only problem was I had to move to the other side of the world for my dream. I would do what I had to do for my dream if I knew I still had the same one. The only problem was Greg was in the picture now. Greg was home, Greg was in the US, and Greg was clouding my career goals. Greg may have been more important than all of the other things I had worked for. Except he couldn’t be, so I needed to cut my ties. I was never going to compromise for a guy, I didn’t know if that meant I couldn’t have a guy, just that it meant I could not have Greg.

Time for you to make your character’s difficult choice.

Writing Prompt: Day 75

75.jpgDay 75 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character does something that terrifies them.

Erin: “You better appreciate how much I love you.” My sister rolled her eyes as she sat down next to me at the head table.

“I think you’ll live,” she suggested adjusting her skirt to smooth it under the table.

“I just danced in front of a large group of people. Most of whom I don’t know. Now I am going to give a speech in front of nearly 500 people. Why did you have to invite so many people?”

“Because this is my wedding and this is who I wanted to have here,” she reminded.

“Fair enough,” I obliged. “You don’t even know half of them,” I grumbled under my breath. She chose to ignore me.

The rest of the time between the grand march and my speech was a blur. My entire body froze to stone. “Almost your turn,” my sister’s smile snapped me out of my trance. Then my heart started pulsating. Pressure seemed to be building and I was certain it was going to bust. Explode out of my chest and soak the families in the front row.

Once I had the mic in my hand. I felt like an outsider hoisting me up by placing my own arms under my own armpits and yanking. “I love this girl,” were the only words I could remember. But after I said those words my eyes filled with water and I couldn’t remember that public speaking made me feel like a thousand knives were stabbing me. All I could think about was how happy I was that she was happy, and that I wanted her to know that.

Shannon: I suffer from a phobia of thing that most people have probably feared at least once in their life, but when I hear them say they’re scared I know they’ll eventually get over it. I, on the other hand, don’t know if I’ll ever truly be past this one. I have a fear of rejection: the fear of people telling me no, and more importantly the fear that those people may actually be right.

I try to make myself believe that I won’t get my hopes up, but that’s not who I am. When I want something my mind freaks out on me, and starts dancing around the idea, nearly making it a fact, or at least something that’s bound to happen within time. Then it comes down to the moment of truth, and I can’t bear to feel that weight of the wrong outcome crashing down on me, so I keep it to myself. I act like I never wanted it in the first place. If I never put it out into the universe, never told a single soul, than no one would have to know I failed.

I put up this wall to protect my secret aspirations so that I’m the only one who can crush me, and boy have I done a good job of pressing down hard on myself. I’m so sick of trapping myself in a corner, and pretending that I don’t want things when I do. That’s why I’m about to do something that scares the crap out of me.

I’m going to give away what I’ve been hiding for so long. The things I’ve never said out loud, but have always wanted to. I know it will take baby steps to get them all out, but I can’t keep them wrapped up anymore. I’m going to start with telling my parents that I want to be a writer, even if it never works out. They deserve to know my real dream, and to know that I actually have one, so they can understand I haven’t been completely disinterested in my future this whole time.

As the right moment arises I know blood will pump through my veins even faster, and my upper body will heat up. I just don’t know what they’ll say. And for the first time ever, it doesn’t matter.

Scare your character, maybe you’ll scare yourself with your own ideas.

Writing Prompt: Day 74

74.jpgDay 74 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Listen to Hurt by Johnny Cash.

Shannon: “I’m here,” an aged woman appeared behind Benjamin’s screen door.

“What? You crazy witch, you came back for me,” his old bones brought him to the door slowly, but he was awe for each step.

“Hon I told you many years ago how this works. I appear when you need me. When your heart is calling for me. So why am I here again? I thought I already gave you everything you wanted,” he opened the door and she glided in. “I gave you fame” she flashed to the fireplace before he could blink, “Money,” she picked up the framed picture of him surrounded by his family. “Love,” she turned the image toward him. “Power,” she hummed. “What did you do with all of the gifts I gave you? Why are you so empty now.”

“You know my shortcomings. I hurt good things. They all leave in the end. I can’t keep them, but I always miss them.”

She sighed. “So what is your wish this time? How are you going to fix it,” she questioned.

“Can I start over? Can I go back in time to the moment where everything went wrong? Let me fix my mistakes,” he begged.

She turned to put the picture back and paused to stare at it for a while. “It doesn’t often help,” she spoke to the wall and then turned. “Most events that happen to you will happen no matter what changes you try to make. You may just relive the heartache again,” she warned as her fierce eyes analyzed him.

“It’s worth the risk,” he responded without hesitation.

“Then yes. I can send you back in time.”

Erin: “You were at the gym for seven hours,” my therapist asked.

“Correct,” I agreed.

“What were you doing at the gym,” she asked what to me sounded like a pretty dumb question for someone who claimed to be a doctor.

“Working out,” I shrugged.

“In what context. What type of workouts,” she started to make a little more sense?

“Running and lifting weights. Swapping every hour,” I clarified my typical workout routine.

“Is that regime pretty hard on your body,” she questioned.

“Yes, cardio and weights mixing can be quite the challenge,” I admitted. “But I don’t get as sore as I used to. Before one hour of intense weights would make me start to feel some tenderness. Now I have to leave because the gym is closing and I still have to wake up the next day feeling completely the same as I always do.”

“When did you start to have that kind of endurance?”

“I don’t know. The last time I felt sore was a few months after Candice’s death,” I sighed. “Ever since I don’t feel anything. If I work out enough though I should be able to get that feeling back. Or get any type of feeling back.”

Songs can be emotional, so can your writing, right?

Writing Prompt: Day 73

73.jpgDay 73 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character is moving and leaves behind a note for the next resident.

Erin:

Dear Future Resident,

Welcome to your new home. You have made a great choice in all of the choices of abodes. If you treat her right she will care for you like a royal. While I am going to miss her, I hope she can bring you and your family as many smiles as she has brought us.

In order to facilitate your relationship there are a few things you should know. First of all, in the attic, in the farthest back left corner there is a circular window. It faces to the sky. You must press your face close to the glass to get any type of view, however there is no prettier place to sit during a full moon. Appreciate that fact and appreciate her when she brings you that gift.

Second the oven can get a little hot in the back-left corner. But if you utilize the front right corner, you will get the yummiest gooiest brownies you have ever tasted. Avoid the bottom rack at all cost. And for havens sake if you make a lasagna place the pan on the top shelf in the center.

Lastly for me to tell you, is in the basement there are treasures. Walls can speak and books can move. Most importantly, the floor boards will revile more than you ever knew you wanted to know.

That is the wisdom I leave you with today. The rest she will reveal to you in time. I wish you all the best.

Love,

Her Previous Family

Shannon:

To whomever finds this letter,

Hopefully this page has found its way into the hands of the next resident. I thought it might be fun to leave something behind for you, and let you know what you’re up against with this place, considering I did live her for three years.

I’ll start with some things you should be aware of, so you can learn from my mistakes. The winding staircase is beautiful. Enjoy it, but don’t underestimate the danger. The metal bars under the steps might as well be knives to your heels if you use them too carelessly. Also, the front door clicks once before it truly locks. Don’t let it fool you. Test the handle. One last thing, and please understand that I don’t want to scare you, I just want to prepare you for what’s to come. The small storage closet downstairs is apparently a spider’s heaven. Hopefully you don’t mind them, or at least none of them will catch you by surprise.

Now for the fun part, you may figure these things out on your own, but I personally wished I had realized them sooner. Feel free to stop here, if you don’t like spoiler alerts. First, don’t forget to open the blinds even when it dark. You have a perfect view of the moon, and I’ve always found moon to be quite peaceful. Your view of the sunrise is memorizing too. Wake up early enough to see it once in a while. It’s worth it. Finally, the nearby park has an amphitheater. You can hear the music if you open the windows. Some of the performances are quite amazing. Give them a chance before you try to drown out the noise.

I could make a ton of other suggestions, but I suppose I’ll let you figure the rest out. I just wanted to make sure that no matter how long you stay you remember to really enjoy the place. I know I did and it feels weird leaving it behind now. I guess that’s why I felt the need to write this note. I felt this place deserved a goodbye. Maybe you will too.

Sincerely,

An Previous Resident

Tell us what your character must tell someone else.

Writing Prompt: Day 72

72.jpgDay 72 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character’s dream.

Shannon: “You were in my dream yesterday,” I mentioned, hoping he’d bite.

“What was it about,” Evan questioned.

“We were running around on roof that we weren’t supposed to be on and there was this random tightrope between the buildings. I walked onto it with no fear because I knew you wouldn’t hop on, so I could distance myself from you. Your eyes went wide and you started begging me to get down, but instead I started messing with you and acted like I was going to fall a few times. For whatever reason I knew I was in complete control, but you didn’t trust me.

That’s when I looked down and suddenly gravity started affecting me again and I tried to walk back, but I fell and I tried to grab your hand but just barely missed. Then I started free falling and about the time I should have made impact with the ground I woke up. So what I’m getting at is that you basically killed me,” I joked.

“No you basically took a stupid risk, and I couldn’t save you,” he corrected.

“And we were parted forever,” I added dramatically.

“And immediately reunited in real life,” he reminded me. “How I’d prefer it, if you ask me.”

Erin: I don’t think that my dreams are unrealistic. I just want life to be easy again. I’m not sure when life became so hard, but I do know who is making it so. Brady is the root cause for my frown most days. My argument with him has become a daily routine. When he touches me, my heart sinks. His smile no longer controls my own. Two years ago, I’d have said he was the start of my dreams coming true. Two years ago, I would have been wrong. So, while my dream includes a husband in most versions. The only consistent is that I am happy, and Brady no longer makes me happy.

They say when you write something down it is more likely for a dream to manifest in life, what should be written down for your character?

Writing Prompt: Day 71

71.jpgDay 71 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a character inspired by a day of the week: Sunday.

Erin: Mom was always a good protector of us kids. She made sure that we were filled up with everything we needed. She had food on the table without any help and little appreciation. She made sure our souls were just as happy as our bodies were. When I was feeling down I always knew she would be there. And she was. She was a perfect place to land, so I did fall into her security frequently.

Shannon: Sunday is very peaceful. She can calm any storm of emotions you can throw at her. You won’t see one sign of fear on her face as she battles different demons. She’ll breathe in your troubles and teach you to do the same until they all dissipate back into the universe. In her own quiet way she’s the strongest person I know. The thought of carrying on without her can make you a little anxious to continue on, but you know she’ll return, and that promise is enough to keep you going.

And our cast of seven is complete!