Writing Prompt: Day 193

193.jpgDay 193 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a circus performer.

Erin: My favorite dance partner from a young age was Darcy. Darcy worked with my mother. She was born four years after I was. The second she learned how to walk I started to play with her and teaching her my movies. Building the trust and rhythm from a young age made us flow in our routine like water out of a fountain. By the time my mother realized I had chosen an elephant partner we were too good for her to argue we were unsafe. As I grew older I convinced her to let us join the circus. Darcy and I were a hit of the show between our trunk tricks and risky leg weaving stunts.

Shannon: The only place I ever truly belonged was above the ground. Dancing with silk ropes, curling myself around an aerial ring, or swinging from a trapeze, I take any excuse I could find to stay above the world a second longer.

“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” I heard a voice call up to me as I was siting in an aerial ring. I looked down, and soon discovered it was a guy around my age in a clown costume, but no makeup. I’d never seen his real face under the mask, and he was actually kind of cute. Our paths had yet to cross on this tour, but I’d seen his act and I was impressed by how much the children loved him.

“Clowns aren’t safe this high up. I suggest you keep feet on the ground.” I teased.

He crossed his arms. “I’ll prove you wrong,” he pointed up. “I’m going to be up there someday. You wait and see.” The smile he gave after was contagious, but I still shook my head.

What is your your characters act?

Writing Prompt: Day 191

191 (1).jpgDay 191 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Someone predicts a character’s future.

Erin: “Hello my dear,” the palm reader immediately grabbed my hand.

“Hello,” I echoed. “I’m here because…”

“Don’t tell me with your mouth, tell me with these,” she smiled at my palms.

“Okay,” I obliged mentally zipping my mouth shut.

“I see you are in love.” She smiled up at me and I tried not to give away anything with my face. “But you are questioning your heart. Don’t fall into societies expectations my dear. Just because the brain is what we test, it does not mean it is any wiser than the pull of your heart. Don’t fight instincts.”

“That advice is helpful,” I stood up feeling our minute was up, or about to be.

“I’m glad, good luck with your love.”

I was thinking for some time she was a complete sham, but that sentence changed my mind. I had no romantic prospects, but I did have a love. I had my passion and my dream and a job that I could see being the rest of my working career. For a person like me that may have been the most important love of all. “I think we’ll be just fine.”

Shannon: “Why are you looking at me like that?” my boyfriend questioned, catching me staring longer than usual.

I looked away and scanned the rest of the museum again. “Are you sure we’ve never been here before?”

He shook his head. “It’s a new exhibit.”

“But I dreamed about this exact room. I saw all of these painting,” I explained, feeling like a crazy person. “How is that possible?”

“Did you look up the museum online?”

I thought for a second if I had ever accidently stumbled upon it. “No.”

“Maybe,” he was hesitant, “you saw the future?” He shrugged. “And, play along with me, let’s say you did. What happens next?”

“You find something under…” I paused, feeling the same way I did in the dream. The odd case he found under a statue’s foot made me feel uneasy, like I was seeing a different side of him, a darker side.

“Under what,” he pressed, a little too eager.

“Under one of those rocks outside the building,” I lied to see how he would react.

He tried to hold back his excitement, but I saw the slight smirk before it disappeared from his face.

You are not the only one who knows what the future of your character’s holds.

Writing Prompt: Day 189

189.jpgDay 189 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Force your character to pick from three options with unknown outcomes.

Erin: “You have it narrowed down to three. Now just pick one,” my little sister oversimplified.

“You don’t understand,” I argued. “I’m not just picking a school. I’m picking the rest of my life. This school will determine the job I get, the place I move, the people I meet, and all of the other endless things I will do for the rest of my life.” I nearly started hyperventilating.

“Just go with your gut, it will tell you which one leads to the life waiting for you,” she was always so sure of destiny. I wasn’t but chose to be at that moment, because it was easiest.

Shannon: “You don’t seem impressed. Don’t you like anything you’ve seen so far,” an older woman questioned from the other side of the clothing rack.

“I’m sorry, I don’t want to be ungrateful or criticize anyone’s fashion choices. It’s just, none of these make any sense for me. This is a very generous gift, but I don’t think I can accept it,” I pressed my teeth together, ready for her tell me to go to prom in a potato sack for all she cared.

She smiled, oddly pleased with my response. “Then maybe you’d consider playing a little game,” she offered.

“What kind of game?”

“I’ll show you,” she waved for me to follow and I did, more than intrigued. We went into a back room where she led me to one small clothing rack with three hangers holding up black garment bags. “I’ll let you choose from one of these, but you don’t get to see what’s under the bag before you choose. You must take a guess, and you have to wear it to your prom. As you agreed before stepping foot in the store, we do expect pictures. So, do you want to play?”

I hummed in thought, “Do I get any clues?”

“There was a necklace that came with each one. It’s in the pocket. I’ll let you look at those, but only if you play the game,” she explained, making the mystery even more exciting.

“Ok. I’ll do it,” I agreed before I could change my mind.

“Yes,” she cheered, “Go ahead. Tell me when you’re ready.”

The first bag had a silver heart shaped locket necklace. The second one had a gold band with a emerald green jewel. The third had pearl necklace. “This isn’t real, is it?” I held up the last one and she nodded with another conniving smile. “Why would you just give it away? You could do so much more with it.”

“The lady who donated the dresses made it very clear. The girl who gets the dress also gets the necklace,” she explained. “So do you want that one,” she questioned.

I knew I should take the pearls. Even if the dress was hideous, I couldn’t regret the decision. “You’re probably going to think I’m stupid, but I actually want the one with the locket.” My heart was drawn to that one. I had always found lockets to be the most beautiful jewelry. They didn’t hold an eye-catching charm or instant elegance, but they do hold a picture of whatever a person loves most in the world and that’s worth more than any stone.

“I don’t think you’re stupid,” she moved forward to unzip the bag revealing intricate pastel blue and purple lace appliques covering the bodice and thinning out into a off-white skirt. “This one is actually my favorite,” she pulled it out and I was instantly in love. Tears flooded my eyes. I was having a hard time processing how something so beautiful could actually belong to someone like me. “Well go on,” she handed it over, “Try it on.”

Make your character take a blind chance.

Writing Prompt: Day 187

187.jpgDay 187 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about a character’s pet.

Erin: “What you up to bud,” I crouched down to see the little spider he had found. “You want daddy to kill that for you,” I began to offer and saw his little eyes go big.

“No,” he placed his hand on my chest as a barrier. “He’s my pet,” he cooed as the spider crawled between his fingers.

“Yeah? What does he eat?”

“Idonknow,” he mumbled still enamored by his pal.

“If you don’t know these things, then how are you going to take care of him,” I challenged.

“Well I know all about how to take care of a dog dad, but you won’t let me have one of them,” he pushed out his lips.

“With time son,” I laughed walking off to give them some privacy.

Shannon: When I first met the scrappy mutt my brother picked out at the shelter I wasn’t impressed. I was afraid the dog might attack my cat, so I kept my distance in my attempt to keep their paths from crossing more than necessary. What I didn’t anticipate was how much Oliver didn’t mind being ignored.

He’d follow me everywhere with big eyes just waiting for me to eventually look at him. I tried to shoo him away and lead him to my brother, but he always stuck with me like it wasn’t my choice. He was going to give me unconditional love and I had no choice but to accept it, so I did. Turns out it’s hard not to reciprocate that kind of love.

Give your character an animal sidekick.

Writing Prompt: Day 185

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Day 185 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about your character’s experience with fireworks.

Erin: I had only ever seen fireworks on a screen. So, the first time my parents brought me I screamed and cried at the noise. Everyone laughed at me hopelessly trying to cover my ears. They couldn’t understand what it was like to be so guarded for so long from something so magnificent.

Shannon: For some reason watching firework shows on the Forth of July feels more like my own personal New Year’s Eve celebration. It always the time that I reflex on my life. As I’m watching I think about the previous year, and where I was before and where I am now. I think about how watching them felt a year ago, and question whether my feelings about it have changed at all. Somehow they always do.

What has your character gotten from displays of colorful crashes?

Writing Prompt: Day 183

183.jpgDay 183 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about creating one amazing thing from many ordinary things.

Erin: “Flour, baking soda, salt, butter, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract, chocolate chips.”

“Yeah so,” I argued when I was confident her list was complete.

“They are all fine things alone, but put them together and you have a warm gooey chocolate chip cookie. That’s what I think your traits do. They add up to a heavenly concoction.”

I just blushed and shook my head at her naivety.

Shannon: I’ve always had a fascination with things that get left behind. That’s why I make a lot of recycled art. I’ll take something old and worn down, like bookshelf and make it new and exciting again. I’ll take the garbage bottle caps and toilet paper rolls and make them into containers to hold the odds and ends I find that don’t yet have a place to be reused.

I recently started collecting color pencil shavings from my electric sharpener, and glued them to a canvas. When I was done I was amazed at how beautifully the colors displayed themselves when they mixed back together. I think a lot about how all the forgotten beauty that gets thrown out everyday, and it makes me sad.

Blank + Blank = What?

Writing Prompt: Day 181

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Day 183 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a creature experiencing new terrain.

Erin: I thought my eight tentacles on land would make me strong. Many more legs than most land creatures. However, all I could do was crawl, and think about the next time I would encounter water. I was strongest in the water, and that fact made me feel all the weaker.

Shannon: All I knew was this place was too dry. There was too much sand and not enough water and my amphibian skin was drying out. Whoever put me here wanted me dead.

This is not where your character belongs.

Writing Prompt: Day 179

179.jpgDay 179 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Start with the line “Jenny is no Jennifer.”

Erin: Jenny is no Jennifer. When my sister came back she insisted we start to call her the shortened version of her name. As I learned to stop slipping up with my words I realized her new friends had not only changed her name, but also her.

Shannon: “Jenny is no Jennifer.” Kaitlyn scoffed her opinion to the rest of the group as I watched her drag her pen over the candidate’s name.

I looked around to the rest of the group waiting for someone to disagree, but the room was silent.

“I’m sorry, maybe I missed something, but I have her listed in my top three. What’s wrong wit her?”

Again the group was silent as Kaitlyn let out a pity-filled sigh that she had to explain it out loud. She flashed me a fake smile before explaining as vaguely as possible. “She doesn’t have the look.” In other words she was bigger than the rest of the actresses auditioning. Not any less pretty or captivating, just a different size.

I felt my face heat up in anger at how easily they threw her away because of their bias. “I highly suggest you all reconsider. Otherwise, we need more candidates because I’m not settling for anything less than what we’ve seen from her.” The vote had to be unanimous, and I wasn’t afraid to challenge Kaitlyn’s rein.

Who are your Jen’s?

Writing Prompt: Day 177

177.jpgDay 177 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Make a list of 5 unusual girl names.

Erin: Hero, Fleur, Waverly, Oriana, Winnie

Shannon: Ember, Pril, Drama, Phoria, Amnesty

Time to broaden the names of our females.

Writing Prompt: Day 176

176.jpgDay 176 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about finding a way back home.

Shannon: When I was first asked to work on the documentary in my hometown, I did everything I could to try to get a different assignment. There was a reason I’d only traveled home for the holidays and very important special occasions. However, if I didn’t this one it would take years to get a second chance to prove myself. I didn’t have that kind of time.

I’d be spending the next few months taking up a room in my parent’s bed and breakfast until I could find a better option. The rest of my time would be spent interviewing my old neighbors. The ones who had never left, never forgot the crime that happened here years ago, and would probably have a few questions about where I ended up too. I’d kept my past at a distance for so long, I just hoped I could survive one more summer in a place where I never felt I belonged.

Erin: I lived right next to the water tower as a child. So if I could get close enough to home I could find the rest of my way home. To this day it has ruined my sense of direction. Now my phones GPS is my water tower, but at least I always find my way back home.

What brings your character back?