Writing Prompt: Day 20


Day 20 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Start with the line, “Even canned goods go bad eventually.”

Erin: Even canned goods go bad eventually. They turn sour. If you let them in at that point, they will hurt you. I think people are the same. Most of us are produce. Once you buy us you have a short period of time before we go bad. The best people are frozen or canned. Lenard was canned. For so many years of my life he was there for me. He would always be there in an emergency.

I didn’t know his expiration date until it was passed. I think I had been avoiding looking at the passed day. When I opened him up, I knew he was gone. He wouldn’t nurture me anymore, he would make me sick. He would ruin any other food he touched. He already ruined her. She could have him, and they could rot together.

I wasn’t shattered by this realization though. I knew he was human. No one was truly non-perishable. Even the most kind, loyal people were just slowly spoiling. The only way to avoid seeing it was to chew them up and swallow them before you got to see the damage.

Shannon: “Even canned goods go bad eventually,” my dad shook his head.

“No,” I argued. “Hugo can race again. He can win. I know it. I feel it,” I pet my horse’s neck. “We can’t sell him,” I begged.

“You’ve grown attached to him,” my father pitied me. “I told you not to do that. We couldn’t have any horses if we made decisions off of feelings,” he scolded. “Say goodbye now. It will be easier. I’ll be sending him off in the morning,” he advised with an emotionless face.

I started leading Hugo to the stall, but I could read it in his eyes: he needed another lap around the track. He was born to run, and since the first time we raced together I knew I was born to ride him. We were a partnership, one so smooth we had our own language.

I hopped onto his back immediately, since we were both still geared up. I never had to push him to race, and over time I’d learned to let him talk control. He was the best horse we ever had, and my first winner. I cued him to run after a minute of taking in the starting line with him. As the wind was rushing across my face, I held on tight to the reins. If he could run any faster we’d be flying. One bad race, and we were supposed to give this up? My dad was wrong. He slowed down after the first lap, as he was trained to do. “You’re not going anywhere buddy,” I whisper, leaning forward to hug his neck.

This could go many ways. This is what we went with, what would be your story?

Writing Prompt: Day 19


Day 19 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Your character is stuck on a deserted island with an enemy.

Shannon: “Are you done spelling out help yet, or do you need me to bring you more rocks? This is taking way too long. There is only so much daylight left,” Russ complained.

“Shut up. I’m doing the best I can. You can place the rocks too if you are annoyed by my pace,” I defended myself, plopping down the rock I was holding more aggressively.

“I’m over this. I’m finding shelter and wood. We need a fire. Do it yourself,” he yelled before storming off.

“It wasn’t my idea to work together,” I mumbled, not feeling like putting up much more of a fight. In all honestly, I didn’t mind he was moving on to our next task. Not only would I get some freedom from him, but hopefully he’d complete his mission too.

When I finished the “P”, he had still not resurfaced from the trees. I could have faith in him, and believe that he’d done all he’d set out to do, but I knew him well, and that was unlikely. I started collecting my own fire building materials and piled them on the sand by the shore our raft washed up onto.

I still hadn’t found him after I was satisfied with my pile. I considered looking for him, but I knew he’d just yell at me for not doing anything useful with my time. I started carving out the stick I’d use to try to cause some friction. When I was at an acting camp as a child they challenged us to make a fire to teach a lesson on resilience. Based on the smoke that was steadily building, I could no longer say the instructors never taught me anything.

I had a strong fire building by the time Russ finally came back. “I couldn’t build a fire but I found a cave down the shore that way,” I heard him yelling before I could see him. “Oh, good,” he looked at my fire. “It turns out you are good for something.”

He pushed the last button keeping me under control. “You know what,” I got up to confront him, “Everyone who was on that plane with us didn’t make it to the raft. They didn’t get a second chance to appreciate the fact that they’re breathing. We could be dead, and all you want to do is spend whatever time you have left complaining,” I pushed his shoulders and he pushed back, accidentally knocking me to the ground.

“You think this is how I want to die,” he yelled, “Stuck on an island with a person I wouldn’t even want at my funeral?”

I smashed my hands into the sand, getting more riled up. “Do you know how sick I am of this stupid feud we’ve been having for the last few years? I get it, you think I stole your thunder. I stole you Oscar by being in the same movie as you and stealing the spotlight. I’m sorry I won, but eventually you’ve got to move on with your life. You can’t blame me for giving up on yourself. You’re a great actor, but now all you do is act like you’ve been wronged.”

“You didn’t play the role the way it was intended to be played. You went off script. I’ve been waiting my whole life to get in a movie with you again so I could prove everyone wrong, and now because of my selfishness my whole world went down with that plane,” I watched his face wrinkle and water slowly emerge from his eyes as he fell to his knees. He was in a relationship with the movie’s director, and my heart ached for him that he wasn’t able to save her.

I went over to rub his back, if he’d accept my offer, and he did. “She died doing what she loved, next to the person she loved most. We can only wish we’ll be that lucky” I stated and he nodded, breaking down a little more.

Erin: “Here, I had this in my pocket,” I offered Jim a piece of chocolate.

“What’s your motive fatty,” he mistakenly sassed back.

“My motive is that I was trying to be nice. Because dumb piece of trash, regardless of me detesting your presence, you are the one I am stuck with. You are the only person I have for potentially forever, so I was trying to be nice. But screw that and screw you. All gloves are off bub,” I grumbled deciding that learning how to make a fire was my best bet.

“Hey Jewels,” he ran after me. “Your right, I’m sorry.”

“This is never going to work. We are going to die here and the last ugly face I am going to see is yours,” I cried.

“No,” he put his hand on my shoulder. “I’m so sorry. I’ll be nicer. I actually really like you. We can have an okay time.”

“Yay, an okay time,” I mocked him, gathering up some twigs.

“No, what I am trying to say is I will put effort into this. I want a fresh start,” he offered.

“A fresh start,” I thought on it.

“Yeah,” he encouraged.

“Promise,” I asked not sure if I could trust him.

“Promise. Truce?”

A smile overtook my face as I knew my answer, “No I would rather be alone on this island than with you. I’m going to kill you.”

When in doubt make your characters’ lives harder.