Tag Archives: Prompts

Inspiration Monday – Fork / Childhood Hero

Right. Here’s the thing. Over at bekindrewrite, Steph’s given us another crop of fantastic prompts, including the two in the title of this post. Between them, they prompted me to write this little snippet from Melanie’s story, but I hope it’s within the rules – neither prompt actually appears in the story as such. Fork almost did in the first line, but it didn’t feel like a word Mel would actually use.

I hope you’ll forgive me. And I hope you enjoy the story. For those who are interested, other snippet of Mel’s life can be found by putting her name in the search box.

Watershed Moment

“There comes a time when a girl grows up, Dad,” said Melanie, looking up from her knickerbocker glory, and emphasising that last word that she was suddenly far too old to end with a ‘y’. “You’ve got to learn to let go.”

I nodded. Even at seven, she was wiser than me. I was still clinging to her mother in the same way, desperate that Susan wouldn’t leave me to take care of our little sage alone.

But Melanie wasn’t finished with me yet. “I’m a big girl now. I go to big school and have homework and a briefcase…” It was more of a satchel, but I didn’t dare interrupt. “… and Miss Purley says she is going to make me the Door Monitor. What do you think about that?”

“Wow,” I said. “Door Monitor.”

“Are you being sardastic? You know Mummy doesn’t like it when you’re sardastic to me.”

“Sarcastic,” I corrected her, almost automatically. “But no, actually, I wasn’t. Door monitor sounds like a big responsibility. What does it involve?”

“Opening the door.” Her withering look was the exact replica of Susan’s. I had to look away.

“Wow. Big girl school, big girl responsibilities. Soon you’ll be learning to drive and leaving your old Dad to fend for himself.” I could already picture it: I just wasn’t sure where Susan was in the picture – standing beside me, hunched in a wheelchair, or only a memory in our minds.

Melanie was already out of her chair and tucked in beside me, nudging my arm out of the way so she could get in closer. She liked to feel my beating heart. “I won’t ever leave you,” she whispered. Then, because she knew I wanted it so much, she gave in. “Daddy.”

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Friday Fiction – A Couple More

One of the amazing things about Friday Fiction is how many widely varied stories one prompt can produce. In the region of 100 writers respond to the prompt and while there is often some overlap in themes and subjects, there is always a huge spectrum among the pieces. I’m sure this week will be no exception.

What’s different this week is that the picture generated three very different ideas in my head, all of them crying out to be written. I posted my first story yesterday and commented there that I had other ideas. I’ve now had a chance to pen them into stories and I can’t even tell you for sure which is my favourite, but in case you are interested, here are the other two, all based on the same picture prompt.

gnarled-tree

Justification 2

“She was beautiful. Gnarled, craggy and deformed, but absolutely beautiful.”

“So why do it?”

“It was her time.”

“Euthanasia? You’re telling me this was an act of kindness?”

“Absolutely. You’re too young to understand, but us old folks, there are some places we can’t stand to be.”

“You cut down a centuries-old tree because you didn’t want to hurt its feelings?”

“If I left her there, how’d she have coped? Concrete tower blocks all around; kids hanging swings from her lower branches; dogs crapping on her roots and pissing all over her bark… I couldn’t bear to see that happen.”

 

Loyalty

She’s always been there, shared everything: my first kiss with Lily Spacek, when she told me afterwards my sister paid her to do it; the time my brothers dared me to swing out over the creek and I came home with one missing tooth and a mouthful of blood; when Amy agreed to marry me and the tears I cried when our daughter was born.

That tree comforted me after Amy’s funeral and now they say it has to be cut down? Well, they can use it to make my coffin. Bury me with the best friend I ever had.

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