So, in addition to ‘What I’m Reading’, ‘Writing Thoughts’ and ‘The Sarcasm Diaries’, I thought I’d add ‘The Prompt Project’ to my list of catergories and standard posts I write.
Essentialy, I wanted to start flexing my creative muscles a little, so I thought I could do this by finding a writing prompt whenever I have the time and seeing what I can come up with. I’ll be posting what I write on the spot, not timed or word counted like a formal NaNo Wrimo type thing. I won’t plan or anything, I’ll just see prompt, write, edit the truly shit bits out and post. Simples.
If I find them on a website, or a twitter account I’ll share where I got it from and some thoughts on how useful I felt they were!
Here’s Prompt project number 1, stolen from a prompt a uni tutor gave us once but it is an entirely brand new piece:
“Write a story about a cup”
– Chipped Edges
She lifted the chipped edge of the mug to her lips, gingerly taking a sip around jagged point, blunted over time through repeated trips in the dishwasher. Jane put the cup down beside her laptop, rotated the cup and lifted it again and drank from the un-damaged side. She opened the draft inbox in her emails to scroll pensively down the list of messages she had yet to send, before sighing and closing the browser, again. Three faces stared back at her from the home screen, one smiling blonde girl, a boy slightly younger than her with a large cheeky grin and Jane in the middle. Her face a little less lined, hair a little less grey and brighter eyes were in the images face, compared to those reflected in the screen.
Jane’s thumb gently traced the emblem on the side of her cup screaming ‘Worlds Best Mum’ in faded red and yellow tones; before she drained the cup, rising swiftly to take it straight to the sink. Now she was living alone, she seldom needed to use the dishwasher so she gently rinsed the cup out, dried it and replaced it beside the kettle.
How she hated the 26th of June.
The wretched day would begin in the small hours every year with her lying sleeplessly, listening to her empty house. She’d been tempted to not book the day off work this year and just try get though it in autopilot at her desk but what if Lucy decided to come by? What if she chose to come this year? What if she turned up, with blonde hair pulled into a modest bun, black mourning clothes, watery blue eyes and a bunch of flowers clutched in hand to find no one home? Always so reserved, so appropriate, so modest, she wouldn’t understand why Jane had gone to work that year; she would see it as a betrayal. Just in case she came Jane would not move on, would not change the pattern that had served her for the last five years. Maybe Lucy would turn up with her little girl, nearly three now, to meet her grandmother for the first time. Maybe her little girl would take a trip to the cemetery with them to meet her uncle too. Jane wondered if her baby even knew about Aidan.
She waited until two, as per the time she told Lucy on the un-answered voicemail message, as always, . Just after two she called a taxi, not trusting herself to drive, and made her way alone to the place he was buried. Sometimes, even after five years, it still didn’t feel real. She half expected him to pop up from behind the grave stone, laughing about how it had been a joke all along. He always had that sort of gallows humour. The only image she could conjure of his face in her mind’s eye was the wide cheeky grin, laughing uproariously at some joke he told, increasing tenfold if people were outraged by the joke he’d made. He had his dad’s sense of humour, with none of the temper but all the darkness. Opening the cardboard box in her hands, Jane bent to replace the weather beaten cup upon the grave, leaving a shiny new cup in it’s place declaring ‘Worlds Best son’, which she lovingly filled with flowers.
As she straightened her eyes fell upon a figure frozen a few rows parallel to Aidan’s grave. One blonde adult, hair drawn into a bun, with a little figure holding her hand, who had the same wild blonde curls a mum had at that age. Jane saw the figure mouth the word ‘shit’ to herself, as she hastily made her way towards the pair.
“Hi, Mum.” Lucy spoke first because that is who she is. Jane knelt so she was eye level with her granddaughter, drinking in the site of her in through blurred vision.
“Oh, Lucy darling she’s beautiful!” Little Aida squirmed shyly away, hiding behind her mums leg, peering at Jane curiously.
“She’s the spitting image of Mark, although the hair’s all mine, poor thing.” Lucy replied awkwardly, one hand moved to curve protectively around her daughter’s shoulder. Jane caught the gesture and, rising, she replied cooly.
“Well, I’ve never met Mark, have I love?” Lucy shuffled her feet in response and coughed.
“Sorry, mum, we haven’t got long to visit; this one’s got a friend’s birthday party to go to.” Jane stood and moved out of their way.
“Is your email address still the same?” She called after to her daughters back, Lucy turned, a small sad smile on her face as she nodded. “If I write, will you answer this time?” Another small nod followed. Jane smiled and gave an awkward wave.
As they moved further away she heard a little voice ask “was that your mummy? I didn’t think you had a mummy? Why isn’t she coming to see Uncle Aidan with us?” Jane lost Lucy’s response as she hushed Aida but caught the guilty glance in her direction.
She left them behind, clutching the cardboard box with the faded mug inside so tight it was dented in places.
There ya go, the first prompt done! I don’t care where I get these from, so I’m happy to use ones suggested by people. So comment below for a chance to see your prompt featured in a future blog!