Friday, June 25, 2010

Five Minute Snippets (Writing Prompts)

Here are three "snippets" (short fiction) based on prompts froThe Writer's Book of Matches: 1,001 Prompts to Ignite your Fictionby the staff of Fresh Boiled Peanuts, a literary journal. The original prompts are in bold.

These snippets were all written in 5 minutes and are unedited. I wanted to set the scene for a possible story in each one. They're all different, with different characters and settings.

Snippet One

Note: "Dame Melba" was an Australian actress in the early 20th century who did many "farewell tours", but always managed to make a "comeback" on the stage. Kinda like Michael Jordan in basketball or Brett Farve in (American) Football.

"Melba, like the toast?"

Argh. What the hell was it with these Aussies? I sighed, rolled my eyes and replied, "Melba. Like the Dame."

Jackeroo grinned and nudged my shoulder. "You're not plannin' on leavin' and makin' a big fuss when y'come back?"

"Not planning on it."

He laughed, then sobered a bit. "Didn't mean to cast any doubt on your dependability, love."

"I knew you weren't, Jackaroo, and I appreciate it," I said, managing a smile. Usually it was the other way around: being dumped by your employer and then being "wooed" and "invited" back, with stipulations.

Sometimes, being a contractor sucked.

Jackaroo, bless him, was more subtle than people gave him credit for. Well, I don't see any reason to make a fuss. Lemme know if y'need anythin'."

"Much appreciated, mate."

Snippet Two

"Love is not what I'm looking for right now. In fact, I'm happier without it."

"That's pretty sad. How can you live with someone, sleep with someone, share their life, without being in love?"

"Easy." She flashed her diamond bracelet at me, and it threw rainbows on the ceiling. "There are other things in life to live for. Tings a lot more tangible, my dear. I'm what you education types call--what?-- a visual learner. A kinesthetic learner. I need to see, to feel, my reassurance of his love and devotion."

I stared down at my cold tomato soup. The cool, matter-of-fact tone just appalled me. How empty Mrs. W.'s life was, with all her possessions, but no soul.

And I had to humor to ensure my husband's job.

This was going to be more trouble than it was worth.

Snippet Three

Note: "Due South" was an American TV show, pairing a Canadian Mountie (RCMP=Royal Canadian Mounted Patrol) and a wise-cracking New York cop. It was a funny look at American stereotypes of "polite" Canadians and of Canadian stereotypes of "loud, obnoxious" Americans.

"It seems funny to say so cliche', but there has to be a reason why we keep meeting like this."

He laughed and extended a hand. "Someone's either trying to tell us something, or we're the vicitims of a massive cosmic joke." He smiled to take the sting out of his words. "Constable John Brennan, RCMP."

She blinked and shook his hand. "'re a Mountie?"

Brennan laughed again. "Yes, but I don't have a dog named Diefendorf. Otherwise, I've got the red uniform and the hat."

Karen rolled her eyes. "You're probably sick of all the 'Due South' jokes."

"Eh, I'm used to it. I get a lot of flack for being from 'Up North', but I let them roll off my back." Brennan shrugged good-naturedly.

"No offense, but what's a Canadian doing this far south? The weather?"

He sighed and replied, "I'll have you know that the sun does make an occasional stop in Alberta. I'm headed down to Florida; I have relatives there."

All writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010

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