Weekend Workshop

Butterflies: Please read this version

Butterflies My niece, Shelby, has not learned how to lie yet. Or how to slow her waterfall of facts and opinions. When we’re in my butterfly garden playing with her dollhouse dolls, she answers all my questions. “Yes, Mommy cries and yells and sleeps a lot sometimes...

Suerza

[list, random Dictionary of Sorrows choice, headline] Suerza n. “a feeling of quiet amazement that you exist at all, that you somehow emerged alive and breathing despite all odds….” Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows “Leukemia Claims Local Restaurant Owner.” The...

He Never Wanted Me to Really Know Him

On the top shelf of my parents’ closet where my mother has never explored, I pull down dad’s rifle case. Just before they fully drugged him at the hospice facility, he asked me to get rid of it when he died. Behind the gun I discover a faded boot box frosted with a...

The Daughter of the TV Detective

In a town in the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Finland, Alaska, or the Shetland Islands (the important attribute of the location is the cold), the teen-age Daughter of the TV Detective receives a FaceTime call from her mother just as the Daughter unlocks the door of their...

Storage Unit Clean Out

After 25 years, I cleaned out my storage unit with the help of two of the hardest working undocumented workers I know. Here’s what they loaded into their gray soccer mom van among various power tools and the electric grinder they used to cut open the storage unit’s...

Wrack Line

In response to "unthinkable thoughts" prompt: Wrack Line I turn on the garbage disposal, and feel the pull, an icy shiver pulling down my hand. It tickles. Taunts. Tempts me to stick my fingers inside. By accident on purpose. I shudder. Flinch. I imagine how it would...

Sea Watchers

After Edward Hopper And still they come here every summer, same motel, same room. Each time, they unpack, backs to each other, change into bathing suits and walk to the beach. He sits like a lifeguard, alert for any movement. She closes her eyes and remembers the man...

Limitless

Because I am in fable/fairytale mode... I merged prompts. Limitless “Alas,” said the mouse, “the world is growing smaller every day.” (Kafka, in A Little Fable) Ah, little one, says the owl whose orange eyes are two suns that pierce the darkness of my nights. It is...

Milk

Milk My stepmother always says a watched pot never boils, but I will prove her wrong. I use milk because it’s more interesting than water. I would love to swim in a milk lake. I watch and I watch that pot. Nothing. So I water our plants. Of course, I use water not...

My Father Refused to Neuter Samson

A random search for a random something-or-other on the Internet returns a random image—that of a dog. On closer look, I see it’s a statue of a dog. Not any dog. This one, male, his thick back leg hiked and taking aim on the corner of a building made, maybe, of...

My Scientific Girlfriend

We meet at the Natural History museum. It’s November. Cold, rainy. I wave from across the hall and squeak to her at the Diplodocus bones. “Hey,” I say, making a show of my guidebook, purchased for $5. “Hello,” she says, a wad of papers slipping from under her arm. I...

Shopping at Piggly Wiggly

[The checkout line prompt. A minor character gets to be major? Not sure what this is or where it could go but it's as far as I could get today. I do love in-the-weeds suggestions for improvement, and thank you!] Shopping at Piggly Wiggly Today is Tuesday....

Stories

Every Saturday, Rita’s mother sends her to the public library where she sits on the floor and listens to Mrs. Sullivan read from books she’s pulled from the shelves. The floor is hard and the books she chooses are stupid and boring, always about girls who become...

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Every Friday Misty, her greasy black hair drooping, arrived in her rusted Kia Rio, bringing gifts. A teapot-shaped serving tray. A teak trinket box. Mrs. Carroll accepted each offering with hugs and left Misty with her skinny legs and big feet to the vacuum and...

Prompt: body-scanning exercise

When I'm not being honest, your hands are on my neck, your palm a stone heavy on my chest. I don't always tell you when it hurts, or when cold-nerve-jolts glove my hand and sleeve my arm. My voice changes key and flutters—I imagine I sound chocolatey, a sultry...

Day 1 Prompt

Prompt: Write a scene/moment about something without mentioning that issue on the person's mind. It’s almost midnight. Frank gets up from his Lazy-Boy to retrieve Pete and Joan’s coats from the front closet, while Debbie, Frank’s new, much younger ‘partner-in-crime’...

Butterflies: Please read this version

Butterflies My niece, Shelby, has not learned how to lie yet. Or how to slow her waterfall of facts and opinions. When we’re in my butterfly garden playing with her dollhouse dolls, she answers all my questions. “Yes, Mommy cries and yells and sleeps a lot sometimes...

Suerza

[list, random Dictionary of Sorrows choice, headline] Suerza n. “a feeling of quiet amazement that you exist at all, that you somehow emerged alive and breathing despite all odds….” Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows “Leukemia Claims Local Restaurant Owner.” The...

He Never Wanted Me to Really Know Him

On the top shelf of my parents’ closet where my mother has never explored, I pull down dad’s rifle case. Just before they fully drugged him at the hospice facility, he asked me to get rid of it when he died. Behind the gun I discover a faded boot box frosted with a...

The Daughter of the TV Detective

In a town in the Arctic Circle, Iceland, Finland, Alaska, or the Shetland Islands (the important attribute of the location is the cold), the teen-age Daughter of the TV Detective receives a FaceTime call from her mother just as the Daughter unlocks the door of their...

Storage Unit Clean Out

After 25 years, I cleaned out my storage unit with the help of two of the hardest working undocumented workers I know. Here’s what they loaded into their gray soccer mom van among various power tools and the electric grinder they used to cut open the storage unit’s...

Wrack Line

In response to "unthinkable thoughts" prompt: Wrack Line I turn on the garbage disposal, and feel the pull, an icy shiver pulling down my hand. It tickles. Taunts. Tempts me to stick my fingers inside. By accident on purpose. I shudder. Flinch. I imagine how it would...

Sea Watchers

After Edward Hopper And still they come here every summer, same motel, same room. Each time, they unpack, backs to each other, change into bathing suits and walk to the beach. He sits like a lifeguard, alert for any movement. She closes her eyes and remembers the man...

Limitless

Because I am in fable/fairytale mode... I merged prompts. Limitless “Alas,” said the mouse, “the world is growing smaller every day.” (Kafka, in A Little Fable) Ah, little one, says the owl whose orange eyes are two suns that pierce the darkness of my nights. It is...

Milk

Milk My stepmother always says a watched pot never boils, but I will prove her wrong. I use milk because it’s more interesting than water. I would love to swim in a milk lake. I watch and I watch that pot. Nothing. So I water our plants. Of course, I use water not...

My Father Refused to Neuter Samson

A random search for a random something-or-other on the Internet returns a random image—that of a dog. On closer look, I see it’s a statue of a dog. Not any dog. This one, male, his thick back leg hiked and taking aim on the corner of a building made, maybe, of...

My Scientific Girlfriend

We meet at the Natural History museum. It’s November. Cold, rainy. I wave from across the hall and squeak to her at the Diplodocus bones. “Hey,” I say, making a show of my guidebook, purchased for $5. “Hello,” she says, a wad of papers slipping from under her arm. I...

Shopping at Piggly Wiggly

[The checkout line prompt. A minor character gets to be major? Not sure what this is or where it could go but it's as far as I could get today. I do love in-the-weeds suggestions for improvement, and thank you!] Shopping at Piggly Wiggly Today is Tuesday....

Stories

Every Saturday, Rita’s mother sends her to the public library where she sits on the floor and listens to Mrs. Sullivan read from books she’s pulled from the shelves. The floor is hard and the books she chooses are stupid and boring, always about girls who become...

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Every Friday Misty, her greasy black hair drooping, arrived in her rusted Kia Rio, bringing gifts. A teapot-shaped serving tray. A teak trinket box. Mrs. Carroll accepted each offering with hugs and left Misty with her skinny legs and big feet to the vacuum and...

Prompt: body-scanning exercise

When I'm not being honest, your hands are on my neck, your palm a stone heavy on my chest. I don't always tell you when it hurts, or when cold-nerve-jolts glove my hand and sleeve my arm. My voice changes key and flutters—I imagine I sound chocolatey, a sultry...

Day 1 Prompt

Prompt: Write a scene/moment about something without mentioning that issue on the person's mind. It’s almost midnight. Frank gets up from his Lazy-Boy to retrieve Pete and Joan’s coats from the front closet, while Debbie, Frank’s new, much younger ‘partner-in-crime’...

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