Thursday, August 12, 2021

August Writing Prompt

 Thanks for all the fantastic prompt suggestions!  I think I have enough now for at least the next few months.  I'm going to only include one sentence in the prompt though, because that will produce the most variety in the stories.  

You can include the prompt anywhere in your story.  Or you can simply be inspired by the prompt even if you don't use it.  

Put your story in the comments!  Don't count on it accepting a comment longer than 400 words, but last time some people broke up their submission into two separate comments. 

Without further ado, here's the prompt:

"Why the hell did you move my wheelchair across the room?"

(I'm going to play by the rules this time and put my submission in the comments.)

22 comments:

  1. When I see the wheelchair, my jaw clenches.

    It’s lunchtime. The restaurant is packed. The place is not that big to begin with, and it’s hard enough to navigate between the aisles without a wheelchair in my path, waiting to trip me up. If I drop 50 bucks worth of food, that’s a huge chunk out of my next paycheck.

    The wheelchair is positioned in front of a booth, containing an old man, as well as a younger man—presumably his son. Whoever seated them should have tried to get them a regular table, so the old man could’ve stayed in his damn wheelchair instead of blocking the aisle with it.

    Anyway, I need to move that chair before I break my neck on it.

    The younger man is insanely attractive—I can tell even across the room. Vivid blue eyes. Thick brown hair that’s just the perfect amount of tousled. A dimple in his right cheek when he smiles at his father. And he’s a nice guy—he’s taking his elderly, disabled father out to lunch, after all. If this one asks me for my number when I bring the check, I might give it to him.

    I approach the table, a smile plastered on my face. “Excuse me…”

    I hadn’t even realized quite how blue the younger man’s eyes were until he looked up at me. The dimple on his right cheek deepens slightly. “Yes…?”

    “I’m sorry to tell you…” I turn to address the older man. “Before I take your order, I’m going to have to move your wheelchair. We’ll keep it by the hostess until the end of your meal.”

    “Whatever you gotta do, sweetheart,” the older man says.

    Whew. That was easy. I see a clear path to the front of the restaurant, so I seize the handles of the chair and wheel it to the front. I check with Tori first to make sure she’ll keep an eye on it. The last thing I want is to be responsible for a missing wheelchair

    I return to the table, my order pad in hand, glad the issue is resolved. Except the younger man isn’t smiling anymore. The cute dimple is completely gone. When he looks up at me, there is barely concealed rage in his blue eyes.

    “Why the hell did you move my wheelchair across the room?” he growls.

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    Replies
    1. I love this. Please write another book!!

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    2. Love it. Want to know happens next

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    3. Loved this, wish you will write more of this same story.

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    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    5. I loved it. Any chance of turning it into a tale?

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    6. Thank you. Great writing as usual!

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  2. I hear yelling coming from one of the rooms. Gritting my teeth and trying to prepare myself for whatever is about to come, I open the curtain and my mouth drops open.

    Head wound guy is sitting up and he's ridiculously good looking. It was hard to tell when he was lying down, but now I can’t stop staring at him. The model thing is just a dumb joke that I make all the time, but this guy really looks like he could have easily been in GQ or Men's Health. Too bad he looks so pissed.

    ‘Why the hell did you move my wheelchair across the room?’ he growled.

    One or two hours in the emergency room and people start acting like invalids. I had to stop myself from rolling my eyes.

    ‘You really don’t need that anymore, you’re all stitched up and I’m pretty sure you’re not concussed or anything.’

    He scowls ‘I assure you, I do still need that’.

    I look over at the wheelchair. Shit. It's small, compact and sporty looking, nothing like one of the giant awkward metal hospital wheelchairs that clutter up the halls. Its definitely this guy’s personal wheelchair. I look back at him and realize that he’s propped up on his elbows and his legs are just kind of laying there. He’s obviously paralyzed and I find my face flushing with embarassment.

    ‘Oh, right, of course that’s your wheelchair' I stammer. We don’t have ones that ummm… fancy’. I get so awkward when I'm uncomfortable. Why is it so damn hot in this room all of a sudden?

    His eyebrows are raised as he stares at me. ‘Could you please bring my fancy wheelchair over here?’ he asks through gritted teeth.

    I go over and try to move it but the brakes are on. I fumble for what feels like five minutes before I successfully wheel it over to the side of the stretcher.

    ‘Uh, is here ok? Do you need any help?’

    ‘Yeah, could you pick me up and place me in it?’ he asks dryly.

    ‘Oh...uh. I don’t think…let me go get someone a little bigger’ I turn to leave.

    ‘I’m kidding’ he snaps. ‘Obviously I can transfer myself into and out of my own wheelchair.’

    I feel my face heat up and I spin and practically run out of the room.

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    1. This was great, I don't think I read anything from you before but I need to check now.

      Please consider finishing this :)

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    2. This scene could be developed into a great romance... Thank you for writing!

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  3. “I always forget how boring this shit is.”

    I nudge his ribs sharply with my elbow and hiss, “Amos, you aren’t supposed to curse in here.”

    Amos turns his eyes briefly to the cathedral’s ceiling, then rolls them. “God will forgive me a few shits and hells. As such, why the hell did you move my wheelchair all the way across the room?”

    From the other end of the pew my grandmother glares at us as we whisper. And so The Game begins. We’re almost thirty, but we’re acting like naughty kids again. There’s a reason neither of us have been to a Mass, other than weddings or funerals, since we were eighteen. But today is my little cousin’s Confirmation, so here we are.

    “It wasn’t me. Father Gracz had one of the deacons whisk it away. Something about it being in the aisle being a fire hazard.”

    He twists around in the seat to see it sitting in the empty space behind the last pew, far away from us. “What am I supposed to do if there’s a fire?”

    “Guess you’ll be smote,” I say with an innocent shrug. “Because I’ll be outta here.”

    Amos grunts irritably, but we both know it’s an act. Because that’s not true. I’d risk my own life to save his. Done it before. Would do it again. He turns back around, pushing up with his arms and shifting his weight on the hard wooden seat. The Basilica of St. Francis was constructed in 1801, and I’m pretty sure the pews haven’t been replaced since then either. They’re incredibly uncomfortable. I’m actually a little envious of Amos right now that he can’t feel them anymore.

    His legs shifted a bit in the process, so he uses each hand to position them, one at a time. This seems to trigger something though, and his left leg starts violently bouncing up and down. He pushes down on his knee, urging it to stop. The quick tap of his shoe on the stone floor echoes throughout the church hall.

    If looks could kill, my grandmother would be a murderer at this point. Now she’s leaning forward and across the lap of my mother, who is staring straight ahead and deliberately ignoring her daughter and son-in-law’s antics. Mom’s got the right idea. That really is the best way to kill The Game, but somehow in twenty years, Nan has never caught on.

    She holds a navy gloved finger to her lips and shushes us. Amos gestures to his legs in a what do you want me to do? way.

    In response, she points to the front of the basilica and then towards the ceiling. “Birdie. Amos. God is watching.”

    That guilt trip puts a swift end to seeing which of us can make Nan lose her cool first. That’s The Game. We’ve spent our whole lives sitting right here in this church, giggling at each other’s antics and then being scolded by her. The only difference now is that Amos is sitting beside me, rather than across the aisle with his own parents. Actually, this makes The Game much harder. It’s easier to cause a commotion when you’re sitting on opposite sides of the church, making paper airplanes out of the programs, and sending them soaring through the sanctuary.

    But, now feeling duly scolded, because we aren’t ten years old anymore, we try to simmer down and both redirect our attention to the priest.

    Out of the corner of my eye, I see my grandmother grin triumphantly. Nan! The old gal. Who knew all these years she was playing The Game, too. I nudge Amos again and whisper to him to look.

    “Hah. We lost to Nan. Looks like our Heavenly Father God does mind a few shits and hells after all.”

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    1. EJ. Your writing style is just incredible. How can you turn such a simple sentence into a whole story is byond me.
      Super super wow.
      Can I ask you to please please Pleeeeease write this story for us..maybe in 3 kind of long chapters..or 13..or 23?
      And can you also cobtribute more?
      Thank you
      Sweet Angel

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    2. EJ, your writing is fabulous. I love how you can build characters so distinct and so complex. Could this excerpt have a sequel? I'm going to reread Between the pages to kill the longing for Max. Any return forecast? I love your prompt.

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    3. Great interaction, great characters - thank you for writing!

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    4. Wow, thank you for your kind words! I may actually turn this one into a two or three parter... I had to chop so much off for this prompt... and I still didn't manage to fit within the 400 word rule. :( We'll see!

      Also, Izabely, I would love to someday finish Between the Pages! I have no idea when that day will be, though. It haunts me, lol. I'm sorry!

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  4. Fresh Meat.

    Stood at the gate to Francis Hall, the relief carer Flo punched in the code 669 for the third time. Still nothing worked. All of a sudden a illuminated red light appeared in the window.
    “Dam it,” she cursed, “that’s not right!”
    Next she tried 666. There followed a brief pause, until a click could be heard in the lock’s ageing mechanism. “Gotcha.” She rejoiced, and entered the grounds.
    The fading light thwarted a clear view of the rose garden. Yet, Flo skipped along the gravelled pathway with the innocence of a child.
    When she reached the oak door, the hinges widened.

    The aroma of the bees waxed floor overpowered her balance. She stumbled forward using her right arm as a brake. “Are you alright? Asked the butler. Flo scrambled to her feet.
    “Perfectly fine thank you,” she said, tidying her uniform, “I always like to fall over on my first night.”
    Likened to the scene of a horror film, a red and yellow segmented ball bounced down the staircase.A boy no older than seven appeared in the shadows.
    “Are you here to replenish my brother?” He asked.
    Flo composed herself, “Yes, can you direct me to his room?” The young man pointed towards the right. “He’s at the bottom of the staircase,” he said, “Just command Norris.”

    A dog appeared on the rug. The animal wagged it’s tail, and awaited instructions.
    The dog barked. “Take me to Thomas?” Norris turned, and plodded down the hallway. Quickly she gathered her belongings and followed.

    Two floors descended, and they arrived at the masters bedroom. Disheveled, Flo tapped the door.
    “Enter.” He said.
    The interior could of housed a small congregation never mind one single individual. Darkened curtains blocked out the light. Jaw dropped, she located his Lordship. A dozen or so machines surrounded his bed. Bulbs flashed on and off in a series of random sequences.

    Beside the four poster bed, stood a relic of Victorian society. A wooden framed orthopaedic contraption with two large wheels at the rear, with two small at the front. Flo guided it away.

    “Why the hell did you move my wheelchair across the room”

    “Sorry,” she said, “It looks antique.”

    “Just my dusk to dawn one.”

    Norris returned with the young boy, as they became curious about the stranger.
    Flo pressed two fingers into his neck. “I can’t locate your pulse?”
    “What pulse!”

    By Pete, aka Britishtetra

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    1. An interesting take! Thank you for writing!

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    2. Dying to know how the story goes on...

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  5. Liz is breathing heavily next to me. It's not snoring, because God help anyone who implies so; my wife doesn't snore. Nope. She absolutely doesn't. Usually her heavy breathing puts me to sleep. Today it won't. In fact, I kinda feel like holding a pillow against her face.

    For reasons entirely unrelated to her not-snoring.

    Actually, I resent the fact that she isn't as miserable as I am. That she's comfortable enough that she's managed to slip into Dreamland, despite the fact that we're sharing a single twin bed that's pushed against a wall and doesn't even fit my legs in it—so they're kind of on top of her body. That doesn't bother her at all.

    I sit up and reach for my chair. It's not there.

    I shake Liz until she wakes up, as per usual, as if someone had drenched her in cold water, ready to fight. "What?!"

    I won't be dissuated by how cute she looks. "Why the hell did you move my wheelchair across the room?"

    She rubs her eyes and blinks at me several times. "Uh?"

    "My chair, Elizabeth."

    Her eyes move between us in confusion. "I had to pee." She says.

    Because the bed is pushed against the wall, she most likely had to climb over me to get there.

    "Then go get it." I nudge her. "Or I'll pee on you and have a perfectly good excuse to do it."

    With a loud groan, in her best The Walking Dead impression, she rolls over, crushing me with her weight. She pulls my chair without even standing up properly, just because she can.

    "I fucking hate this place." I say after she returns to her corner in bed as I place my fist on the cushion.

    "You just hate my family, Jack."

    "No, I don't." I lie. I fucking hate her family.

    Because of course they would have picked the smallest cabin ever for the holidays. And of course we'd be stuck in the kid's room downstairs that barely fits my chair inside. Even though we're paying for a whole third of it, just the two of us, while her brother carries a party of 5 and pays the same amount as we do as a couple—I'm not complaining, but I'm sure his twins have a double bed upstairs at the very least.

    "Love." She groans as I wheel away, I turn my neck around—because there isn't enough space to maneuver my chair. "Bring me some coffee."

    So much for companionship.

    I still close the door so one of the five nephews in this place won't disturb her precious sleep. These days kids make her emotional, just another reminder of the stuff we can't do—like sleeping upstairs, only worse. Then I head to the bathroom line, because of course there's a fucking line. I see my brother-in-law walking down the stairs, holding a toothbrush and a towel, dutifully waiting for his turn. He raises his eyebrows when he sees me.

    "Hey man." The evil look of someone who relegated a cripple to a tiny twin bed and a shared bathroom. "Did you have a good night?"

    Then a twelve year old walks out, still sleepy and unaware of his surroundings. My brother-in-law tousles his hair affectionately and the teenager pushes away in annoyance, like teens do. That brief father-son moment hits me like a punch in the gut.

    I turn to Mark again before I wheel in. "We had a fantastic night. Didn't you hear?"

    Yeah, I fucked your sister. Asshole.

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    1. A great short vignette! Thank you! Would like to read more about them!

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    2. YES! More Jack and Liz!

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