Lightning Rounds 47

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: luxury bathing

Vanessa eased back into the thick goop, a little uneasy about naked soaks in strange chemicals. Her friend has insisted she would feel like a whole new woman by the time she was done, but the idea of having “an rich, earthy organic emulsate” pressed anywhere near her undercarriage gave her some misgivings.

When she was up to her neck, she reached back and pulled the wooden bowl full of bonbons over her head. She held it uncertainly for a few moments, then gently eased it onto the iridescent muck. It was dense enough to hold the bowl like a happy servant, and Vanessa grinned quietly, suddenly wishing she had peeled grapes instead. She let her body relax, and after she’d eaten a few bonbons, she put the bowl back on the shelf and squelched down a little farther until her chin settled on top of the squishy mass.

She closed her eyes and dipped her hands down, squeezing the emulsate between her fingers. The smell was pleasant, like petrichor. It oozed into her sinuses and out again, dipping into the corners of her memory, and she heard the patter of rain against her umbrella, splashing against her rubber boots.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Parking lot ramble

I’m sitting in a parking lot, waiting for dinner. I’m writing on my phone. Rain spatters on the windshield in my peripheral vision. The tight rumble of my stomach makes my mouth water. Thai food. Noodles. Anticipation is so sweet. And hungry. Sweet and hungry.

Music hums behind the rain, hiding under the voices of the boys in the back who are destroying tanks with mirth and no mercy. I’m wondering how long the batteries will last. Long enough.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lightning Rounds 46.

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic 1 (last week): Monday’s Minutes

Shelly thought the little soldiers were nicely detailed and carefully painted. That was the first thing that attracted her eye. Tucked away on the back of the lowest shelf, you could barely see them peeking out, even if you were perched against the cabinet base, trying to look inconspicuous while your mother was talking about lace frocks with the shopkeeper.

She slid the box out carefully and studied the set of soldiers. There were twelve in a row, but none of them the same. “Dirty dozen,” she whispered, picking up the first, whose sleeve was tipped with sargent stripes. “Or maybe Kelly’s heroes.” She bit her lip and cocked an eye toward her mother. The shopkeeper was carefully opening the lid of a large wooden coffer. Dark green velvet draped demurely over the lip. Shelly rolled her eyes, and tucked the sargent into the bib of her overalls.

One at a time, she plucked the men from their little box and secreted them about her person. The cash register chimed, and she hurriedly felt for the box lid beneath the display. She replaced it, tracing her fingers over the silver letters of the maker’s name: Monday & Sons, Ltd. She smiled briefly as she shoved the empty container to the back of the shelf. “Monday’s minutes,” she said in a self-satisfied whisper.

Topic 2 (this week): Jam and toast.

Gary wasn’t sure about the jam. He never was. I could see him hesitate from my vantage point behind the counter. I didn’t look up, but I could feel it, you know? He paused, considering the impact of triple-berry preserves on his unenumerated attempt to reduce his sugar intake. In the end, he shrugged and dipped the knife in.

Joel called to me from the kitchen, and somehow in that instant, at the moment I first failed to track Gary’s progress, that’s when the glass shattered, splattering berries and pectin across the table. I grabbed a rag from the bus bucket, but as I turned toward the dining area, I barely had time to notice that Gary was slumped across the back of his chair before Joel tackled me to the ground. My head hit the well as I went down. I sat up dazed, pushing against Joel, until I realized his lips were moving and I couldn’t hear what he was saying.

The room was full of smoke, and all I could think about was the toast.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lightning Rounds 45.

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: indigo wendigo

“Are you sure it was indigo?”

Tara looked annoyed. “Pretty sure. I mean, it was dark.” She scowled. “But what other colors do they come in? Scarlet and yellow, right?”

Jade bit her lip, looking off into the corner. “Um, yeah, well…well, there is the faux-pinnate chupacabra that looks kind of like the indigo wendigo.”

Tara thumped her notebook closed and clicked her teeth together. She stared hard at Jade. “Yeah. OK. Maybe in a thick forest at ten paces in the middle of the night the faux-pinnate would vaguely resemble the wendigo, if you weren’t looking directly at it and had some kind of color perception deficit.” She stood up, thrust her chair backward into a bookcase, and started shoveling random items on the table into her satchel. “Jesus, Jade, why are you being such a bitch about this?”

Jade watched her thread the straps through the buckles and sling the satchel onto her back. She said nothing as Tara stormed out of the library, letting the door bang on its brass hinges. The dust drifted slowly back down to the table. Jade shifted slightly, drawing a little notebook from under her thigh. She bent her head and began scrawling notes on a clean page toward the back.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lightning Rounds 44

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: Completing the collection

Zara sighed and rubbed her eyes. She stretched her toes under the blanket and shifted her tablet so she could roll on to her side on the couch. She blinked again. It seemed dark. The fire crackled lowly in the woodstove. The slow tick of the clock on the mantelpiece drew her attention. It can’t have been that long.

She yawned again, squeezing her legs together to get the urge to pee to stop bothering her. She was sure she could hatch this last egg into a ruby marmalade dragon, but if it was another damn vortex demon, she wanted to try again as soon as she could. It was two minutes to go and she sure as hell wasn’t going to spend her hard-won turquoise on it, even if it was sure to be the only critter she hadn’t yet hatched. Even if she had to pee so bad that her back teeth were floating.

She sat up. The tablet lay on the cushion next to her, timer silently sliding a sparkling bar toward a golden egg. She blinked again. Why was it so dark? She bit her lip, then after a quick glance at the screen, she leaned back and pushed the curtain open.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lightning Rounds 43

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: burning sensation

The light swayed through the leaves in the canopy above her head. She was momentarily blinded when a gust bent the branch just far enough to let the sun’s rays scald her retinas. She sniffled, stifling a sneeze, and let her hands press flat-palmed against the mud, reminding herself not to move. Her toes pointed upward just beyond the range of her vision. She felt her shoelaces settle against her shins as the wet, sloppy smell of horses and earth wafted over her.

“Linda!” Her sister’s voice came pattering across the pasture toward her.

“I’m OK!” Linda shouted back, as loudly as she dared. “I think. I think I’m OK!”

Knees crunched next to her head and her sister’s face peered down at her. “Don’t move,” she whispered urgently.

“I’m not moving. I’m very clearly not moving.” Linda smiled weakly.

Her sister’s face pinched. “Oh god, you’re paralyzed.” Her hand flew to her mouth.

“I’m not paralyzed. I just thought it would be a good idea to lie here for a minute and inhale the fresh scent of horse manure.” Linda wiggled her fingers and blinked carefully. “Remember how to check for concussion?”

Jess pressed her lips together. “Um…OK. Can you tell me your name?”

Linda chuckled. “Am I speaking coherently?”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Lightning Rounds 42.

This blog post is a ten-minute timed writing exercise from writers.stackexchange.com.Visit the Writers chat room every Tuesday for new writing exercises.

Topic: scissors

He felt the weight of the scissors slide off his fingers as his hand dropped to his side. The sidewalk stretched at a crazy tilt in front of him, then rushed up to meet his face. He thought the blow would hurt, but the only noticeable effect of impact was the strange sensation of air running out of his lungs.

Hands turned him over. Voices called his name. “Alex!” Muffled shouting made his head feel like a marshmallow. His eyes opened and closed, searching for something he couldn’t place. “Alex!” A glimmer like a golden thread ran up from his face, and his eyes focused on his wife’s hair. She was crying, his hand clutched to her lips. He smiled at her, thinking about how her smile flashed in the sun on the day he had proposed, how her hair had reached back toward him even as she had skipped away through the field of daisies. He felt her running from him now, but he couldn’t reach her this time, couldn’t put his arms around her waist and pull her down to him.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized