Woo, boy, you’re in for a creative writing smorgasbord today! Hold onto ya’ knickers for the ups and downs of prompts from all walks of life! A review for one of the best anime I’ve watched ever: Kuroko no Basuke! or Kuroko’s Basketball! or the terrible translation by Crunchyroll: The Basketball Which Kuroko Plays! eventually!
I really like Prompt #20 and #24 for me and #17, #18, and #20 for my sis. So much fun! Read ’em and weep!
Prompt #16: Describe an electronic device in the future that you won’t know how to operate.
It had taken me a quarter of my lifetime to get up the courage (and convince the easily irritated) to learn how to drive a car. Now with these newfangled hovers, I’m behind more than ever. When I was a young gal, I thought it would be pretty straightforward stuff. You get the hover in drive and it starts afloat in the air and you get on with yourself. They just came out with the things, but there’re all these factors like wind and rain and terrain that most people didn’t really have to worry about even with the most suburban of vehicles.
The hover capability to adjust its height hasn’t been tweaked just right yet, and it’s more difficult to maneuver it than a car on manual drive back in the old days. I’m much too old to get this shit right, but my grandkids won’t be caught dead in a groundling, so I better get this right.
“Introducing the Android 367 PXF5 Maximus 2! This Android 367 PXF5 Maximus 2 has three percent more of a crisp clean picture-taking mode, more data service, space, and of course Siri’s brother Sirus. This phone is much better than the Android 367 PXF5 Maximus!” If you happen to find any mistakes about the original phone now (2013), like Siri isn’t in the Android or if you can even have more data service or if you happen to find out that I’m right, but I still don’t know… My point is, I don’t know anything about phones.
Prompt #17: A storm destroys your uncle’s shed and kills his six-year-old son. Describe the color of the sky right before the storm hit.
My response: (sweet Jesus):
It’s been some time since we’ve visited the other side of our familial globe. Cousin David was nothing but an infant the last time I’ve seen his face, and now he was an annoying 6-year-old, and, still, no one had much grey hair. I love our aging genes, which seemed to bypass our bloodlines and hit all the white people around us.
Like at most social gatherings, the sky was bright. It was a glowing darkness heralding the impending storm that would kill Cousin David in Uncle David’s shed . My mom would say later that the sky looked ominous and that she had had bad feelings and that she knew that something bad would happen. Some people would roll their eyes, some would nod emphatically. I would simply remember how everyone thought to go inside and play some games, and some kids stayed in the shed, and only one died from a fallen beam. When Aunt Lauren wasn’t around, my other aunts and uncles thanked God for their living children.
I also remembered, as usual, that the sky would bring everyone closer together instead of outside and scattered. I liked the sky, and I liked storms. I hoped lightning would hit something important and take the lights out, and we would Kumbayah the rest of the night, but the lightning had hit early, long after the bright sky had left.
Sister’s response: (Uhhh….?)
I was outside with my uncle and my 6-year-old cousin. The sky was clear and blue with little white puffy clouds. The air was blowing nicely and warmly, but the smell… The smell is what threw the whole thing off. I can smell just a hint of rain. Maybe it would sprinkle a little, I thought. I looked at the sky again. Half of it was light, and half of it was really grey.
“We should go inside,” I told my uncle.
“Nah, we’re good for a few minutes,” said my uncle. But we weren’t. Before we knew it, the whole sky was pitch black. The wind was blowing. The trees were ripped out of the ground. And my cousin…
Prompt #18: Name the trees that stood in the neighborhood where you grew up.
As an army brat, I didn’t really ‘grow up’ anywhere, but I’ll pick a neighborhood that had trees… I only remember one that really had trees. My other living spots were in the suburbs on on a military base, and they aren’t exactly flowing with floral decorations. Coincidentally, this was the nearest to poverty I remember living, and we lived in the poorest part of the city. Our house was surrounded by trees.
The most astounding of which was Heavyarm. This humongous tree had a single branch whose elbow reached grabbing height (when I got older and stood on a chair). We kids would climb onto that branch and go up it and slide carefully down back to the ground once we reached the trunk. Sometimes we would jump from the elbow and hurt ourselves.
Then there was Old Yeller that rustled loudly during storms (until a lightning bolt killed it, dropping it into our dry leaf-and-dirt-filled pool). It was a big thing to grab onto while we balanced on the gate that separated our yards from the neighbor’s, playing hot lava all year long. This was Texas, so, yea…
Then there was Beauty. This was the tree under which countless leaves would fall and leave enough to rake and fall into. It exploded with color in the spring, majestic and towering over our house and nobody was able to climb it.
Though there were a bunch of kiddie trees, the last I want to talk about is Deadeye- who wasn’t really a tree, but a stump in the front yard. It had a huge hole in the middle of its many rings that was always either filled with a bunch of bugs or spiders that we dared each other to dip our hands in. Good times!
I don’t remember other people’s trees because there’s one tree that occupies my mind. I’ll never forget that tree. I remember my front and backyard trees, but I’ll save my favorite tree for last. I still don’t know which ones were my front yard or my backyard. The one with the mailbox had two trees, well, one and half. The half-tree is called Max (I slipped and scraped my back. a lot of blood. Still have the scar to prove it), and the other tree is called Teddy.
The tree on the side of my house crushing my empty pool is called Susan. The area with the driveway has the last two trees. The one with the owl hole is called Lucas (He’s the biggest tree).
And last but not least, the Grandfather Tree. The reason why he is called that is because a few days after my grandfather passed, there was a face on this tree that wasn’t there before. I talked to him every day, I even put lip gloss on him. Next thing I noticed, there were more and more faces on the tree.
~~~~~~(Max=Deadeye, Grandfather Tree=Heavyarm, Susan=Old Yeller; I forgot about Teddy and Lucas, but I remember them now)
Prompt #19: Write a scene in which a woman is fired after only a week on the job. Just a week earlier, the same person who is now firing her was very persuasive in convincing her to take the job.
My response: (wait, so she didn’t want the job in the first place?)
“I’m sorry, Bethany. I truly thought it would work out but…” Cory trailed off, looking at his watch, then at Rebecca, who hadn’t been working all this week and suddenly starts working as Cory tells Bethany that she’s not needed for the day, or ever.
Bethany snorted derisively. The ride there was a good half-hour, a half-hour to some dreary sit-and-dine, only to work her ass off for their busiest Valentine’s week, and now Rebecca was back, and Bethany was being fired.
She had refused a closer, brighter, friendlier place because Cory said they really needed the extra hands and that she would be perfect for the job, especially with her wide availability and reliable transportation. If she accepted, within a month, Cory promised to make her manager. How could she say no to that?
Stupidly, she had said yes to this too-good-to-be-true deal. But she had merely been temporary work until Rebecca came back, and now she was standing like an idiot not sure how to handle the situation of having to go through all the job-searching again, after so many months of looking, so many interviews, so much hope.
And Cory confidently thwarted all attempts to give her good reason to leave, and Bethany was no longer stupid enough to believe she would get one. Wasn’t this illegal somehow? Could she sue?
That was stupid thinking. She wouldn’t win. She was too nice, a pushover, but right now she was livid, and she stood there until Cory was finally uncomfortable. He made some excuse to leave- busy restaurant and all- and she said snidely, “When are my next hours?”
Cory frowned deeply. He wasn’t stupid either. “I have to go, Beth.”
“Bethany. I told you that. When are my next hours, Cory?”
“That’s the type of attitude we don’t accept here.”
“You told me yesterday I was an angel.”
“Lying, I know. When are my next hours?” She was going to make this stupid little guy squirm.
His lips curled in annoyance. “Don’t be difficult.”
“Answer my question.”
Lips now thin, Cory hissed, “You’re fired, Bethany.”
“Thank you, you fucking asshole.” Bethany turned on heel and quickly left.
“Life’s not fair, Bethany.”
“That’s why your dick is small!” Bethany’ s never seen the thing, but like hell was Cory going to get the last word, even if he does get the last laugh.
Interviewer: Mmmm… You don’t have that much qualifications, and the position that is suited for you have already been taken. However, there is this one position. You seem like a beautiful young woman. Why don’t you stand outside in a bikini, selling our products?
Woman: But sir, I can’t-
I: Come on, you need the money don’t you? Gotta feed that two-year-old daughter.
I: Alright then, you start Monday. Oh, and I’ll double your pay (wink)
The woman was doing her part, however, she felt degraded and couldn’t do it anymore. The more money she got, the more food she got. the more food she got, the more she ate. She fed her daughter her original portion and healthy food, but for her, pizza, Chinese food, donuts, pizza, pizza, pizza. She had now gained 30 lbs. A week later:
I: What happened!? You will ruin our business! Get out of here!
Some of the woman’s friends knew what was going on. They all convinced each coworker to put money in her purse before she left.
Once the woman got home, there was over 300 dollars and a note saying, “Way to go!”
~~~~(Oh, I love my sis)
Prompt #20: Write a short story that is set in Argentina in 1932, in which a teacup plays a crucial role
“You see, Azar, Azar has a teacup. Family heirloom sort of thing that was given to him as a joke. He was one of those old young men who liked tea more than beer.”
The coach, having had a few Quilmes himself, was smiling at the reporter as he shorthanded their little interview about why Azar got silver against the Americans while Robledo, and Lovell took home gold. Instead of just admitting that Carmen Barth was a good boxer, there was the teacup, which the reporter doubted a bit even existed.
“It wasn’t expensive, Azar always told me, just old and lucky, says that’s how he got all the way to the Olympics even after the coup and the whole political mess we’re in. We all thought Azar would get gold- never in our minds did Lovell have a chance.”
The reporter made a quick note to that, to leave it out. The coup, though, and how the super athletes were dealing with that, that would be a good follow-up story. The reporter made another note on that.
“But there was some bad luck with the cup, and that’s why he got silver.” The coach closed his eyes as if finished.
Before it got to an awkward silence, the reporter asked, “What was that bad luck? It must not have been much, if Mr. Azar went home with silver.”
“Not much, no, but bad luck is bad luck. Azar doesn’t think he’ll be winning anymore medals.”
“That’s a bit extreme, isn’t it?”
The coach shrugged. “Some people know when things have gone sour.”
“So what happened?”
“With the teacup?”
And here the reporter realized the whole teacup thing was just something funny to say to the reporter. The man was just about to put away his pad when the coach whispered, “Lovell was playing around with it. Dropped it and it broke. Put it back in Azar’s bag like nothing happened.”
The reporter didn’t write this down.
“Lovell’s always known I kind of favored Azar. Sometimes he gets jealous, starts messing with Azar’s things. This time around it was Azar’s precious little cup.”
“He still won silver.”
“He already drunk his tea for the day. He got his luck then. Ah, man, what a little mess that Lovell is, and now Azar’s feeling he’s finished.” The coach said suddenly, “Don’t you write this in the paper!”
He wouldn’t dream of it, as gold-winning as this story would have been, this was something best kept in hidden diaries until disinterred upon the holder’s death. The reporter would never know if it would be his journal, or the coach’s, or Lovell’s, or perhaps Azar had an idea… All-in-all, it was unknown to a few in the 1932.
After overthrowing Yrigoyen, the civilians took over. Every day the civilians would have tea time at 3PM in honor of their victory. One day during tea time, a civilian named Juan dropped his teacup, shattering it into bite-sized pieces. The people find that very disrespectful and they put him in jail for twenty years. Instead of having one cup of tea a day, he now has three cups of tea a day with extra sugar. In his fifth year of prison, he has now gained 30 lbs and has become jittery, making it hard for him not to drop the teacup. Who knows what will happen to him if he does?
More and more, he would twitch and shake. In his last year of prison, his teeth are corroded, he is now obese, eyes wide open and his heart was pumping. He suddenly heard a shatter. The cup slipped out of his hand and onto the concrete floor.
The guards rush in and found Juan on the floor dead. The End. :D
~~~~~~(Okay, like most Americans, we know next to nothing about Argentina, much less about them in 1932.)
Prompt #21: Describe the most recent moment when you couldn’t think anything to say. Were you having a hard time making conversation, or were you simply dumbfounded?
I was simply dumbfounded at Prompt #20. It is so ridiculously specific and alien that I’m just like, what the hell? What they fuck am I supposed to do with that? Like throwing chicken and chick peas and naan at my mom and expecting her to make a satisfying meal! (By the way, I love all three). I looked up on good ol’ Wikipedia what was going on in Argentina, and ideas started running through my head, but I still needed to factor in that damn teacup. A fucking teacup? Were these one of those Madlibs where the country, year, and item could have been anything and everything? Still, it was good fun. I liked it in the end.
Well the most recent moment of when I couldn’t find anything to say (more like answer) is when I was in tutoring. My math tutor asked me this: “What’s 5 minus 0?”
For some reason, I couldn’t find out the answer, so I said, “Uhhh… Negative five?” I had never felt so stupid, and I could tell in his eyes that I was screwed on the ACT test. Why did I say negative five? I don’t know…
Prompt #22: What could have happened to you in high school that would have altered the course of your life?
I was the first one offered (and accepted) to be in the new Middle College High School at Austin Peay State University. I was known among the teachers as that suicidal student that wasn’t just doing shit for attention, but had some serious stuff going wrong with me. I guess the principal and others decided that this would be a good opportunity for me to try something new and help me out of the downward spiral of depression that I seemed to stumble in every month or so.
Middle College is pretty much like college, except you also take your high school classes. With MC, I could do volunteer work and stuff with the sorority little sister chapter I was in. I happened to ace all my college classes (Piano, Music Appreciation, Latin and Psychology) while falling behind in the stifling two-hour long high school classes.
At my old high school, I was eleventh in the academic rankings and had gone to a mental hospital twice. When I went to MC, I became valedictorian and had about fifty service hours to my name and 12 college credits. I doubt I would have been accepted to Johns Hopkins if I hadn’t gone to MC, and god only knows where I would be now. I might have gone to the local college, or be deeper in loans going to some more expensive college that didn’t offer me any money. I might have gone to Tulane or Oglethorpe, because they gave me a lot of money, but they didn’t have my major. Man, I can’t even fucking imagine!
I seriously think that if I wasn’t so open and talking a lot more than I usually do, that would have altered my life into something more social. Some people find me funny, so if I only talk about something funny, they wouldn’t find me annoying, maybe? I don’t know… I don’t do anything different in high school than I did in middle or elementary school.
(Less open and less talking… Well, some people need that, for sure.)
Prompt #23: You are looking down through the skylight as chefs prepare dinner for your ex-fiance’s wedding.
I never believed I would fall in love. I always thought of that sort of situation as a catastrophe, me setting myself up for failure. I fantasized about a polyamorous relationship that had all sorts of turmoil because humans fight if there is more than one, and I like the idea more if there was something a bit stranger to fight about.
But one-on-one? How did I fall in love just so I can work through all the stupid kinks? Bind myself to one person just so I can hate all by my lonesome the things I hate about this person? Something I would grind through because I loved her?
Stupidity. I wanted to avoid it. That was falling in love with donuts and rejecting the absurd amount of calories making their way into cellulite, and calling it the only way humans can eat (or have families).
But it happened anyway, and the jealous tick that I was sure I would have emerged. It was her fault. She didn’t want an open relationship, and I didn’t want one because she didn’t want one and I became the jealous one. Do I think I would have been jealous if this first real relationship had been polyamorous? Well, then, that would be like expecting gay sex in a harlequin novel, and thus, I wouldn’t have been disappointed.
Here I am, a fucking stalker, watching the cooks make her wedding meal. There was a ladder on the side of the mega-church (didn’t they have starving children to help?) that made this all the easier.
She wasn’t the first female of my liking that has abandoned me for something more conservative. In fifth grade I role-played BDSM stories with this girl in high school. She was impressed that I wrote so well (in a chatroom) and liked a pretty advanced state of yaoi. She thought I was in high school as well. We had sent emails to each other and joined in the Sailor Moon chatroom to role-play. In her emails she spoke of the conflict of yaoi with her religion, and she would be grounded from the internet when her mother saw her doing un-Christian stuff.
Eventually, I did tell her I was twelve and how I didn’t really believe in god most of the time. Plus, yaoi did more to entertain me than any religion ever had.
This pushed her over the edge. She sent me a god-filled message of redemption and deliverance and never contacted me again.
Over the years, females who liked yaoi left me to join religion’s embrace…though I’m friends with several on Facebook who are now atheist… I’ve never told them how our separation had hurt me- so much that I dove into prayer and helping others at the expense of myself to fill the void. How I destroyed a number of stories to distance myself from yaoi, and believed didn’t like anime and wanted to be a missionary and all that.
Good thing I got off that fucking wagon, and met my ex-fiance, but as usual, I had fallen in love with a straight female, which happened nearly as often as me lusting over gay guys (real gay guys, not yaoi ones- damn you, Blake!).
I’ll just get this off my chest. I’ll make it ache so bad that it will have no choice but to feel better, just like all those times I took pills to throw the edge off. But no pills now. I didn’t want my ex to feel responsible, because it was all my damn fault.
This should have been my fucking wedding.
I poisoned the food.
Prompt #24: Put two people who hate each other in an elevator for 12 hours. What happens?
There isn’t more of a nightmare available for my brother- or my dad, probably. But mostly my brother. I doubt Dad would see in the darkness of the elevator the keloids jutting out from my brother’s neck, evidence from a number of surgeries to repair the broken jaw delivered by Father Dearest, what, four years ago?
Father had long forgiven himself for it, thank almighty forgiving Jesus, but atheist brother was bitter. Darkly, darkly bitter. So bitter that he has told me repeatedly that he doesn’t really care that Papa had cancer and had to get most of his kidneys removed and that he couldn’t imagine himself being sad if he died from the cancer.
Visiting me- and pretty much only me- at home was a chore that he couldn’t wait to get out of. He’ll do his duties as a son and say hello to Mama and (pronounce very stiffly) Dad and hightail it out of the house. The PTSD that he suffers from after years of abuse by my dad (which I freely say is also one of the causes of my bipolar disorder) has him going from one psychiatrist to another, and him disliking men who put too much weight in their own maleness (like my macho father who still likes to say fag and is afraid that his oldest blood-son might be gay).
The first hour would be them shooting the shit, the fake stuff like how the first hour at home would be.
Another hour would have my brother grappling with whether or not to bring up all his troubles and get closure, but he knows as well as I that that could just end up making things worse. Papa couldn’t take a lick of criticism and will resort to blows to keep them from touching his ears. Would it be worth it anyway? How long would the elevators be out? The radio would be out, so no one will find out too soon that some people who kind of hated each other were stuck. Their phones are out of juice.
Third hour, and brother says now or never: “You know… I haven’t forgiven you.” He decides to just jump to it, before it is all a waste.
“About me hitting you?”
Brother probably would wince at Father’s self-satisfying euphemism. “Yea?”
“Why would you bring up that now? Why are you still mad?”
And Brother would get into a rage, but he’ll remember the scars on Papa’s stomach. It wouldn’t be fair, and it wouldn’t be kind, and it wasn’t what he wanted.
“I haven’t gotten closure,” Brother would quote me.
Father has little ability for empathy and thinking ahead for others’ feelings. It wasn’t his concern unless how it wasn’t his concern becomes called to attention, where his pity party would start- “How come it is always my fault?”
This time he says, “Closure?” He probably doesn’t understand that completely and doesn’t care to. “I said I was sorry.”
Brother closes off, wishing for a working phone to distract him, but that doesn’t come. He stays quiet until the fourth hour where he brings it up again, because Dad is perfectly okay with leaving that as is.
Brother talks about how the keloids have made him unsure with himself, made him ugly. Dad would probably be surprised (as was I) for Brother was the best-looking, probably out of the whole family, including aunts, cousins, and uncles, and no amount of scarring would change that.
Dad would say something stupid: “That’s your own fault that you lost your confidence. No one said you were ugly, now did they?”
“They didn’t have to! Do you fucking know how embarrassing these scars are, all over my face?”
“Well, I have scars on my stomach and they hurt-”
Brother would explode. “YOU’RE ALREADY FUCKING MARRIED AND HAVE LIVED YOUR LIFE! NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR FUCKING SCARS!” He calms. “And they’re hidden from the world. I can’t hide this!” He points with a hand Papa can’t see.
Dad does a shrug Brother can’t see. “If you don’t care about my scars, why should I care about yours?” He’s defensive and idiotic and on his way to throwing ‘bows.
Brother notices this and says he will go to sleep. He doesn’t bother to ask Pop to wake him when help arrives. He wouldn’t want to owe a favor.
They both sleep until the seventh hour, brother emotionally drained, Papa just tired.
Seventh hour has them hungry, and they are both tremendous jackasses when hungry. Add that to half-tired and uncomfortable?
Dad says something stupid again; he can’t help it: “You should really get over it. No one’s all upset except you.”
“I’m the only one who deserves to be upset.” Brother holds his head as a headache comes on, and suddenly he remembers that he just missed his dose of Pristiq.
“You know, if you would get your head out of your ass, you could remember that I had to go to jail and go through six months of counseling! That wasn’t easy! And I couldn’t work as much so that meant less money for the family, including [my name].”
Father is deflecting the blame, and it is driving brother insane.
“So, it’s not all about me. It’s a lot of your fault, too, so stop being a damn baby and grow up.”
“Like you? Fucking asshole. I hear from [my name] that you’re still a jerk. You haven’t learned anything, but now you don’t have anyone’s jaw to break because no one wants to talk to you like an adult.”
“Don’t nobody have a problem with me.”
“You’re a liar. Everyone does. Including Mama.”
“You leave your mom out of this.”
“You fucking leave [my name] out of this! You always bring her up to get to me because you’re a bad father like that, fucking pitting us against each other since we were kids!”
“Why don’t you just get over that shit!’
They are both standing now, screaming. Someone realizes they are in the elevator and call the fire department. Who knows how long they’ve been in there when all electricity went out and now probably scrambling to get the door open?
Instead, they were fighting. Dad is still stronger, though brother has been working out like a fiend. Brother doesn’t really want to hurt Dad, even now. Dad doesn’t care. Within minutes he is choking my brother against the elevator wall just as he did that night on the staircase four years ago. He begins to punch, and without anyone to take him off, he breaks bones in Brother’s cheek. Brother begins to kick and punch Papa’s stomach, desperate not to have his jaw broken again. This causes Papa to punch my brother’s lights out and have him unconscious until the firefighters get the door open.
And that would be the ultimate fate of them, I feel.
I don’t know any people who hate each other but I know two kinds of people who do. An atheist and a Christian are stuck in an elevator together for 12 hours.
“I hope God will help us,” Christian mumbled.
Oh, no, I bet he’s going to pray and all that crap, Atheist thought. “Well, I hope we both get out of here,” said Atheist.
So they waited for six hours. Christian was reading his Bible and Atheist was on his Nook.
There was a big tremor and Christian dropped his Bible. Atheist picked it up and gave it back to him.
I bet he wanted to rip this book apart, Christian thought.
Six more hours, and the elevator started moving.
“Thank God,” they both said.
As they got off, Atheist left his Nook, and Christian hurried to get it before the door closed. Atheist said thank you, and Christian said, “God bless you, and have a nice day.”
Atheist said, “You, too.”
~~~~~(Where’s the hatred?! Nevermind- they were thinking it but weren’t saying it to each other, sis explains. Lovely!)
Prompt #25: Something you lost
I lose things on a daily basis and I can’t remember more than two errands when going into a different room (I’ll immediately forget the errand that I didn’t do first).
I lose things that I really don’t mind losing, most of the time. But I’ve lost my best friend’s present to me for a summer present. She had gone to Disney World and found a bookmark made in Japan. It was gold in color and and had some Japanese art and writing on it and was gorgeous. I lost it in one of the many books you see in my background. I really hope I find it.
Sister’s response: (“I lost something once…My identity”-Spongebob)
I remember I lost one of my favorite stuffed animals, Penelope. I was very upset and I was crying every night, wishing she was next to me. I was about fourteen when it happened.