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Prompt One

Monday November 2, 2009

Scan your surroundings quickly and list the first three items that catch your eye; they might be the dining room table, the giant oak outside the window, and the discarded tennis shoes by the back door. Write a story incorporating those three items.

A fan, A flannel shirt and a lunch bag.

The day was blistering.  That pathetic little fan might not even have existed.  She could barely feel a breeze.  In fact, she was pretty sure she didn’t feel a breeze at all.  That’s what you get for buying a battery operated fan; dead batteries.  You get what you pay for.  That’s what her Dad had always told her.  The voice, his voice, always present in her mind.  She pushed her hair back, fighting the heat and the sound of that voice.  She needed to focus.  To concentrate.  She didn’t need old voices.  Not now.  What she needed was something new.  Something to get  her out of this stuffy room, this stuffy life.  Her disinterest was sucking all of the air out of the room.  Taking up all of the space.  Growing larger and larger all the time.

Her flannel shirt stuck damply to her sides as she stretched, loosening the hold of all of these thoughts.  Hoping that her mind might take a cue from her body.  It could work.  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Stacks of student work leered from the edges of her desk.  How she had gotten herself into a place where paper could be menacing, she didn’t know.   It hadn’t started like this.  She was sure of that.  There had been a time when student work had practically called to her.  I wonder what they have to say?  I wonder they thought about the article? Now, she just didn’t care.  Didn’t even want to know.  They might as well be talking to themselves for all the interest she had in  them.  These days, the sight of her lunch bag was about the only thing that brought joy to the work day.  At least food could distract her.  For the fifteen minutes that the sandwich held out she didn’t have to feel the not-rightness.  Even the air felt clearer; less clingy somehow.

The clock outside chimed noon.  Finally it was time.  Lunch.

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