I decided to try some more writing prompts. Here is the master list (there are 180 prompts) by @.writingprompts on Tumblr: http://writingprompts.tumblr.com/post/32343377489/the-180-prompts-i-actually-use
Here are my responses (note that these numbers do not match up with the order in the link above. I skipped several):
1. If you were forced to spend the rest of your life as either a deck hand on a ship or as a librarian at a prestigious university, which would you choose and why?
- I would choose the role of a deck hand on a ship over a librarian. I’m usually the quiet type that dislikes change, so this decision is unusual for me. I know that being a deck hand is cray and action-packed–preparing for storms, controlling the ropes, etc. However, I think it would be enriching. A change of character (living a more adventurous lifestyle) would benefit me greatly. Also, I love the outdoors. As much as I love books, what benefit is there doing the same predictable task daily?
2. A houseplant is dying. Tell it why it needs to live.
- Hey! No, don’t say that about yourself. You are lovely, and how your leaves droop says nothing about your character. I know the sun hasn’t shone on you. I know you cry for water. Your roots yearn for nourishment, but the earth neglects you. I’m sure it is awful. But don’t you know that you benefit this world? Don’t give up so quickly, you beautiful bundle of leaves and petals! You help the world breathe. You make the world a better place. Even though you are growing slowly and your leaves darken, your spirit remains. You and other plants guard the fruit and seeds in the dirt during storms and wind. Don’t let this destroy your soul. I know you can hold on. You can find it in you to hope for revitalization. You can find it in you to push your veins to provide life for a bit longer. I love you, and you are a wonderful plant!
3. If you were an item in the kitchen, what would you be and why?
- If I were an item in the kitchen, I would be a cup. I present this in a negative way, but it has more meaning than that. People drink out of cups until they are empty, sometimes refill them, and throw them into the sink or a dishwashing system. That kind of describes how I am socially–used up and needed, but thrown to the side until someone else uses me again. Friends need me for various reasons, ranging from emotional support or simple favors, and I almost always try to help. But as soon as they’re done with me, I’m put to the side. It’s a rather vicious cycle.
4. “He tied his boat off and started to climb the cliffs. He knew that no one had lied to tell what was behind the cloud, but he still climbed.” Finish the story
He moved one foot slowly in front of the other, relying on mere instinct to know where to put them. Although he felt as if he could fall to the depths below any second, the shimmering sky urged him forward. Come, and be that man. Be the man who lived, it coaxed. It seemed as if he was stepping into his fate. Not simply that he lived or died, but that he would either persevere or give up. “Giving up,” he told himself, “is not an option.”
Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.
Oh, it was deafening! The beautiful golden shimmer quickly dissolved into ambivalent bleakness. Fog lined the sky. And, of course, that noise. He reached his thin arm out and felt nothing. He pressed his body forward, but felt nothing. Somehow he stood, yet nothing concrete was there. “Am I alive?” he yelled. “I can’t feel. I can’t go farther. Is this hopeless?”
Ding. Ding. Ding. Ding.
Make it stop!
Where was he now? And what was the sound beckoning him forward? It sounded like the shrill warning before a train came by–perhaps he would die here. The screeching locomotive would crush his body to pieces and go back to its twisted home in the sky.
He closed his eyes, merely standing on nothingness. The world was silent just for a moment. Even the wretched noise stopped. He took a gasp of air and opened his eyes. The gray landscape looked like a dream. At the end of this nightmare, perhaps he would reach the dream. Calmness flowed through his body.
Faint. Ever-so-soft. It matched his footsteps. He climbed, farther and farther, reaching for the hope of an end. His legs grew heavy, and he almost fell forward. Now that he had gone past insanity, his body was going through its own form of torture. “Why am I still walking?” he wondered. “I will die.”
His heart leaped as he touched a knob: a smooth, glistening knob. He had felt something. He knew that it was real; it shone out of himself and felt just like the one he had outside of his door. Confused yet triumphant, he stumbled forward. One last ding sounded as it opened, and–
The fall surprised him. He opened his mouth to scream, yet no sound escaped him. He felt his body retreat. Either he would die or live, and he was going to die. Just like everyone else. “Why did I open the door? he angrily pondered, clawing for the feeling of familiarity, of victory. The stupid climb was for nothing!
The landing was softer than he had expected: he landed with a dull thump. The world around him paused. He felt at peace. This was so much better than the insanity of the clouds. A flicker of light shone into his eyes. Frustrated, he kicked the air. To his surprise, he kicked something moving toward him. Unable to resist the anticipation of what was there, he opened his eyes. He was alive!
“I need an IV, stat,” a female voice spoke. “We need to get him to the hospital now.”
“What?” the man asked. “What happened to me?”
“You had a huge fall. I have no idea how it happened, but the crash literally shook your house and frightened your neighbor, who called emergency services.”
He breathed a sigh of relief. As the woman lifted his body into a stretcher and into the ambulance, he couldn’t stop wondering–was his experience real? Or was it a delusion from his fall? A moment between life and death? He was clueless.
To this day, the man wonders why he took that step past the clouds, that step to death or life. He realized, afar searching his brain for memories, that maybe we all need an extra step to climb; an extra story to tell. Maybe we all need stories that make our heads shake in disbelief. Because, without indecision, without fantasy, where would the imagination be?