#5 Father and Son – Writing Prompt

#5 Father and Son

/u/hamlet_d submitted the writing prompt:
A time machine. Your Father. Wise words.

—————
“I’ll miss you.”

“I know you will. I’ll miss you, too.”

“You have a long, happy life. You get a job, have a wife, have kids, get a house, have a dog, go on holidays, see the world, read well, grow old.”

“Thank you.” I leaned in and shook his hand.

“Now you have a great, eventful youth. You get a girlfriend, go skateboarding, stay up late, go to parties, go to bars, have loads of sex, smoke cigarettes, do it all. You’ve got a fresh start. Avoid La Ramblas and it won’t happen again. Take your life back.”

He smiled for the first time in twenty years.

“Thank you. Thank you, son.”

I shut the panel to the machine. His face a perfect portrait in the round window on the door. I entered the date and off he went, waving as the machine slowly vanished. Just like that.

That night, I took his wheelchairs and crutches and drowned them in the lake.

Advertisements

#6 Man Versus Book

#6 Man Versus Book

/u/MagicofFriendship submitted the writing prompt:
Write a story about your greatest fear and how you eventually overcome it.

—————
“How do we do it?”

“How do we do it? Honey, you don’t have to do anything.” She was ready. Slippers on, cup of tea brewing by her side and a smile I hadn’t seen in a longtime. My hands were shaking. She noticed and placed her hand on mine. “You’ve still got your shoes on! Take them off, you can’t do it properly if your shoes aren’t off.”

With my shoes off, nestled beside the arm chair I sat in, I felt like I couldn’t escape. It wasn’t when I got into my loungewear, it wasn’t when she told me I couldn’t have my phone, it was then – making a quick escape and running back to The Mill in my socks was impossible, because it was fucking freezing outside.

“What have you got?” I asked.

“I’m about half way through. Here.” She handed me the book. I heard my phone ringing on the kitchen counter next door. She could tell I wanted to answer it, perhaps my hands were shaking even more, perhaps I began to sweat or perhaps she knew it was Alfie asking where I was. She held my gaze with reassuring confidence. “Read the back.”

I remember struggling to read it. I don’t have a problem with reading or anything, I’m not stupid, but it definitely felt odd holding something in my hand I couldn’t drink. It was about an old man fishing in a big lake. It said something about wrestling with a fish, man versus nature, that’s all I remember. I handed it back to her.

“Is it good?”

“It’s great. Here’s yours. I spent a lot of time trying to pick one you’d like. You said you wanted something funny. It’s not too complicated either. Here you go.”

“How do you know I’ll like it?”

“I found a line you could read. It’ll make you laugh. Then you’ll know.”

I opened the book to the dog flapped page. There was a sticky yellow tab pointing to a highlighted line.

In the beginning the Universe was created.

I couldn’t believe it. I remember thinking – what the fuck is this? She had tricked me into it, into this night in. I wasn’t at the The Mill. I wasn’t with Alfie, Ron, Toby, Ben, I wasn’t on the fruity, I wasn’t watching the football, I wasn’t enjoying the finest bitters, I wasn’t sharing jokes with Shelley at the bar, I wasn’t chasing spots or stripes or the big 180, I wasn’t where I should be, where I wanted to be. I was at home, at fucking home on a Friday night, and I had a fucking book in my hand and it sounded like it was fucking religious or something. It was 8 o’ clock and I was getting converted by my wife and some Douggy Adams bloke.

I sighed. I went to hand it back to her – I couldn’t do it.

She still held her smile and she read me so well. “Read the rest of the line.”

This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.

I’ll admit – that book gave me the biggest laughs and that girl of mine changed my life.

#5 Father and Son

#5 Father and Son

/u/hamlet_d submitted the writing prompt:
A time machine. Your Father. Wise words.

—————
“I’ll miss you.”

“I know you will. I’ll miss you, too.”

“You have a long, happy life. You get a job, have a wife, have kids, get a house, have a dog, go on holidays, see the world, read well, grow old.”

“Thank you.” I leaned in and shook his hand.

“Now you have a great, eventful youth. You get a girlfriend, go skateboarding, stay up late, go to parties, go to bars, have loads of sex, smoke cigarettes, do it all. You’ve got a fresh start. Avoid La Ramblas and it won’t happen again. Take your life back.”

He smiled for the first time in twenty years.

“Thank you. Thank you, son.”

I shut the panel to the machine. His face a perfect portrait in the round window on the door. I entered the date and off he went, waving as the machine slowly vanished. Just like that.

That night, I took his wheelchairs and crutches and drowned them in the lake.

#4 Paint

#4 Paint

/u/Sakmitshu submitted the following image prompt.

dd vv

—————

I didn’t know what to say at first. I was speechless, those guilty, colourful footsteps that lined the hallway. Gave the kid a yelling, that’s one thing I did. Sent her up to her room with no dinner. Mum would have felt bad so she would have slid a chocolate bar under the door. But I was never going to give in. Not to this.

Now, my Imogen. She’s got one hell of a memory. She remembers songs after hearing them once, she memorised the periodic table backwards just because she could and she learnt Lucky’s monologue from Waiting for Godot in a couple of hours because ‘she felt like it.’ Now, I read that card number outonce when I was on the phone to her grandfather – buying bog roll over the internet and he can’t read it – and she remembered it. I said it once and she had it printed in her head. Smart kid. Now, she’s never been into art or music or kind of expression stuff but she’s special in that she’s always been academically smart. We funded loads of courses for her, extra-curricular stuff, and those weekend classes, she’s breezing through them. And she loves it. She’s got a brain that’s going to get her the best life.

But when I spend this time and money on my kid – my only kid – who gets 100% of the attention and help, and she robs me, I’m obviously not going to be happy. She robs me. She did it without me knowing, takes my card and withdraws the money, then she leaves the house before I wake up, she spends it all and comes back covered in fucking paint.

I never thought to ask, though. I assumed she was mucking about somewhere. That’s why I got so angry. But it never hit me. I didn’t think – what kind of kid steals money to buy paint? And come back covered in the evidence? I thought she was on a wild spur, perhaps even drunk, not uncommon when she’s with her Valley girls, but I should have asked before getting so angry.

So I tried to settle it.

Gave her a big hug, you know. A proper long one. Tried to stop her crying but she’s an emotional girl, sometimes. She’s got a real soft spot. Every Sunday she goes to Mum’s grave and decorates it with flowers. Spends hours giving it life in flowers. “Colour for the dead,” she says. I think she got that from a poem. Eventually, I stopped her crying and said I was sorry. I asked her to tell me why she had done it and I promised I wouldn’t get mad.

Took her a moment to get the sentence out but she said she wanted to change the world.

I hate to swear in front of my kids but I laughed and said “With fucking paint?” She laughed too, she knew I’d be confused. So she took my hand and we left the house, walked down to the harbour.

She takes me to the water and there on the bank are empty paint buckets. She’s poured the paint into the water. Blue, pink, green, red, she’s gone mental with it. I’m confused. Of course I am! I’m thinking she’s trying to kill the fish or something! She can tell by my face that I’m confused and she says this:

“The water was dark.”

Then, I have to ask. Still confused, you know. I speak my mind.

“Are you trying to kill the fish?”

And she replies.

“There are no fish.”

Of course there aren’t. Not with Port Talbot coughing its lungs into the water, not with those fumes that suffocate the surface of Swansea bay. Nothing left anymore. Only thing I know is that my kid has got this artistic side to her I never knew and her expression is being swallowed by the muck in the sea.

And then I remember.

Colour for the dead.

#3 Mars

I wrote this writing prompt a while ago. It’s by no means up to the standards of the other creative writers but I had a little idea and wanted to get it down. It’s very much a fresh perspective on a great prompt.

#3 Mars

/u/kevinbobevin submitted the writing prompt:
Write us a section from the critically acclaimed, historical non-fiction book entitled ‘The Tragedy of The Red Planet: a History of Mars Colonization’

—————
Below is the transcript recorded between the two navigation pilots of the Crimson Shuttle III. It is the last recordings we have that began the fall of the Mars civilisation.


“Range 250 metres. Closing in…”

“Todd?”

“Yes, Captain?”

“Engage thrusters, mark 3. Let’s make this an easy landing.”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 28%

“Landing site not yet in view, sir.

“What? Bring up the co-ordinates.”

“Co-ordinates on display.”

“531 – 8008? That can’t be right.”

“That’s what’s on the log, sir.”

“Increasing thrusters, mark 4. We can’t use those. For all we know we’re hundreds of miles from the base. We’ve got one tank of fuel. Increasing thrusters, mark 6.”

“That’s what’s written down.”

“It’s bloody wrong! We’re running out of fuel.”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 23%

“Just land, it has to be right. Billy triple checked them.”

“You got Billy to prepare these? You know that kid can’t be trusted. Billy is a punk. Find me the real co-ordinates!”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 15%

“That’s all I have, sir.”

“Don’t you bloody understand the importance of this ship? We’re carrying the embryos. We’re carrying the life. We are the ignition. The fate of the human race in is our hands. Don’t give me that shit – find me those fucking coordinates!”

CPU: Fuel Capacity – 10%. Critical. Thrusters failing

“Oh, Christ. Captain.”

“What? What is it?”

“Is it April 1st?”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“We’ve been pranked. Look at the co-ordinate number backwards.”

#2 Solar

#2 Solar – Another writing prompt response from Nesbit.

/u/CrimsonChin11 submitted the writing prompt:
Sometime in the near future our technology becomes solely dependent on Solar Energy. Tell us about the day the Sun went black.

—————
Didn’t know what had happened. When it went out, we had no idea. Everyone has their stories of thinking they went blind and thinking their eyeballs had fallen out, some people driving their cars off cliffs and that. Not us, though.

Had a lock-in down in The White Hart. Barkeep lit some candles, made it all nice and cosy and we drank ourselves through the night. Now, the barkeep – that’s Billy, that is – has a funny thing with clocks so he took ’em all out the pub. Doesn’t like ’em because he thinks you serve customers until they’re done, not until his shift ends. Anyway, because of that, of course, no one inside knows what time it is.

After about 8 hours of drinking and pissing and the pool table got boring, we all decide it’s the morning. We stumble out and it’s pitch black, just a bit of light from the candles inside. Being pissed and all, none of us can see anyway.

But, you know, no one thought ‘Oh shit! The suns bloody gone out!’

We said ‘Nah, not morning yet, let’s carry on drinking.’

#1 Vibrations

#1 Vibrations – Writing Prompts from Reddit.

/u/Beed28 submitted the writing prompt:
Long, continuous vibrations are being felt all over the world. As the days pass, they worsen. “

—————
“First time I noticed, old Tom handed me a pint and it shook in his hand. Thought the poor lad had Parkinson’s or something! But it happened again. Round about every Sunday when I was in the pub. More or less every time, I’d be taking a sip and I’d spill it everywhere.”

“The wife complains to me nearly every night now. They keep happening. That spice rack – the one I built for her for Christmas? – stupid thing just spills them out onto the counter. Fourteen jars smashed now so I’ve had to put a bar across it. It looks ugly now. Kitchen’s a mess, we can’t keep books on the shelves. Piles of them on the floor. And the telly stopped working. Now I have to read. Christ.”

“Can’t sleep anymore. Far worse than before, you know, daily. It’s daily and it’s nightly and it’s awful.”

“Still, when me and the wife have sex, she fuckin’ loves it.”