Prompt #8


I’m part of a local writers group and each week we write spontaneously for about 15 minutes on a prompt supplied by our fearless leader, Dave.  Here’s what I had to say about this picture one Saturday afternoon:

I was down at the Waffle Hut, a knockoff of the Waffle House, just yesterday.  I know…how could there be a knock of the Waffle House, when it is itself a knockoff of the International House of Pancakes?  Won’t a waffle wormhole open up at some point?  And the answer is yes.  The Waffle Hut people are talking about a creating down scale version of their fine establishment, whose claim to fame already is unlimited ketchup with your hash browns, which are, themselves, partly made of ketchup.  Sloppy and red and moist, their hash browns already bring to mind liquefied roadkill, so a down market version is not going to be pretty on the face of it.  But, yes…the real problem is the impending waffle wormhole.  They wouldn’t listen to me.  My studies, self-funded so you know they aren’t biased, indicate that this may be how we all arrive at the end of the world.

You may be wondering what a breakfast food-fueled singularity looks like, and I’d love to give you the doughy, crispy specifics.  Knowing what to look for won’t help, but you’ll at least know I was right, and won’t it be comforting to know that?  I think it will be. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

  1. About a week from the annihilation of all of life, the skies will start to darken.  This is because a slowly rising and yeasty substance created through the worm hole will slowly blot out more and more of the light sources.  Say good bye to your favorite constellations and hello to an infinity of carbs.
  2. The day before the end, you’ll feel kind of greasy and won’t be able to wash it off. It’s the bacon sweats, just coming from the outside in.
  3. At the last minute, in the now-entirely darkened sky, you’ll see a blaze of light and it will spell out “Waffle Shed”, the name of the knock off the Waffle Hut people are creating.

The end.  Of everything.

Prompt #7


I’m part of a local writers group and each week we write spontaneously for about 15 minutes on a prompt supplied by our fearless leader, Dave.  Here’s what I had to say about this picture one Saturday afternoon:

The clouds were hanging low on that night. Our hands, reaching up, almost touched the tendrils of misty promise as we each stretched to our fullest height.  Each of us was so full of gratitude that our bodies automatically took on the largest dimensions they could, just to provide space to the feelings coursing though.  All except for Eric.  He had fallen to his knees.  A sensitive young man, he was beyond trying to cope with the relief we all felt and simply gave in.  It took him down to the ground, instinctively he put more of himself on the solid land we’d never expected to see or feel again, and it held him up, absorbed his tears, and it seemed to me out of the corner of my eye, whispered something to him.

The journey home after being taken from our homeland had been deadly.  We’d all lost someone to starvation or disease.  It took many years for new crops to take, new homes and barns to rise, old faiths to rekindle.  Nearly 20 years after the night of supreme thankfulness, I asked Eric a tentative question: do you remember anything about that night?  Do you remember the moon, the clouds and close they were?  He looked at me, and then at the hard packed soil which made the floor of my little house.  Yes, he said, kneeling down to place his hand on the ground.  I remember something  I was told, a secret my heart could hear from the very earth.  Quietly, I asked what he’d heard.  He smiled at me, keeping one hand on the ground, and motioned for me to bend down.  Placing his other hand on my heart, he smiled again.  Then I heard it, too.

Prompt #6

Image result for band in ocean at sunset

I am part of a local writer’s group and each week we write for about 15 minutes on a prompt provided by our fearless leader, Dave.  This isn’t actually the right picture.  I wound up giving that picture to a stranger in the airport as a good luck token; I was flying home but she was flying to Charleston to meet some friends for a week at the beach.  In the original prompt, the sunset scene included several people raising wine glasses and someone playing the drums, all of them out in the ocean enough to have wet feet.  So here’s what I had to say about that one Saturday afternoon:

Eight friends and I pooled our funds and bought an old sailboat.  We decided that getting formal training was a waste of money; we’d learn by doing and spend the extra money we saved on more duct tape.  Just as good as training, right?  It would cover up whatever holes we tore due to inexperience…holes in hulls, sails, clothes, relationships…duct tape should cover it.  It did not.  It did not cover any of these.  Even clothing can be shredded on rocky shores to the point of being irretrievable.

When we crashed during a mild storm in the Bahamas, we were close enough to a sand bar to keep from drowning.  The few things that floated along with us included a couple bottles of wine, and inexplicably, a snare drum, which bobbed with a cheerfulness that seemed bizarre in the circumstances.  The seas quieted over the course of the afternoon, eventually leaving all of us calf deep in the warm water and staring at each other with disbelief.  The two married couples who’d come along had closed ranks, now glaring at the rest of us as if seeing these single vagabonds for the first time, only now realizing that we must’ve put some kind of spell on them to lure them out into our stupid, irresponsible adventure.  Duct tape would not be enough to bind us back together.

As the sun began to set, someone suggested an ironic toast to the trip, the now ruined friendships, the complete failure we’d populated together.  Here’s to entropy, to the shipwreck of life, the mysterious impulse to crash, and to whatever comes afterward.  Only time will tell if shadow or wisdom, or both, has marooned us on this sandbar today, or in life more generally.