Sometime last year, when I wrote yet another part to a story inspired by the BlogBattle (BB) prompt, I got to thinking.
“What if, in response to those prompts, I was to write 12 CW pieces that, when combined, would create a single story?”
This is not an original idea. Some of the other participants did that last year. Admittedly, I do not know whether they were happy with their choices or if they regretted them, but that is a risk I am willing to take. Last year I did not participate in all of the prompts, which I plan to change this year. Of course, plenty of things can happen in the meantime, but I shall try. With the goal being: 12 prompts, 12 chapters, 1 story, it serves as great motivator.
To sum it up, the idea is to write one chapter every month (the first half of the month, to be precise), and pray that they all create a cohesive storyline by the end of the year. I invite you to join me on this journey! Who knows, maybe we will have some sort of a contest by the end of the year with prizes and stuff. If you want to join my challenge, you can always wait for me to post my response and the monthly prompt, or follow the prompts live directly at BBPrompts.
On a Spring Saturday morning, Laura sat at her desk, gazing out the window into the garden. The apple tree branches swayed gently to the rhythm of a light breeze. Even though the sun was shining and the sky was blue, there was still a hint of winter in the cool April air. It danced through the cracked open window and around Laura as if casting a spell on her.
She didn’t feel the chill, and her stare was blank. Although to an outside observer it appeared as if she was staring at something right in front of her, the truth was that her mind was focused on something totally different, miles and miles away from her backyard.
A sudden gust of wind smacked the window shut, snapping Laura back to reality. Jumping up in her seat, she quickly turned around in her office chair to see if there was someone standing in the doorway.
There was no one at the entrance to the room, and the house was silent.
“How much time had passed?” Laura glanced at the clock. 2.14 P.M. “Could he be back already?” she pondered, her heart beating faster. “Or am I about to get murdered?” ran through Laura’s mind, who inched towards the exit of the room.
“False alarm,” Laura exhaled after finding nothing out of the ordinary in the other rooms of the house.
Having returned to her room, with relief, Laura realized that the previously open window was now closed and that the loud noise that scared her just a moment ago was no omen of impending doom. She laughed at her jumpiness, secured the window shut, and looked down at her desk. A blank sheet of paper lay in front of her. It was copy paper, devoid of any stationery-like design or even lines, which made it look more serious. The occasion called for serious.
During the week, as Laura browsed through her writing supplies, she found all sorts of loose pieces of paper – ruled, dotted, with balloons, dogs, cats, flowers, and more. She told Roy she had been trying to get organized before embarking on a journey of writing her next book. Laura scoffed at those who scribbled their ideas on paper napkins. After all, every writer knows how the pages you write on have to be as perfect as the words you write on them.
Roy was in his late 30s, four years older than Laura. They met at a company Christmas party six years ago and had been together ever since. Roy was out of the house, as per usual, on a Saturday.
“I hope you have a fruitful day, Darling,” he said, kissing her ‘Goodbye’ before leaving that day.
He thought she would be writing the first chapters of her new book. What he did not know was that she had planned on writing the last one, instead.
“I can’t just leave without saying anything. He deserves an explanation,” Laura thought to herself as she put pen to paper. “THEY deserve an explanation,” she corrected herself as she leaned back in her chair.
The moment the pen touched the sheet, a black dot appeared on an otherwise unblemished parchment. Laura stared at it for a moment before convicting it of being imperfect and then sentencing it to death by crumpling. She formed a ball and tossed it into the bin underneath the desk. The imperfect page bounced off of the rim and landed on the floor, next to a few other paper balls. Laura sighed, wondering if she should have used the stationery with colorful balloons around its edges after all. Then, the pressure for absolute perfection might have been less crippling.
Roy returned home around 4 P.M., just in time to prepare dinner.
“Honey, I’m home,” he shouted the moment he entered the house. Laura looked at the scribbles in front of her. The sentences were erratic, crossed out words and doodles of nothingness adorned the page. Having made no real progress, Laura was furious with herself. But there was no time to cry over spilled milk. It was time to put on a smile and greet your husband. She grabbed the piece of paper she had been working on an entire day, and shoved it in one of the desk drawers, underneath a notebook.
“So, how did it go?” Roy asked the moment Laura entered the kitchen. He was unloading the groceries from a paper bag.
“Let’s not talk about it,” Laura shook her head and then opened the fridge. “Here, hand them over,” she said, motioning at the milk, eggs, and yogurt that sat on the kitchen counter.
“Was it the writer’s block? It’s alright. I’m sure that next time you will write that much more.” Roy put the pantry items away and then neatly folded the paper bag.
“Uhum. I’m sure you’re right.”
“Write a story inspired by the word ‘blank.'”
– prompt used for this CW piece.
P.S. As always, you are more than welcome to use this prompt to inspire your post. If you decide to write something, be sure to pingback to this post so that I can get an alert and check out your piece. (A post on how to do pingbacks can be found here.) If pingbacks are not your thing, feel free to simply leave a link to your piece in the comment section below. The more, the merrier!
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