Monday, February 17, 2014


Prompt #10: "Write a scene where the only spoken dialogue is 'Uh-huh,' 'Umm,' 'Urrrr,' and 'Mm-mmm.'

All I could was sit there and be amazed by his self-proclaimed talent. It was undeniably good, the way he could say nothing and convey so much. I wondered if the person on the other end of the line would ever catch on to the game he was playing.

"Uh-huh." He said it with a long hesitation in the middle preceding a quick upper inflection followed by a drastic fall. It gave the impression of a man who was trying to understand, but didn't quite catch it.

There were a few seconds that I could hear the other voice mumbling from his cell.

"Uh-huh!" This time with a cadence of agreement, followed by a withheld laugh as if he was pretending to be in the company of others who would look down on the joke that he was subtly trying to insinuate, "Mm-mmm"

I almost laughed myself, but he held a finger up to his mouth, which smirked widely as he silently twitched his neck during his own mental laughter. The phone delivered more of the caller's messages, and his face contorted to show his disagreement with what they were saying, but he kept his response as pithy as ever.

"Urrrr," Not disagreeing, but trying to make the caller come up with different options, without doing anything other than passively denying them the original.

This was followed by a quick exchange of slurred noises from the phone and him rapidly repeating 'Uh-huh' after everything they said. At the end, he gave a dismissive yet energetic 'Uh-huh!'

He was right, and I had lost the bet. I slid the five bucks across the table, and asked him if he did that very often to different people.


Friday, February 14, 2014

Here, hold this.

Prompt  #9: "What a character holding a blue object is thinking."

It's no big deal, it's just a quick favor. Don't be weird about it. Is there a way I can hold this and not be weird about it? Should I hold it out like this? No, that looks like I'm trying to hand it to someone. Maybe just down by my side. No, now it looks like it's mine. I look way too comfortable with it. Not that I'm not comfortable with it. I just don't want to seem too comfortable with it. I know: elbow at my side and hold it away from myself slightly. Wait no, that's even weirder, now I look like posing for something. Oh, I can just put it at my feet. I don't have to actually hold it, after all. Wait, no they'll think that's a little rude. I mean, it is a little rude, I guess. But still, how long am i meant to hold it? It's getting a little heavy. What do they even have in here? Am I allowed to look? No, probably not. That's invasive. But, then again, they did give it to me. I am it's primary caretaker. How am I supposed to take care of something I know so little about? I could probably shake it a bit and get a good guess going. Yeah, just one little shake. I'll just yank the handle and give it a listen. Huh... sounded like a bunch of metal and plastic. I'm actually pretty bad at this "shake-and-guess" game, as I recall from every christmas ever. Plus, they just looked over to see if I dropped it. Just wave and smile, everything is fine. Hurry up, though. I wont say it out loud, but I think my eyes said it because they rolled theirs at me. Why even bring this if you aren't going to hold it for the majority of the time? Oh, here they come. I'll just smirk and hold this out. Maybe I'll make a funny joke asking if this goes with my shoes. Perfect delivery. They think I'm hilarious. Here are your belongings, madame.

What an idiot.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Prompt #8: "The Long-Lost Roommate"

To the outside observer, it's a simple gesture. Truth is, there's a deeper hidden meaning behind the subtle nodding salutation that they give each other as they pass. It's not bromance, they aren't blood brothers, or even part of a wolf pack. No, those two gentlemen were roommates once. 

Whether it was for years, for months, or even for a few days. They shared a space commonly not much larger than a hotel room. At the beginning they upheld a sense of normalcy for each other. It was a kindness, it was polite. They used headphones when listening to music or watching movies. They kept their laundry as out of the way as possible. The beginning was a tense peace. Both held back their oddities, hoping that the other would soon show some sign of abnormality so they could breath easy, letting their metaphorical gut of uniqueness hang out.

Soon, it happened. Maybe one of them accidentally left the headphones out and their computer began playing 'My Heart Will Go On' on full volume, and they frantically muted it as the other gave them a look showing they were unsure what to think. Maybe one of them walked in as the other was just finishing getting undressed for the shower. Perhaps it was as innocent as passively quoting an obscure film and having that reference unexpectedly recognized. No matter what it was, the flood gates had opened.

They were freer now, and it was both a blessing and a curse. It freed them to show the uniqueness of themselves. One started playing an instrument the other had no idea existed... or could get so loud. The other would start displaying some figurines they had collected from a nostalgic medium they loved as a child... and they took up quite a bit of room on the shared desk. They soon found freedom to passively and actively express themselves. The figurines would get shoved aside, and soon the other one would claim to know that he had no idea putting a wooden pan-flute by the humidifier would warp the pipes.

But there is an unspoken law among them. Certain things can be said in the outside world. They can say the other one snores horribly. They can say the other one keeps a trash pile around the trash can. But certain things would stay secret to them forever. Some so secret, in fact, that even they would be hard pressed to remember what exactly they had locked so deep in the vault.

It's been decades now, and they don't speak as often as they used to, and they most certainly don't see each other nearly as often. They might meet at a party, pull each other in for a quick one-armed hug and a pat on the back. They might meet in a formal setting, and give each other a firm shake of the hand. But these meetings are always punctuated with the specific seal. The nod. The nod that they will give, no matter what the circumstances. It follows each salutation, as well as stands on it's own should they merely pass on the street someday. 

The nod that says "I acknowledge." They acknowledge all that had happened. They acknowledge the time spent. They acknowledge their perseverance. They acknowledge each other as something close to, but somehow unlike friends. It is a deeper, and somehow darker connection. One that is mentioned in passing. "He was my roommate a while back". A few anecdotal stories are told perhaps, but nothing deeper. There are stories that can only be understood by those who made them, after all.

Besides no one wants to hear about how your buddy locked you out of the room in a towel like... eleven times in a week. Why are you in a towel that often anyway? That's almost twice a day, bro. And seriously, just take the keys with you. They have hooks in the showers. It ain't hard science.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

'Towed'-ally over the line.

Prompt #7 "Something that you've had stolen from you."

I don't think I've ever had something stolen from me. Not anything important, anyway, otherwise I think I would remember it. However, I do remember a time something was rightfully taken from me, but it is the closest I've come to feeling like I've been robbed.

A few years ago, I was visiting a good friend at his apartment in a town about an hour away from my home. I parked in the apartment's parking lot, as I had done at least once before, and went inside and played video/card games with him and his roommate for several hours. We decided to go out to eat along with getting some outdoor filming done, and when I was walking to their car, I noticed that mine... was missing.

For a few minutes they said that we should call the cops, and its odd my car got stolen because it wasn't a very bad neighborhood at all. Then, my friend realized that you had to have a permit to park in the lot. This was news to me, and I made it known to him that it would have been nice to know. He said it would have been. The sign that said it was a permit zone was both bent and partially obscured. We called the company and they were about thirty minutes away, and their hours of operation ended in two hours. However, they were closing early that day. I asked why. They said that they wanted to get off early. I said that they can't close early just because they want off when I have a car to pick up. They said it wasn't their problem. This angered me. In fact, I'm angry just thinking about it. What kind of horrible business plan is that? I mean, I know you aren't exactly shooting for return customers at a towing company, but come on, really?

Anyway, it cost me (read: my parents) a few hundred to get it back and it was one of the worst things that ever happened to me mostly because of the horrible service they gave, and how I now view all towing companies as horrible portals into another realm where being a complete tool is not only acceptable but encouraged.

... Anyway... that's a time something was 'stolen' from me.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


"It says: 'If you want your children to be safe, call 985-655-2500 now!'" Bryce let his eyes linger on the paper for a few moments before looking confusedly at Sarah.

Sarah stood with eyes wide open and mouth agape "It's a ransom note?!"

Bryce caught onto the fear quickly. Unsure of whether to keep holding the note or toss it to the ground, he spoke frantically. "I- I don't know! It's so neat!"

"It's neat? You think it's neat?"

"No, I mean... not neat like 'Oh, cool!' I mean it's... it's typed up."

Sarah hesitated for a moment trying to understand what Bryce meant, giving him a look that questioned his sanity. Bryce spoke up again in his own defense. "Y'know, like, usually these things are made of magazine clippings and all wrinkly."

"Wha- usually?! How many ransom notes do you see on a daily basis?"

"You know, like ones in movies."

"Bryce! This is real life! This is a real ransom note! Obviously they aren't going to be as flashy as Hollywood!"

"Well, they had enough time to place a little picture of a crying girl on here. And look, even the crime watch signal is in the corner. What kind of weirdo does that? Is it like... his signature?"

"Bryce! Focus! There's something very wrong about this. Don't you get it?"

"Well, I guess it's just weird that it was on our car, since we don't have... a kid..."

"Right! So obviously it was meant for someone else!"

"Oh. Oh. ... OH! And if they didn't put it on their car, they don't know what number to call!"

Sarah was more frantic than ever, now that her fears had been confirmed by Bryce reaching the same conclusion she had. "Oh no, oh no, oh no, ohno-ohno-ohno!"

"No, no, no, calm down I'll just put it on the car... next to us." His last words deflated as he took notice of the cars that took the two spaces on either side of them. "I knew I should have taken the space at the end instead of one over! Then we'd know for sure who's car it belonged to. But no, you said to park one over so someone else could take the spot, that way no kids would hit the car with baseballs."

"Don't you dare blame this on me, Bryce! Someone's child is in trouble! We have bigger problems! Look, this is easy, all we do is call the police and let them know." Sarah pulled out her phone and began unlocking it before Bryce ripped it out of her hand in a swift movement.

"No, Sarah! What are you thinking?! If you call the police, who knows what they'll do to the kid? Then it'll be all our fault that the kid gets hurt!"

Sarah breaths in sharply and clasps her hands over her mouth. "You're right! You're so right. I'm sorry!"

"It's fine, don't worry, no damage done. What I think our only option is... is calling the number on the note. We'll tell them they made a mistake, then... we'll be off the hook."

"What?! First of all, I can't believe you would just do that and walk away without actually trying to help. Second of all, how is that idea any better? People don't just randomly steal kids for ransom, they only do that for families they know have money. Then, they scout them and make sure they know the family routines. So if they've done that, they'll know the parent's voices! What if they think they hired us as private detectives and we end up just making them have to pay more in the end, and get ourselves in danger?"

"Wha? And you said I was thinking too 'Hollywood'? Well, if that's not a good idea, then what is? We have to do something! We can't just drop the note on the ground and walk away like we never saw anything! It's our duty as good citizens to alert some kind of authority, or make someone else aware of this!"

Their raised voices battled back and forth for about a minute before a young looking man in business casual dress came from behind the tree line holding a large stack of crumpled papers. While the fight disconcerted him, he didn't see any reason to get involved, and put one of the small papers under the windshield wiper of the car next to theirs. Sarah noticed this happening behind Bryce, and watched as the young man continued doing the same for each of the cars in the row aside from their's and the one car separating them from the edge. Sarah walked over to one of the cars and pulled the paper out, and saw it was the same paper that had been in theirs. She took the paper from the next car down as well, and this time the young man took notice. "Hey! What are you doing with those!"

Sarah, still filled with emotion, but now very confused, shouted at the man. "What are these?!"

He responded a bit fearfully, but trying to maintain a business-like composure. "Flyers. I'm... just putting them on cars to raise awareness."

Bryce cut into the conversation "Awareness for what?"

"A start-up alarm system business I just got hired at. I'm going around town putting flyers in cars."

Bryce looked at the paper from his own car, not seeing a business name. "What business? There's no name on here!"

The young man flipped a paper from his stack, and scanned over it as his face turned a bright shade of red. "Oh, no... Oh, man, I'm gonna get so chewed out! Today stinks, man. First this whole stack gets blown away and I spend like ten minutes picking it all up, then this? I'm gonna have to reprint all of these!" He then went and took each of the flyers he had already put in cars and put them back into his disheveled stack.

Bryce and Sarah stood in silence watching this happen until he took out a key and entered the car that was acting as the buffer between theirs and the edge of the lot, tossing the stack into the back of the car and all but peeling out of the parking lot with a face as red as a tomato. They watched the car disappear as their heart rates slowed to a steady pace again. They both glanced at the incomplete flyer in Bryce's hand, then at each other with expressions unsure of whether or not they were willing to admit to what just happened. 

Bryce slowly opened his mouth to speak, but not knowing what to say, just tightened his lips and shook his head as if to shake off the confusion and disbelief, instead unlocking their car, and letting Sarah in. He closed her door, then walked around to his side and stepped in as well, handing her the flyer as he started the car. He began driving to the coffee shop they had initially planned to visit after their walk, and after a moment of looking at the flyer, Sarah began laughing heartily at what had just transpired, and Bryce soon joined in with her. They enjoyed the rest of the day, knowing that day was not one they would soon forget.

Prompt #6: "Write a story that begins with a ransom note"

Friday, February 7, 2014

It's a Nice Day.

Prompt #5: "You are an Astronaut. Describe your perfect day."

My favorite day is... actually a little corny, I guess you could say. Most people would think it's the day you get chosen for the mission, or the day you landed on the moon, or even the days it takes to go to and from. Honestly, though, I think my perfect day would have to be the day we landed back on Earth.

I mean, there's definitely something amazing about launch day. All that training that goes into that moment makes the payoff a little sweeter, and you can just feel the power in the rocket lifting you into the air. It's not enough to prepare you for what's next, though. There's this... surreal feeling as you exit the atmosphere that's almost like... leaving reality. It's the first time that you truly see the entire world in a new perspective. Then, of course, there's the obvious change of gravity. Everything is so much lighter, so weightless. You are so far away from everything you've known, that even life's stresses lose their weight. Then, being on the moon is just incredible, of course. It's such an alien landscape. Something that seems so familiar at home is this... completely different thing once you are up there. It's beautiful, but dangerous, which only lends to it's beauty, I think.

But, coming back, which is a three day trip, by the way. That's a trip unlike anything else. The last day, the arrival, is more surreal than the trip out. I remember the last hours so vividly. It was a blue canvas with splashes of green and strokes of white at first. As we got closer, though, more colors appeared. Soon, we could see yellows and reds in the deserts, then the bright outline of shores. Then we could differentiate different blues in the waters. Visually, it was like watching the world paint itself back into the pictures that we could all recognize. Physically, as we entered the atmosphere, it shook us back to reality. We were back in the familiar pull of our home's once inescapable gravity. The occasional turbulence of different pieces of our vehicle being released as our own weight came back to us. Then the parachute comes out, and we begin the slow decent. Enough time to think about everything we've done. It's hardly believable, though. Looking up at the sky and thinking 'Were we really just out there? For so long?' Not long ago, it was only being dreamed of, and that's what it seemed like. A dream.

But my favorite part of that day, bar none was after all of that. After we were picked up, and taken back, we did what we had been waiting to do for a long while. Meeting our friends and family again. Not to tell them about all the things we've seen, although we did, of course. I can't speak for my fellow travelers, of course, but my reasons were a little selfish. When I had that moment, the one where you see family after a long break, it felt the same as launch day. Seeing the smiles they had, and hugging loved ones. It all felt weightless, like all worries and troubles had been left floating somewhere far away once again. That was my favorite day.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Future Status

Welp. It's been a long gap again. At this point I guess that was to be expected. Or maybe this ever being updated again was the thing that was to be unexpected. Believe it or not, I've been pretty busy... going places. "Hur hur he said the title" ... Yes, but it's true. Traveling in the summer, then suddenly moving to a college by a rushed, but not rash decision. I guess that might need explanation. I knew I would go here, but I didn't think it would be this past year until... about three weeks before move-in day.

But I'm not here to make excuses! I'm here to make dreams come true!

Okay, not really. I'm actually here to look in this book that provided the prompts for my last three posts from last year and see what the next one is. ... Huh... alright. Make some facebook statuses from 2017. Glad I didn't wait four years to do this, otherwise it would be kind of bland.

Well, gee golly, what's happening in 2017? I'll (hopefully) be a year away from graduation. I'll be twenty seven years old. Which makes me kinda feel awful typing those two things in a row. So... probably one status like:

"One more year until I graduate! Then only two years until my mid-life crisis!"

Mainly because I've always been a fan of self-depreciating humor. Also, in the past two or three years, I've come to terms with the fact that I'm a narcissist. Some of you are tired of hearing me admit that, probably. But, the fact is, the more I admit it, the easier it is to not be so narcissistic. Which is saying a lot. Because it's also like... super easy for me to think I'm great. In fact...

"Man. I am so great."

... Actually, by then I'll hopefully be a little more over myself, so let's change that to:

"Man, I am so grateful."

Yeah. That sounds like something an older and wiser me would say. ... Or something I guess I would say now, since thinking of it somewhat proves that I already have that capacity. Hmm. Typing in a stream of consciousness style is pretty therapeutic it would seem. I should do this more often. OH! Here's a status I'll hopefully be putting up.

"Hey, check out this new blog post! It's about stuff!"

Haha get it? Because... that would mean... that I actually... kept up with this. *cough cough* ... But, this book has six hundred and thirty eight more prompts after this one, so I should be good for... quite a while. Anyway, let's throw in a few other statuses I'd like to put up.

"I sure do love my job!"
"Almost done writing that book!"
"So pumped they put The Cape back on the air in 2014"
"That moment when you have to use your backup porsche! #embarrassed"
"Kept getting stopped at the mall because people wanted autogra-

Okay, let's stop there. Things were getting a bit too intensely self-indulgent. Also, I just realized that my break is about over and I should probably get back to homework. I'll be back here soon for the next prompt.

Thanks for reading!