A Writing Prompt and Response

slightlyignorant:

Alright, ladies and gents and gender-neutral folk, here we go, my first writing prompt.

Take the nearest book and turn to the 34th page. Look at the last full sentence on that page. That is the first sentence of your story. Write between 200-500 words. GO.

Alright. MY TURN. Let it not be said that I don’t respond to my own writing prompts (because that would be sad…)

The nearest book to me is More Pricks Than Kicks, by Samuel Beckett. The last full sentence on page 34 is: “We’ll pass him before we get to the main road.”

 

**

“We’ll pass him before we get to the main road,” you said. We were walking fast, basically jogging since you kept skipping ever third or fourth step and I had to run a bit to catch up. My pulse was so fast that I could feel it in my throat. When I answered you, I was panting.

“And? What’ll we do? Ignore him? Say hi? What?”

“Nothing, that’s the point. He’s an ass.”

“Yeah, but maybe he’s going through something.”

“That doesn’t make it okay.”

“Okay. If you’re sure.”

I wondered what you were hurrying towards, but I didn’t ask. You were all prickly, your porcupine spines were standing up, and I couldn’t get near enough to hug you, to tell you it would be okay, that you were allowed to be hurt.

When we finally saw his shape in front of us, you sped up even more. I caught your wrist and held onto my throat, trying to signal how out of breath I was. You slowed, but your cheeks swelled. You were pissed off. You wanted your prediction to come true, and the main road wasn’t that far ahead.

We didn’t catch up to him. He turned left and we were supposed to turn right. I didn’t even ask if you wanted to follow him. I knew that wasn’t the point. You weren’t going to go out of your way. That would be too much.

I pictured you leaving his bed and waiting, and waiting, and waiting for his phone call. Even though I knew that you’d been calling him nonstop and that it wasn’t in his bed, it was on the grass behind the party house, when you were both wasted. I wanted to tell you that you weren’t being fair, that he was probably embarrassed, maybe as confused as conflicted as you were. Freaked out, now, by how much you were calling. I wanted to tell you so many things, but you were too far away. You’d kept going as quickly as ever, and I was left behind, gasping for air.

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