Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Remember

Prompt:< a href="">


Response: Remember

It was a moment, a little instant, but it somehow caught in his memory, the way a hangnail snags on a loose thread. It had become magnified over time. He knew that her eyes had not been quite so expressive or so close to tears. He knew that she had not been quite so pale, with her freckles standing out quite so vividly. He knew that she had not turned back to look at him before she started crying. But that was how he remembered it.

He remembered his voice - raised to a yell - hanging in the air. He remembered that she had turned away after he finished and then she was gone.

He should not have yelled - it was not her fault. He could not even remember anymore why he had been so angry.

But he remembered her face in minute, painful detail.

Notes: Holy moley, September is just about ended - on to October. The weather forecast should be up on/by Sunday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Music to Break Hearts



Response: Music to Break Hearts

He captured her with his music - music like that of one of the gods, music to break mortals’ hearts. He captured his bride, the nymph Eurydice with his gentle touch of fingers to lyre.

And when he played, Eurydice danced. And his music - as shining and otherworldly as could be - was only improved upon by the movement of his lovely bride's body - an inheritance from her father Apollo.

He said he loved her, with all his lion heart and warrior's soul. He played for her to prove his love - music to break immortal hearts. But when she died, chased by a snake-like satyr into the jaws of a snake, he played the coward. For no matter how he vowed his love and lay in the filth of grief, his love was not enough to prompt him to follow her in death.

So Orpheus mocked the deathless gods, wading into the Underworld to plead for the return of his lover. But death cannot be cheated and no matter how he loved her, he could not resist looking back at the phantom presented to him by the gods in Eurydice's place. And so he lost the nymph captured by music through cowardice.

Notes: We're currently reading the Odyssey in one of my classes and we just finished the Iliad so if this sounds somewhere along the lines of Greek poetry, it should. This is a retelling of a little-known version of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in which Orpheus' trip to Underworld to try and save Eurydice was just because he was too scared to commit suicide to be with her and when he returned he was killed by women.

"Picture This" Month - Getting Wet



Response: Getting Wet

Sit on a bench

in the center of the ocean deep

waiting to drown

Holding an umbrella above your head

because you can't bear the thought

of getting wet

Penance: September 27, 2010, "Picture This" Month - After



Response: After

My eyes were still blurry though I had been up for hours. I was vaguely aware that I probably smelled horrendous. I pulled my robe a little closer and figure it didn't matter because it wasn't like I was going anywhere and no one was coming to see me.

The fridge light was blinding in the dark kitchen. I squinted into the glare just long enough to find the chocolate milk and shut the offensive light back where it belonged.

I pulled out the last clean glass. It was a tall one with a thick base - a pretty glass that I used to set with china when I used it. I poured the glass full. I drank a little off the top and filled it up again; licking away the phantom mustache I could feel on my upper lip.

I went for a straw - a blue bend-y one - and ended up with two.

I stuck the straws in the glass and stared at them for a moment. They drifted apart in the milk, gravitating to different edges of the glass. That was when I started crying.

I sat on my kitchen title and let my two-strawed chocolate milk get warm while I bawled.

September 27, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Diet

Prompt: Describe eating ice cream – paying close attention to visual description.

Source: None.

Response: Diet

His lips curved, shaping the ice-cold green into a peak. His tongue flicked out and took a chip out of the mint ice cream, turning the cone to drag a swirling line around it.

Beside him, his best friend put a hand surreptitiously on his own stomach, reminding himself why he was abstaining.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Picture This" Month - In the Rain

Prompt: Write about an artist who sketches everyone they meet and then turns them into something else within the pages of their sketchbook.

Source: None.

Response: In the Rain

Daemon squinted, observing the distinctive shape of the girl's ear and how her hair curled around it. He pulled out a pencil and his mini-sketchbook.

The ear was almost triangular - geometric - and the hair swooped down in a gentle swirl.

Like rainwater flooding down the solid harsh lines of a gutter, his pencil said. Rushing in a torrent until it hit the corner and flowed out into the open street.

The sun beat down from the cloudless sky as Daemon filled his page with ears and water and hair and gutters, and waited for the bus to arrive.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Smoldering

Prompt: Smoldering.

Source: None.


The hall was quiet, pristine. Silvered sunbeams lay on the marble floors, gently climbing the grand staircase. Paintings looked on from within their glinting frames, austere faces lightly lit. They seemed to frown slightly as if irritated by the mess desecrating the unblemished hall.

A low opera floated through the hall. Stephan, in his immaculate suit, hummed the words, occasionally adding his own baritone to the harmony. He surveyed the corpse before him with mild interest. It had been burning low for several minutes - the flames battling the water soaking its clothes - sending small orange sparks to the ground. The cadaver's face was still visible - a pinched visage with remnants of a poorly kept mustache.

Stephan glanced at his watch and walked out of the hall, leaving his kill immobile on the marble, smoldering.

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Picture This" Month - At the Lake



Response: At the Lake

Went to the lake with Charlotte today.

I rubbed sun screen into her tentacles

on the fish-hooked beaches.

Under her parasol.

I rubbed sun screen into her tentacles -

watched her split personality play

under her parasol

while the breeze rustled her bustle.

Watched her split personality play

music on the keys of the strand

while the breeze rustled her bustle

and tangled up her hair.

Music on the keys of the strand

she played - all the long day -

and tangled up her hair

with little orange fishes and seaweed.

She played - all the long day -

on the fish-hooked beaches

with little orange fishes and seaweed.

Went to the lake with Charlotte today.

Notes: This poem is a phantoum - there's a project organized by mentalmystics that you can check out here: for more phantoums.

Thursday, September 23, 2010




Response: Antique

Johan looked at the picture. Everyone told him he looked so much like his grandmother. He frowned. She was gorgeous.

He set the picture down on the dresser and stared deep into the mirror above it. The floral patterned room - stuck in the same era as the photograph - was reflected behind him.

He swallowed as he stared at his own reflection. He did look like her - living in her house, surrounded by the smell of old flowers.

Johan clenched his jaw. He would always live under her shadow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Second Ceiling



Response: Second Ceiling

Eva was just walking along the edge of the ceiling, skirting the gaudy chandelier’s hanging crystals, when she slipped and fell. She fell, silently screaming, and her skirt fluttering - missed the old floral couch by a few inches and hit the second ceiling.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

September 21, 2010, "Picture This" Month - I'm a Big Kid Now

Prompt: Describe a circus from the perspective of a child.

Source: None.

Response: I'm a Big Kid Now

Squeezing her fingers so she won't let go. Her hands get all sticky from mine. Mine got all sticky from the cotton candy - guess I didn't lick it all up like I thought. She pulls her hand away and says gross. She calls me twit and walks away.

I feel scared - there are so many people, all pressing close. Running to catch her up - I don't want to be alone.

It's so loud and I want to be excited but I'm scared. I catch up, but I don't reach for her hand. I know she'll just tell me to knock it off.

I sit next to her, though, on the bench.

I jump when the clown's face appears next to mine. I scream and she laughs. I want to burst into tears, but I bite my lip and then laugh. I don't want to look like a little kid.

Notes: This is written in stream of consciousness form . . . And is 28 minutes late. Fun stuff.

Monday, September 20, 2010

"Picture This" Month - First Sight

Prompt: Take a few mental snapshots throughout your day – use one as the detailed setting of your piece.

Source: None.

Response: First Sight

The sky was so big it like to have broke your soul. The moon was all askew - filling all up in the sky. His smile was so sweet it like to have melted you down. He stood under that great big sky, his blue eyes catching the light off that glass-half-full moon.

And her laugh was so light it all floated on the air like sounds or fireflies. And when she laughed, he looked over and his eyes caught her so gentle it set her cheeks a'blushing. And it was the first time she could remember him looking at her so intent.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 19, 2010, "Picture This" Month - The Beast

Prompt: Describe a misshapen animal or person.

Source: None.

Response: The Beast

The cat's whiskers twitched at an odd angle to its face, as though it was a cartoon being electrocuted. Its wild eyes darted with the same frenetic anxiety and its bent yellow tail wrapped and unwrapped around its three legs.

Notes: Well, there you are: five prompts in one day. Woo! That should teach me to keep up in the future . . . Hopefully.

Penance: September 18, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Driving By

Prompt: Describe a group of trees.

Source: None.

Response: Driving By

It was like driving through a green tunnel, the trees pressing in close to the road on both sides. They pushed each other, shoving for light and a view. Their twigs, like fingers, reached up to the sun and over to scrabble at their neighbor.

September 18, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Birds



Response: Birds

I saw the birds in a black cloud against the moon. I squinted, trying to see better which direction they were flying or what they were circling over.

I looked down beneath their roiling mass and saw a flutter of fabric. I could just make out a caped woman standing under the shadow of the birds. She raised her arms and the birds became a whirlwind, spiraling down to her spread fingertips.

In the revealed moonlight I could suddenly see that the ground beneath the woman's feet was a mound of corpses. Their dark blood stained the forest floor as the cloaked woman raised her face to the sky and laughed.

Penance: September 17, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Carnival

Prompt: Use an empty carnival as your setting.

Source: None


The carnival in the empty lot behind my house was closed three years ago. It was supposed to reopen the next summer, but it had been empty since then. The only people you were likely to find there were bums and rebellious teenagers.

I wandered into the carnival yesterday - through the hole in my back fence and the gap in the gate. I knew I should not have gone, but I wanted to be alone. I had snuck in before - the abandoned rides and games had always called to me the way woods call to adventurous kids who are lucky enough to live near them - but usually with someone else in tow. I had never been at night before either, but I wanted to be alone.

I had explored most of the carnival previously, but I started wandering. I walked past rows of hanging stuffed animals and stinking popcorn machines. It was creepy.

I jumped at every noise and I began to think it was a bad idea instantly. The exaggerated shadows blocked the path and the hanging prizes grinned creepily.

I had a vague idea of heading for the prize warehouse, where I had never been, but when I saw lights on I stopped. When I heard a scream, I turned tail and ran.

Notes: I think an empty carnival would be the BEST setting for an encounter with a serial killer.

September 17, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Lost



Response: Lost

"Perfect," the photographer said. "Think of something specific being outside the window - picture it there."

Laura felt her body tighten. Her instant thought was of a field of flowers outside the window and then blinked, trying to think of something else she could imagine in its place.

She replaced the image with the thought of her older brother's battered red car pulling up in the drive outside their suburbia home. She missed Jeremy and the discussions they had carried on while he delivered her like a box of pizza to her destination in that red car.

Laura relaxed slightly - the thought of the car was not so painful - but she felt that she might cry.

"Stop," the photographer said, peering at her from behind his oversized camera. "You switched. Go back to the first thing you pictured."

Laura glanced away from him, swallowing hard.

"Come on, Laura," he cajoled. "Go back."

Laura closed her eyes for a moment. She could feel her hands trembling - her body physically resisting the pain that accompanied the memory. She clasped them behind her, hoping the shaking was not as obvious as it felt.

When she opened her eyes again to look out through the panes of glass, the field of flowers - mostly red, complimented by waving grasses - stretched out before her.

She could hear the muted clicked of the camera shutter, but it seemed far away. If could have just as easily been the whirring of an insect. The field danced in curved patterns as the wind touched its surface. Laura followed the movement with her eyes - the waltz of bowing blossoms. She did not bother to look for him - it had been many summers since he had waded through the flowered field, even in her mind.

Laura repressed a sigh and leaned back against the wall.

"Wonderful," the photographer said. "Now you can choose another image."

But Laura was lost in the red-jeweled field and his voice was like a calling bird or a disjointed memory of laughter.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"Picture This" Month - On Track



Response: On Track

The tracks cut my bare feet, though not as much as the rocks along the path had. The open scrapes cringed against the splintery wood and cold iron ties. And it hurt more than I had expected. I had not expected anything to hurt again. Not even bleeding.

I looked down the long line of parallel tracks. It seemed so far - so far to the next tie, to the next signal. It seemed so far to the next town. And he was already half a world away.

He had told me not to fall apart. He had warned me teasingly, mussing my hair like he did when he picked up his niece, not to fall apart. He told me I had to be waiting for him to come back. He swore he would come back.

The lofty trees smudged as I started to cry. I knew he was not coming back. The train had swallowed him whole and, when he reached his destination there would be no way to return.

I knew that when he got off the train he would be dead. I knew the men who had gone with him - all stiff and nervous in their uniforms as new soldiers always were - would be dead before winter had time to block the tracks. And he with them.

Down the line I could hear the train coming. I watched the leaves fall and knew I should move off the tracks.

The train whistle shrieked and I turned to see the monster barreling toward me. I did not want to get off the tracks. I opened my arms to embrace the metal giant.

And it came upon me. I could hear it - like it was the only thing that existed.

I heard his voice and saw his face and I cried. "You have to be here waiting for me when I get back."

I stepped off the tracks and the train rumbled past, blowing my hair around my face like a hurricane. The cars made their clacking noise as they passed.

I wondered whose soldiers were speeding past me. And I cried for them and the girls waiting for them. And I cried for him.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

September 15, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Cotton Candy



Response: The cotton candy clouds stretched their webbing across the sky above the bridge - all blue and pink strands. The shapes mimicked the contour of the bridge - or maybe the bridge mimicked the shape of the fading day.

I watched the sun go down and sourly thought about how much I hate cotton candy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Picture This" Month - What If?

Prompt: Describe a battle scene in detail.

Source: None.

Response: What If?

I had heard what it was like - when they took you away and played with your mind. The ones who came back did not talk about it, but those who had never been had all heard stories. I had heard the stories of being taken and toyed with.

I had heard that they only came once when they came. I had heard they came once and they stole people - they took boys and girls - and then they were gone and everyone was safe. For a while.

They had already come that day. Taim and Rikke were gone and a few of the children that usually ran through the streets. They were the only ones who did not live under the fear. And they were gone.

I missed Taim - he was one of my best friends - and I was sad, but I was relieved. My brother and sister were safe at home - as safe as anyone ever was. I rocked my sister to sleep that night. She was warm. I hoped she was not getting sick, but she was restless and shaky.

I fell asleep by the fire and woke on my knees with my hands chained to a pipe on a wall in a room I had never seen before.

I screamed. They were all screaming. Taim was there - a few people over. I could see him, still slumped. Slumped so far that his arms looked dislocated. I screamed for him and he did not move.

There were people all along the wall. I heard a child crying somewhere close, but I could not see them.

I tugged at the chains on my wrists, then pulled. I rattled the chains and wrenched my arms against the pipe. And I cried. I slumped like Tiam. I could not hold myself up.

I knew what happened - knew from the stories. I knew they would take us away in groups, but we not know how many. They would take us to new rooms, sedated. They would chain us to the walls and give us a gun with one shot.

On the opposite wall there would be another person. Sometimes is was a dummy and sometimes it was another person. A living, breathing person. With a gun.

Turn your back and you fail - you are dead. Turn your back and your family dies. Turn your back and your village is dead.

So when the footsteps came in, I was not surprised that they screamed. I think I screamed.

I heard them unchain people. I heard them talking, saying "this one, that one, no not him."

I was not in that group. Or the next. I lost count of how many they took.

When they unchained me, they took Tiam too. He had just woken up. He had leaned against the wall and vomitted, heaving and sobbing. I could see his shoulders shaking from where I was and I cried too.

They gave me a gun, they chained me to a new wall. They did not tell me anything, but I knew - turn your back and you are dead, stare them down. And I never saw their faces.

I could hardly see the person across from me. It was cooler in the new room and my position was a little more comfortable, chained by the ankle instead of the wrists.

I listened to see if I could hear breathing. I strained my eyes to watch for movement. I did not move. If I was a dummy, I was not a threat. If I was alive, I could be dangerous.

I remembered the other parts of the stories. Some people said that if you shot and it was a person, they let you go. Some people said that was how you got back - the only way. Some people said they only let you go if you never fired your shot - if neither of you fired a shot - but most people thought it was the other way around.

Most people said that they only way to get back was to shoot.

I looked at the gun. I knew how it worked - the dangerous shiny metal. I knew I could shoot it. I knew I could hit the dark shadow on the other side of the wall.

I tried not to move. What if the other person decided to shoot first, before I made up my mind? What if I died there in the dark, holding the key to my salvation?

It could be a dummy, I told myself. It had not moved. It could be fake. It did not have to be a person - a live person, a breathing person. I squinted and for a moment I thought maybe I could see the reflection of light off of eyes.

Did it matter if it was a person, I wondered. I could shoot and they would let me go. Did I care about the dark shadow on the other side of the room. They had no identity. They were nothing to me. I could die - I would die if I did not shoot.

What if it was Tiam, I wondered. He was sick - he might be dying in the room across from me. I could not shoot Tiam. He was my friend - I could never hurt him.

What if it was a child or an elder - how could I shoot not knowing?

There were other stories, though, that said if you passed they would feed your family. Some said that life would change if you came back.

I thought about my brother - so skinny his ribs were showing. And my mother - heavy with another child, but bone-thin everywhere else. And my sister - feverish and calling out for me. If I shot - if I just pointed the gun and pulled the trigger - they could be free and I could go home.

But I could not kill someone, not knowing! I wanted to move, wanted to crane my head to see if I could get a hint, but I was afraid.

I knew on the other side of the room, the person could be having the same debate. Worse, what if the person worked for them - what if they decided to shoot because I waited too long?

I could feel sweat trickling down my back even though the room was chilly.

I squinted again. The shadow was misshapen - it could hardly be a person, could it?

I leaned forward a fraction of an inch, trying to alleviate the tingling in my legs. And then I froze. The shadow had moved - I was certain of it. It was a person then - and I had just told them that they would have to shoot me. I was a threat.

I waited, trying not to breathe. It was so quiet that my heartbeat was like thunder. I watched - perhaps it was a trick of the light and nothing more?

My fingers were slick against the smooth surface of the gun. Across the room, nothing stirred. I could not hear anyone breathing. I could not see movement.

I wondered what would happen if I shot myself instead. But I could not think of dying - it left a cold hole in my stomach.

I had to live - if I had nothing else I would have my life.

I twitched my arm to raise the gun and stopped.

I would be taking away the life of another. If they came from my village too, it was probably the only thing they had - their life and their starving family.

But I did not know that! It was my family I had to worry about. I had to save my life.

So I raised the gun and I saw the shadow move and I heard the shot ring out. My arm rang with the recoil. And I cried, I could feel it.

Then the lights came on - blinding whiteness. Across the room I saw a girl my age. A girl I had seen before, perhaps in the market. She was crying and she screamed when the light came on - or at least she looked like she was screaming. Her gun was raised.

Between us was a barrier, reflective as glass. And I could see my own faint reflection. It sat right next to her. And we looked just the same.

Notes: In case you couldn't tell, I have a cord now XD

This actually began as a dream I had. It was pretty intense . . .

Penance: September 13, 2010, "Picture This" Month - The Winter Ocean

Prompt: Write a character who would fit in the same world as one you have written previously. (Because this is "Picture This" Month, be sure that your visual desciption is extra special).

Source: None.

Response: The Winter Ocean

His hair fluttered in the breeze. The smell of sea salt was just discernable, as though it was a part of his skin. Like salt crystals were scattered through his pale hair and crusted lightly on his skin.

As much as he smelled of the ocean, he looked like winter. His light skin and tousled platinum curls almost looked like some kind of snow camouflage. But his eyes were the color of sea foam - the white fervor tinted by the deep greens and grays of the sea.

And when he grinned - an unquestionably self-confident smirk - you could actually hear girls sighing.

Notes: I love pale guys. And cocky guys. And over-confident practically-albino guys. So this character would fit in any number of stories that I have written.

September 13, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Moo

Prompt: Your character finds a picture taped to their school locker. Describe the picture and the scene.

Source: None.

Response: Moo

I laughed a little. The picture was crumpled - it had probably been in a gym bag for days, waiting for the opportune moment. Of course I knew who it was from - no one but Caleb would have bothered to tape a close-up of a cow's face on someone's locker just to extend an inside joke. The one thing I couldn't figure out was how he managed to get in the women's locker room . . . That, and how to get him back.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Duck

Prompt: You get a picture in a text message, what is it?

Source: None.

Response: Duck

I got it while I was in my fourth period English class. I have major texting-in-class skills so I checked it under the table. I didn't recognize the number but I didn't really care - at least it was something to do.

It looked like a blob. I had no idea what it was suposed to be a picture of. I scrolled down to the caption. It just said "duck". I scrolled back up. I supposed that it could be a duck.

The next text buzzed in just a second later. "I said duck."

And that's when the window behind me broke. And I ducked.

Notes: As I said in a previous note, my power supply cord is MIA and that's why yesterday's prompt did not get put up yesterday. And, as I said in the same note, I'm going to excuse myself from pennance because it was impossible for me to complete it yesterday.

Septemeber 11, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Things That Fly



Response: Things That Fly

Things that fly, that crawl across the sky in perfect natural rhythm. Like animated clouds, full of rainbow colors and covered in a flurry of feathers. I dreamed I was like them - the champions of the heavens. I dreamed I could follow the invisible roads of air to a thousand destinations. I dreamed I could return in a breath. I dreamed I had the beauty lent to feathered things.

Things that soar, that reach heights other creatures can not even imagine. Like endless oaks, touching the light of the sun and filled with a thousand whispers. I dreamed I was like them - the sky-touching beasts. I dreamed I could grasp the stars of heaven and follow them. I dreamed that they were like fireflies. I dreamed I had the agility of tiny butterflies.

Things that fall, that crash to the ground in incomprehendable agony. I opened my eyes to see my ceiling and walls, closing me in and my body confining me. I cried for my dreams - the visions of sunlight. I cried at the thought of my lost wings that were never mine. I cried in desolation. I curled up and thought of things that fly.

Friday, September 10, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Water Color



Response: Water Color

It became cold that night, I remember, but not close to unbearable. It felt colder, I remember, than it actually was because we two were so sunburned.

It had blurred in my mind like a splashed-on watercolor, but some things I remember.

His hands were warm, I remember, but not as hot as our sunburned skin. He touched me softly, I remember, stroking my hair in a conscincious, caring way.

His face had faded in my memory like a sunset, but his touch I still remember perfectly.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

"Picture This" Month - The Painter

Prompt: Write about the act of painting.

Source: None.

Response: The Painter

Carving self and emotion into canvas with a blunt brush and vibrant pigment the boy painted. Seeing shapes just out of reach - just beyond the visual - and wanting to tear the result to confetti pieces he struggled.

The image burned in his mind's eye - a tumor to be removed and set in bright color. How he longed to tear it from inside himself and paste it, splattered, to the blank surface.

The inside of his lip bled with bites the red of carmine beetles in patterns like animal interlace - a red intricacy he longed to duplicate on canvas.

Setting the palette down, he surveyed his work with a dejected sigh. The anger left his body, leaving only a heavy desolation. He glanced at the clock and sighed again. His eyes burned from lack of sleep and his back felt as though it was being twisted in giant hands.

And still it was not what he wanted. The painting was a pale reflection of his vision. Discouraged, he left the studio. As the door slammed, the canvas slid to the floor, facedown.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Cursed Curbs



Response: Cursed Curbs

The drab rain-guttered streets held no enchantment on that gray day. Even the vibrant red curbs seemed dulled by the damp and garbage. Umbrellas populated the city streets, their owners hidden beneath the monotone domes.

But inside his head, music swirled in beats and measures. It danced in perfect rhythm. He walked quickly, his shoes tapping like a drum, perfectly blended. How he wished he had a pen and blank music.

A sheet of paper in a gutter caught his eye as he crossed the street. He was tempted to pick it up, knowing that by the time he reached his apartment the perfect melody that ebbed and flowed throughout him would be diminished. He deliberated so long that he almost stumbled over the opposing curb and the music became amateur and discordant.

Notes: This title is somewhat of a joke (a reference to a song), but I will be thoroughly impressed if anyone gets it.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Something Old

Prompt: Describe an object of your choice in detail.

Source: None.

Response: Something Old

The ring was cheap, imitation silver - a band set with a few notches that were meant to be artistic. The sheen had faded in place, leaving a rosy-rust color behind. But if the ring was turned, a simple quarter turn, the discolored portion could be hidden and it would again appear brand new.

Notes: I am sorry my responses have been so short, but I'm really busy and, as I said, my computer is having a perpetual hissy fit.

Monday, September 6, 2010

September 6, 2010, "Picture This" Month - Stare



Response: Staring as though you could stare into someone's soul. So the child-god figure stared. You can never really know how someone will react to a situation until they come face-to-face with it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

"Picture This" Month - A Thousand and One

Prompt: A picture's worth a thousand words. What's a sound worth?

Source: None.

Response: A Thousand and One

The picture was unprofessional - a snapshot taken with a disposable camera in poor lighting. Her face was a little washed out; her eyes stood out dark against the stark white of her skin.

He ran a finger over her cheek. He could have easily taken a better picture of her, even with a disposable, he knew, but for some reason it was his favorite picture. It seemed to truly fulfil the old adage about a thousand words - her sad little smile or surprised look alone spoke volumes to him.

But he wished that he could still hear her voice. As he traced her frozen face he felt a thousand words, but he yearned to hear a single sound from her lips - his lifeless Becca. To hear a sigh or his name. To hear her laugh. He sighed. If only pictures had a thousand and one words contained - if only the picture could hold her voice; if only it could let him hear her again.

Notes: My power supply cord for my laptop is busted so the prompts are likely to be short and if I miss one because of it I am excusing myself from penance. My new one should be here in a few days. Ick.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Hilea

Prompt: Use the phrase “image hosting” as an inspiration for your piece.

Source: None.

Response: Hilea

Hilea stared into the dead girl's eyes for a moment. She could see every vein through the child's porcelain skin, she could see all the way into her skull - the smooth, pale, curvature - to the pink tissue of her brain.

The girl's lips were pursed - lightly tinged with the blue of cold and death. Hilea pursed her own lips and shut her eyes, smoothing her eyelids consciously. Behind her eyelids she could still see the girl - every detail magnified. The image filled her until Hilea could feel it rise and fall with her breathing - it fleshed out her body.

A light tingle ran over every inch of her skin as her body changed, shifted to fit the image that had blossomed inside her. As the tingle faded, Hilea opened her eyes. She hid the broken child's body - it would not do to have someone see identical girls together, one dead and one alive. And, though she knew it would be wiser, she could not bring herself to burn or bury the body without proper rites or at least some recognition.

Hilea walked away, leaving the little girl alone.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weather Forecast: September 2010

September 4, 2010 – Use the phrase “image hosting” as an inspiration for your piece

September 5, 2010 - A picture's worth a thousand words. What's a sound worth?

September 6, 2010 -

September 7, 2010 - Describe an object of your choice in detail.

September 8, 2010 -

September 9, 2010 - Write about the act of painting.

September 10, 2010 -

September 11, 2010 -

September 12, 2010 - You get a picture in a text message, what is it?

September 13, 2010 - A character finds a picture taped to their school locker. Describe the picture and the scene.

September 14, 2010 - Describe a battle scene in detail.

September 15, 2010 -

September 16, 2010 -

September 17, 2010 -

September 18, 2010 -

September 19, 2010 - Describe a misshapen animal or person.

September 20, 2010 - Take a few mental snapshots throughout your day – use one as the detailed setting of your piece.

September 21, 2010 - Describe a circus from the perspective of a child.

September 22, 2010 -

September 23, 2010 -

September 24, 2010 -

September 25, 2010 - Smoldering.

September 26, 2010 - Write about an artist who sketches everyone they meet and then turns them into something else within the pages of their sketchbook.

September 27, 2010 - Describe eating ice cream – paying close attention to visual description.

September 28, 2010 -

September 29, 2010 -

September 30, 2010 -

"Picture This" Month - Lively

Prompt: Create an image based on the word "lively"

Source: Modified from

Response: Lively

Spring colors filled the meadow - a bowl of flowers spilling their sweet petals and fragrances. She curled up in them, her hair spread around her in a cascade around her peach skin and emerald eyes that glittered with the liveliness of the teasing grasses that swirled around her.

Notes: Guess what's about to be up . . . Weather forecast! Be proud - this month was hard.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Picture This" Month - Encircled

Prompt: Think of a place you'd like to be at this exact instant - it can be literal (for example, Paris) or figurative (like "caught-up"). Paint a picture of that place using words.

Source: None.

Response: Encircled

She held her breath for a beat. In that instant of silence she could hear him breathing with the heaviness of deep sleep. She shifted closer to him, molding her body to the contour of his sleeping figure. He adjusted automatically. She could smell the lingering scent of his mild cologne as his arm reached over her, cradling her.

If she listened, she could imagine that she could hear his heart - hear it and feeling it pulsing through her in a calm rhythm. If she listened a moment longer, she could imagine that she felt her own heart rate slowing to match his. She smiled and nestled against him again, warmth encircling her.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Picture This

I'm excusing myself from the actual prompt today because I don't have time to write a prompt response and introduce the month of September. I figure September as a whole is more important than just September 1st.

Anyway, it's September and I'm back in school. I wanted to do a theme for this month because that hasn't really happened yet so I was thinking about it in class (I know, I know, tsk, tsk) and I came up with nothing. I began reading the Iliad for my Classics of Western Literature class though and it kind of hit me. The imagery in the Iliad is astounding and engaging to me (I LOVE this book) and what goes better with school than a healthy dose of daydreams? Nada, exactly.

That being said, September is "Picture This" month. The prompts will include pictures sometimes (sometimes the prompt will be about a picture) but the big key is imagery. I'm hoping this will be a useful month when it comes to honing descriptive skills without making a scene too flowery. I will not be able to complete the Weather Forecast tonight (as I haven't officially started yet), but I will be putting it up as soon as I can (hopefully tomorrow evening, but if not it should be up by Saturday afternoon).

Welcome to September 2010 - may you all be filled with vivid, writable dreams.