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642 Things To Write About #1
I'm sure many of you have seen this book in some bookstore somewhere:
Well, I bought it a little over a year ago and quickly proceeded to forget that it existed. It has been collecting dust on my bookshelf ever since. Until yesterday. In preparation for our upcoming move, I was packing up my husband's and my books. I started flipping through it and decided it was time for a challenge. For myself and for anyone who sometimes needs a little shove in the direction of inspiration and motivation.
Every Wednesday for the foreseeable future I will open this wonderful book and write something based off of one of the topics/prompts inside. I invite all of you to join me as I embark on this challenge!
I'll be posting a link to a forum down below. There you can all post what you came up with!
642 Things to Write About #1
"What can happen in a second"
I started off with a list of things that immediately came to mind when I read those six words:
These are the things I came up with. Of course, as soon as I uploaded that photo I thought of about five more possible options.
- A stubbed toe
- A car crash
- A text message
- Ignoring a phone call
- A decision
After coming up with this rather haphazard list I closed my eyes and pointed. An excellent way to make a quick decision, am I right? Anyway, I pointed at random and my finger fell on this:
After a couple of minutes of staring at a blank word document this is what I was inspired to write:
"Tell me something," she demanded, "Anything."
"You have to be more specific,"
She rolled her eyes and let loose a sigh that could shake mountains. Ten sessions and the man hadn't said a single word that wasn't forced out of him. Why, she wondered, did people seek therapy only to sit in complete silence for fifty straight minutes.
"Okay," she said, "Tell me something that makes you happy. What is something you enjoy? Something you love to do?"
He shrugged. Just a shrug. She felt her blood boiling in her veins. Some would say she should enjoy these fifty minute breaks she was given every two weeks. Most of her patients wouldn't shut up no matter how much she wished it. Here sat a man who was hand delivering her a series of relaxing sessions in which she did not have to think. What could be so terrible about that.
"Come on," she begged, "Just give me something to work with."
The man raised his eyes to look into hers. Still, he said nothing. They sat there, staring at each other. Neither was willing to budge. He wouldn't speak. She wouldn't stop trying
"Why do you come here every other week?"
"Something has to be bringing you here."
"You're paying me for nothing."
He watched her mouth move.
"Do you realize that?"
His eyes darted up to hers, then back down to her mouth again. She was still talking, he noticed. Still saying things that meant nothing. All she wanted was for him to express some kind of unsolvable internal struggle. Then she could set to work fixing him. She would open him up, adjust his engine, fill him with gas, then send him on his way. The whole time she would smile. Smile. Smile because she knew she'd done her job properly. Because she knew she had just sent another newly repaired machine out into the world...ready to be a functional human being again. With a pat on her back and an air of arrogance she would soon forget his name.
He looked back into her eyes one more time. How was it possible she was still talking. He saw her face redden. Her temples seemed to be pulsating. A palpable energy was vibrating off of her. He could see her hands tighten into fists. She was enraged now.
"For God's sake! Say something! This is therapy! You have to communicate if you want me to help you! You are wasting my time just sitting there. I have a degree in psychology from..."
She broke off as the broken ceramic clinked to the floor behind her. Her head spun around and stared at the coffee stain now setting into her wall. He had missed her by half an inch.
Eyes wide she turned back to him. He was standing now. His eyes narrowed, reveling in her astonishment.
"What the hell are you doing?"
He smiled, "Communicating."
It isn't much and it didn't take me more than a few minutes to write, but already I have an idea for a full short story based off of these two characters.
I hope you guys find this little exercise useful!