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The Purple Room - annart's challenge of the mundane

Updated on October 30, 2016

Another writing challenge is upon us, this time by annart, with an unusual twist. Take something boring and write an interesting hub about it. Out of the mundane can come some pretty creative writing hubs and stories. The several I have read so far have caught my interest, engaged me and are far from mundane. Reading imaginations lighting up from the flame of creativity is a joy indeed.

Here are annart's instructions to anyone taking on this challenge:

“Choose the most boring object or subject you can think of and write an engaging, entertaining, fascinating hub about it. You can make your own choice or write about one of the following:

  • watching paint dry
  • a blank floorboard
  • monotonous music
  • airport runway
  • lying ill in bed with bandages on your eyes and no music
  • a wilted leaf in a pocket

I’m sure you can think of something even more mundane. Just make sure you write about that subject as the core, not merely include it in passing.

I have chosen "watching paint dry" as my challenge. This is a flash fiction piece and is not autobiographical.


The Purple Room

Hmmmm, I pondered as I put the finishing purple touches on the long wall I was painting. Purple is my favorite color. I pulled the paint brush carefully along the blue tape along the ceiling of the room.

Then, I sat down in the middle of the room to watch the paint dry. Honestly, this is the worst part of painting, I thought. The waiting.

I was going to erect a mural I had painted on three canvas' to put on that purple wall when the paint had dried.

I was tired from painting and felt relieved to be sitting on the floor. Well, nothing to do now but wait for the blasted paint to dry.

As I sat there a purple haze descended on me, and I thought how life can change in an instant.

It had been two years since I had last painted the room. Only that color had been pink. Pink for a girl. We had been ecstatic over the pregnancy and couldn't wait to be parents. But the infant girl arrived in a bloody mess. Five months into the pregnancy, I had lost the baby. A miscarriage.

More like a miscarriage of justice. I had done all the right things. Never drank alcohol. Did yoga everyday. Ate a healthy, organic diet. Read all the pregnancy books. We had even started reading the lists of baby names and was in the process of choosing either Isabella Victoria, Chelsea Marie, or Sofia Anne. When her tiny, beautiful face looked up into ours, we would know for sure which name to give her.

But, it was not meant to be. It might never be. The obstetrician said my chances of becoming pregnant again were slim to none. I was crushed. Not only had I lost our baby girl, but now, I most likely would never give birth to another child.

Through the purple haze I remembered the light going out of my husband's eyes when the verdict was handed down. He was devastated, but he had put on a strong front for me and the doctor.

I knew more than anything that he wanted children. Children of his own. I had brought up the subject of adoption many times, but he always changed the subject. He couldn't imagine raising someone else's child, he said. Not a child he had not created with me from his own loins.

And, so here I was sitting on the floor waiting for my purple paint to dry. He could not even walk into the room that had been painted pink to become the nursery. I had closed the door on the pink room, and only came in once in a while to remember what had been. All our hopes and dreams were in that pink room.

It took me two years before I could give up the ghost of our daughter and finally do something else with the room.


The purple haze suddenly ascended as I heard the garage door open. I blinked back to reality. My husband was home from work and I hadn't started supper. We would go out to eat tonight. By the time we got back the paint almost would be dry. By tomorrow I could hang the mural on the long wall. Purple it was.

I heard my husband's foot on the stair. Instead of his usual plodding along, his footsteps seemed almost to spring up the stairs. I quickly gathered myself together, got up off the floor, and was just closing the lid on the paint bucket, when he walked into the room. I was surprised because he never came in the room. In fact, he didn't want to see it again until I had finished transforming it.

He held a large yellow envelope in his hand and smiled sheepishly as he handed it to me.

"Open it," he implored. I slowly opened the envelope and pulled out some papers. I was mesmerized with what I saw. Was I hallucinating or was this really an application for adopting a child?

My eyes filled with tears as I looked up at him. "Really?" I asked.

"Yes," he replied.

Suddenly the purple room was a kaleidoscope of colors.


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