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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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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      3 years ago from England

      I love Purple! my bedroom has been all colors but purple was the main one a while ago! interesting stuff!

    • bodylevive profile image


      4 years ago from Alabama, USA

      My granddaughter loves purple. He bedroom is designed in purple with accents of Monster High decor.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful story, Suzette. Guess it paid off for her to sit and watch the paint dry!

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Thank you so much Ann. Thank you for the challenge. This is a second challenge or even more that you have done here in HP. I thought the topic was great - make the mundane interesting. Each one of your suggestions was so good.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Thank you Dianna. I am glad you enjoyed it and it moved you to tears.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Faith: How are you? Thanks so much for stopping by to read this and I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Shyron: Thanks for reading both stories. That is so funny and interesting about your husband. Although, I am glad I am not colorblind.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Thanks, Maria. I know two families that this happened to. They adopted a child because they were told they couldn't have their own and then lo and behold had their own biological child two. They are the happiest of families I know. Miracles do happen!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      4 years ago from SW England

      Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! Thank you so much for responding to my challenge, Suzette. It's great to read one of your hubs again and I'm honoured that you chose to respond to mine.

      I'm late to this as I didn't get notification until I saw it in Shyron's list, so apologies for that.

      A well-written, emotional piece, this brought tears to my eyes and the ending was perfect - moving on not only with the colour but with the change of heart. Well done indeed!


    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      4 years ago

      I enjoyed your story. What a great ending -- brought tears to my eyes.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 

      4 years ago from southern USA

      Oh, Suzzette, you certainly rose to the challenge here in this poignant yet hopeful story of watching paint dry.

      Great job!

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 

      4 years ago from Texas

      Suzette, this is beautiful. I read the Green Room first, because it is one color that attracts my husband, who is colorblind but every time he pick our a shirt he chooses a color he thinks is tan, which he thinks is his favorite color it turns out to be green.

      I love that the little boy likes green.

      Blessings and hugs my friend

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      The most significant life events can occur in the most mundane settings.

      Suzette, this is a poignant story blended with realism and hopefulness.

      I am off to now visit the Green Room. Hugs, Maria

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Venkatachari: Thank you so much for your kinds words and I am glad you enjoyed reading this.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Thank you Bill for reading this and I am glad you enjoyed it. I read yours and you are quite the story teller. I loved how yours enfolded and it brought back memories of grade school loves.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Eric: Thank you for reading this and I am glad you enjoyed it.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      Glenis: Thank you so much for stopping by to read this. I am so glad you enjoyed it and it moved you to tears.

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      manatita: Thank you so much for reading and for your kind words. I am glad you liked the ending, Yes, purple is a color of statement. lol!

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      4 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Great story. You have met the challenge with such a beautiful blend of painting the walls and parenting. I appreciate it very much.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Wonderful response to the challenge. This is so fun, reading these great examples of creativity.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marvelous marvelous marvelous. I really liked this one. Thank you.

    • Glenis Rix profile image

      Glen Rix 

      4 years ago from UK

      Congratulations on rising to the challenge admirably. Your story drew me in immediately. I liked your repetition of the word 'miscarriage' and I had become so engaged with the emotions of the narrator that the ending brought tears to my eyes.

    • manatita44 profile image


      4 years ago from london

      For me it really picked up as soon as you started telling the story. This was extremely well-written and full of life ... like purple ... like the paint.

      You could not have woven in a better ending. Related well to your story and came as a sweet surprise.

      I would have gone a little more into watching paint dry: The glistening, the smell and in relation to the senses, the memories - I think you covered that - the radiance and light ...

      The pictures caught my eye immediately! Well done! Excellent Job!

    • suzettenaples profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzette Walker 

      4 years ago from Taos, NM

      John, Thank you so much. I read your story too, which is very well done, and it inspired me. So glad you liked this and thanks so much for stopping by to read this. I love that purple room, too.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      4 years ago from Gondwana Land

      Suzette, you did a great job with this story in response to Anm's challenge. You made watching paint dry far from boring. A sad tale with a happy ending. A reader couldn't ask for more, and like me you went down the flash fiction road. Love that purple room in the pic.


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