Writing prompts can be a word or a thought. Some of the most interesting prompts can be found in the subject line of spam email. Who thinks of these things? Not that I’m recommending spam as an entrance into great literature, but it can spur the mind in interesting directions. Have a look at your junk mail before you delete it next time. Then, for ten minutes, empty your mind and write whatever comes into your head. Use a timer. If nothing else it will clear out all of the garbage that would have ended up in your great american novel had you not taken the time to dispose of it. If you like, share it with the rest of us. Writes can be anything, comments only positive.
I’ll go first…”something’s burning” was the prompt.
She’s sitting alone. Her cigarette between her first and second finger, floating a foot above the table. Her fingernails are perfect. Perfectly manicured. Perfectly pink. There is no nicotine stain. She doesn’t smoke often. She is trying to create an impression. And she doesn’t really like to smoke. He can tell. She rarely inhales and when she drops her hand to flick her ashes they tumble sideways out of the ashtray onto the old linoleum floor. Finally the cigarette burns down and she stubs it clumsily, looking out cautiously from under her blackened lashes.
She sees him watching her. Looks away. Maybe relief crosses her brow as she lifts her coffee cup and sips. Finally the cigarette is done and she can go back to her real vice. He gets up and walks toward her table. He has to turn sideways to avoid the woman’s purse at the table next to hers. He’s going to the restroom. He turns toward her. Her hand is resting next to her coffee cup at the edge of the table. She feels the rough fabric of his jeans brush her knuckles. She doesn’t look up. Her other hand slides quietly under the table and rests in her lap. Her fingertips brush the top of her thighs.