PROMPTuesday #10: Dream Book

Welcome to PROMPTuesday! Glad you’re here. So, lucky number 10, huh? Right? Holy cridoodle. There’s been 10 PROMPTuesdays already! You’re all growing up right before my eyes. Soon, you’ll be pouring whiskey into Clinique trial hairspray bottles and sneaking into the janitor’s bathroom during your high school homecoming game to get buzzed. But you’ll forget the hairspray build-up in the nozzle and so nearly glue your esophagus shut. But don’t worry! Your friend Anne will dribble water down your throat and soon, you’ll be able to talk again. And next time, you’ll hide your alcohol in a secret compartment ring that probably contains lead. Or asbestos. But maybe you’ll learn. You’re only 10 after all. And in the meantime: please don’t drink alcohol from an aerosol can.


So before we begin with this PROMPTuesday, a bit of background: I pulled today’s creative writing prompt from a book titled, “Out of my Arse,” by Sandy Eggomama. It was right next to the popular novel, “Over the Cliff,” by Hugo First. (That whole thing fell apart at “out of my arse.”) (On second thought, I think it fell apart at “cridoodle.”) I’m sorry. Please feel free to come back next week.


Anyway. Here’s today’s prompt:


You’re in a bookstore. You see stacks and stacks of books, but one in particular catches your eye. Something about the title. You’re intrigued. You pick the book up, open it, and read the first paragraph. Now you’re hooked. What is the title of the book and what did the first paragraph say?


Here are PROMPTuesday’s rules:


  • You must write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kicks in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
  • Keep to 250 words or less.
  • Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy in the writing process.
  • Post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.


Meanwhile, if you’d like to see some of the submissions from PROMPTuesdays #1-9, click here.


I think it’s best if I leave now. It’s nearly the crack of dawn here. (Which is also a book by Seymour Butts).


I truly apologize. I’m pretty sure I have asbestos poisoning.


My submission:


…From, “Monster in My Closet…”


They found him under her bed. She’d heard he refused to come out for several drawn out minutes, so the cops pulled him out by his loafers. Nearly home when she got the call, she’d turned her car around and headed to her friend’s house in quiet shock. She’d go to the police station tomorrow. But first, she needed to stop trembling. Because had they not found him, right about now she’d be walking past where he lay, pressed against the floor, waiting.


16 thoughts on “PROMPTuesday #10: Dream Book”

  1. Her hand reaches across the table, fingers tracing the outline of letters. She circles the book table once, first searching for titles, then twice, searching now for photographs on the covers.Is it here, she wonders? Week after week she searches for the one. She settles on a paperback, rubber boots on a porch, a hand print on the glass door. Flipping the pages quickly near her face, she inhales. The smell of fresh paper and ink. No. Not this one. Next her hands float along the table straightening stacks, feeling the raised print of text. This time they reach for a hardback, a black and white photo, a child, perhaps four, centered between a man and a woman. The young child, head thrown back, toes reaching for the sky as the couple swing her forward. Once again, the pages are brought up close enough to smell. The woman fans them again, and breathes deeply. Instantly she knows, this is it. This is the one he left for her. The one lightly scented with his familiar scent of bar soap, and leather. She’s found it. Tomorrow, the title reads. Satisfied and enthralled with her discovery, she tucks the novel under her arm, and heads for the counter.

  2. An Elephant’s Birthday

    She walked across the dusty yard, navigating around the hills of fire ants to the pecan tree in her great-grandmother’s backyard. She had not been to this spot since she was eleven years old. That was the time she and her cousins had found the dead squirrel on the railroad track up the hill from the house, and she had been surprised at the stench of death. She sat under the pecan tree and wept, feeling the burden of being pregnant for two years with a horrible secret. The tears dripped down her nose, into the red dust, creating tiny moist red clay spots. Two years was a dreadfully long time to be pregnant with anything, she thought, and resolved to tell him that very day.


    He pressed the tip of his rapier lightly into the back of the Ruffian’s neck. His stance was sure; his body perfectly balanced and each muscle was alert and ready to spring into action. There would be no mistakes tonight. The moon was full and he had no trouble sizing up his opponent and calculating the risks. The cavalier had carefully positioned himself between the moon and the struggling figures on the grass, knowing his elegant cape and plumed hat would cut quite the dashing . . . and intimidating . . . silhouette.

    “I’d thank you to unhand the lady.”

  4. Here is my submission!

    “The Roman Indiscretion”

    Jane asked her cousin Catherine, “Did you pack the new ribbons we bought at Hennesy’s this morning? I don’t know if they will be in fashion in Rome but Mr. Hennesy did say that they were Italian ribbons. ”
    “The Italians are so far behind the London times. I am sure we will be looking to us for the latest in silks and taffetas. I did pack the ribbons and the new green silk gown for all the balls we will be attending.”
    “Really? Do you think that we will be invited to balls? I can’t wait to dance with the Italian boys.”
    “Yes, Jane, of course we will be asked to balls and dinners. My mother’s old friend, Countess Girotto lives there. And don’t be in such a hurry to meet Italian boys. You have heard what they do to us nice English girls. Keep your eyes on the English men, is what I say.”
    The cousins boarded the ship to Italy early the next morning with Catherine’s mother, Mrs. Adams.
    Mrs. Adam’s warned them on the boat ride, “Be careful not to fall in love with an Italian men. It is not respectable in our little English corner of society. Do keep your propriety and modesty in check, ladies or I will be forced to send you back to London.”

  5. The Round House

    Gavin didn’t bother to slice a piece of the cake for himself. It was past midnight, he was hungry and since he planned to toss the thing in the garbage in the morning anyway, he figured, what’s the point? He reached for one of the two forks from the dish rack and turned his attention to the Bundt cake Chloe had made earlier that afternoon. She hadn’t stopped baking since the day Ben died. The house had filled up with all the food brought by cautious neighbors and then, little by little, with blackberry scones, raspberry fudge, lemon bars, snickerdoodles, lady fingers, apple tart tartin, chocolate angel food cake, and peanut butter cookies. Really, it had all started with the peanut butter cookies. Gavin had tried, but it didn’t matter what he said. He couldn’t get Chloe to stop with the peanut butter cookies. Or any of it, for that matter. She was baking away her grief and now, here he stood in the dark, wearing only his boxers, ravenously eating chunks of the chocolate cake, swallowing her sorrow crumb by crumb.

  6. Everybody! You did it again: achieved awesomeness!

    Thanks for gracing this little space with your fabulousity.


  7. “Drinking, Smoking and Screwing”

    There is, on the one hand, life, and on the other living and what stands the twain apart is a matter of indulgence.

  8. These are so great! I want to read all of these nonexistent books. Amanda – Do I sense some bodice-ripping in the offing? Do tell! And as for you, Tony – SO wrong and SO FUNNY! I see where your sensibilities lie. May I recommend a little Henry Miller. . .?

  9. The novel had stalled. I was giving it up — for good! I was giving it up. I just hadn’t gotten around to telling anybody. I still went to “work” in the converted garden shed, whose pine-panelled walls had steadily closed in on me for the past 12 months, but instead of writing I thought about how to tell Ellie that the gamble she’d made, the trips she’d never taken, all the nice stuff that she didn’t have, was all for nothing. My best friend Simon once told me that his trick for getting unstuck was “to bring in the girl with a gun.” But what girl? What gun? I looked through all ten of his best-selling books and I swear to God, I couldn’t find a single example.

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