PROMPTuesday #13: Finish It

First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here.
Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.


In the meantime, for today’s exercise, I’d love you to add to the sentences provided below. Complete the paragraph and continue the story.




“Wait!” I screamed after her.Your hat!”


She ignored me, which was to be expected. We hadn’t talked, not really anyway, in more than 10 years. I scooped up her black hat. The mesh veil fluttered beneath my fingers…




Usual PROMPTuesday guidelines apply, as below:

  • You must write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kick 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.


I can’t wait to see what you make happen next.


28 Responses to “PROMPTuesday #13: Finish It”

  1. […] today’s exercise, Deb would love you to add to the sentences provided below. Complete the paragraph and continue the […]

  2. Da Goddess says:

    Yep, see? I’m done. Can’t wait to read everyone else’s!

  3. LarryG says:

    what a pickle this produced…
    come over for a swim, if you dare :)

  4. Deborah says:

    …and I fled, abandoning the remaining mourners standing forlornly as if waiting for their lines in a scene. I could not bear to picture his body beneath the freshly mounded soil. I felt as if I would shatter into a million pieces if I didn’t scream, run, convince myself I was still alive and not down there with him. But I was running after the one person who would reject me, as she had when I had stolen him from her and denied her the last 10 years of happiness.

    Had I been happy? My fingers tightened on the hat, crumpling the delicate fabric. Passion that burned so brightly like an unquenched thirst; a fever that gripped me in a madness that wouldn’t let go. And now that he was gone, who was I? There was no doubt the past 10 years had been worth it for me, but at what cost to others?

    I stumbled over a tree root and flung out one hand, the other still clutching the hat. I couldn’t let it go. It was the only link between us now. Her slim figure receded as she lengthened the distance between us with long strides.

    Hot tears blurred my vision. “Vivian!” I called, desperate now, and picked up my pace. “Please.”

    She stopped, making a slow pivot as she turned and waited for me. Breathless, I caught up with her. “Vivian, please don’t.” My voice broke. “I’ve lost everything. I can’t lose you too.”

    Vivian extended her hand towards me.
    “Give me my hat,” she said in a voice that could cut glass.

  5. Da Goddess says:

    Wow, Deborah, that was intense. I want the rest of THAT story!

  6. San Diego Momma says:

    “Wait!” I screamed after her. “Your hat!”

    She ignored me, which was to be expected. We hadn’t talked, not really anyway, in more than 10 years. I scooped up her black hat. The mesh veil fluttered beneath my fingers.

    She’d worn the thing with the rest of her ensemble while fingering her rosary in the front pew of the church. She’d always been one with the outfits. Perfectly matched to any occasion, a dove gray suit for afternoon weddings, gauzy dress for garden parties, and now, an elegant black sheath. She’d want this hat back.

    I ran after her.

    She continued to walk even as my footsteps pounded behind her. Gasping, I tapped her on the shoulder.

    She stopped, her straight back as narrow and erect as a pencil. I circled around to face her.

    “I know you killed him,” I said, finally able to look her full in the face.

    Her eyes didn’t move, not a blink. “Yes.” Her simple answer came, sure, without pretense, without apology.

    My relief at hearing her voice after all these years nearly outweighed my shock at what it said.

    She resumed her pace, and didn’t look back when she said, “And you can keep the hat.”

  7. San Diego Momma says:

    Masters! All of you! PROMPTuesday masters!

    Thanks for playing.

    Also, FYI: Deborah is in the final stages of having her non-fiction book represented by a publisher. PLUS, she’s shopping her mystery thriller right now as I write, AND working on the sequel to it.

    So, if you wouldn’t mind wishing her the best as she closes in on the final stages of her book being accepted, that’d be great!

  8. tinsenpup says:

    It’s Wednesday here now, but better late than never, I guess. Here it is.

  9. LarryG says:

    wow! i’m putting that hat on the shelf to take down and ponder now and then.
    thanks for the Prompting Deb.

  10. Deborah says:

    San Diego Momma, thanks for the plug! That was so sweet and unexpected.
    And Da Goddess, thanks for your comments too!
    And wow, the contributions so far haven’t been too shabby, have they? I didn’t give mine a happy ending at all, but found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Da Goddess’ ending.

  11. Finish it says:

    […] Deb is at it again.  The bold portion is her prompt. The rest is me. 250 words or less. Ten minutes. Go. […]

  12. Cocktail Maven says:

    NOTE: I TOTALLY CHEATED. I practically doubled both the time and the length, but I had FUN, darn it!

    “Wait!” I screamed after her. “Your hat!”

    She ignored me, which was to be expected. We hadn’t talked, not really anyway, in more than 10 years. I scooped up her black hat. The mesh veil fluttered beneath my fingers…

    I considered going after her. I could have caught her before the service, but I was expressly NOT invited. The years of enduring her hatred kept me rooted to the doorstep, hat in hand. “Serves her right” I said aloud. I knew how strongly she felt about graveside decorum. She would be mortified to arrive bareheaded and barefaced.

    It’s hard to believe my sister Joan and I were once incredibly close. So close, in fact, that we built a home together. It is a two story Spanish affair with identical floor plans upstairs and down: Two bedrooms, a large eat-in kitchen, living room and one and a half baths. The stacked cottages differed only in our color choices. Joanie was fond of mauve, while I leaned more toward greens and cream. We intended to grow old together here in harmony and mutual support. Having remained unmarried well into our thirties, we were satisfied that we ould likely never marry. Then came Terrence.
    Terrence courted my sister in an impassioned tornado and married her after only three weeks. During that time she had been completely transformed by their affair. She began an average middle-aged bookkeeper and became a romantic heroine to make a Barbara Cartland proud. I watched the transformation with awe, and then with envy. The late night that a drunken Terrence stumbled into my first floor home by mistake, I only wanted a little taste of what my sister had. Had I foreseen the bitter shrieking matches to come — the slammed doors, the hatred — I would have shoved Terrence back into the hallway and carried him up the stairs if necessary. Ultimately, it became too much for Terrence, and he abandoned my sister. She’d had no word of him until yesterday, when a lawyer called to say Terrence was dead.
    I glanced up from my doorstep reverie when I heard a car approach. Joanie emerged slowly from her ancient Buick and turned to face me. Her tear-stained cheeks were no surprise, but there was something else. The old, familiar hatred was gone from her eyes. Her gaze was instead hopeless and, dare I say, apologetic? I went to her and proffered the hat. She didn’t even glance at it. She just took my face in her hands and whispered, “I’m so sorry, Janice. I’m so, so sorry . . . all these years I’ve cost us.”
    “But what? Why? What’s happened, Joanie?”
    “So many women.” Her voice broke, but she went on. “There were so many women at the funeral. And the police. Those women lost everything, Joanie. Terry conned them all. What you did? You saved me. I’m so sorry.”

  13. mami Jen says:

    … soft and delicate. I ran after her. She was never one to leave things carelessly behind. She was either ready to talk or couldn’t stand to be there anymore.
    We always knew that Dad would go first and I’m sure she did too but it’s still something you can never truly prepare yourself for. Seeing her for the first time after that fateful burst of emotion 10 years ago, paled to anything I could ever imagine. She was frail and so small. Disappearing into herself, mind, body and soul.
    It didn’t take me long to catch up to her.
    “Mom, I’m so sorry.” It was all I could say. 10 years ago our conversations flowed like running water. We’d talk for hours about everything and nothing. And now I was standing behind her, scared, speachless. How could I ever take the pain away I had brought upon her all those years? She turned to face me. Her eyes revealing her soul red, hurt, broken. Then the closed, she was falling. I reached out to grab her. Her body now resting in my arms she looked up at me. Those eyes now smiling. She spoke,”Te quiro, mi hijta.” Then she was gone.

  14. Da Goddess says:

    Great stuff from everyone!

    Deborah, wishing you all the best. Now, could you please share your muse with me? Promise to feed her and keep her well for a week or two and then give her back. Honest. Trussssst me.

  15. San Diego Momma says:

    OK. One more time: you guys are just plain good.

    Cocktail: Surprise ending! Loved it!

    Mami Jen: Nice to have a new player on board! Love the line “Her eyes revealing her soul red, hurt, broken.”

  16. I love this idea and really should be participating. My short fiction pen is all rusty, and it might loosen me up a little.

  17. Momma Mary says:

    I finished mine. I’ll try to get around and read everyone’s tomorrow! For now, I’m off to bed!

    Here ’tis!

    Good night!

  18. Temple Stark says:

    I’d come back to my hometown to visit my family. They had rejected me, tearfully, yes, but they had indeed said goodbye to me, my lifestyle and, seemingly my past. Given no choice, I had done the same and lived, happily but under a persistent shadow.

    My parents had died two years ago, my brother and sister last year. I had only found out a couple of months ago in a conversation with an old teacher.

    Deeply wounded, I blamed everyone who had blamed me – for something I couldn’t control. Speciously my anger re-ignited at the dead.

    There, here again now, was pain on top of pain and I thought I would never return. But holiday weekend plans had fallen apart and I found myself booking a flight and taking off toward the blues.

    Such a small town, there were only three graveyards. Having slept overnight in a quiet motel along Main Street, having been slightly afraid to go to any restaurants, not knowing how her life had been shaped by tongues in her absence or who she might meet, she stayed inside, ordering pizza and watching ghastly TV while feeling equally horrible.

    The veil in her hand showed that someone close to Theresa had died and it hurt not to be able to hold her as I had before.

    The veil in her hand, the material now rubbed between my fingers, was so soft, as Theresa had been and would always be.

    The veil in her hand, I suddenly pulled close to my breast and without warning drenched it in streaming tears.

    Forgot to post my words here. That was about 260 words but I kept writing because i had more to say so the rest is at my site.

  19. […] The PROMPTuesday exercise this week is to finish the bolded part of the beginning below. I did the 10 minutes but there was much more I had in me to write so I continued, as well. […]

  20. tinsenpup says:

    Deborah: That was great. I would love to hear more. Congratulations on the sucess with your writing.

    Deb: I LOVE this. “And you can keep the hat.” Absolutely superb.

    Cocktail Maven: It’s easy to see you had fun with that. Nice twist at the end.

    Mami Jen: I wanted to hear more of this one too! Lovely.

  21. Deborah says:

    Thanks Da Goddess and tinsenpup for the kind words – and everyone for the entertainment of different perspectives. Aren’t these stories fun?

    And Da Goddess, San Diego Momma is my muse. She’d probably love the break at your house! And for anyone who writes (I think that covers everyone here) or wants answers or support, Absolute Write (the website) is an absolute gift to writers.

  22. Hen says:

    OMG…glad it’s wednesday…I got ‘exam fear’ and felt like a rabbit in headlights!

  23. Temple Stark says:

    I plan to link most everybody’s on the PROMPT I wrote, but in case i don’t – the quality of PROMPTs this week was STELLAR.!

    – temple

  24. Momma Mary says:

    WOW!!! the imagery and emotions that come through in these are great!! I LOVE this!!

    Thanks for some good short reads!!

  25. […] week, I wanted to return to the first line prompt, because I’m feeling all fictiony and sublime and I have no idea what that means, so ignore […]

  26. […] going to share below have repeated in my head lately. I first published this sometime in 2008 (PROMPTuesday #13 to be exact) and I want to provide the story starter again. I feel like it’s singing a siren […]

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