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PROMPTuesday #133: The First Sentence

December 6th, 2010

Last Thursday, I attended a friend’s White Elephant gift exchange, and stole the most perfect gift ever: The Writer’s Toolbox. I have to tell you: It was touch and go there for awhile. I very nearly resigned myself to not owning this most fabulous piece of magical wonder, but then as luck would have it, someone kiped my cool pink picture frame and sarcastic cocktail napkins and I had no choice but to retaliate with an uppercut steal that really took the temporary owner of the best gift of all time by surprise. There may have been tears even. (The Writer’s Toolbox was accompanied by a pashmina, which I heartlessly absconded with too.) (MWAHHHHHHH HAAAA HAAAA! snickers my dark, tarry heart.)

 

Merry Christmas!

 

It’s just that I needed this toolbox. Needed. Needed. Needed. First of all, I promised myself I would finish my manuscript by the middle of January. Secondly, this is what my heart said when I saw this gift opened by someone else other than me…

 

Nay, it screamed:

 

“Do you love to write? Do you need it, have to have it, will you dry up without it? Is it your soul, your gut, your eyes, your ears, your synapses, your core of your fiber of your nucleus? Is it? Is it?

 

And:

 

“On a hot summer night would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?”

 

Would you?”

 

Would you?”

 

Would you?”

 

Because here’s the thing. The writing? It is my wolf with the red roses. And it bites and it scratches and it roots around in my brain. And it hurts. Oh yes it does. But I need the wolf. And the wolf needs me.”

 

So give me that fucking toolbox.*”

 

And the pashmina too.”

 

So boys and girls! Now that your heart has been warmed by my merry holiday tale, here’s today’s PROMPTuesday as taken from my brand new Writer’s Toolbox…

 

Using this first sentence as inspiration, complete the story:

 

My brother does this weird thing with turtles.

 

Please post your submission in the comments or write about it on your blog and leave me the link.

 

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.

 

*Dear Mel: I’m sorry I am heartless.

 

« « Dust Clouds, A Re-Post    |    So Close, A Re-Post » »

On December 6th, 2010, La Jolla Mom said:

Ok first I’m sorry to have missed you guys on Thurs. Secondly, turtles. Awesome. I had two desert tortoises in my youth that ate tons of lettuce. That’s about all I remember. And no brother….so that’s all I got.

On December 6th, 2010, Jean Has Been Shopping said:

White elephants are so awesome! I was just talking about them over at Mama Mary’s regifting episode.
LOL @ your prompt sentence. There are going to be some great stories as a result of your new toolbox!

On December 6th, 2010, Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said:

You’re not entirely heartless. I’ll be able to get my favorite drink with the Starbucks card you let me keep. :D

On December 7th, 2010, melissa said:

my husband and i went to a colleagues house for a white elephant party. his gift was a breath kit with a tongue scraper. he gave a grenade shell. that’s how we roll here in michigan.

my wolf is stuck in my throat these days.

On December 7th, 2010, green girl in wisconsin said:

How lucky to score a great present! Atta girl!

On December 7th, 2010, rubbish said:

My brother does this weird thing with turtles;
He has a hundred or so;
The biggest one’s called Myrtle;
The smallest one’s called Mo;

He lines them up in rows;
And reads them all a book;
Yesterday it was John Fowles;
Today it’s Robin Cook;

Last week he read them Shakespeare;
Then he cranked it up a notch;
With the entire works of Germaine Greer;
Which had them all on suicide watch;

Their favourite is Robert Rankin;
And Hunter S Thomson too;
And they all agree with something;
Will Self doesn’t have a clue;

They go for a swim every evening;
In the pond in our back yard;
But now the weather’s freezing;
They can’t because the ice is so hard;

And now they’ve finished Zola;
There’s nothing left to read;
So he’s going to teach them the viola;
FFS my Brothers weird.

On December 7th, 2010, San Diego Momma said:

My brother does this weird thing with turtles.

No, it’s not like that.

But he does dress them up in Baby Alive outfits and feed them milk with ear droppers. He’s not particularly paternal either, or maternal for that matter. He just has a thing for turtles that look like babies.

To be fair, I am his only sibling and I’m older than him by five years. I wonder sometimes if he just missed having a little sister or brother to coddle. But why turtles? I just don’t know.

One time, he took his favorite turtle — Lucius Luciano Goo Goo the Third — to the Pick and Save and I swear, he nearly gave Mrs. Soffitt a heart attack. I tried to grab her hand as she pulled the curtain back on the pram, probably wondering whose baby my brother was carting around all wily nily, and when she saw Lucius’ dried-up turtle face, she backed clear into the Cheerios display. Those darn boxes covered her straight up to the top of her pink foam curlers.

To make up for it, my brother dressed Skunkle Waa Waa in her finest bonnet and bloomers and put her in a Longaberger basket with a bouquet of paper roses and a binky. He ran Mrs. Soffitt’s doorbell with only good intentions for a peace offering, but she called the cops on him and Skunkle.

That’s when things went from bad to worse. The police confiscated Skunkle for being a public nuisance and then searched my brother’s trailer on the grounds of reasonable cause. Reasonable cause for what? I asked them. Most likely to dress up turtles?

Well, that’s when they found the hamsters.
Because see, my brother also does this weird thing with hamsters. And it’s not nearly as innocent as the thing he does with the turtles.

On December 7th, 2010, Laurie Ann said:

My brother does this weird thing with turtles. Not the little turtles you get at the pet store and keep in a shallow bowl until they stink up the place because turtles are high maintenance and kind of gross. No, he collects turtles from around the pond down by the old Donnelly farm. He brings them home, paints inspirational messages and smiley faces or peace symbols on their shells, and then sets them free around town in random places “to add a bit of sunshine to someone’s day.” I tried to tell him that hardly anyone will notice these turtles as they most surely will have crawled off to some underbrush or body of water before any human interaction could occur, but he keeps doing it. “If just one person sees one of my turtles and smiles, I’ve done my job,” he says. In the meantime, these poor turtles have become the laughing stock of the whole turtle community.

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