This is an interesting literary exercise
I've recently come across. ONE WORD
serves up one random word, and then the writer has sixty seconds to write
anything and everything that comes to mind about it. True, this can tend to
become a speed-typing contest, but fortunately the output isn't
capitalized, so one doesn't need to bother with it. (And you also get to
look like e.e. cummings, for whatever that's worth.) And based on some of
the entries, many writers don't bother with proper punctuation, which is
one of the simultaneously liberating and infuriating things about Internet
correspondence. Anyway, here are my own efforts.
Phyllis glanced down at her embroidery, suddenly realizing that she wasn't
much interested in the projected she was working on, and that she was only
doing it to keep herself occupied. The pattern was perfect, as always, but
she suddenly realized that perfection didn't matter much.
I don't know why Caroline was raisin' such a fuss over Oswald. He hardly
seemed worth her time, or anyone else's time for that matter. He was no
good, and didn't ever pretend otherwise. But she was keen on him for some
The stereo stood in the corner, slowly gathering dust. Once it had been
essential--the first thing unpacked in a new apartment, the first CD played
there always remembered. But now he had moved on to other interests, and
the music was somehow left behind.
The seduction of the investment banking world was palpable. Michael stood
on LaSalle Street, his diploma in hand, trying to finagle his way inside
the financial corridors of power. There was inside trading to be done, and
he did not want to be left out in the cold.
The thief slipped quietly out of the third-story window, slid along the fire
escape and dropped into the alley before disappearing into the night. It
would be days before anyone discovered the theft, and even then the
neighbors hardly cared.
The iceberg lettuce was wilted and brown, the steak undercooked, the wait
staff surly when they bothered addressing you at all. And the guest room
was filthy and not redecorated in decades. The old hotel was clearly on its
Give me shelter from the storm, protect me from the world's evils, watch
over me and prevent me from making any egregious mistakes, pamper me, save
me from myself.
The sound from the orchestra swelled, and David and Lily were taken away,
transported to a world that didn't include jobs, or financial obligations,
or responsibilities, and their joyous dancing expressed the innermost hope
of their otherwise weighted souls.
Her arrival threw me completely out of balance. My life had been so neatly,
so carefully ordered, everything as I thought I wanted it to be. But she
gleefully disrupted, calling into question everything I had taken for
granted. And making me the better for it.
She simply lacked the basic skills necessary to survive in today's
cutthroat working world. The educational system had failed her, badly,
promoting her year after year to get rid of her, without teaching her
anything of value.
The bank foreclosed, sending David and Maria into the street, with all of
their possessions, their two kids and scruffy dog. The bottom line was
simply more important than people having a roof over their heads.
Basic morals are the foundation of our society. We need a basic set of
ground rules on how to properly treat each other; without them, all we have
is anarchy. Respect for others is paramount.
I pushed ahead through the thick woods, mindlessly volunteering to lead the
squadron. Scout, or moving target. The woods were heavy with enemies we
couldn't see, but knew were there.
Roses are all I could give to her. I couldn't give her a good mate or a
good life...just roses, purchased at the last possible minute. Doghouse
roses, as Steve Earle called them, as I was rarely in her good graces. Yet
she hung onto me anyway.
Saved from drudgery, Mildred moved joyously into respectable married life.
No more washing someone else's lineoleum floors for her. Domestic bliss.
Copyright 2005, P.J. Anderson