One Word

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.

Embroidery, 10/10/05
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.

Fuss, 8/10/05
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 unknown reason.

Stereo, 9/10/04
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.

Seduction, 11/25/03
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.

Thief, 11/21/03
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.

Iceberg, 11/20/03
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 last legs.

Shelter, 11/19/03
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.

Orchestra, 11/17/03
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.

Balance, 11/13/03
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.

Skills, 11/11/03
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.

Bank, 11/7/03
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.

Foundation, 11/4/03
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.

Scout, 10/28/03
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, 10/26/03
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, 10/24/03
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