Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Fun With Writing Prompts

I thought it might be fun to write something creative instead of whining on and on about my life and what a mess I am on any given day.  You know, break things up a bit.  Whining peppered with moderately bad creative writing for flavor.  So I looked up some writing prompts, because I always seem to get stuck coming up with ideas, and then I get stuck when it comes to structuring a plot.  Then I get stuck when it comes to actually writing an adequate ending.  But the point is, start somewhere, so I found some writing prompts here and decided to pick the one that jumped out at me the most when I glanced through the list.  So, here it goes:

#3.  The city burned, fire lighting up the night sky.

The city burned, fire lighting up the night sky.  The smoke choked the air as the sky turned red, reflecting the death and destruction below it.  Screams of pain, fear, and panic could scarcely be heard over the roar of the flames, and most of the time the smoke smothered the screaming before it had run its course.  That's where I found myself, staring in a daze at the chaos around me, unsure of how I got there or where I was to go next.  All I could see was flame, and soon the human noises were dissipating and being drown out by the groan of buildings struggling to hold their form against forces stronger than themselves.  I felt like one of those buildings.  I felt like I was struggling to hold myself together while the world had been wrecked and was attempting to tear me apart.  I staggered forward.  One step, I kept telling myself.  One step, start there.  Then another.  Soon my feet were listening to me and the dislodged gears of my mind were beginning to fit together again, whirring me back to life and to action.  It was an explosion, the memory moving from a fuzzy shadow to a sharp focus.  An explosion that lit the sky on fire before the city ever ignited.  Larger than a bomb, or at least I assumed it was, having never experienced a bomb before.  That's when I noticed the smell.  Mixed in with the smoke and flames, there was something acrid.  Something chemical that was burning my eyes and throat as I forced myself to continue breathing, fighting the urge to choke against the burning I felt in my lungs each time I forced in another gasp.  I kept moving, I don't know where I was going, but I had to keep moving.  I had to move away from the twisted metal, from the growing flames, and if I kept moving then maybe I could move far enough away from my fear as well.  That's when I realized that I was the only person moving.  Anyone who could run must have done it already, because all around me there was only death, and the wounded waiting to die.  I kept moving.  I don't know how long I stumbled through the streets, meeting no one, seeing not one friendly face to help me, and I began to realize that maybe there was no one left.  By dawn, I had reached a large expanse of open space that had been a park only hours before.  As the sun rose, I sat on the curb, watching ash rain down around me.  There was an eerie peace to it.  The soft, gentle fall of ash against a city that was just beginning to fall silent.  I sat there, letting the ash fall all around me, watching the sun rise slowly over the horizon.  I think a piece of me hoped that the new day would somehow erase the terrors of the night, and that everything would be over.  I never realized it was just beginning.  I was six years old.

So that's it.  That's what I came up with.   I haven't read it over, I literally just typed it and hit publish (this is an amendment from after publishing it, though I still haven't re-read it) so there are no edits, no polish.  Just my first instincts as I started writing.  I don't know if it's any good, but writing it felt good. 

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