Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #183

Our own Sean Platt and David Wright chose today’s words. In Sean’s words …

To celebrate David Wright and I finally finishing our serialized fiction project, Yesterday’s Gone, today’s challenge is filled with 10 words from our story.

If you’d like to get your juices flowing, check out the awesome trailer:

See you below!

BET YOU CAN’T do this writing prompt. Take the 10 random words below and, in the comments, crush writer’s block by creating a cohesive, creative short story tying all of them together! And remember: after (if) you finish, highlight your words and click the bold button to make them stand out and help you determine if you forgot any words. (If you’ve missed previous writing prompts, we BET YOU CAN’T do those, either.)

  1. Yesterday 
  2. Apocalypse 
  3. Gone
  4. Empty
  5. Desolate
  6. Forbidden 
  7. Time
  8. Eyes 
  9. Know 
  10. Vacant 

NOTE: Don’t copy and paste from MS Word. Use a program like notepad that removes formatting or just type in the comment field itself. Also, finish your submission, THEN bold the words. Thanks. (And don’t forget to tweet this and share it with your friends.)

Resources you should check out:
Thesis: Best Damn Theme on the Web
Collective Ink Well: Personalize Your Thesis Theme
Third Tribe Marketing: Marketing done the right way
Story Structure Demystified: Best damn writing book out there


128 Comments on “Writing Prompts – Creative Copy Challenge #183”

  1. Sean says:

    Are you kidding me?
    My yesterday was worthless and my tomorrow an apocalypse. Opportunity had evaporated, my motivation had gone with it.
    I looked around at the empty street of my afternoon; desolate, forbidden, frozen in time.
    It was impossible to believe I’d let it get this far.
    I had only myself to blame.
    I narrowed my eyes at the cold, hateful fact.
    It is always impossible to ignore what you know is the truth. But the vacant cup couldn’t lie.
    I was totally out of coffee.

    • Yep, the lack of coffee signals the beginning of A pock-a-lips.
      Congratulations to you and David for completing Season one.
      The trailer is sweet! Digging under the sofa now…

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Sean. I have my daily battle with coffee and sadly it often wins.

      Congrats on Season One!  I’ve never heard of serialized fiction but I’m loving the idea.  My husband will be thrilled that I’m actually using my Nook instead of checking out books from the library (Nook prices are O.O.C.).

      I think the trailer is super creative and funny.  Who wouldn’t want to read a series that leaves you saying “WTF”?

      • Sean says:

        Thanks, Jeanette!
        We stole the idea from Charles Dickens, but definitely modernizing it.
        You can get Episode One of Yesterday’s Gone for Nook for .99, and we’ll have the full season uploaded soon!

    • Jen says:

      How could your protagonist let it come to this? Shame and woe be unto thee.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Heheh, loved the surprise ending, and congrats on your serialized fiction for e-readers idea!  I’ve been waiting for a week-to-week excitement from an ongoing story after “LOST” and “Battlestar Galactica,” and this format just might do the trick!

      • Sean says:

        I’ve been told to murder my darlings. Really, it could’ve been a lot worse!

    • Dee says:

      omg next you will tell me that Starbucks is closing all it’s stores!  Whew, scared me for a minute there.  A world without coffee.  I would be a zombie! Great stuff 🙂 Congrats on the fiction – what a great idea!

  2. Shane Arthur says:

    “Hey Billy. There’s dat Sean Platt feller dat wrote dat Yesterday’s Gone book about da apocalypse. He looks desolate… vacant… stuck in time, like he’s one of them there store man-a-kinfolk — da ones that security tells us is forbidden to touch but I still pulls they pants down and runs away anyways. Why’s he at dat book store wit his eyes staring at his empty coffee cup like it done him wrong?

    “Bobby, I don’t know, but I know just what I has to do.”


    “Billy! Billy! Why’s we runnin’ from Mall Security and why’d you cold-cock dat poor Platt feller in his noggin … and who’s dis Boricio feller?”

    “Read the book, Bobby. It’s the only thing more fun den runnin’ from mall security.”

    • Sean says:

      GO TEAM BORICIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • @Sean: That Boricio is one bad mofo.
        I’m reading a few chapters during breakfast and breaks 🙂
        Good stuff so far! I love the whole concept you two have going on.
        Reminds me of The Guild on YouTube…

        • Sean says:

          Thanks Mitchell!
          Glad you like it. Boricio is an evil, evil man, but also one of the characters I’ve had the most fun writing, ever. I now understand why actors always say it’s much more fun to play the villain!

    • Out of all the Kevin Baconish relativity strings, this is the first one that includes a parental love unit.
      If that’s in the book, then I’m totally buying it.
      Taking a stab at the string, the mystery man would either be banging the Aunt or {gasps!} the Grandmother!
      I’m really intrigued, now.

      • Shane Arthur says:

        @Mitch:Hey Mitch feller! You’s way off, but you made us chuckle. Alls I can say is dat Boricio is one funny serial killer!

        • Well, I found a buncha quarters and a Domino’s coupon for $5.00 off. I ‘spect to get the whole season for free. LOL
          I read the first episode on the website and I’m hooked.
          I’m currently reading Aaron Pogue’s third Ghost Targets novel, so the serial thriller will be next!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Shane.  Wait… if Bobby and Billy are promoting Sean’s books than I gots to get them 😉

    • Jen says:

      These two make me so tense, in that rubber necking kind of way. Don’t molest the man-a-kinfolk. Don’t hurt the mall cops. They have feelings, too.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Shane, I loved how you added your story to Sean’s!  It inspired me for today’s piece too 🙂

        • Shane Arthur says:

          @Jen: Haha.
          @Frank: I was going in a whole other direction until Sean’s email got into my admin. I always try not to read any submissions before I do my own, but in this instance, I’m glad I did.

  3. Congratulations, Sean and David. I haven’t seen the trailer yet. Will do after I finish this.


    I know that time is my enemy. I must practice knocking on the empty space of this vacant house, imagining the impassive gaze of wary eyes. The desolate future of unemployment looms – an apocalypse of unpaid bills. I have forbidden myself the luxury of wallowing in the failure of yesterday. The past is gone!

  4. Jeanette R. says:

    I wave my hand in front of her vacant eyes.  “Hello?  I’ve been talking to you for like five minutes and you’ve had no reaction.”

    She reaches for the remote and pauses the television show. Leaning back into her seat she adjusts the sofa pillows and props her feet up on the makeshift coffee table.  We bought it on sale at Ikea and it took three hours to assemble. One leg is shorter than the other so it’s constantly rattling against the tile floor.

    “Yesterday, you wouldn’t allow me to catch up on my shows and now I’m two weeks behind on Real Housewives.”  She lifts herself off the couch to check the time on the microwave.  “Wow, it’s getting late.  You’ve got five minutes to plead your case.”

    “Sorry if I interrupt your mind numbing session to spark a little intelligent conversation. I was just saying that these women have the IQ of field mice and look at the lifestyle they have.”  I get up from my chair and point to the screen to emphasize my point. “We can empty our entire apartment and it would all fit into her basement…and it would probably still look desolate”

    “I know… but please stop bitching about my shows.  I can’t watch CSPAN all day.  I need something to take my mind off of things.  I feel like I’m breaking the rules or doing something forbidden. Our life is surrounded by stress.  This relaxes me.”

    I grab for my glass of water and stare at the cardboard coaster.  The thickness of it looks like it would even out the coffee table so I try it.  Doesn’t work. She’s staring at me.

    “Doesn’t it bother you that you went to college AND grad school and you barely make the average national salary?  And that these poor excuses for women think it’s the apocalypse whenever they can’t find the right shade of red lipstick? We’ve done everything we were told to do: get an education, work hard, follow the rules… But somehow we live in a shoebox and these women live in multimillion-dollar homes. ”  

    She motions for me to move aside from the television. “It’s Sunday and I don’t want to get into it.  I get your point.  They make for great T.V., what can I tell you.  Go on Twitter and express your rage.  Let me finish this.”

    I get up from my chair and grab my laptop on the floor.  “Maybe I will rant on Twitter.  I can tweet about how far-gone my lovely girlfriend is. I’ll find someone who thinks there is something wrong with the way things are.  #Shit. Is. Backwards.”

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jeanette: I love how you write human interactions. Makes for a great, effortless read. Write on.

    • Jeanette, I’m so feeling you on this one. I remember similar apartments, unmatched furniture and lives of the rich and famous scrolling by on the most expensive equipment in the apartment.
      Nothing to eat, but I didn’t miss an episode of Real World.
      Talk about backwards. 🙂

    • Jen says:

      I like to refer to my decorating style as “early college.” Some day I’ll have big people things…. I was right there with you, right up to the cardboard coaster. I mean, that’s classy.

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        Jeanette, your ability to write from any point of view continues to amaze me!  Last time you were an old man, and this time a boyfriend!  Great stuff!

    • Dee says:

      This is so…relevant.  Loved it – I can hear it, every single word. In fact I think my husband and I have had very similar conversations.  I really enjoyed this one!

  5. Anne Wayman says:

    Yesterday felt so vacant. You’re gone which, when you left, felt like an apocalypse, leaving me empty, desolate and tempted to taste the forbidden. I see the horrific knowing reflected in all time in eyes everywhere.

  6. margaret says:

    I feel quite desolate, and in my heart I know….
    My apocalypse is here…. it’s the end of the show.
    My pantry is empty of forbidden treats….
    and my fridge, vacant of yesterday‘s eats.

    I looked in the mirror, frowned and thought “It’s time
    to grocery shop for only food that’s benign.
    The scale confirmed what my eyes have known,
    that for my food crimes I need to atone.

    The Holidays are coming and it will only get worse,
    so now is the time for my trends to reverse.
    Yes, Maxim bars, Ben & Jerry’s, and cookies are gone,
    but tomorrow I’ll sing a healthier song.

    (note to Sean….every few months it’s time again, huh?) xo mom…good luck on “Yesterday’s Gone.”Proud of you. 🙂

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Ma: Whenever I eat sinful food such as ice cream, I think of you! 🙂 Great poetry as always.
      (p.s. I’d love to see a Yesterday’s Gone poem – after you finish reading it)

      • Frank Ruiz says:

        As a guy who downed a pint of “Schweddy Balls” ice cream yesterday, I’m totally relating to this piece!

        • margaret says:

          How was it, Frank? I’ve been wanting to try it, but I live in a rather ethnically mixed area and I think the store managers just don’t get it, haha! I have not been able to find it anywhere.

          • Frank Ruiz says:

            I got mine at a Ben & Jerry’s shop in Northern VA.  It was like “Whoppers” in vanilla ice cream with a shot of rum in it!  I guess they want to make sure you’re mixing your alcohol and your balls, heheh!

      • margaret says:

        I’m still working on “yesterday’s gone”..but it’s a possibility when I finsish!   enjoy your sinful food, Shane!

    • Ahhhh, noo! Not the Ben & Jerry’s! Swap out the broccoli, however it’s spelled.
      Good luck with the trend reversal.

      • margaret says:

        Yeah, B&J’s has to go…no self control….I can eat the whole pt. in one sitting. I’m afraid it will be a cup of kettle corn or apples w pnut butter for now.

    • Sean says:

      Hey, I’m letting the fries burn while being here right now!
      Wish it wasn’t true, but it totally is. Not CCC’s fault, it’s mine. I ended up writing a tribute to Steve Jobs today that took WAY longer than I thought it would. Left me super behind. I’ll spare you the agenda. 🙂

    • Dee says:

      From someone who is perpetually dieting, exercising, and downing vitamins…POOP!  I would give my arm for a pint of B & J lol This is awesome!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Margaret. My apocalypse has arrived as well. I’ve had my fun and now it’s time to dust off my sneakers and push the plates of delicious sauces and cheeses to the side. But I sure did enjoy myself!

  7. Jen says:

    Oh! Don’t say Ben and Jerry have to go on hiatus. Well done.

  8. Frank Ruiz says:

    Yesterday was crazy, let me tell you!  A scene that’s probably one of the signs of impending apocalypse!

    With my money gone, and my gas-tank on empty, I headed for the refuge of my local bookstore at the nearby mall.  These brick-and-mortar places aren’t going to last forever, but in the meantime I can at least browse the books and magazines for free.

    Going there on a Sunday during football means the place is desolate, but it makes for a quieter reading environment, which I like.  I wish it was more like a library, where making noise is forbidden, but I can walk to the bookstore, while the library takes more time and gas than I have at the moment.

    So anyway, I was just settling into the magazine section when I hear the loudest racket!  I peek over the magazine rack to see what the commotion was, and I see this poor guy on the ground, with an empty coffee cup next to him!

    I run over to him since there’s barely anyone around, and he’s getting back up, pointing at the exit.  I look, and these two hillbillies are running out of the place!

    I help the guy on the ground on his feet.

    “Mr. Boricio, are you okay?”

    He shoots me a stern look.  “That’s not my name.”

    “I’m sorry, I thought that’s what those guys called you as they were running out.”

    “No, I’m Sean.  Thanks, but excuse me.”

    Sean tries to run toward the exit, but he’s still woozy, so I stop him.

    “Hey, maybe you should rest for a moment.  You took quite a wallop from those guys!”

    Sean was adamant.  “I’m fine, really.”

    “Not from where I’m standing.  Your eyes look a little glassy; vacant.  We both know you need time to clear your head.”

    Sean relents.  “Fine.  Those hicks are probably long gone anyway.”

    “Exactly, and if anyone can catch them, it’s mall security.”

    “Yeah, good point.”

    “Wait here.”  I go and buy Sean a cup of coffee.

    When I come back, he’s putting his coat on.

    “Hey, Sean, you leaving already?  Take this with you, as it’ll help you focus, hopefully.”

    “Thanks.  I was just thinking about coffee before I got cold-cocked.  Listen, I appreciate your help.”

    With that, he left, and I decided to walk home too, but the day’s weirdness didn’t end there!

    Something must have been in the air, because on my way out, I saw a guy furiously typing on his laptop.  Curiosity got the best of me, so I leaned in enough to see his screen.  Before he shooed me away, I saw him typing on Twitter about the “Real Housewives” show.  He was typing in all-caps, so you know this guy was pissed!

    As I kept walking home, I saw some poor soul knocking on the side of his house and putting his ear to the wall, as though the whole place was hollow!  Then I saw a woman taking a bunch of snacks and “Ben & Jerry’s” pints and throwing them out!  Those things looked brand new!  I almost wanted to cross the street and take them out of the trash for myself, but at the next house over, I saw a woman staring through her window with a look of such sorrow and loss that it froze me in my tracks.  I know I saw a lot of craziness that day, but whatever she’s gone through, I know it was worse.

  9. Rebecca says:

    The time has come to take responsibility for your life,
    Yesterday is gone and isn’t coming back.
    You need to come out of the desolate wasteland,
    Or continue to suffer an empty, vacant life.
    You know what you need to do, open your eyes,
    Allow the apocalypse to come and clear the way.
    You’ve forbidden yourself to live your best life yet,
    It’s time to come out of the shadows and reclaim what is rightfully yours.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Awesome piece, Rebecca,and one filled with advice I need to take for myself every now and then!

    • Rebecca, this is the first time I’ve ever been advised to welcome the apocalypse! What a perspective!
      I love that last line.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Rebecca: Totally cool way to flip the word apocalypse on it’s head and turn it into something good. Truly enjoyed that.

    • Dee says:

      I like this piece. It is true that sometimes we need to clear out the past before we can move on to the present and finally future.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Rebecca.  I love how this poem can apply to a plethora of life situations.  I’ve always been the responsible type but this can be a hindrance as well because it stops you from living a free life.
      Best line “You’ve forbidden yourself to live your best life yet.”  So true.  We limit ourselves without even realizing it.  I’m really feeling this poem.

  10. Jen says:

    I call them DBTE for short. Dead Behind the Eyes. I know it’s not nice, but when I look at them, as we sit in overstuffed chairs, sipping mimosas served by women in aprons who walked to work and will walk home again, I see the apocalypse of compassion.  The homes are too big, their cares are far too small. Their yesterdays are someone else’s wasted time; they have people to do each minor task for them, from lightbulb changing to sautéing the morels for the cream sauce, to placing the sauced filets on the elegant table, surrounded by people, but empty of  souls.
    I watch them as we talk, this weird little clutch of mothers who meet for book club. How did I get here? Will they tow my car parked at the curb, with its missing hubcap? I make a statement about the power of the prostitute, the main character, and they stare back at me, so many faces reflecting a desolate wasteland, so untested by thought as to be rendered virtually vacant. They blink. I look down at my book, open on my lap. I whisper something inconsequential. Prostitutes with power? I have left the safety of home improvement talk and new chandelier shopping for the forbidden discourse of the thinking.
    They are a lovely group of women. Their world is gone to me. And mine to theirs.

    • Frank Ruiz says:

      Awesome!  Those dead-behind-the-eyes ladies just squandered their chance to be truly alive!  It’s too bad that they didn’t recognize their means to salvation through their book club guest!

    • Wow. You know, if they would just watch a few episodes of Weeds…LOL
      I love this entry! The sad thing is, they’re probably all Liberal Arts graduates with brains pickled by mimosa fumes.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Jen: Completely wonderful. Reminds me of a book I recently read called The Help. Write on.

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Jen.  The last three sentences really make this piece incredible.  It leaves you begging for answers as to what happened to her and why is she there with those women. My favorite line “the forbidden discourse of thinking.”

    • Dee says:

      I think DBTE is going to be my new favorite acronym.  Loved it!

  11. Rebecca says:

    @ Frank … I hear ya! I wrote the piece for my sister. I’ll show it to her when things settle down.

    BTW: Great job … I loved the imagery.

  12. Rebecca says:

    @ Jen … I loved the lines , “I see the apocalypse of compassion and Prostitutes with with?” This was a very thought provoking piece.

    • Jen says:

      Rebecca, I didn’t see a connection between my fictional prostitute with these rich women of power (by wealth) until you said that, but now I’m all kinds of intrigued.

  13. Rebecca says:

    @ Frank … I hope so too. I hope so too.

  14. Rebecca says:

    @ Mitch … Thanks … Sometimes, it’s best to ‘wipe’ out everything and begin anew. Lol!

    BTW: “I have forbidden myself the luxury of wallowing in the failure of yesterday. The past is gone!” is a great line. I know a lot of people who would benefit from reading this.

  15. Rebecca says:

    @ Shane … Thanks … I love the adventures of Billy and Bobby — another great short!

  16. Cathy Miller says:

    Sorry, I’m coming late to the party. 1st off-soooo exciting, Sean. That trailer review sounds like something Shane would have written. 🙂 Can’t wait to get started reading it-good luck!! Now. on to the words….
    Was it only yesterday that she kissed him good-bye? If he had known the apocalypse that would become his life, he would never have let her go. But, he did, and now she was gone. He never knew he could feel so empty, so utterly desolate in his forbidden reach for a time before that final kiss.

    Ripped from his life by a madman who left him with nothing – not even her beautiful eyes or the sable softness of hair that caressed his cheek each time they made love. Gone. He did not know how he could go on. The tears tracked from a vacant space of despair into the silent echoes of his heart.

  17. Dee says:

    Went for the obvious…
    Albie wrapped the rags around his neck and mouth and shivered.  The smoke from the fire smelled of something dead and gave off little heat.  He got more warmth from the people gathered around. He longed for quiet as the noise pounded into his head.  A group on the corner was beating on cans and rusted sheets of metal, shards of glass rained down from the vacant building above and someone in the corner was moaning. Albie kept his eyes lowered and shoved his hands deep into his pockets.

    Just yesterday, the sun was shining as he kissed his wife goodbye and left for the office.  Everything had been one long night since. His office was an empty lot like the whole east side of town. At least that was what he heard. It was forbidden to go to that sector so there was no way to know for sure.  Albie wondered about Jeff who used to be in the office next to his. Did he survive? He used to keep a picture of his family on his desk. Pretty wife and two tow-headed daughters grinned in front of a brick house in the burbs. He would rather think about times at his old job than Sarah.  That opened up a desolate pit of pain that was best avoided.  People whispered about an apocalypse. Albie figured he was in hell.

    An old man shuffled forward, breaking all the rules. He looked each person straight in the eye until they returned his stare for a second.  He patted this one and that one on the shoulder as he wandered around the alley.  Fool! He will be dead before morning, thought Albie. Sure enough, the old man wandered into a dark corner and after a scuffle, he was just gone.  Crazy Mary cackled and rocked, pulling her cardboard up around her.  Albie wondered once why no one bothered her, Then one night he saw a fat man reach down for a piece of her makeshift house and screamed when a flash of silver drew a dark line across his hand.  Albie stayed well away from Mary’s wall after that. Her cackle ran shivery fingers up his spine.

    Albie’s fingers closed around the crumbling piece of paper in his pocket. He had rubbed it for so long the ink was gone. It didn’t matter. He knew the words by heart.

    • If this is obvious, then milk has diamond crusted buds in every drop.
      Dee, you write with a delicious sense of foreboding that leaves me wanting more. More from the beginning and more to come!
      This is an awesome hook! I like the subtle shift from “that night” to a long series of nights. By the end, we see that this is a never-ending nightmare…

      • Dee says:

        @Mitch – I meant that it seemed obvious from the words and the subject of the trailer to go with dystopic and everyone else went in such interesting creative directions 🙂
        I hit publish too soon and need to do some tweaking on this but it is what it is for now.  It needs some dialogue to move it along but that would make for a longer piece.I had several endings before I decided to just leave the words to the readers imagination…
        Thank you!

        • Dee, that’s what you seem to do best! My imagination is stoked! Sorry I didn’t understand what you meant by obvious – I thought you meant “cliché” as in Zombie Apocalypse. 🙂
          You know you rock, right?

          • Dee says:

            @Mitch – blushing now lol. I am great out of the gate but have a lot of trouble with the follow through. It’s something I am working on.  Not meaning to sound overly self-deprecating. Just an honest assessment of where I am right now. Its a journey right?

          • Dee, I understand! I was hesitant when I first started here. The beauty of CCC is that vignettes are celebrated. We all love it when a series emerges, but those are GRAVY on the vignette meatloaf (or your choice of protein). LOL
            I believe it’s called confidence. If you allow yourself to enjoy those sprints, you may find yourself wanting to run a marathon.
            Hat tip to Jennifer Luitwieler and her new book Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo, for the running references 🙂

          • Jen says:

            Hey, Mitch. Thanks for the shout out. Getting ready for my second 15K and my third half marathon. Are you a runner?

          • Heavens, no! Unless an ice cream truck rolls down the street…
            I am just a sucker for a good blurb. (bought your book, saving for rainy day)
            Good luck on the upcoming (what DO you call them? Races? Travails?)

          • Jen says:

            Fast people call them races. I call them races with assumed air-quotes around the word because…I’m only racing myself. Although, the first half marathon I ran, the OKC Memorial was the coldest May 1 in OK history. We ran with garbage bags. There was hail. So, that would surely be more akin to the seventh circle of hell…

          • No way! You’re proof that snowballs were actually …. ahh, never mind. Hailstones, brimstone, what a morning. I’m seeing spiders behind every fold of the curtain.
            All the best, and may it be warmer than May 1 but not hot as hell.

    • Jen says:

      Dee, this is starkly mesmerizing. Well done.

    • Shane Arthur says:

      @Dee: You were meant to write! Write books … many!

    • Jeanette R. says:

      @Dee.  My favorite types of stories are those that give you just enough details to let you imagination run wild. Your story did just that.  There is nothing obvious with your creativity and/or your writing ability! This was intense and riveting.

  18. […] Ten words from Creative Copy Challenge […]

  19. Rebecca says:

    @ Dee … Thank you … I’ve been in the process of clearing out the old and making room for the new for the past four years. Lol!

  20. Just getting to this entry now and whipped this one out, I actually liked the title of the project so much I centered my poem around it.

    Yesterday’s Gone

    Contact forbidden
    vacant eyes yearn
    for a yesterday gone

    Empty lives know
    only this desolate time
    aftermath of the apocalypse

  21. Dee says:

    great poetic use of the prompt words!! This is wonderful 🙂

  22. Rebecca says:

    @ Jen … It got me thinking.

    @ Jeanette … This is a great line, “Doesn’t it bother you that you went to college AND grad school and you barely make the average national salary?” I question this all of the time. My conclusion for me is that I wasn’t programmed for prosperity. I was raised in a family that was tuned into the “All Lack Mentality’ station, all of the time. As an adult, I’m choosing to delete the ‘mind viruses’ or memes that were programmed into my brain. I’m grateful for Napoleon Hill and other thought leaders. They’re inspirational.

  23. Rebecca says:

    @ Jeanette … I agree that being responsible can be a hindrance, especially when you feel like you have to be responsible for others, i.e., family, their kids, society, etc. because they can’t get their sh** together. This is really close to home for me right now … Thank goodness I use writing as an outlet.

  24. Kelly says:


    It was one of those dreams—not the kind where you wake with a start, but the kind where you wish you could fall back asleep. I woke up warm and toasty, rolled over, and tried not to hear the birds chirruping outside my window.

    It only lasted a minute. Maybe less. We were in a cafe of some sort, sitting close together. I was looking down—had you been saying something? Seems like I didn’t want your endlessly deep brown eyes to meet mine, but why? I snuggled deeper into the covers, trying to remember more, but all I know is that my heart was pounding for the tiniest, most innocent of infractions you were committing—your right hand, extended toward my left arm… two fingers stroking my sleeve.

    It felt as forbidden as an afternoon in a hotel room. Cliché as it sounds, time seemed to stop for us. I glanced around, praying your wife wouldn’t walk in and find us. I hadn’t forgotten in the dream, how violent she is in real life, nor what sort of apocalypse she’d visit on you if she saw this exquisitely intimate gesture.

    And then it was gone; in the insistent call of a chickadee, my torrid silent film vanished like yesterday’s laughter. Today, after I struggled sleepily out of the house and made my way to work on empty roads at 6 am…

    I longed for an “in,” for some way to tell you about your fingers on my forearm;

    I cursed myself for wanting to tell you (and thanked goodness no convenient segue offered itself), knowing dreams are neither fortune-tellers nor, in situations like this, even good conversation;

    I looked at you, desolate as ever in your crushing life, reaching for me in tiny, innocent ways, and wondered why I can’t be the good friend you need without having my dream-self suggest romance that either isn’t there… or shouldn’t be.

    But most of the day, I stared off vacantly into space, sighed too much, kept my mouth shut (wisely, and barely), and held on to the feeling of those fingers rustling the cotton of my blouse. Just give me a few minutes more. I’m not ready to exit my dream.

    Left arm, just below the elbow, there’s a patch of skin that’s still warm.

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