By Jael Strong
“The Twenty Minute Creativity Project” is a weekly challenge designed to spur creative approaches to every day obstacles.
Week Eleven Challenge: In twenty minutes, create a piece of short fiction that utilizes a list of ten randomly generated words. I used an online random word generator.
Random Word List: cleave, Goth, piracy, vibes, meaning, unemployed, charioteer, self-defense, sandbag, satirical (Start your timer!)
The old lady outside my door doesn’t like the satirical tone I use when I ask about her marriage. Often when I pass her in the hallway, I ask, “How’s the new hubby?” and she, a master of self-defense, tells me that I am sending negative vibes throughout the universe with my sarcasm and should try to become one with the universe. She then brushes away the beads that bedeck the entrance to her doorway and disappears into her dark abyss.
At present though, she is outside of my door, pounding wildly for me to let her in. I could sandbag the entrance, slap my meager worldly possessions into a wrapped up white sheet, climb out the window and be done with it, but it seems over the years that I have lived here I have grown quite found of the old lady and don’t want to break her heart.
She bangs so uncontrollably on the door that I get the impression that she is not currently at one with the universe and I tell her so.
“ I heard what you told the Stevensons!” She shouts back at me.
I did have a conversation with the neighbors to the left, the Stevensons. I told them about the old lady’s bum of a husband, an unemployed barnacle who spends his time sucking her dry of her small, very small, miniscule fortune.
“He is unemployed, is he not? What is the meaning of your upset?” I query.
She throws something at the door. It makes a thud against my blockade then drops to the ground and smashes to bits.
“He’s looking, he’s exploring his possibilities! You have no right to disparage him to the Stevensons,” she diminuendos, and I get the idea that she has sat on the floor outside of my doorway, so I do the same, only inside, away from her flaming missiles.
“He could take up piracy,” I offer helpfully, then quickly add, “Oh, wait, he’s already done that.”
“Oh, Dick!” she says affectionately.
“He could be a charioteer.” I have the image of the old lady cheering him on as he races around bends, overcoming great obstacles, and coming out ahead only to be stampeded by the rushing steeds after his own chariot is overturned. We would have a funeral, a goth affair, designed to bring the old lady much needed comfort after the death of her champion.
“Dick, you should try harder to like him.”
“I don’t like him, mom,” I say, hoping that my tone will soften the words. I choose to leave it alone though. I open the door and help her up from her seated position. I get the broom and a bag and quietly clean up the mess while I silently resolve to let her cleave to her noble ideas about the bum and let her remain at peace with the universe.
My blurb: Have a suggestion for a creativity challenge? Please, feel free to forward it to me!
About the Author
Jael Strong is a writer for TheWriteBloggers, a company dedicated to creating professional blogging content for increased internet visibility.