Tag Archives: writing prompts

Scintilla Project: A Lesson Not Soon Forgotten

Yes I have signed up for Scintilla ’13! Three days in a row, officially a streak.

A: Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Write about a time when you taught someone a lesson you didn’t want to teach.
B: Talk about a time when you were driving and you sang in the car, all alone. Why do you remember this song and that stretch of road?

I’ll take on prompt A.

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There are times, education degree or not, when you have to take someone aside for some schoolin’. You don’t get paid extra for it, but they will remember you like a favorite (or hated) teacher.

I got a call from the head of another department. Apparently he was upset that a condition was not being waived for him, and it was based on someone in my area’s decision.

“Well it’s his personal preference. No exceptions. My dept. head feels it is a reasonable one, and many others feel that way.”

“I’ve been here 25 years. He’s…what?” Ah yes, the ol’ seniority rule.

“Like I said, it’s  an individual decision; you have probably been in this situation as well.“

“Well then I am going speak with someone in the (even higher up office).“

And then the click. You know – *click*

That’s the sound of a phone hanging up on me.

Wait, what? Oh no he didn’t! Apparently, he did!

It comes out before I can stop it. I scramble at the buttons and put the phone on the cradle. (I think I was trying to reach through to the phone to strangle him) “You mofo (yes, yes, you know I said the whole thing)! Hanging up on me?!” I am enraged but also mad with glee at this point. I settled myself down for a moment, calmly told my assistant to leave the office, and picked up the phone.

Oh yes, my phone has caller ID on it, and a keyboard. Seeing as he proudly announced his name and department (and quarter century of schmuckery, it was no issue to call him back. “Hello?” He sounded a little wary, unsure as to who was calling. Obviously he’s not a detective.

“Hello this is Peter, we just spoke?! I don’t know how you speak with the people in your department, but where we are, we don’t tolerate hangups. It’s rude, it’s unprofessional and I do not tolerate it. And it’s not something we would expect it from someone who has been here 25 years.” Yes, in one uninterrupted breath.

I could tell his flustering and attempting to interrupt, but when you are dealing with an undiluted arrogance, it bounces back quickly. “Oh! Well I didn’t realize I hung up without saying goodbye.”

“Well that’s what you did.”

“Well, I’m sorry if you were offended by that.” Ah the official half-apology of The Asshole.

“Ok well I trust this will not happen again. If you have anything else to say on the situation, speak with my supervisor. Goodbye.”

I had my finger on the cradle for my own hang-up, we tied.

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Like Socrates said, “You can’t fix stupid.”

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Filed under Creative Writing, Day In the Life, Life, Scintilla Project, Working

Scintilla Project: The Size of Lies

Yes I have signed up for Scintilla ’13! I will try to get every one of them in, and hey I might even work a little Zombie Bunnies into the mix.

The prompts to choose from for today:

A: What’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told? Why? Would you tell the truth now, if you could?

B: Tell the story about something interesting (anything!) that happened to you, but tell it in the form of an instruction manual (Step 1, Step 2, Step 3….)

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Sure there are ‘small’, ‘white’ lies, but can you really keep them that way?

I was in 8th grade and we had to fill out our High School application forms. I was zoned for school ‘A’, which had a well-earned rep as being a rough school, to which I had no intention of going. I wanted school ’B’ which my sister was currently attending- though it was assured she would have no real intentions of socializing with me, it had a good reputation (more on this soon!). Still, the guidance counselor convinced me to apply for school ‘C’, which had higher academic standards and a lower percent of acceptances, and I did so reluctantly. I told my best friend at the time that I had applied, and he was ecstatic – he had applied as well; he was following in the footsteps of HIS own sister. He already had the school jacket!

About a month or so later, we started getting the letters with the assigned schools. Yep, I got into school C. Only 9 applicants from our school got in. Regardless of this, I was committing myself to B. Knowing that everyone got their letters at the same time, I wondered what I would say in the almost certain chance he got in.

Sure enough, the next day when we met to walk to school, his excitement was the giveaway.

“I got my letter, I’m in! Did they take you too?!”

“Naw man, they didn’t.”

His jaw dropped, joy turning to frustration as he unleashed expletives and tirades about the unfairness of it all. Yeah I felt like crap. I assured him it was ok, since I had a good ‘fallback’ plan, but that didn’t work, of course.

I felt like a rift had opened up at that time. The summer came and went, we started our schools, stayed close and hung out some afternoons. From time to time though he would still mention how much the situation sucked. Would I eventually tell the truth? Time heals all wounds right?

In order: Yes, and Nope.

What made me finally confess that I had been accepted, late into that freshman year? Maybe I figured it was water under the bridge. When I did tell him though, the look of shock on his face was enough to prove me wrong. He shrugged it off somewhat, but the rest of that time we spent hanging out (very likely playing video games) was spent with the tension fogging up the place. By that summer he had started hanging out with other guys (not mutual friends at all) and our friendship faded. By the time high school ended we had no contact with each other at all.

What would it have changed for us? Would we have had each other to lean on, rather than work to make a new set of friends? Would I have been able to stand up for him when he was robbed on the bus? My own time at School B grew more precarious, as it became a rough school as well; having been robbed in the hallway, that experience would not have transferred to the other one, and my academic path may or may have been affected, as I stopped really caring about grades, over personal safety, especially after another student was stabbed/killed in the staircase a year later.

So after many, many years and social network fads later I eventually found him on Facebook. I sent a friend request and it was immediately accepted. We caught up on backstories, and life events that I think we both would have liked to be around for. There is no animosity, and we concentrate on the good memories we had (getting pizza, renting movies, going to Yankee Stadium, collecting baseball cards, playing and beating Zak McKracken & the Alien Mindbenders [the best game ever created, IMO]), and though he doesn’t live in the country, if he happened to be around, we agreed to meet up, even entertaining the idea of hitting up the old pizza place.

Maybe time does heal all wounds, you just might need a lot more of it.

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Scintilla Project: Drinking and the Job

Yes I have signed up for Scintilla ’13! I will try to get every one of them in, and hey I might even work a little Zombie Bunnies

WEDNESDAY, 13TH MARCH
A: Tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so.
B: Tell a story set at your first job.

I’ll do both – well sort of.

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Part A. Growing up, I never liked the smell, much less the taste of beer, or any alcohol whenever I was permitted to take a sip (even champagne toasts during weddings). To this day I don’t understand why tequila still exists, except for the splitting headache enthusiasts among you (find a brick wall, people!). Also you’d be hard pressed to get me to drink 4-5 glasses of anything in one sitting, except water and that’s just during a hot/humid day.

What kind of prompt would this be if it ended there? Thankfully(?!), things change and all these ideas, beliefs and tastes go out the window when you are at a party right after your 18th birthday (not my party) with a camera on you. Of course it was a test of machismo, but I looked at it as a chance to sample drinks, figure out what the hell the fuss was all about, and not have to sneak around it doing it. Plus it was free, which doesn’t hurt (still doesn’t). Of course, with video evidence, it was all but assured I would be caught. I braced myself and took my first Kamikaze shot. Gah!

What cheers and accolades came from the others?

“Oh wait, I missed that – set him up again!”

Oh crap. So yes, a second one went down. Nearly came back up.

“Here, take a swig of this, it’ll ease your stomach.” It was a beer, but since they knew how much I hated the taste, a shot of something was dropped it to make it smoother. Actually, it did the trick. Yay?!

So after a couple more rounds (including ascrewdriver, you know, for the Vitamin C) I didn’t puke (a streak I STILL have; the current standing has food poisoning at 3-0 vs. drunken ralphing), but I did have a hangover, and yes it was a school day, one of the last days of high school actually.

I also didn’t drink again for at least several years. Yes apparently I missed out on an essential part of college life. That ended with my friends’ intervention of “Seriously, we need to get you drunk”. That’s when I met my arch-enemy, Tequila, cleverly disguised in a margarita, but in Superhero context, to counter that Venom was the lovely Mary Jane Watson known as Sangria.

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Seeing as I did prompt B: my first job, take a look back if you haven’t read it, or forgot you read it, etc.
It’s a new year, so I’ll add a little to that story. I mean really, when your job has you dealing with the humans, there’s tons of material to work with.
Among the list of useful skills I gained towards future career choices, would have to be ‘the straight face’. That usually came into use when dealing with:

Birth Control. Among the prescriptions that we filled, BC was obviously part of the ones we handled. Since we were several kids working at the counter, it was ‘who needs help?’ that got us a next customer. Sometimes, people didn’t want you helping them for whatever reasons. However, it was inevitable that we would be short-staffed, or well, no one else was available. One time, a female customer hesitantly and wordlessly gave me a small round plastic disk. “Umm, ok. What is this?” I popped it open, still not figuring out what the calendar was all about. A female co-worker plucked it from my hands, as my mental faculties gave the “ohhh!”; a statement that did little to boost my intellectual reputation. Then there was the woman who needed something, but didn’t want to say a thing. Instead she asked for a paper and pen. She gave it back to me; “Monistat”. To my credit, I had my game face on; however, the fact that (apparently due to the cost of the meds) the product itself was on a shelf, behind me, elevated to a point that I had to step UP onto a lower shelf to reach it, and that every other customer waiting on line would see, pretty much nullified that letter to the point where even Jedi telekinetic powers wouldn’t be subtle (as they usually are).

Another kit that was placed next to it, probably for the simple reason of comparative embarrassment were the pregnancy tests. One fellow (!), decided he wasn’t going to be cowed by this task; coming up to the counter, he gave us all (yes outmatched 3-1)  a gunslinger’s posture and asked for the pregnancy tests (no he didn’t point from the hip). We got him what he needed, rang him up, and as he walked off into the sunset (really, it was near the end of our early evening shifts), one of the girls broke. “Good luck!” she called after him, her well wishes to be used towards whatever outcome he was going for (or not). Without missing a beat, he gave a fist pump in response.

Oh, and no one bought lambskin condoms.

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Trifecta 45 / Zombie Bunnies: No Love Lost

This week’s word is: UNEASY
1: causing physical or mental discomfort
2: not easy : difficult
3: marked by lack of ease : awkward, embarrassed <gave an uneasy laugh>

There is little ease in the Zombunny world right now. Some of you were wondering what led up to the latest parts of the story, which we saw from both Allen and Carly’s POV. Let’s go back about 5 minutes and answer that…in 333 words or less.

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Allen strode into the bedroom of his apartment, where Carly was carefully arranging her pelted headpiece for the evening rituals.

“Allen… hi,” Carly greeted Allen with an uneasy smile as he walked to her for a kiss. She glanced over his shoulder to the camera, then to him. “Is everything ok?”

“No, nothing’s ok,” Allen confessed. “Instead of sticking with my sister like I should have, I got caught up in this stupid idea, hooking up with some freakish…” he checked himself when he saw Carly’s expression.

“Sorry sweetheart, it’s just, this is why I’m back. She’s in danger on that show. I gotta get her out. Before that though, I need to get you somewhere safe.”

“I am safe… here.” Her tone was hollow, unconvincing.

“No, you’re not, nobody is.” He began to pace. “There are hordes of bloodthirsty undead animals hopping around and society’s either about worshipping or killing them. Doesn’t something seem odd there?! I just want you and I… don’t shake your fucking head Carly!” he stopped and shouted at her.

Carly’s voice was a whisper. “I care for you, Allen, it was something that we knew would happen… he knew it would.”

Allen’s face flushed. “What the hell are you talking about?”

“That big man with the mohawk came by shortly after you had started this show. Connar wanted to help protect us, show the viewers how we are a peaceful sect, but we had to agree to some ideas first. They said you were attracted to me and he wanted us together as a side story, but I was betrothed to Barry. Then… his accident, and…” she broke down into sobs. “You weren’t supposed to know…”

The blood rushing in Allen’s head drowned out her words. Reaching behind to the shoulder camera, he ripped it off the backpack and threw it across the room. It struck the mesh lined window, shattering it. Carly yelped at the crash, as Allen stormed out of the room, not looking back.
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Ketchup With Us #3: Pink-Walled

olddognewtits.comOn par with a Trifecta win, I got the Featured Writer honor from Ms Mel and ODNT. All I had to do was talk about monster movies and nudie mags.

‘KETCHUP WITH US’ – Prompt#3: Tell us in 57 WORDS OR LESS about a time you were caught red-handed, like a rat in a trap, with your hand in the cookie jar.
Enter here or here.

Well it wasn’t red, and it wasn’t my hands, but yes this happened. On one of the first days on that job.

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“You’re not allowed to paint any walls in the office, much less PINK”, fellow staff & higher- ups warned/ lectured/ busy bodied. Well, my boss wanted this, I thought smugly, stepping back to admire my clandestine, completed project, and kicking over the half- filled paint can onto the part of the floor not covered by drop cloth.

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*I checked some old CD-R’s and within moments, found this (I used to document everything – hey I might need it someday)


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