After yesterday’s terrible entry (don’t try to convince me otherwise, that piece definitely has an odor and needs a massive rewrite), it’s time to righten the ship.
Appropriately, for “F” day, I pulled a fiction prompt. It’s another “take all these weird things and make a scene out them” type prompt, which, frankly, I find super fun. No two writers will come up with quite the same story; even the same writer can come up with a dozen different scenarios for a set of words or concepts.
This is another prompt where I’m just not sure of the source (mental note, keep better track in the future so that I can appropriately cite the awesome people that come up with this stuff):
Write a brief scene that includes the following:
- a quilt
- the word “quotient”
- a ball of rubber bands
- a morbidly obese hippopotamus
- the perfume of lilies
- the sound of popcorn underfoot
There were a few different ideas that I had, but the first that popped in my head stuck, and grew. I feel a lot more comfortable with this type of piece than what I tried yesterday. Heck, I’m almost proud of it.
Though, I might not have followed the instructions completely; is this a brief scene? Is this one scene? What is brief?
I suppose, it’s all relative.
From under the bed, tucked way back under the headboard, I found her fuzzy slippers. The bottoms were brittle and broken, the pink faded and covered in dust, fuzzy bits falling off like colored snow. They were a Christmas present, from me that one year.
I can still hear my mother, barreling up the stairs in these same hot pink fuzzy slippers, yelling, “Aren’t you done with your homework yet?”
Nine years old, I was probably sitting at my little desk, studiously trying to master long division, figuring out dividends and quotients. Mom would sometimes help, but more often than not she just flopped on the bed, hugging my morbidly obese hippopotamus Mr. Snugglewimple and waited impatiently for movie night to begin.
Sometimes, even then, I wasn’t sure who was the grown-up in our home.
Movie night, every Sunday, was our weekly girls’ night in. It was just the two of us, had been for years, and even though we spent most nights together at home (I was in elementary school of course, not a big social life), movie night was something special my mom started for us.
Mom would pop popcorn while I picked out two or three tapes from our collection — something old or something animated, sometimes both. On colder evenings, she would start a fire in the fireplace and we would sit on the floor wrapped in a half dozen quilts, Mr. Snugglewimple shoved between us, while Snickers, our cat, batted around her favorite rubber band ball until she inevitably toppled over the enormous popcorn bowl. I’d cuddle close, and she would wrap her arms around me and the scent of her perfume, lilies, lulled me to sleep.
But whenever I would start to doze off, that’s when Mom would decide movies were done and the dance party was ready to start. The radio would flick on, the dial turned until she found something worth bouncing to, and we bobbed and shimmied, and twirled until we couldn’t breathe. We danced on the kernels Snickers had knocked on the floor, my mother laughing as she swung me around. The sound of popcorn underfoot always makes me want to dance, even now…
But that was all before. Before Stephen, before Charlie, before she disapproved my life, before I disapproved of hers, before we stopped talking altogether.
And now, all that’s left are these faded fuzzy slippers.