I was dubious the first time somebody said, “You ought to try 30 days of writing prompts.” I was even playing a Dubious Brothers album while sitting down to read through them, my right eyebrow eloquently cocked to the North.
Coffee. Check. I glanced up and around to see if anyone whose opinion I valued was watching me, then glanced at number one. “Describe yourself from your pet’s point of view.”
And they just got better from there. Try it sometime if you find your creative juices somehow corked. I don’t mean some adolescent pabulum like, “What does your main crush look like?” Find a mentally, literarily-challenging 30-day list and use it to stimulate your freewriting.
Yesterday’s: “You wake up with a key gripped tightly in your hand. How did you get this key? What do you do with it?”
Okay, that was weird.
I usually wake up with a leg cramp. This morning my left hand was so sore it actually woke me up. When I shook it like we all do to depain it, I heard something metallic go flying off. I was curious enough about what it was and where it went to overlook how it got there in the first place, and the fact I’d been gripping it so tightly I had whitened fingernail marks in the palm of my hand.
Walking in the faint dawn in the direction I’d heard the sound, my starboard little toe detected my armoire. Great. Left hand, right toe. Balances out, according to liberal thought. Still hurts just as much. I saw the dull silver glint and bent to pick up—
A key? GM. Wow, I haven’t seen one of these since . . . There was something familiar about it, though I couldn’t . . . Then it came to me. When I was in high school, we had a ’51 Chevy 5-window pickup, and the ignition key was—yeah! It was exactly like this one! I shook my head like you do when you’re trying to jiggle your brain back in sync. What would— How, after all this time— Where did this come from? And how on earth did it wind up clutched in a Vulcan death grip in my left hand?
I’d wandered out into the living room while pondering what the deal is with the key. I detoured through the kitchen just long enough to flip the “ON” button on my coffeemaker. Absentmindedly, I walked into the living room over to a front window and lifted a piece of the miniblind to look out front as I usually do in the morning, scratching my belly with the edge of the key. Wow, slightly overcast but otherwise clear, so it’s going to be another—
No way. NO WAY!
Parked in MY DRIVEWAY was a sky-blue 1951 5-window Chevy pickup! I was out there in a flash, using the key to unlock and open the. . . There was the polished walnut gearshift knob I’d bought and put on to replace the old black hard rubber one that came on it. How. . . I looked in the glove compartment to see if there was registration. I was expecting to see my dad’s name. I mean, if this is a dream, let’s at least keep the facts somewhat aligned, right?
It had my name on it!
There’s no way this truck could possibly have survived across the 50 years since I’d first ridden in and driven it. Yet here it was. Tentative, now, I reached out and rapped on the fender with my middle knuckle. Solid metal. Impossible, but as real as the coffee perking inside. It was right there.
IS. Closing and locking it back up, I beat a judicious retreat back inside since I only had on a light tee and flimsy sleep shorts. I needed to go get dressed and go out and wash and polish it, and . . .
But first I sat down, buried my face in my hands and tearfully thanked God for just another reminder that Time is our boundary, not His; and that nothing, literally NOTHING is impossible with Him.
A writer’s life is rarely boring. Find one of these 30-Day Writing Prompt lists. Find one that will challenge you–then kickstart your imagination.
Got stuff to write!
© D. Dean Boone, June 2016