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  #1  
Old 10-01-2017, 12:44 PM
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Default Writing Prompt #51 - "Sunrise/Sunset: It goes round and round" - 10/1/17 to 10/15/17


Writers, poets, journeymen!

This section of the forum seems to be dead, but as we all know, dead things can be fun to play with.

Who wants to try a prompt together? Perhaps a moderator can jump in and help us out with one.

(..."if there's no interest," the necromancer said, "then let this thread die, possibly to be resurrected at a more opportune time. But if a goblin so wishes to come out from under his bridge, give us a riddle to toil over and mayhap solve...")

Who's in?

*looking at some of you Writer's Beat OG's*

---

Prompt:

Sunrise/Sunset
: It goes round and round.

Contributions should be in short story format.

Each contributor should post in a reply to this thread.

Each contributor should comment/critique other submissions after the deadline.

Winner gets 8,653.5 points.

This is the thread where everything's made up and the points don't matter.


Last edited by JesseK1213; 10-01-2017 at 03:05 PM..
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Old 10-01-2017, 01:30 PM
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I'm in.

I don't know what you're proposing but I'm right behind you...
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:05 PM
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I'm new so not sure how the prompts were handled in the past. Does a Mod just suggest a prompt and we all go buck wild?
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by JesseK1213 View Post
I'm new so not sure how the prompts were handled in the past. Does a Mod just suggest a prompt and we all go buck wild?
Take the lead Jesse - we're largely self moderating these days - sure Mo won't mind a show of initiative.
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:19 PM
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I Googled "creative writing prompts" and this one caught my eye:

Sunrise/Sunset: It goes round and round.

Say, two weeks to write a story and post in this thread? Each person who posts should critique/comment on all the other stories?
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Old 10-01-2017, 02:39 PM
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Originally Posted by JesseK1213 View Post
I Googled "creative writing prompts" and this one caught my eye:

Sunrise/Sunset: It goes round and round.

Say, two weeks to write a story and post in this thread? Each person who posts should critique/comment on all the other stories?
Cool. Add the title and timescale to your opening post so folk know what they're doing.
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Old 10-01-2017, 03:07 PM
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I've edited the thread title and its contents. Hopefully it worked.

Looking forward to this!
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Old 10-01-2017, 04:45 PM
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As am I?

Expect something in an hour or two. good to see the forum's dead places getting a chance to breathe again.

Or not. I'm out of juice today.
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Last edited by Lockette; 10-01-2017 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 10-03-2017, 01:53 PM
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Tad woke to the sun shining into his room. With a grumble he sat up, looking at his alarm clock. 7 o'clock sharp. Standing up he walked into his bathroom. Took a shower. Shaved. Dressed. Upon leaving the bathroom he entered the kitchen and had breakfast. A chocolate fudge Pop Tart. The best kind.

Tad exited his apartment building and dug around in his pocket for his key fob. A press of a button and the doors unlocked. Tad climbed in and hit the ignition. The car started up and he drove to work.

Tad entered the building and took the elevator to the 3rd floor. He set his things down and turned on his
computer.

Tad worked as a Data Entry technician in an accounting firm. Boring as it was, he tolerated it, and it put food on the table.

So Tad worked his ass off until the late afternoon. Around 5:30, he got off. Then he left the building and drove back home.

For dinner Tad had a bowl of noodles. Finishing this Tad went into his living area and sat down on his recliner. He turned on the TV and zoned out until around 8:45 PM. Then he went to bed.

Tad did this ritual, day after day, week after week, month after month, for many years. No real changes aside from his preference of toaster pastry and Television. He would do this, day after day, and thought he lived a good life.

One day he woke up and realised how wrong he was. He was doing absolutely nothing for himself, following a dream that wasn’t his. Doing a job he didn’t care about. Contributing to nothing but some rich man’s profits. He was the sheep, and society was the shepard. He would be dragged around at their whim until he got too old. At that point, he would be slaughtered for meat.

If he had to go out, he go out with a flash. On his terms.

Tad dressed. Got in his car. Drove to a clothes store. Only buying things that were almost entirely red, he made an outfit for himself. Red pants, a red shirt, a red baseball cap, and a pair of red sneakers. He changed into these things in the bathroom. Why? It felt right.

He went to a gun store, and bought a small pistol. It was no Colt, but it would stop someone dead in their tracks.

He drove to his final destination. A tall skyscraper, over 60 feet overlooking main street in his city. He took the stairs to the top floor and stood on the lip of the building, looking at the crowd below.

Gripping the pistol, he aimed it at his foot. Self preservation almost won, but he'd gone to far to stop now. The gun went off. He fell.

He landed with a thud, smacking against the pavement, right in front of poor Rebecca Thurman. She was on vacation, here to see the lights and sounds of the city. She screamed and fainted.

The police were called. They collected the body and determined it was a suicide. No more investigation was needed.

Tad had died. And no one cared. The sun went round and round without him.

~


Oh lord, that was rough. It isn't the best thing I've done, but it's probably more polished than anything else. Jeez, this is short. And bland. Wow.
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Last edited by Lockette; 10-03-2017 at 01:58 PM.. Reason: More nitpicking
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  #10  
Old 10-03-2017, 01:55 PM
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I need an address to send an invoice for a new monitor....you just made me spray coffee all over it.

Just what I needed Lockette! Bravo!
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Old 10-03-2017, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Grace Gabriel View Post
I need an address to send an invoice for a new monitor....you just made me spray coffee all over it.

Just what I needed Lockette! Bravo!
Glad you enjoyed it.

Someone else's turn now. I've said my piece.
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Last edited by Lockette; 10-03-2017 at 02:23 PM.. Reason: Not wanting to be spammy
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Old 10-03-2017, 03:53 PM
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The Sun Goes Down

The sun goes down and shadows creep
in silent hours before I sleep.
I pray before I close my eyes
that God will let me see it rise.

The sun goes down and people die
a million deaths as babies cry
their protests against being born,
lost lives replaced anew by dawn.

The sun goes down, I watch it set,
a chance the others didn't get.
Gold ribbons stretch and disappear
the day is done but I'm still here.

The sun goes down, the shadows creep
in silent hours before I sleep.
The stars come out, the moon rides high
as I mourn the man that shared my sky.
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Last edited by Grace Gabriel; 10-03-2017 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 10-03-2017, 05:03 PM
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@Lockette

I've done data entry before and can 100% confirm that's what happens if you do it too long. Haha, good stuff! I like your take on the prompt - Tad dies and no one cares.

@Grace

Woah, that ending! It wasn't conscious, but I read your piece in the "If I die before I wake" prayer cadence.

I'm working on something that should be done in the next day or so.

--

Here's what I have so far. I think it's halfway done - there are two more scenes I have in mind.

...

The sun was rising but he was falling, falling, falling. The wings he’d built were not working; his arms flapped impotently through the air. If only he could move faster, harder, with more conviction, like a bird-

early bird gets the worm

-knowing its efforts will keep it airborne. Isn’t that what Icarus must have thought during his first flight, before his wings carried him into the sun? But his arms were underwater, sluggish -

The pavement below grew larger with maddening speed; now, he could make out the freckles of the blacktop with complete clarity. How far had he fallen? How quickly was he falling? The curve of the yellow lines below formed a menacing smile with no face, and somewhere deep inside him, a monkey wrench twisted his guts. The sensation rippled from his balls to his throat.

“This is when I wake up,” he thought in the moment before his face met pavement.

And he did.


---

The sun had been up for some time. Its rays shone through the cracks in the window shade of a small, largely unfurnished apartment in the Polo Green apartment complex, illuminating Stanley Gibson’s face in the otherwise dark living room. He slapped his hand listlessly over his face as if he could shoo away the sunlight like the obnoxious gnat that it was.

He had fallen asleep on the couch again – he was hanging precariously off the side. His head and left shoulder lolled fully off the cushion, and he was slipping-

falling, falling, falling

-further to the floor. A moment of panic cupped his chest before his head landed on the carpet with a soundless thud.

He rolled fully off the coach, got to his knees, then to his feet.

Images blurred around him like freight trains running on a circular track: a clear plastic bottle of bourbon laying underneath the window in a puddle of its own puke, the television flashing glimpses of The Price Is Right where some woman spun a giant wheel, whitewashed walls turning into dark, dimply pavement all around him, and then falling, falling, falling

The room twirled around him mercilessly, but he did not close his eyes – no, he knew better than that. He embraced the spin, relished the gut-pulling sensation that throbbed in his balls and worked its way up through his chest; he leaned into the curve, jumped into the darkness below.

He keeled over and puked another stain on the carpet.

---

He felt better after a shower. Looking in the mirror, he thought he looked better, too – less like last night’s punching bag. His face had gotten some of its color back, although it now accentuated the gray that was creeping into his hair and beard, and the bags under his eyes weren’t so pronounced.

He put on the same pair of jeans he wore yesterday, grabbed a t-shirt from the laundry hamper and slipped his feet into a pair of running shoes. Then he went downstairs to clean up his mess.

Most people have a morning ritual, whether it’s shaving your face or putting on deodorant; Stanley Gibbons’s was cleaning up after himself. No matter how hungover he was or how bad of a mess he’d made the night before, he always made sure to clean up first thing in the morning. He washed and put away the dishes, picked up the empty beer cans, scrubbed the carpet. It was these small acts that kept him from feeling too guilty about the previous night’s debauchery (I know I made a mess, Ma, but look! I cleaned up after!). He took a small swig of whiskey – Stanley Gibbons’ Patented Hair of the Dog Hangover Assuager & Gut-Mixer Elixir – before screwing the cap back on the bottle and setting it atop the refrigerator.

With that final act, the morning ritual was complete and he was ready to bring on the day.

He stepped outside his apartment and found that the sun was high in the sky. The heat radiating off the blacktop blurred the air above it and he quickly looked away. His stomach growled and tightened into a knot, wanting to take something in and shoot something out all at the same time.

He lit up a cigarette.

The Jumpin’ Frog was his first stop – a dive bar conveniently located across the street from the Polo Green apartment complex, where he held residence in Unit 32B. The walk there was short, but by the time he reached the door, sweat stains had appeared on the underarms of his shirt.

The day time bartender, Tom Brankowicz, poured him a cup of coffee when he walked in and set it by his usual seat at the bar. Then he went into the kitchen to make a BLT and French fries.

Stanley ate the food mechanically, without joy, as if he were pumping gas in the car. He slurped down three cups of coffee while he did so. When he was finished, he set the empty coffee mug on top a ten dollar bill and left the bar.

The light outside was harsh and offensive in comparison to the dimness inside. He walked back to his apartment squinting his eyes against the sun and wondering what he should do today.

In terms of work, Stanley Gibbons didn’t do much. Not if he could help it, at least. At one point in time, he was the top producer in the Northeast Region for Kirby Vacuum Cleaners – he’d sold more vacuums in his twenty-two years at the company than any two salesmen or -women combined. He had a plaque somewhere in his closest to prove it. But that was before the customer complaints, bad Yelp reviews, and sexual harassment lawsuits started to add up; in the end, even his exemplary selling record couldn’t save him from getting canned.

Now, he spent his time trolling forums, offering cold-calling and closing advice to hopeful salespeople. In his forum signatures were links to two self-published eBooks on Amazon – “One Call Prospecting” and “One Call Closing” – both of which he’d written under a pseudonym and which had received conflicting reviews. The monthly sales didn’t add up to much on either one, but it was enough to keep Stanley Gibbons housed, clothed, fed and (most importantly) drunk as a skunk seven nights of the week.

When he reached his apartment and walked through the door, he decided that he didn’t have much work to do today and that any work he did have could wait until later, after he’d watched a couple episodes of Law & Order, maybe, and drank a few beers – he always worked better with a good buzz on, anyway. He grabbed a Keystone Light from the refrigerator and sat down on the couch.

Outside, the sun trailed westward in the sky. It wasn’t until it reached the tree line that Stanley Gibbons moved.

Last edited by JesseK1213; 10-03-2017 at 05:27 PM..
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Old 10-07-2017, 12:54 PM
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okay, I believe I have to ask this question. What is it with the genitalia references? Save for a couple here and there, most of your stories use the ol' testicles or the like as a reference point for something. Any specific reason why?

Just that. Everything else seems good.
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Old 10-24-2017, 06:11 PM
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The Poet recites:

"No thread...
No bread!
No sunrise for my baby...
Dead"

"Who knows?" screech the voices from a streaming conscience; howling through the broken windshield of a mind: splashing cold fear onto the Poet's frown.
He finds the gall to carry on.

"Although morose, this is not gross!", he says, foul fingers emphasizing the wholesomeness of four syllables before a pause.
He then ends with a pretentious:

"There are many more things yet to be lost..."

Silence sets. Echoes twinkling out of sight, but the windshield banshees are still at large; scanning deeply the twilight of his wounds. Finding fodder in his words to dig ridicule ever deeper into his hurt.

"Your baby died! Your ba-by, died! She did. Oh yes, she did! She died and died and fucking died!" they chant the crazed lullaby taunt; flaunting their envy, their vanity, their pride.

The Poet stares.
Stares past the jagged edges of his view.
Past scattered segments already way past words.

Segments, scattered: far removed from direct knowledge; just like the womb they lie too deep beneath the surface, like a pregnant tomb.

"..."

A thought cannot be expressed and the sirens screech their victory air.

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Darkness is next. Split only by revolting lights, revolving on the top of cars and trucks bearing messengers and magistrates like sweepstakes' fools.

Bringing queries about events.
Fetching statements from their vests.

Questions about the wound. Questions put in words.
Ignorant of the sweeping whirlwind of the other world.

The Poet sees the timeless swirl. Sees it for the cycle of some god-forsaken culture of worms. Through the rising fog of ignorance he feels the sinking melody of his verbs.
Live.
Die.
Be.

Ripping out the effervescence that remains, scraping away those last strands of sanity that cling like flaking paint on the ancient, damp walls of structures whose use has long been forgotten, the Poet begins the endless wake.

"No sunrise for my baby, tonight:
Dead and gone and deathly white.
Red hidden in veins that once found delight
Now splattered across the tarmac in full sight."

"No sunrise" chorus the quietening howls.
"No sunrise" they repeat in jest.
"Always sunset!" And they're gone.

No sunrise for my baby tonight, but sunlight tomorrow.
And life.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prompted to accept the Challenge & write something in this thread.
Stream of consciousness inspired by Lockette , Grace Gabriel and JesseK1213

Lockette's mind-numbing repetition got me thinking in a specific mode while Grace's prose set the tone and JesseK1213's structured plot pointed the way to go on.

Please be brutal in your critique, gentle in your personal dissemination and yourself always.

Last edited by Ace-Nectar; 10-24-2017 at 06:16 PM..
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Lockette View Post
okay, I believe I have to ask this question. What is it with the genitalia references? Save for a couple here and there, most of your stories use the ol' testicles or the like as a reference point for something. Any specific reason why?

Just that. Everything else seems good.
Maybe that's a better question for Freud? I couldn't tell you. It's possible I'm overusing some phrases throughout some stories. When I think of that feeling of vertigo, or falling or waking up suddenly, that's what I think of.

Originally Posted by Ace-Nectar View Post
"Although morose, this is not gross!", he says, foul fingers emphasizing the wholesomeness of four syllables before a pause.
Man, loved the whole thing. Especially that quoted part. Clever, clever.

I don't read much poetry so I can't give you much of a critique. All I can say is your piece made me feel something and had a good rhythm. I think it's great.

--

Some life circumstances kept me from writing/being on much the last few weeks. I'm going to try to finish what I started.

Awesome to see other people hopping in though! I hope to see more.
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