Friday, March 16, 2012

Story Dam: Domino Thoughts

This week's Story Dam I incorporated a little into my post for Red Writing Hood, then I decided to give another set of characters a scene of their own. The wet feet portion fits their respective personalities best. We last met Amber and Penny here.

First though, the prompt as follows:

Dam Burst: Write a piece, fiction or non, in which your character suddenly finds themselves somewhere and have no clue how they got there.

Wet Feet: Write a piece, also fiction or non, in which your character goes through a domino thought process.

I offer the following in response: At Grandma's House

“That the paper? Toss me the crossword,” Amber entered the room with pencil at the ready.

Penny shot her twin a look. “Please?” she hinted.

Sagging into their grandfather’s worn armchair, her sister replied with a devilish grin, “You’re welcome.”

Sighing, Penny sacrificed her article as she passed the section over, making a mental note to read the rest later. The sports section stared at her. Touching the color picture underneath the headline, she traced the basketball players absently. Grandda would have read this whole thing once, she reminisced. “Ams, remember how mad Grandda would get when the paperboy threw the paper into the morning glories?”

“No,” she replied dryly. “Okay, eight letters, abandons religious faith.”

“Apostate,” she said, flipping through the sports in the search of something different. “He used to get so angry, that little vein on the side of his head would bulge. Ooh, Macy’s is having a sale,” she announced, reading an ill-placed add.

“When aren’t they having a sale?” Amber rolled her eyes. “Nine, ten, eleven letters for sweet or musical. Melodious?”

“That’s only nine,” Penny answered, “Try mellifluous.”


“No, M-e-l-l-ifluous.”

“Oh yeah,” she erased and brushed the debris away. The pencil scratched the correction as Amber continued, “Why bring up Grandda? He’s been gone forever.”

“Oh the paper reminds me of him. Grams doesn’t even read it I think.”

“No one reads the paper, Penns. That’s what the internet is for.”

Their dad appeared in the doorway. He was still dressed in his fatigues and looked tired around the edges. “You girls okay in here?”

“Yessir,” Amber replied, straightening her back instantly. “Just reading the paper. Penns has the sports section if you want it.”

He smiled and glanced furtively down the hallway. Whispering cautiously, he replied, “Not unless it has the swimsuit issue.”

Penny groaned, “Dad, really?”

He shrugged, “What can I say? I’m a red-blooded U.S. Marine.” He spun on his heel with military precision and disappeared from the doorway.

“Hoorah,” Amber said.

Penny turned to the next page. The tide times were listed alongside an article that discussed the last grunion run. She shivered involuntarily at the memory of standing on the beach one spring, freezing in the ocean breeze, chasing the little fish while the tidewater chased her.

“Five letters: largest artery,” her sister interrupted her thoughts.

Glancing sideways at her, Penny said, “Aorta. Did you want to go?”

She looked about the room before responding, “Go where, Penns?”

“To the Huntington Library, where else?”

She frowned. “Where’d the Huntington Library come from? Study of rock layers?”

“No, the Huntington Library was established by Henry Huntington in 1919. Grandda has a bench there. I just thought…” Penny answered, losing track of her place in the article.

“No, I need a word that means the study of rock layers.”

“Stratigraphy. Didn’t you take geology your freshman year?”

“Yup, I learned that the earth has plates and volcanoes are named for the Greek god Vulcan.”

“Roman god Vulcan,” Penny corrected, without malice, setting the sports section aside and transferring to travel. “So do you want to go or not?”

Amber rolled her eyes, “Greek, Roman, what’s the difference?”

“Don’t ask if you don’t want the answer,” Penny warned. She knew her sister would ignore her after the first sentence. “We could go to the Getty instead.”

Her sister squished her face in response. “You can go to the Getty. I’ll stay here and help Dad dig out the bomb shelter.”

Penny sighed, disappointed. Trying to introduce culture to Amber had always been difficult. She despised still art in any medium and dusty old books never held her fascination, no matter the wealth of information contained within. “Disneyland?”

Amber lit up, “Deal.”


  1. You got the prompt perfectly! Domino thoughts! Excellent!

    1. Thanks! I love these girls. They've been an absolute joy to write.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

  2. This is funny. The one isn't even doing the crossword! LOL.

    I can picture these two. All my life I have been surrounded by quick witted, smart folks, and they fit right in. Pretty cool.

    To be honest with you, I really don't have anything for you, constructive criticism-wise. Great job!

    Thanks for linking up.

    1. Well, I love constructive criticism so if you ever stop by and want to critique, I have no problem with that.

      I'm truly thrilled that you enjoyed your stay and that the conversation was believable for you. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I have to be honest with you. All of the blogs that I read relate to motherhood or parenting. It's my personal niche, so it's what I gravitate towards. But I find myself coming back to your site again and again, because your words are unique and different and out of my "comfort zone" of blog reading. Thank you for introducing me to a new genre of blogs. :)

    1. Aw! Thank you double then! I hope you continue to enjoy your visits! You're always welcome here.

  4. Nice domino thoughts and good rhythm with the dialogue.

    I especially loved this: She frowned. “Where’d the Huntington Library come from? Study of rock layers?”

    It's just a great capture of the convolution that can happen when conversations are seasoned with crossword puzzles. :)

    1. Thanks for the feedback! I'm thrilled you enjoyed the piece. I have a lot of fun with these twins. Thanks for stopping by!