Thursday, January 7, 2016

A New Year, A New Writing Prompt:

Today I begin 2016 in earnest

For those of you who know me, that I've been neglecting my site is old news. I wish I could say that I've been so overwhelmingly busy that my little blog has had to take a back seat. That would be a lie and excuses such as those are never becoming. 

Since Write on Edge dissolved on me, I have been at a loss for a writing community that I can fit in with. Chuck Wendig's site Terrible Minds is good for inspiration on occasion, but it still feels more like the one-off as opposed to the weekly habit that I'd like to get back into. 

A discussion of my woes with a friend of mine sparked the idea for her to create such a place where once again, participants can write for the joy of writing, offer critique that is constructive and supportive, and discover authors at every level of their writing careers. The first prompt went live this week on my friend's website, so until the audience grows, it may seem a bit lonely for a while. But. This first prompt, wow, so good.

With a directive to concentrate on setting, this first week's theme is Barcelona. There is a photo and a quote, as well as basic facts of the city included in the prompt. The idea is to provide inspiration to write. Participants can use either the facts, the photo, the quote, or any combination thereof.

I chose the quote as my inspiration, 
Everyone’s got unfinished business with Barcelona.  
-Frank Lampard

and I'm taking you back two years to characters I dearly miss. This is the continuing story of Essie Dorely, recently deceased, and her new career as a reaper of souls. To get caught up or to refresh your memories, previous installments in order as follows:

And now without further ado, I offer the following in response:
(word count 578, genre: angels/paranormal)

Ah, Paris

They gathered on the Champs-Elysees. Essie felt the winter sun grace her skin. Truly felt it warming her pores. She felt alive, more alive than when she was alive.  And Paris was far more vibrant than she remembered it being. The drowsy trees stirred in a breeze, the breeze that carried with it the perfume of baking bread, hearth fire, and geraniums damp with morning dew. 

Essie wanted to run through the streets, splashing through puddles, scattering pigeons. She wanted to climb the steps of the Sacre-Coeur and jump from a widow’s walk to see if she could fly.  But mostly, she just wanted to claim the sun. 

"Ah, Paris," Abilene said. sighing deep. Her eyes rolled skyward. "You stuffed shirts can keep your pearly gates. This city is heaven to me."

Reaper shimmered in the sunlight, a marvel of perfection, so Essie thought. A drunken butterfly landed on the sleeve of his pristine suit. He raised it to eye level, and with a wistful look, watched it fly away. "Everyone has a Paris they remember," he said. "For some, Paris is the City of Lights."

Essie sensed a history older than the city in his words. "And to you? What is your Paris?"

His eyes were kind, but round with sorrow. "There are plagues mankind suffers that never make your history books, I have the rare privilege to know them all, and Paris...well, I shan't dwell on the ugliness of the business."

"Thank your mother's golden girdle, Essie. Here is where Reaper would bore you with the inane details of that silly little revolt when Paris tore down a perfectly sound prison." Abilene hooked her arm around Essie's. "Come Sweetness, there's an adorable little lingerie boutique around the corner and it's been way too long since I was last shopping."

Essie looked to Reaper for guidance. "Wait. We can shop?"

He smiled. "Time is of little consequence. You may do as you wish, after your training." 

Abilene stuck out her tongue. "Killjoy. I've been a very good girl you know. I haven't corrupted anyone in hours. Can't you let me have this small, insignificant pleasure--"

Reaper shook his head. "I know better than to turn you loose with my new associate before her training is complete."

Abilene mocked a whisper behind her hand, her breath hot and dry like drifting ash against Essie's hair. "Don't mind Reaper. He's still sore about Barcelona."

"Why? What happened in Barcelona?" Essie asked, searching for details in Reaper's expression. She resolved never to play a hand of poker against him. He had no tells.

"His last apprentice wasn't Reaper material," Abilene said, "at least for your team."

Reaper cocked his head, calm and cool as if molded from marble by Michelangelo's own hands. "Now Miss Fortesque, a little hiccup in the midst of training is to be expected, especially in the presence of one so enchantingly formidable."

"Aw, Reaper, you flatter me." The air around her charged with a hint of brimstone and her voice doubled, as if possessed by another, sending a shiver of fear through Essie's spine. "I won that day, Reaper. Poor David's business went unfinished."

He bowed with a slight concession, though there was a victorious glint in his eyes. "Yes, well...Everyone has unfinished business in Barcelona, don't they, Miss Fortesque? How many centuries are left on your sentence?"

She hissed and the brimstone dissipated. "Fine. Let's get this over with before you ruin Paris, too."

So that's this week's installment. Give me what'chya got!


  1. Ooooh, I had to go back and read the previous bits, it's been so long since you played with this story. I love it.

    "Drunken butterfly" is perfect. I like the interplay between Reaper and Fortesque, too.

    Yes! Excellent first offering to the new writing prompt gods. We accept!

    1. Thanks! It had been so long since I touched this story, I had to do the same thing!

      I hope you enjoyed your visit. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I look forward to the next prompt.