Prompt CONTEST

Soooo, since it’s the last Friday of our blogging month we thought (okay, I thought) it’d be fun to see what y’all come up with. I chose one of my favorite prompts from the month. In under 500 words, using the prompt below, write a scene. Jennifer, Betty and I will choose our favorite scene. Winner will be announced on next Tuesday’s blog. That means you’ll need to have your prompt to us by midnight Sunday (central time).

John glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on…

Oh, I suppose you want to know what it is you’ll receive . . . .  well, your prompt will be featured here.  And, are you ready for this?  The winner will also receive a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com

Okay, so not a huge deal, but if you’re like me that ten dollars will come in handy toward the purchase of a research or writing craft book.

Don’t forget to post your prompt in the comments. Oh, and if you’re shy, you can email them to us, too. Double oh, please keep your entries family friendly as we have young readers, too.


Happy Writing, 

Christina

25 thoughts on “Prompt CONTEST

  1. Okay, so this isn't my genre, and I really should be working on my wip, but … (chuckling derisively) … I couldn't resist. And if anyone would like to know the true story that trigged my creative thought-processes on this one, ask. I'd be more than happy to share. 🙂 … a bloated heifer lying in front of a blackberry patch. Just as he expected. Nothing else could produce a stench like a rotting carcass. "What is it?" Rebecca followed his gaze. "Oh!" Her eyes rounded, and a hand flew to her mouth.Flies buzzed around the beast's head, and turkey vulture's circled the sky above. "Let's turn back." She glanced at the picnic basket clutched in his hand, her face pale. "I'm really not that hungry…."Matter of fact, the woman looked like she was about to vomit all over her pretty little dress. "If you're gonna vomit, aim that way." He pointed toward a patch of clover. He turned back to the cow, shook his head. "Ma won't be happy 'bout this. Not with the Cattle Baron Ball coming tonight." It was the third annual, held in their old barn half an acre down wind. A stiff breeze carried the stench of rotting flesh, convulsing his stomach. "Best move the beast before she blows." He scanned the surrounding pastureland, looking for what he wasn't sure. Shoved his hand in his pocket. A flick of the match would do it. "You wait here."Her face shriveled. Wide-eyed, she shook her head. "Uh-uh. John Eldon Warrington, do not tell me you're going to hall that thing out of here." John raised an eyebrow. "Never seen a bloated carcass before, huh?" He chuckled. "Welcome to the prairie." Leaving her fuming, huffing, and sighing behind him, he stepped over a fallen log and through the shin-length grass, releasing a swarm of grasshoppers, which apparently, headed her direction because she let out a shriek. John glanced over her shoulder to see her flapping one hand, clutching her skirt in the other, twirling like a crazy woman. Silly woman would twist her ankle carrying on like that. Then he'd have to lug her home. Course, they'd get there faster that way. Upon reaching the carcass, he pulled his box of matches. He lit one, and set it the cow. The internal gases, produced by decay, caught, and an armadillo scurried out. "I'll be." The animal disappeared in the tall grass."What did your mom say she was serving for dinner?" Rebecca's voice came out as a squeak.Jonathan raked a hand through his hair. "Armadillo stew."

  2. I loved Jennifer's take. Let's see where mine goes…John glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on…The house he hadn't been to in over ten years. Fallen shutters could be seen behind the overgrown shrubs. Various colors peeked out from behind the chipped and peeling coat of white paint. One step on the drooping porch had holes and looked rotten. The yard needed mowing. The house appeared abandoned, but he knew it wasn't. A dog barked in the distance, distracting him from his thoughts. He took a step closer. His mom had called him, but would he really be welcome?He knew he wasn't the same boy who had left to find himself. God had found him, and then he had found God. He closed his eyes, blocking out for a moment the vision of his former home, and prayed."God, I need your help. I don't know what I'm gonna find when I knock on that door, but I know it won't be good. Help me love with your love."He opened his eyes, a peace settling in his mind and heart. Inhaling, he walked the rest of the way to the door, skirting the bad step.Before his could raise his hand to knock, the door opened. His momma came barreling out the door, arms wide."John. You came." She hugged him hard. Not what he was expecting. When she released him he saw her tears. He had never seen his momma cry. It touched a place deep in his heart."Hi Momma."

  3. Wonderful and creative – both writings. Imaginative. I'm so chicken to try writing, knowing it would be read. I like the idea of the competition, please let me know about the next one. I found out about this a bit too late. Keep up with the good ideas, Christine.Blessings,Barb Shelton

  4. Allrightythen. Here's my shot. Totally different take. John glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on…The only woman he'd ever loved. Would ever love.Her blond hair hung to her waist, unencumbered by any rubber bands or braids or other whatchacallems. The breeze, just strong enough to make the wispy edges of her hair dance, also cooled his fever.The image was only an illusion. He knew that as well as he knew his own name.She wasn't there. Hadn't been in years.And had never loved him back.Oh, she'd cared for him well enough. Spent three-quarters of her life as his wife, bore his children, shared her body, but not her heart. Never loved him like he'd loved her. She'd only married him because his brother, her fiancée, had been killed in a car accident and she felt lost.Alone.Scared.She told him once his proposal had been an answer to prayer, saving her from the crippling depression that threatened to take hold.Over sixty years later, he wanted the same thing he'd wanted since he met her. To hold her in his arms, kiss her, love her, whisper sweet nothings until she fell asleep curled up next to him.His memory wasn't what it used to be.More recent memories, of her blond hair turning gray, of the great-grandchildren he'd been told were his, of his children being grown enough to be not just parents but grandparents… those things he had trouble with. And the fever, the pneumonia, only made things worse. The older memories, from his youth, were intact and as he stared out the window of the bedroom they'd shared for all those years, he saw things not as they were but as they once had been.Cookie cutter neighborhoods disappeared in a shimmery mist. Fields full of hay and cattle took their place.A small child ran her direction. His brow furrowed when he realized the child had her long hair. They'd had no daughters, save the still-born one. The one she'd grieved over one way or another until the day she died.He breathed as deeply as he could – which wasn't very deep – and let it out slowly, the same way he did everything these days. Being lucid enough to realize even the mirage his imagination had come up with wasn't a memory tore at him.All he really wanted to do was find a way to let go.John closed his eyes, just for a moment and released another breath.The weight on his chest lifted, surprising him. He opened his eyes to find himself on the porch with her facing him, the child in her arms, eyes as bright as her mother's.She looked as she had years ago, before time aged her.Then he noticed the angels surrounding them, protecting them. She smiled as he took it all in."Welcome home, John, my love. There's someone I want you to meet."

  5. Thanks goes to Jennifer for both sharing this blog and for the idea of a sci-fi theme–I wouldn't have thought it up that way if it weren't for her suggestion. :D——John glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on…the sparks shooting out from a tree trunk at the forest's edge. John sighed. It seemed the holographic projector was doomed to fail again. He slammed his hand onto the controls, flipping the power off as another wave of sparks flew. The scent of burning wires wafted through the air as he turned to go."Why is it the only admirable thing left in this world is the one thing doesn't work right?!" he exclaimed, ending with a cough as the smoke pushed him out the door.Waving the smoke out of his face, he peered out the nearby window at the robotic city. Although it had been deserted by its inhabitants for centuries, it still looked as perfect as when it had first been built, according to the robotic tour guide at least. John was a new comer, still not sure where he was or why, but knowing he didn't belong–and he didn't need the robot to tell him that! He turned to go to the room the robots had assigned him to use as the firefighting robots finally arrived. He ignored their questions of "What happened?" and "What did you do to it?" and simply barked a "Just fix it!" as he turned his back on them. Lowering the brim of his brown leather Stetson in an effort to hide the deep sadness that had settled into his blue eyes, he jabbed his calloused hands into his brown trousers and swaggered away.

  6. The following prompt response comes from Diane Dean White http://www.dianedeanwhite.comJohn glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on the beautiful young woman who was pumping water into a pitcher. He’d never noticed the old wooden shack on his rides through this area. Come to think of it he’d never ridden in this area before. What possessed him to take this route to town instead of the other road? Possibly the radiant colors in the meadow, or this gal who seemed to have the perfect body God in His wisdom gave her.The woman looked up startled; she almost dropped the pitcher she was carrying. “Who are you and what do you want?” Her voice was sweet, but strong.“I am sorry ma’am, I was just noticing the beautiful sunset and my horse took this detour towards town. I don’t mean any harm to you or your kin. Sorry if I frightened you. I’ll be on my way now.”“Wait, please. Maybe you can help me. My pa is terrible sick and I can’t move him. I thought my brother would be back. He’s gone to Cody and the good Lord only knows when he’ll return. If you please, I’d be grateful for your kindness. Will you come and look at Pa? I’ll take you to him.”This was the last thing John expected. Maybe the Lord led him this way just to help a woman in need. He sped his horse around to the side of the little shack. Could three people live here? Apparently, since she had a brother and dad. He tethered his horse and she opened the door, placing the pitcher inside.“I’m John Ruddy, please to meet you ma’am. I’m sorry about your pa. What’s ailing him?” He followed her through the door into a small but neat looking room.“I’m Molly Sutton; we’ve been here for over two years now. Pa was hurt by a stray bullet. I tried my best to cut it out, but he couldn’t take the pain. We’ve no medicine in the house and I’m fearful infection’s set in. Could you help me?“I’m afraid the ride would hurt him Miss Molly, otherwise we could try to get him to town. I don’t recollect how far that would be either. I’m not from these parts.” John followed her into a small bedroom. Her pa wasn’t conscience. He carefully inspected the area where she’d stopped the bleeding after trying her hand with a knife to retrieve the bullet. This man was pale, he needed help or he’d never survive.“Mr. Ruddy, the town’s about ten miles. I don’t know what else to do unless I try to get him to a doctor.” She felt her pa’s forehead. “He’s burning with fever. God, please help him.” She knelt down and put her head on the older man’s chest. “Pa, please stay with me. Don’t leave me, please.” She started to cry uncontrollably. His breathing stopped. “No!”

  7. Lol, and I'm thinking "I don't even know what steampunk is"….then my Hubby laughs at me. Apparently, I like it but just don't understand the term, lol. Thank you. 🙂

  8. *Peter Leavell, here. I couldn't quite get my sign in to work.Jennifer Slattery, you challenged me, and after some fun, I delivered. Although I'm not sure Terrie will. And it's not funny. Couldn't think of anything funny in that amount of time!'Audience of One'John glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on… an Indian paintbrush. The ebony handle, made of buffalo horn, normally fit in his hand. He hated it when he dropped his brush. Horsehair bristles, probably from the stallion's backside, were splotched with burnt orange paint and dirt.John picked at the dust and specks of leaves. Why couldn’t he have been a writer? Or a broker? But no. He had to paint.The thick trees around him seemed to suck the light from the air, and soon it was too dark to finish his painting.He gathered his easel, the unfinished canvas, and his paints. He wandered beside the stream, under the pines, and back to his home, discouraged.In the cabin, John lit several lamps until a warm glow filled the room. He stoked the fire.Maybe the painting wasn’t ruined. With a sigh, he wandered to the table where he’d set the painting earlier. A quick glance told him the truth. The sunset he’d tried to paint was there—as well as a teepee.He grasped the Indian paintbrush. With all his strength, he flung it into the fireplace.He dropped his head on the table and supported his forehead against his arm. The brush gave him incredible art skills, talents he’d never owned. But with every painting, the brush forced him to include something Indian. Perhaps a campsite, or warrior, or like today’s work, a teepee. Usually his mind didn’t even know it was happening as he painted.After a few moments, he wandered over to the fire, and with the poker, pulled the brush from the fire. It never burned. And tonight was no exception.He snatched the Indian paintbrush, cool to the touch, and raced outside. He flung it as far as he could, and listened until he heard the satisfying splash. He raced back inside and barred the door.At first, painting with Indians in the work didn’t bother him. It was a fair trade. But now, after hundreds of paintings, he hated it. He felt trapped. He’d thrown out his other brushes. No way could he ever paint with a regular brush. He just didn’t have the skills. The ability.In despair, he hurled himself onto his bed and covered his head.He didn’t know when he’d fallen asleep, but he awoke to someone in the cabin.John knew who it was. He opened his eyes, saw the Indian Chief leaving, the dying embers of the fire lighting his old and wrinkled face. “Why?” But John knew the answer. He pressed anyway. “Why are you doing this?”The noble voice permeated his brain. “You have been given a gift. Our story must be told. And you have been chosen. Tell the story with the talents you’ve been given, or someday, you will lose it.”And he left. The Indian paintbrush lay on the table.

  9. Entry number 2…to show that I'm not always so weird and geeky…or at least not always geeky. :D——–John glanced from the burnt orange sunset to the blush of the Indian paintbrush in the meadow below before his gaze settled on…The half-brushed, bouncing curls of a blue-eyed little girl. She was chasing a butterfly, the breeze carrying her giggles carrying easily.John smiled, glad she had found yet another small joy, then worry seeped back in."She's growing up too quick, Sarah," he spoke softly into the sky. There would never be a response, but he continued, "She's just like you–beautiful and so full of life. I wish you could see her…I wish you were still here."His heart filled with longing to see his Sarah one more time, yet knowing he didn't want just one more time. He wanted her back with them–to have his helpmate at his side, to give little Meghan her Mommy back. Two tears broke loose before John could choke them down as his gaze quickly darted back to his daughter.She had lost the butterfly and was now gleefully picking wildflowers. John knew she would soon come running back, eager to show him her prize. He quickly swiped a calloused hand across his face, and noticed he still held a hairbrush in the other. It had been Sarah's and Meghan refused to use any other brush, even though it seemed to catch so roughly on the tangles. John stared at the bristles, but his eyes saw only a memory.Sarah sat at her mirrored dressing table, gently combing through her hair as John watched her get ready for bed, already in her flannel pajamas. "Men's wear", she had called them, being more accustomed to nightgowns but the prairie nights were just too cold.Sarah looked up as toddler Meghan came running in. "Me too, Mommy! Me too!" she always sing-songed.Sarah smiled patiently and stood up to let Meghan have the stool and watch in the mirror as she oh so gently brushed Meghan’s hair. Sarah brushed so soothingly that Meghan was drifting before she was done.That was one of the last nights Sarah had brushed Meghan's hair.The thought jerked John out of his memories as the pain of watching the sickness take his wife slammed into his chest. He glanced up to see Meghan approaching fast, holding the wildflowers close, her face lit with joy.He tried to choke it all down. He tried to calm his rapidly beating heart. He tried to smile. He tried…for her.He swallowed hard."Daddy! Daddy, for you!" she thrust the flowers at him, followed immediately by squirming in for a hug.He hugged her snugly, and a little too long judging by second round of squirming. He smiled, took in a deep breath as peace filtered into his heart again, he thanked the Lord for blessing him with such a loving little sweetheart."C'mon, we’ll put the flowers in the vase and finish brushing your hair." John rose from his seat to head indoors. Before she could protest, he added, "Why don't we sit at the dresser tonight?"

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