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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Writing Prompt-and-Share #19

Happy Prompt-and-Share Wednesday! Remember how I mentioned a week or so ago that I was going to start putting a little order to the madness of Prompt-and-Share? Thursdays are going to be random word generated prompts focusing on plot - but Wednesday's are going to keep in stride with the First Sentence Theme.
We all know how important the first sentence is to any story, it grabs the reader and pulls them in. Last time we used the first sentence from "Pillars of the Earth" and we got some amazing entries.
This week we are going to use the first sentence from the first chapter of "Twilight". (Stifle your groans people, it was best-seller for a reason).
In 400 words or less, start your story with the sentence: My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down.
Infect me with your diversity folks!

My Submission:

My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. I loved the way the wind played with my hair, even though it meant I’d have to deal with tangled masses before I exited the vehicle.

“Are you wearing clean underwear, dear?”

I sighed, shaking my head. “You know mom, I never really understood that question. I mean I get it, if I’m in an accident and my clothes are removed, I will be grateful that I was wearing clean underwear. But really, mom, has anyone ever said ‘no’ to that question?”

I felt my brow furrow and I began chewing on the side of my thumb nail. “Clean underwear,” I muttered into my hand while rolling my eyes and shaking my head at her absurdity.

Without warning the car lurched towards the shoulder. Gravel and dirt enveloped the vehicle with tiny tings and loud knocks. I screamed, holding on to the window frame as a cloud of dust smacked me in the face. My body flung forward against the restraint of my seat belt, and then flew back smashing my skull on the headrest with a thud. I was dirty, sweaty and so scared I almost peed in my clean underwear.

It took moments before I realized we had not been in an accident, mom had purposely pulled off the road and was now staring at a vacant spot on the windshield in front of her. Her jaw muscles crinkled under her skin. I was going to whine, bitch and moan, but there was something about her expression that stole the bratty words right from my mouth. I simply stared at my mother in the driver's seat, a woman I no longer recognized.

“Sophia. I asked you a question.” She stated through clenched teeth.

“Yes mother," I said hastily, "yes I’m wearing clean underwear.”

“Good then.” She put the car back in gear, checked her mirrors and merged back into traffic.

It took a few years in the Peace Corps and many experiences before I realized how much of an impact that day had on me. My mother needed her own way to say she loved me, she was scared for me, and it broke her heart to let me go. Regardless, from that day forward, I chose to go commando.


  1. My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. They had to be down, we'd have died otherwise.

    I'm only thirteen, I think, that's why I did it. I want to chuckle at that, but it hurts too much. It's a crock of shit. When it's something that I want to do, somewhere I want to go, and my folks won't let me, it becomes "I'm thirteen, not a baby."

    I feel like a baby right now. A stupid, stupid baby without the brains to keep stuff out of its mouth. Worse. Babies don't keep eating when they're full.

    Mom didn't say a word. She doesn't have to. The set of her lips said it all. Disappointed. How I hate that. Punish me, ground me for a year, but that silent disappointment? Please God, no.

    Why the hell did I listen to Jimmy? I groaned as another round of rumbling clenched my gut. Mom rolled her window down a little more. Why? I ask myself again.

    Dollar tacos. That's why. And a bet. A stupid five dollar bet. Jimmy won, and insisted I pay him right then. All I had left was my busfare- and a stomach full of nineteen soft tacos. Jimmy had twenty, and a sick smile on his face.

    That night, I went to sleep in a cloud of my own shame and self loathing... and farts. Next time, I'll know better. Next time, I'll say no.

  2. Now this has character, plot, conflict and resolution. Love it Chris! You never disappoint!

  3. Thanks for the comment (and the + link!) Nina.

    I love your final paragraph, and the last line. "Going commando" has such a light feel to the words, but in the context of what she's come to understand about her mother's motivations, it's got some serious implications. Well done!

  4. Interesting approach to the prompt here. That's one way of getting a point across.

    Tossing It Out