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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Writing Prompt-and-Share #34

Prompt-and-Share It's Tuesday! Why is that exciting? Because it's not Monday! Okay... on to today's writing prompt. Tuesdays we've been focusing on senses. Today's sense is "Smell". I know, I know, easy right? We've been playing with new and fun senses like the "sense of time" and the "sense of space" - so let's take this one up a notch. Here's what I'm looking for...
I want the sense of smell to set the mood.
I want to feel a sense of space.
I want dialogue, yes dialogue - I'm not the only one who is going to pay for missing Sunday's dialogue prompt.
And finally, to take it up even one more notch - I want a debate, or an epiphany, I want the characters to philosophize about something ANYTHING! Mundane or supreme, microcosmic or macrocosmic. Have fun with it.
750 word limit

My Submission:

The stench of grease and sweat filled the car as Bob and Doug pulled the old Camero unto the sandy beach. Doug tucked his long stringy hair behind his ears and glanced at the clock on the car stereo. They had finished their shift at the Diner at 2:00am, it was now 2:17am. They had made good time.

He snatched the plastic baggie and some rolling papers from the glove compartment and made fast work of rolling a joint. Bob shut the engine off, turned the key backwards to ignite the stereo, and leaned into his seat. This was the beginning of their nightly ritual, and the thoughts and worries of the day were already drifting away to the sound of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb.

They didn’t speak, not yet. They never spoke in the car. Doug finished crafting the perfect pinner and handed it to Bob to light, as was the custom. Bob examined the joint, nodded his approval and said a silent prayer of gratitude to whoever may be listening before blazing up. They passed the spliff back and forth, choking and coughing, but never uttering a word. The sweet smell filled the car, masking all previous odors of the greasy spoon they had escaped.

When there was nothing but filter remaining, Bob butted it out in the ashtray. Smoke billowed out of the car as they opened the doors and exited the vehicle. They climbed onto the hood of the car, stretched out and balled up their jackets to use as pillows. They breathed in the cool, crisp lake air and stared at the cosmos above.

“I don’t get time travel,” Doug said.

“What don’t you get, man?”

Doug lit up a cigarette and stared into space. “Well, time is a man-made device, it can’t go backwards.”

“What do you mean, man? Time exists no matter what, it’s not ‘man-made’.” Bob scoffed.

“Well yeah, time itself isn’t man-made. Like, ya know, it would still happen if we didn’t name it but like, it’s like a man-made measurement. You can’t go back an inch ya know? Like if you have a piece of word and it measures an inch, well an inch is an inch. It can’t measure minus and inch or it wouldn’t exist. It’s like time.”

Bob watched as a cloud of Doug’s smoke hazed the starry sky before him. It was a clear night and they were alone on the vast beach. The waves lapped gently at the shore and the smell of dew was already settling in the field behind them. “You’re looking at it all wrong, man. What about those astronauts that travel to space and come back and they’ve only aged a year, when like, everyone else is fuckin’ old.”

“Good point.”

“Yeah man. It’s like the speed of light man.”

“What’s the speed of light got to do with it?”

“Everything man, everything. If some dude gets in like a rocket-type-of-space-ship man, and travels faster than the speed of light, he can like, go far in no time at all to him, but like, it would seem like forever to us.”

“How is that though? That’s what I don’t get.” Doug glanced at the crescent moon and began wondering what it would be look to live in space.

“It’s like this man. If the space rocket dude travels to another like, galaxy, and he’s going so fuckin’ fast, right man? He can make it there in like a couple of weeks ‘cause he’s going so fuckin’ fast! All the while we here on earth are going about our regular business right man? So like, the earth is spinning all normal and stuff, it does its orbiting thing around the sun all regular and shit, right? So, time goes by normal for us but he’s going faster than that man, he’s going faster than it takes for the planet to like orbit the sun man. So when he comes back, we’ve all been puttin’ along normally, aging and shit, but he’s only been gone like a month. So he comes back the same age, and we all grew older and shit.”

Doug nodded along with him. “That’s crazy-assed shit, dude.”

“Brilliant right man?”


As they sat there contemplating their latest discovery, imagining a world far beyond their comprehension, they spotted a bright shooting star cross the horizon.

“Holy shit! Did you see that man?” Bob said as they both sat up straight.

“That was so wicked!”

“That’s what I’m talking about, man. That star probably died out a million years ago and we’re only seeing it now man.” Bob smacked the hood of the car for emphasis. “That’s time travel man, that’s fucking time travel!”

“Did you make a wish, dude?” Doug asked.

“Ah shit, no man, I forgot. Did you?


“Well what did you wish for man?”


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