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March Writing Prompts

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Q: If you could write something anonymously to someone in your life, what would you say?


A: Fractured Sunlight

by Keira Jones

I need not provide a name for you to recognize the voice of my writing. My anonymity will be my undoing, and you shall quickly uncover the truth of who I am. You think that I have healed, but many shadows still hide in the wake of my smile. A pair of hands are still clenched around my body as I thrash against them. They are why I quiver through the uncertainty of darkness. You do not realize the endless weight that I drag with me. Regardless of my own darkness, you did not abandon me. You are the only person to have ever made that mistake. “Choice”, you would tell me. It was your choice.

The imprint you left on my life cannot be erased, nor do I wish for it to be. One day it will be marked upon the skin of my flesh permanently, as it has been in my heart. If that day ever comes, there shall be no well too deep to bear my tears. There will be no facade to hide the emotion you have evoked in me. I regret nothing but not utilizing the time that we had. I let myself drown in such grief the day you left, that I said nothing. Invisible blood seeped down my throat, capturing my ability to speak. I am choking upon all of the words that I wish I had said. You say that I am the sunlight, yet I am living amongst such darkness.





A: by Anastazia Zander


I get reckless–

consumed.

My thoughts aren't mine,

they’re you.


You?

Have had no clue


I called out with silence,

begged you to read my mind–

Instead,

your ego grew


I hated how you’d boast,

turned me into a ghost.

In my waiting, wanting, wasted time

I lost all sense of value.


Recently it felt

that you’ve cut me out

so I’ll take that as a cue:


Ready to lose you.



Q: Can you write us a story centered around the idea of rebirth?


A: by Kali Szczypta


You were the fenced-off, overgrown, no-trespassing-signed front lawn. I took one look at you and thought, I’ll be safe here, where the weeds thrive and the world is shut out. So I sprinkled my seeds in your dirt, not knowing the soil was so rich, so nutritious from the rotting bodies and the wilting flowers that you trampled over long before me. I rooted myself in the idea of you and the beautiful garden we could make. You watered me with drops of glistening validation from which I had long been deprived. I was a sunflower; straining, craning my neck, wanting to be kissed by the sun. But you overshadowed me; left me in the dark. Eventually, you stopped watering me and a single flower cannot make a garden all on her own. I was a sunflower; straining, craning my neck, wanting to be kissed by you. I started plucking away at my petals; pulling apart the best parts of me, the very things that differentiated me from the weeds. With each petal, I cried “he loves me, he loves me not…” as if I could not see all of the trampled flowers that had come before me. Soon, my own tears watered me; brought me back to life. I uprooted myself from your soil; shook myself free of your weeds that had wrapped themselves around my neck. I made my way back to my own front yard, where the grass had yellowed and died and the garden was empty. I burrowed myself into the empty patch of dirt. Built myself a little white fence around my square of sun. I scattered my seeds, watered them with my love. My validation. I watched as they grew and stretched and bloomed. Watched them turn vibrant shades of enchanting. I watched people come from all over town to admire my garden. Bees buzzed around me, begging for my nectar dripping like honey from between my petals. It took losing the fenced-off, overgrown, no-trespassing-signed front lawn for me to grow. But boy, did I bloom oh so beautifully without you.



A: The Hackled Bear

by Tom Pinkston


Did you hear that storm last night?


I know you felt it - we both cringed at that one big boom and then snuggled back in under


the echo.


Startling though it was, still a nice sound, a fading basso profundo allowed to finish.

But I thought I heard the crack of a strike out back and worried with the grey morning


light -


the longleafs - which one will be wearing that billion joule whip scar and slowly perish.


None, it turned out.


I checked the roof - we didn’t lose a single shingle.

It’s a good roof, good for another year or two at least


and the power stayed on.

I came back to bed.


Wasn’t the end of the world we heard - so I guess we’ll still have to go to work on Monday.


Maybe there wasn’t a storm, I lay thinking.

Maybe we just had the same dream.


Later I will hear from neighbor folk up the street that there most definitely was a storm.

They’ll tell me they swear during the thunder it even snowed big flakes for a few minutes.

What they were doing up at that hour outside is none of my business -

it was a Saturday night after all and I’m not one to pry.


But I’ll take into consideration this new information and include snow in my report as a

footnote.*


That's what footnotes are for, right?

I make it into the kitchen first

and start the coffee


just in time to hear something big stumble onto the porch

and settle itself into a chair at the eating table out there.


I peek out the window above the sink and there he is - the harbinger himself in all his


disheveled glory.

Ursus Penitenziagite,

commonly known as the hackled bear.

Guess that storm woke him up too.


He’s hungry and annoyed at being awake after his long sleep,

slumped in the chair wiping the gunk out of his eyes

and waiting for me to bring him the house special.

That would be a dozen eggs and a pound of side meat fried,

half a loaf of white bread toasted and buttered,


most of my apple pie (I’m holding back a slice because it’s my apple pie)

and two dog bowls brimming with whole milk to wash it all down.


The special’s not on the menu by the way -


you gotta ask for it.

Yeah he’ll make a godawful mess,

but I’ll clean it up and while I do,


I’ll begin to feel that familiar sensation deep down in my bones -


a spring has come again

and Ursus Penitenziagite is its first rite.

I dial the office and leave a message,

“Rumspringa.” is all I say and hang up.


It means, “Buddy, I’m gonna need a minute here, but I’ll be along.”

My buddy knows what I’m talking about, happens about this time every year.


Makes me wonder how many times this has happened...


fifty fourth for me.

I don’t know about bear,

never asked.


In some ways I envy him. I wish I could try it his way just once.

Throw down on Halloween and then set my alarm for early March.


Left the back door to the kitchen open after serving bear and the hound comes out for a


stretch.


“Don’t worry,” I tell him, “I saved us a plate.”


I’m always a little nervous that this first merge is gonna go sideways someday but so far, so


good.


“Bear,” says dog, while he’s stretching.

“Dog,” says bear, with his mouth full.


The hound goes out through the big hole in the screen bear made to cock a leg up against


the nearest pine and let fly.


It’s his house after all, lest there be any doubt and he’s got nothing to prove.

Our fast broken, we all three take a stroll around the yard and

discuss it. Garden this year? Or maybe just let the blackeyed susans and the

coneflowers come back and rule again. The susans will bring the goldfinches

back for another year. Yeah, that hydrangea looks like death warmed over

but it’ll come back. The azaleas do need to be pruned and fed. That

rhododendron took a beating over winter as did the magnolia - looks like

somebody took a giant cheese grater to its one side. The Rose of Henry and

the Lady Banks will return along with the other thorny volunteers whose

names I’ll never know but still just pretty as they can be and the gardenia

will blossom before your eyes like a kettle of poppin’ corn. The blueberries -

yeah I’ll clean ‘em up and feed them too. And as for them, bear, you come

on back near the end of the coming heat and help yourself. All I ask is save

us enough for just one 9 x 13 cobbler. A deep one mind you.

He’ll hang around a bit, get his bearings. But as soon as the pine

pollen appears he’ll take his wanderings north up the county. More

hardwood up there, fewer pines and it’s cooler, wetter and quieter. If you

happen to see Ursus Penitenziagite, just know he’s the only one and that

he’s my spirit animal - when I couldn’t find one that fit, I made him. So

don’t shoot him, he’s just passing through looking for something to eat. He

won’t bother you or your dog. Or your cat. It’s funny, other animals fancy

him. He’s warm and smells good now it’s spring - they’re curious about


him, especially the cats and because he knows the purr and loves it. And

don’t take those hackles personal like, they’re always up - he’s moody, but

means well. And he has no idea the sway he holds - what would happen if

one year, he never came back?

He does have a taste for chicken though and a sweet tooth for

preserves of any kind. Just drop me a line and I’ll drive up that way and

make recompense on his behalf for any missing fowl or broken jar of pickles

or mama’s peaches or any inadvertent property damage done. Just don’t

shoot him. Like I said - he’s moody but means well.


*foot·note \ ˈfu̇t-ˌnōt : a note of reference, explanation, or comment usually placed below

the text on a printed page. As in, Todd and Maggie swear it snowed last night and during

the hours in question when the meteorological conditions could indeed have produced all

manner of precipitation such freezing rain, hail and yes, snow.




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