Writing Prompts #1

I have decided that I’m going to not just write more in 2018, but write more creative types of things. So in that spirit I want to try a new weekly exercise using Writing Prompts. Just Google “Writing Prompts” and you can find all kinds of things to get you started. The prompt is in bold and I’m going to rift off that for about 20 unedited, uncensored minutes … let’s see what happens!

“How much for that?” I asked the merchant, nodding to my sword hanging on the wall.

“$500,” he replied. “But for you I can go as low as $350.”

Obviously, the merchant’s knowledge of swords didn’t run very deep because I could have easily gotten five times that amount had I put it on the market myself, even more from collectors.

“I’ll take it. I wondered if you had any background on this piece though, where it originated. Perhaps you could tell me who you bought it from?”

The merchant hesitated while removing the sword from the wall.

“Umm, well …” his voice faltered.

As he turned around to face me, his lips formed a tight smile. “I’m not really all that familiar with these types of things,” he said as he took my cash.

“But surely you must know who sold it to you,” I pressed another hundred into the palm of his hand.

“Look, I don’t want any trouble.”

“There won’t be any trouble,” I stated. “I am buying the sword. I am giving you the money. I just want to know where you got it and then I will leave and you won’t see me again. Nobody will know you told me.”

His eyes darted around the shop to see if anyone was close enough to hear our exchange as he beckoned me closer and whispered, “It was those kids. You know the ones? That gang.”

I smiled and nodded. “Yes. I know exactly who you mean. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it very much.”

I picked up my package and left the shop.

Oh yes, I knew those kids. They weren’t really kids though. Most of them were in their early 20’s some were older than that. They behaved like spoiled children though. None of them worked at a real living since the oil boom. During the boom they all had great jobs, earned big money, made their parents proud. But they also got involved with drugs. Meth amphetamine mostly. They believed it helped with their stamina for overtime. They believed it made them more alert. If any of them had been tested they would have been fired on the spot. But none of them were. Nobody ever really is, unless there is an accident report that needs filing. As long as the oil is pumping, people turn a blind eye.

But then the boom ended and all the companies left. So did all the people who had come in from all over the country. They left to chase the oil to the next town. But not these kids. No, they were locals, born and raised in this county. The boom came and brought prosperity for a few years and then left nothing but a bunch of older retired folk, small business families, welfare recipients, and these damn drugged up kids who contributed nothing to the community but fear and distrust.

Hmm, that’s 20 minutes. It’s difficult for me not to self-edit while writing, but I really tried to just let it flow and go where it wanted to go. If I continue the practice it will get easier. I am quite rusty in areas of creative writing.

So what about you? Do you ever use writing prompts to get yourself started? Want to take 20 minutes and give this one a try? If you do, leave me the text or a link to the text in the comments. I’d be really interested to see what other people come up with.

Until next time, Happy Writing!

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