|Writer's Workshop, Short Story: Writing Prompts
Author: MSU Emily PM
These are the short, generally one scene writing prompts I have to turn each week. Reminder, these aren't actual stories, just a scene or two to practice a certain element.Rated: Fiction T - English - Humor - Chapters: 4 - Words: 6,511 - Reviews: 4 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-26-08 - Published: 01-31-08 - id: 2469856
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Notes: This is maybe the worst prompt I've ever written, I'm not particularly proud of it in anyway. The premise this week was surrealism, really pushing outrageous circumstances. I wasn't really feeling that and was trying to make it realistic outrageousness but I think I failed.
Friday night, nine o'clock PM – in almost every room on all the floors in Reed Girl's Dormitory, the same activities are afoot: pre-party preparation. Aimee stands before her closet, wearing her best jeans but debating tops. She might wear the beaded blouse – sure, it's dressy, but it covers a lot of skin, and later, she'll feel overdressed and a prude. But if she takes her other option at the moment and wears the retro patterned tank top, she'll feel like too skanky, maybe like she's trying too hard. After a few long moments of mental debate, she puts both away and pulls on the plain violet t-shirt she wore all day, knowing she'd be unhappy in either of the others and decides to go with what she is most comfortable.
Clothing situation solved, Aimee peers into the mirror and makes pouty model faces at herself in the mirror. She'll never be a fashion plate, she supposes, and she doesn't really care. At the moment she's done the best she can. With a touch of lip gloss and a quick brush through her hair, she decides that she's ready, or else, there's nothing else she wants to fool with – curlers take too long, eyeliner always ends badly, and so Aimee sits down on her futon to watch a rerun of some sitcom she's never heard of while she waits for Erica.
Erica is nothing if not constantly tardy, so Aimee is not surprised that she makes it through all of the first episode and halfway through the next by the time she hears a knock at the door. She answers it to find that Erica has gone the complete opposite direction with her clothing for the night: skinny jeans, a glittery top with just the right amount of cleavage, and even high heels.
"Aren't we walking?" asks Aimee, eyeing the heels and feeling a little jealous. If she tried to pull off Erica's look, she'd just end up looking fake.
"It's, like, three blocks," Erica replies nonplussed, fluttering ridiculously long eyelashes. "C'mon, I wanna get there before all the booze is gone."
Aimee slips her feet into more comfortable walking shoes and follows Erica down two flights of stairs and out into the warm night. It turns out Erica only has a vague idea of where the party is and they end up wandering around the apartment complexes behind campus for twenty minutes. The archaic libraries across the street look far less collegiate and welcoming at ten o'clock at night than they do during the day. Street lights glow in a tired yellow light, and the one right over their heads flickers on and off ominously while Erica calls a friend already at the party. Aimee picks her nails as she waits. She is always a half-hearted party goer, Erica usually has to cajole for a the better part of an hour before Aimee will agree. It's not that she doesn't like going out, she just never knows what to wear or say, until she's had a few drinks in her system, she feels like a wallflower.
"I knew it was just down this street!" Erica exclaims, snapping the phone shut and then grabbing Aimee's arm to pull her down a street they've been down twice already. "We just didn't go far enough."
Erica's heels cause her to walk in a strange rather lopsided gait that makes it easy for Aimee to keep up although her legs are about four inches shorter. They reach the stop sign that they had turned around at last time, and Erica continues pulling her down the road.
"See, look!" Erica is panting slightly from the effort of balancing and keeping her normal speedy pace. Aimee follows her pointing arm and wonders how they had missed the house last time – it's the only one light up completely on the inside, with unseasonal Christmas lights around the porch. Not only that, but Erica and Aimee can feel the bass of the music in their chests when they're still at the mailbox.
They clamber carefully through the mud on flat stepping stones. Aimee notices an odd group of party goers smoking outside the door. One is clad in ripped jeans and a leather jacket, with a very fake mustache drawn on. The other is wearing a toga made out of Bert and Ernie sheets. The two nod coolly at the girls as they cross the porch and turn the doorknob to the house.
"Erica, why were they dressed like that?"
Erica is already in party mode, jiggling her hips and flipping her hair, and does not hear Aimee's question. They step into the smoky, dirty house. A life-sized shark with legs and Alice from Wonderland are dancing hip-to-hip and fin-to-pinafore in a state of drunken love, while a bevy of Playboy bunnies have perched themselves coyly on the tattered couch. Clearly, they have collectively thought that this spot has given them maximum viewability. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, Sneezy, Dopey and Doc are manning the keg. In about a minute, it suddenly becomes abundantly clear that someone has forgotten to tell Erica that this is a costume party, or, what Aimee feels is the more likely situation, someone had told Erica, and Erica just didn't care enough to tell Aimee.
More citizens of Rome carefully tread down the stairs holding a board which will soon be a beer pong table over their heads. An entourage of two cowgirls, a native American, and Little Bo Peep follow on their heels. Aimee grabs Erica before she joins the group heading for the kitchen – Aimee had learned quickly that Beer Pong and Erica go together like Oreos and milk.
"Did you know it was a costume party?" Aimee has to shout two inches away from Erica ear.
"Well, now that we're here, I remembered," replies Erica, a little embarrassed, clearly caught in an example of her typical ditziness. "Anyway, what does it matter? Grab a drink, have some fun! I'm going to go dominate at beer pong!"
Twenty minutes later, Aimee is watching Erica from a vacated spot on the couch. She is indeed dominating beer pong, having won the last three rounds and collecting parts of costumes from each loser. She is now a fairy cowboy with a black belt in karate. Meanwhile, Aimee has quickly downed four glasses of cheap beer in a red solo cup in an effort to block out the boy she barely knows from sociology class, the one who seems determined to stick by her and bore her with his theories of civil rights and society. She's not sure how to get rid of him without seeming rude, but by her fourth glass of beer, she doesn't really caring about politeness.
"Uh, I have to go to the bathroom," she murmurs as she hastily stands and wobbles down a hallway.
Aimee hadn't realized quite how quickly those four beers had gone to her head s until she attempted walking. Erica always said she was a light-weight. She waits patiently outside a door she hopes leads to the bathroom, and luckily, a few minutes later, Cupid and one of the playboy bunnies exit, covering their giggling mouths with hands that move lazily in Aimee's vision.