Writing Prompt #3

Welcome to this weekend’s writing prompt. Take 15 minutes, and 300 hundred words.

For fiction writers, give us a scene. For non-fiction writers, brainstorm as many article ideas as possible from this scenerio. If you’re brave enough, post your story in the comments for us to read.

A university literature professor and a gang member are trapped alone together on a stranded train. What happens next?


7 comments on “Writing Prompt #3

  1. Okay… I’m posting mine, but I have to confess it took me almost an hour–mostly trying to whittle it down to under 300 words. I LOVE writing prompts. 🙂 Thanks.

    “I hardly think your, ahem…” Rodney Luttenheimer cleared his throat, “%$&^*%# mother will assist us in getting out of this mess.” He scrunched the glasses on his bridge into a teetering seesaw and swallowed. Big Red snapped his head back and eyed the meagre man as though he’d suddenly appeared out of nowhere.

    Rodney’s knuckles cast a ghostly glow against the black backdrop of his briefcase—spiny nubs stretched taught around the handle. Red sniggered–incredulity seeping out from beneath burly brows.

    “Why don’t you get your calculator and figure us a way out?” Spittle splayed the steel post separating them.

    “I don’t have a calculator. But it would prove useful in determining possible pressure points susceptible to weakening should we apply accurate compression… grant it,” He struck a thoughtful pose, “we would require the proper instruments; tools with,”

    “Shut the @%#^ up.”

    Rodney eased into the empty subway seat as Red turned back to pounding on the window, hurling expletives against the airtight cocoon—each one bouncing back injuriously upside the Literature professor’s head, triggering the memory of this morning’s lecture. It so ensconced him, he’d mindlessly followed the skull-clad black leather jacket into the empty tomb and watched complacently as it sealed up its unlikely cadavers.

    “Ay, but to die, and go we know not where; to lie in cold obstruction, and to rot…”

    Had he understood? Or was the sudden stiff composure indicative of something entirely different?

    Red turned slowly, bore a hole through the man’s forehead with his gaze and slunk into the seat across from him.

    “To sleep, perchance to dream,” he said, looking more like an overstuffed teddy than a Hell’s Angel.

    Rodney’s sigh of relief drew a chuckle from this curious, captivated pupil. What more could he ask for?

    • Yikes–on rereading I think I should have left the second ‘@%#^ ‘ out. It really comes across harshly–sorry. The continuing dilemma of trying to write realistically, and at the same time not be a stumbling block to the reader…

  2. I noticed him when he got on the train. There he was strutting his stuff like he was all that. And seriously, who wears clothes like that? Nobody I know; that’s for sure.


    Oh, great! We’re stuck. So help me, if he comes over and tries to start a conversation…I just may have to pull the emergency cord…or pry the doors open. I’m sure there’d be enough room between the wall and the train.

    Oh, who am I kidding? He probably wouldn’t let me make it to the door. I should have stayed in bed this morning…I really should have.

    Flicker! Pop!

    Now I know why they say, “Don’t ever think things can’t get any worse.” Stuck alone with this guy is bad enough. Stuck alone with this guy in the dark…that’s craziness. Maybe I should just toss my valuables in his direction. I wonder if that would be enough.


    And now he’s coming this way. I knew it. It was only a matter of time. At least if the lights were on, I’d muster my courage and stare him down. Marcus says I have a glare that could stop a stampede. But these guys? I think I’d rather face a stampede.

    “’scuse me. This seat taken?”

    Funny, funny man. He knows perfectly well we’re alone. I wonder if he’d notice if I slipped my hand toward that emergency cord. Probably. Maybe I should ignore him. Yeah, then he might think I’m deaf.

    Oh, but wait. If he thinks I’d deaf, he might…Ew, yuck!…He might reach out and touch me. On top of everything else, now I think I’m going to hurl. What a thought: this guy touching me. I’ve had nightmares that were more fun.

    Ick! These ivy league types give me the creeps.

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