I’ve always the idea of writing prompts. I guess it’s because sentences – individual sentences – and sentence fragments have the habit of sending my mind off into space. Spaces other than the one the author is constructing at the time.
I often start poems and flash fiction from prompts. I guess it takes away my bent toward perfectionism as well as the non-starting that comes with it and frees my mind and hands to begin. The poem begins with a prompt: They’ve never met outside of a dream, but they are in love.
They’ve never met outside of a dream. It started with her and a day
most awful. She dove into sleep as sanctuary and respite. She’d let Pepper
out to his business while she dressed for work. The usual but he didn’t return
scratching at the door to be let in. She ran up and down two square blocks
without seeing him before abandoning the search for work. All day she fretted,
only to return to no Pepper on the step. No evidence of him at all.
It fits that her dream opened in a bar. She perched on a stool under the Corona
sign and thought about leaving that place. She sipped her tequila and felt a body
settle against the bar beside her. You don’t belong here. He spoke pleasantly
without looking at her. You’ve no need to drown your sorrows. He’ll be back.
She wanted to snarl. Instead, she took another sip and another until she woke.
She shambled through her waking, dressing. No more time to tarry, she opened
the front door to a darkened blur moving into the house. Pepper sloppily drank
breathing asthmatically. Muzzle down and dripping, he moved to his kibble.
She stared unmoving, back to the open doorway. A small sound behind
had her whirling. There he stood smiling, the man of her dreams. Hello.