Friday, September 2, 2016

Vignettes by Me, on Themes Picked Randomly: Day Two

Theme 307: Feelings about Unrequited Love

Between clawed and wedged apart slats, cracks in the ceiling plaster offer light and space just enough so that DesirĂ©e, her etiolated cheek sweating against the pinewood, can view Clive from the attic—as he dries dishes, as he strings the rigging on his model clipper, as he combs his hair, as he twists in his bedding. “Oh Clive,” DesirĂ©e whispers, her thick, greasy strands trembling with the expulsion of mephitic breath. “Clive. Now do you have time for me, darling?” As she gazes down at him from the darkness, her tongue slathers a cool board as if it were the back of his neck.

Clive sometimes becomes possessed of the conviction he hears someone whispering his name. And his anxious speculations over the creaking in the rafters have begun to creep into his dreams, though a thorough investigation has assured him no animal could enter the attic from either the sealed hatches or the painted-over venting.

Never once, however, has Clive wondered what became of that terminally shy woman from claims.

Explanatory Postscript: When I say “picked randomly,” I mean picked from a Master List that I’ve compiled of 999 themes intended to serve as creative writing prompts (from the following sources: 501 Writing Prompts; 25 Creative Writing Prompts; Examples of Themes; List of Themes; 365 Creative Writing Prompts; 100 Themes Challenge Writing Prompts; List of Journal Ideas; and Top 10 Types of Story Themes). To pick a theme at random, I roll three ten-sided dice (the first for the hundreds place digit, the second for the tens, and the third for the singles) and find the theme under the number I have rolled. If I hit a theme I have already written on, I roll again. If I ever roll 000, I make up a theme. The Master List is a secret, so don’t ask for it.

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