Monday Motivations

It was a glorious spring day yesterday. I hope you all had some sunshine wherever you were. Here are some writing prompts to get you in the creative mood. If you want to send me your work on these themes to be included on my blog next Monday, please just post them at the end in the comments box or email me: esthernewton@virginmedia.com

Word Prompt: Sunshine

Photo prompt:

IMG_3292

For last week’s prompts click here

EDC Writing builds up a vivid picture in the mind with his piece:

The thing with warm days… people sweat.

It’s late September in Italy on Lake Garda in the town of Malcesine. The noon queue ever growing for the cable car to the top of Monte Baldo.

You know the kind of queue, where you can’t quite see the end until you’ve shuffled for an hour. This one ascending floors to a transient fresh air promise.

The car swings in to dock, sheds its load, some coated, hmm… perhaps T-shirt and shorts not the best choice, but most don’t give a damn…it’s hot here at lake level. The allotted all walk as if feet chained into the curved glass prison, herded vapour tight by some guy who had long forgotten how to grin.

The tall young man, smart in grey chinos, short sleeved ironed shirt with folded linen jacket on one arm lifts his other to the above head bar. Not that he could fall, more to avoid an all too familiar brush of skin on skin.

To his left a tidy lady, quite refined, genteel south coast abode, wrinkling her nose. Perspiration it seems long bred out of her genes. “Are you okay?” he kindly inquires.

“Well, young man, as you ask, could you move over a little please.”

If only, his first thought. He gently hip butts a teenage chubby girl who to his alarm all too keenly twists to thrust her groin back into his un-expectant manhood.

The car rocks, feet shift, more volatile emissions escape to permeate the head space. Its slow grind skywards begins, without a smile from anyone but chubby. “You smell nice,” she says. He winces faint recognition, keeping his eyes above her.

‘I’ll have you know I don’t much appreciate the air,” tidy lady voices to no one in particular yet nudging him as if he could do anything about it. A hundred odd arm pits as odorous as could be. “What is it with foreigners, don’t they wash as we do?” she continues loudly.

“You, yes, you, return this conveyance at once I wish to get out,” she commands to a now grinning doorman. He shrugs as all self-respecting foreigners would, then ignores her. “Well, just don’t stand there, do something,” she digs the young man again. “You are an Englishman aren’t you?”

Another hundred metres the car shudders to a swinging half-way halt, scheduled he knows, but to her of course on her demand. “I see my words sufficient after all, you can make yourself useful and escort me back young man.”

They ease from the steaming throng, none dare to block their way, all relieved to have her gone.

As the car groans on, they stand in the cool mid-mountain air. Her eyes take in the meandering paths of the grassy rock strewn slope. “I’ll walk the descent..

“Yes, Aunt,” his resigned reply, hating every moment hard earning his inheritance. His eyes begin to light…a chance she’ll fall in sight.

A super piece from Allie P:

No one would have ever expected Uncle Nigel of being something as interesting as being subversive, especially not Aunt Racine who often would joke that her darling husband made plain white toast seem gourmet by comparison. I guess it was the overwhelming blandness about Nigel that finally brought the inspectors to their door. I mean no one is that law abiding all the time. We all manipulated the system in some way.

I mean it was a fairly open secret that cousin Judy loaded a virus into the local nutrient dispenser so that her rations came out a couple milligrams sweeter. Why else would her jumpsuit fit snugger than the rest? It’s not like it could shrink in the wash. And really who could blame her? The rations might contain all the nutrients a body needs, but they certainly didn’t include taste. I might have done the same if I’d her access or her talent.

Then there is her brother Henry, who managed to never once get assigned janitorial duty no matter how often the work assignment lottery was run. He claims that he’s just lucky. I claim it has more to do with the girl in placement services who has his number on speed dial.

But never in my wildest dreams would I have expected they inherited their tricks from their father. A man, who we found out, had committed the worst offense there was. He’d hidden books in the walls.

The command could turn a blind eye from the indulgent or the lazy, but what they couldn’t tolerate was a free thinker.

Steve Walsky has written a brilliant relations haiku:

https://simplicitylane.wordpress.com/2017/04/06/relations-haiku/

Robert Griffiths has written a strong poem:

Relations

Out of the window I stare.

The rain here isn’t rain, it’s huge globules of iridescent silvery beauty.

Each one racing its neighbour to the ground.

Thundering against any surface that blocks its way back to the sea.

Everything to the extreme.

People blacker than the darkest black.

No complementary colours, just radient glorious bursting colours.

Great swirls of waving, swaying, brilliants.

No good or bad taste, just how it is.

The night sinks into the day silent, still, motionless, blinding, covering you with its lightless blanket. Everything to the extreme.

Heat that sears, scolds white skin.

No hiding place, no respite.

Everybody, black people smile at me with a sly, shy condescending  expression that says I’m no racist.

I accept you even though you’re white;

Did I do that in England, yes, I think I did.

Lesson learned.

No black or white now. Just colour.

The people, the town, the sea, the life, the food, the sky.

This entire place has no relation to me.

Here are two installments from Rajiv Chopra and his Mary Jane series:

‘Darkness is not always evil,” said Vivien. “Too many people associate darkness with evil. Yet, light can hurt. Light can blind, and the darkness can soothe. In the old, magical lore, they say that moonlight reveals what sunlight hides. Darkness reveals what the light often hides. Beware the simplistic and ignorant fools who would lead you astray.”

“Yet, it was indeed The Darkness that fell upon the earth, and we had to withdraw until we had regained our strength. The Darkness spread its tentacles everywhere, and its spies were to be found everywhere. All those beings who became corrupted to its cause, became the foul spies of The Darkness.”

“We withdrew to the Oak Tree, our Cave, and in doing so, we returned to the earth that nourishes us.”

“Urk,” stammered Sam. His eyes were wide, and he did not know what to say. His suspicions were raised, and he did not know if the two in front of them were going to imprison them or eat them.

From somewhere in the deep recesses of his mind, emerged a thought. It came unbidden, unheralded, but once it was out, he could not resist its coming.

I hope they don’t eat us, he thought, and he shivered to himself.

“No, Sam, we will not eat you,” said Merlin, reading his thoughts. “But, you are not free from us either. Not until you have paid your dues.”

Terror froze his mind, and all that he was dimly conscious of, was that this seemed to be a far greater peril than he had faced in the old days.

There did not seem to be any escape, and the two creatures in front of him seemed to spy into his very thoughts and emotions.

He shrank back against the wall, wishing to melt into it, but all he felt was the cold, damp hardness of the surface.

“The spies spread far and wide”, continued Vivien, and we allowed our spirits to become one with The Earth. The Cave and Tree shielded and nourished us, and one day we realized that we were strong enough to fight The Dark.”

“Bit by bit, we sought out his spies, and converted them back to the true path. Those who refused, were destroyed, and soon their rotting souls formed a mosaic pattern on the floor of the forest, and soon dissolved away.”

“There was no Grand Battle that was fought, and no songs have been written. Much has been done, but more needs to be done. Did something of The Darkness enter our souls? Who knows? We are not all creatures of Light and Dark. Shadows become us, and we become the Shadows.”

“Shadows cover us, shield us, and we become creatures of Light and Dark. This is how it is, and this is how it will be. The journey is long, but the spirit is strong.”

A paused followed, broken only by the silence.

Merlin raised his head.

“Sam, it is your turn now.”

Number two:

Ah, the stories we tell, I thought. They entertain us, they educate us. Sometimes, they can drive us positively mad.

I do love a room full of books, but not everyone does.

A pause.

A smile.

You don’t know who I am! You have forgotten me!

I am Loki, your beloved storyteller, and it is time that I let you know what is happening to some of your beloved friends, before you forget them completely.

I placed The Joker in a room with no windows. The Joker? Aha! I knew you were in danger of forgetting him. I asked him to listen to music and meditate. He hated that. The Joker, my friends, hates to be left alone. Out, playing his evil pranks on others; watching them squirm – that is what he does best. Sitting in a room, all alone, with nothing to do but listen to music and meditate is pure torture for the poor fellow.

He started banging on the walls, and when I popped by one day to see him, he looked a shadow of his former, bedraggled self. He snarled at me, and tried to scratch and bite me.
Me?! Why would he do that? I am a nice little fellow. I am just that – poor, little Loki. A humble storyteller, with a passion for words.

So, I sat down, and tried to get him to think, and talk, about how he had managed his relations with his former friends and lovers, most notably that young lady, Harley Quinn.
“How have your relations been with the young lady?”, I enquired in a solicitous voice, innocence writ large on my face.

“That bitch….” he snarled. “How dare she run off with that Mary Jane. She betrayed me. I am going to kill her…” Hate was written all over his face, and the spit dribbled from the corners of his red mouth, and ran down his cracked white makeup.

“What about Spidey and the Hobbits?” I asked. “What about your relations with them?”

“What about them?” he answered, a slight sneer spreading across his face. The spittle dribbled onto my nice, new carpet, I noticed, and stained it. “They are mere punks, just meant to do my bidding.”

“My, my,” I said. “My dear Joker. You do have a lot to learn about building relationships. Maybe…. Yes, maybe…. You need to read a little…”

I sniffed. A bad odour seemed to be coming from somewhere in the room. “My dear Joker,” I said. “You have not been having a bath! Sadly, now it is time for me to go, but not before I leave you with a little present.”

I snapped my fingers, and a few aerosol cans, with the loveliest deodorant appeared out of nowhere.

“Magic!”, I clapped with glee!

I left him, but I am sure you would like to know what happened to him. Yes? Oh, yes you do!

The wall started to crack. A small crack appeared at first, and ran the height of the room, from top to bottom. It widened, and behind the crack, the Joker beheld a Tower of Books! He shrank back against the opposite wall, screaming in anguish.

“No! Not books!” he screamed, the madness, fear and loathing rising up inside him.
I knew it. The Joker cannot abide books.

Hee! Hee! Hee!

The Tower of Books, loomed large in front of him, pages flying open, words streaming out at him. The flying words, phrases, similes and lessons were enough to cause the madness to rise from deep within him.

He recoiled and scrunched himself into a tight ball, covering his face. All that I could finally see, was one eye, staring wildly at the books, as the words flowed around the room.

I left him there, and let the madness overtake him.

Ho! Ho! Ho!

I am such a nice person…

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21 Responses to Monday Motivations

  1. Helen says:

    Now I can finally locate your study picture of a few weeks ago! Elementary…

    We’ve just got back from a mini-break away, so lots to write about with a sunshine prompt. Sunbathing is sadly forbidden (doctor’s orders).

    All the more reason to dream.

  2. DrEMiller says:

    Reblogged this on Write of Passage and commented:
    Today’s Monday Motivations from Esther Newton is inspired by a beautiful Spring day. Write on!
    Thank you, Esther, for a sunny inspiration and a very Holmesian photo prompt! Have a great week!

  3. A rare haiku from me, Esther.

    Images of ghosts
    Sherlock Holmes investigates
    Bride of Frankenstein

  4. Rajiv says:

    Crikey! I need to think!

  5. dmauldin53 says:

    Reblogged this on D.B. Mauldin and commented:
    Writing Prompt

  6. Rajiv says:

    I am back!

    “So now Sam”, said Merlin. “Let’s start your journey”.
    Sam started back in panic. “You know, before I came here, I used to love reading the stories of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. They were so instructive, and I was thinking of becoming a new age Sherlock Holmes. The stories would haunt me, and occupy my dreams, and it often seemed that they appeared like ghosts in my consciousness.”
    “Perhaps, you appeared like a ghost in those tales of fiction”, laughed Vivien. “Yes, a ghost is what you were, and like a ghost that has come to the modern age, let’s send you back …….. back …… back …….”
    “I am the ghost”, muttered Sam, and seemed to fall asleep.
    He lay there still, for a long time. Poison Ivy and Frodo were far too petrified to move and touch him.
    Suddenly, his eyes opened, and all that they could see, was the whites of his eyes.
    “Yes, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were discussing a new case,” mumbled Sam in a rambling voice. “They were engaged in an intense discussion, and Sherlock was addressing Dr. Watson in his usual elegant voice. The door creaked open. They did not notice it. A strange figure in white was at the entrance. Long hair tumbled down to its white shoulders, and it stared at them through the voids that were its eye sockets. It stood there a long time, hoping to be noticed, and when it realized that the two were oblivious of its presence, a low, moaning sound emerged from its mouth. The two turned to the creature, and then Sherlock remarked that they seemed to be at the beginning of a new case – The Case of The Shrieking Banshee. It was most interesting, he thought, as he walked up to examine the creature closely. The moaning sounds continued, and became a shrieking crescendo. Dr. Watson had taken refuge behind a sofa, and Sherlock was examining the ghostly creature, with much interest.”
    “You are a stubborn little fellow”, thought Merlin, realizing that Sam was digging into his subconscious with all his might. He wanted to avoid this ‘journey’ at all costs, and was fighting with all the might his mind could bring.
    Merlin waved his hand at Sam, and Sam’s body went into convulsions. The causal thinker might assume that flecks of foam appeared at the corners of his mouth, but no, nothing of the sought happened. He just went into convulsions, and then lay still. His breath was calm, and a slight smile spread across his face.
    He had gone back through the ages, and was lying in the soft grass, smoking a pipe. As the smoke rings drifted towards the blue sky, he was conscious of the warm sunshine flooding his body with goodness and strength.
    “Life is good”, he said. “I do love the sunshine of the Shire. It is the best that anyone can get anywhere.”
    Sam sighed. He was in Heaven.

  7. Pingback: Monday Motivations | esthernewtonblog

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