Hampton Roads Writers

Writing Prompt for September 10, 2008

April Showers

Write a story of fewer than one thousand words using one or more of the various meanings of the term "shower." You've got your light rain; you've got your tumbling, spinning, falling haze of fine particles (say, for instance, a sack of pastry flour tipping from a shelf); you've got your figurative shower of events (say, a run of good or bad luck); you've got your apparatus that sprays water down upon you in an enclosed (or not-so-enclosed) space; and, of course, you've got your bridal and your baby showers. Sometimes these showers wash clean the grime and sins of this world, and sometimes they immerse us further in the grime and the sin. Sometimes they're cause for joy, other times they're just more of the same old same old. You get the idea here: use a shower, literally or figuratively, to rain down upon your characters and see where things flow from there.

For those who appreciate the additional challenge of a list of items to include, whose imaginations are sparked by such lists, I defy you to include as many of the following as you possibly can:

1. a street in a primarily African-American neighborhood

2. an image that somehow captures the mechanical characteristics of the night

3. a brain, preferably exposed

4. money burning in a trash basket

5. a hidden stash of marijuana

6. an emergence into the dawn after an all-night subway ride

7. a lit cigarette burning a hole in an arm

8. a tearful, naked breakdown in a gymnasium

9. a hiccup that becomes a giggle, which in turn becomes a sob

10. a vast, sordid movie


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