by Peggy Dallmann
Here are some longer prompts to help you get a little creative writing done.
1. Tracy had made arrangements to return the dog to his rightful owner after finding him wandering near her home. She was surprised when the owner appeared, however, and she realized that this particular dog owner and dog were mismatched in more ways than one.
2. The thick fog did not deter Terry from her early morning jog through the woods, and she was able to maintain a steady pace on the well-worn trail. She reached a clearing where the fog had lifted—the same spot where she stopped routinely to stretch and drink water. Upon hearing loud rustling behind her, Terry whipped around and froze at the sight of the figure emerging from the woods and dense fog.
3. Rex was perplexed. He was able to coax the beautiful mare within five feet of the fence where he stood on the other side with a few apples. Unexpectedly, the horse perked her ears, swerved to her left and began trotting out of sight over a small hill. Rex headed up over the crest, following the fence line, to see what drew the mare’s attention away from the promise of a sweet treat.
4. All her life, Mona had worried and fretted about living her life to avoid making waves or causing problems. She always concerned herself with how her neighbors might view her or what they might be saying about her. Well, at the age of 41, Mona decided it was time to change her way of thinking—and her way of living.
5. Judy thought her younger sister, Katy, took the definition of “sibling rivalry” to new heights at times, always poking fun at Judy and downplaying any of her successes in life. Katy reached a new peak, however, after Judy filed for divorce from Brad. Katy called Judy the same day to offer comfort and consolation—supposedly—when the conversation between sisters took a turn.
“I knew you would never be able to trust Brad,” Katy said. “He made a pass at me while you two were engaged, even before you were married.”
After several seconds of silence on the other end of the telephone line, Katy asked, “Did you hear what I said, Judy?”
“You waited ten years to tell me this?”
6. Doug was excited about his first date with Laura. It was the first time since his high school prom that he bought flowers for a date! He literally hopped onto the front porch to ring the doorbell. Expecting Laura to answer the door with her smiling face, Doug instead heard barking and growling on the other side of the door. They were the noises of a rather large dog—or some other similar beast—and said beast didn’t sound very welcoming.
Abruptly, the front door whipped open, and Laura was there, bending over as she held onto the collar of said four-legged beast as it actually lunged itself in Doug’s direction. Doug’s lowered his eyes until they met a pair of ice-blues. Immediately, Doug stepped back involuntarily, hugging the flowers to himself as if to protect the bouquet. He looked back up at Laura, who was watching him with a quizzical look. Doug released his hold on the bouquet, pointed a finger at blue-eyes and asked, “That’s not a wolf, is it?”
7. Aaron was waiting for his next customer to ride in his sleigh around Monument Circle. He knew some of the other drivers who manned the horse-driven sleighs between Thanksgiving and Christmas as part of the Indianapolis holiday tradition.
Normally it was either couples or families who paid for the joy rides in downtown Indy. Thus, Aaron was surprised when a beautiful, unaccompanied woman in a long formal gown approached him, asking if he was available to take her for a ride. “My boyfriend was supposed to meet me tonight, but he stood me up—again,” she said.
Aaron guessed she had been drinking from the way she was talking louder than necessary and slurring her words. She also seemed to wobble a bit in her stiletto heels, and her step was all the more precarious due to the snow that had fallen the evening before, causing ice to form in some spots. The woman seemed intent on explaining why she wanted to take a sleigh ride all by herself. She said, “Blake has stood me up for the last time. I am declaring a moratorium on men. I don’t need a man to have fun. I can do all the things I would have done with a man, only I’ll do them now without a man.”
“That’s fine,” Aaron said. “But how `bout we get you seated in the wagon before you take a tumble on those high heels?”
8. The rumor mill began working overtime after Patricia received her promotion. Those who liked to gossip—and others who listened to them—speculated about possible reasons, but no one spent much time talking about whether she actually deserved the promotion because of her excellent work. Instead, her coworkers seemed to presume that the promotion was the byproduct of an imagined romantic relationship between Patricia and her handsome boss. What made it worse for Patricia was that a few of the people she overheard participating in the conjecture were employees she had believed were among her most faithful supporters.
9. Sharon was amazed when she approached her mother-in-law at the small, well-maintained nursing home. The nursing home had been Pearl’s home for the past three months when the Alzheimer’s became unmanageable. Sharon dreaded the visit, because Pearl had taken a dislike to all her daughters-in-law, but especially to Sharon. The best Sharon hoped was that Pearl would not recognize her.
Pearl appeared to recognize her immediately, breaking out into an uncharacteristic huge smile. “Oh, I am so happy to see you, Sharon,” Pearl said, as she reached to take Sharon’s hands into hers. “I had heard that you would be in town, and I really wanted you to come by to visit. Shall we have some coffee together? I want to catch up on everything.”
10. Mandy wondered when and how life would ever start to slow down. She had to remind herself that she had chosen this life on the internet—to engage with an audience in various forms of social media. Yet she couldn’t help but wonder about the time when the “experts” predicted that technology would mean less work and more leisure time for everyone. Nowadays, it seemed that even the average Jane had to constantly monitor email, text messages, Facebook and other social media in order to keep up with communications from everyone, including the next-door neighbors! Mandy wondered whatever happened to the tradition of walking over to the neighbor’s house, opening the back screen door, and hollering, “Yoo-hoo!” That was how her mother and Helen, who lived next door while Mandy was growing up, handled their messages to each other. Maybe they didn’t have Yahoo, but “yoo-hoo” worked just fine.
About Peggy Dallmann
Peggy Dallmann worked as a newspaper reporter and editor for a community weekly newspaper in Indianapolis before going to law school. In fact, Peggy excelled as a student while earning her undergraduate journalism degree and law degree. Both degrees were conferred with the Latin honor of magna cum laude. Among other distinctions, she served as Articles Editor of the Indiana International and Comparative Law Review while in law school. She went on to begin an eight-year stint in litigation, including practicing as a Deputy Attorney General for Indiana and an Assistant Corporation Counsel for Indianapolis and Marion County. Peggy served briefly as a law clerk to the then-Chief Judge of the Indiana Court of Appeals before an injury she sustained soon after starting the clerkship forced her to resign. Peggy then left the practice of law behind to pursue a writing career. She spends her days working on her novel, writing poetry and short stories, and, of course, reading. She lives outside the Indianapolis area with her Husky-mix rescue, Joplin. She has one son and two grandchildren.