In Aesop Rock’s album The Impossible Kid, being the impossible kid was an outright horrible thing where “everything he touch turns promptly to shit.” The phrase “impossible kid” leaves much to interpretation and a lot to inspire the imagination with. And so for my first writing prompt I want to hear in what ways you can interpret the impossible kid. What ways can you turn this idea and make it your own? Send poetry, short stories, flash fiction, song lyrics (or even recordings of songs), even art! Any medium is fine as long as it meets the prompt.
The burden of darkness forced all of us to this barn. We barricaded the doors with long-unused bales of hay and boarded the windows with the warped spare barn wood. We’re the survivors, all twenty of us. Our last encampment was overrun by an aggressive horde and none of us were prepared. Those who could, those who weren’t already maimed from previous assaults or the needed subsequent escape, deserted their homes.
However, the barn can’t be our home either. There’s no food and no water and no enclosures to protect us and the fact of the matter is staying in a barn for defense is futile though. In the morning we’ll depart westward. In the western coastal cities mankind found a way to prosper despite the outbreak. Every refugee’s goal was to get to California and to live a safe life free from the swarms.
We departed by sunrise and our smooth journey up until noon proved it was God’s attempt to lull us into comfort. We were crossing small hill of the plains. The grass was vibrant and it seemed as if mankind had started right here in the plains. As we marched up a higher hill we saw the swarm. They’d already smelled us and their attention was directed at our group. Honed over the years of experiencing this phenomenon, we turned to run. We stampeded down having no care for one another. A man in his fifties who tumbled down the hill was trodden by those who followed from the back. He looked too injured to get up. He was done for.
The horde was too fast this time. Much faster than I’ve ever seen before and we started to get run down. First those in the back were jumped on mid-sprint and met their bloody demise. I split off of the group in hope to survive, a handful of the horde separated from the pack to chase me down. The open plains were my greatest detriment I was getting tired and the large expanse gave me no where to hide. They were gaining on me and I had no energy to keep going. They jumped on me and clawed and bit there way into my flesh. Then it was over.
Then my eyes opened again. I perceived the world much the same as before my body was still bleeding but clots were rapidly happening in my wounds. After a few moments of being dazzled by the sudden brightness of the sun I felt my first call for flesh and I had no mental processes to quench this craving. I knew where the others had gone so I knew where to get my fill. Dying had been so simple. It’s coming back when things got interesting.
Thank you to Lyza at https://wordaddictionsblog.wordpress.com who offered the following prompt: Dying is simple. Its coming back when things get interesting.
Wrapped around the world, a haunted past.
Incite the deepest joy, the future beckons
With a hand,
That bears no marks or signs of sorrow.
There, forgotten, lays an incandescent path
Leading to a field called Hope
Which lost itself inside our helpless thoughts,
Until a darkness came and took its hold.
Yet what will our tomorrow look like now?
Stark and ripe with our potential
Dreams upon a dream upon a world that weaves its healing.
Look to something new,
To something more;
A perilous yesterday burns and withers.
And we are stars who sail the rivers
And a hopeful world awaits.
We are the dawn.
Everything is Wrong
Leaning back against a swirling screen,
Graffiti like a mural on the wall,
Youth as self-imposing as a dream,
Travelers passing in a hurried crawl.
Turned off the TV, I want no pain;
Climbed away from grief on rusted rungs,
Drank a bottle down to keep me sane,
Now someone else’s smoke has filled my lungs.
I am here, the misfit of today.
In the night, I find where I belong.
To another alley, I shall stray;
I am drained and everything is wrong.
I Thought Myself a Poet
The place where my lungs sustain me
Air collapses in my empty core.
Two dark wings and the things that scare me
Battle out in a full-fledged war.
I thought myself a poet
Or perhaps a mystery;
I saw myself excite the senses,
Part the hungry, frothing sea;
Breathe my life into a statue,
Draw the homesick swallow home,
Part the rain and the mist from nature
Claim them for my own.
I discovered, in my youngest days,
Without joy, the heart cannot exist.
And dismay rained down, as I revelled in truth:
I must be broken to be fixed.
Lost My Mind
Release the hold on all that pulls me back,
Forget the strangeness of two decades passed,
And gaze upon a dawning summer mist,
As something in the shadows finds the light.
I am a piano player in a room of soulful music,
Yet a player who forgot the notes, and cannot play a tune.
I’ve dived into lagoons from heights
That really should have killed me,
And yet I float upon a wave of something truly new.
I never left a room so full of glittered joy and heartache,
I’ll never see the stars that glow above;
But I will leave this empty world behind.
For all of those who say I lost my mind.
Princess is a twenty year old English student who reads, writes and blogs in her spare time. Her love of reading began at the tiny age of five, when she was given books by Roald Dahl to help improve her English in a new, foreign country.
In future, she hopes to pursue a career which revolves around reading or writing, or both. For now, she carries around multiple notebooks to jot down anything and everything, because life’s too short to keep the words locked in. When she’s not reading, she spends her time trying out new, crazy things. Her latest stints include beginning to teach herself the piano and joining the circus,which are proving to be quite the adventure.
Find her at her blog Royal Reader, where she rambles on about all things book-like.
If you are interested in having your work featured on Writings By Ender E-mail me your work at Writingsbyender@gmail.com!
There are a multitude of black mothers I am indebted but I didn’t fully realize it until I read “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou. There is a lineage of black mothers who bore the scars of racism, injustice and indignity and despite those scars these women stood firm. The mother who birthed my dad, the woman (his grandmother) who raised him after his mom passed, the mother of my wife and her mother. The line runs deep of women who braved their circumstances and stood triumphant. This is my little and perhaps pathetic expression of gratitude for all you’ve endured.
Angelou’s prose reads clearly like spring water or like having a conversation with a loved one and it is in this tone she reveals her story to the reader. No event is out of place as each point of her life, her childhood in the south, moving to California, her rape and etc. were folded into the narrative to understand the young Maya Angelou. She exceeded the narrative that was self-focused and explored the environments she was raised in and the experiences of her dear ones. All this was collapsing into an ending which the reader could’ve never predicted, even though the narrative suggests it would happen.
Successful drama is uniquely rare. More often attempts at drama delve into melodrama and forced themes. Instead Angelou controls it bravely. It is well measured and doesn’t ever toe the line of melodrama even when speaking of childhood drama. It is an impressive feat that demands a close eye to study.
“The city [San Francisco] became for me the ideal of what I wanted to be as a grownup. Friendly but never gushing, cool but not frigid or distant, distinguished without the awful stiffness.”
Although the San Francisco she speaks about might be gone there is a sentiment here which many might identify. We want to live in places that either embody ourselves or our aspirations of becoming. It is entirely possible that we fail on our quest of becoming what we see in the city and it is more likely that we will find more of the same problem where ever we move to, but though hope’s persistence that we try anyway.
“The fact that the adult American Negro female emerges a formidable character is often met with amazement, distaste and even belligerence. It is seldom accepted as an inevitable outcome of the struggle won by survivors and deserves respect if not enthusiastic acceptance. “
The caged bird sings because it has grown formidable in its confines. It has little knowledge of freedom and still it sings because within the captivity it has found strength. I would like to wager that the caged bird might have even found a slice of happiness of its own.
Writers have been keeping journal for centuries. John Steinbeck and Virginia Woolf are among great writers who kept prolific journals. You can find an assortment of quotes from professional writers, like this one, about writers who used journals. Not all good writers journal, but good journaling can make a bad writer decent, and a decent writer good.
Get In The Groove
There’s no secret here. It’s been repeatedly proven that free-writing, the essential cousin of journaling, makes one more creative. Free-writing and journaling are not always the same however. Keeping a journal, if boiled down to the path of least resistance, would simply be taking a tally of the day. The sort of journaling worth empowering comes from free-writing. When you explore ideas through journaling, you are opening yourself up to creativity. There’s no right answer. It is simply an exploration of a topic taking you as far as you feel comfortable.
This will then open up your creativity but also the writing mind. With this awakened writing mind, language will flow smoother than it would going in fresh. It will feel more seamless. Journaling before the “real” writing gets you in the groove for the writing that is about to come.
Over enough time, a writer’s journal will be filled with half explored ideas. Some might be suitable for fiction/nonfiction and some will be outrageous and neglected. Nonetheless, there will be record of those ideas. It’ll be up to the writer to scan their journals to salvage these. This is the discovery phase of writing. Writers who feel they have ran out of ideas will rejoice knowing keeping a journal is a simple key in mending that problem. An idea you dismissed after writing it in the journal may become of value six months later when you are desperate for ideas.
Expression, Expression, Expression
Journaling is expression. It should be this way first and foremost. While you explore whatever idea/dream/circumstance you desire, focus on expression. Expression is, as the Latin suggests, the act of pushing things out. You are manifesting on paper, or through voice, those feeling that are inside. It will take work.
One day, when you look back to that journal entry, you will experience your own expression. Some will become haunted by how plain their language is. The language wont reflect your feelings and will feel more like a news broadcast of those emotions. It will be a caricature of the experience. This is why those who journal have an easier time expressing themselves. The repeated practice in their bound notebooks has prepared them for it. It won’t always be the best language but it will be unique language. Unique will carry writers great lengths.