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When I was about to present what this prompt was about I had no idea how to begin. As I write this, I still have no idea. This prompt isn’t as complicated as the others. I think that his one is actually the easiest. However, there is dialogue, and I am so shitty at writing a decent dialogue between people, and how to create some difference between each person. It’s really difficult and usually, they all tend to blend into the same person and I’ll just sit there and think “jaha, that was that dialogue”. Nevertheless, I think I came up with at least a decent dialogue, but it wasn’t really the best and it isn’t so much of a dialogue as well since I have a lot of introspection and description. Well, well, I think my effort is quite good since I’ve been baking for literally six hours and I’m so tired and I think that shows through this writing because it’s so slow. But yada yada.
The prompt for today is about A soldier and the most vulnerable man in the world. Yes, it sounds a bit strange, but this is the eleventh prompt, we should be used to it by now. Anyway, Joe Bunting heard a story about a man (named Ed) who has Lou Gehrig’s disease and his son the soldier. While they were driving to the airport to see the soldier son off, the son was trying to be brave for his father while his father was trying to be brave for his son (and fearing for his life) – they were trying to be strong for each other. And so are writers, even if they hate what they’re writing they’re there, sitting with their pen and paper or computer and writing.
Perhaps that’s not what Joe Bunting was thinking (or anyone else for that matter) but that’s what I thought about. Anyway, the prompt is to write about a disabled man and a soldier and how they would interact and this is what I came up with in 30 minutes.
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The sun was going down, making its way to rest, while the moon made itself ready to rise and shine through the night, (even it if wouldn’t bring as much light as the sun). For a very long time, the nurses kept asking the old man if he wanted to return inside but every time they asked; he said no. That he wanted to see the sundown and the moon rise. The nurses kept telling him there were bad times and that he could be robbed or even worse – killed. However, the old man just smiled and closed his eyes. Enjoying the sun on his eyelids. When he opened his eyes he saw people, a young girl, perhaps three or four making a sandcastle with her mother. The castle was perhaps not a castle, just a big pile of sand with some holes in it, but with some imagination, it might become the most extraordinary castle – depending on one’s imagination. But all the man saw was a big pile of sand with holes in them. He thought it strange for a family like theirs to be out so late, shouldn’t the daughter be in bed? He remembers his own children when they were that age, how he had to chase them around the house or carry them from the car to their bed. He smiled a little, sad at the memory.
His children didn’t visit often, how could they? Their children didn’t understand what was wrong with their grandfather but their parents did. How he would never walk again, never move a finger again, only his lips and eyes. He thinks his grandchildren might be afraid of him since he never shows any expressions and his children think that he’s beyond reach. Even the nurses do so, he hears how they talk about him, how they pity his situation, how he always has to be rolled around in a wheelchair and how he has lost his free will.
The father of the child put a cigarette in his mouth and immediately the mother made a frown, so he made his way over to the old man, hands in pockets and shaking his head while smiling. How I would like to that, the old man thought. As the father sat down he blew out the smoke and created little clouds that would flow up towards the sky and dissolve into the air. As he looked towards the father all he saw was war, how he was so tired of it, and how everyone is too dumb in it. No, at least that he wouldn’t regret leaving behind.
As he had nothing else to do he followed the father’s movements, looked at his eyes when he smiled, how they would twinkle with happiness, how much he love they held, but of course, also sadness. He’s probably heading off to the war. Suddenly, the father turned towards the old man, but unlike other people, the old man held his gaze onto the father and he waited for the father to go up and leave. Just like everyone else did after the accident.
”Watcha looking at old man?” The father didn’t seek a fight, he would get all that in the war. Since the old man couldn’t move he just stared at the father. But inside, his eyes were bigger than watermelons.
You and your uniform, the old man said in his head. And as if the father could understand he looked down at the country’s flag, hating himself for choosing the country over his family.
”Were ya in the army as well?”
No, never I.
”Then who?” The old man was surprised, for a long time, this was the only man who had the energy to take time for the old man.
My wife, but then she died. In a flash, he remembered when people from the army came knocking on the door, telling him to sit down, that they are thankful for his wife’s services, and he cursed them all. Maybe he was wrong to curse the army, maybe he should have cursed the war instead.
”Sorry for your loss” He didn’t sound particularly sad over the fact that the old man’s wife died in the war, but neither would he feel sorry for the father. After all, they didn’t know each other.
The old man kept thinking of his daughter, the daughter who kept it all together after her mother died, who later smoked to disappear, who drank her sorrows away, just like her father. But somehow, this father and his daughter weren’t that different. While his daughter drank this man smoked to keep some distant towards his wife who clearly hated it, maybe even to spare his daughter. Perhaps to spare them all sadness when he died. It was all very tragic, but everything related to war is tragic, even winning is tragic, you’ve lost too much. There is so much love these days between people, you hear all kinds of things, still, there are some people who refuse to love, all they possess is hatred. It’s moronic, the old man thought for himself.
”So what does a disable man do these days?” Perhaps the father was bored, perhaps he just wanted to keep the conversation going but the old man found it entertaining, and that he hadn’t felt for a long time.
I listen. Was all he said and that was true. He listens and watches, but mostly, he listens for things. It can be everything, that his nurse wants a baby but her boyfriend doesn’t, that his doctor wants to travel the world with his mistress or that Mully, the other disabled man he usually has to sit beside can actually talk, but only say one word (which is ”fuck”).
”Can’t be that fun right?” The father looked to be struggling to understand, but how can he, when he has that body of his?
Depends on what you hear.
”Come on, Jacob, it’s time to go back.” The nurse who wanted a baby wanted to leave, and she was going to take the old man with her, with or without his consent. He hadn’t even seen the moon yet, the sky had turned orange, and some yellow, in the distant, by the horizon even some pink could be seen. He felt a bit sad, once again, his whises weren’t met. But maybe he’ll see it all tomorrow. He looked at the soldier one last time, meeting his gaze.
Good luck, don’t die.
”Thanks, old man” The father nodded towards the nurse and at the old man while the nurse started to turn his wheelchair around. But the old man looked at the father one last time;
If you die while your daughter is young, all she will see is smoke so stop it all. All he did was speak from experience, he didn’t want a daughter that young to lose her father, just like how he didn’t want for his own daughter. But in war, it is inevitable so his wife needs to be prepared for those soldiers who will come knocking at her door, and when they do, his daughter must see more than alcohol and cigarettes.
The soldier smiled at the old man’s back but didn’t stop smoking.
Back to his room, after they had put him into bed and left him there stranded in the darkness all he thought of was how easy life really is. The sun rises, the sun sets and changes into the moon, all we people do is complicate the process, complicate it with things like war and love.
“We are all moronic,” The old man said out loud to nobody in particular.
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So that was the eleventh prompt, hoped you liked it. As I said earlier, I was really tired when I wrote this so it sounds very tired. But well, well.
And of course, I’ll give you the link to The Write Practice website because these prompts are in no way my own. Nope, here’s the link >here. And here’s the E-book (here) which is what these prompts are based on. The book is for free, just follow their steps since you need to subscribe to their website. But if you enjoy writing I don’t think their E-mails are annoying.
Have a lovely day folks.