Writing Games: “Going Shopping”

Courtesy sxc.hu

On an old blog of mine, I used to post little writing exercises and dare others to do them.  It’s been a while and it’s a fun thing to do so I thought that I’d place an old prompt here and see what happens.

Write about a shopping list as if this list had much more meaning than it could possibly hold.

When you think about the prompt, realize that you don’t have to take any of the above literally and can adapt it to fit your own purposes. We’re not in this to stress out so simply freewrite on this prompt with a goal of 500 words or less. The idea is that you’ll scribble it out over the weekend and see where it takes you.

Feel free to share in your journal, keep to yourself, or comment here. If you like the meme, please link back to it!  I’d love to share some of your links so please share them with me here, on Twitter or on my Facebook wall.

My unedited example from a freewrite is below!

Clydie leaned against the back of the wall and watched the rain plink through the stairs above the two girls. Jean was humming in tune with the raindrops, seemingly unaware, as she unknotted her hair with skillful fingers. She combed through the dirt, shaking off dust onto the ground.

“You’re a regular Crackerjack,” Jean said, a hint of laugh in her smile. Clydie wondered what color her hair was under the soot.

“Oh, I dunno about that. You woulda done the same.” She let one leg stretch out, then pulled it back. Staying small was her best defense.

“Don’t know how. The only street I ever lived on was built on a stage.” Jean’s hands flew up before she remembered the stairs just over their heads. She slapped concrete, then winced, pulling them back down.

“You could learn.”

“Not as easy as buying groceries.”

“You ever bought groceries?”

Jean halted after Clydie asked the question. This time, it was Clydie who fought the laugh, a loud snort escaping her before she clapped her hands over her mouth.

They both went very still then, listening for footsteps.

“No, I never,” Jean whispered.

It was a long time until daylight, when they could sleep without fear of the birds overhead. The time would feel longer still if they ticked it off their fingers rather than passing it in talk. Clydie knew this and so she asked, “What’d you buy? If you ever did. Go shopping, I mean.”

“Soap,” was her immediate reply. “How much money I got?”

“Much as you want, I guess.” Clydie answered, even though she’d never seen more than a nickel note.

“Food,” Jean thought aloud. “And seeds so I’d have food later. A book to teach you how, with lots of pictures. A knife—case all that didn’t work. Stockings.”

“Stockings?” Clydie choked back another snort. “What you want them for?”

Jean grinned. “Just to be wasteful.”


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