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Working on the Craft: Picture Prompt

This week’s exercise is a little different. Last Friday, I participated in an online course from Clarion West, titled Writing While Blocked, with Eileen Gunn. Part of the exercise was to write for 5 minutes a stream of consciousness, based on a picture. It is something a lot of people do, but I never had, and I quite enjoyed it. I am adding the picture, so you can judge for yourself how well it fits with your idea of it (if at all).


He walks, the smell of rust his only companion, even as the Mood tries to force his attention on it. It hovers above him, like tied to a string, always blocking the light, although – what light is there in the rust corridors? Corroded metal and anger have made the sunlight flinch and recoil. It is too pure for the filth of this place, too innocent for its anger.

He walks, the wind blowing torn shreds of story around him, as if it too wants to add entropy to this place that is already devoid of order or meaning. Whose story was this? Did they care for it? Did they fight the wind as it tore it from their hand, their desk, their drawer? Did they curse it as it snatched the story and tore it apart with malice?

He walks, and he wonders at the stale air, at the nonsense of it, at the wind that should make it fresh, and the Mood’s fuzzy pollen-covered wings that should make it fragrant. He wonders, most of all, at himself, and why he does not wonder. He is angry, but he does not wonder why, or at whom. Is he angry at himself, for this walk that never ends? Is he angry at the Mood? Is the Mood his own anger, or his sense of wonder, taken flight and warped by the rust of this place, but the absence of light, or by the cruel wind that takes stories from people and tears them apart?

He walks, and the walk has no end, but he does not care, for his anger sustains him, as it sustains the walk itself. Was there a beginning? Was there rust when he started?

Published inWorking on the Craft

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