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Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Writing Prompt

One prompt. Four authors. We all gelled around one word. Venice. And on the wings of one word, four worlds took flight in the five minutes we gave ourselves to create. 


From Maggie:
[Winner of the Mom's Choice Award of Excellence for her children's book.]

I was walking down a street in Venice taking in the ambiance when...

... a fish jumped right out of the water!

"I haven't seen fish in the canals for over 30 years," Victor said to his grandson.

The fish smiled, dove back in, swam in a circle just below the surface and then said, "Every dark cloud brings a spring rain of freshness."

And then he was gone.

"What does that mean," asked the child through his mask?

The grandfather led the child to a nearby bench and pulled him in close.

"The fish is telling us to always look for the silver lining...even in the darkest of times."


From Cyd:

I was walking down a street in Venice taking in the ambiance when...

I smelled incense. So late in the evening the streets were quiet enough for me to enjoy the canal, watching flecks of lights dancing on the ripples and hear a gentle lap, lap lap splash the stone wall.

I followed the aroma around a corner and came upon a queue of people filing out of a doorway and following a man who carried high an antique lantern. I intended to drop back, wondering about the purpose of the procession when from the doorway I hear a man speak to me in Italian, "After you, I apologize," gesturing for me to follow the line ahead of him.

For some reason, I did.


From Donna:
[First Place winner for the Indie Book Awards 2020, Best Children’s Picture Book, illustrated, for children 6 and up.]

I was walking down a street in Venice taking in the ambiance when...

... I suddenly realized I was lost—hopelessly lost. 

How many bridges had I crossed, two, three, four? I tried not to panic, I picked up my cell phone to hit the tour director’s number. Dead, no service. I checked my watch, what time was it? We were all supposed to meet at St. Mark’s Cathedral at noon for a tour. I watched groups of tourist’s pass me by, laughing and calling out to each other. 

I felt trapped like a mouse in a maze.Then I spotted a pigeon flying over my head. I followed his direction, but I couldn’t keep up. I had hoped he would lead me to the famous St. Mark’s Square... And then I saw more pigeons coming in waves...


From Connie:
[Two time winner of EQUUS Film Festival Best English Fiction.]

I was walking down a street in Venice taking in the ambiance when...

I turned the corner toward the canal. the streets were empty. Buildings sighed their loneliness. the virus had taken the people from its streets, but not Venice's soul.

I felt heavy. My feet did not to touch the ground, but hovered somewhere above the cobbled street.

A gondolier floated by, pushing on his long pole, his face in a mask of sadness.Behind him, a dolphin arced from the water.

In death and illness, a healing had begun.

"You're here," said the dolphin.

"I'm everywhere now," I replied.

"Was it hard?" The soft grey eyes implored me into its truth.

Time had changed. I had changed. I had died and now was here, in this beautiful and timeless city, wondering at its healing energy.

"No. It was not hard. I lived. I died from the virus, but it somehow healed me."

The dolphin turned. Others waited. "It healed us as well."