Writing Prompts #6

It rained today!  Yay!  I saw on a news program last night that the Mississippi River is 17.5 FEET below the normal river level.  Wow, that’s a lot of missing water!  Understandable, though, considering how little rain we’ve seen.  It’s supposed to rain again tonight, as well.  Bring it on, Mother Nature, we can take all that you have to give!  Just leave the crazy fast winds at home this time, okay?

Prompt #1

Write/rewrite the final scene to a story or a novel.  I chose to rewrite the ending of a story that I wrote for my Creative Writing Class.

“…Mother!” Sabrina whispers, tucking her black curls behind her ears.  Her voice trembles with uncertainty, her eyes searching the face of the woman standing just yards from her on the beach.

They don’t look much alike–Sabrina’s dark curls are being tossed around by the salty sea air, her skin a ruddy brown from years spent in and around the sea.  The other woman has golden hair gone stiff and silver; her troubled eyes are a faded sky blue.  Sabrina’s own eyes are a striking green, but they are ringed by the same blue she sees in her mother’s eyes.

“Mother,” she says, louder this time, and the woman crumbles to the cold, wet sand, tears streaming down her worn, wrinkled cheeks.

“Sabrina?” the woman asks, hardly daring to breathe.

“Is that my name?” Sabrina asks.

“Sabrina!” Miranda lurches to her feet and the two women hurl themselves forward, crushing each other, Miranda’s arms have grown weak over the years, but she somehow finds a strength that echos her daughter’s.  They both tremble, and then finally break away.

The cold, windy day is forgotten, and they sit on Miranda’s cloak, talking.

“My name is Sabrina?”

“I named you for my mother,” Miranda swipes a finger under each eye, dashing away the tears that have gathered.

Sabrina hesitates, wanting to ask about her father and how she ended up abandoned as an infant, but the words won’t come.

“Where…” Miranda begins, but then she chokes up, unable to finish her sentence.

“Where have I been?” Sabrina finishes for her.  Miranda nods, looking almost afraid to hear the answer.

Sabrina thinks for a moment–does she let her mother in on the secret of her upbringing, or does she lie?  While overwhelmingly amazed that she has found her mother, she still harbors the resentment that she was still lost for 18 years.  Did her mother even bother to look for her?  She ponders this for a moment, then looks one last time at Miranda.  Miranda looks sad and alone, and Sabrina makes up her mind:  she will tell her mother the truth.

“I was raised by mermaids,” Sabrina tells her.  Miranda chokes back a laugh, to her mermaids are a myth, a children’s story, a fairy tale.  “I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  They told me that the queen, Astrid, found me floating alone and howling, tossed about by waves.  At first, they didn’t think I would live.  When they found me, I was almost as grey as the water they found me in.”

“Mermaids?  Are you telling me a tale to make me feel even worse?” Miranda asks angrily.

“No, I’m telling you the truth!” Sabrina exclaims, hurt coloring her voice.

“Maybe you aren’t my daughter after all,” Miranda says coldly, “but just some hallucination brought on by the cold.”  Miranda stands up and jerks her cloak up off the damp sand and wraps it tightly around her gaunt body.

Miranda turns away and walks slowly to the trees, leaving Sabrina alone on the windswept  beach wondering what had just happened.  Had she really found her mother only to lose her again?

In the original story, I didn’t actually get to touch on the mermaid aspect, as the assignment was supposed to be 5-7 pages long, and I ended up at 11.5.  The plot is fairly standard–it’s set in Viking times, and the king’s niece (after her parents and older brother die when a village they were at flooded and she is sent to be his ward) gets into trouble with a fosteringling and is sent away after having a baby.  The crew, unhappy that a woman and baby are on board, blame her for the unfortunate accidents that happen in the crossing and throw her and the baby overboard.  Miranda washes up on a distant shore, and grows old searching the beach for her long-lost daughter.  Sabrina appears one day, and they reunite.  

As that prompt was longer than expected, I think I’ll just do one more (short!) prompt.

Prompt #2


Fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads, fish heads, fish heads, eat them up yum!

My brother and I used to love to listen to Dr. Demento’s radio program–it was, being an AM station, hit or miss as to whether or not it would come in that night.  My brother loved Weird Al , and it was, honestly, about the only time you could actually hear Weird Al on the radio.

Of course, now that song is not a Weird Al song, but that’s where my brain went when I mentioned Dr. Demento.  Weird Al is the only artist I could tell you with certainty that Dr. Demento played–the rest of the songs, while funny, just weren’t Weird Al, so they don’t stick out in my mind other than a catchy phrase like fish heads, fish heads, roly poly fish heads, fish heads, fish heads, eat them up, YUM!

Information about Dr. Demento can be found at his website.  You can listen to the Fish Heads song by Barnes and Barnes at Youtube.  Just be glad I didn’t embed the song into this post.

Published in: on July 20, 2012 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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