“What you’ve kept”
There’s a box in my living room. It’s in the shape of a large book—so it doesn’t really look like a box. It’s my treasure trove of memories. Inside this box, I’ve got all the letters, birthday missives, photos, and other pieces of paper that I’ve collected over the years from friends, family, and teachers alike. Continue reading “Prompt 87: Things I’ve kept”
“What you would run out of the house with if it were on fire”
I think if I had been posed with this dilemma last year, I probably would have said that I would try and grab the things that hold a significant nostalgic element to them: the photo of my grandmother on her wedding day; the necklace my boyfriend gave me; the teddy bear I’ve had since I was five months old. Continue reading “Prompt 81: The house is on fire”
“An elderly person finally takes the last picture on a film camera they’ve had for decades. Today they’re going to print it.”
Mary was weary of the task ahead of her. In her slow motions towards packing up the house, she had left Michael’s closet for the very end. She had not felt up to it at any other juncture.
Mary and Michael had lived in that house for over forty years. The house’s walls, its very essence, in fact, resonated with memories of their lives within it. Living through the transient presence of their children, friends, visitors, Mary and Michael had been the two permanent inhabitants, taking stock of everyone who passed through.
A few months ago, Michael had himself become a transient dweller as he transited past life into something else, unknown. Continue reading “Prompt 70”
“Your favourite piece of playground equipment”
When I was little, there weren’t many occasions where we would go to playgrounds. Our family lived on a farm, and our playground was our garden, with low hanging branches to climb and fallen tree trunks to walk across. Continue reading “Prompt 67”
“A piece of clothing you keep just for the memory”
There’s a dress hanging in my closet. Its colours red and gold. The bodice, sleeveless, is of red silk with golden oriental patterns splayed across it. The waist is a simple golden ribbon, sewn on by hand after the fact with clumsy and imperfect stitches of mine, contrasting those done neatly and diligently by my mother. The skirt was a matching red to the bodice, bright and seductive but plain in its lack of pattern. This was my prom dress. A dress inspired by a piece of fabric that my mom had stored away for years. This was what we used for the bodice. It’s a dress I’ll keep forever, for it keeps within it a memory of creation with my mom and the memory of sharing a wonderful night with my friends.
“You bring someone back from the dead. Who is it?”
I think when we’re asked this question, we’re often expected to choose someone famous or someone who played a big role in bringing good to the world.
Selfishly, I’m quite baffled by that. I don’t think I could ever squander this wish like that.
Continue reading “Prompt 50”
“Your favourite tree”
Outside the living room window of the house I grew up in, there is a large, majestic magnolia tree.
It sits, about as tall as the house, if not taller, and is clad year-round in big, thick leaves of a deep green shade. And when it flowers, it provides huge creamy white blossoms that smell delightful. It’s one of the scents I associate with home. Each bloom was big enough fill one of the pewter bowls my Mom used for flowers, poised, elegant.
Continue reading “Prompt 39”
“Five things you wish you’d asked your grandmother”
When my grandmother passed away when I was 17, I was plagued by a persistent feeling that I had been robbed of so many conversations with her. In that sense, this prompt is quite appropriate.
- What was it about Baba (my grandfather) that drew you to him? Was it his infectious laugh or his calm demeanour? Or was it something that he grew out of all together by the time I knew him?
- What was your favourite place in the world to see? (You see, she and my grandfather travelled all over the place).
- Must it really be ‘forks ever, spoons never, or use them both together’? Why?
- What was it like being a mother of only boys? And four of them at that?
- What do you see as your greatest accomplishment? And your greatest regret?
There is so much I wished we had been able to talk about. Especially now, where I could have spoken to her as a woman, and not just as a granddaughter.
I still have plenty of conversations to remember: some imparting advice, some ridiculous, some banal. Each held in little pockets of my memory.
“Write down everything you can remember about your algebra (math) teacher”
In terms of appearance, Mr. B was bald, round, of average height, and he wore glasses with a thick frame. Outside of the classroom, at least, he looked to be quite a jolly guy, as his smile would make him almost childlike in his demeanour.
His general attire tended to include a shirt with a criss-cross pattern, a pair of slacks, and leather loafers shined to perfection. Other than when the school had some sort of outdoorsy event (in rain, snow, or shine, I might add), he rarely varied from this combination.
Continue reading “Prompt 31”
“The meanest thing anyone has ever said to you”
I pride myself in ensuring that I am surrounded by wonderful and kind people in my life. I have little patience for people who enjoy being mean to others.
As such, the meanest thing that I remember being said to me, or at least the one that had the most impact, was in highschool.
There was a boy. Of course there was a boy. And I liked this boy. He was a couple of grades ahead of me and we were working on the same play. Him onstage, me behind the scenes.
Continue reading “Prompt 29”
“The long-lost roommate”
She hadn’t seen Lisa in over a decade; since graduation, really. Beth was having a hard time imagining what she might look like after all this time. Would the years have been kind to her? Or would they have taken a few choice moments to break her spirit a little, just as they had with Beth?
Beth was sitting in what Lisa had termed her ‘favourite spot for a good cappuccino and the best biscotti in town’ in their e-mail exchange the previous week. She looked around the place, trying to get a sense of her boarding school roommate from the coffee shop’s decor and music.
Continue reading “Prompt 10”
“Your most memorable experience in the back of a car”
It was dark. I remember that.
I had such a hard time keeping my eyes open. The rumbling of the car was rocking me to sleep, the soft vibration of the wheels on the road were like a silent lullaby that only I could hear.
Continue reading “Prompt 5”