« Prompt #224 Challenge 3 | Main | Prompt #226 Challenge #5 »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Prompt #225...this was fun ‘cause I just used all the words and let them write themselves.

emerge, edgy, elongate, ethereal, underneath, land, portray, leaf, lightly, luxuriate, leap, , juniper, cheer, chair, lock, woman, peek, side-ways, motel, looking good, black.

She planned to emerge slowly from the run down motel and look sideways to check for anyone who might be around this part of town on the starless, moonless black summer night. The quiet had an almost ethereal quality to it as did the juniper swaying in the breeze. She was, one might say, good looking or “a looker” with a lean tall silhouette that seemed to elongate under the light of the parking lot. She could easily portray a person of class caught in a compromising situation and indeed that was what she was up to as she looked for clues underneath the seats of the heap of a car, the lock of which she had to jimmy open. She was a person of class, in fact, but loved the edgy side of life, always looking for a peek into the dark world of back alley bars and hangouts. Her family owned acres and acres of land...her brother was chair of the mega ABC Corporation and her grandmother was famous for bringing good cheer to all her servants as they picked up leaf after leaf on the mansion lawn. She took a leap of faith as she ran lightly through the shadowy parking lot and dove into her Mercedes to luxuriate in its essence as she gazed with awe upon the treasured link to her past uncovered in the heap of rusting metal of the ancient car.

Paula Farrington

Some of the words launched a longer story ... and Jill, I loved seeing my name on the continuing Challenge list, but my attention "wandered" last week and I actually didn't get a post up for that prompt ...it helped me write this one though! (I'll keep writing even though I'm outta this Challenge!) Thanks for all the terrific prompts, and Ellie ... I love the images your writing conjured using all the words!


The seat next to me on the plane is the only one open on a packed transatlantic flight. When I see the flight attendants making preparations to close and lock the cabin door, I am silently feeling like I’ve won the in-flight lottery, and looking forward to spreading out with my laptop on the long plane ride home.

Then suddenly, with the door about to be closed, a man arrives and scoots in the door. I know where he is sitting.

Ah, well. It’s been a lovely vacation in Tuscany and the work that will wait for me when I return will wait just a little while longer. I mentally rearrange my flight to-do list to include more sleep, or a leap into the latest bestseller in the bag at my feet.

As my new seatmate settles in, I glance at him sideways. Just a peek. Dark brownish-black hair. An elongated muscular frame. Sturdy hands that are juggling his carry-on into place underneath the seat in front of him.

Once we’re airborne, the flight attendant arrives to ask about a drink with dinner. I order some Pinot Noir and lightly offer the guy who’s now in 3B the wine list that was handed out during the long boarding process he missed.

Our eyes connect for just a moment. There is a warmth and a kindness and intelligence there. A down-to-earthness that seems right at home up in the clouds. This does not seem like an edgy or careless man who would arrive late to the airport, and I wonder about his story.

My curiosity piqued, I try not the think about it for awhile, continuing to leaf through the inflight magazine, and then something—I’m still not sure exactly what, an inner prompting—compels me to know his story, and I turn to him, suddenly a more boldly confident woman, and ask: “What happened to you this morning? You almost missed this flight.”

In reply, he smiles the kind of quiet smile that reminds me of the long rays of the late afternoon sun in an Italian winter. Very strong yet soft at the same time; lighting everything with a gentle intensity. Pleased to have been asked about his day, he begins to tell me about the national train strike in Italy that happened unexpectedly this morning. The surprise and confusion at the train station. The competition for taxis. The delays. How he almost gave up on getting to the airport in time, but just barely made it.

I am utterly amazed. Sorry to hear about his rocky experience getting to the airport, yet in awe that his story makes my own Italian trip more complete and validates my intuition in a way I will long remember.

Just two days before, faced with options for getting to a more-distant-than-I-realized airport, I had gone against the traditional advice of taking the train and decided to hire a car for the 4-hour drive. It had been a delightful trip, and I wanted the end of the trip to be wonderful too. Somehow imagining wrestling my two-weeks-in-Toscano and happily overladen souvenir-filled luggage on and off the platforms quickly (without straining a shoulder muscle or missing the train altogether) didn’t sound too bellissimo.

So I did what seemed an extravagant and luxuriant choice at the time: I booked a private car and driver to help me navigate the zooming Autostrada. I imagined it was the kind of thing Sting might do if he was jetting off after spending time at his Tuscan villa. That’s part of what I love about Italy. There’s a sensual and rooted essence to the culture that puts me in a state-of-mind where self-care flows more easily—a place where trusting your intuition and pleasures makes life very naturally sweet and dear—la dolce vita indeed. The many souvenirs in my luggage? Simply tangible hopes of holding onto that energy when I got home.

The man who almost wasn’t sitting in the seat next to me laughs appreciatively when he hears my tale of rockstar-inspired transportation, and is genuinely happy that I was fortunate enough to avoid the train strike milieu.

We compare taxi prices and discover that I got a great bargain with my driver.

We speak of Italy.

We speak of all kinds of things and all sorts of important nothings and intuitive memories all through the airlines’ version of dinner. And all through the jet-powered night, one story sparking another.

We even make room to haul out our laptops to show each other pictures of our children and family before we land.

With the first rays of the East Coast sun glinting off the ethereal skyscrapers we’ll soon be landing amongst, he tells me that he is especially glad he didn’t miss the flight. I am too. I am struck by a fullness of being that I hadn’t even realized I was missing earlier while contemplating the potential benefits of an empty seat next to me.

More space. We really don’t need more space anywhere except in our hearts. And in the places where we trust our heartfelt knowings. And occasional chauffeurs.

We say our fare thee wells as we go our separate ways in the terminal. On the ground now, yet forever flying 30,000 feet higher, one simply divine human connection at a time.


I let the words happen and this is what happened.
Kinda disturbing in an odd way.

Room 22

He emerged from motel room # 22
He always took room 22 for the Irish luck of it
The ethereal woman that he had just
luxuriated all his sense with laid sleeping
naked and sprawled over the bed
A tiny drop of blood lingered at the corner
of her mouth. He didn’t check for her breathing
He had covered her lightly with the starched sheet
Gathered his clothes from the chair,
Locked the bathroom door and dressed.

He felt a little edgy underneath the smooth
Leather that encased him in his cool groove
He stood in the parking lot lookin’ this way
and that way, giving that side-ways
peek of his over his black framed shades that
he wore even at night thinkin’ they portrayed
him as mysterious maybe a little unapproachable,
a cool cat with a cool grove and a deep secret
He was all about looking good.

Cars with their elongated shadows
told that the day was finding it’s beginning
Time for him to drive the black Monte Carlo
back to the dealership, wipe it clean
from the test drive across the land to #22
He flicked the leaves off the window
Took on last peruse of the motel lot
Let his body settle into the drivers seat
He caressed the red leather interior
Luxuriated in the new car smell
Listened to the purr of the engine
What was done was done
He drove away

Linda C

Sara felt edgy, hopped-up on the introspection that comes from five days of isolated down-time. She needed to emerge, to rejoin the busy-ness of living life. It wasn’t just the hand surgery that had encouraged her to luxuriate in baths of self- reflection. True, there wasn’t much she could do, constrained by the heavy cast on her arm and numbed digits. But the time also felt right to use looking back as a portal for looking forward. Her mind projected memories like a series of plays viewed in post-game analysis. She peeked under a mental leaf and saw the vast expanse of lost relationships decaying in the forest of forgetting. Glancing side-ways, an army of indecision marched cheerfully enough before leaping off the cliff to nowhere. She pulled into the motel of regret and left a changed woman. She locked the door… not on regret itself, but on her fear of it. Oh, yes. Time to return to the land of the loving. She stepped lightly over illusions of the past, into those of the present. Even a one-armed woman could land on her feet.

Karen Bayly

I'm struggling to get anything to emerge from this word pool. Whenever I can't create something, I default to writing about not being able to create something. At least I'm writing.

Underneath it all is the fact that - well, my excuse at least is - I keep getting caught up in the knowledge that we've had this prompt before (though it included the word 'corduroy'). The creation from that foray, the brown corduroy woman, still inhabits the spaces between those words. I see her strutting within those spaces, looking good, a luxurious autumnal warmth masking the edgy winteriness of her soul. She is miffed that the word 'corduroy' has been omitted. She's petty that way.

Yet I forgive her that pettiness. After all she is locked in a room in the land of my imagination, unable to get out. I would have loved to have written 'motel room' but that is not true. It is a room devoid of any personality, a lost room where undeveloped stories wait for the sound of a key that will unlock the heart of the story, and allow it to leap into existence, with nary a sideways glance at the elements spawning its creation.

And so we both wait … me and the story.

Wanda Hatton

Three Events occurred on Thursday, March 8, 2012:
A Solar Flare, Full Moon in Virgo, International Women’s Day

Emerging from the trepidation of the solar flare reaching so close to Earth on Thursday, we are edgy and emerge from our homes, elongating our necks to scan the sky. Experts said that after hibernating for five years, not doing much of anything, the sun began waking up about a year ago; similar to the groundhog in February, looking to see his shadow. It’s ethereal. According to National Geographic, the link between activity on the sun and geomagnetic disturbances on Earth is expected to cause technological outages. Could modern life come to a standstill? Scientists say it could cause chaotic or confused thinking and erratic behaviors in people. What is the meaning underneath it all? Could it be the Universe hitting us on the head, sending us a message to take care of our land, the Planet Earth? Some say we are portraying a very bleak picture of greed and waste. Every leaf on every juniper tree is worth our attention. Perhaps we are taking this too lightly, luxuriating in our homes, all comfy with heat and light, driving our cars that are guzzling gasoline and making us feel cool with air conditioners.
Shall we leap up in the air, cheer the sun and the Full Moon in Virgo today? The feminine in us is urging us to sit in our chair and be introspective. In that state of stillness, it’s possible we can figure out a way to put a lock on that solar energy, harnessing it for all humanity to use all over the world…free, safe and unending.
International Womens Day today shows Mother Earth, a woman, peeking out of all this mess on our planet. Walking sideways, backwards and forwards, she gives us clues on how to clean and clear our planet of destruction and devastation. Some of us will pay attention.
Some of us will forget all about it and saunter over to the motel because the breakfast they serve there is looking good and the black coffee is hot.

Jocelyn Brown

Looking back, the memory of that ethereal evening haunts my restless mind.

Having parked my care sideways across the parking stalls, I emerge, from the driver’s seat, feeing edgy. The night was black. Lightly, I touch the lock. A spark of static electricity shoots from hand to car door. Leaping, I shout, “Oh, shoot!”

Upon, entering the motel lobby, a strange sight greets my eyes. Underneath one of the Queen Anne’s chairs, I see a tiny woman: A leprechaun. She is luxuriating on the wool carpet. Lightly, she caresses the multicolored carpet threads. Then, she elongated her form and leapt from under the furniture, quite full of good cheer. Taking one long look at the buffet, she said, “Lookin’ good!” Now, I notice that the dining table has with a wooden leaf missing.

Usually, I portray composure and comportment, but not this dark evening. Remember this, if nothing else “Be careful when you stay at the old Wigwam Motel!”


Woman! Emerge from black,
peek into this moment.
Fly past portraying
"looking good"on a chair
Luxuriate and elongate your
limbs sideways like a
newt in a Juniper root motel.
Three cheers for the
ethereal land
like a leaf
you emerge edgy,
growing and leaping lightly
to un-lock what's underneath.


My morning shower made bold promises, even though it seemed like an ordinary Thursday. Combined rituals of wash, shampoo, and rinse made the claim I would emerge the porcelain box nothing less than ethereal, if I was to believe labels.
Bubbling water washed underneath the curtain, the curtain that entertained me with frogs leaping through circus hoops onto leaves as other amphibians cheered wildly.
After the bubbles got bored of tickling my feet and headed south for the drain, I shut off the water and reached for my towel on a nearby chair.
I didn't really feel any different other than the subtle scent of junipers.
I peaked in the mirror hoping to see a new good looking woman, perhaps even a new and improved edgy black woman. With a side ward glance, I checked in the mirror to see how my attempts to luxeriate my looks went. They went as far as looking into a steam covered mirror.
I threw on my bathrobe and started another Thursday in imaginary land.


so many creative pieces. fun to read how each one used the words so differently.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)