While you were out. Prompt # 263

While you were outIf you are of a certain age, you might remember those little pink telephone message notepads, “While you were out.”  Back in the days when executives had secretaries, and before answering machines, we would fill out these forms with information:  Who the message was for. The date. Who called and why. There were little boxes to check:  Telephoned. Came to See You. Returned your call. Please call. Will call again. Wants to see you.

And my favorite, “Urgent.” I don’t know why it’s my favorite, perhaps it appeals to the dramatic aspect. And there is a larger space to write a message.

Today’s Prompt:  While you were out.

A variation of this prompt: The red light is blinking on the telephone answering machine. Or “you have one new message” on your cell phone.

You hit “play” or “voice mail” and listen. You are shocked to hear. . .

I can imagine all kinds of things you might write about, especially with the idea of “While you were out . . .  ”  I’m seeing pets go wild, plants taking over, bathtub overflowing, kids making a mess, stuffed animals/toys come to life.

I look forward to reading your writing here, on The Write Spot Blog.

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  1. christine

    While you were out
    on the fast track of life
    we did what we had to do to stay
    afloat and carry on with breaths, steps, rituals.
    The coffin was nailed,
    the candles lit,
    texts chosen, written and delivered
    –I have to trust mine was as well.
    People showed up and prayed,
    others didn’t.
    Some too sick, others too far,
    too lazy, or afraid.
    Some, I’m sure, buried the impact of the news in their TV set,
    wasted extra hours on the book of faces.
    Others spent time remembering,
    shedding tears,
    feeling stuff they usually avoid feeling,
    losing appetite,
    or eating away the day,
    drinking too much,
    driven to numbness.

    Since you’ve been out,
    I have been everyone, it seems,
    a mess of unfinished characters,
    a lovely monster of sorts
    you brought to life.
    — Christine Renaudin

    1. mcullen Post author

      christine, this is absolutely beautiful. It’s a poignant mini-story, packed with innuendos, character sketches, plot punches, tension, and thought-full. This is one I’ll re-read and consider alternate possibilities. Thanks for posting.

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