I was nominated by Nthato over at A Scribe to Describe for this prompt chain waaaay back on the 6th October. Created by A.J. Alexander, it’s designed to create a “chain” of stories, written by bloggers around the world. So, finally, here is my contribution to the chain. Thanks for the nomination, Nthato!
- Pick one of the five given writing prompts (picked from Nthato’s blog – link above).
- Set up the Blogger Prompt Chain banner and publish your story under the banner.
- After your story, continue the chain by forwarding an invitation to five bloggers or writers. (In case a writer doesn’t have a blog, guest posts can be offered).
- Don’t forget to link the writers to your blog and back to the one who invited you.
- Publish the five writing prompts and rules!
The End of The Bucket List
Write a story about a character who finds out that he or she is dying and has been knocking things off his/her bucket list and has finally reached the last item.
Get Out of the Car With Your Hands Up
You’re driving to your favorite city when you’re stopped by a police officer. Sure, you were going a few miles over the speed limit, so you’re not overly surprised. But you are surprised when the police officer gets to your car and screams, “Get out of your car with your hands up!” This leads to an unexpected night for you. Write this scene.
Hiring a New Villain
Your old villain quit over creative differences, so you’ve put yourself in charge of hiring a new villain for your novel. What questions do you ask? What does the new villain’s resume say? Write this scene as if it were a job interview.
At The End of The Rainbow
You and a friend have decided to try and follow a rainbow to see if the end holds a pot of gold. But when you finally reach the end, you find something much more valuable than a pot of gold—and it changes your life. Write this scene.
The Letter All Writers Should Write
Write a letter to a person who supported your writing career, whether that be a friend, a family member, a teacher (even one that supported you at a very young age before you knew that it would blossom into a writing career), an author you’ve never met but have been inspired by his or her writing. Do you thank them? Do you blame them? Take the letter in any direction you want.
My choice: At The End of the Rainbow
I was on the highway when I spotted it. The mist-faded colours seeping like washed-out paint from the clouds. Some rainbows were brilliantly coloured, vivid and bright as they arched through the sky. Others; like this one, were barely visible, shimmering through the damp sky as though the artist had thrown his coloured water out after painting the real one.
I smiled to myself, remembering how often Mom and I had gone chasing after the end of rainbows when I was a kid. We weren’t after the pot of gold – we just enjoyed the chase. The breathless race to find the end before the sun dried the sky and the colours faded. We’d never succeeded.
Traffic surrounded my car – nearly at a standstill following the heavy rains. I often joked that drivers in Jo’burg were related to the Wicked Witch of the West – when the rains came, their brains melted and they forgot how to drive.
My phone rang from the console between the seats, but I ignored it. I didn’t touch my phone while driving – a minor bumper bashing I’d caused years ago because of texting while in a traffic jam had cured me of the desire to multi-task behind the wheel.
We’d inched forward maybe two hundred metres when the phone began blasting for the fifth time, each discordant note sounding more frantic than the last. I checked my mirrors, made sure my foot was firmly on the brake, and reached over to pick up the phone.
“I’m driving.” I answered the call impatiently as I pushed speaker.
“D’you see the rainbow?” Caz, my best friend, got straight to the point.
“Yes, Caz. I see it. But I’m driving.”
“Where are you?”
“N12. Just going through Gilloolies. I really can’t talk.”
“You need to get off the highway!” Her voice rose to a panicked screech.
“What? Dude, I’m stuck in bumper to bumper traffic! I’m moving as fast as I can.”
“Use the emergency lane!” I could hear her hyperventilating through the speaker.
“What the hell, Caz? What’s going on?”
“I followed the rainbow, Nat, like we always used to do with your mom. But this time, the end didn’t disappear. It was right there in front of me, but everything under it … it was gone, and oh my god! Nat, it’s following the roads, the major roads. Everyone stuck in traffic, they’re all … You have to get off the highway, Nat! Now!”
Caz was an actress, so she had a tendency for dramatics, but I’d also known her for twenty years and panic wasn’t a state she was prone to. I looked through the windscreen, ignoring the blaring horns of the cars behind me, trying to see the rainbow. There! I couldn’t see the end, but judging by the arc it made in the sky, it was coming down right over Edenvale Hill. And – I watched it carefully – yes! It was definitely moving, coming closer.
“Shit! Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit!” I threw my phone on the passenger seat next to me, slammed the hazards on, and began shoving my car through three lanes of impatient drivers to get to the emergency lane.
“Nat? Nat!” I ignored the muffled yells coming from the phone like I ignored the angry gestures and volatile swearing coming from the cars around me. Swerving into the emergency lane, I looked for the rainbow again. It was much closer, but also… I blinked. People. There were people running through the traffic on the highway, panic mingled with horror on their faces.
I grabbed my phone, my handbag and shut the car off. Leaping out onto the road was contrary to every instinct for self-preservation I’d ever had, but around me, people were also climbing out of their cars, looking bewildered and confused. A man nearby was on his phone, and I saw realisation dawn for him as he stared at the rainbow.
“Get off the road!” I heard someone yelling, realised it was me, yelled again as I ran to the nearest people. “You need to get off the road! It’s following the road! Move! MOVE!” The man understood, shoving his phone into his pocket as he ran to help me.
Together we ran down the line of cars, a few others joined us to help as we went, wrenching car doors open, if the passengers hadn’t already evacuated the vehicles, screaming at them to get out.
Word spread quickly now that the panic had caught, and soon there were people running towards us from the back, and we were all climbing over the metal barriers at the edge of the highway, scrambling down the grassy embankment and running as fast as we could away from the threat.
A safe distance away, we stopped, curiosity and horror mingling as we turned to watch the rainbow sweeping down the tar, leaving only ashes behind.
“Nat? Nat, what’s going on? Oh god, please talk to me? Please be okay.” In the silence left behind by the rainbow’s passing, I heard Caz’s voice coming from my hand. I lifted the phone to my ear.
“Natalie! Oh thank god! Where are you? Are you okay?”
“I’m okay … I’m next to the highway … I made it out okay, but what the fuck was that, Caz?” My voice rose to a shriek on her name and I started shaking as my knees buckled under me. I sat down hard on the damp grass.
“I don’t know, Nat. I’ve never seen anything like it. The news is spouting something about atmospheric weather conditions and the heat from the roads acting as a target … .”
I looked up at the highway, and as the sun peeked out from behind the clouds again, saw the shimmer of gold against the tar. Heard hysterical giggling. Me, again.
“I guess that’s why we’ve never heard of people who’ve found the end of the rainbow.”
I’m tagging the following people:
- Elliot P. McGee
- John Cordial
- Cristina R. Guarino
- Dani – Perspective of a Writer
- Anyone who feels drawn to tell a story by one of the prompts.
Remember to link me to your site in the comments if you decide to take part. I hope you will! 🙂