… A Writing Prompt
By Jeff Salter
Okay, folks, in a typical writing prompt, the idea would be for you to state (briefly) how you might develop a story if you were to write it using this concept or situation. Yeah, I do want you to tell us that. But I ALSO have other specific questions I’ll reveal at the end of the prompt.
Marinda enjoyed most types of Oriental food, but particularly those restaurants and buffets which gave away a fortune cookie.
It was the sweet-but-bland taste of the cookie that appealed to her. But Marinda did stop to read those tiny strips of paper inside. Lottery numbers, some Oriental characters, maybe a wise ‘saying’ … but also a general fortune.
Usually those fortunes were as non-specific as you’d find in the newspaper’s horoscope. But this one was different! Marinda read it again. Hmm. Why so specific?
Oh well, she paid her check and started to leave. Then went back to her table to retrieve her fortune. It would be amusing to show to her boyfriend later.
A week later, Marinda was traveling through a nearby city and spotted a Chinese Buffet on the highway. It was dinner time so she stopped. Great food — ate too much. Opened the fortune cookie … same message inside! She gulped. The exact message as before. No, wait … couldn’t be. So she dug in her change purse for the one from the previous week. Side by side, they were different in other respects — the lottery numbers varied, for example — but the fortune was identical.
She tried to chuckle, but it came out more like a choke. She tucked the slip into her change purse and went on her way.
Over two weeks later, on business in a different state, Marinda spotted an Oriental restaurant. After that incident with the duplicate fortune cookie, she’d stayed away from her local favorite dining places. But tonight, a long way from home, she thought maybe she’d forget that uneasy feeling and enjoy a nice meal.
When the server brought her check and the tiny wrapped package, Marinda stuck the cookie into her pocket and paid her bill. Outside, she hurried to her rented car and sat inside … doors locked.
She reached into her pocket for the fortune cookie and cracked it open. No effort to pick up the broken pieces from her lap — she wanted to read that fortune. Turned on the dome light and then slowly unfolded the slip of paper. The SAME FORTUNE!
What is the very next sentence in this little story?
What would YOU write as the repetitive text on Marinda’s fortune cookie slips?
Why was Marinda dining alone?
What kind of job does Marinda have?
Pearl Harbor Day
Tomorrow, Dec. 7th, is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. One of Denise’s uncles was in the Army Air Corps and stationed at nearby Hickam Field, also attacked during that raid. I’ve spoken to the widow of a Navy man who was injured when his ship was struck by bombs or torpedoes. Let’s not forget the nearly 3000 people killed … and many more injured.