Paula’s Prompts: Wednesday Words

On January 13, 2021, P.T. Wyant posted a Wednesday Words prompt which was very specific. Setting: a kitchen. Characters: a young man and an old man. Situation: a dinner prep and an overflowing trash can.

I have a harder time with the specific prompts. I couldn’t come up with anything until I pictured a particular old man and a particular young man who’d both played a particular character in movies and television.

This story was the result…

The old man faces the young man in the kitchen

They discuss variations techniques of dinner preparation

Different methods of refining the ingredients

For a forbidden banquet everyone enjoys

The old man wears a nostalgic smile

The young man tries to keep a straight face

The old man recalls former friends, dinners past

An unfortunate incident afterwards in the study

The young man thinks of what a success his party just was

Of the guest with gentle eyes and a melancholy smile

The one he wanted above all others to be there

He can always arrange an intimate party for his favorite

The intimate parties are perhaps the best

One can’t deny the delight of a spectacle

A large well-dressed audience to applaud their talents

The trash is overflowing with things they’d rather not see

Blood is leaking out, betraying the feast’s origins

The old man shakes his head for the young one has something to learn about tidying up

A proper clean-up is necessary after such entertainments

Still a measure of recklessness is to be expected in the young

As they develop their talents and their appetities. 

Conversations with Christopher: Quartz

There are no chairs sitting amidst the swirling mist of the Cauldron. Not this time. Christopher lies on the ground, fog parting around his prone form, his face distorted by a wince. Quartz lays some feet away, his beard more rumpled than it’s ever been. He lets out a groan, keeping his eyes shut. 

Christopher: (raising a hand to rub his temples) Are you all right?

Quartz: No. This headache is crawling up through my temples, my nose, creeping through my entire body. The light in the scribbler’s world stings my eyes. How did it get so hot?

Christopher: We’re in the Cauldron. It’s usually cooler here unless something is cooking. 

Quartz: Something is always cooking. (He groans again.) All I meant to do was nudge the scribbler’s imagination. Just a little. Just to remind her I’m here. Only her mind cracked, revealing a little of what happening to her and this pain started gripping my head in its fist. Its dirty hot fist. 

Christopher: It’s summer in our scribbler’s world. I think she’s enduing a sinus headache. They’re pretty awful. Not only do they make her head throb with pain, they can upset her stomach. 

Quartz: No wonder I feel sick. (He groans again) Here I was going to give her a hard time…maybe she’s having a hard enough time as it is. 

Christopher: Maybe. Just remind her once her stomach settles to eat more basil. 

Quartz: That what you do?

Christopher: I don’t eat, remember? At least not often and not very much. 

Quartz: Wonder if we’ve got any basil growing in our garden?

Christopher: You have a garden?

Quartz: Nothing like you’ve got in Omphalos but aye, we’ve got a little patch of something growing outside our cottage, not to mention whatever grows in the Forest of Tears. None of us are sure how to tend this patch, but it does provide a few vegetables. 

Christopher: I love gardens even if I can’t eat what grows there. Or get too close to the plants.

Quartz: Why?

Christopher: They blacken and wither when I draw near them. I have to keep my distance. 

Quartz: So much for crushing a leaf or something and smelling it. It’ll be gone with the first whiff you take if you get too close. What do you do about headaches? You get them. You’re dealing with one now. Got a remedy?

Christopher: Music, song, humming. I imagine Danyel or Damian singing something. Or someone else. I close my eyes, summon the sound of the flute. Or the memory of the flute playing. Sometimes I touch the wind chimes in the Navel or I just think of the clinging sound when they touch each other. Sometimes I just start humming whatever comes to mind. All this helps unknot the pain in my head. 

Quartz: Huh, I wonder if my Fairest doesn’t distract herself from headaches the same way?

Christopher: Maybe. It’s not always a song. Sometimes it’s a chant. 

Quartz: What chant?

Christopher: One Danyel and Tayel sometimes hum. How does it go?

Red makes you flush

Yellow makes you rush

Blue takes you deep

Orange never lets you sleep

Purple causes strife

Green gives life

Beware of black and white

Neither are ever right. 

Quartz: Huh. Sounds like it’s meant to make you think…and in thinking, distract you from the pain in your head. Not sure if that always works. Still I could see the twins…or you…humming that. 

Christopher: I’m not sure if Danyel and Tayel came up with that chant or I did…the me that existed in the Gardens of Arachne. It sounds more like the twins. 

Quartz: Aye, but they’re you, aren’t they? ‘Least they were once part of you.

Christopher: They were. Now they’re themselves. 

Quartz: Not sure if I understand. 

Christopher: Not sure if I do either. Does your head feel any better?

Quartz: Huh. (He sits up.) I do believe some of the headache has passed. 

Christopher: Mine too. (He also sits up.)

Quartz: Maybe the scribbler is over hers. Maybe it’s safe to bug her again. 

Christopher: I hope so. 

#RainbowSnippets: At Her Service

Welcome to Rainbow Snippets!

Every Saturday or Sunday those participating post and share six sentences of LGBTQIA+ fiction on their blogs. It can be their own. It can be someone else’s. It just needs to be LGBTQIA+.

To read a variety of samples from different LGBTQIA+ stories, go to…

https://www.facebook.com/groups/RainbowSnippets

For my own, I’ll continue with the extended version of At Her Service I’m working on…

It was the one area of her chateaux the lady never entered. She always summoned servants to the drafty rooms above. She considered this area beneath her. 

Some of the kitchen staff considered it beneath me too, for I got quite a few startled looks. I crouched in the cinders in the hearth, enjoying their warmth. I even rubbed some of them on myself.