Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Write an exercise in which you repeatedly use two different primary colors. Describe these colors without naming them too often—and try to find effective synonyms for the colors without being too obvious about this disguise. Repetition of anything alien to the human elements of a story is bound to influence the way the story sinks into the reader's mind. How would red and yellow, appearing over and over again in drapes, carpets, clothes, handmade ashtrays, or toilet bowls, affect you as a reader? If you know anything about the meaning or symbolism of colors, choose your pair of hues well to play off emotions against each other. Apply this exercise to a situation with which you are already very frustrated.

(from prompt #20 in The 3 AM Epiphany)

Read my response:
icetea fantasy
"icetea fantasy" by shikeroku

She took the yellow envelope off her windshield and tossed it in her glove compartment without opening it. Two more manila envelopes already sat in there. She mentally added and subtracted money from her life and then, biting her lip and tasting flakes of chapping Devilicious lipstick, she took out her cell phone and went to the bouncing, sunny calculator icon. The keys lit up a dim gold in the cab of her car and she jumped a bit at the light reflected in the rearview mirror. She added and subtracted and started delving into fantasy holding down the glowing yellow zero. After a minute, with the phone still flipped open, she put her head down on her steering wheel and stared at the black skids on her red heels. She tried to muster up energy but didn’t move her forehead, even putting her keys in the ignition and letting the radio play while she stared down at her scuffed up ruby slippers; there’s no place like home, even when home is the last place you want to be, she thought. Until she realized that she had tears in her eyes listening to “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” then she sat up, wiped her eyes, pushed herself out of her stupid mood, and started her car.

Suddenly motivated to get going, she put the car into reverse and backed out without looking behind her, where a little VW Beetle, bright as an egg yolk, was double-parked with blinking piss-colored warning lights. She slammed on her brakes and the brake light glared angry red at the Beetle less than an inch away. She did not miss the irony of her predicament as she eased her car back into the spot and reached for her fire engine lighter and a cigarette. She got out of her car, slammed the door behind her, and leaned against the fender watching the warning lights blink on and off. The dim fire at the end of her cigarette inched closer to the filter; she flicked it, stamped it out, lit another.

Three Devilicious tinged butts lay around her feet when she reached for her phone to call a tow truck. Instead she half wrote a text message twice, then got back in her car and turned on the dome light, illuminating the interior with enough of an amber glow to reapply her Devilicious lipstick and to notice her bloodshot eyes peering back from the vanity mirror. She took out the three manila envelopes and thought about putting them on the blinking Beetle and maybe getting a beer. Adding it up in her head, she accepted that she could not afford a beer, but rationalized this thought against the fact that she was stuck and might as well knock herself out while down, so she got out of the car again, clutching her saffron purse. Hell, why not just get a Bloody Mary, she thought. She could just taste it, thick spicy tomato juice, when the blonde came running towards her, keys in hand, calling out apologies. She waved it off and got back in her car for what felt like the hundredth time, started her engine, and realized, thanks to a pulsing red icon, that she was out of gas.

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