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07.09.2004 - 2:19 p.m.


What to do with your online journal when you have nothing to say? Find, um, "inspiration" (coughcough) elsewhere.

Write a piece in which the main character discovers a bottle of water which is supposed to have come from the fountain of youth.

Tentatively, she ran her left pinky finger over her swollen lips, staring closely at her reflection in the hall mirror. "Antonio," she called, hating but not being able to help the whiny tone in her voice. "Antonio?"

No answer.

She was alone in the house. Thank god.

She gave her mouth a final pat, feeling the strange mushy-tautness of freshly injected collagen, before padding quietly to her master bathroom and locking the door behind her. Sitting on the rose marble sink was a small package wrapped in golden paper.

Her wariness giving way to greed, Melanie tore into the paper, taking care to watch her manicure (it had cost $125, but how could he complain? Did he want her to be ridiculed?) as she did so. She unveiled a tiny crystalline bottle of clear liquid, and clutched it to her chest tightly. "Thank god," she sobbed, holding her head back so tears wouldn't smudge her mascara. "Oh, thank god."

Ten minutes later, she stood back in the hallway, once again peering at the heavy, gilded mirror. The website, with all its outlandish claims, had been right.

"I'll keep you, Antonio," she whispered to the new, younger Melanie in front of her. "I'll keep you if I have to fucking live forever."

Conspiracy theories have abounded for a long time. Write a piece in which the main character writes about a conspiracy theory that they believe they have made up. What happens when it turns out to be real?

Robert typed the final sentence, "And they continued to hide evidence, throughout the years, whenever they believed the American people could not be trusted with....THE TRUTH."

He heaved a trembling sigh, and pushed back from his desk. He pushed his thick glasses up on his face with a movement bred from years of habit, and glanced out the tiny window of his basement apartment.

There, on the steps leading down to his front door, stood four legs. Four black-clad legs that were now walking down the steps. Two pairs of legs that stood at his door while something of unknown force slammed through it, sending shattered wood fragments flying into Robert's grimy kitchen, filling the apartment with weak winter light.

"Mr. Martenson?" asked one of the figures now outlined in his doorway. "Hand it over."

Later, when Robert tried to recall the event, he could only picture his shaking hands, trying in futile desperation to hang onto the stack of papers titled MY MANIFESTO as it was ripped from his grasp. While his memory was spotty, he couldn't feel surprise about the incident.

He had, after all, known it was going to happen all along.

In this culture we tend to give flowers, candy and cards to those who we love. Think of three unlikely items to replace these three with and write a piece about Valentine's Day.

I can still remember the tiny, tiny - hands? paws? - on my finger. That marmoset, the first of so many, given to me the year we got engaged.

Their caged shrieks seem to call your name, these days.

If I close my eyes and inhale, I can almost smell the cup of gasoline. Presented, as is the custom, in a ceramic mug that you'd written my name on with a black Sharpie. "To Ursula," you'd inscribed. "My love burns for you, just as this gasoline would burn if you were to light it with a match or other flaming implement."

Every year, on February 14th, I recall those things, those yearly gifts, as well as the bleached white, hardened chunk of dog feces, tied with a velvet bow and left in my mailbox.

Now, there is no one. No marmosets, gasoline, or dog excrement.

Just the memories.

How I miss you.

Write a piece about a nanotech product which can read a person's mind and become what they see in their mind. What happens if they have a nightmare?

Jesus, he thought to himself, rubbing his eyes tiredly as he leaned precariously back in his chair in front of the observation room. This is fucking stupid.

Next to the sleeping form of Volunteer 349A, a scene was being acted out. It was a scene he was familiar with: the shocked expression of the student, Volunteer 349A; the pointing peers, the laughter. The nakedness, the realization of Volunteer 349A's surroundings, her attempts to cover herself. The gray-green industrial walls of a high school.

He coughed, took a sip of lukewarm coffee. He should have felt part of a miraculous new era. As it was, he just felt tired and bored. This is really, really stupid, he thought, and yawned.

In the observation room, technology marched onward.

Write a short piece in which a Stage Magician discovers that he or she really is doing magic.

"For my next trick," you announce loudly to the flat-eyed stare of the early nightclub crowd, "I shall pull a rabbit from my hat!" With a flourish, you wave your plastic wand over the top hat you bought from a costume shop on 65th, and you gaze boldly out at your audience.

Silence. You step on the button that cues up the recorded cricket chirps, and for your effort you get a slightly amused grunt or two.

Smiling so hard you can feel the edges of your mouth start to ache, you tap the wand three times on the hat's brim. "Abracadabra!" you blare triumphantly, and you tip the hat over. Now you can reach into the secret compartment hidden in the table you're standing behind, and so you do so.

Continuing to grin out at your dried up husk of a loser crowd, you feel around blindly for the soft tips of Harvey's ears. Sometimes you get bitten at this point but you can't show fear - never show fear when on stage.

Seconds tick by as you grope with more and more fervor for the rabbit you cannot find. Harvey isn't there. Harvey isn't fucking there.

My god, Harvey isn't there.

His disappearance fills you with something like terror at first, and then as the implications become clear, your forced grin is replaced by a stunned, dreamy smile.

You've made Harvey disappear.

You slowly raise your hand from the hat, two fingers pointed upwards and the rest of your hand curled, and you hold your hand up high in the air. Unfortunately, the lighting is wrong and no one sees your shadow rabbit. Halfhearted boos fill the room, and you can hear the scraping sound of chairs being readjusted so patrons no longer have to endure the sight of you.

Still smiling, you continue to stand, eyes gradually filling with tears. From the back of the bar, a voice rises above the cocktail din. "Anyone lose a fucking bunny rabbit?"

But you don't hear. You don't hear anything except for that angelic chorus telling you that you finally made it.

Write a short piece in which nano-technology has allowed people to change their appearance, hair color, skin color, tattoos and make-up, with a thought.

Jenny rounded the corner just in time to catch sight of Mr. Hardings, who was heading into the same convenience store Jenny was going to. Oh no! she thought, and quickly focused on a mental picture. In a flash, Jenny's normally healthy pink skin went a deadly pale, and her bright blonde hair became purple with green stripes. Thick tribal bands crisscrossed her arms and wrists, while her demure floral skirt morphed into leather hotpants.

"Good morning, Jenny," Mr. Hardings said in a disapproving tone as Jenny flounced into the store. She rolled her eyes in reply before stomping towards the soda display. "Kids," Mr. Hardings told the clerk with a sigh.

Jenny hid behind the magazine counter until Mr. Hardings was done. Whew, she thought, and changed back. She bought a small container of milk, and skipped outside into the fresh sunny day.

Write a short piece about a red rose being delivered to someone. Use the rose as the narrator.

Get me the fuck out of this plastic thing.

Get me the fuck out of this plastic thing.

Get me the fuck out of this plastic thing.

Get me the fuck out of this plastic thing.

Write a short piece in which the custom is to insult a person upon any special occasion. You might even want to make the main character a greeting card author.

On this Thanksgiving Day
I stop and give pause
For all of the horrors
in my life that you've caused

She stopped scribbling for a moment and drank a sip of chamomile. The radio was tuned to a soft rock station and she hummed along with the music briefly before turning back to her work.

A merry Christmas to you
You son of a whore
and a Happy New Year
I hope it's a bore

Her cat, Muffin, twirled around her ankle and she stroked his fur.

Candy baskets and chocolate eggs
The sight of your face fills me with rage
Yellow young ducklings and life born anew
There are so many ways I want to kill you
Springtime joys and Easter good thoughts
I hope you feel pain as your body rots

Her phone rang and she pounced on it. She was glad of the distraction. For some reason, her job kind of bummed her out.

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15 comments so far.

I have moved. - 1.03.2005
Obviously, a work in progress. - 12.27.2004
Happy holidays! - 12.24.2004
Listen, I am not a complete dick, it's not like I want Joe to die alone surrounded by cats or something. - 12.23.2004
Plus I am convinced my butt is extra big when it's upside down. - 12.22.2004

yay, diaryland