Writing Prompts. Every writer has used them at some point in their career, (whether willingly or not.) They’re like an adrenaline shot to your muse. You know, usually.
Looking for a way to keep our writing fresh and versatile, my friend Anna and I are going to be starting a prompt inspired post that we call Writing Wednesday.
Breakdown: Every first and third Wednesday of the month, on both Anna’s blog and mine, we’ll post a prompt that we’ve either found or come up with ourselves, as well as our own flash fiction or short story for that prompt. Please feel free to join us! Just make sure that when you post, you link your work back – and comment with a link – to one of ours so everyone can read yours too!
PROMPT: First line – “I don’t think you understand.”
“I don’t think you understand. This is a serious responsibility, Eamon.”
I sighed wearily, tired of hearing the same warnings over and over. Aldan was a good mentor and teacher, but he did have a habit of repeating himself. I had lost count of the number of times I had heard this same speech since he had taken me on as his apprentice last year.
“I know, I know,” I said, waving a hand dismissively. “As the Memory-Keepers, we hold the past and future of everyone’s lives in our hands.”
“Exactly,” Aldan said firmly. “Nothing in the world shapes a person’s future more than their first memory. It is the foundation on which all of their future plans are built.” He started down the long corridor and I fell into step beside him, slowing my natural pace to match his short legs.
“Each of these memories defines a person’s sense of self. Take this one for example,” he said, gesturing at a jar. The pale yellow smoke inside was thick and cottony. “Her first memory was of being lost and having a kind stranger help her home. So she grew up to become a guidance counselor, helping people find their way.
“Or this one,” he said, pointing to a jar on the other side. Its opalescent smoke changed colours as it swirled and twisted like it was caught in a storm. “His first memory, being alone and creating new worlds with his imagination. What did he grow up to be?”
“A writer,” I said tonelessly. “Using that imagination to create worlds for everyone.”
“Precisely,” Aldan said. “Something he never would have done without that starting motivation. Which is why our job is so important. We protect those first memories of every person in our world.”
I looked around at the array of jars and vials, each of them a different size and shape and colour, and finally dared to ask the question that had been lingering in the back of my mind for a year. “Where is mine?”
“Yours has been removed to a safe place,” Aldan said gravely. “When you agreed to become my apprentice, your first memory was removed and replaced with the memory that all Memory-Keepers share.”
“What was mine? Before, I mean?” I asked curiously.
“If you knew that, you wouldn’t be the person you are today,” Aldan said sagely. “A person without a first memory loses their centre, everything that gives them direction and purpose.” He stepped in front of me and fixed me with a stern glare. “Which is why you shouldn’t go running through here like a wild animal. Understood?”
“Understood, sir,” I said dully. Still, I couldn’t help the burning desire to know that had burst to life in my chest. What was my real first memory? Who was I supposed to be before Aldan picked me as his successor? One day I’d find out. Somehow.
“Good, now get back to work,” he said, patting me on the shoulder. I nodded and wandered off back to the front section of the enormous warehouse. Three shelves down, when I was out of sight of my mentor, I picked up my feet and sprinted for the front.
Anna’s Post: here
Next Week’s Prompt: It had been too long…
Please leave comments with suggestions, prompts, and of course links to your works. We look forward to seeing what you write!