15-Minute Writing Session

I wrote for 15 minutes with no prompt. This piece is incomplete, but I hope you still enjoy it:

People say you should run from your enemies. Some people do. Other people tell you to find the biggest, baddest bully on the yard and deck him in the face on your first day to establish dominance. Whichever floats your boat, because quite frankly, there’s no right answer. I learned that the day I broke my grandma’s antique stained-glass window in her sunroom.

My sister, Maggie, and I were bored to tears on a Friday. I think it was the Friday after the Fourth of July. The residual smell of barbecue and spilt cheap beer hung in the neighborhood. The sun beat down on the backyard. Grass, which usually felt soft and soothing under our bare toes, felt scratchy and stiff that day. Maggie picked at the wood pile for the fire ring beside the shed. Her chipped painted nails chipped at the dry logs’ bark. I brushed anthills away with the tip of a stick. I made rounds along the privacy fence, seeing where colonies had begun to reassemble since my last lap.

“I’m bored,” Maggie whined.

“Me too.”

“I’m bored,” Maggie repeated.

Her fingers wrangled the hem of her faded purple dress. Some of the ruffles in its stitches had frayed and hung off after we tried climbing the oak tree an hour earlier.

A two-by-four stood propped against the fence behind the shed. Roly polies crawled along the mud stains in the wood grain. A polished rock, engraved with the word, “Hope,” lay in the mud by the paved stepping-stones to the deck from the back patio.

“We could play baseball…” I said, slowly demolishing an anthill, giving some a chance to escape. Little legs squirmed in the dirt as survivors emerged from the rubble.

“Leave the ants alone,” Maggie said.

Her curls bounced in the breeze as she brushed her dirty fingers on her dress.

I grabbed the plank from behind the shed. It was weighty, and I held the wood at the center of the board with my fingertips. I didn’t want slivers in my palms. I placed the Hope rock on the edge of the plank and balanced it as I walked back to Maggie. We made the bird bath home, the shed corner first, the lawn gnome with the broken hat tip second, and the abandoned-until-after-lunch-lawnmower third.





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