I read the prompt last weekend knowing how badly I wanted to adhere to the spirit of an honest five minute sprint. I wanted time to think about it because the week before I wasn’t able to do it, even though I had a good stream of thought going. Last week I just couldn’t squeeze my idea into a tight story inside of five minutes. This week I didn’t think I could do it at all. I nearly blew it off all together and then it happened. That magic that occurs when an idea clicks. The following came to mind at the last minute:
Karen Miller was enjoying her life as a newlywed. The honeymoon had been over for six months and her love for Brian continued to grow each day. Brian, sitting at the dining room table with his laptop open and a blank screen staring back at him was almost too much for Karen to ignore.
“What are you doing?” she asked.
Karen looked at the laptop’s screen then back at her husband and shook her head.
“Really? Doesn’t that involve writing down some words?”
Brian nodded. “Yes, normally it does, but right now I’m thinking and I’m already ninety seconds into my five minutes of writing for this prompt.”
“If you’ve been writing than why aren’t there any words on the screen in front of you?” Karen asked with a concerned tone.
“I write thinking I know where I’m going, then I change my mind and can’t decide the best path; a path that leads somewhere; something that readers could relate to, so I hit the delete key and start over.” Brian sounded exasperated.
“This isn’t’ like you Bri. Find that backbone of yours and be decisive. Be the man I married.”
Karen softened her words with a bit of sarcasm in an attempt to encourage her husband to break out of his funk and do what he does best. She married him not because he was a best selling author and not because of his dashing good looks, but because he was her match at decisiveness.
“That’s it,” said Brian. “How could you possibly have known? ‘Backbone’ was the prompt I’ve been struggling with and you nailed it. It’s about being decisive and all that goes with it. People live and die by the decisions they make or don’t make. I’ve got this. I’m gonna kill this. Thanks honey!”
Brian was suddenly a flurry of finger taps and key clicks with less than two minutes to go. A mile wide grin stretched from ear to ear. His young beautiful wife knew not to interrupt his thoughts and remained silent. She kissed him on the forehead and stroked his shoulder as she stepped away from the dining room table knowing she’d succeeded in encouraging her hubby reach another level of creativity he forgot he had.
Brian had a backbone and had been wise enough to decide to marry Karen. It was an easy decision too because she is a smart young woman who stands up straight and always knows just what to do at just the right time.