JSW Writing Prompt — Something Different

Irene walked up to her husband of fifteen years. “I need something different,” she said. “I don’t know what it is, but I need something new.”

“Like new shoes? A new dress?” Alan asked.

“Oh God, this is so tough,” Irene said. “No, not shoes or a dress, Alan. It’s so much more than that.”

“A car, then? I’ll get you one of those Teslas. It’s electric and you’ll never have buy gas again. Wouldn’t that be splendid?

“I don’t want a Tesla. Alan, only God almighty in heaven knows how unhappy I am.”

“How am I hearing this for the first time tonight, Irene?” Alan asked. “I thought our life together was nothing short of blissful.”

“That’s because you are oblivious, Alan,” Irene said. “You are so wrapped up in your work and your sports that you can’t see what is going on right under your nose. The state of our marriage has been precarious for a few years.”

“Well, Irene,” Alan said, I’m not so oblivious that I don’t have a great lawyer who will enable you to experience something new and different, all right. I believe they call it homelessness and poverty based upon the prenup that you signed before we got married.”

Written for the JSW Writing Prompt from Athling2001 at A Writer’s Life. Also for these daily prompts: The Daily Spur (tough), Ragtag Daily Prompt (splendid), Word of the Day Challenge (mighty), My Vivid Blog (heaven), Fandango’s One Word Challenge (blissful), and Your Daily Word Prompt (precarious).

The Term Paper

There’s a limit to how much a person can take
I hadn’t really considered what was at stake

I thought I’d be able to carry out a diabolic plan
But I ultimately realized that I had to take a stand

I just wasn’t ready to use an AI-generated content app
For my paper because it would surely turn out to be crap

I went to my room, smoked a joint, and got high
Thought about how to give a reversal a try

I am feeling vindicated for doing what is right
Now I just have to figure out for my paper what to write

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (limit), Your Daily Word Prompt (diabolic), The Daily Spur (ready), Word of the Day Challenge (room), My Vivid Blog (high), JusJoJan (reversal), and Fandango’s One Word Challenge (vindicated).

And before you ask, as bad as this poem is, it was actually written by me, not by a chatbot.

We Need To Talk

Patrick’s life was shattered. After working for the company for almost thirty years, he just got laid off. He felt completely lost and overwhelmed and had no idea what to do next. He tried to tell himself that it was okay to feel that way under the circumstances, but he also knew he couldn’t stay in this state of mind for too long. He just needed to take the time to pause, reflect, and decide what to do next.

But that was likely going to be a daunting task. Trying to figure out, with all of the staff reductions going on in the tech industry, how a 55-year-old man could find something suitable boggled his mind. He had horrible visions of having to resort to taking a job as a greeter at Walmart and that made him feel sick to his stomach.

Even worse, how was he going to break the news to his wife? She would be disappointed and maybe even worried, but he was pretty sure she would also be sympathetic. But not so much his mother-in-law, who had moved in with them when her husband passed away last year. He could just hear her witch-like cackle as she once again reminded her daughter, “I told you that you should never have married him. He’s such a loser.”

“Listen,” Patrick said to his wife, Alicia, when he called her from the car after he left the building, “We need to talk about something that happened at work, but I don’t want your mother to be a part of that discussion. Is there something you can do to keep her distracted when you and I talk?”

“I just saw something on Twitter about massive layoffs at your company,” Alicia said. “Is that what you need to talk with me, about? If it is, don’t worry, we’ll get through this, even if I have to pawn my diamond engagement ring and some other jewelry to make ends meet. And yes, I’ll handle my mother. She’s the last thing you need to be concerned about right now. I love you, Patrick. We’ll manage.”

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One Word Challenge (shattered), The Daily Spur (decide), Ragtag Daily Prompt (boggle), Your Daily Word Prompt (cackle), Word of the Day Challenge (distracted), and My Vivid Blog (diamond).

A Fantasy Story

Sarah had a strange premonition. She felt like something was about to happen, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it. She decided to take a walk into town to clear her head. As she walked, she found herself in a dream-like state and she couldn’t shake the strange feeling.

Suddenly, Sarah heard a sound coming from a nearby record store that drew her to it. She walked in and saw a stack of old vinyl records. She was drawn to one in particular, and when she picked it up, she felt a strange energy emanating from it.

Sarah bought the record, took it home, and put it on her record player. As the music began to play, she felt herself slipping into a trance. She felt like she was being taken somewhere else, somewhere far away, but decided to close her eyes and go with the flow.

She found herself in a strange place. She was surrounded by a group of people wearing brightly colored clothes and dancing to the music coming from a nearby scud. She realized that she had been transported to a trendy underground club.

Sarah spent the night dancing and having a great time. As the night came to an end, she realized that the premonition she had felt earlier had come true. She had been taken to a place where she could be herself and have fun.

When Sarah opened her eyes she found herself in her bed wearing a sweatsuit and her favorite pair of socks, and smiled. She knew that she had experienced something special, even though it was just a fantasy vision, and she was grateful for the premonition that had brought her there.

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One Word Challenge (premonition), My Vivid Blog (vinyl), The Daily Spur (trance), Your Daily Word Prompt (scud), Word of the Day Challenge (trendy), and Ragtag Daily Prompt (sock).


I have a confession to make. I did not write this post. I’ve been reading a little about ChatGPT, AI (artificial intelligence) writing apps, and I was curious if they were any good. I downloaded an app called Genie to my iPhone. Genie is an OpenAl ChatGPT powered by GPT-3. I opened up the app and typed “Write a story with the words premonition, trance, vinyl, scud, sock, and trendy.” This post is what Genie came up with. I’d be interested to hear your comments about this AI-generated post.

High School Talent Show

My son was in an a cappella group in high school. He asked me what songs I liked from the 60s and I mentioned “Up on the Roof” by the Drifters. He thought that would be a great song for his a cappella group to perform at his school’s talent show. I was kind of dubious, but I’m no a cappella music guru, so what did I know?

For several weeks, the other members of his group would travel to our house after school and on weekends for their rehearsals. My daughter, his older sister, would needle my son about choosing “Up on the Roof” for the talent show. She thought something more contemporary, a song from the 80s, would have been a better choice. But he argued that the parents in the audience who came to their kids’ talent show, would appreciate a song from “their” era.

And my son was right. His a cappella group’s rendition of that Drifters classic was a big hit, earning his group the blue ribbon for their performance.

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One Word Challenge (roof), Your Daily Word Prompt (dubious), Word of the Day Challenge (guru), Ragtag Daily Prompt (travel), My Vivid Blog (rehearsal), and The Daily Spur (needle). Photo credit: Joe Martinez.

Note: this is fiction. My son was not in an a cappella group in high school (although he was in college and in law school), never won a blue ribbon for singing “Up on the Roof,” and the photo at the top of this post is of the University of Birmingham Sons of Pitches a cappella group, of which my son was not a member.