I’d like to share with you one of the prompts I used in one of last week’s workshops, which we had a lot of fun with. It left a sweet, tender feeling in the heart…at least in mine, for sure!
We began by each passing round a sheet of paper on which we had completed the sentence ‘I used to believe….” then passed it to the next person, who would add another – passing on to the right, receiving on the left. Once we’d gathered a few ideas I explained the task.
Each of us would begin a story which had at the centre of it a character who USED to believe something, was showing in some way that indeed they no longer believed. Then, after five minutes, we would pass that story to the person on our right, who would then complete the story, and in their five minutes, would turn it around to show the person beginning to believe again. This is the story I and my creative collaborator wrote:
“Why, why, just when she had to leave must it start raining? It had been dry, if not sunny, all day, but now, as she left work, and had to walk the half mile or so to her car, the skies had opened. As she took a deep breath, and pushed the door open, she forced her way onto the rush hour pavement. It really was like driving. You had to look over your shoulder and change lanes, or you’d likely crash into someone, head down against the rain, not looking where they were going.
She was almost at her car when she saw a child in a bright raincoat and wellies, running along with the woman holding her hand – her mother – and facing up, eyes closed, to catch the rain in her mouth. She smiled, and tried not to stare. Then she was there. She pointed her key at the car and pushed the button to open the doors. Lights flashed. She smiled again. It was like magic. She shook her head. Of course it wasn’t magic – it was an electric…something.
She eased her way out of the car park, peering through the waterfall on her windscreen. Wipers at full speed, she indicated (lovely soft tick, another small wizardry) and drove back up the High Street. People still jostled each other on the pavement, coats slick with many colours. Their strange dance seemed more urgent now, as folk began to hurry home. Cars were accelerating to get through the lights; impatient pedestrians crowded on the kerb. And there were the little yellow wellies and raincoat, her happy face turned up to Mum as they waited. But a heavy set man stumbled into them, knocked into Little Yellow, and sent her flying into the road. A car was speeding through the lights, and with horrid inevitability, the ton of steel and the yellow wellies approached each other along their collision course.
“No!” she shrieked, her car immobile at the lights, her hands stretched out in horror. Her fingers reached for the windscreen, reached desperately to the flying figure, to catch her, turn her, save her…
And somehow, the little girl…stopped. Instead of falling straight into the car’s path, her heels seemed to trip on something, the air itself perhaps, and she fell into the gutter, wet and bruised, but safe.
The lights changed. The driver, heart full of delight, continued home.
Whatever you believe, this festive season, I dare you to believe it with your whole heart…
If you enjoyed this prompt, then you can find more here: