Whimsy Wednesday: First Sentence Challenge

This Wednesday’s whimsical prompt:

Stand up. Look around. Grab the book that is closest to you, stick your hand in at random, and open the text to see what sentence your finger has landed on.

This sentence is your prompt. Freewrite 3-5 sentences to follow (more if you are willing). See where it leads. Try to keep going until you lose steam!

A short example by yours truly (with first sentence(s) borrowed from page 83 of Dickens’ Great Expectations):

“This,” she said, pointing to the long table with her stick, “is where I will be laid when I am dead. They shall come and look at me here.” 

She was referring, of course, to her cats.

Mrs. Newton lived in a small, brick cottage at the end of Barbur Street. Her garden was brittle and brown and jutted like a mouth of rotten teeth; paint hung like dead skin where it had peeled from the fence and the shutters; ivy reached from the ground up and seemed to be  swallowing her home, slowly, into the very ground.

Everything about the place reeked of death, except for her twenty-six cats– each named for a single letter of the alphabet– which simply reeked. How did I know this?

Simple. Last week my frisbee flew over her fence and onto her roof. When I came to  retrieve it Mrs. Newton, a stooped, afghan-draped woman that rather resembled the old orange chairs her many cats nested in, kindly asked if I wouldn’t bring down Gingersnap, her fat tabby that had a habit of getting stuck in high places. I complied; she offered me cookies and a regular, well-paying job stopping in to look after her cats; having been out of work for seven months (and chewing a chocolate chip cookie) I accepted without hesitation.

She had been talking about death ever since.


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