I Went to a Writing Group - January 8th, 2020

Last week the writing prompt was inspired by the new year.

Here's the prompt that we received.

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Happy New Year! It is now 2020 which has brought up the roaring '20s from 100 years ago.

For this week, the prompt will be twenty.

This can be anything from the year 2020 or 1920 or even 3020, or you could use it in reference to age, or just use the number anywhere. If you don't want to use the prompt, as always, you can write whatever you want.

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I've never worked with a countdown mechanism before in a story. So, I thought that might be interesting to try.

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This was the moment he had dreamed about since he was 8 years old and saw a missile launch with his dad.

They hadn't even gone to the launch, it was just on tv. But Jason could still remember his father's enthusiasm.

His father didn't usually watch tv, and he didn't usually spend time with Jason. It was just Jason and his mom. But that day, that day his dad told him there was something he needed to see.

Now, 23 years later, it had come full circle. Maybe there was a dad telling a son to watch how there's a delay when the engines fire, or to look for the small cloud after the launch.

Jason looked at the gauges. Everything was fine. It was going to be fine. It was all perfectly fine.

Every decision he had made for the past 23 years was leading him to this moment. Every science class he took, every diet and exercise program, every time he tactfully held his tongue in a meeting.

There was even that one time in high school when Cindy's parents were away and she wanted him to come over, but he didn't, because he had an interview in the morning with the representative from the European Commission on Human Space Exploration.

He didn't get selected for that program, so he probably should have gone over to Cindy's that night.

He looked to the right. Twenty units of fuel would be fully used just a few minutes from now.

He looked out of the window. Blue skies and white puffy clouds. Perfect weather for a launch.

He looked back at the fuel gauge. Still twenty units.

He closed his eyes and felt his heartbeat. Hard and heavy. He could feel the blood pumping from his wrists all the way down to the tops of his feet.

If only his dad had been able to see him now.

All those years of making model rockets.

And going to space camp.


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And that's where I ran out of time. Several people mentioned that they rather liked how it ended so abruptly and left the ending to the imagination. It's like the story has momentum and continues to play in the mind.

I like how the countdown sped up at the end, which was mostly because I was running out of time, but it has a good effect. The countdown was a fun toy to play with.


Read more of Jeff's thoughts at: http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/


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