Every word we write is prompted by something—research, experience, or imagination. In dictionary research, the entry or topic is the prompt, and our mission is clear. But this is my first time using a prompt as a creative process. My world is all about facts—essays are easy. Stories are not.
Stephanie provided five prompts. I chose two and used them as titles:
Our Last Kiss
Like I could ever forget. December 28, 2005, a couple days after a shitty Christmas and a few before a shitty New Year. I held him close. I was numb, out of tears, dazed. Who knew it would end this way—the love of my life, in my arms, kissing me goodbye. None of the bad things mattered—over the years they only endeared him to me more. His late nights out, lousy toilet habits, his rejections, the bloody lip he gave me one night as I was getting ready for a meeting. As with all the boys in my life, I forgave him everything because of the laughter and the lovin’.
The vet gave him two shots. The first to sedate him, and then the second, final needle. I watched his body grow still, and then cold. I had written a letter explaining how very much I loved him and always will. I left his collar and tag on and put him in a box with the letter. I wanted to make sure that wherever his travels took him, it’s understood we belong to each other forever. I buried him in the backyard in his favorite spot under the big pine.
We skulk around the outskirts of the city and fend for ourselves. We live on garbage and scraps and a few hidden gardens. They know we’re around but we don’t let them see us. They’re probably going to hunt us down at some point. They’ve taken everything else from us, but we’ve taken something too.
We have fights about breeding but young are born. Zira is only a year old and already she’s 100 pounds and can run as fast as a car. She speaks in sentences and can count. We’re all changing, and they don’t know. We’re getting stronger, faster, smarter. We no longer have much need for clothing as thick wiry fur grows from once-smooth skin. If they saw us they might think we’re devolving, but I wouldn’t call it that.