Here’s an excerpt from one of the stories in one of my 99-cent ebooks, THE KING OF CHEROKEE CREEK. I’m still trying to decide which of my characters will post for the Cherished Blogfest on SampleSunday.
excerpt from “Terra Incognita”
by Marian Allen
When Tara left the therapist’s office, she felt crazier than when she’d gone in. This had been her third visit. The first had comforted her (At last, somebody who would listen! Why had she never thought of simply paying someone before?), the second had made her mad (What does he mean, I think about myself too much? The nerve!), but this one had made her crazy.
Tara didn’t believe concern about your appearance, about how you come across to other people, dwelling on your failures and humiliations, wondering what people really meant when they said or did whatever they said or did — that any of that was insane. It just sounded that way when the therapist had you do it out loud. Well, maybe being afraid you smelled funny to vegetarians, maybe that was close.
Now she had this assignment, and it was really warped.
“Whoa, Mom, that is really warped.” Even her seventeen-year-old, Cosmo, thought so, and Cosmo shaved his head and had a tattoo of a red and blue snake around his neck and a bar through his tongue. Every time she looked at him, she worried about all the other things she had never thought to forbid him to do. “Don’t ask, don’t get told no” was Cosmo’s motto.
Tara had stopped by Big Mart on the way home for a spiral-bound notebook and a pen. They had pens at home, but she wanted a special one for this. It was something she didn’t want to do, the way you don’t want to go to the dentist when you know you need a new filling; she might as well have some pleasure out of it. Shoot me some nitrous oxide and play the Beatles, Doc. She settled on a fine-line gel pen with black ink and a barrel that looked like blue abalone. Something she could clutch with pride while her palms sweated rivers.
Cosmo — given name, Alexander Paul Mitchell — dished up the angel hair pasta into two plates and topped it with microwaved canned chicken, chopped black olives, garlic-flavored olive oil, a sprinkle of seasoned salt, and fistfuls of pre-shredded mozzarella.
“So what are you supposed to do, walk up to a total stranger and say, ‘Hi. I’m crazy. Can I talk to you?'”
“Five total strangers. And I don’t have to use those words. Dr. Powell thinks I need to come out of myself by concentrating on other people. So I’m supposed to talk to five people. Ask them five questions about themselves.” Her hands trembled, just thinking about it.
I actually had to do that assignment. Best assignment ever.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Give your main character an assignment to do the thing they most fear.