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"Falling Mattresses"

Exercise #35 - "Falling Mattresses"

"They had been waiting, umbrellas up, for the falling mattresses."
Take this as the first line of your story and start writing.

5 minutes start........ now.

They had been waiting, umbrellas up, for the falling mattresses. That, of course, was figuratively speaking. It was an old family saying, "to wait for the falling mattresses." I guess one could liken it to the "the shit's about to hit the fan" or something similar.

The tension in the living room was palpable. Her mother sat, her legs crossed elegantly, next to her father who was wringing his hands nervously.

"So," said her mother. "Chicago?"

"Yes," said Julia. "Chicago."

"But why?" her father interjected. "Why Chicago?" The worry in his eyes pulled at her heartstrings, but she had made her choice.

"Because it's where I need to be, Dad."

"And why is that?" said her mother. "Why is it where you need to be?" She stared at her daughter coldly, calculating just how far she could push her.

"Because it's like New York gone through a Brita filter," Julia explained.

Her father stopped wringing his hands and peered at her, curious. "What do you mean?" he said.

"I mean, it's still a city," Julia said, "but it's not nearly as gross as New York. And it's far enough to the south that it has some nice people."

"That is no reason to go to school so far away," her mother barked. She was a fright to confront, but Julia figured it had to be done. Otherwise, she would never get to go where she felt she needed to go.

5 minutes up.

You know, I'm ok with how I handled this one. It took me a good minute to figure out what I was going to do with such a bizarre beginning sentence. I mean, come on. Falling mattresses? hah Either way, I'm ok with how it turned out. I'm still not exactly sure why Julia wanted to go to Chicago so badly. It probably had something to do with the performing arts. Oh well.

What would you guys have done with that sentence? I'm interested in hearing how you would have handled it.



Anonymous said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
They had been waiting, umbrellas up, for the falling mattresses.


No-one had thought to tell them the mattresses were still safely inside the 14 ton container they had arrived in from China.

(deleted previous, sorry to scuff the blog. Lack of proof-reading.)
Dawn Herring said…
I like the way you morphed the handle into something you could relate to. It was interesting and engaging.
Stef Howerton said…
haha Anton, that's great. :) And no worries about the deleted comment. We all do it from time to time.

Thanks, Dawn. I'm glad I was able to interest you.

And thanks to you both for your comments! They're always appreciated.
Anonymous said…
"Congratulations" Stef, there's an award waiting for you over at my blog

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