I have twenty minutes to write this morning and no ideas, so I’ve turned to a writing prompt. I googled “writing prompt” and was promptly whisked away to www.ganymeder.com. The prompt for today was “The cheerfully dismal autumn colors reflected her mood.”
I’m not sure I can work with this prompt. Cheerfully dismal? How can anything be cheerfully dismal? I meditate on this for a couple minutes. I take a walk down the street. It is still dark and there are few colors, dismal, cheerful or otherwise. I am having difficulty processing something simultaneously dismal and cheerful. What does Ganymeder mean? Think, Chicken, think!
I look up the word cheerful. It’s defined as noticeably happy and optimistic. I look up the word dismal. It means gloomy, depressing, dreary. The autumn colors are cheerful about being dreary and depressing? That doesn’t seem right. Maybe they could be dismally cheerful. That I could believe. I’ve known people like that.
Maybe it’s a poetry prompt. I decide to try that instead.
The autumn colors
are cheerfully dismal now
Whatever that means
Who is this Ganymeder person? Let’s consider the person behind the mysterious prompt. I’m picturing someone with a basket of apples. Yes, an octogenarian with a basket of deliciously tasteless apples and a laptop. There is a pet goose with her who may or may not be a bewitched prince, heir to the throne of Babbleon. A restlessly contented prince. And this Ganymeder person goes about dropping odd prompts in the online paths of gullible chickens.
Well, will you look at that. My twenty minutes are up. I must get myself into the shower. Have a cheerful, non dismal day.
Okay, fine. I’ll try again. Won’t you give it a try, too?
The girl strode along, new red coat unbuttoned and flying out behind. The fall leaves swirled around her as the wind snatched them from the trees that lined the sidewalk. The cheerfully dismal autumn colors reflected her mood. Impervious to the wind and leaves, she considered the doctor’s words. Or just the one word, really. The big word, underlined and in bold print, or so she imagined. It was obviously a mistake. She refused to believe it. A small flicker of hope caught hold in her soul. She smiled up at the sky, reached out her hand, and plucked a yellow leaf from mid-air.
How could her life be almost over when it had barely just begun?