DWP No. 053

Congratulations on completing WEEK THREE of the February 2019 Prompt Pledge! With one week to go, we will embark on a Three-Day Challenge, followed by Make-up Day, and a gentle easing out of the month with a few Free Prompts. Today, however, let’s get started with a cool 500 words.



Use 500 words to tell a story in First Person























  1. Once upon a time in a suburban village of big box stores and minimarts lived a little girl named Ugly. She was a brown skinned lass with dull brown hair and dull brown eyes and practically invisible eyebrows. Such an ugly child, her mother would lament.

    She lived in a ridiculously large house that was half finished. It was never the kind of place you could have friends over because everything was half done- messy rooms unfinished floors, and the nasty smell of dog pee. Ugly’s room was painted an ugly mint green even though she begged for

    “Ugly, you are soo ugly”, her mother would tell her regularly. “You are the ugliest kid I have ever seen. But oh how I love you!” and she would give Ugly a smooch and a squeeze. Her sister Malta used to love getting on the act as well- “Ugliness! Ha Ha! You stink!” She’d day at night With the two sisters were clearing the table. And on it went.

    Emma, Ugly’s real name, even though nobody ever called her that well, almost no one, had an adoring grandma and pop-up who live right next-door to her family in an attached apartment. Emma love grandma and grandma loved Emma. Grandma was the only one that called Ugly Emma. Grandma loved to watch mysteries on TV plus Divorce Court, Emma’s cartoons, and others. And most of all, she loved Emma
    And Emma loved her.” Forever and ever and ever”, they both would say as Emma snuggled in grandma’s arms As they watched TV on the sofa.

    Emma/ Ugly loved Granma soo much. But she wasn’t allowed to spend a lot of time there and she had to do all of these really stupid chores like pick up the dog poop and take out the trash and keep telling her mother that she was wonderful. But she wasn’t. Emma knew it wasn’t right to lie but what could she do? She was ugly and her mother said she wouldn’t amount to anything. It’s tough when you’re a kid and it’s really tough when you’re ugly.

    Grandma tried to tell Ugly’s mother otherwise but she just wouldn’t listen. “You’re going to spoil that ugly child”, she would screech over grandma’s protests. “She’s ugly and she knows it.”

    In school it was different. Her teachers called Ugly by her real first name by Emma and told her what a great writer she was. When the class put on plays Emma always got the leading role. Her teacher told her how much she wanted to see her write for the newspaper when she got to middle school. Emma wanted to be a writer but how could a person who is ugly ever be a writer. It didn’t make sense.

    In the fifth grade Mr. Ross was Emma’s new teacher. He was new to Emerald Waters Elementary School. He was funny and very handsome. Emma hoped she would marry him someday once he got around to asking her, of course. Mr. Ross wasn’t like the other teachers. He was nice but strict, he also loved to write, and best of all he loved reading what Emma would write. Even if it was the worst stuff in the world and Emma knew it was junk, he told her what a great writer she was. Emma was in love.

    But most importantly Mr. Ross wanted his students, his kids He would always call them, to do all kinds of fun creative things rather than just read out of some boring old book or do boring workbook exercises.

    One day he told the kids they were going to put on a play, very special play called The Ugly Duckling. Emma sunk low in her seat and started doodling on her paper. No one at school knew about her Ugly name except her best friend Gail who was in another class. But Gayle was kind of fat and so she always felt better when Emma would cry about being called ugly because as far as Gayle was concerned that was a whole lot better than being called Fat.

    Mr. Ross asked for a show of hands for all the different parts of the play- the ugly duckling, the prince, the evil mother, the weirdo aunt, and even a pig and a horse. The lead roles were for the ugly duckling and the prince. Mr. Ross took a count as the kids voted, and to Emma’s absolute horror, she was voted to be the ugly duckling.


  2. So, there’s this thing that I love, and I just realized, literally in this exact moment, that I do not know quite how to describe my love for it. To begin, do we all know who Paul Rudd is? If you don’t, I don’t really know what to tell you. If you do, then the thing I love will probably be understood, but this does not necessarily mean that you will agree. Every time I see Paul Rudd dance, I smile. I laugh. I absolutely love the sight of it. But, I don’t know what it is exactly about the way that he dances that I love so much. And yes, I do realize that I’ve used the word love, and it’s a strong word, and it’s appropriate.

    I suppose that the weird thing is that I want to know—so badly—what it is about Paul Rudd’s dancing that I enjoy so so much. I’m not even sure I can describe it, and so, this is why you’re reading this here THING right now. I thought that I would sit and use these 500 words to try to describe Paul Rudd’s dancing, and perhaps, just maybe, I will be able to discern what it is about Paul Rudd when he dances that I love so much.

    Firstoff, there’s a proportional relationship to Paul Rudd’s overall frame that makes him particularly capable of shakin’ that bootay. The longness of his torso makes him particularly adept at isolating his hips and pelvis, which essentially allows him easy movement throughout that all-important region—the place where torso becomes leg. I find that this “seam,” as it were, contributes heavily toward one’s ability to dance well/badly. If a person’s a bit uptight through there, it’s basically impossible to coordinate the movement of your torso with the necessary stepping of one’s feet. The longer the torso, the more lower-back freedom to swing and gyrate. So, right off the bat, Rudd’s torso already makes dancing well a physical possibility.

    Furthermore, one’s torso cannot be too long so as to ruin the proportional relationship that makes someone attractive. Of course, this is all my subjective opinion. All legs and no torso, a bit stiff; all torso and no legs, a bit truncated. I absolutely do not mean to put a stamp of betterness on any of these proportional relationships, I am merely stating my preference, and to me, Rudd’s torso length tiptoes the line on being almost too long in relation to his leg length, and so, he looks quite silly when he dances. But that silliness is supported by a frame that actually knows how to move itself in a fluid, spunky way.

    Amazingly enough, I’ve just about reached 500 words with this nonsense, and I never actually described Rudd’s dancing. So, just imagine a late-thirty-something white guy who kind of old-timey swings his arms back and forth in front of him as he steps to the rhythm with an exaggerated butt-hip, back-half circle. He also has a big head for his shoulders, but again, this is not a bad thing. None of this is bad. These are all the unique—and perhaps even considered odd—things about Paul Rudd that make him dance in a way that only he can. And I enjoy it. Every single time I get the chance to see it.


  3. If you value your own safety and always err on the edge of caution, I implore you to stop reading at once! Be off with you, for your own good, and don’t ever read another line.

    Now that those of you who remain have all chosen to dance with the devil (and I certainly wish you the best of luck, for I will certainly have nothing to do with the outcome!), I shall consider myself absolved of any concern as to the veracity of my effort in communicating to you the dangers manifest in the following words. This document contains a brief account of an experience related to me by a man who, since meeting me, has fallen gravely ill, so much so that his sight has left him for greener pastures and he remains quite unalterably mute (though, for better and a bit for the worse, his writing mind and penmanship are remarkably acute, and quite worth their respective form of audience, though bleak are the stories from his ageing imagination). As I heard his account, I took careful note of the characteristics of the peculiar man in the story as he was described in the told unfolding of events, and I urge you now to do the same as I recall them for you in the most objective representation any honest translator can manage:

    A man tells me that he goes to work every day, seven days a week, as a Security Officer and CCTV Technician, responsible for monitoring and maintaining the closed circuit surveillance system in a 250-unit luxury apartment building. This job is his life as he lives in a small domestic-type alcove adjacent to the security suite, and a loose, 24-7 shift on-call had never given him reason to complain, certainly also not because of the freedom it gave him to set his own schedule and move in and around the building with ease. A heavy wind of trouble, however due, had never blown through the apartment complex, and nobody noticed the black swan perched on the eaves at sunrise.

    One evening, as the nightlife crowd outside was shifting from dinner dates to more melodic interests, the Security Officer woke from a late afternoon nap and rolled his eyes over the series of surveillance monitors just as a tall, strikingly handsome man rolled through the revolving door. As he approached the front desk, I’m told, a large stone bird carved out of limestone separated from the wall behind him where it presided over the exit, and plummeted down to the entryway floor, slicing straight down through the doorman’s shoulder on its way. All of this the Security Officer witnessed on the screen. The doorman survived, but unable thereafter to manage any heavy bags or doors, for sure.

    What’s more, as has been relayed to me, after the tall man had finished with the front desk, the hotel’s software system immediately started flickering, misbehaving, and eventually had to be shut to finally clear the line of repeated, unrequested, outgoing emergency service calls. Thereby untethered to his security office, and unassisted by any video feed with the whole system being compromised, the man then tells me, he stalked through the hotel floors trying to find the tall, mysterious man. Not quite sure what to even ask him, the Security Officer started to worry about whether or not confronting him was a wise idea. Perhaps there was something about this tall man, something unspeakable, and sinister, and visually betrayed by his striking appearance and physical confidence. Perhaps coming across him would constitute a proximity breach, and something might come off, or transfer, or infect! him if he came too close, like it seemed to have done for the doorman and receptionist in the front lobby. The Security Officer then tells me that he abandons his plans and then attempts to evacuate the building as soon as possible, his heartbeat throbbing behind his eyes, all the while avoiding where the tall man might be at every cost.

    To curtail the rest of the story, this man spent the next sex days hiding in various rooms of the hotel, perpetually looking over his shoulder, deathly afraid of accidentally crossing paths with that terrifyingly handsome tall man. It wasn’t until two weeks after that (two weeks spent, undoubtedly, poring over video recordings from the various camera feeds in the front lobby, analyzing every possible frame for as much visual data as possible) that the Security Officer finally mustered up the courage to track down and confront the tall man in the park that stretches along the Welkin River. How he figured out when I would be sitting on that bench, I doubt I will ever know. Perhaps it was his lucky day. Well, perhaps that was crass of me, I apologize.

    Needless to say, he found that tall, handsome man he was looking for, and he told him everything that he had seen, everything that had happened, his theories about how it all worked out, and the sleepless week he spent evading his unknowing foe, as well as the trail of misery and desperation he found along the way. I heard all of this, though it wasn’t entirely novel information, and I told him, “Thank you for letting me know,” just I told the thousands of others who have tracked me down to give me the same message over the years.

    This all begs the question, then, as to whether or not my delivery to you of the dangers of reading this, and your acceptance and participation therein constitutes a form of interaction between us. Either way, I wish you luck! Though I must admit, I can’t possibly have any influence on the outcome of what may befall you now.


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