In this final day of adjective noun collisions we are going to run it the other way around, where you are given a list of nouns to choose from, and can collide them with any adjective of your choosing. Try to create an interesting prompt, and follow your senses to explore the implications of the collision.
Good luck and enjoy!
Silence is delicately balanced in the city as she hibernates for the night. A passing car lightly disturbs the yawning peace, like a pebble being dropped into a still lake, dispersing a small ripple of acknowledgement across the surface before being dampened back toward a creaseless film. But midnight sleeps with an eye half-open, aware of how innocent lullabies can quickly be drowned out by the piercing sirens of ensnaring danger.
Swaying in and out of the shadows swallowing the corner of the bedroom, between the oak wardrobe and the cedar chest of drawers, misty darkness seems to solidify. Exhibitionist or voyeur, what say you? A cold draft replaces the warm humidity left from a too warm shower, originating from the specter. A simple wave of my arm receives no retaliation. Sage and rosemary carried on the air, replacing the mint-berry amalgam from soap and shampoo. Tiny mâché wings carry my heart to lodge it next to my larynx. The solid darkness is unmoving, unmovable, standing straight as a board in the corner. It’s whispers, though nonsense, tickle the inner workings of my ears and pours liquid nitrogen down my spine. Walking to it, baseball bat in hand, the swing smacks the shadow and the reverb revels in my arms, the shadow is still. The stiffness is overwhelming and suffocates my mind with possibilities. Though stern, it is slim. I reach for a handshake, it laughs silently. I grab its wrist to force it in my direction, its forearm shatters and skitters across the floor. I bow, it still refuses. Forcing its hips to flex causes its torso to crack and break, flakes fill the floor. I pound its popliteal space with my toes, again no flexibility, just more shrapnel and sounds of glass breaking. The internal need to destroy that which I don’t understand and which doesn’t respond to my commands fills my brain, clouds out the world. The frangible ghost, or what’s left of it, will attempt to escape the thunder of the vacuum cleaner tomorrow morning, assuming it does not return to the ether before then.
Man, that “yawning peace” is amazing. That internal feeling of uncontrollable peace rising up from within. That is the stand out for me. You have also captured the sense of motion with the car going by, the lullabies into sirens, the ripples moving outwards. That time passing is a sense that you captured here (shout out to @maddragon here, she is like a master of making us feel the passing of time, a sense that I have not mastered in conveying). You paint the fragility really well, and also introduce almost a fear concept of midnight losing its presence, ceasing to exist. That is really cool.
Ash settles, blackened snow on a tornado of twisted metal and debris. Flames of the wildfire dance on the mountainside in the distance, a matinee of torment, mocking what lay in the wake, and taunting what lay ahead. Immovable violent freight train it becomes unstoppable. Imperfect hope lay in the shadows, awaiting survivors emergence, material items lost, but souls were not. as if thrown out like seed for wild birds, untarnished houses dot the burnt out valley. Growing out of the ground like sunflowers, beacons of light, slithers of gold in a charcoal wasteland.
awesome imagery of sound after it has passed. This is great, and how midnight sleeps with an eye half-open really highlights just how easily the silence can be disturbed, I like it!. I feel like It needs more senses though, like how does the stillness in the night smell, is there a breeze? or how does my body feel laying here in this silence could i hear my blood in my veins?
@4StarViewMusic some really nice mental images here
I feel like there’s alot to this one though. I think focus on senses more, like “i reach for a handshake, it laughs silently” whats that silent laugh sound like? and what would its hand have felt like on your skin had you touched it?
I think I need to do the same also, reading over mine I haven’t mentioned at all how the landscape would smell, or how my body feels to be in that environment. So I’m one hundred percent no expert in this field hahaha.
So beautiful!! Love how midnight sleeps with an eye half open and the dampened back to a creaseless film. Really well done!! I don’t have any notes haha
I have to agree that you really seem to have greased your wheels with you descriptive writing and you are on that fast track! This is really well done “matinee of torment” whatttt so good. “thrown out like seed for wild birds” yesssss !!! And the whole last line, wow! I really love this description of imperfect hope as a concept that is universal, things will be lost but what matters remains in tact, and I love the way you brought contrast to the devastation. Excellent
I feel like the genre of horror or suspense is a really difficult one to capture and I am very impressed in how you achieved this. I definitely got a sense of obsession and a little insanity weaved in the undertones of your characters narrative. Is the ghost supposed to be your reflection in a mirror? That is how I read it and I thought that was chilling.
Thanks, Hugh! That is exactly what I need. That is the challenging part of doing these time limited exercises. I feel like all of us have a gate that opens into a pasture of possible sensory language and interesting images, but we fail to see it when we are doing ten minutes of writing. Ha. But pointing it out like this really helps us all to figure out when we are at that portal. Hopefully, next round, I will be able to spot that in the allotted time and drive down that road.
The introductory portion is some great imagery: fire dancing, ash tornadoes… And the standouts like “matinee of torment” and the way you show past paths and future plans of the wildfire. The imperfect hope is a really cool phrase to show kind of that hunt for silver linings. It’s kind of realistically optimistic, like things have burned, but their energy still resonates, let’s enjoy it. That is really cool. I feel like your sensory language is really strong, even though you did not dig in to all the senses, I feel like each sense you touched on was really great. And, I think you actually touched on smell by introducing the ash on the wind, I actually felt my nose tingle with that smoky smell while reading it.
Midnight swallowed the sun, the jaws of the horizon splayed open to devour the beauty of transition. Reds, oranges, pinks, blues, tumbled down its gullet. Midnight swayed under streetlights, their flickering rays pierce through to hazily illuminate the crooked night. Midnight stumbled in a dream to the maudlin music of street corners, hushed screams, raucous laughter, dripping silence. Midnight tumbled to the edge of the water and waited for dawn in a heaping pile of broken glass and discarded treasures. Drunken midnight mused about daybreak, and a distant sun to fill its cup.
The jaws of the horizon line really pulled me in, masterful metaphor. I see the night swooping down from above driving the sun between two mountains, you captured it brilliantly. The use of “sway” and “crooked” and “stumble” really capture that deep night grogginess feeling. Your auditory words were effective, the “hushed screams”, I heard people talking after a loud concert, straining to barely make a noise after so much screaming. The dripping silence, I heard as the hum of night noises punctuated by staccato-ed peaceful momentary silence. It is interesting, taking the point that midnight starts off as predatory, but after being inebriated, seeks to become a romantic. It is the inverse that is so often seen, so that breeds a cool contrast.
I’ll be honest… I picked out frangible because I was in a meeting about frangible joints in fairings and thought it sounded like a neat word. When I looked through the list of nouns, I picked out ghost because it was (I thought) almost the antithesis of frangible. Once I picked out that phrase, the first image that came to mind was this weird coat rack that my granddad had in his room. At night, it looked like a man, and sometimes, it was scary (especially in rural Mississippi). So, that is kind of the image I chose to write about, a spooky wooden coat rack (I never did go break it apart though)! Ha, but I like your interpretation much better.
The taste of saline floods my head, and I hear whispering voices in circles. I’m fading in and out, to the synchronized beeping of alarms fighting for attention. I cry out, but no sound is made. My head is dead weight as someone pulls my hair to attach a hard plastic oxygen mask. Its rubber bands are stinging my cheeks as they cut into my skin. I see two sets of blurry heart rate monitors, and one set of numbers is dropping drastically, intensifying its boisterous panic. I feel myself trying to cry, but the tears don’t surface my dry eyes. My mind is still working well enough to understand, and feel the weight of fear, but I have lost complete control.
I suddenly feel pressure on my chest, and the volume unmuted, as someone shakes me awake…
“It’s a boy!!!”
What a cool concept: Worrisome hope! By itself, it is an amazing concept. It is something that we have all experienced, yet, on its face, is almost paradoxical. The saline taste is a strong start, we experience it: is it sweat, is it anesthesia? Our minds are allowed to wander and that makes it awesome. Especially combined with the whispering voices in circles. That gives us the impression that the room is spinning, we have become unstable. Pulling hair is a great image, that sharp, instantaneous sting we connect to. Then we go completely out of control, where we can’t even cry or see clearly, our head nothing more than dead weight. The panic is like the creeping death, waiting right around the corner coming towards us. Then, from that little temporary death… NEW LIFE for both mom and son! That was engaging. The only real critique here is the line “I have lost complete control”. I think you get that from everything that is written, so it is unnecessary. This is my favorite of yours so far!
I like the concept - I am very interested in the relationship between fear and hope in songwriting, as it seems you can’t have hope toward something without the inevitable fear you might not get it, and conversely, if you have fear toward something it means you care about it and want it surpassed, otherwise you have some sort of apathetic despair. Reminds me of that Shawshank quote “hope is a dangerous thing, can drive a man insane”.
Anyway I digress, you’ve got some great sensory language coming in here within the whirlwind blur that childbirth must be. You’ve portrayed the fragments of beeps and blured sights and stinging sensations on your skin really well mixed with some great concepts like the weight of fear or crying with no sound. Unmuted is a great word for getting through it all, so overall really well done with this piece!
What a fantastic quote that is, and very relatable in my experience. And as always, thank you for the feedback and insight, I really appreciate it!
Magnificently not like his cousins, rather small by ghost standards. Standard white sheet, 100 thread count, uncomfortable in his dead skin, two holes cut out for eyes where he was shot. Boo screams at the top of his lungs, a whisper in my ear relative to the din of his brothers. He smells of trash left in the bin a day too long, not revolting but slightly annoying. His touch straightens up my hair, slightly uncomfortable, but rather plain.
The contrast of “Magnificent” and “small” is wonderful. The contrast with whisper and screams is also great. Using such contrast and juxtaposition within images builds up a sense of internal tension to the reader.