Stagger to Sway [Threesome!]

It’s a threesome this week (no, not that kind of threesome, silly!), as I attempt to combine prompts from Julia’s 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups, Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction, and The Daily Post Writing Challenge!

Julia’s prompt this week (week 73) is “…the notes from the piano… Since we are to incorporate said phrase, we’re allowed to go to 105 words instead of the standard 100.
Lillie’s prompt this week is FORGOTTEN, and we’re to construct a story around that theme, in five sentences. We don’t have to use the prompt word itself.
The Daily Post’s prompt this week is Starting Over. There are no constraints on word or sentence count.

Let’s recap: 105 words, five sentences, with themes FORGOTTEN and Starting Over, and including the phrase “…the notes from the piano….”

This is my first time trying to pull together three different prompts around one idea, but I think I did pretty all right….

“Stagger to Sway”

Dance, he’d said, as if she could do; her dumb legs could barely remember how to stand, but for the clanking metal of her Zimmer frame! He’d never let her sit back, though: from grabbing her first wave, to making her step up from her chair.

“Everyone’s staring,” she protested.

Tugging her up, he muttered, “Forget ’em,” and, using his hips and shoulders, he took the place of her Zimmer and helped her lurch, inch by staggering inch, from sofa to open floor.

She cursed such slowness…but, in his arms, as the notes from the piano reached her, they began to sway, and she forgot.

(Yes, I know, I forgot pockets. Just as in real life, though, I got distracted by the bum.)

(Yes, I know, I forgot pockets. Just as in real life, though, I got distracted by the bum.)

This vignette derives from an early (scrapped) draft of a scene from Fearless, so the characters and conflict are likely familiar to my beta readers. However, the original scene read as too schmaltzy for that particular part of the story (and, you may think it does so, here, as well), but I’d still rather liked it, at its core.

People say you should never completely scrap what you write, because you never know when it may come in handy. I had to do a fair amount of tweaking, but this stands as one of those lucky moments when I got to go back to something I wished I’d been able to keep in the story proper.

Did you play with any of these prompts this week? What happened with the notes of the piano? What was FORGOTTEN? How did your characters Start Over? Let me know!


21 thoughts on “Stagger to Sway [Threesome!]

  1. You’ve blended these three prompts seamlessly so well done for that. I find one prompt at a time quite enough! I love the feeling of tenderness in this piece – you can tell that these two have been together for a very long time. It’s beautiful.


    • Thanks, Sally-Jayne. Limiting myself to only a few posts per week makes it tricky to decide which challenge to do. This one, though, I just had to see if I could make work.

      This couple is near and dear to me, in more ways than one. I’m glad their tenderness and devotion can shine through a bit. 🙂


  2. I thought you combined the three prompts so well, as the story did not appear the least bit forced or contrived to fit. It was a sweet tale in itself!


    • Thank you, Vanessa.

      I like the challenge of incorporating multiple prompts. The problem is that Lillie’s Five Sentence Fiction challenge doesn’t post until Thursday, so that means I have less than 48 hours to bring things together (if I still want to garner the attention of the Linky linkz). Plus, I don’t think I could do a doodle for each one. …Though, that might be good incentive to keep my pencils warm. 🙂

      Thanks again for commenting.


  3. Well done, Mayumi. I think you did well with the threesome, too.

    I used to keep all of my scrapped material, until those files were longer than my actual novel!! Now I try to be a bit more conservative and picky about the trash I keep on my computer 😉


    • Ha! Yes, I well know the feeling of those huge “scrap” files, Kate. 🙂 I’m such a plot and sentence hoarder, though. I often end up going to a previous story’s “unused” file and finding something that works in another story. Luckily, I have a large backup drive, so it’s not a huge drain of space. It’s also funny sometimes to go back and see what terrible things I’ve saved! 😀

      Thanks for stopping by!


  4. I don’t find it schmaltzy at all. I think it beautifully shows a tender moment and tells us a lot about the relationship between the two characters. I have a hard enough time with single prompts, so I’m triply impressed that you interwove these three so well. 🙂


    • Thanks so much, JM. 🙂 These characters are quite familiar to me, by this time, so I’m always happy to share them, and the ups and downs of their relationship.

      I do enjoy prompts, though they can distract me from my larger works. Occasionally, the distraction can offer a nice alternative to banging my head against the desk! 😀


  5. Ross Finch: Swagger done right.
    Amber’s nervousness and even a bit of fear really stand out in this one, as well as Ross’ complete confidence in her and his own ability to be her support. It really is touching to see 🙂

    And now, I have a new challenge to follow with the Daily Post. Also awesome!

    Great work as always, Mayumi!


    • Thanks, Shade. 🙂

      The Daily Post’s Writing Challenge doesn’t always fit with the others, but I glance at it every now and again. I think these challenges are designed for people who want to write but aren’t currently engrossed in a larger project. That’s why I try to combine them as much as possible, because I really want to get back into the novel.

      I’d almost forgotten about this scene when the prompts reminded me. In the original version, it would have occurred at Freddie’s birthday party, which occurred much earlier. But the story went a different way, as they tend to do.

      I know it was probably obvious this was Ross and Amber because of the situation, but I’m glad they shone through without me mentioning their names, too. 🙂


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