CSMA Prompts and Practice · writing

12 July 2014

12 July 2014

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Yesterday’s adventure with the Book Bandits.

The prompts are

  1. Gemstones
  2. The silliest of indie films
  3. Get it at Walmart


Begin Writing
“Welcome to Belgium, Mr. Smith,” the immigrations officer said as he stamped my passport and snapped it shut. “Have a nice stay,” he handed it back.

My name isn’t Smith but that’s what it said on my documents so I didn’t tell him any different. I had come to Brussels for gemstones, diamonds in particular but, I didn’t tell him that either. Everyone who’s ever watched movies, especially those silly Indie films, knows about the diamond trade in Brussels.

First though I needed to get to Bruges. I could get weapons in Bruges. So I made my way to the station. It was dinner time when I arrived but there was a hostel near the Hauptbanhof that didn’t ask a lot of questions. I took a room and went out to see the old city and grab a bite to eat. I had an appointment at 1000 the next morning.


Saturday morning dawned and a light fog hung over the city. Coffee and a croissant made a good breakfast and at about 0930 I headed out on foot after asking directions at the desk. I was looking for Lindwurmstraße which I had been told was about a 20 minute walk. I took a couple of wrong turns so it was 1000 on the dot when I knocked on the door at #47.

“Grüß dich” said the young lady in German who answered.

“Good morning,” I replied in English. “I’m Peter’s friend.”

“Of course,” she smiled. “He’s expecting you.”

She let me into the foyer and took my jacket. “This way please.”

I followed her into a dimly lit room. The walls were lined with bookshelves. The shelves were filled with books. A thin, sandy haired man unfolded himself from the chair behind the desk when I entered.

“Mr. Smith?” he questioned and I nodded. When he indicated a leather settee, I took a seat. “Our mutual friend told me you would require some hardware.” He said, making small talk, “But, he didn’t provide specifics.”

“I need a 9mm, something light, and three clips.” I said. “I also need something that makes a little more noise. Twelve gauge would be about right”

He nodded, “Anything else?”

“Just a box of shells”

“How will you be paying for this, Mr. Smith?” He waved his finger at the young lady. She in turn opened the door and went back out into the hallway.
Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.



After sharing our work we still had some time so we had another go. This time a single prompt and only 15 minutes.

The prompt was

  1. A thing of beauty and a joy forever


Begin Writing
I was watching her as she stared at the painting. She had stood in that spot for about 20 minutes before wandering off. She had roamed the gallery for about 5 minutes and now she was back.

She was an attractive woman and I wanted to speak to her but I couldn’t suss out who she was. Was she an art lover? Was she a critic from the Times? It was my painting she was staring at and I couldn’t even make out if she liked it or loathed it.

I decided to be an optimist. “Hi, what d’ya think?” I asked her and began studying the painting as well.

“I can’t figure it out” she said, “It reminds me of something but I can’t figure out what. I wish I could ask the artist what it is.” She shook her head.

“You’re in luck,” I told her, “I’m the artist. Is there something you’d like to ask me?”

She turned her head and looked at me as intently as she had been looking at my painting, “Yes,” she said, “What is it?”

“Are you from the paper?”


“Just an art lover?”


I slowly shifted the expression on my face from social to solemn, “It’s a thing of beauty and a joy forever!” I grinned.

“Fucking artists,” she said, “You’re all the same – you suck.” She spun on her heel and headed for the door.

“Does this mean we won’t be going for coffee later?” I called after her.

Time is up. Put down your writing implements and step away from the paper.


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