The following snippet was written in response to a Who, What, Why, Where When writing exercise. The criteria we came up with for the prompt were:
Who: A giraffe
What: Wants a job
Why: Would like to feel human
Where: New York
The year was 2025, and if there was anything Leef was sure of, it was that he was alive. Standing six meters tall on four legs like twigs, Leef's living was not something that could be easily ignored. It was noted by the keepers at his former prison - err - home (the zoo) when Leef took a running start and, using his captors as a springboard, shot himself over the fence and into his newfound freedom. There he stood, somewhere in the midst of New York City, where his living once again was being noticed by the shoppers lining the street, gawking and awing at the sight of him: Long neck, hoofed feet, spots warm and brown against his yellow mustard skin. "Could it be?" the people asked themselves. Yes, it could be, and yes he was. A giraffe. Leef couldn't know for sure, but he suspected he was one of the last. And the way these people stared and cowered, he thought it must be the case.
This short start to a story is the result of a Who, What, Where, Why, When group writing exercise. Our prompts were:
Who - An old lady
What - Trying to get her license back
Why - To drive to see her lover
Where - Brazil
When - Christmas time
"It's cold out. Don't forget it's cold out."
Ginger was getting herself ready to leave the house, where she had been alone, aside from her orange cabby, for three weeks. She didn't like to leave the house, ordinarily, and this was especially true in December, which it was on this day. Christmas time. But when a person is in love, they will do extraordinary things sometimes.
This story, or start to a story, really was a result of an exercise called Who, What, Where, Why, When. We wrote for 10 minutes based off the following prompt. You can read more about the exercise here.
Who - A sloth
What - He wants to learn how to talk
Why - Because he wants to play the guitar
Where - Cat Heaven
When - the 1920's
Knock, knock, knock.
Moss arrived at the pearly gates - which were inexplicably dripping in yarn and reeked of tuna. They swung open in front of him slowly, dramatically. And from behind them shuffled three worn mice in service clothes - the first holding out a bowl of milk, the second a collar of gold, and the third a freshly dead fish.
The sloth, in a confused daze, scratched the fur on his head and stepped inside. He was hungry. And tired. Dying was a lot of excitement for an animal like Moss, whose days consisted mainly of sleeping in trees and sleeping in other trees.
It was only after licking the last of the fish juice from his claws that he saw them: cats. Billions of cat, as far as his tired eyes could see. Fancy ones and fat ones; playful ones and angry ones; the ones with fur matted to open wounds and the stench of the streets still on them.
There must be some mistake. Not a single sloth among them. And the screeching of these critters was unbearable nonsense. His limbs were tired and his heart afraid. Where would he find a companion who could understand his relentless need for relaxation and tall trees? How would he ever fall peacefully asleep?
And then he heard it, somewhere beyond the low, rusty purrs and the ear-breaking love calls - music. Softly at first, and he tapped his paw to the soulful beat.
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.