Tagged: alcohol

My Father Had Been Dead for Years

  • by jenWait, what?
  • “preferably dead,” she added.
  • sang the last line of the song
  • just toast, maybe a boiled egg
  • a great many other pleasant and astonishing devices

Tune in next time part 209                           Click Here for Earlier Installments

My father had been dead for years, but there he was, boarding my brother’s presidential zeppelin. I drained my subpoena and smacked the glass down on the bar, upside down as per Pinkie Swears tradition. My head was swimming. I tried to focus on the image on the tiny phone screen. It couldn’t really be my father, could it?

I realized the bartender was speaking, and had been for some time.

Wait, what?” I said.

She sighed heavily. “After the sex scandal, we thought we were done with your father. We thought he’d be disgraced, imprisoned,” her eyes darted to the door, “preferably dead,” she added.

“That’s a bit harsh,” I slurred, wishing I had some food to counteract the alcohol. “Everyone involved was a consenting adult. Even Freya.” I hiccuped.

“Jason’s here.” She grabbed me by the front of my shirt and hauled me over the bar where I sprawled on the floor. Out amongst the balloons I heard all the Pinks take up a chorus of For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow. The bartender stood up and sang the last line of the song along with the rest of them.

Staying low, I made my way through the door into the kitchen. I was hoping to find something to eat. Nothing fancy — just toast, maybe a boiled egg. I found neither of those, but I did see a frozen daiquiri machine and a great many other pleasant and astonishing devices.

As I stuck my head under the daiquiri nozzle and opened my mouth, the bartender came through the door. “Now’s our chance to get out of here,” she said, pulling me away from the machine, “while they’re all distracted. We need to get to that zeppelin and stop your father!”

Her breath in my face was even more flammable than my own, and I realized I was tangling with a representative of the Guild of Fire Eaters. I couldn’t let her know that Jemma was just downstairs.

bonus points for using them in order

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

Based on the Similarity

  • by Kentthe Three Stooges sitting with a salad bowl
  • (Vehement cheering.)
  • therein they differ from those of Switzerland and Norway
  • The wine was excellent.
  • you know how when you make hard boiled eggs

Tune in next time part 166                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

Based on the similarity in note-taking styles, I thought this man must have graduated from our rival academy. But when I flipped to the cover of his book, I saw an unfamiliar school crest: the Three Stooges sitting with a salad bowl.

Wasting no more time on academic nostalgia, I consumed his text as fast as I could. This was obviously where the plans of Svetlana and Heinrich were all leading. Some kind of coalition that they meant to disrupt, or maybe join. I held the minutes of their last secret meeting.

“This assembly will now come to order. (Vehement cheering.) Our quail egg parfaits include gold leaf, and therein they differ from those of Switzerland and Norway. (Quizzical laughter.) The wine was excellent. Sorry there wasn’t enough for anyone else to have any. (Disappointed whistling.) Back to the parfaits, though: you know how when you make hard boiled eggs you need to adjust the time to your altitude?”

I smiled, as the lacily attired man on the floor groaned. I knew who was behind these political machinations!

bonus points for using them in order

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

I Suppose I Have No Choice

  • by Kenthaving an extra nipple
  • drink to the devil
  • Rubenstein was furious
  • had it not been for the indefatigable efforts of the assiduous Goodwin
  • his manhood in public

Tune in next time part 156                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

“I suppose I have no choice,” I said. “What is it you want me to do?”

“There is far too much explaining needed,” Svetlana simpered, seeming oddly aroused by the prospect. “We can’t just stand around out here.”

The nefarious duo led me to Lonelyhearts, a bar within the park. When I questioned the idea of so visibly pregnant a woman going in there, they brushed the objection aside. I thought we would at least find a shadowy corner table, but they went directly to the barstools.

Svetlana batted her eyes at the bartender and said, “Heinrich here will be having an extra nipple, a slippery one that is. Plus whatever he wants for himself.” She pointed past Heinrich to me. “Paying for your drink is the least we can do. Just toast me.” She winked.

“Bourbon, neat,” I said. When you’re on your way to hell, you might as well drink to the devil.

Svetlana hadn’t been lying about there being a lot to explain. An hour later, Heinrich was still laying out the background. “Rubenstein was furious, and had it not been for the indefatigable efforts of the assiduous Goodwin all our worst fears might have come true.”

“What do Rubenstein and Goodwin have to do with anything?” I asked.

“Nothing. They’re retired. I just wanted you to understand where we’re coming from.”

I counted the glasses on the bar, feeling a bit dizzy. Heinrich’s tolerance appeared to far exceed mine, as his eyes and speech remained clear despite double my number of drinks.

“Now, I have to explain to you about the ninja factions we have today. They trace to ninth-century Japan…”

Heinrich rambled for several more rounds of whisky. When he stopped, the sudden quiet was like an alarm clock going off. He looked over his shoulder at Svetlana and said, “I believe our little apparatchik is ready to prove his manhood in public.”

bonus points for using them in order

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

Oscar and the Other Two Sanitation Workers

  • by jen“Tell me, Ludovico,”
  • feeling the wind rush by
  • I met the bastard’s eye
  • very drunk
  • a superbly embossed plated coal-scuttle

Tune In Next Time Part 48                              Click Here for Earlier Installments

Oscar and the two other sanitation workers were upon me more quickly than I’d anticipated.

“Tell me, Ludovico,” Oscar said, spitting out my alias with such malevolent force that his stinking breath ruffled my hair, reminding me of feeling the wind rush by during my recent helicopter trip, “tell me again about the Pensacola dumpsters.”

I met the bastard’s eye and had no doubt that he was very drunk. The blue tinge on his lips told me he’d been drinking Barbicide again. That meant he and his cronies had been holed up in the barber shop for a long time, surveilling the church where Jason and Uncle Jinx thought they were safe. Where Lyudmila was now. I fretted for her safety, but tried not to let it show.

A grin split Oscar’s round face, revealing not teeth, but a detailed grill reminiscent of a superbly embossed plated coal-scuttle, inset with emeralds. Bad news for me, because that grill was a symbol of the highest rank in the sanitation workers union. It meant he had the authority to command every garbage man in the city.

I threw a look back over my shoulder, trying to decide if I could make it to the chopper if I sprinted.

bonus points for using them in order

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

Time to Pop Some Champagne!

r-avatarSo hey! Guess what! The first draft is complete!

Kent wrapped up the last of the scenes that needed to be written, not to be confused with the last scene in the story, which Jen had already done by then. The book’s a beast and a half, and it’s done. We feel really good about it, very proud of what we’ve accomplished. Rune Skelley isn’t anybody’s idea of a fast writer, but the books are taking us less time to create as we get more practice and our process becomes second nature.

Okay, okay. It’s not done done. As with its predecessor, this book has a meta-narrative running throughout, and that’s not all done. And it doesn’t make sense to push onward with that part until we’ve done a read-through, so that’s the next step. Normally we like to let manuscripts rest before the first read-through, but in this case we don’t want to spin up any new projects yet. So, right back in.

Which means maybe that cork should stay in the bottle just a little longer. No point doing the reading if we won’t remember it tomorrow.

“Don’t Patronize Me”

  • k-avatarOr Jack Kerouac?
  • simulates the roar
  • so soft and so elegant
  • severe attack of vomiting
  • “Don’t patronize me.”

“Don’t patronize me.” Stacie glared up at Derek. “Just hold my hair.”

Derek’s few memories of the previous night included more than enough drinking to account for Stacie’s severe attack of vomiting. They both had way too many cocktails, something with a kooky name and blended with shaved ice to a creamy texture and topped with an orange-peel origami swan. The drinks were so soft and so elegant it had been hard to decline as the next one was offered. And then the next. And the next, until inside your head their cumulative effect simulates the roar of the ocean in a seashell, drowning any coherent thoughts and drowning out the voice of reason.

Derek liked to go to parties so he could feel like his heroes. Like Fitzgerald, or Hemmingway. Or Jack Kerouac? But his taste in drinks was more like Patricia Highsmith.

bonus points for using them in reverse order

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

As I Watched My Former Lover Face Near-Certain Death

  • by jenmazes of winding passageways
  • a bit of low-level xenophobia, right?
  • seizing the black bottle
  • the Lyudmila who was not his sister
  • her mother bought it in Germany

Tune In Next Time Part 21                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

As I watched my former lover face near-certain death by shark attack, I turned the metal box over in my hands. Tessa alone knew the combination. Should I save her? Offer to share the treasure with her in exchange for her help? Demand the digits as the price for her life, keeping the box’s contents for myself?

The fins sliced through the waves, stalking her. It reminded me of when I first met her, years ago at a party. She strode in wearing nothing but a sharkskin minidress. I found out later her mother bought it in Germany. I was drawn to her immediately, and asked her to dance. That’s when John strode in with a couple of girls, both named Lyudmila. He kissed the Lyudmila who was not his sister, and then noticed me dancing with the delectable Tessa. He discarded Lyudmila rather rudely and tried to cut between me and Tessa, but she turned her back on him, seizing the black bottle of our host’s inky homebrew liquor in one hand and me in the other.

To John and his shabby treatment of his Russian date she said, “Nothing like a bit of low-level xenophobia, right?

Before he could even formulate a reply she dragged me out of the party and through mazes of winding passageways to her own apartment where we spent the rest of the night downing the bitter black alcohol and screwing.

Could I let a girl like that be eaten by sharks? I could not.


bonus points for using them in reverse order

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

“How Much Do You Drink?” She Asked.

  • by jenHow much do you drink?
  • on the Indonesian island of Flores
  • looks pretty cute in his mugshot
  • vital, sunburnt, carefree
  • dazed but not seriously injured

How much do you drink?” she asked.

“Like I’m on vacation on the Indonesian island of Flores,” he assured.

She eyed him with a smirk. “You look like a guy who looks pretty cute in his mugshot: vital, sunburnt, carefree. Like the bar fight you were arrested for left you dazed but not seriously injured.”

He shrugged and she admired his lazy smile. “But in any case, you have the right to remain silent.” She cuffed his wrists together behind his back. “I’ll have to ask the booking officer if I can have a copy of your mugshot to see if I’m right.”

bonus points for using them in order!

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!

One Is The Loneliest Number

r-avatarHow do solo writers do it?

Our evenings lately have been spent sprawled on the big leather sofa with the laptop and a small mountain of meaningfully marked-up copies of our manuscript. One of us (usually Jen) wades through all of the critiques while the other (usually Kent) mans the laptop, adding comments and making edits to our master copy. Jen interprets all the line-edits and deciphers everyone’s handwritten comments, directing Kent to the proper parts of the manuscript so that together we can discuss the proposed changes.

It’s slow going, and we generally only manage one or two chapters per night. Each of those chapters is gone over with a fine tooth comb (hey baby, that is one fine tooth-comb you’ve got there!) four or five times as we consider the feedback from all of our beta-readers. Working with a partner makes something like this bearable, oftentimes even enjoyable. It’s hard for us to imagine this part of the process as a solo author. Who do you talk to about whether a suggestion or complaint is valid? Who do you high-five when a passage works exactly as you planned? Whose shoulder do you cry on when a passage doesn’t work at all? And most important: who do you send for snacks and refills of fortifying beverages?

The writer’s life can be a very solitary one, but with a writing partner it doesn’t have to be.

2013 Holiday Prompt

In this special holiday edition, the stichomancy prompt phrases were all taken from Christmas carols. Jen and Kent both tackled the same set, with markedly different results. Whose do you prefer?

  • so lively and quick
  • dashing through the snow
  • he began to dance around
  • tis the season to be jolly
  • nine ladies dancing
  • when we finally kiss goodnight

k-avatarKent’s take:

“I forgot these things were so lively and quick,” Herb remarked, drawing a bead on one of the creatures dashing through the snow in the clearing.

“And I forgot they bite! Ow!” exclaimed Remmy as he began to dance around holding one boot up out of the deep drifts, a creature dangling from the toe.

Herb chuckled, prompting Remmy to ask him with some vehemence just what was so damn funny.

“Oh, nothing. Just, tis the season to be jolly, I suppose,” drawled Herb in reply.

Remmy shook the xenopod loose and stomped it, muttering about better times before the invasion. “I’ve had enough for one day. Let’s go get drunk at the Nine Ladies Dancing. I’ll buy.”

“Okay,” Herb said. “I’d like to see that sweet little barmaid again anyway.” Herb’s opinions on the invasion were slightly more mixed. “When we finally kiss goodnight, I’ll find out what those suckers on her tongue feel like.”

bonus points for using them in order!


by jenJen’s take:

My blind date with Bertram started out well enough. I found him to be so lively and quick-witted that I was able to overlook his unfortunate ears. I thought him quite galant when he offered to pay for dinner, but halfway through the meal he began to dance around in his seat like he had to pee. Then he grumbled at our waiter, “It’s winter, dude! Tis the season to be jolly well sozzled so you don’t notice the cold! Bring me a yard of Schnapps! And one for the lady.”

He finished his shots in record time, and most of mine, all the while telling the tale of a bachelor party he’d recently attended where there were no fewer than nine ladies dancing naked. I was unimpressed.

Bertram’s fate was sealed when he said to me, “Hey babe, when we finally kiss goodnight, I’m going to slip you the tongue.”

Horrified, I left him at the table and went dashing through the snow and wind all the way to the subway station so he couldn’t follow me home.

about stichomancy writing prompts

try our stichomancy writing prompt generator!