Prose Writing Prompt of the Week: A man doesn’t feel like his name suits him, so he wants it changed. What does he change it to, and does it solve his problem?
Poetry Prompt of the Week: Describe a person with one name, and then reveal at the end of the poem that their name is actually something quite different.
We flipped the script a bit this week! Carol wrote a piece of prose to match the poetry prompt, and I wrote a poem to match the prose prompt. Either way, we were both inspired, and that’s what matters, right? Enjoy!
Call Me Edward
by Jamie DeBree
There’s always a party at Mikey’s, they’d say.
Always more fun to be had.
Mike’s not a thinker, he’s a-okay,
a guy who knows how to be bad.
Party for years, and that’s what he gets,
a herd that just can’t see the change.
The boy’s now a man, the compass reset,
but his friends can’t see anything strange.
Mike knows it can’t last, it can’t stay the same,
knows his friends won’t let him advance,
Call me Edward, he says, pulling out his first name,
can’t hurt just to give it a chance.
The parties are smaller, with quieter guests,
but still enough fun to be had,
Edward’s a thinker and one of the best,
who’s name always makes him quite glad.
by Carol R. Ward
Most people who saw her agreed that even if Bella wasn’t her real name, it suited her. With her pale skin and hair, big blue eyes in a heart-shaped face, it would have been no surprise had she spread a pair of great, white angel’s wings.
But she didn’t, of course.
No one knew exactly where she came from, she just began appearing at the lawn parties and social gatherings that summer. They were young and rich and entitled, none more so than Bobby Greyson. Bobby was the undisputed leader of wealthy youth of the area, not just because of his money and the fact that most of the parties took place at his parents’ estate on the river, but he had a natural charisma.
The fact that this charisma didn’t always work on the, shall we say, less fortunate young women of the area mattered not at all. What Bobby Greyson wanted, Bobby Greyson got. And if it took a couple of his cronies to hold a girl down while he took his pleasure, well that just made it all the more thrilling. And if those same cronies wanted a turn or two themselves, what did he care? He’d already lost interest.
Bella appeared like a vision at the soiree held at the country club. By the time Bobby had worked his way over to her, she had disappeared again. For a time he thought she might have been a vision, and then she appeared at the Van Houten’s cotillion. She floated through the dancers like a dream, and like a dream she was gone before he could even ask for a dance.
It was not until he caught sight of her at one of his own parties that he was able to actually speak to her.
“I am familiar with everyone on the guest list,” he said, offering her a glass of champagne. “How is it I have never met you before?”
“The friends I’m staying with insisted I accompany them,” she said demurely. “I hope you don’t mind.”
“How could I? But please, tell me the name of these friends so I may thank them.”
But she would not. “I would not wish you to learn my secrets too soon – the mystery would fade and take with it your interest.”
“At least tell me your name.”
“You may call me Bella.”
“Of course, how could it be anything else? You are truly bellissima. A beautiful gift.”
Bella smiled and took a step towards him. “Perhaps I am your gift,” she said, and leaned closer.
Bobby closed his eyes, expecting a kiss, but felt nothing more than a whisper of air on his cheek. When he opened his eyes, she was gone.
He asked all his friends, but no one would admit to hosting the mysterious Bella. In fact, only a few remembered seeing her at all. In desperation he threw another garden party, and his efforts were rewarded.
“I was afraid you an angel returned to heaven,” he murmured in her ear, coming up behind her as she stood in the gazebo.
“My place is not in heaven,” she told him.
“Then it is here by my side,” he declared.
“Perhaps.” She smiled enigmatically at him.
There was a shout behind them and he turned. When he turned back she was gone.
The next time Bobby saw her was at the Anderson’s during their croquet party. She was smiling at old man Anderson as he tried to show her how the game was played and Bobby was filled with a murderous rage. Bella was his! No one else was allowed to touch her.
As though sensing his presence Bella looked up and it was only with a great effort of will he was able to mask his feelings. She smiled, as though she could read his thoughts, and he felt a sudden chill. Then the moment was gone.
What was she doing to him? Bobby had never felt this way about a woman before. Lust yes, that he slaked on those unfortunates that were caught unawares, but this … this was something more. This was a hunger, an obsession. If he couldn’t be with her, he’d die.
He was so caught up in his reflections that he failed to notice her approach.
“I need you,” she whispered in his ear. “Meet me tonight at the gazebo.”
And like a puff of smoke she was gone again.
Bobby was at the gazebo at sunset. It had been thoroughly cleaned by the servants earlier, and he’d brought soft pillows to recline on, a bottle of champagne chilling in a bucket of ice, and a tray of delicacies to tempt any pallet. He sensed her presence and turned.
She was breath-taking, a vision in a filmy white gown – she was always dressed in white – with the last rays of the setting sun illuminating her from behind.
“You take my breath away,” Bobby said.
“I…I love you. You must know that.”
She glided closer. “Are you sure?” she asked.
“Very sure?” Her lips were just inches from his.
“Very sure,” he breathed.
Their lips met. It was like he was kissing for the very first time. She tasted sweet, like some unnamed fruit. He felt light headed, his heart raced. Bobby staggered back from her, a shaft of pain going through his head. His eyes opened as he sank to the ground, his vision blurry.
“What’s happening to me?”
“Did you think you could use those poor girls with such callous disregard with no consequences? I’m here for them.”
“Who are you?” he gasped with his last breath.
“My full name is Belladonna. My kiss is death.”
But Bobby was no longer able to hear her.
She stared down for a moment at his cooling corpse. “There are always consequences.” Spreading her dark wings, she vanished from the earthly plain.
Thanks for reading! Feel free to submit your poems/stories for the week in the comments if you’d like. And check back Monday for new writing prompts!