This is the second exercise from Brian Kiteley. This one was even more challenging than the first one, and I’m starting to get suspicious that the prompts get harder and harder. I have a feeling I should stop complaining about difficulty because I have no idea what is waiting for me. My fiction muscles are so flabby and I have just enrolled them in boot camp. Good thing I’m not one to back down from a challenge. The prompt and story follow:
Writing Prompt: Write a fragment of a story that is made up entirely of imperative commands: Do this; do that; contemplate the rear end of the woman who is walking out of your life. This exercise will be a sort of second-person narration (a you is implied in the imperative). 500 words
The Bitter Imperative
Slam down that third shot of whiskey and admit that you’re distracting yourself. Start several threads of insulting small talk conversations that fall as flat as your abs in were your twenties. Pad those abs with a few more stale pretzels before destroying the whiskey in one swallow. Drink away your guilt, it’s such an unattractive emotion anyway.
Order a fourth before the third has time to reach your stomach and slam that one down like it’s supposed to save your life. Cough repeatedly into the crook of your arm, because shame never goes down smoothly. Make some innocuous slurring comment about the Dallas Cowboys like nothing has happened between us. Beat around the bush until you run out of breath, because that’s just the kind of guy you are.
Abandon me at the bar to put a Hank Williams Jr. song on the jukebox. Ask the bulbous-haired woman who is too old to wear that miniskirt to dance. Feel your dirty face light up as she takes your hand like you’re at the fucking prom. Remember that neither of you are innocent enough to look that happy. Twirl her around in sloppy circles and pretend you’re both not completely shitfaced.
Sit down right the fuck next to me with a smile on your fucking face. Give me some hope, by inviting me out tonight, that you respect me enough to talk to me man to man about what happened. Instead, only act like I exist for a few minutes at a time, you courteous shit. Have another casual conversation with me like you didn’t sleep with my wife and lie to me about it.
Don’t you dare look me in the eye.
Turn back to the new love-of-your-next-2-hours and whisper something to her that makes her blush. Take your tongue out of her throat at some point, jesus, we’re not nineteen anymore. Give me a thumbs up behind her back like a backstabbing moron. Continue to feel whatever’s left of your soul seeping out of your body. Wave farewell to that soul fragment along with our twenty five year friendship.
Stumble out the door with your drunken drooling slut in tow, and run her into the wall as you leave. Don’t look back, she’s probably fine. Oh, and go ahead and leave me with the tab. Just be the biggest asshole that I can imagine right now.
Sober up tomorrow and come over and tell my children what you did so I don’t have to. Don’t make me face them, knowing what I know about you. Look at their pure faces and teach them that the world feels like a knife in your back, and all the people they love are going to hurt them. You sit them down and tell them that you’re the reason their mother moved out.
Actually, just suit it more to your style and sleep with as many women in a week that it takes for you to forget that there are consequences to your actions. Don’t bother to notice that you have now lost me. Don’t worry about the fact that I will never talk to you again. Make me wonder why the hell I ever agreed to meet you here in the first place.
“Give me another whiskey, please?”