Tag Archives: RFP

RFP10: Spring Sadness

spring mountain meadow flowers

Welcome to my Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s work with a Spring theme. It doesn’t need to be upbeat; not all Spring days have happy connotations, so go with whatever you feel. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. My poem is below and I look forward to reading your work. Note: there will be no RFPs in April due to the A-Z challenge.

Spring Sadness

Today I pass the date
My father died;
He liked to do the puzzle
In the New York Times.
Tomorrow is the anniversary
Of my second marriage;
Though full of promise
And a unique understanding,
It disintegrated
Under the press of life.
April 12 marks Dad’s birthday–
I used to bake him brownies.
April 13 is the day my mother died.
We had only 4 short months,
From diagnosis to death,
But no amount of time
Would have been enough
To prepare for her absence.
And my birthday comes
A few short weeks later,
Tick tock ticktock.
Mother’s Day, Mom’s Birthday…
They’re linked together
In a chain of sorrows.

Please forgive me if I do not
Celebrate the Spring rites,
The soft, gentle breeze,
Happy sprouting daffodils,
Chocolate bunnies in a basket.
This season of rebirth,
Reminding us of the Earth,
Holds my unshed tears
In the warmer air
With a higher dewpoint.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP9: Sunflower

Woman hat sunflower field summer

Welcome to my Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s work with a sunflower theme. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. My haiku is below and I look forward to reading your work.

Resilient beauty
Scatter your seeds on the wind
You will rise again

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP8: Last Look

Man walking beach rocks mist clouds

Welcome to my Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s work with the theme of last look ~ check out this list of last lines from novels to grab inspiration or use your favorite last line from a song or movie. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. My contribution is below and I look forward to reading your work.

Last Look

He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)


Some create men from monsters;
I created a monster from a man.
My poisoned kiss transformed his skin
Into armor, brittle and cold,
Destruction jolting through his hands.
My toxic needs released his beasts,
Animal instincts morphing into madness,
Twisting his reflection into a fiendish visage
He could not countenance.
Running barefoot onto gelid sand,
He glanced back,
A last look of longing,
But I hardened my gaze,
Arranging my face into a mask
Of indifference.
I felt nothing as the hungry sea
Swallowed their consolation prize
Unconditionally.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.


RFP7: Secret Admirer

happy hour
Pegasus moon
secret admirer

Welcome to my Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s use the above public domain pics for inspiration. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. My contribution is below and I look forward to reading your work.

Secret Admirer

This morning I received another note. Unlike the previous missives that had contained schmaltzy poetry and vague declarations of undying admiration, this one was escalated to a meeting suggestion. I felt a tingling curiosity, even though I knew it could be a trap. What were the odds that a random stranger was really in love with me, and, more importantly, that I would find them the least bit attractive? I would have better odds searching the skies for a unicorn in flight, right?

But as the hours slogged on, I found myself distracted from work and actually considering meeting my “secret admirer” at the local bar, as they had asked. I mean, it would be crowded in there, so nothing bad would happen. We’d simply meet, discover we had no chemistry, and say bye forever. So why bother then? I returned my attention to my crypto-coding assignment, trying to focus on the task at hand. But when 4pm rolled around, I said the heck with it, showered, and found something appropriate to wear to happy hour.

As per my usual caution, I circled the block before parking at the bar to ensure none of the silver vans were nearby. My supervisor had assured me that my work was completely anonymous, this time, but after that fiasco in Zurich, I had decided to take responsibility for my own safety. Even if this “secret admirer” thing turned out to be a setup, I was prepared. Overly prepared, some might say, but I would not say that. In any case, I was now pretty sure the note-writer was my downstairs neighbor, who came and went at odd times, but was a perfectly harmless artist. It would be interesting to meet, especially since they knew exactly what I looked like, but I’d only caught a glimpse of them once, their arms full of canvases.

I smiled and walked inside.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP6: Mashup

Gingerbread house

Welcome to my Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s create a mashup. My story below is a mashup of “Hansel & Gretel” by the Brothers Grimm with the Hannibal Lecter character from author Thomas Harris. (I published it previously in my book Burnt Offerings.) You can mash up whatever you like… tv shows, stories, songs, etc., to create an original work. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. I look forward to reading your work.

Sugar Shack

He’s heard the rumors, sure, and it takes him a few days to work up his nerve. Standing in a clearing, feeling the sun’s warmth on his pate, he observes the small cottage. Pastel roof tiles of aqua, pink, and lemon gleam like glazed candies, while cream-colored stucco glitters in whorls, reminiscent of icing upon a cake. She rebuilt the house, they said, using insurance money received after a kitchen fire. Her aunt apparently perished in the blaze. Sad. Ovens can be tricky, he knows. A shadow floats behind the curtained window, and, determined, he trudges onward, away from the damp, dark forest. Grass crunches beneath his boots, and he smiles down at its ever-resilient sharp greenness. His senses tingle now, his spine sizzling with anticipation, hunger even. Oh, it has been too long, he realizes as he touches her porch railing. It’s sticky, smelling faintly of licorice.

“Yes?” she says with a doughy smile.

Her plump blondeness pleases him. She’s wearing a sky blue short-sleeved dress, and the pale flesh of her arms looks inviting, popping fresh. “Hallo,” he says. “I’m your neighbor from across the way.” He gestures vaguely toward the trees.

“Ah. That would be the grey house then?”

“That’s the one.” He proffers the package. “I brought you a gift. Hope it’s okay. You never know what will offend people these days.”

“Chianti,” she says. “Lovely. Thank you.”

He beams. “You’re very welcome. I’m rather new in the area myself. Wouldn’t mind making a friend, as it were.”

“Of course.” Looking him over, she nods. “Won’t you come in? Perhaps for a cup of tea, or we could even open the wine. Must be five o’clock somewhere.”

Chuckling at her little joke, he says, “I’d be honored, my dear.”

“I’m Greta, by the way.” She licks her lips as he steps inside. “What’s your name?”

“Hannibal.” He shuts the door behind him.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP5: Culture

Questions

Welcome to the Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s work with the theme of culture. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. I’m sharing a poem I wrote a while ago for Medium, and I look forward to reading your work.

Culturally Irrelevant

I don’t know what the Mandalorian is —
Something from outer space?
Everyone is talking about it
And the thing is… I asked once,
And was told, but I already forgot.
I’m not saying this to be pompous,
Like I’m too good for television, darling…
I shall be listening to classical music whilst
Perusing sonnets and nibbling on caviar crackers.
No, I’m more likely to be reading a trashy romance,
While eating caramel popcorn
And rocking out on the imaginary yacht
To Hotel California.
I am not a snob (Nixon voice),
Just mired in the 80s,
Which someone cruelly informed me
Was almost four decades ago. (What?!)
The Rumors album is 43 —
Old enough to be a grandma. Geez!
Stevie Nicks is older than I am —
I watched her lace up her skates
On Tik-Tok, whatever that is.
Why is it different from YouTube?
My spellchecker doesn’t know either
And redlines it with or without a hyphen.
(Now I don’t feel so bad.)
What the hell is an influencer?
And why do they keep getting murdered?
Seems like that’s a hazardous profession,
Like coal mining or auto racing,
Probably can’t get workers comp insurance.
(These are the things that concern me.)
I decided to get current with some TV
And music everyone is talking about,
So I listened to WAP
And read Ben Shapiro’s commentary.
OMG never mind.
I think it’s time for another Christmas romcom
As I embrace my irrelevancy.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP4: Bread Line

bread basket

Welcome to the Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s write about an item on our grocery list ~ how about bread? If that doesn’t work for you, choose another item. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. I’m sharing a poem from my self-published collection Depth Perception, and I look forward to reading your work.

Bread Line

Once your words were fresh
And hot—
Steamy,
Dreamy,
Filled with lots
Of yeasty wheaten goodness—
Rising to occasion,
A verbal consummation.
I stood by your oven
Every day
Waiting
For a taste.

Little by little
Your words grew stale,
Dry and brittle;
There was no dough
Of inspiration,
Only crumbs
Of desperation.
Kitchen turned dark and cold;
No pilot light burned
On your stove.

In an empty wordless world,
I am a silent starving girl.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP3: Elephant

elephants
dandelion fluff
sean connery

Welcome to the Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s use the above public domain pics for inspiration. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. My contribution is below and I look forward to reading your work.

Elephant

Nadine plucked a flower, made a wish for love, and blew her dreams to the wind. Fate would decide whether they’d come true, and in the meantime she’d continue cleaning up elephant poop at the zoo. There were worse things than attending to the needs of a magnificent creature too noble to be left to the whims of the wild. For Eliza was tame and had no fear of people, which was lovely for the paying customers, but not so healthy if Eliza were returned to the savanna. When Nadine stared into the dark pools of Eliza’s sad eyes, she saw the history of human cruelty reflected in their depths.

But one day they brought in a dapper new elephant and named him James Bond. Eliza began spending all her time with James and ignoring Nadine. Was this her wish being granted? Had her dandelion fluff spun around the world and united Eliza and James Bond? Nadine tried to be happy for them, but she no longer felt fulfilled cleaning up after two enormous poop machines and thought there possibly could be something more waiting for her out there, somewhere.

She quit the zoo and bought a plane ticket to Africa. If love hadn’t found its way to Nadine, she would go in search of it. She thought she spied a bit of dandelion fluff floating outside the plane’s window, but it may have just been a trick of light.

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

PS: I will post the RFP at 4am PST from now on so it shows up earlier in the feed.

RFP2: Shelter

Pumpkin house

Welcome to the Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s write about the idea of shelter. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. I’m sharing a piece of flash fiction I wrote a while ago, and I look forward to reading your work.

Shelter

“As you can see, there are many wonderful upgraded features in this gorgeous home!” Grace smiled and swept her arm through the air like the TV models she remembered watching on game shows.

She slowly pirouetted and walked toward the doorway of the smaller adjoining room. “And the owners painted the study a vibrant yellow to complement the lovely morning light. It’s the perfect place to have your coffee and read the newspaper.”

Grace’s voice ricocheted around the unfurnished area. There hadn’t been time to fix everything up properly. “But that’s not a problem,” she said to her clients. “We can easily imagine how fabulous this place will look with your own special touches!”

Her clients didn’t respond. In fact, one toppled off the chair. “Drat,” Grace said, and rearranged the dolls to her liking.

“Good morning, Grace,” her father said, tapping at her door. “Are you playing real estate agent again?”

“Yes, just like when Mommy took me with her.” Grace went silent and rearranged the dolls again.

Her father waited quietly.

“Are we leaving the bomb shelter today, Daddy?” Grace checked her calendar. “It’s been two years, ten months, and eighteen days.”

“Not today, honey.” He turned away. “Maybe tomorrow.”

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

RFP1: Universe of Discourse

Jar stars planets space

Welcome to the Random Friday Prompt! This week, let’s write about the difficulties of connecting with other people. Poems, flash fiction, personal essays… all are welcome, and there is no time limit. I’m sharing a poem from my self-published collection Burnt Offerings, and I look forward to reading your work.

Universe of Discourse

If I sketched our lives
On a snow-white page,
They might form
A Venn diagram: two circles,
Overlapping,
The separate sections filled
With strange dark markings—
Symbols of different languages.
The intersection
Wouldn’t be empty—surely
We have something to share:
How about asterisks
Or question marks?

~*~
©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.