Archetypical Moments

There are many sentences that suggest stories, and that is a quality I’m always seeking.  One of my favorites (which I have already shared some time ago) was, “Standing at the kitchen window late at night….”  Such a potent moment.  The night is well advanced.  The narrator is not asleep, but up and restless.  The kitchen is a spot of safety and homey welcome, but the window looks out on darkness.  What lurks out in the darkness or in the imagination of this sleepless person, up so late?  It’s a moment of being alone, not with.  Anything might happen.

Maybe I’m looking for archetypical moments.  There are certainly many of those moments we’ve all lived through when we stood on the edge of a cliff, hoping not to fall, but to sprout wings instead:

–Waiting to go into the job interview, performance review, or meeting with the chief.
–Watching your doctor hesitate, lick her lips, and exhale before she told you the news.
–Taking that phone call you could not avoid.
–Closing the door on your childhood home for the last time.
–Signing up for a creative writing course online that might be a horrible mistake.
–Retiring.
–Trying to catch your breath after your spouse says, “We need to talk.”
–Standing at the kitchen window, late at night….

Where did you go from there?

19 responses to “Archetypical Moments

  1. I sit in the mammography room, reading my book, waiting for the technician to come back and say, as always, “Everything’s fine, you can go.” Instead, I wait and wait. When the technician returns, the radiologist accompanies her. The radiologist has a sheet of paper in her hands.

  2. The first, a letter, begins: “Greetings,”

    The second, a telegram, begins, “We regret to inform you…”

    • I’ve become suspicious of any letters that begin with the word ‘greetings’. At least the telegram gets to the point quicker.

      • My age is showing. Back isn’t heady, draft notices began, “greetings…”

        With that, you can guess the second.

      • Wow. Apple products are supposed to be intuitive, but mine certainly was intuiting wrongly. I wrote “back in the day” and look what happened.

    • Ain’t technology grand? I guess we can’t rely on it as much as we’d like. We must be about the same age because I understood your references perfectly.

  3. It’s time for the yearly review at work and my pay raise depends on how good the company thinks you did, the rules you have to meet are high.
    My lack of confidence is high and I and the oldest worker in the store. Pam takes me out on the bench in front of the building. I hope that is a good sign. The mall is full of people walking by anyone can hear us talk. She hand me a sheet of paper is it not pink. That may be good too.

  4. writing a story, thinking it is good and correct. then posting it and seeing the few miss spelled or words you wrote wrong. Oh well life is not always fair sorry. we do need to look many time before we hit send.

  5. Perspiring heavily in his ankle length vestments on that still August morning, the minister gently placed two long stemmed red roses atop the bronze casket.

    “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

  6. “It’s a girl! And she’s beautiful.”

  7. Having a shopper talk to you in their language and expect you to understand what they say.

  8. You retrieve your shoes and laptop from the plastic tray and look back to see where your carry on is. Three TSA agents stare intently at the xray screen, then look at you.

  9. navigatorswalk

    Recycled from Ann’s previous prompt a few years back, sorry it’s semi-long:

    Standing in the kitchen, late at night, the breeze from the open window above the sink fluttered the white linen curtains as she stared out into the darkness. She rubbed the chill bumps on her arms as her mind was a million miles away. Her hand reached to where her long dark hair tickled her barely covered breast as the breeze blew past her.

    Sleep eluded her. Her eyes were tired but her mind was awake with thoughts she shouldn’t have. She returned to the bedroom where he was still sleeping that sound sleep that a man recently satisfied sleeps. She kneels beside the bed and watches him, her love since junior high and her love for life. She gently runs her fingers through his hair and breaths in his scent, she never wanted to forget his scent. A tear ran down her cheek and joined the others as they dampened the bed sheet.

    She had been through this before, she can get through it again. She was ashamed of herself for having the doubts and wondering what if it all turned out different this time. She rubbed the chilled bumps as she climbed back into bed. Sleep finally came, and came hard.

    She awoke to a room full of sunshine, and the smell of frying bacon. She jumped up, and ran to the kitchen where he stood at the stove. He looked at her and smiled, “Now that’s a vision I will never forget.” She looks down to see that her thin nightgown had fallen off her right breast. She couldn’t believe that she felt the warmth of embarrassment rise in her ears. He took the bacon off the fire and walked over to her, cupping her bare breast in his hand. She wrapped her arms around his neck and held him tight, so tight that maybe, just maybe, it would be tight enough to fuse them together.

    Their embrace was interrupted by a honking horn in their driveway, “My rides here, I love you with all my heart, and I will come home as soon as I can.” With that he embraced her once again and turned to leave. He picked up his duffle bag, and walked though the door to join the rest of his platoon as they headed to war.

    He turned and looked back at his house, the last image that he carried with him was her standing at the kitchen window, the morning breeze warmed by the morning sun fluttering the white linen curtains. She was standing there holding her long dark hair as it tickled her exposed breast. With that image in his mind, he knew he could make it through hell and high water in order to get back to her.

  10. I suddenly realized I was on the priest’s side of the confessional.

  11. Mountain Girl

    Holding your eight month old daughter in your arms you listen to the white-coated surgeon with a stethescope around his neck. He informs you that with open-heart surgery her chances of survival are 50-50 but without she will die before she turn three.

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