Saturday Writing Club Week 6

An image of red roses with the text: Writing Club Week 6 Sources.

Each Saturday, I will give a few thoughts about writing, and a writing prompt.

If you want to take part, write your story in response to the prompt, and put the link to your story in the comments below. (Don’t have a space online to publish your story? *You can get a free WordPress site here.)

Initially, I plan to do this for six weeks. If the response is good, I’m happy to keep it going long-term.

Note: I use examples from my own books, so I don’t have to worry about copyright issues.

Writing Club Week 6 Sources

There’s all kinds of ways to find topic to write about. One of them is the “what if?”

Take something real, and ask “what if…?”

If you read a news story about a man who killed someone and claimed the murder victim was the devil, and ask: “What if the killer isn’t nuts? What if the person killed really was the devil? What if this killer actually saved the world?” There’s an exciting story in there.

The following story began with instructions for a test ordered by my doctor.  I read the instructions and thought: “I wonder how that could go wrong?”

Here We Go Lupie Loo

Mia sat, looking at the sample jar in her hand.  She knew why the rheumatologist wanted to test how severe the inflammation in her gut was, she was just not sure how to accomplish task at hand.

At the pathology collection centre, they suggested she defecate on toilet paper, and collect it from there.  All very well, but how did one do that in practice?

“Today’s indignities brought to you courtesy of lupus,” she said to herself.

She put the jar on the floor, and folded a wad of toilet paper, probably more than needed, but she couldn’t be too careful. If things got out of hand, this could get very messy.

She tried reaching around her back. Her arm wasn’t long enough.  After years of having to take steroids, she was double her pre-diagnosis weight.  Reaching around her enlarged body, with arthritic shoulders and hands, was not ever going to happen. So, it would be between the legs.  She bent forward and positioned her toilet paper where she hoped was the right place.

Throughout the day, she’d heard the ominous rumble of internal thunder, and felt the talons of inflammation ripping at her insides. Trying to catch flying shrapnel from a major explosion was a real possibility.

Gingerly, she released her sphincter.

The expected explosion didn’t happen.  It was surprisingly docile.  She pulled her prize forward and looked at it.  For a moment she imagined a lab tech somewhere testing samples of this all day.  For a brief moment, she felt sorry for this person.

Holding the paper as far from her body as possible, she leaned down to pick up the jar with the other hand.

Now, she had a sample jar, with a little spoon attached to the inside of the lid in one hand and a pile of poo on a piece of toilet paper in the other. 

The next step had to be to open the lid. She tried to hold the jar with two fingers from the hand that was holding the paper, to unscrew the lid with the other hand.  It wouldn’t turn. Of course, the joints in her fingers weren’t just stiff and sore, they were also weak.

MiaMia balanced the paper wad on her thigh, so as to be able to use two hands to open the jar.  The lid would not turn.  There was no way she was going to call out for help in this situation, so she put all the strength she could manage into turning the lid.

Suddenly the lid and jar came apart, the lid flew out of her hands, she almost caught it, but it bounced off her fingertips and landed between her feet.

Without thinking, she bent down to pick up lid.  That, of course, led to her breast being pressed into the sample on her thigh. “Well that’s just great,” she said, “only a lupie could poo on her own boob.” That would mean having to do a load of wash, and have a shower, both activities combined being enough to leave her needing a three or four hour rest to recover.

At last she was able to scoop the sample into the jar and seal it, before beginning to clean up.

“If this test doesn’t prove anything useful…” Mia began to say to herself.  But then she realised:   no matter what the result, she would continue to do every stupid, unpleasant and undignified test any of her doctors told her to do.  She would continue to take every dangerous and toxic drug her doctors told her to take.  

In the end the choice was simple.  There was only one thing worse the tests and the drugs – that was not having them. Lupus, she was absolutely sure, was invented by a demented demon in the sulphuric depths of hell; and the demon’s cousin invented the tests and treatments. (“Here We Go Lupie Loo” in Patchwork.)

This Week’s Task

Choose something ordinary. It could be a news story. It could be something that happens in your normal day. Now ask the question: “What if…” What if there’s more going on than meets the eye? What if the person on the news isn’t a person at all, but an alien? What if the Prime Minister has actually been kidnapped and that person on the television is an actor taking his place? What if my lovely friend who came over for coffee is secretly a highly paid, ruthless assassin? What if my cat doesn’t just think he rules the world, but actually does? There’s a million “What ifs” you could ask about everything every day.

Write your story. Put the link in the comments below this post, and explain what your everyday event was, and what the “what if” question you asked yourself about it was. Don’t have a website to publish your work on to give a link? *You can set up a free WordPress site here.


*Disclosure: If you use this link to create an account, I receive WordPress credit..

By Iris Carden

Iris Carden is an Australian indie author, mother, grandmother, and chronic illness patient. On good days, she writes. Because of the unpredictability of her health, she writes on an indie basis, not trying to meet deadlines. She lives on a disability support pension now, but her ultimate dream is to earn her own living from her writing.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: