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January's Just Write! 300 Words - Paragraph Prompt

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Writing prompt

After taking a well-deserved break, the 300 Words challenge is back this month! We started off 2017 by putting our own twist on the classic line:

"When a door closes, a window opens . . ."

From Erin:

"When a door closes, a window opens . . ."  I grimaced as I thought of my grandfather giving me this phrase for each failure l I encountered. If only dear old Bops had seen where I would end up. Footsteps echoed down the corridor after the man who had thrown me into the room and bolted the door went to fetch someone a bit more dangerous. Well Bops? The door was open, how about the window? I turned from the steel door and looked around the small room. The window was a good five feet off the ground and quite small. I glanced down with a sigh to my rather voluptuous hips and imagined how much flesh might peel off as I tried to shimmy through. Alas, the only way out was through and there was no way I was sticking around to see what they had in store. As there was nothing but myself for leverage I tore off a strip of my cotton t-shirt and wrapped it around my knuckles, took a deep breath and lunged towards the window at full speed. My fist broke through easily enough though the sound gave me a pause as I knew my time was now limited for escape. I hammered frantically around the outline of the window to clear the glass and once the bottom rim was clear I backed up again, took another flying leap head first, grabbed the bottom ridge and pushed my upper body out with as much strength as I could muster from my arms. I felt as if all my muscles had been pulled. Thankfully I had about a 4 foot drop to a flat roof. I shimmied my hips and ignored the sounds of more glass crunching as I let my wrists slam to contact and my feet drop out of window. Thanks to Bops and his repetitive wisdom I was free.


From Harvey:

When a door closes a window open. And when I sit on the ledge for twenty-seven minutes, mulling my options repeatedly you know it's not a clear decision. My mind is like a Ping-Pong match. First one idea, and then an opposing one.

I have a postcard on my computer of a soldier in East Berlin in 1961 who was helping to put up the initial Berlin Wall, which was then just barbed wire. He looked around and realized he was the only soldier on duty at that moment. His life flashed before him. He knew where this was going. He didn't think about it long. He impulsively flung his rifle away as he jumped the wire and left his old life behind.

I can't decide. The Trump regime has just been in power for two years, give or take a few days. The wall against Mexico is being built. All Muslims are now listed in a registry that is public record. Violence has reached unprecedented levels. And now they want all African Americans registered. Who will be next?

I was recently in Germany and know where this is going. It's not far to the Canadian border. Justin Trudeau is like a warm breeze in the cold north. It is so tempting to just bail this sinking ship and jump onboard their solar fueled catamaran instead of lugging along on our coal fired locomotive that reminds me that we're going back to the 1960's in so many ways.

But there is a rally tomorrow. And we're still allowed to gather, as long as we all sign a registry that is turned in to the government. Go or stay? I never thought it would come to this. Well, I hate lines and the one at the border is so long...

From Bob:

When a door closes a window open. Hearing sounds of spikes being pounded into wood outside my doorway, I turn from looking out the window, cross the room and peer through the peep hole into the hall. Almost simultaneously, a board covers the lookout as echoes bounce throughout my 2nd floor micro apartment signaling that something is terribly wrong. An occasional clang, as the hammer strikes a spike off kilter, attenuates the audio driven cacophonous sensory overload. Yet, this serves as a precise warning of my being confined in the bane of my adult urban existence in downtown Hamsterville.

Walking quickly to the sole double hung window, reminds me that the screen is stuck in place, either due to moisture expansion or errant painting. Using a letter opener from my desk and the pinky finger side of my gently closed fist, I apply pressure and pry my way around the wooden frame of the screen. The bottom opens, but only a bit. Grasping the screen firmly on the sides near the lower corners, I push it farther out from the sill, so it can now be lifted off the hooks.

With the screen now unlocked and freed, I grasp the sides and lift. Without warning, it shakes in the wind, frees itself from my weaker left hand and falls free. In dismay, I grimace, glimpsing the screen’s wind driven acrobatic twists and turns. The screen lands intact with a clunk and a small bounce on the pavement, likely less than 4 - 5 meters below the window sill. No time to waste, my head goes first followed by my twisting torso. Once through, I turn and hold the sill in readiness to drop with hopes of a landing which enables a quick departure from the scene to hide, here goes…
Thank you for reading (and/or participating in) this month's 300 Words, a paragraph prompt challenge featured in our monthly Just Write! enewsletter. If you haven't already, join in the fun and sign up for the Just Write enews so you will always know about our writer groups, resources, classes, activities, and  the like. Tell your friends and write on!
For the next paragraph challenge, let's turn our eyes upward to see what we will see by finishing - in 300 words or less - the line: 
"Looking up into the stormy sky above, s/he tried to find the silver linings of the clouds . . . "
Just email your original response to this line in 300 words or less to Amy at by February 20th to make the next newsletter and blog post! 


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