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Day 11- Play with Perspective & Time by Neha Mediratta

One of the joys of writing is to create characters that can ‘see’ what has come in the way of what they want.

StoryADay Prompt Illustration

The Prompt

“I twisted my ankle and hobbled about for a decade. After years of doctor’s visits, therapy sessions, medications, this and that, I came to believe that I’d been cursed and would likely limp to my grave. Until I met you, I didn’t know curses could turn into blessings.”

Use this line anywhere in a short story of about 1500 words.

Might help to brainstorm a few things like: Who would say this? To whom? a mentor? a child? a magician? a stranger on a train? a turtle? a millionaire who’s about to be murdered or a pauper who’s about to get rich?

Reflect on a time when something happened that you thought was the worst thing ever, only to find out later that it was not so bad. In fact, as time went by, it seemed the best thing to have happened.

One of the joys of writing is to create characters that can ‘see’ what has come in the way of what they want. Oftentimes, it is an aspect of themselves, not merely the forces around, that throws them into chaos, pulling them away from the very thing they desire.

As a writer, you have the power to enable readers to map this type of ‘seeing’. Readers walk away from your work not only entertained, but subtly equipped with a new way of looking at their own lives.

StoryADay Bingo Day 11
Here’s your next Bingo Piece. Download the pic, print it out and paste it onto your bingo sheet. Then share a picture of it on social media with #storyadaybingo

Neha Mediratta

Neha is a generalist currently obsessed with stretching, mind-body-world connection and the spirit’s dwelling place. She writes fiction, non-fiction, takes on editing assignments she enjoys and works with people she admires. She lives by a lake in an overcrowded coastal city with her family and some wildlife. Check out her writing here: https://www.amazon.com/Neha-Mediratta/e/B08CJSLD2H

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!

20 thoughts on “Day 11- Play with Perspective & Time by Neha Mediratta”

  1. This rough draft turned out really long and I’m not thrilled with the ending, however, I did create a scenario where perspective shifted, and feel satisfied with the concept.

    Eleven days. =)

    I had the day off of work, walked and talked with a friend and we went to a coffee house to write for a while. Taking time for this has been very worthwhile.

  2. 1454 word draft. I wrote about a woman who suffered a heart attack, but her mastiff runs out to the highway, risks his own life, and attracts the help of a mother and her girls headed for a picnic. When the woman recovers slowly, living by herself far from town is no longer an option, and she has to sell her plot. The family had taken in the big dog, even though the husband doesn’t like dogs. The girls showed an amazing willingness to take care of this animal, and they have become more helpful all around. The husband, who is a geographer, has been studying dune erosion, and he could tell that the woman’s place had lost a big chunk of her land. In the end, I just used the Until I met you. sentence. Even though the woman gashes her foot on a matic as she goes down, her wound heals. So, I looked at the dynamic of change between the husband, mom and girls. An evolving friendship is the blessing.

  3. Today I found a half-written story in my files about adult twins, a brother and sister, who were alienated. I finished that story, then went back and worked on the first ten days of May. Some of those stories, written from May 1 to 10, were finished, but others were not. Now they are all finished, but, of course, they are still first drafts. Happy to be all caught up. For now.

    I did a retelling of “Cinderella” on May 4 and was surprised when the fairy godmother showed up as a Swedish tomte.

    I don’t understand the Bingo thingy.

    1. I LOVE the fairy godmother as a tomte.

      And well done for finishing off all those stories.

      Re; Bingo: there’s a game board you can print out and tokens to print out and paste on everyday, if that kind of thing keeps you motivated. Just a bit of fun.

  4. I used the idea of the prompt but not the exact wording because the voice did not sound like the character I needed to use it for. She also had two major life regrets, only one of which does she eventually realize was a blessing.

  5. I wrote 878 words. The story is about two sisters. I wrote the story in first person from the older sister’s POV. Placed into foster care at the age of eight, she was mistreated and abused. In her teens she turned to alcohol and drugs. A loving family adopted the younger sister and she wasn’t aware that she had a sister. As part of the older sister’s recovery, she looks for her sister. When she finds her, they agree to meet for lunch. Over the course of the next few weeks, they grow closer, and the story ends with the prompt.

  6. I wrote in the 1st person about the time I broke my foot. Only the very last part of the story is fiction. 1300 words. Thanks for an interesting prompt.

  7. I wasn’t sure how I would use this prompt, so I ended up using the second part of it(starting with “I came to believe…”) and the curse and “limping to the grave” was used more figuratively because Smith had let a lot of people make xem feel xe was “wrong”, which led to a lot of rough times for xem. The only person who hadn’t made xem feel that way was Lee. I didn’t think I’d even make it to 1500, but I managed 5 more than that.

    Excerpt from the end of the story:
    “My own mother can’t even love me as I am. Why would you?”
    “Because your mother has never really seen you. I might not be able to relate to everything you’ve gone through, but I do know what that’s like. You deserve love as much as anyone else, and I’m giving mine to you. All you have to do is accept it.”
    Smith looked to be battling back tears, but xe was losing the fight. “I tried to make it go away. Any way I could. Everyone said there was something wrong with me, and I believed them. I came to believe that I’d been cursed and would likely limp to my grave. Until I met you, I didn’t know curses could turn into blessings.”
    “You aren’t cursed,” Lee said.
    Smith reach out and touched their face. “When you say that I can almost believe it.”
    Then, Lee would keep saying it over and over until Smith saw it as the truth it was.

    1. You are so good at creating characters we can care about. Even this little bit made me emotional!

  8. I love writing and I am surprised at myself for finishing the last part of the story in a park. The story extended the word limit though by 59 words but I am not writing for a Contest.
    Here is the story :
    The Miracle of A Frienship Renewed :
    “Ladies and gentlemen, that was CHITRA SEN casting her spell on you with one of her mesmerizing, solo dance performances. Her life story of grit and determination will inspire millions the world over and teach them how one can overcome all hardships and challenges, if one has the WILL… ” The MC went on amidst thunderous clappings and applause in the jam-packed auditorium.

    As soon as Chitra was back in the Green Room there was a knock on the door. It was Siddharth with that infectious smile on his face.
    “You’ve done it, My Love,” he said before going down on his knees. Chitra saw what she had been visualising all these years since her first meeting with Siddharth, coming at last.
    Like the magician he was, he prouduced a red rose from nowhere and proclaimed :
    “Ms.Chitra Sen, the greatest, the best and the most charming of the contemporary classical dancers, my best friend and soulmate, will you be my wife?”
    Chitra smiled down at him as her mind raced to those early days at Dover Lane……..

    Chitra was eighteen when her father, Anik came back home after superannuation. He had worked at HCL as a Site Supervisor for close to thirty-four years. Though Chitra had done her early schooling in the care of her father, she completed her HS from Anik’s ancestral home in Kolkata.
    Anik found his daughter vastly changed and aloof on his return. She would go to bed quite late into the night. On a couple of occasions, on waking up in the middle of the night, Gautam found Chitra intently lost in her mobile. Lying flat on her back, she held the phone close to her face, her eyes reflecting the light from the screen.

    First time he noticed her going to bed late, he raised hell. He made her sit up, called for an explanation and gave her a piece of his mind. When things were really getting dicey, Meera, his wife, who had been making faces at her husband all the while, got up and tried to defend her daughter.

    Not only did she go to bed late, she woke up late as a result.
    “Our parents taught us the benefits of early-rising,” he tried arguing with his daughter but she was a very stubborn girl.
    “Baba, most of my friends go to bed late these days. We prefer to study late at night when it is peaceful and easy to concentrate. Things have changed drastically since the days of your parents and the earlier you accept the truth, the better it will be for you.

    Fact was, she had a readymade answer for everything that Anik threw her way. She was the laziest girl he had seen and there was no point talking to her about her bad habits. She never lent a hand to either of her parents unless asked to, occasionally went to college when she felt like, and spent her days and nights lying in bed, glued to her mobile.
    Initially, Anik yelled at, quarrelled and fought with her, but finally he had to give up.

    Anik gave up when Chitra had to be hospitalized for close to a fortnight. It all happened very abruptly. Being clumsy by nature, she wasn’t physically fit. The previous night the fight between father and daughter had reached new heights. Anik, in the heat of the moment, smacked her hard and in the process, her right knee hit a corner of the bed. Being obstinate by nature, all Chitra did, with tears welling up in her eyes, was to retire to her corner and vent out:
    “I hate to call you my father. I wish I had somewhere else to go.. ”
    When she woke up next morning, she stumbled down while heading to the toilet. Anik rushed to her aid from the other room. When he lifted her back on her feet and helped her towards the toilet, Chitra started limping awkwardly. She was in great pain as she had twisted her ankle. And when she fell down backwards a couple of days later, Anik rushed her to the nearest hospital.
    After innumerable blood tests and exrays, the doctors pronounced her to be a victim of accute arthritis. The docs even told him to let Chitra be, not to pressurise her as it would slow down her recovery. Anik couldn’t believe it! The daughter who looked otherwise healthy underwent a terrifying change with all those knee-caps tied around her knees and all!

    It was only then that Anik gave up on his daughter. He took her to various doctors though, spent a huge sum to have her walking normally again. But neither the medicines, nor the therapeutic sessions with the physios helped her much.

    Meera had been livid since the accident and held her husband responsible for Chitra’s conditions. She even took Chitra to her parents and stayed with them for long! Things came to such a pass that the couple contemplated on a divorce and finally, after two decades of staying together, parted their ways.
    Chitra was so shaken up by the whole incident that she inwardly started looking at herself as an ill-fated, cursed child, who would die a spinster and limp all the way to her grave.

    It was at around this time she met Siddharth at her father’s. She had gone there for getting her documents when she saw the dashing, young man sitting across her father at the coffee-table on the terrace. Anik was roaring at a joke or something that the young man must have cracked.
    “Hi, Chitra, good to see you. How is Life?”
    “Good,” Chitra replied in a monosyllable as usual before fixing her eyes on the stranger.
    “Meet Siddharth, the son of Sushant Uncle. Remember him?” Anik told her following her gaze.
    The mention of Sushant Uncle brought a flood of memories. To cut a long story short, Siddharth and Chitra were childhood buddies till he left for Pune when he joined the Army.
    Siddharth, in the meantime, rose from the chair and stretched out his hand.
    “Look at you, Lady! Am I to believe my eyes!”
    That’s how a frienship was renewed. Siddharth and Chitra grew so fond of each other that soon he was to visit her at her grandparent’s.
    It was there on a rainy, stormy afternoon that Siddharth, having noticed her limping for the first time, asked her :
    “What happened to your dream of being a dancer, Chitra?”
    The suddenness of the question took Chitra by surprise. She scrutinized his face closely before replying,” Most of our dreams are not meant to be realised, Siddharth.”
    “What rubbish! Look at me! I always wanted to be an Army Officer like my father, and here I am sitting in front of you as one.”
    “Is that true? Congrats, Siddharth. I’m so happy for you.” Chitra answered while recalling the day when he had told her about his dream first.
    “Thanks. Doesn’t my being an Army Officer call for some sort of celebrations, Chitra? I’ve already talked to your granny and she doesn’t mind me taking you to a movie tonight.”
    “Are you kidding? Don’t you know that I am a cripple?” Chitra asked him with her head bent low.
    “You, a cripple? What makes you think so? Because you limp while walking? You weren’t born with it! How did you start limping in the first place?” He asked in genuine curiosity.
    “You know, I am a good-for-nothing. I am neither good-looking nor physically strong like girls of my age. I fall sick at the drop of a hat and my immunity system is very poor. It is better for me to die but dying isn’t in my hands or is it?” She looked absolutely devasted at that moment.
    “Darn you,” Siddharth couldn’t control himself. “I’s the weakling in the family. I couldn’t stand the rain or sunshine. When I fell sick oftener, I knew I’d to do something to survive in this life. I did the unthinkable. Defying the doctor’s advise, I started getting drenched in heavy rains. I underwent a sea-change in due course of time. If you want to live life on your own terms, forget about your weak immune system and start working on a new you.”
    Siddharth left early that evening. He called headiffice the same night to have his leave extended for a month, and arranged a meeting of Chitra with the renowned dancer, Monali Shankar at Gautam’s place. On the penultimate day of his extended leave, when he saw Chitra dance after a long time under Monali’s guidance, Siddharth’s happiness knew no bounds.

    She was a gifted dancer – Chitra certainly was. The shine he saw in her eyes as he was taking his leave of her, was something to be cherished for the rest of his life.
    Just as he was coming out, Chitra walked up to him without a care for her limp or anything and whispered :
    “”I twisted my ankle and hobbled about for a decade. After years of doctor’s visits, therapy sessions, medications, this and that, I came to believe that I’d been cursed and would likely limp to my grave. Until I met you, I didn’t know curses could turn into blessings.”

    She stood up on her toes to kiss Siddharth on his lips then.

    1. I am so happy that you are getting to let your inner writer out to play. And congrats for keeping up for 11 days. That’s huge!

  9. This was a great prompt. I didn’t think I would be able to incorporate the prompt into the story, so I just started writing and suddenly there was a perfect place for it to be. This is definitely a story I want to come back to later.

  10. 1004-word story completed using the phrase provided about how childhood sibling rivalry resulted in a lucky outcome for one person at one of those ghastly corporate team-building weekends in Wales. Good prompt. Thanks for the ideas each day!

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