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Day 3- Limit Spaces by Megan Alongi

StoryADay Prompt Illustration

The Prompt

Write a scene in which your character’s physical space is smaller than usual.

Tips

Maybe the scene will take place in a vehicle.

Perhaps place a limit to one particular room in a house.

A whole dramatic scene could be set in an elevator.

Limits on physical space could be as large as one planet in a solar system or as small as one fairy treehouse.


Megan Alongi

Megan is a writer who lives in New Jersey.

Bingo!

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57 thoughts on “Day 3- Limit Spaces by Megan Alongi”

  1. A day late, but I finally finished “Tiny Girl”! 1016 words…about 50 minutes of writing.

  2. Went with a cave for this prompt… a rather heart-pounding scenario wherein two are stuck in the small recess as a result of the third in their party lying unconscious, (perhaps lethally) injured, and also very much stuck at the mouth of the cave. The mouth is too small for the two living companions to fit through while the third is stuck there. So there they are, crouched and weary, plotting their next move.

  3. I had a long travel day yesterday so didn’t get to write to this prompt On THE Day. I did brainstorm ideas at the hotel in the morning, and then on the plane, and I think what I came up with is pretty cool. I’ve made a note to myself so I don’t forget the idea for later. Thanks!

      1. A couple of days late and catching up. I decided since I’m so far behind, I timed my writing to a 10-minute sprint and finished with 375 words. I went with the space limited by a closing in feeling that sometimes you get when you’re trying to meet a deadline. It went fairly well. Next day 4. I will catch up by tomorrow.

  4. I had a busy day, so I only wrote about half of the story. Still, at 1300 words, I’m not too disappointed. It’s a good start and I’ll flesh it out fully at a later time.

  5. “Unwrapping” each daily prompt is fun! I love this! 1700 words of a judgement free zone rough draft. Start to finish, not overthinking it, just celebrating the completion of another story.

    When I have time, I do enjoy reading the comments. It’s fascinating to me how many different directions a prompt can go. =)

  6. I took a tip from someone’s comment I read yesterday, they said they read the prompt in the morning and then go about their other tasks, coming back to find out what their brain has come up with when they write later on, and I really enjoyed doing it that way!
    I used a balcony as the limited space, and on the balcony was two witches. One witch had been framed as an evildoer in her youth by her community and wrongly driven out by the other witch (a traveling justice-dealing type). The wronged witch has blocked the other’s access to her powers in order to get revenge, but she’s underestimated her opponent and they end up negotiating. Captured witch offers amends, wronged witch insists only punishment will do. They part ways unsatisfied, and the wronged witch finds her way to another who was wrongly driven out of the community of her youth, who says, look, you can forgive or not forgive, but in the meantime your life is precious, and it doesn’t have to be on hold anymore. Stay with me a while if you like…
    It’s a very rough draft, with many “CHARACTER DOES X SOMEHOW” breaks, and as of now doesn’t stay on the balcony the whole time, but it was really fun 🙂

  7. It’s taken most of the day, picking here and there between other commitments, to finish, but another one’s in the bank. I chose to use a crowded subway car and a claustrophobic, pregnant woman to illustrate the “smaller space” referred to in the prompt.

  8. This one was fun! I think I’ve done the best today! Here’s a quick except of my story where a group of friends is in a small meeting room going through old videos when they come across an unknown one that reveals more than what meets the eye about one of the character’s backstory.

    “They were just fooling around and Wyatt turned around and just shoved him off the edge…”
    Kaylee and Johnathan were staring at Paige with wide eyes now and S sat in the back grinning.
    “Paige…” Kaylee threatened. “What the hell is this about?!”
    “Uh…” Paige’s eyes darted around the small room. He hadn’t been ready to share his past with his newer friends.
    The frame changed again and Kaylee and Johnathan whipped around to face a zoomed in picture of Wyatt pushing a boy off the roof. But what was even more clear was Paige standing right next to Wyatt.
    “Paige!” Johnathan yelled, turning to face him. “Did you kill someone?!”

  9. Day 3 FUN — I don’t know where exactly it’s going yet though. It’s taking place in an elevator in Paris . A woman and a man (Plus a dog and packages). What I realized is I don’t like writing scenes when it’s one persons’ will fighting against the others … (She wanted to get to her apt on the 6th floor ASAP for a bathroom stop.) He wanted to take his time getting to his 4th floor. He was rejected by her the week before – he was still feeling rejected. I need to reach a little deeper into a more interesting story.

    1. Turns out, elevator stories are super intriguing to me! Characters can get a little stressed 🙂

    2. Oh! Flashback to the world’s tiniest elevator in a Paris hotel! Claustrophobics need not book in there!

  10. Oh this was so hard. I’m really struggling to write with much drama, to connect to feelings at the moment. Ongoing inner workings happening no doubt!

    Anyway, my beloved rabbit left us for Rainbow Bridge early in April. I miss her so much. I’ve tried to write this from a rabbits perspective… limited words… what kind of vocab does a rabbit have? (I’m still traumatised from watching Watership Down 35 odd years ago!!!)

    She and some others were rescues. She snuck into my heart though and is still there. It is untitled…

    “……Slowly over time, I started to listen to the One. I could never understand the talky noises, but I could understand the other things from inside the One. I’m not sure rabbits have a word for the pictures from inside.

    The One thought often of the house I was in and they felt bad that it was so small. It’s why I spent a lot of time in the wire cage on the grass I think.

    One by one, all my friends stopped running. And each time, the One was so upset. It was just the way of things – they were all struggling to keep running when we came from Before.

    I remember the house. And how small it was. I remember not being able to run, to stretch. To binky. The wire room felt better, but I knew it wasn’t home.

    One day there was much activity. Lots of large wooden bits arrived. The One came down the garden and with a few other type Ones started moving and making noises and fastening the bits together.

    A big house. I wondered when the other things would arrive that were going to live in there.

    It was painted blue. A bluebell blue. The wire cage was moved from the grass and put around the door in front of it. I would miss those hours on the grass. I felt sad that I would be just in this small box house with nowhere to lay and stretch out.

    The next day the One came down the garden again. The One had food, and had been around the garden to collect all sorts of my favourite treats. Brambles, nettles, herb robert, dandelions, plantain, and bundles of grass. The One went to the new place, and put them inside. I wondered when I would get to taste some tasty things.

    The One came over to me and opened the small door.

    “Hello my Love. Lets go and see your new house”.

    I understood the talky noises! I let the One cuddle me and I went into the new house to explore, run and stretch – and binky.

      1. Well done. And yes, it is really tough to be vulnerable enough to write when accessing our own emotions gets…complicated. So really well done.

  11. Yay–Day 3 played through! Began with one idea, which opened up its natural follow-up, which led me in a totally not-planned or foreseen direction which was/is absolutely awesome! AND, it all took place (basically speaking) in a kitchen, two women seated at the kitchen table.

  12. I’m having so much fun! Today my protagonist is changing into a disguise in the cramped stall of a coffee shop restroom. There’s someone in the stall next to her, and that makes it even harder! Thanks for the prompt!

  13. That was a blast – thanks for the inspiration!
    When an unfulfilled Barbi meets a forgotten and lonely Bear in a dark toy box, they formulate a plan to get Bear out of the box and get Barbi doing activities she really loves. But for their plan to work, they would have to get everyone in the toy box involved, even the scary rubber snake.
    1033 words.

    1. Love it.
      And your summary is really good. (Not everyone can write a summary, you know!)

  14. I used up 2.5 of my daily 3 allotted mini-pages per story & realized I was bored with its direction–ended up bulleting a better version in the remaining 1/2 page and like it so much more! It could maybe turn into an outline for one of my linked stories 🙂 Thanks for a great prompt, Megan!!!

  15. This is a scene for a longer work. It’s 528 words about a woman who takes a new job going from a large, sunny office to a small windowless cubicle. She’s trying to find her missing daughter and this new job will give her a better opportunity to find her daughter, so she’s going to have to learn to adapt. I did find two more sparks out of this prompt.

    1. Wonderful.
      …and just think of all the ways that cramped cubicle could be metaphors for her reality/fears/hopes.

  16. Today I managed to knock out 920 words about a woman with claustrophobia having an MRI. She was too afraid to admit her fear to her doctor because of the belief instilled in her that she had to be strong in every situation, never admitting weakness. She planned to go through it with prayer and meditation rather than sedatives, asking the attendant for a cloth to cover her eyes and music for distraction. The music they played happened to be three piano pieces that she grew up playing all of her life that gave her comfort during times of stress. Another story drawn from my personal experience.

    1. I love that the piano music is something she connects with.

      I think writing from personal experience may be working for you, Heidi 😉

  17. I wrote a ghost story today, and my small space is a beach cabana. My story is in really rough form and comes in at under 1000 words.

  18. 596 words. Hope it isn’t too long. Wanted to share. Thank you.

    The Elevator
    “Oh no, not her,” I mumbled to myself as three riders boarded the elevator in the Madison Dynamics building.
    Katie Bronson. Always smiling. Always speaking loudly. Always dressing in flashy clothing, too tight for her ample 5’6” figure. She always attempted conversation with me since we worked on the same floor but in different departments. Lucky me.
    The elevator door whooshed shut and I backed up until there was nowhere else to go but through the wall and down the shaft. Two salesmen in tailored suits whose names I couldn’t remember stood in front while Kathy wiggled her way towards me.
    “Hey Arianna! How are you? Hey, you look great in that pencil skirt and coffee colored silk blouse. Bet that cost a fortune, huh?”
    My eyes glazed over as I absent-mindedly nodded.
    “Ready for another day at Madison Dynamics? I love this job. This is probably the best job I’ve ever had! How ‘bout you? Don’t you just love your job?”
    Her eyes sparkled with excitement as I only wanted the elevator to hurry but instead stopped briefly at three more floors, where the two salesmen disembarked and a long-time maintenance man named Paul got on. He nodded at me and then smirked when he saw my dead-eyed expression while Katie continued to ramble on.
    “I’m going on vacation next month. To Aruba with some friends. I hope it’s nice there. I heard it’s nice there. Have you ever been to Aruba? I hope it doesn’t rain. That would just be the worst!”
    The elevator stopped and Paul gave me a quick smile before getting off, and then it was only Katie and I. I looked at the panel. Only eleven more floors to go!
    “Hey, are you going anywhere for lunch today? We should definitely do lunch sometime. I like Pearl’s on Maple and Foster. They got some really good Chicken Cesar wraps. Those are my favorites. What do you normally have for lunch?
    I could feel the walls close in on me and like an asthmatic craving air, I gasped and grabbed my throat. Watching the panel I counted down the floors like I was in Time Square waiting for the ball to drop.
    “Did you catch The Secrets of Maddie last night? Oh, that is so my favorite show.”
    Didn’t this woman ever come up for air?
    Nine. Eight. Seven.
    “I wonder if someone brought in donuts today? I love the coffee they make at the office.”
    Six. Five. Four.
    The elevator shuddered and grinded to a halt. You’ve got to be kidding me!
    Katie’s face went white for a brief moment as we waited. Nothing. We pressed the EMERGENCY button and after a moment a cheery male voice came over the intercom.
    “Yeah, sorry. We’re having some mechanical issues. Just sit tight. We’ll have you out of there as soon as we can.”
    Katie took a deep breath and then shrugged.
    “Oh well, at least we have each other to keep our minds off of this inconvenience.”
    I shuddered outwardly. Oh Lord, help me! This is a cruel and twisted fate. I looked at Katie and tried to muster a smile but instead expelled air from my lungs I didn’t realize I was holding. I slumped to the ground and Katie did the same. Would I survive? Would I slowly be driven insane by her incessant talking? I hit my head rhythmically on the wall behind me. At least the pain will distract me, I mused.
    Katie frowned and then said, “Hey did I tell you the story about….”

  19. I used the same characters from yesterday’s story and wrote from the other character’s POV, who is rather suspicious about why this guy is showing up in yet another place they’re at. I was going to try to keep this month’s stories to under 500 words, but this one ended up being 707.

  20. I started with a list of small spaces and ended up outlining a story about cats sitting boxes and being posted on FB. I marvel at those of you that can actually write a complete story in such a short time. Good work everyone.

    1. I love the idea of starting with a list of possibilities.

      When you said the cat was ‘posted’ I thought you meant “posted/mailed” heh.

  21. Great prompt Megan, this created a lot of ideas for me. In the end I wrote a silly flash story about a character who wakes up to realise they are trapped on the top floor of the house due to flooding. She doesn’t panic until she realises she has no access to coffee.

  22. Thanks for the day 3 prompt. I managed to write a story illustrating the differences between men and women using the squashed up limited space of a shared bath in 659 words.

    1. My grandfather always called the bathroom “the smallest room”. Seems appropriate for this prompt

  23. This is a deeply touching story. It’s fairly appropriate to the ephorism
    “why some dreams die young. ”
    Thank you Rather.

    1. Thank you, Shiv, for liking my story. I wrote the story first and thought of the title later.
      I’d have replied to you earlier but I chanced upon your comments quite late. When I was taking part in a Contest last February, every time someone commented on a story, I was informed, sometimes even in the middle of the night. I think this is an area of concern regarding StoryADay that Julie might look into.
      By the way, it’s Rathin and not Rather.

      1. Are you getting emails for replies to your comments here? I didn’t think I had that option turned on…

  24. Unfortunately a busy day for me, and a day where I had to write for a reason and in advance of the prompt. Here is the writing for the day – the intro to a game session I am running this evening.

    Having departed Thay early morning with Nyh Ilmich in tow, you arrived upon the citadel tower as you have numerous times before. Greeted once again by the tower guard, the sergeant at arms, as per their practice, escorts you below through the library halls to return you to Leosin Erlanthar’s halls.
    As you exit from the towers into the forecourt of Castle Waterdeep, you are somewhat taken aback by four adult dragons standing regally. Their gold, brass, copper, and bronze eyes turn towards you, staring unblinkingly.
    Turning from beneath these majestic beasts and walking towards you are none other than Elisa, the silver Dragon Otaaryliakkarnos, consult to the council of water deep and Leosin Erlanthar of the harpers.
    Elia speaks first, ‘Well met friends, I see, or I observe that your mission to Thay has been a success.’ Thank you for joining our cause.’ with this, Elia bow’s towards Nih Illmich ‘Welcome old one, it’s odd the bedfellows we gather in time of need.
    Nah, to his credit, he simply acknowledges Elia with a nod.
    Turning back to you, Elia states, ‘Friends, we must take flight. A day has expired since the war council, our time is getting shorter, yet the well does not get any closer.’
    Leosin steps forward, placing a hand upon Elia’s forearm. She turns her Silvered eyes upon him, a look of concern on her face, then turns and walks back towards the four dragons.
    As her human form wavers, like a mirage upon a dessert, you watch in bewilderment. Her human shape drops away and grows as she transforms into the Silver Dragon Otaaryliakkarnos right before your eyes.
    ‘She is right.’ Leosin speaks, ‘the five dragons here are to bear you towards the well of dragons where our forces amass. It’s many days flight, you have everything you need, and your supplies as requested have been refreshed. I wish you luck, friends. May you succeed, and may your success be the savior of our realm.’
    And with that, he moves towards Nih Ilmich, acknowledging him, engaging him in discrete conversation to not distract you from your task at hand.
    The five Dragon simply stare at you, expectantly waiting to see which of the party they will have to carry to the fate of the realm.

  25. When Dreams Die Young :

    Standing in the centre of the stage, I turned my head back to my sister in the wheel-chair in a corner. My parents were seated behind her. She seemed to have shrunken so much in size since we came to Mumbai seven weeks back.
    One of the judges, a renowned female playback singer enquired after her health before asking me about my chosen song.

    I’ll sing, “Phulo ka taroka, sabka kahena hain./ Ek hazaron mein meri bahena hain… (The flowers, the stars all admit. Amongst thousands, none can hold a candle to Preet),” I told them.
    I was one of the 5 surviving contestants in the Finals of IGT (India Got Talent).
    As I sang the popular tune, my sister was being shown live on a giant screen behind me. Her puffed-up, kind face and larger-than-lifesize, dark eyes were focussed on me intently. I saw another Judge, an actor, wiping away his tears.

    I won the Contest along with the Winner’s Cheque of Rupees Twenty Five lakhs, not to forget the shining Maruti Zen, by a massive margin.

    The euphoria over, sister slumped down from her space on the way back to the hotel. She looked even smaller as I picked her up and weighed surprisingly light in my arms.
    As I laid her down on the carrier, I held on to her for dear life. Next moment, she was being rushed to the ICC.

    She left us in the wee hours of the next morning.
    ***************************************
    It’s a rainy, gloomy day back in Chandigarh. So much has changed in the last few days. A single bed has replaced the earlier double-bed. I put the framed photo of a dear, beloved sister down on the table and saunter up to the window.
    Removing the curtain a little, I glance down at the posh car in the glass shade.
    “If I win, we two will have a ride in the car first.” My words to my late sister keep hauntingly ringing in my ears.
    There is no knowing why some dreams die young!

    The end

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