Day 18 – It’s A Bit One-Sided

The Prompt

Write a story today in which the reader only hears one side of the conversation

This could be a telephone conversation, a text conversation, a series of social media updates, a series of letters, whatever.


Bob Newhart telephone does this in telephone calls

Watch Neil Gaiman read his story Orange here or read it here

9 thoughts on “Day 18 – It’s A Bit One-Sided”

  1. When I said the link didn’t work, I was referring to the one given in the list of prompts for week 3- it turns out that the individual link at the bottom of the page “previous links” works just fine. Sorry for any confusion.

  2. I see more recent comments here. I’m not posting this one in my blog – maybe later? – so I’ll drop it right here before heading off to the next. Hope it’s okay I’m commenting.

    This one is based on a true story.

    WARNING: contains the Naughty P Word, slightly modified with *’s

    Gramma Says the Naughty P Word

    I need to keep this short because I need to get dinner started, but I just had to call and …

    That’s why I’m calling. You won’t believe what your grandmother just said.

    I’m sorry, honey, I just can’t stop laughing. It’s too funny.

    I went out to get the paper – you know how the paper always gets left at the opening of the driveway, right?

    Well, I was getting the paper and I didn’t notice your grandmother had come out and was watching …

    …watching me from the porch

    I’m trying so hard, but wait until you hear what she said.

    Oh my gosh, I need to breathe.

    Oooh, okay, okay. Let me try this again. I’m out getting the paper and grandma is standing on the porch wrapped in her robe and I’m trying not to slip on the snow and ice while heading back to the house.

    I’m dyin’, honey. Every time I even think of it, I start laughing all over again.

    Huh? Oh, because I don’t want her to know I’m telling you. I’m not sure she even realizes what she said.

    Okay. Okay. So I’m heading back to the house and she says …

    And she says…

    She says …

    She says, “Patricia, it’s so cold out here you could freeze …”

    “…freeze …”

    She says, “It’s so cold out here you … could … you could freeze your … you could freeze your p**sy off!”

    Yes! Yes! Your grandmother said that!

  3. I couldn’t came to read today (18) and yesterday’s prompts, so I simply write a story each day. I’ll save these for other time 🙂

  4. I feel like I anticipated tomorrow’s prompt! I ended up writing a story from the POV of a betentacled alien who is also an organ player at a church, who has witnessed (and possibly partially caused) a bit of a disaster at a wedding. The story was her half of the police interview. I’ve been playing with similar forms of first person POV off and on this month, and it’s been quite neat? Looking forward to the into-the-camera prompt tomorrow.

    In part two of I Am Possibly Psychic: as I type this I’m also listening to episode 105 of the podcast and SO FEELING that today was a grind! I just did not want to write at all, and I waited until the very end of the day to do it. (But I did it?) I am not tempted to quit but it would have been very easy to just…not, today. So thank you for this very timely episode.

  5. Complete. My story is written through notes from a guy (John) who’s in a psychiatric ward. He spends his days in solitude, but figures out a way to pass notes in the Rec Area where he spends about an hour every morning. He leaves a note, then the next morning gets a response from another patient (Phil) who uses the Rec Area in the afternoon.

    John’s notes reveal that he had a mental breakdown at work, too much pressure between work and his wife and kids, and although the ward has been a nice break from all that in some ways, he definitely misses the family and is looking forward to getting out. Phil had a breakdown as well; in fact their lives are pretty similar (jobs, hobbies etc.) except that Phil is single with no kids.

    One day, John writes Phil to apologize for not writing in a while; he had an “episode” at the ward. As punishment, he wasn’t allowed to use the Rec Area for a week, and also he’s had his medication adjusted. Phil stops responding. John worries that Phil’s mad at him. Then he starts to worry about whether Phil is OK. Finally he breaks down and asks one of the guards about Phil, even though he knows this could get them both in trouble for passing notes. The guard says he’s not allowed to discuss patients but will pass John’s concerns to the doctors.

    The next day John writes Phil excitedly, saying that he’s been given a new schedule, which allows him to go to the rec area twice a day so he’ll finally get to meet Phil tomorrow afternoon.

    The next day he discovers the truth: Phil doesn’t exist. John has been going to the Rec Area in the mornings AND the afternoons the whole time, and writing notes back and forth to himself. This is revealed through his last note to “Phil”, which his counselor asked him to write, telling Phil that he knows he doesn’t exist, and that he needs to let Phil go in order to come to grips with what happened to his family.

    Thank you for the prompt!

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