Hump Day Prompt #15: Meltdown

Every Wednesday, I post a writing prompt here. You write about it, if it tickles your creativity bone, and then come share what you wrote on Facebook to get some feedback and see what the other Ninjas have come up with. My goal with these prompts will to be to make them something that can move your current work-in-progress forward.



Hump Day Prompt #14Meltdown

I found a list of “power words” online, closed my eyes, and randomly picked one for today’s prompt. Here’s what we got, Ninjas:


Fun, right?

Write something to do with your current work-in-progress, using the word meltdown as inspiration.

Maybe you could write one of your characters having a meltdown.

Or your characters might have to deal with the meltdown of a relationship.

What about a meltdown of their physical health or the health of someone they care about?

Just have fun with this one.

My Turn

My WIP is a Robin Hood re-telling set in modern Las Vegas. What came to me when I thought about this prompt was my Sheriff of Nottingham character, Philip Mark. Philip is the business partner of my protagonist’s father, John. Philip wants what he wants so badly, so single mindedly, that he’s become a full on villain to get it. He couldn’t have John, not the way he wanted to, so he’s determined to have all of John’s casino. His legacy.

And Rob constantly thwarts him. Philip expects Rob to be easy to deal with. He’s a pampered, aristocratic kid after all who has had far, far more than he deserves just handed to him by virtue of his birth. The anger and frustration he felt over his conflicted feelings about John transfers into a dangerous level of animosity toward Rob.

Here’s a scene here Rob sees, for the first time, how deeply disturbed Philip is. Philip has just told Rob’s best friend Mattie (my Maid Marion character) and her father that they have to leave their bungalow at the casino.

“You can’t do this,” Rob said. “My dad wouldn’t want you to do this.”

Philip stopped walking. He turned slowly back to face Rob. When he spoke, his voice was low. “Do you think that you know better than I do what your father would want me to do?”

Rob took a half-step back from the fevered look in Philip’s pale eyes. “What?”

“I said, ‘do you think that you know better than I do what your father would want me to do?'”

Right. Rob heard him the first time. The second time didn’t help. “Frank and Mattie have lived here for more than ten years.”

Philip looked from Rob to Frank. “You have until the end of the week.”

“No.” Rob stood up. “No, this isn’t right. They don’t have to leave.”

Philip put his hands on the back of a dining room chair, his knuckles went white. “They have until the end of the goddamned week.”

“The will says they can stay, as long as one of them is working here. Even that doesn’t sound like my dad, if you ask me, but it’s what the attorney read.” Rob went to stand with Mattie, who had an arm around Frank. Looked like she was the only thing holding the old man up.

Before he reached her, the chair Philip had been holding flew past Mattie. She ducked, pulling Frank down with her, and the chair landed like an explosion against the kitchen counter. The coffee pot broke and spilled coffee down the cupboards onto the floor, and the canisters of flour and sugar fell over.

Worse than the mess and destruction, Philip let loose a wordless scream that made Mattie actually cover her ears with her hands. Rob couldn’t find his own voice. He moved to Mattie, pushed her away from the counter, further from Philip.

The front door opened and Guy came in, first barreling through like he was headed to a fight, then coming to a skidding stop when Philip screamed again and reached for another chair. The chair was in the air when Guy reached his uncle. As soon as he took it away, Philip’s temper tantrum deflated. He actually looked to Rob like a balloon losing it’s air.

Philip looked confused first, his mouth opened and closed like a fish’s and he looked from Guy to Rob and back again. Then his leathery, too-deeply tanned skin flushed from under his tie, over his neck, right up over his face. His mouth hardened into a flat line before he said through his teeth, “You have a week.”

Your Turn

Are you writing this week’s prompt? Leave a comment and let me know! Come on over to the Ninja Writers Facebook group and share your work. Get some feedback, leave some feedback–get involved in the community. I can’t wait to read what you come up with! Also, if you’d like to get a PDF of this post and every Hump Day Writing Prompt, head here and sign up for the Ninja Writers Binder Club. Every month I send out a newsletter that includes those links. Help spread the Ninja Writer word! Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Send a link to it to one writer friend.



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