Sunday, March 20, 2016

Writing Prompt: The "Icebox" Challenge

By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

This week’s prompt aims to challenge you to write something outside of your comfort zone. It’s designed to push your creative boundaries and stretch those artistic wings.

Reach into your refrigerator and pull out a random item from the shelves on the door(s). Write a scene in which that item is key to solving the protagonist’s escape from somewhere.

What the protagonist is escaping from and how is up to you, as long as the food item is central to making it all work.


  1. Which would hurt a guy's eyes more? The water from a jar of Mexican peppers, or the taco sauce? I chose the papers. I left the door open so Claudio wouldn't where he was.

    I unscrewed the cap on the peppers and put it in my pocket. When Claudio rounded the corner, I would push his Beretta to the side and slosh the pepper water into his face. It all depended on if he blinked fast enough to keep the liquid from his eyeballs as to whether I would live or die.

  2. Detective Morris Winehart began sweating as he approached the rusted refrigerator.
    "Francisco come in here. I want a witness. Take your phone out and video this. I don't want anyone to doubt what we found, especially if this has to go to court."
    He opened the door slowly. Nothing fell out. But there on the otherwise empty shelf shrunken down to only six inches tall stood Mark Knofler the band Dire Straits. Immediately they began singing Money for Nothing.
    ...we gotta move these refrigerators, we gotta move these color TVs...

  3. Sorry I couldn't resist...
    Next to Dire Straits sat Red Hot Chili Peppers, Strawberry Alarmclock and Vanilla Fudge....

  4. Margaret shuffled aimlessly into the kitchen. Her worn slippers dragged calloused feet across the linoleum, and the night gown-which was also the morning gown, the afternoon gown and the evening gown-flapped hopelessly in staccato time. He had been gone two years next month. But two years can’t erase forty-three years of love, companionship, and presence, despite what her friends thought. He was still there in the house; as familiar as its creaks and groans; his absence as painful as muscle spasms and aching joints. Gradually friends had become acquaintances. Acquaintances had gradually become people she had once known, as she drifted away in her grief. And now even eating and drinking were forsaking her-communion for one was meaningless.
    Margaret filled the kettle and pressed the switch. Breakfast, or was it lunch?, had to happen. The refrigerator gaped open. An empty cave with dried and fetid remnants that mocked the cold. From the door she picked the last egg and wrapped her fingers around the delicate shell. She wasn’t sure if she was warming the egg, or if it was chilling her. As she turned to the stove and reached for a pan, her shoulder cried out in protest and the egg dropped to the floor.
    As the pain receded in silence Margaret looked at the egg. Broken on the floor. Two yolks. One yellow and delicate and whole; the other shattered and spent, its beauty scattered in parts. Slowly, carefully, quieting the pain, Margaret knelt down and cupped her hands around the unbroken, knowing that he could never come back.