Let Them Eat Crushed Cake

Or, Writing Prompts by V
I have a confession to make. I'm not a big fan of writing prompts. At least, not enough to employ them with any regularity. What I find helpful, more than a specific prompt, is to write unfettered. Straight from your consciousness.
You know that constant dialogue in the back of your mind? Set a timer for half an hour and just type it out. Don't let your fingers stop. I usually end up with how I'm feeling about approaching my writing, what's been going on, what I want to do, what I'm worried about, and THEN the ideas start to come, usually in the last few minutes. It sort clears out the cobwebs.
As much as I like you all, I'm not going to let you into my mind right now. Sorry. But I will try this prompt that I was given at a conference (can't remember which one).
Write about a memorable event in your life in which you felt something deeply.
Disclaimer: Please excuse the messiness of the language. Passive voice, poor phrasing, cliches, etc. If I'm going to do this properly, editing is not part of the equation. Ahem. Cracks knuckles. And here goes.
I was thirteen, jammed in the back of the station wagon with my brothers on a Saturday afternoon. We were going to a birthday party. One of those friends of your parents things, where you don't know anyone. This party was for one of their children, their son, who was a few years older than me. I knew because I had his birthday cake in my lap. For the hourlong drive.
An older boy, I wondered. What would he be like? Was he cute? And why did my parents insist that I wear a dress, like I was a five year old? Why couldn't I wear slacks like my brothers? Why did I have to go to someone's birthday party on a Saturday who I didn't even know?
The house was really nice. Really nice. As we pulled up, I could hear the buzz of people laughing and children running around coming from the backyard. I looked at my brothers, sharing a "you're my wingmen, right?" look. My brothers and I, having moved about a billion times growing up, knew a few things about new situations.
I climbed out of the back of the car, balancing the big cake box. This was when seatbelts were messy, long strappy things. My mom's passenger seatbelt started by my feet in the back and as I took my first step out, my foot caught and I went down. Right on the cake box. Oh boy. Tears. Right away, but I fought them back.
My Mom reassured me it was okay, but as we opened the box the entire top of the cake was crushed, frosting mixing with fluffy cake insides. I fought my tears harder.
We found our way up to the door and rang the bell. My Mom was holding the cake at this point. The party was too loud so my Dad had to knock on the door. And then bang on it. And that was when a wasp unhinged from the porch light and dropped on my sandal-clad foot.
Huge amounts of pain. Huge. But, I'm the cake crusher in a dress, right? And oh, mister birthday boy turns out to be really cute and his friends are all there too, wanting to see the girl who got stung by a hornet.
I'm ushered inside and there are pillows and ice, but my foot just keeps swelling and swelling, until it looks like a football. Should we take her to a hospital? It's an allergic reaction, reassures a doctor, who happened to be there. I'm given benadryl, or something like that, and my foot stops swelling but remains comically enlarged. For a while, I'm this mini-planet, sympathetic people orbiting around me. Just what any thirteen year old wants.
They put me where I could see the rest of the kids, (Why, oh, why?) who were hanging out in the backyard. The party doc said to keep my foot propped up, which was trickier than you'd expect because I'm in a dress, and it just wouldn't stay down. Finally I asked for a blanket, yes a blanket in Miami. As if I couldn't look any freakier.
And then people sort of forgot about me. The party went on. And there I was, watching my brothers running around and making friends. Watching cute birthday boy, who totally forgot about me. Which was sorta good, but sorta worse, too. They all just forgot.
Until it was time to eat cake.
OK, I'll stop there. So that was one of the most embarrassing days of my life. I'm really connected with that feeling of unwanted attention right now. Of things not going your way. I actually feel sort of panicky, like I need to throw on some jeans and bake a cake or something. Instead, I'm going to head over to my manuscript to seek out the spots where a character might feel similarly. The best writing brings out strong emotion. Hopefully, having done this little exercise, I can bring some of that fresh embarrassment to my story.

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