Page 42

It’s a strange prompt, really. A random page number. How does one tackle such an odd prompt?

  • You can grab for the book you’re reading, flip to page 42 and talk about it. You can use the first line of that page for inspiration. You can borrow the feeling of that page and craft something around that.
  • Alternatively, you could use your own work-in-progress and page 42 as you’ve written it. You could do some kind of challenge with that.
  • You could craft an entirely new story where the words “Page 42” were somehow featured.

I decided to go for the latter, although in your challenge (should you choose to accept it) you are welcome to take the simple prompt wherever you’d like.

She’d only picked up the book because it looked interesting. It wasn’t like something in her body drove her to the book. She hadn’t noticed it before. She was actually cleaning in the other room, running the vacuum. She’d found a pair of the kids’ socks on the floor, where they didn’t belong. She’d shaken her head, turned off the vacuum, grabbed the offending laundry, and stalked off to put them in the hamper. The act of dealing with laundry reminded her there was a load in the dryer that needed to be folded. She grabbed a basket, got the laundry, and went to the bedroom to fold it and put it away.

That’s when the book caught her eye. Had it been sitting on the nightstand long? When did he start reading it? She’d picked it up, read the back. It had an interesting premise. Certainly more her type of book than his. He wasn’t usually into the murder mysteries and psychological thrillers. He preferred nonfiction, she thought.

She’d sat on the edge of the bed and started reading. Maybe it would give them something to talk about, she thought. Turned out she was right about that. This was certainly something they’d be talking about.

Right there, on page 42, scribbled into the corner in blue ink was a phone number and a name, Allison. There were little hearts drawn around the phone number. It was feminine, bubbly handwriting. She tried to tell herself there were a million logical reasons for that to be there. He could’ve purchased the book used, not even knowing it was there. Someone could’ve been trying to catch his eye, it didn’t mean he returned the interest or called the number. No matter what she told herself, a bad feeling was forming in her gut.

Who was Allison?

As always, this is my original work. It’s a rough draft and it’s entirely a work of fiction. Don’t steal. Be cool.

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