#5 Prompt based on visual:
The pocket watch in her hand. The last thing he handed to her, the one he has inherited from his father. Every time she opened it, it was off a minute but that didn’t matter. Every time she opened it she remembered that he was so sick at the end, it was a relief when he let go. Every time she opened it she remembered that once upon a time she had been his princess, his Buttons, his Sugarpops, and at the end, his Angel. "My Angel," as she swabbed his mouth since he could no longer take in anything orally. Whispered. Did she actually hear his voice or was it only her imagination, her wanting to hear one last word? If the pocket watch lost a minute a day, how long before it lost a whole day, a year? Would it be like peeling back time? How long before she could put it away and remember the corny jokes and laughter, the car rides with her arm hanging out the window, the breeze blowing back her hair, the spontaneous picnics: stopping at a gas station for soda, at a roadside stand for apples, a hunk of cheese and bread already in a basket? How long before she remembered the way he cheered at her basketball games and frowned as he scrutinized her dates? His sad eyes when she packed up to move to the big city? The dollars slipped into every envelope, her purse when she came home to visit? How long before the good memories overcame the horror of his last choking breath?
#4 Prompt based on conversation:
“Anna, are you going out again?” No, Mother, I just spent an hour putting my make up on and styling my hair because I am staying home, with you. Because I want to hear your complaints. Let’s see, we’ve covered my brother’s stupidity and lack of good TV shows, the neighbors’ tree shedding leaves on your side of the fence, the latest too-revealing fashions and the way the Puerto Ricans take over the sidewalks. I have heard about your aches and pains of arthritis and the latest argument with your doctor and the way the nurse was so rude. I just struggled to get on these pantyhose that I actually hate wearing because they roll over and make me feel fat and the heels that make my feet ache, so I can sit and listen to you groan about the inferior garbage service that Dad hired before he died. I love to eat fattening snacks with you before bedtime. Of course, I have my cell phone so you can track me down. In case you have those heart palpations again. In case the panic comes back and you feel isolated and alone, out here in the middle of nowhere. No, Mother, I just want a breath of air, a drink, a reason to sway to the music even if it’s from a jukebox. “I don’t feel so good, Anna. Can you make me a cup of that tea you brought me? The one that soothed me down?” “Yes, Mother.” Yes, I am taking off the heels and the pantyhose. What was I thinking? That I could leave you alone again, that I could escape? “Let’s find a movie to watch on pay-on-demand. Don’t worry, I’ll pay for it.”