In the Colin R Onstad Room (F2K): Optional Prompt #1

The first week of F2K, the mentor gives us an optional prompt to get our `engines running’, so to speak.

Write about nature. Include the following words: hard drive, stapler, phone, car, billboard.

It was a toughie, this time, I tell ya’ and I had issues with it. I wasn’t inspired in the least but eventually had a kernel of inspiration:


There were leaves in my mouth; dried and earthy. It felt like there were ants too. I hoped it was ants, not other creepy crawlies. Immediately, I spat the foliage out and used my fingers to clear out the rest of my mouth.

I was on my stomach, my head was pounding, my elbows and knees felt bruised and scratched-up. I reached up and touched the back of my head and found a bump the size of an ostrich egg. I sighed and continued lying there, wherever there was.

All I could remember up to that point was that I’d gone running as I usually do in the evenings. I was training for a 5km run at the end of June and was behind on my running mileage so I had taken a new route that day. A longer route that meandered through the secondary forest behind the local sawmill. I also remembered running past the billboard that the local council had put up informing residents that the popular running trail would be closed in 2 weeks for maintenance. I quickly noted that bit of information on my phone that I carried with me whenever I ran.

I must’ve fallen back to sleep because when I opened my eyes next, the light from the vertical tunnel above me was dim. It was probably late evening. I wondered how long I had been in that hole. I could hear leaves rustling, birds chirping and the faint sound of cars. I moved to stand, holding myself up with my hands then instantaneously buckled. My knee’s busted, I thought. I took out my phone, hoping that it wasn’t broken from the fall. No reception. Great, just great.

I could feel myself start to hyperventilate. I was claustrophobic and I was in a small space. Monitors, hard drives, CD players, ring binders, staplers, sharpeners, markers. I took a deep breath and repeated the calming mantra my therapist came up for me – Monitors, hard drives, CD players, ring binders, staplers, sharpeners, markers. After almost ten repetitions, I felt my breathing go back to normal and my heart had slowed down.

My ears perked when I heard the faint sound of scurrying from behind me. I jumped and moved away and just in time because from exactly beneath where I sat, the earth exploded and a snout emerged. I held in a shriek that was eager to burst from my lips and clamped my hands over my mouth not wanting to attract any attention from the thing that burrowed through the ground. It looked like a mole and its nose was lifted to the air, sniffing. Then to my surprise, it said “Come here, come here wherever you are…its dinner time…” and moved towards me, beady eyes and gleaming fangs. I was poised to defend myself. Me and one mole, easy peasy. As I thought it, more moles emerged from the fresh hole.

“Yumsss…” I heard them rasped.

(WC 493)


One thought on “In the Colin R Onstad Room (F2K): Optional Prompt #1

  1. This reminds me of the scene from Life of Pi when he was on that island of meerkats AND the pigs in the blanket scene from Jack the Giant Slayer! How scary that they saw the character as food!


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