Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Bouncy Edition

When I was growing up, carnivals would magically appear in parking lots or vacant parcels of land from time to time.  There were games to play, foods to eat, and whirling rides to enjoy.  There was invariably a Ferris Wheel, made more exciting by the knowledge that it had just been erected hours before (safely, one would hope), spinning rides that left riders stumblingly dizzy, and roller-coasters of a sort.

From the house I’m in now, I used to be able to look across my backyard and see the illuminated midway lights of the local carnival in past years where a Home Depot sits today.  Over time, the carnivals have come to town less and less often and it’s been years since I remember seeing one.  In their place, a sea of inflatable castles and slides and bouncy-houses has appeared.

Down the road, where there used to be a weekly farmer’s market, the “inflatable carnival” came to town a few weeks ago.  One day the lot was empty and the next day there were dozens of brightly colored inflatable structures, filled with happy shrieking little jumpers.  There are no carnival games or foods to eat, but there are bales of hay with pumpkins to purchase which, several weeks from now will give way to Christmas trees to buy.  Late at night the lot is a little creepy, with everything deflated, looking much like a multi-colored sea of popped balloons.

It’s progress, I suppose.  Those bouncy-houses are undoubtedly safer than old carnival rides were, though hardly as thrilling.  I can’t help wondering what happened to the rides and the folks who used to manage and run them.

Since rain started falling a few hours ago, there won’t be any carnivals, traditional or inflatable in my immediate future, so I’ll have to find something else to do.  I’m thinking a few minutes of Random Word Improv will be an excellent way to spend at least a bit of a rainy day.

Care to join me?

Whether you’re reminiscing about the past, making plans for the future, or just living every moment of the present, a few minutes of Random Word Improv are a great way to have a little fun and get some words on the page.


Today’s words are pretty random, so the theme is up to you.  There will be bonus points for actually including a giant stuffed bear though.

surprise             spin                     win                       sweet

track                   shout                   excitement        flashing

colorful             mystery               illusion              cake

treat                   balloon                tent                      strength

For any of you new to Random Word Improv, here’s how we play:

  1. Pick as many words from the list as you want
  2. Write the first line(s) of a story incorporating your words
  3. Post your results in the comments section.

Okay.  Are you ready?  Let’s sprint!

*whistling aimlessly while you are off being creative*

Ah, you’re back.  Kind of fun, right?  Can’t wait to see what you have come up with.

3 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Friday Writing Sprints – The Bouncy Edition

  1. Oooh, bouncy castles and bouncy fairs! Sounds magical! We had the county fair in my area in August — generally just before school started. I loved going to those things. Anyway, I’m taking us away from the bouncy fair and into a little wedding gone wrong . . . .

    It must have been something in the cake. That’s all I can figure. It might have been drugs, it might have been magic – I’m pretty sure it wasn’t mushrooms because the cake didn’t taste of that. All I’m saying is that it’s not normal to spin around the golf course waltzing with a giant stuffed bear – which is precisely what Mary Sue did, and her wedding dress is never going to be free of those grass stains. And it’s certainly not traditional for the groom to get up on the table, strip off his clothes, and rap hits from the latest Broadway show, which is exactly what Billy Bob did. As for me, I wound up in the goddamn refreshment tent, watching the roof whirl around with pretty flashing lights. A pretty place for the mother of the bride to be.

    The videographer, Janice, was oh-so-kind about showing me all the excitement. She was sweet as pie, yes, but watched my face with this sort of hungry look as I watched the TV. My, what a surprise treat it was to see the father of my children vomiting colorfully over the string quartet. I have no recollection at all of mopping up the mess and then feeding the violin player some cake. We wound up under the bandstand, and that solves the mystery of that hickey on my left breast.

    “Lord, we can’t show Dane this.” Stupid, sweet Dane. Passing out after barfing on the quartet. I predicted I wouldn’t see any incriminating footage with him in it. Janice always did have a soft spot for him. Oh, no, there he was. Sprawled on the lawn and looking like a Greek god through Janice’s lens.

    “Oh, no.” Janice simpered. “It’d break poor Dane’s heart.” My lips may have tightened but my fist didn’t. I have a lot of practice with not punching Janice in the face.

    No, it couldn’t have been magic. It must have been the cake. “Did you have any of the wedding cake?”

    “Oh no,” Janice said primly. “I never eat or drink on duty.” Of course she didn’t. Miss Janice wants to be sober to catch all of the fun. And I had to admit, it looked like a lot of fun was being had, even though none of us had remembered what happened when we woke up this morning. There was Mary Sue’s maid of honor, flashing all of the groomsmen, then stealing the wedding balloons from the marquee. Oh, and there went the marquee when the balloons proved to be very well tied to the legs of the damn thing. My, my, that girl had the strength of ten mules. Oh, and there went me, crawling under the marquee, out of the sun. Thank all the stars I had enough sense to do that. I was peeved, but at least I wasn’t sunburned and peeved.

    And now the best man was shouting for a medic, and down he went. One by one, it was like the people at the magic castle falling asleep.

    Janice smiled as the last one hit the ground. “And that’s when I called the cops and we got y’all home and in bed.” Grrr. “It sure is a mystery. Have you got any ideas how all this happened?”

    “Oh, I have a few ideas,” I said. Yes, I had a few ideas about exactly who was behind the destruction of my daughter’s wedding, and I was not about to let MayBelle Simpson win this round.

      • (-: MayBelle’s son is going to be prom king this year. And he’s as snotty and vengeful as MayBelle, but I think The Voice of Reason prevents things from getting too far out of hand. MayBelle and her son are just a stepping stone to Greater Problems (to be announced by My Girls when they feel like it). Poor Dane will get a happy ending, too, with someone much nicer than Our Heroine or the unctuous Janice.

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