You might just shock yourself with what you come up with for today’s writing prompt. I did. See today’s prompt, and my completed version of it, called The Shock of Bright Lights.

Today’s Writing Prompt: When I Pulled Back the Curtains, I Saw…

Today’s writing prompt was borrowed from the 20 first sentences to get you writing today post published last week. The first sentence borrowed is: “When I pulled back the curtains, I saw…” Use this sentence to kickstart your writing today. Try to write at least 300 words.

Keep scrolling to see my completed version of this writing prompt.

Tip for Completing Today’s Writing Prompt:

If you don’t like the sentence above, go to the original 20 first sentences to get you writing today post to see if a different sentence gets your creative juices flowing.

The Shock of Bright Lights by K.E. Creighton

[Note on this draft: I changed the prompt to be in the present tense.]

When I pull back the curtains, I see emergency vehicles everywhere. At least six of them, if not more. I can’t really tell with all the flashing lights. They are everywhere up and down the block. Neighbors are scattered everywhere, too, and standing in our yard.

I had opened the curtains to see what was going on because I saw flashes of emergency lights across my living room wall as I was dozing off while watching the newest true crime documentary. But how I hadn’t noticed the bright light coming from the house three doors down that was fully ablaze, I don’t know.

I run to the bedroom where Greg is asleep. He always goes to bed before me. I am the night owl in the house. And when I reach him, he is fully exposed and possibly already in a deep REM cycle. He must have kicked the comforter off his legs during the night again.

I shake his shoulder roughly and try not to shout, but say a little louder than intended, “Honey, honey, the house down the street is on fire!”

Startled, he sits up quickly and then stumbles to the floor as he tries to stand up. His foot had gotten tangled in the sheets below his ankles as he attempted to get out of the bed too fast, making him fall. Either way, being on the floor proves convenient, I suppose. He rolls over and retrieves the baseball bat he keeps underneath the bed without skipping a beat and stands up, this time fully upright and much sturdier and more alert. “Let me at ’em!”

“No honey, it’s the house down the street, not an intruder. It’s on fire! Like, the whole thing, is up in flames. I think it’s the James’ house. You know, that new family on the block that we met about a month ago?”

“What, really?” he responds. He relaxes his grip on the bat a bit, but his eyes are wide open now.

“Yeah, I think so. We should probably leave and head to my mom’s house in case it spreads. But I want to go see what happened first and see if they can contain it soon. I think I saw Kylie and Jessica standing out there just now with their families. We can ask them if they know anything.”

Greg puts on some pants and a hoodie and we go outside. The fire’s so huge, there’s ash raining from the sky. The smell of life deteriorating is strong. And I can feel the heat.

Jessica is standing on our front lawn and when I ask her what happened, she says their kid, Bobby, probably burned it down. That kid is just weird, she says. He is always wearing black, and never makes eye contact or talks to anyone. He gives her the creeps. I kind of feel the same way about him, if I’m being honest. But I don’t say anything.

Kylie says it was probably faulty wiring. All our houses were so old for newer models, she says. And the burning house was just updated a few months back before the family moved in, which means it is highly likely that faulty wiring was the culprit.

“Oh… my… god,” I overhear Kerry say in slow motion from a few feet away. We all follow her gaze and reflexively mimic her shocked expression.

There are four body bags being wheeled toward the coroner’s vehicle, and one is much smaller than the other three. And sure, that’s shocking and heart-wrenching. But…

What’s more heart-wrenching and shocking is the fact that only three people had lived inside that house before it started burning down.

[All Rights Reserved by K.E. Creighton and Creighton’s Compositions LLC. The above work is a piece of fiction. All names and locations referred to are the product of the author’s imagination and are used entirely for fictional purposes. Any similarities to real-life persons or places are purely coincidental.]

Notes on Writing this Writing Prompt

When I first started working on this writing prompt, I thought I was going to make it mostly about petty suburbian gossip. But then I got bored as I was approaching the end and decided to make things more interesting. So I ended the piece with a bit of shock and mystery.

If you complete this writing prompt, be sure to share your draft with members of our writing community. We’d love to read it! Be sure to tag #DailyDraftsAndDialogues and @kecreighton on Medium, WordPress, or Facebook, so we can read what you write for this writing prompt. Get creative! Let’s see how many different versions of this prompt there can be.