Writing Prompt


Prompt: Around mid-morning one day, you realize that everything that is happening seems really familiar. After much thought you discover that your life has fallen into a terrible rut and now you must take drastic measures to find a way out of it. Write the scene where you make a life-changing decision.

The alarm went off at exactly 10:30 in the morning. Darla reached over and hit the snooze button to give her exactly 10 more minutes. The night before had been like the night before that and the night before that. She left the restaurant at midnight, drove down Second Street, turned onto Birch, then onto the freeway for exactly four minutes. She took the off ramp and made an immediate right, pulling into her apartment complex.

She said goodnight to the lonely old man who lived two doors down, just as she always did. She unlocked her door, placed her jacket and purse on the table by the door, and found her way to bed. This was her routine for the last three years.

For three years, she lived and breathed for Sunset, the restaurant that has taken the place of everything else in her life. It’s worth it, she thought when her boyfriend left her for being too absent from the relationship. It’s worth it, she thought when her budget became so tight she had to move from a nice single family home with 2 bedrooms to a studio apartment with no cable or air conditioning. It’s worth it, she thought when her friends slowly stopped calling or coming around because she was either asleep or working.

When the alarm went off for the second time, Darla groggily climbed out of bed. Her feet paddled loudly against the cold linoleum floor that covered her entire apartment all the way to the tiny bathroom. She showered and dressed in her daily uniform, a white chef’s coat with the words Sous-Chef embroidered across the left breast.

She had been promised a promotion at the end of her first year, but the current chef decided he wanted another year, then again and again he changed his mind. She stayed loyally by his side in hopes that he would finally make good on his promise and promote her when he decided he had had enough.  She had been approached by many other chefs in many other restaurants to come and work for them, but she had decided to be loyal to Chef Manne.

She had big plans for when she was awarded the title of head chef. She appreciated Chef Manne’s technique and skills, but he was outdated. He had the same menu for the last twenty years and the restaurant was suffering because of it. She wanted to update the menu but still keep the essence she had fallen in love with so many years ago.

Staring in the mirror she began to study herself. She could see wrinkles forming between her eye brows and she could see a touch of grey beginning to come through in her hair. It had been 12 years since she started as a simple waitress and her aspirations were bigger than anything she thought she could accomplish. Until Chef Manne stepped down, she was destined to be stuck in this same coat, in this same routine, in this same horrible apartment with nothing to show for it.

It was then that a thought came to her, What if she OWNED Sunset? Then she could make the changes she wanted to make. She would never fire Chef Manne, but she would change the hours around and split the days with him. She deserved to cook and be recognized for it as a Head Chef.

Would the owner even be willing to sell? Would she be able to get a loan from the bank? She didn’t know but she was determined to find out and make this day one that didn’t blend in with the rest, she decided to take fate into her own hands and make this day the one that stood out from the rest.

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