Matthew Kirkpatrick

A striking kitchen just like the basement. Rummage the attic in your mind. A basement with or without a den. Discover the wonders of an omelet. A team of scientists under orders from a dictator reconstructs bread, socks, cafes, knives, and bicycles from DNA. Death is good. Succumb to expensive wine, cocaine, prostitutes, silk shirts, and massages. Go into debt. Moonlight and steal. Animals give you a fresh perspective on the lives of animals.
      Some animals: fox, cat, rattlesnake, crow, coyote, clone, cowboy.
      Play golf. Go to battle.
      Collect the following: Stamps, famous friends, languages, mystical experiences, animals, toothbrushes, chocolate bars, mushrooms.
      Visit a farm. Visit a field. Visit a pasture. Visit a construction site. Visit a war. Visit the ocean in a boat or a ship or swim or hang out on the beach and eat mushrooms. Visit a forest. Visit an animal. Visit a tree. Cut down a tree. Hunt. Eat whale blubber. Visit a hill. Visit a mountain. Visit a town. Visit a city. Visit a river. Visit a street. Visit a bench (when available.) Visit a stadium (any stadium will do.) Visit a cemetery. Visit a public swimming pool. Visit a city. Visit the courthouse. Visit the slums. Visit the suburbs. Perform surgery. Visit a party in progress. Perform miracles: meteorite shower, comet, forest fire, earthquake, nuclear explosion. Attend a football game in which a touchdown is made during a tornado.
      Did she run away? Was she kidnapped? Are you responsible? How? What do you do next? Do you go on a nature adventure (raft trip, drowning, skiing)? Do you perform lovemaking? Do you dump the body at the dump, a construction site, a jail, a hospital? Is the moon gone? Are you on fire? Make it erotic, pointless sex. Do it at a construction site. Describe it blow by blow. Use food. Have a four-year-old watch.
      A hunter is tempted to aim for one of the other hunters instead of the deer. This might be a good scene.
      End up in jail. Talk with some liars. Talk with some truth tellers. Tell the truth tellers you think they are liars. Talk to some construction workers. Try to seduce the person you are talking to. Gossip. Be pretentious. Struggle with money and relationships. Argue with some immigrants. Converse with Satan. Visit Las Vegas or Club Med with Satan.
      Have some dinner.
      Record conversations.
      Say something nutty.
      Sit quietly and listen to the voices. What are they telling you to do? How quickly can you do it? Will it take you to a construction site?
      Create anger, depression, love, hate, fear, longing, loathing, cynicism. You have an annoying, grating voice. Create clouds, wisps, smoke, seagulls. Find a nude model. Paint the nude. Give the nude a soul. Have some more dinner. Light a fire. Describe the tools at a construction site: hammer, gun, thermometer, rope, syringe. Feel the sensation of your skin. Describe the subway. Evoke smells. Kiss your aunt in an unusual way. What is the taste in your mouth? Do you taste grapes? Pineapples? Bones?






This story started as a creative response to Josip Novakovich's Writing Fiction Step By Step for Lance Olsen's fiction workshop at the University of Utah. Instead of using the exercises in the book as generative prompts in the usual sense, I appropriated phrases and images from the exercises to create a story.