This week’s writing exercise comes from a fun website full of writing exercises and prompts. These writing exercises can be useful for anyone who wants to expand their creativity, so I highly recommend giving the website a look!
This exercise is called “three little nouns.” According to the website, “when you click the button, three random nouns will be generated (one abstract, two concrete).
Seen together, what do they make you think about? How does your mind connect them?
I recommend treating this one as a freewriting exercise. Give yourself a time limit and keep writing – notes, ideas, sentences, whatever comes to mind!”
My random nouns were: hell, canal, yacht.
These three nouns immediately made me think of Charon and the river Styx, so I’m taking my story in that direction. Let’s see what happens!
“Are you sure you brought enough money? I’d hate to be stuck in limbo forever.”
Milo sighed and rolled his eyes as he showed his wife the four silver coins in his pocket.
“Satisfied, Athena? There are two coins for each of us, which is more than enough to get us across the river.”
Athena merely huffed as she reached the water’s edge. The river Styx was dark and wide, and a faint mist curled up from its surface. She couldn’t see the other side, but she knew that the underworld lay beyond its shores. As she was studying the far side of the river, Milo was peering down the shore in an attempt to see the ferryman.
After waiting for what seemed like an eternity, the ferry finally rose out of the mist and approached the couple. Athena and Milo huddled together as it came to a stop next to them. A wizened old man stepped to the edge of the boat and held out his hand.
“Payment for the ferryman.”
Milo hesitantly gave the man his four coins, and the old man tucked them into his robe before sending down a ladder.
“Your payment is accepted. Welcome aboard.”
Athena was the first one onto the boat, and she looked at the old man curiously.
“Excuse me, but are you Charon the ferryman?”
The man bowed his head.
“That I am, Athena. I’ve been ferrying souls since the beginning of time, and I will continue until its end. Now, you and Milo relax and enjoy the journey.”
Athena and Milo sat at the back of the wooden ferry as Charon took up his paddle and began the slow task of taking them to the afterlife. Athena snuggled into her husband’s arms.
“What’s going to happen to us, Milo?”
“I don’t know. No one truly knows until they arrive. Let’s just enjoy our time together while we can.”
Athena sighed and nodded. “It’s too bad we never took that trip to Paris. We should have done that before we died.”
“Would you like to?”
Charon’s voice startled them, and Athena raised her head up.
“What do you mean?”
“As ferryman, I have the ability to grant one last wish to the souls that ride with me. If you like, I can make you believe you’re in Paris for the short time you’re on my ferry.”
Athena and Milo exchanged surprised looks, then Milo nodded.
“Please do that, sir.”
In the blink of an eye, the couple found themselves on a small yacht on the canals of Paris. The Eiffel tower shone in the distance, and the stars shone brighter than ever before. Athena sighed happily as she relaxed into the moment.
“This is exactly what I wanted. Thank you, Milo.”
Milo kissed his wife’s forehead as they sailed under the famous bridges of Paris and enjoyed their last night in the world.
It was over all too soon, and the Parisian mirage slowly faded back into reality. Athena wiped a tear from her eye as she stood up.
“Thank you, Charon. That was exactly what we wanted.”
Charon bowed his head as he lined the boat up with the dock.
“Here you are. May your souls rest in peace.”
Milo and Athena left the ferry and stood on the dock as they watched Charon sail away to collect another soul. Turning, they grabbed hands as they walked through the black gate and entered the underworld.
Hey, that wasn’t too bad! I love giving old stories a new twist, and I think I did a great job linking those three nouns together in a way that fits. What three nouns did you get, and what did you make of them? Let me know in the comments below!
(To get nouns of your own, visit Writing Exercises)
The photo came from here.