View Full Version : Sunburst Nursing Home

June 8th, 2014, 05:53 AM
As I have mentioned elsewhere on this forum, I am new to writing and am getting frustrated with where to begin. So this piece is a product of me using a freewriting prompt tool. It gives me a prompt to start with, and every minute will have me throw in a new character, scene, dialogue, word, etc. So that is why the plot (what little plot there is) isn't very cohesive and pretty random. I tried to clean it up a little bit when I finished. Let me know what you think. I'm looking for ways I can improve my writing more than ways to improve this story, because I'm not planning on doing anything with it. Thank you so much!


"Time goes by so fast that all the days are starting to run together," the old woman said. "I can't even remember if today is Tuesday or Wednesday."

"Today is Saturday, Mrs. Reed," said the young man pushing her wheelchair.

"Saturday? It must be getting close to the end of May.

"Nope. It's the first Saturday of July." He parked her wheelchair at her spot in the dining room.

People were all over the room, bumping into wheelchairs and walkers, trying to find their places. The staff were everywhere leading people to their seats and trying to serve their drinks and clean up their spills. The entire dining room was full of chaos and confusion. It was a normal evening at the Sunburst Nursing Home.

Mrs. Reed, one of the meanest ladies in the nursing home, sat at her table, frowning. "I have been sitting here for almost an hour," she yelled. "I still have not gotten my spaghetti! He told me there would be spaghetti!"

"Mrs. Reed," the young man who was still with her said calmly. "It's only been about thirty seconds." He patted her shoulders.

"Get your hands off of me!" She struck him as hard as she could, which was not very hard.

"My apologies, ma'am." The young man, whose name was Craig, smiled and walked out of the dining room. When he walked into the hallway, a short old man with a wheelchair flew past him, barely missing a collision.

"Slow down, Mr. Walker!" he cried. "There's a speed limit in these halls, you know." He laughed and turned to walk down the hall, when he heard the front door open. He turned back around to see that Mr. Walker had found out how to punch in the password and open the door, and now he was rolling himself outside. "Mr. Walker!!"

By the time Craig had made it to the door, Mr. Walker was already in the middle of the parking lot, rolling just as fast as a man his age could ever hope to roll.

"Mr. Walker!" he cried again. He ran toward the old man and grabbed his wheelchair.

"Let. Me. Go." Mr. Walker's words were sharp and to the point. "My daughter is in trouble, and I have to go find her!"

"Mr. Walker, you can use the phone in the administrator's office, just please come back inside. How do you know your daughter is in trouble?"

"I just had a dream. She was crying for help. I have to go find her."

"Mr. Walker, please come back inside." He tightened his grip and pulled the man across the parking lot and back into the building. The whole time, the man was kicking and screaming. "Here. It's almost time for supper. I will go call your daughter for you and make sure everything is alright."

The old man turned away and started grumbling curse words under his breath as he slowly pushed himself toward the dining room.

"Will you marry me?"

Craig jumped when he turned around to see Susan standing mere centimeters from his face. "Susan, you scared me! What are you doing out here? Go find your seat!"

"You're just the cutest little thing. I want you to marry me." Susan gave him a big hug.

"I really appreciate that, but you need to get in there and get ready for supper. I've gotta go get Ms. White and push her down to the dinner table, so please let go." He forced himself out of her grip, which was rather tight for a woman of her age. She smiled, and tried to kiss him on the cheek, but before she could, he had already dashed down the hall.

"Hi there, Ms. White!" Craig grabbed the woman's wheelchair and started to push her toward the cafeteria. "Are you hungry?"

"Yes," was her response. That was always her response.

"Well, good. We've got some spaghetti for you today in the cafeteria. Do you like spaghetti?"

"Yes," she responded.

"That's fantastic."

When he got back to the cafeteria, he saw the old man sitting by the bench outside on the back porch. Mr. Walker had never caused any issues before. What had gotten into him today? "Alright, here you go, Ms. White. You enjoy your supper now."

"Yes," she responded.

Craig walked outside, frustrated. "Mr. Walker, I thought I told you..."

"How long does it take to get to Dallas from here?" the old man asked.

"Probably about twelve hours, why?"

"How long would it take me to get there in a wheelchair?"

"A lot longer than twelve hours, that's for sure. What's wrong?"

"My brother was always a coward, Craig. You know that?"

"Yes, you might've told me that once or twice before. Now, you really need to come inside and..."

"I always made fun of him for it. I probably shouldn't have, but we were young. He never went anywhere or did anything. He just sat inside all day and did everything he was supposed to. Do you know who I am, Craig?"

"You are Peter L. Walker."

"No. I'm an empty shell that used to be Peter L. Walker. I have become a shadow of my former self. I've become a coward, just like my brother. You would never understand, Craig. I just need to leave this place. I need to get to Dallas, and I need to see that my daughter is okay."

"Mr. Walker, I need you to do me a favor. Close your eyes for a second. Good. Now, can you see anything?"

"Can I see anything? Of course not, you just told me to close my eyes!"

"No. Really look. Tell me what you see."


"Look past the darkness."

"I see... I see colors. Blue. And yellow. And orange. It... It kinda looks like a face that's smiling at me."

"Great! Now, tell me more about this face. What do the features look like?"

"It has round cheeks. Bright green eyes. Short, blonde hair. It's my daughter! I see my daughter. She looks so beautiful. Just like her mother."

"That's great. You can open your eyes now. Enjoy your dinner!" The old man opened his eyes and saw that he was sitting at his table in the middle of the cafeteria.

"Hey, you tricked me!" he shouted at the young man as he walked away briskly. "Don't forget to call my daughter for me!"

Craig looked at his watch as he left the cafeteria. He was off work, and could finally go home to his family. As he rounded the corner, he almost ran into another old man. "Where are my socks?" he cried.

"I don't know, Mr. Rogers," Craig said,"But I'm off the clock now. We'll look tomorrow."


June 8th, 2014, 05:57 AM
In case anyone was curious, here are the 14 prompts which were given throughout the story.

1. Begins with this sentence: Time goes by so fast that...

2: Add this word: people

3: Include this sentence: She struck the man

4: Add a character who: Runs away

5: Add a character who: has a dream in which...

6: Include a dialogue that begins with: Will you marry me?

7: Add a character who: Never uses the word 'no'

8: Include this sentence: The old man was sitting on the bench

9: Include a dialogue that begins with: How long does it take?

10: Add a character who: is a coward

11: Include a dialogue that begins with: Do you know who I am?

12: Include a dialogue that begins with: Can you see anything?

13: Add this word: Smiling

14: Include a dialogue that begins with: Where are my socks?

June 8th, 2014, 06:16 AM
OK. I just noticed the prompts post after i had finished reading the story.:D

I think it reads very well as a descriptive piece which is all you can hope for with all the prompts. A plot is more than can be expected within such a structure.

The idea here might be to come up with a simple plot on your own and then try to insert elements of variety as you go along but still keeping the objective of the story in mind. What you have down is well written enough but what i think you want is a theme you can use the writing to express.


June 8th, 2014, 09:25 AM
I thoroughly enjoyed this! Well paced, humorous, light yet captivating, i would follow Craigs adventures in the nursing home with great glee. There are a few issues, perhaps 'show don't tell' e.g. quote; 'Mrs. Reed, one of the meanest ladies in the nursing home, sat at her table, frowning.' Her tone and conversation should show the reader that she's a mean lady!
Other than that this is a delightful read and I sincerely hope you develop it!