At a recent Writer’s Group meeting we did a small exercise. We picked the first random sentence out of a random book and spent the next 15 minutes building a story from that sentence. Here is the sentence I started with:
We had about five hours to kill before we had to get into our cocoons.
And here is my story:
We had about five hours to kill before we had to get into our cocoons. That’s how long it’d take for the temperature to increase enough for our cocoons to soften.
“Never mind,” said Billy, the fattest of all of us. “We can see what else we can munch on.”
“Didn’t we munch enough already?” Snapped Sally. “It’s all this munching that got us into this trouble in the first place.”
And she was right. After weeks of being snuggled in our respective cocoons, one of us figured how to get out so that we can continue to eat while others were hibernating. He taught us the trick and soon enough we were escaping every morning and eating away at our surroundings. The problem — as we discovered a few days into our eating adventures — was fitting back in. As we were growing fatter, our cocoons were becoming too small for us. And so the only way to climb back in was to wait until the mid-afternoon when the heat of the day stretched the cocoon enough for us to squeeze in.
“What do you propose then?” asked Billy.
“Nothing!” She snapped again.
We sat around in silence for awhile contemplating if we ever get to turn into butterflies with all the rules we’ve been breaking. All of us desperately wanted to and we fantasized endlessly about the colors of our future wings. But we didn’t want to follow the same path as others. We wanted it to be different.