Where Does This Take You?

The smell of rain on a dusty sidewalk…

26 responses to “Where Does This Take You?

  1. The smell of rain on a dusty sidewalk….no, maybe too cliché.

    The rain drops leave imprints in the dust on the sidewalk….no, too blah.

    I can smell the rain falling like tears onto the dust of my soul…ok, now that’s just downright too far out there.

    The sky trickles down to the dust beneath my feet. Each step leaving a track that is quickly washed away…nah, too wordy.

    The smell of rain on the sidewalk reminds me of the last time I took this walk….getting closer.

    The sweet stink of rain meeting dust conjures up memories of my last walk down this sidewalk…hmmm, not loving the word conjure here.

    That sweet stink of rain meeting dust brings back memories of my last walk down this sidewalk….I like this one. Think I’ll go with it for now.

    That sweet stink of rain meeting dust brings back memories of my last walk down this sidewalk. Hard to believe it’s been five years since that fateful day…no, maybe too cliché.
    Hard to believe it’s been five years…no, too blah
    Five years and nothing has changed except everything…ok, now that’s just too far out there….

  2. Cliché was the wrong word to use. It has bothered me ever since I hit submit and it’s even more bothersome since writing is about using the right word, in the right place, in the right tense, with the right punctuation, right?

    Let’s replace “cliché” with “mild”. Would simple be a better way to describe it? Maybe plain. See the devil I struggle with?

    • Could you be looking for “trite?”

    • I understand. Finding the right word can be extremely daunting, yet it’s definitely worth the agonizing. I think!!

    • I’d say too simple. When you wrote, “cliche,” I worried about that for several days (oh, yes–the worry never stops). It’s just a smell I’m fond of. But what I enjoyed about your posting was the way you challenged yourself. It also made good reading! I think it’s fun to spend time in the mind of a writer.

  3. Ode to Girdwood, a very rainy place

    Please refrain from explaining the rain,
    Do stop making all this fuss.
    It’s either that the sky is crying
    Or something’s peeing on us.

  4. I saw Nemo stumble as he climbed the stairs ahead of me. Siberian Huskies are agile creatures who love to jump and run so a slip like this was unusual. I didn’t dwell on it until it happened again a week later. A squishy black lump had appeared on his left foreleg so during his annual exam, I asked the veterinarian about having it removed. Doc Rader argued with me. Neither of us was in favor of unnecessary procedures, especially one that required anesthesia. But something about this lump seemed ominous to me. My instincts told me it had to come off, and soon.

    The morning of his post-op check, Nemo was doing great. We waited only a couple of minutes in the exam room. When Doc walked in, he threw the pathology report at me across the exam table. I grabbed it from mid-air. The lump had been a nasty malignant tumor that had begun to weave its way through the muscle. I looked him square in the eye.

    “Did you get it all?”


    “Absolutely certain?”


    Doc’s sly grin told me I’d won this round. I exhaled slowly and wrapped my arms around my best friend, burying my face in his neck.

    After a quick check, Doc told me Nemo could start taking short walks. He’d been antsy for a day and a half already, so this was good news.

    As soon as we got home, we took off for a tour of the neighborhood. The sky was a uniform pale gray and the temperature barely cool enough for a jacket, but I put one on, anyway. Heavy spring air smelled of greening grass and newborn leaves, tulips barely open and daffodils nearing their end. We were about seven blocks from home when big drops began to fall on the dusty sidewalk. Nemo’s leg was absolutely not supposed to get wet under any circumstances for another six or seven days. I stopped and removed my lightweight jacket. I knelt on the sidewalk and gently eased Nemo’s front legs through the sleeves, rolling them up to form bulky cuffs just above his ankles and snapping it shut at the neck. Within moments, the warm rain came in torrents. What a sight we must have been walking down the street. I was drenched to the skin, my long hair matted to my head, and Nemo, sporting a bright blue jacket, smiling all the way!

    • What a beautiful sight you must have made!! You’re a splendid example of how we should all love each other. I hope you and Nemo have many more wonderful years together.

      Is it his now or does he let you wear the jacket once in a while?

      • Barbara Burris

        Nemo loved dress up. He would always willingly don a t-shirt, sweatshirt, or jacket. Sadly, I did finally have to part with my best friend just over eleven years ago. He stayed with me until a week after my 50th birthday.

    • I’m delighted to see that this short sentence has encouraged you to write about a dear friend, one whose memory you clearly retain in a vivid way. Thanks for sharing Nemo and his/your struggles with us. I hope you’ll be writing every chance you get.

      • Barbara Burris

        Thanks for the encouragement, Ann. It has been difficult during the holidays to find enough time to write. Your prompts have been truly appreciated because I’ve been able to come up with something brief for most of them and it has helped keep my mind working.

  5. The smell of rain on a dusty sidewalk appeals to me more than the odorless quality of snow and the slipperiness of an icy sidewalk.

    • I second that!

    • I’m with you on the slippery sidewalk, but every year with that first snowfall, I realize that fresh snow has a very distinctive smell. I’m not always aware enough to get out there to smell it, but it’s there on those moments when you get to stand outside in the falling flakes and watch the quiet white cover everything. Pull out a lawnchair and write me a poem.

  6. The smell of rain on a dusty sidewalk mixed with the sweet aroma of freshly bloomed magnolia blossoms filled the air. Her hair wet from the rain, her sweater soaked to the skin, his tennis shoes in a middle of a puddle, his arms around her waist. Their first love, their first memory, their first present to each other. They can’t wait until Christmas.

  7. The smell of rain on a dusty sidewalk, he thought bitterly, would have not so long ago taken him back to sweet memories of his small-town childhood. But here, now, in downtown homeless America, it just foreshadowed yet another miserable wet night to suffer through. He looked down at the pavement between his legs and wondered if his tears were creating the same smell as the rain.

  8. This reads like a wake up call. We’re dreaming on wonderful scents, and you jab us in the ribs with a contrasting reality. The tears hit home. This is compelling writing in one short paragraph.

  9. The smell of rain on a dusty side walk hinders my steps. The pungent reminder of my mildewed, family history floods up through my nostrils, and brings water to my eyes. I glimpse a young girl and a long forgotten cellar, dank and gray. I inhaled the lonely, bitter stench of my dirt floor bed. I had laid there cold and hopeless until a golden ray of sun cast through the single grimy window and shined on my hand. It was as if someone had thrown me a life line to hold on to.

  10. Sadly, I can feel this man’s despair. Great writing FigMince.

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