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Exercise Wednesday: Easter Season

posted in: Writing Prompts | 0
By: Jarosław Pocztarski

(Author’s note: This post contains religious content. It’s intent is not to push a particular religion’s beliefs on you, but to establish a context for the writing exercise.)

Imagine for a minute that three years ago or so, you were just minding your business and going about your life when this guy came and turned everything upside down. When he looked at you, you felt as if he knew everything you’d ever done. And though you should’ve been embarrassed at some of the things he knew, you weren’t. Because somehow, in spite of all of that, he accepted you.

Not only that, he did amazing things to help other people. Sometimes you weren’t sure about his beliefs and stances and the things he said that upset the religious leaders. You were taught that these guys were decent men because of who they were, and yet this new guy took it to them, pointing out their hypocrisy. And he was right.

And though he made you uncomfortable, he did these amazing things. He healed people and restored their hope and helped them see that they were more than the sum of their worst mistakes. He even brought a guy back from the dead.

So when he said he was going to be killed, you pushed it aside. He always spoke in metaphors and explained them after. But he never explained this one. And just days after the whole city welcomed him like nothing you’d ever seen before, they really did it. They killed him. They took him away and tortured him and killed him.

And that was it. This magnificent man, this guy who healed so many and even brought a guy back from being dead, this guy did nothing. He was just like everyone else put to death that way. That meant that the last three years—the thing you missed your mom and dad for, the thing you missed everything else for, the thing you sold your soul for—it was a lie.

But those guys who were healed, they weren’t lies. And neither was the guy who came back from death. How can that happen, only to be followed by this? And now some women are saying he isn’t really dead, even though we stood there and watched him die. It’s more than any one person can really handle.

As noted above, you don’t have to believe in this particular set of religious beliefs. But imagine a time when you gave up skepticism and stopped listening to the people you respected because you really believed–only to have those beliefs dashed. It could be the marriage to the person everyone else said would hurt you, but you defended. Maybe it’s the chance you took at that new job—the one everyone else thought you were crazy for taking.

Imagine that dream dying. And then imagine it being reborn. Imagine the emotional upheaval and exhaustion from such a ride.

Then imagine it for your character.

And write it.

Time limit: 45 minutes

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Chris Hamilton is the current FWA Executive Vice President and the Project Manager for the Florida Writers Conference. He is a three-time RPLA finalist and has been featured in two FWA collections. He opines periodically about things of minimal importance at his personal blog.

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