Inside a Writer’s Mind 16: The Onion King – 501 Prompts

This story gave me quite some trouble to come up with something to say about it. I thought that might be because I’ve written it almost 2 weeks ago and didn’t take any notes about the process. (Smart!)

Then I noticed that it’s probably because the 2 characters featured are me. In a way. I’ve been on both sides of a conversation similar to the one in the prompt. So they posed their own unique challenge for me to talk about them.

An attention-grabbing intro that makes people want to read more? Perfect. Let’s get into it.

(Psst! Haven’t read the prompt yet? Don’t worry.)

Coming into the prompt, I already knew that I wanted to write around a situation I’ve experienced more than once in my life. The keyword that sparked the idea was ‘apartment’.

I’ve seen a lot of messy apartments. Some of them were spaces I lived in, and sometimes they were a dump because of me. You know what they say about creative minds and chaos.

So, I thought, how about a messy apartment, something disgusting involving an onion and the people living there arguing about who has to clean it up. Simple enough, right?

The idea kept evolving, the more I thought about my experiences. I’m living in the same place for 5 years now but I’ve moved a few times before.

I was always excited at first. Happy that I’ve found a place to live with nice people. But after a few days, reality usually kicks in, and you notice things about them you wish you wouldn’t have. Everyone has their own habits and quirks.

Like that girl that only ate fried food and never changed the oil she used for her “cooking”. Of course, she left the pot standing open in the kitchen at all times.

Or the 20-year-old guy with the thickest mustache I’ve ever seen until today who invited me to go fencing with him. Seriously, that ‘stache is still haunting me.

Or the yoga instructor who had her friends over to smoke weed, play guitar, and sing until 4 am in the morning. Every night. I’m not kidding. After 2 months I learned that they had moved into her room. We were 6 people in an apartment with only one bathroom. It was great.

People can be weird, is what I’m trying to say. And everyone has their own way of justifying their behavior. Suddenly, if you’re naive like I’ve been, you’re left disenchanted and doubting your own judgment.

That’s precisely the situation I wanted to put my character in. To make it right, Kira needed to be that hopeful optimist.

She has just moved in with Chris and Anna and is super excited about the new place. Even when Chris starts with his colorful story, she wants to believe him. Or at least see something good in it.

I really don’t know why I’ve made her a student of literature. Maybe because that’s what I’ve studied, and I want to drag my poor character down the same path.

Only a day after Kira moved in, she noticed that something is off. Surprise! Chris left a mess in the living room. It has been there for quite a while by the looks of it. Obviously, he has the perfect cover story prepared when Kira asks him about it.

I mean, the Onion King? Really? That just sounds silly. But that’s what we’ve got to work with. It’s basically a generic myth in short form. A giant living onion that goes around and saves people who needs saving. Just like Batman. Just that it’s… an onion.

Chris is someone who has a story ready for almost anything. In a way I sympathize with him. Telling silly lies and inventing weird facts to try to hide my own shortcomings? That’s me. Only in a funny, not hurtful way, of course. Well, that still sounds kinda terrible when I read it like that.

At first, I couldn’t decide on the twist of the story. I didn’t know if I wanted the myth of the Onion King to be real or not. But to me, Anna, the other roommate, rushing in to spill the tea was way funnier and less random. Tbat’s why I went with that option.

So, Anna is the voice of reason in this apartment. She’s sick of Chris’s behavior. Maybe she’s seen it unfold too many times and didn’t say anything until she just couldn’t take it anymore. Or she hoped that a new roommate would make Chris change.

Poor Kira, what have you been dragged into?

That’s about it. I hope you liked my ramblings and can take something useful away for your own creative process.

Tell me in the comments about your worst (or best) experiences with roommates. Looking forward to read your stories!

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