Are You Drunk? – an ISG Writing Exercise

On 17 February 2016, these three words were chosen:

  • Hyphen
  • Irish
  • Bottle

And these blurbs were written within five minutes….Enjoy!



“I just realized something” she said slurring most of the words.

“Are you drunk?” Mitch asked already knowing the answer. He looked around and found the bottle of Irish Whiskey on the counter. He walked over to pick it up and noticed it was almost half empty.

He turned around to ask what had brought on this day time drinking and found that Katie was no longer in the room. He noticed however, pieces of clothing that were creating a path down the hallway toward the bedroom.

He tilted his head, took a long swig and set the bottle back down on the counter. How had she moved so fast? he thought to himself as he began to follow the trail of clothes removing his along the way.

Walking through the bedroom door he found her laying across the middle of the bed, he smiled when she motioned him over and he leaned in for a kiss. When he pulled away she whispered “You taste like a… like a… hyphen” and then passed out.

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“I said I wanted the specific mix of Irish hyphen American. What about that description did you not understand?”

I stood looking at the she-vamp with a numb expression, I hoped, on my face. Being a newer vampir, I admit, I wasn’t as picky about the genetic type, vintage or otherwise of my meal. I was still in the if it’s warm I’ll eat it stage. How I was tasked to serve this bimbo with weird cravings was beyond my comprehension. I briefly remember that one thing, the image rearing its ugly face in the forefront of my memory and I knew again how I had ended up with this servitude. Two more weeks of it too.

“Would a bottle of vintage 300 Greek make up for it,” I asked running a hand over the wax sealed bottles lining the side of her study.

“Gross,” she wrinkled her nose and looked at the behemoth of a man slumped in the chaise lounge.

“I suppose he will do for tonight but tomorrow,” she raised a brow and hissed at me, “tomorrow I want Irish friggin American. Got it?”

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“What’s with the Irish and the hyphens in their names?” Sarah asked, running her finger down the pages of the antique register.

“Not sure,” Max answered. “Something to do with making sure both sides of the lineages were kept maybe?”

“Huh. Fascinating.” Sarah’s voice, had Max been paying attention, gave no indication that she was in any way actually fascinated. Her tone, had he been listening, conveyed a certain bored irritation.

Sarah walked around the dusty room, picking up items here and there, and tried not to lose her temper. It had been four days that Max had been tracing some silly family tree down in here, and Sarah was beyond bored. She picked up a small green bottle she found tucked in between some moldy looking books and held it up to the window. The glass had the same dullness she’d seen when she found sea glass, but was a sickly puke green. It wasn’t a very pretty bottle she thought as she looked at it more closely. Was there something inside?

Max finished his notes and turned to tell Sarah he was ready to leave, but found her already gone. He shrugged and went outside, and didn’t see the little green bottle on the floor, a miniature Sarah trapped inside.

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Max put down the bottle of Irish whiskey and stared at the word he just wrote. Damn hyphens, he thought to himself. They were his nemesis; always unsure when he should use them, but when he had enough to drink he stopped caring, so he poured some more into his glass and made short work of it.  He sat in his chair waiting for the alcohol to do its job, but it was no use. Max was more agitated than normal and he knew why. It was the woman he met today. She was beautiful with her long dark hair and blue eyes that seemed to pierce his soul.

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Damian took another swig from the bottle. The rum burned the whole way down but it reminded him he was alive, so he didn’t care. With immence effort, he dragged himself further up. The boat continued to burn around him, the sails nothing but ashes now. Her keel was fixed on the reef, but the tide was coming in and every wave threatened to pull the ship under.

Damian took another swig, gritted his teeth, and swung his shattered leg over the gaping hole of the deck. Pain lanced up his whole body and he screamed, muffling the sound with his fist. The King’s ship had appeared as if by magic, right on their tail. They didn’t have a chance to turn before the cannons blasted through. Damian had been fortunate to be on deck at the time. No one below would have survived, certainly not after they were rammed into the reef.

He looked down at his leg. In amongst the fire, the screaming, the explosions and the creaking of wood stressed passed its limits, he didn’t actually remember how he had gotten wounded. The bone was exposed, a grim little hyphen of white between his knee and his foot. Dear god, if he managed to get off this ship alive, he was probably going to lose the leg. He began to black out, his vision fading. It might have been his imagination playing delirious death-specters at him, but before darkness took him, Damian swore he heard an Irish lilt calling from somewhere nearby and yet very far off.

“Ahoy, mate! Hold on, we’re coming aboard!”

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“So you’re seriously going to marry that Irish guy you just shared a bottle of whiskey with in that crazy bar with the hyphenated name you can’t even pronounce?” Jess stared at Donna, certain they were on a tv show or something. Any minute now, the guy with the camera and the microphone would jump out from behind the booth near the door, and she would find herself sitting on a couch saying something like “Well, I didn’t believe it when she first told me…”

Ugh. No way. If this was some kind of reality show, like Trick Your Best Friend Into Thinking You Have Lost Your Mind, Jess wouldn’t spend that couch time coming to heartfelt realizations about Donna’s life choices. She’d likely use her time to share her true feelings on the subject–not that she ever didn’t share her true feelings–and tell her friend that she had in actuality just said the dumbest thing ever. And that included that time in 9th grade with the pillows and the mouthwash.

“You don’t even know his name,” Jess said, feeling the heat rise in her face as she stared at Donna’s expression, poor, sweet, innocent Donna who couldn’t spot a villain in the middle of a robbery.

“His name doesn’t matter, Jess,” Donna cooed. “I just know, you know? We’re in looovvveee!”

Jess’ hand moved on its own, wanting to shake the blissfully ridiculous look off of her friend’s face, but she clenched her fists and put them back at her sides.

“Oh, yeah? You’re in love with the guy who used your credit card to finance the drinking habits of the entire bar last night?”

“Just think: it will make a great story for our kids…”

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1 Comment

Filed under Creative Writing, Writers Group, Writing, Writing Exercise

One response to “Are You Drunk? – an ISG Writing Exercise

  1. Pingback: Writing Exercise: Damn hyphens… – Alanna Cormier

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