Write the sentence: “The cat stretched one gray paw, sinking his claws into ———-,” on a blank sheet of paper. Spend the next 10 minutes writing whatever comes to mind. “Don’t stop to think, worry, or edit and redraft your work.
Here’s what I managed to do:
The cat stretched one gray paw, sinking his claws into a can of Vienna sausage. The small, tin can with a picture of shiny, brown sausages made him push away his bowl of milk in distaste. Sitting all alone on the empty kitchen counter, it was too tempting to ignore. But it had been exactly twenty-three minutes since he jumped onto the cold, granite top and began digging into what is turning out to be a formidable opponent.
He had all but punctured the tough tin can, writhing and hissing, scratching and screeching, trying to keep a steady gait with all his might on three slippery paws, while the other incessantly works on the insurmountable task.
The white door suddenly swings open and a red and brown quilted kitchen ornament falls to the floor. A hand reaches down to pick it up, giving him enough time to jump down and land right beside his bowl of milk still full.
The cat sloppily licks his milk and his paw, alternately, in false contentment. As he examines his blunt nails, he throws a sharp glance at the tin can being lifted from the counter top, and at once the sight startles him. An open flap beneath exposes even edges of slits made by a can opener, bobbing up and down, as if laughing at a big joke, taunting him, and giving a good holler as the empty tin bangs against the walls of an aluminum garbage can.