Writer’s Digest Writing Prompt: April Showers Bring a Murder

Prompt: Start your story with “April showers bring May flowers, at least, that’s what my ______ used to tell me.” Then end your story with story with, “And that, officer, is why I had to murder my ______.”

Response:

“April showers bring May flowers. At least, that’s what my mum used to tell me. That was before I realized the reality we walk is a lie. Well, if I’m going for total honesty here, it’s both a truth AND a lie. Each choice we make creates a certain dichotomy of possible outcomes, all dependent upon whether our choices are mutually exclusive. When they are, each possible outcome creates a new reality as tangible and present as our own.”

I paused there and looked up at the officer, who was looking at me as if I had been puffing on a magic dragon for the better part of three years. Narrowing my eyes, I continued, gesturing for him to resume his typing.

“Well, such mutual exclusivity simply would not do. I was convinced that there was a way for our divergent realities to cross paths. So I went to MIT, got degrees in advanced particle, applied, and theoretical physics, and proceeded to work out a method to travel between the various universes.”

“You’re seventeen, kid.” The officer interrupted.

“What does the chronological passage of time have to do with this? Don’t interrupt. Anyway, as I was saying, I invented this machine, went to one of the other realities parallel, but not too distant from our own, and had a good romp there. The me that exists there is a bit of a party animal, so I enjoyed living his life for a bit while he was otherwise occupied. You see, apparently you have to switch places when you cross realities. He was here while I was there. Let me tell you, that must have been interesting for him. But anyway, to get back, we had to trade places again, he didn’t want to – all very “Tale of Two Cities.””

The officer stared at me blankly. He’d forgotten to type the last few lines, so I helped myself to his keyboard and typed out the last few lines. I also took the liberty of fixing all his typos. I can’t stand the stupid blue and red squiggly underlines.

“Anyway, he didn’t want to go back, so I had to persuade him. And contrary to what my mum said, April showers don’t always bring May flowers. At least not for that me. Unfortunately, my persuasion resulted in some sort of cosmic schism and he died. I’m still looking into it. And that, officer, is why I had to murder myself.”

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