A World of Sounds Enveloping Us

Once a week I like to go sit in a local restaurant and write in my notebook. I go during their downtime (between lunch and dinner) and write whatever comes to mind. I usually work on a couple of different stories each afternoon.

The staff have become used to me sitting quietly in one of their booths and often speak freely about both business and personal issues. It’s positively fascinating. I know more about many of these people than I know about some of my own family members. I learn about waitstaff’s travel plans, the owners’ family celebrations, how many gallons of cooking oil are ordered each month, and upcoming promotional ideas that get tossed around. I never contribute to these conversations—well, not yet—but I do get caught laughing at some of the coarser comments, like when one of the waitstaff called in sick for her third shift that week.

Today I tried to identify all the sounds I could. I have a list that covers two pages, which I condensed down just a tad for this week’s prompt from the Carrot Ranch: In 99 words (no more, no less) use sound to create a story.

Dinner Date

He pressed the oversized lid onto the sizzling wok with a metallic burst of frustration. His phone vibrated in his pocket, producing another insistent ding-ding-ding. She was sick, wasn’t coming in. The power washer whooshed to life, a sink full of silverware rattling under the steaming water. The sound made his teeth ache. He stepped into the hallway, where gentle guitar strings embraced him from strategically placed speakers. He dialed her number. Straight to voicemail. Beep. He hung up. He contemplated calling back. Rhythmic chopping against a thick cutting board interrupted his thoughts. He’d fire her after dinner service.


  • The “metallic burst of frustration”… shows sound as well as the scene, the tone, the problem. Have fun with the rest of the two pages of sounds.

    D. Avery @shiftnshakeAugust 9, 2017
    • That frustration was a bit of author intrusion — I was feeling frustrated about what to write 😉

      C. JaiAugust 11, 2017
  • What a writer, out there in the world collecting research! Sound data…and put to good use. Love how the sound resonates with the business and its frustrations.

    Charli MillsAugust 10, 2017
    • Any excuse to go out and enjoy the sights and sounds of the real world, right? 😉

      C. JaiAugust 11, 2017

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