Prompt Images

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. Unless, of course, I am my own worst enemy. In which case, this circular problem will result in mutually-assured self-destruction. How do we get you to self-destruct? We asked our writers to give us the 5-step game plan.

Kelaine Conochan – Self-Destruction at Your Friend’s Special Event

Step 1. Forget to bring your running shoes on your overnight trip.
Step 2. Sit in the middle back seat while someone else drives you, slowly and without purpose, in the left lane.
Step 3. Attend a gender reveal party.
Step 4. In protest, decide not to eat the deftly executed, highly Pinterested “light apps,” in shades of blue and pink.
Step 5. Remain in the room, seething, as your friend’s relatives suggest names for the unborn creature.

Billy Hafferty – Regularly Scheduled Self-Destruction

Step 1. Say yes to everything even though your schedule is packed to the brim.
Step 2. Do not plan anything in preparation for an overbooked schedule reminding yourself, “It will all work out; you have energy and patience for everything.”
Step 3. Do not cancel anything when you clearly don’t have the energy or patience of any of the committed things in Step 1.
Step 4. Do not sleep enough. Continue to put in a half-ass effort in all of the above things.
Step 5. Make excuses and apologize for being a bad friend/coworker/leader/significant other.

Mikael Johnson – Self-Destruction via Morning I Overslept

Step 1. Don’t have time to make coffee; will make an emergency stop somewhere. Mother Calls.
Step 2. Stuck behind a bus (school or public) picking up passengers. Co-Worker Calls.
Step 3. Stop for Coffee… stand in line 2 minutes, decide to get coffee at office. Boss calls.
Step 4. Takes 10 minutes to get out of strip mall parking lot and onto main road. Client Calls.
Step 5. Get to office. Only creamer is almond milk. Printer down. Service Called.

Jillian Conochan – Self-Destruction Gets a Rage Makeover

Step 1. Perfect cat eye flick (left).
Step 2. Wonky cat eye flick (right). Thicken left flick; now imperfect. Smudge and embrace smoky eye.
Step 3. Attempt to print out shipping label and affix to some chance parcel, because the FedEx box is “on the way” to some soiree I’m now running late for.
Step 4. PRINTER ERROR beeebooeeeeeesckkkkkrrrrrrrbdbdbd.
Step 5. Rage mug toss & cleanup.

Mike Maiello – Self-Destruction Through Construction

Step 1. These instructions don’t make sense to me. I need words, not pictures.
Step 2. Check out YouTube and find a video of somebody putting this together, but there’s a long, pre-roll ad that can’t be skipped.
Step 3. Oh, I see how these piece go together anyway, it’s intuitive.
Step 4. Just bend this a bit and then it slots into place after I use a shoe as a hammer.
Step 5. Put the extra parts in the basement, assuming they must be “spares.”

Dennis William – Self-Destruction, A Play in Five Acts

Step 1. Writing a cover letter.
Step 2. Shopping at any Trader Joe’s location.
Step 3. Navigating the parking garage of any Trader Joe’s location.
Step 4. Having to watch someone (or worse, a group of someones) overthink a decision when the decision is either obvious or inconsequential.
Step 5. Reading the opening essay explaining the blogger’s personal connection to the recipe for cheesy potatoes. Nobody gives a goddamn fuck if your kids, who have no business being on a travel lacrosse team for 10 year-olds, love this dish after a match on weekends in autumn, Karen, get to the ingredients list!

Erin Vail – Self-Destruction Comes at You Fast

Step 1. Start biking down a hill.
Step 2. Enjoy the rate of increased speed a little too much.
Step 3. Stop braking and go faster.
Step 4. Realize much too late that there’s a stone wall at the bottom of the hill.
Step 5. Overcorrect, brake, and turn so violently that you slam into the asphalt before hitting the stone wall, and tear off most of the skin on your right outer thigh.

Heather Schaff – Self-Destruction – the Silent Killer

Step 1: Killing it on the time trial course on a beautiful day, and suddenly your rear derailleur decides to go on the fritz.
Step 2: Trying to read and interpret the operating instructions for said derailleur.
Step 3: Coming home to your kid telling you he left his wallet somewhere and you have to jump in the car to try to find it.
Step 4: Wanting to speak your mind so badly, and holding yourself back, and regretting it afterwards.
Step 5: Agreeing to just one more little change requested by the author/art director/sales and marketing department. And straining to keep your mouth shut. (See Step 4.)

The Prompt Staff

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more