In the Dark

Sometime in 1982 I was sitting in the dark in a movie theater in Pontiac, Michigan, watching a movie called “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” I remember enjoying the movie quite a bit, especially the parts involving levitating bicycles. But what I recall most about the movie occurred around the 100-minute mark when (warning: spoiler alert for the two of you who haven’t seen the movie) E.T. the extra-terrestrial appears to have died. At that point, a girl sitting next to me (whom I didn’t know) began to weep. I mean cry, and cry hard. So hard she started to shake. So hard that I was afraid, not for E.T. but for the crying girl. I was sincerely concerned. And the rest of the movie I barely watched, my eyes and mind focused on the girl.

Fast-forward (the VHS tape) 30 years into the future and I’m on HarperCollins’ Tumblr feed, reading about a new book just published to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of “E.T.” and the experience in the movie theater in ’82 comes streaming back to me. It’s an experience I hadn’t thought of in 20, if not 30 years. And it led me to today’s prompt, which is this:

Begin to write a piece of prose or poetry that takes place in a movie theater. It could take place during a movie in a crowded or not-so-crowded theater, or before or after a movie in a nearly deserted theater. (If you’d like further direction, the movie on the screen, just screened, or about to be screened is an alien/extra-terrestrial picture).