Writing Prompt: Day 22

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Day 22 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Make your character a prodigy at something mundane.

Shannon: Carl had a strange gift, but one that we all appreciated. He could clean up snow like no other, and never needed the help of any machines. Even when assistance was available, he’d never accept the help. They would only get in his way.

He told us he was going downstairs to clean up the parking lot about fifteen minutes before our workday was over. Everyone in our department immediately went to the windows. We never gave up the opportunity to watch, because the way he worked was nothing short of a dance.

His only tools were a shovel, a bag of rock salt, and his preferred blue and sliver snowbrush and scraper. He started with the sidewalk, shoveling it in a maze like pattern and releasing the build up with what looked like the flick of his wrist. After he was done he sprinkled the rock salt like confetti, spreading it with so much joy.

Next he moved onto the cars, he’d go around in the morning asking all of the employees during every snowstorm if they minded if he cleaned their car. Everyone was too grateful and trusting to deny his offer. Still he would ask anyway, too respectful to go on without permission. He was dusting the snow off the cars as if he were fighting off their demons, but still gentle on their structure as he scrapped away the ice hidden underneath. Snow was surrounding him like glitter. The way he cleaned snow turned the task into an art form.

Erin: “Do you have one of those folding mechanisms like they have a clothing stores,” my mom asked as she strolled into my walk-in closet.

“No,” I leaned on the door of the closet.

“So, you just folded these shirts like normal,” she asked holding up a white tee.

“Is that so hard to believe,” I didn’t get why she was so surprised. When I lived at home she always put my clothing away, but that didn’t mean I was incapable of doing the task on my own.

“The hems are perfectly lined up with the fold. It looks like a machine did this. You must spend hours putting this closet away, she continued to speculate.

“No longer than the average person,” I argued.

“You’re too much of a perfectionist, there is no need for them to be folded this perfectly,” she grumbled unfolding the top one.

“I don’t care if they are folded perfectly,” I illuminated fixing it within a few seconds. “I’m just good at folding.” I walked out as my mother looked to my closet in wonder.

Even something plain can be made amazing if someone has a talent for it. What is your character’s.

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2 thoughts on “Writing Prompt: Day 22

  1. Kate:
    Walking past grey-skinned apples and blackened bananas in the isle I came across a practically florescent carrot sitting atop a pile of ashen carrots. When I plucked it from its resting place and added it to a glowing green pepper and periwinkle grapes I sighed at the meager pickings. I adjusted my earphones as one began to slip as I made a last attempt at fresh produce. Slowly I picked my way to the dairy section for some off-white milk and grey cheese before heading to the cash.
    Arriving there I kept my eyes on my groceries, ignoring the crush of rush hour shoppers and focusing on the deafening music in my head. Before me a woman had picked up some murky eggs and particularly white chicken that I wouldn’t touch. See, I’m completely colour blind. The only exception to my colour blindness is perfectly ripe things. So when I saw the woman staggering down the aisle to my line with pale brown skin and blond hair I was a little freaked out.

    Until that day I had never seen a human being in colour; they were always somewhere on the scale of grey. But after that I began to see them all over the place. After a while I started to think that meant something. Perhaps I was supposed to do something about these people who were perfectly ripe. Other than a few emaciated young people everyone who was in full colour was older so maybe it meant they were going to die.
    After the first person I ate I realized my curse was actually a gift. Human beings tasted quite wonderful. When I opened up my shop, serving only the ripest human meat to humans, people flocked. I even figured out a cheap and easy way to harvest the meat. Hanging out at bars when they closed was a great way; they’d stumble out full of booze and all I’d have to do was ask if they wanted something to sober them up at my shop.
    For years I had squandered this wonderful gift on bringing home only the best food to my family but once I really got into my true calling there was no stopping me. I’m also a world renowned foodie and have personally closed down several restaurants in my city thanks to this gift; knowing whether something is definitively freshest is certainly a plus.
    But the shop is still my passion. Killing people became second nature, and has even come to be a good stress reliever. It also gives you quite the workout hauling a dead body full of alcohol into your van, out of the van and chopping it up. Going through almost three humans a day has really helped me beef up. Who needs a gym?
    Twenty years down the road no one had figured it out; who would suspect a simple restaurant owner? I still serve the freshest produce with my free-range human meat products. We don’t serve minors, though. I still have some morals.

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  2. Russell:
    I am the best janitor in the whole world. Not the most glamourous job, an underappreciated job for sure too. For all them polite folk, I’ll do you the favour of leaving out the details. The mildest of these have been cleaning up washrooms inside recreational centers. I’ll let you figure it out from there. What I’m good at however is staying up till 4 o’clock to get an entire floor done. What the boss wants he gets.
    I vacuum the last cubicle before checking my archaic wrist watch. Putting the bulky vacuum cleaner inside the closet. I step into the elevator and press the button for the ground floor. I stood alone with my blue coveralls as each ding of a floor tolled. 31. “Ding!” 30. “Ding! 29. “Ding!”
    I idly check my watch again as the elevator finally comes to a stop at the ground floor. “Another night done.” I said sadly.

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