Day 95 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about untapped potential.
Erin: “I don’t want to have to fail Bobby,” our son’s teacher Ms. Gilligan explained. “However, if he doesn’t start to turn in his assignment I will have no choice.”
“We don’t know what to do with him anymore,” my wife groaned.
“His entire life he hasn’t been the studious type,” I added.
“He is the smartest kid I know,” Ms. Gilligan took us both off guard.
“What do you mean. He has been held back two years,” I reminded.
“Well maybe if he had been moved up two years he wouldn’t have shut down.”
“Shut down,” my wife’s voice rose in concern.
“Bobby knows the material. Bobby knows the material better than I do. He has a photographic memory. He can read the text book faster than one would think possible. It took me a while to realize he was doing that portion of the assignment. He is literally a little supper absorbent sponge,” she was gesturing dramatically with her hands.
“So why is he not breezing through the material,” I prodded.
“He’s not excited. He has no interest. When I ask him about the material he knows all of the topics. I just can’t get him to take the time to write that knowledge down.”
“What do you suggest we do,” my wife asked.
“We need to push him to a higher level of learning, I can create more abstract material for him, but he should be tested for potential transfer to a gifted program.”
Shannon: “Whoa,” a woman exclaimed loudly, as she twisted in her chair to look at me in awe. I turned my head to her, waiting for explanation. “I’m sorry for eavesdropping, but I’ve kind of built my career off of it. Is that you regular voice,” she questioned.
Of course this was about my voice. Strangers have never subtle about it. “Yeah,” I shrugged, “I know it’s kind of goofy.’
“It’s kind of a brand.” She got up to add her chair to our table. “I’m Megan by the way,” she introduce herself to only me.
“Heather,” I went with it, shaking her hand. No one ever started a conversation with kind words about the way I spoke.
“I’m an agent for voice actors, and don’t worry I’m not a fake. I only make a commission if you get the gig, but with that voice you could be animated characters, or you could be in commercials. Have you thought about radio, because people love unique these days?”
“I’ve never acted before,” I shook my head. “How do you know if I’d be any good? Plus, half the voice actors nowadays are huge celebrities,” I tried to find every excuse to talk myself out of believing I had a chance.
“Sure you can’t be the star right away, but movies have a lot characters. And, it’s basically just talking. A cool sound can’t be taught, and it’s a great career. Please think about it, and call me when you decide,” she handed me her business card and I took it. “Or you know, just tell before you leave, because we both know you’re not going to pass this up,” she flashed an encouraging smile.
“I’ll think about it,” I nodded with a giggle.
You don’t know what you are capable of until you try, so try tackling this topic.
I watched his careful strokes, his eyes squinting at his work, from afar every lunch hour. These five hours a week were his only moments to be completely alone with his flourishing creativity. Each day, he brought out a new and unique technique for capturing the beauty of whatever it was he sketched or painted. No one was ever permitted to admire his work; he just laughed and called them “works in progress” with an airy flick of the wrist.
But today was going to be different; today was the day I’d make him show me his artwork. I stumbled down the cement steps, nearly landed sprawled on the damp grass, and galloped toward him. After being on the soccer team for six years, his reflexes were far better than my “stealth” was ever going to be. Pouting as he shut the book and grinned toothily in my direction, I sighed, “Aren’t you ever going to let anyone see your work?” His cheeks turned almost cherry red as he tentatively shook his head, beginning to jam the sketchpad back into his bag and gather his charcoal. “But we have such a great arts program. You have so much potential,” I begged, tears nearly springing to my eyes with the mix of frustration and horror at his dismissal.
“But that’s what it is, right? Untapped potential; the second I do something real with it, it becomes real,” he commented monotonously, having finished packing his meager supplies into the canvas sack he took with him everywhere.
When he passed on his way to class, he squeezed my shoulder comfortingly and chuckled dryly. I was about to follow when a pale leaf that was stuck in the bench he’d been resting on, caught my eye, fluttering in the wind. Sketched in stunningly realistic details and forlorn shadows, was a cherry blossom.
Created to Write:
Heather walks out of the sun room. When she makes it to the living room across the house, she face plants on the longest couch.
Heather turns so her cheek is on the couch, to see her dad sitting in an armchair, a book in hand, “Mom.”
Her dad tilts his head in thought, “How so?”
“She keeps talking about this contest coming up.” Heather turns her head back to the couch, “for singing.”
“I can’t hear you, what?” Mr. Morse asks. Heather smiles to herself, then sits up.
“Singing contest,” Heather repeats, “Mom wants me to do it.”
“What’s wrong with that? You love singing,” Mr. Morse states.
“Yeah, but not in front of an audience,” Heather crosses her arms, “and Mom is telling me she wants me to talk to some people she knows.”
“She’s just giving you options,” Mr. Morse assures, “she knows that if you change your mind, you need a head start with performing.”
“I never told her that’s what I want to do,” Heather says, “I don’t want to do that. She can’t seem to hear me.”
“Well,” Mr. Morse says calmly, “what do you want to do?”
Heather doesn’t answer, scowling.
“…Could you at least try?”
Heather sighs, but doesn’t answer.
“Is Kate performing?”
“Well, what if you performed together? You’d be having fun with your friend and appeasing your mother at the same time.” Mr. Morse scoots over to his daughter, whispering, “And Kate could probably keep the attention off you when Mom enacts her plan to use your untapped potential.”
Heather smirks to herself, “I… guess that could work.”
“That’s the spirit,” Mr. Morse cheers. Heather looks at him.
“Thanks Dad,” she leans over and hugs him.
Mr. Morse hugs her back, kissing her cheek. “No problem, Princess.”