Day 147 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write about something a character wants to preserve.
Erin: I’d spent weeks perfecting my friend’s cake. “Time yet,” she asked referring to eating my masterpiece.
“Do you realize how long it took to perfect every detail of your childhood home. Let’s admire it just a little longer,” I suggested.
“It’s beautiful but honey I am so beyond ready to taste your yummy creation.”
“Okay,” I gestured for her to do the damage.
“Yay,” she cheered cracking into the roof and my heart.
“Yay,” I mimicked watching her take the first bite. My heart sank more when her face went sour. When I stole her cake, and tested it for myself I realized the reason. The cake had also gone sour.
Shannon: I keep a collection of old newspaper articles in a clear sheet protector I placed in a decorative box where it sits in my closet. They all contain information of a tragic accident where almost an entire family was wiped out in a house fire. The only one who survived was a little girl without a single burn on her body.
That little girl was me, and I don’t remember much about that day. I have short flashbacks of my family, but nothing clear enough to latch onto. There are days now that I’m older where I wish I had one lasting scar to hold onto instead of faded pieces of paper and the few photos people could donate to me. I wanted something of my own to connect me to the people I carried with me everyday.
Help your character preserve through putting their wish in writing.
One day as I was scribbling a few beginning sentences of an article, one of the guards, an elf who picked his teeth with candy canes, glanced through the bars of my cell with curiosity in his eyes. “What are you doing?” he asked, his voice grating on my ears like a train whistle. After a moment of silence, in which I’d gone back to my work, he rolled his enormous eyes and tried another one, “You know you’re not getting out of here, right?” Though I hadn’t really thought about perhaps spending my final days in this strange place, his question didn’t change my views of the land I was in; it was just like our North Pole, only here the joy was real and the stakes were high.
Clearing my throat, I sighed and put down the pen, leaving a sentence half-written on the page, and stood up on sore legs. “Yeah, I get that. All I’ve got left is my curiosity, my journalistic tendencies. I suppose, in this case, I really must strive to preserve that vision of myself.” Having made my way to the bars, I smiled invitingly and began my own like of questioning, “So, you guys are actually happy?”
My question caught him off guard and he squinted at me for a moment. “Uhm, yeah, pretty much. I mean, there’s not a lot to be upset about,” he drollled on thoughtfully, “We build toys for everyone on the planet and they really appreciate it.” Shrugging, his smile crept slightly wider.
Muttering obsenities under my breath I took in the bitter air, almost choking. I nodded and grunted, “Hmm, and so some of you were taken across the portal to our world?” If I’d had a recorder, I’d be using it right about now, but I’d left them in my hotel.
“Yeah, it’s a pale recreation over there; you guys don’t understand the work that goes into some of that stuff. It sucks all the joy out of it. I’m sure when they were originally taken it was all fun and games, but I’ve heard it’s just a money grab.” When he nodded at me with a look of disapproval, I decided that the situation at the North Pole was even worse than I thought.
Man, though, my article was totally going to be worth all that I’d gone through.
Rick goes to his father, his resolve steeled. “I want to help.”
“Great, hand me the wrench,” Chris says, stretching for the tool just out of his reach.
Rick does so, “No, Dad.” Chris looks up. “I want to help the Everts.”
“No, they are training her.“
“Yeah, to help them. She’ll want to do it,” Rick follows him as he searches for another part. “And with her abilities, you’ll let her, I know it.”
“I am not losing you!” Chris says, turning around to face his son. “I know Jacey can handle herself when she can get her gift under control. With you-”
“I have nothing special,” Rick says.
“No no, Rick…”
“I’m strong! They can teach me to fight. You know they can!” Rick argues.
Chris doesn’t answer, looking at something on the floor. Then he looks up. “Maybe…” he says slowly, “maybe there’s a way for you to help, without going out with them. You’re good with computers, you can help with any tech they need.”
“You need to talk to them about it. If that’s not needed, then I’m putting my foot down.”
“Yes! Thank you.” Rick slaps his father good-naturedly on the shoulder, then leaves the workshop to find the phone.