Day 150 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: A character finds beauty in something most would consider ugly.
Shannon: I have always had this thing for insects. I know most girls run away in terror at the sight of one, but me I’m always the weirdo who sticks around to take a closer look. The way I see it, most people get excited over puppies and kittens, but I see the same adorable qualities in bugs. They are mini living creatures, somehow surviving in a world that wasn’t built for their success, what’s not to admire about that kind of resilience?
Erin: I knew Buddy was a good choice the day I saw him. He was on his last leg at the shelter, because he wasn’t a stereotypical cute dog. He had one eye permanently closed. His mouth came up in a little scowl. He was the most beautiful soul though and that I knew. He was the happiest dog when he greeted people and the sweetest snuggler when I was upset. Whatever emotion people needed he emitted and that made him the most gorgeous dog I could picture. `
Beauty is in the eye of your character.
She twirled as the trees flexed their rough limbs out of her way, sighing to each other in that eerie way they communicated without letting on. But her leather-soled shoes treaded daintily along the forgotten path without her hearing the subtle conversations, humming some ancient lullaby no one would recognize the tune of and prancing her fingers about as though she were conducting a grand symphony in the deepening forest. As her fair voice rose and fell among the leaves at her feet, the young girl giggled exuberantly, emerald light falling across her scarred cheek and glinting off the pendant she wore. Shining ever so slightly with its own quivering glow, the stone about her neck bore the intricate symbol of an everlasting life and reminded everyone who saw her that she existed when she shouldn’t.
Resurrection wasn’t uncommon, but it was looked down upon as a dark art that ought not be used unless there are extenuating circumstances. It was a stigma across the globe to be brought back from the brink of death for more than the obvious; most figured cheating death wasn’t right. But, as this little girl was proof of, the consequences were far worse than simply supposed to be dead or having the general population give you strange, untrusting looks. Oh, no, those who were brought back had a morbid obsession with death, decay and despair as well as exploring their own mortality. Common knowledge pointed to part of the soul not being reunited with the corpse and, instead, wandering the stars for all eternity, never to be whole again.
The girl’s voice rose to meet the deep, rolling boom of thunder coming up on the watercolour sunset sky as the storm threatened to drench the world with its tears. But these bone-chilling echoes only urged the girl on, her long skirts flaring out at her heels and a peaceful smile across her porcelain cheeks. When she finally stopped, eyes shut and face pointed toward the dying sun, she stood on the very edge of the burnt ruins of a tiny town.
Tiptoeing through the scarred rubble, she continued the dark tune she’d been carrying, letting her voice pick it up with haunting lines. The smile never slipped, even as she opened her faintly-glowing eyes and gazed upon the cracked clock tower. When it fell, the clock’s face had split in two, exposing a myriad of cogs and intricate workings. In the wreckage, the girl stooped and plucked a few parts in her tiny fingers and twisted them around to mesh in mid-air.
While most would see the ruined village as a burnt smudge on their maps, the broken girl with the scarred face could see past the ugly exterior and felt at the stone-cold heart of the town. To her, and anyone who’d felt death’s icy grip, the town was a place of beauty and elegance beyond any other. If you’ve already died once, everything you set your eyes on is a thing of stunning beauty.
Heather turns her head, half listening to the caretaker next to her. Andrew is in one of the playrooms across from her. He has his robot standing, parts sticking out and pieces scattered around him. She watches him work with everything blocked out, until a group of kids walks over to him.
“What are you doing?” One of the older ones asks.
Andrew looks up, “Working on my robot. Want to see?”
The kids laugh. “No need, I can tell it’s ugly from here.” The kids laugh again.
“No it’s not!” Andrew yells.
“Yes it is. I bet it doesn’t even work.”
“It will! I just need a power source and it will work!”
The kids ignore him. The biggest one has the nerve to tap one of the arms. The whole thing falls over. The kids walk away, leaving Andrew to pick up the mess.
Heather has already started to walk over to help him, maybe even talk to the kids that were bullying him, only for another kid to get there first. Heather stops and watches. “Hi,” the boy says.
Andrew looks up at him for a second, before going back to his clean up, “Hey…”
“Need some help?” The boy asks.
The boy still kneels down. He carefully picks up stray pieces, then supports one of the arms as Andrew puts the body upright again. “I’m Justin,” the boy says.
Andrew looks at him a moment. “…Andrew. My sisters call me Andy.”
“I think your robot is cool,” Justin says.
Andrew looks up, “Really?”
“Yeah! It’s beautiful,” Justin says. He fiddles with a loose gear on the elbow. “…How does it work?”
Andrew is stunned for a second, then grins bright. He starts to point to different parts of the robot, explaining what it does, or will do. Justin listens with rapt attention. Heather smiles, then turns to find the group that bothered her brother.
She stares until one of them notices, tapping the others on the shoulder. They all look at Heather. The tough looking super soldier that they saw standing by and chatting with Captain America earlier is glaring them down. She nods to Andrew, not taking her gaze off the group.
The supposed leader of the group visibly gulps. Heather then walks over to them. She leans down so they can hear her, “He’s been through a similar situation to you, children,” she says quietly, “so I suggest you treat Andy with respect.”
One of the kids, the same one to tip over the robot, gains false courage to speak out, “…Andy doesn’t talk to others. I bet he’s dumb.”
Heather turns her gaze to him, and he loses all the courage left. “He’s smarter than all of you. And no one but his friends and his sisters can call him Andy.”
The kids all understand the gravity of her stressing the second title. “Y-Yes ma’am,” one says.
“Good,” she smiles, then stands straight and walks over to Andrew. She sits down with the two boys, “Who’s your friend, Andy?”