This Weekâ€™s Challenge:
Pick any three of the genres/themes listed above and, using prose or poetry, combine them to make a cohesive story. This lends itself more to fiction but, if youâ€™ve been honing your writing skills, you might impress us with nonfiction or a first-person essay.
Choice s Given (with my choices bolded):
2nd person POV, an embarrassing moment in your life, anthropomorphism, award thank you, biography, character development, childrenâ€™s story, conspiracy theory, detective/mystery, emotions, erotica, exposition, fairy tale, fan fiction, fantasy world, first paragraph of a novel, foreword/preface, ghost story, ghostwriting, historical fiction, history lesson, instructions, interviews, jokes, military/war, movie plots, movie review, new or improved, picture book, research paper, rewriting famous works, romance, sci-fi, time travel, vampires, westerns, and wives tales.
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I'll be honest, but you won't believe me, I hope.
I'm a freelance reporter for Delaware Valley Newspapers with nothing to write, so I went to Olde City, Philadelphia today, hoping to find some kind of new angle on what has been done to death in this city â€“ our revolutionary era history. It has been a long day, and I didn't find anything new to write, so I grabbed dinner at The City Tavern and saw Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross eating together in the back.
No, I'm not a few fries short of a Happy Meal. You're not from around here, are you? Anyone around here knows that those two re-enactors got married a few years ago. They play the part of Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross. Personally, I don't know what Betsy Ross looked like, but anyone can vouch that Ben Franklin looks like what you would expect Ben Franklin to look like. And those two older people got married, in real life, a few years ago. I thought that could be my angle. Maybe they aren't living happily ever after, you know?
So, I did what any good reporter would do, I sat in the booth behind Betsy. Well, I knew they might be quiet, if they knew someone was eavesdropping, so I sat in the seat farther away from them and tried out this new app for my phone. It was made to record lectures, but I turned it on, slipped it close to the corner of the bench on the side of my booth closest to the newlyweds, and pulled out the paper's crossword puzzle, so they wouldn't think I noticed them. It worked, judging from what I heard on the tape, as they were leaving. And it was a good thing I listened immediately, or I wouldn't have followed them.
I'll give you the important parts and then tell you what I saw. As I said, you won't believe me anyway.
"But, Ben, we'll have to eat malmaloo, again. Can you really go back to that slimy, crunchy feeling again?" Betsy's voice could work on a sex phone line.
"It's a black hole. The Mayans were right and if we don't leave now, we'll get sucked in it before this planet." answered Ben. "Death or malmaloo? Is there a choice?"
"No more hot pretzels with mustard. No more cheesesteaks. No more curly fries. No more prime rib." Her voice pulled from sexy to whiny old wife. "Look at that meat. Can you live without that again?"
"I know. I know. The food here can't be beat and malmaloo should be beat, at least to death before we have to eat the critter, but we have no choice. Do you know any other place we can go, besides home?"
There was silence, as they ate their meal. And then Betsy chuckled, "Do you remember how tough it was when we first came here?"
He chuckled with her. "Cooking dinner in an open fireplace. I had to make that stove or eat out every night. Never could manage a pie using a fireplace. I just wish I could have brought more technology to this planet earlier in our lives."
"You were a cocky kid." She laughed. "No wonder I didn't like you back then. I still can't believe you just had to bring out the odometer for a carriage no less. And the glass armonica. What was that about?"
"I thought it would catch on. It's a big hit back home and I miss the music." He laughed with her. "We do have advantages at home."
"Well, after living a century with horse drawn carriages, even I have to admit automobiles seem almost as good as dimension gates, now."
"Are you sure I can't replicate one before we leave, for old times sake?" Ben chuckled.
"No. You're a re-enactor. You can't become an inventor again. I still disagree with the whole lightening rod thing," she said, in a way only a wife could talk to a husband. "Besides, this solar system is gone in two years."
"First, 13 months, not two years," Ben scoffed. "And, second, it was your house that would have burned down, and you weren't even done that damn flag. What took so long?"
"Five-pointed stars, not six-pointed stars. I can't believe you never bothered to learn to sew in the entire time we've lived here, and don't give me that 'men don't sew' crap. I have told you for centuries that tailors are men."
"Could have replicated the weather forecast mechanism, too."
"Don't get me started. Remember how long it took these people to figure out you were right about the Gulf Stream? And then there was that whole business about Daylight Savings Time. It's a wonder you weren't caught."
"Well, it doesn't matter now."
They finished their dinners like people eating their last meal.
"Do we have to go tonight?"
"Black hole? Event horizon? We can't wait."
"Can I have one more apple pie for old times' sake?"
"We can take a few pies with us," he chuckled.
He signaled to the waiter and ordered half a dozen pies to go, which was when I grabbed my phone and listened to the recording, while they waited.
I admit. I wasn't sure if they knew I was recording them and said all that to fool me, so I followed them.
They walked to the base of the Ben Franklin Bridge, and it was late enough that the traffic allowed them to get into the middle of that mini park to that insane looking impressionistic kite sculpture.
I hate that kite. I've always hated that kite. I spent five years crossing that bridge for work, before realizing that huge hunk of metal was even supposed to be a kite. As much as I've hated that kite, I hate it more now. I saw the two of them go under it, and a bright beam of light transported them into the top of the structure. The top lit up when they disappeared, and then I heard a roar. I thought it was the Patco Speedline going underneath my feet, until the kite flew away.
If I thought it matter, I would have written this piece in proper newspaper reporting style. I do know how to do that, but let's face it. Do you believe me? Do you think any newspaper would believe me?
When the sun comes up this morning, the news story of the day will be that missing kite. I can't imagine how they'll explain it, especially since the subway platform under it has disappeared, too. But, out of all the theories and all the investigations, I'm sure they won't buy one story. I'm sure they won't believe the original Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross took off in it as a spaceship. I'd tell the truth to the investigators, but I don't want to spend the last 13 months of my life, our lives, in The U. of Penn's psych ward.
Besides, this is just an answer to a prompt on Gather, right? I just hope that the missing sculpture doesn't make national news tomorrow night.