Flanked by two hardback wheeled suitcases at either ankle, Gaston waited on the curb, watching the families from the surrounding low income area enjoy the sunbathed park across the narrow street. Behind him loomed an aged apartment complex—a concrete eyesore—which had been his home for the past ten years while he worked, attended university, and cared for his ailing mother, who had recently passed.
“Gaston!” An old man with a cane, one of the apartment complex’s longtime tenants, hobbled hurriedly down the sidewalk. “Oh, good you’re still here. I thought I missed you.”
“You nearly did.”
“Eh?” Catching his wind, the old man followed Gaston’s pointing finger to an angular sunflower-yellow hatchback circling around the park toward them. “Oh my, my timing is good today. Oh, Gaston! What I’d give to be in your shoes!”
Gaston’s incredulous chuckle lodged in his throat. “I’m not going on vacation, Mr. Geisler,” he said. “I’m being evicted. The rent, my student loans, Mum’s hospital—” Swallowing, he squinted against stark midday sunshine. Sucked in a deep breath and let it go. At least pop’s not here to see it. “And, uh, you know how I was laid off by two of my three part time jobs? Well my third job… the manager phoned me this morning…”
“My opinion stands,” said Mr. Geisler, “and I’ll tell you why.” He hung his cane in the crook of his elbow to count off in his thick, gnarled fingers. “You’ve got your health, your youth, your education…” He gestured to the hatchback that pulled up at their feet. “And a good friend.”
Children’s laughter trickled from the park where a simple kite entertained several.
“What you’re going through,” Mr. Geisler went on, “is not an obstacle or a grave. It is a beckoning, a challenge, an invitation to move beyond the mundanities of the petty, survivalist persona that this shabby, cutthroat city forces on all of us; and to forge new experiences, a new life, freely. Something better, brighter, truer. This moment, my friend, is the next chapter calling to you.” He added in earnest, “All that remains now is how you answer it.”
The angular little hatchback was missing much of its original yellow paint; two of the tires were on nearly bald, the other two shone jet black and sported sharp virgin tread; the idling vehicle’s metal heart hummed with noisy vibrancy. Within, the driver, a strongly built young man with dark hair combed to one side, leaned across to manually roll down the passenger window and smiled out at them through hazel-tinted aviators. “You ready?”
The old man nudged Gaston’s elbow with his. “Towards adventure with you.”
- Write a story for a sunny day.
- Write a story of ruin.
- Think of something you’re thankful for. Now, write about someone who doesn’t have it.
Source of Prompts: Pages Of Fiction