[WP] Crazy picture
So my husband took a rather incredible picture yesterday in the morning, and my first thought was, "Oh wow, there's a story there!" :D
I figured it would be worth trying our writing prompts with it!
Bonus points if you can somehow fit in cookies.
"Why don't you come in anyway?" Amasis said to the small woman with the pretty grey hijab. "It's warm inside. We may enjoy a meal, if you like. A neighbor brought me cookies as a moving-in gift. The people in this building are all very kind."
She shook her head. "I hate intruding. There's a park nearby. All the colors are very pretty, this time of year. No cookies, but we can talk there, if you want."
The idea of this woman being out in the cold any more often than she must was sickening to Amasis. He didn't understand why she wouldn't let him assist her, even if it was only an afternoon inside. With a defeated sigh, he said, "Alright. Let us go to the park instead." Besides, Nina would be meeting him there, in a couple of weeks. He ought to scope the place out.
The wrinkled woman, Naseem, smiled brightly as she stood up. "Come on, my boy. If you enjoy nature, then you'll enjoy the life of this park."
Amasis nodded, walking behind her at her pace. "I do. It is a shame, I believe, that we have let so much of our world die." Even sweet Jonathon had seen it coming, hyper focused as he was on the small world of butterflies.
Naseem sighed longingly. "I loved to read those old books as a little girl, the ones that were written when nature was still appreciated. I loved to be swallowed up in those descriptions. I could smell the freshness of spring, and hear the chirping of birds building nests..."
Amasis could smell and hear and feel nature in his mind's eye, too. This city was filled with the smells of industry-- smoke and hard work and blood-- and the sounds of cars and sirens and arguing children.
"You said you travel a lot?" asked Naseem as they waited on the corner of the sidewalk for the light to turn red, that they might cross the road.
Amasis nodded. "My whole life, it feels like, some days."
Naseem nodded. "I once went to Mecca. Besides that, I've always lived around here. Tell me, what's the prettiest thing you ever saw?"
The prettiest thing he'd ever seen? Images, a never-ending dam of images, broke open in his mind. The torrent took him from one location to another; one epoch to another; one face to another. Everything came back to the place he had grown up, always. Taking a moment to consider his wording, he said, "I think my mother, when she laughed. My father was a... he traveled, a great deal. He tried to be home, but his work made it impossible. I had many siblings, and she was always worrying about having enough food on the table." A grin pulled on Amasis's lips. "There was one time, my brother was boasting of... he was boasting of something, I forget what now. Something about balance, if I properly recall. And he was standing on a narrow beam, and we all watched, because he had been practicing this for days, and my sister ran up and pushed him over into the river. He was furious, but my mother, she couldn't stop laughing."
Naseem smiled. "Children will be children."
"Indeed." He looked down to her. "What's the prettiest sight you ever saw?"
Naseem was silent for a moment, biting her lip. Then she said, "When I was younger, much younger, I used to live in the suburbs with my family. They hated when I did it, but I loved to watch the dawn, so I would trek out every morning to this spot, about a mile from the last house in the subdivision, to watch it come out. It always made these silhouettes on all the houses, and made the trees look like they were on fire, but the colors were all brilliant." She leaned out into the street to look both ways before pulling him through the middle of it, rather than walk to the next cross walk.
On the other side of the street, she continued, "One day, it was too foggy for that. Probably it was wintertime. That's when everything always got foggy. And I was walking, and I kept thinking I heard sounds. I knew I could defend myself, but I was still terrified. So I stopped on the road and I decided to turn around and go home. And I turned around, and everything was foggy. You could just see the sun on the horizon, and if you looked hard enough, you could see the red and yellow streaks. You could only see a few houses, but some of the windows were lit up. There were specks of light where the street lamps were. And there wasn't a sound to be heard. I remember looking at the closest house to me, one of the lights on in the window, and being mesmerized. It was amazing to think, that I was out here, living, breathing, seemingly alone in the whole world, and in that house, someone was living, breathing, maybe thinking that they must be alone in the whole world, and yet, just a few dozen meters from each other, there we were. Something about it made me realize how small the world is. How everyone is living like they're the only person in the world, and no one even stops to think that."
Amasis looked through the rusted iron fence they were walking by now and into the park. The trees were huge, and the canopy they made was on fire. Soon, there wouldn't be any leaves at all, just bare branches. And only a bit later, they would start anew, green leaves providing shade for the warming days. The flowers would all start to bloom again. He had read that there was a rare butterfly species that migrated back up here in the spring. Perhaps the garden would be full of those, too.
"Isn't the world amazing?" he murmured.
"It is," Naseem agreed as they walked through the enormous iron gates to enter the city.
I saw the picture and went and ate something and while I was eating I thought of Amasis, who I created the other day (due to a prompt I saw, actually O_o). I also mentioned all the other people that are mentioned in that bit in what I wrote up, but the only character you met besides Amasis was Naseem, a grandmotherly figure. While I was eating I could see one of them asking the other one what the prettiest thing was they ever saw and decided I should probably write it out, so... there you go. Totally unedited, so hopefully it makes a bit of sense! XD
@Blackbird I love how you handle conversations. This is just brilliant. I love the children being children. And I love that there is this almost difference in perception between them. Amasis comes across as someone in his 30s still clinging on to the past, and not quite able to capture and understand the beauty around him. Naseem on the other hand, seems to have come to understand beyond herself.. connected to others. Both enlightened but different perspectives of enlightenment. :D I do hope this will be part of something more for you. ;)
@Josey Thank you! ^_^ Conversations I struggle with because I'm never sure if I'm keeping the voices straight, and POV was something I was definitely thinking about when I wrote that. When I tried to think of Amasis describing the picture... he couldn't. It isn't something that would stick out as memorable for him. So describing the picture fell to Naseem. And then she decided to get all deep and associate sonder with what she saw. o_o
Anyway, I'm really happy that you enjoyed it and you could see the differences in their personality and perceptions! I'm thinking about writing the thing as a whole in April for Camp Nano, in the same style as what I posted here. We'll see when the month rolls around ;)
(as for the children being children... you can blame my siblings being loud when I was writing this for that bit XD)
@Blackbird >.> I so did. Wooops. Still! Hai!!
@typical_demigod :D I think this is why I like writing so much. Having the ability to have different POVs, and express them in situations and events is eyeopening.. Like, I am not a bully, but I can come up with a bully, and have many different reasons a bully does what they do from having a rough life to simply enjoying the pain of others. Its not me, but I think writing helps understand and a little bit of empathy goes a long way. :D
Like, I am not a bully, but I can come up with a bully, and have many different reasons a bully does what they do from having a rough life to simply enjoying the pain of others.
Reasons I don't like stories that are black & white. There's so much that motivates an actual person. They don't just wake up one day and choose to be evil. They may choose to do immoral things, but every aspect of their life is not going to be filled with evil and everything they do is not going to be instantly immoral. (E.g., They may be bullies to humans, but adopt all the cats from a humane society and treat them like gods.) They may not even fully realize that what they're doing is wrong.