And we’re off; another Charli Mills prompt. There’s a lot to be said for reading Charli’s posts that lead to the prompt. She’s battling leaks and homelessness and red mud and a strange if compelling landscape and all the time ponders life’s vagaries with wit and wisdom. Anyway, this week she gives us this…
September 21, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story using a lens. It can be literal, like looking at the world through rose-colored lenses or the need for spectacles. Or you can treat the idea like a perspective, showing how one character might see the same action differently from another. Think locally, globally, culturally. Is there a common lens by which we can achieve peace?
Two thoughts occur when lens are mentioned. One, a field of dry grass, a small lens and some curious boys lacking in any sense of ‘what if..?’ As in, what if we see if we can set fire to a small tuft with the lens and the bright sunshine. There was a game we played at Christmas and family get-togethers called ‘consequences’. The first person wrote a male name, and folded the paper; the second, a woman’s and folded it; the third wrote an action and folded it; leaving the last to write the consequence. Or something like. The idea was to read it out using the following framework. Hilarity would result. When [the man] met [the woman] and [the action] the consequence was ….
I don’t recall we ever did two boys lighting grass, to give me an inclining of the likely consequence. Shame. It might have been useful. We spent about five minutes succeeding in creating fire and a panicky hour in eradicating it using our small feet and increasingly scorched pullovers. I guess we fell into the ‘lucky’ category because, had it got out of control, heaven knows what the consequence would have been.
The second though revolves around mum’s cataract operations but that’s a post for my ‘Apprenticed to my mother’ series. Another time.
Meanwhile Paul is back from his old school friend’s funeral,
‘How did it go?’
‘Interesting. In a Chinese sense.’
‘I thought it would be awkward. But it was good.’
‘So you’re pleased you went?’
‘I think so. Funny really. You go to a funeral not expecting much yet all these ghosts appear.’
‘I suppose that’s what you get at a cemetery.’
‘Ha, I guess. Funny though, meeting old contacts. It’s like a mirror being held up. No, more like a magnifying glass, a lens. You think you know yourself but seeing old faces makes you see yourself differently. A different close up.’
‘And none the wiser.’