Sunday, March 4, 2012

The fortune teller's error

I was given an assignment by a new writing instructor. "Write a story beginning with the line 'The fortune teller was mistaken'. It should have no conversation and it should not be more than 500 words" I hope you like it.


 The fortune teller was mistaken. You step out of your apartment building and you're given an umbrella to protect you from the torrential downpour as you walk briskly to your car. Fixing a bright smile on your face, you hand the brolly back and look forward to the day with carefully masked apprehension. You don't think it will be a bad day because despite the rain you're able to remain dry. Irrespective of the dark clouds, you see the ray of the sun peeking through the drapes of the sky. The fortune teller was mistaken. You cannot imagine how the tarrots could have read anything more than success and glamour in your future. You have worked too long and too hard to deserve anything else. You know that after all these years at the mill, it is only right that providence dishes you a nice warm meal. So you smile, you push the words out of your head, you know in your heart that all good things work together for the good of those who love God. You know you are one of them and as you get into the office building you meet the elevator still on the ground floor. The world is your oyster, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. The elevator is symbolic for you. You step in and smoothen your jacket and stare at the aluminum wall of the lift. All you can see is success, pride and courage. The ringer, indicating you have arrived on your floor jarrs you out of your little reverie. Bright lights; yes: snuffed out candles; no. The fortune teller was mistaken. You know this because as you walk towards your new corner office with the fantastic view of the city you receive warm, congratulatory pats on the back. Your name is on the door for the first time in 15 years of working here. You've seen it in your dreams and the reality is even more fulfilling. You settle in to work, allowing the warm feel of the leather and the soft texture of the interior of your new shoes ease you into your new job and then the floor shakes beneath you. You feel the tremors of the building resonating right to where you're sitting. You panic and then in an instant you see the ceiling hurtling towards you at a flashing speed. It's all happening so fast, one minute you are crawling on all fours and the next minute the loud pop which deafens you for an instant and sends the heavens down. Bright lights. Snuffed out candles. Your last thought before the blackness envelopes you. The fortune teller was not mistaken. Lights. Candles. Bombs.