Get your creative juices flowing with a weekly short essay prompt:
You are sitting on a park bench on a Saturday morning. A stranger sits down next to you and says, “I’m sorry, but I have to tell someone, or I think I’ll go crazy…” Write what happens next.
Email your 300 – 500 word short essay to me by 10: 00 a.m. on Monday, October 13, and I’ll post my favorite with next Monday’s writing prompt!
Thank you to all the entries in last week’s Monday Writing Prompt! You can read last week’s favorite by Yvonne Feinleib below:
I have two gray cats – sisters rescued from Austin’s Town Lake Animal Shelter as tiny kittens. One is slender and prone to bouts of aggrieved miaows; the other, plump and fluffy with a perennially confused expression that resembles that of the owls who breed in the hollow of an oak tree in our Barton Hills backyard every year.
I discovered my special power in a most unfortunate way – when I reached down and stroked the plumper of the cats on my way downstairs to pour out my morning coffee, and her form shifted beneath my hand into a svelte longer body exactly like that of her sister. My touch now had the power to make a fat animal instantly of normal weight.
Of course, I no sooner absorbed the apparent implications than I foolishly rushed upstairs and attempted to shake my partner of 16 years awake. His sleepy expression vanished as he sat up and clutched at his formerly thick waistline, now a flat stomach with the light outline of well-defined abdominal muscles visible even in the dim light of our bedroom.
“What did you just do?” he exclaimed, throwing back the covers and trying to stand up, then almost tripping as his formerly tight pajama bottoms headed for the floor. I caught a glimpse of his newly slender thighs before he dragged his clothing back into place, clutching the unnecessary folds of cloth at his waist and looking more scared than I had ever seen him before.
“I don’t know” I responded, rubbing my hands on my own belly in a vain attempt to produce the same result. “I don’t know what I did.”
“Well, undo it!” he demanded, glaring at me. He obviously wasn’t awake enough to recognize that I had just given him his dearest wish, a body that appeared twenty years younger than his chronological age.
“I don’t know how” I shrugged. “I don’t know what’s happening.”
He rubbed his eyes and then stared at me as if he had never seen me before.
“I need to get dressed” he said quietly, his tone so flat that it took me a second to recognize the loathing in his familiar voice.
Mute, I left the bedroom and sat downstairs in the kitchen sipping my coffee as he dressed and rushed from the house without his customary kiss good-bye.
I never again changed anyone’s body without first asking their permission.
Today, I travel the world making fat people thin.
Bariatric physicians hate me, and so do the manufacturers of over-sized clothing. I’m not very popular with pharmaceutical companies, either (although one of them offered me more than a billion dollars over the course of my lifetime if I would agree to stop touching fat people).
I have five full-time secretaries who handle my mail and respond to all thank-you letters with an excellent facsimile of my signature. My staff, travel arrangements, and personal protection are all provided by the World Health Organization, as I have personally reduced global deaths from diabetes, heart disease and certain forms of cancer more than any previous health initiative.
On one day I will be in a huge meeting hall, walking back and forth, up and down the rows of eagerly waiting fat people, some in wheelchairs, some just ten pounds overweight, and the next I will be visiting a home-bound man who is of such great weight that he has not been able to leave his home for the past three years. I have touched newborn infants and elderly people with a dying wish to return to the weight of their youth. There is no continent, no country, no major city, no cultural, ethnic or religious group that has ever turned down my offer of a visit.
Only once has my special power ever failed me.
Someday, I believe that I will be only the fat person left on earth.