I had been practicing for three months. The composition was perfect – three horses running across a field, manes and tails blowing in the wind.
I worked out all the colors. The strokes of my practice blackboards fairly flew – I could almost hear the hoofbeats on the ground and an occasional whinny. I did exercises so I would be able to squat while drawing.
The big day came. I Madonnari – the annual chalk festival outside the old Spanish mission in Santa Barbara. My debut – my very first chalk festival.
I crouched down, chose my background colors and started drawing. The greens of the field, blues and white for the sky, yellow for flowers.
I began drawing the first horse – a glossy black one. The next one, white. And the last one, brown. And then…I reached into my chalk box and there was no brown! I moved my hand around in the box – no brown. What to do?
I outlined the horse and decided, Ok, whatever color chalk I pull out will be the color of the third horse. It was….
Title is a prompt from Ina's Weird Prompts™. More stories on this theme in the book Stories From The Heart, vol. 3.
Story © Flo Selfman, PR Consultant, Proofreader-Copyeditor www.WordsalaMode.com, Immediate Past President (2003-16), IWOSC – Independent Writers of SoCalif www.iwosc.org. Reprinted on InaTheMemoirCoach blog with permission.
Written in response to Ina's Weird Prompt™: I was walking down the street when I noticed a box on the sidewalk right next to the curb ........
I paused, not minding the rain. The impression of all the frantic citygoers scrambling into their skyscrapers around me began to fade as my eyes fixed on one thing. A beautiful box made of dark wood with aged, yet sturdy steel edges. Each water drop rebounded off the surface, as if it wore a shield.
My hair and coat were growing heavy as they became more and more soaked. But there was something grounding me to the pavement. Time seemed to become irrelevant. I reached down and picked up the box. It was heavier than I anticipated for such a small size. As I ran my fingers across the steel edges, looking for an opening, the energy around me changed. A sudden rush of emotion surged through every inch of my body. I could feel the history of a hundred years seeping into my hands.
I noticed a small key hole but of course there was no key in sight. My cheeks grew tight and red with embarrassment. I should have instantly looked for the owner instead of trying to look for a way to explore the contents of the box. Clutching it under my arm, I looked up. A small old woman was standing a few feet from me. She smiled. Her eyes were a soft blue, and full of kindness. Figuring the box was hers I offered it to her, but she shook her head. I was puzzled. She continued to watch me, smiling ear to ear, but would not speak or accept the box.
The woman was dressed in clothes that seemed a bit out of date, but showed she had a great deal of character. Just as I was going to speak to her again, I could hear loud footsteps hurrying up from behind me. A voice called out,
"My box! You found my box!"
I turned to see a young boy running toward me, his face lighting up with joy and relief.
"This is your box?"
"Yes! It must have fallen out of my bag when I was trying to catch the bus!"
I looked around for a moment before returning my gaze to the boy. The old woman was nowhere in sight. Puzzled, I turned back to the boy. Handing him the box, I smiled and asked him what was inside. Tears came into his eyes.
"Letters from my grandmother's diary, and pictures, too. She wrote every day, from the time she was my age until the day she died. I miss her so much. I'm so glad you found the box."
He smiled and thanked me, then skipped away, the elegant wooden treasure trove held tight to his chest.
Though the old woman was gone, the energy and kindness in her eyes lingered; her smile had said it all. Her memories were safe. She could finally begin the next leg in her journey....
Written by Miranda Siegersma
© 2017 Miranda Siegersma, reprinted on InaTheMemoirCoach.com with permission
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