A few years ago l joined a startup writing group called ThinkingTen. The concept is simple: there’s a daily prompt and you have 10 minutes to write whatever comes to mind. l deleted my blog posts from the site when I received an email saying the founder was shutting down the site. I hadn’t written anything in a while anyway. It’s still going, but I’ve decided to repost my original works here for Fiction friday.
Prompt: a piece of chalk
Her hands are usually covered ink and marker, but today they are covered in bright pastels. Greens, blues, pinks, yellows, oranges, whites. She shakes the hands of the parents she greets and they receive the colour residue. You cannot have an encounter with the kindergarten teacher and leave unmarked. Her pixie dust takes the children away to magical places, limited only by their imaginations. Literacy doesn’t define who they are, only adventure does, as they are knighted, made queens and kings of the strange land they created.
The parents frown. Their hands transfer her glowing colour onto their armani suits as they wait for their child. They don’t want to hear her speak of their child’s imagination, but of the skills they aquire at school. Can they read? Can they count? Has she corrected their speach impediment?
The child rushes forward, the little hand still holding the bright orange chalk. Face flushed, the child immediately tells the parent about all the wonderful things the class did today. She hands her father the drawing of the castle that inspired the artwork on the play ground pavement: a castle, a dragon, a prince held in the tower, and a picture of herself coming to his rescue. Her father takes the paper and smiles at her self-assurance. Perhaps she has learned something after all. As he leaves he takes her chalky hands into his, not noticing the orange glow spreading across his suit.