A Year of Writing Prompts by Brian A. Klems and Zachary Petit
“Craft a story featuring a cell phone, a lost-and-found box, and a blizzard.”
The blizzard fell over Raven, Colorado, in the blink of an eye, trapping all of the citizens that had felt it safe to venture out into the cloudy weather. For some it was work. The time spent in bars, using alcohol to warm their spirit and life, would have to wait until the storm had subsided. For the children it meant a long wait in class.
The kids of Mr. Flecker’s sixth grade class groaned once again. Lunch today was going to be a quick affair.
“I want you all to go and get your hot lunches in the cafeteria and then report immediately back to me.”
The students formed a haphazard line and meandered to join the others in the lunch room.
“I wonder if they have to go back?” Andrew Nickle said, ruefully eyeing the kids seated at the tables, laughing.
“Maybe he’ll play a movie,” Andrew’s friend Eric Blanch replied. His gaze was firmly fixed on the buffet of re-heated foods. Today was chicken nugget day and as bland and terrible as they may have been to some, Eric loved them.
“I’m not even hungry,” Andrew said.
“What? How can you say that? You don’t know when we’re going to eat next. Hell you don’t even know when we’ll be able to leave.”
Andrew shivered nervously and looked around at those standing close enough that they could have heard Eric swear.
“Do you want to get us into trouble?” Andrew whispered heatedly.
Eric rolled his eyes.
The two boys grabbed orange trays and brushed them along the aluminum rails before the parade of edibles.
“Do you want your nuggets?” Eric said.
Andrew eyed them. He really wasn’t hungry. Regardless of them tasting like mounds of sawdust, battered and deep fried.
“No,” Andrew said, “I’ll give them to you when we sit down.”
The two boys rounded the end of the line and scanned the tables for a seat.
“I don’t see anywhere,” Eric said.
Andrew looked over to the exit. The two teachers on duty were deep in conversation.
“Hey,” Andrew said, “Let’s go find somewhere else to eat.”
“Just follow me.”
Andrew wound his way through the tables and kids and towards the door. He set his tray onto the trash can. Per his agreement he grabbed the paper tray of nuggets and handed them to his friend, who took them eagerly and binned the rest of his lunch. Without any flashy trays they skirted past the teachers and out into the empty hallways.
While Eric joyously ate each nugget, two bites each time, Andrew led them through the school. His ears stayed perked for the sound of any teacher or student. Although, even if they did come across someone it wouldn’t have mattered in the slightest. But being sneaky made it all the more exciting for Andrew.
The two rounded a corner and found themselves outside the boys locker room, next to the lost-and-found bin.
“Oh, hey,” Eric said, “I need to look for my jacket. I lost it almost two months ago.”
Eric shoved the final two nuggets into his mouth and chewed as he dove headfirst into the bin. Jackets, bags, notebooks, hats, and other items went flying as he swam through to the bottom of the barrel. When his hand thunked against the bottom he had still not found his jacket. What he did find was a cell phone and a snow globe that had been turned upside down. He grabbed them both and came up for air.
“And, look at these,” Eric said.
He flashed him the cell phone, which upon further inspection was dead and offered no secrets. Though that didn’t stop eric from slipping it into his pocket for later.
“What’re you doing?” Andrew said, furrowing his eyebrows.
Eric shrugged. “If they haven’t missed it already they’re not going to need it if I take it.”
Andrew shook his head.
Eric righted the snow globe and the two boys watched with interest as the white flakes and glitter settled slowly onto the cabin, trees, and lamppost scene.
It was then that the wind that had been howling all day suddenly went stone silent.
Andrew walked to the door and looked out the strip of window at the playground covered in thick sheets of snow.
“Great! The blizzard just stopped!”
“Really?” Eric said.
The boy, still clutching the snow globe, lowered it and walked to the window. When he got there though the calm scene Andrew saw was hidden behind fluffy curtains of white.
“What the heck?” Andrew said.
“It’s the same storm that’s been going all day.”
“No,” Andrew said, “it just stopped. I swear.”
A strange thought crossed Eric’s mind. He held the snowglobe up-right and watched as the snow slowly drifted back around the miniature setting.
The snow flurries disappeared leaving an unobstructed view of the playground stretched out before them.