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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

Simple Life

by Michael Pratt

We as families are too busy in our everyday lives this brings life in general back to the basics. This reminds me we need to slow down and enjoy what we have in life now and not what we want in life for the future.

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michael Pratt on November 30, 2008
"This was inspired by a picture I saw on MSN from the week of November 7th with the Snow that hit the Dakota's. Just copy and past this link in your browser to see the image.

I hope you enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to add your comments and suggestions."

The Snow Day

“Hurray! School is out!” Screamed nine year old Jaden as the news announced that all schools would be closed.

“I am going to get my snow suite on so I can go outside! Hurray! No School!”

“No school! Yeah!” Three year old Kya yelled mimicking her brother clapping

“Not until you and your sister eat your breakfast.” Mom said.

“I’m not hungry right now mom.”

Jaden tried to weasel his way out of eating right away because he didnt want to miss any time out in the snow. Jaden figured he would not have any time to enjoy it. After all a nine year old has so many things to do in a day!

“After… breakfast.” Mom’s tone of voice changed from a bright cheery tone to a demanding one with a hint of frustration.

“Okay....” Jaden’s head droops as if the world was coming to end and turned to head for the kitchen. “Can we at least get ready while breakfast is being made?” I his tone changed back to excitement.

Mom looks at Jaden. “Oh I guess.....”

Jaden ran to his bedroom and slammed the door to get changed! His mind was running 90 miles an hour trying to organize in his brain what he and his sister would do first. Snowmen, snow fort, and then a snowball fight after all nine year olds needs to start planning out his busy day.

Jaden finished changing and had all his snow gear on and even his coat and hat so that he would not waste his time once he got done eating his cereal.

Mom turned and looked as Jaden sat at the table fully clothed even with his gloves on.

“You are going to be hot sitting there like that.”

“No I won’t, I don’t want to miss all the snow!”

Mom smiled and shook her head as she set a bowl of Fruit Loops in front of him.

“Well at least remove your gloves”

Jaden removed his gloves and laid them to the side and started to dig in to the bowl.

“You need to thank God for your food.” Mom stated as Jaden brought the spoon up to his wide open mouth.

Jaden put the spoon down and folded his hands to pray. “Dear Lord, Thankyou for this food and closing my school because of the snow! Amen”

Jaden finished his breakfast and grabbed his gloves and ran to the door. The door slammed shut as he ran outside.

The snow was beautiful. Jaden looked as the snow drifts were almost as high as he was! Jaden stuck his tongue out as he tried to catch all the snow on his tongue. The wind was blowing and causing Jaden to squint his eyes. The wind was cold and Jaden could feel it across his cheeks and face. He pulled his white and black stripped cap down lower over his eyes to keep the snow out. Jaden went to the end of the driveway where the plows had been through and the snow from the road piled up dropped down and started digging in to attempt to make the beginnings of a snowman but after a few minutes gave up because the snow was like powder and was not wet enough to stick.

“Jaden!” His three year old sister yelled as she struggled to get to Jaden through the deep snow.

“Come on let’s start building a fort!”

Jaden started digging in the deep drifts of the snow as Kya dropped down to her knees beside him. She covered her face with her hands as the snow from her brother blew back in her face.

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Michael Pratt on December 1, 2008
"This is a fiction story with a surprise at the end."

The Stranger

“There is nothing like breakfast in the morning!” Darin thought as he finished up getting dressed.

He kissed his wife good bye and headed out the door. Darin was your average white collar, upper class worker that loved his job, the ideal American dream. Darin got in to his brand new 2008 Cadillac Escalade pulled out of the driveway and headed to his favorite coffee and sandwich shop before heading off to work.

Darin walked in and ordered his usual, a bagel with ham, egg and cream cheese and a mocha latte. He grabbed today’s newspaper and sat down next to the window so he could watch other people pass by. Sipping on his coffee he read the latest headlines on the front page news and took a bite of his bagel then something caught the corner of his eye. Looking up he noticed a homeless person standing at the window staring at him. Their eyes met and he waved him over.

The man was about 6 foot and he wore tattered old clothes that were soiled. He looked as if he had not had a shower in several weeks. As the stranger walked in, people stopped to stare wondering if he was going to come asking for money. The employee behind the counter stopped at the register and went and got the manager of the store letting them know. The stranger approached Darin.

“Have a seat.” Darin said.

The stranger sat down just as the manager came up.

“I am very sorry sir. But you will have to leave.” The manager demanded.

“What do you mean? I was the one that called him in to sit with me. As a matter of fact can you bring another one of my usuals please?” Darin replied bluntly.

“Oh, well okay then.” The manager turned back to get his order.

Darin and the stranger made small talk as they waited for the order to be delivered. Darin asked why the man was homeless. The stranger explained how he was a veteran of Iraqi Freedom and how he left his family of 4 to go and serve his country got injured there and came back to a divorce and the loss of everything including his job and home and ended up on the streets. He had been on the streets for the past year and half eating out of garbage cans and at times was able to receive a warm meal, shower and a bed from the local homeless shelter. He said that the only thing he has to ease the pain was his crack addiction and how it takes himself away from the stresses of life.

Darin heard his story; He was taken back to the reality of how he was so blessed with a job, food on the table and a wonderful family. Darin called his secretary at work and told him he would be late and asked the stranger if he wanted a job at his firm not even wondering if he had the experience or not. The stranger’s eyes lit up as tears started to roll down his cheeks. He nodded.

“Let’s go.” Darin said with a warm smile.

Darin put the man up in his home got him a shower and some fresh clothes to wear. Darin even got him hooked up rehab to get him help with his drug habit. The man ended up excelling through his job and becoming a lead manager, married and became very successful.

The man to this day goes to the exact same place for breakfast and brings strangers in and helps them get back on their feet as Darin did with him many years ago. His name? Jimmy Stewart.

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