The ground beneath them rumbled as the earthquake began. A river of children could be seen escaping the orphanage's open doors into the bustling street of panicked citizens. Just at the crest of the tall hillside, though, a man could be seen watching the chaos below.
Charles Bloom was a courier sent to deliver a message to the headmaster of the orphanage. He had not been sent that day, though. Rather, the courier had been sent a week ago on the previous Sunday, and through a combination of unfortunate mishaps, it had taken him precisely seven days to make it to his destination.
Well, almost to his destination. He still had to cross the path of broken asphalt and screaming crowds to get there.
The man carefully picked his way across a bit of broken road, taking note of how the earthquake had begun to break apart some chalk drawings made by the orphan children. The courier paused on shaking legs (the rumbling had yet to die down) and scooped up a box of the abandoned chalks. They crumbled immediately in his hand, wrecked by the natural disaster. Well. As they said: Don't trust everything you see.
Ahead of him, he could hear a shrill cry breaking through the misty dust. Charles squinted, shielding his face as he tried to make out what else had gone wrong. It appeared that the fractures now carving a path through the street had reached a neighboring building - a music store, where a man was gloomily trailing a screeching woman and carrying a piano and several bits of loose composition paper. Trying his best to shield his ears with the letters in his hand, Charles pressed forward.
As he reached the orphanage, he saw a flickering window - a broken lamp, clearly destroyed in the earthquake. A portly man with distress clearly wrought across his features was watching it: the headmaster. Charles raised his voice. "Sir! I have a message for you!"
The headmaster said nothing.
The courier breathed out a sigh. "Everyone keeps ignoring me," he muttered. It didn't help that sirens were sounding in the distance, drowning out his words, so he reached out to prod the man's shoulder. At last, the headmaster turned, his eyes unfocused from the shock of all that had happened. Charles extended the note, which the headmaster took with one shaking hand.
He could practically hear the gears turning in the man's head. Curious as to what the note said, Charles leaned in to read it upside down.
"WEATHER ALERT: An earthquake is predicted to hit your area on Saturday at approximately 1pm. Evacuate the area."
Charles looked at the man's face, seeing barely a flicker of emotion cross it. Carefully, the courier stepped backwards and started retreating back to the post office. At least his task was done. Life was better on the other side.
The following challenges were completed during the writing exercise:
Begin Start typing to begin
Event An earthquake hits
Location An orphanage
Words Reach 50 words
Character A grouchy courier
Letter Use the letter O
Words Reach 100 words
Prop Include a box of chalk
Sentence "Don't trust everything you see."
Words Reach 200 words
Event A shrill cry echoes in the mist
Letter Use the letter S
Character A gloomy composer
Prop Include a lamp
Words Reach 300 words
Sentence "Everyone keeps ignoring me."
Event Sirens sound in the distance
Words Reach 400 words
Character A noisy machinist
Letter Use the letter U
Sentence "Life was better on the other side."
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