NaNoPrep 2015 Day 13: Creative Writing

by voh on October 23rd, 2015

Mr. Harcourt was having a regular day. He was an English teacher and looked the part. A brown jacket with patches on the elbows, glasses that nobody would consider trendy, ruffled gray hair and a scratchy-looking gray beard. He had finished his classes for the day and was in the teacher's lounge, grading his students' homework assignments.

The last class he had to grade had been given the assignment to write creative fiction. Not every English teacher considered this important, but he did. To analyze literature, knowing how to build a narrative was very important. He had found, in many parts of life, that it's easy to criticize something you've never done yourself. Once you actually get down and do it, you find that certain shortcuts actually make sense, that certain clich├ęs are simply too useful not to use, and more insights similar to these. He had a simple rule for himself - don't pretend to know better until you've tried it.

So he'd given them an assignment. They could choose from 5 writing prompts, or come up with their own. He looked forward to reading these, hoping these kids had really applied themselves. Very often he would find at least one surprisingly talented writer amongst them, who he'd then try to push into exploring fiction even further on their own.

He picked up the first and started reading. He chuckled and shook his head. Not all students had really applied themselves, but some were at least funny.

Then he picked up an interesting one. Unlike all the others, it was hand-written, in a classic cursive style. It looked like it might've been written by quill, but it was hard to tell. There were enough fountain pens that imitated the quill's stroke. It was also bound with string. This student hadn't just applied him or herself to the writing, Mr. Harcourt thought, but also to the execution. He found himself getting anxious to read what it would say.

The title was written on the front of the booklet in bold, frivolous letters.

"The Other Side", it said. There was no student name on the front, but Mr. Harcourt figured that even if it didn't contain the name anywhere it'd be easy enough to extrapolate who was responsible.

He flipped the front page over and started reading.

"Mr. Harcourt was having a regular day. He was an English teacher and looked the part." Mr. Harcourt chuckled at the description that followed, as he hadn't expected such an apt description.

Once Mr. Harcourt got to the part where the fictional Mr. Harcourt flipped the front page over and started reading, it was as if time reset. He got anxious to read it, this piece of fiction he'd just picked up.

"Mr. Harcourt was having a regular day. He was an English teacher and looked the part." Mr. Harcourt chuckled at the description that followed, as he hadn't expected such an apt description.