Given a first sentence, I was to procure the beginning of a story. Some friends on Facebook graciously provided them for me. The results ranged from spectacular to horrible. Some could turn into short stories. Others, perhaps novels. Maybe a couple of TV shows. Or a Judy Blume book. Nonetheless, here they are:
1) The surgery didn’t go exactly as planned.
Typically, an ACL tear is a routine situation requiring adequate rest and months of physical therapy. My ligament, however, suffered a severe tear resulting in the need for a regraft. The doctors took a portion of my hamstring and repaired the damage with unusual results that changed my life forever.
Rather than a normal, gradual repair, my body responded unusually to the procedure, accepting the graft and twisting the tissue into an optimally integral shape, increasing my reflex tremendously.
The result was, at first, pleasant; my left knee caught up with my right, which meant both knees had nearly supernatural tendencies. My forty speed dipped below four seconds, and my teammates began calling me “Freak Feet.”
But jealousy followed soon after, and I found myself on the end of practical jokes and hazing, and the gradual decline of my reputation led to being cut from the team. Inherently, my scholarship was voided, bringing me to this unforeseen circumstance of working at an Asian supermarket in South Philadelphia.
2) And then there were three.
Three waffles left. A sense of anxiety crept through his bones, because he like eating his waffles in pairs. Only in pairs. Butter on top, grape jam in the middle. Butter in every square.
He had to write a letter today. It was the 17th. Twenty-six months. He was afraid it’d sound like the others, but Jordan wasn’t going to read them or anything. After breakfast, he wrote it, sealed it, and put it under her pillow with the others. Tomorrow he would buy her flowers like he wanted to. Like he wanted to the day after she died.
3) The rot had set in. Jack didn’t know what to do with his dog now. He was still curled up on the cold concrete floor in the corner of the garage, but he seemed to be uncurling little by little each day.
4) It was the last time I ever saw them. I fought with myself for years afterward. Every sermon I wrote had the visage of what I intended to say instead. And I didn’t meant to say what I did, inducing the angst from him, the tears from her, and the steps toward the door that I swore I heard echo in the sanctuary every time I stood in there alone.
5) “I cannot fathom why this happened.”
The world is going to end today. At least, that’s how it feels when you step into the ruddy shoes of Richard A. Warner, CEO of Facial Features, a mid-sized cosmetics firm that had just released its latest line of body lotion called Tango Mango, which Richard had just signed off to be distributed in stores across San Bernadino county, where thousands of consumers would purchase this lotion and discover, to their utmost surprise, the concoction, designed to be spread across the body and emit a “refreshing citrus scent,” would in turn cause the consumer’s exterior to react and change hue to a sickly chartreuse, sending widespread panic into the surrounding community and producing the effect of influencing many to suspect the beginning of the zombie apocalypse.
But Richard know, ultimately, this just meant a huge lawsuit.
6) The winter’s rain washed away all the memories of the pleasant autumn Rebecca was promised when her family moved up to Folsom, a city where she met Andy Stone, the kid who sat next to her in third period chemistry class who, she would discover on a cold and wet December afternoon, had been buried next to a tractor four days earlier.
7) My life seems to always be accompanied by this soundtrack that only I can hear. That’s what Victor, my lead guitarist, said to me a week before our last show.
The music resembles something between Def Leppard and Depeche Mode, or maybe Rancid and the Real McCoy. I don’t know. I mean, that’s not what the band’s music was like. Lately, it has just resembled something terrible.
8) “I couldn’t quite understand why I was so intent on staring at my milk.”
“Jeff, shut up.”
Peter knew he was faking it. Ever since claiming he saw the face of Abraham Lincoln in a puddle on the way home from school, Jeff believed he could see ghosts. But now, Jeff wanted to convince his older brother he really didn’t, even though he thought he saw his grandma in the mirror last week.