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Creative Writing Exercise: Playing It Safe

So as party of my daily writing challenge, I’m open to anything.  Though I’m not short for ideas quite yet, I decided to push my creative juices a bit and hit the WordPress “Inspire Me” link.  I committed myself to three paragraphs and this is what happened next:

A picture is worth 1000 words. This safe has been through a lot. Tell its story. Image credit: “safe” – © 2007 Paul Keller – made available under Attribution 2.0 Generic

I managed to snag a single shot of the rusted devastation of a safe that housed the few items she thought deserved protection.  She was a beauty.  Tall, tirelessly strong, and emblazoned with enough scars to create the kind of character only Leonardo DiCaprio could play.  My great great great aunt twice-removed, that is–not the safe.  The safe, well, it was just a ratchet piece of carbon-emission contributing steel that even without the right combination was entirely too easy to open.  In middle school, I put my ear to better machinery on the lockers of girls I kissed and, by the way, had less success with them–the lockers (and the girls)–than I had with this artifact of 19th century aristocracy.

Inside, there was was nothing of any particular value, nothing more than the safe itself–just a few images of my great aunt with some people that didn’t look related to us, the requisite bag of marbles, some long dried out ink in a permanently fogged jar, and a letter or two that went on and on and on about the snarls of daily life at the turn of whatever century she was living in.  But boy, she was a beauty.  Perhaps her cheekbones were passed on thru the bloodline and I, by some cosmic crap, ended up with them—-too bad there wasn’t a mirror in that box.  I’d have taken that and always been reminded of her while looking at myself in it.

I pocketed the letters and the photographs, abandoned the rest of it, and spent years looking into the face of this distant relative whenever I felt lost, worthless, or alone.  She could hardly have been called relevant to me at first, but over time, she became something familiar, a character I knew, even loved. Her cheekbones, familiar, her stoic expression, familiar, her pinned bun forever atop her head, familiar, she seemed to step out of the photographs, or perhaps I into them.  And we would talk.  She gave the kind of feedback that made me feel like I was fulfilling my all too predetermined destiny.  I have 5 kids now and barely recall the feelings of angst I once had, but though they have no purpose, I cannot let go of the photographs.  I’ve locked them into my spouse’s safety deposit box and bequeathed them to my great great great great nephew twice-removed.  Perhaps he’ll have some use for them.

  1. sfoxwriting
    07/24/2013 at 8:10 am

    I Think your really talented

    Id like you to Join a group of “ photgraphers,poets,writers,advertisers,publishers,artists,agents” By following this link


    and following the instructions

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