I listen to a lot of pod casts on my drive to and from work. One of the podcasts I listen to is Writing Excuses. At the end of each episode they usually provide a writing prompt. I don’t usually do anything with the writing prompts, but this was early in the podcast seasons and I was trying to work myself up to doing some more consistent writing. The particular prompt was:
”Brandon and Dan are both wearing identical t-shirts for an explosives and blasting company. Why?”
Below is what I wrote.
Brandon got up that morning dreading everything about the day. It wasn’t like he had a choice though. They were committed, and today was the day. He was supposed to meet Dan at the Cheery Banana Shoppe. That was an out of the way location that suited their purposes for the day.
The drive out to the CB was pretty nice. It wasn’t very far out of town, but it was far enough that there was nice scenery along the way. They were going to take Dan’s big F350 out to the location. They were hoping that would make them harder to spot.
“Are you sure we should be doing this?” Dan didn’t sound very confident in the plan.
“it was your idea! Why are you getting cold feet now?” Brandon was even more unhappy.
“This just doesn’t seem like a good way to make friends.”
“We aren’t trying to make friends! We are trying to make headlines!” Brandon was still a little sore that his latest novel ‘Wistfully Bordering’ wasn’t getting the attention that it deserved.
“Why did you agree to this again?”
“Because we can’t let Howard out do us. After he talked about larping with Jerry Pournelle, he has been getting all the attention. We have to outdo him.” Brandon always wanted to be ‘large-and-in-charge’.
When they got to the site, they pulled up to the entrance prepared to bluff their way in. That turned out to be unnecessary, as the guard took one look at the F350 and assumed they belonged there. He didn’t even get a chance to see the matching shirts.
As they drove along the access road, they came across a turtle in the middle of the road. Dan insisted on stopping and helping it. He even explained to the turtle that he wasn’t stalking, just escorting the turtle to safety.
It was a good thing he did, too. The giant dump truck that rumbled by, wouldn’t have even noticed the turtle. He didn’t even notice the matching shirts.
As they circled the pit, Brandon kept giving Dan a hard time about stalking the turtle. “Is he going to be the main villain in your next rabbit vampire novel?”
After what seemed like thirty minutes (but was more like twenty-seven minutes), they got to the pit. And then Dan threw up. “I don’t like how high up we are right now.”
“You knew where we were going! How can you not be ready for this?”
“I didn’t know it was going to be that deep. It didn’t look that deep on the satellite image.”
As they were sitting at the edge, a guy pulls up in what looks like a retired armored personnel carrier. All by himself. “Can I help you guys?”
“We are new on the team for this site and had to just stop to take a look.” Brandon figured that was close enough to the truth, without giving much detail.
“It is impressive isn’t it. Make sure you check in at the safety office before you head down.” With that, he got back in his vehicle and headed on down. He didn’t even notice the shirts.
After taking another minute to admire the view, and for Dan to catch his breath, they headed over to the safety office.
As they walked in, they could hear a very loud stream of profanity coming from the end of the hall. As they walked to the end of the hall, they heard the phone slam down. “What a day..” she said, and then gruffly, “Who’s there?” as they walked into the admin office.
“Hi! Having a rough day?” Brandon was trying to distract her from her frustration, so she wouldn’t keep them from their mission.
“I am having a day. What do you kids want?” That nearly mad Dan snort. They were exactly old, but they were definitely not kids.
“We are here to run an experiment. We got permission from the home office to conduct it.” Brandon was making it up on the fly.
“What sort of experiment?” She didn’t bother to hide her skepticism.
“We can’t really share the full details. The short description is an observational experiment. We won’t be bringing any equipment or setting up any complicated lab equipment.” Dan was trying to reduce the concern that Dan’s statement had seemed to spur.
“Well, don’t get in the way, and don’t interfere with any active work. This isn’t a playground, it is a worksite. If you get hurt that is on you.”
“Great!” Brandon said with enthusiasm. Dan said “Great.” with less enthusiasm.
With that, they said “Bye” and then they headed back out to the truck, and started down into the pit. She didn’t even notice the shirts.