Future Newspaper

So there is this writing prompt on Writer’s Digest magazine. They give you a writing challenge about some bizarre situation.  The last challenge was  to write about the day you bought a newspaper from a kid and the newspaper turns up to be  from the future. The post needs to be 500 words max, so after i let my creative writing flow i had to cut out a lot of things. it would be be a shame not to put the whole thing somewhere, so here it is. hope you enjoy it, any constructive comment would be appreciated:

 

I looked into Johnny’s big brown eyes full of concern for me.  It was understandable.  I  must have sounded hysterical on the phone, and I had been, I still was.  But I would have to make him believe me, so I sat down next to him. Maybe I will seem less of a crazy person, if he can just concentrate on my face and not on my fidgeting hands.

“ What is it love?” he asked as I sat next to him and held both of his hands trying to steady mine.

“Look 3 days ago,  I was having my morning  coffee at the café. You know, Sunrise café , right?”

“You had coffee?” he interrupted

“Yeah.” I said automatically regretting it instantly.

“I thought the doctor was clear about the caffeine issue.” He wore that disapproving look on his face, I so hated.

Shit, if he starts again about the caffeine issue, it will be at least another 15 minutes before I could tell him what I REALLY needed to tell him. Ok, so I don’t  drink alcohol, I don’t smoke, but I used to drink close to seven cups of low fat (sometimes even raspberry flavored) lattes per day, but not after that infamous caffeine meltdown that cost me my job last month and the consequent doctor’s orders.

“Look, I only have a sip or two when I crave it, and then smell the hell out of it before I throw the rest away.  This is not the issue …”

He looked as if he was going to protest, or nag me. Men may not nag as much as women, but when they do they absolutely do it as if they have been practicing all their lives;  as if they were meant to it;  as if they have been waiting to do it ever since your last pms-fueled fight.

He chose to stay silent, feeling there was a greater issue at hand, much greater than the caffeine issue.

“So there I was smelling my latte, when this young boy comes and tries to sell me a newspaper.” My hands started to tremble and he was the one now, holding both of my hands, silently looking straight to my soul.

“I didn’t want a newspaper. I don’t read newspapers. I told the kid. If there was anything really serious happening in the world, and actually worth knowing about, I will know about it without having to read the newspaper.”

Johnny cracked a smile, I have stolen that line from him.

“But he looked like he was about to cry, he was like this tiny young thing not older than seven, so I said ok kid, I’ll buy it. It was then I noticed the kid, only had one newspaper to sell.  He said good luck Mandy

and He ran away after that.”

“Ok, so what is the problem?”

“He knew my name.”

“He could have heard one of the waiters call you, by your first name. they are your “buddies” after all.” He said this with a hint of sarcasm, I chose to forgive.

“Please listen to me carefully. I flipped the newspaper to the entertainment section, cause you know I m not interested neither in politics, nor in the depressing stuff. So in the now playing movies they had the new Christian Bale/Leonardo Di Caprio movie, that I know for sure it’s to be released next week. So I flip over the newspaper and what do I see?”

“If you called me over from work, distressing over having missed the premier of that movie…”

“No Johnny. It was dated Monday the 30th. Here it is.”

“So it’s a typo, “ he said dismissing, but he was intrigued.

“What about the Movie review? You know what? Forget about the movie review. Look they have a piece about the homeless man  who won the lottery winner. “

At this Johnny stood up. I could see he heard the story about homeless lottery winner this morning on the news.

“You had this since Monday?” he questioned.

“Yes.”

“They have the winning numbers anywhere in the article?”

“Yes, “ I answered confidently. I had read the article many times before I decided to call him.

“Why didn’t you play them?”

“I don’t believe in the lottery.” I said mechanically, as I always do when my mom nags me to buy a ticket and maybe my luck will turn up and I won’t have to look for another job.

“I thew it in my apartment Monday and went out. Did not think  of it. Tuesday after lunch I was bored, so I read a little bit, and found it peculiar, a prank most probably, but then I read about the homeless man.”

I looked at him expecting something… anything. His face was very unreadable, this was a first for me.

“Now look at the front page.” I continued.

He read out loud

“The Nightingale Killer has claimed another victim this time in…”

“In OUR TOWN “  I screamed, “look at the girl, the victim,  in the photo.”

He did not recognize her. He wouldn’t I reasoned.

” It’s the café  owner’s  eight year old daughter! The Nightingale killer, is that serial killer who kills children. THE MONSTER.!” I started to cry, I did not know what to do.

“Calm down” he said surprisingly soothingly. I knew he will know the right thing to say.

“So you believe this newspaper is from the future? And this girl is about to die.”

I nodded.

“Maybe she’s already dead.” I added. “ They find her body on Sunday. Maybe she’s already missing, I don’t know.”

“Lets go see at the café” Johnny suggested and I jumped up right as the words came out of his mouth.

I opened the apartment door, and there stood the very same boy who sold me the newspaper.

“Good luck Mandy. There is a chance.” He said again with a smile before running and disappearing in the long corridor.

 

 

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