Saturday, April 16, 2011

April 14, 2011 - Key Card

Prompt: Here’s a 90-second drill: List items you can find in a hotel. When the 90 seconds are up, write a story that includes all of the words on your list. Set your story anywhere but near a hotel.

Source: Modified from

Original Airdate: December 3, 2010

Response: stairs, beds, rooms, doors, elevator, clerk, mailbox, aquarium, cafe, carpet, window, bathroom, luggage, food, key card, lock, room number

George looked up at the sky, balancing his camera carefully in one hand. The gray clouds threatened rain, but the sun was still shining through in places. He fervently hoped that it would not begin to rain - the lighting was far too interesting.

Pulling his knees up, he turned away from the crowds in the park - hoards of sticky children, their parents, and little animals who ran behind to pick up the food the children dropped. Across the street, a cab was pulling up to the curb. The tenant building was depressing at best. George could picture the inside - the tarnished metal mailboxes in the entryway, the battered doors with room numbers hanging on for dear life. And inside, the scratched windows and bathroom tiles, deflated beds and faded carpets. Dismal.

A woman climbed out of the cab, retrieving her luggage. George snapped pictures lazily. She was bedraggled, as if it was raining at the airport even though the park was still dry. Her blond hair was half-dry and it blew into her eyes vindictively as she hefted two suitcases. The cab driver did not even watch as she struggled with the heavy cases. George adjusted his zoom, capturing the moment again and again. Through his lens, he saw a key card fall out of the woman's pocket and flutter to the ground. She did not notice.

George watched her traverse the tenant's stairs and stand in the lobby, waiting for an elevator which was probably broken. George leaned back against the park wall, reviewing his photographs. He watched the key card fall again and, for a moment, he considered crossing the street, walking in the building and giving the card to the lobby clerk, but a raindrop plopped onto his arm, sliding off slowly. And he had to meet his Mark at the aquarium in an hour and he wanted to stop at the cafe first. So he put his camera away and left the park.

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