"Looking around the room, I felt sure this had to be a joke ... "
Looking around the room I felt sure this had to be a joke. How could an eight year old with no resources outwit so many thirty something’s? How could all of you fail while diminutive Sarah, with no worldly experience, succeeded? When I looked harder at you slackers and flunkies I understood. It’s heart that matters more than the mush pile that serves as your brains. Don’t you get it!
I guess not. But there is still hope and you get two more tries. I’m going to transform this room into a desert and the temperature will be over a hundred degrees and you will each have and apple and an orange, not enough sustenance to make it the fifty miles on the well marked path in the sand, complete with periodic markers. What will the eight of you do? Who will make it to the end? And will any of you be smart and intuitive enough to figure out this puzzle?
Sarah pensively sat on the other side of the window to that world. It acted like a mirror to the eight struggling participants…reflecting endless desert. She munched on a few grapes, awaiting the next meal to be brought to her. This time they will remember to bring just chocolate ice cream for dessert and skip the strawberry! People learn to listen to Sarah or else! She didn’t make it to this position of power by accident. And she wondered whom she should save, if any of them. She astutely looked for a sign of worthiness or at least potential. It was hard to find and they all seemed pretty dull. But then again, she probably didn’t seem like the most likely to succeed when someone had helped her. Then she noticed a gleam in Dave’s eyes.
...From Chris (www.lessthan300.com . www.morethan300.com):
Looking around the room, I felt sure this had to be a joke. Every chair in the waiting room was occupied. Every nose was buried in a phone screen. Children were pacified with small tablets, grown-ups had earphones on. Thumbs and fingers were firmly attached on the glass surfaces; texting friends, maneuvering through games, swiping through Instagram and Facebook timelines. I could be wearing only a leopard print thong and no one would notice. Finding no available seats, I leaned both against the wall and balanced on my crutches, taking the weight off my sprained ankle.
It didn’t help matters that the television on the wall was broadcasting financial news loud enough to drown out any opportunities for conversation. The audible ka-chunk of the waiting room door opening was unnoticed. The nurse had to raise her voice twice to announce the patient’s name. Even then, no one looked up. She simply could not compete with the television volume and the apathy in the room.
I had reached the boiling point. I deliberately took a large breath to fill my lungs, and with my loudest, I screamed, "CARL MADISON!" All of the heads looked up at me with blank expressions. Narrowing my eyes to scan the room, I saw a fifty-something man with plaid shorts and a blue polo shirt remove his earbuds, stand up and walk through the door the nurse was holding open for him. She shot me a dirty look. Perhaps yelling wasn't accepted in a doctor's office.
I didn't care. I crutched over to the newly-available seat and eased into it. Both people next to me subtly shuffled their chairs away from me, silently protesting my decision to disturb their technological trance. Didn't matter to me. I didn't know them anyway.
Looking around the room, I felt sure this had to be a joke, not really a joke but a trick being played on me. Who would do such a thing! All those in the room are staring at me. As if, they expect me to lead them in some activity. Up to this point in my life, I had been at the beck and call of others. Now, here I am with fanciful clothing, standing on an elevated platform in front of a room of dogs and cats. They are staring at me, seemingly in anticipation of my communication with them. What language do they speak? What are they feeling? What do they expect from someone who looks like me? What force brought them here?
They are not getting along like so-called “cats and dogs”; instead, they have formed a peaceful community seemingly intent on learning. What could I have to offer such a well socialized group? Animals having hair of different lengths and textures roam freely. A beautiful ocean of changing coloration is created as those of single color mix with others having a boldly distinct multi-colored pattern or a striated mixture. In contrast to their differences, each one is similarly identification banded. Oh my! I see a brilliantly multicolored Calico.
All the windows with screening have been opened to allow outside air to circulate. The entering aromas seem to connect with them as they sniff the entering elements. Are they seeking a refuge from their tightly regulated lives as domestic, comfort slaves? They are not looking around or showing signs of wanting to flee. Outside is where, prior to their ancestors’ enslavement, their species had communally navigated the flora and fauna with freedom. What is expected of me? Have I magically appeared here to learn from them?
May the force be with you while you're battling May's 300 Words challenge (due May 19th by emailing email@example.com), starring this stellar first sentence:
"It all began a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... "