Confession: I love the optional writing prompts that fly around during the first week of introductions that I try as many of them as I can. Of course, I have to do the one that’s posted in my classroom and this time it was a picture prompt and to write a story (less than 500 words) from this picture:
“Strange. It worked before,” Alex murmured, “maybe if I exerted more force.”
Alex pressed his palm harder against the glass and waited for the warm tingling, which usually came before the sparks (and the pungent electrical fire smell) and which preceded the ultra-bright glow emitted from his hand. This sequence of events, he learnt now, would melt any material he placed his hands on
But, nothing happened. The glass remained solid beneath his hand. He snatched his hand away from the glass and glared at it.
“What was I doing wrong? What???” His voice laced with frustration. “Wait…my ring. Maybe it’s the ring. I wasn’t wearing one the last time.”
Alex quickly slipped the silver ring from his finger and pocketed it. “Okay, let’s try this again.”
This time, he started by closing his eyes, took a deep breath and tentatively placed his hand on the glass. He made sure his hand was exactly at the same height as before. And he waited. “Come on, come on! Tingle!”
He waited a heartbeat then felt the middle of his palm warm slightly. A small smile played on his lips. “Ahhh!! Success! Now, I can get out of this blasted place!” Then he waited for the warmth to spread to his fingers.
Again, nothing happened. Had he imagined the burst of heat?
He opened his left eye to see if his hand was glowing which it should be but there was none. His other eye flew open; he fisted his hand and banged it against the glass. Rage coursed through him.
“WHY. WON’T. IT. WORK? WHY???” Each word was punctuated with the banging of his fist on the glass. “I want to get out of here! I want to get OUT!!!”
Two men in white stood outside Alex’s room peering through the window in the door.
“What’s he going on about this time?” asked the taller man who was also the slightly more rotund one.
“Oh, he’s trying to melt the glass,” said the second man, chuckling.
“Melt the glass?”
“Yup. He thinks he can melt anything he touches. You should’ve seen him earlier. He touched the mirror on the wall beside his bed and I guess he thought he melted it because he started jumping up and down shouting that he did it. After that he went to the window and tried the same thing. He’s been trying for several hours.”
“Why do you always get the interesting patients?” asked the taller man, shaking his head.
“Just lucky, I guess,” the shorter man shrugged, “come on, let’s go.”
As the doctors walked further down the corridor, the thumping faded.