Act One –
Jacob had assembled his friend group. Everyone was here! James and his brother Manny, the Parkwell twins, and so many more. They were gathered to watch the newest movie in the series that brought them together in childhood. Finally it was getting a new installment! The air was brimming with electricity and chatter as they all bought their popcorn. They buttered it up and headed to their seats.
The movie went by quickly for how long it was. The friends exited the movie theater and gathered around one of their cars to discuss.
“Well, that sucked” was the general consensus, along with feelings of “why did they have to make that?” and “it felt so short”.
Act Two –
The evening of the big game. Stadium packed to capacity. Sweat. Heat. The energy of thousands of people. The world is watching. A light flickers. One member of the crowd lets out a shout of excitement. One turns into all as the stadium erupts into audible joy. The players slowly make their way onto the field. All the lights flicker. The players stop and look up as all the stadium lighting shuts off. The crowd, not five minutes ago louder than a concert, has fallen silent.
Ten excruciating minutes later, the announcement is made:
“The game is canceled.”
Act Three –
The world’s top scientists gathered for the viewing party of a historic volcanic eruption. Teams from various countries, including the United States, Germany, and Japan, prepared seismographs, walkie-talkies, and evacuation plans. The volcano, the only active one of its kind, hadn’t erupted with this magnitude in centuries. Scientists expected a 6.5 to 7.5 Richter scale reading with an explosion radius of 8 to 10 kilometers.
The seismographs read 9.7 before being buried in ash. The eruption was a disaster that no one could have prepared for.
The morning was cool and crisp, with a thick layer of fog rolling in over the hills. Sunlight glinted through the fog, allowing the roosters to recognize the morning. I was awoken by their joyous and irritating cries of “cock-a-doodle-doo”.
Who am I? I’m Michael Flynn, a farmer here in Ireland. I own several farms, including my agricultural farm where I work and live, and my bog, used to farm peat and turf.
I awoke and went to go check on the animals on my farm and to plan for the harvest. However, when I came to the hog enclosure, my prized pig was missing! “Oh Murphy, where have you gone?” I cried. I loved this pig more than most of my estranged children.
The hunt was on. I brought out my hunting dog for a better chance of finding my beloved Murphy. We searched high and low and alas, nothing. No sign of Murphy! I put up posters, hoping that some kind soul would return my pig.
As I was about to give up, I received a letter in the mail. A businessman from the next county over had found Murphy! I rushed to put on my best clothes and made my way to the door. It was then that I heard a sound from my closet.
I approached and opened the door. In my rush to get ready, I had failed to notice that Murphy was sleeping in my closet! He must have gotten in early this morning when I was out tending the fields! I picked him up and gave him a gigantic hug. “How I’ve missed you, Murphy! Don’t you ever scare me like that again!” It was when I thought I lost him when I truly realized how much he meant to me.
The move was off to a rough start for Annette. Changing from rural to downtown would definitely take some adjusting. But the city had this draw to it. It attracts many young souls like Annette. The bright lights, the huge buildings. She couldn’t help but feel drawn to it. The first week went pretty smoothly. All her things were unpacked, and though the apartment didn’t yet feel like home, she began to miss her previous house less and less.
Despite the move going well, the city was not what it seemed. The buildings and lights that so entranced Anette at first seemed almost menacing. They pulsed with a malevolent energy, and frightened her when she looked at them. The shadows always seemed to whisper her name in many voices. Eventually, she shut herself in her apartment, refusing to go out. Despite her fear, something held her there. She couldn’t leave the city that haunted her.
Every day, the lights grew brighter, coming ever closer to Anette’s shut blinds. At night, the shadows became ever louder, changing from whispers to full-on screams. Every hour she spent in the once exciting apartment tormented her. But leaving the apartment would be worse, she told herself. Her safest bet was to forever stay within the four apartment walls she imprisoned herself in.
We see our main character, Kent Whitlock, at his desk. Scribbling away, he is in a state of relaxation and vibrant energy at the same time. Sketching is his favorite hobby, you see. The man’s mind is set in high gear, and the shift was ripped out a long time ago. “What is he sketching?” you might ask. Today, it’s an assignment from LEGO, where he works. You know that they’re always designing the latest and greatest there, at LEGO. Right now, Kent is working on a gigantic LEGO drum kit. This is one of his favorite ideas in a while, because he also loves playing the drums.
Now, we see Kent presenting his LEGO drum kit sketch. The room eats it up. His boss is impressed, and Kent is feeling great. Then he sees her. In the corner of the room, the only person not rocked by his presentation. Aubrey. All Kent knows about her is that she’s the newest designer on the team. And that she doesn’t like his LEGO drum kit, for some reason.
He’s going over to her desk, about 18 minutes after his presentation wraps. Asks why she didn’t like it. He could have worded it better, but that’s alright. She coldly tells him that she was working on a similar idea. He fumbles over an apology. Asks to see her design, which she pulls out of her desk drawer. Kent feels bad, and suggests that they collaborate.
“Wow, you’d really do that for me?”
It started with the dog book. They had always had this book of dog breeds in their house. Large, small. Colorful, black, white. Over three hundred breeds of dog. Who knew that there were so many? As children so often do, he voiced an unyielding favorite. One dog, so unlike the others. Page 300. The parents were unsure. Thought small dogs were annoying, yappy, maybe weak. They were Black Lab people, with a love for Blue Heelers as well. Despite the preferential differences, they considered it. Over time, their hesitation weakened, they even opened up to the idea.
Birthday party time! Such excitement in the air. The day goes perfectly. As the gift opening comes to a close (you could even say it was wrapping up), dad says they have one more. He goes to the garage, and comes out with a box. The child rushes to open it. It could be so many things!
A gasp. So many revelations within a second. It’s a dog! He never could have imagined. A beautiful dog, but not quite the dog of his dreams. A lovely stuffed animal that resembles his favorite breed. He cries, for it isn’t real. The parents get it now. This love goes deep. Dad comes over, places a gentle hand on the shoulder. Whispers in the ear:
“Don’t worry, we’ll get you a real pug.”