I decided that I’m going to start responding to the Writer’s Digest Weekly Writing Prompts for a little extra practice/feedback. This week’s prompt and my response are below. I welcome any feedback. Please feel free to post it in the comments below. It can also be seen on the Writer’s Digest Website.
Prompt: It’s your 18th birthday and, upon it, you parents deliver some pretty shocking news: You’re not really human. They admit that they’ve been covering up the fact that you are actually a (fill in the blank). After hearing the news you still decide to go to school, but this school day is different than all your school days past, especially when it’s revealed to others what you truly are. Write this scene.
Carl sat with his eyes closed, head tilted back, reclining in his desk chair. It balanced precariously on its back legs, though Carl didn’t give it much thought. His mind was elsewhere.
Am I really an alien?
Well, if he really was an alien, wouldn’t he have figured it out by now? He had done everything that normal kids do as they grow up. Got in fights, sluffed school, won prizes, chewed gum, even kissed a few girls. He’d lived his life well and the gaggle of friends that followed him around like lost puppies proved it. He was normal. No matter what dad said. And yet…
If he was honest with himself, his life had been slightly different. No, he hadn’t seen any strange creatures, nor had he manifested any awesome powers that shook the understanding of physics (despite his near perfect test scores in that area I might add), but he had lived his life differently. More vibrantly, than a number of his peers.
There were aspects of life that held him in awe even still, subjects that held such magisterial beauty that, at times, they left him in tears. The flight of a bird clawing its way into the sky on a spring morning, an insect clasped in its beak. A seed sprouting from the ground with a green, tender shoot. Stars flickering at night in the midst of the inky blackness of space. Physics. Ham sandwiches. It was all so…wonderful! None of the other guys his age ever noticed things like that.
Maybe there is some truth to it. He thought. What is the measure of a man? His strength of arm or his strength of character? What makes humans human? What were aliens if not those outside the norm? He was different. So maybe he was an alien. He smiled and then shrugged. So be it then.
A knock sounded at the door and his dad poked his head in.
“Are you ok, Carl?” He asked.
Carl smiled. “No, dad. I’m better than ok. I’m an alien.”