A while back I took up a challenge to write a short essay based on a random picture I was given. For me it was a test of creativity. Below is the picture and what I wrote.
Can I be creative? Can I write to order or am I only able to reiterate hazy recollections from bygone days. Days when I was fleet of foot and the sky was my ceiling, the world my oyster, and the Bible my guide. At the summit of my youth I would cast disdainful glances at the flotsam spewed out of the sewers of the unscrupulous. These, the dregs of humanity why do they live like that, have they no pride?
The simple answer is no! They have been stripped of any remaining pride by an uncaring government. Youth is wasted on the young and the years brief. Time and experience educate us and I look back at the youth I was with shame. It is too easy to judge others but everybody has a story. See that man over there? He was a war hero. The only thing he has to show for it is the scar of the bullet hole, his medal for gallantry long-since pawned for a bottle of cheap cider to temporarily blot out the nightmares. See that bag-lady there? Her husband drank himself to death after their only son committed suicide. Her husband racked up a lot of debt before he died and unable to cope, she was on the streets in six months. That was seven years ago.
That bloody kid over there as well. The one with the hoodie, smoking and shouting abuse at that man. Yeah that's the one. He was born a heroin addict because of his mother's use of it. His father could be any of the dirty old men kerb crawling in their posh cars, telling their wives they are working late. He will be dead next week when the car he steals crashes into a ditch. Everybody has a story.
The picture that was meant to inspire me and a magnificent sight it is, but all I saw was a cavernous hole and a giant tear-drop. It made me think about so many things and now I realise I can't be creative. I can only say what I have seen.