A couple of weeks ago I referenced the WritersDigest.com writing prompts that I receive every week. Here’s another writing prompt that I recently completed. Enjoy!
Playing in the hallway one day, your kids accidently bump into your grandfather clock, which has been in the family for years. As it smashes to the ground, you find a note hidden inside from your great grandfather, who died two months after you were born. Strangely enough, the note is addressed to you.
I had just sat down to watch some television when my 4 year old Ben tugged on my shirt sleeve.
“Dad, can we play scale?” Ben asked.
“Sure kiddo, why don’t you start the first round and I will be in there to join you at the next commercial break.”
Scale was a game I made up to distract Ben so I could watch TV. It consisted of him standing on a bathroom scale. That’s it. I tricked him into thinking the digital number that showed up on the screen was the point total he received for that round. He was cubby for his age, so he constantly scored in the 50s, but he was no match for his pops who could score a 285 without putting down his beer.
“Dad!” Ben yelled. “I got a 57! New high score! It’s your turn.”
“Good job Benny Boy. Hold on a second, Who Wants to be a Ninja Millionaire is almost over.”
As I watched ninja warriors try to karate chop their way through trivia questions, I heard a thump in the hallway where Ben had set up the scale.
“What going on in there, bud?” I asked, scratching my mutton chops.
“Dad, I figured out how to score more points! You just have to stand on the score keeper and push up against the big clock on the wall!”
Before I could eat another handful of cheese balls, I heard Ben say “uh oh” followed by a loud crash. I quickly took the bowl of cheese balls off my chest and lumbered into the hallway. Luckily Ben was safe, but the same couldn’t be said for my grandfather clock.
The giant wooden time piece was broken into a dozen pieces, any of which could have taken off a limb or about 15 scale points off of Ben. Unfazed by the incident, Ben noticed the free bowl of cheese balls and wobbled into the living room.
As I bent down to pick up the pieces, I remembered two things. First, that my lack of exercise caused lower back pain when I did something as active as bending down. And second, this dusty old clock once belonged to my great grandfather.
I knew very little about him since he died when I was very young. I think he got the clock during a war or something. At least that is what my mom used to say, which is why I agreed to keep the old clock. That and I thought the dumb thing might be worth something. I thought maybe the TV pawn shop guys would someday want to pay me millions for it.
I was sure it was worth a lot of money too, but I could never find the time to take it to an actual pawn shop. I am a busy man, given how much reality TV is on these days.
I had just picked up the broken pendulum when I noticed a piece of paper wedged in the clock’s top left corner. Deathly afraid of splinters, I considered calling Ben in here to grab the paper.
No, I thought, he will probably just wipe his nose on it. Darn kid wipes his nose on everything.
As I carefully reached up into the corner to get the note, I dreamed that maybe it was a note from a king or something that lead to a treasure somewhere. I was going to find this king’s treasure and be rich. I was going to show Ben’s mother and all those other doubters that said I would never amount to anything. You don’t have to be a ninja to be a millionaire.
I gently unfolded the note and gasped when I saw my name written on the top. Well, it wasn’t so much of a gasp as it was me choking on some unfinished cheese ball stuck in my throat.
Great grand pappy Buck left this for me? Of all the people he could have told about the treasure he picked me? I always knew I liked that guy.
Already spending my millions, I read the note.
“Hey Bobby! You are probably wondering why I am leaving you this note. Well you see, this was weighing pretty heavy on my conscience and I felt the need to tell someone. I picked you because you are just a few weeks old and can’t read. And I’m sure by the time you can read I will probably be dead. That makes you the perfect person to tell. I didn’t really get this clock in the war. I just told people that to try and pick up chicks. Wow, I feel better already. Thanks Bobbo! – Love Grandpa Buck”