Sunday, March 11, 2012

Writer's Toolbox Exercise #6 - Redo

The game:  You are given a protagonist "Bill the paleoclimatologist," a goal "to be the strongest," an obstacle "the barista at Starbucks," and an action "get married."  Make the story.)

Geeky scientist by day, world class athlete by night.  That's how Bill saw himself.  He only taught classes twice a week at Northwestern, so he was able to work out most days.  Which was great because he had set a goal to do the Iron Man 70.3 next spring.  Of course, winter in Chicago would not be conducive to a lot of outdoor training.

So, he had to go to the gym.  He didn't mind the gym so much.  It was the Starbuck's next door which really was his weakness.  He loved Caramel Macchiatos.  Since he'd decided to compete in the Iron Man, though, he'd limited himself to just one a week.  And, then, only if he had reached a certain goal:  swim 25 laps in the pool without stopping, run 10 miles on the treadmill on speed 6.5, or cycling for an hour straight.

This week, Bill had somehow managed to get those last 5 laps in without feeling as though his lungs were going to explode, and he quickly showered and dressed.  Grabbing his work-out bag, he could almost taste the smooth sugary frothiness.  Heading out one door and then making an almost U-turn through the second door, Bill entered caffeine Nirvana.

There was a short line, as always.  Tables spotted here and there with students on computers, other gym folk enjoying something warm before heading home, and the random coffee house bohemian who sat in the corner with their book and a large mug of coffee.  Bill looked absentmindedly at the pastry display, wondered how many calories one of the new cherry pie things had, and waited to step up to the register.

"What can we get started for you?" someone asked over the top of the display counter.  Bill was about to answer with his usual "venti soy decaf caramel macchiato" when the bright blue color of the attendant's skirt caught his attention through the glass, and he looked up and made eye contact with the most lovely girl he had ever seen.  He knew then that it was going to be much more difficult staying away from Starbucks.

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