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Writing a Prompt #1 at 11:43am

So, as you may have seen (or maybe not), we've had our first guest post!

My good friend Gabriel has become the first guest writer (of hopefully many) and wrote the first guest post (of hopefully many).

I've been friends with Gabe for years- he is among the people I could write pages about if I needed to. However, I won't do that. If this blog has taught me one thing, it's to stretch my material as much as possible. I'm going to be sprinkling little anecdotes into these type of posts for a long time. You may not be able to see it, but I'm cackling right now.

So, as the title suggests, this is going to be the first of my writing prompts. Using the given word is the primary aspect of the prompt. While the original intent was to keep it short and sweet- that's not what happened with mine.

There's going to be more guidelines and rules, eventually, but for now, this was a bit untamed.

The hope is to do one of these at least once a week, likely on Wednesday- and hopefully accompanied by a guest post of the same nature. But, as it is with all things, it's up in the air. For now, here's the prompt.

Word: Skyline. Provided by Gabe Onate.

The beam from Jacob’s flashlight wobbled as he tried to tug on the heavy cabinet. He took a step back and looked it over carefully. Besides cobwebs and broken ceiling tiles, there was not much else holding it in place.

“Barry,” he groaned, “See if you can help me move this.”

His grandson trudged over, and together they managed to push the behemoth up against the wall.

“Climb on up, son,” Jacob ordered.

Barry nodded and leapt onto the cabinet, with his grandfather doing the same soon after.

The pair reached for the ledge and climbed up onto the next floor, which was filled with damaged furniture and ruined equipment.

Barry glanced around while his grandfather doubled over to catch his breath.

“What did this place used to be, Gramps?” Barry asked.

Jacob straightened his back as he took a quick look across the room.

“Well, this place…” he trailed, “Well, people used to gather here and… sit in their little areas to do work. I’m not sure what kind of work was done here specifically, but it was things like… calling business partners and, uh, writing… letters on their computers.”

“Computers? Like… like my iPod?” Barry asked.

“Yes, actually!” Jacob laughed, “Your iPod is a bit like a smaller version of a computer.”

Jacob took a deep breath as he looked over their surroundings for a moment longer. He turned to see Barry flipping through a pile of loose papers. The boy was squinting his eyes as they passed over each word. It would be impossible to decipher, though, as the pages’ ink had all but vanished. A gust of wind blowing through a shattered window reminded Jacob of their reason for coming here.

He spared a brief look at his flashlight to assure himself it wouldn’t run out of power anytime soon. Satisfied, he returned his attention to the task at hand.

“Let’s keep going, kiddo,” he said, “We’ve got a bit of a stretch to go, and the sun’s gonna come up soon.”

Jacob marched ahead through an empty door frame, with Barry following him close behind.

They climbed at least three dozen flights of creaky stairs as they made their way to the building’s roof. It was easy, at first. Barry was in excellent health, and so was Jacob- to a lesser extent. However, the ordeal grew tedious the farther up they went. The sounds of a derelict structure aside, the blasting wind tore through them whenever they reached the occasional broken window pane. The exhaustion, coupled with the poor conditions, did little to ease the burden.

By the time they finally reached the roof access door, Jacob was nearly ready to faint.

“You alright, Grandpa?” Barry asked, setting a hand on the old man’s back.

“I’ll b-be fine,” Jacob coughed, “We’re nearly there.”

“I don’t mind sitting down here,” Barry offered, “You look like you could use a break.”

Jacob grinned at the boy and set his arm across his shoulders.

“I appreciate your worry,” he told him, “But we don’t have any more time to waste. We took long enough hauling my outdated behind up here as it is.”

Jacob pat his grandson’s head as he forced himself up the last few stairs, and out the door. They had made perfect time.

“Wow,” Barry gasped, “That... that looks…”

Jacob walked along to the edge of the roof and sat near it. A few moments later, his grandson joined him, and together they looked upon the rising sun.

“Beautiful, isn’t it?” Jacob asked.

Barry could do no more than nod as he soaked in the sights before him.

“That’s called a #skyline,” Jacob pointed, “All those buildings dotting the horizon, jutting up into the sky. They’re monuments to what can be achieved when people come together. When we share a dream.”

After a few moments of amazed staring, the young boy turned back to his grandfather.

“What happened here, Gramps?” Barry finally managed to ask.

“Well, you know,” Jacob started, “When resources started running out, and the power structure fell apart, people started turning on each other. Neighbor against neighbor, city against city. It was chaos, especially when-,”

“I meant what happened here, Grandpa,” Barry clarified.

“Oh,” Jacob mumbled sheepishly, “Well, this part of the city was bombed halfway to hell when they decided it was better off this way. It’s why I never brought you before now. Your dad didn’t think you should be exploring these old places. Thinks they’ll collapse at any moment.”

Jacob turned back to the horizon, the light shining brightly over them both.

“But... you can’t get this kind of view from the ground,” he whispered.

“Thank you for bringing me, Grandpa,” Barry murmured, leaning into his Jacob's shoulder.

“Happy birthday, kiddo,” the old man smiled.

Hope you enjoyed this, and I suggest you check out Gabe's post to see what he wrote with the word I provided.

The Ranger, now going to make breakfast

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