I’ve been playing with what to write next since I’ve completed my trilogy, SMUGGLERS IN PARADISE. I have a few ideas, but nothing has completely jelled for me yet. So, in order to keep in shape, I’ve started doing some writing prompts. This one is a flash fiction piece that was supposed to be 500 words or less from Writer’s Digest. Comments / feedback welcomed!
The prompt was:
What if Harry Potter came to your house for dinner? Write this scene as if you were a teenager, he’s new to your school and you’re introducing him to your parents. Also, after dinner, he makes a request of you. What is it?
Harry and the Path to Enlightenment
I told Harry to come inside. My father, ever the bastion of welcome, looked over his newspaper from across the living room. Didn’t say a word, just looked and then went back to reading.
“Okay, so that’s Dad, don’t worry, looks can’t kill. I’m living proof.”
“Mom, Harry, Harry, Mom.” I took Harry into the kitchen where Mom was finishing chopping up some carrots for our salad.
“Nice to meet you, Harry. Did you bring your wand?” Mom asked him.
Harry glanced at me and replied, “Um, yes ma’am.”
Mom just returned to the salad making and said, “Ah, good then, we’re about ready to sit up. And here, put a salad at each place. The food doesn’t just float through the air to the dinner table at our house, now, does it.”
Dad came out from under his paper to eat and decided he had to acknowledge the young warlock, as well.
“David says they kicked you out of Hogwarts, why’d they do that?” He asked, never the subtle one.
I just shut my eyes and slid down the chair, hoping to fall through the floor into the basement.
“It’s more of a forced holiday, I think,” Harry replied. “Something about roof and bridge repair, as far as I can tell, isn’t it?”
“Show me something smart then,” Dad asked.
It was sort of downhill from there after Harry turned Dad’s wine into water and then back into wine. Unfortunately, it started as a well-seasoned chardonnay and ended as a boxed red varietal. Dad wasn’t impressed.
After dinner Harry washed the dishes for Mom, by hand. She said she didn’t want Grandma’s fine bone china to end up as dime store plastic ware. Then we headed to the backyard and up to my treehouse.
“Sorry about that, Harry,” I said, apologizing for my parents.
“It’s okay. It’s nice to see how regular parents act, being, well, you know,” Harry replied.
Orphaned. Yeah, I knew, and I was smart enough to let it go at that. However, I was bursting at the seams and couldn’t hold the rest of my questions off any longer.
“So why Flat Lake High School, Harry?” I asked, and followed up with, “and why me, of all the kids there?”
I mean, I liked me fine, but I wasn’t in the running for Valedictorian, wasn’t the captain of, well any team, and was kind of conspicuously unfashionable in the comfy, but ugly, orange knit shirt Mom had sewn.
“I’ve been given a mission, David,” Harry answered, “One I’ve been told you can help me with.”
I sat cross-legged on the floor of the tree fort, waiting for further information.
“I have to find the Path to Enlightenment, David, and I need your help,” Harry said.
Well I must admit, that was a bigger surprise than I expected. I sat there for a minute wondering if this path had anything to do with my jobs (four of them, currently, just to stay busy) or with the hidden gay-themed paperbacks under my mattress.
I decided I’d just have to wait and see.