Writing Prompt

At other times I find pages that I not only don’t remember having written, which in itself doesn’t astonish me, but that I don’t even remember having been capable of writing, which terrifies me.
—-Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

Newspaper taped to a window, Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas

Women Trampled as 26 Manhole Covers Burst

Shoppers Flee Terror-Stricken as Sky is Alight With Flame; Windows Shattered for Blocks

Hubert hated being the intern. Of course, he would be the one that the editor ordered back to the scene of the explosion, after all the excitement had died down, “Get the Hell back there and you count every one of those manholes!” the editor screamed, turning a deep shade of beet red. “I want to know if it was five or five hundred…. and be exact! And no Goddamn Lollygaggin’!”

Everyone in the newroom laughed at Hubert as he hung his head and slumped toward the door.

“Be sure and count them exact! Har! Har!” smirked Simpson from his typewriter. Hubert ignored him but glanced at the copy as he trudged by, “Injured, cut, and bloodstained…” was all he had typed.

What a crappy day – they would all be writing lurid copy while he was out counting manholes… getting them exact.

———–

“Seventeen, eighteen, nineteen….” Hubert counted as he walked along the street. He carried a small notepad and a pencil that he had pulled down from his hat, labelled “Daily Digest” after the paper he interned for.

“Hey, you! Are you a newspaperman?”

The loud, sharp, and unexpected voice broke his concentration, but he was able to scribble down a quick “19” before he forgot and had to start over.

“Not exactly,” Hubert started to reply, “I’m an inter….” Then he looked up to see what he was sure was the most beautiful woman he had seen in his life striding toward him. “Ummm, I’m the head reporter for the Daily Digest,” tapping his hat, “I’m down here to find out what happened today.”

(and at this point I had to go, maybe I’ll write more later)

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