What if? – Create a ‘what if’ scenario and place a character with key traits into it.
With the seemingly endless cycle of going to class and going to work I hadn’t taken my phone off silent mode for a long time, so I missed the call when it came through. It was sometime later that I looked at my phone and saw that I had a voicemail message.
“I’m in trouble.” It said “No police.”
The call had come from an international number. Obviously I recognised the voice and knew that trouble had a tendency to follow this person around. But what could have happened that they would be in a different country? And why did they not want the police involved? And what did they think I could do to help them?
They know me: I don’t have any special skills or training in detection or hand-to-hand combat like a character in a movie. I’m just a guy who studies at uni and has a shitty part-time job which barely pays the bills. And then I realised: they know me. They phoned me because they know that I wouldn’t just let it go. They know that I always find a way to fix things; but I had no idea where to start with this one.
Photo inspiration – from a photo or postcard expand the ‘what if’ scenario to include the scene shown.
The sun shone bright, as was its want, as the hour approached midday. The bus stop was nearby but I didn’t have a timetable to know exactly when the bus would arrive. So I gathered up my things and wandered across to see what was what. The departures listed on the bus stop suggested that one would arrive soon. There were other people waiting at the stop so I nurtured hope of imminent arrival.
Time ticked by as we grew hotter like mad dogs and Englishmen and still the bus didn’t arrive. I cursed this country and its lackadaisical attitude towards public transport and, in fact, everything it did. How could I be expected to achieve anything when I was surrounded by people like this? I imagined my situation like a Hollywood movie, where I was like James Bond on a global adventure to save a damsel and possibly the world along the way. But this was real. The threat was real, or at least the danger I felt for my lost friend was real to me and I was standing here waiting for a goddamn bus! James Bond always had some ridiculous supercar and seemingly infinite funds as he called up his numerous contacts to help him get what he needed but I had to scrape together enough for the cheap-ass flights I’d taken to get this far and now I was melting in the sun waiting for a bloody b-
The bus pulled round the roundabout as though the driver hadn’t a care in the world. The people at the bus stop looked relieved and began standing up as the bus approached. At last! I felt a surge of energy spurring me on in my quest which was quickly replaced by a fast building anger as the bus continued on past us with no indication of slowing down, let alone stopping! In my head I constructed scenarios which all ultimately led me to prison and the end of my mission. I looked around frantically, wouldn’t one of these other people do something outrageous?! I was distraught and about to panic when the bus brake lights showed and he came lazily to a halt some twenty yards up the road.
The doors of the bus opened and I couldn’t believe it when a gust of warm air washed out over me. Warm air! It was scorching outside the bus; it had never occurred to me that it would be hotter on the inside. It became quickly apparent that the bus had no air conditioning. Truly, this place was akin to Hell. I had to find my friend quickly and get us both out before I went mad. I boarded the bus and pushed forward – more was at stake here than just me: it was time to save the world, Bond style.