Wednesday, September 21, 2011


"Apply In Person" the last line of the ad read. Cheng folded the small piece of paper and put it back in his pocket. Adjusting the straps on his shoulder, he took a deep breath and blew it out as if through a straw. It was the only trick that his counselor had taught him that ever worked. His palms sweaty and nerves a little less janglly, he walked to the low dusty brown building with the faded green door.

Inside, it sounded like a war had erupted. He hesitated, his hand hovering over the worn door knob. "It's just a test to see if I'm ready for this," he muttered under his breath before gripping the knob and turning it over. Pulling up the rest of his resolve, he yanked the door open before he could change his mind. His gaping mouth showed his astonishment. Men in mail shirts and metal hats chased one another, swords clashing inches from their bodies. He knew he should turn and leave, but he was awestruck and unable to move his body.

"Hey! You here for an acting role or for the assistant director position?" The man was tall, remarkably thin, and probably in his 50's. A tangled mesh of long hair hung behind his shoulders, a touch of grey coloring his uneven beard and his temples. His eyes danced in a yellow mist which sat too close together on his dark weathered face.

"Ye-ye-yes sir," Cheng stammered. His heart thumped against his ribs and echoed in his ears.

"Yeah?" The man laughed a shrill choked laugh that didn't fit with the sounds of war. "So you want to be an actor and director just like all those other fools. Well, you can only be one right now, so which is it? Actor or director?"

Cheng closed his eyes to the confusion. He wondered if any of this was real. Maybe he was in a dream or had opened a portal to another time and place. He sucked on his lips for the thinnest of moments. "No," he thought. "This is all just part of some test." He looked the man in the chin, his eyes out of his reach and culturally inappropriate to look directly into. "I want to be more direct-er," he said with little confidence, but great ferocity.

***Daily Writing Practice***

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