Writing Prompt: Mysterious Man

An interesting prompt I saw on Instagram that was actually meant for Photography, but since it's my writing skills I am dusting off, and while inspiration goes where it wants ... often it is also where it's sometimes convenient.


As far as James could tell, not one person in the entire town knew a single fact, or even rumour, regarding the man. Which was saying a lot given how talk spread far and fast in a town as small as Beggar's Canyon. He simple appeared one Friday morning at the local high school principals door, briefcase and an impeccable resume in hand. By Monday morning he stood before James grade six homeroom class, as though he'd just landed from some strange planet. Dropped down on the surface a full grown man; and a complete enigma. All the students had was a name: Mr. R. Gray


He favoured bow ties, that was clear from the two sole occasions he'd appeared. Today's was a plaid pattern in greens and blues and just maybe James had detected a slight accent on the r's when he announced his name. He didn't know if the golden hair bleached white in places indicated a Scottish ancestry, or a love of sun and surf. James eyes rolled around Mr. Gray's cramped personal office located at the back of class, but as far as he knew the Motivational Poster featuring a windsurfer leaping over rolling waves, belonged to a former teacher. Then again, this was his first time in detention. He cringed slightly recalling the reason why he was sat here while all his friends were well on their way home. It was a such a stupid thing and he didn't even know...


A short expel of breath drew his eyes back to the man, the mystery, and hopefully the merciful. Once again his cheeks flamed heat beneath the steel gaze directed towards him from behind the huge desk, before passing over the photo that perched among the neat piles of paper, pens, and a charging cell phone. All new clues as James knew their former teacher Ms. Peaky did not keep a neat desk; despite insisting on her student's doing so. But the photo... that was definitely new. A young woman who stood petite and pretty beside a large black horse. A gigantic black horse and his eyes widened almost in disbelief, before he leaned in to see the woman clearly. Her eyes aglow and the smile bright and wide on her pale face, and long, red hair that wrapped about her shoulders and nearly reached her slender waist. Another mystery and he raised his eyes to the still silent man, the question on his lips before Mr. Gray's deep voice halted his own.


"A beautiful creature, no?"


James wasn't immediately sure if he meant the horse, or the woman, and could only bob his head in agreement rather than risking wrong on either account. Mr. Gray steepled his fingers over his mouth and tipped his head back, eyes still keen on James, before leaning upon the desk with a loud sigh. He tipped the photo upside down on the desk, then rested his arms upon the paper piles so carefully slow that a wave of unease punched into James stomach.


"Well Master James, that is a very interesting story, but alas, one for another time."


He leaned closer and James pressed his back as far into the chair as he could without tipping it over, wondering why he had once associated briefcases and bow-ties with the weak and the nerdy. For it was an abundantly clear true fact; Mr. Gray was neither.


"No James, we are here for entirely different reasons, are we not?"

James chin dropped to his chest and he croaked out a barely audible "yes sir."


The slow smile that spread, but didn't reach the man's eyes further sending his stomach into turmoil.


"Well then, shall we begin?"



Uh oh. I don't think I envy where James is sitting at the moment, and wonder what action he must have done to land him in the hot seat in this mysterious mans office. I do hope that one quality Mr Gray possesses is fairness!






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