The Challenge

Anthony walked up the path to Leo’s front door, whistling as he went, as he always did, to disguise the not so happy sentiments he felt when yet again saying yes to a favour. A note was stuck on the door “Hey Ant, last minute plans to play golf with the boys. Key in the usual spot. Cheers, Leo”. Anthony neatly folded the note in as many folds as he could while focusing on his breathing. His anger was momentarily diffused with the distraction of a fact that came to him- a piece of paper cannot be folded in half more than seven times. He pocketed the note and worked his way back down along the path, all too familiar with the “usual spot” as this wasn’t the first time Leo had asked a favour and didn’t bother being home. It wasn’t the first time either that Anthony had put aside his own plans or potential plans to help out Leo, who was his cousin of sorts, being the son of his mother’s step brother’s second wife. He figured family was family. Leo’s side fence was lined with sunflowers that stood tall and proud, their yellow petals shouting a joy that seemed to mock Anthony’s demeanor. At the foot of the row of flowers was a fence post that had fallen and seemed to have been left to rot, when in fact it was placed there quite deliberately by Leo, a safeguard for drunken nights coming home and not knowing where he’d misplaced his keys, or in instances such as these, for favours to be carried out in his absence. Leo reached down to lift the post, heaving with the weight and imagining some burly lumber jack laughing at his weakness. With one hand curled around the post, he rummaged in the soil for the key, feeling a crunch as his fingers pressed against something. Using all the strength he could muster, he pushed the post aside and saw with disgust the globule of slime on his palm- the remains of a snail he had squashed. Being of weak constitution, he felt a wave rise up from his stomach and couldn’t help but revisit the as yet undigested Singapore noodles he’d had for lunch. The key glimmered in its usual spot and after wiping the vomit with his untainted hand; he grabbed the key and did what he’d always wanted to do. He placed it in his pocket, walked past the mocking sunflowers, now he too was standing tall with his resolve, and he left. Leo can get someone else to do his dirty work for him, I’m done, and with that he slammed the front gate. He didn’t make it far past the gate before the guilt set in, but this time, he let it simmer and felt for the note in his trouser pocket. I bet I can fold it more than seven times – now that he had the afternoon free, he decided that was what he’d do- try and try and try until he disproved that fact.


Write a piece using five nouns from different sources (as per WordPress’ The Daily Post writing challenge: “The Ray Bradbury Noun List Twist”) The nouns: noodle, globule, sunflower, lumber, and trousers. First 3 were suggested by my partner. The last two were from this random noun generator