Picture it and write: Hidden Talents

by joetwo

Hi there! This is my offering for this week’ Picture it and Write from Ermilia’s blog here. Once again, the picture is not mine, I only use it for inspiration. Anyway, enjoy!

Hidden Talents

I don’t know what it is, people like to talk to me in bars. You know like; uninvited. An Ex told me I have a listener’s face, one that attracts people with things to say, the odder the better. Not that that makes me feel any better. It is a bit like a curse; you know? Like the Chinese one “May you live in interesting times”, you’re very likely not to enjoy it when things when they happen, but at least you’ll have interesting stories after.

So I was having a drink; like the many I have had after a hard day’s wrangling numbers on a computer screen when I felt the oh so familiar presence of someone behind me with something to say. I turned around and there beside me was a genial looking middle aged man in a dark suit. I nodded to say hello.

“Lovely day.” He said. I nodded uncommittedly, hoping he’d take the hint and move on. No such luck.

He leaned over to me, looked around conspiratorially and said “I’ve had a very busy day. I have taken so many soulgraphs I think my fingers are going to cramp in protest.”

I looked confusingly at him “Soulgraphs?”

His eyes scrunched for a second then he smiled apologetically. “Forgive me. I’ve forgotten where I am. Let me show you.” He took a couple of what looked like Polaroids from his pocket and handed me one. The material felt different, almost like a parchment. On the picture was a woman waiting for a bus. It must have been Photoshopped; because instead of a normal shadow, there was figure about the same size dressed up like a soldier. I remarked as much.

The man chuckled. “Oh no sir. The image is real. It is the latest innovation from home. When the soulgraph takes a picture it looks into the soul of a person, shows you what they are meant to do with their lives as their shadow.” he grinned at me “Call it career guidance advice.”

He showed me some of his other images. There was a street sweeper, who was meant to be a doctor, a homeless man who seemed to be an engineer and a child who appeared to be a politician addressing a crowd. “Interesting” I said, trying to figure out where this obvious con was going.

“Not as interesting as this” he said and handed me one last picture.

It was taken from behind and at some distance, but I could tell from the gait and the clothes that it was obviously me. But instead of some mundane profession that I had always expected. My shadow was dressed in some form of wizard’s outfit, making to throw something at a dragon flying behind me. I looked at my new companion, demanding an explanation.

He looked all serious “There is magic in this world, I can tell. Only it has been hidden by centuries of people believing only what they can feel with dead hearts. Where I am from, things are very different.” He gently took the picture from my hands and stared at it “I am on what you could call a recruitment drive. You are the first person I have found in a long time with any potential.”

I was totally confused “What are you talking about? I’m an accountant. What do I know about magic? I don’t even believe in it. What kind of game are you playing at?”

The man shrugged “A game you’ll be very unfortunate to pass up on my friend. The soulgraph never lies. Let me guess, you have never liked being an accountant. Or anything else you have tried your hand in in this world. Am I right?” I nodded reluctantly “Well here is your answer why. This,” he stuck the picture at me again, “Is what you were born to do. You do have a lot to learn. But that can be arranged, you have the talent hidden underneath all that” his hand moved up and down to encompass me “come with me and we’ll find your full potential.”

And that was the end of my boring life as an accountant. Where I am now; people still like to talk to me in bars. Everything else though; is a lot more interesting.