Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Yet another writing prompt

Ann's writing prompt:
Here are some stereotypical character traits of the handsome romantic hero that have already been established for this character:
–single male
–dark wavy hair
–broad shoulders
–far-away stare
–BA in Geology
–works as a construction contractor
–built his own unique home in the hills north of Portland, Oregon
–favors well broken-in jeans, tee shirts, beat-up running shoes
–his name is Hank

Your challenge is to put Hank into a scene where it becomes obvious that he is not a stereotype at all, but someone full of surprises.

Hank rolled his broad shoulders and leaned forward against the kitchen island, stretching out the hamstring on each leg. He loved running along the trails in Forest Park. Today’s rainstorm hadn’t bothered him. The grey overcast rainy days of Portland were his favorite– they suited his mood. Today he’d made time for a quick run before dinner, and since it was cooler than usual, he’d had the trails all to himself. The heavy mat of fir needles covering the path gave a spring to his step and the air smelled clean and freshly scrubbed of all the big-city odors.

He kicked off his beat-up running shoes and picked up the set of rolled drawings, spreading them out on the counter-top, and gazed at the design. The house was coming along on schedule, although slightly over budget. The owners had picked a challenging lot in the West Hills to build their new home. As a General Contractor specializing in that area, he was in high demand, not only because of the unique contemporary-designed homes he built, but because of his degree in Geology.

Hank was an expert in dealing with any potential problems that the fault line running the length of the West Hills presented. He’d engineered the complicated building site, calling for the foundation to be reinforced with re-bar, and for concrete pilings to be driven deep into the ground. He situated the home perfectly to maximize its stability and to take advantage of the views of the Willamette River. Although he was one of the younger General Contractors in the city at thirty two, he had a stellar reputation and clients had faith in him. It didn’t hurt that he had built and lived in a unique chrome and glass house in the hills along the fault line also.

He ran a hand through his dark wavy hair and glanced at his watch.  He had two hours to get ready. Tonight his usual well-worn jeans and tee shirt attire would give way to something more suited for his destination.

He reached for his cell phone when the “Y-M-C-A” ringtone played. He got kidded about that a lot, but he liked the Village People.

 “Hey, there’s a bunch of us meeting for a drink downtown around six-ish at Kell’s Irish Pub,” said Stephanie, his assistant. “You wanna join us?”

“No, I’ve got other plans,” he said, “But thanks for asking.”

“You sure? Jeannine will be there.”

“Yep, I’m sure. I’ll see you Monday.” Stephanie was always trying to set him up with a date. He did his best to discourage her, but she still tried. He stared off into the distance. It would take someone pretty understanding to put up with him, his hectic work schedule, not to mention his hobbies.

He came back to the present and headed for the shower. He practiced a few dance moves as he sauntered down the hallway.

Two hours later, Hank parked in the lot behind the well-known downtown building and carefully exited the car. He straightened his clothes before opening the door to a room full of noise, music and lights.

“Henrietta,” called another patron. “Over here.”

He carefully smoothed his red sequined gown, pushed a curl from the long brunette wig behind his ear, careful to not disturb the dangling earring clipped there, and sashayed over to the table. “Hi, Darcelle,” he said to Portland’s oldest drag queen. “Looks like business is booming tonight.”


  1. Oh good god - this is terrific! I hope Hank shows up in some of your longer works - he's too good for a one-shot deal! Thanks for making my morning.

  2. Ha- This one was easy because before we retired and moved out of the city, hubby was a general contractor in the west hills of Portland and we lived there too. I could use some of the familiar and famous places around. After all,one of Portland's motto's is "Keep Portland Weird."
    Thanks for the comment!