Take the prompt provided and develop it into a story of no more than 750 words:
It all started in an old, abandoned movie theater…
Avery was a small, long forgotten town, nestled between two bustling cities on either side. Most folks stopped only long enough to fill their gas tanks, maybe grab a bite to eat at Mya’s Diner, if time permitted. Once they packed their tired kids into the car, pointing it in the direction of the highway, Avery would soon slip from their memory banks.
Avery towns-folks tried to mind their own business for the most part. Sure, they knew about the Kendall’s who resided on Birch Street. Marvin Kendall was known to partake in a bit of moonshine and lay into his wife Carolyn. Upon seeing her, folks were kind enough not to mention her blackened eyes, or the gradual progression of teeth disappearing. It didn’t stop tongues from wagging after she left the diner or church functions. A man has the right to treat his wife the way he sees fit, they’d nod in agreement.
One might suppose the town-folks would have a different point of view due to the scandal, which rocked the town to its very core, some twenty years prior. The local pastor, still performing his duties years later, had been caught in an affair with a local married woman. The towns-folk were up in arms over the chain of events, steadfastly accusing the wayward woman of being Satan, tempting their powerless pastor into such seediness. It didn’t take long for the township to run her and her mortified husband out of Avery. That was the one subject you didn’t hear discussed in any circles, even now. It were as if the entire town had its collective memory wiped out.
Dawson Sanders liked this little fact. It helped him to fit right in with his life’s mission.
Most days, you find Dawson rocking on his freshly painted porch, coffee mug in one hand, cigarette in the other, staring across his vast field. He had a string of bad luck when it came to the women he choose to marry. The folks of Avery felt a little sorry for Dawson but he didn’t seem to mind losing the wives he met through the classified ads. He was fond of the city women, with their air of self-imposed sophistication. It was always the same. The first few weeks were met with a hint of quiet shock at the town’s uneventful happenings; the long, drawn out evenings. Eventually, the bickering would begin, boredom settling in. Then, they’d up and leave Dawson, declaring him to be a fool for staying in Avery.
No, Dawson didn’t seem to mind at all. He’d smile at the fretful women at church on Sunday’s as they’d cluck around him after each desertion. He’d wave their concerns away with nicotine stained fingers, accepting an invitation to dinner from one of the well-meaning wives.
No, Dawson figured this was his lot in life. But he never gave up looking for the right woman to settle down with him in Avery. For he had an important mission in life.
Dawson wasn’t a local by birth but more of a transplant in his early twenties. He’d spent a few years migrating with the seasonal workers. With the way of the economy, however, job opportunities began to dissipate, leaving Dawson virtually homeless, broke, and near starvation.
It was at the local diner, where Dawson had been dropped off by a passing trucker, that he befriended Mya. She took a shine to the young man, never having had children of her own. She offered him a job, along with the cramped storage room in the back of the diner. Dawson gratefully accepted. It wasn’t long before his skills as a handyman came to light and offers of odd jobs began trickling in. His big break came when the townsfolk took a vote and asked him to fix up the old abandoned theater, sitting in town square. It was a huge eyesore but some folks believed if they resurrected the old theater, maybe it would help to breathe some life into Avery.
Dawson humbly accepted the job offer, cautiously explaining it would take some time to restore the old theater to its original glory. Carefully explaining he wanted to repay Avery for the kindness and acceptance bestowed upon him during his first few years.
Yes, Dawson had a life’s mission, which oddly enough, it all started in an old, abandoned movie theater.