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Rated: E · Fiction · Contest Entry · #2221372
Flash Fiction. Prompt: work, lost, book
Renaissance Man


         Torey easily finished his school work in fifteen minutes. Butler-Cowan Middle School had a very low bar. ‘Show up and shut up’ got you a ‘B’. Turn in one homework assignment made it an ‘A’.
         Tonight, he would read the library book he checked out on Monday. He surveyed the cover image of the naked man outstretched in a circle and square and read the title aloud: Our World Moves Forward: Renaissance Men Who Made History by Gersham Yoelsen.
         How to read? Cover to cover or random selection? He would pick two — one a name he recognized, one he did not. The ToC showed 27 biographies. Twenty-seven stories of great minds that shaped human history. He could get lost in this book. Running his finger down the page, he paused at Leonardo da Vinci. I’ll start there.
         Da Vinci is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived. Renowned as a painter, and revered for his technological ingenuity, he conceptualized flying machines, an armored fighting vehicle, concentrated solar power, an adding machine, and the double hull.
         Next, Torey randomly picked Leon Battista Alberti, an Italian Renaissance humanist author, artist, architect, poet, priest, linguist, philosopher, and cryptographer. Somewhere in that story, Torey lost out to asleep.
         Voices outside woke him. Walking to the window, he saw several neighborhood kids, some he called friends, clustered outside Kopischke’s Market. Miles Hawkins leaned against the store window while Jake Shapiro swaggered back and forth, telling a dirty joke. Adding up those IQs would produce a sizable number. Multiply that by the amount of their ambition would yield zero.
         Why am I reading about Renaissance Men instead of being down there? Did Da Vinci ever hang out on a street corner?
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Word Count: 291

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