Close your eyes briefly. Think of one object in the room and focus on it. Without opening your eyes, describe it as much as you can. Open your eyes and write 300-500 words of a scene in which the item is described, without looking at it.
It was small, no more than eighteen inches in height, and covered from top to bottom in soft fuzz the color of charred coal. Though it sat alone in the corner of the desk, half forgotten amidst the flurry of papers scribbled upon, envelopes torn open and scattered about the desktop, a box of green tea and a reel of unused CDs, the stuffed bear gleamed out at the world with a sort of happiness; for though its owner was no longer of an age to cuddle the bear close and coo sweet sayings into its fuzzy ear, its place upon the desk meant it was still loved. Other such memories of childhood had fared much worse. Somewhere in a garage was a box filled to brimming with old papers and stories, little clay workings of art and drawings covered in sparkle glue and crayons. Many more like memories had disappeared in the tumult of a garage sale. But this bear, saved perhaps by its sentiment, perhaps by its own wisdom, had managed to maintain a place on its master’s desk, where it remained day by day, grinning and waving.
If only the bear could tell its story. It would speak of its beginning, in a grand and magical place called “The Bear Factory”, where its empty shell was chosen from amidst a vat of like shells, lovingly filled with the warm, fluffy life of wool, and carefully stitched together. Then the bear was given its accessories, items so precious that it would never be complete without them: a blue bow that tied around its left ear, five stems bearing the satin petals of pink and red roses, surrounding one white rose, and held together with a red satin bow; a pair of boxers named “bearboxer”, with a white elastic holding the red boxers on the bear’s round waist, the boxers dotted with hundreds of little pink hearts and adorned with a single, beaming, pink monkey. It was such accessories that made the bear’s gender so ambiguous. If the bear had worn but a bow and carried those flowers, it would have undoubtedly been a girl, and if the bow had remained blue and the flowers were replaced by the boxers, it would have undoubtedly been a boy. But when the combination of all accessories came together on the body of one, tiny stuffed bear, how could it have been called either?
But it was the bear’s very ambiguity that made it so special to its master. The bear was neither male nor female, not one of unusually big or small size, neither overtly happy in its appearance nor ferociously frightening. It offered simple comfort, a memory of the friend who had gifted it, a whisper of a life without effort. It brought to mind the days of childhood, before the complications of the adult world. And this, above all, was the highest purpose of that silently beaming bear.