TBP Prompt: Use at least five (or more) of the following 62 words found in TBP followers’ Blog titles, profile names, and/or Gravatar IDs, to create a 100-200 word story (I broke my own rules here).
Marie opened her eyes, sat up and reached for her phone. Her husband, Grant, rolled over into the warm spot she vacated. 5:47AM. She flung back the covers and darted into the bathroom.
“Hey!” Grant mumbled as he pulled the covers back over him. “It’s a little early to be such a maniac.”
She turned on the water for the shower.
“Jesus, Marie!” Grant called out. “It’s not even six! On a Sunday!”
Marie ignored him. While Grant continued to feign sleep, she showered and hurriedly dressed. Grant can grouse all he wants. Football was her passion, and she’d waited what seemed like her whole life for this day. She didn’t want to miss a minute of it, because, from total obscurity, her beloved Rubicons managed to make it all the way to the big championship game. Nothing and no one could keep her from the excitement of the day.
She rushed into the kitchen to get to work. There was a lot to do that had yet to be done, and it all had to be perfect.
Marie and Grant invited all their friends and family over to watch the big game, and Marie spent the past two weeks planning the perfect tailgate-at-home blowout. They rented a large screen and projector, which they set up in front of the living room fireplace. Grant spent all of the night before plugging in cables and cords, disconnecting them, and plugging them in again, trying to get everything to work. After several hours blurting every foul word in the dictionary, he finally got a picture and sound.
While Grant wrestled with the electronics, Marie decorated the house. Everything had to be red and white; Rubicon team colors. No exception. If she could reupholster all the furniture and paint the walls in red and white, she would have done so in a heartbeat. Streamers and balloons would have to do the trick, but just about everything else was draped in red and white table cloths. A gigantic team flag waved proudly from their front porch. Even the typically neglected basement rec room, where the kids would end up hanging out playing video games all day, was festooned in red and white.
The food, of course, also had to be red and white. Not just accents, but all of it: White popcorn, cornbread made with Masa to go with the tomato-based soup with chicken and hominy. White corn chips and red salsa for dipping. Radishes, cauliflower and red bell peppers, with ranch dressing dip rounded out the veggie tray. This morning she had to also make her mother’s red beans and rice casserole, and her grandmother’s angel food cake with cherry frosting (with extra red food coloring) decorated with sliced strawberries.
By noon she had everything cooked, baked, and the whole place set up, laid out, and ready to go. Grant surprised her by wearing an old-fashioned pair of red sans-a-belt coach’s pants he found in a second-hand shop, and a pair of 70s-era white patent leather loafers.
“Hey, I wouldn’t spoil my girl’s biggest day, would I?” he said when she asked him how he even thought to come up with such a crazy outfit. “I have to dress for the occasion, right?”
Their friends and family also decked out in red and white. Several folks wore red Halloween wigs, her best friend wore a ruby-and-diamond encrusted tiara, and their neighbors from across the street wore red, from head to toe, except for white socks. Her cousin said she “spent hours and hours” picking out only the red Skittles, though Marie noticed she surreptitiously tucked the rest of the candy on a table behind a vase where people could still help themselves, but where it would be out of sight.
All and all, the day was simply magical. The game turned out to be a real thriller, regardless her beloved Rubicons lost. Everyone had a great time. Even her typically anti-social cartographer brother was the life of the party with his goofy spoofs of all the commercials. After the game Grant’s buddies broke out their guitars and played a music jam, which took the party well into the night.
Exhausted, Marie finally fell into bed around midnight. She pulled her favorite Rubicon fleece throw blanket up over her head and drifted off to sleep with dreams of next season.