OLWG #3: Nothin’ Special

This week’s Online Writers’ Guild prompts are:

  1. I have to find a way to tell them
  2. Nothin’ special
  3. This was not what she needed right now

Woman-Sitting-at-Desk-Exhausted-Work-in-Front-of-HerAfter the month she had, the last thing Paula needed was her manager laid up with pneumonia.

“Six weeks?!”

“Give or take, but yeah,” the department director said. “This means I’ll need to you to jump in with Sean to get that proposal finished.”

Paula resented everything about her job, but this really put it over the top. Filling in for her manager will mean staying late and starting early. Her husband will have to get the kids ready for school, pick them up after soccer and gymnastics, and make dinner most nights. She dreaded telling him the bad news. She dreaded the silent treatment she was in for.

Maybe sweeten the sour deal with an offering. Like, more sex. Not that he complained, but she knew. More sex. Or, maybe let him get both cars fully detailed, which he had complained about. After all, it’s just money. Speaking of which, Paula thought, since we’re going there, let him sink more of their hard-earned/even harder to save dollars into that bottomless pit project of his. On the weekends she’ll make two breakfasts: pancakes for the kids and Denver omelette and all the bacon he wants, instead of making everyone miserable with her tofu-is-food-too scrambles.

As her mind turned over her options, Paula thought again about how many hours she’d be stuck at the office, never mind the work she’ll probably have to bring home. She was going to have to offer up a whole plate of concessions.

Sean knocked gently on her office door and cautiously opened it. “I can see you’re doing what I’ve been doing.”

“What’s that?”

“Thinking of what all you’re going to have to do to make up for all the time here at work in the next six or so weeks.”

Paula smiled and sighed. “Yeah. I was thinking how much more exhausted I’m going to be after making good on all the bribes I’m going to have to hand out.”

“What’cha thinking you’ll have to do?” Sean asked.

“Ooooh, nothin’ special. Just, become a short order cook on the weekends, ready with a special meal for anyone who demands it. A hooker, whenever and wherever wearing whatever. Watch our bank account dwindle to zero. But, hey, at least the cars will be sparkling and that completely useless project of his will be done so he can move on to the next useless and ridiculously expensive project.”

“I hear ya!” Sean laughed. “I’m going to rock the pink tutu look for the next six weeks. My daughter will be thrilled.”

Paula waved Sean in. “C’mon. Take a seat. Let’s get to it.”


 

OLWG #2, and other such skullduggery

“And other such skullduggery,” Sarah read the blog prompt aloud to herself. “Hm.”

Sarah highlighted the word, right clicked, selected “Search Google for ‘skullduggery'” and clicked again, certain the search engine would only do its best to come up with actual words that might be similar.

She was surprised the following popped up:

Capture

“Huh.”

“Mom?” her 12 year-old son called out from his bedroom. Sarah didn’t reply. She kept typing. 25 minutes on the clock to finish a reply to the prompt. Sunday mornings her only free time to write.

“Mommy? I think I need to go to the emergency room. Mom?”

“Ask dad,” Sarah snapped.

“Dad?”

Sarah heard John walk upstairs from where he’d been watching the news in the kitchen, admonishing their son as he approached the boy’s room, “Hey, what’s up bud? Don’t bug mom, remember? Sunday morning’s her time, we don’t bug her. What’s up?”

Sarah disappeared again into her writing exercise. She didn’t notice John standing in front of her until he interrupted. Her mind a million miles away, she stared at him for what seemed like a full minute before replying.

“What do you mean, too much sugar. How much sugar?” she finally said.

“He says he ate a whole bag.”

“WHAT? Has he been sick? Thrown up?” Sarah rushed out of the living room.

“I don’t think he ate a whole bag, but yeah, he’s pretty sick.” John said as he followed her upstairs.

Sarah sat next to her son, curled up in his bed, and stroked his sweating forehead. He was shivering and shaking. John stood in the doorway with the two other children, who had come to the room to see what would bring their mother out of her Sunday morning seclusion.

“I don’t feel good.”

“Dad said you said you ate a bag of sugar.” The boy nodded his head. “What bag? Out of the kitchen?” The boy wagged his head. “What bag, bud? Show me. Now.” The boy reached over the edge of his bed and pulled out from under it a Trick-or-Treat sack, about the size of a paper grocery bag. A few candies remained.

Both Sarah and John’s eyes widened, followed by simultaneous scoldings. “That bag of candy was full of all your candy and your sister and brother’s from Halloween! We hid that bag! How’d you find it? How long has it been under your bed? Did you eat all that all at once last night?”

The truth finally came out in Dr. Schoonmaker’s office. The boy hadn’t wanted to disturb his mother about breakfast, and his dad wasn’t up yet, so he stayed in his room and ate the candy he found last month in the back of the freezer (when he was looking for the ice cream he knows his mother hides back there). The family was sent home with instructions for the boy to eat a couple of large spoonfuls of sugar-free peanut butter, a high fiber and protein diet for the next couple of days, plenty of water and a long bike ride later that afternoon to get the blood pumping to help flush out his kidneys and liver.

Sarah announced in the car on the way home she would change her “me time” schedule to week nights, after she made sure everyone had a healthy dinner and she’d made a clean sweep of under the beds and any other secret hiding place in the house. And, no more ice cream, either.


I think I wrote this within 60 minutes. I was watching TV at the same time, so a lot of start and stopping. 😉 The On-line Writer’s Guild prompts this week are: Mom, I need to go to the emergency room; How much sugar?; And other such skullduggery. Check it out: https://aooga.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/olwg-2/

What a Nightmare: OLWG #1

She walked in to see me banging away at my keyboard.

“Not you, too!”

I finished my thought and paused to look at my old muse. “Yes, yes. I see you stopped in on TK to harass him. I like the name he gave you. Annie. Annie, Annie, bobanny, fee, fi, fo, fanny. Annie!”

My old muse stepped in front of my table, arms crossed. “You guys don’t learn.”

“Oooh, I don’t know about that.”

I returned my attention to my laptop. Four minutes had passed on the timer. Gotta get back at it.


Untitled-1A cool breeze blew in the back of her hospital gown. Mortified to realize she was standing in front of her fourth-period social studies class, Mrs. Wilson did her best to hush the students’ tittering.

“Hey Mizz Wilson,” Thomas jeered, “why don’t you write on the blackboard, you know, what you were just saying about the United States government. Cuz, I don’t know how to spell ‘Senate!’ Show me how to spell, ‘Senate!’”

Thomas’ gaggle of goofs let out a loud laugh and gave Thomas high-fives. How desperately Mrs. Wilson wished she could wake up, regardless the pain she would feel if she was able to manage it. The anesthesia had too strong of a hold for her consciousness to break through.

“Come on, Mizz Wilson! Show us! Show us! HAHAHA!” the class kept heckling.

“I never said I’d show you…that’s not what I said…what it said… what was said…” Mrs. Wilson tried explaining; tried getting control, but her body was frozen in place and the words jumbled, tossed and turned around in her head.  Desperate for escape, she wondered if could manage to jump out the window, make a run for it…

The classroom faded. Hushed sounds filled her ears. As Mrs.Wilson came to, she was grateful to open her eyes to a hospital room. Her husband looked up from his phone and smiled.

“There she is! How ya feel?”

“I feel …. like I’m done being a Junior High School teacher.”


The 3 prompts for OWLG #1 are: A cool breeze blew in the back of her hospital gown; She did her best to hush the classroom; That’s not what it said. 

Always a fun exercise in creativity! Grab the one prompt that resonates and force-fit the other two to work with it. Such a blast!

Can’t do the timed-writing thing unless I do this at lunch. Wrote in 30-ish minutes. Took 15 more (or so) tonight to tweak.

If you haven’t yet, check out the Old-is-new-again Online Writer’s Guild!

Prompt-like

Have you noticed a line in your Reader (for you WordPressers) just below the Search bar with “Suggestions”? I get that WP wants us to expand our blog reading, but to me, it reads more like a writing prompt list of 3 words. Check mine out (I hit refresh and got a new list each time):

Groovy, Sharks, Travel
Love, Funny, Batman
Backpacks, Sous vide, Makeup
Craft Beer, Monkeys, Yoga
Mountain Biking, Tibet, Robots

Hmmm… (cracking knuckles) I wonder what bit of writing mischief I can get up to with this?

Be My Writer

heartdiagram3Merry VD! My valentine to you is a writing prompt: 

Write the story that leads to a romantic scene in an unromantic place. Include any meaning or form of the following words/phrases: cypress, syrup, headlight, necromancer, Mongols, target practice, towel, gibberish, parking, moonlight.

Share your story! Post on your blog and link back to this page. Be sure to request notification of “comments” on this page, or check back from time to time to see who has linked back with their story in the comments section. The last prompt has a couple good stories!