Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.
At the end of this post, you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them.
I’m using: hot dog ~ picnic ~ jokes ~ bikini ~ video games
They were submitted by: https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com//
Of course, it’s July time for all of these things, but that would be boring now wouldn’t it? I’m going to try a little fiction today instead. It’s been awhile!
Marianne grabbed a shopping cart and tossed her purse into the front seat since she didn’t have the kids with her. Thank God they were at her momma’s house. She’d never be able to get everything ready in time with Joey & Emma nipping at her heels.
She had three hours to pull it all together before everyone started showing up. She already knew that Uncle Earl would be first ready to graze like old Betsy out in the field. He always acted as if he hadn’t seen food in years. Momma & Daddy would be next with the kids and a trunk full of food because momma wouldn’t think that she could do it by herself.
She went down her grocery list corn on the cob, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, hamburger buns, and of course, the hot dogs. She walked through the aisles as fast as she could get away with in the confines of the tiny food mart. She grabbed the buns and headed over to the vegetables when she suddenly stopped dead in her tracks.
She tried to slowly back her cart up so she could hide in the next aisle, but no such luck! “Marianne! Marianne! Over here Marianne!” rang out, bouncing off the walls like an out of control pinball. Mentally kicking herself Marianne pushed her cart forward as if she were about to be executed. “Oh Hi, Clara! I didn’t even see you I was in such a hurry.”
“Did you hear about Evan & Gracie? They’re getting a ….” She said breathlessly as she wiped her sweating forehead with an overly used paper towel. “Clara, I don’t have time to talk I have to get my shopping done before everyone arrives for the picnic,” Marianne said trying to cut her off short.
“He cheated on her…” she continued as if she’d never been interrupted. “Clara, I don’t think Gracie would appreciate you standing here gossiping about her like the local National Enquirer. I thought you were her friend.” Marianne said before she could stop herself. “I am her friend!” Clara said, “I’ll have you know that I save her a seat at Bingo every single week and you know she belongs to my book club.”
“Exactly! Friends shouldn’t gossip about each other. You should have her back,” Marianne continued. “Well, let me tell you somethin’, Missy! I am an excellent friend! Did I tell everyone that Jimmy was cheatin’ on you with that nasty old Debbie down at the bar?” “Yes, Clara you did. You tell everything you hear or think you might have heard. That’s why everyone calls you Clara Cowbell because your mouth rings louder and more often than a cowbell!” Marianne said starting to realize that she may have gone a tad too far, but Clara needed to know that she couldn’t keep getting away with being the town gossip.
“Well, I never!” Clara exclaimed. “No Clara and you never will,” Marianne said as she wheeled her cart around Clara to continue her shopping. Oh, boy, Marianne thought I’m not going to hear the end of that for awhile. She continued her shopping and got out of the store as fast as she could.
She loaded her bags into her truck and jumped up into the driver’s seat and laid her head on the steering wheel. She didn’t want to think about Jimmy today and she definitely didn’t want to think about the way he had turned her life upside down. They were finally divorced now, but she still missed him like a missing limb. “Asshole,” she thought lifting her head to pull out of the parking lot.
All the way home she thought about the embarrassment of finding out her husband was sleeping with the town slut. All of the jokes that she had endured. The snide looks and the pitiful glances sent her way wherever she went. She slapped the wheel and tried to shake those memories out of her mind. At least she had kept some self-respect. She had thrown him out and never looked back. Okay, maybe she might have looked back, but only to watch the life she had known burn to the ground.
Now, she lived in the house that they shared. Sleeping in a bed that they shared. Taking care of the kids that they shared, but she was the only one shouldering the burdens. Jimmy had taken off with his floozy girlfriend after she had thrown him out. Lord, knew where he was now! Probably in jail or dead. She still couldn’t believe all that had happened in the last year…and still a small part of her knew that she would love him until the day she died.
She gave herself a mental kick in the ass. She knew that he would always be a weakness, but she would remain strong. Not that she had had any choice in the matter. He had left this town and never looked back. She was finally getting her life back on track with the help of her momma & daddy who always helped with the kids. The kids who had been through so much in the last year too. They didn’t deserve it and she knew they missed their daddy something awful even though their grandpa tried to fill the void.
She had worked hard this past year. She went back to school and lost thirty-five pounds. For the first time since before she’d had the kids, she could put on a bikini and not flinch. Although, she knew she’d never work up the nerve to wear it to the lake. She could put it on and that’s all that mattered to her, she thought and giggled to herself for the first time all day.
She pulled into the gravel driveway with a cloud of dust settling over the hood of the old truck she used to run errands. She wanted to straighten up the house before everyone arrived. She knew that Joey and probably left his video games scattered all over the living room and Emma’s dolls would be sitting in various spots throughout the house. She smiled at the thought. “Oh, who cares about a few toys,” she said as she opened the front door both arms full of grocery bags.
She was halfway down the hallway with her groceries before it dawned her that the door had not been locked. She stopped immediately looking around trying to remember if she had locked it on the way out that morning. She looked into the living room and the TV and games were still where they were supposed to be so maybe she had forgotten. She listened to the sounds of the old house and picked out a strange sound from all the creaks and groans that she would normally have heard.
What was it…drip, drip, drip. She followed the sound toward the kitchen as quietly as she could. She put her ear up close to the door so she could hear any dangers coming from the other side. All she could hear was the same drip, drip, drip. What was that sound she thought to herself frantically? Did I leave the water running too? She straightened her shoulders and pushed the heavy swinging door opened.
She walked into the kitchen. Her eyes automatically went to the back door checking to see if it was unlocked or open. She breathed a sigh of relief and started to set her groceries on the kitchen counter in front of the coffee pot. The same coffee pot that was brewing a fresh pot of coffee. “WTF” she said out loud as she turned around to face the rest of the kitchen. Sitting at the table with is feet out and his hands behind his head as if he had been sitting there every single day for the last year was Jimmy. “Hi Sweetie, I’m home!”
STAY TUNED NEXT MONTH FOR PART II.
Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:
Baking In A Tornado http://www.bakinginatornado.com
Cognitive Script https://cognitivescript.blogspot.com/
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo http://sparklyjenn.blogspot.com/
On the Border http://dlt-lifeontheranch.blogspot.com/
The Bergham Chronicles http://berghamchronicles.blogspot.com
Simply Shannon http://shannonbutler.org
Southern Belle Charm http://www.southernbellecharm.com
Bookworm in the Kitchen http://www.bookwormkitchen.com/
Part-time Working Hockey Mom http://thethreegerbers.blogspot.ch/