The Chronicles of Mary, Part 9

Mary was good at her new job in the kitchen of her former accounting firm boss’s country club. Not only that, she enjoyed going to work every day for the first time in her life. At least up until the incident.

Right from the time she learned how to use a knife as a little girl, Mary’s enthusiasm sometimes got the better of her. She perfected chopping at a very early age, much to the terror of her mother, who couldn’t keep her away from the cutlery. And so it was that Mary believed she was genuinely helping when she decided to teach the teen volunteer how to slice a carrot in under fifteen seconds.

After that, Mary was reassigned to washing dishes.

***

At A Story A Day today, we were to write our protagonist’s flaw.

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Stump

“Honey, we’ve been walking for sooo long! I feel like we’re just going around in circles!”

Ralph raised the binoculars to his eyes and peered through them for the umpteenth time. The woods in the distance were dense. They were made up mostly of dark, shadowy pines, but the occasional maple dotted the way. The birds were both abundant and weird. Rather than chirp, they buzzed. One of them had picked up Spot, their old springer spaniel, three days ago, and flown away with him.

“You can see for yourself, we’re following the road, Martha.” He didn’t want to scare her, but he thought a couple of times that he’d seen the same tree twice.

“I think we should set up camp soon,” Martha said, tiredly.

“Sure, okay.”

“Do you think we could build a campfire tonight?”

Ralph sighed. “And where, exactly, are we going to get wood from?”

“We could just chop up a bit of the road,” she suggested with a shrug.

Great, thought Ralph. Then if we are walking around in circles, we’ll come across the hole in the road and Martha’ll go crazy.

“Please?” Martha begged. “It’s been weeks since we had a hot meal.”

“Yeah, okay.” Come morning, while we’re walking I’ll give her the binoculars and just change lanes when she’s not paying attention, he decided. The lanes both to the left and the right seemed endless.

***
Stump is the word of the day on the Daily Post, and our assignment for today on A Story A Day was to paint a vivid setting. How long did it take you to figure out where they are?

The Chronicles of Mary, Part 8

Mary was on her third job in as many months, at yet another accounting firm. Unhappy, she would sit at her desk day in and day out, wondering if she’d one day expire doing this very job. Sometimes, she looked out her fifth-storey window and wondered how long it would take to hit the pavement if she jumped.

On one particular Wednesday afternoon, her boss called her into his office. She trudged in and leaned against the door frame, long past attempting to make a good impression.

“Mary,” her boss said, “I’m hungry. Would you mind going into the cafeteria and getting me a sandwich?”

“It’s two o’clock. The cafeteria’s closed,” Mary replied.

“That’s okay. Just go in and make one, then.”

Mary sighed and wandered down to the cafeteria on the first floor. The door was open, so she went into the deserted kitchen and made her boss a sandwich. She trudged back upstairs, dropped it on his desk, and returned to her own.

Five minutes later, her boss came out and stood before her, smiling. “Would you like a job at my country club, making sandwiches?” he offered.

“Yes,” replied Mary.

And so the next day, Mary started her fourth job in three months.

***
I totally missed yesterday’s prompt for A Story A Day. The reason: things are getting more complicated over there. Funny enough, the second-week post mentioned that by now we should know what the best time of day to write is for us – mine happens to be after 11pm. Given that I try to post a new story every day, and wish to be in bed by midnight, it’s a stretch for me to write more than 300 words.
The above is my pathetic attempt at an Ugly Duckling story. It kind of fits the formula… Kind of.

With Kids in the Middle

“Billy! Welcome home! How did you enjoy your birthday weekend with your dad?”

Hi Mom. It sucked.

“Hey. Billy just ran upstairs saying your weekend sucked. Did the two of you get into it?”

“You know how it is. He wanted to go fishing, and then he didn’t. Kid can’t make up his mind.”

“Huh. You going to take the twins with you next time?”

“Winnie, you know I don’t have room at my place for all three kids.”

“So why did you buy such a small place?”

“It was all I could afford. The support payments are killing me!”

“Well maybe you shouldn’t have fu… fooled around on me!”

Mom?

“Oh, Billy. I didn’t see you there.”

“Can I finish the cake in the fridge?”

“Sure you can, Honey. Dad was just leaving. I’ll come and join you.”

***

Today, we were to write a story all in dialogue as our prompt at a Story A Day. Julie suggested we use the two characters we wrote from the last two days, so that’s what I did. It worked out well.

The previous two posts here on my blog introduce you to the characters in this story. They are “Cake” and “Stones”.

Stones

Plop

“Billy, would you please stop dropping stones in the water.”

“Why?” Billy asked his dad.

“I’ve told you. You’ll scare away the fish.”

“Oh.”

Plop

“Billy?”

“Yes, Daddy?”

“What did I tell you about dropping stones in the water?”

“I forget.”

“You’ll scare away the fish.”

“Oh, right.”

Plop

“Billy, I’m starting to get angry.”

“Why?”

“Because you keep dropping stones in the water and I don’t want to spend hours sitting here for nothing when I could be at home watching TV.”

“We’re not catching anything, anyways,” Billy mumbled.

“What was that?”

“I said, we’re not catching anything. And I’m bored.”

“Are you telling me we came all the way out here because YOU wanted to go fishing and twenty minutes in, you’re bored?”

“Sorry.”

“I’ll give you sorry, you little…”

“Dad no! You promised you wouldn’t slap me on my birthday!”

“You’re lucky. Let’s go home.”

“Wait! Look at all the fish!”

“How the hell… Hang on. Did you have any stones in the boat, Billy?”

“No.”

“What have you been dropping overboard?”

“The little fish we brought.”

“Billy?”

“Yeah, Dad?”

“You’re spending your next birthday with your mother.”

Our prompt for today on a Story A Day is “When your character is not like you.” The character (the dad) is not like me because he’s a guy, he’d hit his kid for being bored, and he’s fishing. I’ve never been, nor have I had any desire to go, fishing.

Cake

Baking a cake for the twins’ bake sale at school should have been easy. Thousands of moms did it every year. At least that’s what Winnifred told herself as she threw the cake mix into the grocery basket along with orange juice, yogurt, and the cookies she suddenly had a craving for. Cravings were a stress thing she was very familiar with.

Her first clue that things weren’t going to go as planned should have been the fact that there was no money in her account when she tried to cash out with her debit card. The money should have been there – she’d just been to the bank to make a deposit. So she dug in her purse for cash to pay for her groceries and then went straight back to the bank. As it turned out, someone had stolen her PIN number. She filled out a bunch of forms and got a new bank card, and the bank reassured Winnifred that she would get her money back within the next few days. So off she went home.

Winnifred read the instructions carefully. She preheated the oven and added the exact amount of water and eggs to the mix that the recipe on the side of the box called for. But when it came time to pour the batter into the pan, she realized she had no pan. Of course she didn’t – she wasn’t the sort of mom who baked. So off she went to the store again. This time, she had to really scrape the bottom of her purse for change, since she forgot that she had no money in her bank account.

Finally, Winnifred got home and managed to bake the cake. The kids got off the bus and came clamoring through the door just as she was finishing off the icing.

“There!” she said to her twin girls. She turned the cake for them to admire her work. “You can take this to school tomorrow.”

“But Mom,” one of the twins said, “the bake sale was today.”

That night, Winnifred enjoyed cake with her cookies.

***
This story was prompted by a Story A Day, where our prompt for today was “when your character is like you.” I hate baking!! 😀

Melody, Three

Dear Diary,

Today was my twenty-second birthday. It was also our wedding day. Marvin was fabulous as usual. He became proficient at sign language, just for me, even though he knows I can speak. He remained the only one who knew for eight whole years until today.

My first words out loud to anyone but him were, “I do.”

Mom and Dad think Marvin is responsible for a miracle. Only my husband (my husband! It’s going to take a while to get used to it!) knows my secret. He vowed today, privately during our first dance, to keep it to the grave, along with his everlasting love for me.

The end.

Our challenge at Story A Day September was to write in the first person.

Melody, Two – 100-word Drabble

Melody’s self-consciousness at not being able to sing caused her to maintain the facade that she couldn’t speak. Her wish to vocalize came with her first crush.

His name was Marvin. He was tall, handsome, older than her, and he had a place in the school choir. Like Melody, he couldn’t hold a note in a bucket. One day as she walked home from school, following him, she tripped and fell on the sidewalk. She let out an exclamation and he came running. When she explained her dilemma to him, he promised to keep her secret.

Melody was in love.

To be continued…
Melody, Part One

I wrote this drabble in response to the Story A Day challenge.