Second Chances

Prompt #12 from 642 things – You have just swallowed your pride and done something you didn’t want to do. Your friend wants to know why. The two of you are driving around an almost-full parking garage looking for a space for the friend’s over sized pickup. Write the scene.

There was a moment of stunned silence. Then I knew my brother was mad, and honestly I couldn’t blame him. I was almost mad myself about the decision I’d made. He wanted to know why I’d invited her tonight. People always seem to ask the questions I don’t have the answer to.

After she’d stood me up the week before, because of some lame excuse, I’d somehow managed to swallow my pride and invite her out again tonight. It seemed like we’d been driving around this parking garage for 30 minutes, but it had only been 10 minutes in reality.

“You oughta get rid of this oversized truck if you’re gonna live in the city,” I said.

“You oughta ask me before you make a stupid decision.”

No second chances is what I’d always told myself. Why give yourself another chance of getting hurt? I reckon because we are all given a second chance at the start of each new day. Then we found a parking spot.

Airplane Chatter

Prompt #11 from 642 things – Tell a complete stranger about a beloved family tradition

I never mind flying. I had a window seat, and the gentle hum of the jet engines was usually enough to put me to sleep. Or sometimes I’d read a book. But this time I was worried about being late, so I kept looking at my watch, knowing full well that watching would make the time pass slower.

“You in a hurry?” the person next to me asked.

“Nah,” I said, “Just don’t wanna be late.”

He laughed and knowingly asked, “Special occasion eh? Where you headed?”

“Nah, not really,” I said. “And home.”

“So how can you be late?” he asked.

“I might miss out on a hamburger,” I said.

“Well you can stop and get one on your way,” he said.

“Nah you don’t understand. Every Friday night we cook hamburgers at home. They’re the best hamburgers I’ve ever tasted.”

He laughed.

“Oh I gotcha,” he said. “Well in my family we…”

And he went on to talk about steaks and beer, or something. But I wasn’t listening. I was in rural Texas, sitting on the back porch picking on my guitar, and waiting for the burgers to be done. The air was crisp and clean. The grill was out under a shade tree, but I could still smell the good smell of hamburger and Worcestershire from the porch. Everything moved slower out here, so I reckon I made it on time.

Just Call The Plumber

Prompt #10 from 642 things – Write a scene where the only spoken dialogue is “Uh-huh,” “Umm,” “Urrrr,” “Mm-mmm.”

“Uh-huh,” he replied to her question.

He laid flat on his back with his head under the sink, and she stood at his feet, watching suspiciously. His hand reached out, searching for the pliers. She placed them in his hand and he replied, “Mm-mmm.”

What happened next, is why you should always just call the plumber.

There was a loud creaking noise, like pieces of old metal rubbing together. The man crawled from under the sink and said, “Uhm.” Then there was a crash and a smash and the sink fell with a clang in a spray of grey water.

“Urrrr,” the woman said, as she stormed out to call the plumber.

It Was Texas

Prompt #9 from 642 things – What a character holding a blue object is thinking right now

Photo from wikipedia.

Photo from wikipedia.

He held a bluebonnet in his hand.

Men in Texas are only required to love one type of flower. In fact, every Texan loves bluebonnets. He thought about everything the iconic flower symbolized. It wasn’t just a flower.

It was freedom. It was an April sunrise in the Hill Country. It was the Cowboys, and six-shooters and boots. It was a Robert Earl Keen song. The bluebonnet was Texas.

The Long-Lost Roommate

Prompt #8 from 642 things – The long-lost roommate

You know what it’s like looking at your image in one of those curved mirrors. You can tell it’s you, but you look strange and disproportioned. That’s how it is seeing a long-lost roommate. You know who they are, but they aren’t what you remembered. Because to you they’ll always be fun-loving, good time kid from 20 years ago.

But since then a lot has changed. Maybe they got married and had kids or moved out of the country.  Maybe they’ve suffered tragedy or become a millionaire. They’ve been through years, jobs, moves and who knows what else. But somewhere behind all that time, they’re still the kid you met in college.

A chance meeting with your long-lost roommate probably goes a little bit like this Robert Earl Keen song.

“It’s your best friend from high school, who sees you and wishes you well. You try to break through, but you’ve run out of stories to tell. So you bid him goodbye and step into space. There are so many questions you cannot face. It’s a lonely feeling, taking his place. It’s a lonely feeling, you just can’t erase.”

Why Do Girlfriends Steal Their Boyfriends’ Shirts?

Prompt #7 from 642 things – Something you had that was stolen

There are many things you must learn to deal with once you enter into a serious romantic relationship with someone. As a guy, one thing you might as well get used to, is the fact that your girlfriend will almost certainly want to take some of your clothes as her own.

One of the things my fiancé stole, was one of my favorite shirts. I know a lot of people have probably had much more valuable things stolen than a silly shirt, but it was very difficult for me to cope with. It’s a grey, long-sleeve t-shirt that my MOTHER got for me! You don’t steal something that someone’s mother or grandmother got them. Everyone should know that is completely off limits and over-the-line!

But in the grand scheme of things, I didn’t mind that she wanted the shirt. I eventually realized that it was just something that girlfriends do, for a reason that only girlfriends know I suppose.

The Ransom Dress

Prompt #6 from 642 Things – Tell a story that begins with a ransom note

If you’ve ever been involved in the inner-workings of a wedding, I’m sure you know how unbelievably crazy and hectic it can be. Imagine the most impossible moment, when you were almost certain that the whole thing would cascade into complete chaos and you were positive the wedding would be called off… magnify that by 100!

That’s the point the bridal party was at as they gathered around the bride, not yet wearing her dress, to listen to her read a note.

“I am so terribly sorry to have caused you any inconvenience. However, I fear I had no choice but to take your wedding dress hostage and hold it for a ransom.”

A gasp of incredulous horror escaped from the poor ladies. Who would do such a thing? And, how dare they? Of course all of this was interspersed with the emphatic “OMG’s” and more expressions of incredulity. Then the Bride burst into tears because she needed her dress to be married in, and it was lost.

Can you imagine? Losing your dress on your wedding day?! Losing your dress on your wedding day is almost as bad as losing your Starbucks card on national coffee day! But of course something had to be done, so the mothers of the Bride and Groom organized a search party to look all around the property for the dress. They hardly knew where to begin, because it was very odd that a dress would be held for ransom without a clue of how to contact the one demanding a ransom. Yet they had to start somewhere, and so the search commenced.

They looked high and low for that dress. Under the bushes, in the closets, in the kitchen, in the cars and even in the church building, but none of the bridesmaids or the Bride had any clue where it might have gone. The wedding ceremony was set to begin in 30 minutes and the poor Bride feared she would have to cancel the whole thing. Oh she was simply miserable, because she wanted to marry the Groom more than anything in the world.

Behind the church, there was a park. And that is where the mother of the Groom went to look. She assumed it could have been some youngsters pulling what they thought was a funny prank. And where better to look for youngsters than in a park? A creek ran through the middle of the park and there was a covered bridge going across the creek. It was there the mother of the Groom found the dress and the one demanding ransom.

As she approached he held the dress out over the water threatening to drop it. She stopped and held up her hands. He did not look very dangerous. A bit unkempt perhaps and a little wild-eyed, but not dangerous. He was not a youngster, but he was young, probably in his thirties.

“What’s the ransom?” she asked.

“I was hoping the Bride would be the one to find me.”

“I need that dress,” she said, taking a step toward him. He held it out further over the water and she stopped.

“I’ll give it to you, if you promise to deliver a message to the bride.”

She nodded and he continued.

“Tell her, tell her I think she’s making a mistake. Tell her no one can ever feel about her the way I do, and if she goes through with this, my life will fall away in ashes from the fires of an undying love for her. My devotion to her, will be my death if she chooses to commit herself forever to a life away from me. Tell her I love her. Tell her, tell her I think she’s making a terrible mistake.”

“Is that all?”

He nodded and handed over the dress. She clutched it gently and then turned away and walked briskly back to the church.

Oh I wish you could have seen the rejoicing when the mother of the Groom returned the beautiful white dress to the Bride. There were many tears of joy shed. In fact, the pastor said he’d never seen so many red eyes at a wedding!

After she had gotten her dress on, five minutes before she was supposed to walk the aisle, she turned to her mother-in-law and said, “Who took it?”

The mother-in-law looked at her, smiled and said, “Just some youngster who thought he was pulling a funny prank.”