Last night I promised a story. I worried all day today, that I hadn’t managed to provide a practice story with the prompts. The worrying got me to thinking…
Velma knew that Val was a worrier. She knew that when she married him. It just didn’t seem like it would be that big a deal. You know? He worried about the same things that everyone else worries about: shit like dying, taxes, and paying the rent. But occasionally he would veer way, way out there… like the time they were driving to the beach.
“I’m worried, Velma,” he announced as they searched for a parking spot on the peninsula. “I worry about everything. I’m worried we won’t find a place to park, I’m worried about the weather, I worry that there might be a booger hanging out of my nose, I worry about Leonard Peltier, I worry about France.”
“Val, that’s because you care too much,” Velma interrupted, “let those kinds of things sort themselves out. Don’t sweat the small shit.”
“Oh, that’s easy for you to say. Look at you. You’re beautiful. You never had a zit the size of Mauna Kea in the middle of your forehead or on the end of your nose. You never worry about getting old. I worry about getting old all the time and the older I get the more I worry. It’s fucking exhausting. I can feel myself ageing from all the stress and that makes me more stressed about ageing because now I’m convinced I’m going to die alone. See? It sucks.”
“Stop the car, Val.”
“You heard me, stop the damn car, right here.”
Val stepped on the brakes and rolled to a stop, double parking next to an old Volvo outside a store that sold women’s swimwear. Velma opened her door and stepped out on the pavement.
“Don’t go anywhere. I’ll be right back.” She walked around the Volvo to the sidewalk and hurried back the way that they had come. In almost no time, Val lost sight of her as she blended into the crowd of merrymakers thronging the street. As he waited, Val worried about a cop coming by and giving him a ticket. He knew that this wasn’t legal, but he waited. He waited because he loved Velma and she had asked him to wait.
Before long the passenger door jerked open and a breathless Velma jumped in. She slammed the door shut, “Go, go, go,” she implored. Val signaled and began moving again. The honking eased off. Velma produced a small brown paper bag and reached inside. She pulled out a raised chocolate-covered doughnut and handed it to Val.
“They still had some chocolate ones, babe,” she said smiling, and pulling him back to the here; back to the now.
This week’s prompts were, and still are:
- put them in the urn with the cremains
- a bad poet with a good microphone
- A rather clumsy girl
Go ahead and dive in, set your imagination free!
Write something big, Write something small,
Ready, Set, Go – you have 25 minutes, but if that is not possible, take as long as you need and, have fun!