"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.
Thomas sat at a small wobbly table staring at a steaming cup of coffee, thankfully distracted. A white noise concoction of rain against pane glass windows and cars hissing past on busy Sixth Street gave him that badly needed moment. Finally a chance to escape into his own thoughts.
Incessant calls ate his time and his own calls to make list grew daily. Throughout, Thomas could not stop the worry. Condolences, his wife’s grief, all daily grinds of coping. He picked up his cup and sipped a dark brew feeling the heat flow to his toes. His wife was now inconsolable and deferred any decision about the near future. So on the wobbly table lay two choices for Thomas to make alone. Two business cards. Solutions range in forms nearing heavenly miracles to questionable sleaze and somewhere in between. Looking at the cards he pondered a decision looming above his head like the dark clouds over the coffee shop.
Elderly friends of the family church placed the first card into his hand. “The best,” they said, “He helped us with our losses, and there’s no better person,” they continued. Thomas’ friends were honest to a fault, and if he wanted, he could easily call the number, shortly be seated on an expensive piece of leather furniture in a quiet office, and relive his recent past. The man on the bland looking and feeling card, he knew, would nod his head and scribble on a legal pad. Many tissues would lay crumpled and damp upon the floor. It would be an awful hammering to get through that.
The second card promised fast and immediate results. Promised to work with many major insurance providers and guaranteed satisfaction. Thomas hated flashy people and promotions, broken promises. Inauthentic as it looked, something about the card pushed the right buttons; exactly the buttons he dearly needed to be pressed. The daily strain was now always there which could easily have been why he uncharacteristically did what he did. His hand swiped across his phone screen while his mind assured him. He took another sip while the connection rang on the other end. The java-fueled warmth fueled resolve over his sudden decision.
I know she will feel better. This is the best choice for us. I know it.
After five minutes and a credit card number, Thomas ended the call. The second card, in it’s glorious floral and pleasing design, won out. Thomas beamed and began to call his wife. He had important news. All they have to do is activate and register the product upon arrival. In two days, they will cry tears of joy over the delivery of their replacement six-year-old daughter.
(July 9th, 2017: sick and at home, catching up.)
I wrote this some time ago in my notebook, during a time I just didn’t feel like getting out the computer, and knowing I couldn’t continue with the novel project, or really put time into the writing for this year. What with the house + moving, cancer discoveries and treatments, training for work, etc. Things have forced back-burner status for non-essentials. So I’m digging into the notebooks and finding entries I never got around to publishing. Even so, the energy to really polish it up and make parts shine just hasn’t quite returned so this will go on the pilot of future editables. Enjoy.