Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Getting Your Money Back

You slide your card into the ATM machine and attempt to withdraw cash, only to find that your account is empty.  Something is wrong, as just yesterday, you had $5,000 in it.  Only one person you know could be responsible for this - and without hesitation, you are off to confront that person and get your money back. W.D.

I dialed her number as I sped down the freeway.  The phone kept going straight to her voicemail so I kept redialing.  I am sure I left many angry drivers in my wake as I merged across three lanes of traffic just so I would make it to my exit.  A few minutes later I was in her driveway.  I went to the porch and noticed a note pinned to the door.  At the track.

"She didn't,"  I thought as I went back to my car.

When I got to the track I went straight for her favorite spot.  Section C, seat 17.  There she was, biting her nails as the gates opened letting the horses loose on their short journey.  I startled her when I sat down next to her but she managed a smile.

"How much?" I asked her.

"All of it."  She replied confidently. "Look, she's already ahead of the pack!"  She was giggling with excitement as her pick was ahead of the rest of the pack by a significant margin.

Although I knew very little about horse racing I did understand the odds.  The favorite didn't pay very well and the underdog paid tons of money if it miraculously won a race.  My five thousand dollars were now a small stub worth either one hundred thousand dollars or -most likely- absolutely nothing.

My anxiety grew as I noticed a second horse inching its way closer to the leader.  By the last stretch they were neck to neck, the jockeys exchanging mean dirty looks, the horses doing their best, feeding off of each other, together leaving the rest of the pack behind.  The tension thickened in the stands.  The usual chatter became a roar.  By now, my beautiful thief was standing next to me unable to contain her excitement.  As if prompted by her, everyone in attendance got out of their seats.

I covered my eyes and almost instantly the crowd cheered.  The race was over.  The voice in the loudspeaker said it was one of the closest races he had ever seen and the official winner would be determined shortly by the photo taken at the finish.  When the picture appeared on the TV screens it was evident that my horse won the race.

I picked up my girlfriend by the waist in happiness only to notice she was not smiling.  When I put her down she pulled a five thousand dollar check from her pocket and handed it to me.

"What's this?" I asked.

"I never made the bet," she said.  "I couldn't go through with it.  I didn't want to disappoint you again."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Valentine's Day Secret Admirer

You receive a Valentine's Day card in the mail from a secret admirer.  According to the love note, the secret admirer will reveal his or her identity on Valentine's Day at a location mentioned on the card.  Oddly enough, this is the same location you are taking your current love interest out on a Valentine's Day date.  Write about how this evening plays out. W.D.

I walked into my apartment building after a long day in class.  I went to my mailbox and in it there was nothing but a small red envelope.  On the outside it only said my name.  The card inside only had a couple of lines.  I am your secret admirer.  I will see you tonight at the Plasa.  No signature.  No name.

As I was getting ready for my valentine date, at the Plasa no less, I kept wondering what Jenn would think about me having a secret admirer.  I knew she was very jealous of the students I helped as a chemistry TA on campus.  She would probably kill me if she thought I had any part in this.

After I picked her up from her dorm, we walked together to the Plasa.  On our way I showed her the card and she immediately tore it to pieces.

"Is this supposed to be funny?" she said.

She did not say another word the rest of the way to the restaurant.  The moment the waiter greeted us her demeanor changed and she was all smiles from that point on.  That is, until Jessica showed up.

"Hello my darling," Jessica said as she planted a kiss on my cheek.

Jenn's smile disappeared and before she could say anything I made the introductions.

"Jenn, this is Jessica.  She's the other TA that works at the chemistry lab."

Jenn looked Jessica up and down as if analyzing her figure, or rather the lack of figure.  She raised one eyebrow in disapproval of the dress she was wearing.

"Nice to meet you Jenn," Jessica said, extending her hand.  Jenn did not return the hand shake. "I do work with your boyfriend here." she added with a smile.  "I really admire his work.  I guess you could say I am his secret admirer."

Jenn grew furious, her face turning red almost instantly.  She shifted in her chair and threw her napkin on the table.

"No, no, no." Jessica said to her.  "We wouldn't want our emotions to get the best of us now, would we?"  She sounded like a mother giving a stern talk to a small child.  "We are in a public place.  We want to behave like a lady."

The tone of her voice made Jenn grow even angrier and without hesitation she leaped out of her chair.  Jessica was slow to react and Jenn tackled her to the floor where both fell motionless.  A pool of blood formed around them but neither of them moved.  Then, a smile formed around Jessica's lips.

She was still smiling when she pushed Jenn's body off of her.  That's when I noticed the knife on her hand.

She stood up with a groan, her eyes never leaving Jenn's lifeless body on the floor.  She then looked down at her dress and shook her head as she wiped the knife's blade on it.  She was still holding it when she shrugged, with her palms facing up.

She tilted her head slightly and smiled when I asked her, "Why do you always have to make such a mess?"

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Tooth Fairy is a Thief

The Tooth Fairy visits your house in the middle of the night, only she isn't just taking your children's teeth.  What is she stealing from your house and how do you attempt to stop her. W.D.

Getting home after an afternoon at the dentist is always a welcomed relief.  My daughter Shelly gets a a baby tooth removed and the assistant gives her a lollipop.  I get a temporary crown and a shot of Novocaine and the assistant gives me a bill.

That night Shelly wore her princess pajamas, tiara included, as she did when she expected a visit from the Tooth Fairy.  When I put her to bed, she put her tiara on the bedpost and the tooth under her pillow.  I gave her a kiss, turned off the light, and left the room.

The next morning I woke up to Shelly tugging my arm.

"Come on Dad!" she said, "My ring is missing!"

"What?" I said as I followed her down the hall.

Shelly showed me to her jewelry box.  The box was open and her two rings were missing from it.

"Where are your rings?" I asked her.

"I don't know where the red one is," she replied, "but the blue one is under here."

She picked up her pillow, uncovering the blue ring and a neatly folded one dollar bill.  I started looking around for the missing ring but Shelly stopped me.

"There's no use Dad.  I think the Tooth Fairy took it." she said.

A couple of days later I went back to the dentist to get my temporary crown replaced with a permanent one.  As the dentist and her assistant made the preparations I told them how Shelly thought the Tooth Fairy took her ring.  They were both touched by the story and continued to talk about it as they turned my mouth into a construction site.  When they took the temporary crown out I noticed how much it looked like a real tooth and asked them if I could take it home with me.

That night I had Shelly put the fake tooth under her pillow.  I went into the closet and sat comfortably among the stuffed animals and the Barbie dolls.  I closed the door and waited for the Tooth Fairy.

Hours later I was woken up by a small luminous creature hovering above Shelly's bed.  The fairy went straight for the jewelry box and opened it.  As she looked through the box I sneaked out of the closet and hid at the foot of the bed.  She gave up looking through the box once she realized there was nothing of interest.

She hopped over to the bed and worked her way under the pillow.  A few seconds later she came out with the tooth, then reached back under the pillow.  She pulled something out and put it on her head.  The fairy took a serious look at the tooth and her luminescence all but disappeared when she realized the tooth was fake.  That's when she saw me.

With the face of a small child that has been caught red handed, the fairy came over and hovered in from of my face.  She reached up to her head, took off Shelly's ring, and offered to me.  As I reached for it I asked her why she took it.

"I wanted to feel like a princess, like Shelly." she said.  "I tried many things but nothing fits!  I though a ring would work, but it keeps falling off."

I smiled at her and raised my index finger.  "Hold that thought." I said.

I went to the closet and browsed through the Barbie dolls.  At last I found the right one, a Barbie with a full Princess ensemble.  I took the little tiara off her head and went over to the Tooth Fairy.  I showed it to her and her face lit up with a smile.  She bowed her head slightly and I carefully placed the tiara on her head.

"A perfect fit." I said.

"Thank you!" she said with a smile, then disappeared in a burst of light.

I have not seen the Tooth Fairy since that night.  I don't think Shelly ever believed that I had given her the tiara, either.  But, Ever since then, there are two one dollar bills under Shelly's pillow after the Tooth Fairy pays her a visit.

Prompt Fiction

Prompt Writing is an exercise used by writers to polish, improve, or simply practice their craft.  I will be using this blog for just that, practice my writing so I can improve it.  This blog will also help me be accountable for what I write since it would be public for anyone to read.

I will be using the weekly prompts from Writer's Digest (http://www.writersdigest.com/prompts) and will attempt to keep up with the weekly task.  On occasion I will attempt to look back to earlier prompts and work on some of those as well.

Critiques, good or bad, are welcome and encouraged as they will help me improve my skills as a writer.

I just called myself a writer.  That feels good.