Tag Archives: Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes

Susan Scissorhands

This week’s Friday Fiction Challenge from Ronovan Writes instructed us to  write about an Epic Fail, when something intended does not work out, in the worst way. Your basic nightmare, in other words. At least that’s how I rolled with the challenge this week. If you would like to read other takes on the prompt or enter your own, click HERE to enter Ronovan’s world.

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Photo Credit: A meme template from imgflip.com 

Susan decided to save a few dollars and give her hair a layered trim.  She had watched several YouTube tutorials and was confident she could do it.

“How hard could it be?” she declared confidently.

Positioning herself on a stool in front of a mirror, she combed out her damp, shoulder-length hair, snipping a bit from one side, then the other. The sides weren’t lining up, so she trimmed the longer side, then a little more from the shorter side. It took some tweaking, but five inches on the floor later, Susan had finally managed to even up the sides and back. Not the layered look she originally planned, but she would make it work. It did require taking more off the front though. Undaunted, Susan kept going.

“It’ll be fine. It’ll be cute short,” she encouraged herself.

Combing her hair upward over her head, she snipped the front length to match the back. To add some layers, Susan lifted her hair to the sides and snipped some more…one side, then the other…back to the first side and back again. She just couldn’t seem to get it right. Before she knew it, her bangs were so short they fell an inch above her eyebrows and the sides barely covered the tops of her ears!

Trying not to panic, Susan decided her eyebrows would need some definition if this shorter style was going to look right. She carefully applied hot wax just under her brow lines, perfectly contouring the application before covering each side with cloth strips. While she waited for the wax to cool, her drying hair inched even shorter.

“It’ll be okay,” she thought as she ripped the strips from her brows. They must have shifted while cooling. When she looked in the mirror, her eyebrows were gone!

Poor Susan was left with only one remedy. She called work explaining that there had been a death in the family. Of course, she would need to be out for the rest of the week. And then, she rush-ordered a wig, with very long bangs!

~kat – 23 March 2016
(344 Words)

 


The Letter – Part 2

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The Letter – Part 2

(If you would like to read Part 1, here is a link: The Letter ….and…because so many of you asked for it, there is a Part 3…Click HERE.)

I woke to the plunk, plop, plink of the leaky faucet in the kitchen sink. My back and neck ached from having fallen asleep on the floor. The skin on my face was tight, sticky from dried tears.

It felt like a horrible nightmare, except for the crumpled letter still clenched in my hand. I smoothed the wrinkles, wiped the crust from my eyes and read the words again…

Dear Annie and Tom,

You are two of the most amazing people I know. For whatever reason, fate chose not to bless you with children, yet me, who would make a terrible mother, with this beautiful baby girl. 

You know I can’t begin to give her the life she deserves. But you two…how wonderful her life would be if you could find it in your heart to take her as your very own. 

I promise from this day forward to be simply Auntie June.   

I’ve spoken to an attorney who will draw up the papers so we can make it official. 

Just one favor is all I ask. May we name her Grace? She will always be Grace to me.

Love Forever,

June

My eyes burned as I fought back tears. I had cried enough this past week. To think losing Mom was the worst thing I could imagine.

“Mom…if you are listening somewhere, you should know, this damn letter will never change who you and daddy are to me. Never.”

But things had changed. I had always believed that I looked like my Aunt June because she was mom’s sister. We had similar tastes and mannerisms. It was all starting to make sense now.

June had pursued a career as an interior designer. She had been featured in popular magazines, commissioned by celebrities, and had her own textile line as well as a chain of retail specialty emporiums. June even hosted her own syndicated radio program. Never married, she had done alright for herself.

Things would be different now that I knew the truth. How could they not be? Sweet, fun Auntie June had now become the mother who couldn’t be bothered by the inconvenience of a child. To think I admired her all these years. I honestly don’t know how I feel about her now. “Numb” is a good word for it. How does someone give up their own child?

“Get a grip, Grace. You’ve got to finish what you came here to do.”

But what am I going to say? How am I going to act when she comes over today to help me pack? I wish I hadn’t invited her. I don’t need this. Maybe I should call and cancel.

I pulled myself up from the floor and started a pot of strong coffee. While it was brewing I took a quick shower, changed into a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt and tied my hair up off my face.

Always prompt, June arrived at exactly 9 am, carrying a box of fresh pastries.

“Hello Grace dear, how are you doing this morning? Were you able to get any sleep last night?”

“Well, Aunt June, it was a rough night. I started packing up the kitchen.” Knowing was making me crazy. “I’m keeping Granny’s silver flatware and tea set.”

“Oh, those are definitely keepers, Grace. They’ve been in our family for almost a century.”

“And Mom’s recipes. I’m thinking about compiling them into a book.”

“Wonderful idea, Grace. I’ll definitely want a copy of that. Would you like a danish?”

I was never one for beating around the bush, “And you’ll never guess what else I found…a letter to Mom and Daddy…” I said, searching her face.

“What letter is that, Grace?” June looked away.

“You know the one, June. You wrote it, in fact.”

“I did?”

“Yes.” June glanced back at me. I looked straight into her blue eyes…the same blue with dark violet edges as mine.

Her face flushed. I could tell she knew.

“I think I’ll head into the parlor with a box and some packing paper. Quite a few family treasures in the parlor you know. You keep working in the kitchen, Grace. We can break at noon and head downtown to the diner for lunch. Is that okay with you?”

And just like that, I knew I had another family member to bury this week. Not literally of course. Some secrets are best kept…secret, I suppose. But how I wished we could have talked about it. Maybe one day.

kat ~ 7 March 2016

This short story is Part 2 of “The Letter”, both in response to Ronovan Writes Friday Fiction Challenge. This week’s prompt is: “A Lie is Told”

  • See if you can come in at more than a Word Count of 600. Control your word usage. (SUGGESTED)
  • Using the prompt of ‘A lie is told’ create a scene. This scene can be about what happens because of the lie, or how it makes the person lying feel, or anything you can come up with. If a series is being written, like some are doing, this lie can come back later to haunt the liar. (REQUIRED)

 


The Letter


It was a nice funeral. Well, if any funeral could be considered nice, it was that…nice.

I forced a smile for each person who filed by to pay their respects. Like a dull needle skipping clumsily across a broken record, they repeated the same words.

“So sorry dear.”

“Call us if you need anything.”

“Come see us.”

“Your mother was the best…or the sweetest…or a lovely woman…or a good friend.”

She was. All those things and more. I remember thinking that she was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. And she had the voice of an angel, singing me to sleep each night as she tucked me in “all snug like a bug in a rug”. Mom taught me how to read and how to cook and how to shave my legs.

Just two years before we had buried Daddy, the first man I ever loved. He taught me how to swim and ride a bike. He took me fishing for blue gills, and hung an old tire swing from the towering oak tree in the front yard. Daddy spent many nights helping me with homework, and he was there too, to hold me when some silly boy had broken my heart. How I wish he was here now to hold me. How I wish both of them were still here.

I only had three days to get the house ready for auction. Three days to sift through a lifetime of memories and to pack the things I would keep.

I started in the kitchen, boxing up granny’s silver and tea service. On the top shelf of the cabinet was mom’s recipe box. Pages of handwritten, oil-stained sheets of tattered paper were a treasure to me.

As I thumbed through the recipes I found a sealed envelope. My name was printed on front in mom’s handwriting.

My hands trembled as I slid my finger under the flap. The paper inside was faded. “When had mom written this?”

I unfolded the page. “Whose handwriting is this?” I thought. It wasn’t Mom’s or Daddy’s. I flashed a glance to the bottom of the page.

“Aunt June? Why would she be writing a letter to me?”

My eyes raced to the top of the page, ‘Dear Annie and Tom…’ Mom? Daddy? Why would Aunt June write you a letter with my name on the envelope?”

I dropped to the floor, hot tears burning my eyes, as I read Aunt June’s words…her secret…mom and daddy’s lie…my truth.

kat – 23 February 2016

A story for this week’s Ronovan Writes Friday Fiction Prompt: You’ve just been handed a message that makes you drop to the floor, trembling uncontrollably.

To read other stories or enter your own, click HERE.


The Interview

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Photo by Kat Myrman 2016

Betty O’Donnell had been with the company for 27 years, planning to retire in three. After the merger, she and several other veteran staffers were handed pink slips. Betty walked away with six month’s severance, no health care, and no pension.  She was devastated.

It was the holidays, but Betty tried to make the best of it. She put together a resume and registered with the Employment Bureau. With a college degree and accounting experience, she never imagined it would be hard to find a job. But it was. She couldn’t sleep. She barely ate. Several months passed and Betty realized it was time to find a job…any job.

There were several entry level positions available. One in particular, at the Burger Meister Restaurant, paid better than minimum wage and offered benefits. She printed a copy of her resume, completed the application, and delivered it in person.

After waiting 45 minutes, she was greeted by a Mr. Dan Sloan. He was around 30, clean-cut, wearing khaki pants, a company emblemed polo, and black rimmed trendy eyeglasses.

“Hello…Ms. O’Donnell? Can I call you Elizabeth? I’m Dan Sloan, the Manager.”

“Hello Mr. Sloan. Betty, is good,” she smiled, shaking his hand.

“Sorry for the wait. We had a few issues in the kitchen. My office is right here.”

The office walls were cluttered with cheesy motivational posters, food service guidelines and a framed portrait of the Burger Meister. One wall was glass allowing Sloan a full view of the kitchen.

“Please have a seat while I review your application. Can I get you some coffee, a soft drink, water?”

“Nothing for me thanks.”

“I see you attached your resume…”

“Yes, I…”

“That’s fine. We have all the information we need from the company application. So tell me, Betty, what brought you to Burger Meister’s?”

Isn’t it obvious? You’re looking at my application! “Uh, well, I need a job. I saw the Hostess position in the paper…”

“Ah yes. Tell me, have you worked as a hostess before?”

“No, but I have managed several employees in my previous employment.” Certainly years of management experience should count for something.

“I see. What about restaurant experience?

“In college…I waitressed.” If you could call it that. I worked the snack bar at the bowling alley, but he’s looking for restaurant experience…

Mr. Sloan scanned her application and looked up at Betty over the rims of his glasses. “I see you were with your former employer 27 years. That’s a long time. May I ask why you left?”

Here it is. The dreaded “why did you leave” question. “Company acquisition, downsizing…I…” Why won’t he let me finish? I was laid off, not fired! 

“Hmmm…seems to be a lot of that going on these days.”

“Yes.”

“You do understand, the Hostess position requires long hours on your feet.”

“Yes.” Condescending twit! Suck it up Betty. You need this job. 

“And there may be times when we would need you to pitch in with serving patrons or bussing the tables…”

“Yes, of course.”

“I am wondering why someone with your experience would want to work in food service.”

“Well, Mr. Sloan,” Betty forced a smile, “I’ll be honest with you. I got laid off over 4 months ago and I need a job. I’m a quick learner and a team player. I am certain that I could fulfill the responsibilities of the position.” Ugh! I hate feeling so vulnerable!

Mr. Sloan sat straight in his chair, letting out a sigh. “Well, thank you so much for coming in today, Ms. O’Donnell, but I’m not sure you would fit in at Burger Meister’s…” Betty glanced at the kitchen noticing the markedly younger staff.

What? Just like that? Wow! Betty was stunned.

Mr. Sloan stood up and opened the door. “Thank you again, Ms. O’Donnell, I wish you well in your job search. Please accept this Meister Money Card. It’s good for 2 free dinners. Goodbye.”

Betty took the money card without looking up and slipped it into her coat pocket. I won’t be back. The wind outside felt harsh. Colder still because of the tears streaming down her face.

“There are other jobs. He would have been an ass to work for. After all, tomorrow is another day.” she said to herself.

kat ~ 15 February 2016

A short story in response to Ronovan Writes Friday Fiction Challenge:

▪Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)

▪Take your favorite quote from a movie and use it as inspiration for your entry this week. If you want more direction, make it the last sentence in your piece. (REQUIRED)

As you can see, my movie quote is from Gone With the Wind, made famous by Miss Scarlett, “After all tomorrow is another day.” If you would like to participate or read other stories, click HERE.

 


Swan Song – Part Two

This story is in response to Friday Fiction with Ronovan Writes:

PROMPT FOR CHALLENGE

February 5th is National Wear Red Day or Shower With a Friend Day. There are much more serious International Days the 5th is set aside for, but the challenge at this point in its growth is not a place to explore those quite yet. Although I’m not stopping anyone. If you know of another National/International Day you want to write about this week, go for it.

  • Word Count of 500. (SUGGESTED)
  • Some great stories were written last week. Continue those stories this week! (SUGGESTED)

This is part two then, to last week’s story. If you would like to read that first, you can click HERE for the link.

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Photo Credit: Pixabay Stock

“I’m getting too damn old for this,” Leonard muttered, tossing the Kevlar vest into his locker, glancing for a second at her picture taped inside the door.

How many more times would the odds let him win? That whole “Save the World” crap was pretty exciting seventeen years ago when he was young, invincible and single. But now there was Jen to consider. This last assignment was the closest he had ever come to losing.

Leonard met Jen three years earlier in a grocery store parking lot. She had dropped her phone. When she turned to retrieve it she let go of the shopping cart. Leonard, of course, sprung into action, grabbing the run-a-way cart just seconds before it rammed into a parked squad car! She was impressed and he was smitten by her sparkling blue eyes and fiery red hair. When she agreed to have coffee with him he never looked back.

But there would always be this secret between them; the truth that he wasn’t an analyst in an engineering firm. He hated lying to her. Hell, he was just lying to himself thinking he could have a normal life.

He and Tom finished their debrief as the sun was rising.

“It’s been real Tom! See you next time I need a serenade!

Tom smiled, tipping his Yankee’s cap, “See you on the flip-side Leonard!”

Leonard hoped he’d never see him again.


 

The house was dark when he arrived, a hint of cinnamon in the air. “Jen’s been baking again,” Leonard smiled. He loved that about her.

The click-clack of Chauncey’s nails on the hardwood floor greeted him. “Hey there buddy,” Leonard scratched the pup behind the ears. “Shhhhhh, you’ll wake your mama.”

Leonard left his shoes at the door and slipped into the bedroom. Jen’s soft breathing warmed the darkness. Her long red hair cascaded over her face and draped across his pillow.

She stirred as Leonard sat on the edge of the bed. “Hi Lenny. I didn’t hear you come in. What time is it?”

Leonard glanced at the clock on the dresser, LED lights flashing. He winced, “Did we have another power outage?”

“Just a surge. But you know me and electronic thingies.” He knew. He loved that about her too.

“It’s about 7 am.” He leaned in dusting her forehead with a soft kiss.

“Well, you’re here just in time you know.”

“I am?”

“Yes! You do know what day it is…” Jen’s eyes flashed, her mouth curling into a playful grin.

“I do?” Crap! Leonard panicked. What did I forget? A birthday…an anniversary?

Sensing his discomfort, Jen giggled and blurted, “It’s National Shower With a Friend Day silly! We must celebrate!”

Leonard beamed, leaning in deeper slipping his arm underneath her, pulling her close. “Yes ma’am! We definitely must…celebrate!”

He gazed into Jen’s eyes. As they softly closed, her lips pursing in anticipation of his kisses, he thought. “Maybe it’s time to consider that desk job.”

kat ~ 6 February 2016


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