[Writer’s note: What began as a writing prompt — photo and first paragraph — has become at least the start of a story. I will endeavor to add short sections to it, at lest as long as there is some interest. It might be a little rough in parts, but that’s because it is coming “hot off the press,” which could be part of the fun of it. In the meantime, you are free to jump off from any part of this story thus far and write your own version.]
by David E. BookerIt was a cool, rainy day down at Holly’s Corner. Not quite a dark and stormy night, but close enough to encourage you to stop in something to eat and a bit of warmth. I was just about to step inside when a white car eased up to the corner of Fulton and N. Central. I didn’t like the look of the car and I liked less the look of the woman behind the wheel.
She scowled and pointed something with a large barrel at me as she rounded the corner onto Central. Bolt into Holly’s or dive into the dead flowers beside a car parked in front the restaurant were my two choices.
The passenger side car window slid down.
The rain picked up in intensity. I could feel it tapping on my shoulders as if to catch my attention and say, “Now, stupid. Decide now … or be dead.”
The car was almost parallel with me. I caught a whiff of its acrid exhaust. The woman had her best angle; her cleanest shot. And that’s when I realized she was pointing a rolling pin at me. Mud and the petal from a dead flower splattered me in the face as I landed half on the sidewalk and half in the raised bordered flower bed. Considering where the board hit, my gait would never be the same.
“Hey, stupid,” the woman said, “get out of the dirt.”
“Mud,” I said, rolling over onto my side, then back.
A car horn blared, so I didn’t hear what the rolling pin woman said next. I think it was “get up,” which I was doing.
“That woman is a … (Another car horn blared as the car swerved around the stopped white car.) … she doesn’t deserve it. It’s my book!”
She was still pointing the rolling pin at me as drove on, probably because a police cruiser was easing up Central toward her position.
I brushed my hands together and only managed to smear the mud in one palm on the other. My pants were wet. So was my rain jacket and baseball cap. I brushed my hands down the sides of my jacket and then stepped inside Holly’s.
Plans were for me to meet my new client here. We had only talked on the phone. I had no idea what she looked like. I stood just inside the doorway,
(To be continued.)