Time To Write — The Preparations

EA206B38-C62B-4220-A8F8-E916303C4EF8Emma looked at her watch. “We need to hurry,” she said to her brother, Liam. “Mom said she’s going to be getting here by around 6:30 and it’s already a quarter past six.”

“I’m almost done hanging this banner,” Liam said, “so go let everyone know that Mom and Grandpa will be arriving shortly.”

“I’m so excited,” Emma said. “Grandpa will be really surprised when he walks in and sees everyone from the extended family here to help celebrate his 100th birthday. There will be four generations of the family here for this occasion. He’s going to especially love seeing his cousins who have flown in from Ireland to see him.”

“Yeah, it’s gonna be great,” Liam agreed. That’s when he heard his mother’s car pull into the driveway.

Emma ran into the living and adressed the gathering of friend and family from near and far. “Okay, everyone,” she said. “Grandpa will be walking in any second. On my signal I want everyone to run out and shout SURPRISE!”

The front door opened and Emma gave the signal. The attendees all ran out and yelled “SURPRISE.” Grandpa, startled, looked at the crowd, smiled weakly, grabbed his chest, and fell to the floor.

Emma ran over to Grandpa and checked his pulse. She looked up at the group, tears running down her cheeks, and said in a hoarse voice, “He’s gone.”

Liam walked into the room carrying a sheath of papers. “Okay,” he said. “The plan worked. Mom was right, the old man’s heart couldn’t take it. So let’s get to the will, shall we?”

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt. We are asked to write a story where the characters are preparing for something.

Time To Write — Throwing a Few Curves

img_1788“But…” Henry said, looking at the meeting agenda that the ushers handed out as he and his girlfriend, Jessie, entered the city council chamber.

“But what?” Jessie asked.

“I was supposed to be the third speaker on the agenda,” Henry said. “But my name is missing from the list of speakers. It’s not there at all.”

“Are you sure?”

“Of course I’m sure,” Henry insisted, pointing to the piece of paper that showed who was scheduled to speak before the city council that night.

“And you’re sure you were supposed to speak at tonight’s meeting?” Jessie asked.

“Yes,” Henry answered, unable to hide his annoyance. When he spotted the council chairman walking up to the stage, Henry jumped up and ran over to the chairman. Jessie witnessed them having what seemed to be a heated discussion before Henry returned to his seat.

“So?” Jessie asked.

“Get you’re coat, we’re leaving,” Henry said. “That bastard threw me quite a curve tonight by taking my topic off the agenda without so much as a text message to let me know.”

“I’m so sorry, babe,” Jessie said sympathetically, “but if we go back to my place now, I think I can put throwing a few curves your way on my agenda.

“And you,” Henry said, a broad grin lighting up his face, “have all the right curves in all the right places.”

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt using the three words, agenda, curve, and speaker,” and for Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, where we are asked to start our post with any three-letter word. I used “but.”

Time To Write — The Sweet Sixteen Party

56B0365B-FEAF-44CF-A603-E3E863D7DA8A“Who invited him?” Eileen asked.

“I did, Mom,” Christina responded. “This is my sweet sixteen party and he is my father, you know.”

“Yes, Christina, I know that he’s your father,” Eileen said. “But after what he did to me — to us — he has a lot of nerve showing up here.”

“You’re wrong, Mom,” Christina said. “He left you and you may want to never see him again and I can understand that. But he will always be my dad and I know he loves me and I love him. Plus, with what he’s giving you in alimony and child support, he essentially paid for this shindig you insisted on throwing for me. I wanted him to be here for my sweet sixteen party so I called and invited him.”

“I know, sweetie,” Eileen admitted. “But you must understand how uncomfortable this is for me, don’t you?”

“I do, Mom,” Christina answered, “but it will only be for a few hours and then he’ll be gone.”

“Do you see that?” Eileen whispered to her daughter. “That son of a bitch had the nerve to bring someone with him. Oh shit, your father just waved and he and his friend are heading this way.”

Dave walked up to his ex-wife and his daughter. He hugged Christina and kissed her on the cheek. He went to hug Eileen, but she backed away. “Good to see you, too, Eileen,” he said sarcastically.

“And who is this you’re with?” Eileen asked, her tone as cold as ice.

“Eileen, Christina,” Dave said. “I’d like you to meet my boyfriend, Alan.”

Written for this week’s Time To Write prompt from Rachel Poli. We are supposed to begin our story using the sentence, “Who invited him?”

Time To Write — The Party

img_1691I slowly open my eyes. Everything is blurry. Are those colored lights I’m looking up at? I can’t tell. They look like red, green, and orange balls shimmering overhead. But I can’t sharpen the images.

Why can’t my eyes focus? Why do I have such a headache? Where am I? How did I get here? Why can’t I remember?

I try to sit up, but my muscles seem unwilling to respond, as if a heavy weight is pressing down upon me. I search my mind, trying to make sense of my situation. But nothing makes sense.

Wait. James’ party. I’m starting to remember. Yes. We are in his backyard. It’s his annual Fourth of July bash. The simmering colored spheres are the decorative lights hung around the pool. Yes, I remember. Lots of beer. Lots of drugs. Everyone getting wasted.

I am beginning to understand now. I can’t move because I’m at the bottom of his pool, the weight of the water holding me down. I can’t see clearly because the water is distorting my vision. I can’t breath because my lungs are filled with water.

And now I’m sinking below the bottom of the pool, being sucked down by a sudden whirlpool into a deep, dark pit. The colored spheres are fading. Everything is turning black. I can’t think. I can’t feel.

Is this real or is this my ultimate nightmare? And, at this point, does it even matter?

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt and for Fandango’s One-Word Challenge, “nightmare.”

Time To Write — All the Signs

CDD9308D-2273-4576-86B0-278EDA2D484ADean had been planning the day for months. Everything, down to the last detail, had been accounted for. Because anything short of perfection would be failure.

The only wildcard, the one thing he couldn’t control, was the weather. Sure, he had a backup plan in case of rain, so that if Mother Nature didn’t cooperate, all would not be lost. Other than the perfection he was seeking, of course. But he knew that if it did rain on that day, it would have been an act of God that was responsible, nothing that he did wrong.

The good news was that summers in that part of the country were generally mild and dry. Rainy days were few and far between, so the odds for a dry, sunny day were clearly in his favor.

As the day approached, Dean double-checked and triple-checked every item on his list. He placed calls to everyone involved to make sure they all had their ducks in a row. Everything and everyone was lined up. Nothing was left to chance. If only it wouldn’t rain.

When the day he had been so meticulously planning for finally arrived, he could barely contain his excitement. Even the forecast called for sunny skies, with no rain in sight.

The period of tribulation had begun a few years earlier with the appearance the Antichrist riding down the escalator and with his subsequent rise to power. All of Dean’s careful calculations, all of the signs — the deceptions, the disputes among nations, the devastation, and the persecution of believers — pointed to the fulfillment of the prophecy on this day.

443101D4-82C9-4071-8A59-5979055CCC39It was finally time for the Rapture, the instantaneous transformation of his body, and the bodies of the Lord’s other faithful servants, to be lifted to join God and Jesus for eternity in heaven. He was ready and it would be perfect.

By nightfall, though, when nothing had happened, doubt began to creep into Dean’s thoughts. Had he miscalculated? Had he misread the signs?

But then it started to rain, and Dean knew that God was sending him a sign, telling him that, as He always does, God works in mysterious ways.

Written for Rachel Poli’s Time To Write prompt.