An unfinished story. This one, written during a race against the clock (25 minutes) for OLWG# 230
Ferris found himself sitting at a table for two in the Polo Bar downtown. He was beginning to worry. He had swiped right when he saw Hester’s photo and profile on the dating app. They had exchanged messages through the app (maintain your privacy – never surrender your email address or your cell phone number) and both had agreed to meet here. Get to know one another. See if they wanted to take it any further.
Ferris had arrived early (about twenty after six). Since that time he had checked his watch at least 372 times. It now read six-thirty-four.
What if she had stood him up?
She had probably peeked through the window, spotted him and changed her mind? The photo he had used on the app looked a little like him, but a buff him, not the real him.
Maybe she was lost?
Had she been mugged walking across the park?
Murdered on the subway?
So many things could have gone wrong, and he was beginning to gnaw on his thumbnail when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He started and looked around. It was Hester, no doubt, she looked just like her photograph. She was beautiful, and she smiled.
“Ferris?” her voice was musical, her smile was bright, and her eyes sparkled.
“Yea, yes, uh huh, I’m Ferris,” he stammered as he tried to stand.
“I’m Hester,” she said with a giggle.
Ferris stumbled, a little, as he stood to hurry around the table and pull out her chair – ever the gentleman.
Hester nodded and took her seat. Ferris went back around to his seat. The two sized each other up for a moment before Hester took the lead.
“You look a little different from your picture,” she started.
“Uhm, sorry,” Ferris interjected before she could continue, “that photo was a couple of months old. I’ve grown a bit. You look exactly like your photo.”
“Do you think so? I’ve heard that the camera always adds a few pounds. I don’t know?”
“I’m having a Pepsi,” Ferris said. “Would you like something to drink? Appetizers?”
At that exact moment the waiter appeared at their table. His pencil hovered above his order pad and he stared at Hester, “Oui moiselle?”
“Je voudrais une bouteille de l’eau mineral. Non-gazeuse, s’il vous plait.”
The waiter put his pad into the pocket on his black apron. Without saying a word, he spun on his heel and disappeared back to wherever it was that he had come from.
Meanwhile, Ferris knew immediately that he was in love. He wanted to grab Hester by the hand. He wanted to kiss her hand, kiss her arm over and over, all the way up to her neck. Like that guy on that TV show, Don Addams or Gomez Addams with his wife Morticia. That was a good show, but he refrained from kissing her.
“You speak French, Hester?”
“Yes, yes, I do. I speak: well, English, of course, but also French, Leonese, and Klingon. That’s about it. What do you do, Ferris?”
Ferris worked nights, cleaning office buildings in the Financial District. “I work on Wall Street,” he said. “What about you?”
Hester would go to work at about 2:00 in the morning. She made donuts at Mojo’s, on Fifth Street. “I’m a pastry chef,” she answered.
“Cool, but with your language abilities, shouldn’t you be working as a translator? Maybe at the UN or somewhere like that?”
“I suppose I could do that, but I enjoy the creativity that comes with my current job.”
Whoops – Time’s up! Step away from the keyboard
This week’s prompts were:
- cotton to
- letters from strangers
- patiently lying
Here are the three I accidentally deleted…Sorry
Bill Miller went into his office that morning, as he did every other day. Just like there had been yesterday, there were dozens of tubs stacked against the wall by the office door. Each tub contained hundreds of letters and he intended to open every one of them. There were thousands of them. They were from members of his flock and most all of them contained cash donations. They were small donations, for the most part. There would be Five dollars here, Ten dollars there, but always folding money. Not always dollars either, he received donations from all over the world. He accepted blue money, red money, brown money; the currency mattered not. It was all spendable.
It was easy to fleece strangers who believed everything he said.
I’m sorry Professor; I just can’t cotton to what you’re saying. I think you have it all wrong. The world doesn’t work that way, people don’t act that way. It’s not that easy, it’s not that predictable, and it’s not always black and white, not binary.
But it is, don’t you see? We are creatures of habit. We are doomed to repeat our failures, our debacles, and our deeds. That’s the way we’re programmed. History has proven this time and time again.
Edna sighed and tried again, “No honey, that’s not where babies come from. Babies come from the garden. Your father and I found you when we turned over the leaves of the tomato vine. I really don’t know what you’re talking about.”