Who’s to Say What Normal Is?

Thanks to Ms Rose for the inspiration. It’s kind of silly but I couldn’t resist.


Bettie, a genuinely overweight, middle aged woman stands at the pharmacist’s counter waiting for someone to tell her why she was given the wrong prescription. While she waits, she does what she can to put off horrible thoughts of what might have happened should she have gone ahead and taken the wrong drugs.
A woman’s voice behind her says, “Your ass looks really good in those pants!”
Stunned, Bettie turns and confronts the other woman. “Well…I have a lot of it…”
“No, I mean it! You look great in those pants! Who are they?”
“I don’t know. I got them at Macy’s; on sale.”
“Seriously, you look great!”

“Do you really mean that?”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t have said it if I didn’t.”

“Well, thanks.”

The woman held her hand out to Bettie, “I didn’t introduce myself,” she said, “I’m Wilma Stokes. I’m new in town. Fred and I bought a house near the corner of Third and Carlisle.”

“I’m sorry,” Bettie replied, “you and your husband are Fred and Wilma?”

“I know; it’s horrible; isn’t it? At least our family name is Stokes and not Flintstone!”

They both laughed and then lapsed into a silence there in the queue. Bettie was fidgeting a bit, seemingly uncomfortable. Finally she spoke up, “Is that the grey and white house near the east end of the block?”

“Yeah, yeah, with the flat roof.”

“OMG! I live just over your back fence on Cobblestone Way. I’m right behind you! I’m Bettie, by the way. I’m so glad we met.”

“Oh, me too! Hey listen, Fred and I are planning a housewarming this weekend. Maybe you could come?”

“We’d love to! Can I bring my husband along?” Bettie asked, smiling.

Wilma got a serious look on her face, “His name’s not Barney, is it?”

“Oh, heaven’s no, his name’s Steve.” she said, “Steve Rubble!” she kind of mumbled afterwards.

“Get out. It is not – NO FUCKIN’ WAY! I need to buy you a drink!” she looked at her watch. “Look, it’s almost noon – where can we find an open bar?”

“There’s the Martini Lounge. It’s downtown. I think they open for breakfast.”

They both stepped out of the line, spun on their heels, linked arms and marched out of the pharmacy.


 

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OLWG #53 – Games

Written for OLWG #53


Pamela wore a white ski jacket and trousers. She sat in the snow; behind a pile of deadfall wood, in dappled sunlight, on the side of the slope. She was almost invisible to the naked eye. Only her gun contrasted with the surroundings but she minimized that with light coloured netting that covered most of it. She watched as Drake moved slowly toward the house through the trees. She hadn’t seen him arrive. He must have come in via the lake.

“Oh, he’s good,” she thought to herself as she watched through her scope and waited patiently for a better shot. For almost twenty minutes she followed his movements as he made his way from tree to tree.

Something was nagging at her subconscious. Then it hit her, Drake would never be that slow on approach to a target. It would be a helluva shot, but he was within her range and she knew she could make it. Her breathing slowed and her finger tightened on the trigger. She waited for the target to pause again; with a tree trunk between himself and the kitchen window.

Then it hit her again, right in the middle of her back. Green paint spattered up and over her shoulders. She watched it land on the clean white snow in front of her. Slowly Pamela turned her head. Drake stood less than 15 feet behind her, his paint gun held low and ready.

“You’re getting better,” she said.

“I just got lucky,” he replied.

“Who’s that, then?” she asked. “Who’s that sneaking up to the back of my house?”

Drake came the rest of the way down and sat next to her; a quick embrace.

“That’s Stanley,” he told her. “You remember him?”

“The ginger haired one from the islands? Of course I remember him. He’s getting slow.”

“No, I’m getting slow. I asked him to give me plenty of time so I could out flank you.” He looked her in the eye, “We need you again, Pamela. We need you to clean up the mess we made in the jungles.”

She shook her head, “I’m not that kind of girl. Well, not any more anyway.”

“Right,” he nodded his head as though he was expecting the refusal. “I’ll tell the minister.” He stood and took two steps back before turning. With an ease of motion he glided halfway to the top of the slope, paused, “It’s OK, you know. I still love you anyway.” Then he was gone.

Pamela turned to look at Stanley. He was gone too.


This week, the prompts were:

  1. we need you again
  2. I love you anyway
  3. I’m not that kind of girl

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.


OLWG #52 – Orange

Written for OLWG #52


The simple truth is that you and I belong together; everything else is complicated. This shouldn’t be happening; neither of us wants it.

We stare, touch fingertips, turn away and then turn back to hold hands, embrace, and draw out time, lose ourselves lest we lose each other.

¡Circles!

I’ll never forget the citrus flowers -your scent; fresh, clean, sharp.

 


This week, the prompts were:

  1. what’s one more or less
  2. everything else is complicated
  3. we say goodbye in circles

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.


OLWG #51 – Kotor

Written for OLWG #51


Wendy Johnson was born in Nebraska. She was just a girl, an ordinary girl in every way except one. She wore her sandy coloured hair shoulder length (with hair bands that brought out the blue of her eyes); she wore loose flowered dresses in the spring. Mary Janes.

Wendy maintained a ‘B’ average in her studies from grade one through high school. She did not participate in organized sports or cheerleading. She went to the community pool in the summertime, vacationed with her parents, rode a red ‘girl’s’ bicycle to school. She got summer jobs and saved her money. At sixteen she bought a modest used car, something that didn’t stand out. She hated being Wendy Johnson. She wanted to be someone else.

She did situps and pushups in her room before breakfast and again before going to bed. She really didn’t cultivate friendships; not lasting ones anyway. She took up running and wasn’t interested in boys. She was strong. She was fit. She was tall and lean.

After high school she joined the Army. She wanted to go ‘Special Forces’ she wanted to go ‘Green Beret’. The Army made her a typist so; she did her time and took her honorable discharge. She applied for a job at the CIA – Secretarial Pool. She got in and received her assignment in ‘Special Activities Division’. That’s where her potential was finally recognized.

It started off small. One day in early autumn. Her supervisor, Miles Rampart, pushed his head out of his office door.

“Miss Johnson!” he barked and pulled back into his office like a turtle retreating back into his shell.

She stopped what she was doing, stood and made her way to the office door. M. Rampart read the name painted on the rain glass pane set in the upper half of the door. She knocked, reached down, turned the knob and pushed. Remaining beyond the threshold she spoke up, “Yes sir.”

He glared up at her, “I don’t know what the reason is but the Director, himself, wants to see you upstairs.”

“Now, sir?”

“Of course now, Miss Johnson. Don’t keep him waiting!”

He needed her to take an envelope from Virginia to DC. It was easy. The envelope was delivered to a lawyer’s office. The lawyer’s girl, in turn, gave Wendy a package to take back to the Director. A week went by and then it was to Chicago. The trips kept getting longer. She was given plane tickets, train tickets, cash to get around, but the first time she was handed a pistol she knew the game was changing.

The day when was no longer Wendy Johnson was the day that the Director had a package waiting for her, about the size of a hatbox. Next to it was a small black carry-on bag, like a flight crew would use. On top of the hat box was a blued steel handgun and two clips.

“Do you know how to use this?” the Director asked as he picked it up and offered it to her.

“Yes sir.” she said smiling. She took the proffered piece “Beretta PX4 Storm Type F; it’s NATO Certified.” She dropped the magazine and racked the slide admiring the engineering before setting it back down on the hat box.

The Director reached into his pocket and removed an envelope. “Here are travel documents and tickets. This box needs to go an interested party in Montenegro. I’m giving you the Beretta as the box must be protected, at all costs. TSA has been alerted and you will not be troubled leaving the country. I’m afraid you’re on your own when you get to Tivat though. Miss Greene will fill you in on the specifics, but I believe your flight leaves tonight at 2100 from Regan. Is that correct Miss Greene?”

“It is indeed, sir.”Miss Greene spoke up from slightly behind and to the left, startling Wendy.

“Good luck, Miss Johnson,” the director offered as a means of signaling that the meeting was over.

Wendy picked up the Beretta and the hat box. Miss Greene grabbed the carry-on bag and herded her charge to the outer office. “Upon your arrival in Tivat you need to make your way to Kotor, on the coast. It’s not far. You have reservations at Hotel Vardar. The envelope that the Director gave you contains everything you should need.” She stuck out her hand and the two women shook, rather stiffly and formally.

“Good luck, Miss Finch.” Green said.

“Finch?” Johnson echoed back.

“It’s your name. On the papers. Make sure you review them before your departure.

Amanda Finch found herself in the hallway outside the Director’s office. She gathered up her new belongings and made her way to the elevator.


This week, the prompts were:

  1. You are not what I expected
  2. some myths are prophecy
  3. Tell them what?

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.


OLWG #50 – The Adventures of Sam

Written for OLWG #50


Sam pushed the door into the smoky darkness of the bar. He stepped inside and paused to let his eyes adjust to the gloom. There were two pool tables to his right and a long dark-wood bar running the length of the room to his left. There were a lot of empty stools at the bar and two empty booths at the back, beyond the pool tables.

A heavyset man needing a shave, wearing a rumpled beige raincoat sat at the end of the bar with his back turned in Sam’s direction. He nursed a drink that might have been Gin and Tonic or it might have been Seltzer water. He glanced over his shoulder at the newcomer and then turned his attention back to his glass.

A brunette girl with long legs and a short skirt stood on the near pool table with her eyes closed. Her arms wrapped around her torso pushing her breasts upwards and creating an effect like one of those bras they sell on late night TV infomercials. Stiletto heels graced her feet and she swayed to a music that only she could hear.

Sam made his way inside and took a stool about halfway down the bar. He signaled the barman, who ambled down; in no hurry.

“What’ll it be, pal?” the barman asked as he approached.

“Boilermaker,” Sam answered, “no, no; better make it a double.”

The barman simply nodded, flicked the ash from his cigarette and turned back in the direction from whence he had come. He came back and put two shots of whisky on the bar then he pulled caramel coloured beer from the tap and set it down behind the whisky.

“Spose you want a tab?”

Sam nodded, “I want her phone number too.” He jerked his thumb towards the girl.

The barman curled his upper lip in a sneer, “Get in line, pal.” he said and walked back down to where his ash tray waited patiently.

Sam knocked back the first shot and a long draught of the beer; he reached for the photo from his jacket pocket and studied it for a while. He spun around on his bar stool and studied the girl dancing on the pool table then looked back at the photo he held in his hand. When he returned the photo to his jacket pocket he brought out a rumpled package of Lucky Strikes. The cigarette had to be straightened and a matchbook had to be pilfered from the bar. Sam tapped the end of his smoke on the bar and struck a match, with the flame at the tip of the fag he drew the smoke deep and watched the fire burn close to his fingers before he dropped it into the ash tray that sat on the bar.

There was no doubt about it. She was one of them. Sam had a piece tucked into the small of his back. He wasn’t sure about the bar tender or the big guy. He’d have to keep an eye on them when he took down the girl. Just in case, you know, just in case they got protective.


This week, the prompts were:

  1. She’s one of them
  2. your journey is your own
  3. Double jeopardy

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.


OLWG #49 – I Never Win These Arguments

Written for OLWG #49


 

“I want to hear you sing it,” she tells me with her crooked grin. Her deep blue eyes glistened and golden pre-Raphaelite curls hang in ringlets that frame her face.

Kiddingly, I say, “I forget how it goes.”

“No you don’t,” she laughs, and wraps her arms around my neck.

“Alright, but only this one more time.”

“OK,” she agrees, so I begin to hum.

Her smile grows larger. She realizes that she has won, “I can’t hear you,” she whispers into my ear.

I increase the volume ever so slightly and sing. “Rock a bye, and good night,” she lays her head on my shoulder and sighs.

“Thanks, Daddy,” she says softly and closes her eyes.

 


This week, the prompts were:

  1. I forget how it goes
  2. It’s a blessing
  3. I can’t hear you

Don’t think! Write!
You have 25 minutes but if it takes longer – just don’t tell anyone.