OLWG · writing

OLWG #11 – Computer Dating and a Case of Mistaken Identity

OLWG #11

I saw him as soon as he walked into the coffee shop. He was almost twenty minutes late and I had been nursing a small mocha since I got there. I waved and he came over.

“Hi Brenda,” he said as he turned the chair around, threw his leg over the seat and plopped his butt unceremoniously down. “Can I call you Brenda?”

I took my time answering. I wanted to evaluate my latest computer date – see what they had hooked me up with this time. He was tall and lean, things I had asked for, probably 6’2” or thereabouts, maybe 185 pounds. He wore faded denim trousers, held up with a brown leather belt and a big silver buckle, scuffed cowboy boots and a dusty long sleeved white shirt. Typical attire for the ranch hands around here. I noticed he was smiling from beneath a brushy mustache, other than the cookie duster though he was clean shaven. He looked OK, my kind of guy.

“I wish you wouldn’t,” I answered.

“Oh? OK. What would you like me to call you?”

“Barbara would work. My name’s Barbara, not Brenda.”

“Well, if that don’t beat all. I’m supposed to be meeting Brenda here. You sure you’re not Brenda?”

“Are you Lucas?”

“No, ma’am, I’m Matt.”

The girl at the next table wiggled her fingers to get our attention, “’Scuse me, I’m Brenda.” She smiled at Matt as he stood and turned the chair back around.

He nodded his head at her, then nodded to me, “Nice to meet you Barbara, Sorry about the mistake.”

I blushed and ducked my eyes, “Nice to meet you too.” I mumbled and sipped my mocha, eavesdropping on Matt and Brenda.

“…that’s an impressive buckle… so shiny…”

“Rodeo… I have to polish it up regularly or it will tarnish… yes ma’am… always been a cowboy…”

“like cowboys… I work at the bank…”

They seemed to be hitting it off all right. I turned my attention back to the door. It was 10:30 and ‘Lucas’ was now a half hour late. I finished my mocha, and gathered my bag and jacket to leave. ‘Lucas’ had apparently stood me up. Just then the door opened and a short round man stepped in with the breeze. He was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and plaid shorts, his ensemble was completed with sandals and black socks. At first I thought he was that actor, the guy from that TV show and I wondered why he would be here. Then I realized the guy from the TV had more hair than this guy. He was looking around the shop as I brushed past him.

As the door closed behind me I heard him ask Brenda if she was Barbara.

I hurried down the walk and around the corner.

Written in response to OLWG #11 – the prompts this week were:

  • Wait for it!
  • Can I call you Brenda?
  • It will tarnish

I think I worked all three of them in although, the first one is merely inferred!


The Blog Propellant · writing

Morgan Reginald Hollingsworth III

Cubing the Stories #11

Morgan Reginald Hollingsworth III was nervous. He had butterflies in his stomach. His mother had told him it was normal and if the lights were set right he wouldn’t even see the audience. It would be just like when he practiced in his room or in the garage. “Nuttin’ to worry about, Reggie,” she said, “easy peasy,” she assured him, “piece o’ cake! Now go break a leg!”

She put her hand in the middle of his back and shoved him out onto the stage and into the spotlights. He stumbled forward and squinted out at the crowd. Mom had been wrong. He could see everyone in the  audience, in great detail. He could see his Aunt Fiona’s mustache and the large mole Uncle Alfonso wore so proudly in the middle of his chin.

Nervously Reggie tried to smile and wave at the crowd. He opened his mouth to begin his well rehearsed line of patter but nothing came out. He screwed up his face and tried again with the same results.

Why had I agreed to this? He asked himself. What had I been thinking?

He tried to picture everyone in the crowd naked, he had heard that this technique worked to lessen stage fright, but then his eyes fell on his cousin, Elsie and her fraternal twin Edgar. Just the thought of those two naked was enough to make him a bit nauseated. Looking down at his feet he studied the worn oak boards of the stage.

His grandfather had performed on this stage; Harry Houdini had performed on this stage. Blackstone had trod these boards. Even Claudio and Evangeline had gotten their big break here. He took a deep breath and reached up his coat sleeve to pull out his wand. This was the part of his act where he would always say “Abra Cadabra” but he found that his voice was still missing so he simply pointed his wand at the audience, waved the tip ever so slightly, and a shower of stars flew out over the entire theatre.

Oohs and aahs echoed towards the stage from the seats.

“Catch one if you can,” Reggie said, “Catch one and put it in your pocket. You never know when you’re going to need a light.”

He smiled and watched the audience reach upwards, as one, to capture the tiny lights and secrete them into their pockets and handbags. He glanced to the side of the stage and watched his mother pluck one of the stars from above her head. She placed it gently on the palm of her hand, held it up to her mouth and blew it, like a kiss, towards her son, Morgan Reginald Hollingsworth III, tonight’s headliner.

He smiled and knew it was going to be OK.