Thursday, June 21, 2012


Originally posted May 12, 2012

Getting in just under the wire with this latest piece for the Write on Edge Friday prompt. Here is the challenge:

For this week, I gave you this opening line:

“Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow, moonlit lane.”

and a little flexibility for the memoirists: feel free to use a narrow lane, a moonlit night, or appearance of someone seemingly from nowhere as a jumping off point.

The word limit was 500 words. We all hope you had fun!

This piece may need a little set-up. It is a continuation of Carly's story from OSOT. Carly runs into Yves while spending time with Shirley, her eccentric, opinionated elderly neighbor (and confidant - even if she doesn't want to admit it). After witnessing the exchange between Carly and Yves, Shirley feels it is necessary to give  some unwanted advice.

Feel free to leave any comment! Wrote this quickly because I didn't want to go two weeks in a row not linking up. If I start to get in the habit of not meeting these Friday link-ups, then I may fall out of the habit of writing again. Yikes!


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“Two men appeared out of nowhere, a few yards apart in the narrow moonlit lane, “ Shirley began. I stopped fiddling with my pruning shears giving her a sidelong glance.

“Is that time of night when dementia sets in?” I tried too keep my voice even. Shirley had been too quiet since Yves had left.

Shirley narrowed her eyes at me, the wrinkles make-up couldn’t cover crinkled around her elderly eyes. “I have a story for you. One you would do well to listen to.”

Shirley went about weeding her patch of the garden, continuing her story. “I embellished. These two men didn’t merge together on some obscure moonlit path. In actuality they never met, but I knew them both a lifetime ago. They presented me with a choice.”

She continued when I didn’t attempt to interrupt. Not that it mattered. Shirley would talk anyway. “In my twenties, I went with a young man from town who was a corn husker. All day long he cut, peeled and tossed corn into a farm truck . Ed Bailey, that was his name. A handsome and strong man who husked very well.” She chuckled at her perversion.

“Gross, Shirley.”

She waved me off. “He made me the sweetest cornhusk doll. I still have it. We had been spending time on each other’s porches for quite a few months. My parents were certain a wedding was in the stars. Then William Hardy showed up with. Now, if Ed was wholesome, sturdy and respectable then William was everything opposite. Will Hardy was - What do you call them these days? Ah, a player. A player who rounded up all the single girls in town leaving quite an impression. His charms did not evade me. He was caviar.”


“Absolutely. Ed Bailey was sweet corn. Ordinary and expected. But Will was caviar. Exotic and daring. Will told me I was champagne. We would go well together. I had to choose.”

“Let me guess. You chose ordinary,” I sarcastically stated.

“I chose caviar and champagne. Champagne and sweet corn just don’t mix.”

“What is the point of this story?”

“The point is when you eat too many fish eggs and drink too much champagne you get sick. Should have stuck with the sweet corn.”

“If something is biting your donkey, just say it.” Ellory, seven-years old and a few yards away digging up a worm, smiled at my euphemism.

“What are you doing, Carly?”

“Absolutely, freaking nothing. Just managing a boring and predictable life.”

“That man was flirting with you and I think you liked it.”

My blood pressure was rising quickly. I could feel it in my ears pounding hard, furiously. “I don’t need to explain myself.”

Shirley glared at me and stepped uncomfortably close. Eye to eye with me she stated. “I am looking out for you. Who else do you have?”

I met her gaze, breathing deeply to avoid the temptation to shove her righteous ass to the ground. “I don‘t need your advice. I don‘t need your warnings. I am not eating caviar.”

 Shirley shrugged, backing down, turning to her gardening. “It’s goes bad quickly, Carly. Remember that.”

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