Thursday, June 21, 2012


Originally published March 9, 2012

This week's prompt was:

In honor of Davy Jones and the other artists who enhance our lives, this week’s Red Writing Hood prompt draws inspiration from music.

Go to This Day In Music, and discover what was number 1 on the charts in the United States, England or Australia the day you or your character was born, or any other special day in your/their life, if you prefer.

Listen to the song(s) and let it inspire you. In 300 words or less.

So, the prompt is below and I realized that I got the word count completely wrong. This is what happens when I multi-task. Hopefully, it's not too long. I struggled with this piece. I knew what I wanted in my head, but could not seem to articulate it with my words. This is a raw piece that is a continuation of my longer work The Other Side of Truth. Any constructive critique would be most appreciated!



“Here.” Zoe shoved a rumpled, brown grocery bag at my chest. “Put this on.”

Warily, I attempted to open the bag. Knowing my best friend and her propensity for practical jokes, the contents could be disturbing. She ripped the bag from my hands, rolled top tighter and handed it back as roughly as the first time. “No. Just go.”

Obeying her rude commands, I disappeared into the hall bathroom. When I emerged, Zoe clapped vigorously, David snickered and Ellory screamed, “Mommy! It’s not Halloween.”

Zoe had dressed me like a late, 70’s Barbie doll. The contents of the bag were a honey-blond wig that lingered in unnatural waves at the middle of my back, a champagne-colored strapless jumpsuit that would normally have been to much for my small, 5’2 frame. However, Zoe never missed a fashion detail. Compensating for my lack of stature the bag also contained stiletto pumps, helping me rise to whatever occasion Zoe had envisioned for the evening.

“My turn!” Zoe scampered to the bathroom. I am not going to waste a moment describing Zoe’s wardrobe choice for herself. Simply picture Linda Lovelace. Enough said.

“Do you know what this is about?” I asked David while Zoe was adjusting.

He shrugged. “She said she was taking you out for your birthday.”

“My birthday was three months ago.”

“Details.” Zoe interrupted. “Minor detail that doesn’t matter. Let’s go.”

She dragged me out of the house before I could run away and grab my Snuggie. No amount of cajoling could get Zoe to divulge her plans. She simply stated she got the idea from her students. Zoe was an adjunct professor at Midtown Community College, economics. I know. Hard to fathom. Just go with it.

“Your students?” My fears were elevated.

Zoe parked the car in front of a charming, two-story Victorian, heaving and grunting along with the beats filtering outside. We staggered up the front steps, our too-tall heels refusing a graceful entrance. The scene inside was a marriage of Animal House meets Studio 54. College students packed so tightly together, bumping and grinding to Working at the Car Wash while the dim lighting, strange chemical smells in the air, and an oozy, sticky substance near the open-toe of my shoe made me nauseous. This time I assaulted Zoe, dragging her onto the porch where the air was easier to breathe.

“What the-”

She cut me off. “It’s a theme party. Thought it would be fun.”

“Fun? I am 35 years-old. Too old to be bumping and grinding a bunch of teenagers and getting high. Seriously, Zoe?”

Rolling her eyes, she emphasized. “They’re young adults. Look, I’m sorry. I was trying to be nice. You’ve been so ho-hum, lately.”

“It’s called responsibility. You should try it sometime.”

“Not interested.”

I took the blond wig off revealing my flattened brunette hair, counted to ten. Confrontation, fighting with my friend, I didn’t do that. I saved my fighting energy for David and I. “I appreciate the effort, but please stop.”

Zoe hugged me, not capable of holding a grudge. “Your spirit seems unhappy. I wanted give you a little excitement.”

“I’ve been dealing with a lot, but I can handle it. What I can’t handle is a second-hand marijuana high.” Walking back to the car, barefoot, I handed her the wig. “Go get your money back for this.”

“Oh, you keep it. It’s just a prop.”


She pointed to her outfit. “Stephen and I are adventurous. But I think he’s over the blond, double D porn star fantasy. Prop box needs to be updated. You keep it.”

She skipped ahead singing bad seventies disco while I calculated how long it would take to get home and how soon I would be able to take a scalding hot, disinfecting shower.





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