Gearing Up

Today’s Author Write Now! Prompt: The aunts never forgave her for moving to New Mexico immediately after the baby was born.


It wasn’t like it’d never happened before. The aunts would “never forgive” her if she got her nose pierced; they’d “never forgive” her if she moved in with her boyfriend, Malik; they’d “never forgive” her if she quit school to be apprenticed to a silversmith; and now they were threatening to “never forgive” her for moving to New Mexico once the baby was born.

She often wondered what it would be like to grow up with a full complement of parents. To show up at the Father-Daughter dance with the correct partner, to not have to explain YET AGAIN that this flock of nuns was in charge of her.

She loved them, of course. And having them in her life definitely made for good stories. How many other people showed up with a posse of sisters at a bat mitzvah, you know? It just got a little old sometimes to constantly be pushing back. Just once, she wished the aunts would come back with “Oh, how marvelous, darling!” instead of “Have you really thought this through, dear?”

She took a very large breath and held it as the phone began to ring.

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Middle School

Today’s Author Prompt: The bus driver looked familiar, but she couldn’t figure out how she knew him.

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All of a sudden, it came to her. She immediately averted her gaze so she wouldn’t be caught looking.

This was her nemesis, the boy who had sat behind her all the way up to high school, making her life a living hell for 8 years. Darrell Stanton, who logically followed Judy Smith from one class to another. Snide remarks. Pulling braids and ponytails. Knocking over bookbags. And on one particularly embarrassing day, surreptitiously unzipping her dress so that it flopped down over one shoulder, exposing the fact that she wasn’t wearing a training bra like the other girls.

Oh, yes, this was Darrell. Heavier, certainly with more facial hair, and a regular drinker according to the blood vessels Rudolphing his nose. Truly, God was good. Now, what to do about it?

Judy was fairly certain he hadn’t paid any attention to her as she inserted her Metro card and then found a seat. So she had time to outline a plan of attack. In the meantime, though, there was nothing wrong with pulling the cord for every stop, was there? No, of course not. She was gratified that his nose got a little redder with every useless interruption.

She took inventory: her purse, her water bottle, her lunch, a magazine. Not much to work with. But her lunch contained two hard-boiled eggs that were just crying out to be free. Who was she to deny them? Smushing them into the air vent took only seconds. OK, done. Next?

She remembered something else from that long period of torture. She began tearing small pieces out of her magazine, slicking them up with some spit, and getting them ready to fire through the straw from her water bottle. She waited until the next stop, while several people were getting on, to lob her first volley. Bull’s-eye!

For the finale, she decided to leave a calling card. She pulled the cord again, now that her stop really was coming up, and moved into the seat directly behind Darrell. She carefully peeled back the lid, and…

As she walked down Fifth Avenue, she wondered how long it would be before he discovered the black cherry yogurt decorating the inside of his jacket pocket.

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christ-mas,” she sang to herself.

 

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