Something Normal

Daily Prompt: A Dog Named Bob
You have 20 minutes to write a post that includes the words mailbox, bluejay, plate, syrup, and ink.
And one more detail… the story must include a dog named Bob

~*~

“You have no idea what you’re talking about,” Abby growled as she grabbed a clean plate from the dishwasher for her freshly toasted waffle. “Pass me the syrup, will you … please?”

Martin sighed and hobbled to the fridge to take out the maple syrup. “What do you mean? It’s all a matter of opinion … or taste,” he winced. “I simply don’t like cold syrup on my waffles. It tastes horrible.” He handed her the sticky bottle and heaved himself back on the bar stool upon which he’d been perched.

“Well, I’m afraid you’ll just have to warm it up yourself,” she said forgetting how wobbly he was. “I’ve just realized I need to pick something up from the mailbox. A notice was left at the door yesterday that the package I’ve been waiting for has finally arrived.” Abby showed Martin the notice. “Will you look at that? You’d think the post office could afford to use indelible ink. It’s so faint as to be almost illegible!”

Her fiancé gave the piece a once-over and growled. Not about the running ink, but about the fact he had to warm up his own syrup.

“Are you going, then?” he asked Abby who’d become distracted by a bluejay flitting and flying around the bubble rock in the back garden.

“Pardon?”

“Are you going to the mailbox or can I live in hope you’ll look beyond yourself long enough to be able to heat up some maple syrup for me? You know I can barely move with this torn calf muscle.”

Abby rolled her eyes and smiled apologetically. “Well, that’ll teach you for trying to play a shot you have no business making after years away from the game. Why take up tennis now? Can’t you do something normal … like dog walking? That’s great exercise at our age.”

“You know I don’t have time for a dog of my own right now.”

“But your older neighbour, Mr. Samuels,” she defended, “has a dog … you know the one … a mutt named Bob, of all things, … and needs help walking him occasionally. You could do that … on the weekends. I’d even come with you. I love dogs!”

“Then why don’t you walk him?”

“We’re not talking about me. I have plenty to be getting on with. You, on the other hand, need more exercise that doesn’t involve you throwing yourself across a grass court and getting injured in the process.” Abby paused in an effort to appear thoughtful rather than nagging. “Once you’re walking better you might approach Mr. Samuels to see if you can help him with Bob. He’d probably appreciate that.”

“Who? Mr. Samuels, or Bob?”

“Both, I dare say …” Abby grinned and made a beeline for the front door.

Without thinking Martin poured cold syrup onto his hot waffle and reluctantly admitted to himself that Abby was probably right ~ that he had overextended himself. At 51 he was no longer a spring chicken and should probably limit himself to more casual physical pursuits. Golf wasn’t so bad as an option. Neither was walking the neighbour’s dog.

“Abby, where are you going?”

Abby stopped, sighed and turned to look with affection at her deflated fiancé.

“To quote the great Gloria Pritchett ~ and I thought we still had a few years until the mind started to go.” She smiled, “Here … let me make you a fresh waffle and heat up your maple syrup first before I pick up my package.”

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Broken

Daily Prompt: Childhood Revisited

Sure, you turned out pretty good, but is there anything you wish had been different about your childhood? If you have kids, is there anything you wish were different for them?

~*~

“You ask such loaded questions,” Valerie reacted with a hint of chilliness in her voice. “I’m not sure I want to go there.”

“I don’t mean anything by it,” Adam tried to explain innocently. “I just want to get to know you a little better, that’s all.”

Valerie shuffled in her tippy seat at the small cafe table situated on uneven paving stones and stared off into the distance. How could she tell this new lovely man in her life, with whom she’d already been so defensive, that her childhood had not been perfect. That emotional isolation and abuse had formed her and that every day she lived with the self-imposed shame that someone would find out. She took another deep breath and turned her attention back to the eager young suitor sitting opposite.

“Please forgive me, there are just some aspects of my life I’m not willing to share with you. Not yet anyway.” She curled her lips into a pout and took a sip of coffee. “We don’t know each other well enough for me to feel comfortable showing you …” she hesitated. Was the very thing she didn’t want to demonstrate about to reveal itself if she completed this spoken thought.

“Yes?” Adam looked into Valerie’s big, brown, softening eyes that both pleaded for and rejected empathy.

Valerie pinched her lips together and finally decided to take the direct route.

“Look, my childhood was troubled. I practically raised myself emotionally which is why I can be so volatile sometimes. So, if you wonder if I wish my formative years had been different I would say yes. I wish I’d had at least one emotionally stable adult in my life on a consistent basis. One I could trust. That would have made a huge difference. As it is, I’m in my 30s and still find myself floundering my way through stuff that should be really straight forward.” Trembling, she took another sip of coffee and looked him straight in the eye. “I have found that once I open myself up in this way men usually leave.”

Adam sighed. Clearly Valerie was a beautiful, yet complicated, woman. They were only on their third casual date but there was something intriguing about her, and even this obviously difficult revelation on her part could not dissuade him from pursuing her.

“You must think me shallow,” he observed sadly, his gaze never wavering. “But I assure you that as long as you’ll give me a chance, I’m not going anywhere.”

Valerie’s shoulders dropped, all tension seemingly released. She smiled weakly and struggled with her words.

“You must promise me one thing, Adam. … One thing … ”

“Yes, Valerie. Anything.”

Valerie considered for a moment. Was this a man worth giving a chance? There was only one way to find out.

“Okay, Adam, you must promise me you will always be a man of your word. That you will resist the temptation to make promises you cannot possibly keep, and never give me cause to doubt you.”

Adam watched the emotional machinations at work in Valerie’s face even though she was trying so hard to hold back. The twitching corners of her lips; the tears welling up in her eyes and spilling into pools in her mascara-laden eyelashes. Here was a tender soul searching for something he knew he could give ~ emotional strength and stability born out of love. Yes, he already knew it was love, but he had no intention of scaring her with that notion. It would wait.

“Valerie, I know we’re just starting out in our relationship,” he paused as she discreetly blew her nose and dabbed gently at the corners of her eyes, “but I want you to know that there is nothing I want more than to be a source of happiness for you. I understand you more than you know and I’m also aware, from my own experiences, of what it takes to allow yourself to be vulnerable to another. I will not abuse the trust you put in me. I promise.” Adam reached across the table for her hand and Valerie allowed him to take it.

“Thank you, Adam,” she smiled. “And I will do my best to … to be open with you. I promise.”

After a contemplative moment of silence Adam had a suggestion.

“Want to blow this popsicle stand and check out the fair in Schomberg? I hear there’s cotton candy.” He smiled widely, his eyes inviting her to step back in time and free the broken child.

Valerie’s own eyes brightened.

“Oh yes, let’s go!”

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Green-Eyed Misery

Daily Prompt: Green-Eyed Lady

We all get jealous from time to time —
what wakes the green-eyed monster for you?

~*~

“Will you look at that?” Rodney swooned as a Signature Red Tesla whizzed by down the boulevard. “What I wouldn’t give to get my hands on one of those babies. I’m so envious of that guy. He must be rich, or something.”

Sasha watched the object of his affection round the corner and disappear. “I used to be envious of others,” she said absently as Rodney began to calculate out loud what he’d have to forfeit in his life to afford his dream car.

“I test drove one, you know,” he smiled in memory, ignoring her. “Smooth as butter with a rocket booster. I want one so bad I can hardly stand it. It’s just eating me up inside.”

“And that’s why I gave up being envious,” Sasha said aloud to the unhearing. “I got tired of focusing on such negative energy. By all means, if you want one go for it, but don’t envy someone else for what they have. You don’t know what kind of sacrifices he needed to make in order to buy that car. Not everyone who owns a horse, as they say, is rich.”

Rodney stopped his ruminations. “Sasha, what are you saying? Don’t you ever wish you had something that belongs to someone else? Don’t you ever feel envy?”

Sasha thought for a moment before responding.

“Of course I do. But I don’t dwell on it. I don’t like what that feeling does to me.  When that green-eyed monster rears its ugly head I want to lop it off, impale it on a spike and do the happy dance. I don’t like harbouring this negative beast. I need those waters for more buoyant vessels.”

“Man, you’re so poetic when you speak. I envy that in you.”

“Rodney!!! Do you even hear yourself? Have you not heard a single word I’ve said?” Sasha barked stopping in her tracks on the busy street. Rodney stopped with her. “Don’t envy me,” Sasha demanded. “Uncover your own poetry. The energy you waste on envy could be used to help create the very circumstances you need to manifest your dream ~ be it a car or a single poetic line of thought. I don’t want to feel the burden of your envy, it destroys my ability to enjoy what I have because you make me feel guilty for having it.”

“But I don’t mean it that way,” he defended.

“Of course you don’t, but even as flattery it carries a bad vibe.” Sasha hesitated, not sure if she wanted to take this to the next level. But then she recalled past misery in the arms of her jealous first husband and decided it was time to set things straight before this relationship went any further. “I won’t marry a jealous man. I’ve already been down that road and I won’t go there again.” She twisted the diamond engagement ring on her finger and shuddered.

Rodney’s thoughts stumbled. “Are you … serious?” he finally said, tripping over his words while looking into her forthright, steady brown eyes.

“You know I am. We’ve been together almost two years. When have I ever lied to you? My integrity is not in question. What’s in question is why you are so insecure about your self that you have to lust over what doesn’t belong to you.” She exhaled. “Look, Rodney, I love you, and I do believe we have a future together. However, if you can’t curb that green-eyed monster lurking in there,” she poked at his chest, ” we shall have to re-think this relationship. I’m not sharing my heart with a monster. Monsters squelch all joy, all happiness. I will not travel that road again … not with you; not with anyone.” Sasha turned away and let out a deep sigh. “A little self-awareness goes a long way, Rodney, and I’m beginning to sense you don’t have as much as I thought. This isn’t an ultimatum, but you need to think about your next step, because I certainly am.”

And, feeling a sad confidence, Sasha walked away leaving Rodney, and his green-eyed monster, in her wake.

~*~

A bit of free-writing here.

No two ways about it … the green-eyed monster is an expert at dispensing misery.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015 

Hair Everywhere

Menagerie

Do you have animals in your life? If yes, what do they mean to you? If no, why have you opted not to?

~*~

Animals have always been an important part of my life. I grew up with a variety of dogs and cats in the house, and was around horses for many of my formative years.

In fact, I cannot imagine my life without them.

Well, I can, because for a few years during my first marriage to a man who didn’t particularly care for animals (that should have been my first clue) I lived without animals. No cats to purr in my ear. No dogs to wipe their wet noses on my business clothes. No horses to whinny at me when I walked into the barn.

Our home was spotless, pet hair-free and dull. I was miserable.

When my mother gave me a kitten, Oskar, for my 32nd birthday, my husband was mortified. When we moved into our new home and I rescued a kitten, (Princess ~ so named because she came home the weekend Princess Diana died) to be a companion for Oskar, that caused even more grief.

Needless to say the marriage ended (for a variety of reasons) and I got custody of my precious feline friends who kept my emotional head above water during a really turbulent time.

And that can be said of all the animals I’ve inn my life. Through thick and thin they are there … all they ask in return is that I give them love, feed their tummies and keep a roof over their heads. They are amazing companions.

I love them dearly for all they are to me and my new husband.

Interesting story about this one … when we were dating the animals were smitten. It wasn’t uncommon to see him park himself on the couch and immediately be surrounded in little animals. I couldn’t get anywhere near him.  This was a sign to me that he was a keeper.

So now, we have a house sprinkled with dog and cat hair, and I smell of horses every single day.

I couldn’t be happier …

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

The Language Broker

 Daily Prompt: Take that, Rosetta!

If you could wake up tomorrow and be fluent in any language you don’t currently speak, which would it be? Why? What’s the first thing you do with your new linguistic skills?

~*~

“You mean I have to choose … just one?” Sadie sat with her arms folded, a pout kissing her rouged lips. “But I’m travelling all over Europe, and I need to have every language if I’m going to do it properly. I want to buy the complete package of languages, please.”

Jorge, the language broker, understood her frustration. He’d seen it all before. Intrepid travellers strutting into his little language shop wanting the complete language package but not understanding how it worked.

“Look,” he responded with all charm tinged in Spanish melody, “The complete package comes one language at a time. You cannot buy them all at once. It is too overwhelming. You will need to pick a country … a language.”

Sadie sighed. Perhaps she was biting off more than she could chew. She looked in her purse and pulled out a treasured, tattered map of Europe. How long had she wished to travel to its many richly textured countries and savour its culinary delights with the advantage of knowing each of its many languages.  The language broker’s magical powers would make it possible, yet not as she’d imagined.

“If I buy a language from you, you can guarantee overnight delivery ~ however it is you do it ~ and it’s mine for life?”

“Yes, this is so,” Jorge, a master of languages, confirmed.

“And I will be fluent?”

“Si.”

“And then I can come back at a future time and buy another language exactly the same way, and it would be mine for life as well?”

“Again, this is so.” Jorge smiled. “You can have as many languages as you wish, but I cannot give them to you all at once. Information overload, you understand.”

Sadie was, indeed, beginning to understand. She really wanted to soak in all there was to experience in the many countries on her bucket list, but perhaps she had been thinking of going about it the wrong way. Her life was about travel now. She had all the time in the world. Why shouldn’t she take one country, and language, at a time and truly savour all it had to offer.

“Señor Jorge, you have helped me to see the light,” Sadie smiled in return. “I will, in fact, only invest in one language at this time, since it is mine to keep forever and I can add others in the future.” She reached into her wallet for a credit card. “You say your language impression code takes only a couple of hours during sleep to implant and is completely harmless?”

“Completely,” he assured.

“Any other people around when it happens?”

“You may have as many people in the room as you wish,” Jorge detected a hint of vulnerability. “You need not worry. My methods are non-invasive and restorative. You will feel better when you awaken then you did before you slept. A whole new world will open up to you. Now … what is your language of choice?”

Sadie felt a conflict of nations roaring inside her, but knew in her heart what she wanted.

“Italy, please. I want to speak Italian.”

“Italia ! Buona scelta. Posso andare avanti subito. Amerai l’Italia ei suoi tesori di storia e molti e bei luoghi.”*

“Huh?”

Jorge smiled. “Tomorrow you will understand.”

He reached for her credit card.

~*~

Yes, Italian would be my language of choice. I would love to listen to Italian opera and understand what’s being sung without English subtitles. Not to mention I love the country, its food and its history. How many more reasons do I need?

Grazie per la visita …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2015

*Italy! Good choice. I can get on that right away. You will love Italy and its history and many treasures and beautiful sites.

The Writer

Daily Prompt: The Show Must Go On

If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!)

~*~

“Cut! … What do you mean I can’t be the writer? Isn’t that the role the lead performer … and that would be me … is playing in this epic tale of the lost alphabet?”

“Huh?”

“Look … the script clearly shows that the lead performer plays the role of a writer searching for a lost alphabet deep in the heart of … well, you know all that, but I wish you’d get your other facts straight. I’m playing the part of distinguished wordsmith, Avery Happirighter, so I do believe she must be able to write?”

“Yes, of course, but you’ve misread the prompt. You can’t be the writer of the movie, you are the writer in the movie.”

Write old change“But if I’m the writer in the movie don’t I have some say in how the story is going to unfold? I mean, I’m a writer in search of the lost alphabet. Isn’t that going to require some writing?

“Yes … but not of the story. The story is already written. You are merely acting the  lead role of the writer.”

“Sure … so I’m the writer.”

“Yes.”

“But you’ve just told me I’m not allowed to be the writer.”

“OF THE MOVIE!!! (sigh) … You’re the writer in the movie.”

“So that means I can write.”

“In the movie.”

“Why didn’t you just say so?”

“I did.”

“I don’t recall it.”

“A few sentences ago. Now please, can we get on with you being the writer … in the movie. … From the top … “

“What am I doing again?”

“Searching for the lost alphabet.”

“I thought I was supposed to be writing.”

“You are … a writer searching for a lost alphabet. You don’t actually write anything … at least not at the beginning.”

“So, why don’t you just cast me as the writer who hires an adventurer to seek the lost alphabet so I can keep writing. Is Harrison Ford available?”

~*~

I had fun with this …

Thanks for visiting,

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015

Lies

Daily Prompt: Whoa!

~*~

“I don’t understand you. What are you saying?”

The delinquent one stares me down with vacancy in his eyes. It’s as if I’m looking at a ghost; an empty shell of a man I once knew who is no more. He’s returned following weeks away studying for his masters degree. It’s Christmas break, and my birthday, and he’s made this haunting pronouncement.

“I don’t know if I love you anymore. I don’t know if I’ve ever really loved you.”

The world I know is crumbling beneath my feet.

“What? What do you mean?” I clutch the bannister for support.

“I haven’t thought about you at all while I’ve been away. You don’t mean anything to me anymore.”

Now the room is spinning.

Five years! Five years of my life; my heart; my devotion given to a man who doesn’t know if he’s ever really loved me. My knees wobble. What is happening? After all that I’ve done. All that I’ve sacrificed. What have I been living? An illusion? Did I marry an ideal and not a man?

“I can’t be here,” I mutter to myself. Brush past him and run upstairs. Slam the door to our room, throw myself on the non-marital bed. He’s been home two days and detonated a bomb of lies in my heart. I am blown away by his deceit. My carefully protected world falling in shrapnel pieces about me.

A torrent of pain floods the plains of my face as my mind spins with the surreal knowledge I am not loved. Not loved by a man who’d said for years he’d loved me.

Lies!! All lies ~ the memory of which tears at what’s left of my broken heart and plunges me into an abyss of despair the depths of which cannot be measured.

And he’s so not worth it.

~*~

In my experience life appears surreal after some kind of shock, good or otherwise, to the system.

I’ve known both. This fictional rendition of a real event is the first that came to mind.

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

©Dorothy Chiotti … Aimwell CreativeWorks 2015