My 200 word response to the writing prompt ’21’ at WritingThe200
Having just turned on the OPEN sign, Cordelia settled in for another day of waiting for walk-ins. A sudden procession of rushing sirens were doing a fine job were wearing down her attempts to stay calm, peaceful and positive.
Refusing to let the commotion outside affect her, she cranked up a go to feel good song, moved to the center of the struggling boutique, and was just starting in on her dance, eyes closed, palms to the sky, when the front door opened.
A man, young enough to have been her child if she ever had one, was radiating fear and panic as he stared her down, gripping a canvas bag in one hand, pointed gun in the other.
Cordelia shook her head as she danced toward the intruder, gestured for him to drop his belongings, placed her hands on his cold cheeks.
For the next two minutes they moved to the music, joined in repeating the chorus, believing the words.
When it ended, he calmly retrieved his bag, placed a stack of bills beside the gun left lying on the floor, and walked away. Peering through cracked blinds, she watched him board the 21 Metro, pushed the replay button.
The first piece written in response to WritingThe200 on 1/3/2016
Pleased to meet him she wasn’t. All picked over scabs from an inherited disease, the new boss delivered a cartful of brown tinged reports, each requiring immediate attention. He disappeared onto the sales floor, greeted by cheers and roaring laughter.
Her first task, as far as she could discern, was to read the market analysis of proposed branding logos. By the end of the day she chose the tilted F. It did well in research groups, was simple and easy to reproduce in various sizes.
Closer inspection of the chosen design revealed subtle intricacies; each bold line was made up of contorted stick figures that would prove an accurate depiction of the organization when it all came crashing down eight years later. No one was laughing in the unemployment line except the scarred man who handed her a severance check for a job well done.
Ten years later, after other scandals erased public memory of her previous employer, she received a phone call from the old boss’s son. He was starting a company, wanted her in to head up the marketing department. Her first directive would be to develop a logo for Global Energy Traders. She had just the thing.
My 200 word offering to the writing prompt ‘Passion’ at WritingThe200
It wasn’t an A city. It was more of a B city. The locals even took to referring to Black Rock Flats as Bee City, based mostly on the preponderance of passionate backyard beekeepers. Despite the poor soil and dry conditions, gardens flourished for miles around. In a town where hovering bees were a constant presence, cats and dogs learned quick to mind their own business where the fuzzy bumblers were concerned.
Annual summer festivals featured a honey taste off where everyone and their neighbor rented a booth to peddle jars of sweet stuff alongside drizzled over plates of waffles, chicken legs, and ice cream.
It was just a matter of time before the retired circus bears got wind of the community, rolled into town on squeaky unicycles to assess the offerings. On the first day of festival, they arrived en masse, waited patiently in line with their pension checks to buy out each vendor’s stock before passing out drunk in the adjacent meadow. They eventually stirred, stumbled around, sniffed out hives and wreaked havoc before franticly peddling back to their hillside dens. The locals, busy counting their sticky money, never noticed the tornados of swarming angry bees forming overhead.
My 200 word offering to the writing prompt ‘Remains’ at WritingThe200
Six octogenarians play Mah Jong every afternoon before retreating to their rooms where careful selection is made of appropriate outfits for dinner at six.
Their two male counterparts hunch like hibernating bears in easy chairs at the far end of the room, waiting for the biddies to exit so they can shuffle to the table for a quick game of pinch the wait staff.
The woman re-emerge donning finery, and everyone is served by the minimum wage attendants. The blue hairs exchange lofty remarks referencing status held in younger days meant only to impress each other, long reconciled to the fact that the gentlemen among them bring nothing to the table but the slurping of soup through missing dentures.
When the plates are cleared someone takes to the piano as the men waddle back to their designated seats of permanent indifference. The ladies sing along, occasionally rise to dance with imaginary partners from cotillions past. Arthritic limbs determine the end to the evening activities.
When the music stops they return to their separate rooms finding beds turned down signifying another day passing without visitors. Night creams applied, they settle in for restless sleep, staring into the shadows of what remains.