Writers often use prompts to get their imagination going. Each month Writers Cafe meets to write from a prompt. Once announced, the timer is set, and we write for 16 minutes plus 1 (it’s a long story). Sharing our words follows, along with surprise, laughter, tears, critique, encouragement, and learning.
April, 2014 the member in charge of finding a prompt set this challenge.
Write something that incorporates the following phrases:
“I’ve nothing pressing to take my time today.”
“That’s the story I hear everywhere I go.”
“I can’t do this anymore.”
This was my effort…
The news rambled in the background as Kate mashed a pot of potatoes in the kitchen.
“Can’t you turn that down, Evan?” she called to the old man, even though she knew he wouldn’t hear her over the blare of the news anchor. Why did she even bother? She smashed the potatoes a little harder. “I can’t do this anymore,” she muttered to herself.
Suddenly, surprising even herself, she pounded the masher one more time into the pot, left the handle sticking out of the white mass, and marched into the living room.
“Evan!” she shouted.
Her husband’s hairy brows crouched into his bifocals, indicating awareness, but he remained riveted on the television.
“Evan!” she pronounced again, this time moving towards the end table.
His hand slid off the arm of the chair and came to rest on the conveniently placed remote. “Not right now, Kate,” he pronounced firmly. “I want to hear what this fella has to say.”
“Hear what he has to say? The whole neighbourhood can hear what he has to say.”
“Ah, yes. But I have nothing pressing to take my time today.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?” Kate queried, shaking her head.
“Just that I have the time to focus on this right now. Besides, that’s the story I hear everywhere I go.”
“What is?” she asked, perplexed.
“That the neighbourhood is going astray.”
“I didn’t say that,” Kate protested, frustration building. “I said the whole neighbourhood can hear your TV. Turn that darn thing down so you can hear me.”
“Hear you? I can hear every word, my dear.”
“Well, what did I say. Tell me,” she demanded.
“You said the neighbourhood is going to hear about all this stuff on the news.”
“I did not. I said they can hear the news, our TV’s news because you’ve got it on so loud.”
“Well, yeah. Which means they’re going to hear what’s on the news.”
“But they shouldn’t hear it from our TV. They should hear it from their own TV.”
“Why would they want to hear our TV when they have their own?” Evan finally turned and looked at Kate. Purposefully, and with exaggerated motions, he lifted the remote, aimed it like a pistol at the television, and pushed mute.
“Now, what’s this about the neighbours needing to hear their TVs?” he questioned the woman fuming in the doorway.
“It’s not their TV’s!” Kate nearly shouted. “It’s your TV. It’s too loud! You need to…”
Suddenly a hiss and a sizzle bubbled behind her as the vegetables boiled over. “Oh no!” Spinning around, she grabbed the pot handle. “Eeyoww! My hand!” Shoving the pot off the burner, she rushed to the sink, holding her hand under a blast of cold water. Tears flooded her eyes. “I can’t do this anymore. I just can not do this anymore.”
Behind her she felt a pair of thin, wrinkled arms wrap around her waist. “Let me look, my dear,” Evan said, gently turning her hand so he could see the angry red tissue. “I’m a pain of an old man, Kate. I know that. But I love you, darling. I love you with all my heart. What can I do to help?”
Hand dripping, she turned, unmoved by his expression of love.
“You can put your doggone hearing aid on!” she blurted. “And then you can have some dinner.”