Looking Up

Quilly has started a once a month Quilldancing Writing Assignment. She gives a prompt and we come up with a story based on it in 500 words or less.

I’ve had to sit out the last couple of months. My first attempt back in January was way over the word limit, and even with cutting out over 200 words, it was still over the word count. This one is a bit under — I had started it a while back and then forgot about it, so I hadn’t developed it any further until this morning. But I like it as is, so I think I am going to pronounce last time’s overage and this one’s lower count as balanced. 🙂

The prompt for today is:

As we all know, “April showers bring May flowers”. This month’s story should include a sudden rain fall and a recalcitrant umbrella. And, since this is National Poetry Month, your story should include a bit of poetry. You can write it yourself or use somebody else’s (be sure to give credit where credit is due); it can rhyme or not; as you wish. See you on the 15th!

My story:

Susan awoke with a start and looked with bleary eyes at her alarm clock. “Oh, no! That thing failed to go off again!” She needed a more reliable clock, but no time to think about that now: she flew into high gear trying to get ready for work.

Along the way, a series of small calamities multiplied her frustrations. The blouse she wanted to wear had a spot on it. In her haste making breakfast her sausage biscuit wasn’t quite warm enough before she had to wolf it down on the go. A train crossing the street out of her neighborhood delayed her even more. She couldn’t miss her boss’s scowl as she scurried to her place. She discovered they were shorthanded, and she ended up having to work through her lunch hour. Her customers seemed particularly demanding and impatient. 5:00 could not come soon enough.

When she finally clocked out, she dashed over to the electronics store to find a new alarm clock. Purchase in hand, she exited the store to discover the clouds that had been threatening all day had finally erupted into a sudden storm. As she unfolded her umbrella, she commented to herself, “I’m glad I brought this thing. At least something went right today.” She had had to park her car quite a ways away, and less than halfway there a gust of wind blew her umbrella inside out.  Cradling her purchase in her elbow, she tried to reach the mechanism on her umbrella to close it while simultaneously trying to jiggle the thing back into its proper form, all to no avail.

Soaked from her struggles, she was on the verge of either screaming or crying when she became aware that a shadow had passed over and she wasn’t feeling the rain any more. She looked up to see a large black umbrella over her. She turned around to look up into the face of its owner. Tall. Handsome. Smiling brown eyes. Crooked grin.

“You know how it is with an April day,” he said.

Her wet bangs were plastered to her forehead and dripping into her eyes. “What?”

“You know that old poem by Robert Frost? “ He quoted with a flourish:

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

She smiled. “Well, that certainly does sound like April.”

He handed her a handkerchief and asked, “Bad day?”

“It’s starting to get better.”

5 thoughts on “Looking Up

  1. THis was wonderful Barbara, makes one think of that old saying “The Kindness of Strangers”. I will be back next month to see if you continue the story.

  2. Pingback: Blogging Year in Review « Stray Thoughts

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