Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Prompt: Investigative reporter, boxer, camping trip, awfully big shoes to fill

Jared slept slumped down in in his car seat, head dropped back, mouth open. I couldn’t stop looking in my rear-view mirror, and I wondered how Carol ever got anything done. Had she stared at him like I was now? Like he was the most beautiful thing, the most terrifying thing, she’d ever seen?

How had she done it? She always made it seem so effortless, carrying him on one hip while she danced around the living room and into the kitchen. She even made the mundane seem exotic, like cooking and putting away the dishes, or folding the laundry, tossing it in the air to let it float down over his head. Everything she did made him laugh. He hadn’t laughed once since I’d come home.

Neither had I. What would it take for either of us to smile again? Bongo snorted on the passenger seat next to me and rolled onto his back, pawing the air as he chased a dream rabbit, perhaps. At least I knew he would enjoy this camping trip.

It had seemed like a great idea when my brother called and suggested we get out of town after the funeral and meet him up at Manzanita. I shook my head, glancing at the map on my phone. What had I been thinking? I hadn’t been camping in twenty years, not since I went off to college. And I bet changing diapers was going to be great fun out in the wilderness. Wonder how long it will take Jared to put a bug in his mouth…

Suddenly I was flashing back to the first summer we met. Carol was a bio major, and her class had setup white sheets in the middle of the quad to capture night-flying moths and other insects. I had my nose in a book as always, and walked right into one of the sheets. The other students yelled, but she laughed as she untangled me, and said I was the most unusual critter she’d ever caught.

Tears blurred my vision, as I slowed down to a crawl going around the next curve. I glanced back at Jared once more and drifted to a stop on the side of the road. Leaned my head onto the steering wheel. I couldn’t do it. I can’t do it, Carol. I can’t do it without you…

Dogs in house

Christina Perry, “Thousand Years”

Time writing
15 minutes

January word count


  1. Nice work, Margaret. There's a real sense of loss and uncertainty that you put in here.

  2. My heart fell after the word funeral and I had tears in my eyes by the end. Excellent emotion.

  3. Writing report:
    Novel editing, Ch 17 tentatively finished (I know that means absolutely nothing to anybody but me, but I feel I have to say something at least mildly descriptive).

    Time: ~25 minutes

    1. Oh, I commented what I was doing on your Jan 1 blog, but I just realised this may seem senseless as I only made that comment today!

      I'm trying to both keep up with your blog and make my writing a bit more social by commenting on my editing progress.

    2. That's great progress, Anne. Welcome back! Keep up the great work!