Thursday, January 8, 2015

Prompt: You invite 3 of your friends who’ve never met, but you don’t show up

Hat/tip to

It’s been far too long!
Come and join me for a girls’ weekend.
July 17-19, 2017
Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel
Playa Bavaro, Bavaro, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Reservations on my account

Cheri waited for the driver to open her door and hold out his gloved hand for her. She tucked the card back in her purse, the words long memorized, and let him draw her from the limousine. Ever since she’d landed in the Punta Cana airport, she’d had the increasing feeling she was caught in a dream.

She’d spied the driver holding her name on a placard as she descended the escalator toward the baggage claim area. He’d already pulled her bags – how had he known? – and gestured toward the long row of glass doors. She wished she’d picked up a few more Spanish phrases on the way down, but once he had her settled in the limousine, he was content to listen to salsa music as the drove through the beautiful countryside.

By the time they reached the hotel, Cheri was feeling used to the heat and the beauty, but not the grandeur of the Iberostar. She hadn’t stayed any place like this since the last time she saw her parents. Clutching her purse, she waited as the driver snapped his fingers for a valet to pick up her bags. Another valet bowed, greeting her in impeccable French. “Welcome, Mademoiselle. Please follow me. Your rooms are ready for you now.”

Rooms? Oh my…


Stephanie sat on a shaded chaise lounge by the pool, paging through the medical journal she’d optimistically brought to read on the plane. The young man who’d brought her two drinks already walked over with a third in his hand, his walk more like a dance to music she couldn’t hear. He leaned over and set the drink on her table, flashing a bright smile. “That’s not the kind of thing people usually bring to read here. There’s not a conference this weekend. Are you here for work or play?”

Stephanie arched a brow and told herself he was not flirting with her. “I’m here for play. I’m always working,” she said with a straight face. He laughed, throwing his head back, and she ducked her attention away from his dark hair and brown skin to the dry text she couldn’t concentrate enough to finish.

Standing and wrapping a sheer scarf around her waist, she nodded to the young man and picked up the fresh drink. Carrying it toward the hotel lobby, she spied a newcomer and changed course to cross her path.

Holding out the drink, she smiled. “I’m guessing you’re one of Margaret’s friends. I’m Steph.”

The other woman stopped short and looked around in surprise. With a skeptical expression, she accepted the drink. “I’m Cheri. Have you seen Margaret yet?”

“No. I arrived late last night. Breakfast in bed and a trip to the pool is all I’ve managed so far. Have you seen your rooms yet?”

Cheri laughed and sipped her drink. “Oh, yes.”


The two women chatted as they walked around the hotel grounds. Returning to the lobby, they decided on a poolside lunch. Steph’s flirtatious young host seated them where they could see the broad staircase from the lobby, as they kept an eye out for their mutual friend.

As they finished their flan and sipped coffee, they saw a petite woman with waist-length hair pause at the top of the stairs before descending. She walked in a diagonal down the steps until she reached the left  bannister, then turned and continued down on her diagonal path.

“That must be one of Margaret’s friends,” Steph and Cheri said at the same time. When they burst out laughing, the woman looked up, tripping on the bottom step and recovering with a spin onto the patio.

“Definitely!” Cheri said. They waved her over…

Note: Too slow? On a second pass, I’d like to present the mystery sooner. But if the three women arrive separately and don’t know each other, how best to handle their introductions – to the reader and to each other? Or can even more description of the beautiful environment be sufficient to keep the reader engaged for a long slow opening? What do you think?


And so, with a loving heart, I offer you
I’ve heard many translations. Here’s my favorite:
The light of the universe that shines within me recognizes
the light of the universe that shines within you.


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