“Peanuts,” she said.
“Peanuts,” said Kessi, throwing her purse and jacket on a chair and plopping herself down next to Rhonda on the couch. “Peanuts.”
“Oh, Kess,” I’m so sorry. He seemed like such a nice guy, too. Polite, good job, really hot. Darn.”
“Aw, it’s okay. He was fun, though. I’ll miss that.”
“Uh-oh. ‘Miss that?’ Sounds like you aren’t going to see him again,” said Rhonda.
“Nope. Peanuts,” said Kessi.
“You know, there’s always Jeremy in 8-E. He’s cute. I don’t what he does for a living, but he seems to do okay. And the way he hangs around here, well, I think he might be interested.”
“Puh-leeze, Rhonda. If you think Jeremy’s such a big deal, why don’t you date him?”
“Not my type,” said Rhonda. “More like yours.”
“Nah, not interested. Think I’ll just give up on men.”
“That’s what you said last year and the year before. Come on, Kess. Don’t give up. You’ll find the right one some day.”
Rhonda looks up from her book as her roommate Kessi comes in the door. She raises her eyebrows, and says, “Peanuts?”
Kessi shrugs, but doesn’t answer. She hangs her coat in the closet, drops her purse on the chair, and plops down on the couch..
“Dang, Kess. I really thought Dirk was the one. I’m so sorry.”
“Yeah, me too. I really hoped so, too. What is it with men and peanuts?”
“Beats me. Oh, your dad called. They want to know if you’re tired of the big city yet, and when you’re coming home to the farm.”
“You know, Rhonda, maybe I should just hang it up and go home. Be a farm hand the rest of my life out in Nowhere, North Dakota.”
“Kess, you know that isn’t what you want. Keep your chin up. You got a promotion at work and you love your job. I saw Jeremy this afternoon in the laundry room. He asked after you.”
“Okay, okay. Just saying.”
“You aren’t going out tonight?” asks Rhonda.
“Nope. I’m done with it. I’ve given up. Men just don’t listen. They think only about themselves. They ask questions and then pretend they’re interested in the answers, but they aren’t and they don’t remember.”
“Come on, Kess. All men aren’t like that.”
A knock sounds at the door. Rhonda looks at Kessi, who makes no move to answer it, so she goes herself.
“Oh, hi, Jeremy. Come on in.”
“Hi, Rhonda. Thanks,” says Jeremy, looking at Kessi. “Umm, Kessi, I… I brought you something for Valentine’s Day.” He walks over to the couch and hands the box of See’s chocolates to Kessi.
Kessi seems to collapse into herself. “Jeremy, I appreciate the thought, but I can’t….”
“I made sure there weren’t any peanuts in them,” says Jeremy. “I know you’re allergic to them, so I made sure.”
Kessi looks at Jeremy, that at the box in her hands, then back at Jeremy. “How did you know?”
“You said something to Rhonda once a couple years ago, when we were all in the laundry room. I remembered. Kessi, would you like to go for a drink, or a snack, or something? I mean, it’s not too late, and it’s Valentine’s Day.”
Kessi took another look at Jeremy, and seemed to see him with different eyes. “I would, Jeremy. I really would. Let me change out of these jeans, and I’ll be ready.”
(Well, now. This was insipid.)
Not insipid. You just have the deep winter blues. I liked your dialogue, the repetition, the structrue, and your imagination. Plus I kept reading to see why she continued to say, “peanuts.”
If I had given you a word like “Touche!” I’m sure the story would have been quite different.
I was hoping that I would embarrass the muse enough that she would make a rare appearance, but no, she’s still off on her walkabout.
John and Martha witnessed a lot of strange things since moving into Darksculptures neighborhood. But today took the cake.
“What the heck is going on out there,” Martha said, slamming her book down on the end table and heading toward the back door.
“I don’t know but they are making a heck of a ruckus, whoever it is.” John replied.
Martha threw the sliding glass door open with such force it jumped back from the doorsill pinching her piggy toe as she attempted to step across the threshold.
“Son of a biscuit!”
“Teaches you right for making such a fuss,” John laughed under his breath.
Martha headed across the yard to the six-foot white vinyl fence and peered through the crack in the gate, “John come quick! You’re never going to believe this,” She hollered, holding one eye up to the crack like a Peeping Tom.
“What now?” John grumbled. “This better be good.”
John made his way across the yard and peered over the top of the gate.
“Is that who I think it is?” Martha asked.
John couldn’t believe what he saw, “My God! Is that Gully’s muse?”
“I think it is.”
“What the heck is she doing in that jacked-up pickup truck?”
“Looks like she’s doing donuts in DS’s front yard.”
John looked down at the top of Martha’s head, “Well I can see that,” he said. “But, what the heck is she doing that for? And who is that with her?”
Martha tilted her head to get a better look, “I think it’s DS’s muse.”
“Looks to me like they’ve been doing a little partying. Is that an Old Milwaukee can flying out of the truck?”
“Yeah, and Peanuts! Looks like DS’s muse has been teaching Gully’s how to vacation — Southern Style.”
“Good Greif, no wonder Gully has been in such a rut. We better call her and tell her what’s been going on in Florida.” John said, grabbing Martha by the hand and leading her back into the house.
“I’m not making that call. Gully’s gonna be really mad.”
“Nah, she’s likely just to say ‘PEANUTS’ and book a flight down to Florida.”
“Ok, I’ll make the call.”
A few moments and three rings later Gully picked up the phone.
“Hey Gully, It’s Martha. You better sit down darlin’. John and I have something to tell you.”
My first laugh-out-loud of the day! Send that little rascal on home. She’s already been to Disney World.
It’s insidious; it may be on your shelf. It threatens our very existence, and especially the children’s.
What do I do? How do I cope? It’s a part of my daily life. How do I know if it is safe? Who has the answer?
Is it a cover-up? How does it spread? I watch the news to get the most up to date information.
Is it in my area? What happens if my kids get it while at school? What will happen to them? Will they die? How could this happen?
“Peanuts,” she says.
You guys are good! I’m a great fan of stories that weave in old tales and old characters. Gullie’s muse seems to be one of those! John and Martha are always around to draft into service. Good one DS.
And Parrot! As I tried to figure out the threat here, the only one I could come up with was reproductive insufficiency. (If I state it that way, it doesn’t sound like my mind is back in the morgue with John’s toe tag.)
Well, I was writing about the peanut and peanut butter contamination recall, but your story idea sounds like more fun!
I used this bricolage to finish a story I started last wek on my blog. It’s too long to post here, but if you’d like to read it, check out my post on Tuesday. 🙂
oops…a story I started last WEEK on my blog.
John took Kate to one of those old fashion steak houses where they feed you peanuts instead of a salad while you wait for your meal. John was going through the peanuts like Obama through the budget, when Kate spoke up.
“I’ve known you a long while haven’t I?”
“Only since I was born, big sis. That sounds like a trick question or am I in for a lecture?” John wiped the peanut hulls on the floor with a swipe of his hand. “I wish I could do that at home, it might improve that old worn out carpet.”
“Why don’t you ask her?” Kate looked into his vacant eyes.
“Oh, she’d never let me throw peanut hulls on the floor, she barely lets me walk on it.” John looked around the room as he spoke, “It really doesn’t even feel like my house anymore.”
“Maybe it’s time she moved out. You know, as time passes us by we change and those we love change also.” Kate popped a peanut into her mouth and choked on the dry skin.
“Do I need to do the hineylick on you? I’d rather not if I don’t have to.” John smile for the first time in weeks.
Kate drank down her sweetened ice tea and her color slowly turned back to normal. “No, I’m alright now. Whew, that could really jack a fella up. Now back to the subject, you need to tell her to get out.”
‘I’d really like to sis,” John said as he ran the lemon around the lip of his glass, “but she doesn’t have anywhere else to go and Mom already said she won’t come live with you.”
Great job at holding out until the very last line. Loved it!
Great ending- wouldn’t have guessed it! Thought for sure it was Martha that she was trying to ditch.
I’ve been away from the action for so long… Work has me busy. I’m still writing, though not nearly as prolifically or creatively as I would like. But that may be about to change…
E gave me the greatest compliment last night – he said he loves that I’m writing (even though he hasn’t read much of my writing and doesn’t know where to find my blog). Maybe he gave me an itty-bitty hint? I have to be careful – I don’t want to read too much into it and put my sensitive soul out there to be rejected). I haven’t formally shared my blog address with him, and we all know it’s not the easiest to remember (I have a hard time with it myself).
E’s words awakened my writing bug. I want to write creatively. And I want to be published (again). I wrote an article for a travel magazine a long, long time ago – does that even count? So, what do I do? Where do I go from here? I guess it all goes back to my constant struggle with self doubt and fear of rejection. It’s time to toughen up and take a risk.
Step 1: share blog with E. What’s the worst that can happen? He won’t like it? Oh, well. Not everyone is going to like my writing – c’est la vie. And E should be flattered by what he reads in my blog…
Step 2: not sure yet. I really want to take Ann’s new class. I have a couple ideas for queries… maybe some psychotherapy? Better yet, JUST WRITE.
I agree with your last comment Zelda, — JUST WRITE! If you’re looking to jump back into the market, there are lots of magazines that put out subjects on which they’d like essays for their upcoming issues. Depending on the publication, they ask for anywhere between 250 and 1,000 words. It can be a real challenge to get your story across in the shorter formats, but it’s loads of fun and some of them actually pay you for your efforts. Just a suggestion. …and yes, of course your article still counts!
“Is that all?” he asked.
“They’re the best part,” she said.
“I hope you don’t mind waiting. They always settle at the bottom, you know,” he said.
“I’m fine,” she said. She tried not to drool as he ripped open the box of Cracker Jack.
Love this, especially the drooling part! I remember trying to scarf up as many as possible before my sister got to them.
I get the prize, in the box of Cracker Jack that is
You’ll look cute with an itty bitty smiley face tattoo on your cheek. (Which cheek is up to you, Walk.)
“I’m sorry I ate all your peanuts.” the pastor said to the elderly lady he was visiting.
“Oh, that’s alright,” she replied, “I sucked all the chocolate off them this morning.”
Let us pray.
Today’s solution to the Crytoquote in the newspaper:
Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.
Bit of wisdom for we writer-wannabees?
“How was it watching your first professional game?”
“Mom, it was awesome. I had no idea that a game would be so much fun.” John said as he held up a baseball, “I even have a ball that NimRod hit foul and it landed at my feet.”
“At your feet? I’ve never seen a ball land at someones feet, just how did you get your ball?”
“It was great. I was sitting next to a lady that I guess was on a date. She was dressed in a short black skirt that was really short and really low cut. She really thought she was the cat’s meow as she never cheered and made fun of the people and the game. NimRod came up to bat about the same time the peanut man walked by. She jumped up and yelled that she wanted some peanuts, NimRod hit the foul ball, it came screaming back and hit her right beside the head. Thus the ball fell right at my feet.”
“Oh my! Was she hurt?”
“That’s the funny part, she laid there all sprawled out, her skirt knocked up to her waist and down to her waste, peanuts all over her, and spilt beer being soaked up in her hair. Miss High And Mighty didn’t look too lady like. That’s when I saw the ball and picked it up.”
Mom stood there with her mouth wide open, not knowing what to say.
“Then her date tried to pull her dress up and down to cover her up as her tried to wake her up by yelling at her, ‘Martha, Martha. Wake up Martha,’ but Martha was out like a light. I helped him tuck her enhancements back in when the EMTs showed up. That’s when the ole boy behind me tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘Dude, do you realize you’ve got a ball hit by NimRod? That’s awesome Dude.’ So yeah, it was a good first professional game.”
Your writing tendencies never waver, my friend. I admire your consistency!
“Popcorn,” he said.
“Cracker Jack,” Shaddy said as she shook her head and left the heated political discussion.
I get the prize, in the box of Cracker Jack that is, again.
Are you sure you want it? They don’t make ’em like they used to.
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by Ann Linquist
Available in paperback or on Kindle