This Story Starts at the End: You Have to Write the Beginning

Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage.   Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten.  He snored slightly.  Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight,  opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition.  Alvin never stirred.  Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

73 responses to “This Story Starts at the End: You Have to Write the Beginning

  1. Rosemary (aka Cognitive Chaos)

    “An errand?” Greta positioned her slight frame to face Alvin and block the front door. “What is it this time? Pack of cigarettes?”
    Alvin ran a hand over his bald spot, beaded with perspiration, a dead giveaway he’d never been able to hide.
    “You’re lying,” She said. The scorn in her voice belied the ache in her heart.

  2. This would be the last time Greta would have to put up with his abuse. A relationship that everyone thought was ideal was not. On the surface Greta and Alvin seemed like a happily married couple. They had an active social life, were devote members of their church, and served on several boards for charity organizations.

    Two years into their marriage Greta found out that she could not have children and Alvin was extremely disappointed. For the first few months, after the doctor had told them they would be childless, Alvin was very supportive. But that loving support did not last long. Alvin had constantly talked about having kids, coaching them and raising them to be outstanding students. But now all that was unattainable.

    It first began with Alvin belittling Greta when they were at home alone. However it soon grew into physical abuse. Alvin would always apologize, but each time that peacefulness would only last a few days. Many times the abuse would start after an evening with friends who had children. Alvin could not stand them talking and bragging about their offspring. Alvin would, of course, listen politely, but would start early in the evening to drown his sorrows.

    This evening was especially torturous, because the visiting couple had a young man who had just been named Athlete of the Year for his high school. Greta knew that Alvin would remind her that they should have had a son he could have molded into a super athlete or the smartest student in the county. Greta could sense that Alvin had been drinking more than usual and she knew the abuse was coming at the end of the evening. Alvin would find some little thing to pick on and blow it out of proportion. Her bruises would not show, but they would be there.

    But this evening Greta had a plan. When their friends left for the evening Greta would send him out for an errand. She knew Alvin would go, because he was feeling blue and wanted to get out of the house for a few minutes. One last drink for the road would make him happy for the moment.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

  3. Greta stood at the window of the hotel room, her naked form outlined by the city lights. The city was beautiful, she thought, from the eighth story, how come she wasn’t enjoying it.

    “Are you trying to flash the world? Turn around and flash me, you know I love feasting my eyes on you,” John said with a smirk. “Why waste the short time we have looking out a window?”

    “I can’t do this anymore, John I don’t want to hurry to a room and make love and then hurry back before Alvin knows I’m gone. I just want to hold you and wake up next to you.”

    “It’s not easy on me either, I want the same thing, but if you leave Alvin, you’ll leave your inheritance, your home, everything. No, one day Alvin will do something that the court will say is reason for divorce, until then we will just have to steal these moments together.”

    Greta looked back out at the city lights, a tear ran down her cheek, now even John couldn’t make her happy. She gathered her clothes, dressed, and left for home, or more accurately, her house.

    Greta shut the overhead garage door, the ten minute drive felt like an eternity. As she walked into the kitchen, Alvin sat there with a pitcher of martinis sitting in front of him. He looked bleary eyed already, it must be his second, or third pitcher.

    “Where the hell have you been? I been waiting for hours, who the hell do you think you are?” Alvin’s veins bulged in his temples.

    “You know exactly who I am, I’m your wife, but I’m not your lover. You saw to that not telling me you were gay before we got married. Well, I have someone who is my lover, my friend, my soul mate. He is someone you never could be or wanted to be. All these lies just because you wanted to be Governor of this great state of New York, well, you made it and I got you there. Now either you come out, or I’ll tell it all to Oprah.”

    Alvin stood up on unsteady legs, “Well, I have a lover too, in fact he’s waiting on me. Goodbye bitch, don’t wait up.” Alvin staggered to the door and to his car. After a couple of minutes of not hearing the car start, she headed to the garage.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

  4. Immediately after receiving a call from her 31 year-old son informing her that he, his diva wife, 3 demon children and an iguana were moving back to live with her and husband Alvin, Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage.   Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten.  He snored slightly.  Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight,  opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition.  Alvin never stirred.  Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

  5. Greta held her leather jacket in her hands and cursed the day she hung it in the garage. She thrust two fingers through the tattered hole in the sleeve and grimaced in disgust at the expensive jacket, now ruined. Greta raised her head toward the ceiling and uttered an expletive swearing to destroy Alvin at all costs. He had to be stopped once and for all.

    Alvin had wreaked havoc in Greta’s home for the last two months. He had entered the garage when the door was left open and had decided to stay. The first thing he did was raid the trash containers, leaving wrappers and boxes all over the floor. Greta secured the containers with tight-fitting tops. Next Alvin chewed a hole in a rubber raft that was stored in the rafters. Then he gnawed the insulation from some electrical wires, and an electrician had to be called to repair the damage.

    Greta tried trapping Alvin, but he was quick and nimble and circumvented every type of trap. She tried leaving poison out but he would pass it by in favor of a savory plastic handle on a tool or shovel. At night Greta would hear Alvin running around in the attic, keeping her from her sleep.

    One day Greta went shopping, in addition to groceries, she stopped at the pharmacy to purchase Ambien to help he sleep. She was in the process of unloading the car when she got a phone call. The small bag from the drug store was left on the front seat and the passenger door was left open.

    Greta was talking to a friend on the phone and poured herself a martini. Meanwhile, Alvin scurried onto the front seat of the car and began chewing through the bag and plastic bottle that contained the sedative. He found the Ambien to his liking. When Greta finished her phone call she went to the garage and saw Alvin in the front seat. She carefully made her way to the car and closed the door. Alvin seemed not to notice the slamming of the door.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

  6. Alvin is traditionally a chipmunk, so I have chosen to imagine him as such. I trust he died with a smile on his little bitty face. Good to see you back, Waldo!

    • Hi Ann, I signed up for BWW again starting the 19th. I left writing for a while to try shoplifting and illegal substances, but I’m back writing now.

      • I’m happy to hear you will be in the February group. You can help me make trouble or keep the peace, whichever is needed. Are you going to be Waldo or keep your identity a secret, like Superman? (“Who, disguised as mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent, wages a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way.”)

  7. Krystyna Fedosejevs

    Sleepless Nights

    Greta knew about her husband’s insomnia too well. He tossed repeatedly. Sometimes jabbing his long, thick toenails in the back of her legs. Or crashing one of his fuzzy, heavy arms over her breasts when he turned. He muttered. Cursed the people in his life including her. She lay motionless pretending to be asleep. Took the punches.

    “Another sleepless night. Bet he doesn’t know he’s keeping me awake,” Greta said while visiting her friend, Tatiana.

    “Why do you put up with it? Tell him. Better still, sleep elsewhere.”

    “I suppose I should.”

    “You going ahead with the plan?”

    “I sure am. Can’t go on living a lie.”

    Greta wrapped her arms around Tatiana’s silken body. Kissed her on the lips.

    “Good,” Tatiana said breaking free. She took a deep breath. “Now get the job done.”

    When Greta returned home, she found Alvin sitting at the kitchen table hunched over a display of pill bottles.

    “Where were you? I gone to the doc, come back and you still wasn’t here.”

    “What’s all this? He prescribed so many meds?”

    “I need all the help I can get.”

    “That’s crazy. I’d rather have a stiff drink. You know how much I like those martinis you fix. How about we have one?”

    “Nope, don’t feel like it.”

    “But I do. Can you make me one?”

    Greta took out two glasses from the liquor cabinet. Alvin pushed the pills aside, assembled ingredients for the drinks.

    “That a boy,” Greta squealed. Now, don’t tell me you don’t want one too?”

    “Ok, here you go.” Alvin handed a glass to Greta. Took a sip from his.

    “Not bad, but oh …” He tilted his glass. Slurped the contents to the last drop.

    “What’s wrong?” Greta asked as she finished hers.

    “This headache. Can’t see clearly.”

    “Did you take some of those meds?”

    “A handful. Had to do something. Didn’t get any quality sleep for days.
    Oh, I can’t. Please take me to the hospital. Think I’m going to collapse.”

    Greta helped Alvin walk across the kitchen to the door leading into the attached garage. She sat him down in their sedan, the front passenger seat. Slammed the door. She heard the house phone ring. Ran back inside.

    “Had to change a few things but the result will be the same. Let you know when it’s over,” she said as she scurried towards the garage.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

    • Krystyna: I guess that the end is that Greta and Tatiana lived forever happy after Alvin was taken out of circulation.

      • Krystyna Fedosejevs

        Naturally, Lando. Such was the twisted tale of tangled love or lack of it.
        Care for a sequel?

        Krystyna

    • Krystyna, Most of the time, sequels are not as good as the original version (except for the Godfathers’)

    • Good read, Krystyna, it’s interesting in these story’s how we read them since we already know the ending.

      • Pleased you were entertained, Walk.
        Yes, it’s interesting to see our different plots.

        Ann provides us with exciting challenges, doesn’t she?
        I especially enjoy exercises with given words or paragraphs,
        fill-in-the-blanks.

    • You had me at paragraph 7. 🙂

      • Krystyna Fedosejevs

        That’s great! Too bad I didn’t ‘have you’ the rest of the paragraphs. LOL
        Krystyna ☃

      • You did. It’s an old writers trick to insert a key sentence every now and again to keep the reader honest.

    • Cheryl aka Shaddy

      Your interesting story fits smoothly into the ending Ann concocted. I like how you did it down to the last detail.

      • Krystyna Fedosejevs

        Thank you, Cheryl, for reading and enjoying on this day of the heart.
        Krystyna ♥
        ♡ ♡

    • Krys: I never got to this one. I think this is one of your best, either here, or there or at that other place. I like it when you get your “kink” on. Jeff

      • Thanks, Jeff, I feel so, so kinky with that kink of a comment from kink-full you.
        Now, if only I could figure out how to add a grinning face by my name the kinkiness would end full circle. Ha!

        Krys

  8. Greta February 2014
    (please, excuse the mistakes, forgive the sinner)

    This time she will not fail.
    This time she will make sure that Alvin will die and that she will, finally, inherited his state valued in about $50M. She have had enough of Alvin.

    It’s been six month since the day Alvin, drunk as usual, proposed to marry her after she finished her stripping show. That same night they went to one of those funny looking, always open chapels in Las Vegas, and got married.
    Love was not a pre-requisite.
    For her, this crazy action was her ticket out from showing her bare body every night to a bunch insolent and rude group of men. She was determined not let this opportunity slip between her fingers.
    For him, it was something he made on impulse which he, surely, will forget in the morning.
    Reminiscence of the failure of her previous attempt to get rid of Alvin brought a feeble smile to her face.
    How was she to know that Alvin, after she pushed him off the board of the cruise ship they took two month after their marriage and, more important, after he signed a new testament making her the sole recipient of his state, landed on a lifeboat located one deck below from where they were standing, instead of going into the ocean?

    Today, she thought, Alvin will come home from his office after stopping at the bar for a couple of martinis. Additionally, she will have a pitcher of martinis ready for him, that she knew he will not refuse. Along with the martinis she will have some powered Ambien that she will mix in the drinks.
    Then, after Alvin had finished drinking two more martinis she will send him on an errand to the grocery store.
    She will even help him going to the car in the garage if he was to smashed to make on his own.

    Everything that nigh developed as scheduled and as planned, including her assistance in helping Alvin to his car.

    Afterwards, Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage……..
    …………………………………

    • We renewed our vows in one of those chapels in Las Vegas last July. lol. Elvis and the whole works….yes, it was cheesy, and a bunch of fun.

    • Cheryl aka Shaddy

      Your Greta was a wicked one, wasn’t she. How’d she explain pushing him overboard? Just a clumsy moment?

      Whatever she did to remain his wife worked. She was wise and wicked. The worse kind of woman.

  9. Greta loved cable. In fact, Greta could remember the exact day she discovered there was a channel fourteen. Channel fourteen, you see, was part of the magic of the cable box which sat atop the television and selected which of dozens of programs would be remodulated and sent on to the TV as channel three, or channel four if your family was progressive.

    Greta followed every development cable had to offer. She happily paid for basic cable, premium channels, a sports package, and of course, pay-per-view. In the end, Greta had multiple set-top boxes, all designed to bring her the finest programming available.

    Everything was perfect in Greta’s life until one day a friend suggested she try Netflix, and gave Greta her user name and password. To Greta, the idea of free television seemed absurd. Surely all you would be able to watch was the crude garbage she remembered being on channels one through thirteen, and channel one really didn’t work anyway.

    But this was different. All the same shows she watched on cable were there, and she could watch them anytime. She could even watch the good ones over and over again, which she couldn’t do with cable. Greta was sure this must be expensive. Yes, very expensive, many times the cost of cable expensive.

    When she finally discovered the price, Greta’s life was ruined.

    You see, If you pay too much for cable, you feel down. When you feel down, you stay in bed, and when you stay in bed, they give your job to someone new.

    Now, if you’re a zoo keeper, like Greta, when they give your job to someone new, that person has a lot to learn. When the new person has a lot to learn, mistakes are made. And, when mistakes are made, someone, like Greta, gets body slammed by a lowland gorilla.

    Never underestimate the pain and humiliation that comes from being body slammed by a lowland gorilla. Greta never did, and that’s why she hatched a plan to kidnap the gorilla and make it appear as though he committed suicide as a result of his shame over abusing people who pay too much for cable.

    The plan proceeded perfectly from the start (as plans often do when the ending has become obvious and you really can’t milk it anymore). Alvin, the gorilla’s name, according to newspaper reports of the impending homicide, was easily fooled into believing there was a sale on bananas at the local Pick-N-Pay and happily climbed into Greta’s car.

    Once home, with the car parked safely in the garage, Greta was able to convince Alvin he could drive back to the lowlands, somewhere in New Jersey, and pick up a tube of Gorilla Glue to fix a broken slat on her deck. As she showed him how to use the GPS, she was all the while plying the beast with Ambien infused monkey bread and banana flavored martinis.

    To give the concoction time to work, she told Alvin she was going inside to get the National Geographic map that came in the recent Lowlands issue. That was a lie.

    She never looked for the map, because, as police would later discover, she didn’t even subscribe.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

  10. Greta had retired after thirty years as a senior operating room nurse with a very prestigious hospital. Now, a year later, she was ready for the wonderful trip she and Alvin had been planning for months. His retirement ceremony this afternoon had been bitter sweet after so many years on the bench. His tenure as superior court judge in this large city had not been without turmoil. It had been a time of civil unrest, and Alvin had overseen his many cases with grit and integrity.

    As they stood admiring the beautiful new motor home they had bought for this journey, they were both excited to begin this new phase of their lives. They had a small car that could be towed by the motor home, and all that needed to be done now was get their affairs in order and pack.

    Alvin’s doctor appointment was the first in depth examination he’d had in several years. After all, he was only 65, and had always been in excellent health. He and Greta chatted about their plan to leave the following Monday as they waited for the doctor to return.

    “Alvin, I want you to have another test before you leave,” said the doctor. “It’s just a precaution, but since you may not be seeing another physician for a while, I want to run one more test.”

    Greta tried to conceal the chill that crept up her spine, knowing this could be some very bad news. It was important that she not let Alvin see that she was frightened, so she put on a smile and said, “OK, let’s get this done so we can be on our way Monday.”

    The next few days were busy with preparations for the trip. Just loading the motor home with all the necessities was a monumental task. Never before had they travelled for more that a few weeks at a time. Trying to remember everything, Greta tried to keep her mind busy.

    When the call came in, Alvin took it on the speaker phone in the kitchen. The doctor said, “Alvin, I have some bad news, and since we’re such old friends I’m going to tell you now. I see no need for you to come into the office to hear what I have to say. Is Greta nearby?” “Yes, I’m here,” she said from across the room.

    “I’m afraid you have metastatic lung cancer and it has invaded your spinal cord. It is not operable, since it’s already within the spinal cord itself. It’s close to the brain, and may well be growing there already. We need to do further tests, and I suggest we start with an MRI tomorrow morning. I am so very sorry, my old friend.”

    Stunned, Greta and Alvin simply looked at one another. Greta found she could not speak, and finally Alvin said, “we need to talk about this calmly, my love, before any decisions can be made.”

    Somehow they got through the day, Greta keeping herself busy with mundane household chores, and Alvin tinkering with his model ships. When evening came, he suggested they light a fire and have a glass of wine.

    Greta knew it was time to tell him. There was no longer any reason to withhold the information she had been carrying for the last year. When her doctor told her she had pancreatic cancer, she had elected not to receive treatment, but instead enjoy what time she had left. The diagnosis had stayed quietly buried in her subconscious, but when it came time to tell her husband, she couldn’t find the words. She hadn’t spoken to anyone since the doctor had called Alvin, and even talking with her beloved husband at this crucial time was very difficult.

    Suddenly she knew the answer, as if it had always been right there in front of her.

    “Alvin, why not have a martini tonight. It’s been such a horrific day that I think we could both use it,” Greta said. “I’m going to put on my robe and slippers and I’ll be right back. Make mine a double, would you, my love.”

    She’d been saving the pills for months now, since her diagnosis. The time had come to use them, for both her and Alvin. Fortunately Alvin was a small man, and she could manage to move him after he lost consciousness.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination. She climbed in beside him and shut the door.

    • Meegie, very sad story which, unfortunately, it comes true often in real life.
      Once, years ago, I had a boss who, in anticipation of his retirement bought a sailing boat to sail around the Caribbean for months at a time. He died of cancer 6 months after his retirement, never able to take the boat out of the marina.

      • A large part of this story is true, based on a campgroud acquaintence. Not the mercy dying part tho’.
        It amazes me how many stories I’m carrying around in this old brain…most that I’d completely forgotten about.
        Thanks Lando

    • Pretty sad story. Like Lando, I’ve known people that died right after retirement, one even that night, but for both to have been hit with the same news, wow. Life can indeed be hard.

    • I agree it is a sad tale. Better they got on the bus now instead of hanging around at the depot. Greta is a strong gal who sees things clearly and plays the cards she has. Could I do that? Most likely, no.

    • Ann, I thought I sent you an email, but apparently it didn’t connect. Can you delete this post? I started revising and rewriting, but just didn’t finish the job. I have corrected it now, but it’s too late for this post. If you can delete it, I can repost, or just forget this story ever happened.
      Thanks so much
      Jeri

    • Cheryl aka Shaddy

      Good grief. I almost missed this challenge!! If they don’t knock me in the head, I don’t know they’ve arrived!!!
      You told this very tragic story very well. I’m sorry a good share of it is true.

      • Cheryl, that was a delightful twist. Loved it.

        Work is a mixed blessing. I have to tell you, advanced age and increasing disability can make the days very long. I wish I could be out there among you, struggling to make time to write.

        Indulging in a little self pity there! Should I post this? Maybe there are others in our group who share these thoughts.

        Oh, what the hay…here it goes!

      • Dear Cheryl, I’m so glad you responded in a positive way to my comment.
        Not by a long chance I tried to criticize you for not knowing how to make a martini or by making fun of Greta for not having a date in so many years.
        I was concerned about your reaction after I sent my message for it didn’t came out on “paper” the same way I thought it would.
        Perhaps someday we would be in a situation in which we could enjoy a martini together and I promise to take with scotch.

      • Cheryl aka Shaddy

        Don’t ever worry about how I’ll take your comments. I know you would never mean harm by anything you write. I’m sorry you were concerned. Two scotch martinis coming right up!!!

  11. just found an oops where I repeated “another test”….bummer!

  12. The Games We Play

    Sergeant James McNulty had the desk that night. So far things were reasonably quiet; a couple of domestics, a bar fight at the Spigot, three DUI s, nothing major, but it kept the patrols hopping and then this woman came in.
    Long stringy grey hair, pale, no lipstick, teary bloodshot eyes, wearing an old grey sweatshirt that had Army across the chest, and baggy yellow sweatpants with the word Mizoo down the leg. She came in looking scared and lost.
    McNulty put away his paper and beckoned her over.
    “Help you, Ma’am?”
    She looked at him and put a hand to her mouth as if she were in doubt. Then she stiffened up, marched over and took the seat in front of him.
    She sat silent there, twisting her hands looking everywhere but at McNulty. Then she shook her head and spoke, the words flying out. ‘”You have to help me, us, I mean. We’re in big trouble I don’t know what to do, where else to turn. You have to help, please.” As soon as the words ran out her hand was back at her face again, fingers over her lips as if her own words were a shock.
    “Ma’am? What’s your name?” He spoke softly as if he were talking to a young child.
    “My name? My name is Greta.”
    “Greta, you can call me Jim. Now tell me what is it that has you so upset. Is something scaring you?”
    The woman put her face in her hands and moaned pitifully. “It’s my husband. He – he wants to kill himself.”
    McNulty leaned back and looked dubiously at her. “Greta, that’s terrible. What’s his name?”
    “Alvin,” she sniffed loudly. “His name’s Alvin, Alvin Schneider. They call him Chip at work.”
    “Greta, where do you live?”
    She gave him her address and telephone number. Then she sniffed again. “You don’t have a Kleenex, do you?” Another sniff. McNulty handed her his handkerchief. “Keep that Greta. Tell me. Why does Alvin think he wants to die?”
    “That ‘s just it. I don’t know. He talks crazy,” she wailed. “Says I stole all his money and spent it at the casino. Then he says I kept our kids away from him. We don’t have any children.”
    Guy might just be loony tunes thought McNulty.
    “I don’t want him to die,” she cried. “You have to help me.”
    “Greta, listen to me. Nothing is going to happen to Alvin. You wait here and I’ll get a car to take you back home. I’ll get a doctor there to see to Alvin and we’ll get some help for him.”
    Greta was looking down at her hands twisting the handkerchief. “No. I’m going now. I can’t wait here. I got my car.”
    She looked at McNulty and tried to smile. “I’m worried about him. He said he wanted to do something later. You send that doctor and I’ll be there waiting taking care of my poor Alvin.”
    Before McNulty could do anything she was gone.
    Minutes later back at her house Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

  13. Walk,
    It was almost perfect but Greta hadn’t delayed long enough. The cops got there and Alvin was still hanging around. Not only that, loopy Greta had taken off her wig shocking McNulty no end.The poor man had felt so sorry that he’d come over himself.

  14. Cheryl aka Shaddy

    Greta moved back into the house she’d grown up in to care for her father, Alvin, right after her mother died. Alvin hadn’t been independent ever. His mother had doted on him and jumped whenever she thought he needed anything. From that unhealthy situation, he married Ruth. Ruth took over where her mother-in-law had left off. Inevitably, when Alvin lost his wife, he looked around and there was Greta, his only child. Come help me, Greta. I need you, Greta.

    “Greta,” Alvin hollered over his shoulder. He had moved from the dinner table to his chair parked in front of the television half an hour earlier. He could hear Greta in the kitchen finishing up with the dishes.

    “I’ll bring you another martini in a few minutes. I’m going to run upstairs for a minute,” Greta answered. She had to use the bathroom and make a quick phone call before she did anything more for her father.

    Drying her hands as she walked from the upstairs bathroom to her bedroom, Greta dialed a number on her cell phone. She sat on the side of her bed as she waited for Mark to pick up. Her heart was beating with the excitement she felt as she anticipated hearing his voice. She’d never expected to meet anyone like Mark at this point in her life. At forty five, she was dating for the first time ever.

    “Hi, Babe,” Mark said. “How are you?”

    “Fine, now.” Greta replied. “I’ve missed you. Can we get together this evening? I need something good in my day.”

    “I don’t know how good I am, especially when you’re around, Greta. If you can risk being with someone like me, how does a drink at Kramer’s at 7:30 sound?”

    “I’ll be there, Mark. Can’t wait. Bye,” Greta hung up.

    “Greta. What are you doing?” Alvin shouted toward the stairway. “I can’t wait all night for you.” He’d had a rough night the night before with little sleep so he grabbed his nearly empty martini glass and popped two Ambien. He figured that taking it early in the evening would give it time to work. He couldn’t stand the thought of lying awake all night again.

    Greta shrank at the sound of her father’s voice. She sifted through her jeans and tops for something Mark would appreciate. As she searched, she remembered she’d emptied the scotch bottle with the last martini she had made for her dad. “You have no more Scotch,” she called downstairs. She wanted to warn him before she went downstairs. He had a short fuse and was sure to have a fit.

    “Dammit, Greta. What the hell’s the matter with you? You ain’t nothing like your mother.”

    Greta gritted her teeth. Her father was a miserable old man. If he had his way, he’d make her life as hellish as possible. Well, he’d just have to wait for her to change her clothes and when she was good and ready, she’d go to the liquor store nearby and get him his damn scotch. Then she would be free to spend the last couple hours of the day with Mark.

    I’ll go get my own Scotch, Alvin thought. He pushed himself out of his chair and headed to the kitchen. He felt light headed so he steadied himself by grabbing the countertop. “I don’t need that little bitch,” he mumbled as he grabbed his seldom used car keys off the hook by the door. He slowly made his way down the step into the garage. He sensed he should turn around and go back inside but his stubbornness pushed him to open the car door and slide behind the steering wheel.

    Ten minutes later, Greta came downstairs. She expected to hear her father ranting and raving when she passed through the living room but he wasn’t there in his greasy recliner. She saw the door to the garage was ajar. Her first impulse was to hurry to rescue him from doing something dangerous and foolish. But then, the possibility of her father’s behavior screwing up her relationship with Mark slowed her down. I should just let him go, she thought. My car is parked on the street. He can go get his own liquor and I’ll go my own way. If he gets in an accident, so be it. But then, who’d have to deal with that, she mused. Maybe there’s an easier, quicker way.

    Greta stood in the back doorway that led into the garage. Alvin sat upright but unconscious in the front seat, his errand forgotten. He snored slightly. Greta made sure the garage was closed up tight, opened the car door on the driver’s side, and turned the key in the ignition. Alvin never stirred. Ambien and martinis were such a deadly combination.

    • Cheryl, very good idea well put together. I can’t blame Greta for what she did. How could she let Mark go when he was her first date ever after 45 years of waiting for one? I wonder if that was because she was ugly or because she had bad breath.
      Being an expert in martinis, I hope that Mark teaches her to make it the right way which is not with scotch but with vodka or gin.
      LOL

      • Cheryl aka Shaddy

        I know nothing about martinis. Don’t ask me why I picked scotch for Alvin; I suspect it seemed a bit more original than vodka or gin. TeeHee! As far as Greta’s dating delay goes, I’ll go with ugly and bad breath. Thanks for your input, Lando. 🙂 Happy weekend to you.

      • Eight to one, in a cold glass, up Use a decent vermouth

        I

    • Good twist, Cheryl Doll, on using the dad as the Alvin, Whoda thunk.

  15. I’ve only recently rejoined this group. The long winter days have brought me back to my computer. I am truly amazed at the imagination of the writers. Actually I am humbled by thw talent. I have enjoyed reading these stories.

    • Cheryl aka Shaddy

      I know what you mean, G-Pa. I am humbled also. Perhaps that will motivate us to write as best we can. I wish I had more time to do that.

  16. G – Pa – Cheryl/ Shaddy

    Do you think it’s talent or maybe that a lot of us have miles on our odometers? We’ve been through a lot which is why I’m not trading in my wrinkles. I earned every one.

    • Cheryl aka Shaddy

      I’d trade any talent I might have for a few less wrinkles. But then, I’m a woman!! No, not really. I mean, I’m really a woman (oh yes) but my wrinkles can stay. Writing gives me joy beyond anything I can gain by a youthful appearance.

      Wrinkles are unique battle scars. Like you said, you’ve earned every one of yours.

  17. It may be the miles, but I have more then most I’m sure. ( as far as years, but probably not experience) I’ve just started trying to do more writing. It helps to practice. There are some good wordsmiths out there.

  18. Oh, I like that word, and haven’t heard it for a while.

    “I am a wordsmith”. Wow!

    Love it.

  19. I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

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