As my husband just, rather suddenly, became retired, I’ve been doing a ton of calling around, paperwork, and other things that happen when one’s lifestyle is turned upside down. So I’ve been rather distracted, and not getting some of the things I really want to do–like writing for Story a Day–done.
Fortunately, I’m still in a writers’ group, and every quarter (this one ending May 1) we have a challenge to write a story using a prompt we decide on at the beginning of the quarter. This quarter’s challenge prompt was “Mayday,” or emergencies, with a bonus prompt of crickets. So for my story for 6 May, I managed to get both an emergency and crickets (or at least the sound of crickets) into the story. I read it for the writers’ group’s challenge, and tied for second place (out of four stories).
I didn’t use a prompt for this story, but continued on my “twist a stereotype” ideas. Most of them have been micro short short stories, or flash fiction. This one ended up over 2,000 words. The stereotype this time was construction workers wolf whistling as a woman walks past. As the story progressed, the male characters became part of a demolition crew, and the woman . . . well, she is something else.
Here’s my snippet:
The woman across the street frowned, looked left and right once more, then started out, threading through traffic with insane disregard for hybrid cars, semi trucks, and mini vans full of screaming children. George whistled in admiration. The big woman was graceful as a jungle cat, and even a near miss by a madly honking taxi did not faze her.
At George’s whistle, the woman looked away from the car heading straight for her, and her gaze met his with an intensity that was almost electrical.
“Oh, you’re in trouble now,” moaned Josh. “She don’t look like the type who wants to be whistled at. I think I need to get back to work.”
“What, and abandon me? You’ll have to take that last wall down by yourself if she kills me.” It hadn’t been a wolf whistle, after all. Simply appreciation of her grace. If that upset her, well, he’d had women upset with him before, and he was still alive.
The woman had survived jaywalking through traffic, and stopped right in front of George. Josh didn’t move. Probably didn’t want to draw attention to himself. She could look George straight in the eyes–and she was wearing flat shoes. His appreciation of her soared. Most women were about armpit level for him.
“Lovely day,” he said conversationally, meeting those chocolate-brown eyes again.
She smiled slightly, and reached into the pocket of her jeans.
Josh gave an almost inaudible moan. What, did he think she had a knife or gun in there, and she was going to off George here and now simply because he’d whistled at her? Besides, the jeans were tight enough he’d be able to see the outline of a knife or gun.
The woman held out a card, the size of a business card, to George. Curious, he took it. Plain and white, with an address scrawled on one side.
“Tonight,” she said. “Eight o’clock.”