[Write On Wednesday] – Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras 2008
Photo by Michael Nyika

Yesterday was Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Pancake Day, Carnevale, Fastnacht, whatever you choose to call it.

In countries around the world, people celebrated in advance of the sombre season of Lent, which starts today. Poeple around the world celebrated, even if they aren’t participating in the penance-fest that is the Lenten season.

Write a story that features a big, last blow-out before a change, echoing the idea of Mardi Gras.

(It might be a stag night, the last meal at a diner before an old man goes into a nursing home, or it might be Mardi Gras in New Orleans, itself. And don’t forget, you can write it from the perspective of the day after, too!)

The Rules:

  1. You should use the prompt in your story (however tenuous the connection).
  2. You must write the story in one 24 hr period – the faster the better.
  3. Post the story in the comments — if you’re brave enough.
  4. Find something nice to say about someone else’s story and leave a comment. Everybody needs a little support!

Optional Extras:

Share this challenge on Twitter or Facebook

Some tweets/updates you might use:

Don’t miss my Mardi Gras story: http://bit.ly/el8ltW #WriteOnWed #storyaday

Laissez les bon temps roulez! It’s still Mardi Gras at #WriteOnWed #storyaday http://bit.ly/el8ltW

This week’s #WriteOnWed short story prompt is “Mardi Gras”: http://bit.ly/el8ltW #storyaday

Come and write with us: http://bit.ly/el8ltW #WriteOnWed #storyaday

See my story – and write your own, today: http://bit.ly/el8ltW #WriteOnWed #storyaday

If you would like to be the Guest Prompter, click here.

With thanks to my friends at Creative Copy Challenge for inspiration and support. Go to Creative Copy Challenge every day for a new writing prompt and supportive community of writers.

3 thoughts on “[Write On Wednesday] – Mardi Gras”

  1. I love this! Especially the use of Mardi Gras with a Bachelor party…I do hope that never happens to me. Instead of taking Mardi Gras exactly, I took the idea of a blow out before a change. So Enjoy! No title yet…I know it’s going to be hard to avoid my terrible Grammar…I know it’s there and I apologize…

    Tick, tick, tick, tick

    The minutes always seem to go so slowly and the silence of the testing was not helping much either. Mr. Robinson could feel the beads of sweat dripping, he dabbed his handkerchief on his forehead. The pencils were moving quickly, scratching into the paper. The kids’ squished their faces into gross spectacles, tongues sticking out

    Tick, tick, tick, tick

    Mr. Robinson looked at the clock again, only thirty seconds had passed? He couldn’t believe it, in the summer months everything seemed to go much slower than it was. The room was bare now, no more colorful posters on the wall of faraway places and people, no more maps, and no more anything; just the sickening tan walls. “Put down your pencils….” The class held its breath, a student in the front, with the thicker glasses raised his hand. “No questions, Hamil, put down your pencils” The class dropped their pencils, they bounced along the desks. “Now I know what you kids say about me” Mr. Robinson came out from behind the desk, he wiped down his spectacles and placed them back on his face “That I’m a mean, crabby, hard ass, and an old man” he leaned on the front of the desk “And I know, you think I really don’t give a rat’s ass about you kids, or your scores”

    Tick, tick, tick, tick

    “And that’s just plain stupid of you kids to think that” the class was silent as another hand raised “Stop raising your dammed hands, for one second…”the student gingerly put his hand back down on the desk. “Because, unfortunately, after all my years in this school I got sick of the kids, you guys think you are such smartasses and know everything…” Mr. Robinson chuckled “And sometimes you do!” he pointed to the electronic board that hung over top the aged blackboard. “Hell, you kids taught me about this dammed thing, and well…” he laughed again “You taught me to have a little more faith in this broken educational system we have,” He went over to his closet and starting shifting boxes. The class leaned over to try and look inside at what he was getting. “I know you guys couldn’t see them, but I was proud to write you kids those recommendations, I have never been so happy to do it in all my years of teaching…”

    Tick, tick, tick, tick

    “So, your exam here, this is a joke…if you kids read the directions you would have stopped this long ago, read the last direction” the kids looked at it for a moment in stunned silence. Written in the traditional Times New Roman font were the words

    ‘Write your name, set down the test and turn it in at the end of class.
    Thanks for the great year
    ~Mr. Robinson’

    “Now that that’s out of the way” Mr. Robinson pulled out a cake from his closet “Who wants cake?” the class exploded literally and ran up to him “Get in a line, get in a line, you crazy kids…” Mr. Robinson smiled and gave each kid a slice.

    Tick, tick, tick, tick

    Everything now relaxed and everyone was laughing. Some of the kids were still concerned about their grades, Mr. Robinson did his best to reassure them that nothing would happen to them, they would do well.

    Tick, tick, tick, RING

    The Classroom emptied quickly, the rushed students yelled goodbye to their new favorite teacher and left excited for the summer and their futures ahead. The room was empty, it was strange, there almost always students there. The walls were bare. It was a strange sight for him, it hadn’t looked that way in a long time. Mr. Robinson went back to the closet and picked up his hat and briefcase. “Well, goodbye old room” he flicked off the light switch and headed home to try and enjoy his retirement.

    1. Christina, I loved this! If there were grammatical errors I didn’t pick up on them because I was swept along in the story. This is a great example of how to ratchett up tension in a story that doesn’t really have much “action”.

      I liked the details you included, the pencils bouncing on the desk, the smart board hanging over the old blackboard (just the way it is in my son’s class). And I love that he gets the last laugh on them with that test! 😉

      Congrats on a lovely story and for being brave enough to post it here! Thanks for playing!

  2. Oh man
    Oh man oh man
    Bill’s mouth tasted like a groundhog had camped in it overnight. In fact, he thought it might still be in there, furring up his tongue.

    The inaccurately named “Five Ws” flashed though his mind, though he was pretty sure he knew the answer to the ‘who’.

    Jeremey. Jeremey — his best man — had kidnapped him, forced him onto a plane and whisked him off to New Orleans for,

    “Your last Mardi Gras as a freakin bachelor, dude.”

    Marie! Did she even know where he was? The guys had started him on shots in the airport bar. He couldn’t remember if anyone had even texted to tell her where he was last night. God. What if she had called the police? What if she had called his mother?

    His cellphone. Bill hoped it was still in his back pocket. He could see his jeans, crumpled on the floor between the queen bed and the bathroom door, half-standing, as if he’d just stepped out of them. He rolled upwards and over to reach for them, but stopped short as an iron band tightened around his brain and his stomach started to do flips. The room swirled a couple of times and then settled back into its proper place. Bill held his breath a beat or two then gingerly lay his head back on his pillow.

    And right about there, that was when he noticed the lump under the covers on his left.

    Time froze. Bill felt himself float up towards the speckled paster ceiling. Every detail of the room came into focus: the zig-zag pattern on the deep red bedcover, the large mirror over a dark wood dresser. A ceiling fan that looked like palm leaves. Huge table lamps with white shades. Marie would like those, he thought, and came crashing back to earth. Marie! Time sped up again.

    For the first time in his life Billy found himself hoping that the person in bed with him wasn’t a hot chick. Maybe, if he was really lucky, Jeremey had lost his room key and collapsed onto Bill’s bed before passing out.

    The figure next to him sighed an unmistakably feminine sigh and suddenly Bill was as sober as a funeral in midwinter.

    He had screwed up so badly. And he didn’t even remember it.

    His mind ran quickly through fields of excuses, of dodges, of ways he could explain this to Marie and still keep his future from being mowed down.

    It didn’t take him too long to figure out the odds.

    The girl in his bed sighed again and rolled over. She flung an arm out and draped it over his chest. He flinched. Oh man, oh man.

    And, what the hell? She was engaged too! There was a huge rock on her finger, nestling into his chest hair.

    Misplaced outrage filled Bill’s chest as he desperately scrabbled to share some of the blame for this horrible mistake with someone else.

    It was a nice ring though, he thought, distracted. The guy had good taste. Bill felt sorry for him, being cheated on like this.

    And then he remembered. Oh. Yeah.

    Later, he would blame it on the Hurricanes.

    Slowly, slowly, the girl nuzzled closer. She giggled sleepily and nibbled on his ribs. Bill was lying on a knife-edge, as close to the edge of the bed as he could with out toppling out, and still she kept coming.

    Mussed pink hair (good God, who did that to themselves?) emerged from under the covers and the girl began to sit up. Bill braced himself to look at the face that had ruined his life.

    He felt it like punch to the guts. A megawatt smile lit up the room as the girl closed her eyes against the morning light and mumbled,

    “I can’t believe our friends did this for us, Billy. I can’t believe they kept it a secret. And look what they did to my hair!”

    She giggled and pushed a thick curl of pink hair back from her face with a hand that carried a glistening diamond. His diamond.

    As Billy stumbled towards the bathroom door, clutching his head and his stomach at once, he thought about his father’s advice: to always be honest with your wife, son. Well Dad, Billy thought, I’ll tell her the truth.

    One day.

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