This year we’ve added a new flash fiction type entry to our blogging activities, it’s called Promptly Penned and it happens once a month on a Wednesday. The idea is that we all start with a phrase or a couple of lines of dialogue. These lines can serve as inspiration or can be worked into the flash fiction piece, it all depends on where it takes each of us. Here’s the prompt for this month:
“Some choices are easy, like fudge ripple or butter pecan, some choices aren’t. Can you guess which one this was?”
Butter pecan? Fudge ripple? Butter pecan? Fudge ripple? I’d been standing in the open door of the grocery store freezer case for so long that my face had gone numb and I still couldn’t pick an ice cream flavor. Screw it, I thought. After the week I’ve had I deserve both. I grabbed a pint of each and headed toward the check out.
As I waited in line, watching each incompetent person ahead of my try to figure out how to use the self-checkout machine, I went through every horrible thing that had happened this week.
First there was the lady at work who insisted on butting into every meeting and project I was a part of, even if she wasn’t invited. Nothing like making me feel completely incompetent. Then there were the redneck neighbors and their blaring country music until all hours of the night. And the neighbors on the other side with the ugly, yappy dog that had tried to take my foot off. Thank goodness for winter boots. The flat tire in twenty degree weather. And finally, the surprise visit from my parents that had left me feeling like a failure, as always.
By the time I got to the checkout, I was about ready to swap out the two pints of ice cream for a fifth of rum.
Three hours later I was passed out on the couch in an ice cream coma, blissfully ignoring the world. Around midnight, I sat up suddenly, not sure what had woken me. Getting up off the couch, I stepped in a pool of melted ice cream. Great, I thought, a mess to clean up. As I tried to orient myself I realized what had woken me. I could hear the sound of breaking glass coming from the back door. It must have been the initial crash that woke me and now someone was clearing out the rest to get to the locks.
As silently as I could, I made my way to the kitchen where I had left my phone, taking care to avoid all of the squeaky spots in the wood floor. Once in the kitchen, I looked around for my phone and realized I had, in fact, taken it upstairs to charge it. Damn! Now what?
I heard the back door open and realized I had to make a decision. I grabbed the chef’s knife out of the dish drainer and tip toed over the kitchen door that led out to the back entryway and hid behind it. Could I do this? Could I defend myself against someone breaking into my house and maybe kill them? Absolutely.
Choosing an ice cream flavor was almost impossible but deciding I could kill someone to protect myself was the easiest decision I’d ever made.
I saw a shadow cross the threshold of the kitchen door and took a deep breath.
See what stories the other ladies came up with this week: