Thursday, February 04, 2010

Three words make a story

At least that's the idea behind Three Word Wednesday, a blog I discovered the other day, which gives writers three words to play with once a week. This week, the words were frantic, lurch and odour. I used two and the third is implicit in the story. :)

This is based on something that happened to a colleague of mine, by the way. Hope you enjoy.

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Running Late

I’m late, I’m late, I’m bloody late for work.

Everything’s gone wrong. First I burned the toast and had to do eggs instead. Then Martin lost the car keys and I helped him hunt for them. Of course he’d left them in his coat pocket all along but we must have turned the house upside down. Then the cat was sick, and Martin saw his chance and slipped away, saying brightly ‘Have a good day’ and aiming a kiss into thin air.

Millie needed changing, not once but twice. I forgot to empty the washing machine last night and my favourite blouse has creased. I’m dabbing it with water and trying to stretch it flat, but the end result is piebald and the creases won’t go away. The heel’s broken off my best shoes and the pair I drag out from under the bed are covered in fuzz. I waste another precious minute dusting them.

The clock ticks threateningly and the minute hand lurches ever closer to the eight. I’m late, I’m so bloody late, and it’s the third time this month. Last week my boss looked at her watch and frowned. Yesterday she raised her eyebrows and scowled. Today she’ll probably fire my arse - and we need the money to pay the mortgage off.

At last the kids are off to school with gym kit, packed lunch, books and shoes. Finally, I think. If I run now I might just make the early bus. There’s time to grab my coat and bag, hoist Millie into my arms and dash for the child-minders down the road.

Too late. The unavoidable odour of wet nappy assails my nose.

I can’t take her out like that - she’ll catch her death of cold. “Oh, Millie,” I wail and run for the bathroom at the top of the stairs.

Tell me my baby hasn’t just cost me my job.

7 comments:

Hal Johnson said...

Sorry, Fiona, but I'm not going to be gentle: I liked the hell out of this.

ThomG said...

We've had a few debut stories this week and I couldn't be happier. Each has been a delight to read, and this is no exception. Such a rich slice-of-life that I smelled the wet nappy. Welcome, welcome and I hope you find your muse at 3WW each week.

fiona glass said...

Thanks for the lovely comments and I'm really pleased my story 'made the grade'. ;)

I might not have time to do a new one every week but I'll certainly be popping back as often as I can.

gautami tripathy said...

I like this vignette very much.

Here is my 3WW post!

Sweetest in the Gale said...

You captured that stress incredibly well...I feel stressed after reading it! lol. I can completely relate to those frenzied moments. Welcome to 3WW, and I look forward to reading more from you. :~)

fiona glass said...

Thanks for yet more lovely comments.

I'm looking forward to trying my hand at more 3WW challenges in the weeks ahead.

Andy Sewina said...

Welcome to 3WW I hate nappy smells too!

Nice 1 !!!