Note: This is my response to the Daily Prompt for 1/6/2013 of the Scribbler’s January Writing Contest. Please read and comment, telling me what you think!
Write a story that starts with a piece of gossip
Today is Open Forum.
For Erica, there was no better time than 6 AM to sit down in the peace of the early morning to spend time surfing the internet. She loved her boys, Jack and Tim, but there were days that their rambunctious ways just could be so overwhelming. She craved these moments of utter silence, which allowed her to de pressurize ahead of the coming storm of activity. She knew he could not expect less, it was the “blessing’ of twin toddlers.
Erica quickly checked her WordPress account eager to see if she had received any responses on her “Dealing with Toddlers” daily blog. There were some replies, which she quickly read and typed short responses. It was important to extend her identity online in hopes of publishing her first book later this year. Next was a log-in to Facebook, to see what was going on with her friends. A play date with Kay and her girls was the plan for today, if Sidney’s cold had improved.
Erica felt good about the possibility as the message globe at the top was dim. She scrolled down the page a bit, reading the inspirational quotes offered by her Christian believing friends, the baby pictures and funny sayings. What stopped her was a ten word sentence she knew was patently false. Danielle Fisher was as much as accusing Kay’s husband of an affair with the new girl at the 24 hour fitness gym in town.
“Saw Mikey working out with the blonde tramp at Anytime!” The statement was innocuous enough, but Danielle had inserted a picture from somewhere of a couple in exercise clothes, their bodies drenched in sweat and impossibly close together. Erica assessed it had to be from some advertisement of body wash or perfume, not an actual shot of the targeted couple. For one thing the girl was too tan to be the blonde at the fitness lace. Also, Mike had a tatoo on his right forearm with Sidney’s birthday, which was missing in the picture.
She glanced at the microwave which read 6:12. Definitely too early to make a call to her best friend. Instead she headed to the shower, determined to be at the nearby Starbucks when Danielle came for her morning Brazilian Roast. While she absent-mindedly washed and scrubbed her way to a presentable state Erica felt her temper boil. She knew Danielle was jealous of Kay, she always had been. But what prompted this little scheme?
Erica promised her husband she would be back in time to take over the responsiblity for the boys before he left for work, then grabbed purse and headed out through the kitchen door to her Toyota Camry. She punched the CD eject button when the boys favorite sing-a-long tune blared from the front speakers. With her dander already primed, she knew she had to take some deep breaths so she could confront Danielle without strangling her skinny neck.
The parking lot at the Starbucks was busy, with the seven a.m. regulars filtering in an out, satisfied with their daily pic me up. Erica wheeled in near the door and waited for Danielle’s baby blue Mazda to arrive. She did not have to wait long as the perky brunette kept a tight schedule. She had to. With four kids, two in the middle school on the other side of the county it took every minute she had to make her schedule work. Erica allowed her to go inside before following. She realized confronting her in the crowd was bad, but doing it in front of her kids seemed worse.
Erica found a place in line behind Danielle, but was only waiting for her to turn to leave so she could confront her. Danielle’s face went flush when she turned with cups in both hands to face Erica’s stern look of disapproval.
“Erica! What a surprise. I though you gave up coffee years ago.”
“I also gave up gossip.”
“Why what are you talking about?”
“Do I need to show you?” Erica asked flashing her smartphone at the other woman.
Danielle knew exactly what Erica meant. She wanted so bad to sidestep the woman, but knew Erica would not let that happen. Too many years together through school taught her not to mess with Erica Lane.
“What in the world made you do this?”
Come on Erica, it is just a joke!”
“A joke!” Erica boomed, drawing the attention of everyone in the store. “A joke is something funny that does not hurt someone or threaten a marriage. This is no joke.” Erica again shook her phone at Danielle, even though the screen was dark.
“Geez, could you lower your voice?” Danielle said, aware everyone was focused on them.
“Where is your phone?” Erica asked.
“In my purse,” Danielle replied. Erica grabbed her by the elbow and pulled her over to an empty table. “You are going to fix this right now!” The expression on Erica’s face conveyed the fact there would be no discussion on the matter.
Danielle complied, opening her connection to Facebook and accessing her profile where the offending post was gathering comments. “It’s too late to delete it, people have begun to comment.”
“Then you will admit you made it all up, including the picture. After you take your kids to school we will go t Kay’s together and you will apologize and hope she does not choose to press charges, although if I were her I certainly would.”
“You always were too serious,” Danielle said even as she went about rectifying her cruel prank.