Elizabeth: January Short Story

fireball_whiskeyAs Nancy wrote in her Writers Resist post on Monday and Kay reiterated in her Art in Turbulent Times post last Thursday, it’s important to keep creating (whatever your art), even when things are challenging; maybe especially when things are challenging.

I’ve been making a concerted effort these past weeks to make sure my daily writing time doesn’t get swept away by deep dives into the internet news vortex or extra hours at work.  My success has been varied (my boss did have to tell me to go home this evening), but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

To help keep myself honest and on track, I’ll be posting a short-short story once a month in my Wednesday post.  Today’s story is based on the last few Friday Writing Sprint word-sets.


* * *

His Brother’s Keeper

 “In hindsight, the bottle of Fireball was probably a mistake,” Jack admitted through a split lip that probably hurt like hell. His eyes were closed and he held an ice-pack against his cheek, which was sporting an angry looking bruise.

“You think?”  His brother Nick stood in the doorway, taking in the wreckage that used to be the family game room.  “By morning, you’re going to look like a Technicolor racoon.”

“That’s the least of my worries,” Jack said from his position on the couch, not bothering to open his eyes.  “Dad’s going to dismember me if he sees all this.”

“Especially since you’re supposed to be 500 miles away at school.”  Nick agreed with a grin.  “I’d suggest starting with a grovelling apology.”

Jack pried open an eye and took in the evidence of an innocent diversion gone horribly wrong.  “You’ve got to help me turn this chaos back into order before he and Mom get back from the lake.”

Nick looked at him like he’d suddenly sprouted horns.  “Are you hallucinating?  Why on earth would I want to do that?”

“Because I’m your favorite brother?” Jack offered.

“You’re my only brother.”

“Out of the goodness of your heart?”

Nick folded his arms across his chest.  “You’ve always said I had no heart.”

Jack sighed.  “Who helped you when you wanted to know if marshmallows were flammable and caught the kitchen curtains on fire, or when you forgot the casserole in the oven and set off all the smoke detectors, triggering a visit by the fire department?”  He leaned forward on the couch.  “Who helped you hide the evidence so you didn’t get suspended for that graduation prank with the zebra?”

Nick waved the questions away.  “Those were minor indiscretions.”  He looked around the room again.  “This is completely different.”

Jack glared.  The effect was hampered a bit by the ice pack and the swelling.  “Don’t make me use my secret weapon.”

Nick froze.  “Not the poetry.”

“Help me or those fourth-grade love poems you wrote Betsy Gardiner are going straight to the internet.”

“You wouldn’t.”

Jack shrugged and leaned back on the couch.  “Do you want to take that chance?”

Nick gave in, just as Jack knew he would. “Fine, I’ll help you,” he said as he took off his jacket and rolled up his sleeves.  “But there better be a good story to explain all this.  Starting with why you’re wearing Mom’s favorite floral blouse and a pair of dad’s old ski boots.”

Jack chuckled.  “Well, . . . there was this girl.”

* * *

So, how has your creative process been going this week?  Any positive news to share?

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth: January Short Story

  1. Ha-ha! Must have been some girl to get him dead drunk in a floral blouse and ski boots! I want to know the rest of the story!!

    Posting a story once a month is a great idea (-:. It does keep one honest, doesn’t it? And progressing!

      • LOL! I know that feeling. When the muse leaves you hanging off the edge of a cliff . . . I think sometimes the thinking time one gets while suspended in mid-air (so to speak) over a week can be quite useful — I know when I was writing your Christmas sprints, it gave my Girls in the Basement time to come up with some unusual twists that seemed to make sense (at least to me).

  2. Pingback: Elizabeth: Measuring Joy – Eight Ladies Writing

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