Free-Range Fiction: I’ll Take Monday

Herr Chuck Wendig lobbed some creative challenges at us over the last few weeks. First a first-line one. Then, he chose three of the hundreds of proffered first-lines and challenged us to write a flash-fiction piece from it. The three he chose were:

“Everyone else remembers it as the day the saucers came, but I remember it as the day a man in a suit shot my father.”

“Three truths will I tell you and one lie.”

“Thursday was out to get me.”

I chose the last opening-line prompt. 

I started to write something really creepy and stalker-ish and it turned out more cutesy. It is what it is. I hope you like it. 

All comments welcome. Don’t be shy. 

I’ll Take Monday

Thursday was out to get me.  Most people hate Mondays and call it their worst day of the week. However, mine was always Thursday. This Thursday was already a beast and it wasn’t even 6:45 a.m. My neighbor woke me with his bag pipe playing. He had jarred me awake from a weird dream, which with each piping note I promptly forgot. When I yelled at him, he apologized and said the muse has attacked him and he couldn’t resist. I would mind it less if he could play something other than Brian Boru March.

He continued to play even though I yelled at him. I tried to pretend it was a soundtrack for my shower. Not very sexy or invigorating. Just aggravating.

Looking in the bathroom mirror, I found a pimple in the middle of my forehead. Strange desires to take my razor and shave off the zit hit me. I honestly couldn’t stop myself. Blood ran everywhere. The hand towel looks like it was tie-dyed in blood. Not attractive in the least. Eventually I got it to stop bleeding and put one of those stupid-looking circle bandages over where a simple blemish had been. Now I was late to catch the bus to work. I needed coffee and shoes. I dashed to grab a travel tumbler of coffee and felt my stocking feet ooze into something wet and sticky. I looked down. Cat puke.  I love Mr. Waffle, but he truly is a cock sometimes.

Ten minutes later, I was finally out the door. In what seemed like a gesture of peace, Thursday sent me that killer-looking blonde – a modern version of Angie Dickinson. She was there at the bus stop each morning, but never noticed me. I gave her my best James Bond smile, “Good Morning.”

“Good Morning,” she purred back.

Encouraged, I shifted my backpack to my other shoulder to get slightly closer to her. As I went to shrug it on my shoulder, I inexplicably lost my balance and spun around like a drunken discus thrower in the most epic nerd slapstick ever. I ended up on my ass, my backpack nearly getting hit by a passing bicyclist. I scrambled for my pack and stood up and brushed street debris off my trousers.Dickinson’s clone took a step back and poorly suppressed a smirk and a giggling snort.

I exhaled defeat and my seeming rightful place in the bus-waiting line – dead last. There was one spot left. Predictably for my Thursday it was the one above the wheel well of the bus that left little room for my pack or my legs. I wanted to bolt from the bus via the rear exit doors and call in sick; but, I had coding due today and I needed it off my desk. I squared my shoulders and sat in the wheel-well seat. Also stuck there was this pig-tailed woman, who wore red-framed glasses, which contrasted starkly with her jet black hair. She shifted closer to the aisle as I tried to get my pack into my lap and closer to the window than her.

The next stop flooded people into standing room only, stuck holding on to the seat backs and the poles. We were beginning cruising speed and I leaned my head against the window and tried to calm myself down. As my breathing slowed to something nearing a bus nap, my head was jerked forward, and a spray of iced mocha landed on my head, chest and lap. I looked up and saw the poor schlub whose paper coffee cup was now oscillating between my seat partner’s feet and mine. Sorry, he mouthed and shrugged. The bus driver queued up the p.a. system and apologized for the sudden stop, explaining he had done so in order to avoid a stray dog.

I looked down at my trousers and shook my head, “Curse you, Thursday.”

“Pardon me?” the woman next to me said.

“Nothing; having a bad day.”

“Oh,” she paused. “I thought you said my name. Here,” she handed me a handkerchief and motioned towards my face.

“Very nice of you,” I said, seeing she had near violet eyes beneath those giant glasses.

“My name is Thursday,” she said, and stuck out a hand. “Good thing about that dog, eh?”

My heart started beating in a heavy metal rhythm and I hit the Next Stop button on the bus and awkwardly bleated out an “excuse me” as I climbed over her purple tights and white Mary Jane shoes.

The exit doors parted and I hit the street, my shoes sticky with chocolate and cream.

“Wait!” I heard a bird-like screech behind me.

I kept walking. I would just walk home. Screw this day. Screw my codes and the boss and the cat and my fucking bag piping neighbor.

“Wait! You have my handkerchief!”

The words warbled into my ear slowly, along with the clack, clack of short heels on concrete.

I quickened my pace; all I wanted was home, my bed and an end to this piss poor day.

Click! Clack! “Wait! Wait! Please wait,” the words were punctuated with gasps for breath.

Just like the desire to shave my blemish this morning, the urge to halt immediately right there washed over me. I stopped and stood still. The air all around me felt electric, and I remembered what the dark-haired girl looked like…from my weird dream.

A hand slapped my shoulder, “I got you.”

I turned around. She was beautiful; her eyes enchanting.

“I need my handkerchief,” she said. “You can’t keep it.”

I handed the crushed and sodden thing to this woman, Thursday.

“Sorry,” I looked down at my coffee-stained shoes. “Like I said, I’m having a bad day,” I looked up at her and recognized this exact scene from my dream, except I think maybe there was a monkey on the sidewalk in my dream. But Thursday, she had been part of the dream. “You got me.”

 

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One Response to Free-Range Fiction: I’ll Take Monday

  1. Lois! says:

    I like this one a lot, especially the (somewhat) happy ending. I get weird, awful days like this, too, so could easily identify with it. The only thing a bit off to me was calling the cat a cock and not a dick. It put me in mind of a rooster somehow, but that’s just the way my mind works.

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