So, this month I’ve been taking part in “Story a Day May“, A mad, crazy, cuckoo attempt to write a complete short story every single day in May. It’s hard, oh so very hard, but I’ve managed it most days. Victoria Day was, of course, one of the days I didn’t manage it. I did critique my own work that night, mid paragraph. I called it “a collection of pooh pooh caca sounds with farty pissy bitts in between”, and that about covers it.


Tonight’s prompt (and they have prompts every night, if you were interested in doing this and didn’t know where to start) was to use the words from SaDM’s organizer’s son’s 3rd grade spelling list, and then post it so everyone can have a good laugh at your expense see how different writers approach these random words. So, then, here is my totally awesome entry, containing these wonderful words:  Lettuce, Happen, Basket, Winter, Sister, Monster, Supper, Subject and Puppet. Enjoy. Or at least, don’t gag yourself with a spoon or something.

PS: I’ve only taken a light swipe at this thing, edit-wise, so don’t get all pedantic, comma-wise, on me. I, know, how, to, use, them, usually-wise,.

Monster, Puppet

It was the coldest winter I could remember. So cold it kept the usual clientele shivering in their rundown apartments, and off of my doorstep. So cold my cash flow was freezing up and needed a warm blanket of money. I was about to close up and find some warmth of my own — in a bottle if nowhere else — when she walked in. She had a face like a summer rose, but an expression like a wilting lettuce.

“Whaddya want, sister?” I asked, slipping my gloves on and making ready to leave.

“It’s my husband,” she said, sliding uninvited into the chair in front of my desk. “He’s having an affair, I know it.”

She looked at me hard, hard enough to make a little boy cry, but I was made of sterner stuff.  I hated domestic cases. I hated eviction more. “What makes you think it’s an affair?”

“He’s always late for supper, and if I ask him why he changes the subject. I don’t know what’s going on with him anymore. He’d talk to me about anything, and now..” She trailed off and shrugged her shoulders. Her face changed from hard to defeated.

“You want me to catch him in the act? Get you proof? You sure that’s what you want?”

“It’s all I’ve got. Wondering what’s going to happen to our marriage. I have to know one way or the other.”


She had a point, of course, and the money to drive the point home. That’s why I found myself outside a dive on the corner of 112th and 23rd, wishing I had put on my thermals. I’d followed Mr. Errant Husband from his work, keeping a half block behind. He had been whistling, yeah, whistling the whole way there, swinging a beat-up rattan basket as he went. He looked like a man on his way to a good time.

I knew the neighbourhood, but not well enough to go into this bar so early. I’d be out of place, and people would notice. So, I cooled my heels, waiting for the place to fill up, or for him to come out with a doll on his arm. A few more people started filtering in; most with bags, or boxes, or baskets like my mark. I didn’t know what to make of it, but I’d find out. Enough people had gone in that I could slip in, unnoticed.

 The heat in the place was welcome, but almost unbearable after the icy street. I kept my coat on anyway. The place was filling up, with most people crowding around the stage. A few tables were littered with the usual drunks you’d find at any bar, any time. I bellied up to the bar, ordered a bourbon. The bartender obliged, and asked if I was here for the show. He pointed toward the stage. I slipped him some bills and downed the glass before heading over.

The crowd was thick around the stage, but I have a personal presence, so they let me push my way through with only a couple of dirty looks. I kept my eyes peeled for my mark, but didn’t see him in the throng. As I turned to see if he had somehow gotten behind me, a roar erupted from the stage. I jumped. So did everyone else, but still. I turned back. A monster reared its ugly warty green face over the crowd, gnashing its teeth and making horrible sounds.

I did a double-take. It was a puppet. I got closer and found my mark behind it, his hand up its back. At least I was right on one count. I watched to the end, and I have to admit it moved me, and not a lot of stuff moves me.

I waited until he finished. While the next performer set up, I introduced myself and came clean to him about what I was doing there.

“An affair? But I love my wife! This is ridiculous.”

“What’s ridiculous is you having an artistic outlet that you want to keep hidden from her. You guys need to talk.”

He nodded, and went home with something to think about. Me, I had something to think about too. I hoped that I’d get paid for this gig.