Thursday, December 31, 2009


This week I was given the following three sentences to use for a story:

- there are 5 emergency $100 bills in my closet
- for a plane ticket to Chicago
- the day you say 'let's get back in touch'

Below is what I wrote:

Aimee logged off her computer that evening, with a heavier sense of guilt than anticipated – as she lower the screen of the laptop to close it, she silently repeated the last sentence her sister, Laurie had managed to type in her brief instant message: “Let’s get back in touch”…such simple words, such an uncomplicated statement, yet it troubled her.

Did it trouble her because she was trying too fixedly to read into what Laurie had meant? , or did it trouble her because she knew that Laurie had meant for the question to cause her anxiety? Was Laurie plainly stating that they were NOT in touch? Why did she always make it a point to read more into what people said? She was tired, mentally that is…the first time in a long time that she felt mentally exhausted. She let out a loud sigh and drank the last zip of the cabernet she’d poured in her glass over an hour ago, it was warmer than she preferred and had to force herself to guzzle it down. As she rose to her feet she thought, ‘must really mail a thank you card to Mabel’s friend.” Mabel’s friend had brought the bottle as a gift the last time she’d had a gathering at the house.

Zoe too rose to her four feet and managed to very slowly make her way across the room. As Aimee observed Zoe make her approach it occurred to her that in some ways Zoe was sacrificing herself to offer her comfort, after all she’d been snuggly lying on that very same spot for nearly the better part of an hour. As if Zoe had sensed that Aimee was troubled she made it a point to rub her short furry hair against her legs communicating to in her in an inaudible manner that she was here.

Aimee petted her softly and made her way to the kitchen placing the now empty glass of wine in the sink. She stole a glance at the kitchen clock and noticed it was barely 10:00 pm. By her normal standards this was somewhat early, but she had no more energy tonight. After enduring a grueling four-hour financial forecasting session at the office, having missed her session with her personal trainer, gotten her period, and as of late, poring over people’s conversations, she was ready to call it a night.

She began her nightly ritual by extinguishing the candles in her living room, closing the curtains, fixing the magazines on the coffee table, turning off the lights, and ensuring both locks of the main door were shut. As a single woman living a major metropolitan city one couldn’t be too safe. As she did, she overheard the next door neighbor drive into her garage and thought about how late Virginia had been working lately. As a single mother of two school age children she would imagine that Virginia was picking up extra shifts at the department store she worked. As she made her way back to the living room she smiled as Zoe had already made herself comfortable in her pet bed. She marveled in how content Zoe always appeared…she actually envied her serenity.

Just as she was going to get up the stairs she recalled what the weatherperson had predicted. Apparently, the remainder of the week called for high winds and possible rain. Gosh!, now, she’d have to go into the guest room and look for her Fall coat the compact umbrella…she really didn’t want to do it, but she knew she should. Aimee said aloud as Zoe cocked her head as if to ask “Weren’t you going to bed?”, “Girl, I have to get my winter stuff first, your momma starting to lose her memory.” Zoe watched her as she made her way down the other side of the house and opted not to follow.

Aimee turned on the light of the guest room which rarely saw any inhabitants and shivered a little, it seemed unseasonably cool in there. She made her way to the close and opened it locating the two boxes she wanted to inspect, god she hated the cold weather in Philadelphia.

She opened the boxes hurriedly wanting to find the first decent looking coat. The blue one was too bulky, the black one needed to be dry cleaned, so the gray will have to do. She dug out her umbrella and soon as she was ready to place the boxes back where they belonged she saw a yellow envelope fall from the box onto the floor. The envelope was one of those unattractive yellow types you see in offices. Aimee thought it to be very odd, she didn’t recall having those types of envelopes at the house. She rested the box back on the guest bed and bent over to pick up the yellow envelope.

She wasn’t sure what she would find when she opened it, so when she realized it was money she was bewildered. This was not her money, but that was ridiculous, this was her house and her stuff how could this not be her money? She pulled her pajama bottoms up and sat on the bed and proceeded to count, there were five $100 bills and a note saying EMERGENCY.

This was too bizarre! She’d never planted this money here, but then who had? I mean the likelihood of an intruder breaking into your house and actually leaving you money was ludicrous and laughable. And even if someone HAD, she doubts anyone would go through the trouble of placing the money in a yellow envelope with an EMERGENCY note written! I mean that was just stupid…she laughed. But the question remained, who had placed that money there?

She closed the envelope and then transported herself back to the conversation she’d had with her sister less than an hour ago. Laurie’s instant message had pop up while Aimee had been reviewing the last of her personal emails and had startled a bit since Laurie was rarely online. The message read: “Hi sis. While you are online, it’d be nice if you would look for a plane ticket to Chicago. You should meet your baby nephew, he looks just like you.”


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