Where Did She Go? a Freewrite and a Pop-Up Contest
I don't usually preface my freewrites, but this one needs a bit of that.
I've been trying to hardwire my new house to the internet. This is proving to be nearly impossible to do, mostly because the cable company techies have had their memories erased or something; they do not know that the internet enters the house via their own cables. More on that in a later post.
This freewrite took me back to the good old earlier days of my life, when computer games were a brand new thing, my kids were nearly brand new, there was no such thing as WiFi, and smoking pot, even in your own home, was quite illegal.
"Click the clown icon. Clink the clown icon!! CLICK THE CLOWN ICON!!"
My 4 year old was yelling at me. My dogs had been walked, watered and fed. My cats had been watered and fed. The washing machine was whirling, the dishwasher was whirring, I hadn't yet had a single sip of the coffee I'd brewed an hour earlier, and now The Child was desperately trying to convey something that I did not understand.
Icon? What icon? Was Burt Reynolds standing in the corner?
What better time than this for the doorbell to ring.
As I walked toward the door, I remembered the blunt. The evening before, I'd stepped outside for my before-bed smoke, and I forgot to bring the ashtray of paraphernalia back inside. Whoever was out there, couldn't have missed it.
"Oh, uh, hi. Officer." A sheriff no less.
I sidled out the door, hoping to block his view of what he had already no doubt seen.
This is my entry to @mariannewest's daily freewrite challenge. Today's prompt is icon.
If anyone would like to finish my story, I've got a prize for you.
Leave a link or your story in a comment on this post
Doesn't have to be a freewrite
Under 500 words
@carolkean, @mgaft1, @cliffagreen, @zeleiracordero-2, @erh.germany, @riverflows, @felt.buzz
... He grinned.
"Don't even worry about that, ma'am," the sheriff's deputy said gently. "Bigger problems -- there's a thief that resembles Burt Reynolds wearing a clown suit running through the neighborhood, and he's trying to get through your back door."
Oh. So, that's why my four-year-old was trying to get me to click the clown off.
It was a long story I didn't even know was going on, because at this time in my life I couldn't afford to have big birthday parties for my children -- sort of a parable about how the other half of society lives and what they pay for the privilege -- this particular thief did Burt Reynolds impersonations and also offered a clown service for parties, all for the purpose of getting into homes with money for birthday parties and casing them.
It had all come apart because a child like mine had recognized him: "Oh yeah, you're the clown who was taking presents out of the house next door -- did you bring me one?"
The chase had commenced there, and had been going block to block for hours. This clown had robbed a lot of folks.
The mob in pursuit of this man had grown to lynch mob proportions. I could hear them coming now, the angry voices and the demand for blood.
"He's just trying to find a place to get in and hide at this point -- even holding hostages wouldn't help at this point," said the deputy, "but I need you and your child out of harm's way, and you see I am speaking very quietly to not tip that off."
"Hey -- let's go to the candy store, sweetheart!"
And I walked away with my child, away from the mob and the sheriff's deputy, and went to the candy store. When we got back, it was all over. The home was quiet, and someone had left a note.
"Next time, don't try to get over by the ash tray, because unless I know have a reason to bend over and smell what brand of cigarettes you smoke, I won't, ma'am."
Oh my gosh I didn't tag you!!! Of all the people to miss...
GREAT continuation of my freewrite! You always go a completely different, but very loving, direction from anything I could dream up myself. Thank you so much!!! There'll be a prize coming your way one of these days...
No hurry ... it was an honor to be able to finish yet another fine beginning!
Ah, I actually couldn't figure how to work the clown into mine. You completed every thread she started. I'm glad the sheriff turned out to be kind.
@deeanndmathews is really good at continuing my stories!! It's always a marvel.
I just couldn't bring myself to create ANOTHER messed-up law enforcement officer ... the world has enough of them...
Lol, right! I think creating the world we want to live in starts with telling the story of that world. Nice job.
Shoot. Speaking of Burt Reynolds. I felt naked in his gaze, and it wasn't just feeling vulnerable because he saw my pot.
"Good afternoon, ma'am. How we doin' today?"
"Fine, officer." Best not to give him too much, though I wanted to. Give it all that is.
"We've had a noise complaint about this apartment. Everything okay in there? Not having a party are we?" His flinty brown eyes left mine, tried to peek through my cracked door.
I couldn't believe my neighbors in the duplex were complaining again about noise. It was nine o'clock in the morning. And they knew I had a toddler.
I closed the door. I didn't want Burt (oh, that can't be his name) to know about The Child. "No sir, no party here." At which point The Child interjected.
With a squeal and a shout. "Mom, we WON! Come look, hurry!"
It wasn't disappointment I saw in his eyes, that I had a kid, or a loss of interest. They flicked from me to over my shoulder, where my paraphernalia, I hoped, had gone unnoticed. There was judgement in the brown.
I cocked my hips and threw my chest out. "Just my kid, officer, is that a problem?"
His eyes dropped to my chest (of course they did; these bosoms work, every time) and when they met mine again he shrank back a little, embarrassed that he had looked, and that I knew.
"Um ... well, no ma'am, no problem." He actually shuffled his feet, like a boy. "Just keep it down ... if you can."
He managed to tip his cap as he turned to walk back his squad car. Credit to him for the valiant attempt at save face.
As cute as his face.
Lol, I don't know. I hope you laughed a bit at least. Thanks for the invite; it was fun. :) And thanks for using #creativecoin!
Of course I laughed. Great continuation of my story! Thank you so much for participating. Prize coming soon, once I see how many enter, because this contest has a prize for every entry. Why not?
You did get the clown in there. I think you are still the only person who understood the kid was playing a computer game.
I just had to dive into this. Check out the continuation here
Oh dear, that was not easy. I really had to think hard of this. But this is the result. I had a blast! :)
Before I could say anything, a shout came from inside: "Mum, who's that?!"
"No one!" I answered promptly and without thinking. "Just keep playing!".
"No one?" the policeman's grin deepened. In a fit of cockiness, I corrected myself and called back into the house, "Honey, it's the police!" Meanwhile, though well-mannered, my two dogs squeezed through the still-open gap in the door and sniffed the stranger with wagging tails.Immediately after, the running footsteps of my little one, who pushed the door in my back and then stood half a length behind me, looking wide-eyed at the policeman. Inside, the washing machine started spinning with a rumbling run-up.
In a "what can you do?" gesture, I looked at the officer while my son had eyed the man's heavy belt and now wanted to know, "what's all that hanging from it?"
The man, who could easily have been cast in "All hell breaks loose on the highway", responded promptly. He murmured to my little one, "Those are demon traps for clowns that aren't even clowns.""Whoa, Really?" my son marvelled and the man nodded in serious confirmation.
Turning his gaze back to me, he now held up a bag that I had not seen in my excitement. It was mine!
"How on earth ... ?!"
"Bakery? Early in the morning? I must have ordered my coffee right after you, because down at the bottom of the counter I found your bag. Still everything in it!" he placated and handed it to me.
I hadn't even noticed that it was gone at all!
"Mum, that's your bag! That's yours! How come the man has it?"
A laugh, at first inane and then, as I looked into the man's twinkling eyes, liberated and finally hearty, escaped my chest.
But then something went wrong and I just kept on laughing, it really went through with me, so that I had to support myself with one arm on the door frame. Where I tried to interrupt my laughter with explanations, but only single words came out "Dogs..., the child .... Laundry ...", which I tried to underline with gestures but had no real success with and when the face of the old greaseball from opposite appeared at the window, there was no stopping me, I just pointed helplessly at her with my finger.
My boy looked at me in amazement, the dogs howled, but the bearer of my bag had joined in my laughter. All the while he himself was wordlessly pointing to the remains in the ashtray and in it lay everything he had thought and seen and we both snorted even worse. Finally, amused and shaking his head, he turned around, looked back at me once more and waved. "Thank you," I croaked after him, although it was perfectly clear to him and me that my gratitude was probably boundless.
With watering eyes and beginning hickups on my side, my brood and I went back into the house.
Oh yes! Very realistic! Great continuation! Love that you saw the whole brood, the neighbors, the ridiculousness of the moment. Thanks for joining in! Prize will be coming your way once I see how many joined in.
I actually had a sheriff at the door when I'd left paraphernalia at the front door, having just indulged. When I tried to obscure his vision of it, he said "I'm getting high just standing here." I, stoned, giggled.
Laughter! I can vividly imagine the scene. So good, that people with humor walk the earth :D
I pretty much had this experience with one of my kids in the 90's. I did not know as much as he did about computers, and did not know what an icon was. Funny thing, as I was writing, the only two icons I could think of were Burt, and Buckminster Fuller!
Maybe this betrays my age too, but I knew exactly what you meant about that icon known as Burt. Thanks for tagging me. My first thought was, "But the story is already finished! He sees the incriminating evidence, and he's smiling!" but then....
Nice one @owasco
Reminds me of the time I opened the door while blowing out a giant cloud of pot smoke right in an officers face.. I thought it was my neighbor who liked to smoke with me.
He laughed his ass off while I stood there choking and coughing and giving him the universal (just a second) hand signal and told me he was there for loud music while looking at a half ounce on the table.
I told him I would turn the music down. He kindly left and never took my weed. This was years ago. Any other cop in that town would have ticketed me or arrested me and he reiterated this in telling me to consider my music volumes while having weed smoking parties lol.
I always love your freewrites my friend, many of them remind me of the old world. Have a good day!
I recently had a sheriff show up at my door (before our liberation in NYS) within a few minutes of my having smoked out there. When I stepped in front of the paraphernalia, he said "I'm getting high just standing here." I giggled, like the very high little old lady I was.
Money. Bribe him with money. This grinning sheriff undoubtedly made his morning rounds in order to scare up some donut money after finding evidence like mine, that ashtray of paraphernalia. Who but a true stoner would leave it outside all night? But, but, I was not a stoner. I was a mother! Where was The Child when I needed her?
Even though I'm agnostic, I prayed hard for deliverance from this grinning sheriff.
"It really is you, isn't it?" he said.
Squinting, I tried to recognize him. Add a mustache and he might pass for the kind of icon I'd had in mind. Burt. Deliverance.
"That depends," I answered, having internalized the way Jesus dodged questions and hung out with sinners. "Who do you think I am?"
"The Silver Dish." He exhaled with unmasked admiration. "Open mic night at Maureen's."
Maureen's Jazz Cellar. Where live music played on even during Quarantine and the unmasked fearlessly mingled, swapping germs, freely breathing each other's expired air.
"'Tis I." Finally my voice had returned. "Am I under arrest?"
"Would you like to be?" He quirked an eyebrow and tapped the handcuffs at his side.
The blaring horn of a circus clown brought me back to the kitchen. The Child squealed, "I did it! I did it all by myself." More circus noises rewarded her with the sounds of instant gratification. If my husband God Rest his Rotten Soul had gotten my body to produce such sounds, he'd have kept pushing my buttons day and night.
So, it wasn't bribe money the sheriff was after this morning.
Was he even a real sheriff? I squinted at him again. "May I see your badge, please?"
"Busted." He patted the metal star on his chest. "I didn't figure you'd open your door to a stranger."
"If you love live music at Maureen's, you're no stranger," I said.
"Five minutes!" shouted The Child.
Copy-pasted this into Word in order to learn word count, and I cannot find "word count" anywhere, though I used to know how to call it up. Also today, Chrome reconfigured the way to find Passwords. It's no longer in plain sight after clicking on Settings. It's under some new icon now. (Speaking of dang icons!)
So, if I exceeded 500 words, so be it.
346 words!!! Including mine at the beginning.
You have made my day!!! I love this.
You, me, some of my favorite things, all in your imagination. And in five minutes!
LOL, that was a lie: more than five minutes had passed. :)
Good to know I didn't exceed the word count. Not good that I still don't know what happened to all the tool bars and icons - even on my phone, the icon for Do Not Disturb is buried deep in some other cluster of icons. My laptop, chrome history, Word edits, my phone.... it's a conspiracy!
Dang, I'm slow. "Autumn leaves," brilliant against a black background, so artsy, so Owasco.
Um, those leaves didn't fall from no tree. :)
Love the image, and love the prompt!
(Only I would be so slow to recognize them leaves.)