Writing Practice, May 29 2015
Note: This is a re-do of yesterday’s practice. It fills in detail and changes some lines. Yesterday was very much just a sketch, this edges closer to actual short story. Time constraints led to the last paragraph, which is a pretty rough bow.
Danny scoffed at his wife. They’d been married ten years and he’d become better at scoffing at her than he’d figured he would. He could put it on a CV.
“It says I have to go.” He held a letter, torn open by a fingernail, the left side of the letter frayed, matching its envelope. It looked like it had been separated by tiny wolverines.
Danny’s wife cracked her neck. Her name was Illis, which Danny once was short for Illinois. He called her by the state whenever he thought little of her, which was a lot. “No, nobody has to go on the bachelorette.”
The letter, which he held and had read to her, as she came through the door, waving goodbye to the man who drove her home from work, explained the whole situation. He was trying to explain it to her, but he was doing a poor job out of a pretty high lack of respect. He said, tersely as possible, “Do you know that? Do you know that it’s an optional thing?”
“Of course I know it. They’re contestants. It’s like a game show.” She put her coat down. It smelled like the guy’s car who dropped her off. Danny knew the guy’s name, too. Ponty. Apparently.
His wife, who had now taken off her shoes and held out her hand, asked to be shown this crumpled letter from a production company neither of them had heard of.
Danny handed her the letter, and said, “Let me ask you something. Do you know anyone who’s ever applied to be on this show. You know what? Any show. The Price is Right? Wheel of fortune?”
Anymore, Danny and Illis didn’t like each other very much.
“Look, there’s just no way it works that way,” she said, reading the words that stated that this was pretty much how it worked after all.
Illis wasn’t prepared for this conversation, but it happened quickly and both took their shots. Danny never admitted that maybe he submitted himself as a contestant; Illis never admitted that she’s been sleeping with Ponty for years. It was all a little much for a 6pm argument, and perhaps the wrong time for every element. But somehow, in the light through the tatters, it didn’t work out in the end.