Writing Wins and Woes: Taking up the Challenge


I know it’s not Friday, but I finally decided to take up one of the challenges from A Writer’s Path. Here is the link: http://ryanlanz.com/2015/02/26/writing-prompts-orange-tree/

The challenge was to :Include all of these elements into a scene: a blue light, humiliation, a spatula, and a cup of gumballs.

Here is my answer to the challenge: It’s more of a flash story than just a scene.

Gumball Freak

By Shari L Klase

I put my money in the jukebox to play the dreamiest love song I knew, “Blue Moon”. I guess that’s why I wasn’t looking when I caught my silver heels on the corner of the rug and went sprawling down. The event, because it was an event with all those dinerish eyes ogling me, was made more ridiculous by the cup of gumballs in my hand that emptied itself all over the rug. My hands that I flung out in front of me to break my fall dug into that same rug littered with gumballs and crushed sticky colors into my palm. My knees whacked the floor with a loud thud. My cat-eyed glasses went all cock-eyed on my face.

My boyfriend rolled his eyes, “Do you know you’re a real freak?” he said too loudly, which only intensified my humiliation. He jarred his chair as he rose to his feet and strode out of the diner without so much as a goodbye or payment for the food on our table.

I sat there on my knees like a cat a little overlong, then pushed myself up on my haunches and then to my feet. I adjusted my glasses on my face. Everybody was so quiet. My cheeks burned red, and I tried hard to brush the clinging gumballs from my hand but it didn’t work because at the same time I was brushing the tears from my eyes. It was true. I was a freak.

I made a beeline for the rest room to wash my pain away with the gumballs. Oddly a blue light blinked mercilessly on the fritz in the ladies’ room. I ran the water and doused my hands under it. I applied soap and lathered up my hands, and then rinsed them. Afterwards, I rinsed the tears from my face and blew my nose on paper towels which I smashed angrily into the trash. I examined my torn stocking, now stained red from my banged knee. I dabbed it with another paper towel. The buzzing light jarred my nerves until I wanted to scream. I had to get out of there no matter my embarrassment.

I sauntered as devil may care from the rest room. The eyes found me again. I’m sure I looked a sight. My crimson face matching my blood splotched knee, which hurt fiercely. I looked at our table. My burger sat there lonely and sad. I certainly didn’t want it now.

The owner of the diner was turning eggs with his spatula. He looked at me out of the corner of his eye.
“Hey, do you want a chocolate shake?” I hesitated. Was he really talking to me so kindly? “It’s on the house. Things always look better after a chocolate shake.”

I nodded, afraid my voice would betray me.

The whirr of the machine soothed me. He placed the glass in front of me at the counter. I sat on the stool. I took a sip of the shake. It was so smooth it stopped the achiness in my throat.

“Thank you,” I said. “I’m sorry about the gumballs.”

He placed the eggs on a plate. They looked like two perfect yellowish eyes. “Don’t worry about it. You know, I always hated gumballs.”


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