All Writing Sprints Written Prior to The Christian Indie Writers’ Podcast and authored by J. R. Nichols. Click Here To Read A Random Post!
Author’s Note: I am not going to edit these, just copy/paste from my working document onto this page. -J.R. Nichols
7.16.21 Today’s Prompt: #mosquitogeddon
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The sign was ridiculous – a giant mosquito, lifting a person into the air like an amazon droid preparing to deliver a case of fresca to the Villages.
“What is this all about?” Grandpa muttered, and I breathed a silent “thank you” to the universe that he had honored his commitment to refrain from public cursing on this particular occasion.
The other members of the group had moved on to the souvenir shoppe, but my family was of course enamored with the sign. They all took turns, alternating roleplaying the part of the mosquito and then that of its cargo. I stood there, perfectly unnanoyed, except for the fact that I also seemed to be the only person who could see Grandpa’s obvious displeasure.
“What’s the matter with you today?” I asked him, nudging him with my elbow. “You’re usually the first one to jump in on these hijinx.”
At first the old man wouldn’t answer. He made his lips a thin line and said something that sounded like a modern day equivalent to “bah, hamburg.”
I shrugged and mosied over to see how the shenanigans were progressing, but I kept Grandpa in my periphery, watching him kick the stones and stare at the impeding sunset – obviously eager to get back to the ship.
Later, I caught him outside of his cabin – a rare event when we didn’t have an excursion scheduled, but the weather was nice enough that in hindsight I suppose I should have been expecting him to be out in the air. I sidled up alongside him and nudged him again.
“You ready to talk about it?”
He shook his head and clenched his jaw. I could see in the pale moonlight that his even paler eyes – dark brown in his youth – were glistening with tears.
“She would have been thirty four years old today,” he said, his hands twisting the guard rail.
It was all he said.
We stood there, in the moonlight, and mourned her together.
I still have time but I am finished with this.
7.23.21 Today’s Prompt: The real mystery… why was there chocolate on her desk?
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Kaylee frowned. The box of chocolates had appeared from nowhere, it seemed. She’d come back from lunch to find it propped against the stack of files she’d been meaning to go through one more time before hauling them all back to the archives.
Now, she found herself with two new mysteries to solve, on top of the cold case death of Madame Marie LaFarge – why was there chocolate on her desk, and who had put it there?
“It’s from a secret admirer, natch,” Shirley said, cracking her gum. Kaylee turned and gave the stink-eye to her friend, who was sawing at a pointed finger with a file as she blew a bubble and cracked the gum again.
“You can give me all the dirty looks you want, but I’m telling you, some guy has really gone bonkers over you. I’ve shopped for candy – on the clearance rack the day after Valentine’s Day, but still,” she used the file to point at the heart-shaped box. “That thing must have set him back at least four bucks.”
Kaylee lifted a brow; considering she could get herself a large popcorn and a box of jujubees at the movies for less than half that, she now had another question to answer – who could afford to drop that kind of money on something as trivial as chocolates.
“I don’t like it,” Kaylee said. “It feels like there might be strings attached.”
“Of course there are,” Shirley said, propping her chin on her hands and gazing moonily at the picture of Bobby Darrin she kept on her desk. “Heart strings.”
“Oh, brother,” Kaylee said, rolling her eyes.
“Oh, good, the chocolates arrived,” a male voice brought goosebumps alive along Kaylee’s arms and neck. She turned to behold the most dashing man she’d ever met. He looked as though he’d stepped out of a library – and not the public kind, either, but rather the ones Kaylee had only seen depicted in literary magazines. He wore an ascot and a smoking jacket. His hair was just long enough to be worn in the most fashionable style of the day.
“I was worried the delivery boy wouldn’t be able to find you,” the gentleman told Kaylee, who could not find words to respond.
“Bleh,” she murmured.
Shirley saved the day. “He was a very nice young man,” she effused. “I gave him a nickel for his trouble.”
The man raised a brow and Shirley pressed a hand to her chest. “I’m not looking to be paid back, or anything, I’m just saying.”
“Of course I shall reimburse you,” the as yet unnamed Lothario said. “I could not allow a woman to pay for my Mother’s gift.”
“Your…Mother’s gift…” Kaylee almost asked it as a question, but saved herself at the last moment as realization dawned on her. “Of course.”
“So sorry to have to have it dropped off here,” the man said, offering his hand to Kaylee. “I’m Robert Van. I’ve been transferred to this department, but don’t have my own girl, yet.”
“Nice to meet you,” Kaylee said, recovering enough to execute a mediocre handshake. Shirley and Robert exchanged polite introductions.
Robert said, “I must be going now.” He lifted the box of chocolates. “Need to get these off to Mother before they melt.”
“Or before I eat them all,” Kaylee said, for no reason whatsoever.
The room fell silent.
“Um, right,” Robert said. “Goodbye, for now.”
He left and Kaylee collapsed into her chair. “I should have known those chocolates weren’t for me.”
“I for one am glad they weren’t,” Shirley
I RAN OUT OF TIME!!!! SEE YOU ON THE PODCAST!!!