Defying Gravity (Prototype)
Welcome to my second week of participating in the IndieInk.org Writer's Challenge II. It seems, so far at least, that these prompts are serving to tug my novel out of me. So much the better. The poor tome has lain dormant and ignored for such a very long time.
By the way, the folks at IndieInk.org are always welcome to new people joining the fun. You can sign up to do it just once, or you can keep coming back week after week - no pressure, no huge commitment. If you feel like giving it a whirl, click the link here. Pairings are randomly generated, but you never know, you just might be responsible for giving me my next prompt!
This week my prompt comes from Chamindra, who writes here. The prompt is, "It's just a coincidence."
I like it. Read on...
"I said, 'Stop!'"
"No, I know what you said. Stop what?"
"Stop selling yourself short."
"I'm not really... I just... it's that..."
"Yeah, see? Your thinking is so fucked up you can't even qualify your objections."
That last bit she said with a smirk, he knew. His back was to her, but he could hear it in her voice. Mitch sat at the table, contemplating his coffee cup as though it was going to sprout an oracle, a speaking coffee bean that would reveal all of life's answers to him. "Hell," he thought," At this point I'd settle for some heavily veiled clarity." He turned to Ann, who stood by the fridge, giving him that look, the you-know-I'm-right look, damn her, as she idly twisted and untwisted a dish towel in her hands.
"I know you're right."
"I always am!" She flicked the dish towel playfully in his direction. He loved that half smile of hers, loved that sense of play in her eyes even when she was getting her point across. He stood up from the table and in a single stride was across the room, stealing the towel from her hands. He wrapped it around the back of her neck and pulled her in for a kiss, noting that vague citrus scent in her hair.
Ann pulled back slightly, just far enough to look into his eyes, her arms wrapped around his waist. "You know I'm right."
He held her captive with the towel, and replied, "I know you are. I'm just... I don't know... not scared really, but overwhelmed by what it could mean, by possibilities. I don't want to leap and find out that the water isn't as deep as it looks."
"But how will you know if you don't leap? Do you know how rare it is for a new artist to be offered a gallery opening?"
"Do you know how many people would sell their own mothers for a shot to do something that makes them feel good about their lives, that makes them feel like the dreams are there for a reason?"
"I know. I want it. I really do. But Build-In just offered me a bonus if I join them on the new project. What am I supposed to think?"
"It's just a coincidence. Baby, a gold-plated turd is still just a turd. How many more years can your knees take crawling around on concrete? And your back and shoulders are always in agony from hauling equipment around. You've got a chance to do something you love, something you love a lot. Watching you paint is like watching Clapton play guitar. You were meant for it. Besides, your truck is paid off. Worst case, we can live off of my book royalties and ramen. Lots of ramen."
He tried for an imperious look, "Madam, I shall not be a kept man!"
"Oh, yes. You shall be if I ever find the duct tape!" Her hands dropped from his waist and she wedged them into his back pockets.
"It's like that, is it?"
"It is. Seriously, go for it. I'm in this with you and I will stand with you every step of the way."
"I suppose I will."
"Of course you will!" Ann nipped at Mitch's left earlobe and in a whisper chanted, "I'm right, I'm right, I'm right..." Mitch dropped the towel and gave her a teasing swat on the ass.
"Were you this conflicted when you decided to give up teaching and write?"
"Not so much. I needed change. I was miserable and it was making my teaching ineffective. Besides, how could I pass up an opportunity to drive my mother completely insane? You know I live for her heavy sighs over my wretched bohemian lifestyle."
"Bohemian, huh? I've always thought of you as more of a gypsy. You wander around and take the bits and pieces you find, and you turn them into stuff that people like to read."
"Huh. I like that. You know, Grandma Erzsi tells a wonderful story about gypsies coming to her house when she was a girl..."
"You should write her story, Ms. Author. Really, you should. She's a fascinating woman and it'll help keep her memory close."
Ann smiled at him, a slight glint of tears in her eyes, "And you should paint, Mr. Artist. You have your own stories to tell." She ran her hands up and over Mitch's broad chest. She loved how solid he felt, how real, how there. "Interesting that you decided to take the morning off right when I'm having some killer writer's block..."
"It's just a coincidence. But let me see if I can help you with that," Mitch said as he took Ann's hand and led her to the bedroom.